Practice, Practice, Practice

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Good morning.  We have been waiting for you.

Yes, I know.  I’m sorry.  I got distracted by emails again.  It is rude to keep You waiting.

We are always here with you, regardless of how long it takes you to join Us.  Your arrival time is up to you.  Each time you choose Us before all else serves to strengthen your will and moves you one step closer to the attainment of that which you desire.

I know, and before we go any farther here, I’d just like to take a minute to say thank you for always being there.  For always being there, regardless of whether I show up or not.  You wait for me no matter how long it takes, and I apologize whole heartedly for my dawdling ways.  I imagine that you have plenty of stuff to do other than sit around and wait for me all day, or all month, or all year.  So rude.

You are most welcome, dear one.  And you are worth the wait, though we will most certainly rejoice when self-discipline tops your list of most important qualities to achieve.

I’m working on it, but obviously I still have a way to go.  One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Is there something on your mind that you would like to talk about today?

Bunches.

Such as?

Such as making it through an entire night without stressing over what to write in the morning.  That was exciting.  I was also thinking about Bird by Bird, a wonderful little book that every aspiring writer should read.  It is written by one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, who mirrors my own behavior about seeking instant feedback from the submission of something that she wrote.  In her case, it’s running to the mailbox the day after dropping the manuscript of a new book in the mailbox, and for me, it’s checking emails a hundred times a day to see if there has been any response from a recent button-pushing publishing event.

You suggested yesterday that whatever anyone thinks of me or Voices is none of my business.  That bears repeating because it feels like a really important lesson for me—right up there with self-discipline, detachment, and letting go of the outcome.  Please keep reminding me that none of it is any of my business.  My business is just to write and push the publish button.  Spiritual practice.

Fleeting thoughts drift in and out of my head too swiftly to be captured.  Whatever it is or was that I thought I might write today went its own way without me.  It happens like that.  Sort of like life.  Sometimes it’s best to just let go, let it flow, and have faith that it’s fine exactly the way it is.

Chatting with My Self

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Well here we go again – another adventure into a moment of the unknown.  Blank page, blank mind, blinking cursor, can’t wait to see what’s coming my way.

May We suggest that you stop thinking and start writing?

That’s easy for you to say.

It’s easy for you to write.  Please continue.

Would love to.  No idea what to write about.

Anything.  Just write anything.

Hmmm.  Seems to me we have a little dé·jà vu here.  Been there, done that.  A bazillion times.

You’re stalling again.

Yes.  I am.  Trying to figure out what to write.

Overthinking is the enemy.  Just write.  We hear your censorship of thoughts, the continual evaluation of what is “safe” to say and what seems risky.  We realize that courage is required to bare one’s soul aloud, so to speak, and while doing so in private is one thing, it is quite another to speak publicly so that others may hear.  We understand your hesitancy to expose your innermost thoughts in light of the possibility of the judgment of others and the possible misperception of meaning.  And We see that you are stuck in overthinking again.  Would you care to have a word?

Sure, thanks.  (Note: blinking cursor marks stare-at-blank-screen time).  Yep.  Stalling again.

Why would that be?

Because there is so much to say and I don’t think that I want to say any of it?

And why would that be?

Well, You said it for me.  Fear of judgment and misperception.

Ah.  If you allow fear to stand as an obstacle to the fulfillment of purpose, you will fail before you begin.  Have you considered the possibility that it is not the fear of others that concerns you, but rather the fear of yourself?

Huh?  I don’t get it.

If you look back at your life, you may begin to discern that you are the one standing in the way of your own progress.  You are the one creating the fear that stops you in you in tracks.  You are the one who has allowed concern about what others might think to hide the truth of who you are from the world.  We know who you are.  You cannot hide from Us.  We invite you to quit hiding from yourself, and gather the courage to show yourself to the world.

