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

Thursday, September 24, 2009


As I get ready for this upcoming trip to Scotland and Ireland and try to heal from the sinus infection that suddenly appeared this past Saturday, I had a little epiphany. Why is it that I get so much joy from singing at retirement communities and receiving emails from people who have discovered my memoir and either liked it or connected with it or were helped by it? What is it that drives me to do the things that I do? It is being acknowledged, which is quite different from being praised.

Acknowledgement is a recognition that someone saw who I really am. Someone got what I'm about, understood what it is I meant. So often, we don't really see one another, or hear one another. Maybe we're comparing ourselves to someone else, or we're waiting till we can jump into the conversation and say what we want to say. How often are we truly present with another person, honoring who they are and what they do and what they say? And how often do we receive that gift from someone else?

My writing and putting it out for the world to see is a way of saying, here I am. This is who I am. This is what I think and this is what I believe. And when someone responds, it is acknowledgement, even if there is disagreement. Perhaps this is why blogging is so popular. When people leave a comment on a blog, it is an acknowledgement that you were heard.

Since I felt invisible most of my life, being acknowledged is important to me. I'm still not real comfortable with praise, but getting more and more comfortable with being seen and heard.

I'll be posting as often as I can from the UK over the next two weeks, but probably won't have time to make comments on your blogs. But please know that I acknowledge each and every one of you and truly enjoy hearing what you have to say.



Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Well put! I do think it is human nature to want some sort of acknowledgement of our existence.

I do hope you have a fabulous trip.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is a basic human need! We all want to be acknowledged. It confirms our worth as a person. When we notice others, when we agree with others, we are demonstrating that we value their opinion - we value THEM.

Gosh, can you tell I just did my Overcoming Obstacles seminar the other night? LOL

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I hear you and acknowledge you! I so enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to following your blog.

A joyous, healthy and safe trip. And don't forget to post pics!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Wonderful post. And so true.

I hope you have a great trip...relaxing and fun. We'll be here, eager to hear from you when you return.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Joanne said...

And each of those acknowlegements is a connection, all brought about by words. Pretty amazing, isn't it? Enjoy your vacation!

Cyndi said...

So well said!

This is SO me:

"Since I felt invisible most of my life, being acknowledged is important to me. I'm still not real comfortable with praise, but getting more and more comfortable with being seen and heard."

Have a great trip!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Golly, you’ve got to be excited to get going on your trip…Saturday, I think, huh? Well, please to have a safe trip and a great time. I like your distinction between praise and acknowledgement…even though a bit of praise never hurts. Still, it’s nice to know the other party is actually listening and hearing you.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Helen Ginger said...

I hope you have a fabulous trip. And I can't wait to hear about it when you get back.

I know what you mean about accepting praise. I have a hard time doing that, as well.

Straight From Hel

The Old Silly said...

Relax, enjoy your trip, blog as much as you can, and comment if you have the time. But mostly enjoy! I have to admit I'm envious! (wink)

Marvin D Wilson

Anonymous said...

Karen, Congratulations on finding your voice and then using it to build yourself a life that allows you to be heard and seen. May your trip to Scotland and Ireland be inspiring and restorative!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

The need for acknowledgement is a basic part of human nature and I'm so glad you feel acknowledged because you are! Have a wonderful trip. Be safe. Stay dry!


P.S. Thank you so much for deciding to follow my blog! I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

"Since I felt invisible most of my life, being acknowledged is important to me. I'm still not real comfortable with praise, but getting more and more comfortable with being seen and heard."

This is a powerfule statement. I'm sure most if not all of us can relate, myself included. So enjoy yourself and have fun.

Stephen Tremp

Sharon Lippincott said...

Perhaps part of the reason praise is hard to accept is that at root it is based on passing judgment. Praise is judgment of who we are. Acknowledgment is based on what we did. Thanks for nudging me to further clarify this in my thinking. I've been chewing on the distinction for over twenty years.

Safe and blessed travels!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'll be thinking of you, Karen, and looking forward to seeing some great photos when you get back. I hope you have a wonderful trip.