Reinventing Me

4 January 2013 – I put these words on my refrigerator door:  “Let the music heal your soul”

Fast forward to 2014.
This first quarter of the new year has brought a lot of positives and new happenings in my life,  my future is underway. people, things, and events bring slow smiles and quickening beats to my heart on a daily basis. I have chronicled my journey here often, a journey that brought me to a point in my life where reinventing a new lifestyle and what I planned to do with myself became my ultimate focus.
 I’d come to a point in my life where continuing to live authentically and truthfully meant big changes were in store for me, including my martial and living status. For over a year now I’ve devoted myself to recreating a personal and professional contentment, something that I honestly wasn’t sure at one point would ever be mine again. My focus has been on creating a life, my work, and a home, all that I am able to feel nurtured by.

 Music had to be part of that.  And just as my refrigerator affirmation stated,  music is healing my soul.

Approaching the age of certain can be a bit mind-boggling. Altering lifestyles drastically while in the process can either knock you off your feet, or it can lift you to a feeling great empowerment. I made lifestyle changes including where I physically call home that have brought me a year of personal growth, and recently I added professional growth, that which I’d been anticipating.

 Recreating my life as an independent woman and building a sanctuary I call home became a priority that took the best part of 14 months.  Yet it seems like it was just yesterday I gulped down the fear I was encountering, by making changes that not only affected me, but also affected others  there were days that seemed would never end.

There have been really high points this last year, as well as some really low points. Yet today I cannot find enough hours in the day for all I want to accomplish. Finding time to do “IT ALL” has not been successful. In fact, NOT finding enough time for writing for LBB, two other blogs, my novel, as well as not having the time for blog-hopping has become more my norm in the last year. Despite telling myself that more of my attention could be focused on writing and visiting this community I still find stretched thinly by the end of the day. (Not a bad thing.)

Reinventing my life has taken priority,  and I’m feeling really blessed by those who in my life who ” get it” and support me, despite that I’m not being the attentive friend that I typically am.

It’s been a strange dichotomy, slowly processing this reinvention while time seems to whiz right by. Recognizing that this whole process could never be anything but in the universe’s timing has helped me to embrace this past year. Making life altering changes was not something I had ever planned on doing at this stage of my life, who does?

I’ve discovered that as frightening as it just plain was at times if I had remained where I was I would have been merely existing, not living as authentically and fully; not as I have studied my entire adult life to do. I couldn’t turn my back on that anymore, pretending that everything was just peachy-keen-hunky-dory, when it wasn’t. Learning that letting go of what I had wished for but simply never was going to be was maybe the most difficult hurdle to get over.

To say that starting over at 50 plus years old is not at all an exaggeration. Long time LBB readers have been privy to my writing about the last two years. Two years that involved so many changes, and created so many emotions;  albeit I often wrote in veiled analogies. In complete transparency I can say that becoming single again after more than four decades has been an emotionally growing & fulfilling time for me. Not at all the negatives so many ‘warned’ me of. Personally my life i filled with a lot of contentment, and serenity. I’ve created a happy place to rest my feet at, and to lay my head upon.

I like where I am today. 

Music Healing  thy Soul ~

Professionally my writing feels like it has  never been stronger, music has always been a great catalyst for my writing, and today it’s also the basis for the novel I’m writing. Through music I also am finding my niche in the independent music industry, a dream that once was only as a dormant dream has now begun to blossom. Barefoot Music is developing into what I have long envisioned, making this last year’s almost dogged determination on my part feel validated by this past week.
New ventures and new adventures:
My recent hire by the blues band Brick Fields as their artist manager has certainly humbled me, to be blessed with these kinds of connections within this music community of incredibly talented independent musicians is what I have been working towards. I faithfully embrace this, this is a passion that runs lifelong.
The cool thing too is that I am first-hand experiencing that to live one’s passions almost 24/7  is one of life’s most priceless riches.
Riches keep paying forward, and repressed dreams do come true.

Work hard, trust and believe:

Apparently I have been in touch with my alter ego on almost a daily basis and we have been working hard without realizing  it was anything but fun, and music .Friend’s have suggested that I stop being in denial about my alter ego. They suggest that I face the music, that I admit openly that I am…. merely a repressed disc jockey.

Well.. okay…the truth.

This is how I think:  If I am listening to music everyone within hearing distance should be sharing in that music. I post music anywhere I’m allowed.  So how wonderfully serendipitous for me that my involvement and passion for independent music will soon extend as well to radio. all that posting and writing about music drew attention. I’ve been offered a radio show of my own, I will be joining the family of DJ’s at Loop radio.net. Although this has not quite sunk in yet, or the details sorted out this past week has me feeling like my birthday came early this year.

So I wish to say; Thank you Sam Jones  Kenny Darkreine  (from Loop radio) So looking forward to your mentoring.

The last year has been a lot of hard work, and a lot of time alone. I wish I could say I have been the kind of friend and family member who was always there,  especially to those who never turn their backs on me, despite my lack of reciprocal sharing. . again the truth. I’ve been a neglectful relative, friend , and an absent blogger.
 Yet knowing that there is this unspoken level of unconditional acceptance between friends, framily, bliblings, and yes, even family is of great comfort. I could not have managed this past year of changes and growth without you in my life, you who are always steadfast in your belief and confidence in me, and where I’m headed, and what I’m doing.
Thank you! Thank you!  thank you for your friendships.
This life that brings heart ache also brings healing factors, I’m grateful for having the open heart to see this is true.
{ a personal side note:  Thank you RC for all the shared music and life wisdom; for without navigating this past  5 months  would not have been with the same clarity I have today)
©ttaylor2014

Perception Is Everything.

Then maybe again, it’s not everything.
Especially if we perceive something in error.
 Curiouser and curiouser ‘Life’s Puzzles’ seem, especially when the puzzle’s come with missing pieces. I’m using the word ‘seem’ here because this piece is about perceptions.  
And… it would seem my perceptions are being tested right and left lately. Showing me what I often perceive as my reality is not at all the fact.
And maybe that is a good thing, keeps me on my barefoot toes. I suppose.

The recent discovery that the reality of what I believed to be true isn’t so set me back a few paces. That what I thought to be so and isn’t the fact at all points out to me that my perception’s can be completely off. Making such a mistakes in judgements as to what I perceived from others is giving me pause, and is what is inspiring this post.
Thankfully this misguided perception has no negative weight of influence on how I identify with as myself. (I know there was a time in my life it might have) What struck me was that my own perceptions were so wrong. I oddly enough discovered that a whole lifetime of interactions were all based on something that was never true, now it appearing it had been nothing but charades the whole time.
I’m no doubt too analytical sometimes, but it’s what I do. Especially when it comes to our human spirit and how the world influences who we are, and what we do. I began to wonder about perceptions in general. How do our perceptions affect us?

Discovering that something I believed to be true for decades was never so in the first place is not something I just can say “Oh well” to. That my perception was so off is what set me back a moment. I decided to use the discomfort to familiarize myself again with the theories of perceptions. I’m never being flippant when I say I am a Student of Life, I do like to read and study about who we are as a species.
There are still so many learning curves to life.
How important are the perceptions of others in our lives?
How much weight do we give those perceptions?
Briefly what I know about perception is it’s the way we decipher what we see, and what we sense from people and environments in our lives. Our perceptions are how we decode all that ‘intelligence’ we receive, if you will. It’s how we see the world, each other,  all that which creates our own sense of realty.
And even though I think my sense of perception is keen, sensitive, and intuitive, in reality it’s skewed at times.

Then we include everyone else and their perceptions into our realities. 
It sometimes surprises me to learn how others in my life see me, their perceptions of who I am. I am often pleasantly surprised by how another perceives who I am… Yet there are other times the perceptions of others could be nothing farther from the truth.
Having the power of choice to what perceptions we choose to give weight to is a freedom to embrace I think.
We are indeed what we think.

I also find it interesting to consider just how much weight we give, or we do not give to others perception’s of who are. Choosing where the power of our thought’s comes from guides and molds who we are. 

Our own thoughts can empower. Or not. Just as those perceptions of others can empower Or not.

Acknowledging that letting my ego get caught up in how others might perceive me was really a learning curve, learning it is wasting my energy and effort when I focus it on what others think of me.  Instead of dwelling on thoughts of what and how others perceive me I’m putting that focus right back into the ways I most am able to live authentically. I think it might be natural to get caught-up in how others might perceive us as, but in actuality I’ve come to learn it serves no one.

And remember; we might even get those perceptions wrong.

I did.

Thoughts come from our perceptions, and to know what they can do for us, and equally can do to us is to have a keen self-awareness  of ourselves and the world we live in.
I suggest that we stop giving away our self-perceptions to thoughts that are not only are self-limiting, but to all the negatives as well. Let’s not feed our self-perceptions and our identities from others perceptions.
Give rise to the ‘You’ that authentically wants to just ‘Be”.
Take advantage of the freedom of free will and choice in your thinking. Let it be your authentic and genuine thoughts that guide how you perceive the world around you, and how you perceive yourself.
Being mindful that we are absolutely what we think we are.
You might truly find an amazing surprise.

©ttaylor2014

 

 


                                

 

Reflections x 2 (*repaired link)

I have a thing for serendipity. I may have said so before. I even love the way the word feels on the lips when pronounced.
Friendships sometimes become grand events of serendipity.
When it happens It leaves me in awe.
(an unedited ordinary photo)

by ronReflection 1

The photo above titled Recollections 1 is a thing of beauty. Created from the very ordinary photo (at top) by a friend who has unique creative vision’s. This result of this one vision took my breath away the first time I saw the photo.  A piece of art the photo became.
As s the photo below.
These two complimenting images create photographic art  and are perfect examples of how serendipity played out recently in my life, in the world of art. and in the art of friendships.
I’d like to share how these two photos came to be, and how the two being combined is something quite special at play. Kind act’s of random thoughtfulness that I’ve had the pleasure and honor of being on the receiving end of.
The top photo was originally just an ordinary photo taken of the view outside my window from where I sit and write every day. On a cold and snowy day this past November the beauty that Mother Nature had sculpted and painted outside my window was too beautiful for me to ignore. I was captivated by the how pretty it was that morning, so I stepped away from my computer and writing with camera in hand. I tried to capture not just what I saw, but also the feeling of the moment as well. 
I captured the scene okay, but the feeling of the moment?  Not so much.
That ordinary photo of outside my window is the photo I took, but I cannot take credit for the art that it became at the hands of my talented and creative friend, Ron. He edited and added the effects to my original photo, creating this stunning piece of art I now have. Forever this new photo will capture the view out my window, and it is doing what I couldn’t. He captured that wonderful ‘blue’ emotion of a snowy cold winter morning on my high desert.
The effects added are stunning, and by defining just one window pane it also creates this wonderful symbolic meaning for me. I will leave you to speculate about that.
This gift, from this friend, started what became a collaboration of art.
So much so that the two photos prompted the inspiration to be called Reflections, respectively 1 & 2.
I mentioned in the beginning of this post how much I love when events happen in a  serendipitous fashion….

Please, let me try to explain.

I wouldn’t in most cases post a photo of me, or at least just of me alone; unless I have a good reason. I am not someone who is even typically comfortable with photo’s of myself.. The photo above has become an exception, and even a favorite now.
My reasons for this has everything to do with how the this photo also came to be.
This is where that whole ‘serendipity thing’ happened.
Recently I opened my email to find this wonderful photo-shopped image of myself.
I was struck yet again in my heart by the generosity and magic of friendships.
My dear friend and author Maxi Malone. (many readers here at WP will surely recognize her name ) Maxi sent me the photo above of myself, she created this photo of me from a photo I had taken this past summer, adding the background/foreground from the photo my friend Ron had created. A Collaboration.

There is a talent for seeing something that isn’t there except in your imagination and the being able to execute the vision, Maxi also has that talent. She saw the window photo one friend had created, taken an ordinary photo of me, collaborating unbeknownst to me or my friend Ron with his photo and created. Reflections 2
One photo reflected into the other. With the kindness of two talented friends who don’t even know one another, nor have never communicated created also the wonder of serendipity.
I know I am blessed to have friends like these two. Friends whose thoughtful and generous friendships are reflective in everything they do.
That’s serendipity.
That’s friendship.

Thank you both Maxi & Ron so very much.
©ttaylor2014

Mission Accomplished

Road trip home; Mission accomplished

 
Clackamas Oregon 
While I have heard it said that you cannot go back home again I beg to differ. The fact that home may have changed should not alter the fact that home is where it’s always been, and though the people as much as the place change with a blink of the eye. their still home.
Home for me is Clackamas Oregon, and it is where my brothers still are, literally within blocks from where we grew up. My Bros (an endearment I have used for years) unlike me never really ever left the neighborhood we grew up in.
Last weekend my daughter and I made the three-hour road trip across the Cascade mountain range with the wind at our backs and the sun on our faces with a mission. That mission was to surprise my two brothers with a weekend visit. My sister-in laws and my nieces were part of intelligence required to pull off such a feat. But as it happens an unintentional leak accidentally happened and one bro discovered we were coming before we even left.
No biggie, the only expectation I went with was being with my family and seeing a few other life-long friends. 
It was a beautiful balmy and sun filled afternoon when we left Bend, we commented to one another about it being a beautiful day for a road trip. Chatting like my daughter Jani & I do every time we are together with topics flying around us so often I’m not sure anyone else could (or want to) keep up with or conversations. (my daughter’s permission to use her real name when I asked was just a snicker of consent.)
Part of what made this trip so amazingly special to me was my daughter was part of it all. 
Leaving Bend the weather was gorgeous, one of the 300 plus days of sunshine on the high desert of Oregon. As we began to really climb in elevation near Mt Hood though we and fellow travelers were met with slushy to frozen highway conditions, snow falling mixed with some gusty winds. My daughter who has become quite proficient in driving in all kinds of snow and ice conditions navigated the road and other travelers with a nonplussed style, My daughter created a sense of confidence that made the whole trip, including the hour of tense road conditions relaxing for this passenger. Once we reached the summit (5900 ft) and began to descend the road conditions and weather improved, albeit we knew we were traveling down closer to sea level and into the valley with its notorious overcast skies and it’s misty damp air.
Thankfully Mother Nature was on our side this trip.
Traveling with my adult daughter for this trip was such a gift that I decided to make the weekend about comfort and independence as well; so with our reserved room at the more than comfortable Hampton Inn.  After checking in to our room we set foot about to accomplish our mission, heading out to my little brothers who happens to live just a few doors down from my older brother.
Part of the planning was to include open mic night at the pub where my brother often plays. We created quite the entourage even with just us:  My daughter Janis, my older brother Steve, my younger brother Doug, his lady Theresa,  good friend Jamey, my Matron of Honor from 40 plus years ago Linda, my soul daughter & her husband Jamie & Tony, my niece Jodie & her husband Jared. Just now I counted us all, including me there were 11 of us. of course this count does not include the other musicians and friends that are regulars at the pub’s open mic night. 
It was an awesome full house, especially for an open mic night. The music was fine and it was fun, cover tunes that we all knew. Once they started playing The Eagles everyone in the house was singing along.
I love that kind of feeling that live music lets even strangers feel like old friends.

