Say No to the Bathroom Bill: An Open Letter to the Texas Governor

Bathroom Bill Needs to Be Flushed: An Open Letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott

The Bathroom Bill and other hateful legislation is being debated in a special session in Texas. Here is an open letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott–one of several I’ve penned recently.

Governor Greg Abbott

P.O. Box 12428

Austin, TX 78711-2428

(512) 463-2000

Dear Governor Abbott:

Texas has a chance to make its mark in business, in education,  and in society in general. While there is always room for improvement, HB 46, HB 50, SB 23, and especially SB 6– the so-called “Bathroom Bill”–will not elevate us as Texans either economically or ethically.

Unfortunately, SB 6, the so-called “Bathroom Bill”, will not pave the way towards these improvements. SB 6, as well as other bills — HB 46HB 50, and SB 23–unfairly target and discriminate against trans-gendered people. Worse, they are technically unnecessary, as Texas already has laws on the books that prohibit sexual assault, the main argument that you and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick are making: Texas Penal Code – PENAL § 22.011. Sexual Assault certainly comes to mind here.

Texas is supposed to be the “Friendship State,” not the “Bathroom State.”

Frankly, we as Texans have more pressing matters to attend to. I know it can be difficult to separate personal, spiritual convictions from professional ones. I know it can be even more difficult to say, “I may have been a bit hasty in my actions and am feeling at the mercy of my personal biases.” (We all have biases, and they do make human).

You have the chance to take the high road here: to focus on educational and other needs of Texans–to encourage a love of science and literacy at all levels, for instance–instead of worrying which people, with or without a penis, are using which bathroom.

Let’s follow the Golden Rule here.

Blessings to you, and thank you for your consideration,

Lisa Wall

Saying No to the Bathroom Bill: Texas (No) Hold’Em

Sizzling Hot: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating the height of summer with our Sizzling Hot Summer Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until August 31, 2017: good towards 20% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code SIZZLE when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Success: Different Views and One Ultimate, Satisfying Goal

Success and Its Many Aspects

Not long ago, I was asking students about their concept of success. To be honest, I was expecting their definitions to revolve around materialism: I had anticipated their ideas to be linked to having millions of dollars, to driving an expensive car, to owning a mansion complete with staff, and the like.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

To my utter surprise and delight, these criteria were not mentioned right away: instead, my students’s definitions centered around coming up with personal and professional goals and then achieving those goals.They also cited being accepting of oneself, of being comfortable in their own skin. This exchange inspired me to take a personal look at success and what it means to me.

Definitions of Success: A Personal List

1. Success is loving yourself for who you are, unconditionally.

2. Success is embracing whatever life lesson, such as becoming compassionate, you are meant to learn.

3. Success is striving for excellence in oneself, in one’s continuing education (whether or not that education takes place at an institution of learning), in one’s interactions with other people.

4. Success means committing to a dream and persevering to achieve that dream.

5. Success means self-actualization, or reaching one’s full potential.

Success

Success

Success: Inspiring Quotes I Love

Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.– David McCullough

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way. –Christopher Morley

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all. –Anna Quindlen

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced. — Swami Vivekananda

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success. — Anna Pavlova

If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut. — Albert Einstein

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. –Abraham Lincoln

Success in life consists of going from one mistake to the next without losing your enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill

One person with a belief is equal to 99 who have only interests. — John Stuart Mill

Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.–F. Dodson

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. – Mark Twain

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be. – George Sheehan

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if  they were great and noble. — Helen Keller

Motivation towards success

Motivation towards Success

The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the  short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable pre-requisite for success. — Brian Tracy

We are not going to succeed in everything we attempt in life. That’s a guarantee.  In fact, the more we do in life, the more chance there is not to succeed in some things.  But what a rich life we are having!   Win or lose, we just keep winning. — Susan Jeffers

Whatever your own definition of success, may you achieve it beyond your wildest dreams. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Spring into savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating the spring season with our Spring into Savings Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until May 15, 2016: good towards 20% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code SPRING when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Mood Lifters: A Top Eleven List to Banish the Blahs Right Now

