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Your Journal Companion: 365 Writing Prompts to Heighten Awareness of Self and Others offers interesting information on brain function and research associated with the benefits of journal writing, and shares easy instruction on key writing techniques – such as free writing, dialoguing and listing – that greatly expand the power and potential of the prompts when used to nurture and expand your writing practice.
The book and prompts are useful for both beginning and experienced writers, ages 13 and up, and offer an excellent resource for teachers, counselors, coaches and group leaders from all walks of life to guide others into self-discovery and thoughtful engagement with the world around them.
Plynn is a writer and publishing author, a Certified Professional Coach who specializes in helping others create an Integrated Life, as an energy practitioner and the co-founder of Your Liminal Space Retreats.
When the human mind begins to search inwardly, it first plunges through a lot of froth. Some Bhuddists talk about insight being like cooking lentils. The scum floats up and must be removed. You might think we would speak about it often but we don't. Insight is hardly if at all worth a mention. If it were pink and ponderous I could do something with the metaphor but it's opaque, if even that; what a platonist would readily grasp.
The story of freemasonry in not yet complete. It is still unfolding, being revealed in the minds of next generations. They are our horizon, assuming the torch of opportunity. So many references to some much history; the age of enlightenment, the rennaisance, and the reformation. Scholarship of the ancients; Chinese, Egyptian and Arabic seamlessly follow along time lines into our minds. Some ideas catch on. Some become a phenomena. One of them is masonry. A phenomena that reveals connections, between a form of study of intellectual and a good life. It satisfies and pleases at a deep level. It gratifies like the feeling one gets from seeing great art, or listening to poetry that expresses the emotion of life. It enlists the imagination in balance with rationalizm. It puts forthward questions that only the imagination can answer. It links the arts and sciences; past, present and future. It promotes acts of selflessness, generosity and authenticity. It admits it is not for everyone.
Enigmatic. Allegoric. Metaphor. Mystery. Secret.
It is a lifestyle derived from a way of thinking, produced by understanding lessons from history. Life is not a dress rehearsal and masonry is the 2nd Act.
Does any organization bear its soul for the world? It does if it's Freemasonry. We are a pious bunch. "Piety" doesn't wear well anymore. We watch politicians jump ship, knowing the idealists have already jumped ahead of them. We barely tolerate manipulation of power, hubris and greed. We give men the resources to be free thinkers and present them with opportunity to rise above the clamour to find the bigger man
Forever we've recreated the external world in masonic values. We never stopped doing that; always hopeful using insight and reason to release potential. We've waited, generation after generation; stiff jawed protectors of 'the way" combating the bunk, junk and lizards.
Before the villagers rally and hunt us down here at Masonic Home Companion we really must talk. Are you noticing the glimmer of light too?
Each discovery, discussion and insight prepares the canvas on which we portray our lives. Today, when we build the cathedral, with pencil, protractor and ruler nearby, we work not in two dimension but three and even computer assisted. The WWW isn't not a new tool but it is renewed every time we use it. It brings the greatest libraries of the world to us. When we didn't have access, we went about our business perhaps less informed. But today we live a stones throw from the Tate Modern the Louve and the Hermitage and visit all in an afternoon. It is a testiment to the Craft to flow so much material to our students and reseachers. The geni is out of the bottle. Limits of imagination do not exist. The zeitgeist is about the fluid exchange of ideas. This exposes little of the practice of freemasonry which remains as shared experiences by small groups of men, a process of the intellect- achievement of awareness.
It's "Wacky Wednesday" and I invite you to join me tonight (July 29th, at 8:00 PM Eastern). My guest will be my friend Dawnetta! Dawnetta is one of those people known for being multi-talented -- she sings, dances, acts, and models. Known also for her artistry, she is a photographer and videographer, and a painter. I met her at an Indianapolis horror convention and partied with her at a bar on her birthday! She's a wonderful friend and (I like to believe) one of my favorite future "exes" Join us as we talk about her projects, past and future and all of the "wackiness" she enjoyes, too.
Call in and be a part of our show! If you've listened to my show before, you know that nothing is off-topic and that it's uncensored -- ANYTHING is allowed and usually happens! The call-in number is (646) 668-8612.
