Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mind, Body and Spirit is Ki

As my friend and I walked past the Jungshim Ki Health Energy booth, a Master teacher smiled and asked if we wanted a demonstration of the special massage. My energy blockage must have manifested it self to him very strongly because Master Cha grabbed my hand to pull me over to him. Placing his hands on my shoulders, he began pressing very hard into my muscles. It almost hurt. Immediately I felt something release, then he took his hands away. Of course that was the teaser so I decided to go for the full thing.

Master Cha motioned me to lie on my back on the cot where I was in full view of every passer-by. The Jungshim Ki Treatment began and throaty sounds began to emanate from Master Cha as his physically powerful hands maneuvered their way over every key point of my body. I was very nervous but decided that since we were in a public place and he was a professional, that I could rest easy and enjoy this Ki Treatment.

As each of his hands engulfed both my ears and turning my neck side to side, his loud breathing, almost panting, shooossssh, shooosssh, then, a human sonic boom escaped from his mouth in short bursts, sounding like it was in excess of 10 decibels,. This was repeated many times during the treatment. The noise seemed to intensify when his hands were around my neck.

The Ki Treatment is a unique acupressure and energy treatment. When the Ki Treatment was over, Master Cha, smiled pleasantly asking how I felt. I felt very calm and light. Ki Masters believe that Ki Energy revitalizes body, mind and spirit and restores our connection with Nature.

This Ki Energy experience took place at the New Living Expo, this past Friday, where my friend and I were greeted with familiar sights and smells from the 60’s. The focus of this expo was on connecting mind, body and spirit and a renewal of commitment to the betterment of the environment. Natural herbs, crystals, natural foods were on hand. Each booth was connected to mind, body and spirit or environment. Also, free physic readings were available.
We all could use a little more postive emotions in our life. Cultivating a beautiful and positive mind is essential to maintain a healthy body and a stable flow of energy.

Write it down,


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Out of Body Out of Mind. Do You Visualize?

Saturday was a frantic day and I still had to buy my son-in-law’s gift for his surprise 30th birthday party. I had decided that I would purchase a gift card to his favorite restaurant, Lucy’s Asia Bistro. They have a sumptuous sushi bar, if you like sushi. Personally, I wouldn’t call sushi, sumptuous. Meager would be more like it.

Nevertheless, the surprise party was to begin in approximately three hours. This gave me ample time to drive over to Lucy’s and pick up the gift card. Mentally I had prepared a list of “to do’s” (similar to word association only the words are replaced with pictures in my mind). I mentally visualized my arrival at Lucy’s. I saw my car turn left onto the street; I could see the beige color of the building, the oval shaped red and orange sign with a giant letter A on the outside of the building and the party store across the parking lot.

My mental “to do” list was deeply settled into my subconscious while my conscious mind was paying attention to my driving. I left home feeling confident and assured. Neil Diamond’s song, Soolamoin was playing loudly on my CD player and my hands were tapping the steering wheel as I pulled up to the stop light.

Red became green and as I turned left onto the two lane highway the large unmistakable orange logo of Home Depot practically jumped in front of my car. Bewilderment poured over me like melted butter and I felt like I was awakening from a long sleep. “Where am I”? I said to no one there. I kept one eye on the road and in further disbelief I kept my other eye on Home Depot trying to figure out how I got here.

The next 15 seconds crawled as I tried to make sense of where I was…I mean I knew where I was but I was not where I was supposed to be. I had given my subconscious a destination, a plan, a direction and it complied becuase it arrived at Lucy's before my body did. Then, as fast as it had happened, it was over and I realized that I had not reached Lucy’s yet.

What is it about visualization? Visualization is a worthwhile and valuable exercise when practicing how to succeed. Many successful athletes and artistes use visualization with their regular practice. Successful leaders talk about it all the time. When has visualization been successful for you? Write it down,


Monday, April 23, 2007

What's In A Name?

Today I made a business decision to change the name of my blog Karma's Word and web site, Karma's Window, to Carma's Word and Carma's Window respectively. This prompted me to think about What's in a Name anyway? How important is it to our business and personal identity?

Does your name define you? Did you choose your name? How many of us changed our name as we grew older?

