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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Inner Peace

Allowing external situations, people, places, things, to affect my well being is simply not acceptable to me anymore. My memoir, "Following the Whispers," is about the consequences of not listening to inner wisdom and how I learned to finally tune in and pay attention. Seems the last few days, I lost myself. The good news is that I now recognize when, where, and usually why that happens and can bring myself back rather quickly. That wasn't the case for most of my life.

Some of the things that still affect my well being: people not responding to phone calls or emails; negative criticism (the personal attack kind, not constructive criticism); feeling ignored, being left out (if I hear friends have gotten or are getting together and I wasn't included); some mechanical malfunction with an appliance or the computer or the car; gaining a pound or two; my dog vomiting on the carpet; not getting enough sleep (unfotunately this is all too common); physical injuries - I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, it doesn't take much for me to go off kilter.

What keeps me centered is bringing the focus back to Spirituality. I know several things to be absolutely true: what others think and feel about me does not change who I am and who I know myself to be; being left out of things does not mean I am not loved; malfunctions can be repaired or replaced; I am a good person with good intentions who sometimes makes mistakes or has poor judgment. If I remember to keep my priorities straight and not have unrealistic expectations, I will reach my goals. But I also need to not have attachment to the results. I can't control outcomes, I can only set my intentions and take the necessary steps to reach those goals.

My daily prayer and meditation has centered around awakening my consciousness more and more each day. Yesterday that prayer was answered in my recognition of gossip as a character trait I wish to eradicate from my being. Awareness is the first step. Acceptance without judgement is the second. Right action is sure to follow (the three A's from the 12-step programs). A slogan well worth remembering.



Anonymous said...

We are very much kindred spirits, I would say, Karen. I too use spirituality to stay centered. I studied Zen for many years, and trained formally under Korean Zen Master Samu Sunim for 4 years. I still practice Zazen today. The trick is to stay in the center, to watch all things from the dispassionate position of the "observer" and not get knocked off center by becoming attached to "things." Including our own emotions and reactions to things.

Anonymous said...

You make an important point here: No matter what's going on in life, it's important to stay centered. If that point comes across in your book, you'll have a lot of readers feeling like they can relate. Nice job.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Hi, Karen, I very much liked your third paragraph. It summed up nicely somethings I try to remember. As I age, the points you made there simply make more and more sense, and are easier and easier to recognize and adopt.
Best Regards, Galen

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I really enjoyed your post today, Karen. Your blog continues reminding me of the importance of the "big picture" and not to get too bogged down in minutiae. Thanks so much.


Patricia Stoltey said...

Ah, yes. Good insight and very helpful antidote to my whining about today's inconveniences. Your site is very restful....may be the colors, or your calming words...


AlanChinWriter said...

Well said, Karen. That was a very inspirational post, one I should come back to every now and then for a reminder.

alan chin,

N A Sharpe said...

Your posts provide a lot of inspiration and encouragement. This one, in particular, I will bookmark.

NA Sharpe

Jina Bacarr said...

I have written books about the Japanese, including a guide where I discuss how to pay attention to your spiritual life by spending time thinking about the things that bring you peace, harmony and calmness.

I love the Japanese trait of appreciating the beauty of a single flower or the feel of a silken kimono between your fingers.

Try it. It works.