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 26, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: doing what you love

Are you one of the lucky ones who love what you do for a living? When I worked, I was lucky to work in a profession I enjoyed - public relations. For many years, I owned my own business and got to work with wonderful health care professionals who deeply cared about helping people. I saw my PR business as a means to help those who help others by letting those who needed help know how to find the healers. That is probably the worst sentence ever. Oh well.

Then I quit in 1999 to write full time. I love writing. I don't love when the writing doesn't come, but I forget that doesn't mean I don't love what I do. If I had to make a living at it, I'd be a complete failure, so I think of it as a hobby, not a career. It's a mindset thing that works for me.

I also love singing and dancing. As many of you know, I am a folk dancer. Have been since I was 16, with years of not dancing in between. Now, my knee won't allow me to folk dance too much, unless I want to be in constant pain, which I don't. But I can still do rock n' roll dancing. And I can still choreograph moves for my singing duo Sugartime and do those moves when we sing. I cannot express the joy that comes from doing these things.

How about you? Are you doing what you love, even if your day job isn't it?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Musings: waiting

I finished the first draft of my first ever novel (I've written non-fiction for almost 40 years). Yikes. That makes me feel old. Just like my son turning 40 this past weekend did. How did I get here? Anyway, that's another story. Back to my novel. It has taken four years to get this draft down on paper. Now I'm waiting while two very trusted readers give me some feedback, especially on whether it needs more story. Right now, it's really a novella. I'm not sure if it needs more. I think I'm too close to it. Perhaps, this waiting period will give me some insight. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the peaceful feeling of having completed something extremely difficult.

How about you?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog Blitz - Help another blogger

The other day I was reminiscing about a different time, back when I was a kid, before the youth of the world spent their free time in front of televisions or game consoles like digital zombies.  I would play outside with the other neighborhood kids in an open lot or nearby park and we would make up simple games that required no gear, no apparatus, and no complex rules, just our bodies and the endless supply of adolescent energy.  Games such as Red Rover, Red Light Green Light, Hide and Seek, and a personal favorite…Tag!  Of course back then we called it something else, which today would be considered politically incorrect, but the idea was that someone would be tagged as IT and they had to try to avoid being caught, wrestled to the ground, and piled upon by everyone else.  It was both terrifying and exciting, all at the same time. 
That got me to thinking (which isn’t always a good thing), and I wondered what would happen if we tried something like that here in the blogosphere.  No, I’m not talking about squishing the Ninja out of Alex J. Cavanaugh underneath the cumulative weight of us all.  But what would it be like if the support, encouraging nature, and community spirit of the blogosphere were ever focused on a single blogger?  A few of us have experienced that sort of attention via book launches or other publishing announcements, and still others have achieved that level of awareness through the popular blogfests we host.  In most cases there is a lot of work that goes into generating that amount of interest.  What I'm talking about is being suddenly thrust into the spotlight, without even lifting a finger. What would it feel like to be the recipient of that kind of exposure? Could something like that even be possible? Can the power of the blogosphere be harnessed and directed?

Everyone knows I like to try new and different things, so today I present to you the BLOG BLITZ.  Here’s how I see it working. Sign up on the linky list below, making sure to record your email address, and you’ll instantly become a member of the Blog Blitz Team.  Then from time to time, I will select a deserving blog (that must be part of the Blitz Team) and a specific date.  I will then email the team members that information and on that date we all will go out of our way to visit that blog and leave an encouraging comment on their most recent post.  I'm talking about hopefully a 100+ comments appearing out of the blue in one day!

At first I'll pick who gets blitzed, but then I'll start taking recommendations from other members for deserving targets. My only restriction about who joins the Blog Blitz Team is that your blog cannot be primarily for commercial gain.

This will only be successful if everyone reading this spreads the word and gets as many bloggers as we can to join the team.  Once your signed up, display the banner above proudly on your own blog.  
 Blog about the Blitz.  Tweet about the Blitz.  Facebook the Blitz.  Then sit back and wonder...   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Maintaining Joy

Several people I know are facing very difficult challenges. One is facing a life-threatening challenge. There is always pain and suffering somewhere, whether in my immediate world, or in the world out there. How does one maintain joy and serenity in the midst of all the suffering?

I don't have the answer. I can talk about the struggle, though. How I can get pulled off my center by the least little thing, let alone bigger things. That I can allow the guilt of feeling happy when someone else is unhappy take me from my joy.  It seems as if people are more comfortable with pain and suffering than they are with joy and laughter.

Here's what I know. My dampening my joy will not lesson the pain of another. My shutting off my spirit light will not help any one else turn on theirs. What will help is my learning to keep my spirit light shining as bright and as long as I can. Maintaining that is my spiritual work. It is one of the reasons I continue to sing. It's one of the ways my spirit light does shine.

How about you?
How does your spirit light shine?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Alex's Top Ten Movie Blogfest

Today, our intrepid Ninja Captain, Alex, is hosting a Top Ten Move Blogfest. To find the linky list and Alex, go here: http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com.

