Go with the Flow

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Uh oh—it’s 9:00 a.m. and I haven’t even started today’s blog.  In a perfect world, the publish button would have been pushed by now, but hey—who said anything about a perfect world?

I’ve been fishing around hoping to catch a little inspiration, but sometimes those fish just aren’t interested in offering themselves up as food.  Sometimes inspiration strikes as I read the posts of other bloggers and sometimes, I just get lost in their insights, awareness, and stories.  Today was one of those days.  Their inspiration inspires me.

The Inside Scoop, a newsletter that I write for my condo building, is due today—well, maybe it’s more of a half-blog-half news sort of a thing.  That means that today is a two-publication day.  Double the pressure, double the fun.   There is not much juicy stuff to fill a two-page newsletter during a pandemic, so sometimes I have to fish for inspiration for content for that as well.   Once in a while, the thing becomes a cross between a make-it-up-as-I-go venture, and a rambling stream of consciousness thing.  The folks seem to enjoy it though—at least they haven’t fired me yet.  Maybe that’s because there’s no one else willing to do the job for free.

Inspiration is an elusive sort of thing.  Sometimes it just presents itself as a welcome gift, sometimes it doesn’t.  Why is that, I wonder?  Oh, I know it’s in there somewhere, but why is it that on some days it is easily accessible, and other days not?  Have I become so stuck in a rigid writing routine that I’m afraid that relaxation will knock me off balance and out of control?  Am I in even in control in the first place?   As for the balance question—well, maybe it’s best just not to go there.

I used to gather inspiration from a simple walk in the neighborhood.  An encounter with a squirrel could elicit a range of emotion starting with pure joy and happiness then morph into rage and anger in the space of twenty seconds.  Finding a wasp walking around inside my purse could bring about both fear and relief in less than fifteen.  A blister on my heel, a piece of chewing gum stuck on the side of my shoe—who gets gum stuck on the side of a shoe?  Inspiration in unlikely places, all grist for the mill, all an opportunity to take tiny little nuggets of life and seek to find within them something amusing and/or meaningful.

Those musings of many years ago eventually morphed into a book that became the birthday gift dedicated and presented to my mother in honor of her 100th birthday.  It was a joyous moment for her, and for me.  But that’s another story in itself.

Maybe I need to get out more.  Maybe the pandemic has left me bereft of the external stimulation that I need to get the creative juices flowing.  As I sit tapping my fingers on the arm of my chair in both anticipation and anticipation, the light dawns.  There’s nothing external about it.  It’s an inside job.  Like the Scoop, I can go with the flow and make it up as we go.

There is nothing that I need that I do not already have.  It is all hiding within the recesses of my very own being, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be released out into the world.  The keys to unlocking the door are faith and gratitude, but those are subjects for another time.  Until then, may your day be inspired, may you have faith to know that all of your needs are met, and may your heart be filled with gratitude for that you have and for that which is yet to be.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Pitcher and the Pandemic

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This morning I shocked myself awake by catching an unexpected glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Good Lord I look like the wild woman of Borneo.  Thanks, pandemic.  That picture brought to mind an image of a swinging vine, and the memory of a failed bar with the same name that my inexperienced, entrepreneurial husband swore would make him rich, which then conjured up a picture of wild-woman me swinging on a vine high amidst the trees in the jungle.

In the space between flushing a toilet and walking away, I took myself on a no-cost tour of the jungles of Borneo and enjoyed a sky-high swinging vine excursion in the process.   Wow. What a trip—all in less than five seconds, and I never even had to leave home to enjoy it.  Isn’t the mind amazing?

I thought I knew where this morning’s writing adventure might be going, but then a funny thing happened.  While sitting peacefully in my Lazygirl minding my own business, the silence was shattered by the sound of a large ceramic pitcher crashing down from a bookshelf and smashing to smithereens on the hardwood floor.  Books that had been sitting in the same place for many months suddenly fell over of their own accord and that was the end of the pitcher.

