This Day…….

This is the day we have set aside to collectively give thanks, acknowledge even the smallest blessing in our lives. As I look around I see reminders of goodness and this gives me hope.

I have always been an ‘old soul’. Most times I yearn to lighten up but I am learning to lean in, to accept all that I am, to ALLOW. Being thankful and grateful offers a gateway to the best of both of those worlds while offering little conflict with my true ‘old soul’ nature.

Daily I try to be thankful for all the wonderful things and people that make up my life. I am thankful for a sunny- yellow VW bug that makes me smile every time I see her. I am thankful for the unending love and devotion of my one true love. I am thankful for blue hues everywhere. I am thankful for those that left their mark on my heart even though their stay was all too brief. I am thankful that I am gathering my tribe of creatives that envelope me in their support. I am thankful for good times and good friends, my family. I am thankful that I am on a journey to myself, that this very day, I am more of who I am meant to be even if I can’t always articulate what that means.   I am thankful that when words fail me,  I am but a moment away from others that are on similar paths and in their words I oft times find my voice. An on-line friend of mine, Darlene Kreutzer, has an uncanny ability to see into my very soul:

‘The words swallowed whole, gulped down in a fit of desire come out fragmented from lips that no longer understand how to speak the language of a life changing inside of her.”

I am thankful for my life, even when the words are just out of reach, leaving me with emotions just at the surface.  I am thankful that we can always re-write our stories, our happily ever afters.  xo

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Year……

A year…..A lot can happen in a moment, much less an entire year. It may not seem that this much time has passed but the dates align and you have irrefutable proof.

There are time measures for most everything in our lives. Some are obvious while others might be more personal, even there, just beneath the surface, quietly understood. We have moments of reflections, get togethers; markers of both good and bad. In all this, we honor what has happened with celebration.

So much in our lives feel out of our control (and for someone just a tad preoccupied with control, that can be trying) but when we celebrate, even in moments of sadness or doubt, we take the power back and make it our own. We move forward and are better for having been there. No matter the outcome, we are here, year after year, making our place. We have to remember we are all on the same field~not knowing how this thing we call life will play out, just that we are here and must celebrate it all. xo

Recognizing…….

Summer is fading. I can smell, see,  and feel the autumn coming in and I love it! sumMEr was full for me but I would be remiss if I did not admit that somewhere along the way it fell just a bit short of my expectations. The guest bloggers were fabulous and more than I could have ever anticipated but I don’t feel like I upheld my end ~ to myself. Once again, I let the days pass by in a blur with sumMEr just on the tip of my tongue.

Then I remember to be gentle with myself.

Many people commented that sumMEr helped them, made them more aware and I recognize it did the same for me.

I now recognize more of what I do and don’t want in my life. I recognize I want more care-free-ness, more play. I recognize that I want more writing, more yoga and more books, less stress. I recognize that I want more singing and dancing. I recognize that I want to be more comfortable in my skin, the only skin I will ever have. I recognize I want relationships that are deeper and more meaningful. I recognize that I want a simpler life. I realize I want to live ~really LIVE~ my one precious life. I recognize that it is up to me, each and every day, to take steps (as small as they may be) toward my goals, to embrace what is while making what will be. I recognize I have to actively ALLOW and keep my eyes and heart gentle, be less judgmental while finding my true, authentic self.  I recognize that I create my own reality.

I recognize this is what life is – more about the recognizing, not so much the fading.

Truth…….

She’s not in a race to get “there.”  She desires to maximize “here.” ~Tonya Leigh

I am giving myself permission to step back from the aimless searching, overwhelm, all the self-imposed  comparisons and expectations, the lists that no longer calm, the wasting of my precious time with a busyness of nothing. I want to delve more into me and make friends with myself, fall in love with myself. I have always felt like an extrovert but secretly wonder  if that is my truth. I really don’t like labels, that is my truth. My truth is sitting quietly, thinking, reading, writing, being, hoping, loving. I feel that I have strayed from these truths. I also want to add to these truths and know I can not do that while on the current path that I travel.

This is me~letting all that go, shifting my thoughts and outlooks to finally find my truth.

Today……

I have an outline of my focuses for this  sumMEr  with the main point of all this being:  How to change my relationship with me so that I will be better equipped to help others and connect with my soul’s work and the Goddess that I am? I know it all starts with me – no one else can do this work. We all have magic to share and we must take care of ourselves and believe in ourselves in order to be able to share that magic.

I am becoming more aware of how I speak to and about myself, aiming to be gentle. I am putting in place rituals that feel right for me and organizing so I have a calm reprieve to physically land when I let my mind get out of hand. I will make better food choices and start taking better care of myself. I will listen to what I need most and stand firm, not apologizing, remembering that when I say ‘yes’ to something that does not serve me, I am saying ‘no’ to something that might. I will not give into guilt. I will remember that ALLOW is my word of the year and I will make sure to have quiet time at least weekly, where I can reflect and offer gratitude. I aim to lighten up and not take everything so seriously, acknowledging that I only get this one life. I will enjoy the things and people that I love most. Everyday I will honor myself and in doing so, create a safe place for others.

There are many books and ecourses  and retreats that I want to delve into. I started this sumMEr off with an online class hosted by Liz Lamoreux and an art workshop at the studio of Jenni Horne. I am now joining Liz in her Inner Excavate-Along and Catherine Just in her Soul*Full Summit .  My lovely friend, Jenn Borek, has invited me to participate in her ecourse which involves one of my favorite things in the world: sticky notes! 😉 Rounding off my sumMEr will be the Artist’s Way Bookclub that the fabulous Jessica Brogan.

