Hacked…In Life and the Internet

Hacked…In Life and the Internet

  Malware, Break-ins and Travel – Oh My! Having your website hacked with Viagra and Cialis links is a bit like having your house or car broken into which I’ve had experience with both!  It wasn’t long ago, Easter of this year in fact, that my car was broken into while visiting a dear friend in San Francisco.  After a beautiful Easter brunch then tea in his home, we walked out to my car parked on the street to say goodbye.   I first noticed the broken glass all around the back of my little Rav4…then as my eyes traveled upward I was shocked to see the entire back window broken out (and looking just like this photo!).  I stood there in shock.  Poor Chris was at a loss for words also.  It took a few minutes for everything to sink in, including the fact that 3 pieces of luggage for my 30 day road trip had been stolen.   Our brains finally engaged – Chris headed back to the house for cardboard and duck tape (red no less) and I began carefully brushing broken glass out of the remaining items not carted off.  Fortunately, I had my absolute necessities such as my computer case, toiletries bag and purse with me.   I was insistent on leaving the city and driving East towards my next destination near the mountains.  Once I was on the road fighting traffic with all the other holiday travelers, the situation began sinking in.  Me and my little white Rav4 that now looked like a decorated Easter egg were moving forward…one mile at a time.  It wasn’t time to freeze.  It was time for action.  I’d called AAA, arranged for my window to be replaced the next day and contacted those who needed to know my where-abouts.  Three hours later I arrived at my friends home and was swept away to a fun dinner and bottle of wine in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by redwoods, laughter and great company.   What more did I really need?  I was surrounded by people who cared.  I was in one piece.  My car could easily be fixed.  Only a few pieces of jewelry were irreplaceable but apparently it was time for me to let them go and pray that the next owner would be blessed with them in their life (an ivory carved Quan Yin and lemon citrine sterling silver pendant was to find a new home).  My next 3 weeks were full of new experiences through northern California and Bend, Oregon, before heading home to Arizona.  Life really is what we make it….and I wasn’t about to let anyone steal my sense of adventure, friendships and happiness even though they stole my material possessions.   The same can be said of this little malware hack on my website.  I’ve been forced to learn new things I had been to afraid to figure out, always telling myself I wasn’t techie enough to handle it myself.  Well – I’m here to tell you – a mature dog can learn new tricks!  It’s all about ATTITUDE, BELIEF in oneself and perseverance.   I won’t lie and tell you it’s been easy these last couple of weeks.  It’s been overwhelming!  I’ve tried every procrastination trick in the books!  Haha!  Luckily, I’ve made it through the tough part and it’s motivated me to not only “fix” this site but to begin building a whole new website from the ground up – all by myself!  Whoo Hoo!  You’ll be the first to know when my new site is complete – bigger and...

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A Fresh Start After a Walloping Mercury Retrograde!

A Fresh Start After a Walloping Mercury Retrograde!

Whew! I’ve never been so happy to see Mercury go direct as I am today! In the past I always felt a great sense of organizational accomplishment and self-reflection during this phase of the planetary wheel… but this time… man oh man! It all began with the passing of my 14 year old cat, Opus, on May 20th….just 2 days before the “set up” phase of this retrograde cycle began on May 22nd. The passing over of a significant animal companion has always announced a new beginning for me but never have I felt like I was tossed into 50′ waves in the middle of an ocean storm, with lightning bolts and swells the size of ships! You would think the last day of this retrograde period would slack a bit, right? Wrong! Yesterday, June 30th, was a monster roller coaster ride into the wee hours of dreamtime this morning! Needless to say, I went straight to my trusty French Press upon awakening! Here’s the good news… I’m stronger than ever – determined – focused – free from attachments – a friend to many – and my heart has burst open for what is to come! Those pesky oracle cards “Into the Unknown” and “Coming Apart” from Colette Baron-Reid have done their job well and I’m ready to embrace them! I am to “Trust…and all will be revealed!” So here I sit with hands extended to the Unknown. I feel a little like Rocky Balboa all pumped up and climbing the stairs and shouting to the world!       Understanding this retrograde on a deeper level has been of utmost importance. After listening to the Mercury Retrograde series by Robert Ohotto I saw this cycle with fresh eyes like I’d never seen before. He discussed the retrograde relay of the last months; of our expansion for greatest potential; re-configuring the “flow charts of possibility”; intuition from our heart rather than our mind; and bringing the unconscious into conscious! So much to wrap my head around but this “dark night of the ego” has allowed me to look upon my life with a fresh perspective. It’s all good my friends! Time to step up to bat and swing to the stars! Let’s Go Big or Go Home! In-Joy! Holly   Photograph of Flowers: Holly H Rose Photograph of Rocky: c.Columbia/Everett/Rex Features  ...

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Affirmations Tempered in Tough Times by Lee Ann Hopkins

