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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 29, 2014 Giving ourselves permission to heal

As I loafed on the sofa tonight, playing games on my iPad and pretending to watch TV while the cats took turns demanding attention, I started to berate myself for another lazy unproductive day.  Then, I stopped, and acknowledged the fact that my body has been subjected to nearly four weeks of viruses and infections, one of which is still doing its best to hang on. 

Suddenly, the lazy, unproductive days bounced into perspective.  They weren't unproductive at all!  I was simply allowing my body to do what it does best, heal itself.  This isn't something which works well when we expect multitasking and quantities of work to occur.  This healing process works best when everything else takes a back seat and allows those natural processes to...well...process.

Instead, I'm congratulating myself on a cough which has weakened enough to no longer require shots of Robitussin to keep all internal organs in their proper places.  I'm appreciating the fact that the pain in my jaw and cheeks is suddenly absent and that I no longer feel the need to rip my ears off of the sides of my head.  Progress, however slowly it might be happening is definitely apparent tonight, thanks, in part, to my admirable impersonation of a sloth.

The tasks which were neglected this week will find closure this week, as my energy returns.  I can also say that I got a couple of old issues handled in the meantime.  Had I attempted to vacuum and scrub floors, it would have taken ten times longer than necessary as I would have collapsed in bouts of coughing far to often to make my efforts efficient. 

If a cleaned up kitchen, a running dishwasher and a coffee pot ready to drip the brown elixir of life tomorrow morning is all I have to show for today, it's what I was able to do, and I accept that.

Some days, you just have to let the world take care of itself so you can come back and be super productive again!  That day is coming, and when it does, may everyone and everything just do the smart thing and get out of the way!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my nurse kitties who did an extraordinary job today.
2. I am grateful for remembering to be kinder to myself.
3. I am grateful for the things I did accomplish this week.
4. I am grateful that the illnesses which have plagued me are finally getting the boot they deserve.
5. I am grateful for all of the abundance in my life:  the love, the friendship, the health, the harmony and the prosperity, not to mention the creativity.

Love and light

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 27, 2014 The Ears Still Have It!

I guess I spoke too soon the other day, but at least Blue Shield seems to have gotten my insurance figured out, and it only took them 6 1/2 months! 

Last night, after another amazing night of dancing, I started feeling pressure in my left ear again.  I put some drops in, and it seemed to help, but the last run pretty much depleted my supply so I knew that if it wasn't gone, I would have to schedule a doctor's visit, and it's a good thing I did! 

She described my right ear as "angry" and said that the pain in my jaw was a result of the infection in my ear.  So now, not only do I have antibiotic drops to go in the ears, but doxycycline to take as well.  Here's hoping that this will knock all of the creeping crud out of my system for good!

One thing that puzzles me, though.  Around here, the doctor's are all equipped with laptops and/or iPads these days.  If they can hook things up so you can see your insides on an ultrasound, why can't they hook something up so what they're seeing with their little scope thingie when they look in your ears and down your throat could show up on their tablet so you could see what they consider seriously infected?  Maybe I'm weird, but I really would like to see what it is they're seeing.  If you think about it, there's really no good way to see inside your own ear!  It's kind of like trying to touch your ear with your elbow!  Nobody short of a contortionist could manage that feat!

Don't get me wrong.  Compared to some of my friends, I consider myself very lucky to be dealing with something so relatively mild and treatable, while one friend is dealing with both pneumonia and kidney stones while another is about to evict some of her lady parts for bad behavior.    I have to say that I have all of the parts with which I came from the factory, save a small piece of meniscus from my right knee (and that hardly counts as a major component like tonsils or organs or reproductive parts, now does it?). 

Someday, the people who have put their hearts and souls into researching cures for so many things are going to get some real backing, rise up against the big pharmaceutical companies who see more profit in keeping people sick, and will bring those cures they've developed so painstakingly out for public consumption.  Then we can all stop putting chemicals into our bodies and just give them the healthy foods, herbs and minerals they were meant to thrive on.  In some ways, I think these nasty flu strains and infections are a result of toxins we unwittingly ingest and could be completely avoided if we knew what was giving them something in our bodies to feed upon! 

And from what I'm hearing, they're going to have to kick the insurance companies where it hurts as well, since they seem to be running shows they have no business running. 

Yes, I am seriously considering building a network which would allow me to advocate for people who are being given the runaround by insurance companies.  Frankly, from my experience, and what I'm learning from the doctors, it isn't the Affordable Health Care Act that's the problem, or even the people trying their darndest to administer it.  The insurance companies themselves are doing everything they can to make it fail, though I'm really not clear as to why they are so against it.  The only thing I can think of is profits, but as they are even limiting what doctors can sign up for, they are narrowing their own scope!  What am I missing, here???

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my relatively minor health issues.
2. I am grateful that I'm learning to seek help when I'm simply uncomfortable instead of waiting until I'm in excrutiating pain, and have already let whatever it is go way too far.
3. I am grateful for the kindness of people, and their willingness to share the challenges they're facing.
4. I am grateful for healing energy, even if it needs a little boost from medications.
5. I am grateful for my nurse kitties who have been extremely attentive the last few weeks.

Love and light.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014 The Journey Continues

My book is nearing completion (and even in the editing stage, it insists upon writing itself!), and the next step on my journey, or so I'm being told, is to create a website for the purpose of developing a "platform".  (In layman's terms, that means a following who might be willing to shell out some cash to purchase my book.) 

The website doesn't necessarily have to tie into my book, but must be something interesting and informative to which I can use SEO's (search engine optimization) to ultimately attract a couple of thousand readers a day to my website. 

Those in the know recommend finding something which inspires me and on which I can create a website which will ultimately have over 100 pages!  They also say that it must be about something that interests your readers and should not be about yourself. 

Well, I guess that narrows it down considerably.  So, what interests me that I could do research and create interesting articles on?  Let's see, I guess I can start a list:
  1. Feline health
  2. Suicide of a parent
  3. Animal rescue, including TNR. 
  4. Tea
  5. Blogging
  6. Dancing
  7. Natural remedies
  8. Spirituality
  9. Empaths
  10. Alternative healing
Some items on this list have probably been covered to the saturation point, so attracting a large number of readers might be almost an exercise in futility.  Others would require a lot of research on my part, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Whatever I choose, whether it is from this list or something else entirely, will have to be a topic on which I can stand above the crowd and offer something unique to people.

For good reason, I've put this project on hold until I finish my book as I need those creative juices to be focused.  The next project on my horizon will most likely be completing the copywriting course, if for no other reason than it has information and techniques which will help me be more successful with my website venture.

What this means in the short run is that I will, ultimately, be starting a website/blog on WordPress, and may or may not move my work of the last five years over once I've become proficient with the system.

If I thought the last six months was interesting, I think I'm going to find that it was pretty tame compared to what's ahead.  But a person who could take the leap of faith I did last December is surely up to the challenges which lie ahead!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my ability to embrace change, no matter how frightening the unknown might appear.
2. I am grateful for supportive friends and family who, whether they know it or not, keep my spirits up when things don't look too promising at a particular moment.
3. I am grateful for a healthy body and mind which allow me to make changes with uncertain outcomes.
4. I am grateful for the resources which continue to manifest when I least expect them.
5. I am grateful for an abundance of love, health, joy, and prosperity with which my life has been blessed.

Love and light 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25, 2014 A blog is dead if it gets less than 1000 hits a day??? Say it ain't so!

I got an email today with the headline "Is Blogging dead?"  and later read an article someone linked to Facebook that told me if my blog got less than 1000 hits a day it was going to die.  WHAT?????

The article went on to say that in order to have a successful blog, you need to talk about things that are important to your readers, and you must have a target readership who you come to know pretty intimately. 

Alrighty, then.  I've been blogging for about five years, and yes, writing about things which interest me.  A good month might see a thousand or so hits. 

But let's take a step back.  The people writing these things are assuming that in writing a blog, you are trying to sell something.  All I'm doing here is sharing life's experiences, in hopes that they might resonate with someone and help them through something I've already experienced.  Heck, I'm not even asking for donations!  I just enjoy sharing, and seeing that at least a few people manage to find my blog and read it...for pleasure. 

Certainly, when I get my website set up to start developing a platform on which to market my book, I'll find a topic and do my research so I'm actually informative when I write in the associated blog.  But for now, as I've said on many occasions, I blog because I'm a writer, and as a writer, I must write.  It's as important to me as breathing.  I'm not trying to win any contests for blogging.  I'm not trying to sell or convince or otherwise engage in any kind of business venture.  I'm simply writing because I love to write, and if I help a single person with my ramblings, it's icing on the cake, the cherry on top of my hot fudge sundae, and I feel like I've made a difference, however small, in this world. 

