Let’s Awaken, Beautiful People!


black-madonna-son
We have entered a time where our inner grace is constantly challenged. It’s part of our experential earth life stuff. We are here to evolve and, geez, it’s just not for the feign of heart. So, it’s crucial that we surround ourselves with powerfully positive thoughts, people, and information. Choose to be the solution. Start with self. Seek out the wisdom, the Love, the beauty, the calm within yourself. Tell yourself the truth at all times.
 
Drop your deceit, lies, knives (the backstabbing ones) and pick up your reasons for growing, developing, expanding…Once you set intention, fascinating things start to happen. You notice the light in a child’s smile. You realize your neighbor’s sour face is because s/he is lonely and needs a smile, a helping hand. You find yourself feeling calmer for no apparent reason. You chide away from negative talk, especial gossip. You choose not to berate a person, or curse a person. In other words, you begin to be the change you want to see in others.
 
Our Souls are awakening. Our time is now. Our need is Love, respect, compassion, resurrection and to know when to retreat. Please take good care. We are all in growth mode. The rest is on us. Seek the help you need. You’re not alone. Actually, you’re in GREAT company! Smile often. Forgive often. Hug yourself and someone else. Walk away from those who do not have you in mind. Love will win in the end, but it’s a ways away. So, keep it motivated. 😉 Please remember: Every journey begins with the first step.
Love YOU, I do! ❤

Brrrr, It’s An Intensely Cccold Winter! What to Do!


WINTER LANDSCAPE Photo by Tesnim Shoemaker

WINTER LANDSCAPE
Photo by Tesnim Shoemaker

Many cities in this country are preparing for an Arctic freeze, meaning a lot of people of all ages and conditions will be experiencing dangerously low temperatures. I affirm that there is NO where Divine Good is not, even where it seems an impossibility. However, it’s not enough to pray for your good, you have to help it manifest. Some of the weather conditions will reach record lows that have not occurred for many decades. Thus, many who are in the midst of these extreme temperatures may have no idea how to handle them.

So, with you in mind, I have written this blog and posted a few links at the end of my blog to further inform you on how to survive, even enjoy, these extreme conditions safely. (Oh, quick shout out to my dearly treasured family and friends  and to everyone facing extreme cold, I, we, are praying you warmth, safety, protection and to fare well during these very intense climatic times. Now, please read on…)

Do wear a lot of layers (4), starting with a soft shell, followed by a layer that gives you wind & water protection. The layers trap air. There are never too many layers. Keep your neck, the back of it, particularly, your mouth & nostrils, hands and toes well covered. It’s better to have too much clothing than too little.

Sitting in your car while it’s idling in the snow can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if the back of the car is buried in snow. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble the symptoms of cold, but since the car is running, they may be a bit more apparent: fatigue, nausea, dizziness and headache.

Do use wisdom when keeping warm inside your homes. Fireplaces should have the logs fitting within the fireplace, not hanging outside of it. Also, make certain the chute is open so the carbon monoxide does not overcome your room or home. That actually happened to me a few years ago when I was living in Sacramento. I went to bed as the rest of the logs were burning out. I did not realize my chimney chute had closed. Thank goodness, I went to sleep with my bedroom door closed as I would usually like that heat to keep me warm. When I awakened, I could hardly lift my head from the pillow it hurt so badly. I finally got myself up, dizzy with the banging headache. When I opened the door, the room was filled with smoke. I grabbed something to cover my mouth and nose and opened all the windows. Some writer could have been using me as an example of why you want to be absolutely certain your chimney chutes are open when you are using your fireplace.

The other story is that of a dear friend who cleaned out her fireplace a few days after burning logs and papers. She absentmindedly put the seemingly cold remains of the fire in paper bags and left them on her back deck. By midnight a fire was raging and she and her husband were thankfully awakened by neighbors. Fortunate for them, they were alright and had to wait a couple of years for the renovation of their home after the fire.

Another danger is space heaters. Not only do you have to be certain the cords on the heaters are not worn, you must also be concerned with where you place the heaters. Too many people have lost their lives because they have gone to sleep and the heater caught something on fire or the cord was worn and started a fire. Also, please be careful using your oven to heat your home. Most local gas companies send out safety information for using gas items to keep warm. Any flammable items should be used cautiously and with wisdom. You cannot be too cautious!