Affirmations Tempered in Tough Times by Lee Ann Hopkins

Affirmations and positive thinking are not bullies and judges. When things are difficult and circumstances are not optimum, the discord between our wildly optimistic affirmations and the present feelings can seem cruel. The affirmations almost feel like a playground taunt (“naaa-na-naanaa-nahhhh, you can’t get me!”) because the difference between now and that future goal, dream, changed behavior or circumstance is at odds with your present. Let me give an example. When you have an affirmation like, “I am delightfully happy in my new career as a ______” and you have just received three overdue bill notices, two rejections from jobs that were beneath your professional level, and your unemployment is about to run out, then the affirmation in the face of these circumstances seems zealously mean. You might even feel dejected by your own attempts at cheer leading. This is understandable. The trouble is that your mind cannot accept the new vision for yourself in light of the present and, often, wants to be a nuisance with thoughts that put you down further: “See, I can’t even get a job that I can do in my sleep!” or “Things are bad because I am a fraud, a loser, etcetera.” There could be any number of nasty comments zooming through your head. None of this is helpful. During tough times, I suggest that we take a different approach. Instead of throwing affirmations overboard (as inaccurate and unrealistic), create space during these cloudy days for additional self-talk, tempered by the current circumstances, but mindful of our achievable goals. We must be gentle with ourselves and take the current predicament seriously. Step into the river of now with all that is going on. Acknowledge it, instead of denying it. Feel the disappointment, the sadness, the grief or whatever comes up for you. Allow the moment to be okay. Remind yourself that YOU are okay and that YOU can handle whatever is coming your way with grace and good form. Most importantly, you are in fact, BECOMING serendipity and that which your affirmations state–albeit, a bit slower than you may like. The Universe wants good things for you. Progress is being made in spite of our inability to see the future. Remember too, that a straight line does not exist between our present and our goal. Be kind to yourself on the journey and don’t give up your positive self-talk. You may temper or adjust the affirmations, but don’t stop them! Keep on, keeping on. You are further on your way than you realize! Thanks to my sister, Lee Ann Hopkins  ~ The Hooray Daily blogger ~ for these amazing insights! Photo Credit: Marque Kelsey,...

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Dreams ~ Illusion vs Reality

Dreams ~ Illusion vs Reality

Dreaming has always been an integral piece to my personal development and processing of what life brings to my journey. The last few days have brought a flood of hidden emotions to the surface of my psyche. After an intense trip to NYC for family business I returned home to collapse from mental, emotional and physical exhaustion… cocooning into the safety of my “nest”. A week later I awoke to the most intense dream…full of details, colors, verbal and non-verbal communication, laughter and physical senses. The dream continued to run through my mind for hours after being fully alert ~ Dream: I was with a very special friend who was driving my car down a city street (yet the street was 20-30′ below the surface as if in a narrow canyon). As we rode along, we talked, laughed, shared our lives. The chatter was light and energetic and fun. Out of the blue he shared with me how his friend’s ex wife had just been released from prison… and then we were back to more lively conversation. The next minute… the car slowed and bumped gently into a huge dump truck that came out of nowhere. It was just parked in the middle of the road. My friend exited our car to check for damage to my bumper but there wasn’t a scratch… It only blocked our moving forward. There was an increased energy between us… and a deep knowing of how we felt… but we were halted in the middle of the road regardless. Then I awoke! Weeks later the dream is still as vibrant to me as it was that morning, yet as my life has unfolded I understand how pieces of the dream correlate to what is happening in my life: the relationship between two people (or even two sides of the same person) hidden below the surface of consciousness; the flow of energy blocked by a stalled out yet movable object; the intense chemistry between two people – seemingly out of control yet unable to move forward; and the ever so popular cliche “a bump in the road”! lol During this morning’s meditation practice…my mind went back to this dream. I was drawn into the concept of two people meeting and “falling out of control”. Is this what it is like when people describe “falling in love” when their knees go weak at the mere thought of the other person? Do their normally rational thoughts have no control in this situation? And how do they react to such feelings? Do they allow the fear of this “unknown” factor in the equation of life to “block” their exploring the capabilities of finding true love? Or do they embrace something so out of the ordinary as this once in a lifetime feeling – following the thread to see where it may lead them? I used to be a very type A personality. I held the “reins” of life tightly…never relinquishing control…but then the reins were ripped from my grip by circumstances “beyond” my control. At first it was devastating. Then I began to understand the journey I was to begin traveling. My self discovery involved learning to ride the currents of the unknown; releasing judgment, attachment and expectations. It has been an adventurous 17 years to date but one roller coaster ride worth every minute as I look back and see how far I have come. That fateful August day in 1993 was the best thing to ever happen to me. Every single person who has entered my life ~ whether for a moment, a day, a...

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Only You Hold The Key

Only You Hold The Key

“Beauty and Truth are lost without the courage to hold them. But one pair of hands can grip too hard, so that the precious slips through the fingers. Loss and pain, sorrow and will, blaze the rough path through the forest. Along the journey there is blood, and there is the death of innocence and the ghosts of what might have been. Each time the path forks, it is faith that chooses the way or doubt that blocks it. Is it despair, or will it be joy? Can there be fulfillment without risk of loss? Will it be an end, or a beginning? Will you move into the light, or return to the dark? Fear hunts, and its arrow strikes heart, mind, belly. Without tending, wounds fester, and scars too long ignored harden into shields that block the eyes from what needs most to be seen. Where does the goddess stand, her sword in hand, willing to fight each battle in its time? Willing, too, to lay down the sword when the time comes for peace. Find her, know her power, her faith, and her valiant heart. For when you look on her at last, you will have the key to free her. And you will find it on a path where no door will ever be locked against you.” ~ excerpt from Nora Roberts book “Key of Knowledge” I thought I was picking up a “summer read” for the warm weather arriving here in Las Vegas but received much more than pure entertainment. This excerpt comes from the last page of the second book in Nora Roberts Key Trilogy… and it caused more personal “questions” to arise than the typical sexy beach read could ever possess! I began asking myself questions such as ~ If I hold the “key” for myself, why do I give it (power) over to others  so easily? Do I really know my own “truth”? And if so, why don’t I trust it like I should? Why do I trust others beliefs/perceptions over my own? Why is it so hard for me to stand my ground and believe in my truth/convictions? And on and on… All of this from a romance novel trilogy!!! It just goes to show we can learn from any circumstance, lesson, book or person put in our path. It’s up to us to find the “key” to the meaning and how it is intended to impact our life. I think this is one novel I may have to read again…this time with a highlighter in hand! In-Joy! Holly Photo credit: Marque Kelsey,...

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