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Today, I share another Island of Silence from Journey Girl; Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary. During this Pandemic of Covid-19, we may tend to stay focused on how so many things around us are changing. We are called upon to make more decisions in our ordinary day to day life. With the world at odds with “either-or” scenarios of successful return to what we call ordinary life and many of our ordinary play spots, like parks and entertainment venues, we need to remember that special part of you that is still calling for the creation of fun in the midst of these serious times and unanswered questions. That part of you is your inner child. Take some time to recognize this child today and find a way to add fun to your day. This day. There’s no time like the present!

Chapter 13 Island of Silence

The giant pine tree grows from a tiny sprout.
The jouney of a thousand miles begins beneath your feet.”   Lao Tzu

A very special child wants your attention today. Your mission is to find this child. It is truly a child, but it has been with you since infancy. Even though you have grown up, this part of you still remains a child and it relates to you as a child. That is possibly the reason you cannot hear this child. It has frolicked with you and your friends when you were a child and knew how to have fun. It is the playful side of you that still wants to have fun now as an adult. It often says, “More, more, more,” until the adult in you stands his ground and says, “Enough!”

This child in you most often thinks in pure, uncomplicated ways, very directly telling you what it wants, what it thinks, and how it is feeling at the moment. This child in you does not want to get lost and ignored as you go about your adult responsibilities. It wants to partner with you to round out your total personality and be able to show up in you in your old age. This child will not abandon you. It sincerely hopes you do not abandon it. This child does not want you to be afraid of it and it does not want to hold childhood secrets that can be lived safely and truthfully when you grow up.

It wants to show up in both your smiles and your tears. It is present in your fearful moments when you are bravest and feel the courage of a lion. This child can even play an important (though mostly silent) role in your adult decision making. This is your inner child and you most often recognize it as your intuition and imagination, and sometimes as a strong innate impulse. This child is part of your self-identification and also shows up in your sense of humor. The child knows that sometimes its impulses need some adjustment and perspective. That is one of the reasons this child wants you to recognize it.

This child is not an imaginary friend. It has been with you from the start on all your journeys. It has been silent and hidden some of the time, noisy and demanding at other times. It is an influencer of your moods. It is absorbed in playing and it has a remarkable acuity to focus in the moment. On the flip side of that, the inner child relishes and partakes freely in total nonsense.
Sometimes this child manifests within you when it wants you to change direction or loosen your grip on a problem you can’t solve. It can be a distracter, an enabler, a supporter, a pioneer on a quest, or a surprise guest that pops out at inopportune times.

Your inner child lives very close to your heart. Science has proven the human heart has an intelligence of its own, much deeper than puppy love. The heart knows what it knows. That is why your inner child can cut swiftly through some of the clutter of the rational mind and be real. In that way, it can help you with a reality you may be facing but not understand.
This child asks you for your heart awareness and attention. That is why you are looking for this child today on this Island of Silence. It wants you to know it does not need to be left back in the past of your real childhood. Like Peter Pan, this part of your personality, both troublesome and helpful, shares a life in you that never dies. It can be a great benefit to you then to build a common practice of acceptance and loving compassion with your inner child. It can help you soothe the areas of your life that are particularly stressful, isolated, and lonely. You can be partners for good in life.

When you finish this time with your inner child, promise each other you will not lose this awareness of your physical, psychological, and spiritual make-up of yourself. Join together in a united desire for both child and adult:

May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be well. May I be peacefully at ease.

May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be well. May you be peacefully at ease.

 

 

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Shattered

Napkinwriter

IMG_7849

The world breaks
broken places
shattered mirrors
to reflect what is neglected
in dark corners.

My efforts are needed
i will turn to meet my destiny
reflected in shattered mirrors.

Unmolded clay
in my hand
nourishes new life.

The world breaks
I am a humble artist
molding my earthly clod.

Prayerful hands

i will trust to love.

Several years ago, I was grateful for the opportunity to return to a weekend workshop at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and be with my artist sisters of WWAM  (Women Writers and Artists Matrix). A loving, powerful, far-seeing community of good living and loving in the world.

In one of the workshops, we played with broken pieces of glass added to a collage we made on a trypearche.  Color, fabric shapes and designs and paint went on the surface.

