Welcome to my Journey

Hello, and welcome to my Journey. Over the last few years I have been learning more about my personal journey, my Path and my Soul Purpose. The further I travel, the easier I find it to share my journey with others, and to learn from their journeys as well. The most recent evolution has caused me to expand my Universe and allow more people access to my travels, as well as allowing me access to more people, their travels and what they have learned as they walk their own paths. Feel free to share your journey here as we all have much to learn in our lives as Divine Beings having a Human experience.

Love and Light.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27, 2014 More new beginnings?

As I sit here gazing at my computer screen, noting that, once again, the clock reads 11:11, I can't help wondering if there really is something to what people say about seeing lots of 1's.  I've heard new beginnings, but I've also heard that it's an indication you're on the right track.  Either way, as far as I'm concerned, it's good news!

For the last few months, those who have been following my babbles have seen that my life has become one, great, big evolution.  In fact, I daresay I could be the next life evolution poster child, were such thing even in existence.  I see change and I say "bring it on!  I love roller coasters!"  Well, maybe not quite that broadly.  I don't want to give the Universe too many invitations to give me its infamous headslaps, now, do I? 

But I am venturing out of my safe, little nest.  I am meeting new people, trying new things, taking gigantic leaps of faith, and trusting that, no matter what it looks like at any particular moment, things will work out splendidly, if I just keep the faith and do my best to avoid negative thinking or talking.

Regrettably, tonight was not one of my better efforts.  I spent a few minutes complaining and I am disappointed in myself, especially since it wasn't even over anything earth shakingly important!  I berated myself on the drive home, especially since I subjected others to my bout of whining!  This was clearly a not-so-subtle reminder that I still have a lot of work to do! 

But what would life be without a lesson or two thrown in for our listening pleasure?  We need to know that we're making progress, but have a long way to go before we achieve Divinity.  And that's perfectly all right!  If we went our merry way, never realizing that we had room for improvement, that would be another story.  But recognizing that we aren't perfect, and seeing where we might make some improvement, however small, is tremendous!  If we never recognized that something was broken, we wouldn't direct our efforts to fix it.  However, if we see our own flaws, and look at them objectively, we can change, not only ourselves, but a small piece of the world as well! 

As I see it, flaws are part of the Human Experience.  We use those flaws to set our lessons and move ourselves along the evolutionary continuum towards connecting with our Divine Selves!  OK, so mine is probably several galaxies to the left right now, but knowing she's there is enough to make me strive to be better.  Right now, I need to remember to replace complaints with gratitude.  I think that's enough to remember for right now!

And on that note, my gratitudes for tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friends who love me even when I'm not as much fun to be around.
2. I am grateful for lightheartedness and joy derived from even the smallest things.
3. I am grateful that I am not the kind of person who tries too hard to get someone to like me any more. 
4. I am grateful that I have learned to love myself unconditionally, regardless of my flaws, or maybe because of them, because they make me who I am, and give me opportunities to be better.
5. I am grateful for the ability to seal my field and block negative energy.  I'm learning that in so doing, it dies for lack of feeding.

Love and light.

February 26, 2014 Accepting the challenge

My daughter decided to put a monkey wrench in my plans by deciding against what we did last year; sharing my one big suitcase.  Instead, she managed to squeeze enough clothes for both she and her husband into one, small suitcase.  This left me with a dilemma.  Do I take the giant suitcase, even though I would only really use about half of it, or do I take the challenge and get everything into my small roll on with the matching tote?

I'm here to tell you that I rose to the challenge and got all of my clothes and assorted sundries into the suitcase, leaving the tote free for my shoes!  I even got a sweatshirt into the suitcase with all of the other clothes.  I must say, I'm quite proud of myself. 

