What I love…

Love.SteveJobsDearest virtual friends, and all those real life up-close and personal ones, too.

How goes it? Well, I hope. It’s cooler here so I’m feeling a tad more energetic. I’ve been up since before 4 AM, written tons of words, edited tons more, and done me yoga. I slipped to the “office” by the noon hour where I proceeded to have a long and encouraging chat, so I feel wonderful. Golly, how I miss those tete-a-tetes that get the blood flowing and make me believe I’m ready to conquer Everest. I crave them. I know, eh? But hey, even an introvert needs human connection and healthy interaction from time to time. We’re just unable to tolerate Homo sapiens in large doses, is all.

So, after the animated dialogue mentioned above, I experienced an uber-miniscule epiphany. I reminded myself that my situation has not changed. Neither the home, nor any money, has appeared. Talking about it is increasingly frustrating, by the way. What I want is the energy and focus back my muse inspired. I want the home and the moolah now, too. A lot to ask all at once? Nah uh, no way, and absofuckinlutely not! In fact, I’m not asking for enough.

A week or so ago, a few friends were chatting on a patio. A guest entered the discussion we were having about supporting ourselves and the like. Of course, I’m front and centre flapping the gums about writing and how I’m looking for an agent, or publisher. I mention I’ve recently discovered one publisher who is looking for submissions from new personal essay writers, and that she pays. Believing we were all on the same page, the banter continues in this vain until the newcomer says with some disdain, “I do my art for the love of it.”

I’m taken aback, but interject. “Of course you do. Writing is my Zen! But, is it wrong to want to get paid, so I can myself well as a writer?” He does not reply, clearly seeing me as the Marie Antoinette of the arts community, and retires to his abode. Obviously, aligning money and art triggered him, but it also forced me to restate with certainty my desire to fund myself writing. As for doing it solely for the love of it? Well, I’ve a few thoughts on that as you might have already guessed.

I write for the love of it. I remain unpublished and unpaid to date. I’ve been writing for myself closing in on three years and continue to do so because I freakin’ adore doing it. I’m in heaven each day I am able to work on my book. That written, in order to write as much as I want to, and as well as I should, I need to be doing it full-time. And therein is the crux. I have to keep a roof over the old noggin, and although I should drop a few pounds, food isn’t a luxury. Most of you know, I’m not doing the best supplying either the former or the latter. But, here’s the thing. If I stay poor, am I aiding other writers, and painters, and sculptures? No. That’s like saying “I’ll get sick to show my support for everybody who is sick.” Duh!

In my opinion, which is not terribly humble when it comes to this topic, getting paid to do what you love, are good at, and want to excel at is, or at the very least should be, the most natural thing in the world. When that happens you’re doing the best possible thing not just for humanity, but for the entire planet. You’ll smack of happiness, be free of the stressors related to poverty, and be able to help countless others achieve their goals. If, however, you prefer your “starving artist” moniker, so be it. Just don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.

My wish today is for a healthy readjustment to old “lack thinking”. We could begin by looking at places where imbalance is rife, or we could start by performing an intense personal review of our own thinking, our own attitudes, and be critical about the words we use. Can you really not afford something, or are you instead choosing to allocate your funds in one particular area versus another. See what I did there?

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

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Only forward…

canHello friends!

The temperatures are climbing again here. It’s been years since I’ve experienced heat like this. It’s also dry. I feel I might well be in Southern California instead of Canada’s mountainous west coast. When I first arrived, locals told me this was the hottest place in Canada over summer, but after a bit of research, I can’t verify that so assume it is myth. Nevertheless, the heat is ill-affecting this northerner. Some rain would help, but there’s no call for it in the immediate forecast. Without it there will most likely be a water ban. That written, fall is approaching.

