Morning pages

I finished my first journal of morning pages 4 months and 4 days after I started it in February. My last line was “I’ve worked through a lot of shit”!

While eating lunch today, feeling a blog coming on….what I really mean is…eating an exquisitely prepared bacon and tomato sandwich and feeling the “need” to write something, I had a revelation!

During my “sharing” at my very first Word Shine meeting, my share included the fact that I had been writing a blog nearly daily for 12 years….I described it as a very unpolished blog that I had seemed compelled to write. In retrospect, I realize that my blogs were a cathartic, hang-on-to-that-last-knot, morning pages. They were an attempt at the time to get this shit out of my head and attempt to think straight through the very heavy baggage I was carrying! My way was to instinctively sort through things first thing in the morning through writing long before I realized it was helping me sort!

The huge payout for me, other than the obvious healing, was the number of people who commented either publicly or privately….friends, acquaintances and strangers who followed my blogs. I knew that in some way I was putting things out there that a lot of people were also struggling to figure out. Comments helped me figure out if I was on the right track or if I needed to go back and take the different direction at the intersection.

In case you haven’t heard about Morning Pages…here’s the book that has guided me the last 4 months.

My family (and friends) lovingly indulge my love of carousels

I was so excited to find the C W Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth,Kansas about an hour away. Carousels are magical for me…I think it’s a little slice of childhood that didn’t leave me….happy memories of lights and tinkling music and going around and around with my hair blowing in the breeze.

Looking forward to my yearly trip to Union Park in Des Moines for my ride on the Heritage Carousel!

One of the highlights of our trip to Hawaii in 2011

Was visiting the Souvenir store and walking around outside the office of Dog the Bounty Hunter in Oahu ….. And ….I was actually able to convince Him to walk with me to the parking lot behind Dog’s office to maybe catch a glimpse of them running out the back to their cars ….I was so naive!

I took a lot of razzing and received lots of emailed unflattering pictures of Dog from my peers during that time in my life. “That time in my life” because I don’t know what was wrong with me and why I was so obsessed with the show…but it was fun!!

Beth Chapman transitioned this week after throat cancer retuned with a vengeance. So…just wanted to say Rest In Peace, Beth. Thanks for the entertainment!

Until next time….

Radishes and cat people

After I ate the last radish out of the bowl that was siting on the counter that I THINK I used last night for my apples and blueberries, I looked over at Truman and realized he was sleeping peacefully like a well nourished cat with a full belly.

Why this is an issue? Truman likes people food. We seldom eat a meal…..especially on the couch while watching TV….where Truman is not in stealth mode slowing making his way over to our plates. First he jumps up on the end table and takes a seat. Then he begins the leaning toward the plate phase where we begin the Truman, TRuman, TRUMAN!! Once he is adequately discouraged we will hear him jump from a kitchen chair to the counter to scope out droppings or lick a preparation spoon that is laying in the sink. We recognize his modus operandi and what’s more we have totally given up! What we don’t know is how much he gets on the counter when we are away from home or asleep and what have we recklessly left for him find.

Thus the oh crap moment after lunch when the realization hit me that the bowl on the counter “appeared” clean; but, I totally recall picking a brown spot out of my apple and leaving it in the bowl along with a couple of deformed blueberries. Ugh

Until next time…..

…….and then she was gone

I assume everyone who has lost a beloved will find truth to these words to some degree…depending on our spiritual beliefs or organized religious domestication…when someone transitions from life to death, we feel them in our sorrow….we miss them… I know some of us remember and mourn the loss of the relationship and how they made us feel. Others believe that someday in our transition, the beloved will be waiting, in a place called heaven, with arms outstretched. Some of us believe the energy from our beloved is with us every day and that we can call upon that energy for guidance. Sadly, because we can’t agree on the path, often it divides us and we take issue with each other and completely close roads down rather than offer a detour.

These thoughts of mine were triggered this morning because my calendar notified me that next month will be the birthday of a beloved that transitioned in January of this year….and the moment I noticed it on the calendar, I said in my head…your birthday is coming up, Jen, how are you feeling about that? Because our less than a year old relationship was not one of my normal friendships of experiences and enmeshment before she passed, I seem to think it is necessary to dissect my feelings. I think what I have figured out that our connection was concrete in spirit before our personalities had time to gel over coffee once a week or really to even know about each other in the typical friendship “way”. Being newer to this “we are all one” spirituality In relation to my history of dogmatic teachings through the various Christian churches I attended, I think I can answer my own question about Jen and me.

I, seriously, question at times whether she actually existed…our souls seem to have danced together each taking and giving generously to one another without words. Words were not needed…she was my early lesson in what it means to just “BE” and honor and bow to the Devine in her. Namaste!

Until next time….

Ah-ha moments

The beauty, release and growth in ah-ha moments is breathtaking! It was a Monday night in June after a particularly difficult (for me) spirit group discussion, a nights sleep that I don’t recall dreaming, and morning pages with my green gel ink pen that the honest truth came vomiting out!

The actual details are unimportant to anyone else, the information to be shared is my unwavering belief that i have been living in fear, uncertainty about my future, and a level of angst about my past. The illusion that i am controlling my life is just an illusion and what I am really saying is I’m afraid of the unknown. So many scary and sad things have happened to me in the past that I must control my future in order to be happy and protect myself. All illusion.