I'm a simple woman.  I like comfy clothes and hanging out with my cats.  Dancing and laughing with my friends, and sharing the little joys and sorrows which float in and out of our days.  If I never had to put on a dress, stockings and heels again, that would be just fine with me! 

I talk to my plants and sing or talk to the cats when I cook.  You would probably find nothing special about me if we just met.  You'd have to take the time to get to know me to find the diamond in the rough. 

But there are a couple of things I have going for me which many people never find.
First, I'm madly in love with myself.  I don't care that I'm not perfect, though I do keep trying to make positive changes. 
Second, I have learned to find the positive side of almost everything, and find joy in every day.
and Third, I'm grateful for every little thing, from getting both contacts in on the first try in the morning, to hitting all green lights on my way to wherever, to going a whole day without my undies crawling up my tush!  I'm just so darned happy that good things happen to me, everywhere I look! 

So as far as my blog dying for lack of readers, let me assure you that I get just as excited on the days I have 10 hits as I do on those rare days when I get 300.  Each and every person who stops by is important to me!  I will keep blogging for as long as I can think of anything to write.  I get my inspiration from life, from things people say, from posts I see on Facebook and from emails I receive.  I would even take requests if anyone had one. 

When I was younger, I read everything in sight.  These days, I write it.  I call it "evolution". 

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I don't really care what other people think or believe.  The only thing that counts is what I believe.
2. I am grateful for inspiration, the good, the bad and the ugly.  It all gives me a reason to write, so it's all good to me.
3. I am grateful for all of the different points of view.  I may not agree, but the variety amuses me.
4. I am grateful that the world is my muse.
5. I am grateful that I'm nearing the end of the edit/rewrite of my book as there are so many other things I want and need to do.  But I learned this year that I need to focus on one thing at a time, and see it to completion before haring off in seven or eight new directions.

Love and light.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 2014 Another reminder to be grateful for good health

Now that the only sign of my two weeks of misery is a persistent cough which, thankfully, comes and goes, I'm looking out at the world again, and what I see is making me rather ashamed of my whiny behavior over being housebound for the better part of two weeks with nobody to make me chicken soup.  (ok, the last part is a bit over the top, but I'm glad I was alone because I was rather a pill for those two weeks, and not fit for man or beast, though my nurse kitties were very patient with me!)

Despite the continuing intermittent abdominal pains which medical science has assured me is nothing more than gas pains, I am fortunate to enjoy extremely good health.  Meanwhile, a lot of people who are years younger than I am are having to undergo major surgery to alleviate pain I can't even imagine, even with my excessively high pain threshold.  Even my mother had to undergo a hysterectomy when she was a number of years younger than I am.   Though in all fairness, her mental state very likely contributed to her physical problems.   

What makes me realize how much gratitude I need to express is that even when I was at my lowest point, mentally, my physical self continued to chug along, offering me nothing worse than the occasional migraine, which, for the most part, I've learned to minimize anyway. 

I do understand that each of us is given challenges which will further the lessons we need to learn, I still have trouble understanding how some of the health issues which have been visited upon my family, friends and acquaintances are truly necessary for them to learn what they need to.  Couldn't they get a milder case?  Sort of like when I was a kid and contracted something called Scarletina which is a mild version of the more dangerous Scarlet Fever.  (though as young as I was at the time, I have a feeling that lesson was intended more for my mother than for me!)  Sure, that was when it was determined that I was allergic to penicillin, the first of many antibiotics my body would eventually reject, some rather dramatically.  For that, alone, I can't begin to express my gratitude over my continued good health! 

Another reason to be grateful lies in my living situation.  Should I be laid up for an extended period of time, I would be hard pressed to find someone to look after my basic needs.  I could hardly expect my daughter to leave her husband and animals to stay with me for several weeks!  (quite frankly, if it came up, I'd find a way to keep it from her so she wouldn't try!)  As wonderful as the kids were when I had my knee surgery, I was a terrible patient, earning my son-in-law's stink eye on more than one occasion, and couldn't help feeling like I was imposing when I had to ask for help with grocery shopping and such. 

I've reached the conclusion that the health gods know what they're doing where I'm concerned.  They figure they might as well let me be healthy because I'm just too bloody independent to settle down and let someone take care of me for a little while! 

But I do want to ask those same health gods to be kinder to the people around me and stop giving them pain and stuff that needs to be surgically removed or repaired!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am exceedingly grateful for my good health and my high pain threshold.  (Who knew you weren't supposed to be able to walk around the hospital the day after a C-section?  Trust me, once they removed that stinkin' catheter, the first thing I wanted was to be out of that bed, and the second was to see and hold my two, new daughters!  So what if my guts had seen the light of day not 24 hours earlier?)
2. I am grateful that I am given the opportunity to be there for my friends when the health gods forget to smile upon them as they do me.
3. I am grateful for productive days of writing.
4. I am grateful for new ideas to market my scribbles.
5. I am grateful for reminders to hold on to my dreams and never stop believing that they will come true.

Love and light.

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014 Cats vs. Humans: Who wins?

This morning, I experienced a rather rude wakeup call.  In fact, to be honest there were two, but first things first.

It was brought to my attention that, although I am the only permanent human resident in my household, I am not the queen of my castle!  As the back of my shirt was plucked repeatedly until I finally understood that I was being instructed to change positions because someone needed cuddling, and was very specific about how I was laying in order for him to get full benefit of both of my hands, I realized that, in many ways, I dance to the whims of my furry roommates.   This one, in particular, has become incredibly demanding lately!  But he is certainly not alone in letting his requirements be known. 

Mr. Toby doesn't make a lot of noise, but with feet the size of a small Labrador, and close to 20 pounds to throw around, he makes his point rather effectively.  He loves laps and cuddles and rough skritches.  What he hates is being ignored. 

I've noticed that the dynamics have changed dramatically since we lost Scooby, and also since Snowball went home.  Munchkin, who used to spend a lot of time snuggling with Scooby, to the point that we often referred to him as her spouse, is now turning to me for comfort and attention.  Unlike Toby, she's anything but silent about it!  Ignoring her is about as likely as ignoring a screaming toddler.  Even as a small kitten, she kept all three boys in line.  I'm apparently one of her charges now. 

For almost her entire life, Munchkin was bonded to Scooby, yet when he died suddenly, I didn't notice her mourning.  I can only assume that she knew he was ill for a long time, and had made her peace.  But in the last month, she has become increasingly vocal about getting her share of my attention, and spends a lot more time following me from room to room.  Even now, she's curled up on the other chair in my office. 

She is, however, first and foremost, a little Princess.  She has her own special feeding ritual in the morning, and woe be to him who tries to close a door.  She will take all 7 pounds of her little grey self and body slam the door!  More than one guest has been subjected to her wicked ways!   She also takes full advantage of the fact that, most nights, I wake up two or three times.  As soon as I do, she's telling me, loudly and proudly, that she is completely neglected and requires attention immediately to soothe her and compensate her for such rude treatment. 

Thankfully, Dylan and Patches are somewhat less demanding, but are more the "ok, you're there, I'll just snuggle beside you and purr, and even use your fingers to scratch my own cheek" kind of mindset.  Though one of Dylan's favorite pastimes is to curl up on my desk while I'm working...and clean it off for me.  We've had discussions about this for a long time, and I fear I've lost this one too!

I did promise you a second wakeup call, and before I ramble much further, I'd best be getting to it.

Last night, I was awakened by a loud squawking sound and a light flickering on and off.  It happened once and I thought it was my imagination, but as it happened repeatedly until the sun came up, I finally realized that I seem to have acquired another roommate in the form of a ghost!  He doesn't seem to be angry or in any way malicious.  He just seemed to want to get my attention and let me know he's here.  He's taken up residence in my guest room, which used to be Heather's office, and before that, Jenni's room.  Why he picked that room is a mystery, but as he seems to be settling in fairly peacefully, I guess we'll just coexist.  The cats don't even seem bothered by him, which is a good thing.  Maybe it's someone they know?

At this point, I seem to have been relegated to the position of staff and caretaker, but with all the love I get for my troubles, I can't really complain.  If all of the studies being done are accurate, I'm also healthier and less stressed for their presence in my life.  A pretty good tradeoff, if you ask me!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to have gotten some long-standing items off of my To Do list today.
2. I am grateful for the peace and harmony in my household.
3. I am grateful for friends who know I'm not just here for when everything is fun and good.
4. I am grateful for peace, love, harmony, health, joy and abundance: available to everyone, just for the asking.
5. I am grateful for my routines.  Some are still on hold while others are up and running again.

