Tuesday, December 29, 2020



Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

2020 will go down in the history books for many reasons, however, the resounding memory or lesson learned could be a deep and inspiring resiliency of mankind.  It is everyone’s choice to take away what they will, everyday we can choose what our outlook on life will be. What started out as another year filled with promise, growth, and opportunities, abruptly changed in late February early March with the announcement of a world-wide pandemic named COVID-19.  The world changed forever, and nothing was the same.  What we took for granted soon changed, and what we thought was a firm footing in the world, quickly turned out to be shifting sands, leaving us unbalanced.  We struggled to adjust to sheltering in place and social distancing as we watched the ever-mounting numbers of patients filling the hospitals.  At times, we seemed to be at war with ourselves desperately trying to comprehend the constant grief that so many families had to endure being separated from their loved ones who lay sick alone and scared. It was difficult enough to comprehend the massive scale of this pandemic as we struggled to explain the mandatory restrictions to our children.



For parents with school aged children, learning how to help their child with distance learning became a challenge.  Teachers had to master zoom teaching; employers had to rethink how to stay in business while their staff worked efficiently from home.  Restaurants had an especially difficult time keeping their doors open and often had to reduce their staff or even close.  Essential workers such as mail carriers, firefighters, law enforcement, emergency and hospital workers and the construction industries had to carry written documentation in case they were stopped while driving to work.  It is foreign to come to a complete stop from who we are and tried to navigate a safe way to live our lives while isolated at home.  Socializing was put-on long-term hold; we wore our masks to the grocery store to pick up supplies for our families and quickly rushed home to wash our hands and hope that we were not exposed to the virus.


The Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail abruptly put on the brakes from hosting any public events or fundraising activities due to the restrictions of the pandemic.  We decided to shift gears and expand our social media presence and launched our weekly blog series.  During this time, we are gearing up to launch our YouTube Channel all while working from home.


With extra time on our hands from either not commuting to work or for many, not working, the proximity of bike and hiking trails has proven to be an important escape from being isolated at home.  Fortunately for residents in the Inland Empire, we have easy access to the 21-mile regional Pacific Electric Trail.  While it provides a safe outdoor release of pent-up energies and tension through physical exercise, it also provides a welcome release for our frustration of our mental and emotional health.  The Friends used this time to develop a “safe distancing” video highlighting some of the many amenities along the PE Trail.




The graduating class of 2020 had to miss their prom and graduation.  Birthdays were celebrated via zoom or maybe friends and families would decorate their vehicles and drive by honking their horns.  Retail businesses that were already on shaky ground, closed their doors for good and filed for bankruptcy.   Families who lost a loved one could not even gather for a funeral.  Our natural desire to express compassion for others had to be done remotely.  Our familiar lives were literally suspended in time as we tried to comprehend over 330,000 lives lost world-wide.



We were all ill-prepared for the lasting effects of isolation and changes to our mental health.  But for some, this pandemic thrust us into working from home and finding ways to stay productive and connected to the world.  We found inspiration in our families and friends and realized how much we all need each other. With all fabric of our world in constant fluctuation, we need to take a moment and look inward for our firm ground.  Finding balance, serenity, calm, and peace of mind is an “inside job” we need now more than ever.  The deep resiliency of mankind continues to inspire me and hopefully next year, we will begin to emerge into a world where it is safe to socialize again.


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

Monday, November 16, 2020

Make Healthy Living Second Nature


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

If you are over 75 and are healthy, active, and involved in your community, chances are that you might live in a Blue Zone.  Imagine living a healthy, active life well into your 80’s or 90’s just by simply incorporating more plant based meals into your diet.  We are learning how consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts daily can provide us with enough nutrition to stay healthy and active.  There are several Blue Zone communities across the country where Americans are living to 100 and longer.  There are Blue zones all over the world such as Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Nicoya, Costa Rico and of course Loma Linda California.  Here are a few states that proudly boast their life expectancy of their community members:  Colorado Springs, Boulder and Fort Collins Colorado. Charlottesville, Virginia made the list as did Portland, Maine, Austin, Texas and Bridgeport, Connecticut.  California leads the pack with over 15 cities including:  Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Francisco, Hayward, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Salinas, Oxnard, Ventura, and Thousand Oaks, of course San Diego and Carlsbad. 


