December 29, 2014

let the world fall away...


Self-care can be taking some time just for you. It can be taking some time simply to breathe, letting go of everything else (even if only for a minute).


This photo is a selfie I took yesterday. A moment of self-care, just standing and breathing and letting everything else slide until later. Other things I did yesterday for self-care (and also connection to creativity and joy) - writing and painting.

What will you do for your self-care today? For creativity connection? For joy connection?

Follow that trail.

Even if it's as simple as taking the time to take some conscious breaths, letting the rest of the world fall away for a while.




November 22, 2014

new moon, new me, new you, over and over...


Today is a new moon - again. Each new moon is different, each month is different, each year is different... but no matter what, over and over, the new moon comes again.

The moon goes through its phases, the wheel of the year turns, the cycle of life continues.

We are always moving forward, always spiraling on, and even if it seems we might be standing still or taking steps in reverse, the ultimate direction is always forward, even while the cycles and phases come again and again and over and over.

And the cycles and phases do come.

Just like the new moon coming around again.

Life doesn't stand still. Until we die, we will always be evolving, shifting, changing.

There will always be new things about yourself to discover - or remember.

There will always be more clarity to be found.

There will always be changes... to you, to your life, to your business, to your work, to your family, to whatever situations you find yourself.

That's how life is.

I think I used to believe (at least on some level, even if I didn't admit it to myself) that life would "settle down" mostly, eventually, sometime, somehow - that there wouldn't be so many shifts and changes, so many ups and downs, so many times of lack of clarity, so many times of light-bulb-moment new realizations.

And sometimes it still can take my breath away when I go through a big time of shifting and changing.

But somewhere along the way I came to realize, at a deeper level than earlier in my life, that this is life.

It's true there can be periods of time when things seem to settle for a while (or are at least more settled).

But those times don't last.

Life doesn't stand still.

There will be another up or another down. There will be another cycle of more clarity or another cycle of wondering what to do next. There will be another major realization. There will be another evolution or iteration. There will be another move or another birth or another death or another shift in life.

Always.

Always.

Always.

Earlier this year I posted on my facebook wall that I realized I'm no longer searching for myself. And that's true. I don't feel some need to 'find myself' or figure out who I am. I know my essence.

But that doesn't mean there won't be new self-discoveries, new clarity, new realizations, new rememberings.

I am always evolving.

You are always evolving.

Life is always evolving.

How to handle the shifts in the best way possible? How to navigation transitions with as much grace and ease as possible? How to celebrate and make the most of the times of clarity or feeling up or having good things going on? How to travel through the times of shadow or uncertainty?

All of those times will come again, over and over, as life spirals on.

How to live them in the best possible way? ...  That's become my focus.

Everything is always changing.

How to handle the changes - and the spaces in between - is key.

So today, on this new moon which has come around again (the same but yet different - because that's how everything goes) I'm looking at what phase I'm in now - the phase of life, of business/work, of things with my family, of my clarity or lack thereof... and I'm looking ahead and setting intentions for what and how I want things to be in the weeks and months ahead (because the new moon is a good time for setting intentions).

And I'll set my intentions but I'll hold on loosely, knowing the only certainty is change.

And doing my best to handle the changes - and the spaces in between - with grace.






November 6, 2014

being seen (another thing)...


In my last post, I shared about being seen (and an edge for me with a selfie)... I appreciate so very much the messages and comments I've received about the photo and about the blog post. (y'all are so kind!)

And I'd also like to add something about being seen.

Being seen will be (or look) different for different people - and it can be different at different times.

Mostly, it's about being you.

It's about letting people see the true you that you are.

It's about allowing your essence to be seen.

It's about sharing who you are - and there are soooo many ways to do that. (my post about purpose talks some about that)

Being seen doesn't have to be posting photos of yourself. Or writing a blog post or a book. Or making a video or teaching a class.

It can be any or all of those things (and more).

But mostly it's about not hiding.

Not hiding your true self.

Each of us, and at different times during life, will have times of sorta withdrawing or pulling inward, and other times of being more 'out there'... and again, all of this can happen and show up and be done in all sorts of ways, far too many to try to list.

It's individual. It's personal. Sometimes it truly isn't safe to be seen in certain ways - but that doesn't mean you can't allow yourself to be seen in other ways, or with certain people.

Being seen means wearing fewer masks, and wearing them less often. (But there are times when a mask can be helpful and sometimes even necessary.)

Being seen means living true to who you are, and letting others see the real you.

Being seen can happen when you're with only one person - or sharing yourself with one person.

And being seen can be a process... and a spiral...

But you'll know. You'll know, inside yourself, whether you're living most of your life being seen or whether you're mostly hiding.

The knowing is important.

Being honest with yourself about it is important.

It's not about forcing yourself into being seen in some way that you don't want, or you don't feel ready to do.

(and it doesn't have to be a literal interpretation of the words - as a matter of fact, it's possible to put hundreds of selfies online and still be hiding)

Being seen is about being real, being you, and being true to you.

And showing up that way in the world - in whatever way that means for you, and whatever 'world' you're in.

Being seen can be very quiet.

It can be gentle.

It can be intimate.

As I said in my last post - it's not about the numbers. It's not about how many people see you or hear you. It's not about being seen by doing the same things someone else is doing to be seen (we all have our own ways of being seen and sharing ourselves).

Yes... it's about showing up and putting yourself out there - but even that will be different for different people, and can vary and shift through time.

(putting yourself out there can happen in sooo many different ways)

The main thing is... being seen is about being you.

With how you live your life.

With how you share yourself with others.

With how you do whatever you do.

And with letting others see who you are.





November 4, 2014

on being seen...


It's late as I'm writing this. Almost midnight. I've been alternating between watching tv and checking out a few things online... and every time I glance at the computer screen, I see the facebook tab - and I've watched as the number of likes increases on a photo of myself I posted a couple of hours ago.

In those two hours, it's received 39 likes.

(That might be a small number to many people, but it's not typical for things I post on facebook to receive that many likes.)

But  - this blog post isn't about numbers of likes.

This post is about being seen.

I've blogged before about spending so much of my life being invisible. Feeling invisible. As well as deliberately trying to keep myself invisible, because it felt safer to be unseen.

In the past few years - for many reasons - I've stepped more and more outside of my comfort zone to let myself be more fully seen.

I've stepped more and more into my personal power.

