Sunday, November 27, 2011


This Thanksgiving was a quiet one...but very relaxing and nice!
It was a beautiful day in Nashville, so I went on a hike, back to Beaman Park, along the Henry Hollow Loop trail. I would say this trail is "moderate" hiking...some hills...but definitely not hard. 
I was actually going to go camping a few days before Thanksgiving, but Mother Nature did not agree with my rained for like 3 days straight.
But this hike was just enough to get it out of my system...and I'm hoping to 
still get to go camping this year before it gets too cold. So, hopefully, my next post will be from a campsite!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
I ended up spending mine with a good friend, which was definitely needed, as my life is going to be taking quite a turn over the next year....stay tuned for the updates!

Monday, November 7, 2011

BEYOND myself....

Ok...I like to help people. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, hope, and an overall GREAT feeling, knowing I have given my time, efforts, and heart, to someone in need.
But to be honest, usually due to social media, I feel bombarded by event invites, messages, etc., in ways to help. I can't seem to make up my mind which organization to help, or how to help. And although I have had personal ties to certain groups, I still feel overwhelmed by all of it!
But I want to help.
I want to really go out there and HELP people. I want to make a difference...not just thru my every day work, but BEYOND that...thru volunteering, etc.
But where do I begin??

I had tried to sign up for Habitat for Humanity, but it ends up that usually they need volunteers on Saturdays...which is one of the days I work. Uggh...all I want to do is help!!! So I started getting frustrated....

Then I came across a link on my facebook news feed (though I don't remember ever "like"ing the page, for Safe Haven, here in Nashville. 
It's a shelter-to-housing program, helping homeless families with children, achieve lasting self-sufficiency.
I had always wanted to help in something of this nature, so I emailed the contact person to become a volunteer! If you live near Nashville and want to help, click on the image below for more info:

The next day, I saw a story on CNN about Amit Gupta (AmitGuptaNeedsYou)...a young man who was diagnosed with leukemia. He has started a blog, and has been using other social media, to get info out to the general public about becoming a bone marrow donor...and hopefully finding a match.
Now, I don't know Amit, but after he explained that it's a very simple process to donate (basically, it's like giving blood), I thought...I can do that! Whether it's going to help him, or someone else....
this is something that I can do to help!
So, I've just started the process and registered to become a donor.
For more info about becoming a donor, click on the image below:
 One last organization I have become involved in, is Musicians On Call.
This is a great organization that brings volunteer musicians to the bedside of hospital patients (in Nashville, it's through Vanderbilt)...whether it's in the main hospital, dialysis unit, long-term care facility, the Childrens' Hospital, or the VA. I've had the chance to play for these patients...and although it was hard to see these people in pain, or bad health, it was amazing how playing just 1 song, could bring a smile to their face! These patients, their families, and even the hospital staff, enjoy and appreciate it sooooo much! I've even had some patients take my guitar, and play a song for me! Now that's therapy!!! I have always felt at peace, after giving back in this way...and it cost me nothing!

For more info on MOC:

I'm learning that there are ways to help....even if your days are filled with meetings, kids, gym, church, pets, and more...and at the end of the day, still trying to find time for yourself.
And maybe you feel you don't have the money to donate to any organization...or maybe you don't even know which organization to help! But it doesn't matter. What I'm learning, is that if you pick one group to help, eventually, you may come across, or eventually feel a strong pull towards, a group in which you can some way...even 1 day a year. 
There are animals, people, nature, etc....SOOOOOO many ways to give back to your community and world - with your money, time, talent, etc. And at the end of the day, you may just be surprised how helping someone, just for the sake of helping, can put a smile on your face!
So go out there, go BEYOND, and give back...because even if you think there is no way you can, believe me...there is ALWAYS a way you can help!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall Focus

So, without going into a long story, I've had a lot on my mind. I have a potential opportunity that will take me, this time next year, to another land, people, culture, ideas and experiences - for the next few years! I'm very excited about the possibilities that are out there, especially since I've started this blog - which is all about going beyond...

Well, as I said in a previous post, as a Capricorn, I like to plan. So...*sigh*...this potential opportunity has my brain going at 150mph. And I needed to give it a break. And as I've begun to learn, hiking is a great way to get away from everything, and just be. But this day, I knew trying to "clear" my mind was NOT going to work. I had to put my brain to work on something else...something specific. So this hike was going to be about focusing on the details along the trail. I've already learned that the more you start looking for the details, the more you find. This was perfect for what I needed that day! Now, it's still fall, so bear with me as I have more "fall" pics...But still, so beautiful!!!

I chose to go to Beaman Park - about 10 minutes from where I live. Unfortunately, I only had about an hour to do this, but that was ok. The hike today would not be about was about focusing in on the details of Mother Nature. I definitely will be back for a regular hike thru the trails....

I didn't make it very far on the trail...due to the time constraint, and the fact that I kept stopping to take pictures. But I didn't care. And even though I was in the woods, there was lots of sunlight shining thru the trees...which made for great picture-taking. This sun allowed me to really play around with the angle at which I was taking pictures....and found out very quickly that it has to be AWAY from the sun. I know, sounds stupid, but I remember hearing photographers talk about whether the "lighting" was good enough to get a good shot. So, yes, I had to make sure my back was to the sun, so that whatever I'm shooting at is "lit up"...otherwise, it's just shadow that you'll be shooting...and that doesn't lead to brilliant colors and details! I know, probably a simple concept, but I guess I had to find out for myself....

I used, again, the Hipstamatic and Retro Camera apps on my phone, which I am slowly beginning to master. I also wanted to take "normal" camera pics. The iPhone really takes a good picture, but since I've found a TON of other camera/photography apps, I decided to use some of them to enhance the pictures' colors, brightness, etc. more thing about my day that I have to share! This is under the category of BEYOND!
I had my first visit to an acupuncturist (East Nashville Community Acupuncture). It was amazing! The girl had me lay down in a recliner in a room with other patients...very quiet and serene (one guy was even snoring!). She put the needles in, to help the problem I was having, and I ended up lying there for about an hour. I could feel some pressure at times at the points where the needles were, but eventually, I felt a sense of balance - all over. Apparently, that is when I would know my treatment is over. I was soooo relaxed! And even noticed I had a smile on my face when I left...weird, huh? She told me that my Heart Meridian was blocked. Ha! I could have told her that! It's funny....the last few times I've had a health problem that needed some attention, it had been after a period of stress (a break-up and a job, the first 2 times). This time...well, you can make your own guess...from my "diagnosis" from the acupuncturist. It's amazing how internal stress, etc. can eventually lead its way to the outside, creating physical, health problems. I'm even more of a believer now, of the impact of stress in our lives, and also the healing power of acupuncture (of course, along with other medical treatments, exercise, massage, and so many more!).

I guess the reason behind this blog has become even more apparent, and important, to try new things...beyond what you're used to...with the goal of getting everything out of this life that you can!

Below, is a slideshow of the pictures I attempted to take....trying to capture all the details!!! Enjoy!! (Can also be found in my Picasa Web Album)