1000 posts!

 

I first joined the WordPress community because I wanted to be able to “like” the posts my son, Sreejit, published on his blog, The Seeker’s Dungeon. I then decided to start a blog of my own so that I could surprise him by answering one of his Dungeon Prompts. The first Dungeon Prompt I answered as a blogger was I Will Know When I Know. I still don’t know the answer to the question I addressed in that post.

Never did I consider the possibility that I would love blogging as much as I do. And I never expected that I would reach the 1000 post marker. I think it is fitting that my 1000th post was one about Mother Nature helping me with my garden.

I have learned so much since I started this blog in 2014. Thanks to all of you who read my posts and in so doing accompany me on my life’s journey.

In the Tradition of “The Blob”

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

 

The ivy was relentless. Keeping it from destroying everything in its path felt like a never-ending battle. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw that it had invaded the shed. For years, I had left a window cracked to keep the contents inside the shed from being covered with mildew. Instead of mildew, I was now faced with a scene reminiscent of the 1988 movie, The Blob. I picked up my clippers and like a warrior began to cut. I was determined to win the battle and emerge the victor… in The Invasion of the Ivy.

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Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

100 Word Stories

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Rochelle Wiseoff hosts a regular event called Friday Fictioneers. She posts a weekly photo and participants are asked to write a complete story in 100 words or less; a story that is inspired by viewing the photo. With my permission, my blogging friend Cheryl from Traces of the Soul sent Rochelle a photo of some toys I found buried in our Greenbelt restoration site. Rochelle used the photo for her June 2 prompt.

It has been fun and interesting to read the stories that emerged. At this point 70 people have participated. If you are interested in reading some of them go to http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=716926.

Thank you Rochelle and Cheryl for giving me the opportunity to have this experience.

Challenge for Growth Prompt #6: I Listen Attentively

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I Listen

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I listen attentively.”

Sometimes when we are listening to another person, we may find our minds wandering to problems at work or home, or to future plans.  At other times, rather than paying close attention to the person’s words, we may start thinking about how we are going to respond to them.  Or we may reflect on advice we want to give them when they stop talking.  If the person is angry, instead of listening to them, we may start planning our defense.  These communication patterns often leave people feeling unheard, discounted and/or disrespected.

This week, for one, two, three days or longer, practice giving people your full attention when they are talking to you. Sometime during the week, write a post about some aspect of this topic or about experiences you have when you listen  attentively. Feel free to use whatever form you desire: i.e., prose, story, poem, photograph, etc.  (If you don’t have a blog, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.)

I look forward to seeing where this challenge takes you.

The article that you link to this prompt should be a new post written specifically for this challenge.

 

General Prompt Information:

New prompts will be posted at 5 a.m. (PST) every Wednesday.

Since it is easier to make behavioral changes if we focus on them one day at a time, each of the weekly challenges will start with “Today, I focus on…….” It will be up to you to decide how long you want to focus on a particular challenge— one, two, three days or even longer. At some point during the week, publish a post that relates in some way to the subject of the week.

Link your post back to this prompt post. If the pingback doesn’t work, then leave the link to your post in the comment section below.  Be sure to include “Challenge for Growth Prompts” as one of your tags.

Throughout the week, I will publish the links for the posts that were created as the result of this prompt.  I will also post the links from those who participated the previous week. That way they will be seen by anyone who comes to this page.

 

This week’s contributors to I listen attentively:

I Hear You- Nik’s Place

Please Listen to Me- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Challenge for Growth Prompt #6- Home and Loving It

Challenge for growth prompts/ #6- Annette’s Place

How about you?

 

Last week’s contributors to I am Love:

I Am…- Nik’s Place

It Takes a Revolution- The Seeker’s Dungeon

I Am Love- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Love Has No Borders (haibun)- Tournesol dans un Jardin

I AM love (free verse)- Traces of the Soul

Stillness- Dancing to the Words

 

Challenge for Growth Prompts: First Month’s Summary

20150726_193653The first Challenge for Growth Prompt was published on January 6, 2016.  Since then there have been three more.  I realize many of you may not have seen the posts that were written by those who participated, so have decided to publish a summary at the end of each month.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

I give thanks to all of you who contributed to some or all of January’s challenges, whether it was by publishing a post, by reading the posts published by others or by reading and thinking about the challenge topics.

Know that everyone is still welcome to write posts for any of these challenges.  If you decide to do that, I will add your contribution to the appropriate challenge page and to the monthly summary.