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My Bro Doug and Pete.

me and rex

Me doing what I love; listening to my little brother play.

20140103_221731

My Baby Brother solo.

(not so much a baby I agree, but he will always be my baby brother.)

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Me & Theresa soul sisters and partner’s in crime.

Friday night was just a hoot. And by the end of the evening there were now three of us coming in to the Hampton Inn and passing the front desk. Now mind you please, only two people are registered to our room and since 9/11 here the USA lodging proprietors are required to know who is in their units. An additional per person rate is typically applied beyond double occupancy.

Passing by the front desk there are now three of us, and one of us was feeling a bit three sheets to the wind. (and I am not telling you who it was, but it wasn’t me, and wasn’t my daughter) The night clerk just smiled and welcomed us home from our evening out. Never a word about an added charge, or whose name’s were who. My friend Linda, my daughter Janis & I were in fits of giggles as the nightlife wore on, much like a slumber party of silly 10-year-old girls. Janis fell asleep about midnight leaving Linda and I to catch up until sleep took over about 3:30am.  When I was 16 yrs old I first met Linda, we have been the best of best friends for almost 44 years now. We are both single now and living life far different from our earlier years. I love the comfort in knowing she is always there.

Saturday was all the family day. My grandson, nieces & husbands, grand-niece, all gathered at my little Bro’s. One of the coolest unexpected things to happen was also being able to see two friends I have known since I was 4 yrs old. They are a brother and sister, Dizzy is my oldest brother’s good friend and his little sister Marilyn is my age and we were the very best of friends. Meeting in our closely knit neighborhood when we were just 4 yrs old riding our bikes everywhere we went. We for many years were inseparable, both loved the Beatles and Paul Revere & the Raiders. Seeing these two people I love like family was an unexpected gift. .


If it hadn’t been for my daughter I wouldn’t have these precious photos, I was too overwhelmed by living in the moment to think about capturing it. I am so grateful she did.

Thank you Jani for the weekend and the photos documenting it. Thank you also to Theresa, Sybil, Jodie, and Kelly for being my partners in crime.

Mission accomplished!

 
Going eastward home.  Mt Hood, her majestic self in the sunny skies.

©ttaylor2014

Living Golden.

A years time goes by in a flash, two bizarrely even faster.
Have you given any thoughts to what you’ll change and or add to your life in 2014? Do you make new year’s resolutions? A new diet? Stopping a bad habit like smoking for instance?
Or do you tend to be like me and not even go there?
I have long been an advocate for NOT making new year resolutions. This last two years for me has brought so many new life changes that had I made any conscious resolutions the last two January’s I suspect I surely would have not been successful in playing out those resolutions. Simply so because I am busy living in the moments life is prone to, while navigating this that I refer to as the reinvention of my second season.
With the new year approaching, I remain steadfast in my way of thinking for 2014. I have made choices and changes in my life that have challenged me in ways I never even realized were possible. The challenge of finding new paths in life to live authentically, while finding a balance that brings the bliss of contentment comes with built-in fear factors. Fears that very well could have derailed me right from jump street had I fed the fears any energy. Instead I forged ahead, often with my eyes tightly shut not knowing what I might find at the end of each path.
The “reinvention of my second season” certainly has been filled with lessons I have found difficult to reconcile with,  affirming again for me it is not I who is in charge of all aspects of my life. 
And this is my own personal take on a familiar tradition of making new years resolutions, certainly not a suggestion that this is meant as advice in any way shape or form.

For me I am feeling this great wonder of having the freedom and ownership being on my own. The gift of being only that genuine person I have been shaped and molded to be, from all my life’s experiences and interactions is the most comfortable I have been in own my skin for a very long time.
I continue to be a devout and professional student of life. I am certainly in no way a “perfect person” and though I strive to live the “righteous life” of simply being a good person, living by the golden rule, I know without a doubt I am filled with a variety of flaws and imperfections. Which brings me to the theory of new years resolutions. It is not that I don’t need to make changes in my life where most of those flaws and imperfections lie. I do.
I wonder then where the disconnect for me comes regarding the theory behind new years resolutions. It is our tradition and custom to compile new years resolutions that we hope are going to improve who we are, and our behaviors. We all have our own inventory of these self-proclaimed improvements we seek in ourselves, and we think we only need to comply and our lives will magically improve  And there for me is the rub.
I realized that my discomfort in making resolutions comes from my personal theory that for me improving life is really about how to live as a person who treats our planet and all of its inhabitants with great care and respect. All the years.
I find myself needing to slow down in life and look for the ways I am best able to accomplish this as part of the person I am. Finding ways that I won’t just drop the ball after the first few weeks as I did with a diet. I discovered I simply needed to change my way of thinking. Just as I did in relation to my way of thinking about dieting. I chose to change my thinking from “die-it-ing” to instead to “live-it-ing”
Admittedly an abstract way of thinking, but it works for me. I am convinced our thinking determines our behaviors, and if I can simply change how I think about something it will have a direct influence on my perceptions and then consequently my behaviors.

While pondering and wandering in my mind I remembered something from so far back in school I was not even sure I knew what I was recalling was correct. In school studying about The Stoics  I recalled they believed in one basic behavior: Being Good.  Needing some research to confirm what I thought I remembered I was delighted to find history about the
philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium -early 3rd century B. C. 
I recalled correctly and was even more wonderful was that my research was serendipitous to my thoughts on improving life & new years resolutions.
Wiki notes on the Stoics: 
 “The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of “moral and intellectual perfection,” would not suffer such emotions.[1] Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual’s philosophy was not what a person said but how they behaved.”
Upon further reading I was reintroduced to the very basic of tenets that the Stoics lived by.  .
  • Living according to nature
  • Helping others
  • Commitment to self-improvement. (aha, resolutions maybe?)
  • Central to all else, maintaining a proper attitude. ( And there it is. An affirmation for me)
I find it fascinating when I learn about the philosophies throughout history that despite their originating cultures all touch on the very same ‘golden rule(s). In today’s life-style and belief systems I think living by a sense of the Golden Rule is the only path to true contentment.
 
There are four more tenets that I ascribe to that help me find a clarity in remaining true to myself,  true to those in my world, and true as well to this earth we call home and our universe.
 
  • Live without pretending.
  • Listen without defending.
  • Speak without offending…

And my All-Time, All-Star favorite tenant:

  • Love without depending. 
Maybe some might choose to call these resolutions, and that’s okay by me.
I can do this for the rest of my life, not for just a few weeks. 
 
I will still make the choice to call it simply “Living Golden”.
 
 

©ttaylor2013

Winter’s Wild Wonderland

Finding delight during the height of the Christmas season brings a special sparkle. I love the classic (might I say vintage?) Christmas songs we all have grown up with, Hearing them year after year brings with them attached memories. I have this my first Christmas being single been especially remembering Christmas with my brothers, and with that has brought the soft feeling of being a bit homesick.

So this year I am going home!

The week after Christmas my daughter & I will be with my brothers & their families. I have a grand-niece who I will be meeting for the first, I am so looking forward to the trip. My brothers don’t know we are coming. My sister in-laws’ and I decided to make a surprise out of it for both my brothers who think they will not see me at all this holiday.

This means a road trip with my daughter as we will be making the trek across the Cascade Mountain range from our small home town on the high desert to the big city of Portland Oregon, Affectionately known as P-town.

All of this is very weather dependent of course. because of the temperamental climate of the wild winter wonderland of the Oregon mountains. Makes me think of the Christmas son Winter Wonderland.

The trip over the mountain pass this time of year can be quite a wild adventure if caught up at 6000-7000 feet above sea level in white out conditions.  (Think good thoughts for us please)

It can also be the most Zenful trip of the year  bringing an incredible sense of peace over your whole being. This stunning winter wonderland drive over the pass very soon begins to creates a calm and quiet that gently blankets the energy inside the car. No one speaks. Everyone feels it. Our breath is literally taken by the crisp and pure beauty that lies in every direction our eyes can scan.

And the silence. the blissful silence of snow. Only the subtle tapping cadence from the studded snow tires needed for traction keep time for the orchestrated quiet.  There is no radio reception, no cell/mobile service, and there is a sense for great reverence for that kind of wild winter wonderland silence. So we honor that for a bit of time and just drive.

We are in the middle of a national forest

 A deep humble sigh escape while softly smiling. Gratitude for the gift of living amongst such spectacular grace of nature is a shared thought. Day dreams about the little cabin nestled under the shelter of the great pines, tall sentry’s guarding at its sides. Then the narratives begin. As we wind through the mountains with the back drop of the sun glancing brilliant light off the snow we begin to spin tales. The stories we tell and build with one another;  the songs we make up on the fly singing together, and the silly laughter.

All part of the magic.

….and then once again the silence will come.

Oregon’s Wild Winter Wonderland.

Merry Christmas Y’all!

©ttaylor2013

Lost & Pining

( Note: I started this post a few days ago but at the time could not             finish it. I am leaving it however in present tense. )                  
I missed something today.

I just couldn’t even put it into words, that which I was missing.
I just felt lost.
Today the silliest of things, brought the quickest of tears to my eyes.
t’s been a lovely but weird change in my life, one that has certainly let me be alone lone enough to now know more of what my mom’s life was like for her after raising her Family. Then finding herself living alone for the first time in her life.
Though I refuse to live my life with regret I do wish I had the foreshadow to know then what I know today.
Some Triggers for feelings and memories can come from the oddest sources. The connections not really apparent.
At least right away.
For instance the video that follows below, I actually watched and fell in love with this story over a year ago, and there was not the trigger then for me like there is today. Maybe there was. [shrugging shoulders]
But I just was not in a mind-set that heard or felt it, that is a real possibility because even today it took me hours to recognize where that feeling of lost was coming from. I shared the video with a group, I watched it again, and I was crying before and after,  crying through the entire story.
Twice.
(It is a darling 16 minute story so worth watching)
I didn’t know why or where the tears were coming from. I can be a fairly emotional person I admit, but tears at the drop of an animated video? Tears blurring my vision when a friend shared how paralyzed he is musically because of grief?  I must be crying for his loss.
I thought.
 There were more tears. At every turn today I found myself weepy. The video only was the break in the dam of feelings. There was a disconnect I couldn’t attach to. What was happening emotionally to me?  I don’t cry over nothing.
  I said to myself;  “Self, you know maybe it is just the season and not feeling 100%.”
So many people struggle this time of year and feel disjointed,  they feel disconnected.
There was simply a feeling of being lost that I couldn’t put my finger on.
Like Pine must have felt.

Later while finally sending my daughter a song I’d discovered last week I heard at least a dozen times it was never from the perspective that I heard  today. 
A connection to the tear drops  for me was made through lyrics. 
If you know anything about me you will know that I use music in my life to communicate, to process, and sometimes to navigate life. It’s who I always have been.
Sending my daughter a song is not at all an unusual thing. We share a similar taste in a lot of music, and it’s especially true regarding Beth Hart‘s music. Her lyrics, her style, they are significantly important to both of us.
I will link the pertinent song for convenience:   http://youtu.be/s-h7O0JYLu4
Listening to the song again I heard it from the perspective of a daughter for the first time. I knew then right away what my tearful day was about.
I miss my mom. Simple as that.
My Mom: Penny Taylor  (18 yrs old)mom
In sharing my feelings with my youngest daughter who I was sending the song I told her that ‘mom’s’ typically are the one person in our lives who really do love us no matter what or who we are. It had finally hit me, finally it occurred to me that this is what my loss was about. No matter what choices I made in my life my mom always supported me. I always felt loved by my mom even when maybe I didn’t deserve to be. That unconditional love that only a mother can give.
How awesome that my emotions were mixed between those for my daughter, and those for my mom.
I think this might be part of my life’s full-circle.
©ttaylor2013

It’s A Little Chilly

A wicked cold night on my high desert has me thinking soulful ‘snow-ful’ thoughts.

 

peaceful snow_dec2013

Silent Snow 
Wind whispers in the night
brushing through my hair
snow so brilliant, snow so light
silent flakes dancing in the air
Twinkling lights as it blows
and silenced by its peaceful sight
                                 ~ Saturday 7 December 2013 
Today’s high 10° Fahrenheit
Current temp at 8: 05 PM -11° Fahrenheit
(5-6 inches of snow)
Record Low: -11° in 1972.
we’ll  break our record low tonight.
©ttaylor2013
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 

 

 

 

Wanted: Human Connections

The video below brought back to my consciousness something I have been thinking about for some time.  I find the video very uplifting in its creative nature and extremely inspiring. Maybe even the catalyst for this post finally coming to be. Sometimes the inspirational muse comes from very surprising places.

