Source: Watch Who’s Watching
Source: Watch Who’s Watching
Source: Watch Who’s Watching
This grand title for my latest post seems mighty ironic sitting where I am right now. Since returning from London at Christmas, I’ve been knocked back by several viruses and have felt lousy. So the productive fairy hasn’t arrived yet.
On reflection, I’m not sure that she’s welcome any way. Sure I have 14 things on my to-do list, which doesn’t include finishing my novel, oops. I feel more secure about these day-to-day projects as I’ve given them a legitimate home on a reminder list. But are these the true priorities that I want to focus on?
My daughter had a run of bad luck too. She fractured her ankle and without a single tear just got on with it . The medical boot was heavy and awkward, but she wore it for a month and didn’t complain. She got the same stomach virus I did and puked all night and never moaned, or cried. I can tell you I did.
My daughter also told me recently that I hadn’t been spending enough time on her and I didn’t know what was happening in her school life. She was right of course. Her grades had been fine so I’d taken her off my concern radar, but she wanted me to be connected and I hadn’t been. It didn’t take much to plug back in, a couple of science project clean-ups in the kitchen, where she distilled clean water. Who knew that water distillation could be done with a pot, a bowl and some ice? Very useful if our clean water supply runs out.
I’ve got spontaneous hugs from my daughter, now that I’m paying closer attention to her. That never happened before.
My son and I have a strong, steady relationship, I let him sneak in an extra bit of screen time and forget to mention this to Dad and he’s happy.
He also had the stomach virus and didn’t even wake us up!
His grades and homework, well, like me, he could be a bit more productive. But he’s a happy bunny rabbit most of the time. He tells hubby and me when we misbehave and encourages group hugs when we’re mad at each other.
I’m not promoting a bout of sickness, NO!
However, I can see the spaces between the myriad of leaves on the forest floor.
There simply isn’t a right and wrong, there’s only I’m doing the best I can with the knowledge and past experience that I have.
Time outs help us regroup and summon up the energy to keep on going. Life doesn’t really get easier, we just need to be kinder to ourselves and smarter. Priorities – well you have to figure out those for yourself. But my expectations of self are lower and I’m trying to make my judgments more lenient. I fail consistently!
Maybe I’ll post a short video with the technique, but the fabulous thing about the method is, Ms. Kondo asks us to thank each item of clothing for its service to our family and ourselves as we fold it. This fills me with gratitude and it makes my drawers look lovely when everything is so thin and lined up. My kids’ drawers look splendid for a day or two at least. I hate folding normally but this is cathartic.
I truly believe that my body believes every word I say and think. So it’s great to find new opportunities to spark joy and positive thoughts. So I gotta watch my tongue and get back to healing, growing stronger and taking baby steps with my to-do list. I’ve got a bit of a temper too, so maybe I need to look into that and let go of that sucker and all it’s disappointments. Oh I’ve boundary issues too and I fart a lot and …..
Insight Timer top free meditation app. may spark a daily practice. Give it a try!
Special Gift: Long Time Sun a special song to give to ourselves, the ones we love.
I’m a panster when I write. I don’t outline, don’t use storyboards, and don’t formula write. I have a sense of where I want to start and I know what direction I’m goi…
Source: Author Confessions Round 9
This is a guest post by Sierra Delarosa. Sierra is a freelance writer, musician and content writer for Global English Editing. 11 Science-Backed Ways Writing Improves Your Mind, Body, and Spirit Fo…
Feelings: a sense, a touch, a consciousness. Wow! Doesn’t that all sound grand and out there. Well, we all have feelings like it or not and I’m discovering that I’ve been hiding some of the most important ones from myself for quite some time. Yip, hidden deep in my hips actually, I’ve noticed my right hip talking to me for about two years now. I blamed a boot camp class at a local gym but on reflection I realize that I’ve been more of the culprit. Not intentionally of course, but during my life I have shut down a lot of my feelings and buried them in a deep pool close to my hips. The pelvis area in yoga is the first chakra, which grounds you to the earth and makes you feel balanced. So bundling up this mound of unexpressed needs and feelings that go way back to my childhood, combined with an overflowing supply of hormones, I’ve felt topsy-turvy pretty much every month of my life.
