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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Real life versus life of story

Do any of you have trouble shaking off the life of your story and coming back to real life? I'm writing about a very dark time and I'm finding that my mood is very much affected for hours after writing. I have trouble focusing on the next activity, still somehow back in my story.

Having never written fiction before, I have no idea if this is normal. It's certainly not fun. So if it is common, how to shake free and live your real life when you're not writing?

For those of you who aren't writers, this same issue applies if something is bothering you and you can't shake it off.

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - ripening with age

Who would have thought that I'd feel better about myself at age 63 than I did in my teens, twenties, thirties or forties. But I do. I am in better physical health than ever, despite a painful, arthritic knee. I weigh what I weighted when I was 19 - and that is pretty darn slim. I even put makeup on occasionally.  For those of you who haven't read my memoir, my father called me a "whore" when I put lipstick on for a dance recital when I was six and that made it difficult for me to do anything to my appearance to make me look better. I also struggle with wanting to be "natural." I've always wondered why men don't have to wear makeup to look better? It doesn't seem fair.

Anyway, back to my topic - ripening with age. That's how I feel--as if I am ripening, like an avocado or a peach.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Musings: perspective

Everything is a matter of perspective. If I stay focused on myself and don't compare myself to anyone else, I can usually keep my perspective. My path is my path; my destiny my own--no one else's. No one can say I should do this or I should do that, because it's my path and I will stumble or stay on it, depending on the choices I make.

I need to continually remind myself to remember perspective. It's all how we look at things. If I view the world from my "unwanted" perspective, everything looks very different than when I view it from my "wanted" perspective. Right alongside perspective in the scheme of things is assumption-making. If I come from my unwanted core, I usually make incorrect assumptions about the person, place or thing. If I come from my wanted core, I understand that for whatever reason, the other person made a decision or choice that didn't include me, but I also understand that doesn't necessarily mean I'm unwanted.

Bette Midler sang a song years ago all about perspective. It was called From a Distance. And it says what I'm trying to say here much better than I can. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fky1dfANPiI

What is your perspective?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, August 24, 2012

Writing and my mood

I have some good news for a change. I have 90 pages written on my novel (28,000 words). Yikes. Since it feels like I've been pulling teeth practically the whole time, this says a lot. I can probably safely say I'm almost halfway done. Like with most things in my life that have been worthwhile, I am doing this kicking and screaming the whole way. It's hard. One of the hardest things I've ever done. I have no idea if anyone will want to read it, and frankly, at this point I don't really care. I just need to write it. That's it. That's all I'm focusing on. This is what following the whispers is all about. Following the whisperings of my heart and my spirit.

Do you listen to those messages when it's something really difficult and you don't want to do it?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Unwanted

I think I uncovered the root of my depression. Or at least a core belief that causes me to feel depressed. I have felt unwanted since I'm about 3. I realized yesterday while journalling that until I was 3 years old, I was a pretty happy-go-lucky child. But it was around that time that I began to believe that my parents didn't want me. I know now that wasn't true - it was how I interpreted their behavior - but it shaped a core belief. That belief followed me with boyfriends, and even with my own child.

I knew I felt "left out" of things, but this is different. I also know I am deeply loved by my hubby and that he "wants" me. And I'm not talking about sexual attraction here. It's a deep wanting to be with someone. Wanting that someone in your life. Wanting to spend time with that someone.

This unwanted feeling hits me frequently. I won't list all the instances here, but it was astounding to me to see how often I feel this way. So now what?

First step always on my spiritual journey is to accept what is. So that's where I am. I am accepting that much of the time I feel unwanted. What usually follows acceptance is an ability to catch those feelings in the moment and shift the energy, because this has been operating on an unconscious level all of my life. Now I am shining a light in this dark place.

Do you ever feel unwanted?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Musings: taking a break

Over the weekend I was overcome with a bout of depression. No need to worry. I've been here before and I know I'll come out of it, but I need to take a break and take care of myself.
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Friday!!

Just want to wish everyone a happy weekend. I had a challenging week with several equipment glitches and totally stress me out. But all is well. We're off to sing today - hi ho hi ho
hope everyone relaxes and has some fun!
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - missing out

For most of my life I've had a difficult time if I felt I was missing things. As an only child, I felt left out if my parents went into their room and left me alone. If I was not included when friends got together, I felt left out. If I am with several friends, and two of them are talking and I am not included, I feel left out. It used to make me feel like I was missing something crucial. And it made me feel unloved.

I know now that you can't be included in everything. People have gatherings in their home and certain people are invited and certain people aren't and it doesn't mean the ones that aren't invited aren't loved. Over the years, I am much less reactive if I feel I am missing something. This past weekend, my husband went to our annual folkdance camp. I didn't go because my knee won't let me folkdance right now without a great deal of pain, so I am choosing not to folkdance.