I invite you to poke around and see if any of these things call to you.  You might want to take this sumMEr to go inside yourself and reflect. There is no wrong way to do this – the ‘being aware’ is the most important part; it’s all in the becoming. Go at your own pace. Notice how you talk to yourself . Reflect on what you really want from your one precious life. Lean in. Live your Poem. xo

 

Fears…….

Andy and I watched The Muppet movie last night – just for fun (workin’ in that sumMEr fun – yay!). It WAS fun! And it reminded me to let go a bit and to whistle even in the midst of life and all its fears….. xo

 

I am honored to share with you words from Linda Kinnaman of Linda Kay’s Art. We have been classmates in several online courses and have formed a bond, which is not hard with this loving, giving, gentle soul. While I have yet to meet her in person, you can feel the very kindness radiate from her words.

Linda started a weekly ‘Fighting Fear Friday” blog and in sharing fears of her own, she invites us to acknowledge and sit with our own fears. Linda wants to be a force of good in this most times fearful world. She wants you to know that you are not alone and sometimes, if you open yourself to a new reality, one that you never planned, something bigger and better might just be in store.

As part of the sumMEr of ME project, Linda offers her latest realization of self-care in her post today. She invites you to drop in and get to know her and who knows, you might find a bit of yourself in her words! xo

 

sumMEr

Hi!!

happy sumMEr !!! Today marks the first day of the sumMEr of ME – a calling forth of self care.  Almost 40 artists are joining me this sumMEr to talk about self care and self communication. I am over the moon and hope that you will connect to yourself through some of these wonderful artists. If you are tired of the hustle and bustle and feel called to something more…..if you want to change the world one smile at a time…..if you want to find your happy…..if you want to live your poem……. I invite you to join us this sumMEr. We are thrilled that you are here. You are Wise. You are Wonderful. You are Worth it.

and here it is: my maiden vlog – not letting anything stop me…..was actually going to re-record this today and realized it was the first day of sumMEr (not tomorrow, thank you, leap year!) 🙂 xoxo

Click here to view my maiden vlog! 😉

MCTD………

I have not really mentioned health issues in this space because I feel like I am so much more than the ‘yuck’ that I deal with but after talking with a special person today that just received the same diagnosis, I wanted to share a little about my journey. Forgive the fuzzy memory, just one of the many pleasures of dealing with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.

I was 18 and could not get out of bed unassisted.  I just felt sick and knew this was not normal. I was scared. After two visits with a Rheumatologist in Alexander City, AL, I was told I had lupus-like tendencies, given Plaquenil and told to have my eyes checked every six months as permanent damage to the retina was a possible side effect. In less than a year I felt pretty much normal and decided to stop my medications; I’m stubborn like that.

Andy and I got married (after dealing with the false positive for syphilis) and life carried on with aches and pains here and there but no true issues aside from us not getting pregnant which I always felt was due to what I now know as MCTD. We bought our first house almost 8 years ago and I was thrilled with the above-ground pool. Couldn’t swim a lick and hate bugs but I was out there as much as humanly possible enjoying the perks of my new home. Life was good. Then I got sick again.

Looking back, I realize that the sun exposure was the trigger. I was extremely fatigued, a fatigue that even excessive amounts of sleep could not remedy. My joints ached.  It was a chore to get out of bed each morning, my muscles and bones hurt and my range of motion was nonexistent; I even got to the point that Andy had to literally dress me. Deciding I could no longer function in this manner we sought out medical help.

And here memory gets patchy: after several doctors and Plaquenil, chemo treatments, evil Prednisone, and other various drugs I was told I had lupus. I never fully went into remission but life resumed.

Andy got a new job and had to work a third shift on the weekend. I would stay with him at night, trying to sleep in a camping chair. This routine went on for a while and brought on another flare. More meds, another rheumy and more tests later, I had a new diagnosis of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. I was happy to trade in the lupus for this lesser sounding issue. Then I went online to read that now I was the proud new owner of not just one but multiple auto-immune diseases…… I am an overachiever like that. I remissioned but held my breath. Physically, I was recuperating but mentally, I was paused. Chronic pain is a personal path that can not be seen by the casual glance. Thankfully, Andy never thought I was crazy or doubted that my pain was real.

I now live with a few limitations (I am highly sun sensitive and still battle pain and MCTD claimed my uterus, to name a few) but I have a new reality and I have made peace with that. Maybe I am at the point where my story will help others feel a bit of comfort when they hear a diagnosis that turns their world upside down and is compounded by lack of information, knowledge and understanding. It is scary but it will be fine. You will be fine. xo

Here……

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” ~Unknown

I have been thinking a lot…..if you know me you will not doubt this. Oft times I get overwhelmed and anxious even without knowing specifically why; the words, they do not come and I feel inarticulate and silly and vulnerable. The smallest of things can send me into a panic. I do not like feeling this way, Sam I am, I do not like it one bit. I am trying to calm my mind so I can make room for the real, the here, so it does not pass me by in a frenzied mess. One way I am doing this is through a fabulous online class hosted by Liz Lamoreux  called Create Space. I already feel calmer and more at peace than when I first started the class.

I am trying to embrace my story, lean in, live my poem and remember that I must honor where I am on my journey, let it empower me and motivate positive change that will inspire the creativity and soul-fullness that I want to carry within and share with others.

Another artist I am fortunate enough to be taking a class from in the upcoming months,  Jenni Horne, penned a lovely, heartfelt blog post and urged her readers to share more of their truth. I get so caught up in details and life and worries and shoulds and maybes but I know my truth is here. It is in the becoming. xo