May Cultivate Day 5: Journey

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tzu

The ground warms, the internal clock springs, the road beckons. Where will you journey in the coming months?

_______

My journey will take us back to Montana this summer to see my husband’s family and mutual friends from college. I cannot wait. I cannot wait to see them. I cannot wait to see the mountains. I cannot wait to breathe in the cool, clean air of Montana.

I’m not sure what other journeys are in store for us. I want for this summer to be a journey of imagination and fun as I spend the summer with my daughter when she is out of school.

I hope to journey into my mind and come up with fresh ideas for my writing that I have for far too long – let lapse.

Let the journey begin! I am open to all possibilities!

May Cultivate Day 4: Crisis

Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own. – Charles de Gaulle

Everyone responds differently in a crisis. Some people shut down completely. Others jump in and deal with the situation as it happens, only to fall apart later.

Think about some event of crisis in your life. How did you deal with it at the time? How do you view your behavior now that time has passed, and what did you learn about yourself?
__________

I tend to deal with it head on and then it hits me later after all the dust has settled.
It usually hits me quite hard later on and then it takes me some time to pull myself back together. But in the moment, I’m there. I’m present and I do whatever needs to be done to make sure everything is okay.

May Cultivate Day 3: Freedom

Our freedom can be measured by the number of things we can walk away from. — Vernon Howard

For me it comes from giving up the family restaurant, letting it go and in so doing, letting go of the stresses that had ruled my time.

My questions would be what has give you freedom? Was it from letting go of something, or from jumping into something new?

______________

Right now I feel like I am in a cage – an emotional cage. It has its claws around my heart and I’m finding it difficult to loosen its grasp.

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. More than I bargained for, actually.

Since April, I’ve been trying to “let go” and back away a bit. I’ve been reading more, not allowing the iPad in my bedroom, cutting back on my time on the computer, going to bed early and working out again. It’s helping but I’m still dealing with anxiety.

For me, I think freedom is learning to say no. It’s learning to not put so much stock in what others think. It’s accepting me for me and not trying to be perfect all the time.

I’m not there yet. But, I’m trying.

May Cultivate Day 2: Backspace

Day 2: Backspace
Too often we allow our fears of what people might think of us determine what we think, write or how we act. Because of this, we rely too much on the backspace, or delete key, of our keyboard to dictate our voices rather than our spacebar. Imagine a using keyboard without the delete key available: What would your voice finally be able to say or do if it were finally freed of the backspace?

HA! I hold back each and every day. Especially on Facebook. The things I would love to say would alienate probably 90 percent or more of my friends and family. I’m sick and tired of being “PC” and yet, here we are.

Politics is a definite no-no because people are so vile and judgmental that it is a dangerous topic to touch these days. We hate each other simply because of who we choose to vote for our what party we affiliate with. I am so sick of it. I just want to say, “SHUT THE HELL UP and DEAL WITH IT!”

Differences in opinion – no matter what the topic, actually, is dangerous. God forbid, you have a mind of your own. God forbid you are sick and tired of people with their doom and gloom and CONSTANT criticisms of one another. AND, of course, the labeling! If you don’t agree with something, by GOD! You are a racist! You are intolerant! You are EVIL!

My voice would say we have so many other incredibly important things to work on and achieve rather than to quibble about so many minor things. We hide behind religion and use it as a weapon. We shield ourselves in this stench of superiority because we think somehow we are more moral than the person next to us.

I could go on and on and on. Mostly, I have this incredibly internalized anger that I have to keep closeted because it benefits no one to let it out. Poetry used to be my outlet for anger but lately, I can’t tap into it.

Anyway, the backspace is something I need. It is not something I can do without because too often I react without thinking and send my thoughts out into the world too quickly. The world is not prepared to handle what I really think. It’s really not.

May Cultivate Day 1: Challenges

Day 1: Challenges

What challenges do you face? How can you turn them into blessings? What can you do to do to live a life you love?

Right now, trying to find time to do things I want to do – for myself – is a challenge. I’ve immersed myself in extracurricular activities that are devouring my time so I am left feeling depleted and overwhelmed lately.

On one hand, I love what I’m doing and on the other hand, it has taken everything out of me and has left me feeling antisocial and exhausted.

