Tabletop Fountains and Running Much Like the Wind


If you’ve never settled a miniature fountain onto a tabletop in your home, it’s never too late to try something new in your days.

If you generally walk, and only walk, to get from point A to B to every other letter you might need to visit and then back again, you might want to take a suggestion to pick up your feet higher, quicker, and run! Race the wind until you can (A) win or(B) blend in, moving as much like it in steadiness and speed as possible. Also, if you’re not familiar with mangos and lentils, prayer, yoga, relaxation techniques, deep breathing, calming music, camping, turning somersaults, connecting with art, understanding anatomy, opening your arms to the rain, holding an amazing Cecropia moth in your hands, laughing way out loud, standing in a gorgeous garden and simply stopping in place to study the way a fountain’s water reflects back the sun, forms of meditation, understanding the physics of energy, understanding the basics of holism, understanding how to laugh at warped humor, it’s fine, your mind can adapt to whatever change you ask it to take on.

Why take on changes, you may wonder, why try something new? A change is a shift, transformation, or alteration, and can be as simple as a change of clothing or hair cut or home decor or can go all the way to a transcendent life change that will bring you a meaning and peace of your place in existence that you possibly hadn’t even known you were looking for. Change gives us a broader range of view and motion in the world. It fulfills our needs to evolve into greater capacities of love and connection with ourselves and, in sequential order, others. Change is healthy, and we want and need healthy to keep this world going around.

Holism is a recognition that all parts relate to the others, that a system (be it an individual body or an entire society) works best when each part is functioning as it was meant to, and likewise the system can falter if even a single part gets knocked out of its course of action. Heal the body and the mind will heal, and in the mind healing the body will heal. When an individual is healed–healing meaning having strengthened the ability to function holistically–that individual can move that healing energy into his or her relationships. Individuals heal to become whole in all their human components of body/mind/soul, and couples and groups heal to become whole as components of security and peace to each other to create lives that are fulfilling, together.

Healing varies in intensity and need, and it’s often to our benefit think of healing as a daily practice, as it’s easy to get knocked from the course of our best actions even when we go out into the world with our best intentions.

Traffic, spilled coffee, lost wallets or cell phones, stolen cars, broken in homes that threaten both our emotional and physical security, rude people in stores, rude people on the telephone, rude people in your own house (sometimes you as the rude person), viruses and allergies, jobs we don’t really want but do really need, debt upon debt, lack of time, too much time when all we want is the day to hurry up and move on, sunburn, spider bites, bed bugs, hail damage, paying for toilet paper with quarters, being unhappy around chihuahuas, anything at all can put a heavy finger on our emotional eqilibrium to tip it, prompting us to justify staying out of balance regardless of the risk this causes to our health, the health of others, and of the world where we all so dearly need to reside in balance. It’s important to stay mindful of methods that bring us relaxation and a sense of well-being both physically and mentally.

If the musicality of a tiny fountain or a daily running routine provides you with health, then you do this. If it’s eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, then you do this. If it’s volunteering, painting things that bring others a sense of appreciation of beauty and emotion, or praying you go for it, with confidence. If you’re really not sure what brings you to your best place of health with yourself and others, then you start trying new things. You look for changes of habit, hobby, or idea. You seek until you find.

And you will find what it is that improves your quality of living and lets you contribute to the greater life you function within; there is no exclusive club in the universe that shuts out certain people in their quests to change, evolve, or fit in. Everything, everyone already fits in, already an important component of this whole world.


Website Provided: Nelson’s Natural World, a listing of types of holistic therapies, also referred to as complementary therapies. The therapies are referenced as complementary in the Western practice of medicine because they are considered as non-mainstream methods combined with conventional medicine. It is always best to follow the treatments suited for a specific condition as stated by your licensed, competent physician. They earned their license for a reason, and true holism leaves nothing out that is beneficial to healing and overall well-being, be it of complementary or conventional school of thought.

Negative Impacts

Nothing lingers quite like a bad taste. Funny how what tastes bitter, acrid, rancid, or otherwise unpleasant tends to last much longer than the sweetest tastes to cross the tongue. So the same very often goes with anything negatory to our systems, both the physical and the mental. It makes such an impact on us that we cannot get rid of it quick–or efficiently–enough, a challenge to push it back from our conscious experience: that sting of sour milk requiring one to down, at minimum, two glasses of water before it lets up only slightly; the stench of pasta, forgotten in a pot on the stove overnight, that settles into the nose immediately upon lid being lifted and stays jammed up there for a few cycles of deep-breathing clean air; that unfortunate moment a public one-seater restroom door opens just as you are finishing business (toilet paper poised in one hand) and you’re forced to replay in your mind how a few perfect strangers looked perfectly amused just because you had to go, an otherwise mundane action. Or, that bad moment of arguing with a loved one, walking away with hurt feelings and having hurt another’s feelings-that chilly, damp, dark kind of cloud of regret that settles over our bodies well after having exchanged apologies.

