Thinking About Nothing is Everything

lotusI just completed a much needed and very inspirational phone call with my book coach.  Hopefully she will not read this and see that already I am procrastinating about my next assignment.  But I needed to express this, for myself and anyone else who can hear me.  Thinking about Nothing is the most important thing I do each day.  You may call it meditation, prayer, getting in touch with my inner self.  All those labels apply to that time that is just mine, to let go and let life pass through the space between my ears.  But lately, I haven’t been doing nearly enough Nothing, and it shows.

I’ve been very tense about everything these past few weeks:  my daughter starting high school, which means soon she’ll be having all the experiences and adventures of a teenager and will come of age.  Exciting and scary at the same time. And work, the day job, has been frantic. Lots of changes, some significant, some silly, like the fact that I’ve had my cube location moved three times in the past three weeks.  I’m settling in, and it seems silly, but I began to feel like a transient, fun at first, but eventually frustrating and without stability.  And my body keeps me guessing by the moment – hot flashes, muffin tops and excess facial hair all scrambled up in a soup of chaos.  I feel like Linda Blair in The Exorcist these days, with no control over my body temperature or disposition.  Just a puddle of cold, then hot, pea soup.

So the book, my new book that I’ve been working on these past two years was really coming along and then the work, the flow all halted, abruptly and with no warning.  I was Trying to Get the Feelin Again like the best Barry Manilow fan, but nothing.  Flat.

Even as I’ve attempted sleep at night (or early morning, thank you menopause), all I can hear is voices, loud ones yelling and trying to get their pointless points across to me as I lay there covered in sweat and unable to rest.  I have no idea what they are even talking about.

Now I know what’s been missing.  The fuel that energizes me and in spires me to live from moment to moment, savoring each breath without judgment or drama.  Well, maybe a little drama for the sake of telling my story. Continue reading

Ain’t nobody gonna steal my joy. Repost from Sethsnap

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (soundtrack)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ain’t nobody gonna steal my joy..

I love that ain’t keeps showing up in my posts.  Such a powerful word.

I agree with Seth, and he does such a fantastic job expressing the sentiment in his photos

May we all persevere, and let’s just share our joy so it cannot be stolen.

Riu Riu Chiu

Oh I love the Monkees. I was about 3 when this first aired. They are much older now, and Davy is gone. But I still love them, and they bring me to a place where at least for me, happiness and peace were abundant. Thank you Redtree Times. Enjoy!

Redtree Times

Monkees' Christmas 1967I was flipping around the channels last night, the final Christmas specials winding down as the holiday came to an end.  I ended up on an old Christmas episode of The Monkees from around 1967.  It was a show that I had loved as a kid of 8 or 9 and it had Butch Patrick, the kid who played Eddie Munster on the also adored The Munsters TV show, as a guest.  How bad could it be?

God awful. That’s how bad.

Luckily, I came in near the end but was amazed at how utterly terrible it had been  put together, almost to the point of being unwatchable.   The writing was bad and  the schtick, worse.  I began to wonder if all of those other things I loved as kid had aged so poorly.

But just as I was about to flip to anything else, the band came…

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Uncle Joe – Guest Blogger Maree O’Brien

My mother Dahlia with her brother Joe Fiore, aka the Bull.

My mother Dahlia with her brother Joe Fiore, aka the Bull.

As a special treat today, I asked my sister Maree to guest blog. She wrote Uncle Joe about my mother’s oldest brother, often referred to by his nickname – the Bull. He kept all of the Fiore children in line and was not the kind of guy you’d want to try to fool or disobey. In contrast to his role as family disciplinarian, he was one of the sweetest, kindest men I’ve ever known. Being the youngest, I didn’t get to know him as well as Maree did, so I’m happy to share her memories here.

Uncle Joe

His face wore the tanned, leather-like appearance of one who spent many years out in the elements. Not unlike his father Giovanni Fiore, Joe, his eldest son, too, possessed the tinkling dark brown eyes and the broad grin of a kind and happy man.

Uncle Joe and I were kindred spirits. We both loved animals, horses in particular. Actually anything from toads to elephants earned our interest and affection, just by being.

Neither Uncle Joe’s wife Gilda, nor any others in my immediate family shared a love of beasts like Uncle Joe and me. He had a beautiful collie named Bonny, who lived outdoors all of her life. She did have a beautiful dog house as Aunt Gilda as always eager to point out, because “Animals didn’t belong in the house.”

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Surrender

Autumn Surrender

Autumn Surrender (Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps)

Surrender.

Debra’s blogpost hits home in so many ways. She is such a wonderful writer, with words that penetrate my heart and soul.

On the surface she blogs about a back injury. Underneath, it’s about living in the moment, even if that moment sucks, in order to break on through to the other side, so to speak.

And it’s about compassion not just for others, but for yourself. Yes YOU. So many of us are so hard on ourselves, and have unattainable expectations for ourselves. Guess what? Sometimes its okay to say I’m afraid, in pain and not in a good place. Sometimes that’s the only way to get out of that place at all. Surrender is, in her words…

having compassion for myself the same as I would have for anyone else…

Sounds easy, but I know so many people who are suffering right now, and while they are going through bad times are beating themselves and berating themselves. Why does this have to happen to me? What is wrong with me? What did I do wrong? I should have known better. Work/School/Life/Love (pick one) is always going to be miserable for me because of me.

I do it myself.

My wish is for all the people I love to find a way to surrender to the pain, and while living through it remember that they didn’t cause the pain. My prayer is that they move away from the pain and towards happiness.

Day 216 Question 216 – Who are you at your best? Your worst?

Dahlia

Day 216 Question 216.

I love sharing posts about how destructive the ego can be.  It’s what separates us from each other, separates us from God, separates us from all the love and positive energy that is ours in this world.

That’s not to say that being unique or an individual or true to yourself is bad.  It’s separating yourself from the rest of the world that’s damaging.  We all have our own unique talents, personalities, feelings.  We are all part of one big beautiful picture with different textures, colors and hues.

Diane’s post is personal but it speaks to everyone.

30 Days of Self Esteem Day 3: Forgiveness

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Jan Deelstra’s premise works – “Letting go means living longer and healthier and happier.  If you must get even with the purveyor of betrayal, get even with the victimizer by living your best life, letting go of any attachment to the circumstances that you are now far beyond.”

Easy for me to say.  There is scientific proof (see blog link) that forgiveness contributes to good health and longevity.  So why has it been so damn difficult sometimes?  Why have I sometimes felt as though I am admitting a frailty or defeat when I forgive some one who’s wronged me?  Does forgiveness absolve the person and justify the actions? Continue reading