Feasts and Fasts

Find-the-peaceful-place-within-3-15-768x644

A couple of days ago—oops—I forgot to write a blog.  Yesterday’s was published very late in the day instead of at the beginning, and amazingly enough, I didn’t die from it—I’m still here to tell the tale.  Wahoo!   In fact, it was rather refreshing to allow myself the luxury of getting up and out of my self-created hot seat to wander around in the sunshine and breathe a little.  I successfully said no thank you to the finger-wagging shame-on-you guilt trip that my ego tried to lay on me about copping out on my commitment and away I went.  That’s progress, I’d say.

A little aimless meandering once in a while is good for the soul.  It is like opening the windows in a dark and stuffy room to allow fresh air and light to flood in and evaporate the gloom, to cleanse, refresh and restore old, worn out thinking that doesn’t’ work anymore, to make room for the new.  Sometimes when I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of a conundrum, I take a little time out.  When it’s just a writing quagmire, it might be a quick trip to the loo for some bathroom wisdom.  A bigger issue, on the other hand, may require an extended period of time that includes complete radio silence.

What I love about a good time out is that it frees me from hearing the noisy voices and opinions of others and provides a moment in which I can hear the quiet wisdom of my own.  It gives me precious time to sit, sift and sort through confusion and complexity and decide what is worth keeping, what should be expelled.  When the mind and heart are cleared of the dross that clogs insight, resolution springs forth, mental clarity shines through, and peace returns.  It’s a place to rest, stop, look, listen, reevaluate, and invite inner wisdom to be the guide.  It’s both a spiritual fast and feast all at once.  Answers reside in the silence.

Hmm.  When I first started writing, I thought that there might be something related to the subjects of compassion, empathy, and sensitivity to others, but for some reason, that thought evaporated along with the gloom that disappears in the light of an open window.  Well, maybe tomorrow.

So that’s it for today, folks.  For now, I’m going back inside to continue my time out, enjoy the view from my soul, and hang out in radio silence for a while longer.  See you tomorrow.  I think.

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).

Where’s the Joy?

The-joy-of-the-Soul-3-178-768x644

Blog stuck.  I hate it when that happens.  Here I sit in ye olde Lazygirl sucking my thumb and waiting for inspiration to strike and—nothing.  Hello?  Is anybody in there?

In desperation, I flip to a random page in my journal for distraction.  The page flip takes me to an entry that reminds me of the importance of meditation and journaling.  Both are the source of creativity, focus, and ideas that may be useful in writing; both are a rich source of wisdom that offer answers to some of life’s thorny questions.   Questions of the soul arise, questions that draw my attention within to seek the source of joy.  Where does it come from?  Why does it go missing?  How can I retrieve it?

My mind wanders off again into the world of writing.  Why do I do it?  Would I publish a blog or a book if no one ever read them?   If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear, does it make a sound?

Creativity in any form comes packaged with a powerful nudge of the soul to seek outward expression.  To deny the urge of creativity is to live life at half-mast.  To experience the fullness of life is to allow talent and gifts to flow forth as joyful expressions of the soul.

Aha.  That’s why I write!  When I deny the inner urge of creativity to express itself, I deny joy.   When I write for the right reasons, joy becomes the reward.  The desire for accolades and validation pales in comparison to the sense of soul satisfaction that comes with the completion of a creative endeavor.

Why do I write?  Because I have to.  Who am I writing for?  Myself.  Well, whew.  I’m glad that we got that settled.

In closing, it dawns on me that I need not limit my creative ability to just writing a book or a blog, but I can also use it to nurture the seeds of a better world by writing a new story of the future.  I can imagine and dream the creation of a new and improved world that awaits  our arrival.  We all can help write the future.  We need only imagine.  It doesn’t get more joyful than that.

Write on!

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).

Ironing Out the Wrinkles

Be-patient-2-273-768x644

Thanks to Professor Blog’s compassion in granting me a day off yesterday, life is back in some semblance of proper working order.   The ironing is done, my desktop is clear, and the cobwebs in the head are gone.  Balance and sanity are restored.  At least for now.

With iron in hand and mind in motion, I had an epiphany.   I don’t need to put pressure on the iron to get the wrinkles out.  I need only to guide it gently and let the heat do its work.  Life is so much easier when I don’t try to strong-arm my way through it.

My favorite blogs are the two that were written without applying blunt force to attack the job as if it was a permanently pre-wrinkled mess shirt.  The wrinkles smoothed themselves out with little or no help from me.  My faves are also the blogs that received a pretty fair positive response.  Day Off  That should tell me something, right?

Life is short.  Relax, enjoy, have fun, and don’t get all caught up in the unsightly wrinkles.

It’s amazing what a little time off will do.  Thanks, Prof.

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).

May I Be Excused?