Huh.  Yesterday, my friend Nancy gave me two words that helped me to put this whole scary daily writing adventure into perspective.  Spiritual Practice.  Odd that I never thought of it myself, but then, I don’t always see things as clearly as I’d like.  As I ask myself day after day why I have chosen to accept this assignment, it occurs to that though there are many reasons, one stands out among all others—at least for this moment—and that is to learn to delete “attachment to outcome” as an obstacle to doing what I am meant to do.  Whatever anyone may think, perceive, or judge about this little journey of mine is none of my business.  My job here is to simply do it and have faith that it’s all just exactly as it should be.

So there!!!  Now all I have to do now is muster up the courage to push the publish button.  Well, I always did enjoy pushing a button or two to see what happens . . .

So here we go—Wheeee!

Thank you Nancy.  Thank you God.

 

 

 

 

Who is Speaking Please?

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Voices, voices, voices.  They come in many flavors, not all of them tasty nor appealing.  This morning they’re badgering me about writing so much about me, me, me, I, I, I, as if I am the most fascinating, fabulous creature whoever walked the face of the planet.

B-o-r-i-ng!  I mean, really.  Who cares?  Am I really so shallow that I have nothing to talk about other than myself?  Really, who cares?

Hey—this is kind of fun!

Could you expound upon that please?

Yeah.  It’s like the old days, the old Conversations, (A New Day is Dawning) when I’d just sit down and let ‘er rip, so to speak.  It was an exhilarating experience that gave me such a sense of freedom to just blabber on and on about whatever popped into my head at any given moment.  I couldn’t wait to get the fingers flying on the keyboard without censorship, editing, rewriting, or thought about what anyone might think.  Unless and until, of course, the idea of putting it out into the world popped into my mind.  Then I’d either freak out with fear of vulnerability or see myself featured on Oprah touting a best seller.  No in between.  Somewhere nestled between faith and fear, it was an incredibly wonderful tool that helped me sort through the tangle of voices that were in constant competition for my attention and for the control of my heart, head and mind.

Even better, I didn’t fret in the night and lose sleep over what to write about or what words were going to show up on the page.  Absent was the fear that I would let myself down by quitting in the middle of my assignment.  Now here I am, five days after my relaunched commitment, and that glorious sense of freedom has morphed into hard work, and I can’t say that I’m very happy about it.  Now, daily writing feels more like a chore and less like a joy.  It’s not the way I want to start a day and it’s not the what I want to look forward to for the rest of my life if I am to keep my commitment.  The idea of spending half of every day writing a blog is off-putting.  It would be so much better to just be able to incorporate it into my morning quiet time and be up about the rest of the day before the clock hits 9:00 am.  I want it to be easy.  I always want everything to be easy.  It suits my lazy nature.

So that’s it, folks.  That’s a tiny touch of Conversations for whatever it’s worth.  To quote the esteemed Forest Gump,  “. . . you never know what you’re gonna get.”  Neither do I.  But that’s the fun of it.

But here’s the thing—amidst the cacophony of voices that clamor for attention and control, there is ONE that will always have your best interest at heart.  The key to finding it is to be still, listen in the silence, and you will hear.

That said and before signing off today, I’d like to leave you with a question.  Did any of this bring to mind something worth pondering?   Any thoughts, questions, or ideas worth thinking about?  If so, I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

It’s 8:37 am and I’m ready to push the publish button.  It may not be perfect, but it is what it is.  Now that makes me happy.  Whatever makes you happy, do it, I say!

May your day be glorious and may the voices in your head be silent except the one that loves you unconditionally.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme above is courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

Ask and It Shall Be Answered

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Today is another one of those “Oh yikes—what have I done to myself?” days.

This newly hatched scheme to write and publish a daily blog tests my mettle on more levels that I can even begin to imagine.  Quite frankly, it scares the breath right out of me and yet somewhere along the line, I have a sense that I made an agreement long ago that this is something that I must do.

And do it I will.  Long ago I learned that forever is a very long time, and that by the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch.  I’m going to just skip the forever-is-hard part because it’s scary and instead, I’ll stick with the one-day-at-a-time inch by inch plan.  Though I creep along at turtle speed, each step moves me one inch closer to the goal.  Patience is golden.

Why?  Why do I do these things to myself?  I guess I must think that I have something left to learn, or that I need to give myself an upgraded opportunity to move off the dime and trend upward on the spiral of personal evolution.

