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The Beauty and the Light Within the Dark

Posted on October 12, 2015 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (13)


We understand that the world is full of polar opposites—good and bad, yin and yang, light and dark—and that as part of the human path, we have chosen to experience both sides of life. I don’t think any of us actually wish for the bad or the dark, but it is a part of what we must go through in order to be who we fully are and to appreciate the opposite of that.


 

It is during our most painful, confusing, and fearful times, which is referred to as the “dark night of the soul”, a term coined by the 16th century poet and mystic St. John of the Cross, that we not only experience the depths of despair, but we have the greatest opportunity for transformation.


 

It’s not something we plan on or relish once it happens to us, but how we handle it will make all the difference. We may be able to work through it in a matter of days, or even months. In the case of Mother Teresa, it may be years. According to her letters, her dark night lasted from 1948 up until a short time before her death.


 

Coming out of the dark night is a tricky thing, because usually what we need to bring us out of it is the one thing that brought us to it in the first place. We need love in all its expressions—compassion, kindness, respect—and when we are in lack of it, whether in reality or in our imagination, we begin doubting ourselves and our existence.


 

St. John of the Cross saw it as containing two phases—the purification of the senses, and the purification of the spirit. We have to get to a point where our ego is totally out of the picture and we realize that we are the offspring of the Creator, whatever we perceive that to be, and we begin to realize that our spiritual connection is great enough and strong enough to help us up and out.


 

At this point our ego will begin resisting. We always encounter resistance when we are making a shift “upward”. Think back and you will see that is true, whether we’re talking the dark night of the soul, a new relationship, learning a new skill, or any other time we are desiring to make an improvement in our lives. But when we truly hit bottom, the only way possible to move is up.


 

If we will just BE with our new positive thoughts and feelings and allow them to become stronger than the negative ones, we will be brought out of the dark and into a light so bright we would have never thought it possible. The shackles will fall away and we will have hope in our lives once again. I believe that without the dark times, we won’t have hope, faith or love. How can we have one thing without also having its polar opposite?


 

Next time you are outside at night, look at the stars and the moon, and as you appreciate the beauty of them, remember that just as there are dark times in our lives, the light and the beauty is always right there, waiting for us to embrace it.

 

Autumn Feelings and Reflections

Posted on October 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

This is the time of year when I have the hardest time staying focused on my work, and it’s always been that way. I don’t have a problem so much during the winter unless it’s ten degrees or less and then thoughts of staying home and curling up on the couch with my throw and a hot beverage beckon me.


The spring and summer are when I am probably at my most energetic, naturally—when I don’t have to exert any effort to do all that needs to be done. But when the calendar says September, and especially when the temperature drops to 50 at night and only reaches a high of 70 during the day, then for me, it’s time to go to the orchards for apples, cider, apple butter, and fall veggies such as kale, turnips, potatoes and such. It’s time to decorate with red and golden leaves from my yard, and for building a fire in the outdoor fire pit.


Autumn is also the time for going to the river and walking along the banks and doing other things there such as talking to the birds, reading a book, leaning against a tree and feeling it’s energy, and noticing whatever else is going on. I also do that at other times during the year, but the autumn energy makes these trips very special.


I admit that I've had a problem for the past few years with feeling guilty for playing hooky when I “should” be taking care of biz. After all, there are things only I can do, and if I’m off somewhere doing other things, all those necessary tasks won’t get done. I’ve been working seven days a week for several years now, and I got to the point where the idea of NOT being in the office seemed terribly wrong.


Friends and clients would tell me that I needed some time off, that all work and no play...you know the ending. Yeah, I understand that, but it can’t apply to me for all the reasons mentioned, right? But you know what, they are right, within reason, and so this year I have made a few changes. Nothing major, but for me, they are significant.


For several weeks I have been taking off two half-days each week to go to the river. I live within a very few minutes from the Ohio River, but for these days, I travel about an hour to the quaint little town of Madison. It has a lovely historic district that draws visitors every day and especially on the weekends, and part of that district includes a beautiful lane that runs parallel to a good portion of the river. The town built a lovely walkway that is part brick and part concrete, outfitted with lovely old-style park benches here and there, and some beautiful old-fashioned street lamps. They also did some magnificent plantings along the walkway of flowers, hostas, smaller trees, and such, and it is very picturesque.