Granted, my makeup, glasses, brush and contact lens paraphernalia still need to be fit in somewhere, along with a pair of dress shoes which have yet to be selected.  But I have ample room in the tote, some room left in my suitcase, and a carry on bag as well.  OK, so I pared things down to 1 pair of jeans, one pair of dress slacks and a pair of shorts for dancing this time.  I probably packed the same number of tops as the dancing will get sweaty.  I also limited the workout clothes to two shirts and one pair of shorts.  (and this time, because of our very well established routine, they'll actually get used!)

What my daughter doesn't understand yet, is that while she was trained by my brother-in-law who preached minimalism when taking the kids camping, I was trained by my mother who took everything but the kitchen sink!  I can't help it!  I like to have choices!  At least I stuck to two color schemes, thus limiting the accessories and other assorted necessities. 

Even so, my girl friends will likely be more decked out than me.  I go for the simple cotton shirts which breathe and pack fairly well.  They tend to prefer dressing up, full makeup and matching jewels.  But as long as we are all comfortable with ourselves, what does it matter?  We plan on having a wonderful time, raising a little hell and dancing or butts off.  What could be better? 

Warning!  Topic Change!   
So I was sitting here, playing a game on my computer.  Suddenly, the sounds of a wolf howl were emitting from my speakers.  It startled me at first, but the real show was two of my cats.  They were sitting on the desk when the howling started, and, with ears laid back, were looking around trying to figure out where that darned wolf was, and whether they needed to flee before it got any closer! 
That was my giggle for the evening!

But back to the original discussion.  (I know, that was an awfully short detour!)  I have finally arrived at that point in my life where I dress to please myself without concern for what others might think.  (ok, except when it comes to wearing a bathing suit in public!  We all have our limits!)  My daughter figured it out much earlier in life.  She knows how to dress appropriately for various situations, and can really clean up well when she chooses, but when there isn't any particular requirement, she opts for comfort rather than style.  She doesn't allow the opinions of others to alter her opinion about what looks good and feels comfortable.  I give her a lot of credit, and have learned a great deal from her too. 

The real lesson I've learned, though, is to not only withhold any unkind comments about someone else's choice of attire, but to halt even any unkind thoughts I might have.  Instead, I will remind myself that if the person feels good about themselves, who am I to judge, or tell them differently?  I certainly wouldn't appreciate negative opinions about my choices, so the best thing to do is give as I wish to receive. 

In the process, I'm learning a new kind of respect for those who dress, act and carry themselves in ways which may not conform to popular opinion, but who also don't give a damn what the rest of the world might think.  To all of them I say, "Stand up and be proud!  You're setting a great example for the rest of us!"

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the opportunities I receive to learn more lessons.
2. I am grateful that I was able to rise to the challenge and pack more lightly,.
3. I am grateful for girlfriends who just love me as I am.
4. I am grateful for opportunities to cut loose, be a little wild and laugh a lot.
5. I am grateful for the very diverse community to which I belong.

Love and light.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 25, 2014 Just another night with little to say

Looking at my blog page this evening, I don't really have much to share with you, but figured I would at least make an effort to impart something, be it wisdom, humor, or just random babbling.

While trolling through my brain, looking for a gem or two, it occurred to me that I'd completed a few of the tasks on my list today, despite the fact that I don't feel like I've really done that much.  (11:11 on my computer clock!)

I seem to be taking a lot for granted these days, as I've established my routine of getting up by about 8, taking care of a few things, feeding the cats and doing chores without thinking about them.

Unlike most people, I really didn't have a daily regimen for those chores...until now.  The bed, which used to stay rumpled for days is made up every morning, often while the kitties are eating so I don't have to fight with them to straighten the pillows.  Their sandboxes are scooped regularly now (thank goodness!!!), and the kitchen is picked up before I go to bed, with cat dishes washed and waiting in the dish drainer.  Laundry is done every week without fail (instead of waiting until I'm at underwear critical) and this week, I even took the shower curtain down and washed it!  Even more bizarre is that the house gets vacuumed once a week!  No more cat sized dust bunnies lurking in the corners!