But even with doing so, the fear of being seen didn't go away completely.

And it still hasn't.

What has happened, however, is this... The more I've let myself be seen, and the more ways I've let myself be seen, and the longer I've let myself be seen - it feels better.

And the more I step into my personal power and own it, the stronger I feel.

At the same time I'm letting myself be seen more, and in more ways - and the stronger I become in my own personal power - I'm also becoming more guarded in certain aspects. In some paradoxical way, it seems like I'm becoming both more public and more private at the same time.

But both things are connected to knowing and claiming my personal power.

And strengthening my boundaries (which I believe is a good thing).

And becoming more clear about what and how much I want to share, and who I choose to share with when it comes to me, my life, my self.

Being seen - on my terms.

It still feels vulnerable. Somewhat scary. Out of my comfort zone.

But I've been making the choice - more and more - to share myself.

To be seen.

With my work, with what I do, with what I believe, with who I am, with how I look.

(I've been active online since the early 1990s... and until about 3 years ago, I never put my picture publicly online)

I've been talking about this - sharing myself more, being seen - quite a bit lately.

I've been talking about it because it's been shifting my life in some big ways.

The more I do it, the more it takes hold, the more impact it has on me.

Letting ourselves be seen seems to do that.

Claiming who we truly are (which can be, I believe, a lifelong practice, continuing to evolve and deepen over time) causes shifts and ripples in all areas of life.

Not hiding - after years or even decades of being hidden to feel safe - can feel like scary wild breaking free.

Owning your power, owning who you are, can be magic.

(this is solar plexus chakra work, sweets - that chakra of personal power and individuation and self-actualization - but it's also throat chakra and heart and sacral and root, because this is so connected to embodying  your soul)

I took this photo earlier this evening. Not long after getting out of the shower, hair still wet, before I changed my fingernail polish to a different color, no makeup (I rarely ever wear makeup these days), my almost-53-year-old self looking at myself in the mirror.

I cropped it, re-sized it, added a filter to mute the color, and then I uploaded it to instagram with the setting to share it automatically to my personal facebook profile.

Before making the final tap on the screen to send the photo out into the world, I added these words:

Because I'm letting myself be seen more... #thisisme #endofday #wethair #owningmyedge #magicalgrace #gentleclarity #tell #donthavetohide


That last hashtag: #donthavetohide

Don't have to hide.

Don't have to hide.

I believe those words are important.

For me.

And for you.

October 30, 2014

tell...


Tell your truth. Tell your story.

Tell who you are.

Tell how you feel.

Tell what makes your spirit come alive.

Tell what makes your heart sing.

Tell what makes your heart break.

Tell what makes your breath catch.

Tell what makes your wild self run free.

Tell what makes you burn so brightly inside it catches you on fire.

Tell what you love.

Tell your soul-song.

Tell.




October 25, 2014

the rushing, the overwhelm...


Sometimes lately - many weeks, maybe a couple of months, maybe a little more? - I've felt the rushing. The overwhelm. It's been a bit strange, because there have been many pockets (between times of overwhelm) when I've felt clarity and focused calm.

But yes, the rushing has been there .

The rushing of downloads of ideas and plans (which is good, and feels creative and in the flow, but I've tried too much to keep these sorted in my head, and I've tried too often to rush to pay attention to them all at once).

The rushing from one audio/video/content from one class or program to another, and back and forth, as I try to juggle the various things I have registered to do... having (once again) signed up for too many at once, overloading my schedule, my time, my energy.

The rushing to try to get everything right and settled ... the decluttering still left to do, the books still piled to read, the posts to write, the photos to take.

So much of all of this (not everything, but much of it) is good stuff. Things I want to do, or things I need to do for the feelings I want and the way I want my life to be.

But oh, the rushing.

And the overwhelm.

Trying to do too many things at once. Trying to hold too much in my head. Trying to juggle too many balls in the air.

In a facebook page post, Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote:
Overwhelm means not that your ark [computer, project list, responsibilities] is too big, too long and out of control, but too many windows are open all at once and countervalent winds are blowing through fragmenting our attentiveness. ... I did not myself realize long ago that one cannot keep adding and adding all at once until it's either go groceryshopping while at laundromat while cooking dinner on car radiator while listening to econ class on headphones while running someone else's two businesses on phone, while carrying child on back while trying to meet endless demands of x-- or collapse. One thing at a time is what I've painfully learned on this often floodriver called my life. That coming to the crossing place, much much had to be left at the river banks on one side in order to cross to the new tributary side of New Life, meant life, following one's own calling-life.

I've had too many windows open all at once. (um... literally as well as figuratively - it can slow my computer to a crawl at times)

My attention has felt fragmented too often lately.

I've had to be reminded, over and over, that I need to leave things on one side of the river banks in order to cross.

The reminders keep coming: Simplify. Focus. Be mindful.

I'm about subtle harmony... it's how I want to feel, inside myself. It's how I want my life to be. (And there's a difference between balance and harmony.)

My superpower is gentle clarity... it's what I want to be plugged into, always, because being plugged into my superpower, my essence, helps in every freakin' area of life.

I help others connect with subtle harmony and gentle clarity, and the reason for that is because of how important I've found these to be in my own life. What I have to offer is often what I need in my own life as well. And that's okay - more than okay - that's the way is for many of us.

Having more times of harmony in my life means not being so scattered and overwhelmed. Not rushing so much.

Being plugged into gentle clarity means not having so many windows open that I lose focus. It's hard to have clarity when attention is scattered all over the place, or when six different things are trying to get done at once.

My last post was about coming to center - and that's what I'm doing, over and over.

It's a process for me.

It's a practice.

But I'm committed to doing it.

Again.

Over and over, when needed.

I ask myself: What do I really want? How do I want to feel? What brings me joy?

I tell myself: Place your attention, your time, your energy, your awareness, on that window. Be in the moment.

I ask you as well: What do you really want? How do you want to feel? What brings you joy?

I invite you: Place your attention, your time, your energy, your awareness, on that window. Be in the moment.





October 22, 2014

come to center...


Those things waiting to get done, the classes to catch up on,

the videos to watch,

the audios to hear,

let them wait.

The laundry,

the space to be decluttered,

the box of stuff to go through,

the dishes to clean,

hold off for a while.

The facebook checking,

the Instagram viewing,

the social media overload,

the internet surfing,

take a break.

