Categorizing and Illustrating People's Experiences

As I've mentioned before I started a new website and project called Rituals for Healthy Living or Rituals to Invite Balance and Well-being. I'm slowly posting over 40 rituals that people have shared with me.

Posting these rituals has been an interesting practice in and of itself. At the beginning, as I would reread the offering, I would listen for words that I thought best categorize the rituals shared. Those became my labels and now as I read, I figure out which categories to apply to the new ritual. This is my first real introduction to tagging. It's hard! Especially with the rituals, I wonder what other juicy words might be descriptive. I wonder how best to categorize.

Reading through them also is a sort of meditation... I read through the ritual, kind of try on the ritual that is being shared, notice what parts of me are drawn to parts of the ritual, and contemplate the words that come to me to categorize the experience that is being offered.

The other part of this posting practice that has been an adventure is picking a picture to accompany the ritual. If you find yourself reading any of the rituals over there, please feel free to share ideas for other words to categorize the ritual... or let me know if there is a different picture that would capture some of the essence that is being shared. This was my favorite picture so far!

photo source

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posted by ashley


Healing as an ongoing, instinctive process

My dad has been blogging at The P Train. Here is an excerpt from what I found to be an inspiring recent post illustrating how life continuously provides us with opportunities to recognize the gift of being alive.
Cat and I listened to a CD of various speeches from cancer survivors and this particular one was from a woman who expressed her wisdom regarding the difference between treatment and healing. Treatment is what the medical community provides us when we are ill. It is logical (at least in attempt) and "fix-it" oriented. It usually will involve pills, maybe surgery (or multiple surgeries), multiple office visits and treatment to cure or improve what ails us. Healing is the moral obligation we have to research, discover and implement those practices that dramatically supplement the medical treatment in positive ways. It involves attitudes, alternative and/or holistic paths, involvement with other members of our community, discovering what is new on the horizons for one's particular illness and the list can go on and on. It is an obligation we have unless one prefers to give in to the affliction. I am sorry that the importance of the healing process has become so prominent to me as a result of my diagnosis. I say this because there is nothing that I am doing now that I should not have started doing a long time ago other than the specifics regarding my cancer. Healing should be an ongoing instinctive process that is encouraged in us all at a very early age. It would not turn us all into "buddhas on the mountain". It would just make us healthier and happier people on the planet. To me healing can be defined as anything that will add positive meaning and greater health to your life. Happy healing to all of you.
Lately I've felt really proud of both of my parents as they seem to be finding a new source of meaning in life, experimenting with new ways of connecting with themselves and trying out different ways of being and perceiving in the world. It is such a gift to have parents who can model for me life's continuous journey of opportunities for growth and new learning. Thank you, mom and dad.

photo source

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posted by ashley



Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.
Carrotmob Website

What power do we have to create change with our everyday habits of spending money? What's possible when we organize together that isn't when we act on our own?

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posted by ashley


Feist on Sesame Street

Here's a song I like that was re-worked for Sesame Street. How cute!

I love counting!

posted by ashley


Rituals for Healthy Living

Over the last couple of years, off and on, I have been experimenting with healthy living rituals. I tend to be a pretty spontaneous person, following what is most alive for me in a moment. I try to listen to what I need (my mind, my heart, my body, my soul, my relationships, the whole) and take action from what I hear. However, I recognize that I lack discipline in my life and that often I favor what my heart wants over what my body needs. Imbalance has a way of creeping into my sense of order, causing a lack of order. If I listen carefully I notice the sounds of disharmony inviting me to pay attention to some aspect of my being. I belive that rituals, activities that I do regularly and purposefully with the intention of adding value to my well-being, can help support me in maintaining balance... and so I experiment!

Some of my experiments have included meditation, dancing, toning, singing, yoga, journaling, walking, prayers, breathing practices, and practices to help me tune deeper into experiencing the moment. In this mode of exploration and inquiry, I realized one June day that I have an incredible network of people and I bet some of them do rituals to help keep their life in balance. I decided to inquire and find out. So far 40 different people have shared with me the activities they do to help nourish their life. What a gift! I couldn't keep these treasures to myself so I have started a new webl where I will be posting all of the rituals I recieve. Come have a peek...

Rituals for Healthy Living is the new site and it'd be great if you came and joined the inquiry that we're in over there! And if you have rituals of your own to share, please do.

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posted by ashley


Loving Your Path

An E-card for you from Paulo Coelho ... make sure to turn the page (and play with the way the pages move!)

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posted by ashley

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