Monday, May 30, 2005

"Beauty" by Robert Baird

Here is an article that I came across which best expresses my view on 'beauty'..

There are many vantage points from which to find beauty. The side of the mountains overlooking Lake Louise on the grass of the hotel sipping champagne with your most cherished friend is a memory of beauty that will always overcome my consciousness. The purr of my friend and companion as he welcomed me home from a hard days work or the smile on the face of most any person who 'sees' what little part of life we can partake in to help each other. There are many beauties and no real evil. This will be dealt with in greater detail under Abraxas in the concept segment. In the whole of the 'brotherhood' there are many religions and in each one; I have found the essence of beauty expressed by wise and metaphysical or soulful people. In Islam my favorite is Sufism. They make a good point about the poison of negativity and any form of thought that does personal energized harm to other life in this quote:

“The soul who had to sympathize with the whole world was thus prepared that the drop of that poison which always produces contempt, resentment and ill feeling against another was destroyed first. So many talk about purification of the heart, and so few really know what it is. Some say to be pure means to be free from all evil thought, but there is no evil thought. Call it evil or call it devil, if there is any such thought it is the thought of bitterness against another. No one with sense and understanding would like to retain a single drop of poison in his body. And how ignorant it is on the part of man when he keeps and cherishes a bitter thought against another in his heart. If a drop of poison can cause death of the body, it is equal to a thousand deaths when the heart retains the smallest thought of bitterness." (56)

The fear of nature or one's inner uncertainties has caused many to find evil in places where beauty exists. Once one no longer has to control nature, there is no place where beauty will not be found. It may be a bittersweet beauty such as seeing your lover find a person she wants to marry; when you are an older man with all the love in the world for a person you love in every way. It may be the joy you feel when you know you aren't going to have to schlep or drudge for money in the socially structured gambit to gain material things. The fears that create the opposite of harmony and brotherhood are the 'poisons' which no true Kelt would know as he/she spoke to Alexander about their creed and their honest appreciation for the soul in everything. Nature has no evil and the crooked bristlecone pine that dormantly awaits the desert rain has lived longer than the rash fast-growing ash that sprouts quickly skyward. In the soul that knows it is immortal the idea of change is welcome and thus the warrior’s death is too.

Thus one who truly loves will let all things and thoughts go free and hope to share the beauty of 'what is'. The Cathars had great 'brothers' in the Sufis who few people in the world are ready to accept the wisdom of in that war-torn realm of misogyny we call the Middle East. In my limited appreciation for the beauty of Jesus I see him being the kind of person who learned and changed throughout each day and therefore all the time he spent on earth. Each moment is a 'Zen' opportunity for the 'greater good'. But how many of our ways of organizing social behavior really wish good for each individual? There is no beauty in more of any THING; rather beauty exists in the fullness of each and EVERY thing. Oh yes, the turn of phrases and eloquence that waxes and wanes poetic can be a joy which in the crevices of thought are beauty-full but are they really beauty when they seek to arrange MORE for the politician and his cronies or platform? Alexander is said the first to have declared himself Divine while alive. We are in truth, all Divine. It is a divine comedy to be sure, this thing we call life.
Author of Diverse Druids Columnist for The ES Press Magazine 'Expert' for

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Trends for the Spring

I did some mall walking yesterday just to see "what's in" for spring and summer. One trend that I do like because it's my signature style is the "bohemian" look. Long skirts, wood accessories, tie-dye.... I don't have to buy a new wardrobe! Your basic spring colors are back: pink, green, peach, turquoise blue, and light green are popping up along with floral prints. Spring is my favorite time of the year and inspires me to be more creative. I've packed up my stuff and headed to the local swap meet (Kobey's Swap Meet) to sell my jewelry on Sundays. Anything pink seems to be a big seller. Everybody wants a deal, so I've been selling my bracelets anywhere from $2-$3.50, earrings for $3 & $5 and necklaces from $5-$40. Great prices compared to department stores like Nordstrom's. I'll sell the same thing they have for over half of what they sell it at. Who says high fashion has to come with a high price?

Shop for Bohemian Stuff at

Monday, May 2, 2005

Seven Things to do Now to Look Good Always!

By Renu Dalal-Jain

Fashion magazines target people every day with lists and charts telling them the latest trends and techniques to look better, skinnier, smarter, where to buy the hippest clothes or the latest shoes! If you’re a woman, you are probably bombarded more often than you like, and if you’re a man, you may not get the information that you really want to know! Due to the glut of information available, most people know the obvious things to do to look elegant or well groomed, such as getting a good haircut or wearing certain brand name clothes. However, this may lead people to overlook some simple, basic things that can be done RIGHT NOW to add that subtle flair and polish to your everyday look!

Renu Dalal-Jain, a certified image consultant and the owner of Flair Consulting in Philadelphia, PA, works with men and women to help them put their best personal face forward in social or corporate settings. She maintains that there are seven essential things any man or women can do, and often overlook, to help them present a well-groomed, neat, and elegant appearance to the world! And all this without spending a dime!

1) Keep your skin and lips well conditioned. Ashy knees, flaky skin and chapped lips do not look nice, and will make your skin look old and tired. This is especially important in colder weather. If you wear lipstick, it is imperative that you keep your lips moist, because chapped lips are even more apparent under color. Keep lip balm in your car and your bedside table and apply it whenever you get in the car and before going to bed at night.

2) Make sure your nails are well shaped and all a similar length. Nothing says you don’t care like ragged nails or nails that are different lengths! (Ladies, I know you worked hard to grow those nails but just because only one broke, you shouldn’t think nobody would notice!) If you polish your nails, keep your everyday color one shade brighter than your skin-tone. This looks professional and clean and makes your hands look elegant, especially if you wear rings. If you like brighter colors make sure you repair chipped polish right away! Chips in bright polish are extremely noticeable and make you look sloppy.

3) Make sure your clothes and accessories are in a similar color family – don’t wear shades of beige or brown clothing with black shoes or a white belt. As a rule of thumb, make sure your belt, shoes, and watchstrap are in the same color family. Sometimes a strikingly different purse or shoes can make a statement, but it has to be well planned. The article in question must be of good quality and in good condition, since you want people to notice it.

4) Your socks or hose must match either your shoes or your pants. Do not EVER wear blue socks with brown shoes, or black socks with sneakers! If you are wearing sling-back or open-back shoes, make sure your socks or hose are the color of your shoes or nude-colored. If you are wearing sandals, do NOT wear hose unless it is patterned (think fishnets) and “deliberately worn to make a trendy statement”.

5) Wear the highest length socks you can (at least mid to high calf-length). NOBODY wants to see shiny shins peeking out when you sit down!

6) Polish your shoes and clean your sneakers! The number one thing people forget to do when going out is to check their shoes for scuffs or dirt. Polished shoes show that you care about your appearance. The most expensive shoes in the world will look horrible if they are dirty or scuffed!

7) Keep your wallet or purse organized all the time. Nothing makes you look disorganized like an overstuffed wallet hanging on for dear life in your back pocket, or a purse bursting at the seams! Make yourself a system to keep the business cards, credit cards or receipts you don’t need all the time, in your briefcase or at home.

And a bonus: an understated use of scent (aftershave, cologne or perfume) shows that you take an extra step with your grooming and can have a positive effect not only on your own mood but on those around you. According to the Social Issues Research Center in Oxford, UK, subtle fragrances can have dramatic effects in improving your mood and sense of well-being. In addition, in experiments, subjects exposed to pleasant fragrances tend to give higher ‘attractiveness ratings’ to people in photographs. The regular use of pleasant fragrances helps to reduce mood disturbances in men and women.
Copyright © 2004 Renu Dalal-Jain, MS, CIC
Flair Consulting