Find the scattered energy

and bring it in,

gather it in close

pull it back to the core,

come back to center.

Live there for a while,

breathing,

resting,

being,

come to center.

Again and again,

as often as needed,

come to center.




October 21, 2014

selfie realizations...


Once again prompted and inspired by Hannah Marcotti, I have been taking more selfies (still a lot of only my hands but I'm gradually branching out), posting a little bit more of ME on instagram and facebook and even here (some). Letting myself be seen more.

(and I mean that phrase in more than one way)

To my surprise, I'm learning some things about myself as I look at myself.

My selfies remind me of why I feel like wearing certain clothes at certain times. Why one day I'm wearing a certain ring, why there's a certain bracelet sometimes and a different one at others, why my hair is in a braid or a ponytail or flying loose.

And why any of this even matters.

On Monday, I posted these words on facebook about the photo below, a selfie I took on Sunday...

This was me, yesterday... Wearing some of my talisman jewelry, sacred adornment... my hair down and loose like it felt it wanted to be... polish on my nails because that felt right-for-my-day too... wearing a loose tee, comfy clothes... This is part of self-care. It's not the only aspect of self-care but it's one aspect. And it's part of staying in touch with who you are - what makes you feel good - what lights you up inside - what keeps you feeling connected to your true self. And when you do this, when you're connected to you and your true self? Harmony, baby. That's what happens. Harmony inside your self. And feeling that way helps with everything. (including anxiety and stress and uncertainty) 

I have several pieces of jewelry that serve as some of my talismans. Jewelry that serves as sacred adornment for me. (I'm planning to write about that more in a future post.)

The jewelry isn't just jewelry - the jewelry helps me plug in to who I am. It impacts the way I feel. It reminds me of my self.

And whatever my hair is on a given day - or a part of a day - and whatever my body feels like wearing... These things, when being mindful of them, are also being in touch with me. With my true self. With how I'm feeling and how I want to feel.

It's also, or at least it can be, an aspect of self-care.

Doing what feels nourishing and loving and right-for-me and feel-good-for-me.

But, as with so many things, awareness matters. Being mindful about these things is what can make the difference when making the choices of what to wear, how to dress, which things light us up.

And when we're mindful about those things, it really can help with inner harmony, and being in harmony with who we are.

So... my selfies show other people more of me... and they're showing me some things about myself too.

They're reminders for me to be mindful, to be plugged in to my self, to be aware of self-care in this way.

It still feels vulnerable to show myself more.

But something else my selfies are helping me to do? Have more compassion for myself, and more acceptance of myself.

And that's part of self-care too.

And that's also part of living true.







October 10, 2014

the hand holds so much {a re-visit}...


I wrote and posted the below over two years ago - in March 2012 - on a former site. Today I'm re-visiting this post and appreciating the reminders about my hands even more. This past January I fell (hard) and badly injured my right hand. I'm right-handed, so this had quite an impact. For weeks I could type on the computer only by using my left hand, and I couldn't turn a doorknob or carry anything unless I only used my left hand. It was a few weeks before I could wrap my fingers around a pen and hold it long enough to write more than a few words, and months before I made it beyond a few sentences. Until July, I had to reach through the steering wheel with my left hand to help my right hand turn the key in the ignition to start the car. My hand still isn't back to full strength, but it has recovered so incredibly much since I fell - and I'm so grateful for that. For a while, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to use my hand much again. This post has even more meaning for me now than when I wrote it. Because now, I appreciate my hands, and having the use of my hands, even more.   


Not too long ago, on the private facebook page of a group I'm involved with, a question was posed asking for us to tell of one external part of our self image that we like or love.

My hands. The whisper through my mind was immediate.

So that's what I posted in response to the question...  I love the way my hands feel, I love the things I can do with my hands, I love the way they move, I love how energy flows through my hands and palms.

It wasn't surprising to me that my hands would be what popped into my head first when the question was asked. I often look at my hand in simple amazement at the way the fingers move, the way a hand can handle so many things, do so many things, create so many things.

Like a schoolchild, I often trace the outline of my hand when I'm drawing or doodling.




I've posted pictures of my hands in posts on releasing and receiving.

It's not uncommon for me to photograph one of my hands in product photos for my Etsy shop as I model a bracelet, or hold a meditation chain or stones or other items in my hand as a way to show scale and provide a visual image of size.

I love to hold a pen and write, I love the way my fingers fly across a computer keypad, I love to hold a paintbrush or colored marker and make my attempts at that type of self-expression.

I love stroking the fur of a cat, touching the leaf of a tree, rubbing lotion onto my legs.

My hands put together bracelets and necklaces, turning the themes in my head - and the combination of crystals, stones, colors, and charms I've chosen - into real things for people to wear and use.

My hands put together a meal, pick up my mug of coffee, hold the hand of another.

And my hands send energy. My hands send healing energy, loving energy, to people and animals and situations. Energy that can help relax, de-stress, balance, heal, relieve pain, ease suffering, help with a peaceful transition through death, offer comfort. I love doing energy work, and I've been told many times that I'm very gifted at it. But this energy isn't mine, it doesn't come from me - I'm simply the channel. And my hands especially, the chakras in my palms, are what I personally use very often when sending energy.

Another reason I wasn't surprised to find my answer was my hands when the question was asked, is because of something that might sound a bit woo-woo-ish to some people. In the two or three weeks before this question, my hands were mentioned to me several times during meditations and journeys.

In a journey to meet my inner wise woman self, asking for what message she wanted me to know, she told me a few things... and one of them was: Remember your hands. Your hands create. Your hands help heal.

In a meditation, one of my spirit guides told me: Your hands hold power. You are not weak, you are not alone, you are not lost. You have gifts and you have strength - and you have your hands. Use your hands. They can do so much. They can create, they can help, they can send energy, they can show caring. Don't forget all that your hands hold.

In another meditation, the message was similar: Don't forget your talents and gifts and strengths. Look at your hands - and remember.

So... when that question was asked, hands were very much on my mind. But I probably would have answered the same way, even if I hadn't received those messages.

I love what my hands can do. I love the hands of other people. The things I first noticed about my husband when I saw him? His eyes... and his hands. (And when he turned around, I took notice of his butt too. What can I say, I've always been a sucker for a guy with a good butt/eyes/hands combo.)

I think hands are amazing.