A Case of the Blahs and a Need for Mood Lifters

In need of mood lifters? You’re feeling the Monday doldrums, or you’ve had a bad day at work, or, even worse, both scenarios have occurred simultaneously. Maybe you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Whatever the situation, you have a case of the blahs or are otherwise in a bad mood. You don’t enjoy feeling this way and would like to improve this situation. The following are ten ways I have found to lift a bad mood.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Sure-Fire Mood Lifters: Top Eleven Ways to a Better Mood

1. Take a nice warm bath. Pick a pleasing scent, such as rose or hyssop, to add to your bath water.

2. Listen to upbeat music. When I am in an awful mood, for instance, listening to the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey” or Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”  will make me feel better instantly.

3. Exercise. Getting regular exercise releases certain chemicals, such as endorphins, in the brain. One study shows that the short-term and long-term effects of exercise matched or even beat a certain antidepressant.

4. Have sex, either with a partner or solo. Sex releases dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin in the brain, leading to a blissful after effect with few rivals.

5. Eat a few pieces of chocolate. Just be sure to follow this tip with the one above.

6. Play with the dog. Feel free to yip and bark. Ignore the curious looks from others.

7. Take a leisurely walk in nature.

8. Light a candle with soothing scent, such as lavender or jasmine.     .

9. Pull weeds. No, I’m not kidding. Pulling weeds can be Zen-like and therapeutic.

10. Read a good book. Spoil yourself with a classic read or anything else you enjoy.

11. Pick a cause you believe in fervently, and give your time to others who are less fortunate. Helping out others,and not just during the holiday season, will make you feel better about yourself and will give you a good karma boost.

As Voltaire once said, “The most important decision to make is to be in a good mood.” May these tips lead the way. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Mood Lifters

Dance and Music: Excellent Mood Lifters

Last Days of Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! Besides mood lifters, we are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

 

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Some Alternative Healing Methods for Well-Deserved Self Care

Alternative Healing Methods: An Overview

Alternative healing methods offer additional options for those seeking to heal, or in some cases prevent, a malady. This desire to seek out additional choices, many of which can be tried at home, predates written history. Here, I present some methods–this list is by no means exhaustive.

NOTE: These alternative healing techniques are meant to complement, not replace, the advice of your medical practitioner. Talk to your doctor, herbal practitioner, or other health expert before try any of the methods below.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Aromatherapy

According to one website, aromatherapy is “the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.” These natural essential oils can be used in the bath, in candles, or directly inhaled, depending on the type of essential oil used.

Reiki

Reiki is a healing practice that uses the power of Spirit and of a person’s Universal Life Energy, or ULE, in order to promote healing.

The Miracle of Reiki

Massage

Massage is a type of therapy that is thousands of years old, yet still relevant to our increasingly stressful lives. According to WebMD, at least 80 styles of massage exist, from deep tissue massage to shiatsu massage.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is, according to the Mayo Clinic, a practice that “involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. . .most commonly used to treat pain.” .Acupuncture works by balancing the body’s chi, or ULE.

One Alternative Healing Method: Acupuncture

Crystal Healing

Crystal healing involves the use of crystals, such as rose quartz, to promote physical and emotional healing. Crystals are often used in conjunction with other healing methods, such as Reiki and chakra healing.

Chakra Therapy

Chakra therapy involves the unblocking and cleansing of the seven major chakras. Often other healing methods, such as Reiki and meditation, are used in conjunction with chakra therapy.

One Alternative Healing Method: Chakra Healing

Meditation

Meditation is a healing method that involves training the mind and body to relax, reducing stress, in order to heal physically and emotionally.

Yoga

Yoga is “meditation in motion,” using body postures, called asanas, and deep breathing in order to increase flexibility and strength while eliminating physical and emotional toxins in the body.

