Category Archives: Opinion

Good Friday: Parable of the grief boulder

stoneBeing’s that this is Good Friday, I thought I’d share a parable I wrote about grief, followed by an amazing song.

Parable of the Grief Boulder

What if you had a huge boulder of grief rolling along behind you your whole life – being chased like the boulder chasing Indiana Jones?  It started when you were a little kid, in total terror running to get out of it’s way, and being crushed and bruised if you weren’t fast enough.

As you grew into a teenager, since you were growing stronger, you realized sometimes you could outrun the ball of grief. It became a game of Continue reading


How To Have a Good Day

If you need a lift, watch this short video:

Breathtakingly beautiful pictures, along with inspiring words including:  “Today is not just ‘another day’ –  it’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”

This video explains in detail How To Have a Good Day.  Watch and enjoy.

Kindness creates kindness

RedprimroseToday was a beautiful Spring Day. Cleared out the front veggie bed and planted peas. A lot of people were out walking and visiting. A neighbor named Maria who I’ve never met asked me about my Bloody Dock, so I rattled off about it. She said “I think it’s so pretty – I had one and someone stole it!” So I offered her a healthy one of mine (they self-seed). She said she was going shopping and would pick it up on the way home. When she stopped by she had a red Primrose plant she gave me in trade! How nice was that? I put the plant in my garden and gave her the pot back so she could take her new Bloody Dock plant home with her. I think I have a new friend:)

Free personality test and other tools for dream building

Went to a meet-up for intuitive-based-personalities this past Thursday, and it was GREAT! The talk was on practical tools for dream building using intellectual and spiritual platforms.  We also listened to a pre-recorded talk by Dr. Joe Dispenza discussing the science behind ones thoughts creating ones life.

The meet-up organizers Michael and Jennifer suggested a free personality test at Human Metrics that is similar to the Meyers-Briggs test. I’m an INFJ. If you’ve never taken this little quiz, it might help answer some questions for you, pinpoint your strengths, as well as help you not beat yourself up about what you perceive as your weaknesses.

Book: Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting

excuse me
In the book by Lynn Grabhorn Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting, Lynn talks of the astonishing power of feelings, and that the scientific rule “like attracts like” also takes place with our feelings. When our energy is happy and flowing, we attract happy things into our lives.  By getting excited and feeling joy, the happy vibration attracts other joy/opportunities – not only in your original inspiration, but in other areas of your life as well.

Problem is, “like attracts like” also works in the negative – where we tend to
live much of our adult lives – but we can change that.  Lynn Grabhorn spends the majority of the book explaining step by step how, and Continue reading

Craving contrast, not drama

We crave contrast in our earthly life…interpreted as drama, change, or ‘something new’.  We create drama in our lives so we’ll be able to have something exciting happening.  We choose reading material and fill our minds with news featuring obstacles to be overcome, unreturned love, raping of innocents, etc. when what we really are craving is simply contrast.

Nature provides contrast:  changing seasons, rain, snow, wind, hail, sun, a variety of clouds and their formations, sunsets, plants in various stages of growth.  People provide contrast in their looks, actions, and tastes.  It’s fun to people watch and enjoy the variety of hair colors, skin colors, clothing styles, Continue reading

Reader glasses with flair: Borghese readers by Icon Eyewear

iconeyewearI get to be a product tester! This is the first test product: a free sample of Borghese Readers from Icon Eyewear. The review goal was 50 words on “What did you like most about the Borghese readers from Icon Eyewear?”  I’ve underlined what I liked most.  Here’s my take:

Borghese Readers from Icon Eyewear fit women’s faces – slim to the head – no sliding around the ears.  Frame color is root beer in acrylic; sides are gold/black toned metal, earpieces plastic with a textural pattern (traction to keep glasses from falling off an eyeglass chain). Professional yet playful vibe.

See them in action at the Would I Wear That? Segment here.

What stories are you paying attention to?

The stories we pay attention to are what form our ideas of what’s possible.  The stories we pay attention to help show us what choices we have.  Sarah van Gelder discusses in this short Tedx talk  “Solutions Journalism”, or “Appreciative Journalism”:  news that focuses on what matters most, what’s possible now, and what’s working.

Check it out here:


The parable of the ice pack

Once upon a time there was a sister and her younger brother who loved to play with each other. One day when they were playing, little brother was hurt and started crying.

Mother rushed into the room.  Sister, with big eyes squeaked,  “I don’t know what happened – It wasn’t my fault! “  Mother quickly sized up the situation saying  “your brother is hurt – get an ice pack for him and bring it here now.”  While mother held and comforted her crying son, sister quickly got an ice pack and brought it to her brother.

Mother focused her attention on comforting the boy, soothing his tears, and helping him hold the icepack to the part that hurt.   Sister stood by, a tingle of fear – was she going to be in trouble? Was she going to look bad?  But the Continue reading

If you’re feeling deprived, give something away

Occasionally I feel deprived.  Maybe I don’t have the money to buy that new dress or I can’t have a piece of cake.  One of my best cures for feeling deprived is to take inventory of what I’ve got, and to give away what I no longer need, i.e. share some of my ‘unused’ abundance.

For example, if you’ve got 4 coats (your trench, down parka, and running jacket that you actually wear…plus the fur coat your mother-in-law gave you that you’ve never worn and doesn’t even fit) then GIVE away the fur coat to someone who will appreciate it.  You can freecycle it, sell it at a consignment shop, or bring it to a Free Swap.  Selling it might make you a little money, but giving it away is uplifting and empowering spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

When you find and give something away that you no longer need, you realize how much ABUNDANCE you have.  Something as simple as Continue reading

The News Channel I Want

What if the news actually HELPED us find solutions, make connections, added value to our day?  What if news reports focused on creating a better world and things we do want – instead of pointing out the bad apples and things we don’t want?  What if news looked something like this:

“1.5 million people safely arrived at their destinations today through airways worldwide.  Let’s hear from reporter Bill  – today in the Bahamas –  about what conditions are like there.”

