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


“The way to do is to be.” Loots


“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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How do you define old?

Yesterday I was at a dance practice held at a multi-generational senior center, which means folks of all ages participate in activities. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I let the red color of my hair grow out and I am now quite naturally white-haired. I'm also 66, which in all the health care advisories, is considered elderly.

There I was, dancing my little heart out when another white-haired lady walked by using a walker. My immediate thought was, "good for her, she's old, but here she is, doing whatever." But then I realized that others are probably labeling me old simply because my hair is white. Yet I still walk vigorously, dance, have all my mental faculties (most of the time, LOL), can still preform all the activities of daily living with no problem.

So I began to think, what is it really, that makes someone old? It can't be the number of your age, because there is an 85-year-old women in my Sophisticated Ladies Dance troupe that is still dancing beautifully, and seems to have no other problems mentally or physically.

I think maybe I'll feel old when I can no longer do the things I love to do. But knowing me I'll find other things I can do instead. Like when I broke my ankle and couldn't dance for over a year -- that's when I started taking singing lessons. So maybe I'll just eliminate the word "old" from my vocabulary. When wine ages, it gets better, right? Why can't our society feel the same way about people who have lived longer than others?

How do you define old?

Blessings,
karen

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The grizzly bear story

I promised, so here goes. We're in Glacier National Park, Montana. Everywhere we go, there are signs, "Bear Country" with a logo of a can of bear spray. I turn to hubby, "Do we need to get some?" Hubs says, "No, not necessary."

The next morning we set out for a hike around a lake. It is early and we are pretty much alone on the trail, which, of course, they tell you not to do. But they also tell you to make noise so you don't startle the bears, so, of course, I was walking along singing and clapping my hands. I truly didn't care what anyone else thought.

The first folks we meet tell us their friends saw three bears on this same trail the day before. My heart rate ramps up - not good. The good news is I'm terrified, but I'm still enjoying the beauty around me and being with my husband in this gorgeous place. Somehow we make a wrong turn and get off the trail. We backtrack and get back on.

Soon we come to a bridge over a lovely stream. At the far end are a few people with cameras aimed at the woods. We cross over and ask what's up.

"Oh, you just missed a grizzly bear - it just walked across this bridge." She has a picture on her phone to show us what we missed.

My heart feels like it's about to leap out of my chest. All of a sudden I'm furious at hubby about the bear spray. He says, "hmm, if we hadn't gone off the trail and backtracked we would have been here at the same time as the bear." I wisely stay silent.

I sing louder the rest of the way back to the hotel, clapping continuously.

That night, we attend a ranger talk. I raise my hand. "Do you think it's wise to carry bear spray when hiking in the park?"

"Absolutely. Even if you follow the guidelines and back away slowly, make noise, etc., these are wild animals and bear spray is a proven deterrent."

I literally want to turn to my hubby and stick my tongue out, na na, see, I'm right. But instead, this wise voice inside me says, "Important lesson here, Karen. If you need something to make you feel safer or more comfortable like purchasing bear spray when hiking in bear country, you don't need anyone else's validation or approval - just do it."   Duh!!!!!!!

Blessings,
Karen

P.S. Here are some more photos of Glacier Park




the view from our balcony

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Home again - ahhhhh!!

Feels like I've been gone so long, but it's only been two weeks. I haven't had a chance to sort through photos from Glacier and Portland, OR, but here are a few. All I can say about the trip right now is that I can't remember a time when I was more relaxed. Being in exquisite natural surroundings - just can't beat it. Except for the grizzly bear encounter we missed by about two minutes - ha, is that a teaser or what?
Blessings,
Karen




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - July

I'm leaving today for a trip I've been looking forward to for months. Going to visit dear friends in Portland, Oregon, then on to Glacier National Park (never been and can't wait). Which is why I'm posting today for IWSG. I will try to respond to comments and visit the rest of you, but I can't promise that will happen. I need this break from normal, everyday life, including writing and blogging. I really pushed myself to get my editing done and query packages out prior to leaving for this trip and I met that goal.

Am I feeling insecure? It's a complicated answer. I think because of who I am intrinsically, my "normal" is insecure. But when I connect with Spirit, I remember I am a child of God and I remember all the work I've done to heal emotional wounds and I remember who I really am, not who I learned to believe I was. So in some moments, when I forget these things, I'm very insecure about the book. In the moments when I remember the Truth, I am secure in the knowledge that I wrote a book that came to me through Spirit, or God, or Goddess, that I did the best I could with it with a lot of help from good editors, and now I have let it fly into the universe to find a home. Whatever happens is out of my control.

Be well and take good care while I am gone. See you mid-July.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, June 22, 2015

Letting go with the right attitude

There's a slogan in Al-Anon - Let go and Let God. I love that slogan. I have come to realize that I am a control freak. It began in early childhood because my parents fought all the time and it scared me, so I learned to try to control everything around me to feel safe. I won't go into the myriad ways I did that. But suffice it to say that doesn't work. The only things I can control are my own thoughts. I can't even control feelings, although I always try. That doesn't work either. Feelings are real and valid. It's how I express them that I can work on.

What I'm trying to say about letting go and letting God, for me, is about my attitude. Letting go of something that took so long and was so hard is not easy. Pregnancy is a nine month gestation period, than forever years to raise your child. It's not letting go. School takes years and years, but when you're done, it's over. Letting go and letting God is about setting something free without attachment. Say someone you love is very ill. You can help care for them. You can try to find a remedy or cure. But you can't fix it yourself. There's where letting go and letting God comes in.

So with my novel, The Wishing Steps, I've written the book. It's been professionally edited. I have a great query letter and synopsis. I've researched potential publishers. And I've let it fly to reach them. Now I have to let go of any attachment to the result. Not easy after I've worked so hard on it. But if I worry and fret and agonize over it, it's not going to change the outcome one iota. So, dear friends, I am doing a lot of deep breathing and, with my newfound freedom of extra time, I am having so much fun. Movies with friends, swim parties, tap dancing class, broadway dance class, folk dancing, and my Sugartime gigs.

Let go and let God. Such freedom....

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Almost there....

Hi all,
  Well, I'm not sure about not posting on a regular basis. I miss it already. We'll just have to see. I'll be traveling a lot this month anyway, this is fine for now.
Just wanted everyone to know my query letter is done. My synopsis is done. I have a list of potential publishers to query. Now I just need to format my manuscript correctly. Had to download Microsoft Office for Mac and now I have to figure it out. But then, next week, I will send it out into the world. Wish me luck!

How are all of you?
Please fill me in a bit in the comments.
Blessings,
Karen