Let’s Start Over…

Let’s Start Over…

Rethinking the format of this journal. By week’s end last week I was emotionally exhausted and I attributed it too a lot of things, one being putting my personal thoughts “out there” for the world to see (even if only one person read it). I believe I will keep the gratitude portion, but then focus more on creativity. Need to put some thought into it.

Peace, love, happiness and harmony always…

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My True Self

My True Self
  1. I am grateful for my overall great health. Despite this hip issue and my arthritis, I have it pretty good compared to others.
  2. I am grateful for discovering new artists – they light my way.
  3. I am grateful for my perseverance. I may get down still from time to time, but I am able to keep moving forward. I refuse to let depression shackle me.
  4. I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met online – I have met my best friends this way. Sometimes the internet is a great place.
  5. I am grateful it’s Friday! I know, this one is kind of lame, but so true. May I get to a place soon where days of the week are totally irrelevant.

    This morning was a struggle to come in here to share my daily post. I am an introvert through and through, so I have struggled in the past (and now) with continually putting myself out “there”. This is why I loathe the idea of hustling, of the idea of having a blog and constantly updating social media in order to gain a following. It’s not that I don’t want to connect with like-minded people – I totally do – but I love my private world. I prefer to reflect internally rather than externally. To publicize my feelings and thoughts is a pretty big hurdle. But, I will at least make an effort. I need to make the conscious effort to rein in my brain to keep it from running away with me (“Check your stats! Is anybody reading? More! More! More!”).

    Finding-Your-Voice-2
    For real. (credit to Copyblogger for this image)

    And this act alone is exhausting. For real. However, I am, without a doubt, WAY happier these days and a truly optimistic and positive person, but I’m also over denying the existence of my true self. My true self IS a quiet woman. My true self IS a thinker, a learner, someone who will think through her thoughts before speaking. My true self DOES get exhausted constantly being around others. My true self relishes silence over noise. I love my true self, even when others don’t understand (usually the extroverts – which includes the hubby). My true self cares deeply for the causes she believes in. My true self is seeking absolute fulfillment in life, which includes the career. I dismiss the notion that this isn’t possible. It is. And I am going to make it happen.

    Today is a really good day. I will focus on being relaxed, on being the true me. It’s the only reality I will embrace.

    Peace, love, happiness and harmony always.

Change and Fear

Change and Fear
  1. I am grateful for really good pasta. Seriously love the stuff.
  2. I am grateful for my childhood. It was wonderful in so many ways – I often feel bad for those who didn’t have the same experience. My memories are something I cherish every day.
  3. I am grateful for the guidance my Aunt Marian provided me after my mom died (when I was 14). She taught me the virtues of being fiercely independent, strong, and to travel, travel, travel. Material items come and go, but travel experiences create lifetime memories. It’s what the soul craves.
  4. I am grateful for the no-nonsense way I was raised. Coming from a working-class family (dad worked and mom stayed at home), I was taught to take pride in my work, that there is always something that needs to be done (I drive hubby crazy with this), and that hard work really does pay off. Dad taught me that the only person you can rely on is yourself. This lesson alone has gotten me to where I am today.
  5. I am grateful for my artistic ability. Not sure where it came from since no one else in my family is artistic, but I embrace it as a gift, whether I ever make money from it or not.

Today is an experiment – instead of handwriting in my spiral-bound notebook first and then copying the text here, I’m just typing it here first. May work out better for me since my right hand really doesn’t appreciate all that writing (thanks to previous carpal tunnel and now arthritis). I avoided doing this for the longest time thinking I would miss something by not handwriting first (what that something is I really don’t know). So far, so good – not missing a thing! 🙂