Then we added the lines of a poem, selected from many she handed…

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Napkinwriter

Trust to Love

Shattered Mirrors

By Susan Heffron Hajec, inspired from
Mimi Foyle,’s Shattered Mirrors

I will turn to meet my destiny,
reflected in shattered mirrors.
The world breaks
My effort is needed.

I am a humble artist
with prayerful hands
I nourish new life.

In dark corners,
unmolded clay in my hand
in broken places
molding my earthly clod
to reflect what is neglected.

I will trust to love.

Hello Napkinwriter readers. Well just a few moments ago, my blog was shattered…..I typed “glog”. That’s what I feel like now. I had expressed in the first “blank” issue of this, how many ways this workshop experience at WWAM from artist/writer Kittie Bintz had excited me.  Now, I am left looking in a seeminly empty draft land to come up with my version.

Recently on MeetUp, I joined a WordPress group and missed the first meeting. This is one of the first things…

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Unprecendented

“Social Distancing” is a new vocabulary word that needs to be added to Webster’s dictionary. The empty bench above is now a familiar sight of Spring 2020. The world-wide spread of Coronavirus has brought “unprecidented”  changes in our American way of life. We are now entering into a second and third week of staying apart from one another, six feet is what is recommended, and no gatherings of large groups of ten or more. Now it is even less than that. It is a matter of isolating in your own home.

Businesses have closed, all large events with audiences cancelled or postponed to some future unknown event. Sports seasons, cancelled, or upbruptly ended. March Madness fused into March frustration as a favorite spectator yearly event fizzled down the tubes. The World Summer Olympics has been postponed until 2021, the first Olympic games to be held in an odd-numbered year. Spring American League baseball never held practice or got started. Baseball diamonds are empty.

Schools have closed. Some won’t reopen the rest of this school year. Others think they may go back in May. The Federal Government has shuttered businesses, big corporations and all mom and pop small businesses. We have been asked to “Shelter in Place.”

Unprecedented. That is what we are living now. The pandemic Coronavirus has stopped our life patterns. COVID-19. This is not an inspiring post. It is just a place-holder for what is happening in America and around the world in March 2020. The virus started in China and was reported to WHO too late to stop the spread and now whole countries and continents are experiencing its rapid spread. It is like a viral respiratory flu and the elderly are especially susceptible to the illness and death.

President Trump issued a 15 day isolation phase as the CDC and WHO work  a plan to stops its rapid advance. Millions of people are out of jobs and small businesses threatened by uncertainty of surviving.

In Kentucky, the new governor, Andy Bashear has been very aggressive in clamping down and insisting on citizens’ isolation. Closing playgrounds and taking the hoops out of public basketball courts, backed by new mayor, Linda Gorton.

While the cases are still growing throughout the states, NYC and California and the state of Washington are hardest hit. President Trump is trying to get enough information to begin a safe start up back to business around Easter time which is two weeks out. On Friday, March 27, the US Senate and Congress passed a 2.5 trillion “UNPRECENDENTED” Economic stimulus bill aimed at large corporation, small business and individual citizens out of work to put a band aid on the harm that has been caused, both physically and economically.

We are all wanting this to end and return to life before this struck.

 

 

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Just For Today

Just for today, I release all worry.
Just for today, I release all anger.
Just for today, I live this day in integrity, doing what is mine to do.
Just for today, I honor every living thing.
Just for today, I show gratitude for all my many blessings.
Thank you, Universe, for my life.

The first five are The Reiki Principles, the last one is an add-on thank you.

I am a Reiki Master, and I find Reiki to be a centering peace in my life. I attune others to receive the blessings of Reiki and I practice healing and balance for others with Reiki.

If our present world circumstances are causing a high level of anxiety for you, I give you this gift of the 5 Principles of Healing Reiki. If you incorporate them into any quiet time you take for yourself, you can experience a grounding influence and the perspective of just living in this day — not the unknown picture down the road. I promise you, the repetition of these five principles will support you and companion you on a day by day basis.

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The Wonder of It All

 

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish of the sea speak to you. They all know that the Lord has done this. For the life of every living thing is in his hand.”
Job 12:7-10
There is no lack of wonders; only a lack of wonder.

I admit it. I am lost in the wonder of it all. Well, maybe not lost, but having a very good time wandering around. Writing my memoir, exploring watercolor; keeping focus on my spiritual path; learning from masters; taking a new step everyday.