With the holiday season upon us my thoughts have become quite focused on human connections and interacting with each other
We as humans need and are nurtured by human contact. Through the history of our human nature we have been drawn together almost like magnets.
From the beginning of time humans have had a compulsion to connect with one another, to form communities, We know this intellectually and instinctively that we have a need & desire for connections with others.
We communicate of course with our voices, eyes, faces, hands, touch, and body language. The common ways we exchange ideas, thoughts & feelings when we’re able to be in the same air space, this lets us see and feel what another is living.
We are naturally empathetic and sympathetic people.
But what happens to the quality and genuineness of our communications if we remove the ways I outlined in how we communicate?

Communication & interacting with one another is so strong a desire and/or need that we use other methods to express and communicate even when we are physically apart. We have always been compelled to stay in touch even with great distances. From messenger on horseback, stage-coach, and the pony expresses to text & instant messaging today, it has become far more convenient to remain in touch.
Despite the frequency and conveniences for these interactions today I wonder if we are not missing out on something very tangible and irreplaceable..
My personal feelings are that this has only detracted from the quality of communicating with one another. In my humble opinion we are becoming a society of anonymity and I am concerned that we also are losing our ability to have empathy for one another. With the wonder and advent of the technological advancements we have less reason to go outside our own comfort. Consequently we do far less interacting with one another; we have fewer practical needs in managing our lives where interacting with others is the normal routine of living.
  With the click of mouse we can have our entire life managed logistically from behind a computer monitor or a smart phone today. Even voice to voice calls has become a chose du passé.
An email or text? More prudent?
With texting, email, instant messaging, Facebook, chat rooms, and yes even blogs as our modes of how we stay in touch we have less need to be together in person. Less logistical needs that is. I dare say we also have strong emotional needs to be together, and to interact in person. 
I watch, and I participate…yet still with some reluctance and reservations 
In my way of thinking we are losing some very important aspects of communications.
Without the enhancements to our communicating by the abilities to see one another eye to eye, face to face, in person, without our hands describing ‘what a spiral is’ or our voice inflections, we lose pertinent content in communications which typically help bring the full picture into view.
Without our voice inflections, our hand gestures, or the ability to look one another in the eye we really only have words.
(Think conversation in monotone.)
How much about what is being said is also being left out of the full picture when we don’t have those added enhancements?
I watch and am often baffled how in some senses we are isolating more and more despite living in very urban communities. Some people go without any contact or touch from anyone significant in their life by choice. Some even go without ever having anyone personal or impersonal in their world, completely isolating, rarely seeing another soul, nor hearing another voice.

I question what this is doing to our ability to empathize with each other..

Emotions that are unattached for instance to typed words via today’s convenient forms of communicating are we creating a society where we are  more and more disengaging emotionally from each other? 
The face to face, the in person times of communicating are becoming less and less. We with our busy lives naturally find the easier and more convenient route to reaching out and touching someone,
Are we losing something in the process?
Yet with all that being said, and questions being posed, I still find there are positives in the advent of computers and the Wide World Web.
Our ways of interacting and communicating have changed us and .I being a lie-time student of human nature am fascinated by the changes we’ve already seen in the world today. Changes in how global boundaries have shrunk, how the oceans have virtual bridges that enable us to cross without ever leaving our homes or offices. We can connect with people and cultures that without we might never have otherwise.
I am despite my concerns for what our modes of communications and the platforms we use today might mean for our near future I am yet grateful that we have this technology. for it brought me you. 
If we use it wisely and with care it can be an exciting and positive spin on how we communicate today and open the doors to new possibilities.

Even though…we have never met…even though we live different parts of the World… AND in different time zones, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you and love you.  For it is through you and your vibration that THE PLANET IS shifting from the darkness into the light.


 

©ttaylor2013

Twenty-six Days Twenty-six Nights

Twenty-six days. Twenty-six nights.

When I closed my laptop last night I had reached 50,122 words which means I was successful in the challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days. ( story needs maybe another 10-15,000 words to complete the story-line)

http://cfiles.nanowrimo.org/nano-2013/files/2013/11/2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover.png

Much about what I experienced this past month will forever be embedded in my memory, life lessons, writing tips, inspiration from the coolest sources, and the support of devoted friendships. What started out to be one story line showed yet another additional side-line as my story seemed to begin to write itself. Often veering into uncharted territory for me.

Finding support and inspiration during this adventure was something I never needed to look for, in the most wonderful ways the support was always right when and where I needed it. I have had the absolute delight in many discoveries through this process, and discovering the hidden talents in those in my world has been the priceless gifts that I take away from  the last 27 days.

From the daily support by devoted friends, family, writers, musicians, and complete strangers  new friends, all telling me I could do this, and that I was not alone I became even more empowered. I don’t think I would have been successful without.

  One particular friend who doesn’t need me to name names here  I still want to especially thank. This  friend has been my cheering squad,  doing research, helping me to manage my continuity, and at times my muse. This creative, clever and  generous person even created a gift of a place for me to Storyboard, naming it Toni’s Co-Op Storyboard. (invitations  to other writers will follow soon) 

On another morning I went to said Toni’s Co-Op and  I found this:

Graphics for my book cover…..An amazing gift of friendship & priceless support.

Don’t you think?

The Charles Bukowski poem below I always have liked and often find great solace  in when I am at the literary crossroads. But…. after these past few weeks I say now I know exactly what Mr Bulkowski was saying.

Living it far different than reading it.

I share.

” So You Want to Be a Writer “

By Charles Bukowski

If it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.

…and there never was.

One final & very personal note from me about writers.

Since going on record regarding my NANO project, and despite that I have written and published for almost 15 yrs. all of a sudden I am being bombarded with questions by well-meaning folk. Things I never was asked of before, nor wold I ever ask of someone else. It occurred to me that these folks just might have never thought about how their questions might be received by me. Often I find these to be unwelcome and awkward questions.

I love these people, please don’t misunderstand. In fact, I love them and their friendships more than I dislike the questions.BUT….since I am thinking they just have no idea how I feel if I don’t tell them. Remembering we teach people how to treat us. 

So, please allow me to say now. 

Top Ten Tips For Surviving a Relationship with a Writer

  1. Never ever ask when the book will be published.
  2. DO NOT ask a writer if they wish they had written a best seller.
  3. Never say you’re thinking of writing a book. Never ever say you’d also write a book if only you had time. 
  4. Don’t call the police if you happen to see a writer’s browsing history. The average writer is not planning to poison you,  hire a hitman, or move to Afghanistan. It’s simply research. 
  5. Leave a writer alone when the writer is actually writing. You have no idea how difficult it is to enter into the zone. 
  6. Don’t pick unfair fights with a writer, writers do get their revenge in print. 
  7. If you do pick a fight, make it memorable. The writer is always looking for material. 
  8. If your writer wanders off at a party, don’t panic. Writers love to inspect the host’s bookshelves and medicine cabinets. 
  9. Buy your writer notebooks and cute pens as gifts. Do not buy flowers. Chocolate is also acceptable.
  10. Leave your writer alone when a REJECTION LETTER arrives. After the deadly silence, screaming, crying, moaning, and muttering have subsided, offer your write a cup of coffee or tea. And a cupcake, preferably chocolate. * And a huge hug. 

And Tip # !! ~ looking for a gift for the writer(s) in your world? Maybe think about how welcome the above ten tips, hand-written in your own script, on nice sheet of stationary, would be to your writer..

The Difference Time Can Make on the High Desert

The 'bend ' of the Deschutes River

The ‘bend ‘ of the Deschutes River

That life can change as sudden as the blink of an eye is never lost on me. When I started writing my 2013 NANO project the weather here on the high desert was hanging on to mild days, & sunny skies, making my view out my window from where I write quite stunning for Fall in Oregon. Even for the high desert. Fall which just happens to my favorite time of year because it represents change. At least to my way of thinking it does. The photo above I took about a month ago.  in late October as I walked the river trail outlining my new story -line.- A personal favorite place to wander on foot for a mental wander.

Locally we were beginning to think that any idea we might have that this was going to be a harsh winter were slim.

Then Mother Nature  surprised us last week as our night-time temps began dipping into single digits, and our daytime highs in the mid 20′s. Fahrenheit that is.  Old Man Winter is making an appearance after all.

My NANO?  As of this day; #25, taking most of the weekend off,  I am delighted that I am at 43,668 words towards my goal of  50,000.
I also realized while star-gazing my story won’t be told in the 50,000 word commitment I made.  I am quite okay with that.

Feeling: Astonished how things can change, so much, so fast.

Photo: What an awesome pic from James Dustin Parsons of ExtremeOregon.net. He snapped this Wednesday evening while snowshoeing on out on the closed Cascade Lakes Highway. "That yellow glow, from what I have learned, is light pollution from Portland," he wrote. "It is in every night shot I take in that direction but I think it looks cool." We agree! Do you?

FYI only ~

The gorgeous photo above is not mine, but I think it so breathtaking and representative of the beauty we are blessed with here on the desert in the winter.  I want to share it.

The highway in the photo is the beautifully scenic Cascade Lakes Highway.  This awesome pic is by James Dustin Parsons of ExtremeOregon.net. He snapped this last Wednesday evening while snowshoeing on out on the closed highway.

Mr Parson’s shared this; ” That yellow glow, from what I have learned is light pollution from Portland,” he wrote. “It is in every night shot I take in that direction, but I think it looks cool.”

I think so too James~

This 66-mile historic highway was selected by Scenic America as one of the nation’s ten most important byways. It became a National Scenic Byway in 1998 because of its outstanding scenic, natural and recreational qualities. It was also dedicated as a National Forest Scenic Byway in 1989. The byway follows a journey of water through a volcanic landscape accentuated by 14 alpine lakes. Reflected in many lakes are scenic views of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and South Sister. The byway is a great way of getting in touch with cultures and communities of Central Oregon‘s high desert.
.

Choice ~ AWOL (a way of life)

A short explanatory post regarding my frequent absence and tardiness in visiting here at WP.
Like all of us who navigate life I am of late needing to be more selective with how I spend myself. 
Quite happily I made the choice to participate in NANO this year after successfully completing the NANO Camp in April. 
With 13 days into the “30 Days To Write A Novel” I am doing well after starting from just a brief outline with my concept, my main character, and the leading lady‘s goal in the story line. 
This is going to be a squeeze for me to finish by the 30th of the month, I have so far not wanted to throw my laptop down, but with already a 36 hour period that came and seriously put me behind I wondered. 
With my gracious thank to my fellow and sister writers,NANO writers, and dear friends for your cheering on, and your priceless tips for helping to stay at task. 
Also my deepest gratitude to you who unconditionally support me and my Barefoot Baroness blogs. I’ll be back, I just reconciled I cannot do both my novel and blogging.  Kind of surprised me.
Please know your friendships are always treasured and I do miss this community. 
I leave these additional words:
I Choose….
…..to live by choice;
not by chance;
to make changes;
not excuses,
to be motivated;
not manipulated
to be useful;
not used,
to excel;
not compete,
I choose Self-esteem,
not self-pity
I choose to listen to my positive inner voice;
not the random opinions of others. 
 
©tjtaylor2013

The Bavardage of My Mind

” bavardage” IE; chat, talking, gossiping, chitchat, dialog, prattle
 
I have had an occasion of late to have a lot of down-time lately, A LOT of down equated for me to be almost zero writing. (hence MIA from WP) Consequently because I didn’t have the outlet and release that I typically find in writing I found instead that I was filled with self-chatter. Thoughts not shared out loud soon became a bounty of negative and defeating self-talk. To get out of my head, away from my thoughts I started reading about the dynamics of inner dialogue.

That self chatter, self-talk, inner chatter, on-going self dialog, the inner voice,  that which echoes in our heads.

I think everyone does it. 

 From the very second of our birth we begin having interactions with our surrounding environments. and absorbing information. We learn and grow by connecting to and relating to the encounters with others and events that happen around us. In short order we become creatures of habit and we develop into the unique personalities that make us who we are.
Science has demonstrate that our brains retain every single thing we ever are exposed to. Everything we saw, heard, talked over, read, touched, tasted and smelled.. our brain like a huge data base retains it all. True that we might not always be aware or even have access to all the archived details, but this is really protective, it would be mind-blowing if not.
No matter the experience, good or bad, its recorded in our brains. These are the details that lend to our individualism and have a direct impact on our thinking, and in the ways we interact with our environment.
Learning and adapting includes developing the self talk we come to rely on. We learn early on to have theses chats with ourselves.
Eventually we learn our self-chatting becomes our normal way of processing life.
Acknowledging that we create patterns of self-chatter is realizing that literally we learn to hold conversations with ourselves and that becomes habitual. If we recognize that anything we practice on a routine basis becomes an aspect of our behaviors we can see our self-chatter is no different.
Without suggesting that all negative self-talk is toxic our internal dialog however can create irrational expectations, burdens, and stress. If we are not mindful of this dialog taking a negative spin through our mind it can have negative consequences impacting our lives. Internally reminding ourselves of an appointment is how we stay at task., but when the self-chatter becomes judgmental and negative, it can be self-destructive.
With frequent negative chatter it begins reinforcing and feeds our self-limiting beliefs, creating deeper problems when the sub-conscious mind wants to please and protect. Our subconscious takes everything we say as truth, it cannot differentiate between facts & falsehoods. So to not create conflict within we tend to affirm all the self-chatter whether it is negative or positive.
We create a vicious cycle which I love to refer to as my squirrel cage effect. 

My Squirrel Cage equation looks like this: Negative self-talk + persistence habits = limiting self-beliefs.

We Create such behaviors and the sad news is this is self-defeating, which can result in reinforcing the very behavior which leads to more negative thoughts, and as a result creates yet more negative self-chatter. That’s the Squirrel Cage cage effect -

Round and round we go.

Our self-talk has a rebound effect on our moods, thoughts, emotions, behaviors & actions,

So… the great news is with the realization that we humans are all intelligent beings and with great reflections we all have the ability to ‘reprogram’ our thoughts for better results.