Tuesdays and Fridays are my days of choice, and I make sure I have a snack of some type, my nice cobalt blue glass water bottle with the word “abundance” etched into the glass, a notebook in case I want to do some journaling, and a couple of books on some form of spirituality that make me feel good while teaching me something.


Within five minutes or so of getting to the river, I hear the crows come in. It is a wonderful sound and when they land on a nearby tree branch and begin talking to me and turning their heads from side to side to check me out, I am in heaven. I take peanuts for them and the squirrels, and some popcorn and cracked corn for any ducks or geese that wander up. Gazing at the mighty Ohio River brings me calm and peace, and whether it sparkles from the sunlight dancing off the water, or raindrops hitting its surface, I sit in awe of it and its place in the world.


Directly across the river is Kentucky, and I love looking at the gorgeous hills and the little farmhouses below. I watch as cars travel the two-lane road there and I know that within five minutes, I could be traveling that same road. I will look at the cars going by or the farmhouses, and ponder on the stories of those people—what type of childhood they may have had, or wonder if they are happy at this point in their lives. Do they have children? Have they suffered much tragedy in their lives? I feel connected to them and to the land, the river, the crows and the whole of Nature, and I understand this is how it should be. It is an amazing feeling.


What makes YOU feel peace and joy way down deep inside? Whatever it is, that feeling is an indication that that’s one of the things you should be doing. We have our own little internal barometer that helps us distinguish the good feelings from the bad, and which feelings promote our happiness and fulfill our purpose and which lead us away from our intended path.


I’m not talking about the feeling you get when you eat a half gallon of ice cream. You may get a temporary feeling of euphoria right then because of the sugar and because you feel you are getting by with doing something bad, but down deep where it counts, there will be an uneasiness that lets us know that when we ate the ice cream, we sacrificed the true peaceful feeling we would have gotten had we made a better food choice.


Trust your intuition and be willing to act on what you get. Do the things that make you feel whole and satisfied. Don’t do something because it’s what someone else wants you to do, and don’t get so caught up in your problems or issues that you can’t see the actions you should be taking. That’s what I did. My 7-day work week began when my husband passed away, and I threw myself into my work in order to keep my mind occupied and because being in the home we shared with all the memories contained within its walls was very painful. But the excessive hours, lack of sleep, and my one meal a day which mostly consisted of chips and salsa was harming me physically and mentally.


Take care of that beautiful body of yours that houses your soul. It is a work of art and a true miracle. Treat it with the care and respect it deserves and it will reward you many times over. Take time to break your routine with fun or relaxing activities. Take time to meditate. Get outdoors and connect to Nature in whatever form you choose. Be kind to yourself as well as others. But most important is to live in the present moment. The present is ALL we have and with each moment of the day we have the ability to choose what we will think and do. Our thoughts create our feelings which create our beliefs and our actions, which form habits and reprogram our subconscious. You have so much power within to create the life you desire---don’t throw it away. It is a gift from the Creator.


Laugh, love and shine, dear ones.

 

 

Energy Medicine--What Is It?

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

We are living in the midst of a revolution in medicine. Dramatic changes are occurring all around us, because people have started to realize that conventional allopathic medicine does not have all the answers to our physical problems. We see people embracing the holistic approach more and more as they start to understand that as humans, we are not just a physical body, that unless the emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies are also treated, true healing does not occur. We hear with increased frequency about something called energy medicine or energy healing, but most people have no idea what that really is. Is it the same as spiritual healing? How does it differ from laying on of hands?


The human body is a latticework of energy lines and centers that have much to do with our health and well-being. Many people have known about these centers for centuries, but now, more and more people are opening up to the truth of their existence and that knowledge is becoming more mainstream. We now are able to photograph the aura, the electromagnetic field that surrounds and penetrates the body, and also the major energy centers. For numerous reasons, these centers can become blocked and out of alignment; energy medicine helps remove the blocks and restore balance to the body, bringing harmony to all aspects of ourselves.