Be sure to check out the show's companion page at http://thewackyworld.com/
In the meantime, "Stay Wacky, my friends!"
What does the future hold in store for Freemasonry? Freemasonry will prevail. Of that, there is no question. But it will not be in the form we know it today. Today, our thinkers spent long hours considering the source of change. In an unguarded moment, over the centuries, our history has had effect perhaps most surprising of all. We can trace our roots back 300 years. Our culture and philosophy links us to the greatest empires and remarkable thinkers. Threads fine as spiders web tie us with the strength of a covalent bond to a powerful past. Our apprentices as good as they may become, face the challenge of brilliance.
And so the forces impacting on us today are forcing us to realize that we do not have popular appeal to refill our ranks. As smart as we are, we have not be able to solve the riddle of decline with answers that are not exactly wrong but so far, always incomplete.
We are fascinated by what is taking place. And when we ask ourselves why, we see effort that is mediocre, insufficient to satisfy the promise of excellence. And they we stop. Isn't that a most remarkable thing!
Great ideas cannot be killed deliberately or through negligence. History has taught us when great and powerful cultures have lost the ability to overcome their smugness, they have faded. But not so, Freemasonry. We, who are neurotically obsessed with the feeling we are sinking are coming to a point of realizing, it is not 'that we are doing anything wrong' it is that we are beginning to realize we must rely on ideas to make our culture successful.
What can we do within the limits that define us culturally? Main stream thinking doesn't seem to work. What comes to my mind is a need to unlock secrets of that small core of exceptional thinkers with vision. Simple.
Personal development has never been the perview of a lodge. Admittedly Lodges contain vast knowledge. Whether a member has a thirst for this is known only to him. How deeply he drinks,is public. A thread of concern over the centuries, has been from a mind that define poor scholarship as a personal failing, a result of us collectively lowered standards. Why, only right minded people we allowed to ask their single question of the Delphi Oracle, weren't they?
Within the Order certain narratives have been drawn out while others are ignored. Let's then examine one of those other narratives to see if it agrees or challenges the assumption that our failing is poor selection. Being an Entered Apprentice never was a guarantee a man will work as a Master Mason. That requires a good mentor dedicated, curious apprentice, effort and one in every 100,000 we find one genius, the Michelangelowho who draws life itself from stone.
I'm thinking selection came under fire for noble reasons- perhaps the poor student is lively company who attends even bored by education. Maybe he is masonically illiterate who doesn't connect his thoughts with the experience. Maybe he wasn't taught. The question for us is not the question for him. His question to the Oracle can be simple minded. Nevertheless the answer is for him to sort out. It is said the Oracle gave obscure answers. And her aides hustled you out of the grotto and brought in the next.
If we raise about the fray to look at all aspects, freemasonry cannot be other than what it is. What can be done to improve? Plenty! Rather than a process of conviviality, lodges could convey the true philosophical message of purpose of the Craft. But oh my goodness- that would come from within not without.
Did we step out from under the rule of religion? Did we dispose the despot? Did we create the Republic? Did we fight for freedom? Wars scar our souls yet we repeat it. Church stains our conscience but what alternative. Is the 21st Century mason being launched by access to information into a new, unforeseen level of insight? Are the contemplative freemasons becoming as profits of old?
Writers have offered so many opinion pieces, it is difficult to keep up with the flow. The fork in the road is whether we are satisfied by throwing support behind an opinion on symbols or past events or follow the one less traveled, hopeful we can know more and answer more. One theme is clear. There are sacred opinions that need to be studied. How can we determine decline when we can't agree on success? And if we step back from the noise and the fray and approach our work with common sense, we may have to admit- the goals are neither hidden nor obvious. They are a state of mind.
Let's pull the rocking chair closer to the radio, next to a roaring fire with a cup of tea nearby. I'll bring the cribbage board for an evening about the revelations that answer our questions. See you soon. Graham
Filled with chapter-by-chapter checklists that underscore the important questions every caregiver may face at various points in the process, as well as a concise “Cheat Sheet” and a guide to essential resources, THE CAREGIVER’S COMPANION is a must have for anyone facing the difficult, distressing, but at times rewarding experience of caring for elderly loved ones in the twilight of their lives.