If you are out and about during the extreme cold, keep blankets and an emergency kit in your car. It’s also important to know that symptoms of hypothermia can occur very quickly in extreme cold conditions. You may also be on the lookout for any signs in people you pass who may not be as fortunate as you to be properly dressed or sheltered. The following list is from www.mayoclinic.org and lists hypothermia symptoms and here are a few of them:

“Shivering is your body’s automatic defense against cold temperature — an attempt to warm itself. Constant shivering is a key sign of hypothermia. Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Stumbling
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking
  • Poor decision-making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Apathy or lack of concern about one’s condition
  • Progressive loss of consciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • Slow, shallow breathing

A person with hypothermia usually isn’t aware of his or her condition, because the symptoms often begin gradually and because the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness.” – By Mayo Clinic Staff

Do phone, text, email, as you are able, family, good friends, or young folks who may not be exposed to how to survive during harsh weather conditions and share these tips with them. This info may be life-sustaining for them. Keep a lookout for others whom you may pass during your time outdoors. Give generously to people who need a hand.

I just want you to know we are thinking of you, praying for you, and knowing that your needs are met. Please keep your tempers and choose to quiet yourselves when needed, keeping your tempers in balance and your fears controlled. This is a good time to reconnect with family members with whom you live. Sometimes life’s hustle and bustle keep us from really stopping to hear and know each other. After awhile, families are more like strangers. So, you may choose to find some games, projects, or the like to keep engaged with each other, especially if you’re forced to be indoors.

This is a time to share with those who were not, are not as prepared, for whatever reason. Kindly put your judgments aside as those folks may be facing life or death situations and you may not be aware of that at first glance.  Please also check on any elders you know, or anyone you know may be vulnerable during this time. Keep your children close and highly informed with common sense approach to being out in the cold. See that they have a list, not on their phones, but in their pockets of emergency numbers they may need to call. Let others you trust know their route from school or perhaps form a team of parents to keep all the children safe, especially the ones whose parents will not be as attentive. Remember: All children are our children. They’re safety is a community affair.

While you’re out, do let your folks know where you’re going and your estimated time of return, just in case they need to look for you because a blizzard occurred.

Remember: There are Divine Angels all around you. Call on them to assist you. You are never alone. Most High bless, guide and deliver you as needed. Be wise, please.

Here are a few websites with more information about how to stay safe in the cold weather conditions:

http://www.weather.com/news/weather-winter/winter-storm-live-updates-snow-ice-latest-20131106

http://articles.philly.com/1996-01-10/news/25652238_1_carbon-monoxide-car-exhaust-poison-control-center

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/basics/symptoms/CON-20020453

http://www.ehow.com/list_6869570_dangers-running-gas-fireplace_.html

http://www.today.com/money/hidden-dangers-gas-fireplaces-6C9675769

http://www.csia.org/homeowner-resources/the_facts_about_chimney_fires.aspx

http://myhomecare.ie/index.php/top-tips-for-the-elderly-in-cold-weather/

Commit to Inner Calm


Keep a calmness in your spirit to which you can always return. Keep forgiveness in your heart for though the fields will not always be lush and beautiful, your heart can always be Loving. ~ Dafina Kuficha  

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HUNTERS BEWARE: OUR CHILDREN ARE OFF LIMITS!


This morning I watched a video of a 7-year-old girl who was almost abducted at a Wal-Mart in GeorgiaChild fights off would-be abductor.

It reminded me of an experience I had a couple of days before Christmas while shopping at the Fox Hills Mall in Culver City.  My granddaughter was visiting L.A., as was I, and she wanted to stretch her $40 to get a few gifts. So, my mom and niece suggested she start at the Wal-Mart located in the mall.

After I made certain the girls kept a good eye on their grandmother/great-grandmother, my plan was to sneak out and get a “Hello Kitty” bracelet made for my granddaughter without her getting a whiff of the surprise.  As I began walking from the back of the huge store to the exit, a little girl, I’ll call “Brandy,” with stringy blonde hair and the sweetest face appeared just a couple of feet from the end of the aisle. Brandy called out to me. Surprised, I continued toward her and she asked me for help.

