Barcelona and Park Guell

The beautiful Le Meridian hotel on Las Rambles was the perfect location to take in the sights and sounds of Barcelona. Our first night in Barcelona, we decided to walk from the hotel and explore on our own. In the small center, right outside our hotel, an acrobatic street show was going on and a cheering crowd had gathered. Their energy put us in a festive mood.

Barcelona-street_

 

The buildings along the way were beautifully adorned with interesting architectural details.

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Las Rambles was packed in the early evening. The street was teeming with the overflow of people.

Las-Rambles 2_

 

PLACA REIAL

After walking about 15 minutes and turning down aside street, we came upon the coolest place, Placa Reial. It was an expansive plaza with a dozen or more restaurants circling the inside perimeter. There we saw more talented acrobats performing. The street artists entertained the crowds as they dined. I was amazed at the dare-devil tricks they did on hard cement. 

Barcelona-street-acrobats

 

Watch this clip of the street performers as one of them does a flip over four people selected from the crowd.

 

A lovely, large fountain accented the center of the Plaza Reial square. my husband, Steven enjoyed people watching from his position at the fountain.

Steve-fountain-Placa-Reial

Steve also loved perusing the restaurant menu’s that were prominently displayed outside of each restaurant.

The biggest surprise of the evening was the stunning sunset in the Placa Reial.

Barcelona-Placa-Reial-sunset-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

 

PARK GÜELL

Our second day in Barcelona, we met some family members who joined us on vacation. Our first stop was Gaudi’s Park Güell.

Park-Guell-entrance

 

Park Güell features lovely gardens and architectural wonders by Antoni Gaudi. 

Park-Guell-gardens

 

The buildings reminded me of gingerbread houses. I love Gaudi’s creative liberty and imaginative, ornamental creations.

Park-Guell-Barcelona-Linda-Eichberg_

 

Gaudi put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in geometry. His works acquire a structural richness of forms, free of the rational rigidity or any sort of classic premises. In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his architectonic genius and that would become the symbol of his organic style.

 

Gaudi-bridge-Park-Guell

 

My nephew, David peeks his head out of the window.

David-Gaudi

 

Charming, like a fairyland! Gaudi’s fantastic mosaic work was incredible. My photos couldn’t capture the amazing detail.

Gaudi-Park-Guell

We bought our “skip the line” tour tickets to the park weeks ahead of time on Viator. I recommend doing that during high tourist seasons.

Part two of our Barcelona adventure will continue, it includes the spectacular Sagrada Familia. Check back next month!

Gratefully yours, Linda

 

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. – Psalm 32:8

 

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Love Is in the Air

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity between them.” – Martin Buber

Lindsay-Ben-sunset

It is a wondrous time for our family, we recently celebrated my daughter, Lindsay’s wedding shower and now the BIG day is here.

It almost seems like yesterday when my daughter was born. A magical day filled with expectation and hope for my healthy baby girl’s future. Lindsay was strong from the start. On Lindsay’s first day, when her dad watched her in the hospital nursery, he was astonished when she did a push up, lifted herself up with straight arms and looked around the room.

To this day Lindsay has a great outlook and perspective. Her positive, ‘can do’ attitude helped her land the Senior Global Brand Manager position at Lionsgate Entertainment, home entertainment division. And now she has recently been promoted to that position at 21st Century Fox.

Linda-and-Lindsay-Eichberg-shower

I am proud to say that My daughter has grown into a strong, beautiful, intelligent and kind woman who has gracefully come into her own. And she has found the perfect partner along the way.

“Love is when he gives you a piece of your soul that you never knew was missing.” – Torquato Tasso

Engagement-Ben-Lindsay

When I see Ben & Lindsay together, my heart is filled with contentment and joy knowing she has found a loving partner she will share her life with. They are perfect for one another And I cannot thank God enough that they were able to find each other.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

I am not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a son tomorrow!! May they have a long, happy and healthy life!

With Gratitude, Linda

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  – 1 Peter 4:8

Time To Blossom

If you’re wishing and waiting for things to be better, you are wasting your time and your precious life force! It is essential to make peace with this moment and be grateful for all the blessings in front of you right now.