It was much easier than last year, when I was miserable the entire weekend, wondering what I was missing in terms of the dances being taught and the conversations people were having. This year, I stayed focused on things I wanted and needed to do and didn't spent much time wondering what was going on at camp that I was missing. I guess I realized there's a whole world of people and places and things I am missing, but if I spend my time feeling bad about what I am missing, I am not fully present in the moment I am in.

What are you missing out on? Do you care?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Musings: Accepting what is

I have good news. These past few months have been dry in terms of working on my novel. Nothing has happened. But I felt empty inside not writing. Last week I had coffee with my former writing coach, Mark David Gerson http://markdavidmuse.blogspot.com. We hadn't seen each other in a while and spent the time catching up, and of course, talking about our writing. Or in my case, my non-writing. Mark David just looked at me and said, "You just need a kick in the ass." I cracked up. I also admitted I don't want to write the novel but I don't feel as if I have a choice.

The next morning I opened the document and wrote two pages. The following morning, another few. Accepting what is - that I don't want to write this book - somehow freed me and words are once again emerging.

Mark David said something else that stuck with me. Resistance is futile. Why is it so difficult to accept some spiritual truths?

Do you resist what you know you to be true?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, August 10, 2012

Making Choices

I'm beginning to think we have choice about everything, even the things we think just "happen."
We may not be choosing consciously, but somehow the events of my life all lead me to where I'm supposed to be, even if it's difficult.

I don't want to write the novel I am writing - for all sorts of reasons. I don't believe I have the skills and talent to do it. I don't believe I am the right person to write this particular story. I don't have the energy to do whatever will be necessary to market it once it's done. Yada yada yada. But the truth is, this story chose me. Now I have a choice to listen to it or not. There are consequences either way.

Writing, for me, is the way I make sense out of my life. It synthesizes my thoughts and feelings and the events which occur in a way talking about it or thinking about it does not do. So not writing is not an option. But not writing this novel - is that an option?

I don't think so because I don't think I want to live my life with the emptiness inside that comes when I don't do what I am feeing compelled or urged to do from my Higher Self. I don't know what those are but I know from past experience, I don't want to find out.

So, I am re-committing myself to spending time with my story and getting myself to a place where it begins to emerge from deep within me.

What choices are you facing these days?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - what the Olympic athletes taught me

I am very hard on myself. Always have been. When I learn something knew, I expect to get it "instantly" and am very impatient with the learning curve. When I don't get it "instantly," I feel flawed and inadequate. In recent years, I have learned to "put down the whips" (a saying from the twelve step programs). But I haven't always been able to do that.

One area in which I am most critical of myself is my singing. I was never trained. I took voice lessons beginning at 55+ years old. Just for fun. Now I am in a trio and singing on key and sounding decent is important. When I had terrible stage fright, I went off pitch quite a lot. Now, not so much. But still, every once in awhile I go flat. I think it's an energy and breathing issue.

Anyway, I was watching gymnastics the other night and these young girls are such amazing athletes and have trained intensively for hours a day, every day, for years for this one moment in time. And even with all that training and all the skill and talent, they make mistakes. And I suddenly got that we are all human, and as such, unless we are recording something over and over until we get it right, when you are live, in the moment, anything can happen. But that doesn't mean they aren't extremely talented, skilled athletes. It just means something happened for them to lose focus or whatever.

Same is true for me. How about you? Are you too hard on yourself?
Let's all practice "putting down the whips."

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Musings: weekend getaway

Spent a lovely weekend with five other women, celebrating one woman's upcoming nuptials. So different from when we were in our twenties and didn't have a clue as to what was really going on. There is an inner and outer strength which comes with aging--thank goodness--because physical capacity is diminishing at the same time. I wonder if anyone has this core inner strength when they are younger. I certainly didn't. It's hard to describe, but it encompasses a knowingness, a peacefulness, a calmer energy. All I can say is I'm enjoying this sixth decade much more than I thought possible.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, August 3, 2012

The important things in life

I used to think one of the most important things in life was for me to complete my to-do list each day. Now I know better. It serves more as a guideline and a way for me to remember what it is I want or need to do. But it's much more important for me to be fully present and available, both to myself and others. This week, for example, one dear friend needed help moving. Another one needed to be brought to the doctor. And I needed to re-group after Sugartime's house concert last Sunday. So my to-do list went out the window.

Can you let go of your list and just be?
Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Insecure Writers' Support Group - July

I'm not insecure anymore. I'm just not working on my novel. I figure if I'm meant to write this darned thing, my Muse will let me know. In the meantime, I'm toodling along, singing a bunch, working out, hanging with hubs and with friends. Life's too short to fret over things that are not or over things I have done or things I am not doing which I think I should. Don'tcha agree?
Karen