We have free will and we are continually evolving as the world keeps on turning. Our brains are intelligent and like people friendly computers, operating systems with powerful interfaces that can help us navigate and liberate our internal world.  Since our brains function 24/7 there is a constant live stream of subtle chatter feeding our emotions. 

Stop and listen purposely to that inner dialogue.

What is it telling you?

With awareness beginning to identify the inner dialogue, the self-limiting chatter, and see that the negative self-chatting can actually harm emotionally.

By changing instead to that which is self-affirming can reprogram our internal dialogue.

Learning the art to separate yourself from self-defeating thoughts is a life affirming. I have been practicing yoga & meditation for more years than I will ever admit to, and I know the power our minds if we become mindful of where we let our thoughts take us. So with that in mind I created a list of purposeful driven actions that with practice can get me out of that negative head space of self chatter.

Out of the Bavardage of my mind.

I share; my suggested thoughts on the point. What I find works for me does not mean it will work for everyone, but maybe it will start some thoughts on the subject.

  • Awareness
Going to a place where I won’t be interrupted, and I can relax . Only observing what goes on within my mind without trying to rid, alter, or direct your thoughts in any way. Becoming just an observer while I allow the dialogue to run wild
  • Analyze
Taking time to analyze if there is any truth to my inner negative chatting can allow myself to become more aware.  Questioning if I actually believe what ”self” is telling me.

I am finding as I practice this that while I dissect my negative self-chat I am able to re-examine my reality, and I can see the opportunities for improving and changing my beliefs when appropriate.
  • Determination
  • Now that I have become more mindful and aware of this internal dialogue on a regular basis the next purposeful goal is to become determined to find a way to distract and stop the “tapes” from running through my thoughts. Creating a buzz word for myself has helped. I use the term “Whoa it up” but basically it is being determined to tell myself  to stop  the chatter, to say “NO” each time I catch myself.  A more dramatic and therapeutic measure I have heard others use is to wear a rubber band on the wrist which can be snapped on the skin each time there is a discovery of negative chatter. The point is to find what works for you.
  • Self-Affrimations

    Realize that just simply trying to turn the negative inner dialogue off as it floods our thoughts is the first step to changing the negative to positive. But by just substituting the negative self-talk with something else is only a short-term fix. Our minds tend to revert right back to the original offending thought once we let go of the attempted distraction. Instead, practice being at ready to affirm yourselves with positive statements of self-affirming internal dialogue.

{ Positive Self-Affirmation Examples )

And finally, to aid in bolstering these self-affirming thoughts

While stating your chosen affirmation visualize being in the exact situation or circumstances in the mind’s eye. Visualize yourself living with integrity, see the beauty in that the you are good enough just as you are, experience the feeling of peacefulness by imagining where that is for you. Focus on that image for a few minutes. be mindful and enjoy the feelings it causes, breathe in deeply… and exhale slowly.
Our automatic nature, or our auto-pilot if you will, can make it challenging to change our negative self-chatter;  but the good news is that false beliefs and cognitive distortions of our truths are learned behaviors and the very fact means we CAN learn also to change our negative defeating talk. That realization for me has helped return the power of my thinking to being mindful an as ad result far less of that self-defeating chatter is being discussed with my ‘Self’ 

” You can only deny that which carries no strength of conviction.”
~ Byron Pulsifer

To Jump start the process of positive self-affirmations I included a borrowed list of affirmations. My hope is that one or more might resonate with you and give you a head start to developing your own personal list. Write them down and place them where you will see them often for reinforcement.

  • I am Successful,  Healthy and Happy.
  • I am grateful to life for all that I have received till now and for all that I will be receiving in the future.
  • I can do it.
  • I feel good about myself and about everybody around me.
  • All is well. Everything that is happening is as it is meant to be.
  • The past is gone. I live only in the present.
  • I love myself unconditionally and accept myself as I am.
©tjtaylor2013

Fall Brings An Easter Blessing

18 October 2013

 
Seeing a plant in stages of its growth is not at all unusual if you garden. And I do. 
I think of gardening as a blessing, I love to grow things wild and unruly. I love to get my fingers into the dirt in the ground, I love to make mud pies.  
I have an unusual event happening in my garden this Fall.
Every year since my two daughters were infants I received an Easter Lily from them & their father to help set the environment of spirituality for the season of Lent & Easter in our home. We are not an overly religious family, but we are deeply spiritual and Easter & the spring equinox are significant, with the traditional & symbolic gift given of an Easter Lily. 
 

An Easter Lily  (Lilium longiflorum is actually a native of the southern islands of Japan. A World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, is credited with starting U.S. Easter Lily production when he brought a suitcase full of lily bulbs with him to the southern coast of Oregon in 1919. He gave them away to friends and when the supply of bulbs from Japan was cut off as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the rising price of the bulbs suddenly made the lily business a viable industry for these hobby growers and earned the bulbs the nickname “White Gold”. Today over 95% of all bulbs grown for the potted Easter Lily market are produced by just ten farms in a narrow coastal region straddling the California-Oregon border, from Smith River, California up to Brookings, Oregon.

For almost 40 years every May I would replant said lily’s outside in my gardens and flower beds. Different gardens throughout those years, and for 10 years while living in a downtown Seattle high rise I planted the plants in the apartment buildings gardens since I had none of my own. 
I could grow really healthy beautiful plants, but to get them to re-bloom again in their natural environment was something I was never successful with. They make gorgeous foliage with shiny green pointed leaves, adding much texture and different heights to my flower beds. But to bloom again in the early summer months of June as Mother Nature intended the following years never happened.
 I was okay with that,  I knew from research that to get a plant to re-bloom after being forced to bloom unnaturally is not an easy feat.  
 
This past March 2013 on Easter I was in a very different space than I had ever been; not only had I become a newly single woman at the start of 2013 I also gifted myself for the first time ever an Easter Lily. It had been 3 years since my youngest daughter survived emergency brain surgery and woke from coma on Easter Sunday 2010.
As I said my Easter 2013 was very different than it ever had been, my first alone, and my daughter was winning the fight to save her life a second time.
IMG_2535
 
After taking great care to keep my lily alive after its blooms were spent I planted it in June outside in my tiny flower bed I had created at my new little apartment. 
It was a late planting this year even for the high desert because we had a later than usual beginning to our spring with freezing night-time temperatures prevailing through May, making it impossible to start gardening like the rest of our state did in March.
So my lily finally went into the ground and I nurtured it along, making sure through that during our warm summer days it was thriving and growing strong. 
 

Last month I noticed a bizarre thing. Growing out of the original plant were two new offshoots. Two new stalks, the Easter lily plant had propagated itself. In the fall. That in itself was different from any other time I had witnessed before. Typically the lily goes dormant after its blooms have faded and dies back into itself until spring the following year. 

“Well,” I thought, “that’s kind of cool.”
 
Then… it started happening.. First one bud appeared, then another, and then both stalks created 5 to 6 buds each. 
I could watch almost daily out my window the buds turning into blooms. 
 
My Easter lily is blooming!!
In the Fall!
IMG_2620
 
 
By rights This lily should not be blooming! Unless my past history with Easter lily’s( that were hot-house forced to bloom in the spring) is odd. 
But even the irony of MY lily blooming is enough that I think it is very cool.  
But that it is also fully blooming in October, in the high desert of central Oregon… well .. that is such an incredible thing I am in awe with this lily.  I associate my youngest daughter’s recovery from emergency brain surgery on Easter Sunday morning of 2010 as a miracle, along with that 3 years later the reinvention of my life and my maiden Easter purchase of this now blooming lily as my Fall Easter blessing 
And I am amazed.
 
It is why I wrote about it, so I will never forget the miracle of Mother Nature’s strength and resilience. 
I think our own human spirit mirrors that strength & resilience.
 

Paradoxial Relationships.

I have been spending quite a bit of my attention lately focusing & reflecting on human relationships; This has brought me a realization that we as humans attract what our souls need during particular times in our lives, I know it’s not an original thought on my part, it just struck me recently that even those interactions that I see now as toxic still brought lessons I needed desperately to learn.

That someone you are with at any given time is bringing to your spirit just what it is you need to learn from that particular interaction, that someone will bring out in you those life lessons necessary to find your own truths and authenticity. 

Depending on the level
of intimacy (directing your own tailwinds) will dictate how vulnerable you will allow yourself to be with another .And frankly with yourself. But if we remember that everything we see in another is exactly what we are needing to  see in ourselves it might allow us more emotional investment’s. Mirroring those vulnerabilities with kindness toward not just others but importantly towards “Self” helps to get connected in ways that will feed our spirit. And in turn we help feed others.
If we can look upon our relationships with this in mind it can become a natural flow to then find a true kindness towards our self and towards others. Kindness that may very well be the remedy for so much in our own small world of worlds. It merely needs to start within and for ourselves.
Before we convince ourselves that there is nothing any given interaction can bring to our lives we might want to stop, reflect, & examine. Being mindful that which we see in another is just what we need to see in ourselves equates to Life Lessons.
No judgements.
No blame.
Past and current relationships in my life have become life lessons intertwined with those interactions. During times when I couldn’t see the light at the end of ANY tunnel it has become my saving grace knowing that I am able to see the light shine with the much-needed warmth from someone else.
In someone else I find the lessons reflected in what I need to know to live more authentically.
I didn’t always have the grace to see it this way.
When presented with a behavior, or a way of thinking by another that felt conflicted within my own scruples I balked. I judged. I certainly was not feeling abundant unconditional love & kindness.
Now with more emotional intelligence I know this is an echo of that which I still must still learn. 
Learning to live with abundant love for others and for our selves is a kindness we are all worthy of finding, and though we may tend to think of being kind to our selves as something akin to being self-centered… it’s truly not.
Through the interaction with our relationships in life we can learn the arts of unconditional love, forgiveness, and the kindness of acceptance. Even the negatives we can find in relationships bring the positives.
Please, trust me, I am not suggesting abusive behavior, intolerance, or judgement of others is what we should accept. I definitely do not advocate for staying in any relationship that is harmful to you physically, emotionally or spiritually. I do though know from personal experience that even in this type of relationship there was a great value in the lessons about myself I learned. I choose now to see it as such, not hold on to the resentment & anger that only starves my spirit.
Unconditional Love.
Forgiveness.
Kindness.
Acceptance.

There is an authentic grace knowing the great wisdom held in practicing these four acts with others, others can see the light in our faces when we are loving without any conditions, If we can know this and trust this it helps release the light inside of any personal entanglement. It can take us to wonderful heights, the ups and downs of navigating any relationship. It just might become apparent that these ups and downs can bring us clarity & strength. These ups and downs help us to remain grounded and balanced.
We might ask ourselves; what it is that our soul is longing to discover from each person who comes into our lives? It can bring into focus that it really is all about love being the mainstay that feeds what our souls need. To not be so leery or too cautious of what these interactions will bring us leaves our hearts and our minds open.
Embracing the shining lights we may see ins eyes of others, being open to what messages they hold allows our hearts be open, and we feel more approachable to the person we are connecting with. There is always wisdom for our spirits within each other  and the beauty of this is we need no special tools or training to receive and accept these. The things we see in another are maybe the most important things we can pay attention to. The kinds of things that touch our hearts if we just tap in. This very well can bring us that sense of being complete, and allows us to surround our lives with the presence of unconditional love with a genuine authenticity
My life lessons now includes this big paradox about the relationships in my life, that they in fact depend very much on the relationship I have with myself. These relationships that are so significant for me are mirrors of myself, they reflect not only how I am seen by others., but how I see myself.  And that’s pretty cool.
There is always a choice which path to take in our journey so that which our spirit is searching for our authentic self will lead us to.  As if by instincts, if we quiet ourselves, and open our heart every time we feel lost, If we listen, if we engage with others they can bring to our spirits love & life lessons that shape who we are..
If we share openly with those who we surround our small worlds we create deep spiritual connections.
Connections with the human spirit bringing us ever closer to living a life of authenticity, we will find that in knowing our self so intimately that we can become the master of our own destiny.

 

 

 

Signature 2013

 

A PSA That WILL Save Lives –

http://cdn.itcanwait.com/wp-content/themes/itcanwait/img/itcanwait_profile_picture_300x300.png

Do you do it? 
Do you text while driving? 
Just maybe to take a peek to see who it’s from? 
Couldn’t it wait? 
 
In the USA we are finally getting a handle on driving under the influence. The statistics say the number of those driving altered by some substance is down. 
But…..
 
What we gained, we’ve turned around and lost again due to the number of people texting while driving. The distraction point is the very same as driving under the influence. 
Learn. Live. And protect & save lives. Nothing, not one message ever is as important.
Warning. Prepare to have your heart-strings pulled hard.
 
September 19, 2013 Take the Pledge to Never Text and Drive. No matter where you live. No matter what country. Losing live’s to careless distractions knows no borders.
What your pledge means:
 
No text message, email, website, or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road. I pledge to never text and drive and will take action to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. 
 
No Text Is Worth The Risk.
It Can Wait. 
For more information and resources please visit:

Five (5) Years Ago

Found in my reader this week.

“Setting Me Free”
by Beth Hart
Thank you to Miss Beth Hart
©tjtaylor2013

Let Your Soul Giggle

* This post is dedicated to a new friend, a new reader of LBB.~   ** Please See Below

I like being mindful of all the wonders in the universe.
Maybe I have been whittling down risks lately because of some misguided fear of taking a risk with my heart. The safety factor in place. 
Safely not venturing beyond or outside of my comfort zone.
No risks taking involved there.
While reading another blog about the blogger’s adventures on his weekend meanders. It woke me up. 
Hello.
Summer is over here in North America.
But also means my favorite season of the year is coming upon us.
 
