Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Living in the Now

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Life is meant to be lived in the here and now.

One of the great wonders of our wondrous world is our ability to know past, present, and future.  But it is the ability to live in the now that I want to explore today.

How do you live in the here and now?

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If you cannot live in the past, or live for the future, but need to live in the here and now – and most people seem to not be capable of doing this – how is it done?  Well, from my own experience, these are the things I have done/am doing/am working to do more regularly that let me live in the present.

Ask yourself questions.  We ask a lot of questions daily, but how often do we ask ourselves important questions?  Sure, we are constantly saying “How are you” and “What are you thinking” and “Are you feeling ok”, but how often do we ask that of ourselves?  How am I?  What am I thinking?  Am I feeling ok?  It is amazing how asking these simple questions we frequently pose to others can immediately bring us to the present moment.

We have become so concerned with appearing selfish, that we take selfless to the extreme, and truly become less of the self.  This point is why, frankly, I drive at the incredible need to live more in the here-and-now than either past or future.  There is no reason NOT to ask questions of ourselves, in order to be in the moment, in the here and now.

This can be a silent question – but I often find that if I ask it out loud, I am utterly drawn to the moment, to the present, in order to know the answer.  The simplest questions of the self, in the moment, can help us live in the here and now.

Be aware of distractions.  I find that I get distracted by outside influences and shiny things and my environment, which I know that everyone does from time to time.  But if I am aware of them, I can take my focus AWAY from them, and return to the here-and-now, to be where I want to be and do what I intend to do.

Yes, sometimes we NEED distractions.  I am not advocating avoiding distractions, nor ignoring them entirely – I am suggesting awareness of them.

Savor food and drink.  No, really, this is VERY hard to do, in especial when you are on the internet or reading a book or even interacting with people while eating.  This is a reason why many of us overeat or never feel fully satisfied by our sustenance.  But really paying attention to what you are eating, and enjoying the texture and flavor puts you very much in the present.  Also, really, you will be amazed how much better everything tastes.

It very much ties into being aware of distractions, but is still a separate idea.

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Be more observant.  How many times while you travel between points ‘a’ and ‘b’, whether you are driving or riding in a vehicle or walking, does everything between the points simply blur?  How frequently can you visit a room and not notice the sounds within?  How many times can you see a person, and have no means to describe their facial features, the color of their eyes, and so on?  That is a lack of observation, and in our high-speed, disconnected society, we become less and less observant of things around us.

Sherlock Holmes may be been a fictional character, but the lesson one may take away from him was that he was the master of observation.  He saw the most minute details of every person he encountered, and always astounded the uninitiated with what he could tell you about them.  This was no super power, or other inexplicable capacity – it was extreme, detailed observation.

It doesn’t take that much to do this, really.  If you start small, you will find that it gets easier to change your focus.  For example, when you are driving somewhere, don’t just pay attention to the road and the speedometer and other cars on the road – see the sky, look at the trees and buildings lining the road.  NOT, obviously, to the point of being distracted from driving – but so that you experience more from it.

Walking between places?  Note the atmosphere around you.  Listen to sounds, look at your surroundings, smell the air, feel breezes and changes in temperature on your skin, and so forth.  Don’t let where you came from or where you are going to be your focus, be where you are NOW.

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Asking yourself questions, awareness of distractions, enjoying sustenance and being more observant are just a few examples of ways to better place yourself in the present.  There are other ways and means to do this, but these are, I think, relatively simple, and can be done by anyone, anytime, unassisted.  And this ability is a real wonder of our wondrous world.

Did you ask of yourself today “How am I?”

(Note to the reader:  If you also visit my blog, you will see that a previous Pathwalking is a variation of this same post.  I believe the topic is so important, I wanted to spread it to a wider audience.)

 

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, philosopher and author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a magical wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Dragonfly

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There are any number of insects I am not fond of.  Either they bite and sting and otherwise cause suffering and misery, or they are disturbing to look at, such as mosquitoes, gnats, horseflies.  And there are some that I tolerate because they do good and useful things, like spiders and bees.

Then there are the pretty insects.  Butterflies, some moths, and my very favorite, the dragonfly.

Dragonfly

Dragonflies have fascinated me since childhood.  They have those elongated bodies and shimmery wings that move so very fast.  And they come in such a wide range of size and color.

I have seen dragonflies about the size of a quarter.  Then I have seen dragonflies the size of hummingbirds.  They are particularly bountiful along streams and ponds and rivers, and I love to watch them take off and land.

I have worked hard to capture many photos of dragonflies.  They do not sit still for long, and are seldom keen on letting me get too near.  But I have had some success over the years, and thus have shots of some beautiful specimens of these fascinating insects.