It’s amazing when little people have the veracity and calm to approach a stranger for help and know exactly who to trust. Brandy told me that she had lost her family, but when I asked about her mother, she said she was at home. My first fear was that  she had been abandoned, but in her gibberish, I realized that Brandy had been with other family members.

Brandy quickly grabbed my hand and we started walking as I called out to the shoppers, “Small child lost! Anyone looking for their daughter?” I asked Brandy if it was alright for me to pick her up so people could see her better. (It was also better for my back.) She gave me a darling smile. Apparently, she, too, wanted to be carried.

Brandy had a remarkably calm demeanor and conversed with me like we were old friends. I was particularly touched by her comfort with me. She kept one arm gripped around my neck,  and at times placed her head on my shoulder, drawing my motherly love around her like a protective tigress.

Hearing my call to the Wal-Mart shoppers, a young male security guard walked up to us and said he’d take the child. I politely refused and could feel her relief as her grip tightened. Our bond had become special and she felt assured I’d take her to safety. I offered the guard to walk with us, guide us to the customer service, and, most importantly, to make a “lost child” store announcement. I convinced the guard, “it’s not personal, dear, but the little sweetheart chose me to help her find her family because she felt safe with me.” It was clear that I wasn’t going to release her to anyone that was not her family.

The security guard left us, but crossed paths with us again a few minutes later. Again, I requested that he make an announcement that a little child was looking to be reunited with her family. It irked me that something as simple as making a full store announcement was not the immediate response of the store security. By now, a male and female security guard were aware of the child’s dilemma, but neither had made any motion to make an announcement.

In the meantime, I heard a voice a few feet away, “Picking up strays now, are you?” Then, laughter ensued as my niece and granddaughter walked up looking amazed and amused. Little Brandy waved her hand from left to right at them both and asked, “Is this your family?” The gesture was so cute that we all burst out laughing. I managed to answer affirmatively. The three of them began a conversation, and then, my mom appeared looking bewildered. She thought I should turn the child over to the store security. We all exclaimed, “No!” That’s when Mom really saw Brandy. That darling child had engaged her, too.  A few moments later, a tattered looking young man with a boy about 5 years old spotted us.

Brandy’s wide smile was indication enough to let us know that they were her family. Still holding on to me like I was her dear friend, she cheered, “That’s my daddy!” It took her a second to let me go, as she thanked me with a squeeze. I handed her over to her worried-looking father. With a look of embarrassment and relief, he thanked me profusely.

Mom, the quintessential grandmother and great-grandmother walked over to Brandy’s father and had a grandmotherly chat with him. As we were leaving Wal-Mart, we asked her what she told him.  Mom shared, with raised brow, that Brandy and her brother had been allowed to play hide ‘n’ seek under the clothing racks  (something her children would have never been allowed to do, by the way) when Brandy got lost. Mom’s wise words to the father were, “This is not the climate to leave your children unattended, even for a moment.” He seemed to digest her words well and with appreciation. We were all glad it turned out so gracefully.

My best advice for a parent is that you teach your children good survival skills while keeping them prayed up. Watch them with a hawk’s eye, as much as you are able. That 7-year-old who was almost kidnapped fortunately got away. It’s often not the case. Keep your little ones close to you, especially  when you are in places where they can easily become lost or get snatched. The beasts who steal children are hunters and have the patience of hunters.

Build a trustworthy network. Your children are worth every moment of your time. Above all treat your children with love and respect. They grow up faster than you can imagine.

Take a deep breath…exhale slowly


My Lake Chabot hike photo by Dafina Kuficha

These days are filled with fascinating natural occurrences. Arizona has experienced its second major dust storm in a month. Over 241 tornados touched down in Alabama and the midwest, leaving uncountable and in some cases, insurmountable, damages, including loss of life and property. The news is not reassuring but actually serves to keep fear at the forefront of our lives. Stress plays an all too major role in our everyday lives and many of us need a way to handle it effectively. Well, here’s a 10-20 breathing exercise that may not be able to prevent high blood pressure but it can keep it from rising. Sometimes we just need an easy way to handle our stress and the right type of breathing can be the answer. Your breath can be of great aid to your process or it can hinder your process by keeping you feeling fearful and inflexible. Remember, deep breathing is essential to good health.

