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, June 29, 2010
My energy has shifted completely to the new work. Between that and my singing group, life with hubby, and time with friends and family, I don't have much left over. Still, when I read other authors' blogs, hear how much effort and energy they are putting into promoting their books, I wonder if I did enough.
Since I was a marketing professional for 30+ years, I know the answer to that question is no. I didn't. But my intention with "Following the Whispers" was never about selling books. It was about turning all the pain, angst, and lessons learned into something positive--something that might benefit others.
Frankly, it worries me about this new writing--that I might not have any energy for promotion once I'm done. But I can't dwell there. That will stop the creative process right in its tracks. I can only do what I can do from one moment to the next, setting honorable intentions, putting one foot in front of the other, breathing in and out as deeply as possible, and letting go of results.
Thank goodness I'm not dependent on my book for income. It is only about self-esteem and feeling as if I have value on this Earth. Which, by the way, I now know I do.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Used to be, I bore all of that, internally and externally. It is difficult to find a balance between being aware of what is going on, both in the world and in peoples' lives that I care about, but not getting so caught up in it that I am thrown helter skelter.
One way I am dealing with this is not watching or reading the news. Believe me, someone will let me know what is going on at some point. I won't remain out of the loop for long. But I find I can keep my emotional balance better without the media inciting me to a frenzy.
Another thing I've taken on is a living plant. In the past, I killed plants because I never knew when to water, not to water, how much to water. But I need to connect to Mother Earth on a daily basis, so I bought a small plant. I need to touch the soil daily to see if it's dry. Then I need to learn how much water she needs. And how much sunlight. This is a big step for me, and it's hard to put out on this blog, because I know many of you are into gardening and growing herbs. Wish I was more that way.
How do you keep you balance in the midst of world and personal chaos?
Friday, June 25, 2010
But life is a roller coaster. Sometimes things creep slowly, like the cars inching slowly up that steep incline. There is time to catch your breath, perhaps think through some things, even imagine things to come. Then you reach the pinnacle, a moment of pure exhiliration, a deep breath, aaah, yes. Whoosh, you are off and running, helter skelter, out of control, fear of death, fear of crashing, maybe some good adrenalin mixed in with the fear, until you come screeching to a halt right back where you began.
I keep thinking I'm going to get someplace where the roller coaster will remain dormant. That I can coast without having to climb the incline or crash down the other side. I wonder if whoever invented the roller coaster knew it was such a great metaphor for how life really is.
Buddy's blood sugar levels are fluctuating madly, 82 one day, 380 the next. I'm trying not to let my emotions take that roller coaster ride - he's okay, he's going to die, he's okay, he's going to die. I remind myself to breathe. I do what I know I need to do to get and remain centered. There will always be ups and downs. The trick is to not be yanked either way. Go with the flow.
Are you up or down or somewhere in the middle?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
But getting back to the topic at hand--feeling different--it wasn't until very recently that I've come to the conclusion that being different isn't a negative. Truth is, we're all different, we just learn to conform. It's what humans do. Being okay with being different is part of accepting myself as I truly am and letting go of the chameleon aspect of my personality that adapted to everyone and everything around me in order to be liked and to fit in.
What kept me that way all these years was a fear of growing old and being alone. Now, it's in my solititude that I grow the most, so if I end up old and alone, perhaps it won't be so bad. But I don't think that's my destiny.
How do you feel about being different? Are you? If so, how?
Monday, June 21, 2010
We have good news! Our doggy, Buddy, is doing much better. His blood sugar levels have come way down, which means he is no longer insulin resistant. So, he has diabetes, a thyroid condition, and arthritis, but he's back to being his sweet, loving, somewhat peppy self. Yippee!! Thanks for all your kind thoughts and well wishes.
I am in a major transformational period in my life and it feels as if I am walking on sand. The foundation underneath me is uneven, soft in places, hard in others. I never know from one moment to the next how I'm going to feel, think, see, or be. And neither do my friends and family. They are good changes, I think. But change is change, and everyone reacts to change differently.
A friend and I were talking the other day how, when you know people for a long time, other peoples' perceptions of you rarely shift. They don't update the files, no matter how much you change. So, because I was pretty much an emotional basketcase in 1994 when I moved to New Mexico, that is how my friends see me.
The truth is, I am an emotional person. I think feelings are important. If we ignore or deny our feelings, we end up more stressed, more irritable or angry or sad, or we get sick because we've repressed the emotions so much, our bodies have no outlet other than illness. But I am no longer a basket case. I have learned to manage my emotions.