 

In-silence-we-discover-our-greatest-strengths-3-182-768x644

It’s a gorgeous morning.  I’d like to take a walk before the temperature exceeds the humidity.  I’d like to tackle  the expanding pile of laundry before summer’s end.  Small patches of bare space are peeking through the papers that blanket the surface of my desk.  The house is in a state a mild state of disarray, the result of a neglectful owner caught in a daily struggle to learn the art of balance.  I want to catch up with friends, return phone calls, answer emails.  Take care of business, have a little fun.

I need a day off.

Blog writing as a hobby is an all-consuming adventure that eats up a huge chunk of my day.  By the time I close the clamshell, it’s lunchtime and I need a nap.  I need to loosen up a bit and relax some of the rigidity that has closed in around me in an effort to get a tighter grip on self-discipline.  A blog a day keeps balance away.

I need a day off.

Read Julia’s blog is on a friends’ daily to do list, perhaps a have to entry rather than a want to.  God bless her for her loyalty.  Maybe she needs a day off too.

I need to get out on this lovely morning and walk off some of the excess body that I have accumulated during these days as a pandemic shut-in.  I need to clean up my act, get myself back in proper working order, do some ironing.

Professor Blog has granted my request for one day off and excused me from the classroom for a field-trip in search of balance.  Yay!

Ta tah for now.  See you tomorrow.

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).

 

 

 

 

Mountains and Molehills

Points-of-light-and-hope-3-172-768x644

Every so often I take myself off on a mission of uncertainty, a merry go round ride of self-questioning over one thing or another, sometimes trivial, sometimes soul searching to the nth degree.  It’s akin to making mountains out of molehills.

Today, it’s nth degree, a day of questioning motive, purpose, and mission.  This time, it’s about why I spend the early morning hours of every day struggling to fill up the blank screen of my mind and my computer with words that may or may not be of interest or benefit to anyone.  Why?  What’s the point?

Tomorrow will mark the two-month anniversary of the day that I wrote the first blog of my new assignment, and it seems to me that there is very little reward considering the time and effort involved.   Why am I doing this?  Why, why, why?  This is the second time in a week that I’ve wandered down this road in search of blog why’s here  Maybe today, I will get an answer.

I once was assigned to a temporary job in the business information center of a major corporation (aka library).  I was led to believe that the job it would be for couple of days, but instead it was for six months.  I was invisible, a nonexistent body sitting in a cubicle all day filing the newspapers and mountains of publications dumped on my desk hourly.  It was voluminous.  I was horrified at the thought of having to do a job that I hated day after day for half a year.  I could have quit, I suppose, but if there was a lesson to be learned, I didn’t want to miss it.  So I stayed.

On my first day, I sat down at 8:30 a.m. and started work.  I worked and worked and worked hating every minute of it, until I thought it must be time for lunch.  It was 9:30 a.m.   Only six months and six more hours until the assignment would be over.  I thought I might die before the end of the day.

There is a saying that if you don’t like what you do, you’d better to learn to like what you do.  It occurred to me that if I was to survive the next six months, I’d better decide to like what I hated.  I started my second day with a new attitude and sat down at my desk and worked until my supervisor poked her head into my cubicle and suggested that I go to lunch before the cafeteria closed.  It was 1:30. There is nothing like a little change of mind and heart to change the day.

Six months later when the assignment was complete, I hated to leave.  It had been like a speed reading course in spiritual growth and had provided some of the most profound lessons of my life.  Hate became love, and what started in dread, ended in joy.

With life in a library as a reminder of gifts both seen and unseen, I shall go about my current writing assignment with renewed joy and without need for external validation nor reward because the reward is in the journey.  When the assignment is complete, I will look back and say, “Oh wow!  What a great assignment”

As a friend suggested early on, perhaps daily blogging is my spiritual practice.  Maybe so, in which case, I will go about my business one day at a time, and pretend that I am writing my dissertation.  Maybe I am, maybe not.  Either way, that’s reward enough for me.

Oh and by the way—the publish button will before 8:45 a.m.  Progress!

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 Question of Balance

Intelligence-of-your-heart-2-238-768x644

To quote Fagin, the self-serving villain in the movie version of Oliver, “I think I’ll have to think it through again.”  Instead of my usual habit of rolling out of bed and into the Lazygirl in search of material for today’s blog, I took a walk to think it through again.  I parked myself on a bench and stared at some water for a while and contemplated the myriad of questions roiling around in my head.   Clearly, this is a break in routine.  Thanks.  I needed that.

Starting today, I have four appointments in two days.  Life is returning to my calendar whether I like it or not, and I can’t say that I do.  The awareness is creeping in that daily blogs, appointments, and obligations become combatants for time dominance, which leads me to wonder about my daily blogging commitment.  So many questions.

