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
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Much of the metaphysical teachings say we need to think positively. Frankly, that didn't work for me because it sets my expectations way high. Then, when things don't go the way I expect them to, I can be devastated, or disappointed, or whatever. I go into things with no expectations. That's different than negative expectations. No expectations allows me to turn the whole thing over to the Universe or God or Spirit. Whatever outcome happens, it's what is.
Being realistic is another aspect I've struggled with. Being realistic as opposed to being in denial, i.e. that person just told me they hate my guts but I'm still making excuses for their behavior. Or being realistic as opposed to fantasy land, i.e. My weight is 132 pounds and I'm going to lose 15 pounds by next Sunday because I have an event to go to. Being realistic means knowing the facts, accepting the facts, and and moving on from there.
Faith means trusting in the unseen, the unknown, the mysteries of life and spirituality. It doesn't mean that if I turn everything over to Spirit it's all going to be all right. There may still be an outcome I hate. And that's the part of the spiritual journey most difficult to handle. My family member who has some disturbing symptoms might have a disease that will completely alter their life. We won't know for awhile. All I can do is continue not to have expectations, one way or the other, gather the facts, and trust the journey. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing the same is true for my writing - no expectations, write the words, and trust the journey. Hmmm.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I'm starting to have weird conversations with friends. Like one who is turning 55. He's realizing how different he is at that age from his parents. So am I. Different than my parents were at this age. I feel better than I have ever in my life, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I try not to dwell on thoughts about the time to come when I will begin to lose friends, lose physical and cognitive functioning. It is a reality that looms, but I know better than to worry about it. Acceptance is the key. With grace and dignity, if possible. Until then, however, I intend to live my life as fully and as passionately as possible, dancing and singing and writing as long as I possibly can.
Hubs has been MIA for several months now. A major project at work keeps him working 7 days a week, night and day. His body may be home, but he's somewhere else. I miss him. The end is now in sight, though. It will be nice to have him back. I don't do well in isolation.
To reward him for his hard work, and to give us some time together and will some dear friends, we're going to take a cruise on one of those big monstrosities. I have no desire to do this, but hubs does. We're going to the Southern Caribbean, with stops in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Grenada, Barbados, and a few other places.
I think it will be relaxing. Unfortunately, it's not until December.
I don't think I'll be posting a video of the skit from camp singing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." It wasn't very good vocally, although it was hilarious as a performance. I'd rather post Sugartime singing one of our songs, as soon as we get a video made. Hope that's ok with everyone who wanted to see that particular thing.
What are you musing about today?
Friday, August 27, 2010
By the time I finished blogging, it was lunch time. After lunch, I sat down with the computer on my lap and, nothing, nada, zero, zip, zilch. Five minutes. Ten minutes. 20 minutes. What's going on here. I cleared my schedule. I showed up, ready, willing and able. Sighing, I put the laptop on hibernate and got up to sing.
Croak. Cough. Tight throat. Warbling off key cause of hoarseness. Shut down equipment, I'll sing later. Yeah right.
It's 2 pm and I'm still in my jammies. It's 90+ degrees outside, too hot to walk. Do I do my Richard Simmons tape like I'm supposed to when I don't walk. Nope, by this time I'd gotten myself in a snit, feeling sorry for myself, questioning calling myself a writer. After all, writers write.
Now it's dinner time. Hubby comes home. I cry on his shoulder. I take a deep breath, tell myself everyone has days like this, and tomorrow is another day. But Tuesday was the one day in the week I'd scheduled appointments, so no writing was going to happen.
So what's the lesson here? Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break. Put down those whips. Trust your process. Maybe I needed a day of nothing. I'm writing this on Tuesday for posting Friday, so I can't tell you how the writing went the rest of the time. I'll save that for another post.
So what to do when nothing happens. Nothing. Just breathe and move on.
What do you do when nothing happens?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
|<>>||Hungarian dance Szegenes|
Y'all seemed to enjoy the pics from folkdance camp so much, I thought I'd post some more. Enjoy! Formatting these was a nightmare, as you can see. Sorry about that, folks. Blessings, Karen
Monday, August 23, 2010
I will blog sporadically, as the focus will be on writing (not blog posts). So, be well, everyone, and I'll be back in touch soon.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Most of my life, I've been afraid of anger - either my own or others. My father was volatile. You never knew from one moment to the next whether he'd explode or why. My mother would become stony when angered, face frozen in a perpetual scowl. I simply shut down.
I've worked long and hard on myself, learning to recognize anger signs in others and in myself. Rather than turning anger into hurt or depression as I used to do, I allow myself to feel the feelings, calm down and then express myself.