Blue Zone residents encourage a well-balanced diet including nuts, fruits, and legumes, low in sugar, salt, and refined grains. Studies have shown nonsmoking Adventists in the community of Loma Linda, Californians who ate 2 or more servings of fruit per day had about 70 percent fewer lung cancers than nonsmokers who ate fruit once or twice a week. Those who ate legumes such as peas and beans 3 times a week had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in colon cancer. Women who consumed tomatoes at least 3 or 4 times a week reduced their chance of getting ovarian cancer by 70 percent over those who ate tomatoes less often. Eating a lot of tomatoes also seemed to influence reducing prostate cancer for men. A new study has found that adherents to this way of life have the nation’s lowest rates of heart disease and diabetes and exceptionally low rates of obesity.

A light dinner early in the evening avoids flooding the body with calories during the inactive parts of the day. It seems to promote better sleep and a lower BMI.

Consuming fruits and vegetables and whole grains seems to be protective against a wide variety of cancers. For those who prefer to eat some meat, Adventist recommend small portions served as a side dish rather than as the main meal.  At least four major studies have confirmed that eating nuts has an impact on health and life expectancy.


Lately I have been working from my home office and investing in myself by spending more time researching the world wide web for various projects and assignments.  Living in the Inland Empire gives me access to fresh citrus all year long and my all-time favorite beverage to make is fresh squeezed lemonade with fresh ginger and basil.  The combination of a few simple ingredients transforms the simple lemon into a refreshing libation.  Peel and chop ½” of fresh ginger, combine with the juice of 3 lemons, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of your favorite honey in a blender.  Strain and combine with 6 cups of cold water and pour over a tall glass of ice, garnish with fresh lemon slices and fresh basil leaves and see if this doesn’t become one of your favorite libations to share with your family and friends.


What is your favorite plant-based dish to make for your family, please comment below?


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail
Victoria Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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Monday, November 9, 2020

E-Bikes are changing the landscape of Cycling


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

The landscape of cycling has been evolving for over a hundred years and with new technology along with light-weight materials, more and more of us might be curious about the e-bike experience.  Even though I consider myself somewhat of a traditionalist and ride using a road bike on a regular basis, I recently added a folding bike to my collection and now that one has become my favorite.  It is lightweight, easy to transport in my car (no bike rack required) and allows me to sit more upright, thus reducing my need to lean forward on the handlebars.  For whatever reason, it appears that I can go faster on my folding bike and I do not feel as fatigued after a great bike ride.  There has been a gradual increase of electric assist bikes over the past few years along the 21-mile Regional Pacific Electric Trail.  In addition to the variety of scooters, rollerblades and skateboards,  I do admit, I have been a little curious about the ease of the ride versus the additional weight of an E-bike.


Fast-forward to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to maintain our exercise routines as so many of us are working from home. Bike shops were swamped with new customers who wanted to get back to their childhood memories of bike riding for fun and exercise.  Traditional bike shops started to carry electric bikes in addition to their stock as older cyclists wanted something new to try.  Personally, I enjoy the physical workout that cycling provides me, because I must work at it to challenge myself with every new adventure.  E-bikes might be fun to try while on vacation, especially when sight-seeing or traveling to your favorite eatery, without having to exert much energy or to reduce the overall time involved. Popularity of e-bikes has been skyrocketing as people continue to head outdoors during the coronavirus outbreak, especially with older riders.  Nationally, sales of e-bikes are up almost 60% as of June, according to recent market trends. Last year, unit sales of e-bikes rose 73% at specialty shops after more than doubling the previous year. E-bikes might be pedal-assist, requiring constant pedaling, or have a throttle, which does not require pedaling at all. They are easier for tackling hills and headwinds, they use batteries — unlike mopeds that use gas-powered internal combustion engines. E-bikes weigh more than traditional bikes by 10 to 15 pounds, and they come with a higher price tag.  According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, the average retail price for an e-bike at a specialty shop is $3,500, much more than a traditional bike. A recent study found older cyclists using e-bikes not only were getting the same brain benefits as those on standard bikes. E-bike riders showed an improved sense of well-being and rode more often than the others.


