Finding Inspiration In A Rock

Working still on trying to find my way. I’m now reading JULIA Cameron’s newer books: It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again and Walking In The World. Both are inspiring me, again, to keep moving. Just keep moving!

Begin Again

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I Am A Rock

For a few years, now, I’ve been on  a journey to “find myself”.  I know, people used to think that’s something for the young and foolish but when I was young, I didn’t have the time to find myself.  Now, I do.

So, currently, I am engrossed in a book entitled “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity“, by Julia Cameron.  I am actively participating in multiple, suggested exercises, feeding my brain with positive affirmations, unblocking negative thoughts and fears – things that block creativity.

One of many, simple activities was to go on a rock hunt. Search for rocks that stand out  for some reason.  She said that they were, then, to serve as “small constant reminders of creative consciousness”. That’s all… Hmmm. Ok.

So, off I went to find rocks that spoke to me. I walked and walked, looking for the…

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Let Your Light Shine

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Everyone has the ability to reflect light. It’s a choice. So I choose the light!

 Surrounding me, forever, have been harbingers of doom and gloom. I admit, there is plenty of bad, in the world, to keep the flow of negativity going but while others share posts intended to incite anger, hatred, and frustration, I choose to give something that might allow a moment of quiet, calm, peace.

I started this blog two years ago and at the time I was living in a small apartment that butted up to a nature preserve.  It was there that I found peace.   I would walk the trails, allowing my eyes to wander from tree to flower and more, simply waiting for something to catch my eye. When it did, I’d stop and linger with the camera snapping frame after frame, zooming in to capture the intricacy of its beauty.

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These were taken in the summer time. There is something about flowers that soothe a restless heart.  I read somewhere that flowers don’t try to compete to be the best flower in the garden. They just bloom!  So, I surround myself with as many flowers as I can and, today, I choose to just bloom!

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You can too.

It’s a choice!

Time To Fall Up!

I wrote this post a year ago.  It still sits on a sidebar on my computer.  For some reason, I opened it today to reread it and I think that this was more than just a coincidence.  Over our lifetime…

Source: Time To Fall Up!

Words

 

It’s all been said before.
You’ve heard the words.

“Relax.
Go with the flow.
Just focus on today.
Take one moment at a time.”

Right? Right!

Words!
Just words!
No one can tell you how to handle this.
No one can feel what I feel.

Everything will be ok.
 Just breathe!
Focus on this moment.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

But everything doesn’t feel ok.

It’s hard to breathe.

I can’t focus.

I am worried.

Ok.
I will listen.
I will be by your side.
Cry, if you need to.
I’ll hold your hand.
Scream if it helps.
I’ll understand.

Sometimes,
Silence
Is the best advice.

Sometimes,
Being present
Is the best friend.

The words will always be there.
They linger in the air
For just the right moment.
When I’m ready
They’ll be heard.

What Really Matters?

IMG_9485This older me, this wiser me…

looks back before I head into this new year.  This older me, this wiser me reflects on one simple question:  “What really mattered in my life?  What really mattered?

Was it to be popular with others my age (first in school, then in my job, then with other parents, and on and on)?  I wanted so much to be popular.  Did that really matter?

Was it to have nice things (clothes, cars, houses, furniture)?  I longed for nice things, worked hard for nice things, my whole life.  Did those things really matter?

I did so much in my life.  I always wanted more.  I had a career, a marriage, children.  I raced from task to task, wanting to be the best for each of them; always longing to be better than I felt I was, feeling less than perfect all the time.

Did it matter?  Did it really matter?

This older me, this wiser me looks back and thinks…

What really mattered was the laughter, the love, the hugs, the conversations, the moments of pure joy.  None of these things had popularity or fashion or money requirements.  They came to me free of charge with only one requirement; I had to give these things back to others.

This older me, this wiser me…

found peace inside, and with that peace came this simple but profound understanding.  I realized, as I looked back on my memories that when I laughed, others laughed.  When I hugged, I got a hug in return.  When I listened to others, others listened to me.  When I shared my moments of pure joy, it made others happy and they, in turn, shared their’s.  When I gave love, I got loved right back.