Energy medicine is safe, natural, and inexpensive. We all have the power to cultivate the capacity to weave these energies—we just need to realize it. We instinctively do this all the time, but we may not realize what we are actually doing. Do you massage your temples when you have a headache? Do you cover a child’s scraped knee with your hand, then kiss it and make it better? These are all ways we attempt to use energy medicine in our daily lives, because somewhere down deep in ourselves, we KNOW it works.


There are those who still reject the notion that there is anything beyond our five senses, but even those folks cannot deny it when they experience it first-hand. Several years ago, a lady called me saying that she had been having the worst migraine she had ever had and that she had been told by a friend that possibly I could help. Her husband, however, was stubbornly telling her that energy medicine was quackery, and that she was not to see me, but the pain was so great that she was willing to risk her husband’s ire, and asked that I come anyway.


After I arrived at her home, I asked her to sit in a comfortable chair and began to sense the energy around her. There was an almost palpable tightness on one side of her head. I asked her husband to come into the room and had him place his hands in the area of the tightness, and do a motion that would help to draw out the pain. To his shock and amazement, he said he could actually feel something pushing against his hands. Within ten or fifteen minutes the wife’s pain had subsided, and she expressed a desire to get some much-needed sleep. That was the last time he ever said anything about my treatments, and in fact, a few months later he called to ask if I could come to their home to help him recover from an accident he had had at work the week before. The doctors did not know the extent of the nerve damage or whether it would be permanent. What a joy it was to hear this man open up to new ways of doing things!


People always want to know if the treatments work immediately, and the answer is no. Sometimes they are very quick, but many times it may take weeks or months, depending on the problem and how long they have had it, or how serious the condition is. For example, on average, treating a headache would take less time to work than chronic back pain. But almost everyone feels some relief after one session.


And to answer the two questions in the first paragraph, energy healing, spiritual healing, and laying on of hands all work with the energy in and around the body, but the methods will vary from one to the other, and from one practitioner to the other. Some may pray, some will place their hands on the body while others will hold their hands slightly above the body. You may hear terms such as Reiki or Pranic Healing, and these refer to various techniques of energy healing.


In my opinion, the most dramatic use of subtle energies in healing comes from those persons who have the ability to make medical diagnoses from a distance. In research performed by neurosurgeon C. Norman Shealy, medical intuitive Caroline Myss, without any patient contact, was able to match Dr. Shealy’s diagnosis with 93% accuracy by only being given the name of the patient. Her statements were specific, also, such as “left testicle malignant, spread to left kidney” or “schizophrenia”.


Energy medicine is an exciting field and one that will be growing day by day. Whether you are experiencing an illness or dis-ease, or just want to maintain the health you have, let energy medicine operate alongside traditional medical care. The blending of both is truly dynamite.▲

 

Forgiving Those Who May Hurt Us

Posted on September 5, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

People who are hurting oftentimes hurt those around them.


I don't believe it is intentional--I doubt they wake up thinking that this is the day I will hurt Josh or Marie. They may know on some level that what they are doing may be hurtful in some way, but I believe they feel at the time as if there is no other smart option.


I think at one time or another we have all been in a place where our past begins to haunt us when we are in a relationship or when we are dealing with a boss or coworker or a friend. We might feel as if the other person deserves to feel what we felt when they hurt us and that maybe if they do, they will wise up and stop being such a jerk. But what we are forgetting is that we would be responding to them in the same way they have responded to us in the past. We think payback may be appropriate, but it's entirely likely they felt the same way when they did whatever it was that hurt us.


We may be justified in our feelings about someone, but before we act we should step back and remember everything we have learned about compassion and acceptance.


Just because we think we have a right to feel the way we do doesn't mean we have the right to stay there.


For those who are followers of the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)..."Love never gives up. never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."


There are a lot of dark spots in the world, and it is up to those of us who have asked to be of service to others to let our light shine so they can see and feel what will lead them away from their current negative patterns and habits.


One more passage: 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)..."Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins."


Understanding that someone may be feeling or going through something we have no knowledge of will help us to be more compassionate and treat them as we would want to be treated. If the negativity is more than we can take and if it is adversely affecting us, we have every right to lovingly explain that maybe we need some time apart, but to berate them, assuming we know everything in their heart and mind, is not the way of light.