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As a child, I thought of dragonflies as ant helicopters.  My vivid imagination was capable of seeing them land, pick up their passengers, whiz them off to the next destination, and repeat the cycle.  Tiny transportation for smaller, less mobile creatures.

Dragonflies have of course been a source of inspiration to many others.  The spacecraft Lexx in the program of the same name was an immense dragonfly-shaped vessel.  The bubble craft Tom Cruise’s character in the movie Oblivion flies around in has a rather dragonfly-esque look to it.

Some see dragonflies in a more sinister light, but I think they are beautiful, colorful creatures.  And let’s face it, employing the name ‘dragon’ often evokes all kinds of cool fantastical images…at least for geek-kind.

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Truly a wonder of the wondrous world, Dragonflies are magical, colorful creatures that are mostly harmless to humankind, and wondrous to behold.

What do you think of dragonflies?

 

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” photographer and wordsmith.  Every week I share a magical wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Wonder

Wednesday’s Wondrous World

In exploring the wonders of this world, this can go in a huge number of directions.  There are physical wonders, emotional wonders, grand and small things that are incredible and amazing.  The world we occupy is so diverse and varied it boggles the mind.

Some wonders are more obvious to most than others.  The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, for example.  These seven constructs – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis as Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus at Rhodes, the Lighthouse at Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and the still standing Pyramids of Giza inspired awe at their beauty and grandeur.  Other familiar works like the Easter Island heads or Angkor Wat or the Statue of Liberty take on a similar role for modern man.

Grand Canyon Sunrise

Some wonders are natural.  The Grand Canyon, the Vortices at Sedona, the Cliffs of Dover, the Alps, Mount Fuji for example.  Wonders come in so many variations, and make up so many things, it is both hard to choose one to write about, and yet it is a topic one can spend a lifetime in study of.

What IS wonder?  Perhaps this is worth exploring further.  Visiting dictionary.com, we get multiple definitions.  But those relevant to our topic here include:

won·der

verb (used without object)

2. to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel (often followed by at): He wondered at her composure in such a crisis.

wave

verb (used with object)

5. to feel wonder at: I wonder that you went

noun

6. something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment or admiration:  That building is a wonder.

7. the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration:  He felt wonder at seeing the Grand Canyon.

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Wonder is an amazing concept, whether verb or noun.  Its rather amazing how many places this can be applied to our wondrous world, as such.

It is presumed that we are the only animals capable of feeling wonder.  Sure, we have seen curiosity from apes and dogs and cats and such…but wonder is a much more complex, hard-to-define notion.  Given the above definitions, wonder covers an immense amount of territory.

I consider it a privilege to explore our wondrous world on a weekly basis.  Partially because I get to look at and talk about expansive, well-known marvels, and in part because I get to explore with you everyday wonders we readily take for granted.

That we can have this sense of wonder, that we can see this world for so much endless possibility is so easy to forget.  We get caught up in mundane concerns that make us neglect the need to FEEL wonder for the world.  Like our need for food and air and companionship, it cannot be entirely ignored. We thrive on our ability to feel and use complex emotions such as wonder.

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Children are constantly seeing wonder as they are exposed to new things.  It is a part of our growth and experience.  As we get older, and our responsibilities change, we start to find less time to wonder and be excited by the new.  We do our daily routine, and often forget that there is always something new and wondrous to discover, or old and wondrous to RE-discover.

As we explore the wondrous world in these weekly posts, I want to help you recapture your sense of wonder, as I re-explore my own.  I want to conclude with a simple question – what was the last thing to make you feel a sense of wonder?

MJ Blehart (Titaniumdon)

I am MJ Blehart, your Wednesday’s Wondrous World wordsmith.  Every week I will be sharing a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!  And (please indulge this moment of shameless self promotion) check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my philosophical and topical opinions.

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Clouds

Wednesday’s Wondrous World

You get up, you go to work.  You go home, eat dinner, and maybe relax in front of the TV.  Go to bed.  Repeat the routine tomorrow.  Day in, day out, working for the weekend, and two days of…well, that depends, doesn’t it?  Is your weekend two days of bliss and relaxation, or two days of activities that cannot be done during the work week?

Getting caught up in this pattern is the story of modern life.  And when we are caught up in this sort of cycle, it is so very easy to miss what else is going on around you.

Welcome to the new Wednesday’s Wondrous World!  I am going to take a moment of your time each week to point out one of the numerous things you might just be missing due to the pattern of your life.

This week, I want to start with something we see on a very regular basis.  Sometimes they just hover over us, unobserved, fleetingly.  Sometimes they dim the sun in the sky.  Sometimes they sink so low they dim our very sight.  I am talking of course about clouds.