I have been forgetting..
By being so caught up in just living I have forgotten that when we look upon the Universe with an open heart we allow our inner wanderer.. well to wander.
The adventurer within us awakens, we make choices of which paths to follow.  
Making the most wide awake choices for our lives and watching to be mindful that we are not whittling down the choices just so that we are without risk.
This cannot be loving living life to its maximum potential. 
 
Admittedly, there are times when living life isn’t about loving life so much. 
Thankfully for me these times have been short-lived enough that seeing the light in the storm again was fast & forth coming. I know this is not necessarily true for all. And I certainly do not mean to minimize this is any way.
Finding that light sometimes takes practice, I mean this in terms of utilizing skills and tools as a regular routine so that if and when that light starts to dim you can find the candles you need. In the dark.
It is absolutely about finding those things that will allow your soul to giggle again and bring you back into full brilliance. 
 
When this does happen in my life I hear my spirit calling me. 
I feel my spirit moving within my soul, typically I will hear my spirit call out for a revival. 
A revival in my world. I start pulling out all the stops. I lift the lid completely off that tool box I have created that holds the tools I need. Candles included. I start looking for the right tool, for the right job. 
 
,My Spirit
Takes Flight
I am hopeful
and I am free;
To express
To Explore
To begin
To be Me
( from my journal  12 February 1999- Seattle Washington )
 
Having a tool box filled with skills that can saw right through shadows that tend to try to diminish living in brilliant light can lessen the impact of those shadows. 
The shadow might still will be there, but you will have found that favorite set of candles, and you can begin lighting your way back to where the light shines again, without assistance. 
 
Tools & skills are the necessary for any job, and lets face it, living is a full-time job. Why not have a tool box full of life skills and tools.? 
 
 I have had this list in a journal since the mid 1990′s when my health took a nose dive into a shadow that took me out of the equation of loving living life for four years. I fought my way back without any toolbox initially. Building as I learned.
I had to start collecting tools on the fly. 
 Lessons were learned, and looking back at old journal writing in recent days I have been reminded so beautifully that said tool box of mine I moved with me is still filled to the brim with expensive & customized tools. I paid a lot in my life to earn them. I should use them.
Filled with the life lessons that became my mental tool box.
 
I thought since I was in obvious need of the gentle reminders maybe sharing them out loud would help create a permanent mind-set for me. A mind-set that when I see the light flickering I recognize it right away. Before it is dimmed completely. 
That I remember and go directly for my tool box. 
So I am sharing. 
  • Pace Yourself:
The first and most important thing to be mindful of is relaxing muscle tension; taking deep and slow cleansing breathes. Let go of body tension by practicing relaxation techniques (the Internet has a plethora to choose from)
Reexamine and reflect on any stressful circumstances with a relaxed body so your choices are clear. 
Let go of any stress you have no control over. Change how you think about it, maybe change your expectations. 

 

  • Create & Strengthen your mental muscle. 
Be real about your personal needs and wants for yourself, while also expressing to those important in your life where applicable.  Don’t settle for less.
 Turn your limitations into assets.
Get outside of your own head. 
Look at life through some one else and their perspective.
 Have empathy for others, so you may empathize with yourself.
Remember there is never just one way to do something. We have the choice to choose from many. 
 
  • Make Work & Pleasure a balance. 
Have a GOOD time loving your life.
Be active in your days, doing what feels good to move your body.
Make your work enjoyable, not dreaded.
Reflect on what things you know will bring you pleasure,
 And Do them.
Eat & sleep well. Don’t sweat it when you cannot. 
Keep connected with people you enjoy. And/Or animals.(domestic or otherwise)
 Make an effort to open yourself to new friendships. 
I have said before that I am meeting the most amazing people these days.
Finding and making new friendships is the quite possibly the most priceless tool to have inside that tool box. It might even be said it is a skill. 
 
* * I recently became friends with a woman whose name is Donna. I want to share here how this “amazing” woman blew me away. Her kindness of friendship in reaching out to me by taking a moment to share what she was thinks about my writing still leaves a smile in my heart today. This friend knows the skill & art of making friends, and nurturing friendships. I have a sense she knows how important this is.
She made my soul giggle with delight,
This post is for her.  Thank you so much Donna (from FB)
 
Open yourself to new friends. New possibilities. 
 
  • Make a personal plan of action.

Take time to be alone with you reflective thoughts. Think, examine, summarize, and discover all your options before you. 

Then plan. Then execute. 
If your light in your loving life begins to dim, have that tool box at the ready. Know without much thought the candle that needs to be lit, and know where you have your candles stashed for emergencies. 
 
Remember this gem my grandmother use to say ” every storm runs out of rain.”
Do something every day that feeds your spirit.
Make that something be what puts a giggle in your soul today.
©tjtaylor
 

Sunflower; Good Morning!

The Brilliant; and The Oh So Humble Sunflower
 
Good morning brilliant sunflower
 blazed in crimson red 
in you who greets the day
red sunflower closeup_2013
Good evening shadowed sunflower
 my spirit that you fed
Hoping that you’ll stay.

red illuminated sunflowers

Sunflower by the Amazing Glenn Campbell

red sunflowersvase _2013

High Desert of Oregon Sunflowers- blazed  in crimson red.

Summer 2013

Did you know there are 52 shades of red?

©tjtaylor2013

Deepest Respects Linda Ronstadt.

The 67-year-old music legend tells AARP Magazine, in an article posted online Friday, that she was diagnosed eight months ago and “can’t sing a note.

I have known now for several days. 

A musician friend ask if I had heard last Friday. I had not, I learned the heart-breaking news from him.
I am touched that he knew it would matter to me.
The front page mainstream news; the legendary singersong writer Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson Disease and has lost her ability to sing,

 ( No Words. )


Deepest sigh…
The strength of Linda Ronstadt.
That rich Ronstadt voice of silk. I am so grateful that we have her songbird voice recorded for all time.
Those who know me well know that this news that has shaken the music industry and its fans to their core, also is a heart stopper for me.
Linda Ronstadt is the female vocalist I dedicated approximately 45 years listening to, and studying every nuance of her music. Wanting to emulate my voice to be more like hers. I wanted my voice to be just as good as Linda Ronstadt’s.

 “No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt told AARP music writer Alanna Nash. “No matter how hard you try.”
 Having had the experience of developing Templar Mandibular Joint disease in my early 30′s it affected the range of motion of my jaws and it also meant losing the ability to sing with any quality.
I was unable to swallow after hearing this news about Linda Ronstadt. It hits so close to my home.
I hesitated mentioning my past aspirations of becoming a wage-earning vocalist in the same breath as I speak of Ms Ronstadt’s spectacular career, yet for me this is a sad kind of irony. 
I am struck by the memory of how difficult it was to ride through life with the music stuck in my head, & inside my heart.
I like to think I know a little of what Linda Ronstadt must be feeling.. but the truth is I cannot possibly know what it feels like to be Linda Ronstadt and how she is finding her way with her music stuck in her head. And in her heart.
I hope Linda can at least still hear her music in her head and in her heart where I know its stuck.
I hope,
 
 
 
 ©tjtaylor2013
 

60,000 Choice Thoughts

We think up about 60,000 thoughts in a day. How vital it is that we make choices about our thinking.
Sound a bit too clinical for LBB? 
 
Maybe think About this: 
How important it is that we not think up 60,000 negative thoughts, or even 59,000. It is imperative that we not harbor cynical and negative thoughts. our brain has approximately 100 billion cells, and each is connected to about 20,000 other cells.  What this means is our thinking has the possibilities of billions, maybe trillions of various thoughts.
We have the freedom of choice
 Maybe we could begin anew if our thoughts of late have run into the fields of negativity.
My thoughts seem to revolve around my emotional intelligence lately, and sometimes the painful lessons my intelligence runs a foul with in that field of life.
With infinite combinations of brain cells to choose from why not try a whole new combination today?

While taking a self inventory you might find that what brought you to be the person you are today are the many painful, heart-crushing moments in our life that leave you winded. It might be a knee jerk reaction to run from those painful moments as fast as you can; thinking its the safest route.
Life just smacked you a good one and to stay in that moment and feel it.. is… well.. .painful.  Yes.
Life is painful, it is not that we are bad people having bad things happen to us.
It is that L.I.F.E. has to have pain in order to honor the joy.
Yes,  the yin & the yang. The negative and the positive.
Looking back on our thinking; without explanation, without apologizing, we can own the painful moments created along our journeys.
Painful moments exist. Life can hurt. But, remember we have been here before, we felt this before. We know we survived it. (though maybe it felt all to consuming at the moment)
There is that space in time again; The moment.  A friend shared that his bitter moments are balanced with his sweet, I love his thinking.
Without the bitter than can not possibly be the sweet. The positive needs the negative for their to be a true & concise connection.
There must be some truth to the adage “No Pan No Gain”.
Maybe it is how we evolve.
Life can hurt. A lot sometimes.
- The bitter.
Thankfully those painful moments come with built-in lessons.
 -The sweet.
For me quite often it is not until later that I realize there is a lesson, a sweetness garnered from the bitter moment.
Finally I see it.  Finally I feel it.
Feeling painful moments are good reminders for me to breathe deeply, and slowly; Inhaling the moment that came with its pain smack right in the middle of my living to bring & teach me some necessary growth.

Growth can come from places never even realized. Growth can come from places that we thought were not available to us, places we thought were dead & barren. Places of great disappointments.
Growth happens when we realize that it is not what happens in our lives that long stays with us, but it is t how we happen choose to respond to the happenings.
This is why it is called happiness.
Freedom to choose to see the sweet, balanced by the bitter.  (Thank you Groovy)
 I know for certain that I make the choice to hang on to hope, that what has ‘happened’ has happened for good reason.
Life it seems is much like a beautiful piece of embroidered cloth. The first half the embroidery is worked from the “wrong side’ of the fabric, stitching out the branches that will hold the blossoms, that bring the fruit.
The second half of life is the ‘right side’ of the fabric with its rich texture of all those pain-taken stitches.
Life’s lessons, even the painful ones, are much like how certain people are brought into our lives for a certain reasons.
I have a wooden plaque that sits in a prominent place in my home given to me my bestie in 2010 that I cherish to this day. It is also a reminder for me about the lessons that come into our lives.
It says:
” Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for awhile and leave footprints in our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”    (thank you DCD) 
©tjtaylot2013

Sometimes Angels Sing..

Sometimes Angels Sing To You In The Wind…
And sometimes even from cyber-space I can hear singing… like angels in the wind.

Least anyone reading, writing, or even talking about blog author’s should suggest that this is not community of genuine and caring people they would need to make an appointment to see me; so I may enlighten them.
 
I have angels come sing to me, disguised by their blogs, behind their songs (words & photograph’s) are the most beautiful & generous people I have ever found.. in any space, let alone it be cyber-space. These angels are just as important to me as those in my real time’ community. 
 
I know you know who you are, so naming names won’t be necessary. 
 
If I had a song for every time my heart has been touched by your own words, your own shares in these last 3 years my heart would be a House of Music. I have gained valuable lessons from shares between us.
I have laughed with you, I have cried with you, as you have me. 
I have found great comfort in knowing when the chips are down, or when I am walking up in the clouds, or just even living life on an even keel, I need to look no further than to have the sense of this never-ending support & encouragement. I need look no farther than this Word Press community. And you.
 
While reading a thought-provoking article about relationships from a blogger who is a kindred spirit to this Barefoot Baroness I thought about these friendships here in this blogging world that have become so significant for me. The Wise Counsel of this post about relationships is just a perfect explanation in how we can interact with each other in our relationships. I had been contemplating writing my gratitude recently for you, for your devoted support & encouragement when I read this blog. It was my prompt. You are my muse. It was the perfect segue into what I wanted & needed to say here. (Thank you TeeCee)
 
Wise Counsel’s essay on relationships is a thought-provoking piece. I often find myself nodding in agreement with what this blogger so eloquently shares. This post & his masterfully written blog can be found @ http://teeceecounsel.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/wise-counsel-on-relationships/
Relationships & the communications between others matters a lot to me, I see this as a gift when we find relationships where we can give & receive raw, transparent; and open sharing, The possibilities of shared experiences enrich our emotional intelligence ten-fold. 
As for me, the relationships where the interaction with one another is reciprocal are the most rewarding relationships that I am a part of.  Emotional investment between two people is the foundation of a genuine friendship.
Absolute authentic relationships are what helps feed my soul. and in my mind are the most treasured kind. They should be protected and nurtured.
 
I hope in some way I have given back to you a sense of support and encouragement, this sincere feeling of the friendship that I feel from you every time you visit.
I hope that you find something significant in our relationship too.
Thank you my lovelies,  you my community,  for being all that you are. 
For you are my friends ~

 

 

 tjtaylor2013©

 

 

Moved To Tears~ My Beautiful Child

My child, my daughter ~   she moves me to tears lately in the most wonderful of ways 

Though I have always been determined about keeping my family for the most part out of what I share here at LBB I have on rare occasion left that decision by the curb side.  No real reason not to share, it is just my feeling that it is their lives, theirs to share, not mine.
I am side stepping this self-mandated protocol for a very good reason, in my mind anyway. 
I have something to say publicly. 
I want my youngest daughter to know how proud I am of her. Openly for the world to know. 
The back ground that is pertinent is my child is a survivor of emergency brain surgery that saved her life in 2010.  
 

Please allow me to introduce you to my hero, my beautiful child.

 Janis Cara 
Today 2013

jani_aug2013
Before I continue with my prideful boast  post let me address that although what I am going to share is not often common knowledge, nor mine to share, my daughter has given me her blessings and support.
I am writing about her because I have watched this young woman fight to save her life, and to work towards a complete recovery after complications from a subdural hematoma of her left front lobe in the spring of 2010.
 

A subdural hematoma (American spelling) or subdural haematoma, also known as a subdural hemorrhage (SDH), is a type of hematoma. A haemotoma is blood pooling from an injury under the skin or in my daughter’s case in her brain.
 