October 3, 2014

she said...


She said, thinking of you and sending love your way. She said, I want you to know how very special you are, I wish you could see that ALWAYS.

She said,  what a marvelous spiritual, earthy mystic you are.

She said, you make me feel calm and safe.

She said, I feel seen by you.

She said, you are a beloved to many.

She said, sending you big BIG love.

She said, hugging you and breathing with you.

She said, you and I are kindred spirits.

She said, you are filled with light and many people here love you so and love your work.

She said, holding you in my heart.

She said, this was very powerful and moving and really resonates.

She said, you are a powerful healer.

She said, you are a blessing.

She said, I am so freaking impressed and proud of you!!!

She said,  you are in your purpose and it's beautiful.

She said, your love and gratitude always overflows.

She said, I am in complete awe.

She said, I felt held and supported throughout this process.

She said, you're capable of anything.

She said, what you had to say is exactly what I know to be true.

She said, oh love, what a gift.

She said, I feel so encouraged by you.

She said, your light is just so brilliant!

She said, look at what you've done, you ROCK!

She said, I have just listened to your reading. It was beautiful!

She said, soul sisters.

She said, your gentle soul and kind heart never cease to warm my heart.

She said, you are a wise woman and dear to me.


These are a few of the things said to me by people in my life.

It felt vulnerable to write them here. But sometimes it helps to remember the good things we hear about ourselves.

Thanks to Hannah for this prompt.  ♥


August 25, 2014

day 31 journey with joy ~ remembering...


When I made my decision last month to blog daily about joy, I had no idea what it would be like. I knew I didn't want to write posts in advance and schedule them out for each day. I wanted to write every day about what I was thinking or experiencing about joy on that day.

I knew there would probably be days I didn't really feel like writing or posting.

I knew there would probably be days I didn't feel very joyful.

I didn't know what I'd write... but I trusted I'd know when the time came each day to come to my site and open the 'new post' page.

Some days have been only a quote or a photo. Most days have been more than that.

But every day - starting with last month's new moon and continuing until the new moon of today - I have posted here on the blog, I've done this moon journey with joy. Even on days which were difficult and joy seemed far away.

Remembering and looking back over these past weeks, it seems hard to realize the time has gone by so quickly. July felt like a very long month to me... but August has flown.

Today as I come to the end of this personal blogging challenge, I've been remembering the weeks since the last new moon.

And I'm also remembering back to last year.

Today is the first anniversary of my father's death.

I'm remembering his death, his life, the years I spent with him, the changes in my family of origin, the changes in my mother's life, the good times and the laughter (and there were times of laughter with my father, even though sometimes that's been forgotten), the home my parents loved which is no longer part of our lives, the good times in that place, the difficult relationships, the love.

I'm remembering all of it, all parts of the whole.

Because lives - and memories - are made up of so much more than what we sometimes think about. The whole of a life, and the whole of our memories, go so much deeper than our usual focus.


This picture of my parents was taken in early March 2013. A few months before, in December 2012, my father's spine fractured. It wasn't due to anything in particular he did one certain day... it was his 87-year-old body dealing with aging and the effects of severe falls in the past and the softening of bones. He didn't make it out of his wheelchair very much in the time between the spine fracture and his death last August. When this picture was taken, though, he was feeling hopeful about being able to walk again.

A couple of weeks after this photo was taken, my mother had a stroke which has severely impacted her memory and confusion. Last week she moved into an assisted living facility in the town where my brother and her brother live.

The house where this picture was taken held a lot of wonderful memories (and some difficult ones too). This wasn't the house where I grew up, it's not even in my hometown or my home state - but this house, for over 20 years, had been a second home to me and I felt more at home there than the house where I grew up. It was sold a few months ago.

I'm remembering all of it today. All of this I've mentioned, and so much more.

There's still grief. Not the same, but still there - sometimes less but sometimes hitting like a fresh crashing wave.

Grief for my father, for my mother, for the changes.

These changes are part of life, for everyone. But that doesn't mean they're not difficult or painful.

I was with my father - my parents - a lot during the last 8 months of his life. I watched the downhill slide, the struggle, the physical shakiness even to do something as simple as dial a phone, the exhaustion, the depression none of us really talked about but is an understandable and not unusual response to being in severe pain for a long time and losing your independence and knowing life is changing in ways you never wanted to imagine.

This past year, when I remember, when the grief hits, it's been hard for me not to focus on those last months (and what's happened since). It's been hard for me not to focus on the pain and the loss and the hard aspects of it all.

But remembering these past weeks of consciously blogging about connecting to joy, I've been trying to more consciously connect to the memories in a joyful way, remembering them without the sorrow of thinking "those things won't happen again, those people won't be with me again, we won't be in those places or have those experiences again."

It doesn't always happen. I'm not always successful. The sorrow can still overshadow the joy of the memories.

But there was joy. Even with the difficult stuff that comes with dying and death and loss - and even with the difficult stuff that can come with family relationships - there was joy.

There is joy.

Today I honor my grief, not pushing it down or pushing it away.

Today I'm not ignoring or glossing over the difficult parts of my father's life or our relationship.

But also today, I'm choosing to focus on the joy of good times and laughter and love.


my father and me, 1977




my parents, sometime in mid-1970s





No matter what... much love.





August 24, 2014

day 30 journey with joy ~ being grateful...


Joy for me today has been very connected - as it so often is - with gratitude, the gratitude for several things this weekend. For my husband, helping with things around the house and bringing something yummy home for a meal.

For a late-night long phone call with a friend.

For a talk with my mother as she adjusts to her new assisted living space.

For friends who are willing to work through the hard stuff which sometimes happens in relationships.

For drumming.

For mantras connecting me to my self.

For time in front of the easel, painting.

For rest and relaxation and rejuvenation.

For my sweet kitty who purrs and talks and brings extra joy to our home.





August 22, 2014

day 28 journey with joy ~ noticing...


I believe awareness is important. Super important.

It's so important in so many ways and aspects of life, and for so many reasons, I'm not even going to try to list then.

Since I'm blogging about joy, I'm going to talk about awareness in terms of joy.

Noticing what connects you to joy, what brings you joy, what makes you joyful.

And noticing what does not.

There might be things which used to be joyful for you...and they no longer are.

There might be things you've never tried, maybe you thought you'd hate them - and when you explore a bit, you discover they bring you joy.