I chose this. I know.

I’ve been leaving my cellphone off just to have some peace without the constant barrage of people needing something.

On the positive side, I’m working out again and reading. I’ve limited my time on the iPad and computer. It is helping. And my heart issue seems to be quieting down.

I just need to get over this feeling that I’m running behind before I start. I need to get back to me and the challenge I face is learning how to say no and not feel guilty about it.

Where Is Me?

DSCN5379

In response to the title of this post, I don’t know.

I’ve lost her. Or at least that is how I feel these days.

I haven’t blogged since January. I’ve not written in ages.

I’ve been so busy with all the political work with which I’m involved, everything else has been pushed over to a blurry peripheral. I feel like I’m doing good and there are aspects of it I love. There are also things about it I despise.

I feel angry some of the time. Frustrated with myself. Pissed off that I’ve stopped working out and allowed my body to lose many of the gains I had been making.

And now, my health is freaking me out a little bit. All the stress and anxiety from the last couple months has caught up with me and now I’m paying for it. I’m working to relax, reclaim my personal space and started working out again. I am praying that is all it will take to get my body – my heart – if that is the issue – back to where it was. I know I should see a doctor—and I will—just not yet. I want to see if I can remedy this myself this week. My husband is off this week, I’ve shut my phone off, I’ve been limiting time on the computer and iPad. I’m reading and trying to nourish my soul and my mind – as well as my body.

I need to sit out on the deck and read poetry.

Gosh, when is the last time I wrote poetry? Well, right after the miscarriage…but I cannot read that right now. The last time I really woke has been several years. The muse has been absent…far too absent.

I miss her. I miss me.

I need to get her back.

 

Cultivate: Day 4

What needs to be asked? Are you afraid of hearing no?

Sometimes, I am afraid of hearing the word, “no”.

I need to ask myself, “why not?” more often and just, as they say, “do it”.

I need to stop being afraid. My fear of failure tends to get in the way of me moving forward and putting myself out there.

It is definitely something I need to continue working on.

 

cultivate3729a0

It’s time for Cultivate again! It’s a yearly blogging event focused on goals and encouragement for the new year. It was created by Meredith Shadwill. Find out more and how you can participate by going to Meredith’s blog.

Cultivate: Day 3

When was the last time you unplugged from your devices? Could you benefit from a digital break?

I try to “unplug” from time to time. It’s difficult because some of my responsibilities. I do miss the days before personal computers and cell phones. I miss my time in the mountains – no power – few if any people.

I find that stealing away into the woods for a few hours helps me greatly. It is not as much time as I would like, but it does wonders in recharging my soul.

cultivate3729a0

It’s time for Cultivate again! It’s a yearly blogging event focused on goals and encouragement for the new year. It was created by Meredith Shadwill. Find out more and how you can participate by going to Meredith’s blog.

Cultivate: Day 2

How can you better manage your time? What would you like to do in your spare time to enjoy it more?

Oh where to begin?

I SUCK at time management. I have intentions of wise-use-of-time-management but then before I know it, the day is over and it’s time for bed. Never enough time in a day.

Lately, since last Fall, especially – it’s almost like I am afraid to sit and write – to quiet my mind and allow my thoughts to take center stage.

I need to get over that.

cultivate3729a0

It’s time for Cultivate again! It’s a yearly blogging event focused on goals and encouragement for the new year. It was created by Meredith Shadwill. Find out more and how you can participate by going to Meredith’s blog.

Cultivate: Day 1

What’s your biggest goal for 2016?

This is the one year I finally realized I don’t have any goals or resolutions. I don’t want any. And I don’t believe I have to have any.

I plan to take each day as it comes.

The biggest thing I want to focus on is “consistency”.

This is not to say I don’t have plans or any goals whatsoever. I just refuse to build them up in my mind as a “do or die” sort of thing.

Carpe diem!

 

cultivate3729a0

It’s time for Cultivate again! It’s a yearly blogging event focused on goals and encouragement for the new year. It was created by Meredith Shadwill. Find out more and how you can participate by going to Meredith’s blog.

#Reverb15 – Day 16: Magic and Beauty

Today’s prompt comes from illuminary and messenger, Deborah Weber. Deborah’s words and images always infuse my day with a sense of sacred calm. I love the way she moves through her world with a keen eye and an open heart, and feel so lucky to be sharing the journey with her.

