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, November 2, 2010

Telling the truth Tuesday - being true to ourselves

My writing coach and dear friend, Mark David Gerson http://markdavidmuse.blogspot.com/ has been staying with me for the past five days. If you don't know Mark David, he wrote what has become my favorite writing book, "Voice of the Muse," as well as a fantasy novel, "Moonquest." But it is through his coaching that I have come to know him best.
I have been working with him during the past six months or so to help make the transition from nonfiction to fiction. The journey, as with everything else in my life, is spiritual in nature--overcoming the obstacles that keep me from living the life I was meant to live. But Mark David is also on his own mind-boggling journey. He has been blogging about it, but seeing it up close and personal while he is here in my own makes it that much more real.

We had a long talk the other day--one in which we both ended up in tears as we realized that as incredibly difficult as this journey is for him, it is so very right. And it is so very right because he is walking a path that ultimately allows him to be true to himself and his purpose in every single way. It doesn't look normal - in fact, some would say it's crazy. It doesn't meet conventional standards or conventional wisdom. But so many people who follow all the rules and live their lives the way they think they are supposed to and the way society says we are supposed to, are unhappy.

If I hadn't followed the whisper of my heart to leave Portland, OR and come to New Mexico, I would not have the very blessed life I have right now. Those whispers are sometimes very hard to hear. And once we hear them, they may be very hard to listen to. How do we trust ourselves and our journeys when we come right up against our biggest fears? Mark David doesn't know the answers as to how. But he does know that he can't go backwards, doing the same things he's done before in order to find a way to this new level of living.

As for me, I keep discovering my truths, about me and my issues, about the way I maneuver through my world, and seeking ways to do it better. Sometimes all I can do is trust the process. I have a teacher in my life that is modeling that in the deepest way possible. Thank you, Mark David.



Mason Canyon said...

Inspiring post. We all need to listen and follow what is leading us on this path of life. Sometimes changing paths is difficult, but the right thing to do.

Thoughts in Progress

Joanne said...

I like the idea of not going backwards, doing what we've done before, but rather trying new things to keep evolving and growing. It's a nice philosophy to live by.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Teachers seem to show up in our lives at the exact moment they're needed. I'm not sure how that happens, but I keep my "teacher alert" turned on all the time now.

Jules said...

And sometimes we hear the voices but it the screams from those around us that instill doubt. That is where I am in my journey. You at least have a guide :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jen Chandler said...

Marvelous post! You are very blessed to have such a teacher. I have been without one for several years now, but I'm alwasy learning from those in my virtual circle. I always learn something of great benefit when I stop by here. Thank you :)


Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, Karen. If students are blessed by their teachers, then teachers are doubly blessed by their students. It's always a joy to work with you and to call you a friend.

- Mark David

Sharon Lippincott said...

I so agree with Mark David that teachers are blessed by students. I can't imagine a more grueling fate than to be so out-of-step with the world at large as Mark David finds himself to be. I salute his courage in walking his bizarre path and will continue to stay tuned.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

There’s a I quote I heard that has stuck with me for years. “When you are through changing, you are through.”

Good luck to Mark on his current journey.

Karen Walker said...

Mason, yes, changing paths can be difficult, but oh so necessary to be true to ourselves.
Joanne, yes, I keep remembering the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
patricia, yes, remaining open so we can notice teachers when we need them is key.
JUles, all I can suggest is to try to tune those other voices out - it's hard, I know, but you can do it.
Jen, I'm so glad you find value here.
Mark David, you know how I feel about you.
Sharon, yes, teachers and students both benefit. But I guess I don't find his journey "bizarre." It is different. And it is honest. And he is just trying to tune into his own inner wisdom and heed the messages. Not for the faint of heart, certainly.

Jeri Franz said...

Loved your post..whoever knows where our decisions and dreams and journeys will take us..followed you from karen g's blog....looking forward to more good stuff on this blog from you

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We waste so much time regreting the choices we didn't make when the whole future is before us with endless possibilites!

Ann said...

Wonderful post Karen. I wish I could be strong enough to not look back. I still sometimes wish I hadn't insisted on uprooting my lovely life in Ireland, due to the havoc it created in my relationships and my own sense of self. If I could go back, I wonder.....

Sharon Lippincott said...


The writer's continuing dilemma is walking the fine line between the trite and disconnect with the reader concerning meaning. Your response to my use of bizarre sent me clicking over to dictionary.com. I meant it to emphasize the uniqueness of his journey, not to judge it or cast it in any negative light. After reading the definition, I think it could support either a positive or negative interpretation.

So I appreciate your response to alert me -- and perhaps others -- to think care-full-y before using anything but tried-and-true safe words in potentially emotional situations.

Mark David is indeed blessed to have such a wonderful friend as you, and his many others.

The Old Silly said...

You are SO fortunate to have a coach like Mark, Karen!

Helen Ginger said...

That must be amazing to have your writing coach stay with you. Great friend and great coach.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I admire that you've both tackled something personal in your writing. That takes guts.