So, I’m in another turbulent emotional state and I can’t blame the weather. Too many tears of late! If I’d been collecting them I could help bolster the City’s water supply. Then again, too salty. Anywho, today I’m ridiculously lonely. Have you ever found after being in the company of others you come away from the gathering feeling quite empty? I’m sure you have. And while it’s paradoxical in part, it’s also a reminder about connection and how extraordinarily rare it can be. Enriching encounters, the ones that fill you up, are uncommon. Just because you’re talking, it does not mean your heart is engaged with the banter. Even in a safe place amidst kind and attentive people, if your soul longs for the company of another, or if the conversation is uncomfortable at times, it is impossible to close the link and share completely. The resulting loneliness is okay, of course, and must be honoured, but it is important to understand the subtle and not so subtle reasons for its existence.

Some of the awareness of this came from reading a friend’s blog earlier. Susan Harris is an author and fellow blogger whose writing always touches me. Today, her topic was about the feeling of being used. She explains how a friend acknowledged using her. Susan, however, felt useful because her particular gifts assisted the woman. She did not feel any advantage was taken. Perception, yes? Also, when we do what we do for the right reasons, there is never a need to feel used, which is true of everything. My feelings are not anyone else’s responsibility. No one has “used” me or tossed me aside. I’m not “blaming” myself for my lonely condition, either. It just is what it is.

And so it’s okay to cry. It’s also okay to ask for relief. I’m doing both, but am not chasing a quick fix anymore for uncomfortable feelings that plague me. Of course, I agree with finding a better feeling place when down, but not before recognizing what’s going on and holding myself accountable. That process is finally bearing fruit for me. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve come a long way from where I was and because I can still feel absolutely fantastic and chockablock full of gratitude despite my current situation, I can attest to the process’s efficacy. It’s far from easy, though. Really, really far. Still, in the last few days, I’ve actually felt my heart open. Or maybe it’s pulling itself together after all the breaking it’s done lately and is just a bigger, improved model. Whatever the case, the result is that people I’ve viewed as contentious I suddenly see with love. They’re fighting their own wars. I can understand that, can’t I? And it feels good to drop my defenses. It feels even better to try to be kind. I suppose I’m continuing to awaken, as we all are.

I also believe the feeling that rises up eradicating shame and guilt is grace. Not grace in the Christian sense as a gift doled out by God, but rather the feeling that graces us when entering into a moment of enlightenment. It is born of surrender and is encouraged by the desire to accept and forgive yourself. It comes in unexpected ways and times. I wish I didn’t have to go through such extremes to get this grace, but it is what it is. And, I’m grateful for it.

This post is an odd one. Does it seem scattered to you? I started with an idea and it left me. That doesn’t usually happen. If and when the idea is meant to be shared, I’m certain it will come back to me, but it’s so uncommon that an idea leaves me once I start writing. Maybe I’m tired or maybe it’s the heat. It could also be that I’m heading into another emotional storm. No matter. I’ll survive. In the meantime, I’m becoming more focussed on what I need to manifest in my day to day life. Maybe I’ll get back to putting those desires in print. I’ve yet to win the lottery, for example, even though I know without doubt my name is in the list of winners. So, powers-that-be, announce it already. I’d like to buy a few groceries this week, among other things. And yes, I have a ticket.

I wish tonight for determination. When I started this journey 28 months ago, it was with a fair bit of grit. Several of the goals I set have been met in one fashion or other. But, some of the changes were unexpected and have tossed me off course. So, I am resolved to find my way back and get clear about what I need for my journey to continue. I’ve a few big hills yet to climb, perhaps, but I can do it. I’ve come too far to give up now! Wishes do come true. I remain determined in that belief. Care to join me?

Until tomorrow…

P.S. Here’s a link to Susan’s blog. Wonderful reflections all. https://personaljourneyswithgramma.com

 

 

Goodness me…

Peace doveDear friends,

 

It’s a beautiful day and I hope you’re able to enjoy whatever you’re doing to the max.

Today I wish for understanding. I wish for unity where there is division. And mostly, I wish for compassion. If today you can reach out your hand to someone you might not want to touch, or smile at someone who looks sad or lonely, you will have done a great service. And that’s what it’s all about.

Until tomorrow…

Being happy despite…

DorianGrayHey one and all, what’s new and exciting?