These may seem like small things, even normal, everyday things to the average person.  But I'm just not much of a housekeeper, so these are the things which will fall by the wayside while I read a book, or write, or play a game, or just about anything to get out of cleaning!  I am the rebellious product of my uber neat, OCD mother.  I am everything she was not, including the slovenly habits I developed over the years.

But being home most days has had an interesting effect on me.  Sure, I'm still not scrubbing my floors on hands and knees every week, in fact, there are times when my kitchen floor just gets a "lick and a promise", but I don't allow clutter to accumulate any more, and I look at the fur on my sofa and think "I need to get the vacuum out and clean that off!".  The blankets I keep on the couch are almost always folded neatly on the back of the sofa and love seat.  The dining room table is usually clear.  Dirty dishes are rarely found lurking in the living room or my office any more.  I actually get annoyed with myself if I've left my detritus behind.

Oy vey!  Am I becoming my mother???  Next thing you know, I'll be washing the walls!  (and, between you and me, they really need it!)  But no, my house has a long way to go before it reaches the level of neatness my mother expected, and I'm ok with that.  But it no longer takes a week's worth of cleaning to make the place presentable!  I guess I've found my own happy medium where dust may still accumulate for awhile, but eventually gets cleared, even though I know it will just accumulate again.

Something I've learned about keeping things cleared off is that my house actually stays neater with less effort. Why?  Because there is less stuff laying around for the cats to knock down and carry off t parts unknown!  I spend less time searching for missing objects, because, more often than not, they are where they belong!  What a concept!  It only took me mfmmph years to figure it out!

So here I sit, in my organized office with the only slightly messy desk, with plenty of room for the cats to sprawl while I work.  I think everyone is happy with the new arrangement, even if it means short periods of disturbance, like bed making and vacuuming.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my girlfriends.
2. I am grateful for my furry kids who keep me company, give me comfort and make me feel needed.
3. I am grateful for the progress I'm  making on the rewrite of my book.
4. I am grateful for good times to come with friends I'm slowly growing closer to, and new ones yet to be made.
5. I am grateful for abundance in health, prosperity, love and friendship.

Love and light.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014 Lacking motivation, yet still getting things done

Today was one of those days when nothing got done.  I got up just a little later than normal, but have just not been able to motivate myself to do anything more strenuous, either mentally or physically, than reading a book. 

To add to the confusion, someone sent me a beautiful vase of white roses, spider mums and snapdragons, with a card that read "shhhh, don't tell!"  Making the mystery even more, well, mysterious is the fact that they were delivered, but they (at least from my time spent hanging around a friend's flower shop) did not come from a florist.  Why do I say that?  There is no bow, no tape on the top of the vase and no filler or greens.  I've yet to see a florist put a vase of flowers together without at least some greenery to fill up the vase.  But frankly, this arrangement is simply gorgeous in its simplicity!

So I didn't get sandboxes scooped or editing done.  But some habits have been deeply ingrained since my life changing experience.  The bed (no thanks to the cats) still got made this morning, my contacts are in and I'm wearing clothes as opposed to pajamas. 

                                                  *  *  *

I think I'm becoming someone else.  After typing that I got nothing done, I had a sudden urge to dump the sandboxes and clean the bathroom floors!  <sigh>  Oh, well.  Cats are happy and it's one less thing for me to do tomorrow! 

The mystery of the flowers has yet to be solved.   We're vacillating between someone I'd least expect (and as they're white and were delivered, that rules Heather out.  She'd have brought them to me herself, and they'd be brightly colored), or it's someone checking to see if I'm home (this one is rather creepy).  But wherever they came from, I will simply enjoy them while they last! 

Still, I'm unable to get through a day without accomplishing at least the basics, so the kitchen is cleaned up, the cats' bowls ready for tomorrow's feeding, only an emptying of trash receptacles and a day's worth of scooping to be done for the Tuesday trash pickup, and I did get some reading done which may or may not help my book.  I also chatted with my daughter for awhile and maybe we cleared the air.  I know she's stressed about a number of things, and sometimes, she and I just need a little space.  We decided to do our workouts separately this week just to give ourselves that space.  Even people who are close can irritate each other now and then, and since neither of us is the quietest, calmest person in the world to begin with, we tend to need a time out from each other now and again, just to regain perspective.

