Monday, January 18, 2010

New Website on Past Lives!

Hello again. I know it's been a long time, but I've been receiving some new responses from readers of the blog---thank you all for visiting!

Just wanted to let you know that I've been busy working on another website, which was originally connected to

It's called Past Lives Coaching ( and I'm really excited about it! I've been building it myself, and loving the experience - surprisingly. Never thought I'd be a site builder. (You can find out more about how I did it by going to the site, then clicking on the "Powered by Site Build It!" link on the bottom of any page.

What does Past Life regressions have to do with UPositive Creativity and Life Coaching?

A few things.
  • Ever feel that no matter how hard you try, you can't quite make headway toward your goals? And nothing you try to figure out makes a dent in that?
  • Have the sense that there's always been something incomplete following you around like a shadow, nagging over your shoulder?
  • Manage most of your goals but get nowhere with one in particular?
  • Always had the feeling you have a latent creative talent that you just can't seem to name, or commit to, or express?
These are only a few of the possible connections between attaining your goals and past life regressions.

Check out the pages of the website and see what else might intrigue you! There's lots of helpful information, suggestions for action, quizzes to take -- and soon, opportunities to enter into conversation with other folks just as interested in reincarnation, past lives, future lives, karma, soul mates, and similar topics. And there's always new info and ideas being added!

And, yes, it's still about your success in your present life -- just offering some new and different tools to reach your goals!

Have you ever experienced a past life regression? Think you have an idea of one or more of your past lives? Have you met your soul mate? Do you have a sense you have karma to complete? Or that you've "been-here-done-that-met-someone" in a previous life? Share your thoughts here and/or on the Past Lives Coaching site!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whole Brain Learning

In a conversation with a friend about learning languages, I remembered my own struggle learning a language. I was going to visit Israel for a month or two, and needed to learn Hebrew.

There are Ulpan classes designed for quick learning, and I signed up a few months before the trip. But it wasn't until I was in Israel, living with people who pretty much didn't speak English, that my brain had to open up and learn.

I remember having a dream where I was trying to move out of an apartment, and the movers wouldn't lift a thing until I said the Hebrew word for "furniture" (not a word I normally used), and as soon as I said "r'hitim" they grabbed everything up and moved me. Since dreaming is in the right brain, but language learning is left brain---it's interesting that the dream was the breakthrough. After that, I was able to speak and understand much more Hebrew.

Come to think of it---when I was learning how to drive a stick shift car the same thing happened. I couldn't get it. Struggled and failed and failed and stripped gears. Then, one night, I dreamed about driving it. The next day I got in the car and drove like I'd been doing it for a decade.

So maybe there's a point where learning, which we try to do in the left brain, needs right-brain connection.

They do say that people test higher if they first imagine themselves taking the test in the room where it's given. And even higher if when they study (left brain again), they do that same imagining first---of being in the test room. Again, adding the right brain into the picture (so to speak).

I think it's true for anything: a whole brain approach gives improved results. It's all about exercising that corpus collosum, the bridge between the hemispheres, that gives us the extra step-up toward success, and happiness in our lives.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lost in Cyber-Hell

Read only if you're curious about sad computer-experience stories, or if you're a masachist.

Sorry that there haven't been any new blogs from me for the past few weeks: I've been in cyber-hell. My trusty old computer had been slowing down, groaning, and begging for relief by spitting surfed pages back out for a while now. Finally, I gave in, did a little research, asked my good friend and computer guru Jamie as well as my brother for help. My brother, who's really good at computers, recommended a few refurbished Dells. So...I bought one. There it was, all bright and shiny---the very next day!

It took a while, and Jamie's help and encouragement, but I finally got the Dell up and running. And it was wonderful!

For five days.

And then the refurbished Dell started to make whirring noises, wouldn't read my Trackball mouse anymore, required extensive prayers, stopped paying attention to my Preferences in a couple of programs, and began to kick me out of Firefox. A wonderful phone-tech in Myanmar or India or a hilltop in Tibet or somewhere, named Sam, tried to help. (Dell really does have good customer support, so someday I might buy a NEW Dell product.)