Whatever the reason, I vacillate between love and fear—I love the excitement, the exhilaration of stretching myself and striving to live up to my own expectations, and yet simultaneously scare myself to pieces at the thought of failure and letting myself down again.  Is this a test?  I’ve heard it said that it’s always easier if you know in advance that it’s a test.

The truth is, I’m never happier than when I am writing.  A commitment to a daily writing routine, though a stretch, bolsters my sense of connection with my spiritual Self, primes the pump of creativity to allow for a continuous flow of content, strengthens my will and self-discipline, builds self-confidence, and I can’t wait to find out whatever other gifts lie in store as I dig deeper.  As for motive, another story for another day.  So many more days.

It’s a journey and an adventure.  I never know what’s coming.  Sometimes it can be a little nerve wracking.  But it helps me to remember a quote from The Voice in A Night Without TV: “Write your own story.  Tell your own truth.  Say it like it is in your world and do not concern yourself with how it is perceived.  Judgment is not your job.  Your job is simply to write.

Have faith and trust the wisdom of your heart for it will never let you down.  Though it may not always be clear in the moment, in time you will know.  Have patience.  Be still and know.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme above is courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Heart Home

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This morning  I found myself asking why I have suddenly decided to renew a commitment to write a daily blog.  As I sort through the myriad of answers, I discover that yet again I experience some of the same-old, same-old hitches in my git-along that I thought (hoped) were long gone.  Guess not.  An intertwined mixture of altruistic and egotistic reasons drift by.  I don’t always like what I see, but if I can see it, I can change it.  Again.  Sigh.  I thought I already had.

This morning as I sat struggling with today’s blog and asking myself the eternal “why” question I pondered whether or not my efforts are worth it.  It was just about then that I received validation in the form of an email telling me that someone had just pushed the “follow” button on Voices in my Head.  Ah.  Maybe the effort is worth the effort after all.  In case you are wondering, Christian, that was you.  Thank you.

Part of my wondering process brought to mind another question—or maybe more of a concern.  Is a daily blog too much?  Does it clog up an already-clogged inbox and incite one to delete, delete, delete?  Egotistically, of course, I’d love it if everyone would read and hang on to every word I write.  Realistically, however, that ain’t never gonna happen and understandably so, because there is not a blog in the world that will appeal to everyone, most especially the type of which I write.

I speak to you from the heart because I know that beneath the skin, we are all one in spite of the appearance of our differences.  And yet in spite of our many varieties, inside we are part of the same family, brothers and sisters living together in the vast universe that we call home.  We need to take care of each other, and we need to take care of our home.

I guess that I just answered my own question.  Yes, it’s worth the effort because you all are my family and I love you.  I want the best for you.  I want you to love yourself as much as I love you.  Ah.  There’s the altruistic part.  That’s the part of myself that I love the most.

As you navigate your way through this strange and baffling time in which we live, I hope that you know that you are loved and supported by a myriad of people in the world who carry a torch to light your path and help you find your way through the dark to your true home.

Follow the light and it will lead you to boundless love and irrepressible joy.

Love and blessings to all!

Note:  The beautiful image and meme above are courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

In Search of Truth

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My current favorite pandemic meme came straight from of jaws of Facebook and suggests that perhaps God is sending us all to our rooms to give us time to consider what we’ve done.

Oh my.  Well that could be a scary thought.

Oh?  And why is that?

Well, duh.  It could bring up all sorts of hidden stuff like guilt, and what I did wrong, and what I didn’t do that I should have, and what I did that I shouldn’t have.  You know stuff like that.

That is true.  And would that be such a bad thing?

Well it wouldn’t be very much of a comfort.  I mean, after all, who wants to see the parts and pieces of themselves that they’ve been hiding from for a lifetime?

Ah. Perhaps you speak of the ego, the personality, the “small” self of the individual that feels disconnected from the larger Self.  And speaking of disconnection, We sense that you have allowed yourself to drift off into the world of ego and are considering the impact of today’s writing upon the reader.

Oops.  You would be correct.