I also had some weird, out of character visions of my daughter, Jenni, during my meditation, so all in all, it was an odd kind of day.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for understanding my own needs.
2. I am grateful for days which seem unproductive, but in reality, serve a higher purpose.
3. I am grateful for my days of solitude.
4. I am grateful for new beginnings.
5. I am grateful for abundance, balance and prosperity.

Love and light

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21, 2014 Slogging along!

Today was another morning when I was jolted awake in the wee hours before dawn by another headache which NORMALLY alerts me to a weather change, but this time, it was a false alarm!  Meanwhile, my Friday gym visit had to be moved to Saturday as I couldn't see me trying to do the balancing stuff on the half ball with my head in a spin.   

No worries, as it happened.  I spent the better part of the day editing, and boy, was I on target when I said it was going to be a slow process!  I'm 57 pages and 12 chapters into the thing, after many hours of work this week.  I've added another 3,000 words so far, but knew that would be part of the process.  The initial draft was, in some places, little more than an outline and needed some serious fleshing out!  I currently have another 202 pages to go through, so if the number cruncher in me wants to quantify, I'm about 1/5 of the way through the rewrite. 

Granted, this week was unusual as I put the whole week aside (barring gym visits, vet visits and other interruptions and procrastinations) just for editing.  But if I could get this much done every week, I'd have the first pass of editing done by the end of March. 

Sadly, I have other things which need to be done in that same space of time, like client work, homework, meetings with my teacher and classmate, so I will be seven shades of thrilled if I can finish by then! 

I also need to come up with a real title, figure out how to get some cover art, answer some really tough questions from my marketing guru, and talk to a man (or woman) about a website. 

Easy peasy, right?  I have to tell ya, this writing stuff is starting to feel a lot like work!  The only time I just ride the wave of creativity is when I'm writing or editing.  All of the other stuff, though very necessary if I want more than 5 people to read my book, feels like that three letter word I left behind me  (whispering so the fates can't hear me...you know...the J O B!) 

However, I have brought in an expert to keep me going in the right direction, and without an equal amount of marketing effort, the accounting has slowed down for the moment (though I may have to put some effort into marketing that, too, if my suspicions that something is about to break loose...well, never mind.  I'm not even going to go there right now.  The Universe is expecting me to allow it to do its job, so who am I to fret, worry or question the hows?   The book is my focus, and I have been given some time to keep that focus.  Because I don't know how much time I'm being given before my world, once again, is blown to kingdom come, I had best use my time wisely. 

And using it wisely means that I must edit at least 50 or 60 pages a week!  Now that I don't punch a clock, my weeks have a full seven days.  Sure, I don't necessarily work on my book for 8 hours a day, but there have been, and will be again, days when I work for a lot longer than 8 hours.  I got on a pretty good roll today, and worked two shifts of about 3 hours each.  Doing that every day would see amazing progress, don't you think? 

Through it all, I also need to make time to participate in some read and critiques, but I really wanted to bring edited pages, not draft pages.  Now, I can do that.  Like anything else, it's all a matter of steps.  One thing has to be finished before some other things can start.  Meanwhile, we can perform some steps concurrently.  (like editing and getting the marketing stuff rolling, for instance)

I've also learned (and each day is a learning experience now!), that I really do need to keep at least one of my blogs up too.  It won't be long before this, or one like it, will become the forum for my book, so I need to start building readership.  Yet another lesson to be learned!  Who says you can't teach an old dog???

Needless to say, rather than running out of words because I'm using so many, I seem to be running off at the...um..fingers with a plethora of words, in the many avenues I am currently traveling.

