Time Abstracted [SSL84]

Time Abstracted [SSL84]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery  of Spark My Muse.
This is Soul School Lesson 84
 [SSL84]

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Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

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Spark My Muse

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Show notes –
Spark My Muse podcast: Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.10.44 PM
Photo by Brett Bastello – Personal Creations (click for link)

Today’s episode covers the skinny on wine spritzers and also how friendship fuels our creative muse.

This episode is brought to you by
the book Dog in the Gap
10 essays inspired by the life lessons learned while befriending with the family canine. Heart warming, full of wonderful photography and good humor. Click the links to learn more to get a copy.

The Bonus Edition is just a $1 more and it contains lots of extras and goodies.

——

What is a wine spritzer exactly and why now is a good time to make one?

First, what’s up with the word “spritzer”?

The word “spritzer” comes from the German spritzen “spatter, squirt, spray, sprinkle”.

(additional note: just saying it involves some spritzing, right?)

The wine sprizter is just a simple drink combination of chilled wine and something that sparkles, such as sparkling mineral water, club soda, or seltzer water.

It’s consumed more for refreshment than anything else!

(It’s easy on the liver.)

• Drinking wine in warm weather or in the hot sun is always a bad idea. The spritzer is a good choice for summer because of its lower alcohol content, less calories, and being less inexpensive than straight wine consumption. Serving them is a great a way for you or your guests to not drink too much before the hambergers are ready at your cookout.

Too much wine (or any alcohol) during the summer will dehydrate you and you can quickly feel tired or ill.

Spritzers are mixed in various ratios and sometimes fruit juice is added.
The two most common are 50/50 or,
1/2 cup club soda to 1 cup of wine.

• The Spanish use red wine, fruit, and lemon soda. That sounds delicious!

I think wine or juice Spritzers are the go-to outdoor party beverage that provides a less expensive refreshing treat for outdoor entertaining and outdoor fun, sunny get-togethers, and bonding with friends. (They can be made without alcohol for teetotalers or children too–just skip the wine and add more fruit juice.)

• For parties, you can fill a punch bowl with the right ratios.

Some of my favorite wine spritzer recipes!

The Super Simple Spritzer

Just two ingredients:
6 ounces of a reasonably priced of white wine – or a blush wine–
plus 6 ounces of 7-Up (or try sprite or ginger ale).

 

Sublime Citrus Spritzer
2 lemon slices, 2 lime slices, 5 ice cubes.
4 ounces of your your favorite white wine and 2 ounces of lemon-lime seltzer.

Peach Dream Party Bowl Spritzer

6 quartered peaches and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Mix into a blender and puree. Place in a pitcher and chill for about two hours, then mix in a bottle of white wine, and stir well.

Finally, add a liter of cold sparkling water or seltzer.

Garnish with mint and extra slices of peach.

 

Citrus Ice Cube Party Pitcher Spritzer
2 lemons, zested
2 small oranges, zested (or 1 large orange, zested)
1 bottle white or blush wine
3 cups sparkling water
Directions:
Place the zest as a mixture into an empty ice cube tray, add water and freeze for 3 to 5 hours.

In a large pitcher, combine the wine and the sparkling water and then the citrus zest ice cubes.

Stir and serve.

 

White Wine and Fruity Sweet Party Spritzer
1 bottle of sweet white wine
3/4 cup white grape juice or apple juice
1 liter bottle desired-flavor low-calorie sparkling water, chilled.

(optional and delicious Assorted fresh fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, sliced kiwifruit, blueberries, lemon slices, lime slices, halved strawberries, or red grapes)
Directions
1 In a large punch bowl combine wine and grape juice.

Just before serving, slowly pour in sparkling water.

If desired, garnish individual servings with fruit. Makes 10 (6-ounce) servings
——

SPARK MY MUSE: On friendship….

David Whyte:

Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.


Little Prince

(previous entry)

C.S. Lewis

Friendship, unlike cooperation, is unnecessary to human survival.
Friendship, like philosophy and art is one of the things that gives value to survival.
how friendship differs from the other three types of love by focusing on its central question: “Do you see the same truth.”

Anne Lamott

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.


My essay:

Pertaining to sparking one’s muse. Good friends, that offer selflessly the balance of honesty and gentleness, toughness and acceptance, encouragement and motivation breath life into our lives and our art. Being social creatures, as humans, we crave social bonds even though they inevitably cause us pain at times. Isolated, for too long, we shrink into ourselves with self-delusion, self-absorption, unwarranted loathing and aggrandizement.

Aloneness is a dread for many or a craving for those misfit. And even those misfit hope, sometimes, to find someone else in the dark that might recognize him and name him and finally tell him he is well enough and valuable. Only in the mirror of friendship can we have solid footing and might be drawn out into our best selves. Erotic love has too much fire and entanglement for that. Agape love too much work and abdication. Brotherly love too much responsibility and duty. Only a soul friend can birth you into your actualization most purely.

Friends and confidants help us be continually born into the next stage of development. We risk with them and they with us and the synergy makes us stronger. At its best it is a fountain of grace sourced in Originator of Love and Goodness.


Do you have a question or do you have an idea for the show? Please let me know! :)

 

Time as a Bubble

Bubbles_Angela_Kelly_01-480x384I used to dread the coming of winter and the long cold months that encased the landscape–making it bleached and barren.

I still find winter difficult. I need the colors of nature to brighten my day and lift my mood. I like wearing sandals and not layers of clothes. But, I’ve finally lived long enough to experience winter as a few uncomfortable months, instead of a dreaded expanse of time.