 

Let's Give This Some Thought

Posted on September 2, 2015 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Many people these days understand that our thoughts affect our body, mind, and spirit, but I think sometimes we don't take it all the way out. For example, if you are getting ready to meet a friend you have had issues with, are you thinking, "I bet this is SO not going to go well?" Or if you are going for a job interview, do you think, "I bet I don't get this job?" If someone hurt you very badly, and you know you're going to run into them somewhere, will you only think of the pain and adopt a how-dare-they attitude before you get there?


If you have negative thoughts before you even meet the person you are to see, or before the job interview, or even before going to the store, you are setting yourself up for trouble since our thoughts will likely help determine the outcome of whatever the situation is.


First of all, never doubt the other person's ability to pick up on your thoughts and energies, even if they aren't aware of it, and that will affect how they treat you. And second, it is absolutely our choice at every moment to choose the thought we wish to have in order to change our reality and be at peace. If we try to see the good in every person and situation and turn our negative thoughts into positive ones, then the outcome may be much more to our liking. If we don't do this, we only hurt ourselves, and in turn, the other person in the situation.

 

You're Enough...And a Phrase You Should Never Say

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I think of all the things that hold us back, the thought that we are not enough is one of the worst. We aren't good enough, we aren't smart enough, we are not worthy, etc. We will believe others are enough before we will allow for the fact that we are. I've had people say to me, "I know that what you do works, and I truly believe that, but 'I don't have what it takes to do it" ' or I don't think it will work for me."


I've gone through similar phases and I totally understand how easy it is to let that feeling and belief take hold of us. But what makes us have that thought in the first place?


Many times it comes from our parents. I believe most parents are well-intentioned, but they sometimes can say the very thing that can damage a child the most, such as telling them they will never amount to anything, or asking them why they can't be like some kid down the street, or even telling them how stupid they were for doing something wrong. And chances are if they say it once, they will say it more than once, and over time a child will believe it. After all, why would mom or dad keep saying that if it weren't true?


Our peers can sometimes resent us for being better at something than they are and will try to put us down, and that happens not only in childhood but in adulthood, as well. If the needle on our self-esteem meter is approaching "E", then it won't take much of that to take it all the way down.


Our bosses are another cause of our skewed thinking. I remember more than one boss who made it their life's work to eliminate as much of our self-esteem as possible.


So, it seems we have to go through life wearing a suit of emotional armor in order to survive. That is the case, in a roundabout way. Not so much armor, but boundaries, clear thinking, eliminating incorrect beliefs, etc. which will strengthen our aura and keep us healthy and happy.


We need to understand that every single one of us on this planet are here for a definite reason, and we all contain a spark of the Divine that is our spirit, and we are born with beauty and love, having everything we need to succeed in the world. No one is any greater than anyone else. We each have unique individual talents and abilities and if we do the best we can to be the best person we can using those talents and abilities, we will be doing what we were intended to do, and we will succeed and be self-assured and content.


I'm not saying that there won't be hiccups and problems in our lives, but I will say that if we are content with who we are and if we realize our value, the going will be much smoother. Trying to be someone else is like a bear trying to be a hawk . It just won't work, and the best we could hope for is to be a cheap imitation of our idol. We have to be ourselves, and to be the best self we can--after all, it's really not possible to be anyone else.


You are a magnificent part of the Creator, and I hope you will come to truly understand that, if you don't already. It's key!!

 

Get on Your Nerves-- Give Your Nervous System Herbs That Can Heal, Soothe or Stimulate.

Posted on August 20, 2015 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

It seems more and more people are becoming very stressed out from day to day life, and many of them are turning to prescription medication for help, but drugs may be unpredictable and a potentially dangerous choice. Especially in Europe, scientists are taking a look at a safer alternative—herbs.


Herbalists use a class of herbs called nervines to help with many kinds of nervous disorders and physical nerve damage. The term nervine is a catch-all that refers to any herb with a beneficial effect on the nervous system. There are several categories of these time-tested herbs, and they work best when used in conjunction with other natural healing methods such as adequate sleep, deep breathing, exercise, and dietary changes.