One tool to use to aid in figuring this stuff out is morning pages. Committing to writing in long hand…not on the computer…3 pages every morning. These should be written in a binder or in a notebook that only you will see. My intention is to burn my current journal because there are things I’ve written that I NO WAY want anyone else to read. This should not be in dear diary form although there are no wrongs for what works for you to get the juices flowing. The is not a recollection of yesterday’s adventures, what you did or what you ate…although what ate you might be more significant. The only rule is you write down what is in your mind at the moment and then build on it because that is how the thoughts work in our head. 3 pages….every morning. If this process intrigues you, check out Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”.

Until next time….

WHAT is that smell?

I’ve been layed up for a week. Okay..seriously I have a little red squiggly line under layed…it certainly is not lied up…maybe it’s laid up…yep…no line…but I’m using layed…

Anyway…I had big toe joint surgery last Tuesday…the doctor sent me home with a large prescription of pain medication. During an office visit a month before, I indicated to him that I’m not keen on taking pain meds….will I really need them? Well, the first couple of days anyway, was his response. To that response I now say..liar, liar pants on fire, hell yes you need to take the pain meds….I won’t belabor the painful journey I’m on…physical and mental pain. Here’s my footwear! Oh…just one foot…the other foot I wear a pair of shoes the same height….finding that combination has so far proved impossible.

So because I sit continuously in my nest.

I kept smelling something…it would come and go…so this morning, I leaned over and smelled the cats…each one separately…I smelled my shirt, I smelled the bed linens and the pillows, I reached down and smelled that foot contraption…then I opened the lid and smelled that box. That’s it. I smelled every book, every journal…every oracle card box…everything….and then everything was out of that box….except a rolled up paper towel…it was rolled up so I didn’t get the dripped tuna salad on anything Yesterday and making it nearly invisible at the bottom of the box. I mentally apologized to the cats because they don’t listen to me anyway but I just felt bad that I questioned their hygiene since they work so hard at keeping clean.

Until next time….

Until next time….

These Dreams

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life

First two lines of the chorus of These Dreams sung by Heart (just in case you aren’t familiar). I felt aggressive, angry and hateful when I woke this morning and it didn’t take me long to realize who the characters were in my dreams and what rolls they were playing. I realized I was continuing the fear based thinking as I took my first sips of coffee. As is usually the case in writing my feelings out and replacing those fear based thoughts with love and gratitude, it all starts to make sense and disappear.. or heal?? Each time I work through monkey brain thinking, I realize the mental flapping quiets!

The last two mornings, I have decided to take advantage of the solitude and sit by the pond on the walking trail. The sun on my back, shifting the rocks under my sit-down for comfort, the variety of bird songs all around me, the occasional plop of a fish, and the ever smooth glide of a goose through the water leaving a silent wake on the still, pond of glass. These are the moments when a peaceful meditation just happens as you just slide your eyelids closed.

The perfume from the blooming honeysuckle eventually gets me on my feet following the scent…..one of those ingredients of spring I savor!

Until next time…

Nina Sue want a turtle?

This is a story I cherish.

When I was young and very young, my dad would take me on long walks down the dusty gravel road at Grandmas. Usually we ended up at the little cemetery about 1/2 mile down the road. He would point out headstones of our dead ancestors and share with me the stories about them handed down generation to generation. I’ve often contemplated hypnotism in order to recall these stories….and to relive one last trip down the road with my dad.

Often along the road, we would see turtles and my dad would say ‘Nina Sue want a turtle’ and Nina Sue would politely say No, daddy. I wanted to want a turtle because it seemed important to my dad…but ewwwwww. One day he brought a bucket along with us, scooped up a turtle and carried it back to grandmas…..I’m guessing he thought I would eventually change my mind if I saw the turtle in different habitat! EWWWW. Before we headed back to Des Moines, he released the turtle down by the road.

Walking along the pond this morning, I had a moment of connection with my dad and a few tears..I still think ewww even though I appreciate critters and nature more and more as I age. bit most of all how I would love to hear my dad say, Nina Sue want a turtle!

Until next time….

Always pack a minimum of one extra pair of undies

This just came up in a discussion with my daughters awhile back…they were relating in a group text how they always remember to follow the rule that I taught them when packing for family vacations.

I was in Des Moines Sunday and Monday for dr appointments and an ultrasound Monday. Because I retired from Iowa, I still carry the group health insurance from the county and because any dr appointments or treatments, other than emergency, that I might have in Missouri are out of network, I choose to drive back to Iowa to theoretically save money. So, laying flat on my back on the ultra sound table Monday I kept turning my head to see what was on the screen (and for the record, I have no idea whatsoever interpreting what I’m seeing). When she was finished with me, I sat up on the table and thought…wow….I’m dizzy. But I walked out into the waiting room to wait for my doctor appointment. I wondered if I was dehydrated so I leaned over at the drinking fountain in a main hallway of this large clinic and vertigo hit like a hammer. As I gripped the water fountain I was able to wedge myself between the fountain and the cutout in the wall to remain upright until somebody who looked medical walked by. I was wedged in so tight that everytime I took a breath, the water fountain turned on.

Finally I was pried out of the cubby, placed in a wheel chair and wheeled into Urgent Care where I received two shots and relaxation that we only dream of. I called my friend, Suzy, who works nearby to rescue me. No way I could drive back to KC. We had a makeshift slumber party. I did a pharmaceutical slumber and she watched over me. Thank you, Suzy. The next morning I was thrilled that I had packed 1 extra pair of undies for my trip! Oh. And nothing serious going on with me…just some leg vein issues from my mostly unhealthy life style when I was young!

Until next time….