Anything negatory. Any time or place or action negative that turns our thinking to negative, our feeling to negative, our speaking to others and to ourselves negative. These are hard to push away and recover from if we don’t first choose and then practice. Life has one simple necessity, and it is to think positive. It is a necessary function that improves every aspect of health. It can be a challenge, certainly, and it is unreasonable to believe we can think positively in every second that we consciously occupy life. However, any action we put into regular practice becomes strengthened. The body is a physical structure organized by physical systems and it responds to the emotional and physical stimuli it encounters in its interactions with the world; this brings the challenge, but,simultaneously, it also offers the ability to make good changes.

All possibilities are there. You choose.

Think positive, use positive imagery and self-talk in daily practice, in all situations, and the mind and body recover from negativity more quickly. The positive thoughts, emotions, and actions begin taking control and start the process of becoming what lasts for the greater lenghts of time.

When Viktor E. Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, he was not guessing at what it would be like to choose the power that positive thinking provides, he had lived through a life-and-death experience of Nazi concentration camps and learned experientially how much thinking can save the body, the personality, the soul. The whole being. Frankl could easily have collapsed, mentally and physicaly, under the extreme pressure of such extreme negativity–the degredation and powerlessness any human would feel when being hatefully controlled by other fellow humans–but he was among survivors who chose how they would think, act, and feel, and continued moving forward to wait for a day that might show up and set them free.

Among thoughts Frankl has offered following his experience:

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

What we think is what we will feel and how we will act. The more negative the thought, the more negative the feeling and, soon to follow, the more negative our choices of action. Fortunately, the same outcome exists with the more positive the thought. It is both mental habit and physical struture; it is the training of the mind, also of the brain. Emotions and materials exist symbiotically. When we direct our emotions continually in either positive or negative places, we strenghten the neural pathways within our brains, making pathways that are easier to navigate along and that become a natural flow, like wind patterns or river channels, to turn our thoughts this way or that way.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that our bodies, even with all of the free will or soul that resides in them, are machines–an intricate natural system or organism, such as the human body. The body is a system, a structure of very particular arrangements of tissues, chemistries, bones, blood, and other materials that have very specific roles with every part and function interacting to make a whole, intricate, methodic system. This is why all aspects of our health rely on our abilities to choose directing our thoughts to the positive; nothing will be left out of how we choose to think and live.

What a challenge taking on life with a zest for optimism can be, and yet there is no reason to believe that every single one of us can’t be up to the challenge. No one enters this world without a will, and though many things in the world help us shape our will in ways that are good and bad, hurtful and helpful, strengthening or depleting, we all retain the capacity to choose even if that capacity sometimes gets knocked from view and hidden under the twisted, tangled detritus left from too many negative thoughts and emotions and situations. No matter what, we all, by choice, have the chance for self-improvement, reinvention, even an outright resurrection of self.

Start small if necessary, but start. Choose one positive, simple thing you will keep as a daily task: saying “thank you” for all you have before you leave your bed in the morning or before falling asleep; smiling while you get dressed; using patience with all others regardless of how they may intentionally test your patience; posting positive quotes where you can easily view them throughout your day; writing down one thing you really liked about the day. Start small, but just remember to start, and you will see how the act of staying positive increases in your life, increasing your overall contentment and health. No one lacks the ability to access and strengthen the will we were each designed with.

No more negative impacts! Okay, not possible, but at least quicker recovery from those negatories of life the more we strenghten our wills–ourselves–by choosing the positive because we believe that this is a choice we have.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.–Mahatma Gandhi


While Moving Through The World One Summer


When the night came in, we rode it–as if it were a thing as structured as our own legs. Or the cars on a city train. Things that carry and it carried all who stepped on. It was gracile, it was precise. Like the trains it invited us to keep moving because even the most circular distances eventually offer a divergence, slipping you through a boundary, the erasing of imagined lines.

What I loved about stepping out of Union Station onto Canal Street in Chicago was everything. It was an intense, revitalizing change from the dear and lovely and much smaller city I had left a little over nine hours earlier. I loved the absolute motion of busy, unending traffic, and the turban worn by the taxi driver who answered my waving hand, and the Islamic prayer beads hanging on the taxi’s rearview mirror, and the layers and layers of streets crowded with layers and layers of people, and the unavoidable energy of so many lives taking place within the same perimeters. I was in the right place in a right time.

Being there did not save my life, but it helped me, immeasurably and graciously, as I started a new phase of my lifetime.

Out of curiosity, adventure, the need for growth or entertainment, we travel to new places. We travel for any number of personal reasons, including out of love; love for a place or a person, or love for ourselves when we need to give ourselves whatever opportunities, from whatever new ideas and experiences, lie inside of taking in new surroundings.

The first line of motivation for me in my journey: love.

The love of a friend who had possessed the valor to be there for me on the opposite end of telephone calls and messages during little patches of calamity in my days. Then to be there for me at the transit station, where I stood in the heat, my bags on a bench beside me, an unsteady feeling of anxiety still threatening to overpower enthusiasm in my change of habitat. Such a strong seed of love cracked itself open and filled my body when a car stopped at the curb and I saw a smile I hadn’t seen in almost ten months and suddenly realized how very much I needed this smile.