These are but a handful of alternative healing methods: see which ones speak to you. Namaste and Blessed Be.

alternative healing

Harmony and Alternative Healing Methods

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Spider: A Gardener’s Ally and Spirited Partner in Aesthetics

Overview of The Spider as Gardener’s Ally

The spider has been long feared; with the black widow and the brown recluse spider, this fear is justified for anyone who has been bitten. However, the arachnid plays an active role in helping gardeners by consuming pests. On the menu are flies, of course, but also mosquitoes, wasps, gnats, ants, beetles, aphids, and caterpillars. A spider kills and consumes other arachnids, such as spider mites, a common bane to gardeners.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

The Spider: Not a Sole Defense in the Garden

The spider is  indiscriminate in trapping or ambushing (depending on the spider) and consuming of prey: this versatility is also a drawback, as Dr. Linda S. Raynor, in the article  All about Spiders,” points out, killing not only garden pests but also beneficial insects, such as butterflies, honey bees, green lacewings, lady bugs, assassin bugs, and damsel bugs–even its own kind occasionally.

The gardener who is serious about natural, pesticide-free pest control should attract and encourage a variety of beneficial creatures, including spiders, to make the garden at home. To draw the appeal of the arachnid, mulch your garden and reduce or eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides. Also, gardeners should provide inviting places, such as tall plants and crates, for a spider to spin its webs.

spider

Spider and Web

The Spider and Aesthetic Beauty

In addition to pest elimination skills par excellence, a web-weaving spider brings aesthetic beauty to the garden. The web itself is an art form worthy of awe and respect. Also, waking up early in the morning and witnessing a dew-covered web shimmering in the dawn’s light brings a peaceful, Zen-like attitude that can influence the rest of the day. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Benefits of an Herbal Bath: Hitting the Tub for Overall Health

The Herbal Bath: An Overview

An herbal bath is a partial or full bath that utilizes herbs that have been prepared in some way–as bath salts (not the designer drug), as essential oils, or as dried herbs.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

If you use the last method, as a suggestion for easier cleanup after the bath, put the dried herbs in the foot of a pair of old pantyhose and then tie the pantyhose over the tub’s spigot, or make an infusion or decoction of the herbs and then add the liquid.

An herbal bath can take the form of a sponge bath, a foot bath,  a sitz bath, or a full bath.

Purposes of the Herbal Bath

An herbal bath can be therapeutic and can alleviate many stress-related conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, as well as everyday aches and pain–benefiting the joints and muscles, as well increasing circulation overall.

Tony Isaacs, in his article “Enjoy the Historical Health Benefits of Mineral and Herbal Baths at Home,” points out that herbal baths can also alleviate depression–he recommends my favorite essential oil, lavender, among others. Isaacs also mentions a list of Chinese herbs and the conditions they ease: “Water lily pads (stress). . .Oriental wild yam (stress, female problems) . . .Du  Zhong (knees, joints) . . . Osmanthus (stress, depression) . . .He Shou Wu (blood,  energy, arthritis) . . .Flos Lonicerae (blood cooling, heat and toxins removal,  skin disease) . . .Plantain (skin diseases) . . .[and] Radix ginseng (stress).”

herbal bath

Herbal Bath Bliss

An herbal bath can prepare also one for ritual or for another religious rite. The herbal bath relaxes the mind, removes everyday tensions from the body, and prepares the subconscious for meditation or other religious rites.

Herbal baths are truly a miraculous healing and relaxation method. Now if you will excuse me, my tub awaits. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Life Lessons Learned, Applied, Relearned, and Appreciated

Why Life Lessons?

I firmly believe that each person was put on earth as a student; this earthly life itself is a classroom. The life lessons we learn as humans help to answer the questions “Why are we here?” and “What is my purpose in life?”