Love and light.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22, 2014 Staying positive

A friend shared this yesterday and as I'm rather at a loss for a topic tonight, I thought it would be a good place to start. 

Staying positive it a choice, but that doesn't mean that sticking to that choice will always be easy.  Maybe that's the beauty of it.

The last couple of weeks, as I battled fever, nausea, aches and finally, ear infections, I can tell you that I was definitely challenged to follow this pledge, but, for the most part, even with missing a couple of nights of dancing, I think I did fairly well.

Confined to quarters, as it were, I got some writing done, some organizing done, and my cats got lots of cuddles.  When desperation struck (like needing chicken soup and cough syrup), I chose the lesser of two evils and walked to the store which gave me some much needed fresh air and exercise.  It also got me out of the house before I went stir crazy!

I have learned that no matter how bleak things might look, I can always find a few things to appreciate in my world.  It is certainly essential to find those things for which to be grateful, in my experience.

A few years ago, things were pretty dreary at work and with other life stuff going on, I started to get pretty down.  At the time, I was taking a philosophy class at the local college, and as it started at 7, it didn't really make sense for me to go home for 1/2 an hour or so, then retrace my steps to school.  One night, I was feeling particularly down and ugly, so, upon arriving at school, I took out my notebook and proceeded to fill both sides of a piece of notebook paper with things, both large and small, serious and silly, for which I was grateful.  Before I was half way through my self-appointed task, I had found the positive energy and was feeling a lot more hopeful about finding my way out of my latest set of challenges.

Staying positive isn't always easy, but then, nothing worth having really is!
Even now, six months and then some into my new career as a writer, my book isn't quite finished, I have yet to set up a website or do anything else to promote my first book, I haven't decided on a title, and I'm not bringing in any money from the writing yet.  But I'm happy, basically healthy, getting my house in order, taking care of old issues which have been neglected forever, and healthier than I've been in a long time (flu and ear infections notwithstanding).

I know I have things I need to do, and I've set myself some deadlines to accomplish them.  I've signed up for a webinar on setting up the website, and have a few choices of folks to call should I need assistance (or should I say, "when").

My world isn't perfect, but whose is?  And if it was, what would I have to strive for, to get up in the morning for?

I'm still planning to get back to the copywriting course, and have mail folders full of examples.  Even while I've taken a break from it, I read the emails I get a lot more critically now, and am certainly learning something from the experience.  Some of them make me laugh, and some make me want to offer my services, but all will prove valuable at some point as more than just space hogs on my computer.

I've made a lot of commitments to myself in the last year, some of which I've achieved, others, need work.  But the one thing I've stuck to is maintaining a positive, grateful outlook.  To me, that is the single most important commitment I've made and kept for myself!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for lazy Sundays spent cuddling the cats.
2. I am grateful for all of the things which have come off of my weekly To Do lists.
3. I am grateful for always having enough to do, should I choose to do it.
4. I am grateful for completing several of my weekly chores this week.
5. I am grateful for a new week with challenges both expected and not.

Love and light.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21, 2014 Words are open to our own interpretation


I've seen this phrase fairly often over the years, but for some reason, when I saw it recently, it made even less sense to me than ever.  I asked for an explanation, but even the explanation seemed rather bizarre to me (I know, a lot of things are faith-based, not fact-based).  

The words brought forth an image of the larger-than-life god figures of Zeus and Poseidon hurling lightning bolts at each other from heaven to earth and back again, while all of humanity cowers in terror, hoping that the brothers' wrath abates before their missiles put an end to the very humanity who worships them and keeps them on their lofty pedestals.

My real issue is with the concept of a wrathful, vengeful "God" or "Goddess" or whoever one might worship or revere.  Do humans really deify someone simply out of a sense of "do it or I will visit the seven plagues upon you"?  Do the truly devout live in fear of being the next Job should they accidentally color outside of the lines someone long ago deemed to be the boundaries one must live within?  

I know it's silly, but this has been bothering me for a couple of days, so much, in fact, that I nearly got back out of bed last night to write this post.  Fortunately, four purring kitties convinced me that if I stayed in bed, they'd make sure my brain slowed down and, with one around my head, one laying across my belly, one snuggled beside me and one at my feet, I slept.

Only to wake this morning, the concept still rattling around in my brain, making me feel just a little off kilter.  The only remedy being, write it out.   

Granted, my own Spirituality has evolved over the years into something which makes sense, in all likelihood, only to me, so I know that what other people believe certainly doesn't have to make sense to me, any more than my beliefs have to make sense to anyone else. 

I totally respect anyone to whom this concept makes sense, and by no means am I trying to belittle it.  I'm simply trying to somehow reconcile a fear based faith from the viewpoint of one based on love, respect and Oneness.

Like so many things in life, though, I believe this is one of those times when I just have to agree to disagree.  The concept is so foreign that, try as I might, I simply cannot wrap my head around it.

My gratitudes on this Summer Solstice morning are:
1. I am grateful that we can all find our own path.
2. I am grateful for a diversity of friends who give me the opportunity to at least try to understand concepts which are contrary to what might make sense to me.
3. I am grateful for beautiful summer mornings with my cats napping all around me.
4. I am grateful for peace, love, harmony, joy and abundance which is available to everyone, just for the asking.
5. I am grateful for a brain which still thinks and remembers and questions and creates.

Love and light

June 20, 2014 Musical messages?

Lately, I've been experiencing a rather interesting phenomenon.  After getting past the blocked ears of my ear infection, and realizing that it wasn't just imagination, I thought I'd throw it out to see if anyone was experiencing it as well.

I'll find myself hearing a very faint sound of music, so faint that I can't even pick out the tune.  When it first started happening, I thought it was just my neighbors' music muffled by the double paned windows in my house, and I'd just ignore it and go about my business.

But lately, I've started looking for the source, and am finding something rather bizarre.  The music I'm hearing is coming from things like the shower as the water falls from the shower head to the bathtub floor; it is also coming from the ceiling fans which turn constantly above my head when the weather is warm.  It might be the various hums my computer makes or something else I've, as yet, not identified.

In short, I'm hearing music where music as we typically know it just isn't there!

It isn't unpleasant or distracting.  In fact, if anything, it's rather soothing.

Had it started just prior to my ear infections and ended when my ears cleared, I'd think no more of it, but it started weeks before, and I'm still hearing it today. 

I also seem to be more tuned into all of the birds who are chirping outside my windows.  There seems to be a nest on or near my patio, but even when I look out at a time when the birdsong is loudest, I am unable to spot the actual birds. 

So why am I suddenly tuned into all of the musical sounds around me where I was never so tuned in before?  I've always used music as a background when I'm working or playing, so it's not like I've been unaware of it.  It's the sources which are taking an unusual turn, or which I'm tuning into with greater attention than I ever did before.  Either that, or the birds have some secret code that tells them where to find people who are more likely to listen to their songs.  When they find one, everyone congregates around them and sings their little, birdie lungs out!  Or so it seems around my house lately!

Is there a message in the music?  Am I being asked to just pay closer attention to something?  I guess I'll just have to do so if I want the answer!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a day when I could run my errands and still have energy left over.
2. I am grateful for a return to normalcy (or as normal as my life gets these days!)
3. I am grateful for Summer Solstice, a time to re-commit to my goals and dreams.
4. I am grateful for stories.  May we always appreciate them.
5. I am grateful for quiet nights with a book and my kitties cuddling close by.

Love and light

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014 6000 Steps but no Posse

Much to my supreme and utter disgust, the last two weeks took its toll on my stamina.  I was forced to cut my dance night short before 9:00!  In my defense, the line dance lessons were killer and I wasn't the only one forced to rest afterwards.  But it still sticks in my craw that my legs were getting wobbly by 8:45. 

The good news is, my girl friends were not forced to call out the militia to track me down, and let me know in no uncertain terms that had I not shown my face tonight, that would have been their next step!  We dance fanatics don't miss a dance night unless we have a VERY good reason!  It's so good to have friends who understand! 

I got my share of hugs tonight, and I know it is doing wonders to get me back to 100% healthy!  Part of staying home sick that sucks is missing the hugs and the camaraderie that is so important to good physical, emotional and mental health. 

Best of all, despite the short night, I got in 6,000 steps according to my Fitbit, most of it between 6:00 and 8:45 tonight, so all in all, the evening was a rousing success.

