Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 30 August 2012

Category: Uncategorized

This will be my last Thursday blog until September 20.  Each year we take a much needed break from too hot, humid, & buggy Virginia Beach; work; and computers to celebrate the end of summer and head to the rocky shores, crisp winds, magnificent mansions, and scrumptious restaurants of Newport, Rhode Island.

If you’ve never been there, its a great vacation spot for people of all ages.  If you enjoy walking, you can explore the bluffs on Cliff Walk’s three-and-a-half miles of scenic paths, with the sea on one side and 19th century summer “cottages,” once lived-in by America’s original “1%,” tucked behind high fences and neatly manicured hedges on the other.

While few of these mansions, built by many of our country’s most successful entrpreneurs and industrialists, are currently occupied, most have been preserved with original furnishings and artwork and are open for guided tours. Some of the tour guides dress in period costumes and assume the roles of Vanderbilt or Astor family members and house staff, presenting an idea of how day-to-day life went for those listed in America’s first Social Register.

Even if you’ve not visited these they might look familiar, as many Hollywood films have been shot here.  For example, the mansion, “Rosecliff,” was the setting for “The Great Gatsby, ” “True Lies,” and “27 Dresses.”

There are many other points of interest as well, such as: The International Tennis Hall of Fame, Naval War College Museum, the first American Synagogue, the church where JFK & Jackie Kennedy were married, Green Animals Topiary Garden, Newport Sailing School and Tours, the Polo Fields and matches, Fort Adams, and many public parks, beaches, and recreational boating opportunities.

Altogether, a great place to re-create oneself.  Happy (non)Labor Day!


Posted by Karen Hadalski at 9 August 2012

Category: Uncategorized

Well, the only words I can come up with today are the following, written by my fifth grade buddy, Evelyn Watson, in my birthday autograph book:

Head’s heavy, brain’s dumb,

Inspiration won’t come.

Can’t write, bum pen,

Best wishes, A-Men.

This is what happens after ten straight weeks of 90 to 100 degree weather!

They say that no great culture ever emerged from a tropical or semi-tropical climate. “They” are right.  Now I know why!

Stay cool and pray for a speedy autumn and a long, crisp, cold, rejuvenating winter.

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 4 May 2012

Category: Uncategorized

A friend recently sent me a video of the NASA Space Station flying over Earth and the Northern Lights.  During my 20’s I lived and worked as a VISTA volunteer in Alaska.  When a particularly brilliant display of these Lights was forecast, I, along with a few other volunteers and two Athabascan Indians who acted as our guides, packed-up our dog sleds and headed to a deafeningly silent, remote spot where this extraordinary event could best be experienced.

That night was definitely a Peak Experience which I will never forget.  In fact, there isn’t much about my time in Alaska’s Bush country that I have forgotten through the intervening years.

My log cabin was small, so I spent a lot of time out- doors.  When I sat in silence, taking in the vast Arctic sky, with stars the size of basketballs, I was awed by the awareness of how minutely small we are–yet, how loved and significant we must be in the mind of our Creator to have been given such an unutterably magnificent world in which to live.

I often took time from my community development work to rest and just listen to the wind and wolves howling in the distance, while opening myself to the energizing warmth of the midday sun and taking in the astonishing beauty of the dark forest blanketed in crystalline whiteness.

The more time I spent in the natural world, the more I began to experience a sense of connection and relatedness to all of life.  As I learned to allow myself to simply Be, I became aware of a deeper Self that had nothing at all to do with my identity as “Karen.”  This Self was more authentic, solid, and timeless.  It felt grounded and ethereal, at once, and linked me to both the world of creation and its Creator.

When I left Alaska, I embarked upon a serious study of Metaphysics and the mystical aspects of world religions.  Returning to college, I became an English major and focused on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy of Transcendentalism.

Living with Athabascan Indians and really coming to know them, despite our cultural differences and language barrier, was another turning point for me. Because of these differences, my Alaskan friends and I had to connect through eye and facial expressions; touch; a kind of mind reading; and a combination of English, Yuk, and sign language.

This intense efforting to really “get” one another’s meanings and feelings, combined with the common experience of surviving a harsh winter, sharing our resources, and teaching and learning from one another created  strong relationships and bonds of affection. My way of relating to others was transformed forever.

Living off the land and being cut-off from merchants and modern conveniences imparted a strong sense of self-reliance and taught me that it is possible to survive–even thrive–with very little money and very few things.  As a result, I can honestly say I haven’t spent a moment of my life being anxious about not having “enough” or not being able to “make it”.

