Still Around

While I have nothing creative to share with you today, I wanted to let all of you know that I’m still here. Right now things are still in a state of suspended animation and may very well remain that way for a few more weeks. Over the last two days, I’ve at least been able to be still and sit in my own space without feeling like I’m crawling out of my skin. Part of this is because I know that I need to allow myself to be with my thoughts, another part is that I truly feel the desire for solitude right now, and the final part is that my autoimmune and neurological issues have reared their heads in a pretty big way and I know that I have to slow down.

Due to time constraints, not to mention the fact that my mind will only let me be inactive for so long, I’ll be making a creative comeback within the next week. I have a jam packed, wonderful October planned. For those of you out there who know me and worry…please don’t. I’m fine and I will be fine. I’m making plans for next week to keep me out of a rut. What I’ve learned over the years and in the past few weeks in an accelerated fashion is how important it is to strike a balance which honors who we are and what our needs are, and right here and now, my need is to be still and frankly…alone. I truly appreciate all of the love, support, and listening ears over the past few weeks. There is a need now however to turn inward for my answers for a few days. Not only that, but I need to trust those answers, and not second guess myself about them. There is one answer which I am already sure that I trust (yes J…you), but a few others which I need to reflect on.

One of the things I’ll be doing for the remainder of this week is devoting some quiet time to asking myself what all of that means for me right now.  So, while awaiting the other half of one particular puzzle to figure out where, if anywhere, they will choose to fit…I am stripping things down to the core of just me…where do I want to be…what do I want to be doing. These answers will be the same no matter what the outcome of the other situation is. Anything further than the very basics of my own personal stuff has to be put on hold for now, and that just has to be okay, no matter how trying and exhausting it may be. Be back soon with some creations to share!

I also wish to say a few words about the recent natural disaster taking place in the southern United States. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the storm. I can’t even imagine what they are going through because I’ve never been through anything near that magnitude when it comes to the weather. It’s going to be a long road ahead for so many people as they rebuild and recover. Times like these make many of us more mindful of the lives of our fellow humans beings. Love and kindness go a long way… as do compassion and action (no matter how big or small we are capable of), each and every day…not just when tragedy strikes.

Be gentle and kind to yourselves too, please. ❤

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The Next Chapter

September has been flying by. I’ve been writing and sketching the month away. While the schedule has been a bit grueling, it has been a lot of fun. Last year, I was pretty non-involved in the annual October-long horror blog which my dear friend and I began years ago, due to the illness and passing of my father. Admittedly, I retreated from life for a while. She was kind enough to fill in the gaps for me, and I’m thankful. Fortunately, I can report that I am doing much better than I was at this time last year.

Writing scary or creepy stuff is so much fun for me, that I wasn’t about to let another year go by without diving in all the way. A good bit of the month of October is going to be otherwise busy around here, so I’ve doubled my efforts, and in addition to the content that I post here,  I’ve been channeling my inner psycho and writing ahead for Sisters In The Shadows. Granted I’d have been juggling both sites in October too. I just wouldn’t have had to be quite so regimented in my writing schedule. It’s coming along very well, and I’m really looking forward to my October, both in the online and real worlds.

Of course, those of you who have been following along have been seeing my 29 Faces fun which I’ve been posting each Wednesday and Thursday throughout September. While I’m about ready for that particular challenge to be over, I have had the realization that this is going to open up two days on the blog which I’m going to need to figure out how to fill. In my mad dash to keep caught up with all of my projects this month, it didn’t even enter my mind to think of something to take the place of 29 Faces. Thankfully I’ve got about two weeks to figure that out, but I admit that panic is setting in slightly.

While I realize that I have no one to answer to but myself, I have set the goal of posting something here five days per week. I’d like to keep to keep that goal. So, over the next week I’ll be brainstorming to come up with something to fill the gap and getting to work on it, as I won’t have the time to sit and write as much as usual for a good part of next month.

As if all of this weren’t enough, I’ve decided to partake in NaNoWriMo again this year. Since I finished my novel, “Twisted Faith”, few months ago, I’ve had ideas bouncing around in my head for a sequel. What better time to kick it all off than National Novel Writing Month, which is in November? This will make the third time which I’ve taken up the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’m looking forward to beginning the second installment of the series.

Now, I’d like to ask for your input. How do all of you feel about short stories…and by that I mean flash fiction? I’d like to do a bit more of that here, but wish to keep it on the brief side for both your sake and mine. Please take a moment to comment and let me know what you think.

Thank you for sticking around as I follow my muse…wherever it chooses to lead…you never know what will pop up around here. Neither do I. What fun!

 

Sometimes There Is No Point

The typical Monday here usually consists of a post in which I write about a particular issue with the aim of making a point or to attempt to induce a positive way of thought about whatever the topic is. Well, sometimes there simply is no point to make. Most of the time, when I force a point into existence it feels…well…forced.

So for today, I’m going to let the notion of making a point go and just talk about my life a little. Lately, much to my pleasure, I can honestly say that things have been really good. For the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with some lifestyle changes in order to get my health on a better track. While I’m still working some kinks out, I feel as though I’m getting closer to finding the right balance with nutrition and exercise.

