Category Archives: Insight

#Hope… Is It Enough?

John Fioravanti has written a brilliant article on the troubled times in which we live, suggesting that the choices we make will determine whether or not we survive as a species. I couldn’t agree more. #HighlyRecommended

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

~ Michelle Obama

It may be an understatement that we live in very troubled times. I know from my study of history and my daily history blog, “John’s Believe It Or Not,” that every era has had its troubles, yet the present seems especially fearful. The fact that the leader of the free world exacerbates the issues plaguing humanity gives one pause. How can there be hope for progress and a better future when a narcissistic megalomaniac has been allowed to run amok in the White House?

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Thoughts of #Peace

Photo by Terri Webster Schrandt
Image courtesy of Terri Webster Schrandt
Our thoughts and prayers are with
our sisters and brothers in London
 ❤
The hatred evidenced by terrorist attacks around the world could easily be met with equal hatred, should we allow it. But how would that identify and inform us as a species? What would that do to the hearts and minds of individuals as well as society? What do we want to teach our children, and what kind of world do we want to leave them?
It is a challenge to keep our hearts open amid such unconscionable acts of violence. Yet it is our only hope of survival. Meeting these despicable acts with an equal amount of aggression could lead to our annihilation in this nuclear age. At the very least, it could alter our consciences and consciousness to a degree beyond repair. And that is as unacceptable as the terrorist act itself.
Fire cannot be fought with fire. We know this. Yet our species persists in its futile attempt to meet hatred with hatred, aggression with aggression, terror with terror. However, hope is skirting the horizon ~ fragile in its element but tenacious in its intent. Whether or not it will rise with tomorrow’s sun will be determined by our actions today.
I’m reminded of Dorothy Bryant’s book, The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You. The village folk circle a woman being raped. They neither interfere nor intervene but simply stand in witness of this heinous act. The perpetrator not only cannot continue, but also comes face to face with his salacious fear. When he realizes he has been forgiven, his heart opens and he is transformed.

The Kin of Ata by Dorothy Bryant

Some might call this a miracle. Yet if we consider the collective unconscious, we might see this in a different light. Instead of intervention from an outside source ~ no matter how beneficent the being ~ we realize it is a manifestation of our unified thought. We are what we think, and energy follows in kind.
Although I was raised Roman Catholic, I follow an eclectic spiritual path. I hold the avatars and bodhisattvas in my heart, and one in particular now comes to mind: Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether history is to be believed, the story of Jesus’ passion sets an example that sorely needs to be remembered, if not emulated. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
If we understand that all negative emotions and behavior originate from fear, we might be more inclined to err on the side of compassion. This does not negate the validity and necessity of raging with anger, for emotions are raw and must be given a voice, lest we implode. This does, however, caution us to act instead of react ~ act out of love instead of react out of fear.
Fear is a survival mechanism but, if unchecked, can easily run amok, as we have witnessed once again in today’s attack on the people of London. Where does violence end? Where does peace begin?
Flower by Terri Webster Schrandt
Image courtesy of Terri Webster Schrandt
Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me . . . ❤

Guest Post: Tina Frisco – On Facing Death

Friend and blogger John Fioravanti kindly invited me to guest post on his impressive blog. I was thrilled to accept and am delighted to share this with you. John is a historian who blogs on issues of contemporary importance, health, writing tips and more. He also supports other authors by reblogging and guest posting. Please visit his blog and enjoy his excellent posts. Thank you so much for hosting me, John, and for sharing my work ❤

Shortly after John invited me to be his guest, I received an email from a friend telling me his wife and my dear friend had just been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Upon sending my condolences, Payson replied: 

Persevere…the dice keep rolling…and one adapts with as much detachment as possible.
The work of a lifetime….that drawing closer to the Event Horizon makes one more present.
Such good work…a blessing to be aware!

Both Payson and Kamla are authors and devoted to a spiritual path. I read Kamla’s book, The Singing Guru, during one long night of sitting with a dying friend. Kamla writes: 

The Divine “is everywhere, in every direction, in every space, without exception.”

