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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reach Out

"If we are wondering whether we have enough jobs to go around, perhaps the reason there is a scarcity is because there is such a withdrawal from doing what you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Everything is wrapped up in "me" and "mine" and possession, and what you have are people and worlds in need."

Kenneth G. Mills,
The Key: Identity, Freedom is Found pg.222
http://www.kgmfoundation.org/

Remember that every gesture has an effect; what you think is a small, unimportant way to help someone could be a huge, uplifting show of support that someone needed that day. This time of struggle for so many is a time for all of us to open our hearts and share what we can. We all know the big things: food, shelter, money, but everything counts: hugs, smiles, words of encouragement and new ideas are especially welcomed.

I went to a wonderful presentation at Greenwich Library last evening, given by Kathy Caprino, carreer and life coach [ http://www.elliacommunications.com/ ]. It offered the women who attended new ways of looking at our current position of being caught in this economic vortex and suddenly finding everthing we've worked for and saved disappearing with no relief in sight. Every woman's story was different yet the same in the final analysis, with huge changes seemingly thrust upon us out of the blue.

That's really a key point: out of the Blue -- I believe the Universe signals our need to grow when we've become too comfortable or are afraid to move toward our secret dream jobs by forcing us out of the situation holding us in mental-bondage. OR we think we're in our dream job, but our soul has a different plan for this life and we're not seeing it, so, suddenly we're outside and asking ourselves, "if not this, then what?" That's good. It's scary, it's difficult, but if we choose to grow, to reach in for the answers, our prayers will be answered.

Winds may blow in the darkness

And make our light seem small,

But together we shine in knowing

The Light within us is All.

- Olenka /(C) Alexandra Philippas

Friday, April 24, 2009

Budding Glass

Stained Glass (C) Alexandra K Philippas

That's an altered image of a stained glass panel I made and gave to a friend as a wedding present. The best part was seeing her delight when she opened the gift, as she'd never received a hand-made artwork from the artist before. My pleasure!

The bud also symbolized the hope budding after yesterday's meeting with a new recruiter. There were three job listings with this agency that were of great interest and I got the call to come meet with the recruiter in the afternoon. We had a good discussion and she will take the next steps. All you readers who have a job, be grateful. It's been a challenge to keep looking, networking, sending out the resumes, interviewing and yet have no results YET...I wonder what will open now? Birthing anything new always follows a time of living with the unknown. The challenge is keeping the perspective of excitement and trust in the right opportunity coming in its right time, without getting caught up in all the thoughts that start to creep in, each one dragging along some aspect of fear. Like the garden, I daily clear my mind with meditation and prayer, so the weeds of doubt can't take hold.

There was a row of beautiful daylillies along the fence beside our previous house. It was a joy to come home after a busy day at the office and go into the garden to deadhead the flowers and pull up weeds. I clearly remember the day I was on my knees, working along that daylily row, when it occurred to me that the garden was actually weeding me. I had started out stressed and tired, but halfway down the row felt calm and tuned-into the beauty of the garden. Another affirmation that what blesses one, blesses all.

It's a beautiful sunny day outside and the trees are blooming -- time to get out there and take some photos (more?! never enough!)

May your day blossom into a joyful weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plants Refreshed

While visiting my friend Harriette this weekend we came upon these flowers growing in her friend's garden, but none of us know what they are. Do you? They looked like lotus blossoms floating in the garden, but grow from tubers or rhizomes. Very lovely flowers. If you know them, please leave me a comment with their name. Thanks!
Above are the two refreshed pots holding the miniature maple and the grapefruit tree which has lived indoors so far. Two days of rainy weather are helping it aclimate to the outdoors -- I hope!

And these are a few of the pots by the entrance, Bleeding hearts on the far left survived the winter, though coming in a smaller size than last year. The hosta in the middle will grow into a huge bouquet and I was thrilled to see the miniature rose bush on the right not only survived the winter but is covered in buds and many budding leaves. I trimmed it back and cut away many inner branches so it will fill out nicely.
The Coral Bells didn't make it through the snowstorms and had to be tossed. The ferns are showing several clumps of tightly wound fronds and of course the varigatted and large hostas on the other side of the stairs are all several inches high already. Welcome back fellas... I love you all!
I wish you a day of happy surprises!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inviting Opportunity

It's a cold, blustery, rainy day today so I chose a photo taken a couple of days ago during my walk in the sunshine of a beautiful Spring day. My heart always fills with joy when buds starting bursting open all around me -- it really is a wonder to watch all the bare trees come alive with renewed vigor. They give me hope that after these many months of searching, a new opportunity for work will bud in my life, despite the gloomy forecasts heard on the news. I am grateful for all the goodness in my life...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Laughing is Good

Tulips dancing with the changing light always elicit a smile.

Since laughter helps relieve stress and my goal during the current job search has been to keep breaking through various mental barriers by also doing things that interest me but have been suffocating in the 'someday' corner of my mind, I decided to try something new last night by attending my first Comedy Improv Class, which I found through the MeetUp website. The games/exercises/skits were done in the style of the TV show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (which I had enjoyed watching and greatly admired the actors' ability to think fast and improvise on the spot).

It was a blast! The core of professional improv actors were warm and welcoming and kept us all participating in each exercise. Even though I felt nervous as a beginner, themes and actions kept changing so quickly you just jumped in and did whatever came to mind in the moment. For the most part, each person managed to come up with at least one hilarious moment. We worked together for two hours and laughed from start to end. Can't wait until next month's meeting.

Wishing you laughter and sunshine today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Storytelling Event

(I love photographing magnolia blossoms -- so graceful!)

Darien Library held their first Storytelling Event last night. We met in the spacious conference room and the circle of people grew to fit the room -- didn't count the number but it looked like about 20 people attended. There were several folk tales (eg. White Crane, Black Prince); the 'love affair with basketball' story; how Andrew Carnegie gained his wealth and a true life adventure story of boys saved from a python attack. It was wonderful! Several of us (including me!) were ready to speak, but time ran out so, next time, more time will be allotted to the "open mic" portion. There really is an enchanting connection when people sit together listening to someone telling a story...

If you're in the area, you can listen to the best story tellers at the 28th Connecticut Storytelling Festival which takes place on April 24-26 at Connecticut College, New London. More info at http://www.connstorycenter.org/

Every day we add a story to the book of life -- aim for a loving adventure!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Relax and Start Again

Jade and forsythia reveling in the sunshine!

Had a wonderful, joyful time with family on Easter Sunday, then had to return home and finally submit my tax returns (done yesterday online -- hurray!). Today it's Spring clean-up time; will have to balance the indoor work with some 'gardening' -- I have plants only in pots at this location. It's cloudy and cool, which is good for cleaning up last years dead leaves and revealing the new shoots coming up on the perennials (hosta, bleeding hearts, ferns, coral bells). My bonsai maple on the little deck has buds on the branches so it looks like it make it through another winter -- amazing! Leaving now with a photo of some of this years holiday table which was taken before all the food was set out -- we had a feast for the body and the heart!
Though the day's half over, there's plenty of time to enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!


Wishing you a joyful celebration of renewed faith, hope and love. I rejoice in the opportunity to start fresh, and count my blessings...