Acupuncture also aids you in deepening your breathing practice as it aids the respiratory system in improving its function. Choose to have vibrant  health by taking time to deepen your breathing with the Hara Breathing Exercise Technique and open yourself to practices that improve your health.

HARA BREATHING EXERCISE TECHNIQUE

Hara breathing is done to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of all types of stress.  If you feel weak or overwhelmed, scared or angry, breathing into the hara will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara region allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you to root it.

Find a place of quiet, peacefulness.  Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique.  It may feel more comfortable to either lie down with your knees slightly bent (to take pressure off your lower back), or to sit in the lotus (crossed-legged) position. (Careful of too placing much pressure on sore knees)  Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Begin by taking three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nostrils, while expanding your abdomen, and finish by exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Now, inhale slowly through your nostrils to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on).  Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth.  Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the region located about one inch below your navel.  As you inhale to the count of five, your abdomen should be expanding as your diaphragm is moving downward.  Hold the breath for another five counts.  Exhale by removing your tongue from the roof of your mouth keeping your mouth slightly open.  To the count of five, slowly, quietly exhale like a cool breeze.  If a feather were placed in front of your mouth during the exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the exhaling breath.  Continue this exercise without pause between inhalation and exhalation.  As you become more adept with this breathing exercise, you may wish to hold the breath longer.  Increase the count gradually as you are ready for it.

Practice hara breathing daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the mornings and evenings. You will immediately notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health. Feel free to use this breathing technique when you are facing challenges in your life’s daily activities.  You can do the exercise for a few moments  or for ten to twenty minutes, once a day or twice a day or throughout the day. At the end you’ll feel much calmer and refreshed.  Your choices, options, possibilities and opportunities become clearer when you are calmer. Enjoy deeper breathing and better health.   Ashay!

Spring Forward (part 2)


"Awakening" photo by D. Kuficha

It has long been written that the world as we know it will be forever altered by 2012. The need for a global consciousness of global respect, love and appreciation for all life cannot be understated.  We have passed the time for only having recognition and concern for our own problems. Yes, the spiritually-disenfranchised of this nation continue to support devastating wars and conflicts around the world. In so doing, the propagation of fear and terrorism is being used to further us away from our goal of global harmony.  Spring is the season of new thought and new ways of looking at old situations.  We are charged with taking evolutionary steps in the direction of inner peace, then world peace.  We have many movements coming forth to allow bring this goal to its fruition. One such goal is A Day of Global Silence.  The first date is07/07/07.  Spread the world and read the article on this website that will tell you how to use silence to create inner and global peace. Please lend yourself to this effort and spread the word for Silence. Shhh…”Be still and know that ye are daughters and sons of the Most High!”

It is through honoring the truth in our spirits, taking care to rest, eat well, speak truth, speak kindness, think high thoughts, and by respecting all life that we are most likely to remain strong, centered, focused, loving, caring, considerate, enthusiastic, helpful, encouraged and encouraging, motivated and motivating, inspired and inspiring. Many of us will suffer through our own or through the sufferings of others. One thing is certain, no matter how difficult, ridiculous, or fearful things may appear, ALL IS IN DIVINE ORDER. Take quiet time to honor yourself, your thoughts, feelings, fears, or confidences and to attune with greater frequency to the Divine Self, whatever you name IT, God, Allah, Jah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Mother Spirit, Infinite Spirit, Wakan Tanka, Holy Breath of All Life, Jesus, Buddha,Krishna, and so on. Remember also to honor the ancestors of ancient or recent past without whose lives yours would not be. The old folks put it aptly, “always remember where you’ve come from.”

QI GONG EXERCISES TO CALM THE INNER SELF: 

In the Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen, the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, asks Ch’i Po, “How can one achieve a tranquil atmosphere?” She answers, “By avoiding transgressions of the laws of nature.” One of the ways to avoid (too many) transgressions is through proper use of the breath. Perhaps one or all of the following three qi gong exercises will lively up your qi.

