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Body, Mind and Spirit

The Power of a Smile

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.”  – Joseph Addison Our sixth grandchild was born in March. A perfect little girl with 10 fingers, 10 toes and bright eyes that follow sound and movement. I was lucky enough to hold her shortly after her birth and say prayers of thanks for her healthy arrival. Five weeks later, little Greer Elizabeth took her first plane ride from her home in the Midwest to Southwest Florida for a visit, and for six days she was (mostly) mine…except for the feedings and interrupted sleep that ... Read More »

It’s Personal

A recent beach yoga practice, presenting a wide variety of “trees” on the beach. Photo By Laurie Kasperbauer

MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe Growing up in Iowa I was lucky enough to go on family vacations every summer. Four kids and my parents packed ourselves in a four-door Oldsmobile, pulling a pop-up camper with attached bicycles and coolers and fishing rods projecting like appendages on a bug. Our destination might be a lake in Minnesota or a valley in Colorado, but it always included a campground with plenty of space to wander and a ring of stones for a fire. And ... Read More »

You Can’t Take It With You

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MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com “In the end, only kindness matters.”  – Jewel  I have a close friend who lives in Iowa. Her name is Mary, and before my husband and I moved to Marco Island, Mary and I were next-door neighbors for 27 years. That’s almost three decades of vigorous waves from the driveway, impromptu potluck dinners, borrowed cups of sugar, and shared Sunday brunches. We raised a combined seven children; we claimed a total of five dogs, and we buried four parents during our time as neighbors. We’ve shared tearful challenges and bladder-bursting laughter. Together, Mary ... Read More »

The Pull of the Moon

Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer
The full moon sets over the Gulf at an early morning Beach Yoga class

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com She is our moon. Our tidal pull. She is the rich deep beneath the sea, the buried treasure, the expression in the owl’s eye, the perfume in the wild rose. She is what the water says when it moves. – Patricia A. McKillip The moon. Most of us have gazed at it on a clear night. Maybe even marveled at its changing shape, created by shadows and illumination. Some blame it for changes in mood or behavior. And a chosen few have walked atop its desolate surface, staring back at the Earth, tiny and ... Read More »

George’s Web

PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER
George Moore, Ambassador of Fun

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com   “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” – Oscar Wilde Kevin Bacon is a well-known Hollywood actor. His career began in the early 80s and he’s been in scores of films including “Footloose,” “Apollo 13,” “Mystic River” and “A Few Good Men.” He once commented that he had worked with every actor in Hollywood, or with someone who had worked with every other actor in Hollywood, and a phenomenon was born. It was called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and was the creative brainchild of three ... Read More »

Yoga Magic

A magical yoga moment. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. – James Allen When we lived in Iowa, my husband and I used to have season tickets to the Iowa State University Cyclones basketball games. If you’re a basketball fan you might recognize the current coach of the Chicago Bulls as former ISU head coach, Fred Hoiberg. Fred is a “home grown” Iowan. He was raised in Ames, Iowa, home of the ISU Cyclones, where he was ... Read More »

Cuba-Exploration and Appreciation

Central Cuba’s scenic countryside. PHOTOS BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com Visiting Cuba has been at the top of my husband’s bucket list for many years, and last month his dream became our reality. We were part of a Western Culture Tour. A group of 15 U.S. citizens with varied backgrounds and experiences, drawn together by a single thread of commonality: the desire to explore Cuba. For a country that is barely a hundred miles from the shores of Florida, Cuban culture swings wide from the instant gratification-focused, and option-heavy pocket of the world we live in. Cuban time ticks by in rhythmic Rumba beats ... Read More »

Island Valentines

Beach Valentines. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The holiday of love and romance is upon us. Pink and red hearts decorate retail stores; restaurants advertise two for one specials; the hotel industry creates “romantic weekend getaways;” and that odd little winged cherub appears everywhere, bow and arrow ready. It’s a very special time for me for a couple of reasons. First, it’s my birthday. Conveniently I was born on February 14th amidst the Valentine hoopla, and with all the “gentle” Hallmark and retail reminders, my husband has not forgotten my birthday even once. But the real reason it’s a very special ... Read More »

“Family Matters”

Boone, Porter, Penn and Odie PHOTO BY MARY KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com It happened again. Our whole family gathered together here for our holiday celebration. For four joyous nights we had 15 people and two dogs sleeping under the same roof. But for nearly three weeks they streamed in and out, in various combinations of individual families, at the mercy of work schedules and “paid time-off.” In 19 days I made no less than 19 trips to the grocery store. I washed bedding and towels in quantities that would rival Motel 6. I baked cookies, made pies, fried fish and tossed salads. I wiped milk off ... Read More »