In case you're interested, here's the line dance we learned tonight.  It's quick with a lot of turns and changing syncopations so not only are your feet working, but so is your brain!   It's called "In My Heart".  I know I'll be practicing it in my living room for the next few days!  When we learn a dance like this, I find myself remembering how grateful I am that we took up the carpet a couple of years ago!  I now have a decent practice room!   If I have my way, I'll be letter perfect by Saturday night!  (The nice thing is, this one really follows the music, so once I get it, muscle memory will just take me away!)

If you do take the time to watch, I'd like you to hold a picture in your mind.  We first learned this dance on our line dance cruise at the end of February, when Southern California was hit with some massive rain storms.  While we didn't hit much rain at sea, we did experience the roughest seas Carnival had seen for this particular route in a long time.  Needless to say, when we'd kick and get ready to put our foot down, there was no telling quite where the floor beneath us might be!  At times, it came up to meet us, but at others, it was a looooooooooooong way down!  As a result, for many of us "Cruisers", it's as if we're learning an entirely new dance.  One thing is for certain, few, if any of us, remember it from the cruise!

So, our brains are fried, our bodies are tired, but a good time was had by all!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to be back on my dance schedule.
2. I am grateful to be regaining my strength and stamina.
3. I am grateful to have a dance to work on that will challenge my brain over the next few days.
4. I am grateful for my friends who miss me when I'm gone and are concerned if I'm gone to long.
5. I am grateful for my new table buddies on Saturday nights, and for all of the girls who feel comfortable joining me on Thursdays too!

Love and light.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014 On the road to finding my mojo

Though today didn't involve anything more strenuous than getting my nails done and walking over to Subway for one of their egg wraps, it was a whole lot better in a lot of ways.

First, I set the alarm so I'd get up with enough time to eat breakfast and otherwise get ready to leave the house.  Second, I had a sort of coffee instead of tea today.  (Trader Joe's instant mocha latte).  But best of all, I set up the coffee pot for tomorrow when I cleaned up the kitchen!  (I know that doesn't sound like much to most people, but for the last few days, I've had no interest in coffee, much less, setting up the pot the night before.) 

I also haven't needed to take a swig of cough syrup to keep from coughing up a lung or my spleen or other rather useful organs.

I've even decided to <gasp!> set the alarm again for tomorrow so I won't sleep as late as I have for the last couple of weeks.  But the best part is, I didn't have to play musical beds last night in order to sleep!  My cats were extremely grateful that they didn't have to follow me all over the house, yet again!  That's not to say that I didn't still wake up several times during the night.  A habit which Toby has learned to take advantage of, by the way.  (You're awake?  Good!  Let me lie on top of you while you stroke my back, skritch my face and tell me what a beautiful boy I am!  Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

Although I had hoped to restart my gym routine today, common sense stepped in and insisted I give it another couple of days.  (darn that thing anyway!)  I'm still hacking when I get overheated, and for some reason, people take issue with you coughing all over the equipment.  I just don't get it!  I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when I get home from the gym is to wash my hands!  I don't care how much of that shpritzy stuff you use before and after you pick up a set of weights or grab the handles on one of the free motion machines, you're not going to eliminate every germ.

I say, just see to your own hygiene and don't waste so much energy worrying about what people leave on shopping cart handles and gym equipment.  If you keep your own hands clean, (and don't even get me started on that nasty hand sanitizer crap!) and stand clear of people coughing and sneezing all over the place (hand in front of mouth, PLEASE!), you know.  All of those things Mom used to nag you about?  In other words, the lost art called "using your common sense".

And it seems I've gone off on a tangent.  Another good sign that things are getting back to normal (or as normal as it gets around here as I sit at my desk, typing, while Dylan chases a toy around my feet, managing to whack my feet as often as he does the toy), and my goal to finish the editing of my book by the end of June is still in the realm of possibility.  That is, of course, unless I decide that I simply must revisit the last 8 chapters or so which fell into the last week or so.  I don't feel too bad about the ones from earlier in the week.  Maybe just the last 3 or 4, then.

Then comes the scary part.  I have to let other people read it and give me critiques.  It really is a lot like sending your baby out into the world.  Of course, the number of willing readers will probably be small due to the overall length of my first masterpiece.  It's one thing to ask someone to read a 1500 word short story, but to say "Hey, I just wrote a 110,000 word novel.  Would you mind reading and critiquing it for me?"  I suspect that the average person will look at me like I'm speaking a foreign language, then run for the hills before I can ask for their email address!

I get a lot of emails about services for writers.  One of them wanted $3.00 a page to edit.  I added that up and decided I needed to find a less pricey option, at least for my first effort!   I'm thinking, though, that if I do send it out to people, I need to either pdf it (which folks seem to hate) or find a way to lock the file down so nobody can mess with it.  One more thing to research before I need to start putting it out to the world at large (or probably at small, for my purposes).

But I've dragged you from hither to yon long enough tonight, so I'll spare you any more of my brain running amok, and just share tonight's gratitudes.

1. I am grateful to be returning to my normal, joyful, productive self.
2. I am grateful that I am regaining my desire for the elixir of life, aka, coffee.
3. I am grateful for less coughing and more breathing and sleeping.  I am especially grateful that my internal organs have, once again, survived a malady involving heavy coughing, and remain in their natural places.
4. I am grateful for my nurse kitties who have been extremely attentive during my series of illnesses.
5. I am grateful that I feel well enough to keep from missing yet another Thursday night of dancing.  I fear my friends would be demanding a note from my doctor should I fail to appear tomorrow night.

Love and light.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17, 2014 Experiencing self doubt

Sitting on the sofa tonight with Dylan snuggled against my leg, I found myself indulging in an uncharacteristic pity party. 

But let me explain.  For the last two weeks or so, I've been kept from my normal activities due to one physical malady after another.  It started with four days of the flu after which I got a couple of good days in before being flattened by a double ear infection.  Meanwhile, the cough which is a delightful after party from the flu is hanging on.  In the meantime, I've been running a fever on and off so I'm alternately putting on and taking off clothes and covers.  But the worst part has been the complete and utter exhaustion. 

A trip to the market sends me off for a two hour nap.  Taking out the trash?  Another nap.  I sleep until about 9:30, and by noon or 1, I need another nap.  In short,

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!

 Being the analytical sort, I started thinking about what may have put me into this unpleasant state. 

What I came up with may be more disturbing for me than being sick.  I realized that I've been working on my book for over 6 months now, and it's still not done.  Close, but no cigar.  However, with each chapter I edit, the words come harder and harder, and I fear that if I look back at those chapters, I'll be tempted to just delete the entire file!

The short version is that I don't feel I'm living up to my own expectations, and rather than lighting a fire under myself, it's nearly paralyzed me.  I have yet to pick up where I left off with the copywriting course, and when I read emails from the organization which put out the course giving pep talks and self-promotion ideas, I find myself thinking:

But I can't do that!

The question is, where is all of this negativity coming from?  I know on a conscious level that I'm a smart, competent person who has a gift for writing, my own unique wit and an active imagination.  I never expected to write a best seller in a month, have it published and become independently wealthy. I just chose to follow my dream.

But somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost mine.  I know that some of it has to do with money going out but not coming in, and that my hopes for keeping myself afloat doing accounting on the side have not panned out (nor, quite frankly, have I really put much effort into making it happen). 

When I think about updating my resume and looking for another job, I get a sick feeling in my stomach, so I know that's not where I need to go.  I guess what I really need is some sign, some indication that I'm still going in the right direction. 

Even more, I need to dig my way out of the pit I seem to have dug, find my joy and positive outlook again, and get back on the road which leads to the life of my dreams. 

I realize that this post lacks my usual energy and positivity, but one of the things I realized while sitting on the couch listening to my stomach churn was that the best way to get myself out of this pit was to do what I do best.  So this is me, writing my way out of this pit of self pity, digging my way back up to the path called "hopes and dreams" and telling my recalcitrant body that its days of lounging around, feeling tired and melancholy have just come to an abrupt and timely end!

The best way to end such a downer of a post is to express my gratitudes, loudly and strongly.
1. I am grateful for my stubbornness which doesn't put up with crap for very long, especially from myself.
2. I am grateful for my habit of writing when I need to work through something.  It never fails me, and won't this time either.
3. I am grateful for my readers who check in even when I've missed a day or two.  Having you there inspires me to write something, if only so I don't disappoint you.
4. I am grateful for my mother from whom I have learned that I never want to sink to the levels of despair she found.  My history is not hers, and in mine, things always work out better than I could have planned.
5. I am grateful for my independence.  It allows me to have a few dark days, that I might truly appreciate the rest of them!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 15, 2014 Just a quick post

I didn't want to go two days in a row without writing something or you might think I'd fallen off the planet. 