I’m in a bit of good mood today and anxious to tell y’all about it. Because you’ve supported me with kind words over these last many months when I blathered on to you almost daily about my struggles, it makes sense that I’d want to tell you some good stuff. And you’re likely relieved, too. I know I am.

So some of this mood was inspired by a Facebook post I happened upon reflecting on how challenging life is and that each day is one fraught with just too much sorrow to be anything but ‘just another day’. My heart went out to the author who I first wanted to hug, and lastly wanted to encourage to seek another thought-path. I couldn’t find the words, though. (I know, not something a writer should admit.) Still, I kept wrestling with it. Until this morning.

Sitting at my spot on the couch, editing away while listening to Gandalf the White’s wise instructions to Aragon (I am SO in love with Viggo Mortensen) in the background, a feeling of profound peace enveloped me. Of course, I welcomed it because I was once more reminded how much I love writing. It is my Zen, no zigzagging involved at all. Also, I am happy for every fragment of my current circumstance. Yes, I’m envisioning, even demanding change, but at the same time I realize the choices I’ve made that brought me here were the best I could make at the time. Also affirmed within the feeling was that my decision to feel good, be grateful about my life no matter what, is working. In fact, the transformation is remarkable, but only I can testify to it. You would not likely notice it. Think of it like “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde in reverse. You might not ever see a change, but I sure as shit do! And it’s glorious.

So, what has any of that to do with the doldrums experienced by the Facebooker? Well, this is what. We do have choices, but, we can only feel what we can feel. Our energy allows us to move into emotions that elevate or lower, but must work in collaboration. If we are not capable, we are not in that moment able to even believe in the possibility of something better, and so will stay wherever we are until we break through and vibrate differently. Make sense?

Because I intend to feel blessed and prosperous when I’ve not even money for groceries means I open a gateway, a portal as it were, to potential. I suppose it hearkens back to the blog about pretending or acting. My feelings are the realization of its successful application. Despite my “issues” I am happy and in this moment, at ease with my situation, fully assured all will be well. How? I haven’t a clue, but I believe it.

Lastly, it takes time to move. I’ve been doing this work wholeheartedly for over two years now, focussed on it every single day, attempting to hear differently, change a long developed inner dialogue, and confront every shadow with forgiveness. Every day I chase love. And, guess what, I’m seeing more and more of it every moment.

My wish today is for a fragment of light to illuminate whatever darkness you face, if only to give you a scintilla of hope. Hold on to that piece of light no matter what else happens around you. Imagine it in your sleeping state and when awake. See it through your tears. It is there and it will not fail you. Believe.

Until tomorrow…

 

Me to we…

Me.jpgHello my lovely friends!

Yes, the firmament is wreaking a bit of havoc on the earth of late. More than usual? Perhaps in our lifetime. But it takes thousands of years for a cataclysmic event on the moon to change the course of events on earth so I’ve not any upheaval has happened before. However, we humans keep evolving so whatever is going on now impacts us differently than the time before. As a result, we vibrate, shift, and move in directions that might challenge us. Right now, for example, are we being asked to redefine our psyche or merely keep up with the universe? It matters not. We will do what we can to survive. We will do our best. What we cannot do is escape what is happening for we are bound to, and connected with, interwoven as it were, this tapestry. We cannot escape it. And why would we want to? Because it’s tough, that’s why! Change is hard, and the unexpected can be bloody painful! It breaks us apart, tears at our innards, and gets us questioning our very existence. Still, we are here, all of us together, sitting at various looms threading our carefully spun wool in the hope we are designing a worthwhile life. I fear I’m not the most proficient of weavers, but, even at this stage of life, I seem to be creating some spectacular pictures. Whoop, whoop! It’s an incredible ride when I take a moment to step back and admire it. But, before I meander further, I want to share my latest news.