As you may notice, my name is Carma With a C. Not Carmen, Carmel or Carnival, although I have been called all of those.

What’s in a name anyway? I didn’t pick my name, did you? You remember the song by Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue? The song more or less tells the story of a boy named Sue who had to defend his name all his life. He dreamed of the day he would meet the man who named him Sue and how he would tear him apart.

Father and son met up in prison and Sue confronted him, asking Why did you name me Sue??? The father replied that he knew Sue would not have a father around to teach him to be strong so he gave him the name Sue knowing that would make him tough because he would have to defend himself all his life. The point is that even before we are born, many decisions are made for us which will influence our journey in life.

My grandmother named me Carma. Many years later my mother told me that grandma did not have anything mystical or spiritual in mind when she named me. She wanted me to be different since I was the first granddaughter. Maybe she was a little like Sue’s dad and believed the name would give me character. I would be different.

I like my name now, but while growing up it made me more introverted than if I had been named Mary Lou. I dreamed of changing my name to Mary Lou, Donna, Peggy Sue... all the names songs were written about. No one wrote a song about Carma.

Naturally, I was shy during my school years which were during the era of miles and miles of mesh, net petty coats, rolled down bobby socks, buck skin shoes and felt skirts with poodles on them and James Dean. Young girls were expected to grow up, get married and have children. I didn’t disappoint that prognosis, however, how I accomplished that was not what my mother had in mind (another story). Nevertheless, as an adult it was much easier to be Carma, I was the cool girl with the cool name. This is when I began to like myself a little better.

What's In Your Name?

Write it down,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

When Does the Muse Hit You?

Ok, so you have been writing for days and most of it is mediocre stuff but yet it is good. Sometimes all it takes is a word, a flashback, or your brain has found the answer to a question you sent it last week. Bang! Aha! Our Muse does not tell time so it will pop in at the least moment we expect it.

You are changing baby boy’s diapers and as you open the diaper…ahem…, he deposits his daily duty at the exact same second the story plot of your novel begins to unfold from your brain, down the arm and into the fingers in record time with no way to stop it. The fingers are twitching and the words…the words. They are the ones you have been searching for. Arrgghhh! You fear they will fly away on the wings of a butterfly.

What would YOU do?

Suggestion one: Close up baby boy’s diaper and stick the pacifier in his mouth and rush to the nearest writing pad or keyboard.

Suggestion two: Lovingly finish taking care of baby boy, rock him, feed him and put him down for a nap. Leisurely, stroll to the keyboard and rewind your brain. (You would have had to overdose on warm milk to utilize this suggestion.)

Suggestion three: Go with the flow. Not baby boy’s flow, but your flow. Your flow of words. Believe me you will remember some of the creative outburst. All it takes are just a few words on paper or on the PC screen from you to wake the Muse up again. Have patience. The Muse will come back.

For me the Muse does not always come at will but that’s the beauty of the creative mind. The unexpected moments when it all comes together and makes sense (mostly) or at least enough sense to spur you on your way to completion of your book or project.

Your mind is always working to fill your requests. Just listen and it will come.
Write it down,

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's All About the Tummy Rub

Meet Taylor. She is my nine year old Pomeranian and she lives for the tummy rub.
Today when I was giving her the required tummy rub after her walk, I began to think about how we humans thrive on a phrase, word, or touch that says "I'm OK, You're OK".
What drives us to continually seek out approval from our peers, family and even strangers?
Are we searching for new answers to old problems? Thomas Harris' book says most people by age three are saying "I'm Not OK - You're OK" . So those of us who are still in that stage resort to withdrawal, games and rituals in order to get our strokes and avoid painful contact with people who are percieved as OK.
I read this book about 35 years ago and it is time to revisit it.
Write it down,

Free Speech Quote

Tonight as I was reading, I dropped by Liz Strauss where she had posted Bloggy Question 44: Stay Out of My Life! which basically deals with theft and plagiarism. Then I landed at The Lieurance Group and read Linda Della Donna's "Quote of the Day" post which was a quote from Henry Ward Beecher regarding free speech.