The love of myself also–I deserved this trip because it was the right action for me to take. I hadn’t left my hometown in two years and, simply, I had been longing to move beyond its borders and walk along different streets and drink coffees in different cafes and feel the interesting coexistence of sameness and alienness that would exist while nestling into these different settings. I always feel my appreciation of this world broaden when I see more of it.

The second line of motivation for me: I need to grow.

Every day, for months, for close to a year, I had been repeating this to myself as both a reminder and a challenge.

I need to grow.

I had been finding myself thinking back to my time in the Platonic Society, my university’s philosophy club. It might seem simple, and likely boring to some: five to ten people sitting in academic offices, professors’ homes, or cafes and discussing what reality really is, what the purpose of our existence really is, what knowledge itself really is.

Discussing, mind you, not conducting experiments, not moving about in the world and experientially determining the validity of the philosophers’ words we were quoting, paraphrasing, analyzing. We were discussing, talking, shooting the breeze in other words. But we were all so full of passion to really know why we are here; why, like everyone else, we’ve been given this time and this reality and then, what we are supposed to do with it. We were talking, and we were growing, and the fact that we felt ourselves growing–even if in slight and uneven ways much of the time–gave us more passion to keep our minds searching for more words, more ideas, and more discussions.

During my time in the world of philosophy meetings and soirees*, I collected a number of quotes from the writings of many of the philosphers who have passionately assessed the knowledge banks of our universe in order to take in as much as they can understand so that they may put it back out with reciprocity, that all may have the chance to take from it what they will, and possibly understand themselves and existence a little more comfortably. I needed to grow, and a quote from Rene Descartes kept presenting itself in my mind, and I let it stay, and analyzed it, and let its meaning grow:

“The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as the greatest virtues.”

I took out greatest in relation to mind, this wasn’t important to the situation. All minds, as I decided to understand it, are capable of the greatest vices and the greatest virtues. We are all susceptible to negativity that impacts our lives in a negative way, but we are all also capable of redeeming ourselves. In any situation.

I needed to grow, and so I bought tickets for Amtrak, packed a couple of bags, and rode nine and a half hours to Chicago, uncertain if I was going to make it through the train ride as well as the next few days without having an anxiety attack, the full-blown type that induces physical and mental panic. Uncertain if I would be able to fully enjoy the adventure I knew I needed. There would be only a distance of roughly two states between myself and my home–my city and my family–but in terms of being in my safety zone, I was in the hundreds of thousands of miles out of range. Still, I needed to grow.

And I did. A lot can happen to the mind and heart, the logic and emotions, within a seventy-two hour duration, which is about the amount of time it took me to go and come back.

It’s too personal to explain, though, and this is how it goes for each of us. Part of our journey is external, yes, but a greater part is internal. It is how we, as individual selves or personalities or souls, hold our experiences within the places of ourselves that keep us fastened to our world with passion, love, compassion, and what we believe to be our own, identifiable, unique purpose here.

I could try to explain exactly what it meant to me to ride through a bigger city; to be wrapped in the warmth of a friend (and, I would later discover, my future husband) I was grateful to be with and who participated in setting a huge change in my life in motion; to observe the vivacity of so many different kinds of people moving with the city by foot, vehicle, or city train; to have the feeling that I could be a part of any place and any people on this earth that I place myself among. I could ask you to understand how healing and symbolic it was to cross the boundaries of state lines, move forward and break free of the circular motion I had confined my days to, often too timid to venture further into the great, waiting world. I could give play by play details of what it was like to synchronically bend, alter, then break both physical and mental habits of hiding, how it was done, and how extremely, way, way cool it was to grow up in a much needed way, finally! Thank God.

I think, though, that these images in my memory are most poignant to me and me only. That is how it is and I would like to keep it this way. What I can share is the basic, overarching idea–that moving in the world always helps, in some way.

So I leave you with a quote that I’m really liking these days: “If you cannot get out of it, you may as well get into it.”

During online research I discovered this quote, said to be “popular in the U.S. Army.” Yes, you’re in this existence, you have a lifetime, you cannot get out of this fact. This thought has occurred to me many a time in my life, giving me a bizarre, surreal type of feeling most times. Often, I haven’t known what to do with this vague discomfort that can accompany being such a sentient being. Now I know: just do what I’m doing, as they say. Take more trips, ride more trains, walk down as many roads and sidewalks and hills and other forms of terrain as possible. Just get into it, this clever little creation called life, as much as possible.

*A note on the soirees: A colleague once asked me if philosophy soirees have anything other than wine and cheese, undoubtedly imagining them as extremely formal affairs. And while yes, many that I attended did have wine and cheese, they also tended to offer barbeque wings, potato chips, and beer. It could be a Midwest America thing, though.” Lost in the Clouds?–NY Times, article on philosophy” Travel to Create Yourself–Psychology Today