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, October 23, 2012

telling the truth tuesday

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
Maya Angelou
Letter to my Daughter

When I landed in Portland I was greeted by a vibrant double rainbow, all colors of the spectrum quite clear. Then, when I arrived at my destination.I found this book and this line in the intro.
Blessings
karen

Friday, October 19, 2012

Off to the Pacific Northwest

In 1994, I sold everything I owned, except my computer and personal photos and journals and moved to Albuquerque, NM from Portland, Oregon. I left because I was getting yet another divorce and didn't think I could heal if I stayed there. You'll have to read my memoir to find out why!

I loved Portland, Oregon. I love the Pacific Northwest. I consider it my "spiritual home." I will be going back for a visit and will be gone till all next week, so I won't be posting or visiting. I'm actually seeing this as a vacation from everything - including writing.

So, be well, don't forget me and I'll leave you with this thought:

What you think of me is none of my business. Think about it - it has changed my life to let go of what others think of me.
How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Telling the truth Tuesday - oops

Got up this morning and realized I'd forgotten to write a post for today. Oops. So,what is my truth today? I'm taking care of all sorts of things, important things, that I've put off because they are difficult. Things like appointments with attorneys for wills, health care directives, living wills, etc. All of these things are taking time and energy and, alas, no writing this past week. I've come to accept when this happens because now I know that it doesn't matter how long I stay away from my story. When I come back to it, my Muse will still be there for me.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Musings - hanging out with friends

My husband grew up in a small town in the Texas Panhandle. I grew up in New York City. There are other major differences, but that's for another post another day. Today's post is about old friends. Hubby has a good friend whom he has known since they were one. At our wedding, this friend said they've known each other since they were in swaddling clothes. That is mind boggling to me. This weekend, that childhood friend came to stay with us.

I guess I have been in so many relationships and moved so many times and changed locales so often (New York to Portland Oregon to Albuquerque NM) that I didn't maintain connections. The friends I have now that I am still close with, I've known for, at most, 28 years. I am in touch with one childhood friend, whom I re-connected with thru Classmates.com, but we are not close.

There is something so wonderful about being with people whom you have shared childhood memories with. Someone who has seen you through many life events, whether tragic or joyful. It's made me want to re-connect with my first cousins, whom I've kind of lost track of.

My friends now really know me well. They understand and "get" me. Those are the kind of folks I want around me. Ones I don't have to worry what I say and what I do. They're love for me won't change.

How about you? Do you have childhood friends still in your life today? Tell me how you feel about whether you do or don't.
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stopping to Smell the Roses

I am changing. It used to be that in order for me to feel good about myself I had to have been productive, meaning accomplishing tasks. How much I accomplished impacted how good or bad I felt. Isn't that ridiculous? How could we let what we accomplish change how we feel about who we are? I wish it hadn't taken being retired for me to understand this.

The other day I gave myself a day off from my to-do list. And yes, even tho' I'm "retired," I still have to-do lists. On my day off, I exercised, because I wanted to, not because I had to. And I curled up with a book for most of the rest of the day. I can't remember the last time I did that.

I guess some would say I did accomplish something - I started and finished a book. I could even delude myself by saying it was "research," since I'm now writing fiction and reading fiction is part of what I do to make my writing better. But that wouldn't be the truth. Because really, all I was doing was enjoying a good read and paying attention to my soul, which needed a time-out from all other activities.

So, how about you? Do you stop to smell the roses?
Blessings,
karen

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Fall

Fall is my favorite time of the year and the trees are just beginning to turn here in Albuquerque. Further North they've already shifted to the yellows and reds that I love so much. Fall reminds me of a very good part of childhood - the beginning of the school year. I loved buying new notebooks and pens and pencils and crayons. I still buy the notebooks and pens in September. Haven't bought crayons in years. Hmmm....now there's a thought.

Don't you just love new beginnings. A time when the slate is wiped clean and you begin anew. It is an opportunity to leave everything behind. The Jewish new year occurs this time of year and culminates with Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. Not that I would know much - I never studied the religion I was born into but do not follow. But what I love about Yom Kippur is the concept of recognizing your sins, accepting them, and letting them go. In other words, honoring the fact that you are human. You make mistakes. You can forgive yourself and move on.

That is what Fall means to me.
How about you?
Blessings,
karen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Musings: Light at the end of the tunnel

The novel I am writing has three parts. I have completed the first two and am now working on the third section. When I say completed, let me clarify. It is bare bones, people. When I finish this last part, I will probably have, maybe 50,000 words if I'm lucky. I will have to go back and flush the story out, adding craft techniques, etc. But I'm not worried about that. I am just so grateful this story is emerging out of the depths of my soul and the magic of the universe. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get it down and make it into something I hope others will want to read. There were days when I thought I'd remain stuck in the darkness forever. It is lovely to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

How about you?
Where are you on your projects?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, October 5, 2012

Taking a Day Off

This is the first day in a long time I don't have any outside appointments and it's not my exercise day, so I am taking the day to focus on my writing. Be well everyone. Have a fantastic weekend and I'll catch you all on Monday.
Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group - October


It's that time of month again. No, not that time of month. Gosh, haven't had that for years now.
No, it's the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group time of the month, hosted by the intrepid Ninja Captain Alex: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. It's where we get to write about our insecurities and hopefully share our experiences in handling said insecurities.

I was an insecure person to begin with. I basically had no sense of self until I began my spiritual journey at 28 years old (35 years ago, yikes). My sense of self has grown steadily since then and now it's pretty healthy, I'd say. Except for two areas, and they happen to be two of the most important areas of my life - singing and writing.

Since this is the writers support group, I'll focus on that. I am pretty secure in my nonfiction writing. But now, at 63, I am working on my first ever fiction piece and my insecurities are running rampant. The same old voice that used to visit me while writing my memoir, the one that says, "who do you think you are?" is back. So is one that says, you can't write metaphors. You don't do descriptions well. No one will ever want to read this. Yada yada yada.

Bottom line. This story came to me in a magical way while visiting magical places in Ireland and Scotland. This story won't go away, even if I leave it for long periods of time. I know I am meant to complete this book, even if it never sees the light of day after that.

So, insecurities be damned, I say.

What do you say?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - a new paradigm

Up until I was 20 years old, I was a thin person. I could eat whatever I wanted and never gain an ounce. Then poof! Went on birth control pills. Gained 30 pounds. And, until the last few years, yo-y'd those same 30 plus another 30 pounds. Fast forward to today. I have maintained a 63-pound weight loss and weigh what I weighed at 19.

Now, instead of guilt-ridden meals eating out, worrying about how much salt something has, whether I will gain 2 pounds and how long will it take to lose it, I can eat a meal in a restaurant and just enjoy it. Don't get me wrong. I still have to make wise choices. Otherwise I'll be right back where I was. But there's a little flexibility there. And the guilt is gone.

It is definitely a new paradigm for me, and one I am enjoying very much.
How about you?
Karen

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Musings - prioritizing to do lists

I have always been a compulsive list maker. I now have a notebook just for my list. I write the first one. Then as I begin to cross things off and add to it, it gets messy, so I re-write it on the next page and so on and so on. But I read somewhere over the weekend that it's easy to get caught up in getting your to-do list done, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are being productive. What makes you productive is creating categories for your to-do list to ensure you get the most important things done before everything else. I love this.

How about you?
Karen