Tag Archive | Christmas

Traditions, Changes & Honesty

 

I’m doing things different this year.  (* Originally published December 5, 2014)

My self-imposed challenge this holiday season is to create new traditions for myself that are no longer dependent on others expectations, or a sense of obligation to anyone, or anyone to me.
Not knowing exactly what direction these new traditions are going to be has been a bit bewildering, yet there is liberation. Making a choice to not abide by the past traditions that Christmas always held for me has been mind-baffling and emotionally tugging, yet I’m excited about the possibilities of creating new traditions that speak to me and for the life I live today. This isn’t to say I won’t be connecting with my family & friends. What it does mean is for the first time…ever…. I am not going to participate in something merely out of a sense of obligation and expectations to past traditions. I want to create new ones, ones of my choosing,  ones for all the right reasons.

But I had no idea where to really begin beyond the desire……..

christmas to do list

I love how the universe works.

A “To Do List”.

Of course.

Deeply breathing in the “Reason for the Season” without any sense of reluctance is absolutely the new tradition I am looking for. Right at this moment though I can’t even imagine how this will feel. I now have a “To Do” list that speaks to me and what I want to be mindful of this Christmas; and how to get there.
Giving myself permission to put my energy and focus exactly where it serves my spirit for the first time in my life is so exhilarating I’d go as far to say it’s intoxicating. With that being said I don’t expect everyone in my world to understand or “get it”.  I hope though that for those who I matter to in their lives they won’t judge my attitude and actions. Or lack of actions as the case may be.

 No one has been privy to living in my head and my heart;  and only a few know what I had been living as a state of mind, heart and spirit, that was literally helping my life slip away.  I thought all my passions…all my fire… had been extinguished.

How wrong I was.

I had merely let my passions become stifled. I had given up on hope & dreams. It matters none today why I had done;  as long I know that I have the choice to grab everything about life that feeds every aspect of who I am. No more stuffing that which serves my mind, my heart, and my spirit.

No more swallowing my feelings, my anger, my needs, my disappointments, and the biggie…. drum roll please…..NO MORE loneliness despite being in a room full of people.

This for me is another step to an authentic independence to help me find in my world the happy and the complete. Having been on both ends of that spectrum, looking to others for my happiness/contentment; AND being the someone who others’ had looked to for theirs; it  is a bittersweet realization to find that I had buried so much of myself to fit the idea of who others wanted me to be.  I take complete ownership for teaching others that I was okay with this.

It’s really self-sabotage, yet we all do it. Especially women do it. We all have been conditioned by society to believe it’s the righteous way to live life by being a full-time martyr……then to follow-up with feelings of resentments and complaints afterwards. I know it’s where I was headed.

That is until I found comfort in my self.

I’m retiring from the “Martyr Membership” that I belonged to all my life away.

I’m putting the “Merry” back into my Christmas. 

keep calm reason for season

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas that truly feeds your own Reason For this Season.

 

 

 

tjtaylor2014

 

 

 

 

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

For The World: Wish Listed 2012

Always In Our Thoughts, Prayers & Memories

You are thought of by your world.

https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/6062/6h/s7diod-isorigin.scene7.com/is/image/frontgate/T_WithoutZoom?$wfsc$&$src=61374_main

peace banner

For This World   ~  My Christmas Wish List 2012

Dear Santa Please~

Happy Christmas Eve To Y’all

Sending visions of sugarplums and Christmas Fairies dancing upon the boughs of  your Christmas spirit. Please join my wish for Peace  &  Joy To All  Mankind. Wishing that the Christmas Spirit of Love remain in your heart’s all year-long.

~

“With gentleness overcome anger. With generosity overcome meanness.

With truth overcome deceit.” ~ Buddha

Let this season for a reason be the time you set aside to tell those you love what they mean to you. It can begin with you & I.

Think Peace ~Believe Peace~ Breathe Peace~ Be Peace

©tjhelser2012

The “Dear” Liebster Award 2012 ~ 1st Part

I know and trust that the beautiful Pastor jellillie will not mind me sharing my award page with the victims of Newton & our entire community.

God’s Blessing to  You All!

Pastor jelillie

This is the season for giving to each other, for telling one an other how you feel about them, or how they are a positive influence in your life. All the things you keep meaning to say please take the time today to say so.. I have been been blessed by both from this amazing woman, writer, WP Blogger friend.

liebsteraward

Pastor jelillie has blessed me with the special  meaning behind, the  shape of,  and the color of The Liebster Award, for which I understand from a German friend Liebster can have many endearments associated with it but the one she shared that she uses often is with the meaning  “Dear” one. I like that.

