Today is International day of peace
I should change the name of my blog to “Flower Girl,” because I do love spreading peace. The thing is I want to be taken serious when I talk about it, and the flower girl tends to be looked at…as having no-clue. My brother told me not long ago that I always reminded him of Janis Joplin. I have no idea where he got that impression except I had a tougher edge to me when I was a teen. I needed that in order to survive the world I was thrust into. Maybe he was talking more about the way she looked, I don’t know. What I do know is that when caught between our own right and wrongs sometimes letting go of all the hurt and anger they cause us…opens up a space for peace to come in.
I was with a group of ladies the other day taking a yoga class. At the end, I stayed for a group meditation. In the space of time between yoga and meditation the heaviness of the world events was the subject of talk. One of the ladies asked if we could focus on gratitude. I was thinking to myself how much more attention we put on the things that go wrong rather than the many more things that are still right in our life. The beautiful thing about counting our blessings is that we always find more to be grateful for than all the bad things we place our focus on. Letting go allows the peace to come in and when the peace comes in it gives us a healthier outlook on what we can do to help and make the world a better place. We could all aspire to be a little more like St. Francis who not only said, “Let peace begin with me,” but lived it as an example to all of us.
May you have a peace filled day!
“When was the last time you told your story?” The question comes from a Native American Medicine Man.
Sometimes we keep telling, sharing or re-writing our story the way I have for so many years. We can’t help the need to release and express that which presses on our heart. People may get tired of hearing about it, but it is only through the telling over and again that we are able to understand it all. Mark Nepo adds that, “It is the sweat and tears of the telling that bring the meaning out of its sleep as if no time has passed. It is the telling that heals.”
I was encouraged by today’s reflective reading to close my eyes and imagine the passages that have brought me to the person I am today. It’s ironic that I come across this right now as I’m re-writing my story. I’ve actually been noticing how many doorways and thresholds I’ve crossed through. The deeper I go into these various places the more I see clearly as if no time has passed. The journey, this time, is not a walk I do alone. I am holding the hand of my younger-self. Something my wonderful therapist once taught me to do. I let her lead the way as she walks me back through each doorway of our story. While it can still be painful at times to live through, I am able to remind my younger-self that it is okay now because we made it all the way through. I’ve learned to thank her this time too. For the strength, perseverance, bravery and the faith it took to get through one thing after another. My hope is that when every doorway has been gone through noted, and the last word is the end. That the child in me will not only see how much she is a part of who I am today, but that she will let go and become as I am.
I have to say that being in my 60’s feels like another coming of age experience. Oh, I know there’s lots of aches and pains. Things I can no longer do, but something within is changing on a deeper level. The term coming of age is often used as we go from the teen years into adulthood. But what do we really know at that age. It’s really only the beginning of experiencing life. What it has to teach us. Who we want to be. What we want to do. I remember when I turned 40 feeling like it was another coming of age experience. It was the beginning of truly getting to know, accept and like myself for who I was. I road into my 50’s with a little more confidence and understanding that it isn’t all about me, but about who I am in connection to something much bigger then myself, my religion and my calling. Now that I’ve been in my 60’s I feel lighter in many ways definitely freer. I sense this new coming of age is melding me together both body, mind and soul. This longing I have to simple “be” …it’s my soul calling to me.
As I begin my day I light my spiced pumpkin candle. The light representing the presence of God. The smell awakening my senses and I give thanks for another day to experience what life has to teach and offer me. Then I open my little marble book that holds the names of people who are in need of prayer. I don’t ask God for what he already knows their needs to be. I simple see them as receiving whatever it is that God has to offer them on this day. Then I center myself through meditation and as I concentrate on my breath I can’t help feeling blessed to be alive yet one more day. One breath at a time and nothing else matters except the moment I find myself in. All else stems from this moment of thanks and praise. I breath in wellness and out happiness in and out filling myself with all that is good and right in the world. Remembering that with all that can go wrong there is so much more good to draw from.