There might be relationships - maybe important ones, maybe totally casual ones - which bring you joy... or make you feel the opposite of joy.

Noticing is important.

Things can shift and change when we're not even aware of it happening.

We can close ourselves off to new avenues of joy because we're not open to exploring and experimenting.

We might be feeling ick about something but we can't quite put our finger on it... and paying attention, digging into the awareness, noticing, can help us figure out the why behind the feeling.

If something used to feel joyful but now we feel something...different... it doesn't necessarily mean it's time to end whatever it is. Everything - relationships, work, jobs, projects, groups - has ups and downs, hits difficult or challenging spots, tests us or tries us in some way.

Noticing helps bring awareness to what's happening, and whether it's temporary or a sign of something deeper.

Sometimes we simply need to hang in.

Sometimes we need to release whatever it is.

Does this - whatever this is - bring you joy?


If not, look deeper and place your awareness on the surface and the depths. Notice. Check in with yourself.

It might be a cycle that'll bring joy around again (and sometimes it might be difficult, and sometimes it might require work). It might be something worth holding onto, despite the less-than-joyful periods.

Or it might be it's time to release and let go and move on.

Only by noticing will you truly be able to discern and know.

But when something leaves you feeling bad and disconnected from joy, take the time to examine and notice. If something feels painful, pay attention to it and find out what message is there for you to hear.

You deserve to give yourself that time and awareness.

You deserve to feel good about yourself and your life.

You deserve joy.






August 18, 2014

day 24 journey with joy ~ gratitude...


In addition to playing with paint, I like to doodle with pens and markers. I did the below about three years ago.


I'm right-handed, so I traced my left hand (inside the circle) and did a lot of doodling.

Although my left hand is the hand depicted here, my right hand was the hand holding the marker, doing all the doodling.

For several months this year, after I had a hard fall in January, I was barely able to hold a pen.

I could awkwardly fill out a check or write a couple of lines in handwriting or printing that looked little like my usual.

There's no way I could have done any doodling with that hand.

Gradually, very gradually, my right hand improved.

It's still not completely recovered - but it is soooo much better. So very, very much better.

My writing looks like my own again.

I can write for several pages at a time again.

I can hold a paintbrush and paint.

I can doodle with pens and markers.

Am I happy that I fell?

Not at all. If I could go back and do that day over, I'd completely change that day.

But we don't get do-overs like that.

My fall happened.

I had the injuries I had, the injuries I continue to deal with to a certain extent.

Fortunately, my fingers work again. My hand works again. I can hold things.

And I am so incredibly grateful.

And feeling the gratitude helps me connect with joy.





August 17, 2014

day 23 journey with joy ~ places...


It's been a gray day here, with a thunder storm rolling through earlier bringing lots of rain and thunder and lightning. For a few different reasons, it's been hard today for me to make a connection to joy.

Hard to feel the joy.

(even if I know it's there, inside)

On days like this it helps me if I can think of anything - and any place - where I've felt joy.

For me, the beach holds many, many joyful memories and feelings.


At times when you have a hard time connecting with joy, thinking of a place you love might help.





August 15, 2014

day 21 journey with joy ~ Rumi again...


A full day... a helpful chat this morning, painting, doing readings, a long talk this afternoon with a good friend. Later this evening will be crystals and sisters.

And also some much-needed simple rest and relaxation.

I'm continuing to knock. And I'm continuing to connect with joy... some days more than others.




August 7, 2014

day 14 journey with joy ~ taking a break


Sometimes connecting with joy means taking a break and getting more rest. 'Cause if we're exhausted - physically or emotionally - it can sort of block the channel to joy.

(I'm not talking about feeling physically exhausted in that 'good' sort of way, like when you've had a wonderful day doing something that lights you on fire or has been full of fun or good times with loved ones... I'm talking about the not-so-good kind of being physically exhausted.)

Self-care can help with connecting to joy.

And sometimes self-care is getting more rest.







August 6, 2014

day 12 journey with joy ~ hanging out...


Today... partly cloudy outside, hot but not blazing. It was very very late when I finally went to sleep last night but I was able to sleep late this morning - which gave me a really late start to my day, but that's okay because today is a day when I only had a few things planned. And today is a day when I wanted to mostly be in that take-it-easy space.

(fortunately, my schedule allowed for it too)

My husband had an unexpected change at work - nothing bad - and around mid-day he called to tell me he was coming home a few hours early.

Suddenly the afternoon felt sort of like a play day. Or a surprise vacation day.

On his way home, he stopped at a local Tex-Mex restaurant, got my favorite meal, and brought it to me for lunch.

We ate in front of the tv and watched a show we always enjoy watching together.

We've just been watching tv and hanging out.


I realize some people would say watching tv isn't a great way to spend a free afternoon... but I say it's our life, our free time, and there are shows we enjoy. I'm not going to pretend I don't like tv and movies. Entertainment in front of the tube has its purpose.

This was a simple way to spend an afternoon. A relaxing way.

But it felt - it has been - an afternoon of joy.





August 5, 2014

day 11 journey with joy ~ talking purpose...


The idea of purpose (as in: what is the purpose of my life?) is something I've pondered countless times over the years. In the past few days, it's come front-and-center again. As I think about changes regarding my work. As I think about my life overall.

Yesterday, after sending off my responses to questions which had me focusing on what do I want, really, and what's holding me back...

and also thinking (again) about whether my (or anyone's) purpose necessarily has to be connected to business and making money (and actually, no, I don't believe there always has to be a connection, even though there certainly can be a connection and sometimes it's really nice when they're connected - but even people who have no job, or who have no work, or who can't work, or are too young or too old to work or volunteer or whatever... still they have a purpose)...

and then having a very-very-very long discussion with God about this (among other things)...

all of it meant the subject of purpose was very much on my mind.

And then came today.

I'm participating in Lisa Sonora Beam's 30 Day Journal Project and today's prompts were about purpose.

I commented in a conversation about today's journal questions, and I talked about ripples - how everything we do ripples out and impacts people (more people than we ever imagine) in ways we don't ever know.

And I also mentioned something I heard in Robert Ohotto's podcast a couple of weeks ago  where he discussed the difference between living your purpose and living your destiny, and he quoted something Caroline Myss said to Oprah - she said: Life is purpose.

That everything happening in our life is part of our purpose.

Ohotto said we cannot but live our purpose. Because everything is purpose.