But when she got to...let's Reinstall Windows, I said...”Nope, that Window is closed.” After a very very long, discouraging wait, Dell agreed to take the computer (and screen) back. Whew! I had about 5 days left on the return policy before I would have to continue accepting Fixes to it. Glad I read the fine print.

The moral of the story: Refurbished is good if you really know what you're doing. If you don't, and have mini-cardiac-arrests every time the computer burps, like I do, don't get one.

During this time, my old computer decided to die. (I'd moved it to the basement, and I suppose it got lonely.) I have, I am very proud to say, reinstalled Windows (don't tell Dell) in that one, resurrecting it---and it works, though it has no memory at all of what has gone before. Luckily, I'd taken as much as I could out of it and copied it onto handy, dandy thumb drives to transfer to the new machine(s) before unplugging it upstairs.

So then it was about buying a brand new computer. The one I wanted was through Best Buy (which has awful customer support---and they only had it in Mt. Juliet---about 45 minutes away and a highway drive I hate. Off I went. The salesperson sold me the model below it, for $100 less. The next day I called and said, “what did he do? I want the other machine.” So I went back to Mt. Juliet, box unopened, because Best Buy refused to ship the computer I really wanted to the West Nashville store. Then the salesman convinced me to buy the Microsoft Office for Students, because I wanted to be able to use Word (Oh, yeah, this machine is Vista instead of Dell's XP Pro---I'd been on XP on the old machine). Well, whaddaya know---Student has a very weird, unwieldy version of Word that is not worth anything---so I wasted yet more money.

A friend showed me how to get Open Office (just search for it---it's free), which has my old Word (or something similar enough). I love it.

All the info and programs I'd hand typed, downloaded, and updated the week before into the Dell had to be done again. I'm still doing it.

Another lesson---though I really enjoyed using aol for all these years---aol runs behind things in your computer, slows things down, and just messes some things up. Getting out of ao-hell is nearly impossible. I had to copy and paste literally hundreds (16 pages) of “favorites” into a Word document and it's taking me four days to copy and paste urls into Foxfire bookmarks.

Luckily my friend Mia showed me evernote, and I'm entering the list there at the same time. So I have my “filing cabinet” of websites on Foxfire (my computer), and evernote (off my computer in cyberspace somewhere).

I've purchased a VISTA for Dummies book (which is a bit advanced for my cyber-challenged brain). I'm determined to learn the workings of this machine.

I have been learning about computers through this whole process, and when the salesperson at Staples (bought a screen on a great sales!) spoke cyber-ese, I actually understood most of what he said. Shocked myself.

And, I'll be blogging again...maybe later today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reasons for Creativity

The second quotation in The UPositive Guide to Goal Attainment for Creative People (available at is from the author Steve Gillete:

“There are so many good reasons for creating more beauty and music in the world.”

I love this quote. It gets me thinking about those reasons, coming up with specifics for why more beauty and music is so important. Thinking about this concept, I remember a story I heard about the traditional Balinese people, and their beliefs.

The people of Bali wear black-and-white check belts to symbolize the balance between “positive and negative” in the world. As I understand the story, it is necessary to have both for the world to continue: if there is too much negativity, the world will be destroyed; if the world becomes completely positive, there is no longer a reason for the world to exist.

Beauty and music---and anything created---is on the side of the “positive,” and helps to keep the world balanced and in existence. Simple.

Other traditions proclaim that creativity continues the use of the Original Energy of the beginning of the cosmos, and, therefore, is essential to its continuance as well.

It’s not a very far stretch to proclaim that creativity is, indeed, a Green activity, of which we always need more.

Do you agree? Do you see other “reasons” why beauty, music, and creativity are essential?


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Art vs. Form as Function

Creativity and the Everyday

An article in last April’s New York Times by Glenn Collins reminded me that art used to be the everyday. In traditional earth-based societies everywhere around the world, everyday objects---from spoons to moccasins, camel knee-pads to bowls---were decorated and used. There was no distinction between “fine” or “high” art and functional art, no difference between an elite corps of artists and the regular person.

