The Easiest Way to Stay Healthy

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“What if I told you, you could stay healthy and live longer, simply by doing 10 minutes of easy Chinese energy exercises a day?  Would you do it?”

                                                                                                  —Cathy

 

These exercises are so simple, it seems impossible to believe their power to change your life and health in just 10 minutes a day.  A legendary Martial Artist taught them to me, and believed firmly, that daily practice could keep a person healthy, balanced and strong into extreme old age.  I watched him, while in his 80’s, fight (and win!) against several young, strong, well-trained Black Belts in simultaneous hand to hand combat, so I decided to follow his lead.  Preserving strength and vigor into old age sounds just great to me, and… so far, so good!  It’s really all about circulating energy (Qi).

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Posted on January 6th 2012 in Alternative Healing, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Life Outside the Box

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EnergyAs you already know about me, I was born with a caul, so it wasn’t considered odd in an Irish family that I could see force fields around people, plants, things – not in color most of the time — but rather as some kind of exquisite electrical emanations.  The whole world of matter seemed to me to be in molecular motion – no solid object really solid — all the world around me made up of zillions upon zillions of rapidly moving infinitesimal particles.  I thought this simply meant I had better eyesight than those who couldn’t see the particles or their movement, but it really never occurred to me that it wasn’t the truth of how the world worked.  Years later, when I became seriously involved in alternative healing, martial arts and Chinese medicine, I realized that most of the practitioners of all these modalities shared my gift, and that most ancient cultures relied on the ability to see energy as a requirement for anyone who aspired to be a healer. Continue reading “Life Outside the Box” »

Time is the Substance From Which I Am Made…

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“Inside every older person is a younger person – wondering what the hell happened.”

—Cora Harvey Armstrong

“You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen.  But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul’s own doing.”

—Marie Stopes

The arrival of a brand New Year (always a treat to be able to begin again, isn’t it?), plus a cockeyed economy, and an article in a scientific journal that suggests we may all now live to 120, have prompted me to think more than I usually do about this strange business of growing older.  (Something I try to avoid altogether, ever since my accumulating birthdays seem to be adding up to alarming new numbers!)  

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Posted on December 29th 2011 in Life, Loving Life

Memories of My Father

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Papa opening Christmas presentsI’ve been thinking about my Father a lot this Holiday Season.  Missing him… wishing he were here with me and Dakota to watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time.

Papa was a rare bird.  He laughed a lot and taught me useful things… how to hang storm windows… how to recite poetry with passion… how to love every minute of being alive.

He had a way about him… a kind of gentle poetry of being.  Not a namby-pamby-Ashby-Wilkes gentlemanliness, but the sturdy, stalwart kind that men of “The Greatest Generation” seemed to have.  The “protect the family, save the world for democracy, go to church on Sunday, play pinochle with the men in the family, roll up your sleeves, fix the toaster or your skinned knee” kind of benevolence that makes a person feel safe and loved.  Continue reading “Memories of My Father” »

Posted on December 23rd 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

My New Year’s Resolution

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papa standing in the doorwayI can’t think of a better New Year’s Resolution than to try to live up to the gentle truths of my father’s philosophy, so I’d like to offer them to you in this little poem I wrote about him, both as a loving remembrance, and as a tribute to the kind of old fashioned values that could change the world for the better in a heartbeat, if we could only find the courage to believe it would make the difference.  Continue reading “My New Year’s Resolution” »

Posted on December 23rd 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Christmas Past

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Christmas DecorationsThe ghosts of Christmas past 

Wandered by my tree just now

A cup of tea in hand, I stopped 

To admire the sweetness of the nearly trimmed tree

And there you were

My Mommy and Daddy

Young and shiny, hopeful as when

On Christmas morning I’d open the presents 

You’d saved to buy. Continue reading “Christmas Past” »

Posted on December 16th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Christmas Thoughts….On the Virtue of Being Naïve

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A friend chided me gently at lunch the other day for being naïve at my advanced age, and tending to believe the best of people.  At first, I was hurt, then I tried to decide if she might be trying in her kindly way, to help me.  A friend’s eye is a good mirror, they say, and she’s a most beloved friend. Continue reading “Christmas Thoughts….On the Virtue of Being Naïve” »

Posted on December 16th 2011 in The Philosopher’s Teacup

The Timeline of Dreams

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Life breaks everyone’s heart somehow, somewhere in time.  Betrayal or death or illness or failure or war or most any tragedy can do the deed.  The question is what happens then?  In that dark night of the spirit, how do we live till morning?  How do we resilient, courageous, fragile, faltering humans take our licks and still survive?  Or even prevail, and manage to live or love again? Continue reading “The Timeline of Dreams” »

Posted on December 9th 2011 in Sorrow, The Philosopher’s Teacup

List for Dakota

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DakotaMy daughter Dakota is just about to graduate from college, and I have the awful maternal fear that I might have forgotten to tell her something that’s really important. So I made a list. 