 

gratitude-quote-Linda-Eichberg_

 

The time to blossom is today, not sometime in the future when we believe there will be no distractions or roadblocks. At this very moment we have beauty flowering in our lives, even if circumstances seem dim. Having a vision for the future that differs from our present status can be inspiring but it can also keep us from fully participating in this hour and seeing with fresh eyes the Divine at work.

Shift to Gratitude

Unforseen tragedies do happen and must be processed and then let go so we can make room to receive what is meant for us now. So, here I go with my personal story…

Our beloved family patriarch, my father in law Norman Eichberg, passed on recently. His sister also passed away a couple of weeks after him. Norman and his sister, Hilda, left an incredible loving family and legacy. My focus lately has been holding on to gratitude for that.

 

 

My husband’s father was a leaders, leader. He was larger than life with a booming voice. Norman loved telling jokes, he was gregarious and intelligent. Steven’s dad was a compassionate man who had a thirst for life up to the day he died. He lived an amazing 97 years.

 

shirley Norman young

Steven’s parents, Norman and Shirley

 

Being active in the community and a vocal leader in the Jewish community, Norman and his wife, Shirley were one of the founding families of Stephen S. Weis Temple along with, Rabbi Zeldin. This notable man also passed away within a week of my father in law. Stephen S. Weis is a Los Angeles landmark and grew to become one of the largest Temples in the United States. Norman served two terms as President of the Temple.

 

Norman-Eichberg

 

Norman Eichberg was a World War II veteran, an officer in the Army Chemical Corps. After the war he became a successful business man and grew a well-respected insurance company, Eichberg Associates. He was also a humanitarian and devoted family man.

 

Norman boys youth

Norman and his three sons

 

Steven’s Aunt Hilda had a heart of gold. She was like a second mother to him and his brothers. When they were young boys, Hilda helped raise them while their mother was working. Hilda was fit and athletic; she had a brilliant, witty personality.

 

Norman Eichberg with his sons, Steven & Peter and sister, Hilda Markus

 

My husband, Steven, cannot remember a night when his parents did not kiss him good night. Both of his parents were loving and non-judgemental. Norman and Shirley opened their hearts and their home to all kinds of people without reservation, including children with behavioral challenges in partnership with Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. These special children got to experience living with the unconditional love that was expressed in the Eichberg family, giving them the healing and life skills they desperately needed.

 

 

It’s easy to get stuck in the pain of loss. Practicing gratitude daily, will keep us moving forward. We heal this moment in time by calmly centering ourselves and finding the place of our joy and happiness.

Celebrate life and count your blessings. It is a powerful way to consistently raise your vibration to attract what ever it is that your heart desires. What you focus on grows!

 

Eichberg Family group

 

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

What are you waiting for?

Gratefully yours, Linda

 

A Loving Celebration of the Life of Norman Eichberg by Steven Eichberg

Our father Norman Ira Eichberg passed away at the age of 97 and a half years young. He was older in body, but his infectious laughter and sense of humor kept him young and able to cope with whatever came his way. From the time we were little boys our dad always wanted to spend time with us in whatever activities we would join. Our first was the Indian Guides and dad accompanied us to every meeting and eventually became chief of our tribe. Next was Cub Scouts and dad became our den leader attending all of our meetings and events. Next we joined the Boy Scouts and he became our co Pack leader along with the legendary Lloyd Bridges.
When Pete and I began to venture into sports dad and mom went to every game. Dad eventually coached then managed our various teams. Our father was always active in our lives.
Dad and mom took us on vacations every summer. Whether to Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs, Dear Valley, The Grand Teton, San Diego the whole family always had a ball. It wasn’t where we were that was important, but that we were all there together.
The Eichberg family was as close-knit as any family could be. There was so much love between all of us we grew up emulating our dad and mom by trying to spread it always and to everyone.
Our father was humorous, extremely bright and had a God-given talent to speak almost every major language in its exact accent. He would have us and friends and family laughing hysterically when he broke into all his different dialects. Up until the day he died he had the nurses and staff at the Vi skilled nursing residence laughing at his jokes and his still funny and remembered accents.
Norman Eichberg served his country as a Lieutenant in the army in World War II. He was eventually stationed in Paris, France where he was handpicked by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to command the allied forces chemical corp. He came back from the war to his wife, three children and began the next three-quarters of his amazing life.
We love you dad and will always miss you, but knowing you are now with grandpa and grandma, Uncle Alvin and most important our brother, Rob, along with your not suffering from melanomas, hip pain and other things you always just shrugged off, gives me some comfort.
RIP Dad

 

Photo memories of our family patriarch are presented in this beautiful slide show by Alison Eichberg.