If you have not been to Pj”s blog you are missing God’s messages through this empowering blog and its author.

http://jelillie.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/liebster-blog-award-pt-3/

The conditions of accepting this award are pretty intense so I will do as much as  I am able to do considering it is the week of Christmas. I feel the need to accept this before the end of 2012 as it was given in December 2012. I am deeply grateful because who the award came from. I am thankful and humbled by this.

The acceptance requirements as they are below and are  in pristine form as they came to me. Y’all all know I have to be difficult and  I don’t like things too perfect, makes me a mite uncomfortable. With perfection where is the room for improvement? I like to think I am always working on improving myself. So I will rearrange a bit of my acceptance to suit the timing of posting.

A) You paste the award picture into your blog.- This picture is at the top of the blog

B) Name 11 random things about yourself

C)  Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

D) You write-up 11 NEW questions directed towards your nominee,


My 11 Random Facts.

(1)  Born in March 1955 – 2nd generation native Oregonian, USA

(2) Became an avid reader at age 5 yrs old ~ compliments of big brother who taught me how. Think he was tired of me asking him; “Read to me please?”

(3) Read the entire Bible my sophomore year of High (secondary) School in one semester as a class assignment. We were asked to pick a book, any book. Think any teacher in The USA could get away with allowing a student to even bring a Bible into a classroom setting as curriculum?  I have readers who are teachers, let me ask them what do they think?

(4 ) I collect elephants, anything elephant motif. Have since a girl and have over 100 elephants sharing my personal space.

(5) I love to cook large meals – but I really, really love the science of baking

(6) I rarely watch Television. Typically have music on usually 24/7.  I even sleep to music.

(7) My Nativity Set is The Fontanini Heirloom collection. It is my Christmas decoration of my Pride and Joy.  The collection pieces which has been exclusively distributed by Roman for many years has become world-famous in Italian craftsmanship. I have been collecting the pieces since 1981 when I first purchased Baby Jesus & his manger,  along of course with Joseph & Mary.

croppedmanger_2012

(8) I am one of 4 Dirty Mothers.

(9) I wear my gold cross full-time, sometimes gold earnings and maybe once in a moon a watch. I do not fancy other jewelry. Never have, yet I have a jewelry tower full of different necklaces that I never wear. Why I wonder when I see them hanging and never worn.

(10) I know the feeling of being loved and cherished. I know the freedom this gives the soul to love unconditionally.

(11) I believe  the power of love and positivity can move mountains and cross shores. I believe in Hopes and dreams. Mine and Yours.

This is where my alteration of the requirements starts. In the interest of the Holidays, & time  I will return after the first of the year and finish Pastor jelillies questions and with my nominations. I realize I am a novel size poster, but this is an extensive process,

Thank you again Pj I am honored and always humbled by your presence on my blog

God bless and keep you.~ BB

©tjhelser2012

 

Share Your World Sunday Week # 25

This is the day of the week I look forward to the most in regards to my blog life.  This weeks were fun, thought-provoking, and inspiring. I’d completely forgotten about that I used to be a picky eater. Thanks to Cee this memory has surfaced and now I am making plans for a layout about this in an altered mixed media memory book. This is exactly one of the reasons why I like this writing challenge each week. It draws up memories in the strangest ways,

  1. What’s my favorite holiday and why?

This would be the Holy Season of Christmas. It was always my mom’s favorite holiday although she really went nuts for all holidays Christmas time she became a little girl again. I think I adopted my moms love for this time of year and then I had lids. There is nothing better in my heart than seeing the children at Christmas time. I love the bling of the decorations, the goodies that get baked, the time spent with family and friends over a hot chocolate with mint. This is a time of year when I believe stresses of all kinds should be set aside until the new year, letting the spirit of the season shine on all things with peace and jo

        2. Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together?

