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Autumn Life Pondering Reflections Seasons

Autumn is Here.

I’m sitting by my window, a cup of tea in hand. I hear a dog barking outside.

There’s a crispness in the air.

Will the air whisper its thoughts to me?

Autumn is here.

Red leaves. Brown leaves.

Squash at the farmer’s market.

Autumn is here.

Candles lit, scented and not.

Plenty of blankets and pillows thrown about, making home feel cozy.

Thick socks on my feet.

Autumn is here.

Bushes throbbing with the lush greens of fall.

Autumn is here.

Far away thoughts. Far away memories of times gone by.

This is my season.

Autumn is here.

Sweaters. Boots. Long walks in contemplation.

This is my season. This is my mood.

Autumn is here.

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Changes Meditation Musings Pondering Reflections Uncategorized

Pandemic Contemplations

  So, it’s been a minute. The pandemic, coronatine, quarantine, whatever we are calling it, gave me a nice brain fog.  I inhaled in shock and it took me a really long time to exhale. I, like everyone else, was caught by surprise. I’m not a stranger to a lockdown. When I need to focus inward or learn something new, I’ve quarantined myself many times.  I don’t want the world disrupting my learning curve, so I was not completely opposed to a shutdown. I, however, have never had the experience of the entire planet having to shutdown with me.  I can take it. I can go with the flow. Can everybody else?

  Is “shock” a good word for the feelings I felt? You bet! I know how to be quiet. I know when I need to be quiet to allow new information in. Most of the planet, I’m not so sure about. At first I was grateful for the rest. I saw it as an opportunity for the planet to reset.  How long would it take I wondered. How long would it take for enough people on the planet to learn to think in new ways? 

  After my initial panic, I started to see it as a beautiful opportunity to pivot. Pandemic contemplations I’m calling it.  We all have an opportunity to look at our lives, to really look at our little worlds, our bubbles, and decide what we love, what we really don’t need, and what we can live without. We can look at the things, the many many things we can let go of.  It can be a nice surprise to see how much we can really don’t need and can let go of. Honey, people are cleaning out closets, and garages, reorganizing homes and giving away massive quantities. It’s freeing.  How long will it last?  Will this new way of being stick? How many people will it take to create a tipping point for the whole world to change?

  There are a million conversations to be had right now. How can we maintain the good things this world slowdown is showing us? The air is cleaner. The world is quieter. I cannot tell you how much I love waking up in the morning and can actually hear birds chirping! I also love the fact that I don’t hear people rushing off to places in robot fashion without taking the time to think about why they are doing it and if it’s really what they want, or if it’s worth it.  

  Cooking meals, eating with the other members of the household, gardening, baking breads, putting together jigsaw puzzles, crafting in hundreds of new ways, rediscovering what a slow existence is and how good it feels.  Going deeper. I love it, but I know not everybody does.  Not everyone wants to sit with their thoughts.

  Here’s the good thing though, many people welcomed the opportunity to sit with their thoughts.  They didn’t even know they wanted to do it but here’s this opportunity.  The whole planet didn’t have a choice.  

We’re discovering what the definition of real power is. We’re seeing what real power looks like, or is it that we have the time to define for ourselves what real power is? We can define for ourselves how we want to participate in the world.  You know what? That can be really scary.  We’re accustomed to having the world dictate to us what we should be doing, and now in a quiet world, in a world shut down, we get to decide for ourselves how we want to participate in the world.  The world had to get sleepy for its wakeup call. I being a contrarian, I being the person who doesn’t always want to follow a crowd is pleased at the prospect of a shift.  

There is so much more to discuss, so I’m going to take these pandemic contemplations in small bites. How are you doing?

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Changes Journey Meditation Musings Pondering Reflections

Where does this road lead us?

Where does it lead us?

This road.

Where are the answers?

Buried under rocks?

Should I kick them?

Turn them over gently?

Scream?

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Changes Inspiration Meditation Musings Pondering Reflections Uncategorized

You’re Welcome?!

I have a new friend.  I’m not sure if I like her.  She shows up when she feels like and she affects the way I behave in the world, the way I feel, and how I act with others.  She wears a pink skirt and combat boots.  You’d think with the pink skirt that she’d be nice, but those damn combat boots give her so much attitude.  I don’t know if she is a friend or not, but what I know for sure is that she is not going anywhere.  She’s made that abundantly clear.  