Well, the good news is I’ve been doing something about it. A fellow writer in my writing group and I realized that we weren’t great at expressing how our main characters feel. So we bonded in our feelings of inadequacy. Well it turns out that his ex-wife is a therapist and the most loving and beautiful creature to have ever set foot on this earth. Yip I mean it. We’ve I’ve been talking about self-love with her.
I know I’ve been discussing loving yourself forever, but I still don’t get it. Recently I told her that I was doing great with the kids and hubby, then she asked me “How are you getting on with yourself?” The answer wasn’t immediately available to me, which proved that I hadn’t been really focused on it, yet again I’d forgotten me. It just seems very self-serving and needy I guess.
However, instead of beating myself up, which is my normal habit. I’ve decided to think about increments of change. I’ve been in a pattern of closed-off self-criticism for forty odd years, so it might take a little time to change the direction of my mindset. I can’t transform from a pumpkin to a glorious coach in a mere moment of magic.
Change takes refocus and time. Boo, I hear you all say. Well yes, I sucks, but not really. Not if you honor the small shifts and new understandings. Yes truly acknowledge them. Stamp and sing around the room type stuff.
It’s also great to get a little support on your journey.
Now ladies, hubbies shrivel up and die when we start talking feelings with them, but they’re practical creatures and they understand shopping lists to a degree. So let’s give them a short list to work on:
Some peace and quiet to feed my spirit/faith
Time to restore my energy
Opportunities to strengthen my body on a regular basis
A turn with the remote control (I’m joking but you get my meaning)
Take care not to overwhelm them with more than three or four items on the list at once, or you’ll get kidney beans when you need black beans. But hey, if they’re taking the time to help with the list, we can be flexible with our life recipes.
Your hubby’s on a mission and kept busy, so now it’s time to get support from an even more powerful source. Start talking to SELF. Yes, this looks and feels weird but produces amazing results.
First of all put pen to paper, or make a dream board, or draw, sing, recite or dance a list of who you really are and or want to be. Here’s part of my list:
I need to understand I have boundaries and can’t always say yes
I am interested in learning about the psychology of happiness
I love orgasms!
I love snuggling in a warm bed
I enjoy watching indie, sentimental and thoughtful movies that have little or no bloodshed
If you want to move on to the advanced stage, then think about achievable goals that you want to reach in the future.
List some of my boundaries. E.g. I need to let people know when their words hurt and say OUCH loudly!
BE ON TIME
Play with my kids more
Listen with gusto to everyone
Stop wearing my feelings on my sleeve, sit with them QUIETLY for a few days, they are very likely to change. Yes this is confusing, some feelings I bury and others I declare without thinking much about the consequences. They tend to be critical thoughts oops!
Get a flatter stomach.
During my yoga training this past weekend, I was teaching a basic seated twist to my fellow yogi students and asked them to release their arms and hug their lower abdomens, (remember the hip area) our main area of support and grounding.
To be honest I cried as I spoke the next pose to the group, and I’m going to share it with you because it’s important to me and hopefully will make sense. I asked my yogis to hug the three year old in us that pulled on their mother’s apron when she was trying to cook dinner and didn’t have time to deal with our needs. So we were plopped into a caged area to play alone. Then I asked them to hug the ten year old who wanted to tell their family about the girl in school who annoyed them and no one listened to her. I asked them to embrace the confused and frustrated preteen in us, who was scared of her need for growing independence.
Here’s the important part: I asked them to reassure their younger selves that you are mature now and can listen and protect their well-being. My strong reaction, i.e. crying until I couldn’t speak anymore was a great message to self. It was saying put self-love at the top of my list of goals.
Now of course not everyone had issues growing up, but remember our parents came from a post world war period and the normal state of being was hardship, loss and scarcity. So attending to their children’s needs wasn’t a priority, getting food on the table and clean clothes on our backs was.
Learning and loving ourselves is a life-long process, in fact it might to stretched out over many life times, but my ideas to help smooth out wizened scars are pretty simple.
A tight and loving hug for self and a few lists is the key. Add in a few kind words (maybe into the mirror when you brush your hair everyday) and reassurance of safety and love and is a recipe that works.
