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 3, 2014

Monday Musings: Perspective

I don't know about you, but my perspective varies depending on a number of things: whether I got enough sleep, what time of the day it is, whether I've eaten or not, whether I'm centered or off balance. If I've only gotten 4 hours sleep, my attitude about how many items I need to accomplish on my to-do list will be very different than if I've gotten a 7 or 8 hours sleep.

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?


Anonymous said...

You said it in a nutshell Karen, if you couldn't do something then it wasn't the time to do it.
Hope you continue to feel stronger in the future.

Vicki Rocho said...

My perspective shifts as well, only it usually keeps me from making decisions as I can't decide which angle works best for me. :)

Hope you get to take that tap class sometime soon!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I'm glad you followed your instincts here Karen and didn't add something else to your plate. Our instincts usually are spot on.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes we have to know our limits, whether physical or mental.

Talli Roland said...

Wow, what a great question, Karen. Like you, my perspective varies depending on sleep and stress levels. I have to remind myself to embrace life now and not worry about the little things.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Know when to say when. I've had to drop a few things just to maintain my sanity.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm glad you didn't push yourself! It's something I've learned with my kids...if they sign up for too much, everyone ends up exhausted and feeling as if they're being pulled in too many directions. I need to apply this lesson to my own life sometimes, though!

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, I'm learning to pay closer attention
Vicki, me, too, but there are other priorities
Keith, thanks so much
Alex, yes, so true
Talli, I need reminders about that as well
Diane, yeah, it's hard but so necessary
Elizabeth, it's hard because we want to do it all -there's so much out there to experience

Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming by Karen, I am more confused, last week I was resting as I was unwell , Saturday logged on to find my pc had been hacked blog gone also my A to Z theme and contents gone also.
I was going to give up then thought no, I won't let someone get the better of me and set this new one up.

I have to re-do all my A to z again but I will do it comewhat may. So that is why I have a different blog.
Take care.

Robin said...

When we feel terrible, we know our limits. Nothing. We pretty much commit to nothing because we know that we feel bad almost all of the time. So, it can be difficult when we begin to feel better. We WANT to do everything because we feel that we have missed out on so much. It is pretty easy to swing too far out into the lane of overcommitment and then be tired, draggy, and kinda sickly again.

The great thing is that our bodies will tell us how much we can handle if we pay attention. You missed both of those initial classes for a reason: your dance card was already full. The biggest plus here is that you recognized that for what it was and opted out of something you really didn't have time for... even though you had the desire.

Listening to my body... that is where I try to always go to find perspective on what I should and should not bring into my life.

Arlee Bird said...

The way I see it is that perspective is everything. We react to what we face and act according to what we are able to do. Perspective affects attitude and in turn attitude fuels motivation. It's a drag to try to do things without the motivation to provide energy and drive.

Gotta dance when the time for dancin's right.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Bish Denham said...

It's easy to take on more than we should or can. It's good that you know your limits. Perhaps the opportunity will arise later.

I took 4 years of tap as a teen and loved it! But I don't think I'd take classes now. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Age has a way of making us more aware of our limitations, and the smartest thing we can do is pay attention. Not always the most fun choice, but the smartest. (I would LOVE to take tap lessons! My body? Not so much.)

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne that's such a bummer. So sorry.
Robin, that you so much for this thoughtful comment. Yes, I am learning to listen to my body as well.
Lee, yup yup yup
Bish, yes, guess we have to factor in our age as well.
Susan, Oy - I think my body could handle it if I weren't doing some of the other things. But it's not enough of a priority.

Jemi Fraser said...

Good for you! Making those kinds of choices can be tough - but you know you've done the right thing! Glad your energy is building back up again!

Mason Canyon said...

Knowing your limits and accepting them makes life easier. In time, you'll be able to include this extra activity and really be able to enjoy it.