Deborah writes:

Ancient alchemical texts are things of beauty – filled with allegory and symbolic language; things hidden in plain sight; and plain things promising transformation.

If we were to peek into the book of your year, what might we find?

What magic do you carry that people need to look a bit deeply to see?

_____

The book of my year. What would it contain?

My book would be made of old parchment. Edges rough cut, binding and cover of homemade paper with pressed autumn leaves and flowers. It would crackle slightly and the texture would be thick that when you run your fingers over the pages, you can feel the substance before you even come to the words within.
Opening the book, you would find snippets of poetry, sketches, thoughts and favorite quotes. You would find leaves pressed between pages. There are clippings tucked here and there – of things I’d cut out in passing.
This year’s book would be a bit scattered – full of highs and lows – peaks and valleys. Thoughts being sorted out as I search for answers and meaning. It’s a book that might not make sense straight away to the casual observer. But it is me.
My magic – I do not know. It’s a hard thing for me to see/recognize. I am not certain what I offer if any.

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

#Reverb15 – Day 15: Of Marshmallows and Trampolines

Issue 5 of the beautiful magazine Bella Grace carries a gorgeous illustrated quote from a chap called H. Jackson Brown Jr as follows:

“Watch the sunrise at least once a year, put a lot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, lie on your back and look at the stars, never buy a coffee table you can’t put your feet on, never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline, don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.”

What small pleasures gave you moments of intense joy in 2015?

What more could you cultivate in 2016?

______

Oooooh! *claps hands excitedly
So many things gave me intense joy! Where to begin! Here are just a few!

*Sitting out on the lawn in the dark taking pictures of the night sky (incredibly relaxing)
*Laying out on the grass, eyes closed as the sun kisses my face
*A day trip to Door County and getting to see a friend and also eat at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant! I just wish the goats had been out on the roof!
*Getting in touch with my Swedish heritage through baking!
*Finding gifts for friends and sending them to them out of the blue.
*Helping people.
*Hearing my daughter giggle and tell her whacky jokes.
*A cup of fresh ground, pour over coffee from Montana.
*Breathing in fresh, chilly Fall/Winter air.
*Twinkling Christmas lights in our yard.
*Pumpkins. Always pumpkins.
*Organizing Christmas cards to be sent out by state and sometimes zip code – if there are many going to one particular state. Yes, I know it is not necessary but I’ve always done it and it gives me this odd pleasure to do so.
*Finding perfect Autumn leaves on the sidewalk or grass and taking a picture.

I plan (of course!) to continue this in the new year! How could I not! I will take more time to indulge in the little things. But it is not difficult for me to do this! I delight in all that is around me! That is one of the best things about life!

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

#Reverb15 – Day 14: Transformation

You wake up and the light through the window seems different, the air carries a chill or maybe a hint of warmer days.

What has changed? You? The world?

It can be a change that happened this past year or one you’re looking toward in the time ahead. It can be a broad sweep obvious to all or a more subtle shift that only you know about.

Tell us about transformation. 

______

*I realize I’m WAY behind on my Reverb15 blog posts. These last few days (well week) got away from me. So I shall try to catch up. 🙂

It’s funny because “transformation” was my word I chose for 2015.

I wanted it to be a transformative year for me and it was – in more ways than one.

It was in not always in the best of ways, unfortunately. But perhaps that is what made it transformative in a positive way – as an end result?

It has not been the worst year of my life. But several negative situations helped take the wind out of our sails throughout the course of 2015.

I think, looking back, that the change I see is how I view things – how I view myself. If I am to take away something positive out of all the muck – it would be that I am more accepting of myself than I used to be. I no longer look in the mirror and see the imperfections. I like who I am looking at. I see strength. I see myself for me. And I am proud of that.
I’m tired of thinking I need to be a certain size to be happy. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I accept me for me. That is incredibly freeing.

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

#Reverb15 – Day 13: Shake It Off

What are you going to shake off with fierceness before you enter the new year? 
______

Like a dusty old rug taken outside to be shook
I’m going to shake off the negative things
that have plagued us this year
and let them be carried far, far away on the wind.

