Fulfillment Needs a New Measuring Cup

I think if most creative people didn’t have problems, they’d have to look for some.

It’s not that we invite them, or even miss them like a dear old friend, it’s because part of the artist’s soul (while often very introspective) at least desires some sort of outreach or connection either to themselves or others. I for one do not think I can heal the world, I just wish I could. My spirit is temperamental and moody, not explosive like in my past where I was a stick of dynamite waiting to be ignited, but I have a very deep connection to pain and sadness. I don’t find myself particularly sad at this point but I am drawn to others with it. My heart still weighs heavy with topics about animals and children. I hate hearing people rip each other apart domestically, religiously or politically. Gossip hurts me almost as much as the person they are talking about. I know I have a compassionate nature that is much like a ball and chain at times, but I am beginning to understand the deeper side art plays in everything.

Art for me is a way I can stop the emotions from spilling out haphazardly around me. It’s how I can get a grip on the notes and ideas that stir demanding to be set free. (partially why I relate to Beethoven so much like I suggested in our recent discussion of him) I not only write here but in a book, historically on paper, notepads, sticky notes or cardboard if necessary. I am not limited with ideas, but I feel like I maybe have too much going on in my poor little melon. Creating is how the ideas can escape.

I often wonder if the seemingly lumbering gift of art (I use gift ever so loosely) is more of a responsibility than a present. For years, I have felt as though creativity plagued me but I am beginning to wonder if I should have a better look at this so-called gift.

When someone is gifted with anything; mathematical skills, drawing, the ability to speak in front of large audiences etc, it’s usually completed with adoration from the masses, awards or a star on the Walk of Fame. It’s the line of progression we have become accustomed to. The idea being; if you are gifted, you should receive more gifts for your gifts. But what if our individual gifts were really a responsibility?

If your boss handed you a shovel and said, "Go dig a two foot hole" you are kind of expected to go do it. He’s given you the tools and there is an expectation. It is your responsibility to go do it. Now of course this example is imperfect because you expect to be paid for what you are doing. So how can we as artists ever wrap our head around the word responsibility if there is no paycheck? Well I believe the answer has to be, "because giving IS the reward." The problem is while seemingly plagued with art, artists have to eat too. It’s why I have always done other things for money so the art could be free to roam. Our bellies affect our judgment too much.

If my theory is true that all artists feel pulled to drama, connect with compassionate issues or are deeply hurt or affected by the problems either around us (or in us) then it would stand to reason this magnet is pulling us for a reason…for a higher purpose than the rewards and accolades we usually expect. Fulfillment needs a new measuring cup, one that has not been presented to us in the mainstream media. I think this is why we are always searching, always dissatisfied, why our hearts are laden with such heavy burdens and why it would seem we go looking for dramatic events. It’s because art heals…like nothing else, art heals.

There is a very sad world out there. There are potential areas to heal all over the place. If we can truly view each gift as a tool to help heal, if we can take the gifts we are given and just pass them along not expecting something back, none of us will be starving artists. I really believe we can get rid of this "chasing the dream" mentality and start using the art for the greater good and get away from self-indulgence a bit more. If everyone continues this "look at me" path, we will all be staring into mirrors and the people who truly need looking at will be crying somewhere on a street corner.

EVERYONE has a gift. It may be in the arts, it may not be. But most people with more logical gifts have been able to reason out why they have the gift (see the gift of logic is something I have always wished for – quite selfishly) However, artists struggle with knowing what to do with their talents and this makes us completely miserable and forever unfulfilled.
Guess I am trying to insert some logic which if you don’t naturally have it, comes out looking like some surreal painting.

Giving is not only a reward for the obvious reasons, but I know for myself, I can slow down the chaos inside…at least for a time. hahahaha

Ok, back to work…just had to purge some to make room for more. ;) Or am I just receiving all this goo to simply share? I am not a great listener to the higher point, but I am trying.