It feels wonderful to enter into 2020 knowing I have completed a manuscript for my memoir, Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary. 

I feel a wonderful release to come to the watercolor paper and putting some shapes, lines, texture, and color on it to see what together, the paper and I, can co-create.

It is breathtaking to be really looking into the God-created nature around me and right under my feet. I can write about or create an image of what is the handiwork of the Great Artist who made all. I can deepen my spiritual center by Lectio Divina, and listening to the written word given us. I can make a Quest Circle and enter the traveling community on-line to process, through art, what is my daily reality.

I can breath easily and freely.

 

It is stabalizing to me to have a room dedicated to the work and the wonder of words and art.

I am so thankful to all those who have helped me find and explore the wonders of this literary and artfilled path;  Janet Conner, JoAnn Deck, Cat Caracelo, Angela Fehr, Carla Sonheim, Mary Gilkerson, Christine Valters Paintner,  Karen and Robert Gifford, Betty Lue Lieber and Robert Walton,  Catherine Anderson, Diana Marra,  Anita Lehman, to name the ones I am most connected to. There are others.

It is a wonderful start to 2020.

 

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Making Meaning of Your Life through Writing

A Guest Blog today written by:

Suzanne Murray

December 5th, 2011

A creative writing class may be one of the last places you can go where your life still matters.” – Richard Hugo

Poet Richard Hugo, who started the creative writing program at the University of Montana and taught there for 30 years, thought that writing allowed you to more readily make sense of your life and see the value of it. He saw the practice of writing as “a slow cumulative way of accepting your life as valid, of accepting yourself over a lifetime, of realizing that your life is important. And it is. It’s all you’ve got. All you ever had for sure.”

I find that whether I’m writing essays or poems or reflecting in the pages of my journal that I gain increased clarity about who I am, what I value and how I see the world. I tap a deeper thread of meaning in my life that helps me makes sense of everything I have ever done and everything that has ever happened. It helps me put things in perspective and opens me up to new insights.

You don’t have to “be a writer” to benefit. The practice of stream of consciousness writing where you just let the words flow uncensored gives you access to an expanded way to knowing and deeper wisdom. It gives you access to the powerhouse of your subconscious/unconscious (that 93 percent of our mind we are not usually aware of.)

It’s a great way to get answers to the questions our heart and soul want to ask
Like

• What do I need to know right now? or

• What is trying to emerge in my life right now?

 

Just play with it and see what happens.

https://www.creativitygoeswild.com/

 

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I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY!

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is… the “back nine” of my life and it catches me by surprise…. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that “I was only on the first hole” and the “back nine” was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is… my friends are retired and getting grey… they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me… but, I see the great change…. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant… but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become. Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so… now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the “back nine”, and I’m not sure how long it will last… this I know, that when it’s over on this earth… it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the “back nine” yet… let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the “back nine” or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life… so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember… and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

“Life” is a gift to you.
The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
Make it a fantastic one.

LIVE IT WELL!
ENJOY TODAY!
DO SOMETHING FUN!
BE HAPPY !
HAVE A GREAT DAY

Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

LIVE HAPPY IN 2013 AND BEYOND!

LASTLY, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

~Your kids are becoming you…. but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good… Coming home is better!
~You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. “especially golf”!
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do,
but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep”.
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”…” ???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!!
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear..
~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!

It’s Not What You Gather,
But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN,
YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE,
SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Life isn’t about Surviving the storm
but learning to Dance in the rain.

 

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Caring for her paralyzed son taught Sandy Concar how to take care of herself — and other caregivers.

Sandy Concar was used to being in control of her life and her family’s. She found comfort in having a Plan A, B and even C. (Laura got me a book for Mother’s Day, “God Always has a Plan B). When, while raising two teenagers and working 14-hour days as a school bus driver and mail carrier, she needed to move her displaced mother into their home, Concar’s competence kept everyone and everything afloat.

Her kids grew up and forged independent lives. She helped her mom get reestablished in an apartment. Concar and her husband, Ron, empty-nesters at last, were reconnecting after years of responsibility, steering their motorcycle or hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains two hours from their Wake Forest, N.C., home.

“I masterminded my whole life,” Concar says, “until Keith’s accident.”