As you know, my house sit was to have ended on the 23rd. Well, it did not. I have ‘my’ home for at least another week. I’m happy. It gives me more time to work on book edits and seek alternatives. Also, I have had two job interviews and while neither have been successful, I am preparing. There are also new opportunities in the UK I’d not realized before. I have options. They’re all good. I feel confident and positive. Also, I’m not giving up on my writing, that it will support me. I believe. And, as always, my awareness keeps noticing things because I need to stay on my toes.

And so I sit, envisioning the life I want to create. I’m becoming more determined and focussed than ever. I’ve become more humble and honest, more broken and vulnerable, more open and innocent than ever. I believe that what I’ve set in motion will manifest. And, of course, I’ve had the discussion and set dates and time for those manifestations because if I’m to achieve anything I’m supposed to, it will not be done if I’m struggling to feed myself. Do I love myself enough to believe I deserve more? In this moment, yes. So I will try to hold to this moment. It is precious. But there I go again, getting all philosophical. I had a story to tell you.

The other night I was out with friends. At one point, I went to the bar to order a drink and suddenly became invisible. I felt like Frodo but I wasn’t wearing a gold ring. Whatever happened to service? I stood and watched the wait staff and bartender clean, put bottles away, get drinks for others, while I remained invisible. No one spoke to me. No one asked what I wanted. What does that say of me, I asked myself? Well, it says many things, but I took it to say “unknown”. I was at a haunt frequented by locals and was not a part of the “crowd”. I did not know the password, or language commonly used, to get their full attention.

Do we segregate that readily? Yes, we do. It’s not a kind, pleasant, or redeeming quality. It is particularly found in small town type communities where people remain suspicious of newcomers. However, what it smacks of is judgement, bigotry, and bias. “I fear the stranger” is a restrictive and inevitably destructive trait.

So this is my wish for today. Let us extol openness, receptivity and a welcoming air when we meet a stranger. Let those characteristics be desired and sought after. Let us remember to “act” like we accept even if we do not because that practice will diminish, maybe eventually extinguish racism and lead us all toward an inclusive society. We are, after all, one.

Until tomorrow…

Seeing clearly…

Forest.jpgHello lovely friends!

I received a note from a wonderful reader about yesterday’s post on “pretending”. He’s not a fan of the word and made a very good point about it implying deception or fakery. I get that so if the word triggers any of you likewise, how be I ask that we “act like” we’re confident, okay, and all those good things even when we’re not feeling so good about our life or the state of the world. We decide to act the way we would ideally want to be. It has to be a good thing.

I for one am working hard today to keep the faith. Tomorrow is move-out day and I’m still without permanent housing or even temporary housing. I do have options, however. I’m just unsettled and not sure what course of action is meant for me. My heart wants to go back to England which is becoming a more viable plan than you might think. I just have to zero in on my gut and follow through with what feels right for me. Not easy, but not the end of the world, either. Still, I’d like a crystal ball.

My wish is for clarity. I have wished this wish repeatedly, but am in need of the skill of discernment at this time. I do not want to miss the forest by focussing on a tree.

Until tomorrow…

Let’s pretend…

changeDarling friends!

I’ve been up for hours, well before dawn, on this day that eclipses others. (See what I did there? Hehe.) Now, as the sun and moon move out of each other’s way, I find I am beyond weary. My lids are heavy and while my heart is not, I’m fighting back tears for what seems the zillionth time of late. When I open my eyes, time has leapt ahead. (No, I did not doze off.) It is after 12 and for the third time today, I see double numbers. First 10:10, then 11:11 and now it is 12:12. I am not alone, so say the numbers and it makes sense then that I should have a heart to heart with the collective of which I am the centre. I’m going to remind myself and anyone listening that enough is enough.

From this moment forward, I intend a different life. No more of this wishy-washy stuff. Have you ever done that? Sort of grabbed yourself by the proverbial arse and said “NO MORE”. Of course I’ll waiver an hour from now, but with each attempt to dig in, I think I’m helping myself deepen my resolve overall and make my way clearer. I’m certainly clearer about what I do NOT want. I just need to visualize what I do want and make that my permanent vision. In the meantime, I’m going to pretend I’m there.