 

 

“Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.” 
– Job 11:18

 

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One Thing Remains

Thankful For Unseen Favor

“God spared my life”, that’s what my daughter, Lindsay told me after she was the victim of a hit a run accident a couple of days ago. A car going about 80 miles an hour side swiped her car. Thank God it hit her front tire instead of her door. A fraction of a second difference in the timing could have made the difference between life and death. Lindsay is fine, but the perpetrator sped away as a piece of his car came flying off into the street.

How many times does God’s angels save us from near disaster and we are unaware?  Probably too many to count and I am thankful for those times. But yet, God allow’s other sad and hurtful things to happen.

This year has had its share of difficulty and it’s ending like the last, with the loss of a loved one. My sister-in-law’s mother, Bernice has left this world. She was a comforting, steady presence in my life. She was there for every family function bringing her wit and wisdom to the table. I will deeply miss her. I remember how happy she looked on her grandson, Jeremy’s wedding day.

Bernice with my nephew, Jeremy and his wife, Helaena on his wedding day

 

Grief Is My Teacher

Grief is becoming my greatest teacher. It has taught me to listen and to be patient and understanding as each person goes through their grieving process so I can be there for them. The loss of a beloved family member guides me to the importance of my changing role in the family as things shift. Like any good teacher, grief gives me the choice to take the path that leads to the highest evolution of my soul or to take the path that leads to a bitter and ruptured soul. Grief opened my eyes to my blessings because without gratitude, I would spiral downward.

Gratitude For What Remains

Grief shook the foundations of my being, but after the sadness washed over me, I turned my focus to the wonderful things in my life. This month, I shared in some big, loving family gatherings and I laughed off things that normally would have irritated me. Being together was comforting and healing.

Kenzie-Adam

Kenzie and her dad

We celebrated my grandniece, Kenzie’s first birthday. Her giggles and joy filled the house that once was mourning, bringing hope of a better tomorrow.

There will always be ups and downs, highs and lows, but one thing I know and believe, one thing remains that will not waver or change. “We love because he first loved us.” ¹ Jesus lived in the love of his Father, God. No matter what happened around him, he trusted Him. In the same way, Jesus Christ gave me the gift of living in his love. His love never fails; it never gives up. ² He was willing to act in my best interest and meet my greatest need, even though it cost him everything and I’m not worthy of such love. I trust him even though I don’t fully understand.

 

mountain-sunset_One-Thing-Remains

 

With each renewal of the heart comes the joy of Christ’s love filling our lives. No matter what the New Year brings, I pray you can enjoy simply being, knowing that you are loved.

 

Christmas-2017_

Happy New Year from The Eichberg’s

 

From our house to yours, Happy New Year. ~ Linda

 

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” – Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
  2. One Thing Remains (Love Never Fails) by: Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black Gifford – Bethel Music Publishing

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Going Beyond Thanksgiving Into Gratitude and Grace

It was only a month ago but it seems longer since I wrote my last blog about walking meditation. It was a pause that refreshed and it prepared me for all the hustle of this month. So far, November has been full of activity and good things. First of all was the continuing celebration of my daughters engagement and the preparations being made for Lindsay and Ben’s wedding day.

Love Is In The Air

Lindsay - Ben Photo-60_

It has been a joy to everyone who knows Lindsay and Ben, to see how their love for each other has grown. The grace God has given them, by drawing good people to them on their journey, has made my heart swell with gratitude.

Lindsay - Ben Photo-1_

Congratulations Ben and Lindsay!

 

The Season of Family and Thanksgiving

This year Thanksgiving fell on the birthday of my mother in law, Shirley. We had a double celebration! At 97 years young she is a delight to be with. Mom often talks about her older friends who are still active. “We have a 106 yer old man here (Laguna Woods) who still golf’s at 106 years old, she told me.

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Nana Shirley with her grandchildren and great grandchild, Riley

My sister-in-law, Alison and my niece Erin, hosted the festivities with their usual graciousness and artistic flair! They bring the best of Pinterest and “Martha Stewart Living” together for a fabulous event.

