Thursday, January 29, 2009

may there be peace within

I came across this quote yesterday via a friend's Facebook post.
And, loved it. I knew immediately that I had to share it.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Being that I reference an author when possible, a quick Google search lead me to a prayer of St. Theresa (below). No doubt the secular version finds it roots in this earlier prayer.

Choose the version that speaks to your soul.
The one that inspires *you*.
And, may there truly be peace within.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
And pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones
And allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Celebrating a New Beginning

January 20th marked the end of eight years of the same US administration. As George W. Bush walked through the halls in his last moments as President of the United States, I couldn't help but feel a bit of sorrow for him. I believe he loves his country, but that somehow, he did not know how to leave behind the old school traits of corruption and excess that he is familiar with in order to lead this country in a new way. He was unable to make the changes that needed to be made to take our country forward. Worse yet, I am not sure he believed change was in order.

The job he accepted 8 years ago and again 4 years ago was not an easy one. Tough choices were faced everyday and the choices his administration made have lead to a time of high unemployment, extended war that has members of our troops deployed for repeated tours, and a low in national confidence and pride of country. Perhaps he served his country in the best way he knew how. But, it was not enough and it is time for change.

Yesterday that change came to be. A new President was sworn in and now takes the reigns of leadership. We know the challenges his administration will face in early days. There will be other challenges that we do not yet know of. President Obama himself has said that the road will not be an easy one.

The one thing we can count on is a leader that views the world differently. A leader that searches first for those things that we have in common and that bring us together as Americans. A leader that expects the citizens of this country to come together and work together on weathering this storm and being once again the leader we and the world expect us to be. A leader that is asking us, each and every one, to be involved. To be part of the solution.

I do have questions. And, if I am honest, a doubt or two. But, more than anything, I am hopeful and ready for the start of the new. For all of a a country.

The video is "End of the Old Times" by local Boulder band Something Underground.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dreaming of Mexico

This morning I came across a post on A Cowgirl's West about her holiday trip to Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita.

Ah - just what a girl needed (or at least what this girl needed), a reminder of the surf, sand, and off grid time that awaits us in February. Dave and I will be heading out for our annual 'toes in sand' trip with its promise of warm days, calming waves, and a little adventure. It is this annual trip that gets me through the final winter months.

Last year we made the trek to PV, followed by a few days near Sayulita. More on that at The Best Trip Ever! The PV Chapter and The Best Trip Ever! The Beach Chapter.

This year we'll be heading straight to Sayulita. While I am sure there will be plenty of reading time on the beach, I am beginning the research for our days of adventure. Our last trip took us to San Sebastian in the Sierra Madres, so my thoughts are turning to the trips we *just* talked about last year up the coastline to San Pancho (aka San Francisco) and the fishing village of San Blas. Just thinking about the adventure that lies ahead inspires me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Resolution Game Plan

Here we are five days into the New Year. A few weeks back, I heard someone refer to 'new' as improved, better, something more than what we have now. It seems to be that this applies to the hopefulness with which we human souls enter a New Year. It is with this hopefulness that we look toward the coming year and call out what it is we want to achieve, what we are hoping our lives will look like in the year to come.

My resolution setting has taken a journey of its own over the years. I've set my share of the typical resolutions. You know the sort - lose 20 pounds (which I have done and undone several times), quit smoking (which after a few false starts actually stuck), exercise (some years I make it so, other years not so much). While this format may help others get the jump start they are looking for, frankly I struggled with greeting the New Year with a list of rigid goals.

Then, a few years ago my resolutions shifted to broader sweeping goals. With more introspection, I found myself setting goals for the year to include being kind, being less critical of myself and others, setting aside judgement. These guidelines worked for me. I was able to regularly affirm what I wanted to achieve. "Be Kind". That is an easy goal to remember. Not always easy to deliver on, but certainly easy to remember. Maybe it was a bit of a cop out as there was nothing to measure, but there was a large amount of change going on in my life and it felt like progress was being made.

But, there was something missing.

Part of it was the absence of really reflecting on the past year as a whole - the dusting off the memories and taking a look at the significant, and sometimes insignificant, moments of the year. What am I thankful for? What did I learn? What did I accomplish? What would I do differently the next time around? Maybe more importantly, the flat out stating what it is I want to achieve in the New Year was also missing.

This year, I've updated my resolution game plan. Three days of peace and quiet in the mountains and I have come away with those things I'll be getting after in 2009. Some of them are daily commitments - sit in silence at least 10 minutes each day. Some are less structured - blog regularly. Others are things I'll be kicking off this year - learn to play an instrument. Still others are open ended - use what I am passionate about in my daily work.

For someone who tends to be a nose to the grindstone girl, my intention is to tuck some cool life stuff into the daily grind. To find ways to achieve my goals and to give back. To check some things off my list and, yes, to still be kind.

Got Lijit?

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a member of the Lijit team.

As a Boulder area technology enthusiast, I have been aware of Lijit for sometime. You can't live here, be interested in technology, and not have come across the Lijit folks at a tech meet-up, via a Tweet, or a local publication. They are nearly 3 years into their business, recently raised a significant round of funding, and come across as a team that is passionate about what they are doing - and they do it well.

Or at least that is what I have heard. I had not experienced what they do first hand. It was not for lack of interest. Being someone who is curious about how things work, I had been out to a few Lijit supported sites and tried out the search function. Even went as far as to understand how their advertising model works.

But, I am relatively new to blogging and have yet to have gotten my groove on, so to speak. I thought that I'd be better suited as a Lijit publisher when I reached the status of consistent blogger and had a following. Not so, this Lijit man told me. He said "Install the widget now."

I figured I'd give it a go and installed just before we headed out for a New Year's break in the mountains. Took minutes to install. Really.

Now, I have this widget on my blog that shows at a glance where readers are coming from. Frankly, it is pretty cool to see that there are folks other than my Mom that stop by. You can take a look in the right hand column (just click on recent readers). And, more importantly, readers have the ability to easily search my site and those that are in my community. Add to that ad revenue share. I don't blog to make money, but for those that do, this should be a no brainer.

Those Lijit folks even push a Weekly Stats Report your way. My first landed in the inbox yesterday and includes details like daily visits, source of the visit (direct or via another blog), searches that brought readers to the blog. Of course, you can view stats real time via your Lijit account anytime.

But, don't take my word for it. Check out what others are saying about Lijit right on their home page. Or, you can try it out first hand. If you do, I'd love to hear your take.