Friday, April 24, 2015

#A to Z Challenge: U is for ... Unique U!


Today's 'heart things, heart strings' theme for the letter U in the A to Z challenge is Unique U (or Unique You), as in you being unique and true to your unique, individual self! ;)

Consider this: there is NOT one single person on Earth out of more than 7 billion people(!) who is exactly like you! WOW! Isn't that stupendous?!

What does that feel like? Have you ever pondered that? Does that not make you feel like a star? ;)

YOU are as 'special' and unique as a star in a vast star-filled sky. There is NO ONE, absolutely no one like you at all in the world.

Clones are not exact replicas of human beings. Neither for that matter are identical twins.
"The cloning process would never produce an exact copy of the cloned person. Though an individual manufactured by cloning would posses the same genetic sequence as the person whose nucleus was used, other factors also substantially affect the development of an individual. ... non-genetic factors such as nutrition, home environment, education, economic situation, and culture add significantly to the development of personhood. Just as with animals, cloning humans will never produce exact copies."
(Source: http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/viewpage.aspx?pageId=106)




"Baa Baa Black Sheep" photo by me representing the first cloned sheep


"There is some misunderstanding about what constitutes a clone. A human clone would be the genetic identical twin, a generation or more younger, of the donor (not the surrogate mother) who provided the nucleus. But because people are more than a product of their genes, a clone would have its own personality, character, intelligence, and talents exactly as identical twins do (who are natural clones stemming from the same egg). You cannot clone a person's brain or mind, and chance factors, the environment, and a person's experiences contribute to individual traits." (Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0193005.html)
Thus, you are here for a reason. You are meant to be here. But you already know that, right?

So tell me then, do you know your divine purpose or mission in life? Are you aware of your God-given gifts or talents? And how will you share them with the world from your heart, with all your heart?

Cyndi Lauper, a 1980's pop singer sang True Colors [American spelling] with words as in the picture to the right: "I see your true colors, and that's why I love you..."

What are YOUR true colours? [Canadian spelling] What makes YOU unique?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#A to Z Challenge: T is for ... Trust!


Today's 'heart things, heart strings' theme for the letter T in the A to Z challenge is Trust. It isn't 'Treehugging' that I will write about today as some of you may have suspected! ;)

I am aware that trust is an issue with many, including myself (at times, ahem)! ;)

Trusting others begins with trusting oneself, yourself! If you aren't trustworthy of others, what is it about yourself that you don't trust?

You see, everything we see in others, both 'good' and 'bad' is a reflection of us. Did you read my inspired poem 'You' on this very issue? (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2012/11/tribute-to-you.html) But you knew that already, didn't you? Didn't you?! ;)

To trust someone is to surrender and let go of any preconceptions and the like. It is akin to God holding you in the palm of His hands - these words are coming through me right now, though I am no longer religious. And yet I do believe in God/Spirit (substitute what term you prefer).

Essentially, it is having faith and belief that all is right in your world, all is well, all is meant to be. Que sera, sera (what will be, will be).

My posture suggestive of surrendering, letting go

Actually going backwards here - could have started with a google definition of trust, both as a noun and a verb. As a noun it is a "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something." The verb definition is the same sans (the word) 'firm' as in "believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something."

Synonyms for trust as a noun are as follows: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence; reliance and as a verb: rely on, depend on, bank on, count on, be sure of. These are words that come from the heart ultimately. Both definitions carry a weight of solidity as in a rock or better yet a foundation, say as in building a house.

Imagine for a moment being with a group of people where you are told that you need to jump from a place high above them where they catch you whilst you free fall forwards or backwards. Trust is like that.

Letting go, surrendering, free falling if you will, are some ways to learn to trust completely, fully. Have faith and belief and trust in yourself and/or God/Spirit and this can catapult you to believe and let go and surrender, completely, fully. This can be easier said than done.

