Day 12 of 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016: Relax

Nothing much on the docket this week, except time to relax and be with people I care about. SUMMER and RELAX are synonyms for me, but even during the summer, I find it difficult sometimes to get the hamster off the wheel that’s in my brain. Since I have difficulty with relaxing, several friends recommended that I try meditating, so I did. And it worked!

If you are interested in trying meditation but don’t know where to start, you are in luck. Every couple of months the Chopra Center puts out a free 21-day Meditation Experience featuring Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey, and guess what? One started yesterday! Even though you missed the first day, you can still participate. It’s free and everything is available both online and through their app for 5 days after the set date. The theme for this challenge is “Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life.”

I completed Day One yesterday and found it to be a wonderful way to end my day.

You can access all of the links for the experience on the Chopra Center Homepage here, including Facebook page, Twitter, app stores, and more.

Something to SEA: Memorial Day Clicks for 5/28/2016

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It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer. Many years ago, I was like so many others and looked at Memorial Day weekend as a celebration and a reason to party. I could probably have a down payment on a new car if I had all of the money I spent at that time on bars and drinks on Memorial Day weekends alone. I didn’t give it a second thought, but looking back, it’s not something I am proud of.

As I matured and as the world changed, I experienced first-hand loss from the Afghanistan conflicts as two of my former students heroically died while protecting others. A few years ago, my town used to have a Memorial Day parade, but because of low turnout, they switched to a ceremony at a town park. When I found out the reason for the parade cancellation, I was quite upset:  the street is filled with parents and children for the annual Halloween parade. Apparently costumes and candy are more important than honoring those who gave us the freedom to wear costumes and eat candy in the first place, and to me, that is…

Wait a minute. As I type this I realize that my comments might be misinterpreted as shame. That is not my goal.

My goal is to educate and inform so that more people will take the time to honor and remember while they are celebrating and having fun.

Not everyone has a connection to someone to honor on Memorial Day. If you don’t, please visit my links below so you can learn more about Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik and Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott.

Take a moment this weekend to honor what the day means and stands for. Educate the young people in your life about the true meaning of Memorial Day and about real heroes like Nick and Ron who gave their lives for the USA. Attend a local ceremony or service for an hour. Join in the National Moment of Silence at 3 PM on Monday, May 30.

Thank you to all the men and women who gave their lives while serving our country. I am grateful for your sacrifice and I honor your memory.

Read my letter to Ron and Nick from November 2015

Remembering Sgt. Ronald Kubik from Micromedia Publications

A Field of Flags, and Ocean County memorials including Nick and Ron from Micromedia Publications

Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott Memorial Fund

Hawks Hall of Honor

Free Memorial Day Printable from me

I’d also like to remember and thank Matthew Zegan for his service (1973-1994). Matthew is another graduate from the school where I work who was killed in a tragic accident at Fort Bragg.

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 5/7/2016

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It’s been dreary all week here in New Jersey, and today doesn’t look to be any different. That’s okay, though. Sometimes I like dreary days. It will become brighter this afternoon for me because we will be celebrating my nephew’s 5th birthday. I was summoned to “come over and play” this week by the 2-year-old, and it was the best two hours of the week. The 3 of us played with connecting gears, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Paw Patrol cars, and I had a lot of fun making them laugh by making my duck sound and by hitting balloons into the air. I hope you find time this week to spend time with the cherished people in your life. There’s nothing better than making memories and being with those you love.

Here are some interesting links for the week. Hope you enjoy!

May is Lupus Awareness Month – I will be penning a blog entry on Tuesday 5/10 about Lupus to commemorate World Lupus Day, which will be the only day each year I focus on my illness here at SoulSEAker. If you’d like to learn more about Lupus, please see the .pdf fact sheet linked here.

A Call for Kindness – by Susannah Conway. All women, regardless of your age, should read this.

Dan Pallotta: The Dream We Haven’t Dared to Dream – excellent Ted Talk recommended by fellow author and my friend Mandi Bean

2 Minutes Watching the Northern Lights Over Norway Proves the World is Still Beautiful – by Joe Carberry over at The Inertia

Say It Loud! I’m a Writer and I’m Proud – by Gayle Fleming

Why Do Some People Go Out of Their Way to Help Others – great video posted by No Limits

And Finally…

Even the Obamas celebrated Star Wars Day!

Have a splendid day and week!

Until next time, 

Jill

PS: If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, here’s a link to the May issue.  Take a look, then sign up! You know you want to! 🙂

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 4/30/2016

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And just like that, April is over. One-third of the year is behind us, but I believe the best is ahead of us. I’m feeling a little more grounded this week, more focused and more positive. I love seeing the beautiful cherry trees in bloom, as well as the leaves sprouting and the clover growing. I already need to mow the lawn, which is a sure sign that spring is doing its thing. The goldfinches have changed to their vibrant yellow summer feathers, and the house finches are as red as ever. It’s a great time of year, one of my favorites!

