Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friends for life

This was at the Ropes course--we where all standing on a tiny, 3 foot platform, holding on to each other for dear life (the game was that if we fell off, we'd die in the "ocean").

This is after we made it through the Ropes Course--see the next post for some great adventurous shots! Here we have top row: Camille, Jamie, Craig, Brandon, Doug, & Marie (yes, the Marie I'm always talking about). and then bottom: Me, Katrina, Carrie, & Andrea.
Getting Goofy! We'd been through alot together by this point--time for some fun!

Now for the most exciting part-- what's Apryl up to? This is Doug helping me get my gear on. What's the gear for? You'll see!

And a hard hat? Doing some mining? I look like I could have been on Zoolander. I like this picture with my cute pointy nose profile--too funny!

And up we go. There were metal prongs to use to climb with--about 1-2 feet apart--18 of them total.

A little perspective. I don't know how tall it was. 35 feet or so? Enough to freak me out.

Now, by this point, that little pole is wobbling like crazy as well. The idea is to stand up--and then jump!

This moment was one of the hardest in my life. My muscles were all shaking and starting to cramp up. If you have any issue with heights--you'll understand! Just stand up, I kept telling myself. See that little tiny platform? The other trees look close, but they weren't! Nothing to hold on to!

I did it! And then this next picture is just after I jumped. It looks kind of like a flying squirrel. It was actually harder to get from the pole top to the platform and stand up, than it was to jump. But that second before the ropes tighten was interesting! I made Janine look me in the eye and promise she wouldn't let me fall before I'd go up the pole. I had a neighbor who's husband fell and had a brain injury that really messed him up...because the spotter wasn't paying attention (it was a scout thing--so much for be prepared) I wanted to be extra sure I could trust Janine. She was awesome!

This is Doug hugging me (I clung right to him--so glad I made it and didn't die!) and then Jamie in the red, Andrea, my buddy in the white, and then Becca in the stripes. They were so awesome to root me on!

I did it! And it's true--life is different after doing something like this. Most things in life are not very scary at all, compared to what this was for me. It's a great lesson in perspective!

Ropes Course

So, this past weekend (well, Friday, to be exact), I had the opportunity to do a Ropes course with the Outlook Coaching program I've been involved in. So here's me, our faciliator, Janine, and my buddies from the coach group. This one is called the Trust Fall. Just before we fell, we had to say our name and "and I trust you with my life." And then drop into their arms.

They caught me--it was awesome. My coaching call buddies, Andrea and Carrie are at the front, where my head would be after the fall. They are awesome--actually--ALL of these people are!

This is Craig and I as we lean into each other and keep our bodies stiff walking toward the trees. Notice that we are standing on wobbly cables. The people in the middle are there to spot us.

It was pretty cool. It trusted Craig completely, and that made it easy for me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Totem Animals anyone?

My friend Marie (from last blog post) just told me about this site. You can learn about your totem animals based on your sign--mine's Aries.

Power Animal Guides linked to your Birthdate

Your Birth Totem belongs to the South and teaches you from a place of trust and innocence, your creative inner child.

Your Spirit Keeper sits in the East and guides your spiritual growth and brings illumination.

Your Clan Animal belongs to the West and a place of inner knowing and intuition, it helps you to discover your true self.

from the website:

Capricorn - Snow Goose - Buffalo Spirit Keeper - Turtle Clan
Aquarius - Otter - Buffalo Spirit Keeper - Butterfly Clan
Pisces - Cougar - Buffalo Spirit Keeper - Frog Clan
Aries - Red Hawk - Eagle Spirit Keeper - Thunderbird Clan
Taurus - Beaver - Eagle Spirit Keeper - Turtle Clan
Gemini - Deer - Eagle Spirit Keeper - Butterfly Clan
Cancer - Woodpecker - Coyote Spirit Keeper - Frog Clan
Leo - Sturgeon - Coyote Spirit Keeper - Thunderbird Clan
Virgo - Bear - Coyote Spirit Keeper - Turtle Clan
Libra - Raven - Bear Spirit Keeper - Butterfly Clan
Scorpio - Snake - Bear Spirit Keeper - Frog Clan
Sagittarius - Elk - Bear Spirit Keeper - Thunderbird Clan

Below are some starting thoughts, drawn from many Native American writers. The book, Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson is particularly recommended and includes lots more animals.

Bear belongs to the West and is one of the most powerful spirit guides and brings the gifts of intuition, self knowledge and spiritual wisdom. Bear is powerful and fearless, especially when protecting the cubs, but also teaches us to be mindful of our limitations - sometimes we need to exercise caution.

Beaver is the great builder. It brings the power of family and home and teaches us to keep lots of options open to stay safe and prosper.

Buffalo belongs to the North. It was held sacred by the Plains Indians who obtained nearly everything they needed from the American Bison. Buffalo brings us power and endurance to walk the Good Red Road of pure intent that leads to health and happiness. It represents the sustenance that brings renewal and rebirth after a hard winter.

Totem of the Air Clan, Butterfly protects all that is beautiful and holds the secret of change and transformation. It teaches us to live life with intensity.