The truth is, I did a lot of writing this week and expended a ton of energy yesterday while still trying to get my body to heal from the double ear infection I managed to give myself right after I got over the flu.  My theory is that the rest of the year is going to go at a rocket's pace, so I need to get all of my getting sick out of the way now, before I don't have time for it! 

Needless to say, the mopping I'd hoped to do today didn't get done.  Instead, I spent a good part of the day just lazing around with the cats, including a 2 1/2 hour meditation/nap with Munchkin snuggled on my lap.  In fact, she was rather displeased when I ended the nap before she was ready!

But I'm well on the way to being healthy again, and finally managed to get the ear wax removal stuff to actually do some good.  Did you know that if your ear is all swollen and infected, you can't get the wax out very easily?  The good news is, it worked this time and suddenly, I can hear clearly again!  Lesson learned, too!  Keep lots of mullen and garlic in the house for itchy ears and keep fingernails out!!! 

I trust I'll return to my usual prolifically verbose self in the next couple of days.  Or maybe Mercury's retrograde action has put a temporary halt to my usual flow?  Only time will tell!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I can hear again!
2. I am grateful for a long, lazy day of napping with the cats to get me back on the road to being healthy.
3. I am grateful for a fully vacuumed house.  I'll be even more grateful when mopping follows vacuuming, but for now, unless a cleaning fairy falls from the sky tonight, I'll take what I can get!
4. I am grateful for my friends.
5. I am grateful for my wonderful, abundant life.

Love and light

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014 Remembering to be grateful for our 5 senses

Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell.

How often do we take time to appreciate the fact that these senses are working for us, day in and day out?  How often do we simply take them for granted?  Certainly, if we know someone who has one of these senses impaired, we might be more aware, but do we stop for a minute and be grateful that ours work just fine (even if augmented by corrective lenses, like me).

As I was standing in the bathroom, putting in my contacts without even thinking about the fact that, by definition, I'm visually impaired without them, my mind was filled with thoughts of the last few days when my ears were plugged due to a double ear infection.  But more, what has it meant to my normal, daily life?

Three or four days into the treatment of the infection (due to my high pain threshhold, I don't really know when it started), the swelling of both the ears and the lymph nodes has abated, the pain is only minimal in my right ear, and my left ear is still blocked.  Some of the obvious implications have actually been positive.  I've had little appetite, so I try to stick to fruit, vegetables, lean meat and yogurt.  But others, not so much.  Because our ears affect our balance, I have not felt that driving is a wise choice right now.  Not only for the balance, but because I might not hear something until it's too late to react.

As a result, my favorite pastime, and my main social outlet, dancing, has suffered.  You'd better believe I'm being extra diligent about putting the antibiotic drops in my ears, taking Claritin and a natural antihistamine at regular intervals, taking lots of natural immune boosters and getting lots of rest.  I am especially avoiding what my research told me was the cause of the infection in the first place.

For some reason, when I lay down to go to sleep at night, my ears get really itchy.  The smart money says to get up and put a little mullen and garlic oil into my ears to soothe the itchiness, but laziness has my lying in bed, sticking a fingernail in my ear and scratching gently.  But let me tell you from experience that your ear doesn't understand the difference between gently and roughly.  Either way, it finds the intrusion offensive, and will, eventually, reward you for your efforts with the pain and temporary hearing impairment I've enjoyed this week. 

I've heard stories recently about elderly parents of my peers who lost their sight and were totally panicked by the loss.  I can't even imagine not being able to see all of a sudden, but I'm here to tell you that not being able to hear is pretty, darned scary too!  It certainly makes you think about all of the things you do which depend on your hearing, your balance, or both.

From this experience and the far too low key week I've had, I've put together several "don'ts" for myself.

 Don't neglect yourself.    Do protect yourself!

      1. If your ears are itchy in the middle of the night, DON'T scratch them with your fingernail.  Get your lazy tush out of bed and put some mullen and garlic in them instead.
      2. If your eyes are tired and feeling kind of dry, DON'T keep sticking your finger in your eye to move the contact around.  Take the lenses out and put your glasses on instead.
      3. If you have a dry, bumpy area on your leg, DON'T keep worrying it either with or without fingernails.  Put some lotion on it instead.  (this because I gave myself a raging infection by scratching until I broke skin without realizing it.)
      4. Because I know that you won't always remember these very important "don'ts", DON'T forget to take all of your vitamins and supplements every day, including the immunity boosters for those times you forget to take good care of yourself.

It isn't just our children we need to remind.  We, ourselves, get so busy taking care of others, or trying to make a living or a dozen other things, that the person we neglect the most is usually ourselves.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that at least one of my ears unblocked today for awhile.
2. I am grateful for gentle reminders to take better care of me.
3. I am grateful that I had what I needed to take care of my latest misuse of my body.
4. I am grateful that I WILL be dancing with my friends tomorrow night, and for many, many years to come!
5. I am grateful for all of the writing I have accomplished this week during my enforced confinement to quarters.

Love and light

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 12, 2014 Another reminder that the Universe really does have my back!

Today, while indulging in an uncharacteristic bout of self pity, I was once again reminded that things happen for a reason.

But let me start at the beginning.  Last Thursday, I had to miss dancing because I'd been flattened by the latest flu.  I was able to dance on Saturday and did a fine job of making up for missing Thursday. 

Ready to get up and go today, I got into the shower and washed my hair, but by the time I got out, I knew it wasn't happening.  Why?  Because I've had a double ear infection for the last three days, but Blue Shield has yet to get their collective heads out of their asses to figure out which of the three or four policies they opened for me is the right one...and send me the appropriate cards!  As luck would have it, I still had the antibiotic drops from the last time I had an ear infection, and fortunately, they were still good. 

But because I share the same sky high pain threshhold as my daughter, I was probably well into this double ear infection before I realized I needed to do something about it.  As a result, three days into administering the drops, both ears are still plugged up which makes things like hearing and balance just a bit dicey.  Being the cautious sort, I deemed it wise to avoid things like, oh, driving!  And since getting to the club where I dance requires about a 20 minute drive, I decided to play it safe and stay home.  <grumble, grumble>

The self-imposed prohibition on driving is really where the self-pity reached a peak.  I found myself craving some Greek frozen yogurt, and maybe a little chicken soup, and then, I found myself wishing my daughter still lived nearby so she could get it for me. 

Fortunately, the craving finally won out, and I opted to walk the half mile to the store to get what I needed (as well as another bottle of cough syrup).  Here's where it gets good!

The walk and the fresh air did me worlds of good, and I found myself feeling extremely grateful that I was left to my own devices.  Sure, my right hip whined for a bit at the unexpected exercise after several days of limiting myself to the house, but after awhile, everything rather liked the leisurely stroll in the late afternoon sunshine.  Had my daughter still lived up the street, I would have been deprived of the health benefits I enjoyed today, because she would have come to my rescue without hesitation. 

While my ears are still plugged, except for about a second when I yawn and the right one pops, the swelling is easing, as is the rest of the discomfort, the lymph node behind my right ear has returned to its normal size and though I wish it would happen quicker, I am on the mend. 

Clearly, the Universe knew that the best thing I could do was to get out of the house and move, so it made sure that I really didn't have any options (I really was completely out of cough syrup!). 

In the meantime, my self-imposed confinement has also meant that I've gotten a lot of writing done and the kitties have never seen so much cuddling as they're seeing right now.  I'm getting lots of sleep as well, and doubling and tripling up on the immunity boosters.  I've also noticed a definite lack of interest in food, though I'm making sure I eat some healthy things throughout the day anyway (ok, so the carton of Greek frozen yogurt was more of an indulgence!)

It's as if I'm getting a year's worth of colds, flus, viruses and random infection out of the way now so that when my world speeds up in a couple of months, there won't be anything to slow me down.  Despite my current misery, I have to admit that it's a reasonable plan overall.   With only about 50 pages left to edit, I'm getting close to the jumping off point now.  Soon, I'll be putting my efforts into things like websites and marketing, as well as some copywriting work.  Then the fun truly begins!

So next time life seems to be throwing you a lot of reasons to be miserable, try thinking of it as getting it all over with at once so you can really enjoy what's coming.  And if you really look, you'll find a couple of side benefits that come out of the miserable time which are rather cool!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I can see the silver lining in the greyest of clouds.
2. I am grateful for a leisurely walk today to remind me that I actually enjoy walking! 
3. I am grateful that my left ear is beginning to unclog for seconds at a time!
4. I am grateful for the excellent nursing I've been getting lately from Dylan who sleeps around my head, Toby, who drapes himself across my chest and stomach and Munchkin, who not only checks on me when I get up in the middle of the night, but is the best meditation kitty around.
5. I am grateful that, through it all, I've managed to stick closely to my new routines.