ROCK ON my friends,
Karen :)

"It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit." ~Denis Waitley


Turning Your World Upside Down

One of the biggest changes I made in my life happened because it was forced on me. My physical stamina and mental health broke down to a point of too close to being a candidate for a mental institution. Reason was absurd to me, happiness was a distant memory, sleep was a gift only given to a select few, my anger trumped right vs wrong and my debilitated state was whispered in close circles behind my back. I didn’t even want change, my head was simply held under the water long enough and I was involuntarily pushing for the surface to get some air. I literally would pass out upon standing up, the heart palpitations were so dominant I couldn’t hear myself think and parts of my limbs would go to pins and needles. This is otherwise known as a complete mental breakdown.

I entered a state of numb where I became quite robotic. It was as though my body went into survival mode without my consent and took the necessary steps to change my surroundings in order for me to be in a healthier environment. The environment change isn’t what began my healing process, it simply acted as an atmosphere where I could breathe…just breathe and regain some stability.

For me, my world changed for the better. It was one of the scariest transitions I have had to face in my life and yet it was not something I was completely aware of at the time. It’s only in looking back that I am happy with what transpired because I wasn’t very happy while going through it.

Sometimes we are faced with the decision to turn our world upside down and we are hesitant. Sometimes a small step is all that is required to propel the rest. I am left with the feeling of, ‘why couldn’t I have implemented it before I became a complete wreck?’ I think the answer is a common one. I had hoped change would have gone a different way or thought the situation could have simply fixed itself. This rarely happens when something starts to really slide.

The problem with rolling down a hill, is that it’s very difficult half way to break the fall yourself. You either have to stay away from the edge altogether, recover once the fall is over (like I did) but hope the injury wasn’t beyond recovery or in some cases you can break the fall by rearranging your limbs to slow it down. The problem with that is, you may break some bones to save yourself from death. It’s deciding what the greater evil is.

One of the things that happen often, is a family member or friend will come along part way down and stop your complete demise. This is like an angel coming along. I am grateful for those who slowed my fall down just enough that I am still here.

Of course none of us want to face that edge, but it would be nice to turn our world upside down while we still have our wits about us. I think it’s natural to wait…and wait…and wait…

I believe we have this amazing thing called ‘instinct’ that we all too often ignore. It’s when our body is smarter than we are and demands change before we are ready to hear it.

From now on, when I find myself over thinking something that I know deep down has to be a certain way, I just follow it. It saves me loads of grief.

Take care of YOU!
Karen :)

"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open." ~Alexander Graham Bell


Overworked & Overwhelmed

For about 3 months, I have been practicing breathing. It’s funny to hear myself say it or in this case type it because breathing is supposed to be one of the body’s involuntary movements to a large extent. But in my two decade quest to ditch my migraines, I’ve been thinking that maybe my brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. If you are cooped up in the city or in studios, the air gets really stale. The other thing I have been trying to do is relax my face. I have actually seen the crease between my brows go away. I’m getting some other lines, but I don’t care about that. The brow crease just looks like you are frowning all the time. I have been holding a lot of tension over the years. I used to notice I would clench both fists when in an argument even though I wouldn’t hit, I would furrow my brow, tighten my jaw and forget to breathe. I would catch myself holding my breath! I also have been teaching myself to relax my shoulders as I was carrying them somewhere up along my jaw line if that’s possible. HA!

It seems everything going on around me is in a whirlwind of time-slaughtering. You know, people wake up in the morning and think, how can I intensify every waking moment with work and tension. I enjoy sitting down to write just like this because it makes me breathe, relax and gather my thoughts.

I never want to come off as one of those people who says, "Stop to smell the roses" to someone who is behind on rent and racing to catch up or running their child off to the doctors. There are things in our day that simply make us move much faster. But I’m trying to learn the word efficiency. I catch myself sometimes going half a day and then it hits me, "Have I eaten today?" That’s generally when you stand up and you see spots.

I am beginning to really grasp the concept of taking a break. Those of us who have been trying to play catch up all our lives don’t believe in it. We think we screwed up so badly that we don’t deserve a break. But my mind is very creative and so I require some small stops in the day to regroup. I have found out that by taking a quick shower, even looking at youtube cartoons and puppies/kitties I work better after. I don’t believe ten minutes of tea time ever made anyone miss a mortgage payment and I think with us all having had such overwhelming times, we need to calm down a tad! I have been really good at being quite calm and efficient for a while now, but when you get those really tense, nervous workaholics around you, there is the danger of getting their affliction. Nervous energy is not-productive. If you take a step back, you’ll see you aren’t farther ahead by freaking out! If I stop for a walk or shower, I am able to do twice the work after.

