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, December 21, 2012

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

WISHING EVERYONE HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND JOYOUS NEW YEAR. SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR! ENJOY!

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - The Pollyanna Plan

I finished reading Talli Roland's latest chic lit novel, The Pollyanna Plan. When I pick up a chic lit book to read, I pretty much know what to expect. It's going to be light hearted. It's going to be fairly predictable. And it's going to have a happy ending. But Talli's managed to write a book that fits this genre and make it real at the same time. From the first pages, I cared about the main character and wanted to know what was going to happen to her. And when the male protagonist entered the scene, I cared about him as well, particularly since he is coping with a devastating disease diagnosis.

It's not easy to take readers to a place where they relate emotionally to a what a character is going through. It's especially not easy when the genre is chic lit. Talli's managed it here beautifully. To find Talli and how to get her books, go here: http://talliroland.blogspot.com





Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories – complete with happy endings. Twice shortlisted for the UK’s Festival of Romance, Talli's novels have also been chosen as Amazon Customer Favourites and top books of the year by industry review websites. She’s a bestseller in Britain and the United States. To learn more about Talli, visit her Amazon Author Page, go to her website, follow her on Twitter, or check out her blog.  


Have you read any books lately that have moved you emotionally?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Musings - Trust

Are you a trusting person? I don't think I am. I am someone who tries to do what she says she's going to do. And if I can't do it, I let the person know I can't do it. I also try to be very honest with folks and speak my truth. But I don't always do it because I'm afraid of hurting someone's feelings or I'm afraid they'll disappear from my life if I speak the truth. So I'm realizing that basically I don't trust.
I don't trust that others' are speaking their truth to me for the very same reasons I don't always share truthfully. I don't trust that others' will do what they say they will do. I don't trust the reasons people give me for not doing something. As someone close to me told me recently, I make up my own stories about the whys and wherefores. Which makes sense, since I'm a writer. But it doesn't make sense in the real world.

How do you discern whether someone is being truthful? How do you learn to trust yourself enough to speak the truth and trust the outcome, whatever that may be?

How about you? What are you musing about today?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, December 14, 2012

Setting priorities

I received a lesson in setting priorities. A friend agreed to do something with me that was really important to me. Then, as we tried to fit times to work on it into our calendars, she found she was super busy and, although I didn't want to say it, I suggested that maybe she was too busy to do this with me. After a short pause, she agreed that perhaps it would be better that way.

I was devastated. All my old issues flared up - she doesn't love me. What I want and need isn't important. And the bottom line - I don't matter. All I shared with her was that I was very disappointed because I had been looking forward to this project with her and it made me sad that we weren't going to do it.

As I processed my emotional responses, I realized that the filter through which I view the world is colored by that bottom-line core belief that I don't matter. I offer to help others, not out of the benevolence of my spirit, but because that will ensure that I matter. I try too hard at everything, because once again, that will make me feel like I matter.

So, I am working on shifting that core belief, which is not easy because it operates unconsciously. I need to train myself to recognize when those feelings kick in and catch them in the moment. In the meantime, I can learn a lesson from my friend who said no to our project because there were higher priorities in her life than me, which is a whole different thing than me believing I don't matter to her.

Oy vay!
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - being sick is not fun!

I've been down for the count since a week ago Friday when I landed in the emergency room with bronchitis and a sinus infection. I keep hoping I'll feel better, and the truth is, I do, but not better enough. Some things just linger longer, and this is one of them. I've had no energy. If I try to do something, it exhausts me even more, so I don't do anything. Today I am going to act as if I'm healthy and see if I can shift the energy because being sick is just not fun!

How about you? Hope all is well and you are looking forward to the holidays.
Blessings,
karen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Musings - Honoring Alex

I'm not following the rules of the blogfest. Just felt like doing my own thing here.

When I began blogging, I never imagined in a million years that I would actually make friends. People I've grown to care about and yes, love. I've only met a few in person. Most live in other places. It was such an unexpected outcome to something I chose to do to help promote my memoir.

One of the biggest blessings in the blogging world is Alex J. Cavanaugh. http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com

He began blogging right around the same time I did. He says it was because of the one book he had in him, CassaStar. Now, he's finished the third book in that trilogy, has 1700+ followers on his blog, is surely the best friend to bloggers there is, because he lets us all know in every post what's happening with everyone else.