My beautiful child who survived emergency brain surgery also then developed a substance abuse disease. 
I mention this brief background so that my emotions which I am not holding in check at this moment make some sense. I know it was symptomatic of her brain injury. I want her to know that she has great reasons to hold her head high. and to feel some pride too.
 
For 5 days post surgery my daughter lay in an induced coma so that her traumatized brain would have a chance to heal.
For 5 days and 4 nights we did not know if she would live, and if she lived would she suffer any permanent brain damage? 
We didn’t know. I prayed on my knees in the hospital chapel, in her room, in my car, anywhere. Our community prayed. She was put on the World Wide Prayer chain by my best’ friend,
 
On Easter Sunday 2010 my child started rousing from her protected state of chemical sleep… to awaken. 
Or more perfectly said, to rise to the occasion. Her resilience shining brightly as ever.
A good friend said; ” She is an Easter miracle”
 Indeed. 
She has always been a survivor. 
 
To say we were ecstatic to see her open her eyes slowly, look around the room at her family, to simply ask where she was is a gross understatement. Immediately she was ready to go home and resume her life. This should have been an indication that she was not connecting properly.
But, we saw it as no impairment initially, albeit the neurosurgeon educated us a bit that because of the location of her brain injury she would have some difficultly with decision-making, being impulsive and compulsive.
I didn’t see it right away, engrossed in the fact that she was alive.
 
The last three plus years have been a bittersweet roller-coaster ride in her life. While in the process of her recovery from the brain injury she lost sight of who she is.. During the course of those 3 years she developed a substance abuse disease.
I thought I had lost her for good.
Today my daughter is clean & sober. Graciously accepting that she has a disease of addiction. She will always have the disease, but she works a very stringent recovery program and depends on her faith to get her through some tough times.
I mention the addiction because with substance abuse comes secrets.
With recovery comes honesty, there is no more need for secrets.
My child deserves to be recognized by me, her mom.
 
As my beautiful child is learning about genuine humility and serenity, this is what I want to focus on, not where she came from, but where she is going. ‘
This is about how proud I am of her.
 
This is her tribute. 
Janis ~ 2010
2010
Fe My Sweet Beautiful Child Of Mine, Jani ~ 
 
Serenity in life is a battle scar, wear it loud, and wear it proud my daughter!’
Beautiful Child
You make me laugh you make me sing
You make me want to give you everything
In life that I never had
You say the sky is all vanilla
And you swear there’s a gorilla
Living in the bubbles of your bath
But now that you’re here what mattered has shattered
I’m shattered for good
Just remember my beautiful child
We’re just here for a little while
So live like your dying and laugh till you cry
And love yourself like I do my beautiful child
You say there are monkeys in the trees
You want to feed them some of your frozen peas
‘Cause monkeys get hungry too
Can’t wait to see when you turn three
The infinite possibilities popping
Like popcorn inside of you
But nothing before or after could ever
Bring laughter like yours
Just remember my beautiful child we’re just here for a little while So live like your dying and laugh till you cry
And love yourself like I do my beautiful
You will crash you will burn
When you do you will learn
Just like me in my youth
Search the trash for the truth
When the streets make you think
There’s no God down this deep
If it won’t cure you
It will surely make you smile
Just remember my beautiful child
We’re just here for a little while
So laugh like you’re crazy and dance in the aisle
And love yourself like I do my beautiful
Just remember my beautiful child
We’re only here for a little while
So live like you’re dying and cry till you smile
And love yourself like I do
Forgive yourself if you have to
Choose yourself cause I do
Never loose yourself cause I love you my beautiful child
“Beautiful Child” by Beth Hart
Source(s):

If you, or someone you know has an addiction to a substance please know you/they can come back from it.

Please seek professional and peer support. You can start now, right here>  http://12step.org/

tjtaylor2013©

Resilient Human Spirit

Sometimes we need a powerful reminder just how fantastic the human spirit is, how resilient we are as a species. I had another post in mind for today that actually also speaks to the resilience of the human heart and spirit 

The video below is the most perfect segue into that post ( look for it early in the week )

I ran smack into this gentleman & his story thanks to social media, and if you have not seen it yet I promise you will be moved to tears. Feel good kind of tears. 
The powerful reminder received from this man’s story is a perfect example of how getting outside our own head, our own ‘issues’ and being allowed to be touched by others is healing to our own spirit. 
Thank you Arthur for your share ~

A Compassionate Lesson

Now there is a concept… Self-compassion as a self-awareness.

This precious piece is in Sanskrit only but… language is just a heap of words, so I invite you to listen from the heart…

How easily are you able to have compassion for yourself?

In my last post I was discussing disappointments.  Getting past disappointments may require some self-compassion.

How do you show yourself a little compassion?

You-can-search-throughout-the-entire-universe-for-someone-who-is-more-deserving-of-your-love-and-affection-than-you-are-yourself-Buddha-Quotes

It feels awkward maybe to give yourself compassion, maybe if we were to practice it on a regular basis we’d get more comfortable with embracing the concept.

A Bittersweet Pill?

Recently my sensibilities towards life were hit with a big disappointment, a ‘broken heart’ if you will. 
Today I understand I once again put far too many of my eggs into just one basket for there ever to be a healthy outcome.
 It seems I sometimes get ahead of myself. Which is a complete bust when I am trying to be mindful of living in the moment.
In trying to analyze why I seem to set myself up I realized very quickly that was fruitless energy. To place blame on something or someone I have found over and over is an extreme wasted amount of emotional energy.
Instead I make the choice to move forward and find ways to change my way of thinking about not only this disappointment, but in how I let myself create expectations of things I have no control over.  That would be as my mother used to say, “most prudent.”
 
    So like a good daughter it seemed prudent then to begin studying disappointment. 
 From the basics:
Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself. It is a source of physiological stress. The study of disappointment—its causes, impact, and the degree to which individual decisions are motivated by a desire to avoid it—is a focus in the field of decision analysis, as disappointment is one of two primary emotions involved in decision-making.
 
So now I am thinking I am on to something. 
Regret vs disappointment, yes. 

 Season changes, summer being mid swing and Fall soon around the corner should have me focusing my attentions on what positives have changed in my life, and what the these previous months have taught me. Looking for the things (regrets?) that helped manifest the poor outcome which brought about this sense of disappointment.  Like anyone else I have suffered setbacks, experienced rejections, and had my hopes and dreams dashed.

That’s life, yes?

Typically I have a capacity for bouncing back from difficult experiences, and often find I am inspired by them.
But this time my knee jerk reaction was to feel a simple lack of resilience to courageously soldier on. So I started to mentally beat myself up for it. To look at only the poor outcome and not look beyond it for something more.
 
One of things that helped create the disappointment is unrealistic expectations about who I can be, what I can have,  and what I can achieve. My goals I imposed upon myself were ones with great struggles attached. When I failed to be able to create the outcome or goal I was expecting and desiring I was quick to think there is something wrong with me. When maybe it could be that I just took on too much and put too much expectations also on things I have no say in. I made a particular choice, or set of choices, and just maybe it was not be the best time in my life for such choices.  
Now I am seeing that with my knee jerk reaction to when I didn’t get to where I thought I should be, I hit bottom in disappointment.

My disappointment may also be an extension of the trust I put in what I thought to know to be true. When the truth as I knew it failed to meet my high standards of proof I began feeling a disconnect in every cell of my body and began feeling somewhat hopeless.

But, here’s the cool part I realized, at least I think it is cool: This is my emotional intelligence at work; my disappointments can be additional spiritual practices. I can turn this around and learn through grace, diligence and creativity to change the way I way I move forward from a great disappointment and live out the choices I made.

So how?  How would I begin to do this was my next question.

Maybe….

• I ask myself what is it I am disappointed about?  I name my disappointments and then let them go, making a commitment to not keep replaying them over and over in my mind.  And I will also to forgive myself for being disappointed.  I will try to keep in mind that disappointment is a natural response to difficulty. The trick for me is to not let it govern my mindset.

• Counting my blessings and knowing in my heart that I have more than enough. Seeing my wealth not in outward possessions but in of the spiritual intangibles of love, faith, hope, and dreams. 

………and the really tough one I struggle with, despite being convicted in knowing this is an imperative mindset:

  •  To not allow my ideas about what should or could happen to determine my happiness or sadness 

I shall try to remain mindful that to stay in the present.

I am a perpetual student of life, and would be interested to know what you do when hit with disappointments.

How do you assimilate disappointments?


ttaylor2013©

Blinded By Color

What is your favorite color?

 

 

Please, answer this question now before reading any further.
Stop yourself~
Don’t think about it, be spontaneous with your answer; accept the first color that comes into your mind and don’t analyze your choice.

ColorThe effect produced on the eye and its associated nerves by light waves of different wavelength or frequency. Light transmitted from an object to the eye stimulates the different color cones of the retina, thus making possible perception of various colors in the object.

 
 

Like death and taxes, there is no escaping color. It is ubiquitous.  

 
Yet, what does it all mean? 
Why are people more relaxed in green rooms? 
Why do weightlifters do their best in blue gyms?
I have wondered even why do I tend to use a blue ink or font when writing?
 
 
 
It is our instinctual choice of a color that tells us a lot about who we are; how we function and how others see us?  It can be yet another means to understanding our behavior and our personal traits; as well as our mental, emotional, spiritual, & even our physical states. It can be reflective of the way we choose to navigate in the world. Color can help guide us through our strengths and weaknesses, through our vulnerabilities, and through all our challenges we experience. 
 
Most all of us choose what the industry refers to as Personality Colors
Our personality color do not have to be one(s) that we wear all the time; but it is usually our favorite, the color that excites us the most, and makes us feel alive when we see it. That being said, we are often drawn to our personality color for clothing and home decorating. It is often a predominant color in our aura.
It is also the color that when our family & close friends think of us, or when asked what our favorite color is they are likely to instinctively know. 
So, ask loved ones what your favorite color is…..
What they share with you could be telling.  

Does everyone have a favorite color?

Many of us do have a favorable color, and most of us have had the same one since childhood. Or maybe a variance in hue or tint. 
 Some of us may change our color favorites one or more times during our life,  while others will have one color for their whole lifetime. 
Some us will prefer another color for a while, depending on our needs & moods at that time.
Yet we are likely to come back to our original favorite when those specific needs are met. 
When the color has served its purpose. 
If you are someone who doesn’t think you have a personality color, could you maybe reconsider? 
 Take a meander into your clothes closet/cupboard where you store you clothes you wear regularly. 
Peek around your home or office, reflect on the way you choose to decorate.
 See color? Of course you do.
Anything stand out?
Is there one, or are there more colors you consistently choose?  For my home, it has been a combo of forest green and a rich shade of maroon, yet I tend to wear blues, and earth-tones. I throw in some purple for sassy days. 
These choices will be the colors that reflect our personality, and our deepest needs & desires.
 Whether we like or dislike a color can be dependent on our own life experiences; our positive and negative associations to “our favorite color” as well as our need for the qualities of that color.

Dislike a Color?

The colors that we dislike are as telling about ourselves as the choices we like, most often reflecting where our weaknesses and vulnerabilities lie.
Our most disliked color could likely to relate to areas in our life that need to be given some attention; or past hurts that need to be healed.
If we feel a visceral dislike to a color there is  likely a reason.
 It can be helpful and a good idea to try to incorporate a small amount of the disliked colors into our life by using small amounts of the color in clothing, or in your home to help balance our energies. 
I have found for me rejecting whole color choices creates an imbalance in my life something I am uncomfortable with.
But what if we are color blind? 
A note on Color Blindness 
 It doesn’t mean a person who is color blind can’t see any color at all, like a black and white movie.
It does however mean having trouble seeing the difference between certain colors.
Being color blind can make it tricky to match your shirt and pants, but it’ s not a serious problem. People who are color blind can do normal stuff, even drive. Most color blind people can’t tell the difference between red or green, but they can learn to respond to the way the traffic signal lights up — because the red light is generally on top and green is on the bottom.

What does your (favorite) personality color say about you?

While you may not exhibit all the character traits of your personality color, you will find yourself somewhere in the descriptions I believe. You may also find you might exhibit some of the negative traits, particularly when you are stressed.

  • If you have two equally favorite colors, read the information on both to fully understand yourself and what motivates you.

  • If your favorite color is red, you are action oriented with a deep need for physical fulfillment and to experience life through the five senses.
  • If orange is your favorite color, you have a great need to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.
  • Choosing yellow as your favorite means you have a deep need for logical order in your everyday life and to be able to express your individuality by using your logical mind to inspire and create new ideas.
  • If green is your favorite, you have a deep need to belong, to love and be loved, and to feel safe and secure. You need acceptance and acknowledgment for the everyday things you do for others – just a ‘thank you’ is sufficient.
  • Lovers of blue have a deep need to find inner peace and truth, to live their life according to their ideals and beliefs without having to change their inflexible viewpoint of life to satisfy others.
  • Indigo lovers have a need to feel in harmony and at one with the Universe and to be accepted by others as the aware and intuitive spiritual beings that they are.
  • If purple or violet is your favorite color, you have a deep need for emotional security and to create order and perfection in all areas of your life, including your spiritual life. You also have a deep need to create and participate in humanitarian projects, helping others in need.
  • If your personality color is pink you have a deep need to be accepted and loved unconditionally.
  • If turquoise is your favorite color your deepest need is to create emotional balance in your life, to be able to express your hopes and dreams no matter how idealistic they may be and to make your own way in the world under your own terms.
  • If your favorite color is magenta, you are a non-conformist who sees life from a different point of view.
  • Lovers of brown have a deep need for a safe, secure, simple and comfortable existence with supportive family and friends.
  • Lovers of black have a need for power and control in order to protect their own emotional insecurities.
  • If white  is your personality color, your deepest need is for simplicity in your own life and to be independent and self-reliant so you do not need to depend on anyone else.
  • With gray as your favorite color, you are the middle of the road type, cool, conserved, composed and reliable. You tend to conform just to keep the peace.
  • If silver is your favorite, you are intuitive and insightful and have a strong connection with a higher spiritual guidance.
  • With a personality color gold, you radiate charisma, personality and individuality, making others feel relaxed and valued in your company.