It can change a fixed mindset of “I’m not enough” to “I ROCK”. This doesn’t mean my three-year-old self doesn’t tantrum sometimes when my expectations aren’t met. Ask my hubby. She can strop impressively. I’ve been known to rip shower doors off their hinges. Recently I’ve moved to flinging bed pillows as a safety precaution.
Getting to know my needs a little better, I know I need to give myself space to calm down and let the anger dissipate, with lots of reassurance from my older self. Hubby hides under the nearest black hole until the all-clear siren.
I’m not perfect but I’m a work in progress and hugs sure feel good. So I’m going home to visit family this holiday time and I will have no expectations of a spectacular event. I will go with an open heart and my new personal boundaries. When I feel someone encroaching on my feelings I will back away and take a time out. It’s as simple as that.
Of course I’ll try and grab as many hugs and glasses of bubbly as my liver will allow. All this work on changing patterns needs regular rewards for effort – don’t forget that!
So love yourself ladies and gents, find whatever makes you smile and DO IT as often as is humanly possible. When you fill up your heart with love then you can share that love with others- it’s a simple equation.
So glad Cynthia is back! In force!!!!
Today is the worldwide release of my latest novel for The Wild Rose Press, Blue Lake Christmas Mystery. Writing a Christmas novel has long been a dream of mine and finally last year I did it. There were some surprises along the way, like the dead body at the holiday party. But I cracked on, as my British friend Ali would say, and Blue Lake Christmas turned into Blue Lake Christmas Mystery.
This is the first time my publisher has positioned one of my books in their mystery imprint, which is kind of thrilling as I love reading mysteries as much as Christmas stories. And that’s my advice to anyone who wants to write a book: ask yourself what you love to read, and then write a book like that. Otherwise, it won’t be half the fun.
Tomorrow, in a bit of serendipity that feels like a Christmas…
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So we struggle with such small things: a niggling pain here, a twinge there, a brow wrinkle and a sag or two. But I looked up as I walked the dog today and my spirit flew above the trees and melted into the rich blue sky above. It was 65 degrees in White Plains in November and the country is voting for a new leader. A woman, after 96 years from gaining the vote (yes we’ve only had the vote a short time) may be leading one of the strongest and most influential countries in the world.
Yet sadness strikes me today, Hilary Clinton is competing with a strange adversary, a businessman, who uses the Trump foundation’s funds to buy portraits of himself, proving his questionable character. Trump refuses to disclose his taxes, he advocates building walls to keep strange folk out (yet this country was built by immigrants, I’m one myself and I am known to make the occasional person smile) and Trump clearly disrespects women in so many ways. How did this happen?
Clinton has had to lower her voice to speak and sound like a man to be acceptable to this so called fair society. She had to be very aggressive in her debate style, and she pushed herself to collapse to hide that she was ill, in fear of seeming weak, yet it’s cold season and everyone gets sick.
So what does this tell us about this country and society?
Clinton is very experienced and has served her country for so long. Yet she has been more investigated than any other candidate in history I believe and has been found NOT guilty, even just this week. Yet, she was scolded by the head of the FBI as a naughty politician that has done nothing out of the ordinary. Hilary has just been caught in the new Hi-tech world of so-called transparency and wants to remain private. I can’t blame her.
I hope every single woman votes today and votes with her heart and soul. I sincerely hope that Hilary can prove our female worth to society and smash the glass ceilings into tiny slithers that suffocate the hardworking women of this country.
I wanted to write about so many more up beat and uplifting topics but I just needed to share my feelings about this historic day. Interestingly this country’s Democratic party chose a black man, a wonderfully intelligent and worthy man, but nevertheless a much less qualified candidate than Hilary last time. So race outclasses gender. Interesting isn’t it?
Women struggle to balance work demands, childcare, disciplining their kids in a kind way versus a more macho, vigorous male way, we forget our dreams, lose our figures, laugh at our faded sexuality and accept this as a fair shot at life. We are scorned if we don’t marry, or if we divorce and God forbid if you decide not to give birth.
Well I declare an amnesty.
I ask every female to start asking for what they really need from their friends, family, their husbands and their children in a non-emotional, compassionate way.