So, what really matters in this life?

How about if you STOP!  Stop trying to be… and do… and want… and need… something more. STOP! Stop wishing…and hoping… and longing…for something you don’t have. STOP!  Stop believing that being popular, having a great job, making lots of money is what matters…because… it doesn’t.

In the end, the older you, the wiser you will look back… at the laughter… the love…the hugs…the conversations…the moments of pure joy.

And, they were all free to give and freely given in return.

So, this older me, this wiser me says…

This is my gift to you for the new year.  You don’t have to wait to be old to be wise.  Right now, today, you can bring laughter into your day, you can hug someone and listen (really listen) to someone.  And then, try sharing a moment of pure joy.  See for yourself.  See if, by doing these things, you find love.

And, that, my friends, is what really matters…to love!

 

 

The Christmas Letter

S.M.I.L.E - Simple Messages In Life's Eye

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Once a year, I do it. Once a year, I collect my thoughts about how my year has gone and I summarize it the best I can into a Christmas newsletter.

I know, I know! There are so many thoughts about “The Christmas Letter” that you get from others each year. Some are braggadocios: sharing every possible wonderful trip that was taken, how smart and successful their kids are, and how they just moved to a bigger, grander house. Others drone on and on about little things like how well their garden grew last summer. One year, I got a letter from my aunt. She listed every illness, broken bone, surgery, and sadness her family had experienced over the past year and then she ended it with “Merry Christmas”. I couldn’t help it. I laughed!

So, why do I do it? Why do I spend time writing this letter that…

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Maybe I Should Take Up Knitting

Journal Entry - July 22, 2015
Part Six of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change

When I was a teenager, my mom told me that I needed to take up a hobby; something like knitting, embroidery, or crocheting.  She said that if I didn’t, I’d be bored.  Well, I’ve made it for 64 years without any of that yarn but I may be nearing a point. I like having a project to work on and just like with a knitted sweater, I like having a way to give it to someone.

Since Sunday, and our return from the river camping trip, I’ve been working on a video using the photos and some live video inserts.  It should have been an easy task but it was made complicated by pesky copyright violations and 10 second limits on personal video inserts but I learned a lot and last night I was able to load it to Facebook.  As usual, I wish I had taken a moment longer and loaded it to Youtube, it would have looked better.  But, I got excited and anxious to share.  Oh well, it’s done and now I sit in wonder of what my next project will be.  Maybe I should have taken up knitting. 🙂

I sure did like the diversion from sad thoughts of my daughter and grandson leaving. I spent yesterday, then, with my grandson.  He played in the dirt in his pajamas because…why not?  Then, he ran around the house in just a diaper having the time of his life. He just didn’t want to get dressed. The beauty of it was, there was no need for him to get dressed.  Finally, when he realized that we couldn’t go to the construction site without clothes on, he willingly went upstairs.  Then, fully clothed, we took off early to meet up with his mama for lunch.  It took us an hour to go 15 minutes because we had to stop and watch an excavator dig up a sidewalk.  Then, we had to remove all of the rocks from the sand under our favorite swing, and then… swing, of course.  Finally, we had to check the progress on the buildings that are going up in the neighborhood. It was a perfect walk, a beautiful day, a great (peaceful) lunch.

I want my daughter and I to go back to that place, that time.  Instead, our conversation is focused solely on the baby.  What did he do today?  Any new words? Was he a good boy?  I ask nothing about the job interview.  She shares nothing about the status.  I can’t help her with her feelings. She can’t help me with mine. We’re just carrying the burden alone…and it makes me want to vomit. Part of me is saying, “Just go already. Just go!”  The other part of me is holding on to my grandson so tightly.

Why can’t my son-in-law find the perfect job right here? Why do millions of other people find jobs to be close to their families.  Instead, they are moving to be close to a brother he hasn’t seen in three years.