May your day be blessed and filled with all your hearts desire.
I am learning that being a member of my family is similar to being in a group, a pack or a tribe. I know there is something different about us, I mean after all I’m a dog. I notice though that they are different from each other too. So that makes me feel like I fit right in. I’ve begun to feel what they feel, and their feelings have become my feelings too. If they get scared about something like thunder and lightning then that makes me believe there is something to fear about it even if I don’t know why. If they like someone a lot, then I like them too, and sometimes I go overboard showing it. I don’t know why I do that either, but love makes me feel that way. The worst thing about being a member of a group is when they go off, and do things without me. I feel the saddest then, and even cry sometimes when they leave. But I notice that sometimes they leave each other behind or they go in different directions. The best thing though about being a part of a family is that they always come back. That the love we have for each other never leaves us even when one of us is gone. Yes, there doesn’t seem to be anything stronger then tribal love. It’s the very glue that holds us together, and I’m a lucky dog indeed to be a part of it.
“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” -Gordon B. Hinckley
I got home yesterday from my week of writing in the Poconos. It was wonderful in every way. To top it off I got a lot writing and soul searching done. I think the best thing I came away with was a new understanding of the gift I have now because of the years of cultivating I’ve already done. What I’ve come to realize is that it hasn’t just been my inner child’s need to be validated for the part she played it in making our dream come true. It goes much deeper and beyond that. It’s been her driving forces to tell our story that has made me a better writer. This has given me the opportunity to do what I have a real passion for and that’s inspiring others with my words.
As I was talking with one of the many accomplished writers there, I began to wonder what I’m doing here. The old saboteur started showing its defeating face. I could feel myself getting sucked into the belief that I was an amateur and I always would be. Then this writer started telling me about how he likes to garden and sometimes he just has to go out in his garden and start doing some composting. As you begin to pull this and that out of yourself all the good and bad stuff gets thrown together. Then you let it sit for a while. When you’re ready you start to turn and mix it up, and eventually it becomes the fertilizer that feeds the story’s you sow.
As the quote says above, I’ve learned too that without a lot of hard work, nothing grows but weeds. I think I’ve managed to grow a few beautiful flowers along the way. Now all I have to do is keep pulling the weeds that get in the way.
I was up till 12 last night writing. I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop. Then I got up early to do yoga in the loft of the barn with Didi. She’s a gentle soul that just seemed to have a calming affect on me.
I hung around in the loft after we were done and journaled for a bit until breakfast was ready downstairs. I sat with two other ladies, Liz who took me under her wing the first day I got here. She’s been very encouraging and helpful directing me toward supportive networks and books to read on how to write memoir. Then there’s Carmine who reached out to me introducing herself and always pulling me into the conversation making me feel a part of the people here. All 3 ladies are leaving today. I shall miss them, but they’ve helped to get me off to a good start as I feel more comfortable meeting the new people coming in.
Today will be my 3rd full day here, and I can’t say enough about how at home I feel. They do everything they can to make you comfortable. For instance, I’m short as some of you already know. So, my desk is too high, my chair too low. So we tried a few chairs to on for size. They were all too low. Then we tried some different tables, and they were still too high. Finally we found a chair and it was…just right…as Goldilocks said after trying out all the furniture in the three bears house. Lol
Speaking of bears there’s all kinds of story’s about bears around here. One lady heard something rubbing up against her cabin and was afraid to look out the window.
She later learned from the lady staying next to her that she did indeed see a bear walking between their cabins. Yikes! Maybe staying in the lodge isn’t such a bad thing after all.
I started to go for a walk down a path until it became too enclosed on both sides by the woods. I chickened out and turned around thinking I might look like a plump juicy treat to one of those bears.
The word is that no ones every been attacked by one yet. I think I’ll play it safe anyway and stay close to my surroundings.
