A – Z Challenge ~ Z is for Zen

zen bedroom
zen bedroom (Photo credit: evoluc)
Zen is:
1. Chinese, Ch’an. Buddhism . a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means. Compare koan, mondo.
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2. the discipline and practice of this sect.
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Zen is also:
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The practice of finding complete peace and tranquility within one’s self.  I have a friend with whom I talk to about peace, zen and tranquility.  We have our own views of zen.  But, that is the beauty of Zen.  It is where ever you find peace.
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Your zen is unique.  Maybe your zen is sitting at a coffee shop surrounded by people, or maybe it is sitting on a giant rock in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees.
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Whichever your zen, try to find it at least once a week.  Go to your zen spot (if you can do up your bedroom in a zen-like state, even better) and breath in through your nose, exhale through your mouth and let your mind settle.
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This is the last in line for A-Z posts!  I had a lot of fun with this project.  I came upon a lot of cool blogs and had a lot of cool new commenters (and you old heads rock too!).
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My theme for the A-Z Challenge was mostly about SELF. Things that breed happiness, peace and confidence.
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Have a great week everyone!  😀
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A – Z Challenge ~ Y is for You

Image: xdwebsolutions.com

That’s right.  You.  Y is all about you.  You are the most important thing. It’s you baby. You are what you eat. You give love a bad name.

I mean, how many times has it been about someone else?  You are always sacrificing for your family, your job, your pets, your writing… the list goes on!

So today – make it all about you.  If you can’t do it today, do it in the next week or two.

Find a place to go, even if it is in your own back yard, and just make it about you.

Start a page in your journal or online diary (I use Penzu – love it!) and make it all about you.  What do you want?  What would you do if there were no consequences? Where would you live if you had the choice? What is your dream job?

These are questions that should get you on a track to questioning your intent in life and really get your head spinning.  I  mean, there is only one you.  You should be nice to you.  It is so important to value yourself, if you don’t, no one else will.

Every day, I try to ask myself a hard question.

Questions like:

If this was the last day of your life, would you wan to live it this way?

If helping someone out meant a slight inconvenience, would you still help them?

It is amazing how much we get back when we give just a little.

So make today all about you.

Journal prompt for the day:

What does a day ALL ABOUT YOU look like?

A – Z Challenge ~ X is for Xylophone

xylophone-highway
xylophone-highway (Photo credit: Anthony Citrano)

xy·lo·phone

[zahy-luh-fohn]

a musical instrument consisting of a graduated series of wooden bars, usually sounded by striking with small wooden hammers.  The history of the xylophone is vague, hailing from Africa and/or Asia.
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The xylophone is also one of the musical instruments used in a child’s early development.  Walk in any children’s toy store and in the baby section, you will see a variety of xylophones for children two and under.
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Xylophone – A great instrument, highly underrated, and totally cool!  When I was in fifth grade, I was selected to play the xylophone for the Christmas Concert.  I had a blast and realized then that music was something that I always wanted in my life.
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I seriously looked through the X part of the dictionary for a totally, off the wall uber cool word, but they were all like Xenophon and Xenon and all that garb and I didn’t want to talk about something I knew nothing about.  I then went down a list of emotions.  Maybe I could use a word with “X” in it.  Nope.  I thought that would be cheating, so here we are.
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I really don’t know much about Xylophones either.  They are, however, a musical instrument.  And that gets a smile going on my face.
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.Do you know any really cool “X” words?
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A – Z Challenge ~ W is for Willing

We Rock!
We Rock! (Photo credit: !anaughty!)

Willing – Adjective

1.disposed or consenting; inclined: willing to go along.

2.cheerfully consenting or ready: a willing worker.

3.done, given, borne, used, etc., with cheerful readiness.
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Ready, willing and able. To do what?  To do what it takes to make life rock!  What are
you willing to do that will change it up?
What are you willing to sacrifice to reach the ultimate goal?
What are you willing to risk to live the life you want?
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Life is about living!  Life is not about sitting comfortable in your living room or kitchen while excitement passes you by. If you want to live the life you dream, the live you crave and the live you want to love, you have to be willing to make sacrifices, go out on limbs and take chances.
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Freaking scary, huh?  I mean, what if you fail? Here’s a better question: What if you succeed? Holy crap!  It could happen.  You could succeed and then think: Wow. Imagine if I hadn’t been willing to give my dream a shot?
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Today you are going to take out a piece of paper and you are going to write down three things.
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1. What you want.
2. What you’ll risk to get that.
3. The worst that could happen.
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Go into detail and really think about your life’s mission.  What will you give up to get where you want to go? Write down a schedule, a list of things you might not need or parts of your day where you could eke out a little extra time.  You can share it here, with someone you care for or tuck it away for later.
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What are you willing to risk to live the life you love?
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A – Z Challenge ~ V is for Variety