I also find that instead of baby-sitting people, I’m letting the little things go. Micro-managing is a disease…one I am GLAD to be getting over! ;)

I do hope whatever is overwhelming you; it’s able to be at least cut in half by not sweating the small stuff within it. It’s not worth the stress and tension to your temple.

Much love!
Karen :)

"We often hear of people breaking down from overwork, but in nine out of ten they are really suffering from worry or anxiety." ~John Lubbock


A Delicate Illumination

This is a gorgeous quote I saw ages ago;

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
~Elizabeth Kubler Ross

…but only understood it quite recently. In fact, it’s maybe not understood so much as being open to deeper interpretation. (which you’ll never guess; I love to do) ;)

Here are my sleepy thoughts on it…

Everyone looks good, acts good at a party, at church. We are on our best behavior on a first date, but how are we a few years into marriage? I don’t believe good times are something to be ignored; we should really be striving to enjoy ourselves and others. We can get an amazing energy from friends which can bring out the good in us. I have been at many functions where the liveliness of the party can ignite a personality. It’s good!

However, I have also had first-hand experience (as I am sure you have) where the fair-weather friends can show you what hollow, lifeless ugliness looks like.

The word Dimension comes to mind. Some people disappear when they turn sideways and walk away from your explosion. I have had situations where I exhaled and they turn to dust right in front of me. The mirage is pretty disappointing, needless to say. I have had some extremely dark tunneling I have had to do where the only light at the end was a beam coming from a friend’s spirit because the destiny was pretty grim. When the dust settles and the time for action is staring at you, you kind of hope for at least a subtlety in illumination. I can count the number of those people on one hand who lit my path. I have many since then ;) but it was pretty bleak during my war!

I believe when we present ourselves to other people, it’s more vital to show a light to those who need it. My whole life I have felt like an underdog, the person who couldn’t quite get there. I’ve worked hard but I absolutely would not be well today if it were not for those who lit my way or in the very least (which I hate to say least, because an ounce is important) just simply made me believe in a different kind of beauty. I try to find those people now in the hopes of putting all the candles together. But as it turns out, the wicks just find each other. It feels like a vigil now, but I think it’s a positive one. We seem to all be remembering the dark times, finding the lessons and I am so happy to see people lighting up the lives of others.

I’m either sleepy or emotional, but this teary girl’s off to bed.

Love you all!
Karen :)

I like this one too;

"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~Maya Angelou


Waking Up is Hard

"We could hardly wait to get up in the morning." ~Wilbur Wright

I saw that quote by Wilbur who is one of the Wright Brothers. I am really just assuming he meant when they were working on airplane-related activities. While I understand the Wright Brothers history, I can’t say that I have read a whole biography on them, but I am always tempted to read something when someone says they could hardly wait to get up in the morning. That is, if they are talking about anything besides Christmas morning. So, I shall have to see why their attitude was so grand!

I am reminded today about the Daylight Savings Time which I always like to say I observe, then quickly ignore. lol But in school days and holding my 7- ? jobs, (I don’t know that I ever did a 9-5) having the clock go forward was horrific. Monday morning would kick everyone’s butt. Back in the days when I used to go to sleep at 9 pm and get up at 5 am were probably when I felt the best, but this is also scientific. When you sleep in a pitch black room, your body builds up something called melatonin (antioxidant features as well) which is what controls your sleep cycles, (you can look up how light affects the circadian rhythm etc) so it would stand to reason that sleeping from 9 until 5 am in complete blackness was good for me. Like most things in nature, nothing is by accident and when we break natural cycles by staying up until 3 or sleeping in light rooms, we can’t properly build it. Caffeine no matter what time of day it’s consumed can affect different people’s sleep that night too, so I cut it out and go with B12 instead. (oh as a side note, adding Chocolate Silk Soymilk to my diet has worked WONDERS for energy- I recommend it if caffeine is not an option for you where it just makes you jittery)