This sudden unexpected turn of events leaves me in a bit of a quandary.  Where do I go from here?  So many options.  I could just forget it and return to my original writing thoughts.  Or I could shift gears and launch off on a tear about whodunit and why, or chalk it off as a freaky accident, or question the possibility of whether I might have just touched a nerve of a dearly departed ex-husband, or whether or not it’s feasible to even consider such possibilities.

It brings to mind the recollection of other strange happenings—a notebook fell from a top shelf twice, potholders monogrammed with my mother’s initials were mysteriously displaced from a hook while I was not at home, a small picture of the Charles Bridge in Prague purchased when my mother and I visited there fell over twice, pots and pans turned themselves around in a cupboard so that their handles faced backwards; is someone or something trying to tell me something?  Could it have been my mother telling me that she wanted me to move?  She didn’t like my neighborhood.  She didn’t think it was safe.  Nine years have passed since I moved, and there have not been any odd occurrences since.  Until today.

So what just happened?  I have no idea, but it certainly makes me wonder.  Am I missing something?  Is there some “reality” that I know nothing about?  It makes me think about life after life, and about how the life that I live while here on this earth might influence the life that I have after I take my last breath.  It makes me want to try harder to do the best that I can while I am still here so that I will be able to live in a safe neighborhood when it’s time to move on.  It reinforces my desire to get it right.

Why does anything happen?  Who knows?  But there is always a reason, if only just to stop us in our tracks for a minute and make us think.  The pitcher and the pandemic—the perfect duo specifically tailored to help me learn a thing or two.  Now all I have to do is figure out what.

I think I’ll go comb my hair, swing on a vine, and think about it for a while.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Bridge from Then to Now

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There was a time when I thought it might be kind of fun to be a columnist.  It was an intriguing notion, but there seemed to be just one little problem.  It turns out that it was me.  Imagine that!

The problem was that I had this idea that there was no way that I could ever, in my wildest dreams or imagination possibly conjure up the wherewithal, the way, the wits, determination, self-discipline, the inspiration, the creativity to crank out a column on a regular basis.  Oh, the pressure!  The very thought scared me to death.  No sir.  No column for me.  I packed that thought away and slipped it into the recesses of memory along with all of my other fanciful dreams and aspirations.  But that was then.

And this is now.  Today, I am awake at o’dark thirty, sitting with my trusty computer on my lap cranking out a blog for the 37th day in a row, sorting through a never ending flow of words, possibilities, and ideas that compete to show up on the page.

This is a stunning turn of events.  However in the world did such a thing happen, I wonder?

What have I learned between then and now?  What has changed?  I guess it’s me.  Wait—what am I saying?  Of course it’s me.

There are about 200 more words left to write before I close the computer clamshell on today’s blog.  How can I answer such a profound question in so few words?  How do you cram a lifetime of personal growth in a couple of hundred of words or less?

If I had to put it in a word—literally, one word—it would be listen.  Or maybe three words—listen, listen, listen.

I have always known that there is a still, small, quiet Voice within that is a whole lot smarter than I am.  A spirit, a soul, a guide, or whatever one may want to call it.

But like a stubborn teenager, I have rebelled and refused to listen.  I have gone off on merry toots thinking that I knew what’s right, good, and best for me, until I fall flat on my face and realize that maybe I was wrong.  The prodigal daughter surrenders and returns—at least for a while, until the next time.  But the voice waits patiently, ever there, to forgive and embrace me as I reenter the fold and  I repent, sorry to have so rudely kept this kind helper waiting for me to get over myself.  Countless times, I have left the fold, made my mistakes, then returned home.

Finally, finally, I have learned the wisdom of listening to the Voice that is a whole lot smarter than I am, the Voice that tells me the Truth about me, rather than the lies I tell to myself, the Voice that says yes you can instead of the one that says no you can’t.

Somehow through my years of trial and error, of listening and not, I have crossed the bridge between then and now and finally landed here in my Lazygirl writing the 37th blog du jour.  Who would have thought?

