Ode To JoyviolinJoy!  If this doesn’t make you smile, check your pulse. This video might even tempt you to sing, dance or play along.

Click here to enJOY it.

Thanks to Amazing Oasis and Flowing Zen for sharing the joy.

Holiday stress? Celebrate in your own way

click to visit The Dalai Lama

click to visit The Dalai Lama on Facebook

I recently was part of a group who was asked to explain what about the holidays makes them so stressful. Others responded with very reasonable answers. Holidays bring back memories of those they miss. Holidays push them to spend money they don’t have, or take in calories they don’t need. I can identify with all of these, of course, as can most. But what popped into my mind first was that holidays push me to celebrate in ways I don’t particularly enjoy.

Odd. I am a grown woman and nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do, at least not these days. Yet I feel pushed to honor traditions that don’t resonate with me. I don’t particularly like turkey, but will make one because some of the family cannot image Thanksgiving without this traditional dish. I will put up a tree because all three grown children will be home and how can we not have a Christmas tree. I will buy presents because everyone gets presents for Christmas, even though as a family we have all that we need, and so much of what we want, that we have trouble coming up with gift ideas.

Click to visit SpiritualShit on Facebook

Click to visit SpiritualShit on Facebook

Don’t misunderstand. There are holiday traditions at my house that I do love. We will have fresh artichokes and lobster for both feasts. We will each pick a game to play and hand out our presents after the family has humored us and played our game. That means I get to play ping pong AND eat lobster in the same day. I like my twinkly lights lining the porch, even while I find other decorations annoying. My expressions of Christmas spirit may have shrunk down to a short list over the years, but I don’t begrudge those few things I do love the time and energy that they require.

Click to visit Hippie Peace Freaks

Click to visit Hippie Peace Freaks

So how can I make the holidays more my own? No cards again. Ran out of oomph on those about four years ago when I started to write novels, and I don’t think a soul out there minds. Okay, I’ll do a small turkey. And a little tree. Some simple presents that are usable.

Why should I bother? Because the holidays are a time for love and I want all of my family to have some of what is special to them also. I’ll try to find that middle ground. I’ll try to learn which traditions, if any, the rest of family is every bit as happy as I am to forgo. I’ll try to fill the season with things that bring me joy. I’ll try to be cheerful about the compromises I choose to make, remembering that smiles on the faces of the people that I care about are one the greatest joys of the season.

Dance hard

One of the joys of creating a Facebook page for my collection of novels 46. Ascending has been the way it has given me reason to seek out other pages I enjoy and to share some of my favorite finds.

dancingI love this! But it fits so very much better here on this blog about dancing and joy than it does on my books’ Facebook page, so here it is. Not sure what the exact etiquette is on mixing and matching the two worlds, so please drop by the wonderful Facebook page called TabooJive and show them some appreciation. There is much else there to enjoy.

While you’re at it, please drop by my Facebook page Number 46. Ascending, and look around as well.


What do Captain Picard, Bill Cosby and Mother Teresa have in common?

PicardIf it helps, you can throw in Lady Gaga, Leonard Cohen, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Dumbledore. Answer. Someone thinks that all of these people/ fictional characters belong to the tiny one percent of the population that is introverted, led by their feelings, prone to rely on their intuition and yet sort of type A personalities. I agree it is an odd combo and I ought to know. Four officially administered Myers Briggs tests have placed me squarely in this INFJ sliver of humanity and I suppose I take some comfort in it. I always felt like I was a little odd. Now I know it for a fact.

click for great INFJ description

click for great INFJ description

Of course, when it comes to fictional characters’ personality types, people are just guessing, and when it comes to celebrities they may be doing the same. I’ve heard that Myers Briggs reminds a lot of  people of astrology. You know, the way that Woody Allen, Taylor Swift and Brad Pitt and I are all blunt, outgoing, truth-seeking athletes, along with one twelfth of the world’s population.

sagIn truth, real astrology is far more complicated, with the moon sign, positions of the planets relative to the zodiac and everything’s position in the sky all playing a role in defining a unique natal chart. You may not believe that heavenly bodies have any effect on one’s personality, but you should at least know that there are far more nuances involved.

DumbledoreA real astrologer laughs at the idea of a horoscope for the day although no one could quarrel too much with today’s advice that encourages the Sages of the world to “Try not to approach everything negatively” and “Take greater pride in your work.”  Seriously, if one twelfth of the world did that today, would there be any cause for complaint?

obi wanBut back to Myers Briggs. I have one sister, and all of our lives people have remarked on how different we are. She dresses well, entertains beautifully, and knows the difference between a soup spoon used for cream soups and a regular one. (The cream spoon is round.) Although she’s smart, she just doesn’t get the whole idea of atoms much less subatomic particles and she knows almost nothing about how her car works.

My favorite clothing involves flannel, I read physics for fun, can change my oil and I don’t have a enough matching silverware for more than four people. Yet, according to Myers Briggs, she and I share the rare INFJ corner of the world. How can this be?

Well for one, the types do nothing to address degrees. I am barely a feeler rather than a thinker, while my sister is a guided strongly by her emotions. She is barely an introvert, while I am such a strong one that it is a marvel that I function at all in social situations.

bin LadenJungWhats more, Myers Briggs is founded on principals developed by Carl Jung and it attempts to sort out how people interact with the world. It does not describe their personal tastes or individual talents or their politics  or religion or ethical framework. Others have placed Mahatma Gandhi, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Adolph Hitler, Plato and Osama Bin Laden in the INFJ camp as well. Hey, these guys all have to go somewhere. And Carl Jung himself was in INFJ.

I find the Meyers Briggs classifications useful as a tool for understanding myself better, and for remembering that those around me often get and process their information differently than I do and that’s okay. It helps me to be myself and to appreciate who I am without the need to expect everyone else to be like me. My belief in the importance of that acceptance is, after all, one of the main reasons I wrote the novel y1.

For thoughts on how to write a novel like an INFJ, or like any other of the personality types, check out my x0 blog here.