Scientifically, we know that clouds are a mass of visible liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water.  Science gives the different types of clouds names like cirrus and cumulous and cumulonimbus.  Clouds may or may not produce rain, snow, or be a part of a weather event like a hurricane or tornado.

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But let’s step back from the science of clouds, and consider instead something I think almost everyone does as a child.  I know when I was a kid, I would sometimes lie on my back on a hill or field, and look up at the clouds to see what sorts of images they would form.

I have always had an active imagination.  I didn’t just see horses and faces and simple shapes in the clouds.  I saw cities, and alien spacecraft, and robots and futuristic armies advancing across the sky.

I’m not talking about an overcast day, I am talking about a partly cloudy day when those fluffy wisps of cloud float by now and again.  When was the last time you actually looked to the clouds for inspiration?  When was the last time you looked up at the clouds to spark your imagination?

Clouds in the sky can form the most amazing pictures.  Even if you cannot see shapes and recognizable images amongst them, clouds can form impressive patterns and take on different hues across the horizon.  Clouds can calm, can inspire, can renew your sense of awe and wonder about the world.

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Even at night, a cloud passing over the moon can produce the most stunning halo effect.  Clouds parting may reveal the most brilliant stars, or passing satellites and airplanes across the night sky.

A cloud is not just water vapors taking form…it can be an incredible window to the depths of our wondrous world.

When was the last time you explored the clouds?

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Giveaways!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World

It’s been awhile since we’ve given anything away here at Chakra Center, so for today’s celebration of our wonderful world, we decided to give away $330 worth of prizes!

Enter below to win: Picture

*One free registration to Amanda’s Writing to Connect to Your Multidimensional Self! online class beginning Monday, Feb. 4th. ($22 value)

*One free intuitive reading ($100 value).

*One free Love and Light Essential Oil aromatherapy blend ($60 value) from Charmed Botanicals, created with love by certified aroma therapist, Athena Ziegler.

*One coupon for $150 off our luxurious, five star wine and aromatherapy infused Tuscan retreat in Arezzo, Italy! (Registration will open Thursday, Jan. 31st)

To enter, fill out the form below. Make sure you specify which prize you are entering to win (or all three!)

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We send love and blessings! May your day be full of fragrant flowers, soothing music, and healing magic!

New Contributors Wanted at Chakra Center!

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Are you a blogger who loves all things metaphysical? We have a few contributor spots we’re trying to fill at Chakra Center and you might  be just the person for us.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

Wednesday’s Wondrous World columnist

I (Amanda) started a weekly post a couple months ago to kindnesscelebrate all the beautiful/inspiring/extraordinary people in our world. However, I’ve been so busy prepping for some MAJORLY exciting events/changes we are undergoing at Chakra Center, that I haven’t had time to keep-up with it.

Based on the readership/feedback we’ve received from all of you, Wednesday’s Wondrous World must go on, but we need someone to take charge of it.

Originally the idea was to get people to send in videos/inspiring stories/random acts of kindness that we would feature every week. We want to move forward with this idea, and we’re looking for someone who is skilled in multi-media hype and has a passion for inspiring others to contribute.

Take a look at our previous columns to get an idea of where we were going with it, and of course, we’re open to ideas to make it better.

Ascension Diet/Exercise Guru

Do you love to exercise and take care of your body? Are Iyengar Photoyou passionate about food and its connection to the spiritual life? Do you love to write? Then we want you! We are looking for a column contributor who can commit to writing at least two articles a month on diet and nutrition. Experience writing on this topic would be ideal.

Are you qualified?

Besides the requirements listed above, all candidates should be somewhat familiar with WordPress.com, general blogging style, and have a solid grasp of the English language.

Chakra Center staff members are self-motivated. We need people who have the ability to take the job seriously, meet deadlines, and commit to at least three months.

 Will I get paid?

No. Sorry. This job is volunteer only.  Chakra Center is not currently monetized in anyway, so none of us get paid. We are, however, opening the site up to online classes, workshops, and other services which will be offered on a donation basis. As we grow and advertise, every contributor will get a monthly donation.

As a Chakra Center contributor, you will also be able to take all of our online classes for free, and even receive one free intuitive reading from Amanda in exchange for your service.

We are currently undergoing some changes and the Chakra Center team is going to be a lot more tightly knit (we’ll be scheduling Google Hangouts together and planning events). So if you’re looking to join a growing family, Chakra Center is for you.

Interested in an internship? Ask us how you can earn college credit for your position. And it looks great on a resume! Contact us for more details.

Join our team of kindred spirits, and help us bring more love, health, and bliss to the world.

You can check-out our current team of awesomeness on our Staff and Contributors page.

Apply now! 

If you want to join the Chakra Center team, fill-out the form below  and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.