Regulations vary around the country over the bikes’ use and are gaining in popularity.  In many states, slower speed but not high-speed versions are allowed. With the world of cycling changing so quickly, it is a good rule of thumb to check with your community on the guidelines for using electric assist bicycles or electric bikes that include a throttle. In New Mexico, for example, electric bikes are subject to licensing and to the same insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.  The city of New York recently ended a crackdown and now allows electric bikes, which are widely used for food deliveries. In Wisconsin, the police department in Green Bay has outfitted its bike patrol with e-bikes. This summer, the bike share program in Madison became the first citywide system in the United States with a fleet consisting entirely of e-bikes.

On the national level, the U.S. Department of Interior, which oversees the National Park Service and other federal land just announced  days ago that e-bikes going up to 20 miles per hour would be allowed on trails and in areas where conventional bikes are permitted. E-bikes offer clean alternatives with no emissions, and extend the range of riding a traditional bike, especially if you are new to cycling.

There are several categories of E-bike buyers, here a few: Commuters who use their e-bikes primarily as a means of transportation, people who are trying to be socially distanced by not taking public transportation, E-bikes are filling that void for them. People who are not cyclists but who have reached a stage in life when they are looking to stay active such as couples, especially avid cyclists with partners who are not as physically strong and want to ride together and people who need accommodations.



E-bikes come in a variety of types. Some are better for commuting than others. Some are cargo bikes that allow riders to use them for shopping trips. E-bikes tend to be much heavier than regular bikes, with the battery accounting for much of the additional weight. The typical non-electric road bike weighs 20-22 pounds, but most e-bikes weigh 45 to 75 lbs. E-bike tires are wider, too. The tire on a traditional road bike is usually less than 1 inch wide, but e-bike tires generally run 1½ to 2½ inches for road bikes, 3-4 inches for mountain bikes.

Like traditional bikes, e-bikes have multiple gears. They also have multiple levels of electrical assistance, usually four or five, so the rider gets to choose how much of an assist the bike provides.  For e-bikes to be legally classified as bicycles on city streets, they are limited to 1 horsepower with a maximum speed of 28 mph and most are programmed to stop delivering electrical assist at 20 mph.  According to a University of Colorado study in 2016, riding e-bikes delivers health and fitness benefits, especially for people who were previously sedentary. Researchers saw improvements in aerobic capacity and blood sugar regulation.  Regardless of how you exercise via a bicycle, on a mountain bike, road bike, e-bike, or stationary bike, riding a bike for fun also improves our mental health, especially during this extended pandemic. Whatever way you ride your bike, always remember to wear your helmet, and obey traffic laws, especially when crossing at the light. Keep in mind that just like an electric car, others cannot hear you coming up behind them, so include a bike bell to ensure others know you are approaching. Does the thought of riding an E-bike sound interesting?  What is your cycling preference, please comment below?

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Victoria Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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Monday, November 2, 2020



Friends Of the Pacific Electric

“Stay in your lane”… “Don’t cross that line”…”Hold the line”

These are all metaphors of warnings with similar meanings, but different scenarios. Whether it is about driving, personal behavior, or maintaining a military position, they all direct us. And we need good orderly direction! When I commute to work each morning, my fellow travelers can barely hold their lane on the road as we hurdle along on congested freeways at 75+ miles per hour. Can you imagine the chaos of going just over to your local market if others were not directed to not drive into the space that you are occupying on the road? Anarchy would ensue!


We all have moments of distraction and can drift out of our lane. Fortunately, here in California we have “Botts Dots” that we can both feel and hear when we wander outside the line. Many a sleepy driver has been saved by this brilliant design invented by Elbert Botts in the 1950’s. But this system does not work in climates where there is snow fall because the snowplows would scrape them up with the snow.

So, who gave us the lines that keep our driving lives in order? One of the first recorded use of lines in the road can be traced to Pope Boniface III in the 1300’s. When gathering the faithful to Rome there became a need to separate foot traffic from horse and cart traffic. Seeing the need, he had a line marked down the middle of the road. Good orderly direction.


As traffic evolved throughout the centuries and roads became more traveled, ruts would be cut into the road when it rained. After the rain, the roads would dry out, but the ruts remained. So, the common practice was that carts had the right of way so their wheels would fit into the slots of the ruts and deliver a smoother ride.




In England throughout the middle ages it became an accepted rule that traffic moved on the left side of the road. The thought behind this is simple. If the person approaching you from the other direction was an enemy, then your sword hand is free to defend or attack with.