This is a funny question for me and only Cee would know why. Thanks for this Cee.  I was at one time extremely picky about how I ate my meal, but also how it was laid out on my plate. I visualized the plate being divided into pir wedges, each part of the meal had its own wedge, or in the case of protein – two wedges. {This was when I was a child so the plate was divided far different from it is today,} I would then eat each wedge’s food supply one by one. Not mixing the potatoes into my corn. Then I got married and had children. Two things happened. The first was my husband’s D’s fried potatoes and eggs. D makes the most scrumptious fried potatoes. I have had him try to teach me so that I could duplicate his technique letting him off the hook some weekend mornings.To no avail.  After frying the spuds he then adds the whole eggs, one at a time onto to the top of the spuds and gently finishes the egg. The 1st time he made this family recipe of his mom’s for me I was certain I not would not like it because the eggs and spuds were mixed. I was really worried about being able to politely try them without gagging. The very first bite was not polite. I could hardly get it to my mouth. I added a piece of crispy bacon bite to the spoonful, smelling only the bacon which I could eat day or night as I raised it to my mouth with eyes shut tight. I was prepared to get sick and to be embarrassed. Instead I was so delightfully surprised to find that I liked the salty crispy crunchy on the outside, meaty, fluffy, potato that has bits of scrambled eggs mixed throughout.(the bacon bite was my addition) I had completely forgotten than I was eating mixed foods. Today this dish is my all the time go to comfort foo and there are now some foods that I will mix on my plate as I am eating..

      3.Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?

No, I am strictly an Ab liber. There have been times when I was younger for particular business phone calls I would create a script. But I would get on the phone and my personality could not be reined in so it blew my script out the window and I would wing it. So my answer would be I wing it.

     4. When you are with your friends. Do your interactions include much touching—for example, hugging, kissing, rough housing, rubbing backs?   Would you like to have more of this?

I am a touchy feely kind of person. I am of the belief that humans need that touch from one another. I believe it is healing and something that we should be doing and feeling from others every day, at least. That being said I also have come to respect people’s space, not everyone I meet is comfortable with my touchy feely way. I try to get a feel if the person is into being touched by their interactions with others, and if ever in doubt I just don’t hug or touch. When I talk I have a tendency to reach out and touch a hand, a shoulder or an arm. I am by nature a deeply affectionate person and I’d be lost without affection being reciprocated.

I would always like more affection and more hugging. As long as it is sincere and not being done because it feels expected.

 

©tjhelser 2012

A Little Bit Christmas ~ A Whole Lot Commercialism

 

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Today I’m wondering why the very beginning of the Christmas Commercial trappings have to show their money-grubbing hands before Thanksgiving. Sometimes even before Halloween. And I wonder if in other countries the same thirst for having the next best thing is just as much a curse as it is for us here in the United States. The whole keeping up with the ” Jones” (no offense to any Jones’) and having to have the next newest technology, throwing out the old like it simply has lost any purpose. [That’s a whole other topic, The Throw away Generation.]

I’m thinking maybe here in the US we may celebrate very differently, and with money being at the fore front of celebration expectations.  After I received the most lovely comment from another blogger about her native Uganda and how Christmas is celebrated in her native country the thoughts I’ve carried regarding the capitalistic Christmas that seems to be done so righteously here in the states have been simmering away since.   There the gifts given each year remain the same. No advertised “want to have’s, must haves’,  no brand names & costly wears, no first-rate high-tech gadgets adorn their list. In fact a wish list is even unheard of, and the gifts exchanged are things such as new Sunday Best’s, new shoes, things that are necessary and have a practical sense. In her country the celebration revolves around family and friends spending time together and breaking bread.  As I see the shopping malls, and downtown shoppers fight for parking space like they were at some sort of sport event (the Gladiators come to mind) so they can rush in to purchase the gifts they hope will put them on the top of their receiver’s list. It’s a competition. Who is going to make great grandma cry because she’s touched the most by a gift, which family member is going to sit and mindfully and to him/her self and add up dollar totals to see who was spent the most on.  This instead of being present and being mindful of the closeness of sitting together in the same room and absorbing the family love.

Instead of Christmas being focused on material things in this country unlike our own the focus  in Uganda remains on family, on spirit, and on the blessings of the passing year & of upcoming New Year. How did we lose the real meaning? When did it happen?

 Focus on why we’re celebrating, focus on family, time spent all together and focus on the love we sometimes get so busy to share. This is the only part of the REAL meaning.  The focus here in the US, or at least for the majority of the people here is on who has the best and newest gadget, diamonds and jewels adorning both female & males ears, necks and arms. The latest celebrity brand name item whether it be perfume, clothing or even cookware. Items that have nothing wrong with them but yet the binging  is going to try to bite you bad during this season which should be Holy.

The Holy Season.  Hmmm… I am just not seeing this in my fellow and sister folk alike. There is a constant buzz because the item of the childs wish list cannot be found anywhere so the panic sets in. Really? How long will the disappointment last if the chase for the elusive gift isn’t successful?   The panic sets in while the parents, grand parents, aunts & uncles drive themselves around a wicked crazy parking lot looking for the one spot they need to open up.