Challenge for Growth Prompt #1: Needs vs Wants

The Bliss We Seek- The Seeker’s Dungeon

2016 Needs- Self Therapy

Needs vs Wants (Haibun)- Traces of the Soul

Resolve- Dream Cloud Diaries

Compassion’s Desires (Haibun)- Tournesol dans un Jardin

Are My Trips to Amritapuri Fulfilling a Need or a Want?- Living, Learning and Letting Go

The Needing Want- Nik’s Place

Needs vs Wants- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #2: Looking for the Good in Others

On Humans and Humanity- The Seeker’s Dungeon

Today I look for the good qualities in others- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

There is No “Other”- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Khuśiyōm Kī Bahār- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Through the Shadows- Nik’s Place

finding the light side (free verse)- Traces of the Soul

Challenge for Growth Prompt #2- Annette’s Place

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #3: Learning to Be

What Does It Mean to Be? – Living, Learning and Letting Go

Painting Our Illusions- Where Love Meets War

Failure to Be- Nik’s Place

Being Her True Self- Traces of the Soul

Learning to Be- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #4: Think Before Saying Yes or No

The Making of Yes- Nik’s Place

And to the World I Say- Where Love Meets War

Why Do We Behave the Way We Do?- Living, Learning and Letting Go

 

The next challenge will be posted at 5:00 a.m. (PST) tomorrow!

Advice to New Bloggers

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Today’s prompt from The Daily Post is called “Key Takeaway” and the instructions are:

Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging

This is a topic very close to my heart. First of all, I’d like to welcome all of you who are new to the blogging world. I have found blogging to be one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and I hope the same for you.

My advice is to celebrate when friends, relatives, colleagues and members of your personal community are interested in your blog, but don’t count on it being the case. See blogging as a way of building an additional community for yourself, as a way of sharing information with like-minded people, and as an opportunity to communicate with those for whom your thoughts and experiences are an exciting new world.

I have learned so much from reading other people’s blogs and I have developed new and treasured friendships within the Word Press community. Blogging has expanded my own world and I know that others have learned from reading mine. I will be forever grateful to my son Sreejit (The Seeker’s Dungeon and Where Love Meets War) for encouraging /pushing me to start my blog.

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Early Morning Fun

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Yesterday morning began in a most unusual way!  When I left my room to go to breakfast, I took the back stairs, as is my normal practice. I looked down at the stairs as I started to descend them. By my foot there was

one green bug

It reminded me of a bug I’ve seen in Seattle. Its color was brilliantly green, almost fluorescent.  I passed it by but was afraid it would get stepped on so I came back and pushed it to the side of the stairs. I walked away but then realized how hot it was in the sun. The bug had looked like it was dying.  It occurred to me that it would certainly die if I left it sitting in the sun so I went up the stairs again, got something to pick the bug up with, and took it to a part of the landing that had some shade. I placed the bug in a crevice and continued on my way. At the next landing there were

two black crows

sitting on the railing. We looked at each other for a moment. One cawed and then they both flew away. One green bug followed by two black crows; that was an interesting “co-incidence.” I looked over the railing and the first thing I saw were

three Indian girls

Okay, this feels like no co-incidence. I think I will play the game. I wonder what will be next. Now I’m on the first floor (which in India is one floor above the ground). I look ahead in the distance and at the far part of the hall I see a doormat with shoes on it.  As I get closer I see there are

four thongs scattered on the mat

Going down the last set of stairs, I’m now on the ground floor. I turn the corner and pass the supply office where

five Indian family members are getting bedding

As I make may way to the cafe, I pass a tree with

six hibiscus flowers which are being picked by an Indian woman

Once I arrive at the café I see there are

five people ahead of me in the breakfast line

I order my food and take it to the table where

four friends eat breakfast together

I finish my food, wash my dishes and take them to the drying station where there are

three towels for drying dishes

I take my empty water bottle to the drinking water station where I find

two are filling water bottles

I fill my water bottle and then head back to my room. I push the elevator button. Soon there is

one person on elevator

Me!

Well, that was an interesting way to start the day.  I wonder what the rest of my day will hold.  (BTW, the bug was gone when I returned to that crevice again.)

1970: My Summer as a Migrant Farm Laborer #2 (Atlanta International Pop Festival)

After a good night’s sleep, we said goodbye to my parents and then headed for Byron, Georgia. We were excited to attend the upcoming Atlanta International Pop Festival prior to looking for more work.

To get to the event, we had to park about three miles away and walk in. We decided to camp outside the festival grounds on our first night. We had left the hot canvas tent in Florida, so ended up sharing a tarp with some people we met.

Pop festival

We spent the next day at the festival roasting in the sun. The temperature was about 104 degrees. There was no shade and no breeze. There wasn’t enough water and ice was considered a luxury. Five pounds of ice cost $1 and we paid 25 cents for a popsicle. The event staff passed out salt tablets, hats and suntan lotion.

I enjoyed the music despite the physical discomfort. We were about 30 feet from the stage!

I had mixed feelings/thoughts about being there. I was super, super uptight during a lot of it. The heat as well as the lack of water and food was unbearable and I didn’t like being around so many people who were stoned.