Progressing through the centuries, America adopted the use of the right side of the road due to the general use of the left hand holding the reins of your horses, which left your right hand free to hold the whip. Then in 1792 both America and France made the right side of the road the “official” route of travel.


Progressing to the 20th Century, New York City started marking a line across the road to keep pedestrians from interrupting the flow of commerce traffic. These lines became known as “crosswalks.” At the beginning of the worldwide auto boom, England and Europe led the charge, but when Henry Ford revolutionized the manufacturing of the automobile with his moving assembly line, he changed life in America and the world. This change lowered the price of a produced auto by half making it attainable for more Americans. Then he raised the wage of his factory workers to $5.00 per day, which at that time was unheard of. His workers now had a higher standard of living. That evolved to home ownership and discretionary funds that could be used to purchase an auto. With those two financial windfalls to the public, Ford still realized a greater profit on each vehicle. Within 10 years America out paced the rest of the world with automobile ownership. Add to that the sheer size of the United States and an automobile was the only practical way to see it all.


As cars became more popular and trucks evolved in size and use there became a need to direct the flow of traffic. Many early auto enthusiasts experienced the drama of being run off the road to avoid a larger vehicle traveling at a high speed. Connecticut is credited with creating the first speed limits of 12 mph in the city and 50 mph in rural areas. I’m sure that when cars went speeding by at 50 mile per hour, farmers must have thought that the world had gone crazy.

 Michigan holds the designation of striping the first street lanes as well as pouring the first concrete streets. Michigan’s Edward M Hines got the inspiration for a center line down the street when he saw a milk truck going by leaking milk out of the back onto the road. And as different parts of the country developed their own traffic controls it wasn’t until 1930 that a pamphlet was published to states that gave traffic recommendations to make things uniform.

In 1949 broken lines were introduced with two purposes intended. One they saved money by using less paint, and two it identified sections of road that it was okay to pass other vehicles. As you speed along the road did you ever think about those broken lines? Did you know that each line is 10’ long with 30’ between each line? So, as you speed by them from one stripe to the other you have actually traveled 40’.

So, now we evolve to the modern road which is constantly changing. Today's roads incorporate technology and years of study. We see green sections adjacent to curbs, bicycle symbols with chevrons above them, and in England they have squiggly lines that look to be a drunkard’s path of travel. On top of that, there are endless road signs both stationary and electronic. The demand for our attention while we drive is further bombarded by radios and phones. One could ask, what does it all mean and what do you want me to do?

Your DMV pamphlet is a great source of the ever-changing landscape of rules of the road. The bicycle symbol with 2 chevrons above it are sharrows which mean share the road. Simply put it means that the bicycle has the right to the entire lane. This usually occurs when the road closest to the curb is unsafe or restricted. If you find yourself behind a bicycle in this situation and there is a solid double yellow line at the center of the road you can feel trapped. But hold on, in this situation you are legally entitled to pass the slower traffic safely. Granted, you may be met with angry glances and looks of disbelief, but it is legal. Please note that safely is the most important word here.

The green marks along the curb designate a bike lane and the intent of the green is to make that space more visible to motorists. Other towns have adopted Bicycle Priority Zones, this is typical around college towns that have high density population with lower automobile use. We all pay taxes, so we all benefit from use of the same roads.  Transportation funds come from general taxation pools. Some may think that the taxes that they pay when they fill up  their car with gasoline gives them a priority status of road use, but most of those dollars go to repair the damage done to the atmosphere.

Looking at one of the busiest places in America, New York City, they adopted a plan in 2007 to separate lanes on a busy street for exclusive bicycle use along the curb. People were up in arms about it. Businesses protested; commuters complained but a funny thing happened. Between 2007 and 2018 bicycle accidents in that area went down 47% while retail sales went up 48%. The New York City Commissioner of the Department of Transportation knew she was on to something. DOT Jennette Zadik-Kahn read the tea leaves correctly, bicycles are good for business. Since then they have expanded the program. While cities across the country wrestle with budgets and traffic congestion, cities are finding solutions in “traffic calming” (ATP) Active Transportation Programs and “complete streets” design elements. Simply put, instead of trying to add a bike lane as an afterthought on an existing street, start at the curb side and build the bike/pedestrian accommodations at the beginning. Business’s like it when the speed limit is lowered for traffic calming because people notice them instead of speeding by. So, as we separate lanes to accommodate increased bicycle use and change the way that lanes are marked, it is all part of a century’s old evolution that should never stop as the needs of society change. But if you don’t like what is happening or want to give your input, you should contact your local, county, state, and federal representatives and get involved. They work for you and sometimes we just need to remind them of that fact, providing them with good orderly direction. And while you are doing that, stay in your lane. What was your favorite fun fact, comment below.