A new expectation in my house is needing the dishwasher to be emptied. I’ve started to ask the children to fold their clean clothes and tidy their rooms etc. Our family has chores listed on a white board in the kitchen (best tool I every bought) and we work together before any fun screen time to get it all done or as much as possible.
I am taking responsibility for more of my life, my dreams and my spirit. I’m not expecting anyone to save me on a white horse and if I need a nudge I’ll ask someone to make me accountable. Plus I’ve found support from many different people – young and old, even if I have to pay for it. I’m worth it.
I like my new empowered me.
It’s a calm gentle place, where I sit and let the Universe breathe me. I contemplate life and give thanks for my hard working body. I focus on the beautiful, loving core of my family, hubby and kids. I try to ignore my monkey mind that overthinks everything and I appreciated the tiny white and black, perfectly checkered ladybug that landed on my sunglasses this morning and said Hi.
Life can be better. We can all do better. We need to make small shifts to the right and not accept imbalance. My strong, hard-working, academic daughter said she was grateful for me today. Now that means something awesome!
Positive thoughts rock.
Please start asking and receiving.
I wish everyone a loving, Darling Thanksgiving.
I am in the dark too reading my self help books and smiling!
Hi, my name is Laura, and I’m a Mombieolic.
Mombieolic noun– a mother who knowingly stays up well past an appropriate bedtime in order to enjoy copious amounts of alone time.
Like many moms, I stay up until ungodly hours of the night- or the wee hours of the morning depending on how you want to look at it- despite severe exhaustion. Yes, well past the time that Jimmy Kimmel has signed off and is already happily in dreamland, no doubt snoring loudly alongside his own wide awake Mombieolic wife; here I am, vice grip on my Netflix remote ready to start my sixth concurrent episode of Game of Thrones. It vaguely resembles a throwback to my college days when the mere thought of going out for the evening before 11PM was appalling. Um, except now I’m like 20 years and two children older and I’m not leaving my…
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Hubby and I went to the Adirondacks for six days this month, it was the first time we’ve been together alone for more than a day in 13 years. So it was quite a milestone. I even foolishly mentioned the word Honeymoon during one of our romantic dinners of which we had a few. However, the many bumps in the road that had to be maneuvered thinned out the romance. I can’t go into all the nuts and bolts because that’s unfair to Hubby, as he isn’t given a voice on my blog. Let’s just say I primarily messed up by not making the trip a priority and I avoided taking part in the planning because Mr Clipboard, my darling Hubby, is so good at all this organizational stuff. I read one section of one of the three guidebooks we bought on the area and I got excited by what I read. Yet I didn’t share this with Hubby. I guess I was overwhelmed with choice and expected hubby to make all the decisions. Well that was a big mistake.
So I was in a great mood when we set off, then the reality of the five-hour drive into the dark, enclosed, slightly scary woods hit me. I didn’t know what to expect.
Add in menopause and a late period that didn’t arrive the entire week but banged on my vaginal walls loudly with a strong chorus of period pains, brain fog and bloating. Did I mention my sore jaw also? Let’s not go there. All of the above brought on a rather different kind of mood.
I’ll admit that my passive aggressive head was firmly screwed on by the end of the trip.
I turned into Grouch bag central. Poor hubby had to “manage me” for the entire trip. Ok I produced one or two smiles, hugs and moments of gratitude – well maybe, but most of the time I was a Debbie Downer and it will go down in history as a lost opportunity. Sigh!
So here is what I’ve learned from this experience:
1. Get involved in the planning of a trip even when it’s more effort than you would like.
2. Make sure all parties involved get their needs met throughout the trip i.e. be flexible and accommodating.
3. Do not be the sacrificial lamb who goes on hikes that they don’t want to do or feel unable to do.
4. Mix in rest days and don’t be ashamed to bail on a plan if it doesn’t fit your energy level.
5. Bring plenty of great wine, a massive music playlist that you can sing along to, chocolate, and maybe a teddy bear.
6. Camping is best done near a clean toilet block that has a shower at hand. Primitive sites are for hardcore campers only.