Do you believe people have accurate perceptions of you? If not, do you try to change that?
Friday, June 18, 2010
http://www.glynissmy.com/. Thank you, Glynis, for thinking of me. I'm going to pass on passing this along for now, but reserve the right to do so at a later date. And now for the topic for today: Detachment.
There was a slogan in the 12-step programs that said Detach with love. It was meant for the co-dependent person who was enmeshed with an alcoholic. We were taught that because we didn't cause the disease, couldn't control it and couldn't cure it, we needed to detach from the alcoholic with love. This didn't mean to necessarily remove ourselves from the relationship altogether, although sometimes that is probably necessary. It means to disconnect from the behavior, the negative energy, the drama.
Although I learnt about this almost 40 years ago, I am really just beginning to get it. In every moment, we have choices about how we behave, respond, react. Like the other day, one of my closest friends, upon hearing that I thought she was annoyed when she heard my voice on the phone, said, "No, Karen, that's just you."
I could have just let it go. But I chose to say," No, it's not me. Your tone of voice sounded pissed off."
She then said she'd been expecting the call to be someone else. People have no idea how they come off sometimes. I am continually surprised when someone shares how they perceive what I've said or done.
In the past, I would have been incredibly attached to the above-mentioned conversation and its outcome. I would have worried that she was angry at me. I would have been concerned that if I shared how it made me feel, she'd get even more pissed. Now, however, it was more important for me and my growth to share my feelings with love and detach from the result.
Doing the kind of spiritual work I do, where I am continuously looking at myself, sharing my strengths, my weaknesses, my character flaws, I realize I am placing myself in a vulnerable position for all to see. And comment upon. So if I tell my friends my hormones are bonkers and I'm a bit irritable, that's the filter they than see me through, even though that behavior isn't all of me.
So, detaching from the opinions, thoughts and feelings of others about me and who I am is where I'm at. My work is to be the best Karen I can be in every moment. I succeed some of the time. Some, not so much.
How are you at detaching from the opinion of others?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Until this past Saturday, each time we were to perform, my anxiety would overtake my knowledge that this was supposed to be fun. This anxiety would cause me to hit wrong notes, become irritable with my fellow singers and others. I wasn't able to enjoy the performance because I was too worried about how I'd do, how the audience would like us, etc. I've blogged about all of this before.
How's your gratitude attitude?
Monday, June 14, 2010
That led to the realization that blogging with the intent of marketing cannot be my goal. Marketing can be a side benefit, but for it to fulfill my soul requirements, the intent of blogging would have to be to help others. Most of the blogs I follow and have found in bloggydom, are written by writers who write about writing. I love those blogs and learn a great deal from them. I don't thing bloggydom needs another writer writing about her writing path.
What my blog has become, and it seemed to evolve naturally since I am a memoir writer and personal essayist, is a blog about life--its joys, it's struggles, its idiocyncrocies, its ups and downs, its nuances. I've tried to share my journey, which is a journey to find truth and deeper meaning in my own life. It is the purpose of my writing as well.
To that end, I have decided to continue that journey here on this blog. Only I am going to cut back from five days per week to three. I will post blogs on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, with the new intention of sharing my journey in hopes of helping others along their path. If I sell a few books here and there, that would be nice as well. I've been envious of other writers in bloggydom who have found agents and are well on their way to being traditionally published. But that doesn't seem to be my path. My journey seems to be touching people, one person at a time. And from the comments I have received from those who have read my memoir, I have, indeed, succeeded in doing that.
So, hopefully I'll see you back here tomorrow and Friday. Till then,
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Woke up early Memorial Day and took off to spend the day in Grand Teton National Park. At our first stop two moose wondered about the parking lot, moseying up to folks. Not long after that, we spotted a coyote hunting for prey. Here's a photo of it catching the unfortunate critter.
Next we saw a yellow-bellied Marmot hanging on a pole. We hiked in Cascade Canyon and saw Hidden Falls. After a lovely picnic lunch by String Lake, we spotted pronged horned antelope, a herd of elk, and a mama bear and her two cubs. The lineup of people with cameras watching the bears was almost funnier than the bears themselves.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
In the meantime, we'll be leaving the Tetons Wednesday and heading for Yellowstone.
What happens when you tune out, rid yourself of distractions, take yourself out into nature? My whole body relaxes into the Earth. Breath flows deeper,without any blockages. Inner vision grows and out vision crystallizes. Communication comes easier. What about you?