If I had it to do all over again, I would have listened more.  Listened sooner.  Listened to the Voice that knows a whole lot more about me than I do.  I highly recommend it.  It will take you to better places than you can ever imagine for yourself.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Voices of Wisdom Within

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This morning while I was lying awake, I heard a male voice softly call my name.

It got my attention and I answered.  Yes?

No answer.   I was disappointed.  I wanted more.  I wanted a replay of the full-blown conversation that occurred years ago as I drifted between wakefulness and sleep.

I was a captivated participant in a profound conversation that was going on in my head between myself and an unseen male voice.  He was a wise teacher; I was a naïve student asking kindergarten-level questions.  Even in my naivety, I knew that I was privy to something very unique and very special.

I awoke with a sense of awe, feeling unconditionally loved by an unseen being who knew my name and cared enough about me to pay a personal visit and take me under his wing to teach me for a while.  Though I vividly remembered the event, I had no recollection of the words exchanged.  What stood out above all else was that this unseen being was patient, kind, understanding, gentle, and loving.  He never responded to my simple, childlike questions in a way that made me feel small, insignificant, or stupid.  I was treated with great respect and dignity in spite of my naivety.

Both the voice that softly called my name today, and the one who was my teacher so many years ago were clearly audible.  The “reality” of those voices lends credibility to the words, and makes me yearn to hear them more often, more clearly.  Maybe someday.

Meanwhile, I must rely on the unspoken words that come to me by way of impression rather than expression.  Clearly, I am still a student, still in a classroom where I must acquire the  ability to discern the differences between the many voices of the personality and the Truth within myself.  It is a trial and error process.  Sometimes I get it right.  Sometimes I don’t.  But always, I get to repeat the class until I ace the course.

This morning’s voice was a welcome reminder that we are blessed to have wise teachers as guides, Elder Brothers who have graduated before us and moved on to higher realms.  Perhaps it is such a one who called my name, ready to hand me another assignment.

Today I realize that today’s assignment is that I must remain calm and stay strong in the eye of storm and reach out and grab ahold of a hand that will help me stand steady amidst the turmoil.  As I reach out for help, I must also reach out to another, the one behind who struggles to keep up.

Who is this that calls me by name?  Perhaps it is the voice of God, or the Soul, or Spirit, or Jesus, or the Higher Self.  Whatever the name, when it calls, will I answer?  Will you?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Am I Dreaming?

 

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I love to ponder the question of reality.  As I sit with fingers poised on the keys of my laptop with my feet resting comfortably on an ottoman, I savor the sensory pleasures of a steaming hot cup of coffee, sunlight that warms my toes through the window, and the whiff of Spring in the air.  It’s all very tangible, very real, very comfy.

When I go to sleep tonight, the laptop, keyboard, and ottoman will all disappear.  They will simply vanish into the ethers.  Poof.  Gone.  Suddenly my daytime reality will slip away and I will live a different dream, one that is as real as the one with the laptop, sunshine, and coffee.

Sometimes my nighttime dreams are so real, so tangible, that when I try to start conversations with friends or relatives who played a starring role, I am met with a look of disbelief and told that such an event never happened.  It was only a dream.  Or maybe a nightmare.  Really?  Who knew?  Am I crazy?  Maybe.

As I try to discern the difference between real and unreal, another question comes to mind.  When I take my final breath and leave this world, will I awaken into yet another dream and find that this life, this so-called reality that I am currently living will vanish and be nothing more than the vague memory of a fleeting dream?  Will I awaken from one imaginary world and find myself in another—one that is more tangible to me than this one is now?  Or will I find myself sound asleep in a black hole in space?

These are heady questions indeed, but so worth pondering.  I can see that a reader might get lost in all of this talk of dreaming, as I sometimes lose myself in living life amidst the confusion of all of my own dreams.

A lucid dreamer has the ability to change the course of a nighttime dream while it is still in progress.  This is a learned skill, one that I have not yet mastered—but I’m working on it.  In my awake daytime dreams, I call it making in-flight corrections.