Finally, have you changed your favorite color?

If you have changed your personality color, try to identify the circumstances surrounding your life at that time as your new favorite will reflect qualities you need to attract into your life to help you navigate and process any new circumstances.
I prefer to make a practice out of surrounding myself with the colors I love, either by wearing them, or using them decoratively in my environment.
The color choices I make empower me to be true to myself.
It is the perfect expression of showing my true-colors, wouldn’t you say?
 
Now, inquiring minds now want to know:
What does any a particular pattern or motif we keep in our home or wear say about us?
 For instance I have a plethora of roses and elephants. 
I know I know… 
I’m just curious.
tjtaylor2013©

 

A Gentler kind of Reminder ~ Music for the Soul

Some days gentle reminders are needed more than others. 

I got

Peace in my mind…

Peace in my heart…

Peace in my soul ~

This artist’s music has become an influential muse in my life. His music, his lyrics, especially speak to that which i am. There is a genuine happiness and soul to soul connection from Jason’s lyrics that touches deeply every feeling I have experienced in recent years

I wish to share and if you have never heard Mr Mraz please take some time to study his music,

I think it will do like it has for me; grounding any lost emotions to something tangible.

Thank you Jason Mraz

On Mindfulness: This Moment In Time.


Through all these times 
I wondered about:
 the wounds of my soul,
all the mistakes, 
and all of the miracles.
~
Through the tears,
through the laughter,
along the side.
I obsessed.
I sighed.
~
And then
I begin 
to let go. 
~
Sighing,
 finally
letting go,
 always returning 
to the silence.
Over and over.
It heals my soul.
 
I am certain this is not news to anyone that trying to live a philosophy or concept you believe in 100% can still be trying. 
For instance just the day to day logistics can try to get in the way, and old habits are hard to break even when you want to. 
 
Some say Being Mindful of the Moment is just an expression, I disagree. “No surprise there” I hear someone saying. 
it’s true I believe mindful is a verb.
 

I often use to find myself feeling needy of knowing what tomorrow would bring. Today I know this is a feeling I do not have to react to, it is not my need to know what tomorrow will bring. 

Because in all honesty my future is not where I want to be. I want to be mindful of just this moment. I want to be fully present in the here and now.
But because often with that needing to know I could also make myself wicked crazy waiting for the answers.
 
I could. 
I did.
For some time. 
 
It has only been in the last decade of my life that the realization and wisdom come to me that fretting over what tomorrow or even hours from now will bring serves no rational purpose. Least of all it does not serves me.  
I’ve researched, studied, observed, absorbed, and experimented with ways to help myself remain mindful of Staying in the Moment. I needed some lessons, teachings, or maybe some magic tricks that would help me remember to be mindful.
It is too easy to fall back into old habits, old ways of thinking, even when we are trying to change our thinking to grow and enhance our life’s journey
 
Once I had some logistics in place, some ‘teachings’ I could grasp, that which allow now to be gently reminded to remain in this moment by practicing these lessons daily. 
 
First three teachings:
1. Practice Self-Love.  (Another verb.)
2. Practice Self-Compassion 
        &
3 Practice Self-Forgiveness
 
Practicing even one of these teachings helped me remain grounded, to retain a balance in my small world in the beginning. I say go slow..
It was quite remarkable how when I chose just one teaching that seemed like magic in that it helped decrease my level of predilection for wanting (read need) to know what the future is going to bring. 
 
How do we remain in the moment, to stay mindful of the here and the now? It’s the only space of time that matters. This time.. right no.w
In the spirit of this blog I’d like to share the teachings that work for me. My wish is that you are able to take something away, and please be welcome to leave something behind in your comment.
  • I wear or carry “totems” (an Native North American term) sometimes also referred to as prayer beads, worry stones, or even amulets. My affinity for doing so came from my youth. I found great comfort in a “smoothed by time” river rock in the shape of a flat heart.  I found beautiful comfort in holding its warm stone between my forefinger and thumb, or in the closed palm of my hand. I loved the connection with earth as a girl, I treasure it now as an adult woman.
  • *On Mediation: I prefer to mediate regularly; typically it is once every day for at least 15-20 minutes. I found it is that regular practice of meditation that really starts to shape my mind and the way it works. I have heard that this has been backed up by the latest brain studies. I find it easier to maintain focus, have that stillness of mind I am looking for. Being mindful is becoming my norm.
 
  • Journaling: This is probably not a surprise to those of you who know a bit about me. Keeping a daily journal of my goals and my accomplishments while articulating (what I like to think are wise thoughts) into my way of living can be remarkably effective. Absolutely it’s a habit that requires practice. A lot of practice. Journaling at night when I can’t sleep and reviewing in the morning helps keep these teachings alive throughout the day.
  • Reminder Notes: By placing inspirational/motivational notes, and self-affirmations around my small world (as done even on this post) these become helpful reminders for staying grounded and not getting distracted. This can be favorite quote, important concept, notes from loved ones,  or even a short narrative or a poem. A personal favorite are two prayers sent from a very good friend who is one of my spiritual mentors.
 
  • Mind-fullness Alarms:  I loved this teaching especially when I began my quest of mindfulness. Although I don’t do this as a norm anymore; setting alarms to go off at regular intervals throughout the day can be a very effective teaching to help kick-start good mindful habits. This is especially helpful when marathon writing by the way. Having that reminder alarm helps me to get out of my head for a time with regularity.  


It is also important I believe to note of what to be mindful of. Buddhists refer to this as the Right Thought and Right View. 

 Things that consume us during the day, like anger, fear, worry, or frustration, comes from unwise or misguided perspectives. Having a wider & more open mind to other perspectives than our own is a big help. I heard once about a very effective practice of referring to the issues of certain circumstances in our life as “third-world problems”. This is short-hand for a reminder that while dealing with issues we think are monumental, we might instead be mindful that there are people in our world who don’t have access to enough to eat.

It is all about perspectives.

And how we think.

 Can this kind of daily practice of mindfulness achieve a state of bliss In The Moment? 
For thousands of years, practitioners have reported greater happiness and tranquility when we are able to stay In The Moment’ 
 
 So….I think… I shall stay right here in this moment….this here and now – and absorb it for all its worth. 
And this moment in time? 
Priceless!
 
 
Signature 2013

Observations

How observant are you?

Do you keep a keen eye, ear, nose and touch on alert throughout your day?

Or are you more passive when it comes to seeing the world through your senses? Do you let it kind of just roll by and only the splendid grabs your attention?

 

I tend to be quite intensely observant, noticing abstract things in life. This often get me into most bizarre of interactions with people. It is a trait I think you either have or not. Some people are just very inquisitive and because of it see things that others completely miss.

 
 Sometimes the things not observed can be silly, some though are quite serious, and to somehow miss the observation can even be dangerous when it comes to certain information around us.
Being observant can save our lives. 
 
I have a bit of a puzzle right here on Lady Barefoot Baroness (LBB) it has been here since 2011.. the beginning. 
Have you ever noticed it?
 Where is it?
Hint: If you leave a comment any time here for LBB you see the puzzle each time. It’s subtle but it is there. My friend Louann is the only person in almost 3 years who has ever noticed the ‘puzzle’ and said something. This lady is observant in all aspects of her life. you can read this is so on her blog: http://onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com/
She & I have wondered if some of you have maybe noticed it too but have not said anything.  
 
 We learn by observing and by watching our parents and the way they were with one another, and the way they treated one another. We also learn by watching those who live in the community we grew up in, and around.
 I really think that it has been the observations that we make in life that guide our way the most. It is this ability to sift through the words and see the action behind them that clears the forest. I think sometimes we rely too much on words in our lives. And not enough on observations and actions 
 There’s something that you’ll have trouble doing when you are being observant.
It’s difficult to focus too much on yourself when you are in a state of observation. The art of being observant is that you will be watching others and considering their patterns and looking at the way they process the most important parts of their lives. Hopefully, you then take the best of what you see and translate it your own life, but while you’re observing, you are focusing your attention outward. I think that’s a good thing. 
 
Then there is the treasured gift of being observed. People who are observant of ourselves can help us in life in ways we may have never expected, Such as being warned of impending danger. 
Or being told that you have a lot of life to live, a lot of love to give.
 One of thing about noticing others is that it does take effort, and sometimes it takes more effort than at other times. When I would go on road trips as a child I played a game that my brothers & I created that we dubbed the title “Speculation” 
I was constantly pointing out a uniquely shaped tree, rock color & texture,, a critter, automobile license plates that seem to be acronyms for something silly & fun. 
And a personal favorite was creating fantastic fictional stories about the people who drove by us on the highway. 
Whatever was within my line of sight was fair game for observing,
 
 Later in life this would translate into a keen intuition that makes it possible for me to see beneath the layers of the hard shell that most people feel the need to wear.
 I don’t think I (or my friend Louann) was necessarily wired any differently from anyone else, but rather I grew up in way that made it possible for me to notice what some might often miss. 
My intuition is as strong as the wind on a stormy, blustery kind of day. 
 What we do with our observations of course is the action part. 
When we observe it is only natural to react. 
We can choose to mentally ridicule, laugh at, or dismiss others we observe. Or…we can seek to better understand them and that which we observed. Observe that they have a history that brought them to today, as you have.
Obviously, we are going to benefit more from doing the latter. 
 
It would be easy in many ways to not see beyond our noses, to not notice anyone or anything at all. at all. But if we never see anyone else we unconsciously build a wall around ourselves and keep doing what human beings do best– thinking about ourselves first.
  Maybe if we honed our intuition a little more by practicing, and by rehearsing the art of being observant we could have that kind of intuition. It’s worth living up to. 
 
So now tell me, did you find a puzzle on my post? I am not going to tell you if not. It’s here and if you’re observant you will see it as plain as the day. 
If you did find it, lets hook up on Tuesday and chat about it. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Signature 2013

These Are The Moments

These Are The Moments


 

These are the moments in our life that make us and set the course of who we’re always going to be.

Sometimes they’re little, subtle moments, Sometimes, they are big moments we never saw coming.

No one asks for their life to change, but it does.

It’s what you do afterwards that counts.

That’s when you find out who you really are. 

 

 

 

 “Laugh out loud, even when you feel too sick or too exhausted. 


Trust, even when your heart is screaming NO, and you think it could break you.

 

Sing, even if others take on that smug smile, like their singing doesn’t sound like crap.

 

Dance, even if you can’t keep time, and you suddenly grow two left (right) feet. 

 

Smile, even if you really feel like crying. Tears only blur your vision.

 

Frolic & meander, even when you are made fun of.

 

 Kiss your lover while others are about and may be watching. 

 

Sleep, even when we’re afraid of what our dreams have been bringing.


Run, even when it feels like we cannot possibly lift a another foot and run another inch.


Never forget a moment, even when the memories tug at our heart string’s and leave a hole. 

 Because of all the pain & joy we experience we become the deep feeling kind of person we are meant to be. 

Without our experiences we are void of emotions, a vital missing link to who we are. 

 

What makes us brave is our enthusiasm to live through our trials, tribulations and hurdles in life; and then still make the choice to hold our head up high the very next day. 

 

Let us not live with a fear of life.

We became even stronger now after all our experiences and painful moments that have happened. 

Maybe now stronger more than we ever were before -

 

 

 

 Signature 2013

 

On Comfortably Numbing Down (CND)

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over, despite knowing it will not result any different of an outcome?
Probably even with a result that we know does not serve us.
 
I have been talking, writing, and learning a lot about living authentically for some time now. 
It is true it can get pretty lonely when we show ourselves. It is a risk we take being open and raw with emotions that guide our life.
This also can be off-putting to those in our world.
This is all just part of living authentically, When we are able to show our self and find comfort in this we then will be free to live our life as it has always meant to be….
Able to be the genuine person we are striving to be all along,
 
Comfortable enough to just be ourselves without any need to defend, protect, or deflect. 
There will be no longer a need to hang on to all the thoughts & beliefs we had scurried away that served to only preserve our self-image.
No longer will we have a need to secret away any parts of our self.
 
So now…. how do we get there?
 
This quote from Mary Oliver “Instructions for living”  is a perfect starting point. It was shared with me by a friend (thank you Joss) who is also on a self-exploration. 
 
” Pay attention.
 Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
           ― Mary Oliver
 
Perfect 3 tips to guide the start of the walk.
 
In the discovery of the path to authenticity I have found much in my recent research to bolster my agenda in wanting to live in a way that creates little to no regret in my life.
My big “Aha Moment” was finding I only need to change my thinking.
My astonishment came because I know I can make the changes in myself that will have great impact on that authenticity.
And a reconciliation that will allow myself to be comfortable in whatever situation or circumstance I might be in. Because there will only be the genuine ME navigating the circumstance. No question.
 
There is an interesting field of study in psychology called Cognitive dissonance.
The philosophy or idea that we will create thoughts and actions, or do just about anything in order to hang on to our own positive self-image, despite the actual truth.
In a simplistic example; we might believe we are loved (because lets face it we all want to be loved so thought it was something we can all relate to) 
Yet when faced with the factual actions that do not support love or it is withheld from us (for whatever reason) it sticks right in the heart. You know it. But you refuse to believe what is right in front of you.
It’s hard to admit it if we may have been mistaken. To navigate such uncomfortable circumstances we become masters at justifying what we believe, why we believe it, what we need to do and what we say to our selves.
We find can find justification for anything.
Self-deception can become our norm.
 
As a species with a highly evolved brain and emotion we are intelligent beings who typically look for consistency in what we believe & our perceptions. 
What is it that happens when we have conflict with a long-held belief and a new belief is presented.?
You feel it at your very core that ‘something’ is wrong.
That feeling of discomfort that is created when we hold two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors.
There is that gut feeling that something is off. 

That chord that rings true within all of us that ‘something’ is just not sitting right within our spirit. 