May we remind you that your task is to simply write?  There is no need for you to judge the words, nor how they may be perceived by those who read them.

Thank you.  But it is still a little tempting to get a bit squirrely about whether or not I’ll be considered nuts.

We understand.  And again, We remind you that what others think of you is irrelevant, for they will see you through the lens of their own perspective.  We know that remnants of self-doubt occasionally rise up and play a role in your actions, choices, and decisions, and clearly, We see that this is one such occasion.  We applaud the progress that you have made thus far in releasing this obstacle that occasionally stands in the way of your peace of mind, and for the courage it takes for your willingness to be transparent.  Under these circumstances it is natural then, that a sense of hesitancy still exists.

Again, you would be correct.  But I’ll get over it.  Today for the first time since the pandemic lock-down, there is a bit of structure to my day and I need to get on the move.  But I promised myself that I would blog every day, and today, this is it.  How do I feel about it?  I don’t know.  But I’ll push the publish button anyway, and let the chips fall where they may.  There are lessons to be learned in every situation, and I’m happy to learn mine, no matter now comfortable or uncomfortable they may be.

Thanks Pandemic for this opportunity to stop and consider what I have done.  Oh—and to love and forgive myself for whatever it is that I think I may have done wrong.

Happy Easter everyone.  May we rise up together into a glorious new beginning!

PS:  If you are dazed and confused by what you just read (if in fact you even made it this far), it may be because you missed the last one or two blogs.  Reading them will put this one in context.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme are courtesy of New Waves of Light (NWOL.us).

 

Listening to the Whispers

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Well it’s another day, I’m back, and for me that’s quite an accomplishment.  I seem to have a history of making these insanely impulsive promises to myself in moments of expanded consciousness only to welsh on myself soon thereafter.  It’s maddening, really.  And depressing.

Just yesterday, for example, I stuck my neck out and made a commitment to sit myself down every day and write a blog.  While I was at it I blared it out loud not just to myself but also to you, whoever you are, who is reading this self-confession right now.  It is no surprise then that today I awoke after a sleepless night of worrying about whether I’ll pull it off, or if I’ll have anything to say, or if I’ll welsh on myself yet again.  It prompts me to ask myself the question, “OMG—What have I done?”

Enter self-doubt.  What am I going to do?  What am I going to write?  How am I going to fill up the blank space of a white screen with anything worth saying or reading?  It transports me right back to that day decades ago when I asked myself the same questions and heard the words, “It doesn’t matter.  Just write.”  So I did.  And I loved doing it.  It was exhilarating.

Why did I stop?  That question boiled down to a one-word answer.  Fear.  Fear of what?  Success?  Failure?  Embarrassment?  Self-exposure?  Check all of the above?  Whatever it was, it stopped me dead in my tracks and the fruits of those many long hours of writing ended up in the jaws of the neighborhood trash truck.

Well that was then and this is now, and I’m happy to report that I’m a lot whole older and wiser than I was then and now I have reached a point in life where none of the old self-doubts matter much anymore.  Hallelujah!  Free at last!  What a feeling!

Somewhere between now and a rather sleepless night of worry about how I would manage to honor this impulsive, brash recommitment to daily writing and publishing, I felt an inner nudge of encouragement that said, “You can do.  Just do it.”  Ahh—the gentle whisper of the Voice.

So here I am again, back at a keyboard facing a blank screen, but this time, I’m not the least bit concerned about what anyone might think.  Somewhere deep within I know that finally, finally, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing not just for myself, but also for anyone else who has ever struggled with some of the myriad of obstacles that stand in the way of their realization of joy and happiness.

It’s not just about writing.  It’s so much more than that.  It’s about the will and desire to move out from behind the shadow of the ego and into the light of Truth that lies within.  It is about planting seeds of hope and spreading inspiration and encouraging my brothers and sisters in this world to have faith that in spite of appearances, everything is going to be all right.  Truly, it will.

That said, I bid farewell for today with a promise that I will be back again tomorrow and hope that I will see you then.  Before I go though, I must ask myself a question or two.