As with most herbs, the fresher the better. Herbal sedatives in particular lose their strength as they age. Herbs such as valerian, hops, and passion flower retain more of their medicinal properties when they are extracted fresh or freeze-dried. Look for an expiration or manufacturing date on the bottle.


Liquid extracts (tinctures) retain properties longer than other types of preparations. The next best choice is a freeze-dried, powdered extract or a freshly dried powdered herb. Whole or cut-and-sifted herbs in the bulk bin are least reliable for medicinal purposes because they begin to degrade when exposed to air.


There are four categories of nervine herbs: stimulants, sedatives, tonics, and antispasmodics. Although many herbs fit into each category, we’ll look at some of the most widely used and effective ones.

 

Sedatives


Sedatives are taken to ease anxiety, overexcitement, and sleep disorders. The premier sedative herb is valerian. This is especially good for anxiety and is the most well-known and best-studied herb for insomnia. Unlike sleeping pills, valerian won’t knock you out cold. What it does is help you fall asleep faster and have a sounder, more restful sleep.


Another herbal sedative is hops. Although herbalists consider valerian to be a better sleeping herb than hops, the two combined are even better in many cases. Besides its sedative effect, hops’ bitterness stimulates the digestive system. That make it especially good for people with nervous digestive disorders, such as colitis. Hops also eases the type of anxiety that leads to headaches, sleeplessness, a racing heat, and indigestion.


A third herbal sedative is passion flower. If your mind races when you lie down or you are apprehensive, passion flower should be a part of your formula.

 

Stimulants


Stimulant herbs offer a gentler way to get going than that cup of java. Rosemary is the best kind of stimulant because it also nourishes and heals the nerve endings that can become physically irritated by stress. It is particularly effective for someone who is run-down from stress, especially mental strain. When you’re feeling run-down and need some energy, theobroma extract is a stimulant with a kick but no bite. Although related to caffeine, it is milder and doesn’t leave you with that jagged caffeine feeling.


One notch up the stimulant scale is ma huang, commonly called ephedra. Because it contains ephedrine, it also dilates the bronchial tubes, bringing more oxygen to the lungs and drying up the mucous membranes.

 

Tonics


A few herbs really stand out in their ability to repair and nourish the nervous system when it is damaged or weakened by things such as drug abuse. Sow your wild oat if you are withdrawing from drugs, caffeine, or cigarettes. Take it for a few weeks during the initial stages, and after that you might add an herbal sedative. St. John’s wort is one of the best herbs for preparing damaged nerves. If a nerve is severed, pinched, or bruised, rub St. John’s wort oil on several times a day, and take the tea 3 times a day. Women in a German study reported St. John’s wort improved their symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia and anorexia. For this purpose, it is best to take the standardized extract tablets, since they have reliable amounts of hypercin, the active antidepressant ingredient.


 Antispasmodics

 

Contrary to the name, these are not for leg cramps. Instead they quiet spasms that occur in the smooth muscles, such as those in the digestive system, lungs, or uterus.

 

Europeans have long known that the culinary herb thyme, made into a syrup or tea, is one of the best remedies for persistent coughs. For the digestive system, chamomile reigns supreme as an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory herb. In spastic colitis, chronic gas and chronic diarrhea, you may get results as soon as 10 days to two weeks. In stubborn cases, you might have to take it for up to three months. Chamomile is so gentle and pleasant tasting that it can be fed to babies to ease colic (add 1/3 more water). Breastfeeding mothers can drink the tea, but the babies will only get a tiny amount that way.


Peppermint is an excellent herb for occasional stomach aches or gas pains.


Vitex, also called chaste tree berry, is the most popular women’s herb in Europe. German studies show that it works on the pituitary gland to balance the hormones that cause cramping. Besides helping cramps, vitex also eases premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms, and helps irregular menstrual cycles or profuse periods.