As I sat on my bench thinking things through, it dawned on me that I have developed a rigidity about my commitment to self-discipline.  No smoking, no drinking, no TV.  Period.  I dare not slip lest I become hooked again.  No means no.  Does the same thing apply to my blogging, and If I miss a day, does that mean that I’ve welched on my commitment?

Was there a timeline involved?  Was there a clause in the contract allowing a renegotiation after sixty days?  Is it okay to take a day off occasionally, or maybe make it to the three-month mark and review the contract?  Is this a temporary assignment or a permanent one?  Are readers weary of pushing the delete button when blog overload happens?  Will a performance review probe motives and provide a progress report?

I have no idea.  But apparently, there is a little soul searching to do here. I guess I’ll just have to keep at it until I receive some answers.  Meanwhile, I’m putting myself on notice that after I have consulted myself and my Self, there may be a change in plan.  Stay tuned.

I guess that finding a little balance in life must be part of the agenda, because I see that living life in the lopsided lane doesn’t work very well for me.  Perhaps these challenging questions are all part of a great cosmic test, and if so, I suspect that this is one of them. One thing that I do know for sure— It’s always easier when I know that it’s a test.

 

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).

 

 

 

Life in the Learning Lane

Truth-is-discovered-2-245

This morning, I started the coffee, nuked the creamer, zipped out to do a few quick errands around the building, and when I returned, the house was filled with the sweet aroma of charred caramel macchiato.  Oops—that’s what adding an extra zero to the timer will do for you.  Absentmindedness has found a new home in my head.  I trust that it is merely a temporary condition that will vacate when the corona virus does.  Where has my  mind gone?

Phone calls go unreturned for a day or so, unanswered emails clog up my inbox, daily walks are put off until the tomorrow that never seems to come, birthdays are acknowledged late or not at all–well, you get the idea.  Maybe it’s just a matter of keeping my own company for too long, or a lack of outside mental stimulation.  Whatever it is, it needs a bit of remediation.

What is wrong with this picture?  Have I put the emPHAsis on the wrong syllable?

I know that I have committed myself to writing a daily blog for a reason.  Why?  Apparently, there are still things that I must learn, and this experience is a powerful teacher, a mirror reflection of my inner state of being.  Can I keep up?  Is there life outside of the classroom?  Can I balance my studies with life, juggle responsibilities, and still get a little down time and enough sleep?   Clearly, I’m a beginner in a graduate course.

It is safe to say that the care and feeding of my baby blog has become almost a full- time job.  Like a child, it requires time, energy, sleepless nights, and a lot of nurturing.  There are bloggers who have hundreds, or thousands of followers and I wonder how they manage when I struggle to look after my one small infant.  Do they have any other life, these successful bloggers?  They must have found the balance that I have lost.

Writing my early occasional blogs was like having a pet.  Write it, walk away for a while, come back, feed it, give it a little attentionLif, and return at my leisure.  A daily blog, on the other hand, is like having twins.  The pressure is on, the days never end, and nothing much ever gets done.  It’s like taking on a double major.

I wonder—when I learn whatever it is that I enrolled for, will I be allowed to downsize back to occasional?  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.  Meanwhile, maybe I’ll start thinking about why I enrolled in the first place and just get on with it.

Today, writing is the easy part.  Next, I face an added challenge in the mix, Facebook and WordPress are both forcing me to learn anew thanks to technology changes.  Really?  Do I have to?  Is this in the curriculum?  No wonder my poor addled brain is tangling with forgetfulness and absentmindedness.  Well, I guess that dealing with technology is a lot easier than having to write by candlelight with a quill pen like poor Jane Austin.  All those revisions and rewrites?  Heaven help her!

If this is the worst problem that I ever have to face, aren’t I beyond blessed?   We all show up in our classroom with a personalized agenda.  Our lessons come in a myriad of forms, with an equal plethora of forms available to help us.  Some lessons seem a whole lot harder than others, but we never get more than we can handle.  If we will just ask for it, recognize it when it shows up, and reach out a hand, we will be given all the help we need to move up to the next grade.  The first step is to wake up and realize that we are all students enrolled in the same school, instructed by the same wise teacher who knows what is best for us—the soul.  The greater the love and support that we give to one another along the way, the faster we will earn our masters degree.  Godspeed to all.

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

Go with the Flow

Latent-within-every-person-is-the-ability-to-transcend-3-43-768x644

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 Temple of the Soul

Truth-Beauty-and-Goodness-are-the-intrinsic-qualities-2-188-768x644

How many times have you found yourself hanging out in your closet wondering what to wear?  How often have you risked catching a cold with in your head stuck in the fridge wondering what’s for dinner?  Since my daily blogging adventure began, a new what question has been added to my list.  What shall I write today?  Have pity on me.

Uh oh—it looks as if today might be shaping up to be one of those soul-searching kind of days, so if you’re not into that sort of thing, now might be a good time to bail out before it’s too late.  But if you have the stomach for it, read on.  You never know what’s coming, but we’ll find out together.