These skills are being tested in one of my circle of friends. One person is trying to change the way things are done and the way things are being done doesn't need changing - it works. We've patiently explained each time the issue is raised why we do things the way we do, but this person keeps finding new ways to broach the subject again. It feels manipulative and controlling.
In the past, I would have simply complied in order to not have conflict. I can no longer do that, especially if I firmly believe in what I'm doing and why. So I am angry. The way I see it, I am left with two choices. I can continue to allow this person to disrupt the unity of the group, hoping they'll stop. Or, the next time it happens, I can say, "This isn't working for me and obviously this group isn't working for you."
Am I missing a choice here somewhere? How do you handle this kind of conflict?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Someone I care deeply about is very frightened right now. They've got some physical symptoms that could potentially be quite serious. For six weeks, I have been trying to reassure them I don't believe it is the disease they think it is. Rather, it is a wake-up call to make some changes in their life.
But fear can be contagious. If you listen long enough to someone who is coming from fear, it is so easy to begin to buy into their belief system. And our belief systems dictate how we move through the world. The last thing this person needs is for me to begin to believe they have a dreaded disease and to become frightened about the possibilities of what that means for them.
All I can do is hold onto my faith that there are reasons this is happening; that the symptoms are treatable and it is possible to get some relief from them so they do not continue to impair functioning. The question is, how do you help someone get out of fear mentality and into action mode, since fear paralyzes us?
Monday, August 16, 2010
My Monday morning musings are about gratitude. I am grateful to Tabitha Bird http://tabithabird.blogspot.com/ for hosting me on Friday. I wrote about the power of memoir and the discussion over there was quite interesting. If you haven't already, please visit Tabitha. She's a very gifted writer.
I'm getting ready to take a trip back to my beloved Portland, Oregon next week, but for some reason, I don't really feel like going and I'm not sure why. I miss the friends I am going to see very much and want to see them. I miss the ocean. I miss the energy of that city. Not sure if I should really pay attention to this feeling and not go. In the past, when I haven't listened, it's been a huge mistake. But there's nothing I can pinpoint that is logical. Although I know not everything has a logical explanation. As it gets closer, guess I'll have to make a decision.
How about you? Do you get these little niggles when you are faced with something to do, somewhere to go, etc.? Do you always listen? If not, what happens?
Friday, August 13, 2010
http://tabithabird.blogspot.com/. If you haven't already done so, you must check out her blog. She is one of the best writers I've come across in bloggydom. Tab was concerned about the "bad rap" memoir seems to have and asked me to write about the power of memoir. If you have a chance, please stop there today and say hello.
Ann Best, passed along the Circle of Friends award to me while I was away at folkdance camp. If you haven't done so already, please check out Ann's blog. She is a gifted writer and her blog is one of the blessings I've found in bloggydom: http://ann-jen.blogspot.com/
Glynnis Smy at http://www.glynissmy.com/
Mason Canyon at http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/
Jemi Fraser at http://jemifraser.blogspot.com/
Sharon Lippincott at http://losalamosgirlhood.wordpress.com/
Tabitha Bird at http://tabithabird.blogspot.com/
Please give yourselves a gift and check out these wonderful bloggers. Each one has something unique to share with us.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I haven't received attention from a male other than my husband in years. When women reach somewhere around 40, men stop looking. It used to bother me, but I attributed it to being extremely overweight. Then, after I lost weight and I still felt invisible, I simply came to terms with it. What does it matter anyone. My hubs thinks I'm beautiful - that's all that matters.
So it was a totally unexpected gift this man gave to me. And I am working on taking it in. In the scheme of things, it is a small thing. But in my life, with the majority of it spent having extremely low self-esteem, it was truly lovely to receive such a compliment at 61. And to know that this man expected nothing in return.
I will be thinking about the kinds of unexpected gifts I can pass along to others, since it felt so good to be on the receiving end of one. How about you?
Monday, August 9, 2010
You asked for pictures, so here are a few. Enjoy! This is yours truly all gussied up for the Gems and Minerals party theme. The dress is copper-colored - it doesn't really show that in this photo.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I have folkdanced off and on since I'm 16 and it is definitely one of my passions, although bodily injuries like arthroscopic knee surgery, a fractured ankle, and rotator cuff surgery on my shoulder have certainly hampered it in the last few years. But if those things hadn't happened, I wouldn't have found my passion for singing, so go figure. Hopefully, my soul has learned to get life lessons without illness or injury.
At camp, we stay in dormitories at New Mexico State University in Socorro, NM. We eat in the cafeteria, dance all day and party at night. Then, when the dancing is done, the guitars come out and the singing begins. Exhilirating, intense, exhausting, and a total blast - that's August Camp.
So, I won't be visiting your blogs on Friday cause I'll be, well, all of the above...so, see ya next week, y'all.