I used to wake up at 5 am and get baking done, bookwork done and feel excited, prepared and ready for my day. When everything changed for me was when I started jumping up my 9 pm bedtime to 11, then 12, then 2 and so on. Now I wonder why I still get up at an insanely early hour but feel kind of crappy. I don’t feel completely discouraged though, because when I do go to bed, I sleep whereas I never used to. I feel like I have graduated from taking worry to bed with me since writing my lists at bedtime every night and leaving them in the living room. The trick for me and my hope is to maybe not get back to 9 pm again, but inch my way closer to it. I know we all have a lot to do in a day, but I think many of us are still not feeling like we are accomplishing what we need to so why not try and get a good night’s sleep and work smarter, feeling better during the day?

That sidestep aside, I believe what was making Wilbur Wright enthusiastic about getting up in the morning was his passion for what he was working on. But here’s the thing; I am pretty sure this invention didn’t pay their bills while working on it, so it must have still presented challenges.

We can’t always be excited about the work that is waiting for us, but we can make the best of it. I was talking to a lady who bakes new treats for co-workers on Sunday and takes them to work on Monday. She says it adds a nice Zen to her Monday morning. She basically is unable to change her job right now, but she changed her attitude towards Monday mornings by making others smile and she looks forward to their reaction. I thought that approach was rather cool.

I’m still working on organizing my life so I am eventually not up at all hours, but I am really learning to find joy in whatever is happening on any given day knowing I can maybe be of assistance to someone who needs me and I think that in itself should be cause for at least some enthusiasm in the morning.

But don’t think my passions for what I enjoy doing don’t creatively run as deep as the Wright Brothers. I may not be building airplanes, but music IS my best reason to get up in the morning.

I hope you are continuing to build relationships with the people and things that give you a reason to be and that waking up isn’t too hard on you!
(oh and STILL hunting for the best pillow…my $12 one from ‘Bed, Bath and Beyond’ remains the best I have found…I’ve spent so much on every single other one on the market; barley, memory foam, you name it)

ROCK ON my friends…
Karen :)

"Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Addressing the Elephant in the Room

I just finished listening to a person in the one of the companies I am involved with give a really eloquent, uplifting speech.

I almost hate to call it that because it was more open dialogue. Unlike a motivational speech which just bolsters the spirit of people for a short snap of time, he managed to actually heal the team. He did it by doing a few things. He addressed the elephant in the room head-on (as opposed to dancing around or skirting the issue), showed a huge amount of compassion to the feelings of others around him (and listened to their case) and offered encouragement individually to the strengths of each person (and reaffirmed what an asset they are). After addressing the individual problems, he moved on to address the company’s problems and then ended with how excited he was about the positive aspects and the bright future for everyone. The whole dialogue wasn’t necessarily ‘pretty’ but I did find it productive and organized.

I think it’s fair to say hurt feelings can kill the dynamic of any relationship, business or otherwise. You may have seen a recent status update where I wrote; "Even if someone's insecurity or amount of sensitivity seems irrational to me, doesn't mean I shouldn't be sensitive to their feelings. What a lesson!" It was a thought that had come to me late last night because I watched it happen. I witnessed a dysfunctional scenario where I couldn’t believe the person in the company was being so irrational and overly sensitive. I don’t believe I or anyone else has the job of toughening that person up or to make them suck it up. I do however think the person’s dysfunctional attitude shouldn’t be allowed to continue where they are a drain to everyone around them, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be handled like a pro as opposed to a schoolyard bully.

In the first paragraph, this person’s calm, well-articulated demeanor was the absolute catalyst in the healing I mentioned. My point is that I truly believe we all have the capability to heal relationships and get the job done. It’s a specialized craft and I believe it’s an exquisite art form.

Most of my life I have not possessed this and I consider it for the most part a gift that few people get. I used to chalk it up to "Oh well, some people get the gift (i.e. patience) and others don’t. Guess I didn’t get that gift." But now, I feel determined to just find the best people to learn the skill set from. If I was truly born impatient and hot-headed, can I not just acquire skills like a tradesman? How many people will tell you they are going to college or university to learn a skill or get a degree? Is it possible that "If you can dream it, you can do it" shouldn’t just apply to a career, but maybe also our character?