It seems we experience time in a kind of frozen way. At the time, Winter seems like the only season that exists and the memory of warm weather fades and seems unreal from within the time table in which we find our selves. Time is not a stretch. It is a bubble. Each moment is a short pop away from not existing. Freezing bubbles isn’t possible…at least not completely (though the picture above would suggest otherwise, right?)

Once March comes, I feel much better about the new year. Here’s to brighter days and warm nights and enjoying each moment no matter what.

Your thoughts are clouds not rocks

rock pile (a cairn)
rock pile (a cairn)

 

I was listening to a new podcast called Invisibilia and the hosts were discussing the topic of unwanted thoughts. (“The Secret History of Thoughts” is the episode title)

 

Any thoughts from the emotionally self-injuring ones, to violent ones, to obsessive thoughts and worries. Everyone has them and some people develop dysfunctions that make life difficult or unbearable. Anxiety has a lot to do with it too.

 

What thoughts really are and how meaningful they are has been up for debate by professionals over the last 100 years.

Here are the top 3.

• Theory 1: Thoughts are very meaningful and are red flags of something deeper and sometimes something more sinister. (Freud and his ilk)

• Theory 2: Thoughts are not as meaningful as we thought and the key is to compensate or overcome them with opposite (reforming) thinking over a period of time (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).

• Theory 3: Of the three top theories, a third one in particular is getting momentum right now. To me, it seems to have an “ancient/new” quality to it…

The advice goes something like this.

“Keep the good thoughts and let the others float away.”

Does that sound flaky?

Think of it as laid back. Chill.

• The idea flies in the face of modern psychology that has us dig around a lot and examine every negative thought. Analyze it, get to what you think is the root, dig some more, and pick it all apart. See if has something to do with a repressed issue, a dark secret, the bad parents we probably had, or primal urges to kill and hump, and whatnot.

• The third theory also is a very different tact than what happens with theory #2.

Maybe thoughts are like clouds.

Your thoughts are nothing to worry about. Probably.

So the new tactic for dealing with unwanted thoughts is about training our focus and being gracious with ourselves. Sounds like a spiritual discipline to me!


 

It’s a recollection of the ancient idea that what you feed, grows and dominates.

Some proverb like…

“There are two wolves fighting inside each of us. One is good and one is bad–and each one wants to rule the other. Which one will win? …The one you feed.”

or

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
ref.

Some times I assume my passing or repeating unwanted thoughts have larger meaning and import, but maybe they just move in and around like the weather. I make them weighty like rocks. Maybe that’s not helpful. We take these rocks and place them in a pile, sometimes, don’t we?

We worry about our worries. We worry about what is wrong with us. We make a big, sad pile to stand for something, like a reminder…or…

we make a cairn. But, the wrong kind. A cairn should be a trail marker or situate like standing stones marking the best of ourselves or our dreams. A cairn is about hope.

Your repetitive thoughts aren’t stones, they are clouds.

The good thoughts can get a upgrade to something more substantial…let the others drift away.

Creative commons photo by Samuel Betenholz.

If you like what you’ve read, consider getting my in-depth but consice weekly correspondence. 
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Do you think in Words or Pictures? (and why it matters)

snowheartDo you think in Words or Pictures?

Chances are if you are reading this, and if you tend to read a good deal, you are firstly a person of words. Nothing wrong with that. But, your blind spot might be hurting you unawares….more on that soon.

Me? well….

I’m a weird mix.
I’m am– rather evenly–a person of words AND and person of pictures.

However, I am rarely, if ever, both at the same time. I have to switch gears. My dream life even changes when that happens and I go through phases that seemed to be tied to the weather…  Sort of strange, I know.

Here, at the website, as you might figure, I’m mainly a person of words….if I wasn’t I would have abandon blogging ages ago. I’ve posted about 2,000 times here and in previous blog efforts.

This “being a person of words” came not so much natively as much as a way to create things.

(I’m an ENTP and I love conceptualizing, innovating, and making things come to life. That’s my sweet spot.)

Sidetone:
There are all sort of free Myers’-Briggs personality/temperament sorts of tests online, but they always seem to be short and less than definitive. (They’re “meh”)

I recommend this book for its apt testing process. A 70 question test is inside (and it’s much less expensive than the official Myers-Briggs test with about 100 questions). Plus, there are loads of helpful descriptions to flesh your results out and understand it all better. Learning you spouse’s, friends’, co-workers’ or family’s temperament style is invaluable too.


 

 

Before I was a person of words (online, in print, for graduate school, in business, at work)….first, I was a visual artist–a person who thinks and understands more powerfully when images are readily available and utilized. I still am.

Words have only really been powerful when they conjure mental images for me. Maybe it’s the same for you.


 

How to increase your imagination–because IMAGINATION is power:

(Imagination = literally, bringing up images)

If you are a “word person”, I encourage you check for a blind spot on the visual side. That is, if thinking in visual terms isn’t native to you (and you will already know if it is), then consult with someone who thinks from a visual paradigm. Then, with them– look for ways to richly add that aspect to your message.

If you are a Picture person? Reading more will help.


 

Some ideas for enhancing the picture side are…

(click examples to see the visual)

• using / creating Infographics: (a graphic way to convey written content).

Example 1

Example 2


 

• Adding art, photography, or Illustration (it should encapsulate or elucidate your message, not just decorative)

Example 3

Example 4


 

• Adding video (this should flesh out-in the true sense-what you are trying to convey)

Example 5


 

BONUS?
• Add other visually demonstrative or include sensual elements
(things involving the senses…not sensual like… you know…”kissy stuff”)

– demonstrations

– dance

– drama

– sensual: aroma and other tactile experiences (taste and touch), sound elements…etc

 

If you need visuals to magnify your message, I’m here for you. Just send me a message.

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