And as long as you are alive, your life has purpose. Simply just by being alive - there is purpose.

(this has been on my mind since listening to that podcast... I've been processing everything from that radio show)

Then later today, as I talked with someone about this subject of purpose, it led to hearing this:

There are different purposes that we can have.

And also talk of a slight re-wording of:

Do I have a purpose?

to:

Do I live my life with purpose?

Purpose not as what can I do? - but how am I to be?

And:  If we be that way, then we will carry that into everything we do with the various purposes we have.

(I'm grateful to that person for those words... and for that reminder.)

I want to be clear... I'm not saying don't do or don't take action.

I'm not saying not to dream, I'm not saying don't believe you have a big purpose, I'm not saying your purpose can't be connected to doing large things in the world or making lots of money or touching lots of lives or being what others would consider a success.

But if we connect our sense of purpose to doing... then what happens if for some reason we can't do that thing anymore?

Or what happens if we do it but we don't (in this lifetime) see results of the doing, or it doesn't seem to be working out or having an impact or making us any money or drawing to us the people we want to serve with what we believe is our purpose?

If that happens, does it mean we have no purpose after all?

Does it mean we were wrong about our purpose?

Or if it happens - but on a very small scale, such as for example maybe we work with only a few people - does that diminish our purpose in any way?

What happens if our purpose sounds small or simple? What if our purpose is brightening someone's day with a smile, giving our spouse a hug, sending an encouraging email to a friend? And that's what we do day after day after day. What if that's what we feel called to do? What if, for whatever reasons, that's all we do? Is that enough? Is that enough of a purpose?

For me... I keep thinking about the comments I made earlier today regarding the journaling prompts.

Ripples - we all make ripples, and we have no idea how far they'll reach, how long they'll last, or who or how many will be impacted by them.

And what purpose is too small?

That smile you give to a stranger might come at the moment they've been contemplating ending it all.

That hug you give to a spouse might be the only thing keeping that person's day from feeling hopeless.

That email to a friend might give her the encouragement to do something she's been scared to do.

And then the other thing I talked about, from Robert Ohotto and Caroline Myss:

Everything is purpose.

Everything. It's all part of our purpose. Our life is our purpose.

What does this have to do with joy?

I'm going to speak only for myself here - but I know I'm not alone in this, I know there are others who have questioned or struggled with this.

If I connect my purpose to something I do, to my work, to my finances, to my business (even though those things can be aspects of my purpose)... then if those things don't go well, it can lead me to question my purpose. It can lead to questions like: Do I really have a purpose? Have I missed my true purpose? Did I misunderstand when I thought I believed I knew what my purpose is?

And those questions do not feel joyful.

The self-doubt does not feel joyful.

Feeling like a failure does not feel joyful.

Wondering if a life has a purpose - not joyful.

These questions, doubts, examinations... it's certainly possible for them to lead to good stuff, in the overall context. They can help us define what we really want, and what's truly important to us. They can lead to us making some changes and taking some actions and getting in alignment with what we want to achieve or what impact we want to have.

There is validity and value in the questions about purpose.

But what I've been talking about here is going deeper than the surface question (deep though it can be!) about purpose. I've been talking about another way to look at purpose.

The bottom-line purpose that goes beyond work, business, money, goals, lots of people, doing big things.

(although any or all of those can be connected, and they can be aspects of purpose)

The bottom-line purpose of... I'm here. You're here. Who we are - simply by being who we are as we live - is our purpose.

You have a purpose.

Just by being who you are.

And truly, deeply connecting to the knowledge of that ... also connects to joy.





August 3, 2014

day 9 journey with joy ~ painting, listening...


It's been a low-intensity day. (I'm still dealing with sinus issues, and self-care mode is very much activated.) I've been catching up on listening to some online recordings and watching some online videos. There's so much good stuff. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed because I simply can't keep up with all of it.

I have to choose and prioritize. I have to let some things go, and be okay with the releasing.

It's interesting for me to realize how so many of the audios and videos talk about similar themes. There's a lot of inter-connectedness and overlapping, and it's fascinating to see synchronicity at work this way.

(because I feel like I'm hearing these things, from so many different people and places, for a reason)

So I'm listening.

Listening for the messages, for what I'm meant to learn from all of this.

It feels important.

I've also been painting today.

And again, I listen.

I stand there and I listen to some inner voice (or maybe it's an outer voice which feels internal) tell me what color to use and where to put it and what to do with it.

Sometimes when I paint, emotions come to the surface, moving through me, to be released.

Today I just felt calm.

Peaceful.

And painting - and the sense of inner peace - definitely joyful, both of them.

Sometimes it feels really good to simply feel calm and peace.

The inner peace and calm - the inner quiet - make it easier for me to listen.





August 2, 2014

day 8 journey with joy ~ kitty love...


Saturday. Cloudy and hot. I slept for a full 8 hours last night... much needed sleep - rejuvenating, nourishing, healing.

It's been a day of relaxing.

Just relaxing, relaxing, relaxing.

Taking it easy. Watching a tv marathon with my husband.

Enjoying the company of our sweet kitty.

Letting the ick and the dense emotions of the week drain away.

Contentment.

Joy in the moment.







August 1, 2014

day 7 journey with joy ~ cycles and supplies...


I didn't get much sleep last night... although I got more than night before last, when bothersome thoughts kept roaming through my mind and kept me awake until the time many people were getting up for the day. When I woke up this morning, I was grateful for the sleep I did get.

And I was still feeling emotionally raw from the past couple of days.

Old stuff - stuff I've already dealt with on many levels - resurfaced for another go-round of healing at a new and deeper level. Things I thought I'd energetically cleared showed up and said nope we're still here, you haven't totally finished the work of releasing.

Some very important questions around believing and trusting and relationships and emotions and what's real and what's not.

I spent part of the morning doing some processing around what's happened the past couple of days. I did some of the healing work which needs to be done.

This is a process.

This is stuff that's a lifetime old (and possibly even older).

I'm being kind to myself about the fact more healing still needs to be done. I know how these things - and the healing journey itself - can go in cycles, or be like a spiral.

To expect only forward momentum - or for a 'good place' to remain always good, always static - isn't realistic.

Life doesn't usually work like that.

There's light.

And there's shadow.

There are ups.

And there are downs.

There are cycles. There's the spiral of life. Our emotional and healing journeys aren't linear.