“It’s sunny and 80 degrees, the water is clear, the beaches are clean – it’s paradise Darlene!  Hotel packages to the Bahamas start at $$$ and the winter discount rates last through the end of the month.  Back to you.”

“In technology, Belgian students at the State University have created an app that lowers blood pressure.  They’re selling it for 99 cents on iTunes; money Continue reading

‘Pets’ with a work ethic: Put a worm bin in your fireplace

worm bin in fireplaceWe live in a 1920’s bungalow.  It has a fireplace that doesn’t work very well, so instead of using it for fires, I use it to store our Worm Factory worm bin year round.  We hide the worm bin behind a large silk scarf draped over a tension curtain rod near the front.  It doesn’t smell, so no one knows it’s there but us (and now you).

worm bin lidThe worm factory is easy to use since the instructions are printed on the black plastic lid.  I like the spigot near the bottom where you can siphon out ‘worm tea’ to feed plants indoors and out.  Not only is this a great way to recycle kitchen veggie scraps, but also to recycle paper from the shredder, lint from the Continue reading

Drowning in household clutter

I enjoy a serene living space.  But sometimes I’ve found myself in a cluttered living space not knowing how I got there, or how to get out.    Several years ago when I was a young mom I discovered a website called Flylady.  It was a ‘how to clean out your clutter’ site, and was based on the simple premise of starting out by keeping your kitchen sink clean.  Which sounds simple enough, but when you’re self-employed at home and you’ve got small children, there didn’t seem to be time to eat, clean up, do voice work, enjoy your kids AND keep the sink clean. Ours was the house that looked like it had blown up inside, with couch cushions on the floor as forts, snacks (on little plates if I was lucky) on the floor between Lego projects and Thomas train tracks in various configurations.

The kids had a GREAT childhood.  Good food was eaten by all (eventually).  Clients were overjoyed with our fast turn-around and professional voice work.  But clutter?  Yeah, that’s where things got backed up.

Back to Flylady.  It said that if you start with Continue reading

Taking a nap: an answer to many problems (and it just feels nice)

NapsSometimes you just need a nap.  Or a good book and then a nap.  Or being with a good friend on a sunny day outside with a good book then a nap. Naps are relaxing.  You know you feel comfortable with a friend when you can take a nap together.

Also, when the rest of the world seems to be going crazy is a good time for a nap.  Sometimes a person can get so tired/frustrated that they aren’t able to think straight or make good decisions – a nap would be appropriate during these times as well.  Adults need naps.  College students need naps.  Why are naps only seen as a necessity for young children? (Maybe the kids should stay up and play and the parent(s) should take the nap?)

Don’t be slapped around by frantic email demands

My email has stealthily accumulated myriad subscriptions to political, commercial, and hobby interests. I’d open it and be bombarded with frantic pitches to donate money, sign petitions and buy now! These were all organizations I believe in that I at one time signed a petition, or purchased something I liked/ needed, or asked to receive their newsletters/coupons.

So this past week I unsubscribed.  As I received emails, I thought over each one.  If I need their product or service in the future, I can easily Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!Blessings to you:  May life be welcomed and appreciated individually with our each inward breath.  May  we pass life’s blessings to others with our each outward breath.  May we each play a part in making the world a safer, kinder, more joyful place in 2013 and beyond.  Happy New Year to you and yours.

Sincerely, Barb Hughes and family

Bare Bones Budget: budgeting time, money, and more when under stress

We are gainfully self-employed now, but when my husband and I both lost our full time jobs back in the 1990‘s we were rather stressed.  So we revamped the way we looked at our work/business/home life.  One of the things we did was come up with what we call our Bare Bones Budget.  This isn’t just about budgeting money, but also budgeting/balancing time and the enjoyment of life.  So for those who are looking for a different approach when under stress (besides doom and panic), here’s what helped us – and we continue to follow today.

The Bare Bones Budget Mantra Continue reading

Little things make for big memories

Horse and sisterI love my family – a quirky bunch of creative adults and teens who accept each other’s differences, and are often entertained and amused by each other.

Christmas day was an all day relaxed affair that started off with lounging at the breakfast table opening stockings.  Then lounging in the living room opening presents one by one.  Each present was looked at, talked about, used or partially read, before we moved on to the next present.  This made for hours of Continue reading

Bye bye old world thinking: an ode to the end of the world

December 21st 2012:  Old world thinking ends today.  The thinking that we as humans can keep punching the bag called air/soil/water/’the other’/nature in the nose like a bozo clown and expect it to pop back up for more of our abuse.  The old thinking/believing that humans with money, anger, and power are the Lords of the universe.  The old thinking that humans are above all else, and our wishes and will should dictate who has rights and who doesn’t.  The old thinking of believing that if we let our anger turn to love, we’ll ‘lose the game’, and Continue reading

Can our corporate grief help heal the world?

I’ve not read the actual news report.  I’ve not seen the pictures.  I don’t need to.  I feel what has happened through friends and family face book posts, have seen it today in the heavy footsteps and sad eyes of people on my walk to the post office box.  There is a corporate grief that transcends nations, language, religion, and political views. We all agree that innocent children should be safe.  We all agree our own children, the children in another state or another country – ALL children – should be safe, held, and loved. Continue reading