Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, April 30, 2016

what's next?

I took this last week to regroup and let me tell you, it was sorely needed. I made a list of all my activities and I meditated and prayed about each one to discern what my heart wants to keep doing and what I need to let go of. I did this because I haven't written anything since my novel came out in October and people, let me tell you, I'm not a happy camper when I'm not writing. Why? Because writing helps me make sense of my world. No wonder I was feeling muddled.

The result of this contemplation was that I needed to let go of this dance group I joined about six months ago, Sophisticated Ladies. It required two days of practice (two hours each one), plus extra time at home learning routines, plus going to gigs. This in addition to my three days per week (two hours each) and going to gigs for Sugartime. Plus the two different tap dance classes I'm taking. No wonder I had no energy to write!!!

The day I reached the decision to quit the group, the writing began to flow again. Ideas for a book (or series of essays) I had several years ago began to bubble up and demand attention. I am energized in ways I haven't been for quite awhile. I'll share a bit more about this project as soon as it fully gels in terms of what it wants to be.

Till then...

Blessings,
Karen

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Regrouping

Well, we were supposed to go to New Orleans for a week. First, hubby's boss asked him to take his computer with him to be on call. Then our flight to was cancelled and we couldn't re-book till the next day. Then our car rental fee doubled. When one other thing didn't work out, I looked at hubs and said, "I don't think we're supposed to take this trip." Surprisingly, he agreed. Also, surprisingly, neither one of us was too disappointed, except for not getting to spend time with two special friends we were supposed to meet.

My Sugartime partner is out of town. We have no plans on the calendar 'cause we weren't supposed to be home. So, I'm going to turn this week into a retreat of sorts in order to re-group. My energy feels scattered all over the place; I'm not writing and I'm missing it terribly.

So, good luck to all of you who are doing the challenge. I'm going to disappear from blogging till May.

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group - April



Once again, thank you, Alex, for launching this wonderful group. Please visit Alex at www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for all the details about how to participate.








I've not been blogging this month because most of the blogosphere is participating in the A-Z challenge and I've chosen not to do blog hops anymore.


I've been thinking about why I'm not writing. I know I'm busy with my two performing groups, rehearsing and doing gigs. And I'm taking tap dance lessons as well. But those activities are not the only reason. I think I'm disheartened. I try not to have expectations about results when I do things, whether it's writing or performing. But having spent six years of my life and many thousands of dollars to produce a book and to have virtually no sales is, well, disheartening.

The truth is, other than the small book tour I did when it launched, I did no other marketing. What does that tell me? Was I sabotaging myself? Am I too old for this game? Is there a lesson for me here that I'm just not seeing?

I don't have answers to these questions because I only just realized I was feeling disheartened yesterday. I do know that I was meant to write the book. That I couldn't not write it. Maybe that was enough for me. I learned so much about myself during that process and grew and changed as a result. Maybe that was the purpose. Who knows?

What I do know is that I can't allow what I deem to be a non-success stop me from writing other things. It's just that right now, that particular Muse remains silent.

Blessings,
Karen

Thursday, March 17, 2016

spirituality and fear

I'm afraid. There, I've admitted it. Now maybe I can let my fear go. I'm not a political person and this post will not be about politics. But I'm afraid because of what's going on politically in this country right now. I'm afraid because I guess I knew America still had issues like race and gender equality to deal with, poverty/hunger, etc. I just didn't know how prevalent racism and hatred still were. People are angry and probably have good reasons to be. But violence is not the answer to anger and fear. It only begets more violence.

Spiritual traditions teach us that we are either coming from a place of love or a place of fear and that our path is to learn to love. "Love your neighbor as yourself." "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," etc. Don't judge. Be tolerant. Accept one another.

I'm struggling with not being judgmental. I'm struggling with coming from a place of love towards someone who makes my stomach curl inside out. I'm struggling with horror that so many Americans are listening to rhetoric that incites anger and violence.

Does history not teach us anything? Will we ever get over ourselves and become more enlightened beings? Martin Luther King said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." Where is the Light?

Here is my prayer. That the candidates find their way to the Light and begin behaving from a place of grace and dignity as befits the highest office in the land. That Americans eligible to vote go out and vote with their hearts, not their heads; with the candidate they feel will best help this country, and not by political affiliations and party.

This is all I can do about my fear. Give it to God and hope for the best regarding the outcome. Dear God, please shift the negative energy surrounding this election from fear to love.

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - March

Thank you once again to Alex http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a place where writers come together to share our journeys.

Aside from the idea I share about last month and the writing the firs paragraph, I haven't touched the...I can't even say manuscript. I have to admit, I've been very busy. I planned and executed a 20th anniversary celebration, hosted my son and daughter in law, plus my sister-in-law and her husband, helped with the planning of a Sugartime celebration coming this April, and rehearse multiple times a week for Sugartime and Sophisticated Ladies performances. I could say I don't have time to write, but that wouldn't be true. I do. I just don't appear to be motivated right now to focus on it. And I'm totally okay with it.

You know, retirement, I think, it meant to be a time when your to-do lists can go out the window, when you don't have to do anything you really don't want to do. I know there are daily chores that must get done. Still have laundry, grocery shopping, preparing meals, etc. But besides that, our days are our own. We get to fill them however we want.

I also seem to need more "down" time than I used to. After rehearsing, sometimes twice a day, I don't want to concentrate that hard. I want to read a book or watch a movie, or play spider solitaire. Or play around on Facebook. Or read blogs.

So, I can't really say what's going to happen with my writing at this point. Being the kind of person I am, if it becomes important for me to do, I know I will do it.

And regarding insecurity -- for the first time in my life, I feel good about me. I am at peace inside myself. I am feeding my soul in ways that makes my heart sing. I have a feeling the writing will once again become a priority, but not sure when that will be. And that's okay.

Till next time...
Blessings
Karen

Monday, February 29, 2016

our anniversary celebration

Here are a few pics from our anniversary celebration.




Here's a link to a few more:





Wednesday, February 24, 2016

a miraculous anniversary

It was 20 years ago today that hubby and I got married. For those of you who know me or have read my memoir, you know what a difficult journey I had in life until I arrived in New Mexico in 1994 and met hubby six months later. When I first landed here, I was suicidally depressed, broken in so many places, almost broke financially and absolutely convinced it wasn't possible to be happy...especially in a relationship.

It is mind-boggling to now be 20 years later and to have been proven wrong.  It may have been a rough road getting here, but the travel was necessary and the wait worth while. I am so grateful to you, dear husband, for the love we have created together. But most especially, for the unconditional love I feel from you which has helped me heal so many wounds. This marriage. This life with you. They are truly miraculous to me.

Blessings,
Karen