Carolyn Brent is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker, and caregiver advocate who has dedicated her life to preparing the elderly and their caregivers to face end-of-life issues.
"Life is a Sacred Journey" airs every Thursday on Blog Talk Radio and celebrates the role, contribution and impact of elders and caregivers in America and beyond today. LISJ received Honorable Mention for 'Best Blog' in PR Daily's 2014 Non-Profit PR Awards.
Connect with "Life is a Sacred Journey" Online:
in Self Help
The facts of life are that we are all getting "older" and that includes our companimals (companion animals.) Some of us are buying into beliefs of what to expect with aging animals. Yet there is a way to reverse those beliefs and help our companimals avoid some "aging" pitfalls that we thought were unavoidable.
Are you worried about how to care for them and what may develop? Maybe you've been told that because your cat, dog, horse, etc., is "older" that you should expect certain issues. What if that doesn't have to be true?
Join Susanne Peach, Animaleze® founder, as she discusses her groundbreaking work in helping animals live longer, happier, healthier lives. She'll share success stories and offer suggestions and ideas that can change how we look at "aging" animals. She has an almost 14-year-old Australian Shepherd mix dog who's been helping her become a pioneer in living and working with more "mature" animals.
Susanne wants you to be a pioneer, as well. Changing how everyone views "mature" animals, breaking all limitations, and preconceived notions of what's expected when your hamster, llama, parrot, etc., reach a certain age.
If you have a younger companimal, tune in as you'll hear tips to help them, too.
(Some of the animals pictured here are 15 and 16.)
Susanne is also going to be announcing some big news on some upcoming, first-time-ever events catered to you, the animal lover.
Animaleze® is a registered trademark. All of the information in these radio shows and on this website are protected and cannot be reproduced or transmitted in any form or means without the expressed written consent of Susanne Peach and Animaleze®.
Within masonry, is perfection; beauty; a universe in utterly remarkable balance. Poor is man that blames himself for not seeing what is there. He has not found the perspective that helps him understand that he is surrounded by beauty.
The Chinese approach to beauty, does not immediately disclose all. It leaves something to the imagination, to allow a man to loose himself in his contemplation, creating the road of a spiritual experience. Reflections, memory, deeply surreal, contradictory, magical.
By turning to the East, we move from that which is manicured and manufactured and that which is natural. Can our western eye see in this cultural confusion, a message? In this sense, do symbols, allegory, arcane, perhaps the metaphor in this sense inspire us in mysterious, essential masonic experience?
Notice in the ordinary, what lessons are revealed in the garden of them mind? The spiritual purity of freemasonry is a path to understanding. What holds the secret of freemasonry may not be within the walls of the lodge but in nature, the key that unlocks secrets left. Finding that much sought after key is afterall, a personnal journey that thousands have discovered. The answers do not come to him. He leaves behind the predictability of the lodge to discover, not as the first but as the next.
It is elemental, vast and very, very old.
Let go of turmoil and it will let go of you. Listen for the silence in a crowd. Become invisible to conflict and it will pass through you. Then the humble apprentice finds the lesson he has laboured to find. Do not search for it. Be it. Be a mason in mind, body and spirit and notice the life force flows unrestricted.
Masonic Ed was gracious enough to join us in the studio to talk about things masonic. Who could resist speaking about privacy and secrecy; if our production of antiquarians is meeting the need? Ed is an attentive fellow so of course he notices the culture of Canada is more cosmopolitan that it was when he was a boy. At times, when he is feeling tired, he feels on one hand, he is being displaced and on the other hand proud that Canada is coming of age.
It was obvious for us to speak about strengthening our membership by drawing on first and second generation Canadians from the pool who are here quietly appreciative of the opportunities this huge, friendly country has to offer. He worries out loud that the Order will need to tackle the legitimacy of dissenting opinions that brings us to talk about accountability vs blame. I questioned Masonic Ed on whether he thinks the Craft in Ontario has become defensive or reactionary? His answers may surprise you. What he said about the cultural transition of ideas and ethics plaguing masonry may not be what you expect.
Prepare for a lively discussion as Masonic Home Companion welcomes the very private, very interesting gentleman- Masonic Ed.
See you all soon.