One minute I’m fine. I’m living my life and doing my thing and the next minute there’s a furnace in my midsection that decided to turn itself on high heat.  I didn’t make any requests. I didn’t over-exert myself.  In fact, I was keeping my mouth shut and minding my own business.  I very politely disrobe, if I’m alone of course, and I stand in front of a fan. Five minutes later it’s over and I hear Perimini’s (that’s what I’m calling her) quiet cackle in the background.

Was it something I said?  She’s persistent and quite capable of kicking my a$$. She’s made that abundantly clear.  I don’t know.  Do I love her?  Do I hate her?  I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about her.  I find myself wondering how long she’s planning to stay. Here I am looking at cute babies in the vicinity and cooing over cute cartoon and commercial children.  What did I do to you Peri? 

On days when I feel like I’ve had enough, I think about how I can get rid of her quietly without her knowing I’m plotting against her.  I still don’t know if she’s a friend yet.  Would she answer me if I asked her how long she’s planning to stay?  She’s not very forthcoming, and even if she knew, I’m not sure if she’d tell me.  What does she want?  It can’t be just to torment me.  What’s her message?  Can she possibly deliver it in a much easier way?  Maybe without all the hot flashes and the night sweats.  She’s not the one who has to wash the linens after all. 

Does she know she’s the reason I have a thousand and one new fragrances? This situation is throwing my Ph balance off.  I’m not saying I stink.  I just don’t smell quite like myself, and my skin is dry from sweating all night. So, not only do I have to spend more time doing laundry, I have to spend extra time looking for a variety of fragrances that I wouldn’t normally wear, fragrances that work one day and other days not so much, which is the reason why I have so many now.  First world problem, I know.

I want to make friends with her, but I also want her visits to be as short as possible,  If she can’t do that, maybe she could just not be so disruptive.  Is she saint or is she sinner?  Does she love?  Does she hate?  Is this what neutral is?  Can I request a different comforting angel, a less intrusive one?

   It’s hard to explain if in the middle of a conversation, I start dabbing my forehead with one tissue, then a paper towel, then several paper towels, when there have been no outward signs of a significant temperature change or exertion. You didn’t see that part where I just finished a HIIT workout, but that’s what happened…just not on this plain of existence.  Does that sound like a reasonable excuse?  No.  Okay.  I am still sweating like I just finished that HIIT workout though. Just sayin’.  It’s possible.  Wait!  Does it count as a workout?  The steps were done in spirit.  Does that mean anything?  I want it counted somehow.  

  I drift off to sleep and I’m fine. I’m in Goldilocks territory, not too hot, not too cold. Then Peri makes an appearance.  My sheets are soaked.  My hair is soaked.  I’m wide awake trying to find a dry spot on the bed.  Why isn’t anybody else awake for this? Should I take a shower now or wait til the morning?  Am I going to towel off? Rub myself down with one of my many new fragrant oils?  Will I be able to go back to sleep?  

  The philosophers and spiritualists say that if you wake up in the wee hours then spirit is trying to tell you something.  OK, first can they talk to me at a more reasonable hour?  Second, does nature’s alarm need to be so darn dramatic?  What about a feather or a gray cat walking across my path at noon, and not like 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning? Can Peri relay that message to the spirits for me?  Is she one of those whispering spirits, that someone gave a sledge hammer by mistake?  

 

I appreciate that she’s here to usher me into the next phase of my existence.  I really do.  There’s a horizon over which I look and she’s right next to me pointing and letting me know that’s where I’m going.  Then she pushes me out into traffic.  You’re welcome?!

Categories
Changes Inspiration Meditation Musings Pondering Reflections

Hey You. Yeah, you!

I want to be seen. I want to be acknowledged, most people do, if not all.  A hello or a nod on the street goes a long way.  The problem with growing up in a limited household is that people didn’t always get that attention.  Everybody is or was always too busy.  Folks don’t recognize the importance of acknowledging their fellow man. Or, maybe they do, but they don’t want to be the first to do it.  No one wants to be put in a position to be taken advantage of, or to feel like the nerd.  No one wants to do it first. What about me we’re asking. I acknowledge you. Who’s acknowledging me? The trick is to fill your own cup first, like that whole airplane oxygen mask thing.  Put the oxygen mask over your face first.  