I am, therefore, doing my best to keep things from running into next Tuesday by making a concerted effort to turn off the flow of words before it truly does become a tower of babble!!!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that the editing process is proceeding, albeit slowly, to the point where I can seek some constructive criticism, while putting my ego and motherly instincts into the closet during the process.
2. I am grateful for the help that is there for the seeking as I move into uncharted territory.
3. I am grateful for long, peaceful, uninterrupted days (with a little help from the "Do Not Disturb" sign on my front door.
4. I am grateful for increased energy, improving health and fitness levels and a brain that keeps on ticking.
5. I am grateful for my furry assistants who participate in everything from waking me up somewhat early in the morning, to hanging nearby while I edit, to helping me meditate.  I couldn't do it without them!

Love and light

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 20, 2014 Windy days and empathic tendencies

I may have narrowed down the reasons behind last night's mood swings.

I noticed, today, that my empathic nature seems to be heightened for some reason, prompting me to strengthen the seal on my energy field.   But even more likely to make me twitchy is the fact that the winds this town is known for have returned with a vengeance.

Unfortunately for me and Scooby, this was the day I'd set to take him to the vet.  Now, he keeps running in, touching base with me, then taking off again.  The winds and the trip in the car are not making for a very peaceful boy today!  But to be honest, I'm not sure if his mood is rubbing off on me, or vice versa!  Maybe a little of both.

Trying to meditate today was a real challenge.  Every little noise distracted me.  Snoopy/Snowball was being especially naughty.  My mind kept drifting from past history to things I needed to do.  I was finally able to get a few minutes in by just focusing on moving my energy around.  But it was hardly what I needed today.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing you ate seemed to satisfy (or, like me, turned your stomach into a rumbling mass of annoyance!), nothing you tried to do held your attention, but yet, there was nothing you really wanted to do?   That's me, today!  I can only hope that tonight's dancing will, somehow, settle me down!  It's almost like that anticipation feeling.  You know something exciting is about to happen, but you also know that you have to wait for the proper time, but you're just not happy about the waiting part.  I used to call it the Disneyland syndrome, as it was a feeling that occurred in the day or days preceding a Disneyland trip.

It's even affecting my eating!  This morning, it took me over an hour and a half to eat one, 5.3 ounce carton of yogurt.  This afternoon, I was eating everything in sight, managing to squeeze 90% of the day's calories into a 2 hour period of time.  I was planning to make a smoothie for dinner, but by the time I needed to do it before going dancing, all I wanted was....you guessed it!  A 5.3 ounce carton of yogurt!  <sigh>

A marvelous night of dancing, hanging with friends who are getting excited about the upcoming cruise and watching the girls flirt with the new guy all had the desired affect!  I'm still feeling like my nerve endings are exposed, but had plenty of practice sealing my field tonight, so it's all good.  Nothing like a good, physical workout to make you just want to sleep!

My gratitudes are probably going to be pretty obvious tonight:
1. I am grateful for the ability to work out physically to overcome my emotional vulnerabilities.
2. I am grateful for my dance friends who never fail to lift my mood, even when I didn't know it needed lifting.
3. I am grateful for getting to know more of the dance people better.
4. I am grateful for the wonderful night's sleep I have to look forward to tonight.
5. I am grateful for the unconditional love of my cats who are there whenever I need them (often, with one snoring and muttering on my desk while I work!)

Love and light

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 19, 2014 Mood swings...not for those with motion sickness

Had another lovely night of dancing and chatting with friends tonight.  I'm doing my best to get out to at least my normal three nights, in hopes of counteracting my natural, hermit tendencies which the editing process seems to be exacerbating.  I particularly enjoy the Wednesday night two step lessons because the music isn't so loud and I actually get a chance to chat with people I'd otherwise never really get to know. 