Erin Alison Thanksgiving table_

Erin and Alison and their beautiful Thanksgiving table

I am so grateful to be on the receiving end of their grace and gift for hospitality. Even though I am family, I still look on myself as one who is receiving grace, undeserved favor, not earned. 

 

Giving and Receiving Grace

Grace begins when one person is full and another is empty. One person has and the other has not. “Then grace comes into action as the emptiness of one is filled up by the fullness of the other. What we do not have is supplied by what he has.” ¹

Whether we are giving or receiving grace, it can become sour or boastful when humility is not present. “The notion of “self-made persons” who deserve all the success and wealth they’ve received is simply wrong. Indeed, “deservedness” is the opposite of gratitude, even if it occasionally produces prayers of thanksgiving.” ²

 

Gratitude vs. Entitlement_-

The Greatest Gratitude

Being thankful can often times just be an expression of good manners but real gratitude, received in grace, goes beyond the expression of “thank you” to a feeling of awe and blessedness for God’s goodness through people and circumstances.

Speaking to my youngest brother Al on the phone this week brought this all home in my heart. Al has served as the Director of Worship and Music at Living Rock Bible Church for over 18 years. His beautiful family also serves in leading worship and ministering the grace of God to their church.

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The Alberici family

Al is not only my brother but also my Christian God son. We have a very special connection.

Almost every week Al sings about the most precious grace of God, the debt of our sin that was paid by Jesus Christ. A perfect sacrifice was given, that brought heaven down to earth. The curtain separating us from God was removed, giving us access to our Father God through His Son.

In this pure state of worship, gratitude and grace, my heart becomes full, not with pride or deservedness but with  humility and blessed joy. I am filled with an incredible lightness of being that actually restores me to God and changes me from within. 

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! – 2 Corinthians 9: 15

From my heart to yours, be blessed, Linda

 

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5: 1-2

 

Footnotes:

1. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/grace-gratitude-and-the-glory-of-god

2. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/marcusborg/2013/11/gratitude-one-of-the-most-important-virtues/#cM0CHR8bcoShA0MX.99

 

© All Rights Reserved

 

 

The Power of Intentions

A long line formed outside the door of the fitness room. With yoga mats in arms, the group whispered excitedly to each other as they waited for the teacher to usher them into class. It took a couple of seconds for it to register, they were all waiting for me and my class and what God would reveal through it. 

 

 “When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.” – Gary Zukav

 

Life Like Yoga

Yoga is good physical fitness, but it is the mind is where all yoga postures begin and expand. In my classes, I usually start the session by having my people center their mind and set an intention for their class. We start simple, focusing on sustaining deep and resourceful breathing. From there, we can move on to more specific intentions like mastering a pose, healing an injury, releasing physical and emotional tension or improving flexibility and alignment.

Your intentions whether conscious or unconscious, positive or negative will prove themselves in the end, taking you in their direction. Like a signal or message transmitted from us, intentions are always being served.

 

Alignment – Agree With the Soul’s Wisdom

 As long as your intentions are in agreement with the spiritual energy and wisdom within the soul, your intentions will have power! This energy will bring bring your desires closer to you. You’ll be surprised how much support flows to you when you bring a greater spiritual meaning to your physical experience. This invariably involves harmonizing your intentions with how you can best serve others while still being true to yourself. An authentically driven person lives in love.

 

Gary Zukav_quote

 

Desire and Destiny

Don’t put off living. Do what makes your soul sing! Only you know what you desire more than anything else in life. Powerful actions are shaped from that knowing. As your desire is, so is your intention and your destiny.

Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need.  In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the Law of Intention and Desire, Deepak Chopra lays out five steps to setting powerful intentions. This is a brief summary:

  1. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.
  2. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.
  3. Stay centered, abstain from being influenced by doubt or other people’s criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.
  4. Relinquish any attachment to a specific outcome because attachment is based on fear and insecurity. Have an unquestioning belief in the power of your true self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.
  5. Your intention will set the power of the universe in motion. Trust it. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge or obsessively vigilant to accomplish your purpose. The outcome that you try to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. Release your intentions to bloom when the season is right.