I am on a retreat in the Pocono’s for writers. It’s a place that the Highlight Foundation, provides for writers to take workshops or do what I’m doing called an unworkshop. It’s an opportunity for some peace and quiet to concentrate on working on the second draft of my memoir. I’ve only been working this story just about my whole life, at least it feels that way. I need, and want to put it to rest so I can move on to other things.
I was blessed with a beautiful day for driving and the scenery was outstanding as I went up and down the mountains. I love Pennsylvania as much now as I did when I first saw it in 1965. I was 12 years old then. We’d come all the way across the states from California on a greyhound bus. It took 5 days to get to Philadelphia our final destination. Don’t get me wrong. I loved California too, and liked being a California girl. Would have loved to stay there if we could, but Pennsylvania was the place we had to go. Back east where my parent’s original came from. I don’t know maybe it was in my blood or something, but it felt like I was coming home. Anyway, that’s what I came here to write about. The part of me that got from where I was to where I am today. If it wasn’t for the child I was, and what she endured, I wouldn’t have had the full life I’ve had for the past 46 years. I owe it to her to tell our story.
I got here at 4:00pm settled in and at 5:30 went to happy hour at the barn and a fantastic meal at 6:00. I didn’t have much of a chance to take pictures but will do some of that tomorrow as I wonder around the grounds.
I’m so excited to be here!
I was sharing with a friend the other day how uninspired I’ve been feeling lately with my writing. These times of disarray, fear and anger going on in our country, and the world, feel awful familiar to me. It brings me back to the 60’s a time when my own life was turned upside down…let alone what was going in our country at the time. No wonder I can’t get inspired, the feeling paralyses me like it did back then when all I wanted to do was roll up into a ball and disappear. I remember my Dad telling that life is like a pendulum swinging back and forth between the good and the bad times. That every generation has its own painful experiences to go through and overcome.
I’ve always wanted to help others. To make people feel more hopeful, but sometimes even the flower girl runs out of flowers to offer, and she just needs to have one offered back to her so she can remember how good it feels to receive. So, as I pray for guidance I come across a fable in one of my daily readings, and I receive the flower that it has to offer me. Today I pass it onto you with a hopeful heart that you can find some peace in the midst of these stormy days.
*There was a king who offered a prize for the person who could paint the best picture of peace. There were two finalists. One drew a picture of peaceful mountains, fluffy clouds and a calm lake. The other drew a picture of an angry sky, lightning and a rushing waterfall. Behind the waterfall was a tiny bush growing from a crack in a rock, and there sat a mother bird in her nest in perfect calm. The king chose the second picture, because, as the anonymous author described, “Peace doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.”
*Science of Mind Magazine daily reading Sunday August 20, 2017 by Rev. Ron Fox
I have lots of doggy friends of different sizes and colors. One of my very first friends was a Great Dane I meet at my people training class. He was as big as a horse with black and white patches like a cow. Then there’s my neighbors Lulu, Phin, Teddy and Gracie. I don’t know all the different nationalities of my neighbors. Lulu is very big and white, Phin is medium size and black, Teddy is small but not as small as me. He’s kind of funny looking with tight curly hair and a mixture of gray, silver, black, white, brown all over. Then there’s Gracie who is just a little bigger than me, I think, it’s hard to tell because she has lots of thick reddish brown fluffy fur. I also have lots of family doggies to play with. Hunter is a big German Shepard. When he barks it scares me but his bark is louder than his gentle personality. I have a lot of fun playing with Stella. She’s medium big and as black as night. I like nibbling on her long skinny legs. It makes her dance. Some of my doggy friends are pure bread like me, but the others are a mixture of all kinds of breeds, but none of us seem to notice or care. Each butt smells different it’s true, but on the inside the dog god made us all the same.
Hot dang I’m glad I’m a dog, a lucky dog at that indeed, for I was born to love and be loved…
…Weren’t we all?