Without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order:

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Splendor in the Grass
Star Wars (the first episode that came out, which I think was IV)
An Officer and a Gentlemen
West Side Story 
South Pacific
The Shawshank Redemption
The Bucket List
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Live each day as if it's your last

One of my friends is facing a very difficult, life-threatening health situation. Someone else very close to be is dealing with a progressive, chronic disease and struggling on a daily basis. I have my own little challenging health issues - my hands are still tingling in the middle of the night and I wake up numb.
So I'm tired all the time. My hip hurts. Oy vay!.

What are we to do with all the problems and turmoil and pain, physical, emotional and spiritual? Are we to be sad and depressed and go woe is me and just about give up?  No. Are we to live in fear about all of these things? No.

I say we need to learn to live each day as fully as possible, finding joy wherever and whenever we can. Because all we have that we can be sure of is this moment. Right here. Right now. What are we going to do with it.

How about you?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Musings: Girly girl

I was never a girly girl. Even when I was a teenager, before I got fat, I didn't enjoy my body or choosing clothes to put on it. I guess it's cause I believed I was ugly. Sad, looking back, because I wasn't. Then, at 19, I gained 30 pounds in 3 months (I blame birth control pills) and my metabolism went haywire. Now, at almost 64, I weight less than I weighed at 18 and feel fabulous darling!

So I'm becoming the girly girl I never got to be. I am wearing make-up more often. I am playing with my hair (what little I have left). I am shopping for clothes that look and feel good. I am having a birthday in April to celebrate turning 64 and bought a great outfit to dance my little tushy off.

Is there anything you are doing as an adult that you didn't get to do as a child?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bad Blogging Buddy

Oh how I love this blogging community. You are the kindest, most supportive group of people I have never met. And I have been a bad blogging buddy and I am so sorry. I could give a whole boat load of excuses, but I won't bore you. Just know that I care about what all of you are doing, but I just can't manage to visit and comment as much as I used to. There are so many blogfests that look to be so much fun and provide an opportunity to meet many more wonderful bloggers. I just can't do them. I signed up for one more. I will not do the A-Z this year, but will watch from the sidelines the fun and games you guys come up with.

I will host those of you who ask when it comes time to help promote another blogger's book. But other than that, I need to focus on my novel, my family, my health, and whatever wisdom I can come up with for posts right here. I hope you understand.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - March

I am not writing. I am not writing. I am not writing. I am singing and practicing and seeing friends and going for dinners. And I am not writing. I am not writing. I am not writing. Does that make me insecure? No, it makes me mad. Why can I not make something so important to me a priority?
Oh well, tomorrow is another day. I feel better now. Thanks, Alex, http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating a place to whine, ahhh , I mean share.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Telling the truth Tuesday - Harmonies

Last week I went to see the group, Wilson Phillips. They've been around for about 20 years, but I'd never really heard much about them. Two of them are the daughters of Brian Wilson, of Beach Boys fame. The other is the daughter of Michelle and John Phillis, from the Mamas and Papas. They are very talented. But most especially, they sing beautiful harmony. Carnie Wilson talked a bit about harmony being magical. And it is. When it's done well, it stirs the soul.

I never tried to sing harmony before. I've been singing alone with songs all my life, but always the melody. My ear just isn't trained to hear harmony, especially if the harmonies are close together. So in my singing group, Sugartime, I always sing melody. But I've wanted to learn to do harmony. Oy!

I have struggled with it for several years. I can hold my melody if others sing harmony parts, but if I try to sing harmony, I am often pulled into the melody.

There is one harmony part I am determined to sing at an upcoming birthday party. I had my friend record herself singing the harmony part and spent weeks and weeks singing along with her until I felt sure I knew it. But when I tried to sing with her when she sang the melody, nope, couldn't do it.

Then I had her record herself singing the melody and practiced my harmony part singing with her - over and over and over again. Finally, now, after several months, I can do it.

Here's why I am telling you this. Harmony is a beautiful metaphor for relationships. With harmony, two or more people are each doing their own thing, singing their own notes. But in order for it to work, they must blend together, learn to trust the other person, learn to hold notes the same length of time, etc. Now isn't that brilliant? Isn't that so so true for relationships as well. We are each individuals, with our own thoughts, feelings, perceptions. Yet when we are in partnership with someone else, we must learn to blend with their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. When singing harmony, if one voice is too loud, it overpowers the other. If one isn't loud enough, it gets lost. See what I mean?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Musings: dedication

I am dedicating this month to writing. I am going to make it a priority to work every day on my novel now that the first draft is done. I need to figure out what it still needs and simply do it. I will probably be sporadic on my blog posts and visiting you guys, but I know you'll understand.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Good health news

Well, I saw my primary care doc on Wednesday regarding the erratic heart beat. First of all, I found out that you shouldn't have anything but water after an acupuncture treatment. Alcohol is a no-no. I only had a quarter cup of wine, but who knew. My primary care doc said if it happens again, I should try to get to an urgent care center and get an ekg while it's happening. If I can't do that, I'll need to get a monitor from a cardiologist so they can determine what kind of problem this is. If it doesn't happen except every few years, I shouldn't worry. Hah! Try telling that to my Jewish genes.

I feel really good, though. The mucus problem seems to be clearing up and my voice is clear. I have good energy and the tingling has abated so I'm not waking up so much at night. Whew! Let's hope this lasts awhile.

How about all of you? Good I hope. Happy weekend, everyone.