The greatest pleasure I’ve had in recent weeks has been the amazing people that I’m fortunate enough to consider friends and family. Many of my close friends live too far away to visit in person, but I get so much joy out of my chats with them on the phone or on Skype. Some of us do not get many opportunities to talk real often because we’re all busy, but when the relationship is deep and true, I’ve found that two people can go for extended periods of time without speaking and just pick right up with no awkwardness at all.

Not long ago, I went through another round of releasing what (and who) no longer fits and it has felt amazing. To be able to just let go, with no resentment, and especially for me, no guilt, is such a great experience. I’ve noticed that since I’ve set myself free from feelings of obligation to others who do not resonate with me that the way has been cleared for much richer relationship experiences. It has been liberating to surround myself with the people who I can just be myself with…people who I can talk about all kinds of stuff with, no matter how off the wall or geeky.

I’ve been allowing my inner nerd to come out and play a lot more in recent weeks and as weird as it might sound, I had no idea how big a part of myself I had been suppressing until I had the opportunity to indulge in the kind of geekiness which I hadn’t fully indulged in for more years than I care to admit. It has been akin to releasing the kraken. It’s like stepping back in time to an era which makes me feel very much at ease, and honestly enthusiastic. I’ll invite you to step into my personal wayback machine to get an idea of the brand of dorky which I’m fondly recapturing.

I’m talking about stuff I used to do with friends back in the day, like discussing advances in science or about the natural world, seeing who could come up with the coolest program in BASIC to make the most elaborate moving images (told you it was way back), watching sci-fi, staying up late into the night theorizing ways of solving practical issues, or bouncing back and forth with plot lines for stories or stanzas of poetry. Yeah…that kind of nerdy. Honestly, I’m in heaven.

This part of me, which many hadn’t really known about before (with the exception of a few people who’ve known me for a long time) is one which I had pushed into the recesses of myself in order to fit in better with the people I’d been surrounded with for many years, with those few exceptions who were my saving grace. Silly I know, but something which most of us have done at some point or another. Now that the beast has been unleashed, she won’t be going back into her cage anytime in the near future.

For someone with nothing to say, I seem to have done a good job at rambling on. In closing, I just want to send out a big thank you to the people who make my world a better place. You definitely know who you are, because I’ve either talked to you on the phone, emailed you, Skype chatted with you, or hung out with you in person in the past week. I’m a lucky girl indeed to have such amazing people in my life.

 

 

Release Valves

As I’m sitting here watching fluffy white clouds drift slowly across the sky, I’m reflecting on what a good week last week was. Even though I had a summer cold which is still lingering a little, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had in a while. The past few months have been so busy that there was very little down time. For most of last week though, I just drifted between the couch and bed, with my phones turned off since my throat wasn’t up for much talking anyway.

It felt so good to disconnect from everything and spend time reading, meditating, sleeping, and crossing everything off my to do list, and not because I did any of them. Upon looking back at my calendar over the past few months, I realized just how little time for relaxation and recharging I had done. Friday found me feeling better than I had all week, and my sister came over for a cup of tea and a nice chat.Then, to my pleasant surprise, a new friend called and invited me out to play. It was definitely hot and muggy here in Asheville, but it was so good to get outside for a while and simply meander for a few hours, enjoying the ever present opportunities for people watching that my hometown presents along with the good company that I was in.

On Friday night, I had the opportunity to enjoy a nice long, deep conversation with another friend over the phone. On Saturday, my already way more than normally socialized self got a call from a good friend who I hadn’t seen in months. She was going to be in the neighborhood and called to see if I was up for a visit…to share some tea and to get caught up. Though admittedly very close to wiped out, I readily agreed as I had planned on calling her later in the afternoon on Saturday anyway because I hadn’t spoken with her in about a month. Between her schedule and mine, we just hadn’t had an opportunity to catch up with one another. Getting to see her was a very nice added bonus. My intellect was stimulated in such a good way over the weekend, and my normally fine on her own self thoroughly enjoyed it. Being overly social is not something which I’ve ever aspired to be. The nature of my work as a writer and artist require a good bit of solitude. Luckily for me, most of the time, I like that.

Now, it isn’t that I could ever be one of those people who buy a plot of land in the woods and live as a true hermit. I start to get a little weird(er), if I go more than a few days without any human contact at all, which typically happens on the phone or through Skype, and more than a week without getting out of the house. I’m also very fortunate in that my sister lives so close that we get to hang out a few evenings a week. Good company is something which I definitely enjoy, and this weekend I had a grand abundance of it. This week, I will be getting back into the swing of things as far as work goes…at some point.

The big difference is that I’m going to make sure to start taking time out for relaxation and fun. I’m looking forward to some cooler weather in the upcoming months, as I’m longing to get outside and enjoy some fresh air much more often. This week has taught me how good for my soul it is to commune over a cup or coffee or tea and wander aimlessly just for the sake of it. It has also taught me how good it is to put down the to do list and make time for meditating and giving myself a reiki treatment. Finding balance between work and play can be tough for all of us, even for those of us for whom work is a lot like play.

What are your favorite release valves?