That’s dissonance.

And that ‘something’ must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance. 

 
The realization comes through our self inventory, with our self-image and our self-worth playing heavily into this cognitive dissonance. 
 I am certainly not immune by any means which is what takes me on this journey of reason and discovery in the first place. 
 
I discovered in reading that I might have to rethink some ideas I have in my own head about who I am. And how I interact with those I love. 
It has to start with ourselves. 
 
 Self-Efficacy refers to our self-image, stability of mood, and level of motivation. 
Hopefully we have good levels of self-esteem, sense of self, and a sense of accomplishment. 
If so it seems we might be acutely aware of our feelings, where they come from –
But are we accepting – of both our strengths, and weaknesses?
Likewise, we might likely feel that people who are important in our life understand us. 
But people who are on our radar tend to be comfortable not giving in to peer, family, and other social pressures any more than we are. It’s human nature. 
 
Family & close friends opinions are indeed important, but their expectations do not need to strongly influence our life. Instead our close family & friends tend to have their own well-defined ambitions and goals. The two shall not meet. We might even be very influential and persuasive with others. In fact, our family, friends and acquaintances may often come to us for ideas of guidance across a range of issues.
 So, can we be real & honest with ourselves and them? Not say what they want, what we want to hear, but instead  say what the genuine truth is? 
 
I find myself wanting that deep emotional connection with those in my life more and more. An important aspect of loving anyone that should not be ignored. Being authentic can open that door.
Our self is the only thing we can change in any relationship, any situation. If it’s not working for you change ‘something’ within yourself.
The inner workings of relationships are not as natural to navigate as we expect them to be. It takes some effort to have genuine & authentic relationships with that soul to soul emotional connection of those who matter the most.
 
I have found some questions I needed to answer for myself in this quest as well as some thoughts and tips that seem to help me with keeping that feeling of dissonance further at bay. 
 
Firstly,  ask these three things and answer with brutal honesty. 
I suggest a pen & paper and turn off all electronics, even music (I know) Phones most definitely.
Now spend some time with yourself. (make sure you will not be interrupted if at all possible)
Then ask:

“Do your positive qualities outweigh your faults? Why or why not?”

“Do you ever feel guilty when you do not meet the expectations of your family or friends? Explain.

“Are you the type of person who likes to stand out in a crowd or go totally unnoticed?” Why do you suppose this is?   (just so you know, there are no right or wrong answers)

Secondly, there are things I know that let me live more authentically if I practice them on a daily basis. And I mean practice as in rehearse, make mistakes, and get back up again, and start all over. And do it again tomorrow…
 
#1 Don’t lie. We just have to give it up, even those little seemingly innocent white lies.  Ask yourself what the lie is feeding?
 
#2. Know that we must not say everything out loud (this is a personal hurdle) We tend to get into a mind-set that all our thoughts are important and worthy of being shared. Not true. Learn to quiet your voice, not squelch it. 
 
#3  You can change your mind. It’s allowed. Being rigid will not serve an authentic life. 
 
#4 Avoid being en-guard.
 
#5  Have core plasticity.
#6 Be flexible, bend a bit, but don’t break.
 
#7  See family & friends attempts towards emotionally connecting as the good they are, even if not 200% successful.
 
#8  Have Team Spirit (whoever your team may be. Family, friends, lover, community…) 
 
#9  Focus only on the good. Catch those who matter to you most doing the things that feed your spirit. Ignore those things that might not. 
 
#10  Assert yourself. 
 
and finally…
Find a new voice.
One with an Emotional Reaction Redirection, An E.R.R.
We do this by changing how we say things to others. And to ourselves. 
Sometimes let us try to numb down our response.
Let us try to be comfortable knowing not everything needs our reaction and response.
Be Comfortably Numbed Down. C.N.D.
 
Start there. . 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Signature 2013

Soaring Message

 Snippets of journaling from the past few months prompted this post. It has been a self exploratory two years as of this month, healing is not always an easy thing to feel and absorb.
But it holds so much promise.
** Miss Judy Collins has been with me since 1966. Her voice, the lyrics she tells stories through have always been a guiding energy in processing my life. Today is no different.
 
Recently for very personal reasons my writing has become even more important to me. It always has been. But when I pick up my journal today and open its door to the pages of my feelings I realize how blessed I am to have this blogging community to share with. You my friends,you are my walls. you support me.
I still journal long hand, there is a certain sense of satisfaction I receive from filling up paper pages of artful fancied bound books & good old-fashioned black ink.
Yet there is also a great satisfaction in writing your heart & soul’s thoughts and having these viewed by those who care enough to share & add their own thoughts.There is also many friendships that have grown from this interaction, and I trust I will be blessed that more will bloom into my life. I don’t blog for numbers. I rarely look at my stats page. Not my agenda. I blog because it’s what I need to do. It is like breathing now. I write and I need to share said messages
.
I am meeting the most treasured people who are all the best reasons outside of my writing (getting out of my head) to stick around and continue putting my thoughts out here. Not that there is anything earth shattering in what I have to say. I say it in my way and that folks helps feed my soul.
Life is like an orchestra. Wanting to be able to hear all the parts, all the sections at once, it is not often possible to the untrained ear.
Like an orchestra, seeing all we are meant to be to the untrained heart & soul keeps us paying forward the messages we were born to give to each other.
We are all waiting to cross paths with one another.
Waiting so be greeted by each others smiles.
Waiting to share messages from lives led, with wisdom gained.
We all have a unique message to give one another.
I hope to be listening loud.
How can I be fully engaged in living my life if I shadow my own light’s message?
If I don’t let my light shine?
How do I do that?
Our convictions and conveniences may not live in the same sentence but they guide us into action. I made a renewal of an age-old commitment with myself & the universal power’s to be; to listen to my soul, to search out & live out my divine assignment. The authentic me. My own truth.
I am willing to let go of the things that are standing in my way of my truths.
I am willing to get emotional & spiritually naked.
Yeah, that sounds quite graphic for this Baroness. I know.
So just what do I mean?
Nothing to hide, nothing to protect, nothing to defend.
Frightening? Maybe.
But if so… than even more reason to bare it all.
Though admitted it is not easy to bare all. To do so means discovering things that will make you question yourself and feel vulnerable.
Realizing that unless there is a feeling of safety in that vulnerability you shut down. you might get uncomfortably numb.
An option, my choice,  on the table for myself is to be living bold, living true, live my authentic life.
It’s my life assignment.
I am not counting the times when I was knocked down, but instead I am counting the times I got back up on my own two bare feet. I need to be willing to harness my life lessons and give myself permission to stand tall and share my message.
 I have always had it, have always know it has been here, I just needed to know I am enough as I am. I am on this earth as is… because of someone’s life’s message shared with me.
Remarkable

I am still striving to live the authentic me, and I know that comes with all my past mistakes. It is those mistakes that brings me here to this point. It is part of my journey. I take full ownership. Proudly so.

I need to be willing to go the edge spiritually & emotionally. I need to be that transparent woman I strive for, to be comfortable in her skin.
I want to walk this walk, and talk the talk, telling my message, my history, my life assignment.
I will live with no regrets. I will spend my days doing what I was meant to do.
And my friends I am gladdened in my heart that our paths have crossed.
That we all have this life to share our messages.
So, please be welcome. and come through the open door.
I’ll be here. Feeling my wings soaring ~
**** From Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.  Live album available on CD October 30th, 2012. The DVD released on November 20th, 2012. Directed by Pierre & François Lamoureux.
Signature 2013

It’s Really No Secret-

 

It’s been a strange Spring.

It’s become one of my busiest Spring’s I’ve had in some years. This isn’t a bad thing,  Embracing all life’s adventures that are appearing along my journey I have days when I “hit the rack” almost asleep before I get there. Though some days  I am reminded that I live with chronic illness being part of my life, most often I’m able to function pretty well in my self-accommodating ways without much interference. I say most often. Tuesday April Fools Day was not to be one of those days.

I’m writing this because what old symptoms masked could have been dangerous; and to share my experience of learning how foolish it is to self-diagnosis. No matter how well you know your own body.

The day started in my normal laid back routine. After washing my face & teeth, a brush through my hair I begin the day with music, coffee and toast. in that order. But that morning I wasn’t really hungry. I sat down at the computer to do some work for the artist’s I work for, needed to begin some new research for radio promo copy, and to transpose a live radio interview into a written narrative interview. I had plenty to do.  I’d been out-of-town the Thursday before through Saturday and just the road trip and sleeping in a different bed had incited muscles spasms that are a chronic problem,  just enough to pay attention. Nothing a good stretch would not rectify.

I soon could tell that the muscle spasms (thoracic back muscles) were beyond tense, spasms full-on that make me nauseated. The vicious cycle this starts has also become routine. I couldn’t keep the medicine down that would help my muscle spasms because the spasms themselves were making me nauseated.

I paid attention,  tried the usual treatment modalities that typically work, and tried waiting for the spasms to relax. To no avail.

By noon I was in full spasms.

Full thoracic spasms for me trigger nausea. Not always, but this was not to be one of the times not.  Typically once I can get the spasms to calm down and relax with medication I improve within a few hours. I assumed this was the same thing going on.

Only it wasn’t.

I had misdiagnosed myself.

My daughter had already arrived in response to my call to come help me put a Lidocaine transdermal patch on my back for me.  One of the tools in my arsenal of treatment modalities. I thought at one point that I was improving. But when the spasms intensified and started coming around to my chest muscles I got scared. I asked my daughter to phone the paramedics. I wasn’t sure what was happening , but I was getting freaked.  Literally,

By the time the paramedics arrived I was hyperventilating, as well as in severe pain and very ill.  These fine professionals (is it a prerequisite that all  fire-fighter/paramedic be good-looking?) were thorough, yet fast. They were able to assure me I was not having any type of cardiac event.. but  I was in obvious distress and was advised to go the emergency room.

I did.  I’m lucky I did.

I was diagnosed (first) with Pancreatitis.

When I say I was lucky that the doctor who treated me in the emergency room is a good detective this is no exaggeration. I was given by IV pain medication, muscle relaxer, anti-nausea medications and fluids for hydration. Once the meds and relief from the pain hit I apparently passed out.
Upon waking despite my reassurance to the ER doctor that “I felt fine now” and my assurance that my self-diagnosis was what I was dealing with I asked to go home. Unbeknownst to me this fine doctor had done some detective work with my blood  tests and after receiving my lab reports explained his detection of pancreatitis. He explained to my daughter and myself that this is a potentially dangerous condition and he was admitting me straight away. No if’ , an, or buts.  Do not pass go.
I tried to convince the doctor that I would promise to come back at the end of the week, that would fit in better with my schedule and the obligations I had. This was not to be. And trust me, he was not amused or impressed.
 I was admitted immediately, had an ultra-sound imaging of my pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. Finally a kind orderly transported my heavily medicated self up to my room. Angels watching over me yet once again because the room was private with an amazing view of my mountains..
mountain view from st charles_04_02.2014
Along with the diagnosis the night before the morning light brought this magnificent and majestic view looking west outside my 4th floor private room as well as another diagnosis of gallstones.  St Charles Medical Center is a Hilton of hospital’s including room service menu to order, and not your typical hospital food. I was a little disappointed that I was not able to order as I wanted off their menu, I went from ‘nothing by mouth’ to clear liquids, to bland-low-fat all in 3 days. Which is to be my diet for the next few weeks. The treatment for pancreatitis is to treat the pain and nausea, and to rest the digests system until the pancreas is no longer inflamed.
I was able to come home by that Thursday afternoon. I will have to have the gallbladder removed the first part of May.
I wanted to write about this because had another random ER doctor seen me the chances of finding the source of my distress might not have been so forthcoming. The symptoms I presented with were atypical, and the typical symptoms for pancreatitis were absent. The quick diagnosis was really a life saver. We can live without a gallbladder, but not so much without a pancreas.
My new found respect for emergency room doctors and the validation of the fine medial staff on the high desert has become a great source of the gratitude I’m feeling today.
I also wanted to write about the life lesson I found,  and an irony ( for lack of better word) in how the universe grabbed my attention. When I was hit with this news the first thing that went through my mind was “I don’t have time for this” I wanted, as I said, to just go home and get n with my life. There is a lesson I am trying to absorb. To slow down and appreciate the projects and work in my life. I went into this reinvention of my professional life out of passion, I need to make certain that passion has room in between all the minutia of work.
The timing of all this kind of blows me away. Funny how life lessons work in this way. I wasn’t home from the hospital 3 days when a message from an award-winning recording artist asking me to phone him with his phone number included. He graced my Sunday with a fantastic chat, his music (even a personal concert via the phone) and yet more networking for both of us. I look forward to working with him here in Oregon.
Add to that another business proposition concerning a record label in the works that I have been approached with I can hardly breath. From excitement and passion.
This is why I’m here  writing about not losing grasp of that fact.
I’m blown away n many ways how this is all transpiring. I know it’s happening because it is meant to, I also know it is happening because it’s where my dream chasing the last 2 years have led me. Thinking, wishing, praying, and being proactive towards working for those things that matter really does add a positive energy that can have a fabulous outcome. By keeping the faith and not allowing the negatives into that energy we create with our thoughts and actions,  this become goals accomplished. This becomes dreams chased down.
While a frightening and painful experience this has been and I’m still not through it all I’m still choosing to see all the positives. Ever heard getting ahead of your own good?  Or getting too big for your pants?” ( a favorite expression of my mom’s)
I find this “whoa-it down” an emotional intelligence lesson as well as physical.
I need to remember to not forget to stop and smell the roses all along the way.
Wings soaring- Wings descending.
Deep and slow breath in…. exhale slowly.
Repeat as needed.
brick fields and the chosen ones

Music by Brick Fields. (self-serving on my part here because Brick Fields is part of making my own dream happen by hiring me as their artist manager.)

Thank you Rachel & Larry. Love you Brick Fields!!

 

 

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