  A lot of people didn’t get what they felt they needed emotionally as children so there’s a constant feeling of emptiness, an unfulfilled need, a half-filled cup with a drip drop of water not allowing the cup to be filled.   The cup is also tipped slightly so even if there were a steady flow of water, the cup never gets filled.  You’re the cup. You got that right?!  What to do first? Sit the cup upright on a stable foundation and let the flow of emotional water fill your cup.

 When we start out with lack, our first instinct is to seek fulfillment outside ourselves.  As we hopefully blossom into mature adults, we grow to understand that fulfillment comes from within.  Emotional fulfillment comes from within.  So, we start to exercise that muscle. We gradually start to take care of ourselves first.  We then stop looking for fulfillment  outside of ourselves. We start to dwell in that feeling of, “so, this is what it’s like to feel taken care of.” Not gonna lie.  It can feel uncomfortable, as new things do.  It can even feel a little scary, maybe even a lot. You bask in the feelings and start to ask yourself, if I can take care of myself, then why do I need other people?  Don’t worry.  You don’t need to have other people take care of you, but it can still feel desirable to have company.  It feels better having company around when you’re emotionally healthy.

  Start with something small. Acknowledge yourself.  Look in the mirror and say “hello.” Look yourself right in the eye and say “hello.” Really look.  Hang there for about five seconds, perhaps three if it gets to be too much. That’s it. Go on with your day.

  We don’t realize it but we are in front of mirrors several times throughout the day: brushing our teeth, combing our hair, putting on makeup, sunscreen, washing our faces, washing our hands after using the bathroom. You are washing your hands afterwards? Right? Every time? Every time! Well, there’s usually a mirror there. Look into it. Say, “hello,” five, four, three, two, one.  That is all. Acknowledge you first. Build that muscle, then we’ll go from there.

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Inspiration Meditation Musings Pondering Reflections

Reflections

I dreamt there were no mirrors.  I was locked in a house and there were no mirrors on the walls, no mirrors on the doors.

I couldn’t see my reflection.

How will I know who I am if I can’t see my own reflection?

I looked behind curtains and under linens and towels, but I couldn’t find any.

I looked out of the windows for my reflection in the sky, in the clouds.  Nothing.  I watched the sacred space for hours. Nothing.

I figured out how to make my own mirror.

I poured water in a glass bowl.  Then, I could see my reflection. I know who I am.  

I see.  I see me.  

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Autumn Inspiration Meditation Musings Pondering Uncategorized

Autumn Arrives

71773F17-51D4-433D-8181-8F165696BAAA.jpegI recognize that I think and write like autumn and my season has arrived. It’s a time for contemplation and long leisurely walks. It feels like long sips of hot chocolate and lingering over a cup of tea. It’s sweater and boot weather. Breathe it in. Wrap yourself in a scarf and enjoy it.

Categories
Changes Inspiration Pondering

Broken things.

Breaking up is hard to do…wait.  No it isn’t. I broke a plate a few days ago.  I live in one of those households were the dishwasher has a name.  It’s mine.  I wasn’t upset. In fact, it gave me a sense of satisfaction, not because I was angry and it felt good to break a plate.  The broken plate gave me a sense of satisfaction because seeing something broken always feels like there’s a possibility for something new.  Out with the old, in with the new as the saying goes.

A broken plate felt like the symbol of transition, a change is coming.  I didn’t fear it.  I relished it.  It was a beautiful plate.  It still is in its brokenness. A previously complete set isn’t complete anymore.  I  could go to the store I bought it from, get a replacement and put the set back together. Do the same old thing, but I knew I wasn’t going to do that.  Truth be told, I already gave the cups to the set away several months ago. I felt the winds of change even then, so no, there would be no repurchasing of the same plate.  The breakage puts me at three plates from a set of five, five salad plates, five bowls,  and zero cups.    I guess I only break plates…and those cups I broke before I gave the remainder away:-)

  I came up with a clever plan where I would buy one place setting at a time, each with a new pattern, complementary coloring of course.  In the end, I would have eight new place settings with different patterns with similar color schemes.  I thought it would make for an eclectic table, and my dinner guests would always have something to talk about…and I would be entertained.  It felt like a neat way to live life as well.  I wouldn’t conform to the same old pattens everyday.  I could live an eclectic existence, and do something different on a regular, not quite daily basis.  It gets me out of the same old routine and I get to explore new ways of living.  Change is inevitable.  We can be as careful and cautious as we want, but breakage is bound to happen. No need to fear it.  Let it take you on a new journey.  Buy a new plate.