My morning writing routine usually begins with a paragraph that just shows up all by itself, then leaves me wondering where to go next.  I fidget for a while, doing my best to fend off the inevitable distractions—pitchers that fall off of bookshelves, (here) fingernails that need attention, self-questioning that leads to the search for purpose and meaning.  Why am I doing this?  Is anyone listening?  How long must I continue?  Is this a spirit-directed thing or is it ego driven?  Or both?

Sometimes while in the midst of all of this mental fidgeting, the really heavy-duty questions typical of a serious, spiritually-oriented soul searcher pop up.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  What is my purpose?

Uh oh.  Now I’m stuck.  Writer’s block strikes again.  Today is high up on the where-to-go-next list.  Perhaps it’s time for a little chat with myself.  My Self.

Have I choked off the flow?

No, you are just not open to it.  You have momentarily decided that there is no flow, or that if there is, you are not privy to tit.

Or right.  Silly me.  Cut myself off again.  I need a haircut.  Me and the rest of the world.  There I go again with the distractions.  Typical.

The problem today is that you have momentarily lost sight of your purpose for writing a daily blog.  In addition to that, you have not taken enough time to go within yourself to be still, and thus you have also lost touch with the source of your creativity.

Yes, I have.  Lost it.

There is a difference between writing daily and writing a blogDaily assumes that you are writing for yourself, in a personal journal, for example.  A blog will be seen by other eyes which then begs the question, who are you writing for and why are you writing?  What is the purpose?

You are writing for you.  It helps you to see clearly, sort through personal issues, find solutions, reconnect with your source, be refueled, rejuvenated, restored.  It returns you to the stability of the soul and rescues you from the clutches of the ego.  You need only become proficient in distinguishing between your writings that are private and personal for your eyes only, and those which are for other eyes.

If there is benefit to you, there will be benefit for others as well, so in that sense, you are writing both for yourself and for others.  Again we remind you that your task is simply to write, to be a messenger.  What happens from there should be of no concern.

Ahh.  Thank you for reminding me.  It is through writing that I am returned home to the temple of the soul.  What a blessed relief.

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 Donut Hole is Closed

A-crisis-is-a-call-to-deepen-the-inner-life-3-113-768x644-1

This morning I parked myself in my Lazygirl with an ominous sense of quiet dread that mid-afternoon might arrive before I even started writing today’s blog.  What shall I write?  What can I talk about?  Has the well run dry?  I sit.  I wait.  I listen.  Nothing.

An unsettling thought silently creeps in.  I’m staring down into the donut hole again.  Somehow, I’ve slipped into uh-oh territory without realizing it.  I wake up, look around, and here I am again, like it or not.  How did I get here without my permission?   I have no idea.  All I know is that I don’t like it.

It might have been a gradual slip that occurred while I wasn’t paying attention.  I may have inadvertently allowed myself to dip into the sneaky, dark inner recesses of my mind that takes great pleasure in undermining me, that distracts me from my path and purpose.  I might have been listening to the wrong voice again.  Yep.  I might have done that.  Note to self:  Be vigilant.

The light goes on and I realize—oh.  This is what I write about today.  I’m back now, with the opposite problem.  There is so much to say in 600 words or less that I don’t know where to begin.  Or end.

I could talk about lights that go on in the dark, or about the importance of developing an up-close and personal relationship with one’s inner self, or about having a sense of knowingness that all is well, or of faith, guidance, or grace, of awareness, or of being woke, as they say these days—I’m not quite sure what that means, but I guess it’s a good thing.

Out of all of it, what has been the most important aspect for me is developing an inner relationship with my soul, the part of myself, that loves me as I am, supports and guides me, that supplies grist for the writing mill, and above all else, redirects my attention back to my path and purpose when I lose sight of it, when I am at risk of tumbling headfirst down the donut hole.

In the midst of the world crisis in which we are living, there are donut holes everywhere I look.  They come in all sizes, shapes, and forms, and their name is fear.  They involve us personally, and they involve the world in general.  If we allow it, we’ll all find ourselves clumped together in a heap at the bottom of the hole.

But wait!  Before sinking down into the hole, stop and think for a minute think about how powerful you are.  Think about the fact that there is something within you that contains the wisdom of the ages.  Think about your ability to turn on the light within yourself to lift yourself out of the darkness, and in the process, light the way for others.

For a brief moment this morning, I forgot who I was and found myself sitting alone in the dark fretting about the subject of today’s blog.  Now, as I come to an end, I am reminded that there is within me, a voice of wisdom that is always there for me, offering the quiet assurance that there is nothing that I need because I have everything, and that all I must do to hear it is sit down, be still, and listen.  There is no crisis that is too big for the power within.

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).