Love and light

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11, 2014 What do I want to be when I grow up?

To some it may be a lot of hocus pocus, but I've learned that a lot of my introspective times, times of confusion, times of hyperactivity and more are, when I start comparing notes, very much tied into the cycles of the moon and some planetary influences.  I am especially driven to either introspection or worse, discombobulation, when my ruling planet, Mercury takes a turn in the opposite direction...like right now, for instance.

Combined with the frustrations of being sick with something or another for the last week and a half, which is seriously out of character, I'm revisiting parts of my past and asking myself a lot of questions. 

When I quit my job to write last December, I had planned to continue taking on accounting work in order to supplement my savings and minimize the draws.  That went ok for about 3 months, but then, things began to slow, and finally, drop to something very minimal.  My means of support has been on my mind for the last week or so, and in a moment of pure clarity and brutal honesty, I had to admit that I wasn't overly unhappy about the current state of affairs.  It's as if I did it for years, sometimes enjoyed it, while mostly, it was just a job with a decent paycheck. 

At this point, if work happens to come across my radar, I'll certainly bid it, but I much prefer focusing my efforts on my writing career, even though it might be awhile before it bears fruit.  That's not to say that I'm going to put all of my eggs in one basket.  I'm looking at other ways to use my talents as well, and may even find something along the way that really excites me and intrigues me.  Who knows?  That is a door I'm keeping wide open. 

It feels like my life as an accountant happened a long time ago, now, rather than just a few months ago.  In fact, at times, it doesn't even feel like it was my life at all!

Stopping every month or two to take a look at what I'm doing and where I want to go seems to have become a habit.   I've developed a kind of trial and error process in which I put some things in place, let them go for a little while, then check in to see how things have been going.  Sometimes I make changes, other times, small adjustments and, for now, on the very rare occasion, I'll see that something is actually working! 

Two steps forward and one step back.  Everybody Cha Cha!

The trick, for now, is to relax and enjoy the process. I thought I was, but the last week or so of being sick, culminating with the first migraine (or at least, it tried to be a migraine, but was met with the wonderful relaxation technique I learned years ago and have perfected since then), I've had in months, I'm clearly not without a certain amount of stress right now. 

If I were one of those doom and gloomers, I'd say that this time has been wasted, but as I try to recognize that in the best of times and in the worst of times, and everywhere in between, there are lessons to be learned, I'm looking for the lesson. 

Life may be handing me a bushel of lemons right now, but lemonade is mighty tasty on these hot, sultry days!

For now, if I'm sleeping a lot more and accomplishing only half of that which I'm capable, I believe it's for a reason.  Getting whacked out about it simply means I accomplish even less, so what's the point?

For many years, while a single mom, I did everything at warp speed and kept my plate way too full.  I don't think I really have any more to show for it than if I'd paced myself better, but it was right at the time.  Sure, a lot of my friends are jetting off to Europe these days, while I'm living a lot more frugally than I'm used to.  But I've found, in the process, that I actually enjoy eating out less and cooking for myself more.  Missing out on this year's concert season isn't breaking my heart either. 

The more leisurely pace my life has taken suits me right now.  I don't expect it to last, but for now, it's exactly what I need.  In fact, I believe that I will have a month, maybe two more like this before my life begins to speed up again, and I'll look back on this time as what a lot of people are calling it right now.  A period, albeit temporary, of semi-retirement which I'm using to completely change the direction of my life.  I'll find, in hindsight, that it was completely necessary to slow way down before making this abrupt and sharp left turn into something completely different.

Everything happens for a reason.  This time is no different.

While I'm getting used to the new road I'm on, strange as it seems, I'm even grateful for the minor, health-related setbacks of the last couple of weeks.  They made me slow down, relax, and just cuddle with the cats for a few days.  I think we all needed it, as there have been a lot of changes, both planned and not, pleasant and not so much, over the last 6 months.  I think me and my furry kids just needed a little down time to adjust.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons which are thrust upon me, as those are the ones that teach me so much of what I need to know.
2. I am grateful for the opportunity to try things, keep them if they work, discard them if they don't and replace them with something new.  It makes my journey a lot more interesting.
3. I am grateful that I no longer dance to the time frames and expectations of someone else.  I'm enough of a taskmaster, and have high enough expectations of me without someone else's interference.
4. I am grateful for the burgeoning friendships I'm enjoying as my life changes.
5. I am grateful for all of the opportunities before me.  There really is nothing I cannot do or try if I choose to.

Love and light.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014 Spirituality's path: Accepting each others' differences.

Someone I knew a few years ago, and reconnected with on Facebook posted this recently, and when I saw it, I had one of my Aha! moments. Of all of the descriptions I've seen, this one gives the best explanation I've seen for what I've learned works for me. 

The environment in which we met and worked together wasn't one which found anyone engaged in discussions of what I would consider a deeply personal nature.  Our focus, at the time, was on supporting our kids through fund raisers and band competitions. 

Before I take a side trip down memory lane, I'm going to try to get to the point of tonight's post. 

More and more as I reconnect with people from my past who left a mark on me which causes me to pause and just feel the goodness of the mark they left, the more people I'm finding, some of them, quite unexpected, who have found the deeply personal, unique combination of choices which make up their own solo spiritual path. 

Some, like me, spent a lot of years drifting along, feeling like a misfit in the midst of people who were deeply involved in a journey which included membership in a particular religious community.  Others seem to have taken their differentness and found that solo path much sooner.  As the years have gone by, either society as a whole has become more tolerant of those who neither want nor require affiliation with an organized religious group, or those people have just become numerous enough make the stigma less noticeable. 

I have many friends who still follow the religion of their parents, and find both joy and comfort in belonging to that community.  The difference is, where my experience in the past was that most of those people believed that theirs was the only one, true way, I'm finding that most are a lot more open minded and tolerant now. 

I'm not saying that there are no longer those who do believe in the one, true way.  Instead, I'm seeing a lot more tolerance, at least around the people I know and associate with regularly.  I would like to believe that such tolerance is growing, as it would make for a much kinder world in the long run.  I know, though, that it is a rather drastic change to the world as we know it, and not everyone tolerates such a change gracefully.

I would like to believe that education helps to increase peoples' tolerance of differences, rationalizing that the more you know, the more you realize how many belief patterns there can be, and the more you understand that everyone has to find their own way.  But I don't think it is education alone which teaches people tolerance.  Acquiring that education might expose a person to more diversity than if they were to grow up and never leave the small, insular neighborhood where they grew up.  But just exposing people to diversity will not ensure that they learn tolerance. 

This post took a rather different direction than I was intending, and may seem a little preachy and dry to some, but what I'm trying to communicate, albeit rather poorly, is that more and more, I am pleasantly surprised to find that people with whom I interact, both directly and via the social networks are, more often than not, embracing their personal Spirituality as its own, unique being, either with or without association with an organized religion.  Those who continue to practice their religious beliefs as well, tend, more often than not, to be a lot more accepting of those of us who walk the solo path. 

Even if this change was isolated to only the people with whom I interact, I would still consider it a beautiful and welcome evolution, but words I hear, things I see and examples which are being set, quite often, by our young people, assures me that where there truly is religious freedom, people are learning to follow their hearts, and accept the right of those around them to do the same.

Though the news is still filled with dramatic examples of man's inhumanity to man, those attention grabbing events are, from where I sit, far outweighed by even more significant examples of  of man's humanity to man, to Earth, and to all with whom we humans share this planet.

I admit that I don't watch the news any more, but not because I want to put my head in the sand.  Quite the contrary.  I don't watch the news because I prefer to focus my energy on celebrating the goodness, the kindness and the love instead of wasting a single second being horrified by the acts of a small percentage of our population and giving them the energy to perpetuate their aberrant behavior.

To quote the late John Lennon:  "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."  Perhaps we might still see the world as he imagined it come to pass in our lifetime.  I see no reason to lose hope.

My gratitudes tonight are;
1. I am grateful for the progress I'm making while following my new routine.
2. I am grateful for the ideas which are shared with me every day.  So many bring joy to my heart.
3. I am grateful for the good news about Patches' blood tests.  She's remarkably healthy for a 17 year old cat!
4. I am grateful that my ear is starting to unclog for a few seconds at a time without having to fiddle with it to clear the fluid.
5. I am grateful for the flow of ideas which I enjoy, despite my now solo career.