Health Update…Thanks For The Love and Support

Before I give you the update, I have to express my gratitude first. There has been such an outpouring of love and support that it is overwhelming…in a most wonderful way. Thank you…for being there…for being you!

Last week, I had a uterine biopsy due to the possibility that there might be cancer. Let me tell you…I feel so lucky. My testing was done at the perfect time…before things could get to that point. There were two issues found, one of which was on the way to creating the perfect storm. The specialist has assured me that I’m going to be fine with several months of medication.

So, while I’ll be dealing with side effects for a little while…I’m great and am looking forward to feeling better as time goes by and healing continues. Those of you who have been coming here for a while know all too well that I don’t hold a lot back. For anyone new who might be stopping in today…you’ll figure that out quickly. *smiles*

I have to tell all of you that I feel as though I’ve gotten a new lease on life. There is a lot of (wonderful) work to do, many adventures to have, and most importantly self care and making happiness a priority. There’s going to be a lot more dream chasing going on. First steps first…my number one priority is to get a bit stronger. I’ve been increasingly sick with these issues over the past few years, as this hasn’t happened overnight, so it’ll take a little time to build myself up. Know what? I look forward to it and plan on making the most of each precious day. The fact that I’m incredibly blessed isn’t lost on me.

 

The Flu & A Change Of Pace

Hi everyone. It has been pretty quiet around here for a little while, other than the faces. I thought I’d come by and share what is going on with me right now. The first thing, which is the main reason it has been so quiet, is that I’ve had the flu for a week and it’s still got its grip on me. Right before that, I had a stomach virus. So, the month of February has been a rough one.

Right before I came down with this nasty bug, I had decided to suspend the tarot cards, at least for a while…maybe permanently. I’ve also removed the readings page from the site…also indefinitely. In addition, I deleted the Facebook group which I had been running for a while. It isn’t that I’m through with using my talents and abilities to help others…I just feel that it’s time to change the direction a bit. Before I had a chance to define the changes, even for myself, this flu hit me. I’m aware that this might be a good thing, because I’ve been forced to wait, as opposed to just jumping right into things without much thought as has been my not so successful habit.

While I’ve been too sick to give things a whole lot of thought, I do know one thing. Many years ago I had a blog (which no longer exists). That blog was very uplifting, positive, and honestly…more fun than this one has been in a long time…maybe ever. I have missed this side of myself. While making my statement without reservation…that I can read tarot, that I have a finely honed intuition, that I have the ability to make connections with those who have passed…was important, the time has come to reclaim that other part of me.

You see, for most of my life, I kept those parts of me tucked away. There were several reasons why I did that. The main reasons were the early disapproval and rejection by religion and family. There were many years which I lived in a state of shame and insecurity…and more than a little self loathing. While there were times during which I had worked with these things, there were always people from whom I kept it all a secret because of the fear of rejection. Then, something happened when I hit 40.

After all of those years of ups and downs, I claimed that part of myself in a big way. It became more important to me that I squashed the shame than it was to risk having people, mainly in my family, turn their backs on me. So, for the past three years, I’ve been wide out in the open…and until recently, it felt really good. Recently, I found myself thinking that it’s great that I have been open about that part of myself and am finally without shame. At the same time, I feel that it’s time to blend all of my parts together. To gain some balance.

It isn’t that I’ll never do readings again. I probably will…and it will happen when it is meant to…without me being out there every day, trying to convince people that they need a reading from me. This has never felt good. It isn’t that I’ll never post tarot cards again. I might…and if so, that’s fine…just not now. So, what am I going to be doing?

That is a question which I do not entirely have an answer to yet. I know that I’ll be doing more work in encouraging people to thrive from where they are, and getting the message out there that every life has value. As a person with chronic illnesses, it has taken me a long time to understand that I still have a lot to offer to the world. That old blog that I was telling you about was one which focused a lot on posts, stories, and activities which encouraged people to see the value in themselves. In addition to that, it was always my hope that I might put something out there which would cause those without chronic illnesses or other obstacles to be more compassionate and less dismissive. I also made a lot of silly, just for the fun of it posts on that old blog too, and I’d like to do some of those again because while most of you wouldn’t know it from the previous tone of this site…I am a goofball from way back.

So, those are the worlds which I am in the process of blending together. The pieces will fall together in due time. Until they do I’ll finish editing my novel, make some posts of the old variety, write posts on nature and the environment, make some more videos about various things, and keep making art. Who knows how it will all come together. I surely do not, and for the first time ever…I’m okay with that. I’ve settled into a space of being still and going with the flow of things…of observing and listening to the voice within. You know the one…the one that comes from inside the heart…the one that lights up and brightly says, “yes, that!”, when you are truly inspired to do something which just feels right.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m looking forward to putting some stuff together…as soon as I’m done healing from this flu. Sure hope that many of you will stick around. Not to worry…there will still be posts and videos on crystals and energy work because this is still very much a part of me. It always will be. As soon as I’m better…the whole me will be taking the wheel. Now that my open statement about the long rejected part of me has been out there for a while, I’m ready for there to be no more fragments. Time to climb out of my self imposed box and open up to life more.