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, March 3, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: how to retreat from life

I thought I needed a writing retreat, but what I realized is I need a life retreat. I need to find a way to step back from activities so I can go inward and do what I need to do - for myself and for my writing. But I don't want to stop seeing friends and doing things altogether. So I'm trying to figure this out.

I think the first step is to set priorities. What are the things I am absolutely not willing or able to give up? Sugartime (my singing duo) for sure. Folk dancing??? Not sure about this one - have to ponder it. Lunch or dinner with friends? I don't do this very often to begin with so I don't want to sacrifice this activity. Computer time? Absolutely can cut back on this - especially things like jigsaw puzzles.

Once I set the priorities, I have to put the plan into action. That means not filling up the newly freed up time with other things. That's hard. Then I actually have to give myself the quiet time I have worked so hard to achieve. This is the part I'm afraid of, although I don't know why. Every time in my life I have given myself this gift, it has been good. Ahh, but sometimes difficult decisions need to be made when I really listen to the voice of wisdom. That is where the fear comes in.

What I know for sure is I can't keep going the way I'm going. It simply isn't working. My soul is unhappy.

How about you?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good idea - make a list of what you're doing now and cross off or reduce some things. Whatever is a real priority, just block off time to do it no matter what.

Karen Walker said...

Yup, Alex, that's what I'm in the process of doing.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Whatever it is, you will figure it out. I know because I've been there myself, with the creative soul needing expression and being drowned by all the business of daily life. Have you read If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland? It's a simple little book about creative self-expression, written back in the 1920s. I've found it to be one of the most inspiring, motivational books for finding one's creative self.

Murees Dupé said...

Writing really helps when my soul is unhappy. Definitely decide what other activities you can cut back on. Try to find just a half-hour for your writing and take things from there. Good-luck.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I had to do this not long after my third daughter came home. I sorted out the things I absolutely could not do without, and then by cutting out the things I didn't need, I made time for the things that mattered. :-)

nashvillecats2 said...

I think it's a good idea to find time for yourself, oh it's great to be helping others or doing other things but there comes a time in life when we all ought to put ourselves in the fore front.

Karen Walker said...

Karen, the book sounds wonderful - I'll check it out - thanks.
Murees, yeah, it's not really about finding a 1/2 hour - I can do that - it's cutting out the distractions.
Paul, much harder to do when you have three little ones.
Yvonne, yes, that time is now!

Julie Flanders said...

This is something I'm working on doing as well. I have totally lost my focus and need to settle down and figure things out again.
Take care, Karen.

Arlee Bird said...

I haven't worked a jigsaw puzzle in ages, but probably don't need to do that. Your fears are understandable. I don't think your are alone--not at all.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out