Love and light

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014 Home cooking

When my girls were growing up, life was usually run at warp speed, juggling jobs, homework, after school activities and just the business of keeping a household running.  A lot of things got short shrift, including housework and regularly cooked meals.  I tended to use a lot of short cuts like jarred pasta sauce and macaroni and cheese.  But I tried to intersperse the quick and dirties with some home cooking.  One of the girls' favorites was my mystery meatloaf.  Not because I used mystery meat, but because it never came out the same way twice.  Add mashed potatoes and a fresh, steamed vegetable, and they were happy girls indeed.  Why?  Because the meatloaf and potatoes were assembled with a whole lot of love and often, conversation during the preparation.

As they got older, they began helping cook, eventually working up to the point where they could plan and execute meals on their own.  Both grew up loving both cooking and baking, as a result. 

To this day, Thanksgiving is still a three day cooking spree and everything we make is made from scratch. 

Where am I going with this?  You might ask.  I'm happy to tell you!

Last night as I was preparing turkey tacos for myself, I realized that just because you're only cooking for one doesn't mean it can't be the same labor of love as when you were cooking for your family.  I found that I was putting the same love and care into something which would simply feed myself for a few days!

 Have a little love in your heart.

We talk a lot about loving ourselves and being kind to ourselves, and many of us have reached the point where we do love and respect ourselves.  But do our actions truly reflect what we believe to be true? 

Sure, we exercise regularly, take our vitamins, try to keep healthy food in the house...but what about just treating ourselves with love?  The realization that I truly was acting in a loving manner towards little ol' me was absolutely mind blowing!

The change didn't happen overnight.  In fact, if I'm honest about it, it was years in the making.  But it proves that as we make those small, almost insignificant changes, it begins to add up until we finally do start seeing the major changes which really weren't major changes at all, but a progressive series of small ones, each building upon another.

So next time you're fixing yourself a sandwich, or even a cup of tea, pay attention to how you're doing it.  Are you just slapping it together, or are you giving it the same, loving attention you give to something you prepare for your family?  You just might be surprised!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have truly learned to love myself.
2. I am grateful that my new routines are bearing wonderful fruit.
3. I am grateful that I realized the pressure in my ears was another case of swimmer's ear, and pulled out the meds before I ended up in the doctor's office, screaming in pain.
4. I'm grateful that I had a smooth, easy trip to the vet with my senior girl, Patches.
5. I am grateful for all of the abundance in my life.

Love and light.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 8, 2014 Change is Good: When Routine Becomes Rut

Somewhere between a later than normal, but especially productive meditation and preparation of a healthy dinner with leftovers for one, I found my mind practically exploding with blog topics.  So much so, that I sat down on the sofa with my iPad and did my best to get them down before they were lost in the ether, or that wasteland I fondly refer to as "senior moments which have become weeks".  In the end, though, I decided to use my original idea for tonight's post, saving the others either for days when I have no ideas, or just for use later in the week.  I can't promise, however, that I won't wander off topic from time to time, as it's a rare post when I don't drift from hither to yon at some point.

As tonight's title implies, I am, once again, making changes.  Last week's flu that sucked all of the energy from my body gave me lots of time to think, since getting up and moving around had to be taken in very small doses.  Though the flu has mostly passed on to a more deserving soul, my mind continues to spin in ever widening circles, making it difficult, but still possible, to contain my thoughts.  Just don't expect them to be in neat packages, because I fear I'm incapable of getting the ribbons tied before a bit or two has made its escape.

For the last month or so, I've followed a pattern which included, essentially, me shutting down for lunch and meditation, every day between about noon and two, give or take an hour.  While it ensured that I did my daily meditation, I see, in hindsight (20/20 as always) that it pretty much put a halt to that which is most important to me right now: my writing and all things related to it.

Post flu, I suddenly found myself putting in a solid hour or two, just on editing my book.  Another hour or two was spent reading publications about writing or researching something which might be useful later.  Still to come is another hour or two spent working on the copywriting course I put aside while trying to decide whether it was a direction I truly wanted to pursue. 

Now that I have reaffirmed my desire to write and maybe even get paid to do what I love (how perfect is that?), I am in a better position to put the time and effort into learning how to make it work. 

But how does this apply to the topic at hand, you ask?  It's really quite simple.  As I reaffirm my commitment to my writing, I realize that the routine I'd established had become more of an excuse to avoid writing and studying, and so, a rut.  Changing the formula for my days meant that, suddenly things like eating lunch and meditating were delayed by several hours, often not coming into play until at least 3PM, and sometimes even later if I got into a particularly good run on whatever I happened to be working on.  (The other day, I spent two hours editing a single chapter, but it was just writing itself, and I even had to jot down some notes on things I wanted to include, but couldn't work into the chapter I was on!  The end result was an additional 1700 words added to a single chapter! )

The last couple of weeks has really shaken up my routine, anyway.  Two weeks ago, my daughter drove up on Tuesday night so she could make my birthday cake and otherwise give me another amazing birthday.  Spending time with her had me eschewing my regular gym visits (with absolutely no remorse, I might add) and I have to admit that by the time she left, I was trying to deny the early signs that the aforementioned flu was coming.  I even decided to skip dancing on Saturday night, but had my decision overturned when I received texts from two of my wonderful girlfriends, first, inquiring about my whereabouts, then insisting that staying home alone was not an option. 

Though I had an amazing time with my friends, by Sunday morning, the energy drain was more apparent, and nothing short of a bare cupboard forced me out to Trader Joe's on Tuesday.  That trip wiped me out for the rest of the day!  To make a long story short, I spent a lot of time thinking and meditating, no time at the gym and put zero effort into my writing career.  But boy, did it fill up my brain!

Like Girlfriends, Ignoring Your Guides, Long Term, is Never an Option!

I was able (with the help of my Guides, who, I believe, had a hand in knocking me flat just for this purpose) to take a good, hard look at what I've been doing, and to recognize that it wasn't getting me where I wanted to go.  In short, it was time to make some changes.

I've started doing my editing earlier in the day and have added several writing related items to my weekly To Do list.  But even better is the phenomenon which is filling my brain with blog topics and sending my thoughts racing ahead while I'm editing my book. 

My Creativity is back with a Vengeance!

When I lost focus and strayed from my true path, my creativity deserted me almost completely.  Sure, I kept blogging every day, except for a couple of days while I was sick.  But I'll bet if I re-read those posts, I will find a startling absence of my normal wit, zaniness and ADHD run amok.  In short, I think I got a little boring!  

If there is one thing I'm learning since I embarked on this new and slightly terrifying journey late last year, it's that I am constantly changing and adjusting how I proceed.  What works for a month or two is not necessarily going to work after that month or two.  It is imperative that I look at what is and isn't working, and be ready to try something new when the tried and true has become a non-productive rut.  

Creativity is a fickle mistress.  It thrives on chaos and diversion and scenery which is constantly changing.  It drowns in routine and sameness, withdrawing into its cave until properly stimulated once again.

Though this rather drastic reminder to feed my creativity came after what seems like a long, dry period, I know in my heart that it came at exactly the right time.  I had to have the long, dry period to drive home the point that my life would be a dry, empty wasteland if I didn't honor, nay, pay homage to the very muse which can, if properly fed, give me everything I want, need and imagine.

I hereby solemnly swear to always honor my muse and to give her all of the variety she claims as her due.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the blatant reminders I've received over the last couple of weeks.
2. I am grateful for change which keeps life new and exciting.
3. I am grateful for the company of my cats who are, at times, the only ones I might speak to or interact with for days.
4. I am grateful for the incredible flow of ideas I've enjoyed for the last few days, and hope I have learned to never take them for granted again.
5. I am grateful for diversions like dancing and friends to help keep me from falling into the depths of ennui.

Love and light.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 7, 2014 7 Signs you're on the mend after almost a week of the flu from hell.

As you might have noticed, either from the dearth of posts this week or from my post yesterday, I have been under the weather most of the week which, in and of itself is unusual.  Typically, if I get the flu at all, it lasts exactly 24 hours, then it's gone.  But not this time!  I was down for the better part of the week.

I'm happy to report that this morning, I feel like a New Woman, thanks in part to lots of rest, and the expert nursing of my kitties.  While knocking a couple of things off of my sadly neglected To Do list this morning, I realized that feeling better has definite "warning" signs, so I thought I'd share mine.