Did I get it right?  Is it perfect?  Does it need to be perfect?  Does it even matter?  No.  The only thing that really matters is that today I listened to the whispers of the Voice within and did what I am supposed to do.  What about you?  Are you listening for the whispers that have the answers to the questions of your heart?  Is there something that you can do for yourself today that will make you feel really good about yourself when you go to bed tonight?  If not today, then perhaps tomorrow?  

Till we meet again, I wish you many blessings of love and peace.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme above are courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

A New Day is Dawning

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Today as I was scrambling around in my head trying to make sense out of the contents of my mind, it dawned on me that I am currently long on self-doubt and procrastination and short on purpose, perseverance, and action.  As a “shut-in” along with the rest of the world during this historic pandemic, there is not much to do now except to sit down and look within to see where I can make a few in-flight corrections.

As I sit and stare at my current state of mind, I am reminded of a time many years ago when, during a time of meditation, I was given a set of instructions.

“Make a commitment to write!”

“Write what?” I asked?  “Anything!” came the response.

Let the dialog begin!  Apparently, it is no accident that this blog is titled “Voices in my Head”.

After days of resistance and repeated cajoling from whoever or whatever that Voice is, I gave in and sat down in front of a keyboard and stared at a blank piece of paper and wrote anything.  Astes erwoi 9 hhta the cow jumped over the moon.

After many hours of cows and moons, there emerged a writing adventure called Conversations with Myself.  Conversations was a journal, a daily dialogue betwixt me, myself, and I, and the committee in my head that vied for power over who was to be in control.  It was often a fascinating dialogue.

The writing was intensely personal and self-revealing, written with the hope that perhaps the revelation of my personal journey and inner battle with myself could help, uplift, and inspire others who shared similar struggles to make their way easier.

Sometimes I would muster up the courage to show it to a trusted friend or two.  Always the response was encouraging and positive, but when I sent it out to one publisher it was rejected.  After that, I gave up and Conversations made its way into a carton that was buried deep within the recesses of a closet and my mind, along with any delusions of thinking that my various voices and mind wanderings would ever serve as a tool for helping others like myself.  Eventually it was sucked into the jaws of a passing trash truck and was lost and gone forever.  Fear became the winner in that fray.

Decades have passed since those days and yet sometimes I still do battle with myself over one thing or another.  Today it’s about not living up to my own potential.  There is not a soul alive on the planet who is not born with certain gifts and talents.  I know that I am a writer and I am not using that gift to the fullest extent possible.  So, today in the midst of this pandemic, my game plan is to dust off my writing skills and just do it.  No more hiding out in the closet for me!  If only one person gains benefit from the various voices in my head, then I can cross “live up to potential” off my list, at least in one small area of my life.

Today is a new day.  It is the perfect time to begin again with an updated purpose and refreshed commitment to resume Conversations.  From past experience I know that sometimes my commitments are strong and powerful and sometimes they’re a little shaky.  If I’m not back tomorrow, I’m going to need a few prayers.  All help gratefully accepted.

Meanwhile, I ask you to consider that the old will be gone forever, and invite you to let the promise of a New Age blossom in your heart and spark your imagination to create a vision of how you would like the world to be when this is all over.  Together we can make it so.

Please be well in heart, mind, body, and spirit.

With love from me and the cacophony of voices in my head, Julia

(Photo and meme courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).  Please feel free to share.

 

 

 

A Night Without TV

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So sometimes I have these little chats with myself.

“Self?” I may say.  “What in the heck do you think you’re doing?”

Fortunately, mySelf is usually quite patient with my silly questions, humors me, and encourages me to find my own answers by simply ignoring the question.  Well, at least I think that’s the plan.  Mostly, it leaves me to my own devices to figure out what the heck I’m talking about.

The latest round of self-talk was about the many creative avoidance techniques that I use to keep myself from having to face things that I’d rather not.  Maybe you know the drill.  Maybe you, too, have voices in your head that clamor to be heard, voices that you try to stifle but that just won’t go away.