Her son, Keith, was 27 and on his second Hurricane Katrina volunteer stint, having stashed his belongings in storage and moved to New Orleans. There he spent his days ripping wet drywall and shoveling debris out of ravaged homes, and his nights sleeping on a classroom floor. En route to a job site, he was doing 55 mph on his motorcycle when the Jeep pulled out. Keith’s resulting spinal cord injury returned him to his mother’s care, ultimately leading Concar to what she considers her life’s purpose: supporting those who support others through her mentoring business Care Giver Sanity.

“Is he still alive?”
     This was Concar’s first reaction upon receiving the phone call, followed by, “Everything else, we can take care of.” That she did, shifting into organizational high gear and staying in it for a year and a half, shuttling Keith to doctor’s appointments, researching therapies, addressing financial issues and retrofitting the family home for wheelchair accessibility.

No time to feel
     Concar was looking for answers to heal Keith when an alternative medicine practitioner gently told her, “You need the healing first.” Using EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, Concar tapped specific body acupressure points with her fingertips, causing a “Niagara Falls” of tears as she released pent-up anger and grief. She was, she realized, in control of everybody’s life but her own.

Self-care as a priority
Caregivers aren’t necessarily good at receiving care, even from themselves. For many, Concar says, it traces back to old family rules the likes of “You don’t take the last piece of pie in case someone else wants it.” Healing meant putting herself at the top of her to-do list. Task No. 1: Get out of bed and shower before checking on Keith, which would spiral into task-tending and only getting around to showering at 4 p.m.

Her healing process
     Concar says she was not raised to have a career vision. “By age 25, I’d reached my dream: I had the husband, the two kids, the dog, the house, the picket fence. I said, ‘Now, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?’” Keith’s accident brought the answer. “When I began to heal, I saw so many other caregivers in distress,” she says. “Sure, I wish Keith’s accident hadn’t happened; I would prefer my son to be walking. But it did happen, and there was a reason for it.”

Giving rise to the reason
Two years of practicing self-care after her watershed EFT experience and with Keith settled in San Diego, Concar started CareGiverSanity, at first doing workshops and later adding mentoring: complimentary 30-minute CareGiver Chats via phone or Skype, followed, as desired, by extended one-on-one mentoring and access to a private Facebook support group. Her clients care for aging parents, family members with disabilities, children and other loved ones, and hail from as far away as Canada and France.

Root cause
Hers isn’t an easy sell. “This audience isn’t good at accepting help,” notes Concar. CareGiverSanity’s program only sticks if clients are willing to concede need. Up first is digging into their “stuff,” which, says Concar, they’ve dodged by concentrating on everybody else’s stuff. She guides them in considering such questions as, What is the benefit of doing everything themselves? Things get done right. The downside? They’re exhausted. After the reflection comes the practice.
Baby steps

Advise a caregiver to go for a walk, says Concar, and they’ll reply, “Yeah, right. Find me 10 minutes.” She promotes taking little steps: cooking a nutritious meal one night a week, looking out the window while drinking a cup of coffee, not rushing home from the grocery store. Little by little, such seemingly minor efforts can add up to having more energy, which makes caregiving easier.

“When I awakened to my need to start feeling me,” Concar says, “I realized that Keith’s accident didn’t just happen to Keith; it happened to each of us.” And what happened to Concar — losing control but gaining a calling — now instills hope in caregivers beyond herself.

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“There are only two ways to look at your life: one is though nothing is a miracle; the other as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein said that.

These are a few ways I live my life and I suppose my belief system is that indeed everything is a miracle. That is hard to see though.

The following are five door-openers for living life as the miracle that it is:

1. Be silent. Become silence. Minimize your personal impact on the moment.

2. Be curious. Do you feel a need to explain, interpret, tell or exclaim. Let all your thoughts begin and end with question marks.

3. Be accepting. Be discerning. Don’t stand in harm’s way, but for now suspend judgments. Let it be as it is.

4. Be open. Bask in the mystery. Are you attached to knowing? Learn to be comfortable with not knowing. Warm yourself in the shadows, instead of the sunlight. Be awed by the beauty of the thorn, not just the rose.

These words were a writing instructor’s words in his advice to writers. But they serve how one views life as well. There are plenty of opportunities one’s voice is needed. There are many other times where no words serves one well. Where silence, not noise serves the highest purpose. I have learned to recognize these times in my own life. Yet, sometimes, I don’t.

 

 

 

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