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, August 27, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: my spiritual journey

As many of you know, I've had a tough time of it lately dealing with surprising and disturbing medical diagnoses. I wanted to share some of the spiritual truths that helped me get to the positive, inspiring attitude I wrote about here. These are just some of the beliefs that help me understand this universe we live in and how to make sense of things, spiritually.


  • Humans are basically reactive emotionally. I'm learning to stop, or hit a pause button when I notice I'm reacting. Then I tell myself that it's my negative reaction that is the obstacle to my inner peace, not whatever it is I am reacting to. Then I open myself up to allow the Light of Spirit to express my Higher self nature.
  • I am learning to discern what I call the voice of Satan - the voice that talks us out of what is good and into what is bad for us - from the voice of Spirit, which whispers through our intuition, our dreams.
  • Our desires which comes from our ego, needing validation, wanting what others have, thinking we need to have a better house, car, or some other toy, these desires that are purely for self alone, shuts down the LIght from Spirit.
  • When I resist my reactive behavior, my Spirit light keeps shining.
  • Suppression of emotions causes long term stress, which gathers force, builds pressure, and then explodes in some way (either illness, injury or bad behavior).
  • I don't think I deserve joy and happiness if it has come to me in what I consider unearned.
  • Obstacles are an opportunity to connect to the Light - the greater the obstacle, the greater the potential Light.
  • To overcome our reactive nature requires total certainty. When challenges appear overwhelming, inject certainty. THE LIGHT IS ALWAYS THERE.
  • Just like the antidote to snakebite is in the venom, Light is contained within the obstacles of life.
  • Certainty does not mean we get what we want, but we get what we need to further our spiritual growth.
For now, I am certain that I am receiving what I need for my spiritual growth. And if I stop believing for a moment here and there, I act as if...

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Musings: Yippee - DRAFT TWO COMPLETED

I am so jazzed. I finished my first run-through of the manuscript and incorporated all my edits into Draft   number 3. Today, I will print it out so that I can begin going even deeper into the story to see what more is needed and what needs to come out. I have to say this out loud to folks who will understand what I am saying. I love this story so much and sometimes I can't believe it actually came out of me.
I am not the judge of whether it's any good. Editors and readers will do that. I just feel really good about what is here so far. Thank you all for the support and encouragement you've given me over the past few years as I agonized over this manuscript. You rock!

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Commitment to oneself

Last Friday I made a decision. I hadn't worked on my novel in several weeks as I dealt with the medical diagnosis I received. I decided that I would work on it every spare minute this upcoming week. I would get through this second draft revision before I leave for South Africa in mid-September. Other than exercise and Sugartime rehearsals and gigs, there is nothing else that needs to take precedence. This is the priority. I have to stop telling myself it doesn't matter. It does. I have to stop telling myself it's not very good. I am not the judge of that. I have to stop telling myself no one will ever get to read it. They will. Even if it's only friends and family.

How about you? Do you make and keep commitments to yourself. Ones that are important. Or do you let them slide, allowing other chores and responsibilities to take over?

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Musings: getting down to the basics

Well, I've had a few weeks to reflect on this new medical diagnosis: a-fib with PAC's (premature atrial contractions), which are precursors to A-fib, all of which means that every time my heart goes into its irregular rhythm, it is causing damage and I have no choice but to go on medication that will control the rhythm. I have not flipped out about this. I am not panicked. I am not slipping into doom and gloom and poor me mentality. This is new behavior for me.

What I am doing is working on acceptance. Yes, I am now someone with heart and thyroid disease when before I was very healthy. But meds can manage both of these things. So I will still be a very healthy person. The med I have to take is not an easy drug. I am praying I don't have any adverse side effects and that it does, indeed, regulate my heart.

But the other thing this diagnosis has done is force me to think even deeper about the rest of my life and what I want and need. I definitely need to finish my novel and figure out what to do with it once it's done. I definitely want to keep singing with Sugartime as long as the voice and the body and the energy hold up. But more importantly, I want to heal the connections between the people most important in my life. I want to not be afraid to be myself, flaws and all, and to know that even when I make mistakes, I am loved. I want to feel safe in an unsafe world. And I want to continue to grow spiritually.

My heart issues are not immediately life threatening. However, if I don't treat the irregular beats now, it will be. I have made a decision not to live the rest of my life afraid that I will have a heart attack or stroke. I intend to live the rest of my life full out, giving my best to everything I do. That's all any of can really expect of ourselves, isn't it?

