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

Friday, June 7, 2019

help - i can't comment on other blogs

Hi
I've been away from blogging for quite awhile and now that I'm trying to get back into it I can't comment on other blogs. A blogging friend told me the problem might be my web browser (Safari) but I don't know what to do about it - that works for me because I have a Mac. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions.
Blessings
Karen

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Insecure Writer's Support Group - June

Wow - I can't remember the last time I wrote a post for this group. Thank you, Alex, for not removing me while I took a hiatus from this and well, from writing altogether. Since my grand babies were born 1 1/2 years ago, I'm guessing that's how long it's been. Sigh!

Turning 70 was a huge transition for me emotionally and psychologically. One of the biggest things to come out of that transition is that I miss writing - terribly. It's so much a part of who I am. That missing part was filled with caring for the twins, but now that they live on the other side of the country from me and I only see them every few months, that missing part is much more prevalent.

So, I've decided to begin again. There are three projects that are calling to me. One is to write a narrative to go along with a picture book of my life, including what little information I have about my parent's parents. The second is to write personal essays. For now, I will probably just post them here on my blog. If I begin to think about publishing, I get overwhelmed and won't even want to write. The third is to complete a novel that only has the first chapter (written over 25 years ago). Two friends found that chapter and both asked "What is this and where's the rest of it?" The idea hasn't left me so I figure it's asking to be written as well.

My intention is to just have fun writing and to make it a kind of spiritual practice every day, like Natalie Goldberg, one of my favorite writing teachers, talks about in "Thunder and Lightning."
So, wish me luck my dear writing buddies. We're off...

Blessings
Karen

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Music Magic on the Mountaineer

Well, it's a month and a half after my big 70th birthday bash. The party was a smash, and of course, just like life, it didn't go exactly as planned. I had laryngitis and couldn't really sing, but that turned out to be a gift. Because I couldn't sing I wasn't afraid to sing so I had more fun up on stage than ever before. And I got to pretend to be Ginger Rogers and dance with my tap dance teacher, Kevin, who is my Fred Astaire. Plus, my twin grand babies were there and well, you get the idea. The day was very very special.

But the title of this blog post is "Music Magic on the Mountaineer" so I want to tell you what happened on my recent vacation to Canada. When you book a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, you are assigned seats in a certain car and for the three days you are traveling through the magnificent Canadian Rockies, you keep those same seats in the same car with the same people. If you’re lucky, there are some nice ones you enjoy talking with and no obnoxious, loud ones who make the trip unpleasant. On this recent trip I was luckier than that. A man came onboard with a guitar - someone close to my age who loves to sing as much as I do and who grew up with the same music I did. On day one of our trip, he began playing and I walked back and stood by his seat singing along. In front of us were a couple from Australia, joining their voices with ours. To the right were some folks from England, also singing along. And down about four rows was a family from Shanghai China. Only the father spoke English. One younger Chinese girl, perhaps late teens or twenties, began taking pictures of us singing. But when we started singing an Elvis song, she started singing along with us. She giggled shyly, but just kept taking our picture and singing. 

In that magical moment, I was astounded that people from such diverse countries and cultures would know the same songs and, in the case of the Chinese girl, even sing in a language she doesn’t know. I had no idea that American music was so universally known around the world. And it made me think that music connects us in ways nothing else that I’m aware of does. For those few moments of song, there were no religious or cultural or political differences. We were all simply feeling the joy of music through singing together. It made me wonder why we focus so much on our differences rather than trying to find ways to connect with one another.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, January 21, 2019

I'm Too Young to be 70

Hello bloggyland,

 I know I haven't been posting much since my grand babies were born 14 months ago and I'm sorry for that. But, really, I haven't had a lot to post about except how much I am blissed out over the twins and you'd get really tired of hearing that, I'm sure.

Well, I'm still blissed and besotted, but...I'm also turning 70 in April...and that has launched a profound leap into introspection and reflection.  The notion that I have way more years behind me than in front of me got me thinking about the time I have left and how I want to spend it. I don't live in the same city as my grand babies, so they are a part of my life, but not my whole life. I still love doing Sugartime (my singing/dancing duo) and I know that when we perform at retirement communities we bring so much joy to the residents (and to ourselves). And since my motto for the new year is "Joy is My Compass," that's a good thing.

But I also know that, even though "I'm Too Young To be 70" (by the way, not my words - it is the title of a collection of poetry by Judith Viorst), the reality is I am going to be 70 and the reality of that is that I'm not young anymore. I'm not even sure I can consider myself middle-aged. But I certainly can't call myself "old." Maybe we need to come up with new language to describe aging because "old" is just not a nice word. I like "vintage."

Anyway, I've decided to get my body as strong as I possibly can so, in addition to a tap dance class once a week, I've started an Absolute Beginner Ballet class to strengthen my core. I do a Richard Simmons "Sweatin' To the Oldies" aerobics workout two times a week. And I go for a long walk once a week. Plus rehearsing with Sugartime three times a week for two hours at a time. I hope that's enough physical exercise.

I've added a prayer/meditation time to my daily routine. It's the first thing I do in the morning and it helps begin my day in a really good way.

Oh, and I'm planning a great big wonderful birthday bash in April for the birthday event.

What's going on in your world? Do fill me in a little bit on your lives.
Blessings
Karen

Friday, December 7, 2018

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Wishing everyone in bloggy land a very happy and joyous holiday season. May your lives be filled with peace and joy and love.
Blessings
Karen

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Not sure what to do

Hello bloggyland,
Wow, I took a summer hiatus and just realized it's almost Thanksgiving and I haven't posted once.
I'm not sure what to do. I really miss all of you and knowing what's happening in your worlds, but blogging just doesn't seem to be on my mind these days. In fact, I'm not doing any writing at all. I'm back home in New Mexico and only go visit my twin grand babies very six weeks or so for a few days at a time, but it seems my life is really full whether I'm in Albuquerque or Baltimore.  I guess I need it to be okay for now that I'm not posting.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and many many blessings to you and your families.
Karen

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summer hiatus

It's been awhile since I've written a post other than to say I'm not writing, but I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be caring for my twin grandbabies all of July, August and September and I know I won't have time to post, so I'm going to take a summer hiatus from blogging and hopefully return late September, when I get home to Albuquerque.

I can't wait to be with those two little munchkins full time again. Since I've been away I feel as if a limb is missing. Wish I could post pics, but parents have decided no photos on internet and I respect that (and agree with it) other than I wish you could see how adorable they are!

Wishing you all a fun-filled, happy summer and I'll catch up with everyone in the Fall.

Blessings,
Karen