"There is tonic in the things that men do not love to hear; and there is damnation in the things that wicked men love to hear. Free speech is to a great people what winds are to oceans and malarial regions, which waft away the elements of disease, and bring new elements of health. And where free speech is stopped miasma is bred, and death comes fast."-
Henry Ward Beecher

Plagiarism is opposite of free speech and causes a poisonous atmosphere in the writing world. When our words are stolen a piece of our soul is too.

Write it down,

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Skeleton Holds the Key

Lately the Beast has had its tentacles in my shoulder. It is relentless and ruthless. This is familiar territory because ten years ago I was at this exact same point of misery. Writing and talking are my two favorite things to do and that is how I was able to pry those skeleton-like fingers out of my flesh then and now. Writing helped me to ease the pain and I thought I would share this with you.

Thin lines like spider webs are the only things that
keep the thin membrane that separates my logical
mind from insanity breaking in and letting the ocean
engulf my whole being.
Forty plus years have passed since that
first moment of madness entered my world
when I was too young to know how to
close the door. Now the room is too full and the door is broken.
Rigidity has encased my heart and
the persistent knocking of a welcome friend
long since muffled, falls
on deaf ears.
Oh, solitude is a welcome stranger I cry
but the bricks of my prison walls are
sleeping and my words cannot escape.
But wait, I see the key and it is beckoning
To me like the dancing finger on a skeleton.
(Carma Dutra)

The freedom to use the written word in any responsible fashion we choose is the most precious gift that anyone can possess. I bring this up because about two-thirds of the world would die (and they have and still do) to have this right. I know I am preaching to the choir but I think it is worth bringing up again from time to time lest we get too complacent with ourselves. Just a thought.

Write it down,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


It was quite fitting that Roger von Oech post about the number 12 on the day I began my civic duty as Juror #7. The number seven is a mystic and sacred number in our society.

“Lucky 7” dice, Seven days of the week, Seven deadly sins, Arabians had
Seven Holy Temples, Seven days in creation.

The Hebrew verb for "to swear" means literally to come under the influence of seven things.

Seven Natural Wonders of the World: 1) Mt. Everest. 2) Victoria Falls. 3) The Grand Canyon. 4) The Great Barrier Reef. 5) The Northern Lights. 6) Paricutin. 7) The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Seven Seas: The Arctic and Antarctic, North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean.

Seven-year Itch: The seven-year itch has been synonymous for sexual desire since 1660. Seven-year itch had no sexual connotation when first recorded in 1899, simply meaning "a type of itch allegedly requiring seven years of healing." Influenced by the sense of itch as sexual desire, it came to mean a married man's urge to roam after seven years of marriage, a meaning widely popularized by the Marilyn Monroe movie The Seven Year Itch (1955). Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Hendrickson, 1987)

Go to this website to find out more about the number Seven. I found it fascinating.
Unlike 12, the number 7 cannot be divided evenly and I am not sure if there is a significance for odd numbers, other than they do exist. Odd or even, left or right. We are always one or the other.

Thank you Roger von Oech from Creative Think for once again providing us with vigorous stimulation for our brains. Every once in a while it is good to get a A Whack on the Side of the Head.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

"10 Ways To Make It Great" Book Review

I just finished reading Phil Gerbyshak’s book, “10 Ways To Make It Great!” Phil’s enthusiasm stands out on each page and he has equipped the reader to become an active participant by making the book not only motivational, but also a daily work book with spaces for notes and goals. This is the type of book you don’t put back on the shelf after you read it. You will carry this book around with you for quite a while.

Phil redefined my definition of what it means to answer someone with the word “Fine” in response to the question How are you? In the past when I would answer Fine, I felt confident that no one would pry any further as to my condition or feelings. In other words, answering with "Fine" was a way to put up another wall to keep people out. Read 10 Ways To Make It Great and find out what is wrong with being "Fine".

10 Ways To Make It Great also sheds insight into the type of person Phil Gerbyshak is. He definitely is a Woo person but you will have to read the book to find out what a Woo person is.
Chapter 10, Finish What You Start, really spoke to me because I can start a lot of things but finishing is another story. Phil gives me the tools to help make my biggest fears more manageable and doable.

All in all 10 Ways To Make It Great is just that. It is Great! I recommend you experience Make It Great and get this book.