 

It’s all God’s anyway. He already knows what we want and need. The Scriptures put it like this…

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 NLT

My attention for this moment is focused on being grateful for right now, full of praise and wonder, growing more in the understanding of myself and God. I make my intentions with thankfulness, acknowledging my current blessings and what is to come, as if I am already in receipt of it.

Linda-Alberici-Eichberg-split-Point-Dume

Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Many Blessings, Linda

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

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My heart and prayers go out to the coast of Texas and the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Join me in supporting them through the Red Cross and Foursquare Disaster Relief.

 

© All Rights Reserved, Linda Eichberg – 2017

 

 

LotusLand Adventure

Gana Walska Lotusland is a whimsical and uniquely designed collection of many different styles of botanicals and landscapes formed over decades by creator Gana Walska.

Lindsay arch_Lotus Land

Entrance to Lotusland

The spectacular assortment of exotic plants throughout the 37-acre property are a very personal expression of Walska’s penchant for the dramatic and the unexpected.

My daughter Lindsay treated me to this magical day in Montecito!

Japanese Gardens

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Fern Garden – Check out that giant stage horn fern, this one probably measured over 8 feet across!

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Vibrant Flowers

orange flower_Lotus Land

A giant clam shell fountain that led to a quirky faux beach and pond.

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Water Garden – Our guide told us the best time to view the lotus and water lilies in bloom is June and July.

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Expansive Cactus Gardens

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Giant Cactus two stories high

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Desert Scape – over 300 different species of cacti!

cactus collection_Lotus Land

Interesting mosaics, pebble patterns, glass borders and even a semi-precious stone garden.

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I loved the blue glass stone paths.

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There were succulent gardens and blue gardens and great stretches of laws with topiaries.

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With the distinction of being one of the “Top 10 Gardens in the World”,  lotusland includes exotic trees and plants from different parts of the globe.

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Local wildflower and butterfly gardens were featured.

California natives Lotus Land_

Look at this fantastic lemon arbor. I’ve never seen anything like it!

lemon arbor_Lotus Land

One of my favorites was the tropical garden.

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For a moment, I felt like I was in another world.

tropical jungle lotus land

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Cycad Garden – Lotusland botanical gardens holds rare and endangered species of cycads, including some that are extinct in the wild.

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Koi pond in the cycad garden

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I learned a lot about cycads from our knowledgeable guide.

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Male and female sago

After two plus hours of absorbing such beauty we ended our tour back where we started, at the Japanese gardens.

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Lindsay in the Japanese gardens

So grateful to be the beneficiary of Gana Walska’s eccentric love of gardens and all things beautiful.

Dancing in the Theatre Garden

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Santa Barbara is only a few minutes from these botanical gardens in Monticeto, CA. After our tour, we had a fabulous lunch at Carlitos in SB.

I loved LotusLand! Reservations usually need to be made months in advance.

http://www.lotusland.org

Be blessed, Linda

 

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” – Revelation 4:11

 

© I own all photos contained within this blog. They may not be used for any purpose without expressed written permission.

 

The Love of Trees

I couldn’t see it at first. From the trail it just looked like a gnarly old oak tree but something beckoned me to take a closer look. I thought I should beware of rattlesnakes in the grass but my curiosity got the best of me. I walked off the trail through the thick wild grass and stood before the tree’s massive form. And there it was, staring at me with a gaping mouth, like it was trying to speak!

oak-tree_earth-day_copyright_Linda-Eichberg

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues,” – Dr. Seuss

 

TREES ARE VITAL TO OUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET.

As stewards of the Earth, Earth Day is a good time to renew our commitments to the Earth and give thanks for its constant support, beauty and inspiration. This year I honor the trees.

Trees are beautiful and make people feel good.

Exposure to trees and nature has a positive effect on our health and mental attitude. Recent research has shown that trees not only filter pollutants from the air so we breathe easier, but they help make us feel better emotionally as well. ¹

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that trees help people to feel more alive. And another study, in the Journal Landscape and Urban Planning, shows evidence that being around trees could actually decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Acacia-yellow-flower_I planted a variety of drought tolerant trees around my home including this attractive flowering Acacia tree. I enjoy its beauty. It’s the first tree to bloom in late winter. With a burst of color it offers the hope of Springs eminent arrival.