I love Martha Beck, and in her books she discusses the importance of analyzing dreams. At first it sounded SO cumbersome, but I recently started doing it. It’s very strange to be honest. Patterns start to reveal themselves, and when you think on them for awhile, you start to see what your unconscious mind is trying to reveal to you. Many of my dreams have a repetitive pattern: I’m often lost, trying to find my way “home” or to some specific location and I spend a great deal of time running in circles or facing one obstacle after another. With me is a family member who is always thwarting my progress. I want to reach home, yet don’t want to leave their side. And in each dream, I ultimately run into some individual who shows me the way home. I had a really weird dream last night that included my mom and dad (both deceased) and the family moving into a new home. My room was upstairs (it was an older house) and I noticed a small locked door (like the size of a window) on the far wall and a large wooden cross was leaning against it. I was terrified because I didn’t want to stay in the room by myself because I feared what was on the other side. It had to be something scary or demonic for the cross to be there. I left the room, and when I came back the door and cross were gone. Now covering the window opening was wrapping paper of some sort (Christmas?) and there was light spilling through the edges (like there was a television playing on the other side) and I heard voices. I felt scared, but rushed over and ripped the paper down and on the other side were two women and a little girl (no idea who they were – their faces weren’t clear). It was just a room (not sure if it was another house, apartment, or what), and they seemed happy. One of the women came to me smiling saying that it was okay to come over, it’s “safe here.”

That’s all I remember. I’m no professional dream analyst, but this dream, I believe, is trying to tell me that change can be scary, but I do need to push past my fear of the unknown because what is waiting for me on the other side is not so bad. It’s really good, actually. The lost dreams are ways of telling me, “You know the way, you really aren’t lost, trust in yourself and stop sacrificing yourself for the needs of others.” I came into 2016 knowing in my heart, feeling it in my bones, that it was a big year for change – positive, abundant and happy change. The type of change I’ve been craving for years (to move, to obtain a truly fulfilling career, to travel often). I know the time is now. It is scary, but unbelievably exciting too. However, I am allowing the universe to guide me. I am refusing at this point to set rigid goals or definitions of what this wonderful change will be because doing so in the past hasn’t worked for me. And I’m tired of being so rigid. I trust the universe will deliver me to exactly where I need to me. At the right time. It’s so liberating to let go and have faith.

Today is a great day! It will flow smoothly from one segment to the next. I am happy, I am focused. I am at peace with myself. I am living in the moment. I am wide-awake, refreshed, and ready to go! I have an abundance of energy! (Note: these energy affirmations seem to be working – doesn’t hurt to keep them going.)

Peace, love, happiness and harmony always….

Waves
Waves of change – flow with them.

Living My Way

Living My Way

My daily gratitude:

  1. I am grateful my brother is coming back into town this weekend.
  2. I am grateful for my OCD (sometimes). It makes me way more productive and focused.
  3. I am grateful for how easy my day job is so that it allows my mind to be calm and better able to focus on other things that matter to me.
  4. I am grateful for Skype as it allows me to stay close to my hubby when he is away and to stay close to my soul sisters.
  5. I am grateful for my skin clearing up! Sucks that I can no longer use lemon (the acne trigger) in my tea, but it’s worth it.

I really didn’t think over my top five “Must Do’s” from yesterday. I think I’m just going to leave them be, soak them up, and cross them off as I go (from the top 20). Sounds better to me. The picking of a top five was something I read from someone I follow online, so really it was their idea/advice and not mine. So with living authentically (my theme for 2016) – screw that advice. I don’t want to pick a top five, so I’m not! And that makes me happy.

As each day passes I bristle more and more at anyone dispensing advice or ideas that are meant to propel me forward or do the “right” thing. Most are well-intended, but at this point in my life I know what works best for me and what doesn’t. I know what makes me happy and peaceful. If I feel like I need guidance I will seek it out (which is why I love reading nonfiction). End of story.

I must also remember to pull back on the reins when I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself. Yesterday I started to get too wrapped up in this website (i.e. thinking of ways to improve it) and found myself getting tense and getting that familiar tightness in my chest that signals I am getting stressed. I’m grateful to have recognized it and immediately shut the computer off. Wisdom – eternally grateful for it.

Today is a great day! Calmness and serenity rule the day. Peace, love, happiness and harmony always….

No diving
Know when to heed advice, and know when to walk away. Trust yourself!