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Dennis Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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Sunday, October 25, 2020



Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

Safe distancing while wearing face masks has been with us now approaching eight months as the number of US fatalities has exceeded 220,000.  We slowly adapted to sheltering in place to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  So many of us share the collective sadness of a loved one who was unknowingly exposed and then developed symptoms and eventually lost their life.  The thought of grieving alone and not being able to attend their funeral in person is almost unimaginable, but that is EXACTLY where we are today.  The isolation fatigue that has lasted prolonged months is taking a toll on how we used to live. 


When we are alone for extended periods of time, we start to lose our sense of ourselves. Because humans are social beings, we count on the interaction with others and miss seeing an image of ourselves reflected by the way others react to us.  When we do find a way to safely socialize, it can be awkward at first because we are out of practice in social settings.   It is not lost on us that isolation is a historic form of punishment in prison and to extremes, “torture.”  For some, isolation feels like torture because it is an unwelcome visitor who arrived without an invitation.  We can try to engage in daily exercises that challenge our memory such as the old favorite crossword puzzle or sudoku but that is a far cry from a face to face conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee.  Lack of socialization dwarfs our communication skills and is one of the key symptoms of impaired social functioning.  When we gather in person to visit a friend or attend an important meeting with colleagues, we fill up our tank with the benefits of meeting face to face and exchanging ideas.  Socializing is entertaining and helps us feel connected with the world.


Suzy Hazelwood


One explanation is that socializing is a mental workout. To successfully navigate an interaction with another human being, you need to keep in mind a surprisingly large amount of information such as their spouses name, favorite food, kids’ names, and hobbies, as we read visible clues such as body language, physical well-being, posture, etc. In conversation with someone, if they cannot make eye contact with you, are you likely to believe what they are saying?  The eyes are said to be the “windows to the soul” and we are missing our soulful connection.   As social beings who crave interaction with others, we are investing in those relationships by being present in-the-moment, listening and giving feedback.  You cannot effectively provide intimacy in a conversation that tries to exist in a text message, it does not even come close.  We pretend that signing up for a Zoom meeting to see multiple screen-shots of our colleagues will suffice, it is only a consolation that we are left with to continue working.

Mathew Thomas


Solitude vs loneliness, there is a difference.  Prolonged solitude can reshape the way we think and make it difficult to adjust to socializing when we are free to do so. The question of whether social distancing could be affecting our social skills is trickier to answer, but there are some clues. For decades, solitude by choice was more benign. Its benefits have been extolled for far longer by philosophers, religious leaders, indigenous peoples, and artists. But there is mounting evidence that withdrawing from society might have some unintended consequences, even if it is done on purpose.  Teenagers with a preference for spending time alone tend to be less socially competent and research has shown that, while some people might think that they prefer solitude, in reality, they enjoy connecting with others, even total strangers. These negative expectations are problematic, because they keep people from learning what happens when you interact with each other. So, it seems that we do need social practice, but it cannot be taken for granted. Regularly interacting with others teaches us to feel valued and helps us to accurately interpret the intentions of others, which helps us to have more positive social experiences. This is backed up by an abundance of research, including studies into the effects of extreme isolation in other animals, which suggests that social experience is particularly important when the brain is still developing.

As we approach the Fall, and with flu season just around the corner, we are already witnessing a resurgence of the pandemic with even stronger forecasts than before.  To stay healthy and alive, the professional health experts are projecting that we will be wearing face masks until perhaps 2021 and if that means that we will have to continue to isolate and social distance, then that’s what I’ll have to do and not complain about it.  I will stay connected to my loved ones by phone, invest in myself by taking up a new hobby or read the stack of books that I have been putting off.  Healthy isolation forces me to look at my surroundings with a new lens and count my blessings.  How do you handle extended isolation, please comment below?