Laboratory research shows visual exposure to settings with trees, produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. – Dr. Roger Ulrich Texas A&M University ²

Trees conserve energy.

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can lower summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. – Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research ²

Trees increase property value.

The majority of realtors believe that having well cared for trees in your yard, will have a significant impact on the value and salability of your home. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. – USDA Forest Service.

Trees cool our cities.

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased. ³ The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. – U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Trees combat climate change.

Excess carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs, six tons of carbon dioxide, the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. ³

Trees provide oxygen and clean the air.

One acre of forest puts out four tons of oxygen. According to the U.S.D.A., this is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

“In a study published in 2014, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year.” ¹

I love trees. Trees are an amazing creation. Let us show our gratitude with action by protecting our trees and rainforests, for they are the lungs of the earth. Together we live or together we die. – Linda Eichberg

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Love our earth and be blessed, Happy Earth Day!

~ Linda

 

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33: 8-9

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-being-around-trees-help-people-feel-good/
  2. https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
  3. https://www.treepeople.org/resources/tree-benefits

It’s All In How You View It

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” – Epictetus

Consider what your life might be like if you changed your perspective. Getting a different point of view can make life tolerable, even interesting, like the colorful shades of a sunset.

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My friends and I visited Newport Beach beach last week. While we were watching and photographing the sunset, a young lady rushed up to the beach with her camera just after the sun disappeared into the ocean. “Oh, darn I missed it,” she moaned, as she walked away disappointed.

The woman’s point of view was that the sunset was all about seeing the orb of the sun disappear behind the horizon. My friends and I knew to wait and see what magic awaits after sundown.  

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

More often than not, I have found the best part of sundown is the afterglow. The hues become deeper and more vibrant as the hidden sun reflects upward. I was not disappointed on Crystal Cove Beach that evening – same sunset but different views, same beach but a distinctive new horizon.

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Crystal Cove Dining and Watersport’s

Crystal Cove in Newport has magnificent sunsets and a wonderful restaurant on the beach called Beachcomber Cafe. A little further down the road, I tried two good restaurants at the Crystal Cove Shopping Center. Javier’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant, has fabulous food and gorgeous decor but forget about going on the weekend. It’s very popular. Babette’s specializes in local organic produce and meats. They offer an eclectic array of dishes including delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Their cocktail menu features a variety of unique handcrafted cocktails.

My travel companions and I worked off part of our delicious dinner by enjoying kayaking in the Newport channels the next day. Southwind Kayak Center is a great place to rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and more. It’s in a superb location off Newport Harbor.

Making Memories and Getting Another Perspective In Relationships

I love seeing familiar things through new eyes but also making brand new memories with people. I can build successful relationships and become a better travel companion by blending my point of view with an other person’s. We never really know someone until we consider things from both their perspective and our own.

I like to look at all the angles of a person or situation. I’m learning not to make assumptions about people. It’s a challenge to view things based on the mind set of who I’m with while still being true to aspects of myself.

“Each person is like a multifaceted  gem that is to be viewed and appreciated from many different angles.” – Linda Eichberg

Getting a New Perspective On the World Around You

Take a trip – Travel, especially international travel, is a good way to broaden your world view and change the way you look at things. It has always taught me something.

Volunteer – Volunteering to help others in need is also a great way to break out of your mold, widen your perspective and grow compassion. When I give hope to others, it gives me a reason to hope.

Practice Gratitude – Reflecting on God’s perspective and character will adjust your attitude. I see life differently when I am gratefully counting my blessings.

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Look for the daily miracles God pours into your life and your perspective will change. When your perspective changes, your life changes. ~ Linda Eichberg

What will you see? Keep your eyes full of the light of God’s goodness.

Blessings ~ Linda

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“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” – Luke 11: 34-36 (NLT)

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Keeping Your Peace In Tumultuous Times

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Choosing to look forward to a bright future is exactly that, a choice. The world seems a little scary right now. Every day, whether in the news or in our personal lives, we are presented with a multitude of problems and troubles. I yearn to keep this negativity from taking my peace.

“While it may sometimes seem impossible, inner peace is possible despite the emotional influences from world events, media, negative people, and our own judgments.” ¹

Peace is a State of Being.

I am not in denial. There is real evil in the world. Peace does not necessarily mean a world without problems, pain, or persecution.