HARA BREATHING TECHNIQUE

Two important reasons for performing Hara breathing technique are to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of any type of stress and to circulate and strengthen the body’s qi (vital energy).  If you feel weak, overwhelmed, scared, angry, or just stressed out, breathing into the hara region will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you root it.  In so doing, you are bringing in the vibration of optimal health to your being.

Find a place of quiet peacefulness. Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique. I find it more comfortable to either lie down with knees slightly bent or place a pillow under them to take pressure off the lower back, or sit in lotus (crossed-legged) position. Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Yoga birds balancing postures photo: D. Kuficha

Take three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nose, expanding your abdomen, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Now, slowly inhale through your nose to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on). Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth. Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the place located about one inch below your navel. As you inhale, your abdomen is expanding and your diaphragm moves down in a full breath. Hold the breath for another five counts. While exhaling, remove your tongue from the roof of the mouth, and slightly open it. To the count of five, slowly and quietly exhale through your mouth likening the breath to a cool breeze. NOTE: If a feather were to be placed in front of your mouth during exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the breath of the exhalation. Breathe continuously without pause between inhalation and exhalation.

Practice this technique daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the morning and evening.  You will soon notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health.

Copyright 1996 Dafina Kuficha, L.Ac.

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I rant, I rave, I LOVE: A Hodge-podge of Thoughts Related to Japan’s HorrificTragedies


My heart is heavy and my prayers are ceaseless. Where any of us suffer, we all suffer. We are one world here and our connection is clear. The tsunami that hit Japan reached the U.S. within hours. Though the damage here was less than minimal in comparison, lives were lost and to those families, it was just as devastating.

Now, as Japan faces even more problems and potential nuclear power plant meltdowns, neighboring countries fear the worse for Japan and themselves. American scientists say we have nothing to worry about in the U.S. Yet, who really knows, and why should they be believed? Since when are governments transparent? Panic has become widespread in northern California, particularly.

At the end of this blog, I have listed a number of websites that provide unbiased information about the state of affairs from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Let us be conscious in how we use and direct our thoughts. Panic is never the answer and can cause more trouble than what the fearful imagined.

These are a few of the posts I posted on my Facebook page. There were many beautiful, powerful comments posted by others in response. I am thankful to live in this country, to know such beauty and to be supported by such love! I know that many in Japan were living a similar life and it hurts tremendously to know so many perished in a swoop of a shake and a wave. Whew…

Please take moments of Silence throughout your day. Let us focus on Japan, Haiti, war torn areas throughout our planet, on anyone suffering any place in the world. Focus on an upliftment of consciousness. We are the world, we are one, we are not our things. We are not our suffering. Attune to gratitude.

When I heard all the iodine sources had dried up, it popped in my head: Hey, folks have bought it up for resale! Damn Americans! No heart…Their god is money and money is their god! Geez…So you know what that means? 2011: chickens coming home to roost. Watch out gougers! If you ain’t about Love, you ain’t about nuthin’!

The idea of panicking means folks aren’t spiritually secure. I would say that’s the first thing to get: an enhanced relationship with the DIVINE SELF. I’m taking a bit of a “break” from the news and all. I’ve personal reasons and it’s hard to watch others suffer so. Knowing my focus is good enough for me.

Calm, cool collectedness will be more aid than iodine. When we really tune in, we can connect to the Divine directives we receive. This is the time when we get to truly uplift our faith. Folks are panicking. Nothing good comes from panic. Breathe, be still and listen. Proceed with wisdom.

Prayers for our Japanese neighbors/family, especially for those who are need rescue, and for all those seeking assistance. This is why the call to Love is so crucial. Life changes can be swift. We truly never know. Rising to love releases us from our pettiness and allows for the breath of harmony to pervade in our earthly atmosphere. Can that diminish radiation?

Our Japanese family needs so much of our loving thoughts, prayers, & love! They also need financial support for food & shelter. Here’s the latest. Pray ceaselessly. We can see we are all connected by how quickly that tsunami hit the U.S. It’s hard to imagine how the survivors feel, but we must send them our strength. The radiation leaked won’t stay in Japan. Like the tsunami, it will travel. Continue reading