I know the accumulation of wisdom is a lifelong task and can’t be hurried or culled from someone else’s hands – but maybe it can be supported by the good will of one who truly loves you. At least, I hope so. These thoughts probably don’t have much to offer her at this moment of youthful discovery and untried freedoms, but maybe one day, a while from now, she’ll look at them again and understand what I’d hoped would sustain her, as she climbs life’s mountains. Like an On-Star System to turn to some dark night on a lonely road, where the path is not quite as clear as it seems today, and the task of finding the way home seems daunting.

The original list held 100 hopes, but I’ve picked out 25 today, because this seems like the time of year when introspection and wishes for those we love, intersect. If any reader would like to see the rest, please let me know.

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Posted on December 2nd 2011 in Notes to My Daughters, The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

Holiday Happiness Starts Now…

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I love the holidays with all my heart.  I wait all year, anticipatory as a child, to be able to play Christmas carols without apologies.  Truth is, from November through New Year’s, my life takes on an incandescence undreamed of in the rest of my work-a-day year.  Music, decorations, lights, tinsel, a lifetime’s worth of carefully wrapped treasures – all find their way out of attic or basement, and into a house made magical by the memory of Christmas Past. Continue reading “Holiday Happiness Starts Now…” »

Posted on November 25th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

What Price Beauty

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I spent a lot of years in the Beauty/Fashion industry… I starved myself like everyone else did.  Looking beautiful and sexy was a different kind of nourishment, and I made the tradeoff gleefully.  But looking back, I’ve had lots of second thoughts about the unrealistic dream of beauty we’ve left our daughters.  Real women don’t look like the retouched ones in magazines.  Strong women can’t live on a starvation diet.  Able-bodied women can’t run or walk, or protect themselves, should they need to, in 6 inch stiletto heels. Continue reading “What Price Beauty” »

Posted on November 18th 2011 in The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

Body of Wisdom

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Have you ever looked in the mirror and just wanted to cry?  I did that one recent morning, having had too little sleep and far too little coffee to cope with revelation.  My body wasn’t any of the things I’d wanted it to be… that was clear from the get to.  Not tall as Julia Roberts or thin as Calista Flockhart, not straight and lithe and sexy as when it was young and innocent of life.  My face, while it’s a perfectly good face, shows signs of more experience than you could shake a stick at.  My breasts – always my best feature – seemed to be holding their own pretty well, but my abs, God help them… they were never made of steel, but of flesh that’s carried children, and comforted life’s large or small hurts with one too many tea and toasts, by the look of it.

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Posted on November 18th 2011 in The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

Stargate

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© Dakota Cash 2011

Many people in the esoteric and native cultural worlds believe the date 11.11.11 was just the beginning of the wild ride we are on. They say a great influx of celestial energy is being infused into humanity, for the purpose of encouraging us, as a species, toward spiritual enlightenment.  They believe this was a time when, in the midst of all our planetary trevails, a special grace was  bestowed on us, so that all the energies we focus on transcending our follies and embracing our heart-strengths can be magnified a hundred-fold. Continue reading “Stargate” »

Posted on November 11th 2011 in Metaphysics, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Friends to the End

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“Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Russian Proverb

“Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Cry and you cry with your girlfriends.”

—Laurie Kuslansky

Thick, thin, life, death, moments, decades, loves, losses.  Hearts blood or chicken soup, it’s the women friends who’ve been there.  Advice or a boot in the fanny… cheering up or cheering on… a phalanx at the graveside, a standing army through life. Continue reading “Friends to the End” »

Posted on November 11th 2011 in Women

My Aunt’s Perfect Blueberry Pie

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I was blessed with a family of great and merry women, who were kind enough to live into their 90s (one to 105!) so I could enjoy their wisdom, laughter and strength for much of my life… and also learn how to make great pies!

I know we can’t recreate the best of our past very often, but a few very visceral treasures manage to stand the test of time. These days, when so much of what we eat tastes (and is!) synthetic or adulterated, and so much of it must be eaten on the run… what fun it is to revel in the luxury of time and pure natural  ingredients with which to create culinary delights that make store-boughten goodies seem absurd by comparison. So in tribute to the great cooks of my childhood, and to all the little children of the world who learn in their Mothers’ and Grandmothers’ and Aunties’ kitchens that food prepared with love and laughter is the most nourishing food of all, I offer two simple recipes that can hold an astonishing amount of both these most precious ingredients.

Continue reading “My Aunt’s Perfect Blueberry Pie” »

Posted on November 4th 2011 in Family