I just want to move ahead, I am so tired of holding onto bitterness and I’m just nicely smoothing out the furrow between my brows. It feels so much better being part of something that is healing.

Much love on ya!
Karen :)

"To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time." ~Katharine Hepburn


Last Night’s Silly Dream

Many of you who have read these blogs back far enough probably know my love for ‘The Sound of Music’. As kids, this movie was in our annual rotation along with Christmas classics but since then I have it on DVD and put it in on those really crucial days where I need to have my spirit picked up. I have several films, CDs and books that have specific tasks whether it’s healing, teaching or just to serve as mindless entertainment. Art heals…Laughter heals…Music heals…

In my dream last night, Frank and I were walking out of a downtown building in some unfamiliar city. There was a lot of hustle and bustle but everyone was a modern-day zombie. (not the kind that eat you in movies, but the kind in suits just going to work sucking Java) The energy of this city was really low and we all walked around with a direct destination but none of us knowing where that was. I remember seeing a car slam on the breaks so as not to hit a pedestrian and the pedestrian barely noticed, lifted his coffee to his mouth and continued onward.

As we were walking down a sidewalk, I saw two of my friends from Canada going the way we just came from. We caught their eyes which seemed to be dragging along the cement and I said, "Lunch?" and my girlfriend says, "Fuck ya." They turned and walked in our direction as though they made a big decision to play hooky and were pretty pleased with themselves. lol

As we walked along, her boyfriend walked ahead with Frank and I heard them talking about studio equipment, some old speaker they found at a garage sale and restringing guitars with locking tuners. I turned to my friend and said, "Gosh, I don’t know that I have ever seen you so sad." "Sadness was a while back," she said. I placed my hand on the top of her chest as we walked and said, "Yup, it’s beating but barely." Her analogy was, "Maybe I am reading too much, thinking too much and not feeling very much."

Well this is where dreams don’t make sense. There’s an actor on TV who plays Jacob on Lost and was also in the Dexter TV series walking along and I said, "Hey aren’t you the guy who sings those healing songs?" and my friend just started to giggle. He replied, "I’m an actor on TV." To make a long dream short, I talked him into singing something for her. He pulled a song out of thin air that didn’t make a lot of sense, kind of gibberish... It was a cross between something you’d hear on Sesame Street and something you’d hear on a TV commercial or opening theme for an 80s show. I wish I could remember it because I knew it and sang along with it in my dream, but it made her laugh hysterically. If it ever comes to me, I’ll post it up. I feel like it was close to the Laverne and Shirley theme. That’s the closest feeling I could tell you.

After much annoyance, he left and we sat by a city fountain. She cried uncontrollably, we talked, we hugged each other and then I said, "Come on, let’s catch up with the boys." And we did that kind of Laverne and Shirley dance arm in arm, skipping like a couple of dumbasses and people stopped to stare.

Well listen, I dream all sorts of things that don’t make sense but I felt like as bizarre as this was, I woke up this morning feeling like we can actually get through this cruddy life, ya know? I also realized how much I missed my friends and how much of a loner I have become in the city.

But above all, it’s once again music, silliness and friendship that came to the rescue! Every freaking time! I think life has become so junky, we forget how much power is in that!

It would seem that this assisted my friend, right? But it was a dream…so the healing wasn’t hers but mine. ;)

Hope that whatever has you down, you can immerse yourself in music, silliness and friendship and feel a whole lot better about it all.

And for all of you L & S fans; (HA!)

Have a corny day y’all!
Karen :)

"There is nothing we won’t try…never heard the word impossible…this time there’s no stopping us!" hahahaha!


Defending Compassion

I was thinking a lot today about fighting and defending. It’s amazing what a big chunk of my life has been taken up by it.

If there is something I have a huge amount of past experience in, it’s fighting in an argument. To date, I can count on one hand the number of times the fight made a big difference in my life or got something across I needed to have happen. There are many who will say a fight is sometimes what it comes down to. Some will say when all else fails in a discussion, fighting is all you have left. The fight for justice is the most common thing and we all tend to take it off the world stage and look for justice right across the kitchen table.

