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 25, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As 2015 draws to a close, I want to wish you all a wonderful New Year, filled with all the things you wish for yourself and your family and friends. I always do an exercise at the end of the year that helps me get my priorities straight for the coming year. It's called Lakein and it consists of three parts. You set a timer for 3-5 minutes and free-write, without thinking about it, your lifetime goals. Then you set the timer again and free-write your goals for the next three years. Then you re-set the timer and free-write your goals if you knew you had only six months to live.

With many blessings,
Karen

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Concern about followers

Dear blogging buddies,
I'm coming out of my retreat to talk about something I find concerning. I haven't posted anything since I posted about taking a retreat till after New Year's and yet I've lost 11 followers this week. Over the years, since 2009, I've lost a follower here and there, but never this many at one time. I'm trying to understand what could have caused this and the only thing I can think of is that something I've posted or perhaps my novel, is the reason.

Following a blog is a statement that you like what that particular blogger has to say and want to hear more. I've chosen to follow hundreds of blogs over the years for that reason. But it's impossible for me to visit all the blogs I've chosen to follow. Still, I've never "unfollowed" anyone, even if I don't visit their blog anymore.

What I would wish is that someone who has chosen to follow me and then finds a reason not to anymore, would let me know why. Perhaps we could dialogue about it and come to an understanding. So often in my personal life, I'm afraid to confront someone about something they've said or done, but I've learned over the years, that it's better to say something than nothing at all. Because if I say nothing at all, I usually end up pulling away from that person, which is what "unfollowing" is.

I respect everyone's right to choose to follow a particular blog. But if someone chooses to unfollow, it would be no nice to know why.

If my novel has offended anyone, I'm deeply sorry for that. That was not my intention. If something I've said here has offended or upset anyone, again, I'm deeply sorry. I post about my own life journey and my own lessons. There's a wonderful slogan from Al-Anon - "Take what like and leave the rest."
I love that. It's so non-judgmental.

Anyway, please share your thoughts about following and unfollowing. Perhaps some of your ideas will help me process what feels like a mass exodus.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On retreat

I struggled with this decision, but it feels right. I am doing some deep spiritual work right now and need as few distractions as possible - which is hard to do in the holiday season. So I am going to retreat from blogging and a few other activities in my life to devote my time and energy to this work. Wishing all of you a world filled with peace and love and joy and acceptance of one another's differences. May we each find this in our own hearts and our own lives. Till next year...

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, December 4, 2015

the writing journey - part 4

This is a series of blog entries chronicling my journey towards publishing my novel.

Make a commitment to writing this story. Even if it's just five minutes a day. Find my own way each moment of each day. Be open to change. If something was working for awhile and then it stops working, change. Commitment is to stay connected to the process.

This was hard for me because I am a control freak and the story that was wanting to emerge made me feel out of control. I had to become willing to let go. The way I felt safe in the world was to be in control. I had to surrender to a higher consciousness.

Another thing that emerged around this same time was my inability to acknowledge my little successes. I began a journal, noting everything worthy of acknowledgement and found a way to reward myself that didn't include food. Buy a book, give myself a gold star and when I get to 10, buy something for myself, even if it's just as simple as downloading a song from iTunes. It became very important for me to acknowledge the ways I was moving forward, both with the story and in my personal growth. This included acknowledging missteps and learning not to beat myself up.

The lesson here for me was about losing control and holding my center and trusting myself - surrendering control to God. I had to learn that in doing this, I wasn't losing anything.

I also learned that I'll never be perfect. I recognized my own humanity. I could write from the negative place and channel what was going on with me onto the page. I could turn darkness into light on the page. Every piece of writing fed something else.

Writing my memoir reclaimed my power - my next step was to learn to stay in it. Writing the novel was my way to do that.

To be continued...

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Insecure Writers Support Group - December

First of all, I can't really believe it's December. Where did the year go? It is just flying by the older I get. Kinda scary.

Once again, thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com, for creating this group and for making it such a success. It a real blessing in my life.

So, where am I in my writing life? The Wishing Steps is out there doing it's thing. I'm not paying any attention to what it's doing. That's not my business.

I am writing a series on my blog about the journey towards publishing the book - all the wisdom I received during the six years it took to complete the book. I have no idea if that series is resonating with anyone. I can only hope that my process will be helpful to someone else. Just like writing a book. We can only hope that the story that means something to us will mean something to someone else.

I am filled with gratitude these days because something in me has shifted. I no longer take things personally that people say to me - things that used to cause deep wounds. I can speak up and say something makes me uncomfortable or ask questions to clarify rather than assume they mean something they don't. It's been interesting. Lots of conversations about communication and how important it is to communicate clearly. We can think we're saying something completely innocuous yet it could have a negative impact on the person hearing it. It makes me understand why the world is in such an awful state. If we have so much trouble communicating clearly with friends and family, imagine the problem our leaders have communicating with their staff and with other countries.

I am niggling with the thought of beginning work on a novel I wrote the first few chapters of over 20 years ago. Not sure if I want to tackle writing another book at this point in my life. I'm turning 67 in April and it's been nice actually being retired and not feeling driven by the need to work on my book.
But the truth is I'm a writer. In every fiber of my being, I have the need to find the words to express what is in my heart and put them down on paper in a way that makes sense and helps me make sense of me and my world. So, stay tuned...

Blessings,
Karen