Payson produces DVDs he calls VideoTonePoems, which are a blend of exquisite visual art, intriguing sound, and the poignant written word.

I’m sharing their work with you here, because it’s relevant to the subject matter of my guest post  ❤  

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome Tina Frisco, author, blogger, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism and friend, to Words To Captivate. Death is a difficult thing to face, but Tina puts a different face on it.

On Facing Death

Facing death is a life-changing experience and one that most of us fear. The first time I faced this monster, I paced and cried, ranted and cursed its arrogance. The second time, I tightened my mid-section and refused to acknowledge it; but I couldn’t sleep. The third time, I took in a deep breath, sat down, and closed my eyes. In a flash, I saw myriad lifetimes pass before me – incarnations I was fortunate to have lived.

What is it about physical death that throws so many of us into a tailspin of grief, anger, and denial? Is it not knowing whether life continues beyond the…

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Flights of Fancy Anthology – Trust by Sally Cronin

A story of grief, trust, and solace, beautifully written by our supportive friend and blogger, Sally Cronin. Need I tell you, Sally, this is my favorite and most likely always will be? Unlike all the tears I’ve shed over the past four months, these were welcomed ♥♥♥

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Here is another of the stories from my first story collection.. Flights of Fancy.. This time the story of a woman and a dog who come together on a harsh Welsh mountain.

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TRUST

The house was quiet. The men had left a few minutes ago and already she felt alone. The ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall intruded into the silence. Time was passing slowly and each minute felt like an hour.

Claire stared out of the kitchen window at the gathering gloom. It would soon be dark, and she would be unable to see the mountain rising above the house, harsh but fiercely beautiful. It was this mountain that had attracted them last spring, the lower slopes covered in lush grass dotted with the cotton wool white of the ewes and their lambs. The craggy rocks of the mountaintop jutted up into a cloudless, blue sky…

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LIVING WITH PARALYSIS

Casey Sims was in an accident that left him paralyzed. He went through a period of loss and came out the other side with a purpose in life. He started a blog and is now showing us how to overcome adversity and thrive while doing it. He also has a website with a lot of photographs.
Casey is new to blogging and would love to meet fellow bloggers.  Please visit his Blog, follow and share ❤

 

Living with Paralysis

Livin With Paralysis…                                           “The Man Who Thinks He Can, And The Man Who Thinks He Can’t, Are Both Right…”                                                                                                          #NeverGiveUp

I’m starting this blog To show you through example how to not just overcome adversity, but thrive while doing it..

My FaceBook Fan Page 
At Our Cabin in BearLake, Idaho                            Stretching My Leg Muscles feels so good!

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Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Author Tina Frisco – Time is an Illusion.

It’s a pleasure to be part of Sally Cronin‘s Blog Sitting Special while she’s off celebrating her birthday with her sisters in England. There will be many more hosts throughout the week, so do stop by and enjoy the variety of posts she has lined up for our edification in her absence 💜

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

blog-sitting

I am delighted that my lovely friend and talented author Tina Frisco leapt into action when I invited writers to blog sit whilst I am away with my two sisters. Tina is hugely supportive of all her blogging friends and in this post she explores our perception of time.

61drzdpa47l-_ux250_About Tina Frisco.

Tina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, and student of shamanism. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews, essays, articles in the field of medicine, her début novel – PLATEAU, her children’s book – GABBY AND THE QUADS, and her latest novel – VAMPYRIE. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and…

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When I Am Not Enough… Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Thank you to Chris The Story Reading Ape for his enduring support of authors. I’m so pleased to have another guest post featured on his outstanding blog 💚

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Throughout our lives, we hear ourselves say:  ‘I’m not that good!’  ‘I’ll never make it.’  ‘I wish I could write that well.’  ‘If only I had said. . .’

Words are powerful. Energy follows thought. The words we speak to ourselves drive our subconscious minds. Diminishing thoughts tell the subconscious we are not enough.