Though I may still be in kindergarten with my lucid nighttime dreaming skills, I am making good progress in my effort learn how to turn my current daytime dream—or lifetime, or reality, or whatever one may wish to call it— into happy dreams of love rather than unwelcome nightmares of fear.

I can alter the direction of my world and the world at large by choosing and changing the direction of my thoughts.  I can fill my head with visions of a beautiful harmonious, new world populated by characters who share a common dream of love, of people who know the Truth, who dream the same dream, who believe in the same reality—a reality of a new Heaven on earth.  Oh how I long for the day . . .  we are so close.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Power is in our Hands

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I read something recently that sent me off on a round of what if thinking.  I love what if’s.

What if we obsessed about the good stuff about ourselves and the world instead of the not so good?  Whoa.  Now there’s some juicy food for thought.

How many times a day do we decide how we feel about ourselves?  How often do we obsess about our shortcomings, mistakes, wrong turns, and the poor decisions that reap unfortunate consequences?  What if we stopped all of the self-defeating nonsense and obsessed about the good stuff instead of the not so good?

Years ago, a homeless man with the helmet and placard gave me an important message (If We Can Dream It, We Can Build It).  Odd though he was, he was a harbinger of truth.  He told me two things I need to remember: stop listening to my own negative thoughts, and stop listening to the negative thoughts of others.

We as a collective humanity are being bombarded mercilessly by the ceaseless, unrelenting proclamations of the bad news heaped upon us, both by ourselves and by the media—the same media that is owned, operated, and controlled by gigantic, powerful conglomerates that dictate what news we are to be fed, those who seem intent upon brainwashing us with fear for profit, and that invade our sanity with images of gun wielding extremists who frighten us into thinking that their intention of claiming their human rights at the expense of the rest of us will drag us into a civil war.

We need to stop listening.  We need to change the channel.  We need to stop subjecting ourselves to brutal fear mongering and turn our focus to stories of good news instead, such as the owner of the high-end restaurant, Eleven Madison Park in New York, who converted his business from feeding the fortunate few who can afford it, to feeding the needy through a nonprofit organization that serves leftover restaurant food to those in need.

What if we stopped watching and listening to the news?  What if we sent a message that we will no longer support fear mongering by subjecting ourselves to negativity?  What if we demanded good news instead?  What if we took our power back and called the media to task for their actions and the role they play in keeping our nerves jangled and our hearts aflutter?

What if we stopped all of the self-defeating negativity about ourselves and the world, and obsessed about the good stuff instead?  What if we replaced our bad-news cravings with a desire for upliftment?  What if we realize that as we let go of fear, fear will let go of us.

We have the power.  We can claim it.  Will we?  I will.  Will you?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Trumps Fear

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I thought it would be easy.

It is easy.  You are the one who makes it hard by thinking that it is.

Oh, right.  I keep forgetting.  Thank You for reminding me.

Would you care to get on with it now?

Ok.

I have a friend who plans to get a gun as protection against what is for now, only an imaginary enemy.  That worries me because it says to me that fear is in play here, and fear is an enemy that cannot be annihilated with a gun.  Fear draws what is feared closer unto itself.

This morning when I read the news that two million chickens were killed because processing plants have stopped production due to the lack of employees, my heart skipped a beat as I thought about the poor chickens, and the utter waste of their lives.  Then came another headline about the possibility of food shortages.   Yep—I agree that such a possibility certainly is a scary thought.  It might be enough to make me think about going off in search of a gun myself.

But here’s the thing.  I believe that we have greater protection than guns.  I believe that there are hundreds of thousands of people walking around on our planet whose sole purpose for living is to carry a torch of light to help others to find their way through the dark.  They are faceless, they are nameless, they have never met, yet they are joined in consciousness as one in service to humanity.

Fear gone unchecked creates wars, and the war against fear itself begins with each individual.  It is not an easy battle, but for those who choose to engage in the fight, there are outstretched hands to help make it easier.  It is a noble undertaking to choose love above fear.  Reach out and someone will take your hand.