A lot of my dance friends seem to share my ADHD so the topic changes quickly from one seemingly unrelated subject to another, but as we're all keeping up, it only matters if someone wants to listen in, and is not similarly talented!  One quite nice gentleman joined us at one point, apologizing profusely for interrupting what he assumed was just girl talk.  When we assured him that he was welcome, he proceeded to monopolize the conversation for a few minutes, until we broke off into our own, side conversations, or got up to dance.  I guess he never learned to share the talking stick.  It doesn't mean that he isn't charming.  He just likes a little extra attention.  I think we all do, now and then.  And why not from 4 reasonably good looking women who also happen to have quick minds and love to dance? 

But I digress.  I spent a fair part of the evening just chatting with several people.  Shortly before I left, I felt a weird shift and suddenly, something felt just a little off.  I couldn't tell you what it was or that it was anybody's influence.  I just knew it was time for me to get out of there.  As soon as I got outside, I was fine, so it was definitely something inside the building. 

Whatever it was, I suddenly just didn't want to be there any more.  Not the "get out of here fast because something bad is coming" kind of feeling.  More like an "I'm done here and I really need to be somewhere else, even though I don't have anything particular I need to do" kind of feeling. 

Sitting here now, I'm still puzzled as to how or why the feeling came on so suddenly.  As I said, I didn't notice that anything in particular changed, other than people coming and going. 

Now that I'm fortified with a small container of flan and a few dried apricots, the feeling has settled into the pit of my stomach.  Clearly, it was more than the place.  Something, somewhere in my world is tilted a bit and is giving me a slight feeling of vertigo. 

But the kitties all came running when I rattled the apricot bag, thinking they were getting treats, so I know that part of my world is still intact!  Toby even sniffed the bag as if to say "I don't believe you!  I think those really are treats, and you just don't want to share!"  I'm sure they believe that I secretly horde their treats so I can munch on them while they sleep!  I have one word for that idea!  EWWWW!

The smell of the incense I've been burning the last couple of days permeates my office, though not in a bad way.  (and no, I have not been indulging in illegal substances.  I just like a little candles and incense with my editing!)  I'm surprised that it lingers as strongly as it does since I had the window open for awhile today.  Strangely, I only smell it when I'm in this room and as it has a linoleum floor, it isn't getting into any carpet, and the window has wooden mini blinds, so there are no draperies to hold the smell either.  Curious. 

I fear I've jumped around more than usual tonight, so, before I drive my readers mad with my randomness, I'll leave you with tonight's gratitudes:

1. I am grateful for excuses to get out of the house and amongst other humans with a common interest.
2. I am grateful for the attentiveness of my cats, despite the fact that I'm home most of the time now.
3. I am grateful for the intelligent, yet easy conversations I get to have with my dance friends.
4. I am grateful for increasing stamina and strength as a result of my regular gym visits.
5. I am grateful for a quiet, empty (or at least void of other humans) house to knock around in.  Yes, I value my privacy and my solitude, perhaps more than the average person.)

Love and light

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 18, 2014 Revision week, Day 2

Revisions combined with research continue at a snail's pace, but with 5 chapters behind me (assuming I don't go back and completely re-do chapter 5), I'm making progress.  That isn't to say that I'm not procrastinating.  I sat in front of my computer this morning, doing everything but editing, for about 2 hours before I finally grabbed myself by the collar and put a stop to the procrastinating.

But I'm still not giving it my full attention, and need to figure out how to do that.  Revising and rewriting is much harder than just letting the story come while my fingers tap dance on the keyboard.  But I know I have some great ideas in me to improve on the free flowing pile of words I've accumulated since November.  Though this will only be the start of a long task, my plan was to get a good start on it this week.  I only hope that the next three days see me making better progress! 

As I do research for various aspects of my book, using everything from the internet, to my rather ecclectic library, to handouts from my class, I find myself really getting into the spirit of the story.  Today, I had a candle burning and pulled out some incense to add to the aura.  When I stopped to do my meditation, the whole house had taken on the scent of the incense.  It gave me a rather mystical feel.  I will probably repeat the process tomorrow, using one of the other "flavors" I unearthed.