Today’s blog photo gives a clue as to some of my exciting plans for the summer, which I can finally talk about since the reservations have been made. Sometime during the week of August 14, I WILL be sitting on the James Joyce Balcony at Bewley’s Oriental Cafe in Dublin. The cosmos (along with a special spirit) are leading me there with a mission, and there will be a lot more coming about this amazing journey.

Hope you enjoy some of these interesting links I saved for you this week!

11 Reasons Why The Beach Will Always Be My Happy Place – shared by a friend, it’s a little jumpy but I agree with all of the reasons

Soul to Soul // On #39 – Love Stephanie Watanabe’s bucket list!

When Something Has to Change – by Megan Forrest

Putting Work In Its Place – by Kate Keifer Lee and recommended by Austin Kleon, another great outlook

33 Powerful Ways of Overcoming Fear…Right Now – there are a few fears I hope to will overcome this year.

8 Reasons Why We All Need to Unplug And Get Outside More – stop reading this right now and go outside! Seriously!

The Ultimate Road Trip: A Proposed Superhighway Between London and New York – can this be real?

Song of the Seashell – by fellow blogger Linda at Spiritual Dragonfly

and finally,

MotivateMe! Podcast Roadtrip hits the road next week!  Follow my friend Lynette and her MotivateMe! team as they travel to all 50 states this spring! Best wishes to Lynette, Chelsea, and Cassie!

Until next time,

Jill

 

 

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 3/12/2016

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What a beautiful week! We are definitely enjoying an early spring here in NJ, and I am loving every minute of it. We even have pollen on the cars already! Tomorrow we will enjoy an additional hour of daylight, the birds are singing every morning, and I even saw a cabbage white butterfly fluttering around yesterday.  I’m off on an adventure today with my niece, as it’s her birthday mystery trip. She knows the town we will be visiting, but doesn’t know all of the secret places we’ll be stopping.

I’m a bit light on interesting sites this week, as I spent less time online, which is one of my goals for this month. Remember, don’t waste a beautiful day by checking out these links…save them for a rainy day.

Free St. Patrick’s Day Printable – in case you missed my last post, enjoy a free St. Patrick’s Day Printable I made

Treasures of Ireland: The Burren – from The Palladian Traveller

On The Struggle with Technology – from fellow writer and one of my favorite people, Mandi Bean

No Trouble Here: Winter In A Surf Town – from Amanda Whiting, posted on The Inertia

Book Drive: Help Us Give Kids The Gift of Reading – from OpenArms Worldwide, a global charity started by my longtime friend Michael Meyers

How to Stay Excited About Being Alive – Inspiration for Your Soul – from Tower Magazine

Son Surprises Dad at Work After Serving in Afghanistan – I always love these videos

The Pending Coffee – If you know of a place that does this, please let me know.

Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body, and Spirit – it starts on March 21 and it is free

and finally

Tyler’s 50K For Housing in Haiti – Tyler is one of my former students with a lofty and inspirational goal.  Even if you cannot support his cause financially, please consider sharing it via your social media outlets. Many thanks from a proud teacher!

Have a wonderful week!

Jill

 

 

 

 

Something to SEA: My “Living 45” List

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As you probably already know, I started an annual tradition last year of listing 10 things I want to accomplish within my birthday year.  The decision to make this list stemmed from deciding to live versus watching life pass me by. After much thought and careful consideration, I present to you my list of things I intend to accomplish while I am 45:

  1. Watch a sunrise in all 4 seasons
  2. Learn to surf by taking lessons with my niece
  3. See at least 2 new places a month. These places are on my “hope to visit” list: Grounds for Sculpture, the Liberty bell, the NJ Balloon festival, Red Bank, 9-11 Reflection Pool/Memorial/Museum, Sea Girt Lighthouse, Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, Old Barracks, Belford Docks, Tuckerton Seaport, Sayen Gardens, NJ Vintage Automobile Museum (it’s right here in town!)
  4. Finish writing two books
  5. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  6. See The Cure in June at MSG
  7. Have firm plans to travel to Ireland and/or Iceland by the end of 2017
  8. Go to the Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix powerboat weekend and race
  9. Take each one of my 3 nephews and niece on a “mystery day” with Auntie Jill, and spend time with each and make them laugh a million times throughout the year
  10. LIVE! Just life and enjoy life without taking it too seriously. Included here will be trips to Six Flags, hopefully a NY Yankees game, return visits to other special places, laughing with friends, etc.

I will be making this list a stand-alone category in my menus.  I plan on updating my progress throughout the year, so please check back!

If you’d like to see my 44th year List and Stats, please click anywhere in this sentence.

 

Something to SEA: Polar Vortex Clicks for 2/13/2016

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Yes, that Polar Vortex is showing his ugly face again here in the Northeast.  I find it funny that the media is freaking out about it…don’t they remember it visited the last two winters, just like the Groundhog?  It’s winter…it’s cold…it might snow…it might be frigid.  No need to get in a tizzy!  Anyway, as you are bundling up and staying inside this weekend, here are some links you might find interesting.

Gangster Crab – I find this hysterically funny

The Short, Tragic Life of the 8-Ball Jacket – Made famous by David Puddy

February on Fire – some awesome waves this month already!