And best of all. He is just a really nice guy who really loves his wife, is maintaining his privacy, to the sadness of all of us who would love to see what he looks like.

So, here's to Alex (raising a glass here) a man who most assuredly deserves the honors he is receiving today all over bloggydom.

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, December 7, 2012

Final scenes from Guatemala

Iximche - Mayan ruins
A Mayan Fire Ceremony

Children of Santo Domingo

Are you in love like me?

Tuk Tuk - Guatemalan taxi

As I said, I had no intention of ever going to Guatemala, but I'm glad I had an opportunity to visit this beautiful country. I fell in love with the people and the colors and the kindness and gentleness I found there. We only stayed one night in Guatemala City, where crime is rampant and it is advised not to walk at night. In Antigua, there is such a high police presence, crime is not a huge issue. What struck me most is the contentment I felt from the people, despite what I consider to be extreme poverty. The people who begged on the streets broke my heart and the children selling their homemade crafts stole it.

Have you been to what is considered a third world country? How did it affect you?
Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - December

It's the first Wednesday of the month and therefore time for another round of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by our wonderful blogging buddy, Alex J. Cavanaugh, http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com.

If you don't know Alex, you must go meet him immediately. Thanks again, Alex, for being you and doing all you do for the blogging world.

Here goes....

Since I've been traveling, I haven't written anything on my novel. And when I returned home, I got slammed with bronchitis and a sinus infection, so writing is just not happening right now. I'm not insecure. I'm questioning whether it's even meant to be. I mean, I know I'm meant to write this book. Otherwise, why would that voice have come to me in Ireland. It's two thirds of the way done. I am probably still mulching the third and last part. I know this. Yet still I question. It doesn't help when there are blogfests that ask people to talk about what blogs they would miss if they stopped and mine wasn't mentioned once that I'm aware of. I'm not asking for sympathy here folks. It's a reality I need to look at. Perhaps what I'm doing here is just not of interest to folks such that they would miss it if it were gone. But does that mean I should stop? I don't think so.

Please please please don't respond to this by trying to make me feel better by saying you would, indeed miss my blog. That is not the purpose of this blog post. This is supposed to be our opportunity to share our insecurities and that's all I'm doing here folks. Sharing those yucky thoughts that keep me from doing what I'm supposed to do. Probably part of why I'm feeling this way is that I'm sick. But what's my excuse when I'm well?

As my energy returns, I will do what I always do. Return to the blank page and wait for the words to come. I will continue to post to my blog because it is something I enjoy doing. And I love keeping up with all of you and knowing what's on your minds and in your hearts.

So, forgive my whine today. Next month I promise to be more positive.
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - street scenes from Guatemala

One of several volcanoes framing the old capital city of Antigua












Hubby took this shot , capturing the volcano underneath an ancient colonial arch.


A mercado in Antigua




The colors are so vibrant here. Isn't she lovely. This was in an artisan's mercado in Antigua.



Words fail me. She was begging just outside the mercado




Antigua's Bus Station
The volcano speaks!
T

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Musings: Thoughts on Guatemala

I had no intention to go to Guatemala. It was not high on my travel wish list. But our nephew met a Guatemalan girl when he was in the Peace Corp there, fell in love, and the wedding took place last weekend on beautiful Lake Attitlan in Pontajachel, Guatemala.







It was clearly the most beautiful setting for a wedding I've ever seen, other than in a movie.
That's a volcano in the background.

The ceremony took place here, then, under a tent with magical lights and the lake and volcano in the background, we danced the night away while eating glorious food and drinking fabulous wine. What more could one ask for?





Prior to the wedding, the bride's family, who are a traditional Mayan family, hosted all the guests who had come from the United States for the wedding at their familial land.
Here are some of the Mayan neighbors who helped cook the delicious meal we were served.

This occurred on Thanksgiving Day and it will remain one of the most memorable Thanksgivings I've ever had. Despite language barriers, love flowed as freely as the sweet tea we were served between these two families of such different cultures. 

More tomorrow....

Blessings,
Karen