Write it down,


Saturday, April 7, 2007

This Egg IS For You

Found on Flickr

You are familiar with Easter Egg hunts, right? How many of you have or do color hard boiled eggs with your children or grandchildren? Show of hands please. Ah ha! Just as I thought. You all are familiar with the ritual and I will tell you that the lesson you should learn about egg coloring with small children is usually learned in hindsight.

For instance, coloring eggs with my children when they were between the ages of 6 to 9 was not a favorite thing to do. The preferred solution for me would have been to buy plastic eggs and fill them with candy but that was more expensive. Also, what 4, 5, or 6 year old wants to eat hard boiled eggs? They will sit in your refrigerator evocative from last months Easter egg hunt, complete with twigs leaves and all and rot before you get a chance to use them in your lunches.

In reality, coloring eggs is not about coloring eggs at all. It is about family relationships. It is about that rare moment when your five or six year old looks up at you and says “Mommy (or Daddy), I’m going to color this egg for you”.

I was reminded of this special tradition today as my granddaughters, four and six, colored hard boiled eggs with me. I didn’t want to make a mess and I didn’t want to get out six cups filled with water while my little ones dipped eggs with the little wire holder that is sized for miniature chicken eggs. Ha! I didn’t want to watch them spill the colored water all over as they spooned the color over the egg. Right at that moment, my six year old granddaughter looked up at me and said, “Grandma, I’m making this egg for you.”

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Methaphors For Fun

I love metaphors and analogies and I would like to share some of my favorite accidental assaults upon the English language from Anguished English by Richard Lederer. It is Wednesday so we all need to laugh. Laughter is the best medicine for all of our needs.

It's time to grab the bull by the tail and look it in the eye.

Let dead dogs sleep.

When we get to that bridge, we'll jump.

I wouldn't be caught dead in that movie with a ten-foot pole.

The slowdown is accelerating.

Then there are the mangled headlines.

Grandmother of Eight Makes Hole In One

Doctor Testifies in Horse Suit

Eye Drops Off Shelf

Organ Festival Ends In Smashing Climax

Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter

Some of these metaphors and headlines can also be good writing prompts.

Write it down,


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Brand Me Baby!

Branding has surfaced as a topic on a few blogs I have visited recently and I could’t help but think about possession. When a company brands a product, that means the company owns the product, but what happens when the brand is a common term? For instance the term “writer”. Obviously this term/word is public property. It is not enough to say “I am a writer” because we need to clarify what kind of writer we are. As writers, we brand ourselves and our businesses individually. In other words, we create a product. What is your product?

My product is words. How do I brand words? They are free (individually) for the taking, abusing, training, creating and brilliance. Therefore, we strive to create a (logo) trademark that will enhance our brand, so when readers are surfing around, our most creative, brilliant, blog will jump out and grab them by the mouse. We only have about ten seconds to do that.

Recently I checked my rating and considering that there are millions of blogs, I think a rating of 494,392 is not bad. It’s not in the top 10 for sure, but it’s not in the millions either. I was encouraged. There is no where to go but up.

Mike Wagner did a great post on branding and came up with some thought provoking ideas. My favorite is that the customer (our readers) own the significance of our brand. In other words, what our brand means to the customer is most important.

"Wise brand owners know they might own the original ideas, vision and
meaning of their brand, but the significance is something customers

We give birth to our brands from our collective life experiences. I like what Mike says about it.

A brand in this sense is much deeper than just what is manifested. It’s the sum of all the cultural and knowledge-based memory archives of a company with a dose of communications and constant awareness of the future — of work and relationships.

Write it down,

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Test Your Gullibility

I am going to repress my urge to give a history lesson on the origins of April Fools Day. I am a history buff and do like to get to the bottom of things. In light of the "light heartiness" of this holiday, (it used to be celebrated as New Years Day")...Oh, I said I wouldn't do this.

However, I didn't say I wouldn't give a test. Test your gullibility with the April Fools Quiz. I got nine out of 16 questions correct. Not very good but pretty typical since I used to be known as "Guppy".

Click here for the Quiz

You might get a kick out of reading the 100 top April Fool hoaxes at

Write it down,