Coca-Cola 'variety'
Coca-Cola 'variety' (Photo credit: Toban Black)

Ah, variety.  They say it is the spice of life.  well, I’m not sure who “they” are, but they are correct.  Imagine eating the same thing every day, watching the same program every day or even wearing the same clothes every day. Yeah, booooring.

Variety is a staple in our lives because we have complex brains that need stimulation.  Sure, my cat can eat the same flavored crunchy cat food for the rest of his furry life because all he knows is that he is hungry, and the taste is palatable.

Last year I was on a health kick and this was my lunch:

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into chunks

3 ounces of low-fat cheese

4 slices of turkey

I ate it every day for about nine months until one morning I went to make my lunch and I couldn’t even look at those three items. My brain had become so conditioned to my daily routine, my motions and thought process was almost mechanical.  But that other part of my brain (the part that needs stimulation, I suppose) realized I was not married, nor in a long-term relationship with the apples, cheese and turkey and it was okay.  I could eat other foods.

Variety makes it interesting!

Challenge:  Think about something you do each day that you could change.  Maybe your lunch, clothes, make-up, morning beverage, route to work. Anything you can think of.  Take notice to how you react to it.  Was the change exhilarating?  Uncomfortable?

Journal about your change.

A to Z Challenge ~ U is for Underdog

Bronze statue of Rocky Balboa at the Philadelp...
Bronze statue of Rocky Balboa at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, created by A. Thomas Schomberg, as commissioned by Sylvester Stallone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, the underdog.  The person or being that has to go up against harsh odds to come out on top and prove to the world and himself that he is just as good as the top guns.
Remember Underdog the cartoon?  He was a little geeky dog that sprung into action to help his love interest Polly Purebred when she victimized by the evil Riff Raff.
My favorite underdog of all time is Rocky.  I am partial to the movie because it was filmed in my home town of Philadelphia, but more so I love when the underdog wins.
My top three Underdog Movies:
3. Braveheart – William Wallace goes on a tear of vengeance after the English kill his new wife.  One of my votes for most violent movie of all time.
2. The Karate Kid – Here’s a movie that is the epitome of being the new kid in a town full of jerks.  Daniel Larusso moves to a new town and has to put up with bullies.  He meets Mr. Miyagi who makes Daniel do tons of tedious chores “wax on – wax off” that frustrate Daniel.  All he wants to do is kick Pretty Boy Blondie’s ass. And he does.
1. Rocky – Of course Rocky!  Sylvester Stallone is my hero in this for more than the obvious reasons.   He wrote this screenplay and refused to let anyone play the lead in it except himself. How is that for balls?  Rocky is just a regular Shmoe who goes up against Apollo Creed (Rocky was supposed to lose the fight). Rocky goes toe to toe for fifteen rounds with Apollo.  This movie won three Oscars. Three!

Underdogs teach us that sometimes all we need is heart and determination to get through anything.

Do you recall a time in your life  when you were an underdog?  How about someone else?

A to Z Challenge ~ T is for Time

A clock made in Revolutionary France, showing ...
A clock made in Revolutionary France, showing the 10-hour metric clock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time.
“Time” is a wonderful song by Pink Floyd.  It is Track Four on their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. I was reading up on this as it is one of my all time favorite Pink Floyd songs. I learned that this song is the only song that credited to all four members of the band.
This song is about life.  More so, about how we let it just pass us by without little thought until we wake up one day and look around and all we have is age.
“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking.  racing around, to come up behind you again.  The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older.  Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death.” ~ Pink Floyd, TIME 1973.
This is one of the truest lines I have ever heard in a song.
We (most of us) go through life just existing.  I am guilty of the same.  I am no camel or llama on a hill that knows all.  I speak from experience.  Don’t we all?
Here are some “time” phrases:
“Only time will tell”
“Time is on my side”
“Give it time”
“One day at a time”
“Time is of the essence”
“TIme flies”
“Take your time”
Today, take some time for yourself and really get to know you.

What makes you tick?  What is your passion?