Yesterday I met a woman whose life I admire. We’re nothing alike – or rather we were nothing alike because with the exception of two variables we’ve many similarities now. One of the variables is that she has the freedom and security afforded by money. Unlike many woman, she is self-made as well, her wealth the result of her success. She told me she achieved by pretending. When she doubted herself, she pretended. That strategy worked well for her and I like it, so I’m going to pretend.

I’m going to pretend I’m a successful writer who is making a living with her stories. I’m going to pretend I have a home. I’m going to pretend “Just for Today” is fully operational. I’m going to pretend I am okay. And I believe if I pretend with bravery and courage, I’ll be okay – eventually.

So my wish is for the confidence to pretend. Pretend wisely, pretend with valour. Pretend you are looking at a new earth, cherished and healthy. Pretend all peoples are fed and housed, healthy in mind and body. Pretend there is peace. Pretend you are happy, pretend you love and are loved. Pretend you are grateful. Pretend for no one else but yourself so that you can be the most you can be.  Keep pretending with your head held high. Pretend and see what happens.

Until tomorrow…

Dreams…

Unicorn.jpgDear Friends,

In a small room overlooking the sea, a child sits dreaming of faraway lands, of queens and kings and crowns of silver and gold. Her vista includes verdant pastures where horses graze with sheep and cattle. Gardens overflow with colourful foodstuffs, and lavender scents the air. The homes are safe and warm, and people smile and sing and dance in celebration of life in its most abundant state.

As the sun sets in the west, the child squints to catch the last glimpse of sails on ships disappearing into the horizon. Aboard those vessels are all her hopes. She watches until her eyes find heavenly bodies shining above and her lids grow heavy knowing she is guarded by the firmament.

Farewell, good night, adieu. Take my wish with you as sleep beckons. Rest peacefully, surrounded by all that you cherish. Dream of what you long for. Hold to your belief that you, those you love, and the very universe itself, will be okay.

Until tomorrow…

Seeing utopia…

Utopia.jpgHiya lovely ones!

As I walk to the coffee shop that has become my “office”, I marvel at the blue sky and clear air. Over the weekend, the wind shifted direction, there was a bit of rain, and the smoky air dissipated as quickly as it came. My ears are unplugged and I’m breathing deeply. It helps lift my mood considerably.

So, my landlady has written and my leave date is Wednesday next week. I’ve been in her home four months. It’s been a roller coaster, no question, but the privacy I’ve been afforded has helped me. It’s given me a chance to face myself without prying or concerned eyes interrupting my “process”. And, I do have a process. I can’t bottle it, but it’s there. The space and solitude has enabled me to write my first book and while I’ve lost momentum these last few weeks, I’ll get it back. I’m working on a process for that, too. Have no doubt.

This afternoon I am applying for jobs. Keep your fingers crossed. And with that, I’m going to end because I need some time to digest what is happening in our world. I need to visualize a peaceful place where any speech that isn’t compassionate and kind, is not spoken, not tolerated. I need to see us living harmoniously.

My wish is for Sesame Street and for Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, places where difference is tolerated, communication is encouraged, and learning is valued. In the last few days we have heard a western leader defend hate speech and denounce those who oppose it. Let us not run and hide in fear. Let us not be apathetic but let us instead regroup determined to face off with love, stillness and calm, and peace in our hearts.

Until tomorrow…

Deja vu-ing…

Hiya compadres! (Needed to alter the salutation, yeah?)

I’m drinking Guinness on a patio facing the harbour in Ganges. Yep, I am on Salt Spring Island and feeling the love if not the beverage. (Seriously, the scrumptiousness level  after imbibing in Ireland is slightly lower. I am NOT complaining. Just stating the obvious.) However, the air is fresh and salty and there is hope in my breath. Realistic? My thoughts, my attitude, are the driver to any success, aren’t they?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m terrified, still, just tempering with briney sea and hippies.

My wish? Hope that floats despite the weight. Passion that sustains despite oppression. Calm that is found amidst the chaos. Solutions for every problem. And for everything, love.

Until tomorrow…