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Inspiration planning Pondering

The best laid plans of mice and men…

I had a plan.  I always have a plan.  Ask me how often the plan turns out exactly the way I imagined it would.  I’ll wait… Exactly, zero percent of the time.  Am I a poor planner?  Are the plans any good? I usually think so.  The exact one thing that usually goes wrong is that execution takes waaay longer than I thought. 

So, I build more time into my plans and they still take longer than I thought.  It leads me to ask several questions.  Am I planning the wrong things?  Is my execution poor?  Am I even on the right journey?  Oh yea, I get real philosophical real quick.

There are times when my plans turn out really well.  I live in a city with a lot of traffic, and I do mean a lot, so I always give myself plenty of time to get to my destination.  99% of the time, I’m early.  Exactly right doesn’t seem to be an option for me when it comes to my plans.

The real truth about plans is that they can give you a sense of being in control when you don’t really feel that way.  They give your world a structure.  The trick is to relax when the plans you made don’t work out the way you thought they would.  Going with the flow of whatever is happening and trusting that you can handle whatever happens becomes the plan.

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Changes Pondering Uncategorized

Ch. Ch. Ch. Choices

The best thing about life is also the scariest thing.  You get to decide what you want to do with yours.  We always have choice.

I remember back in college. I met this kid who knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up.  He was going to be a small town doctor.  He was going to be a doctor in his hometown in Georgia and make house calls just like his father did, and his father before him.  Boy, was I envious.  Growing up I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I’m not even sure I know now.  I liked lots of things, and despised just as many.

The running joke when I was in college was that I changed my major every week, or at least quarterly.  I only changed my major once officially, from civil engineering to rhetoric and communications(true story).  I was however in constant discussion about a new class or idea I was exploring.  Did I have a love for civil engineering?  Nope. I was however very good at math in high school and I had a guidance counselor who was completely absent of guidance.  I think I may have met with her once.  She saw a kid with stellar grades in math, so engineering was the major for me, or so she decided. I got to pick the discipline.  I wasn’t completely oblivious.  I chose the college I wanted to go to for all of my own reasons, one being if I didn’t like civil engineering, they had other majors I was interested in.

In between civil engineering and rhetoric and communications, I went from landscape architecture to plant science to physical education to a love for marketing and chemistry to anthropology and many more I probably don’t recall.  At one point I was going to design exercise wear for Paula Abdul or work for a cosmetics company like Revlon.  My plan was to formulate my own lipstick colors of course.  I loved chemistry.

From the first day to the last I took a wide variety of classes: anthropology, engineering basics and calculus.  Every time I’d take a class pointing to a career I was interested in, only to be bored by the class.  It was quite the adventure. I would never trade it.  Economics, art history, a smattering of everything until I started to take rhetoric classes, then literature classes, and communications classes both interpersonal and organizational.  That’s when I started to light up.  Lots of writing in there, which I wasn’t so great at in the beginning, and found to be drudgery.  But, I felt its importance immediately.  Self-expression, the communicating of ideas, I loved it.  I wanted more of it.  I wanted to be better at it.  I even learned how to give a speech. 

What I really learned is that my ideas and opinions were valuable and it was okay for me to express myself. 

I interviewed for a reporting job after I graduated and got it.  Here’s the kicker, it was as a sports reporter in a city so small I don’t even remember the name of it.  Oh, and there’s the fact that I didn’t know ANYTHING about sports.  Apparently, I was the only one who interviewed for the job…clearly. 

I love Bob Costas to this day, but I cannot do what he does. He is a sportscaster as well as a writer.  He group up loving sports.  I did not.  I was not a sports loving kid.  I can’t state the truth in that enough.  I was NOT a sports loving kid.  Like a lot of girls I took the occasional dance class and watched gymnastics during the Olympics.  That’s the end of that sports story.

When you’re young, having to find your way in the world and discover who you are can be quite scary, actually as an adult too, but when you have some years on you, you realize that change happens all the time and it’s not as scary as you thought it would be; in your youth, not so much.

“Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.”

                                                                                    Mark Twain

Change is inevitable.  Choices are always available.  One day at a time, one choice at a time, that’s how I’ve decided(see that choice there) to live my days, me and nature creating miracles together, or at least a life of my choosing.