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Victoria Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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Monday, October 12, 2020

Recognizing Mindfulness Daily


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

In everyone’s life we are presented with an ever-increasing constant stream of information to consider that at sometimes seems overwhelming.  Advertisers compete for our attention; political ads are non-stop, and sometimes all we want to do is relax and unwind after work by watching our favorite programs or sink into our favorite hobbies.  We cannot escape the mindless chatter unless we choose to see it with a different lens.  What we can do is see it from a different vantage point by recognizing the power of mindfulness especially in stressful times.  Being mindful is a choice that can help us understand inevitable change.

We are embracing the beginning of Fall which happens to be my favorite season.  I look forward to the cooler evenings and watching the leaves change color.  Perhaps during this pandemic our schedules have shifted towards working from home and the byproduct of that paradigm shift is that we are noticing subtle changes around us.  Before COVID-19, we hurried to our jobs and anticipated returning to our homes at the end of the day.  We were completely unaware of the rhythms of our neighborhood and how the sights and sounds would either be welcome or annoy us.  Maybe our neighbor’s TV is on too loud and it keeps us awake at night, or their dog barks nonstop.  Now that we are home and our daily routine has shifted, we can start our day in our back yard with our first cup of coffee and listen to the morning birds sing.  Because our vantage point changed, so to is our opportunity to experience life differently.

Just like the natural cycle of the four seasons, we have adapted to the subtle changes that makes each one unique.  This summer we experienced extreme heat and although summertime represents vacations, sun, and fun, I was ready for Autumn to arrive.  I could not force Autumn appear ahead of schedule, so I had to remind myself to be patient and mindful about how to accept the annual process and prepare for the Fall.  When I slow it down and listen to the clues from nature, it teaches me to not force it, the same applies to inner mind and emotional wellness.  I find myself longing for the first rainy day of the season to clean the air and nourish my garden.  I know there are those who view a rainy day as an impediment or an excuse not to get out and enjoy themselves.  I chuckle and say, “it’s only water and we need every drop.”  Being mindful helps us embrace or transition to the change that is inevitable in nature.  Fall leaves drop in anticipation of winter when trees go dormant to replenish for the following Spring.  You can count on nature to perform on cue just like the rising of the sun and moon.  When we pay attention to the clues and practice mindfulness, it helps us navigate the occasional disturbances we will face.


The world-wide pandemic has forced us to isolate from our friends and family when we need each other the most.  Accepting that painful separation can be a daily challenge. We have had to embrace the limitations of not visiting our loved ones in the hospital and be left with just a phone call or face time to stay connected.  By nature, we want to be loving, caring and supportive of our loved ones and be by their side for support so that they do not have to be alone during difficult times.  We can either complain, which changes nothing, or we can practice mindfulness and love and support each other from afar.  This has been by far, the most difficult outcome of isolating during the pandemic.  I can either choose to feel sorry for myself or I can decide to do the next best thing, reach out and connect with my loved ones so that I can hear their voice and hopefully make them smile.  Joy and sadness are two sides of the same coin.  They are emotions that we experience, but they can be fleeting and eventually evaporate.  We can stop trying to avoid pain when it knocks on our door by embracing it as temporary without fighting it.  Trying to ignore our emotions does not let them breath and have their moment.  Our emotions are fluid and we certainly can acknowledge joy even in sorrow which is why tears through laughter can be so healing. We instinctively know that we cannot be happy 100% of the time because that is unrealistic, exhausting, and unsustainable.  While witnessing this year’s devastating season of wildfires, we were reminded daily of the acres burnt and grieve for the families that lost everything.  But in practice, fires are an important part of the forest natural cycle.  Some trees like the majestic Sequoias need the flames heat to release their seeds and replenish the forest floor.



By practicing mindfulness, we can train our minds to be less affected by emotion, trust the wisdom of its temporary nature, ride it, and watch the emotion unfold without trying to change it.  As your mindfulness practice builds and becomes a familiar friend, you will see the intrinsic wisdom of your emotions, which often provide useful information.  Practicing mindfulness fosters your ability to observe and listen to your emotions, tap into their inherent wisdom so that they can become a useful tool when emotional pain presents itself. Although fleeting, emotions often provide important information about how we observe life.

I embrace mindfulness by meditating daily in my garden sanctuary. How do you practice mindfulness?  Please comment below.

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Victoria Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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