7 Signs that you're returning to your normal, healthy self

1. You have a sudden urge to complete a week's worth of chores. 
       Last night, I filled and ran the dishwasher.  This, alone, filled me with a bizarre kind of delight when I was able to pull a clean spoon from the dishwasher after realizing that the slot in the drawer was bare.  Later in the day, I unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the morning's dishes while talking to my daughter on the phone.  I am, after all, a champion multi-tasker.
      This morning, I finally put away a comforter which had been sitting in a laundry basket next to my bedroom door all week, and the bin on my closet shelf which is normally a bear to get in and out was extraordinarily cooperative!
     Most bizarre of all was my sudden, insane desire to do laundry.  
2. You find yourself adding things to your To Do list which will have you devoting more time each day to your new career.
     I found myself immersed in a complimentary copy of The Barefoot Writer, so much that I logged on and subscribed for a year.
     After subscribing, I added an item to my To Do list requiring me to read at least two articles a day (and as my life is so loose, that includes weekends!)
    I also added another item which will help propel me forward with the copywriting aspect of my career.
3. You actually tick a couple of those new items off of your To Do list.
    Not only did I spend two hours or so editing the next chapter in my book, and adding over 1700 words, I also started this blog post and did some research on a couple of things I wanted to include, and techniques I wanted to try.
4. You realize that your failure to eat is no longer due to lack of appetite, but from being engrossed in the day's activities.
5. You can't wait to return to regular activities.
    In my case, the top of that list is, of course, dancing.  But I also did some squats and stretches and have already planned out most of Monday, beginning with a trip to the gym.
6. The only thing which keeps you from starting to get ready to go out in the evening way earlier than necessary is sharing your day with your daughter in a two hour telephone conversation.
7. As the day winds down, your realize that you were too wound up to do your regular, daily meditation which you didn't even forget when you were sick!

As I look back over this list, I realize that some of the items make me look like a bit of an overachiever, which I am not.  What I am is a woman who left her job six months ago to follow her dream, but allowed a lot of things to distract her for awhile.  It seems that getting sick for so many consecutive days and being unable to focus on anything productive brought home to me the fact that if I truly want to follow my passion, my dream, I need to devote my time, my life and my attention to those things which keep me on the right path. 

I don't know why I allowed myself to lose focus, but my guides, using the rather drastic measures of incredibly vivid and disturbing dreams combined with a complete lack of energy to do anything for more than 20 minutes or so, made sure that I am now totally aware of what I was doing.  The whys don't even matter, any more than the hows of achieving my goals.  All I need to know for the moment is that I must write.  And when I'm not writing or attending to my health or household chores (and yes, I consider dancing and trips to the gym, attending to my health!), I must study and research and read and learn. 

I can't think of a better, more satisfying way to live my dream.  Can you?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to be almost completely healthy again.
2. I am grateful for an amazing, wonderful, high energy night of dancing with my friends.
3. I am grateful for my guides who help me get back on the path to what makes me happy, and will, ultimately, allow me to give back.
4. I am grateful for those times when I lose my way because they make me appreciate the road back even more.
5. I am grateful for all of the abundance in my life.
6. (again, a bonus) I am grateful for my healthy, happy, loving, affectionate, devoted kitties who keep me company, demand my attention, make me feel loved and needed, and love me unconditionally.

Love and light.

June 6, 2014 5 Things your Doctor won't tell you about antibiotic choices.

As I dragged myself through the last week, the latest victim of a rather nasty flu that's been making the rounds and dosing myself with natural alternatives for antihistamines, mucus reducers and immunity boosters, it occurred to me that, quite by accident, I've given my liver a new lease on life by offering it food and mineral based options instead of those which are chemically created by a pharmaceutical company which has little or no interest in my long-term health.

The fact is, our liver is an amazing organ.  It is able to detect things which are foreign to our bodies, and not only filter them out, but at some point in the future, after ingesting something far more often than we should, it will reject it entirely, causing those synthetic drugs to be rendered virtually useless.  This is why we so often hear the dreaded words "drug resistant virus/infection".  Our lovely liver has decided that the drug is no longer welcome in the finely tuned engine we know as our bodies!

Those profit based pharmaceutical companies, and through them, many of our doctors don't want us to know that there are many healthy alternatives which carry with them a ton of beneficial qualities, and they can be found...wait for it...in Nature!

These substances have been used for thousands of years quite effectively, but we are left to be our own advocates more often than not, if we want to pursue those healthy alternatives.

So what are these options?  And what can they do that the synthetic ones don't?

In the first place, your body won't find a way to reject the natural substances because it recognizes them as food or minerals which contain things which are already running through our systems naturally.

In the second place, except in the case of allergies which occur on an individual basis, there are no side effects!  How cool is that?  No hives or damaged tendons or, in my case, disorientation. 

In the third place, the beneficial parts of our well tuned systems are not arbitrarily killed off while trying to eliminate an infection.  I don't know about you, but I want to keep those good germs inside of my body, thankyouverymuch!  I would rather not lose digestive bacteria while trying to clear up a sinus infection.  It just doesn't make sense!

Fourth, many of these natural alternatives are really quite tasty and can be combined with the food we already eat! 

Let's break these down as some are food based and others are either minerals or a compound which is...you guessed it...created in Nature!

The humble onion and its cousin, garlic, are two of the most common, most readily available, and most versatile antibiotics found in nature.  The lowly onion also makes a great pain killer for tooth issues.  And who hasn't, by now, heard of at least some of garlic's amazing qualities?
     1. Antibiotic properties which can be used for infections of the teeth, sinuses, intestines, skin, bladder, lungs and nose.
     2. Immune booster
     3. Excellent for preservation of cardiovascular health.

Our next miraculous little food is grapefruit extract.  It has been used for centuries to kill both viruses and fungi!  (Athlete's foot, anyone?)

Apple cider vinegar is another oft used item for curing sinus infections.  I've heard it's also quite helpful for digestive issues and as a diet aid. 

Japanese horseradish, too, has a number of uses.  It can be made into a paste we know as wasabi (and you know how a small bit of that can clear out the old shnozolla!)  But combine it with onion, garlic and cayenne, and it also breaks up mucus. 

And speaking of mucus, one of my favorite substances for that delightful chore is an herb known as Fenugreek.  Whether it's a cold, a sinus infection or this latest flu, if my sinuses are involved, I'm taking Fenugreek at least twice a day!  I've tried the over the counter stuff like Mucinex, and frankly, it works a lot better and is, again, natural so my body knows exactly what to do with it, and won't later find a way to reject it.

One of my favorite products, though, is something called Propolis which, like honey, comes from bees and has all sorts of antibiotic qualities . 

While working for a cat rescue, I had a cat suddenly panic and, because we were inside a store, I couldn't just let him go or they'd have had to lock down the store and we would have had to get a panicked cat out of a potentially very bad spot.  Needless to say, my hands and arms were covered in scratches and bites.  I went home and spread honey on the affected areas and wrapped them in gauze.  Within a few days, some very deep scratches were completely healed without a trace of infection!  Sure, it was a little on the messy side, but the results were so amazing, I'd put up with a little stickiness again, should the need arise.  I've also found it to be amazingly effective for skin rashes.

Propolis, however, is sold in different forms, but my preference is for the frozen dried and ground substance encased in capsules.  Two a day is sufficient to keep your immune system humming along nicely though I've discovered due to recent events that during flu season, it is wise to both ensure that you take it ever day but also to increase the dosage to supercharge your immunities. 

Propolis is approximately 30% wax, 10% etheric oils, 5% pollen and 50-70% resins.  You even have the added benefit of any medicinal qualities in the plants from which the bees gathered the pollen.  These qualities are retained in the Propolis making it extra good at warding off evil germs!  In this single product, you not only get the antibiotic and immune boosting properties, but a whole lot more!  Propolis is also an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti viral, and an anti oxidant.  In fact, it has more bioflavonoids  than an orange! 

In use for centuries, this simple substance can protect us from contagious germs, help with the regeneration of muscle cells, give us energy and even be used as a natural hand sanitizer!  Think of all the products you'll no longer have to keep in your household! 

Although this is only a partial list, I'm going to add one more, chamomile tea.  This lovely flower, when steeped in hot water has amazing qualities which help ease swelling, especially after oral surgery.  After having all four wisdom teeth literally dug out of my jaw, I let some of the tea sit on the areas where the extractions had been done, and was able to go out dancing the same night without any pain!!!

To make a long story short, the next time your doctor prescribes Penicillin or Cipro, or any of the other common and not-so-common, chemically created antibiotics, do your homework.  Ask questions.  There is probably something better which won't upset the delicate balance in your body, and will actually help make it stronger.  Granted, it won't work in 24 hours like some of the horse pills the doctor might give you, but you will be better protected the next time you're surrounded by lots of germy people!!

A simple internet search for "natural antibiotics" will give you a wealth of information!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities to share what I've learned.
2. I am grateful for new and different ways to present information.
3. I am grateful that I was able to naturally restore my health.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue learning ways to live even healthier.
5. I am grateful that I will soon be able to return to my normal activities.

Love and light.