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Life Lessons I Have Come to Appreciate (in no particular order)

  1. Each moment of each day is an opportunity to learn something about yourself, about another person, or about the world in which we live. Take advantage of each precious moment.
  2. Slow down and appreciate the finer things in life: sunrises, sunsets, the dew drops on a spider web, flowers in bloom, the smile on a loved one’s face.
  3. Believe in and trust in yourself, with no apologie. If you cannot believe in yourself and your abilities, who can?
  4. Speak up for yourself: be assertive. You have a right for your voice to be heard, even if what you say does not always resonate with what everyone else says.
  5. Family members and friends who are willing to accept you, virtues, faults, and quirks, and those who love you unconditionally are the ones worth keeping in your life. Be sure to do the same for these loved ones.
  6. A little kindness can go a long way. If someone has helped you in the past, pay it forward: this need not cost anything other than a little time.
  7. You can make a difference in other people’s lives, and you can make the world a better place.
  8. Suffering exists to teach us compassion and empathy for others.
  9. Animal friends (pets, animal companions), through their unselfish love, can make us better humans while making us happier. They are natural tutors: learn from them.
  10. Follow your bliss: be mindful of the path you walk and make sure it is right for you. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”
  11. Learning never stops, nor should it. Stay curious about the world and your role(s) within it.
  12. In order to love someone else, you have to learn to love yourself first. This includes taking care of your body, mind, and spirit: eating right, exercising, and taking “me” time, among other things.
  13. And, finally, here is some wisdom from my mother: “You also have to forgive yourself for being you before you learn to love yourself.”

Whatever life lessons you have learned, may they empower you. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Life Lessons: Symbolism

Life Lessons: Symbolism

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Prayer for Victims and Loved Ones: An Offering of Comfort

Prayer for Those Experiencing Difficult Times

There’s an ancient Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” The curse seems to have hit home, for many of us, for the past few months and shows no sign of abating. And the curse is taking its toll on many. In that spirit, I offer this prayer for those in time of sorrow.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Prayer for Victims and Loved Ones, in Times of Sorrow

O Blessed Creator, O Great Spirit,

Please be with those who suffer traumatic loss, especially through violence or suicide. May they find peace.

Please be with the loved ones left behind. May they be cradled in your arms: may they be surrounded and by love and compassion. May they make sense of the incomprehensible loss they now burden. May they find hope and comfort.

May tragedy, on any scale, bring us as humans closer together: may it teach us love and compassion.

Namaste and Blessed Be, in the name of Spirit.

Interfaith Prayer

Interfaith Prayer: Giving a Hand

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Aromatherapy and its Benefits: You’ve Got to Get a Whiff of This!

Aromatherapy: An Overview

Aromatherapy enjoys a steady popularity among those who want to enhance their own physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking control by choosing these essential oils to align with improving health has an undeniable appeal.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

As implied by the name, this alternative healing method usually involves the inhalation of an essential oil (best used with an oil diffuser or oil ring), although some essential oils may be applied to the skin if they are mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond, apricot, or jojoba, first.

Most essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil, for safety reasons.Also, most essential oils should not be taken internally. Also, according to the website Aromatherapy.com, essential oils should be avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy and then a select few, such as geranium and ylang ylang,  should be used sparingly thereafter.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

This pleasant alternative healing method reduces stress, which will alleviate or eliminate headaches, lower blood pressure, boosting the immune system, relieve menstrual cramps, increase emotional energy, and induce sleep. NAHA provides a list of healing scents that are useful, especially to the beginner: my personal favorites are peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and lemon.

May aromatherapy benefit you in body, mind, and spirit. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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Thankfulness for the Earth

A Genuine Prayer of Thankfulness for the Earth

Heartfelt Thankfulness: Expressing Gratitude toward the Earth

A spirit of thankfulness: In good times and in bad, it’s important to take a little time to give thanks to the earth, our home.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

With the idea of everyday thankfulness in mind, I share with you a prayer for the earth.


Prayer of Thankfulness for the Earth

O Blessed Creator, I give thee thanks for creating the earth, our home. I give thee thanks for the miracles of life on this earth: the plants and the animals, life on land, in the sea, and in the air. I give thee thanks for the patterns of life all around us: the veins of leaves, the symmetry of snowflakes, the perfect swirls of our fingerprints. I give thee thanks for the Dance of Life that surrounds us and that is a part of us.

May we never forget or take for granted these miracles of our home the earth.

Thankfulness for the Earth

Thankfulness for the Earth

Warm winter savings: Sol Luna Enterprises is celebrating winter with our Warm Hearts Winter Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until February 28, 2017: good towards 25% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code WINTER when prompted. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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