So, I ask my Self what we can do to help ourselves undo fear and replace it with visions of healing and rebirth.  Self replies:

You can remember that there is a Divine Plan at work and everything happens for a reason.

You can remember that in the war between good and evil, good is winning, even though it may not seem evident at this moment.

You can know that no matter what, you will make it safely through whatever the future may bring.

You can use your imagination to create a vision of a new and beautiful world without the need for guns.

You can have faith that no matter how bleak things may look, you may rest in the knowledge that you will make your way across the bridge from despair to the safety of the new world that awaits you on the other side.

And that is all for today, dear one.

Huh.  It appears that I have just outed my spiritual activist tendencies.

Yes.  So it would appear.  We’re happy about that, and may we say it is about time.  The world can use more of them. We are also happy that you are now speaking your Truth.

Me too.  Thank You!

Give Us This Day Our Daily Blog

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Every morning I nestle down with my coffee and trusty laptop to start the day by hoping and praying that the Voices du jour will just show up on the page with little or no effort from me.  Sometimes it works that way, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Why is that, I wonder?

Perhaps it is a mirror of my life reflected in the experiences that proved easy—finding the perfect home, job, roommate at the perfect time—and those that were difficult, like marriages and finances.  Occasionally, there were times in my life when I was stopped dead in my tracks from moving in a direction that I thought I wanted to go.  I look back with gratitude for those aborted missions, for in hindsight I can see that they would have proven devastatingly painful had I tried to force the issue and succeeded in my efforts.

Day after day as I sit down with my coffee and laptop, I ask myself why I have made this commitment to publish Voices every day.  I drown in an ocean of answers that flood my brain and threaten to drag me down into the undertow of fear and confusion.  Then suddenly, I am catapulted to the surface long enough to see the sunlight and catch a breath of willingness and courage to carry on, regardless of how uplifting or difficult the effort might be.

Even now, in the midst of a patch of fear and confusion, my heart beats with joy at the thought of how much there is to be gained.  I have agreed to enter an institute of higher learning where the question of why will be answered.  It will take time, it will take patience, it will take courage and willingness.

I have no idea where the path will lead but I am looking forward to the journey.  I suspect that there will be an ocean full of lessons, challenges, questioning, tests, frustrations, joys, and eternal why questions, but one day I will be able to look back in hindsight and say, “Oh.  That’s why.”

I would enjoy having some traveling companions along the way and would be delighted if you would  join me for a bird’s eye view of what goes on in the world of a serious Truth seeker in my practice of listening for the quiet whispers of the soul.  And I would love hearing your thoughts and musings as you travel with me.  Please share!

Meanwhile, I fully intend work hard and be the best student that I can be.  As always, it will be good for me to remember that it’s not about the destination, but rather about the journey.

Such an adventure!  Y’all wanna come along for the ride?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

A Trip Down Memory Lane

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In the last six weeks, the most exciting thing that has happened in my life is that my car battery died.  Clearly, boredom has set in and become the catalyst that propelled me back into the writing game.  Now, instead of sitting around watching my nails grow, I can wander around in my brain in search of some juicy tidbit of nothing to write about.  Somehow though, today I keep coming up empty handed.  Or maybe empty headed would be more accurate.  I must be in serious need of some healthy mental stimulation.

Okay, I’m stuck

So soon?

Yep.  Wandering around coming up empty.  Wait—that’s not entirely true.  Lots of stuff is competing for attention, but there is no theme or direction.  Typical.

What have your brain wanderings offered?

Well for one thing, a peek into choices.  I could roam around in my head looking for past grievances and old wounds to obsess about, or I could enjoy reminiscing about happy memories.  I choose happy memories.

I could also do a past life review of the amazing synchronicities that have moved my feet in specific directions—the jobs that have fallen into my lap, the perfect living arrangement when I needed to find a new home, the perfect roommates who miraculously appeared out of nowhere at the perfect time.  In that regard, I have indeed been blessed with good fortune.