Cougar or Mountain Lion
Cougar, like all big cats, has perfect balance and harmony. It shows us how to protect ourselves from injury in our physical activities, and how to conceal our fears when strength and leadership are needed.

The power of the South makes Coyote bold, impetuous, creative, charming and youthful. Coyote challenges the status quo and sometimes comes unstuck but is always a survivor. Following Coyote won't make you a fortune but you know that material wealth isn't the source of true happiness.

Deer brings healing through the power of love and gentleness. She treads softly and has the amazing ability to appear and disappear in the wink of an eye.

Elk's power comes from the Earth and the Great Mystery. Elk medicine helps us know when our true soulmate appears. Regal and impressive, Elk brings confidence when you are unsure of yourself but if you are aware of your gifts, Elk teaches the wisdom of modesty.

Eagle holds the power of the East and is the sacred messenger, flying high to carry our prayers to the Great Spirit and returning with gifts of illumination and clear vision. Eagle helps us see the bigger picture, to rise above our earthly concerns, and reminds us to pay attention to what really matters in life.

Spirit of the Water Clan, Frog sings the song that calls the rain to Earth. It teaches us to know when it is time to purify, refresh and replenish the soul.

Horse brings the gift of freedom, power and speed. Horse medicine will help you travel safely on your life's journey, whether physical or spiritual. Horse reminds us of the importance of relationships and the need to slow down and make time for those we love.

Otter is playful and joyous. It teaches us to share generously and not hold onto possessions. Through Otter, we learn to trust that our needs will be met.

Raven is the keeper of magic and the power of the unknown. With Raven, something special is in the air. Will you recognise it and use it to grow spiritually ?

Red Hawk
Red Hawk is the great communicator. It helps us make sense of the conversations within our head and gives a clear voice to our ideas.

Snake sheds its skin each year and teaches us to welcome change as an opportunity for growth, and to let go of the past. It represents the power of Fire, passion and energy.

Snow Goose
Snow Goose brings clarity to our earthly dreams. Snow Goose helps us trust our intuition about which way to go and to know instinctively when it is right to change direction. Some say you can never go back. Snow Goose teaches us that you certainly can and sometimes should.

Sturgeon is the king of fishes. It is the keeper of long life and a fruitful old age and represents power and endurance. It also teaches us to count our blessings, to avoid waste, to conserve and to share.

Thunderbird holds the Fire Clan and brings thunder, lightening and rain. The greatest of all the winged ones, Thunderbird is closest to the Creator. His fiery breath and blazing eyes carry the gift of life and link the soul to the Great Mystery.

Turtle is the totem of the Earth Clan. Once, when there was only water and nowhere for the people and animals to go, Turtle made a great sacrifice and let everyone come and live on her back. TurtleIsland is the Native American name for the Earth or the continent. Turtle will be your guide to contact our Earth Mother for wisdom and healing and reminds us, in return, to tread gently and with respect.

Wolf represents endurance and balance and teaches us to tread the fine line between dependence and independence, between the needs of family and our own personal development. If it is time for you to move on and start you own pack, wolf will support and guide you.

Woodpecker is a little worker that brings us closer to the healing energies of Mother Earth and teaches us to protect our environment - before it is too late.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Favorite Songs

So, my good friend, inspiration, and Passion Queen, Marie (visit her blog--then you'll get it) asked what kind of music I like. I made it easy and just pasted some of my iPod playlists below. But it's funny--to answer what kind of music do I like--has the answer--well, good music, of course. But what that is and when it is--hard to say. I loved the song Life in a Northern Town, and when I first got my iPod--it was the first song I got from iTunes. But 20 listenings later--the thrill was lacking. Right at the moment--I love Jakatta's One Fine Day. It was just a song from a random email being circulated about. But I love it!

On my iPod I have everything from Pink Floyd and Queens Rhyche to Amazing Grace. I like what I like when the mood hits me. Side note--the ONLY song I have from Queens Rhyche is Silent Lucidity. I'm not into the head banging--but Silent Lucidity is a masterpiece.

Mika's Love Today is hip with my teenager right now--and it's a fun one. Unwritten seems to stay in my top ten list, along with Jewel's Life Uncommon. I've sung those in the shower many a-time, along with Evita songs. I don't know--I guess they lend themselves to shower singing. I loved that wet and watery song from Evita where they are all splashing around in the streets. And then the woman song from Mamma Mia--brought tears of joy to my eyes. Something about letting that feminine energy free--and playing and dancing and singing. Sure beats war.

When I saw Christine Kane sing, within a couple months I had my guitar. I didn't know that guitars came with blisters, so practice has been slow-going--but seeing Christine like that, just singing from the heart--part of me came alive.

Now, singing wise--well, I must be pretty alright, since I was in Madrigals and some of the more "elite" singing groups. But to do it and not be nervous--that would be a dream come true. So far, I've just stuck with shower singing so far--and then mostly when nobody is home! Which is sad since I LOVE singing and music so much. One day it will fall into place. Why else would I love it so? One day I'll actually buy a microphone. Then I'll just have to wait until nobody's home....

Monday, September 01, 2008

One Fine Day...

IF you can follow this link, it's got a great video to go with this song:


(the one I really wanted to post)