After some time spent on processing and healing (work which isn't over, it'll continue), my husband and I headed on a drive in the beautiful sunshine and visited a craft store where I spent time joyfully - yes, definitely joyfully! - exploring the aisles and gathering some supplies.

I was low on a few shades of blue, so I bought new tubes.

I stocked up on more large canvases as well as canvas panels.

And I bought a new sketchbook. (Can I just say how much I love sketchpads and notebooks and journals?!)


And when we got home I spent some time playing with paint.

I still feel a little bit like I'm in an emotional-recovery space, feeling the need to be gentle with myself, feeling the need to do a lot of self-care.

At the same time, I've definitely felt the connection to joy today.

The time of working on processing and healing, driving in the sunshine, walking through the parking lot holding hands with my husband, shopping the aisles for painting supplies, a cold drink on a hot day, standing in front of my easel while I painted...

Joy.





July 31, 2014

day 6 journey with joy...


I'll be honest - today has not felt like a joyful or joy-filled day. So the way I'm connecting with joy?

Self-care.

A nice relaxing shower. Aromatherapy. Some comforting crystals.

And rest.

Somewhere in there, in the comfort, in the care, I believe I'll feel at least some connection to joy.

Even if it's as simple as laughing at something on tv.

Or feeling even a few minutes of contentment and relaxation.

Feeling even a few minutes of release from the emotional tension and upheaval of the day.

Sometimes a day like this is... a day like this.

I'm trying to connect with some joy anyway.





July 30, 2014

day 5 journey with joy...


Fresh air... cooler than usual for July, given where I live. It's not cool or chilly outside, but it's not uncomfortably hot. The temperature is pleasant and the humidity isn't bad.

There's a nice breeze.

There's blue sky and sunshine.

Having time outside with Mama Earth on a lovely day like today...

Joy.




July 29, 2014

day 4 journey with joy...


The first several hours of this day went well. A talk with a good friend, with progress made on some work-related decisions.

Gorgeous weather outside, blue skies, sunshine, a breeze, and temperatures moderate enough for me to open the windows and patio door instead of having the air conditioner on. It feels wonderful outside.

But this afternoon, as I started thinking about some things I need to do, and other things I'm trying to get clarity about, I started to feel the stress rise.

I spent some time outside.

And then I spent some time in front of the easel.

I got out the canvas I started the other day (replacing the current one on the easel - I often paint on more than one project at a time).

Using more blues, and using more water, I stood there and let myself get lost in the flow of the paint on the canvas.

Letting my brush flow, letting the water flow, letting myself simply do swirls and curves and drips and drops.

Not worrying about the end result.

Only painting. Enjoying the doing of it.

Connecting - again - to joy.




July 28, 2014

day 3 journey with joy...


One of my challenges this summer has been physical. For many weeks I've been dealing with sinus issues leaving me feeling yuck, plugged-up, stuffed-up, headache-y, and also triggering times of vertigo (an off-and-on thing for several years when I've had sinus problems). I'll be the first to admit I don't handle physical problems as well as I should.

When I don't feel well physically, it can impact my mood. And it can try my patience.

I've had days of feeling frustrated this summer... frustrated about feeling so bad, frustrated about not being able to take nightly walks with my husband, frustrated about not being able to do all the things I'd hoped to do.

Also frustrated because for so many months this year I was physically dealing with the effects of my fall in January. Actually, the physical impacts are still with me to an extent, but for several months I was severely limited with what my right hand could do (and I'm right-handed, so it was a challenge!). And then came the sinus problems and the sometimes-vertigo.

My decision to consciously connect more with joy - to do, as much as possible, only things which truly light me up inside - well, I made that decision before all the sinus stuff flared up this summer.

But the health challenges led me to re-commit to it.

Feeling bad physically is a big part of what led to my decision to do this personal blog challenge.

In the past couple of months or so, I've noticed something important.

I'm becoming more aware of joy.

I'm becoming more conscious of when it's present, even as a very underlying feeling, even when I'm not otherwise feeling well or even feeling happy about what's happening.

I find myself checking in at night: Did I connect with joy today?

Did I do something to make my heart sing?

Did I do something that made me feel alive?

If I needed extra self-care, something to help me feel a sense of ahhhh inside, a sense of more spaciousness and ease... did I do it?

In the mornings, I find myself asking: How can I connect with joy today?

Sometimes I know the answer right away. Sometimes I don't.

(and I really don't believe joy is something we can chase... that's not what I'm talking about here)

I'm talking about being more aware.

Because you want to know a secret?

Sometimes I've been surprised to realize I don't feel joyful - surprised by this especially when doing something I love, or thought I did, or at least I used to love.

(which has led to some soul-searching about those things...)

But also?

Sometimes I've been surprised to find, even in the midst of feeling otherwise lousy, even when I didn't realize I felt joy, I am connected to joy after all.

And when that happens, it can shift my attitude in an instant.

Awareness - and joy - can be magic like that.






July 26, 2014

day 1 journey with joy...


As I wrote in my last post, I'm going to be blogging about joy for a while. Sharing something every day about my own personal journey to connect more deeply with joy.

I'm starting this daily blogging about journey today on the new moon... a time of setting intentions, a time of starting something new. I plan to post every day for a complete moon cycle - maybe not always writing, there may be days where I post only a photograph or picture quote.

But something - every day until the next new moon - that helps me stay connected to joy.

Playing with paint has become a major joy-activating activity for me.

I paint intuitively, not worrying about what the outcome will be, not planning in advance.

I play.

And I connect with joy.

This is the canvas on my table easel right now.


The only thing I knew when I started - the only thing I know now - is I wanted to paint something connected to water, to flow.

I've been playing with a few shades of blue and green acrylics, and adding water itself in some places to thin and spread and drip.

This is only the start, what I did for a little while as I stood in front of the canvas and simply let myself play.

And feel free.

And feel the joy.

I have no idea what this canvas will look like when it's finished.

The important thing for me is the process... the play... the enjoyment...

The joy of  doing it.

Do you let yourself simply play and do things just because you enjoy them, letting go of worrying what others think or what the outcome might be?

Just for the joy of doing it?

I hope so... I truly believe it's good for the soul.





July 20, 2014

about joy and blogging...