7. Canoeing for hours is more fun if you stop for lunch on an island and paddle a bit more then stop and fish a little i.e. it’s okay to take things easy. Visit a local canoe store to help you with ideas as they organize trips to the best areas and use the most scenic routes all the time. Crossing land during a canoe trip is called a portage and I’d recommend renting a $5 trolly for the day to help you carry the canoe. Those darlings are heavy. If worried about getting lost book one of the canoe store’s trips.
8. Own your responsibility to make this a peaceful time of reconnection avoid an aggressive attitude.
9. If you are feeling lonely and unconnected during your trip don’t blame your partner, just let them know in a loving way that you really need to curl up with a good book while they hike that day. If feeling particularly daring ask them to visit an antique’s store or gallery with you. Demand a daily visit to an ice-cream parlor.
10. With focus and a little effort you can create a smile from your heart when you really don’t feel up to it. It flows positive energy from your heart into every part of your being.
11. Expect moments when you feel like your having a heart attack scrambling over giant boulders. Don’t be ashamed to ask your partner for a helping hand during the steep climbs even if you are going at a snail’s pace. Promise them some homemade trail-mix for their patience. Or whatever comes to mind that might motivate their gracious side. You will be filled with a cosmic shower of gratitude that you have lived to tell the tale and ended up hoisted onto a massive rock with a breath-stealing view of the Adirondack peaks and endless glass lakes. Nature Rocks!
I really hope you found this at least a little helpful and entertaining. Everyone messes up from time to time and it’s how you grow from it that counts. Be well my lovelies lots of snuggles Jackie
I wish this self-reflection stuff was easier but I’m gonna pat my self on the back for making it a priority. So I’m a work in progress and I have a dark side. But I don’t allow this to overwhelm me too often, because I have to accept that darkness is a part of me. So I need to shine my light into the darkness and make it less intense. My light is full of love, joy, silliness and appreciation for people and my life. I sense gratitude a lot more these days since my soul travels started. But arrogance creeps in and I feel a sense of false importance and find myself being judgmental.
Am I really doing the man in the ticket booth a favor by saying hi? But if I smile at him and look into his eyes to connect for a moment, our exchange adds to my life. If I give him a compliment and tell him his hair is beautiful I get that little look of surprise and then his smile instantly grows. An interchange of positive energy occurs and we’ve both benefitted because I took the time to really look and observe. I made a small difference.
We have built very slim connections with our neighbors, as our houses are far enough apart that we don’t really have to. Yes again the dark selfish side of me pops up. Last week, I was discussing getting older with a neighbor who is a knowledgeable holistic nutritionist. Yet in general our interaction has been minimal other than my son still wears clothes that her teen grew out of and I am very grateful for them.
She explained her worries about wrinkles and dry skin. She told me I didn’t have any wrinkles. I’m blessed, thank you Mom and Dad for my oily, kind skin. It’s kind because it hasn’t given in to gravity yet and my wrinkles are minimal.
I felt a stronger connection with my neighbor when I said, “I don’t see any wrinkles, I only see your radiant smile.”
And it’s true, she has an amazing smile. Aren’t smiles awesome?
It’s a little sad that she focuses on the negative force of aging and not on the positive. If we routinely think about the bad then that’s what we’ll receive from the universe. She carried a sense of loss and lack instead of appreciating the abundance we have.
I know how that place of scarcity looks and feels unfortunately.
I’m the biggest negative thinking hypocrite that’s out there at times. Years ago, I was once asked at an interview if I was a glass-half-empty person. I’d never even thought about this concept. I’d been a nurse, a teacher, a daughter, sister, friend and lover by this stage in my life. I’d taken on all these roles and never once thought about this idea. Wow! There’s no surprise that the rigors of nursing nearly tore my soul apart. I obviously hadn’t been doing a particularly great job in any of my life roles. My relationship with my family, who are loving and supportive, wasn’t really much to write home about. I lived separately in England and rarely visited Ireland. I’d run away in the hope that I would be happier. But being a glass-half-empty kinda gal back then, and seeing life as only black or white, I didn’t notice that running didn’t work. I chose to dwell in the dark and succumbed to its gloom and kept making bad decisions. I needed my soul journey.