 

Nervines are safe and effective medicines when taken in the right dosages and in high-quality preparations. Please remember that herbal remedies must be tailored to a person’s unique constitution and condition. No one herbal nervine is a panacea for a given problem, and again, herbs combined with lifestyle changes give the best results. ▲


 

Note: This information is not intended to replace standard medical care. Always see a physician for any physical problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptance, and a School Bus

Posted on August 17, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

August 17, 2015

 

I'm sitting outside on this cloudy, misty Monday morning, listening to the birds talking to each other as they get their breakfast. They sound happy, and I rejoice in the fact I have a small block of time to listen to them.


I also hear the school bus going past and though that's not a sound I consider beautiful, it is one that makes me think about exactly what I am hearing.


Sometimes we are so caught up in our own little piece of the world that we don't take much time to think about the rest of it, and I mean REALLY think about it. I have always loved to sit back and listen and watch as the world goes right on, regardless of what I am doing.


It's easy to feel content and at peace listening to the birds, but a school bus? No, not so much, or at least, not to me.


For a long time they have been a source of irritation to me because of the noise and the inconvenience of having to wait while they stop every ten feet to pick up another child. And then there's that whole thing they have to go through every time they come up to a railroad track. Geez! I guess they are a necessary irritation, right? Well, this morning I took a moment to really think about them in a different light.


I remember riding that big, yellow bus to school, and I loved it because I was sitting with friends and classmates and I was going to my favorite place. I loved school with a passion and getting on that bus every morning was a true joy. I was leaving my home, where I wasn't all that happy, and going to a place where I was allowed to shine and where my teachers would tell me how great I was and would ask me if I would like to stay after and help them do various tasks. For a kid like me, that was bliss.


So, this morning, as I listened to the bus I remembered my feelings as I had gotten on the bus that would transport me to a fun place, and I began to look at it in a different light. It's actually a beautiful part of life--taking young people to a place where their minds will be exposed to all types of new things, and where they will learn skills that will help them after they graduate.


Accepting things as they are and understanding the value in everything around us is a way to lower our stress levels and to get a better understanding of the world and our place in it. Resisting what we don't care for or fighting against something will only attract more of that to us--what we resist, persists.


Understanding that everything on the planet is here for a reason and that it all has a purpose, will help us be better humans, which will in turn allow our spirits to grow as intended.

 

A Day For Love

Posted on February 11, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

When you think of Valentine’s Day, I’m sure you think of having a significant other that fills a beautiful place in your life, and with whom you will be doing something very special. It’s a lovely thought and I admit I think of that, also. But what really it all boils down to is that this is a day for love, and not just love for our romantic partners.


 

We were born with a boatload of love inside of us…it’s what we are made of. We are sparkly, shiny beings who were made from the same stuff as the Divine, but over time we forget it, if we ever knew it at all. That means we are loved, each and every one of us, and the best life has to offer is our birthright. Never forget that. We have angels and guides who are with us every moment of the day to guide us and plant ideas in our heads, or help us escape injury if we are involved in a car accident. We have no idea just how much Spirit has been involved in our lives, and continues to be with each and every day.


 

If we are single with no one special with whom to celebrate Valentine’s Day, days like this can tend to make us feel alone, as if something huge is missing from our lives, leaving us with an emptiness that we can’t seem to fill. But know that it doesn’t have to be that way. We first should understand how much we are loved by Spirit, and try to understand what a beautiful thing that is. But even more than that, if we could just understand how special we all are, and how much we are capable of, and if we remember that it’s all about love on this planet, then we will begin to love ourselves as it was intended. When our hearts are filled with love for ourselves and for our family or friends, we will come to understand that the empty space within is no longer empty. Love will fill every nook and cranny of our beings, and we will no longer feel alone.


 

Sure, it’s nice to have a romantic interest, but until the time is right for that, we can and should feel the love that is deep inside us, and know that that love is not only for those around us but for ourselves, as well. Let that love grow, and feel and appreciate your uniqueness, and know that you are never alone. Let that love fill you inside until it feels you may burst with it, and let that beautiful smile show the world just how awesome you are. And I guarantee you, that when you do people will come to you and want to get a pierce of what you have. They will be envious, and you can trust me on that.


 

Even though most people today feel as if something is missing in their lives, just allow your inner light to shine and radiate, and your being will be filled with the best of all things—love.

 


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