Mostly for me, said voices refer to issues of spirituality and personal growth.  At the top of my current spiritual to-do list is, for example, is “Put Away Toys.”  That would mean any activity that distracts me from engaging with my True Self, as in TV and mindless iPad games wherein I tell myself that I’m improving my mental acuity and giving my brain free reign to roam around gathering  creative energy and a head of steam for something, though I know not what.

Unfortunately, television qualifies as a toy, so this no-TV edict is a whipdoozy.  It’s hard.  It’s a big ask, like the “Get a Dog” voice from twelve years ago that brought Charlie Chin Yoda into my life.  What will fill the ginormous void left by a blank TV screen?  Well ok, maybe I’ll give it a try—but I’m not making any promises.

The morning after my first TV-less night as I was whizzing down a country road at 60 mph, a sign on the side of the road grabbed my attention.  It said simply, “Celebrate your success.”  Well okay then.  I made it through one whole night without indulging in one of my favorite avoidance addictions.  Bully for me!

That was a over month ago.  Still, I struggle with the what-to-do-with-myself question that looms as TV hour rolls around every night.  It is like a night without a bottomless glass of wine.  My hope is that this emptiness too shall pass, as it did when I finally emptied my wine glass for the very last time and recovered from wineless nights.

So I say to myself, “Self,” I say?  What am I supposed to be doing with all of this blank-screen TV-less time on my hands?”

And my Self says to me, “Write your own story.  Tell your own truth.  Say it like it is in your world and do not concern yourself with how it is perceived.  Judgment is not your job.  Your job is simply to write.

Ah good old Self, good old Voice of Reason.  Always there with a ready answer when and if I’m willing to put away my toys and listen.

 

My Computer My Self

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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

To the casual observer, one might call my minimalistic living environment pristine.  What lurks behind closed doors, however, tells a very different story—one that I sincerely hope does not reflect a mirror image of the content of my mind.

Whenever I am struck by inspiration and courage to bravely venture into a closet or peek into the innards of my computer to clean something out, I am struck dumb by what I face.  Be it old writing or old clothing, the fire of my determination fades quickly into a sad little heap of dying embers and is quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of hopelessness at the prospect of trying to make sense out of anything.

The possibilities are endless and stretch the limits of my decision-making ability to infinity and beyond.  To publish or delete?  To save or not save?  To sell or give away?   Will I ever wear it again?  Have I worn it in a year?  Does it need altering or editing?  Will anyone want to read it?  Is it any good? Do I like it?  Would anyone else like it?  Is it worth anything? Does it make any sense? Does it have any holes in it?  Well, you get the gist . . .

In a recent fit of “Let’s get organized” I courageously dug into some files from yesteryear, and yet again, I collapsed into a fit of overwhelm at my total and complete, utter lack of organization.  Stuff is spread hither, thither, and yon with little, if any hope of ever being brought together in one miniscule space of coherence and/or organization. If ever I have a hope of getting my act together, I’ll need at least another dozen lifetimes or so.

But I do want to start somewhere (wherever that is) so I tiptoed into my computer closet and gingerly emerged with a piece of writing from 2007, and again am bombarded with the questions.   What should I do with it?  Delete? Publish?  Save for later?  Well, maybe that’s not the best option—it has already been saved for twelve years.  Maybe the decision is just about making a decision.

Well, over a decade later, I’ve finally settled on a solution (some of us are a little slow you know). The decision is—ta dah—pluck one thing at a time out of the closet, and do something with it.

Turn it into a blog. Compile it into a book. Whatever.  It doesn’t matter.  Just DO it.  Maybe someday it will start to make sense, but at least for now, one step forward–even if it’s wrong–is better than no step at all.  Just one little tidbit dragged out of the dark and into the light, lightens and brightens my world because that’s one less bit of clutter to deal with tomorrow.

So what’s it gonna be? Today it’s going to be a blog until maybe some day in the future I can figure out how to get organized enough to turn it into a book.  The first chapter might be all about clutter.  I’m an expert, after all.  Meanwhile, till I get my act together, it’s one day and one piece at a time.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day that bit from 2007 will see the light of day.  Wish it luck.  And me too.

Onward and upward!  Out of the dark and into the light!