Stepping back and observing life from a new and different perspective–be it vicariously, through a Space Station video; or, personally, by immersing one’s self in an environment, culture, or life-style different than what we have been raised in and become accustomed to–is something I would urge everyone to add to his or her “Bucket List.”  It can be life-altering.

As a first, tiny step, why not go to a quiet place, turn off the lights, and click on this link:

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 19 April 2012

Category: Uncategorized

Betty White was interviewed by Pierce Morgan this week on CNN.  At 90 (!) she stars in “Hot In Cleveland,” “Off Their Rockers,” recently released a new book, and continues to be an active animal advocate.

She is clear, focused, purposeful, involved, healthy, and still looks good–without cosmetic surgery!

When asked by Morgan what keeps her going, while so many others seem to view 65-70 as the self-perceived cut-off point where achievements and life-immersion is concerned, she replied that she pays little attention to numerical age and focuses, instead, on ideas, aspirations, “what’s next,” and continuing to do what she loves to do.

But, she also spoke about love, gratitude, service, creativity, and a strong connection to the natural world–especially the animal kingdom–while reflecting on her life.  When asked to choose one experience– aside from being with her beloved, now deceased husband–to relive, if such a gift were possible, she chose a day spent alone with and in close-proximity to Coco, the hand-signing gorilla.

I have no idea what Ms. White’s spiritual sensibilities or religious affiliations are.  And, I’m not a “psychic;” but, talk about Light! It radiates from this woman with more strength and vibrancy than one would expect from a 20 year old.

This same week I have been re-reading Abd-Ru-Shin’s, In The Light of Truth: The Grail Message (Bernhardt, 1971), and a few passages from this work jumped out at me as I watched and listened to her:

“Everything in Creation is movement.  Brought into being strictly according to Law by the pressure of Light… The greater the distance from the Light, the slower and more sluggish becomes the movement… The expression “Light” in this connection does not, of course, refer to the light of some planet, but to the Primordial Light, which is Life itself, therefore God!” (p. 52)

This great Teacher also reminds us that the Light of God animates and radiates through every aspect of Creation–people, animals, flowers, trees, “in every fiber of a leaf bursting its sheath to come to the light,” and is intensified by “good volition.”

Clearly, we don’t have to limit our search for examples of Light, Love, and the highest expression of God-goodness to churches, monasteries, and self-proclaimed spiritual teachers.  We just need to hone our inner vision and strive to remain on the same vibratory “frequency” as the light-bearers among us. And these can be found in every activity, vocation, guise, and personality type imaginable.

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 1 December 2011

Category: Uncategorized

Welcome!  This is the first of many blogs I will aim to post every Thursday. I would love to hear what topics are of special interest to you.  In addition to subjects written about in my books, I am especially drawn to topics regarding nature and animals/pets. I have authored the bi-monthly column, “Perspectives,” in Pet Tails Magazine, for many years, now. This is a local publication, available in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.  However, some of my articles have been reprinted in other publications, including Pet New Zealand, and past issues are available at the web site for anyone to read. I am always interested in hearing about insights, experiences, concerns, and suggestions for future article topics that animal lovers and pet owners are willing to share. (Some months I am especially grateful for those “suggestions!”) Biography is also a special interest of mine. When a graduate student at Boston College I was awarded a research assistantship grant to assist Professor John J. McAleer in the fact-gathering efforts which laid the groundwork for the writing of his biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Ralph Waldo Emerson: Days of Encounter. During this same time, I worked as a part-time copy editor on Harvard (Radcliffe) University’s biographical dictionary project, Notable American Women, and have been hooked on the genre ever since.  I recently completed a work entitled, Ten Difficult Women: Their Impact and Legacy and really enjoyed both researching and writing this book. I will talk more about this project in the future. Stay in touch…

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    TEN DIFFICULT WOMEN: THEIR IMPACT AND LEGACY is selling well on Amazon, Kindle, and through various book sellers.
    If you would like your local bookstore to order you a copy (especially Barnes & Noble stores which have a very quick turn-around) simply provide the title and ISBN #: 978-1-4626-9549-2

    a 2012 USA Best Book Award Finalist in the category: "Spirituality:Inspirational," has run its two year contract with the original publisher. It has been picked up by another and should be released as a reprint by the end of 2014. Stay tuned!

    The title of my April/May column, "Perspectives," in Pet Tails Magazine is: "The Cat Lady." It tells the story of a woman in Pittsburgh who devoted her retirement years to rescuing the most hopeless, hapless cats from a local shelter and the interesting, elegant lifestyle she and seven of these lucky kitties lived before her recent death.

    NOTE TO ANIMAL LOVERS: All Pet Tails' articles can be read on-line at as soon as removed from news stands and replaced with current month's issue. In this case, after June 1st.

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