The subconscious mind is self-serving. Its mission is to fulfill our every desire, and it sets in motion the means by which to do so. It takes our words at face value and strives to manifest what they represent. It assumes that what we think and say is what we hope and dream.

How often have we heard ourselves utter, ‘Did I say that’? Unless we’re channeling spirit, the mouth speaks what the subconscious mind thinks. If thought rests in the conscious mind, we are aware of it and can choose whether or not to give it a…

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A Message of Peace and Love

(Featured image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova)

Gag orders on gov’t agencies; walls being built between countries; bans on immigration to a country that is a melting pot . . .
My fellow Americans and all Citizens of the World: 
Lucie Stastkova
Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova
Even though leaders in the Trump administration are behaving like children let loose in a candy store ~ now more than ever ~ it is important to keep positive thoughts, send out positive energy, take positive action, and simultaneously keep abreast of all that is occurring within the United States government and across the globe.

Collecting and sharing data is vital. Dwelling on the negative is self-defeating. Reacting with violence will sabotage any and all positive change.

Remember: The women’s marches took place in all 50 states and in 57 different countries. This was a first in the history of humankind. All marches were nonviolent. 

Everything unfolds in an orderly fashion. As above, so below.

The patriarchy is dying and rearing its head for one last stand.

United, we will get through this troubling time. This is the time that prophecies of most cultures and religions spoke of centuries ago. They speak of us moving into the Golden Age of Enlightenment. This is the time. We are in the storm before the calm.

It is imperative we recognize this and come from a place of love in our hearts instead of a place of fear. While keeping abreast of U.S. and world affairs, it is crucial that any and all action we take be positive and nonviolent.

Love is the only answer to the heightened treachery and tragedy we now experience, not only in the U.S., but also around the world. Only love will still the waters.

We have forgotten who we are ~ beings of light. It is now time to remember. In our purest sense, we are love. And only love will prevail.

 We must not lose sight of this.

 Love is the ONLY answer . . . 

Chronic Illness and Self-Acceptance

Living with a chronic illness is a challenge at best. If the illness is devastating but not recognized by the medical establishment, convincing ourselves life is worth living becomes an uphill battle.

Lucie Stastkova Art
Photo Courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that presented as a drop-dead flu. I’d been symptomatic since in the 1980s, but early on, flareups were few and far between. Innumerable doctor visits always produced tests with negative results. Over time, symptoms increased in severity and duration until they became immobilizing and constant in 1999.

I knew my doctors thought I was malingering. I felt invalidated yet knew damn well something was wrong. I lived in fear of a dreaded disease not being detected in time to be treated. Simultaneously, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. By 1999 I was nearly bedridden; in debilitating pain; overwhelmed by fatigue; suffering varying degrees of GI problems; plagued by sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, free-floating anxiety, panic attacks, and depression; and had a constant low-grade fever with sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. It wasn’t until I consulted a rheumatologist that I finally got a clinical diagnosis – one based on physical examination, as no definitive tests existed.

Since I was too sick to work and had been denied disability for two years, I exhausted my savings and retirement. Add to this that I had to advocate for myself while nearly bedridden, exhausted, and in constant pain, it’s no wonder I reached the point of planning to end my life.

So what stopped me? I had lists made of people to whom all of my possessions should be given. I knew where and how I would take the final leap. The only question left unanswered was when. What prompted me to delay making a decision?

Lucie Stastkova Art
Image Courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Antidepressants helped somewhat but left me feeling flat and worthless. I also hated putting pharmaceuticals into my body. Two things saved me: my spiritual practice and the constant reminder of love from treasured friends. I had to learn to grant myself the same acceptance, compassion, and love I so freely bestowed upon others. It has been said by many – myself included, at times – that we are incapable of loving another if we do not first love ourselves. But I found the exact opposite to be true. I felt deep love and compassion for others, but every time I looked in the mirror, I faced self-loathing for the specter I’d become. I knew that in order to survive, I needed to turn the same love and compassion inward.

