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
Monday, March 31, 2014
A lot of pain is associated with these losses, particularly the ones from when I was already an adult. What I have learned is that having a best friend isn't what is important. What is important is having people in your life who really and truly get you. You don't have to explain yourself. You don't have to make excuses or apologize. You can just say whatever you need to say and know you are still loved and it will be all right.
I am blessed to have several people in my life who fit this description. One of them is visiting this week.
How about you? Do you have a best friend or friends? Have you kept childhood friendships?
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
So now, some six months later, I have revised it several times and hit 50,034 words last Thursday. It is now the minimum number of words to be considered a novel. Yahoo!
So, I accomplished my goal of writing a novel. But is my goal complete? It could be, if I decide not to try to publish. But I can hardly imagine making that decision unless drastic, unforeseen circumstances occur in my life.
If it never gets published, am I happy? On one level, yes I am, because I stuck with something that seemed so far out of the realm of possibility and was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I am happy with the resulting story. But whether anyone else will be remains to be seen.
My job was to allow the story to emerge. Now I must put the finishing touches on it. Make it magical.Then figure out the whole publishing issue.
How about you? How do you perceive accomplishing goals?
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
When I was on vacation in Banff, Canada, at Lake Louise several years ago, hubby and I were hiking along the perimeter towards the glacier. He wanted to hike up the glacier. I didn't, so I stopped. I was standing on the path when something told me to go sit on the bench about 3 feet away. I did. Not one minute later, a huge boulder came tumbling down the embankment landing right where I had been standing. I'm pretty sure I'd be dead or severely injured if I hadn't moved to the bench. So why do I still question that voice sometimes.
A very intuitive healer told me that it's human nature. The voice whispers and our rational mind says, "that doesn't make sense," or, "I don't understand," and so we don't listen. She said the thing to do is train ourselves to listen and hear, even if we don't act on what we're hearing.
Two things happened this past week that I needed to pay attention to. When I didn't, I was majorly stressed. Once I listened, the stress eased considerably. Think I got it now? We'll see....
How about you? Do you always hear and listen to your intuition?
P.S. Here's a photo of Spring making its presence known in Albuquerque Bio Park.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
I have no idea whether this is a story anyone will want to read and that is freaking me out a bit, but I can't control that right now. I can only make it the best I can make it and then begin the journey towards publishing.
I'm going to need you guys more than ever when that day comes.
Monday, March 10, 2014
If you've read my memoir, you know I had parents that didn't really know how to parent and so they behaved in ways that were inappropriate and very damaging to a child. The technique I am using to undo some of that damage is this. I wrote out all the things I wanted and needed to hear from them. Then I went into Garage Band and recorded those messages as if it were them speaking. For example, Karen, this is Mom...or Dad. Then I went on to have them say the things I needed to hear.
There's been a lot of tears, which to me is a sign of letting go. It's a fairly intense grieving process as I let go of the loss of all the years I didn't know the thing I needed to know. But all I have is now. And now is getting better every day. I am opening up in ways I didn't dream possible, particularly with my writing.
Do you have any helpful hints for dealing with painful voices from the past?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I am enjoying revising my manuscript. I guess I'm been at this writing thing long enough (since 1999) that I've learned to turn away from those negative voices inside my head. Or I talk back to them, whereas before they would simply take me over. I'm sure you know the voices I'm talking about: "Who are you to think you can do this?" Or, "That's just crap." Or, "Oh come on now, really?" Or, "You'll never be good enough so you might as well give up."
Here are some ways I deal with these voices:
- I imagine them facing away from me so the voice and message is not directed at me
- I tell them how they feel might have value but I can't listen now
- I yell at them to shut up and leave me alone
- I allow the message and the resulting negative feeling to stop me from writing. But this feels terrible when it happens, so I am learning to not give in to the negativity.
- I tell them what they are saying maybe true but I'm going to keep writing anyway.
- I politely ask them to leave.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
So what am I trying to say? If my life were a movie, the main character is doing what a good character does--growing and changing. I just had an aha moment as I'm writing this. As writers, we are told we must have conflict in our story. The protagonist must have flaws and must overcome adversity. There is an arc to the story and there must be resolution at the end. What is that lovely latin term for that? Oh brain, please kick in. Sigh! Anyway, art really does imitate life. That is, hopefully, what a good life is--one where we overcome our flaws, experience conflict and overcome it, and grow into good human beings. Maybe if I begin to think of my life as a movie I can detach a bit more from the outcome.
Don't know if this makes any sense to anyone, this crazy train of thought. But that's the beauty of having a blog, isn't it?
Monday, March 3, 2014
Since I'm a fairly emotional person, meaning I feel things intensely and can have strong reactions to what I feel, my perspective can shift pretty frequently. It's been a lifelong learning experience to tune into what I'm feeling to ensure that my perspective is accurate.
Here's an example. My health has challenged me this year and I have had very little energy until fairly recently. As soon as I started feeling more normal, I wanted to do more things. I already folk dance, write, sing (which involves practicing 3 times a week), read, play guitar, etc. A friend mentioned she was going to a tap dance class and the best part was that it's free. Well, I tap danced as a child and quit way too early. Have always wanted to do that again. But last Wednesday I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before and didn't go. The next week, on Tuesday I had a really "off" day. Couldn't focus on anything, and I'd been excited about having a clear calendar so I could write for more than a 1/2 hour or so. On Wednesday, I started thinking and journalling. I realized that although I was feeling much better and had more energy, I still only have just so much before I become overwhelmed. My priorities right now are my novel and Sugartime (aside from hubby and family and friends, I mean). And the writing is very challenging for me because I am having to use craft techniques that don't come easily and I feel quite insecure about it. To add something else on my plate that would be challenging, even if it would be fun, just didn't feel right. So I decided not to take the class.
Perspective. It is so important. I feel very proud of myself that, rather than beat myself up for not being able to go do something I obviously wanted to do, I got clear that it simply wasn't a good time for me to do it.
How do you keep your perspective?