A lot of difficult things have happened in my life the past year and a half. Hard stuff happened before then, of course, some really hard stuff - but the past year and half has been one thing after another with family situations, death, release, loss, grief, health challenges, and more.

During 2013, it seemed like the most difficult year of my life so far. (I still feel that way.)

And 2014 has been very challenging too.

As a way to connect more to joy, earlier this year I decided to paint at least a little bit every day as part of  a goal for myself during a class I took. I didn't always do it every single day, and I still don't, but it got me into a regular practice of painting.

Painting helps me process and release emotions.

And - painting brings me joy.

That's why I wanted to bring painting into my life more regularly. With all the shadow I'd been experiencing, I wanted to bring in more light, more joy.

Somewhere around the end of May, I decided to - as much as possible - focus on only those things which really light me up inside and connect me to joy. I'll admit it hasn't all been rainbows and sunbeams... in the weeks since then, a dearly loved family member received a very bad medical diagnosis, there have been challenges in our household regarding repairs and finances, and for much of the summer I've been dealing with a health situation.

There has been joy. There have also been times that felt far from joyful or joy-filled.

(and to be clear, I do believe there's a difference in happiness and joy)

When the joy is there, when I really feel it, I know in my bones I want more of this.

I want a deeper, and more consistent, relationship with joy.

I'm committed even more to strengthening that relationship, and I believe it's something which can be strengthened.

As part of this commitment to bringing more joy into my life, connecting more with joy, and deepening my relationship with joy, I've decided to show up on my blog every day - starting at the next new moon, later this week - and posting something about my relationship with joy.

Every day for a complete moon cycle.

Some days I'll write a post where I share how things are going with me and joy.

Some days I might not write much of anything but I'll post a painting I'm working on, a photo I've taken, or a piece of jewelry or something else I make (because I strongly believe the creative process can connect us with our joy).

Whatever it is, I'm going to share something about joy every day here on the blog as the moon starts new, waxes to full, and wanes to new again.

I'm saying it in this post now as a public commitment to do this, a way to hold myself accountable.

It's my moon journey with joy.

I'd been thinking I would start August 1, but this weekend I decided to start on the new moon instead - just as another way, small as it might be, to also deepen my connection to the cycles of the moon.

I'm committing to a post each day about joy, starting on the new moon.


me on a day of joy with one of my paintings



June 18, 2014

arting it out...


Life has been full of emotions lately. Upsetting news about the health of family members. New layers of grief over my father's death and the changes with my mother's situation. The intense astrological energies bringing up 'stuff' that needs to be cleared and released.

Last year, intuitive painting helped me get through difficult days of dealing with what was happening with my parents.

But after I fell and badly injured my hand in January,  for quite a long time I couldn't hold a pen, pencil, paintbrush, or anything requiring me to curve my fingers and grip. When I started painting again, I held the paintbrush in my left hand at first - which was awkward but also accessed something new, a different place, inside of me.

Or sometimes I painted with my fingers (which I like to do anyway!).

I'm back to being able to use my right hand again. And thanks to taking the Journey of Yes with Stephanie Gagos earlier this spring and declaring my YES to be painting at least a little bit every day (and I did it almost every day) - and then continuing on to take an online painting class with Dirty Footprints Studio - I'm painting regularly these days.

And all those emotions from the life stuff that's been happening...

I'm arting it out.


Painting isn't the only thing I'm doing in my healing and processing and dealing with all that's changed and is changing.

But it's an important thing.

Hugely important and helpful for me.

The grief...

The confusion...

The anger...


The sadness...

The surrender...

I've been arting it out.

I come to the easel with my paints, my brushes, my hands...and I let the paint go where I'm intuitively guided, let the paint flow without caring what the end result looks like.

Because the main thing for me is the connection to creativity, the play with the paint, the arting it out.

Sometimes there is dancing.

Sometimes there are tears.

There's release, there's expressing, there's losing myself to the doing and the moment.

And there's a renewed sense of joy, overall, in my life.

Creativity is good for the soul.

Creativity can help release emotions - clearing them, cleansing you.

Creativity can help keep the hard from keeping you stuck in the muck.

Creativity is healing.




May 30, 2014

trusting it will be provided...


I'm diving deeply into self-care right now. Because I'm not feeling my best physically.

Because my emotions are being stirred.

Clearing is happening - in my physical space as we declutter, toss, rearrange, reorganize.

And clearing energetically and emotionally.

Where will it all lead?

To deeper healing... that's my hope, and my belief.

But the path to healing isn't always a smooth or pleasant one.

I'm holding onto trust.

Trusting that all I need will be provided.

And I'm doing a deep-dive into self-care for nourishment, rest, rejuvenation.

Self-care helps in healing.

Self-care helps in trusting.

Self-care helps in getting through to lighter times.


Trust even if you can't see what's ahead.

Trust even if you don't know.

Trust that what you need will be provided.


March 6, 2014

breathing...


My injured right hand (from a fall in January) is still slowly healing. This injury has slowed me down. I was feeling the urge to write more, here and in my journal and on a book project and on my facebook page, but I'm having to be mindful of how much I type (or write by hand). So I've had to go at a slow pace with that,

Painting, cleaning the house, even getting dressed and ready to go out somewhere - all take longer than usual because I can't fully use my right hand yet, the hand I most often rely on.

And then there's the overall body aching I went through from the hard landing on the hard floor,

And then there's the emotional adjustment to the changes in my family, and the grief.

The bottom line?

I've needed to take more time for physical and emotional rest.

Simply resting.

Simply being.

And sometimes... simply breathing.

Because in the stress and aches and emotions, I can sometimes find myself not really breathing. Well, not breathing fully.

Taking shallow breaths. Or even holding my breath a bit, without even realizing it.

So I'm trying to go back to the basics, back to remembering something I know helps so much.

Being aware of my breath.

Taking time to really breathe.

Full inhale.

Full exhale.

Breath shifts energy.

Breath shifts emotions.

Breath is life.




February 8, 2014

this is me...


The inner child.This is me crying scared feeling alone and confused.

Looking for comfort. Looking for safety. Looking for love.

Living the uncertainty.

The inner woman. This is me maturing nurturing becoming myself and healing.

Leaning my lessons. Learning my journey. Learning my medicine.

Living the growth.

The inner priestess. This is me strong centered knowing my worth and purpose.

Owning my strength. Owning my power. Owning my self.

Living the sacred.



© Ginger White 2014