My understanding is that louder words don’t mean better words, they are just for dramatic effect. It’s when you are really trying to punctuate what you are saying. I grew up knowing what fighting was all about whether it was just sibling rivalry or listening to extended family go at it. I hate fights, they build up this revolting stomach acid which left me feeling worse than a hang-over. Puffy eyes, heart palpitations, grinded-down teeth, they basically just suck.

I think there may be situations where one good fight ends all the fights, but historically, most arguments are a repeat or at least an extension of a previous unresolved fight. Once you have been involved in one, it’s very easy to use that as your main form of communication. Parents who yell at their children will continue to yell because the child has become desensitized to it. They fear they won’t be taken seriously. Then we are all just merely surviving and how dull is that?

In my last few years, I have had the distinct pleasure of being around people who don’t engage in arguing and don’t see the benefit in it. They have taught me some really magical skills to never have to go there. It’s a very, intimidating word called; COMMUNICATION.

I think the art of communication is getting worse. Simply saying things like "I think" or "I feel" in front of our thoughts is better than, "You do this" or "you always…" Them’s fightin’ words! But since I have learned to be a better communicator, I have had fewer fights with people.

The thing I am learning on my own is the one factor which is helping not only the other person but my own character; putting someone else’s feelings not necessarily above my own (sometimes), but placing them on a level on human respect. It would seem every person out there has had their heart broken or shattered and the funny part is, they will almost never tell you that in a fight. Putting on a game face can be more critical to people than being vulnerable with one’s emotions. So, what I do is (assuming they are human with a heart) try my very best to talk to people who are hot-headed as though they are sad instead. When I interpret anger as sadness, I find it a bit easier to deal with it. This doesn’t mean they are indeed sad, it just means I view them as someone who needs my attention whether that is my ear, a hug etc.

The other thing I am trying very hard to do is apologize for poor communication over apologizing for my point. You see, I am not a liar so in most cases, I really do mean what I say to someone unless it escalates into ridiculousness. My point is that if I apologize for the way I am saying something; both parties can start to become aware of how points are being made.

If one was to say, "Take your boots off at the front door!" Is it at all possible to take a few extra minutes to say it differently? I think repetitive action by the person annoying us can mean so many other things. So yelling that same sentence louder or turning it into a personal attack against us is not going to make that person take their boots off. The one thing that seems to have worked for me is getting to the root. Is this person in a hurry to grab the car keys, so taking off the boots was not a choice? Could I have jumped in to notice they are overwhelmed with work?

I naturally like to break everything I see down to the root but I also notice people fight over things that really don’t matter. As annoying as it may be to see your newly waxed floor be tramped with mucky boots, may I humble ask, "Who really cares?" The term "Pick your battles" comes to mind. My Mother would only yell at me when a car was coming because then the tone of her voice actually meant something.

My sadness is that I have seen, heard and been in too many fights to date and it’s chopping away our days and our souls.

I think we truly need to start cutting each other some slack. Those of us who live in parts of the world without war shouldn’t be inviting it into our homes. The basis of society’s peace is in our homes. I believe how we get along at home is the foundation for how we go out and interact with others. Peace in the home is absolutely attainable. If this means we should take courses in communication or seek counseling to do it, I think it’s a good investment.

The other intimidating word is; COMPASSION. I heard the Dalai Lama talking recently about the world needing compassion more than anything else. I believe it begins with GIVING and SHOWING compassion. I think unfortunately, we are too busy looking for it from others. If it’s true the world needs it, who’s going to be the one to give it? And who will be the one to implement it in our relationships? Who will defend compassion? Our energy might be better served defending that….making it the priority instead of an afterthought.

MUCH love on ya,
Karen :)

I liked all of these; read as many as you feel like or have time for. ;)

"All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives…If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." ~Dalai Lama

"And as I've gotten older, I've had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things." ~Martin Scorsese

"Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves." ~Mason Cooley

"Competition is such a virtue, and everybody's so busy competing, they have no time for compassion." Major Owens

"Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little." ~Buddha

"Human it is to have compassion on the unhappy." ~Giovanni Boccaccio

"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures." ~Lao Tzu

"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." ~Albert Einstein