Below is a copy of a photo of me rappelling down the side of a cliff. From experience, I can only tell you that I think this act requires A LOT of trust: Trust that I will make it down alive, trust in the ropes and cables to keep me secure, trust in the cliff/mountain to keep me steady, trust in the people who secure me...have I missed anything?!

I was initially petrified when I first attempted rappelling. Yet once I started, I absolutely loved it - it was a thrill - and I wanted to do it again, and again! It ended up being a lot more fun than I imagined!

And what did rapelling require? Letting go, surrendering to the process, and trust and faith and belief that I was going to be okay in the end...and hopefully have fun in the process! ;)

Can you recall an incident of where you had to have absolute trust in someone and/or something?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#A to Z Challenge: S is for ... Singing (Your Heart Out!)


Today's 'heart things, heart strings' theme for the letter S in the A to Z challenge is Singing. (I was originally considering writing about Spirit or senses or sensitivity.)

Everyone can sing if they have the correct anatomy to do so; however, not everyone sings with heart or from their heart. That is ideal as it 'expands' the heart in a good-feel kinda way! ;)

And did you know that singing is also good for the heart? Singing can strengthen the immune system, reduce heart rate, live longer (!) and well, in fact there are quite a number of benefits on a physical, mental (especially if memorizing music), emotional, and social level.

Rather than repeat all the various benefits, I will draw your attention to two websites: (1) http://www.moresingingplease.com/benefits-of-singing and (2) http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/. You can choose to google others if you wish just by typing "benefits of singing."

And ahem, start singing, alone at least though preferably in a group. Join a choir! What are you waiting for? (Men especially are often lacking in numbers in many choral groups.)

In my blog post about Mother's Day, May 26, 2013 (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2013/05/httpyoutu.html), I featured a video of me singing a duet, my first (thus somewhat nervous ...)



Do you enjoy singing and what do you enjoy most about it?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#A to Z Challenge: R is for R&R


Today's 'heart things, heart strings' theme for the letter R in the A to Z challenge is R&R as in "military slang for rest and recuperation (or rest and relaxation or rest and recreation)" and "is a term used for the free time of a soldier in the U.S. military or International UN staff serving in non-family duty stations." (Definition by Wikipedia.)

I prefer rest and relaxation or even rest and recreation as in rec-reation (doing something you enjoy) or better yet, re-creating or renewing yourself by resting and relaxing! ;)

Having time off and personal time are two different concepts, yet both are important in terms of relaxation. The former is obvious, the latter maybe not so. While both can allow you to keep busy, hopefully the first at least will allow you the opportunity to relax and enjoy life - you can do nothing if you so choose! - although hopefully with the latter as well.

Personal time can be time which you spend on doing things that make you feel good and happy such as taking care of yourself through exercise or other self-care needs such as getting a hair cut and/or style, or spending time in nature.

Photo of me hugging a tree

Taking time for yourself is important. It gives the message that you are important which you are! It could be as simple as reading a book or taking a bath or getting your hair done or ...well, I think you get the idea. ;)

I realize that although I have quite a bit of time off - evenings and weekends - I don't spend a lot of quality personal time or at least not as much as I would like or desire, and sometimes that means just doing absolutely nothing but resting, i.e., relaxing! A foreign concept to me it seems as I am often on the go ... busy, busy, busy like a (bumble)bee! ;)

Me 'chilling out' (photo by Roberto Kaplan)

I'm on the computer a lot, with my work and at home. I often blog, catch up on bloggers' posts, emails, and social media. That takes a huge chunk of my time. In fact, most of the day on a lot of days!

What I realize I need and want to do is to get out in nature more, exercise more, and even read more as I have a lot of books waiting to be read! ;)

I need to spend personal time on my time off for the better. And I aim to do just that once I get myself a laptop or equivalent computer so I can take it out with me and not be committed to sit at my desk at work and at home all day or most of the day!

Having down time and me time is important!

When you - your body and your mind - are relaxed, you reduce your stress, you become clear(er) in your thinking, you become more heart-centred, and the like.

What are you committed to in terms of time off and/or personal time?