Our skin was blistered and swollen from sunburn when we left. However listening to musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens,  the Chambers Brothers and the Memphis cast for Hair as well as getting to know some of the people who were there made it worth it. My favorite memory of the event was waking up the last morning to Richie Havens singing “Here Comes the Sun!”

My final conclusion was that I was glad we had gone, but didn’t think I would ever want to do it again.

Pop festival 6

The festival was over at 10 a.m. Monday so we packed up, hitched a ride to our car and were on our way by 11:30. Off to find a job!

 

[Note: My scrapbook says there were 200,000 people at the festival.  Wikipedia said that the estimates varied from 250,000 to 600,000!  Their article contains a lot of interesting information.]

 

(The next post in this series will be published on Friday December 11.)

To read the previous posts go to:

1970: My Summer as a Migrant Farm Laborer (Series Intro)

1970: My Migrant Farm Labor Summer #1  (Seattle to Florida)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would You Be Interested?

I’m considering offering a weekly Challenges for Growth Prompt.

If there is interest, I would post a focus weekly.  For example:

  1. This week I focus on meeting my needs instead of my wants.
  2. This week I focus on finishing things I haven’t finished
  3. This week I focus on walking my talk.
  4. This week I focus on making time to play
  5. This week I do not gossip
  6. This week I remember that “trials and tribulations” help me grow.

People could participate in different ways.

  • Everyone can consider it a challenge for the week and make it as much a focus as they want to.
  • Some bloggers could write a post about their experiences during the week.
  • Other bloggers may choose instead to write a post about the topic rather than make it a week-long focus.
  • Bloggers and non-bloggers would be welcome to write about their experience in the comments section of my post.

Would you be interested in participating in this type of prompt?

If so, which of the areas I have listed would you suggest I start with?  Other suggestions are welcome!

 

Why Do I Blog?

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia

My journey with blogging actually began when my son Sreejit started his blog, The Seeker’s Dungeon, in September of 2012. I was so impressed by his poetry and his other posts. He had written Of Mind or Matter by then, so I knew he could write well, but the breath of his knowledge was far greater than I realized. I loved reading the supportive comments he received from the Word Press community of bloggers and I could see his confidence growing exponentially.

In August of 2013, Sreejit started Dungeon Prompts. Every Thursday he would send out a prompt encouraging bloggers to “explore the recesses of your mind and get back with a poem, story, essay or creative offering.” I enjoyed reading the posts the other bloggers submitted. He also encouraged those who didn’t have blogs to include their responses to the prompt in the comments section. From time to time, I also participated in that way.

Later in the fall, Sreejit started encouraging me to start my own blog. At first I said “No”, and then later changed it to “Someday.”  Soon I had to admit to myself that I was getting interested in the idea.

Towards the end of February of 2013, I had an exciting idea. I would start my blog without telling Sreejit I was going to do it. He would find out when I responded to his Dungeon Prompt for the week. The topic that week was Gratitude.  What a perfect subject for me to address in my first post!

(A few minutes ago, I looked at my Living in Gratitude post and discovered that the first three comments were from Sreejit (The Seekers Dungeon), Oliana (Traces of the Soul) and Justin (Eclecticoddsnsods). Those are the same three bloggers with whom I have the most contact with now!)

My intention in starting my blog was to have a way to participate in the Dungeon Prompts. I didn’t have a clue how much I would end up loving it. Blogging has become a major part of my life. So why do I blog?

    • Because we have blogging in common, I feel so much more connected to my son. Our relationship has strengthened and deepened and we “talk” through email or “What’s App” several times a week.
    • When I taught at the University of Washington I published lots of professional articles. After I became a psychotherapist, I wrote numerous personal growth articles. During my first decade with Amma, I wrote three books about my journey with her. At that point I felt finished with writing.  In fact, there were times when I thought I had no more to say. Thanks to my blog I am writing again. And I find I have plenty to say!
    • I have learned so much since I started blogging. I have delved deep inside myself and my own past and as a result have grown significantly. I have taken Word Press Blogging 101 and 102, Writing 101 and 102, and Photography 101 courses. And I have learned from reading posts written by other bloggers.
    • I’ve had numerous readers tell me that they appreciate having the opportunity to learn from reading my blog. So through my blog I teach others.
    • I have always been a creative person, primarily in crafting.  Blogging has given me an opportunity to be creative in so many different ways; in my writing, through photography, and even by writing a bit of poetry.
    • When Sreejit started blogging, I was impressed by the community of people that he became involved with. The same has happened for me. I have blogging friends from all over the world. I have even met one of them in person!

So I blog as a way of connecting with my son and because it is an opportunity to write, learn, teach and be creative.  It has also given me a chance to create a larger community for myself.. But most of all, I blog because I love blogging! Rarely has an activity given me so much pleasure.  Thank you for introducing me to the world of blogging Sreejit.

 

Written for Dungeon Prompts: Why Do You Blog?