On the other hand, things in other areas of my life were not as easy.  There was the roller coaster ride of two husbands, three marriages, and three divorces and the attending financial struggle that plagued me throughout the middle years of my life.  Nope.  It wasn’t always easy.  Oh, and in case you might be scratching your head trying to figure out the marriage puzzle, I’ll just say that some of us are slow learners—I married the same guy twice.

As I look back at my relationship history, it occurs to me that it mirrors my work history.  I am the butterfly, sucking the essence out of each experience and moving on.  Sometimes the essence is bitter, but always nourishing.

Hmmm.  This turned out to be something of a life review.  It’s not always pleasant to come face to face with the things that are sometimes best left in the past, but oh, the wonderous gift of learning that is the reward.  As I move through the days of my life and sometimes stumble along the way, I am uplifted by knowing that regardless of what challenges I face, I am always and ever moving steadily forward toward my destination, guided by unseen forces that hold me steady when the road is rocky.

There is nothing a like a little trip down Memory Lane to realize that every experience, no matter now difficult nor exhilarating, is indeed a valuable one.  The Spirit that lives in all guides each one of us, if we but choose to listen.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

What Do You Believe?

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“We are never more than a belief away from our greatest love, deepest healing, and most profound miracles.” – Gregg Braden

Good morning my dear Friends.

I’m slipping already!  Only eleven days into my new Voices gig and already I want to give up.  When will the reluctance go away—or will it?   What is this resistance, anyway?  Can we talk about that?  I mean, I guess it all boils down to self-doubt, again, right?  As much as I’d like to think that I have my act together, apparently, I don’t, and that’s hard to admit to myself.  Rats!  I feel as if I have been given a mission-impossible assignment that I’m not comfortable with.  It brings up issues about how others see me, and how I see myself.  I get that others think of me is none of my business, but what about what I think of me?  I’m the one who has to live with myself.  When does this merry-go-round of self-judgment end?  When can I get off?  What do you want from me?

We want your joy and your happiness.  We want you to love what you are doing.  We do not ask you to do anything that will make you feel unhappy or uncomfortable.  We simply offer ideas, suggestions, and opportunities—“assignments” as you like to call them—that will move you closer to your heart’s desire.  Whether or not you choose to accept them is entirely up to you.  If you feel that something you have chosen to do is too much for you in the moment, you are free to change your mind, but in so doing, we encourage you to do so without self-recrimination.  We wish to remind you of guidance that you received many years ago when you were struggling with a decision about whether or not to leave a job in which you were miserable.  Do you remember what that guidance was?

Absolutely.  It left a lifelong impression.  “If you can stay and be happy, then stay, for there are many profound lessons to be learned.  If, on the other hand, you stay and cannot be happy, then, by all means leave, for to stay in a place where you are not happy is not beneficial to your or for anyone else.” 

And?

I made a decision in favor of my heart’s desires and stayed for another five years.

So basically, you shifted your belief system from seeing your job as a miserable experience into thinking of it as an opportunity to take another step forward on the ladder of evolution, correct?

Yes.  Eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.

And the donut?

The donut was the long-term benefit of hanging in there in spite of the difficulties.

And the hole?

The killer pavement pounding, the crazy boss, the unreasonable demands.

Are you willing to apply the same guidance that you received so many years ago to the daily writing and publishing of Voices?

I can do anything one day at a time because by the inch it’s a cinch.  Self-doubt is just another role, another part I’m playing—a character that isn’t real but simply a story made up in the mind of some scriptwriter to create an illusion of insanity.

I am not the character.  I am the actor playing a part.  And you know what?  I really am quite sane, in spite of any appearances to the contrary!  At least that’s the story that I’m telling myself for the moment.

It’s all about belief, right?

Yes.  It is absolutely all about belief, and if it helps any, We want you to know that in spite of what you or anyone else thinks about you, We believe in you and We love you.

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