Their new baby…will I know that baby?  Will that baby know me?

I think I need to learn how to crochet.  Maybe those hobbies were  meant to help you cope with grief and pain and loss.  Maybe my mom was right. WHAT?!?

Help Me Breathe!

Journal Entry - July 17, 2015 
Part three of how Morning Pages(my journal)
helped me process through a change.

Yesterday: chilly, ending with rain. Today: windows steamed up, heat arriving.  Supposed to be in the 90’s.  Prepare thyself for sweating it out in a tent tonight and tomorrow night.

Time for the annual (now) Dancing on the River’s Edge.

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Yes, this will be the third year, Chris.  This year, some have taken to the idea and actually invited their friends.  A “Friends of Friends of Friends” party, just like you liked.  It’s exactly what Cindy wanted year one for your memorial celebration.  Maybe, it’s growing into that, maybe!  Be with us this year, ok?  Protect everyone out on their canoe rides.  Protect the children near the water’s edge.  Keep us from making poor choices with too much alcohol.  We love and miss you, Chris – you know, in that special way.  You were one of a kind, that’s for sure.

Night sleeping is interrupted fits of reality.  Are they moving?  Prepare yourself.  Well that means a gut ache every day.  Tears that come on out of the blue because of a random thought. I try to wrap my head around a new form of normal.  Facetime chats, once a week…maybe.  It will seem like they’re right there…maybe.  Maybe I’ll fly there every two months.  Maybe not.

And the new baby.  Will she know me?  Will she be afraid of me?  “Who is this stranger?” she’ll scream.  Well, the shaman said it best; this is not my family to raise.  So stand back, Grandma.  Stand back.  Your help is no longer needed.  Thank you for your service.

Do I sound bitter?  I don’t mean to. What do I really feel like, now?  Right this moment?

Old, I feel old!  I’m entering a dark place.  It’s deep and cold and damp.  It’s scary.  I know there’s light and I should reach for it but I don’t even want to.  I told my daughter that she should take me out of her mind when making the decision to move.  It’s not about me.  I’ll figure it out.  Right now, I want to back far far away…from the hurt.

When my brother was dying, I didn’t want to see him.  I didn’t want to be there to say good-bye.  I don’t want to be with my daughter and her family, now, either.  I don’t want to say good-bye.

I think I need help with this one.  I was wrong when I told my daughter that it’s not about me.  It is about me this time!  It is about me! And, the only place I have to talk about it is here in this journal.  Many other parents have children move away.  They give their blessing and wish them well and move on.  I made my daughters my whole life, especially after their dad died.  Yes, I remarried, but even my new husband knew that my daughters came first.  Always first.

Help me, now, fill this gapping hole that’s being dug.  Help me breathe!

Help Me Breathe

Morning Pages – Finding My River

Again, I find a post that fits both blogs.

S.M.I.L.E - Simple Messages In Life's Eye

It wasn’t long ago that I received the ultimate gift.  I was given direction; advice on how to proceed with this desire to write.  It came through a book by Julia Cameron called “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity“.  In it, she suggested tools for unlocking creativity.  The number one tool, for me, has become “Morning Pages”.
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Every morning, without fail, I write.  Three pages.  Long hand.  So far, I’ve filled four notebooks.  More importantly, though, I found an inner voice; one that I just let loose to write as it wishes.  In the beginning, I have to admit, I spent a good amount of ink on simply writing “What in the world am I going to write about this morning that will fill three pages?”  Then, that turned to spewing accusatory words towards a poor deceased parent or an ex-husband.  But then, there…

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The Many Faces Of The Tree

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”

I looked up and saw eyes staring down at me!
I looked up and saw eyes staring down at me!
Then, one day, another tree frowned at me!
Then, one day, another tree frowned at me!
Can you see a face pushing it's way out of the tree (upper left) with a bit of a heart (lower right)
Can you see a face pushing it’s way out of the tree (upper left) with a bit of a heart (lower right)