On another topic, I paid attention to suggestions from friends about the cramp in my foot, and after a few days of taking extra potassium, and two days of having a smoothie with a banana in it for lunch, I'm happy to report that the foot cramps are gone.  I'm also adding chia seeds, hemp protein powder and greek yogurt to the mix to try to get my knee to return to its healthy, unswollen state.  Stay tuned for updates on that!

I do find that having a smoothie mid-day is making me less hungry the rest of the day.  I'm not entirely sure why, but as I was down a pound today, finally, I'm not going to question it as long as it works! 

So, on the board this week:  continue to revise/rework/edit, eat healthy and get plenty of exercise and water.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for peace, quiet and uninterrupted time to do what I need to do.
2. I am grateful for the extra cuddliness of my furballs, and for Toby's unwillingness to let me oversleep.
3. I am grateful for friends who can relate to the process I'm undergoing.
4. I am grateful to those who continue to encourage and inspire me.
5. I am grateful to be pursuing me dream and really being a Writer!

Love and light.

February 17, 2014 Eearly to bed is not a good idea!

Last night, exhausted after a very intense class and an otherwise busy weekend, I went to bed far earlier than my norm thinking I might as well, since I could hardly keep my eyes open.  At first, it seemed like a wise choice as I was asleep soon after my head hit the pillow.

Until the first time I woke up in a cold sweat!

The first dream I remember had me working in a cubicle, but on board a ship.  We lived and worked on this ship, and I remember having a bathing suit on under my clothes as I was going to meet someone at the gym.  I went back to my office for something and heard someone talking about sinking the ship.  It was then that I remembered that the ship was being evacuated and they were going to sink it (though the reason was never made clear).  Looking out a window (yes, a window, not a porthole), thinking maybe I could just swim for it, I saw that the sea around me was already black, meaning that the ship had sunk too far for me to swim.  I also realized that there were animals on board who had not been evacuated.  But just as I awoke in a panic, I somehow knew that someone in charge realized that the final check to ensure that everyone had debarked safely had not been made, so they were bringing the ship back up.  Fortunately, the insides of the ship where people and animals resided were water tight and had air in them.    Whew!

The second dream which woke me in a less than calm state involved a woman and a man that a friend and I had met on the beach.  They seemed nice enough until we discovered that we had a map they wanted (though of what, I never discovered), and that they intended to burn down a temple which overlooked the beach.  Running to escape them, they shot my friend in the back, he fell and was run over by a car.  I made it to the temple with what I thought was the map, but had lost some pages as I ran.  It took me awhile to find someone to listen to me, but I finally did and shared the story, warning him to beware of the two people. 

A third dream was a continuation of the second.  This time, I was in a hospital with my friend who had managed to survive both the gunshot wound and the car running over him.  I'm not sure how, but I knew that the couple we had run from were in the ER, being treated for gunshot wounds.  I finally got a doctor's attention.  He sent a nurse over and told my friend to drink out of a water bottle which she would then offer to this couple so she could get fingerprints.  Although she wrapped the bottle in a towel, my friend touched the bottle which I had a very bad feeling about.  When the nurse returned, she said the couple had already left, though the man had been hurt pretty badly and was sitting in a wheelchair when I saw him.  I left my friend at the hospital and ran back to the temple, looking for the man who had helped me before.  Instead, I found a little memorial.   Apparently, he had been killed in a shootout where the two villains had been injured, and his wife had put up the memorial for him.   He was clearly a much beloved member of the congregation.  For some reason, when I saw his birth date, I was surprised to see that he was a year younger than me. 

At any rate, I shared my story with the rest of the people and asked if they knew who had shot him.  They showed me two heads (like the kind they display wigs on) which had been painted to look like the people who had shot their friend.   I told them it was the same people who had shot my friend and me, and that I'd just seen both at the hospital, but they'd disappeared again.  By now, all of the children and been moved deep inside the temple and armed guards were posted all around.  When I awoke from the dream, I felt confident that the two would either be apprehended or killed as I knew that, despite their wounds, they would come back and try again to destroy the temple.  Of course, my dreams would be nothing without a little comic relief.  While talking to the people about who had killed the man who had listened to me and believed my story, I noticed that everyone was armed and ready for a fight, and that most of the people I saw were elderly women who, frankly looked a lot more dangerous than their younger counterparts. 