I’m not too excited about the idea of gifting items that will be shoved to the back of the closet, donated, or re-gifted this year. Or soon to be forgotten since a new, better, more improved has to be had. Not that I take issue with any of these actions.  Just not after I’ve been in the parking lot trying to park longer than it took me to purchase and have gift wrapped your “Have to have gift” but “will be laid aside tomorrow’ gift. Forgive me if my enthusiasm seems rippled this year. It is.

The cheesy “As seen on TV” products to 5th avenue New York diamond tennis bracelet have me completely worn out and leaving my passion behind. I’ve made one of the most HUGE Christmas mistakes of my life when it comes to gift giving. Not being done by August. I usually start seeing ideas, the perfect gift for ****  right after Christmas and would start tucking away. My main goal aside from pleasing my recipients was to not be in a single store after December 1st. This has always allowed me to enjoy the season rather than fight it. I could see the glorious Christmas lights without being entangled by the sales pitches.

I goofed this year and hardly made my deadline. Maybe this is why my blogging friend’s narrative of how Christmas is spent in Uganda touched me so. I,  could  this year for the first time in close to 30 years out in those parking lot wars, be one that is looking for the greatest and newest. I could be dragging myself and anyone close to me down the merry road of craziness because I am unable to find what I am looking for.

 But I’m not.

I’m not because those thoughts that have been lingering and simmering about capitalistic and commercialized Christmas’ have finally boiled over. Maybe the recall of Uganda’s traditions took my boiling point up.  However it happened I have been blessed with the realization and inner knowledge that Christmas is not any of those things that involve shopping, or even involve the newest and the greatest. I’m apologize  to those whose bubble I just broke. ♥

This year my stresses could be about the gifts. But it’s having no place in my Christmas and Winter Holiday Season. This does not mean I am not gifting this year. I am. But I am going about it in a different way. Rather than get caught up in the ridiculousness of it all I have made the choice to make this year to make it all about why we are gathering in the first place.

This is the time in my family and small world that we celebrate Christ. The “token gifting” that I am giving this year has nothing to do with the latest and greatest. At least by Wall Street standards. Instead each gift will resonate from the gifts that God has brought to the Universe. From wild salmon taken from the seas  to music from voices of angels. These gits may not have the guarantee of being the favorite, or even make the hardest individuals to buy for smile.

This year I don’t mind. This year the lesson from above for me is to see that all that rushing around to purchase gifts that will soon be forgotten is not what it’s about. I knew this all along but frankly did not have the courage to do what I knew was right.  This year I am having the courage to do it differently. I too got caught up in the commercialism of it all.  This year I alone may feel good about what I gave, even if the message intended with each gift is lost on the receiver it will never be lost on me again. 

 I, God, and the Universe will know.

Together we will know that the real meaning of this season is not lost at all. It’s in our hearts where it can create and inspire knowing that  God’s Love will sustain us all year-long.  This is the most touching magical gift of all.

 ♥ I’m wishing you and those who dearest to you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah , & Happy Kwanza! ♥

©tjhelser

Some Kind Of Wish ~ Something More

I’ve been pondering some about the idea behind Christmas Wish Lists lately. It’s that time of year after all.

Are they a tradition in your family? Your inner circle, your tribe? I’d really like to share with me if you do Wish Lists and what’s on your list.

I’ve been wondering what a woman of my era who really does not need or want a thing in this world; and who despite having a tendency for an occasional bout of melancholy am basically happy. What do I put on my wish list this year? Because typically in my immediate family there is no getting around not providing a wish list to each other. So what does a woman who has it all ask for?

A personal wish?

I could ask for better health, for some magic elf to find the solution to the chronic pain & fatigue which has enveloped my life at times. No always, but most certainly at times. I could wish for better things for my children and grand children because God and their parents know how much they could use the help.

But this year my wish list is being a bit more earthy. A bit more along the philosophical kind. And I don’t mind. I’m not even ashamed. No guilt trip to be ridden.

This year I am putting one thing and one thing alone on my Wish List.

The one thing I am listing and wishing for maybe Santa alone can deliver. I believe. Not just this year,I am a woman who believes in the magic of Old Saint Nicolas. Or Santa Claus to some.

♪♫♪ My only wish for Christmas this year. ♪♫♪

” What difference [does] it make if the thing [I‘m] scared of is real or not?” ~ Toni Morrison”

I have but one wish this Christmas. It may be a difficult thing to find, but I am wishing anyway.