Essential Guide to Maritime Dun Laoghaire – boy do I want to go back

30 iPhone and iPad Tips and Tricks to Make You More Efficient – I didn’t know about some of these.

Destined for Failure? – don’t listen to the voices in your mind

51 Things I Wish I Knew in High School – on target, but something tells me the young ladies I teach wouldn’t listen

The Cost of Traveling in Iceland – someday

You Don’t Need to Fix the Past In Order to Have a New Future – post coming this week about this very topic

Last Ride – by Joe Loftus.  Grab your tissues…this one is wonderful.

The Extreme Love Experiment – by Elizabeth Gilbert

And finally…

Be Your Own Valentine – by Dani DiPirro backed up by…

5 Alternative Holidays For People Who Hate Valentine’s Day – I always hated Valentine’s Day.  My husband and I have been married for 13 1/2 years and we still don’t celebrate it.

Happy International QuirkyAlone Day, friends!

Until next time,

Jill

 

 

 

 

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 2/6/2016

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Groundhog day with conflicting reports.  Another snowstorm.  Super Bowl weekend.  Yes, it’s February again.  I think back to last February and while it was 365 days ago, it feels like it was only 100 days or so ago.  I’m working on compiling my “Living 45” list, which will be at least 10 things I hope to do/see/accomplish during my 45th year, which starts on Friday.  I will be dedicating separate blog entries this week to both reviewing my 44th year list, and to sharing my 45th list.  Keeping in mind that money is very tight and that I’m experiencing a pretty active Lupus flare right now, what is something you suggest for my list?  Feel free to comment.  In the meantime, here’s some links from the week I thought worthy of sharing…

Who’s in Charge? By Kristine Carlson

US Astronaut To Return to Earth After Bringing Mankind Closer to Mars – Scott Kelly will be returning to Earth on March 3 after a year-long ISS stint.  If you haven’t seen his awesome collection of Instagram photos from his ISS mission, check them out here.  Truly amazing.

This week’s episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” features Jerry Seinfeld with Will Ferrell.  Hysterical!

I am not Black. You are not white. – By Prince Ea.  Every human being should watch and learn from this video.

To Anyone Who Thinks They Are Falling Behind – by Jamie Varon.  Excellent message.

Dani DiPirro’s Find the Good in February – it’s a long and cold winter, and Dani’s trying to change that

An Open Letter to Those Who Are Overwhelmed – by Mark & Angel Life Hack.  I had this on my list to share, and it was also on Dani DiPirro’s list this week too!

Moving Beyond Just Dreaming (Taking Inspired Action) – by Sian Richardson (The Girl Who Knows)

Of Course You Can Do It – by Elizabeth Gilbert.  And YES, you can!  Good advice for me too!

and finally

Rob Werner: Lost in Space – Rob was one of my students.  He is a very accomplished skateboarder and is pursuing his dream of skating for life while seeing the world. Usually, it’s the student who is inspired by the teacher, but here, the student INSPIRES the teacher.  Thank you, Rob!

Until next time,

Jill

Something to SEA: Rainy Day Clicks for 1/30/2016

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Hello and welcome!  It’s been a long week here, digging out from last week’s blizzard and dealing with other factors of life that are a bit messy right now.  Today I am thankful to be able to finish writing several articles because I am under deadline, but I had a moment to share this week’s roundup of interesting links for you.  Once my articles are complete, I look forward to writing here more, and to putting my list of goals for my next birthday year together.  Have any ideas?  Please share!  Hope your day is a good one!

My List of 10 Things I Will Do While I’m 44 – 13 days left, then I am transitioning my “Living 44” site into SoulSEAker.  Any suggestions as to what should be on my big 45 list?  Please leave your ideas in the comments section.  Please remember that finances are very limited and that I have Lupus/Fibromyalgia (which are pretty active right now).

7 Positive Ways to Deal with Regret – perfect as my birthday is approaching.

“Mean” Joe Green and Coke Kid Reunite Almost 40 Years Later – I remember the original commercial very well.

Exactly The Right Words, Exactly The Right Way: Reagan’s Amazing Challenger Disaster Speech – We were home on a snow day and I remember seeing the explosion live on a grainy console television.

Mayim Meets a Human Rights Hero – I teach a George Orwell essay set in Burma (now Myanmar) and this is an excellent site from Mayim Bialik featuring a young person who is making a difference there.

How I Learned to Write Every Day – some good advice for fellow writers like me who have difficulty finding time to write

8 Things to Look For in “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” – contains spoilers, but hopefully you’ve seen it by now.

When Dreams Change: It’s Okay To Let Go And Move One – been there…

Feeling Sad?  Try These Quick Pick-Me-Ups – from Dani at Positively Present

and finally…

Susannah Conway’s new book “Londontown” is available for preorder!  And if you haven’t read her book “This I Know,” here’s a link for that book…it honestly changed my life and I am grateful to have stumbled across her work.  Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is another book that had a very big influence on me.

Have a swell week my friend!

Until next time,

Jill