Waking up for the last time, I lay there for awhile, wondering why I had had such disturbing dreams.  The only thing I could think of was that I'm starting to edit my novel today, and that I'm going to need some juicier scenes for the bad guys.  It will be interesting to see whether I can work a little violence and mayhem into the story as I rewrite.  Maybe drawing from weird dreams won't be such a stretch!

I'm glad I got these down while they were still in my memory, because the editing process isn't a quick one.  I got through 3 chapters and did some research yesterday.  But I'd rather go slowly and really tell the story as it needs to be told than to rush through it and end up with just another piece of garbage that nobody will read!

My last thought on this is:  Are weird dreams part of the writer's lifestyle as imagination and reality see the lines between them blur?

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my crazy imagination which manifests in dreams.
2. I am grateful for plate clearing, even if it doesn't stay completely clear.
3. I am grateful for my cats who don't believe in letting me sleep the day away.
4. I am grateful for coffee which I can always count on to help chase the cobwebs away when the cats wake me early.
5. I am grateful for a body in motion.

Love and light.

Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014 Overreacting: The Giver and the Receiver

I was having a conversation yesterday with someone who seemed to take what I was saying in completely the wrong tone, responding in what was, from my perspective, unjustified anger.  This led me to think about the times that other people might have though I was overreacting.  (That face in the mirror ain't always pretty, folks!)

The conclusion I came to was this:  We will never (at least until telepathy becomes common) know what goes on in each others' heads.  We don't really know what kind of day someone has had, or what is going on in their life at any particular moment, or what their "hot buttons" might be.  And here's the real eye opener.   It is just as true for a perfect stranger as for those we think we know best.

Interestingly, this is also the first year that I've done absolutely nothing for my kids for Valentine's Day.  I had a couple of opportunities, but kept putting it off until, today, I am being a hermit, and have no desire to go out and see the cheerful little hearts draped across the store's depleted shelves.  But I've given myself permission to be a hermit today, so it's all good!

It seems that my hermitting was not to be allowed entirely.  My daughter showed up in the afternoon with a yummy Edible Arrangements with pineapple hearts and chocolate covered strawberries, and my son-in-law called to ask if I needed anything from the market on the base.  Had a nice chat with my daughter over some of those strawberries, but still got most of a day of hermitting and not getting a single thing done!  (Won't happen again for awhile, but it was a nice break between normal tasks and the beginning of my editing process!)

At any rate, whether we are the giver or the receiver in the overreacting process, it's important to take a step or three back and avoid turning a slow burn into a forest fire sized conflagration, and to give both ourselves and the other party the benefit of the doubt that it might not have been the smoothest of days or even weeks.

That's the funny thing about stress.  We hold it in and build it up for long periods of time.   Then, it takes the smallest thing to make the dam burst, and woe be to whoever might be in the path of the flood!

Since I've shifted to a simpler lifestyle, I've noticed that my stress level has decreased significantly, and is most apparent when I wash or brush my hair and find a lot less strands in the bottom of the shower or caught in my brush.  Even the loads of uncertainty I've acquired by leaving a job with a steady pay check is not enough to stress me out any more.  I have faith that the means will make themselves known when I need them.  Which is not to say that I haven't put out some feelers for new business.  It is just that I'm not going to get myself all wound up worrying about something which I am certain will be there when I need it.

Maybe that's why I find it easier now to just step back and observe rather than to fuel the fires as I might have in the past.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all down shift a bit and get our stress levels to an acceptable level?  We'd sure see a lot less mistreatment of service people like store clerks and wait staff!  Drivers would be more courteous and police officers would have a lot less to do!