I think we’ve lost something in moving from art as function to form as function. While we still admire the lines of an expensive sink faucet or the new wood paneled refrigerator, are we missing opportunities to express our own vision of the world in our daily lives?

We’re closer to imbuing our lives with creative energy when we hang our children’s finger-painted masterpieces on the refrigerator door, or tack their first drawing of a tree---even though it might be purple---to the board by our desks. We allow this expression to our children, but what about to ourselves?

In the article, “All the Colors of the Rugs the Nomads Walked On,” Collins remarks about camel knee covers: “…the curiosity is that they are so intricately woven, so richly patterned and so extraordinarily colorful.” The pieces are “…so much more glorious than they need to be…” The curator of the show being referenced, Jon Thompson is quoted as saying, “Everything here was made for some purpose. And someone put effort and energy---and love---into making it.”

I remember studying Native cultures from various parts of the world. My second major in undergraduate school was cultural anthropology; I returned for my first Masters degree in the same subject. Part of what’s always drawn me to the Original Peoples of the world is their creativity. The way the nomads of the Middle East wove with “a riot of color in a landscape that is beige,” as the rug show’s assistant curator said. The way even the most crooked pottery from the early Anasazi culture of the American Southwest carries lines and dots and geometric patterns to embellish it. How tiny the patterns of the woven baskets of Africa are; or the intricacies of porcupine quill weaving in Northeast America.

And all these items were used. They weren’t sequestered away on museum shelves protected from touch. The purpose was to use all these products. Expressing creativity was an everyday, accepted, even expected part of daily life.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to get back to that quality of life? Everyone as an artist…every object a work of art.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Creativity & Alchemy

Creativity---always interesting new definitions of it popping up here and there. In reading through an old pile of New York Times articles, saved for a rainy day (does snow count?), I came across a NYT magazine piece about Tom Binnes, artist extraordinaire of found objects. Jewelry and masks are among the prominent pieces in his collections from the past 20 years. That’s along and illustrious career!

What caught my eye was what Binns said about his own art: “I am always trying to reassess the value of something.”

Isn’t that what all creativity is about?

I have my saying, “There is always something new under the sun” on products through What I mean by that is, I think, what Binns alludes to. That whether or not there are new factual objects in our universe, there is always a new way of seeing what’s already there. A new interpretation, a redefinition, a turning something on its side or upside down, whether it’s an object that can be held, a way of moving, a turn of phrase, a meaning or an insight.

Art, in all its forms, is in that way, alchemy. Turning something into something else.

We are all magicians!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Imagination vs. Knowledge

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”--Albert Einstein (Quoted in Chapter Three of The UPositive Guide to Goal Attainment for Creative People)

I love this quote. It makes me think every time I read it. I was raised, like many of us, to believe that knowledge was the key to the world. The more information we retained, the smarter we were…the more successful we would become. We were rewarded for As in school, punished for low grades. And obtaining those grades often meant letting go of our imaginations that might argue with the “facts” or focusing our left brains to memorize and store the information that we were taught. If we questioned too much, or asked the “wrong” questions, we were admonished. Repeating the data perfectly, which is defined as obtaining knowledge, became the goal for success.

And here comes Einstein, of all people, the epitome of shifting our knowledge of the universe and how it works, saying that knowledge isn’t the most important goal. Imagination, of all things---a right-brain activity---is more important. How can that be?

Bottom line for me in answering this is that without imagination our knowledge would never grow. We would pass the exact same information from generation to generation, never learning anything new, never expanding our experience, never achieving breakthroughs in science or mathematics or even chemistry---all arenas we usually think of as Left Brain.

Kekule, who discovered the benzene ring which brought major breakthroughs in chemistry and therefore medicine, first saw the structure in that half-dream state of the imagination. Einstein himself, after working his Left Brain into exhaustion trying to figure out his theory, finally reached his Theory of Relativity lying on his back staring at the sky in a trance state. These are all right-brain, or imagination, states of being.

It is, indeed, the imagination that allows us to increase our knowledge. That makes complete sense in rereading Einstein’s quote.

Are there any other ways you see to read the quote? Please post your replies here. I’m looking forward to reading them.