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: My heart

I am beginning to think that the words we use to describe our feelings are crucially important. That we really do create our reality with our thoughts. When I lost custody of my four-year-old son back in the 1970's, I said, "there's a hole in my heart where my son used to be." Then, when a crisis occurred in his life a few years ago, I said, "my heart is breaking." Well, now I have something wrong with my heart.
Two things, actually. Documented Atrial fibrillation (a-fib for short) and premature atrial contractions (PAC's).

Neither one is life threatening, but it does put me at greater risk for stroke. I will have to take medication for the irregular heart rhythms because my heart beats dangerously fast when I go into A-fib and the PAC's are precursors to A-Fib. Doc said I really don't have a choice. Hopefully we can get a good dose that eases the symptoms before I leave for South Africa.

I knew I would have to deal with these kinds of health issues as I aged, but I didn't expect this kind of problem at 64. But I guess one never expects a health issue when it happens. And I've learned that to whine and complain about such things is a waste of time and energy. We must simply accept what is happening, deal with it as best we can, and move on.

I guess the reason I am posting about this is that I want to shine a light on language. I've used words like, "I hate my legs, I hate my body," etc, and I think our subconscious takes those words literally.
I am paying attention to my thoughts and my feelings about my body now in ways I never have before. My new motto is "I am perfectly healthy." And my new attitude is respectful towards and honoring this body I have been given.

How about you?
Blessings
Karen

Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm part of a fabulous new anthology!


Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle

by 
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Need motivation and inspiration to self-publish or sign that contract with an interested small press? Have you done all the research you can, but still feel ambivalent about the idea? Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle brings you the experiences of 29 indie authors—their passions, their insights, their successes—to help you make the leap into indie publishing.

This is not a how-to guide. This is the best of the indie tradition of experienced authors paying forward what they’ve learned, giving you information to help you on your journey. The personal essays in this book will leave you itching to get your work into the hands of readers and experience, first-hand, all the rewards indie publishing has to offer.

All profits from Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle purchases will be donated to BUILDON.org(less)
ebook
Expected publication: September 16th 2013 by Vine Leaves Press

In case you didn't catch it, this is the brainchild of author Jessica Bell. If you haven't read Jess's books, you can find her at http://thealliterativeallomorph.blogspot.com. She is an exquisite writer. I am honored to be a part of this anthology, designed to inspire writers to get their work published.

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, August 9, 2013

Another pic from dance camp

So, for those of you who asked if my hubby dressed up as well at our themed party "Speakeasy" the answer is yes. Here we are, swinging on the moon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - August

I am honored that our fearless Ninja Captain Alex www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com invited me to co-host this month's IWSG because I so love the idea behind it. Thank you, Alex.

 The whole notion of support groups is that so we don't feel alone with our negative feelings. That we know someone else out there either feels the same way, or has felt that way at one time or another. That we are not flawed because we doubt ourselves sometimes. I think most writers, or any artist for that matter, is somewhat insecure. There's nothing wrong with insecurity, unless we let it stop us from doing whatever it is we are passionate about doing.

I was riddled with self-doubt starting as a very small child. I won't go into the reasons (you can read my memoir if you really want to know, LOL). And I've spent most of my adult life learning to overcome those feelings and feel good about who I am and what I do.

Right now I'm struggling with revisions on a first draft of a first novel. My insecurity mostly comes from worrying about whether I will have what it takes to get this book published and market it so that it can be as successful as it can be at 65 (which is what I'll be when I'm done). My energy is so different now than when I was younger. I don't have that drive. I don't have the stamina.

However, what I do have is an innate belief that things happen the way they are supposed to. That this voice that came to me in Ireland/Scotland, asking me to tell it's story came to me for a reason. That this book was meant to be written. By me. And that whatever and however I am able to bring it forth will be okay. As Nike says, I just have to do it.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: 64 and Fab?

I still don't have pics from dance camp, except for this one. Here I am, all dressed up for our themed party, "Speakeasy." This is a dear friend, Charles, not my hubby. We were just camping it up a bit.
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Musings - Home and exhausted

Hi all,
My Monday musings will be short and sweet as I just got back from dance camp and am wiped out.
I brought my camera, but kept forgetting to bring it to the workshops and parties. Oy! Camp was wonderful, even though I couldn't dance as much as I would have liked. Just kept telling myself that after I get my new knee this fall, I'll be able to dance all I want next year.

Hope you are all well here in bloggydom and I'll catch you all later.
Blessings,
Karen