My wish is to finally find comfort in who I am. To no longer have the fear that one day the real “ugly” authentic me will be unveiled. My wish is to put away all childish things, including such self-doubt after all these years.

The fear that the niceness of which I have always strived to express will one day burn out and the new light will shine on the true honesty of my feelings. No more cover-ups of niceties just to save face. Really. Meet head on the more unkind feelings I may own.

In no way do I mean or intend this to be about pity, pouty, or even self-serving. Not in any way. Just the facts.

The fear that I’m really not good enough, smart enough, likeable enough, healthy enough, pain-free enough,….blah, blah, blah… leaves me with still feeling the need of being the nice guy. So much to make up for, don’t you know.

God forbid someone see me being angry, hurt, or feeling lost even amongst a crowd. The finality of all of my authentic self who has been afraid to come clean about what I really may be feeling is frightening enough that putting a fake smile on my lips has become habit. Becomes who people see.

I am frightened that if I let that cat out of the bag there will be insult, offense. That if a true emotion is expressed it may hurt or offend, and there for be a justified reason to turn away. Even without intent on my part I discover I am afraid to show what is real for fear of abandonment of any kind. Doesn’t matter in what way, a perceived slight could make me ponder for days. I know where this comes from but it makes little difference in how I address this fear.

If I am not all those things, pretty, smart, always kind, healthy, pain-free, wear a smile not a frown, NICE, if I am not all those things and more how can I possibly be liked, let alone loved? If I keep up the front no one leaves, no love is pulled, I am truly loved at last. Right?

The question that wisdom still fails to answer for me is why is my spiritual faith not enough to heal the scar that has left a life long fear? I am never worried or fearful of God abandoning me. This may be the one perfect pure thing I know and trust. This I know. Yet it’s disturbing my authentic soul that I’m still almost waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me. I realize now that the quiet buzz of anxiety is about this old childhood fear. Or is it a childhood fear alone?

This is the wish I have this Christmas, Dear St Nick: This my biggest fear. And even though I am wiser than I know, I am still unable to get over this one. That love/people can be pulled away in an instant if you’re just not good enough is teen angst, and I am far from being a teen. It’s been far time to give up this childish fear.

Yet it thrives, this fear.

Despite for instance; having my soul mate as my life partner and spouse for over 40 years I still live with the fear that one day he’ll get fed up with the REAL me and just bolt. One would think that after 4 decades there would be a sense of trust developed between the two.

And This has nothing to do with him or his actions. He’s the most kind loving man any woman could pray for.

There is, and always has been trust on every level but this deep authentic layer of myself that I am still trying to excavate from the ruins of my past. This is my stuff, my unhealthy issue. The frightening worry that after having to cope with a partner in life whose been chronically ill for more years than we’ve been married is one day he’ll just burn out. This is my demon from long ago and it still screams at me in the dark.

Yet he faithfully and devoutly puts up with me and all I encompass.

Knowing that I am a women of substance and abundance; and believing that I need to get past this to a point where I am able to finally accept the passionate woman I am, this is my wish this Christmas.

To get past this, to give it up once and for all-knowing all along it’s been nothing but my own negative tapes playing from long ago. Without shame or embarrassment, and with trust with no doubts that I am the woman God intends me to be. To live my life with intention and faith in all things good, even me.

The smile I’m wearing today is one that I wear with simple honesty and transparency, just as I wear a face of sadness on days that I may feel low or in more pain than I can hide. This is me.

With warning I can say that who I am, who I have grown to become is someone who should maybe come with a kind of disclaimer:

Possibly a road sign:

“ REAL FEELINGS AT WORK HERE! “

~ ENTER AT YOUR RISK~

My wish is to just be me. To not fake smiles, or accept hurtful unkindness from others like it’s my place to be dumped on. As if it’s purposeful to take it with a smile. To be the kind and loving woman I am without having to pretend is my wish.

My wish and hope this Christmas is I get into my own skin, like it there just as it is. And wear it proudly. No need to make changes just so others always see the sweet kind Baroness. It’s time to put away the childish ways with fake smiles, and bring out the authentic grins that come from the more truer me.

To trust myself enough to stop being so damn nice to others just because I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me. This is what I wish for this Christmas. The gift of the Authentic Me~

So when I’m smiling you’ll know it’s real, it’s honest. The smile is meant for you because you touched me in a way that creates honest laughter and joy within my heart.

Inspires a smile so real, and so from my heart.

 

{Random thoughts spoke out loud become purposeful dreams and aspirations on a sleepless night.}

©tjhelser