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

#Reverb15 – Day 12: The Alchemy of Fear

One way we can be alchemists is when comes to fear. I don’t believe in fearlessness. I truly cannot imagine what that would feel like. But when we experience fear we can transmute that energy into something else, something more helpful.For example, we may choose to change that fear into motivation, or focus, or hyper-awareness. Can you think of an instance in the past year where you have been successful at making fear useful?  What fears do you hold about the year ahead? And how could you use the energy of those fears in a different way?
_____

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

          ~Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
Frank Herbert – “Dune”

There are different facets to fear – varying degrees of fear. Fear manifests itself in each of us quite differently. For some, it can be quite debilitating while for others, it can be a tremendous motivator.

I don’t know I would want to live a life without fear. To me, complacency made possible by a life devoid of fear is far more scary than fear itself. Fear can drive us to do incredible things. It is true it can also drive us to do horrible things. I guess it is a two-edged sword.

I think the key is to recognize fear for what it is and face it head on as suggested in the Litany Against Fear as quoted above. And to not allow the fear to become a negative motivator but rather a positive one.

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

#Reverb15 – Day 11: Of Atoms and Stories

Muriel Rukeyser once wrote: “The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”And I could not agree more. Our stories are our own but, in sharing them, they become universal. And timeless.

What stories touched you this year? Which stories of your own are you glad you shared?
_____

I fear this post may come across as rather selfish.
So many stories touched me this year. But I have to confess that nothing touched me more than the stories of family and friends – other women who have had miscarriages.

I was about six or seven weeks pregnant this past September when I miscarried our baby.

It was like being sucked underwater by an overpowering current with no means to catch my breathe.  I know I wasn’t that far along but we wanted this second child so much. As with AnneShirley, I connected straight away with the baby and was talking to it constantly. We had already decided on names: Marilla for a girl and Hunter for a boy.

We shared on Facebook – as soon as we found out – that we were pregnant. And also, as with AnneShirley – I knew very quickly that I was pregnant. We were beyond excited and anyone who knows me knows I am not one to sit on news – especially when it is something I am ecstatic about. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I always have.

And then this happened.

I felt the only way was to address it head on – but not for some altruistic reason. I simply could not bear the thought of other people believing I was going to have a baby – happy and excited for us while I was living in this nightmare reality where my baby was gone and would never be. I had to get everyone on the same page so as to avoid the – “when are you due or how is the pregnancy going” questions.

It sounds dreadful when I write this but it is the truth.

So I posted on Facebook what happened. I asked that no one post that “this was God’s will” or “it is for the best”. I didn’t expect any response, I just wanted to let everyone know.

And then, my Facebook page was flooded with love. Private messages filled my Facebook message folder from friends, my former teachers, family – all women who have had miscarriages. They shared their painful stories. Friends thanked me for sharing because miscarriage is something people tend to shy away from talking about.

I was overwhelmed with so much love and support. I had no idea so many women have gone through this. It broke my heart to hear these stories. No woman should ever have to go through this. It is an experience that scars the soul for life.

It nearly broke me. But the stories – they helped me so very, very much. I did not feel so alone.

I’m glad I shared what happened. I still ache for my baby.  But sharing helped prevent me from retreating into my shell (as I sometimes do). It raised my own awareness about this sort of loss. I do believe it has and continues to help me heal.

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

#Reverb15 – Day 10: Radical Acts of Love

When we heal our spirits the ripples are felt from the highest branches to the deepest roots of our family trees. What radical act of love or non-conformity did you embrace this year?  How did performing this alchemy affect your ancestors and what is the gold waiting to be shared with future relations?
______

12080214_10207691658239144_8629166907520074602_o

I am coming up empty for this prompt, which really saddens me because I feel as if I am missing something or not understanding it. So I’ll just post this picture I took earlier this Fall when I was out hiking. It reminds me of the paths I have yet to take and the never-ending possibilities life presents us.

###

Reverb is a yearly writing challenge that takes place in December. Being the end of the year, it is the perfect time to reflect and think about all that we hold dear to us and to let go of those things that are weighing us down or holding us back. I hope you’ll join us as we share in this wonderful yearly ritual that has become so dear to so many – especially me.

%d bloggers like this: