Tag Archives: spirituality

Zagreb – Ancient Modern City

Zagreb, a city of ancient buildings whose windows proclaim more modern pursuits, such as HM, Pandora, Guess: ATMs located on the sides of buildings whose structure might be 400 years old. New buildings squeezed between old, although the definition of new here might mean the building is only 100 years old. A city of steep streets leading to hidden alleyways with more architectural treasures.

           

             

 

I loved the feel and energy of Zagreb. While it is a bustling city, there are parks and trees all over. It’s a city that invites you to stay a while, to explore its secrets and meet its people.

 

We strolled through the open market, full of homegrown fruits and vegetables, fresh caught fish, and homemade crafts, such as crochet tablecloths and scarves, tatted lace blouses, and so much more.

Bartering for tomatoes

YUM! homegrown & fresh

All of the outside stalls have the same umbrella pattern, it was explained to us that each city has its own pattern. These umbrellas proudly displayed Zagreb’s pattern.

Zagreb’s Pattern

The indoor market offered fresh fish, meats and more. The delicious scent of homemade bread drew us in, the homemade olive oil encouraged us to eat a bit more than we should.

Indoor Market

Leaving the market, we headed up the hill towards Zagreb’s Cathedral. Croats are primarily Roman Catholic and there are many beautiful churches and shrines to visit. The Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia, majestically towering over trees and buildings

Tallest building in Croatia

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Gothic in style, breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Entryway

Entrance Statues

Window at the altar

There are many different styles of tile on the floor. The patterns represent different cities.  I don’t know if I took a picture of Zagreb’s pattern or not.

Outside in the cathedral’s square is a gold stature of the Blessed Virgin surrounded by Archangels at the base.

Entombed at the altar in a glass coffin is the body of Cardinal Stepinac. I felt it was disrespectful to take pictures inside the cathedral without prior permission, so I limited myself to the few you see here. You can learn more about this beautiful church here.

We also visited  the Church of St. Catherine, although it was not open for visitors.

There are numerous cafes and coffee shops, most offer outdoor seating with an open invitation to sit and visit for a bit. No rush here.

Art Cafe

This particular cafe feature art by local artists.

 

After a bit of refreshment we continued our journey through the city of Zagreb…

 

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Count Your Blessings

“Count your blessings instead of sheep”  – Rosemary Clooney sang this Irving Berlin song in the movie White Christmas. In the hustle and bustle and yes, stress of the holiday season, this is great advice.

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So often we lay in bed worrying about packages arriving, money spent, who should sit next to who at Christmas dinner and whether Great Aunt Betty will forget to add the sugar to her cookies again.

Wouldn’t counting your blessings be a better routine after you crawl into bed?

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1)Thank you for the giggles I shared with my daughter today.

2) Thank you for Taco Tuesday with family.

3) Thank you for the cookies I received at this year’s cookie exchange.  (I’ll have something to replace Great Aunt Betty’s cookies without the extra work.)
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4) Thank you for my warm home and comfy bed.
You get my point. Soon all problems both real and imagined disappear. It’s wonderful
to drift off into sleep with positive thoughts and a smile on your lips. Your dreams will be
brighter helping you to wake up refreshed. 
 
Embrace this positive practice. Uplift yourself and you’ll lift up those around you.
Wishing you many blessings this holiday season,
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MaryBeth & Sherry 🎄

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How To Be Interesting?

I recently came across a book titled “How To Be Interesting” or something to that effect. I only vaguely remember the cover and title, I have no idea who the actual author is.

I thumbed through the book quickly to get an idea of its contents and/or ideas. Some of the suggestions were eavesdrop, maintain eye contact, smile or laugh easily and often.

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Smile More wallpaper by Roman Atwood and Brittney Smith

There are whole blogs to be written on just those 3 suggestions, so just a quick note. While eavesdropping is considered to be rude, often in tightly packed places, it is unavoidable. The author’s point was that you can learn a lot about someone this way and then engage them in conversation based on what you overheard. I’d proceed cautiously with this one.

Maintaining eye contact is consider rude in some cultures and is known to make some people very uncomfortable. However, in a one on one conversation with someone you know this would definitely indicate that you are actively engaged.

As to smile or laugh easily and often, it may well make you interesting as people will wonder what you are up to! They may even be inclined to come over to you and ask. That would be interesting.

In my opinion one of the best way to be interesting is quite simple – Be a Listener. When someone talks to you, LISTEN. If you truly listen to what someone is saying to you, then you can respond appropriately and start a good give and take. Now you are both involved and interested!

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It seems obvious to me that most of us want someone to listen to us. Obvious because isn’t the dominance social media the perfect indicator of this need?

We strive through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Whisper among others to voice our opinions, our emotions, our concerns. Likes, comments, re-tweets, etc are indicators of our success in being heard. Social Media is here to stay, but it’s impersonal for the most part.

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Social media means I can’t watch your facial expressions or catch you at an unguarded moment. I can’t feel your energy nor hear your laughter. Do you need a hug? I’d rather do that in person not by liking and sharing. Wouldn’t my being there in person to interact with you make both of us much more interesting?

What do you think makes others interesting? Let us know in the comments, we’d truly like to know.

 

Here’s to a happy life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

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The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 8 1/2

It’s a time of holiday cheer and partying with those you hold near and dear, noise is all around us. As we head down the home stretch, take a little time to enjoy the silence.

Day 8 1/2 – Silence – Silence is a gift we rarely get to enjoy at any time of the year. During the holidays, finding time for a little silence seems crucial.

Silence gives us an opportunity to unwind, to de-stress. Turning off the TV, stereo and phone, blocking out outside noise is a blessing we should all give to ourselves.

When my children were younger we would gather in the living room with only the lights of the Christmas tree on, find a comfortable place to sit or lay down, relax and contemplate.

Being silent doesn’t actually have to be meditation, it can be prayer, reflection, or simply breathing.  Practicing yoga in silence is lovely.

Sitting in silence, holding the hand of a loved one is not only soothing but healing. It creates a strong bond between you. It transmits the energy of love.

One of our favorite ways to sit in silence is around a campfire, the crackle of the fire keeps us aware, the dancing flames keep our eyes focused but relaxed. The smell of the campfire can conjure up old memories, the warmth calms us.

There is a full moon on Christmas Day, if it’s not too chilly, try sitting outside in silence, bathed in its light.

Try silence if you can, for us it brings a more individualized meaning to peace on earth.

 

 

 

 

Changes in Attitude, Changes in Gratitude

Have an attitude of gratitude; Be thankful for what you have; Count your blessings; no matter how it’s worded the thought behind it is the same.

Will living in gratitude really change your life? We believe so. We embarked on a journey of being grateful regardless of our circumstances.

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This was to be a 30 day experiment. But a funny thing happened, barely 3 days in we noticed distinct changes in our attitude.

I first noticed it when an unexpected bill came in the mail. I chose to be grateful that I could pay it instead of worrying that it would totally disrupt the budget. Then on the first truly cold night here, my heat quit working. My first thought was “thankfully, we’ve got space heaters” instead of the standard “oh, sh**!”

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Do we now automatically practice gratitude? Oh, heck no! I stub my toe, I’m not so grateful that I have that chair to sit in. However, after hopping around on one foot cursing inanimate objects, I will be thankful my toe isn’t broken.

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It feels so much better to feel blessed than to let worry creep in. I find myself smiling more, being more encouraging to others and letting the little things go.

Consciously practicing gratitude will definitely change your attitude.

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Here’s to a Happy Life!

💫MaryBeth & Sherry

Positively Positive!

We’ve been reading numerous articles to retrain our brains, leaving negative thoughts behind, holding on to the positive. Be happy and excited.

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What amused us were the ads associated with these articles. We understand that the authors have very little control over advertisers. Yet, Lose weight now! Count calories! Get out of debt now! Fight Depression! The tone is negative. The words imply pressure instead a joy. Decrease instead of increase. We feel like we inundated with negative media.

No focusing on the negative though, moving on to Positive!

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There is a lot of truth in saying that there are miracles all around us. It’s not difficult to see them if you look. Having this blog posted on the internet where anyone in the world can find it is a miracle. If you doubt it ask anyone over 50!

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It’s been said a million times, Gratitude is the place to start, live with an aura of gratefulness and everything in life will improve. Who doesn’t love to hear the words “Thank you!”

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How do you get away from the influx of negative energy?

There is a huge plus in having one day a week where you turn it all off. The internet, the TV, even your phone. You can concentrate on the positive. Concentrate on you.

We searched for a new way to start every day, Positive and Bright!

We decided to read  Hal Elrod’s book – The Miracle Morning.

Hal Elrod

So far, so GREAT!  We have started our own morning miracles and in about 30 days we’ll let you know just how fantastic it is. If you are already committed to Hal’s program, let us know, we’d love to hear how it changed your life.

Thank you, Hal!