My belief that Mother Earth is a schoolhouse deterred me from ending my life. If we incarnate to learn specific lessons, and if we leave short of learning those lessons, we’ll need to return and undergo the very same experiences in order to grow. I didn’t want to backtrack. I didn’t want to suffer the same ordeals when all I had to do was commit to seeing them through this time around.

It hasn’t been easy, but it has been rewarding. I’m no longer taking pharmaceuticals and don’t rely on allopathic medicine for anything more than relative diagnosis and emergency/trauma care. There’s no known cure for this illness and the etiology is unknown. I still have flareups, but other than low-level pain and fatigue, the symptoms are no longer constant. I’m still learning to love myself, and I wonder if that isn’t an ongoing struggle for all unenlightened humans.

My biggest challenge is keeping up with social media. Writing can be accomplished when I’m feeling well enough, but maintaining an online presence can be demanding. I often find myself merely treading water. And when in a flareup, I feel as if I’m trudging through neck-high water, pushing myself to complete the simplest of tasks.

Lucie Stastkova Art
Image Courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

I’ve lived with this condition for over 25 years and generally take it in stride. But since flareups are random and of unpredictable severity and duration, I’m finding it difficult to plan and write blog posts, visit other’s blogs and share their posts on a regular basis, and read the books on my overflowing TBR in a timely fashion. When I visit blogs, my ability to comment depends on my cognitive state at that moment.

When in a flareup, I have to accept a stop-and-start work scenario:  work a little, rest a little; work a little, rest a little. And I’m usually unable to do little more than click on a few share buttons, unless the fatigue and mental fog clear long enough for me to write a few lucid sentences. If lucky and my head isn’t dropping to the keyboard, I’m able to do a reblog or create a post. The challenge in all of this is self-acceptance and not giving in to frustration.

I remind myself each day not to become my own worst enemy. Self-acceptance on all levels is crucial to survival. Compassion for oneself is as vital as breathing. What concerns me most is not being understood by the people in my life. It’s difficult to imagine – much less believe – what someone else is experiencing when their condition or situation borders on unfathomable.

I hope my fellow bloggers will understand when I’m unable to visit their blogs as frequently as they visit mine. I hope my fellow authors will understand when I’m unable to read and review their books as quickly as they do mine. My desire and intention are to pay it forward; at the very least, to be reciprocal. Yet when a flareup strikes, I fall short in meeting my goals. I’m still learning to accept this as a life lesson for which I contracted before I incarnated. We all choose the lessons we want to learn before we come in to this earthwalk. The trick is not to give up on ourselves.

Self-acceptance. Self-love. Self-compassion. I’m still a work in progress . . .

Until the next time, my friends . . .  Namaste
© Tina Frisco 2017

Smorgasbord Short Story – A Soldier Waits – Sally Cronin

Sometimes we wish we were somewhere else or someone else, doing something other than plugging away to make a living, doing something we loved and regarded highly. Sometimes we wish our lives away, not giving a second thought to those who lost theirs too young or in service to others. In Sally Cronin‘s moving short story,     A Soldier Waits, we see life through the eyes of a young man who served his country and who now attends the annual memorial for the old soldiers and heroes of his village. The memorial is always conducted with great love and respect. While reading this story, I was reminded that where there is love, there is hope; and where there is hope, there is the promise of tomorrow. Take a few minutes to read this superb tribute to our fallen heroes…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

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A Soldier Waits – Sally Cronin

David stood beside his comrades as they waited in the village square for the parade to begin. Despite their advancing years, the men stood as tall as possible, often with the aid of a stick. Two of their number were in wheelchairs, and had been guided across the cobble stones by their fellow old soldiers.

It was a typical chilly November morning with dark skies and clouds laden with imminent rain. Whilst inappropriate perhaps for this solemn occasion, the men standing huddled against the cold wind; wished for a few rays of sunshine. Their overcoats were shiny with age but their shoes were burnished to a brilliance thanks to the loving attention the night before. A reminder of a time, when the action of rubbing in polish and then shining the boots for the sergeant’s approval, was used for reflection. A time to remember…

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