My “Must Do” List

  1. I am grateful for the clear sky this morning. Meditation under the stars is always wonderful.
  2. I am grateful my energy is restored! Welcome back! Such is the beauty of exercise, especially a great cardio session.
  3. I am grateful the snow is quickly melting! Did I already mention this? It’s worth repeating.
  4. I am grateful I am able to turn my “mistakes” in my paintings into the perfect touch that the painting actually needed. Love how that always turns out.
  5. I am grateful I had the notion to move my studio to the living room. It really feels much better – it feels right. Looking forward to getting the furniture moved out!

I’ve been wanting to do my life’s “Must Do” list. I dislike “Bucket List” much like I dislike “hustle” – just rubs me the wrong way. Below are my top 20 things I must do, and then by tomorrow I will pick the top five to focus on first.  Here I go! (in no particular order of preference):

  • Travel to Fiji (Friends to meet in person! Scuba diving!).
  • Travel to Australia (Dive the Great Barrier Reef!).
  • Travel to New Zealand (Just because!).
  • Travel to Hawaii (Another tropical island – no explanation needed!).
  • Travel to Iceland (thermal springs! Northern Lights!).
  • Travel to Japan (more thermal springs! Bamboo forests!).
  • Travel to Italy (Food, food, and more food! Ancient ruins!).
  • Travel to Greece (More ancient ruins! The Mediterranean Sea!).
  • Travel to Africa (Wildlife! Visit baby elephants in an orphanage! Possibly never leave!).
  • Travel back to the Cook Islands (Truly stunning islands – may never leave here too! I’ll travel between here and Africa! J).
  • Travel to more Caribbean Islands (Why not?!)
  • Update our current house to get it into selling-shape as quick as possible (A magic wand would come in handy for this.).
  • Live mortgage-free someplace warm with a low cost-of-living. Place must be recently renovated, beautiful, with a great outdoor space, ample privacy, and within a great/safe neighborhood. It exists somewhere!
  • Learn to make a perfect French baguette.
  • Learn to make pasta. I’m WAY overdue for this one.
  • Hold a baby panda!
  • Visit every Canyon Ranch Spa (Seriously, it’s a heavenly place.).
  • Spend a Christmas in Colorado with family.
  • Sell my art to major resorts and spas. Private clients also welcomed!
  • Live in absolute abundant financial freedom! Wheeeeeee! How great it would be!

Today is a great day! It will flow smoothly from one segment to the next. I am happy. I am wide awake, refreshed, and rejuvenated! I am full of abundant energy! Okay, trying these previous two affirmations on for size each morning instead of saying how tired/exhausted I am. It’s gotta work, right?

Peace, love, happiness, and harmony always.

Run and jump
Run and jump! Because as Hillel the Elder said, “If not now, when?”

New beginnings

Each day during my morning meditation I always focus on the things (and people) I am grateful for. After reading the suggestion from Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, I’ve also included in my morning journal (which I do in addition to meditation) five things I’m grateful for each day. So this is how each of my entries here will open. Practicing gratitude is one of the first steps in learning that genuine happiness begins, and ends, with you. Without further adieu then:

1. I am grateful for the positive connections the universe sends my way. Whether short or long term connections, I recognize and act upon them quickly.

2. I am grateful to stay the course with my art based on my own judgments and desires. I am no longer bound by someone else’s definition of success – I live by my own definition. I live in the moment with no concerns or thoughts about what “may happen” in the future. Doing so is a pointless waste of energy.

3. I am grateful we are one day closer to spring! Woo hoo!

4. I am grateful for feeling better overall. My hip is healing quickly and completely.

5. I am grateful I have maintained my weight since August (despite not doing much cardio). Eating less sucks, but a necessity for the moment. I do love to eat though …

Even with an apparently good night’s sleep I still start to feel sluggish and ready for a nap around 10 a.m. I blame this mostly on the lack of cardio (although with my new stationary bike this should change), along with these short winter days. My doctor gave me an additional low-dose antidepressant to take in the evenings before bed but I haven’t been taking them. I hate having to take any more meds than necessary, but may start taking them until at least spring to see if they make a difference.

Have the day off so I plan to get some painting completed. maybe start a new colored pencil drawing. I may even do some glass painting – been missing it. First, a nap!

Peace, love, happiness and harmony always….

Dock