In a Word

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The word was privacy. Our grandson, just short of six years old, and a few weeks into his kindergarten school year, said to me, “Nana, I can spell that word. Privacy.” Uh huh, I thought. “Go ahead,” I said. “P.” Good start. What comes next? “R. I.” Hmmm. Now he has my attention. “V. I.S.Y.” Nice work! I say. I’m truly impressed! Phonetically correct. Are they teaching kindergarteners to read, I ask my daughter? Evidently yes. I remember kindergarten as an introduction to the days of the week, snack time, recess and nap. But ... Read More »

“Giving Back”

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. ~ Maya Angelou   When I lived in Iowa I taught my first yoga classes. Our studio was in a city recreational building, much like our YMCA here. Interest in yoga was just beginning to blossom in my Iowa hometown, and like many, I was inspired by the potential “work out” I might receive through yoga, while completely oblivious to the spiritual aspects of the practice. I’ve heard it said ... Read More »

Peace on Earth

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com Twas the night, before the day we had anticipated. The day of dreams fulfilled and joy long awaited. Hope, hung like stockings on the mantel of our minds. Hope for unity, community; hope that together we might find   All dwellers of earth, both the man and the beast; The deep sea and its life forms; the forest creatures and trees. Hope, that together we will learn to live our lives in balance, We each give of ourselves. We each rise to the challenge.   On this night before the day we profess earthly ... Read More »

Five Minutes Peace

“Five Minutes Peace” by Jill Murphy

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” ~ Jean Shinoda Bolan   When our kids were little I read them a lot of books. I can picture sitting on the sofa with our four little, pajama-clad wiggle-worms, smelling of baby shampoo and Desitin, settling in for a few moments of quiet before bed. One of my favorite books to read was “Five Minutes Peace” by Jill Murphy. The story is about Mrs. Large, a momma elephant ... Read More »

Moderation

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The season of pumpkins and goblins is behind us for another year and we have officially entered into the “Holiday” season. Looking back at Halloween, I wonder how many children suffered bellyaches from over-indulging in sugar? No judgement from me. When I have sugar products in the house I eat them. I OVER eat them. My self control dissolves and I fall into a cycle of eat, headache, regret, repeat. If only I was better at moderation. Recently a news report was released warning us to limit our intake of red and processed meat ... Read More »

“Imperturbability”

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com A few weeks ago I spent 11 days taking care of our 17-month-old granddaughter. It was quality time and I was her primary caregiver. We got to know one another really well and we integrated into one another’s lives and habits. I prepared her food, and she threw back at me what she didn’t like. I changed her diapers and she accompanied me on all my bathroom visits. I made calls on my phone and she put up a fuss if she wasn’t able to join in the conversation. She expressed her independence, and ... Read More »

Rose-Colored Glasses

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind…” ~ Miley Cyrus My mother is a cancer survivor. Twenty-seven years ago she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Stage 3. The doctor ordered chemo and radiation. In addition, my mother made the decision to have a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy, and it worked. She was cured. Which is not to say she didn’t experience the side effects of her experience. The chemotherapy treatment ended early because of the devastating effect it had on her body. There was permanent damage ... Read More »

Mind, Because it Matters

PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER
A meditative moment during beach yoga.

Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Your mind is your instrument. Learn to be it’s master and not it’s slave.” ~ Remez Sasson   On most days, when I wake up in the morning, my mind begins working before I open my eyes. In fact, I might go so far as to say that it’s my mind, as it hums into consciousness, that generally wakes me up. Sometimes I’m startled awake by the thought that I somehow slept in too late. Other mornings, my thoughts start streaming in like a very efficient assistant, “It’s Tuesday… meeting at 8:30…show property at 1:00…yoga at 5:30…dinner ... Read More »

Chop-Chop

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?” ~ Buddha Growing up, as a young girl I was lucky enough to have grandparents who lived on a farm. I say “lucky enough,” because to a young child the expanse of land and outbuildings innate to an Iowa farm afforded me endless opportunities for exploration. There was a big barn and a machine shed. There was a grove of assorted maple and oak, a small livestock yard and a windmill. In addition, ... Read More »

Between Here and Gone

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching” – Gerard Way   I admit, I listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Dr. Laura is a marriage and family counselor, turned radio talk show host. She’s socially conservative, brash and outspoken. More often than not, the callers who reach out to her with their problems disconnect in a wash of embarrassment and shame. This is not why I listen. I tune in to hear Dr. Laura’s common sense advice and sometimes outrageous commentary. But there’s one recurring morsel of thought ... Read More »

The Greenest Grass

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “He who is not content with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” – Socrates   I just returned from a truly special family vacation. My husband and I rented a log home nestled in the mountains of Colorado, and along with our children and their families, we spent seven days together exploring the 120-acre home site. Located seven winding, rolling miles from the nearest town, we ate our meals at the big wooden table using the groceries we carried in. We took a few day trips ... Read More »