Part of my soul journey involves seeing a therapist, she reminds me of my favorite aunt way back when I was a kid. We talk each week and she asked me to start listening to my heart and recognize my feelings. I still don’t like myself much when I’m in the dark. I realize that I can be totally disconnected from my feelings and don’t think about my heart and soul. They tend to get lost in an abandoned ghost town. Yes I’m a drama queen too.
When people are in so much despair and don’t connect with themselves or others, suicide seems the only answer. That is the sad state of the world. Men in particular find it hard to be authentic and really connect with others and their feelings. Society has many faults and the expectation that men and women shouldn’t show their emotions is inhuman.
The therapist encouraged me to write about my feelings and hug the life out of my vulnerable parts. In doing so I’ve come to appreciate that the running away from my pain is pointless as the person I am trying to avoid connecting with is ME and I can’t run from ME.
Is it okay to be my authentic self? One of the most important parts of me that I’ve tried to reject is my sexuality and this is an awkward topic to say the least. Should I continue to bear the burden of guilt that my religious background gave me as a gift? The church and my older relations encouraged me to reject my sexual being. “Sex is bad” was a very loud and clear message blasted through a foghorn.
So the pressure of not being authentic built up over time and my sexuality exploded out of me at inappropriate moments, especially in my twenties and it’s now affecting me in my late forties as I face menopause. My sexual drive can become a controlling and powerful entity, which has caused me to regret my actions afterwards. These whirlwind, self-destructive moments have chipped away at my self-worth. I transformed my sexuality into a dark force.
That’s how I lived before my soul journey.
To this day I’ve tried to heal and forgive myself for sexual abuse that occurred in my childhood. I talked to people about how it terrified me, left me feeling unsafe and untrusting towards men. But all the talking and angry outbursts didn’t help.
It takes time to accept that crap happens in your life and that it wasn’t your fault. I survived, I’m definitely scarred emotionally, and growing up during a raging civil war in Northern Ireland didn’t help either. But I’m fine and unscathed physically. By declaring this in my blog it’s kind of an official letting go of the guilt I bear. This is not part of dinner conversation but I think it bloody well should be.
So I’m in the process of embracing my sexuality and balancing it with my fear and mistrust. I realize that the only person who can heal me is me of course. I’m not good at cradling that young child in me, who never felt truly safe again. I keep saying hi and give her an imaginary squeeze and I need to add in a tickle or two. I keep saying to myself I am enough, a mantra courtesy of Maya Angelo and/or I will protect you.
I officially like my sexuality and own it proudly.
So I’ve written my novel to free myself of some of this weight and to create an evocative depiction of what happens to a girl when she lives with the constant fear of attack in her Northern Irish homeland. The wonderful part of writing is that I can use hindsight and make Kitty, my heroine, realize that she has the power within to conquer the pain and hardship that she encounters. Kitty does this so much quicker than I have and that’s fabulous. She doesn’t allow herself to be a victim. She makes powerful choices along her soul journey. I hope that in writing “Northern Branches” I will inspire many women to embrace their beautiful selves and honor who they are as beings. Great beings.
There is so much darkness in our world with religious fanatics killing innocent beautiful people. A friend’s friend ran from the truck in Nice and dived into a café to escape the shower of bullets. Luckily she was unhurt, at least physically.
Also during this sad time of fear and confusion with race relations and gun control in the US, the need to go on our personal soul journey is more important than ever.
Try to break out that radiant smile and truly connect with our loved ones, our work and life. That’s the only way to be happy. Invest in what we have already. A blogger I had the great luck to come across, Benjamin Hardy says it very simply:
“The better you are in your current position, the better will be your next one. Don’t wait for your circumstances to change, improve the circumstances you’re currently in.”
This is his link to a powerful blog post on happiness:
Really concentrate our efforts on making our lives better right here and now. Brendon Burchard, a motivational guru I adore, stresses that we can make a conscious effort to bring positivity into any situation. It just takes a conscious effort like most things.
Let’s not reduce life to light and dark, let’s accept and be curious in the grey because we have the ability to generate joy in the shadows of our lives and make them radiant with bright, pure light.
Avoid running, personal experience tells me it sucks, find comfort in the grey, own your life and rock it!
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