This latest horror in Nice, France, on July 14, hit close to home because, Nina, the daughter of my good friends, was a couple of blocks away from the violence and she was caught in the stampede of panicked people that followed. Nina Heintz found refuge under a restaurant kitchen sink where she hid for an hour, not knowing if anyone was coming in with a gun. Thankfully she is physically fine but it will take a while for her to heal emotionally and regain her inner peace. “I wish I was more fearless like I use to be, but everyday gets a little better,” Nina said, “… and in the long run it will make me stronger…”

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Finding Peace In Chaos

During a time of crisis strong emotions can overtake us and our very existence may come into question. Taking time to be alone with our thoughts and feelings is a valuable tool to develop a strong foundation of inner tranquility and hope.

I recall the day I drove by San Bernardino, right after the mass shooting on December 2, it was like a war zone. Numerous helicopters flew overhead  and dozens of police and SWAT vans zoomed past me. My heart pounded and my stomach turn with nervousness. The tragic details played over and over for days in the news. It took a while to work through my feelings of confusion and despair.

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.’” ― Marianne Williamson

Pursuing Peace

Some of my friend take periodic fasts from the news. Turning off the outside world from time to time is important. What helps you feel peaceful? For me it can be: meditating on peaceful thoughts, a walk in nature, yoga breathing, prayer, a day by the ocean or sometimes just time to rest and enjoy a book or a movie. Taking care of ourselves goes a long way to maintaining a calm state of mind. Self-care can easily be intertwined into our daily routine.

Creating A Peaceful Mind

Keeping our thoughts on happy memories and taking into account all the the wonderful things we are grateful about will also help us keep a hopeful attitude. Remove thoughts of “need,” “must” and “have to” from your life. These words communicate life-and-death direness that probably doesn’t exist and robs us of happiness and peace. ²

“An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too.” – Dalai Lama

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Preserving A Peaceful Heart

Doing kind deeds or supporting others who are doing a good service, helps me to maintain a feeling that the world is becoming a more peaceful, loving place. Just looking at this photo of my grand-niece, Riley, and this New York policeman as she shares her plush unicorn, named Uni, and he shares his police cap, gives me a nice, serene feeling.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body.” – Proverbs 14:30

Positive Outreach – “To Protect and Serve Ice Cream”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police department bought an ice cream truck dubbed, Operation Polar Cops . The police men and women hope their ice cream truck and free ice cream will help kids see them as positive role models and develop a better relationship with the community they protect and serve. Surely, it couldn’t hurt! The idea spread from the Boston Police Department; they also have their own ice cream truck.

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St. Louis Police hand out ice cream

Using our creativity in a peaceful and harmonious way can give us empowerment when we face injustice and feel like the moral compass of the world is spinning out of control.

First keep peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.” – Thomas a’ Kempis

My friend Theresa Bishop Miller created this graphic as a creative contribution toward unity and understanding and to move her own consciousness and purpose in a positive direction after a string of senseless killings throughout America.

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This photo is a reminder of our potential together as fellow human beings.

We need to do whatever we can to spread love, dismantle hate and become the people we aspire to be as a nation.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

 

Peace That Transcends Understanding

The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). ³

Christ’s peace has to do with having a right relationship with God, reconciled through his love and sacrifice. 

My faith is tantamount to why and how I can maintain peace in my heart. I know God is pure goodness. His goodness in the face of the atrocities that exist in the world are beyond my understanding but I know God is Sovereign above all, and desires that I come to Him with childlike trust and rest in His compassionate presence. Yes, I receive His supernatural comfort, protection and peace.

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden

The bible reminds us to: “pursue”, “seek”, “promote”, “search” or “run after” peace (Psalm 34:14). I’m not trying to add work or pressure to your life; quite simply, peace can be promoted with something a easy as a smile or a prayer. In Christ we are free! Jesus paid it all. So, be grateful, lighten up, rejoice, have a little ice cream and laugh a lot. It’s good medicine!

With a grateful and peaceful heart, Linda

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“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

References:

1. Quote from – Sandra Lee Schubert, an interfaith minister. http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/2008/10/9-ways-to-find-peace-amid-chaos.aspx?p=2

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-purpose/201309/lighten-and-laugh

3. http://www.gotquestions.org/peace-that-passes-all-understanding.html

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