Tag Archive | journaling

To Blog…or…Not To Blog

8 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
EIGHT YEARS. 8 yrs. Wow!
How time flies when you’re blogging.
These past 8 years of keeping a blog, or I should say a blog keeping me has been so many things I never intended, many things I had no clue it would teach me, so many different perspectives to take my writing to. This blog has been a catalyst to my growth as a person, as a woman and as a writer. I can read past entries and read in them the growth that has taken me to these moments today with relish. This blog is my reminder that I am taking life on with a rebel roar while thriving along this journey,
In 2008 when I tackled the challenge of creating a blog I was not the least bit technology savvy. I could navigate my computer but never understood why something worked or didn’t work.  I had begun to participate in health forums in the mid 90’s searching for others who I knew existed like myself who are survivors of a failed medical implant. I had a voice on the vast topics involved and there was an audience. In 2004 and into 2007 I was invited as a guest author and blogger with a response each time that would leave me literally flabbergasted. It was validating and empowering, but I minimized what I was doing by the fact it was a select audience who held a personal invested interests in what I was writing about. Things they personally knew as well.
Image result for writer blog
I began to wonder if I broadened my topics would it broaden my audience?
If I removed the initial emotional connection to me, i.e. medical commonalities, would I still have something to say that anyone would find merit in? Would there still be a readership?
It was a frightening and sobering thought. What if what I wrote others thought was garbage? Worse yet, what if I hit publish and no one came?
2008 I thought I had the courage.
I created a fancy looking blog thanks to the user friendly WordPress.(yes a plug for WP)
I began writing what I had intentions of sharing publicly. My first post…I edited it, I sat on it. I changed the content, I edited. For two, almost 3 years. Yes, you read right. I was too nervous to hit the publish button. So I didn’t. Oh I still wrote, I processed some intense stuff during those first 3 years in my unpublished blog. But I couldn’t bring myself to having enough confidence to click that publish button.
I share this 8 years later because of an admission I feel I owe to those I have encouraged to blog. Rather overly passionately encouraged I am afraid. Glossing over the fact that there was real fear that came over me when I realized going public was subjecting myself to real critiquing. I am a passionate advocate about writing in general and hope to always be a spot of encouragement to anyone who puts their thoughts into a narrative, regardless of the format or genre. Wordsmithing is an art and it’s a courageous thing when thoughts are committed to words to be written.  To take that courage and step into the abyss of the world of critics by publishing a blog is downright frightening, I think in my passion for writing and my wish that everyone would know the pure joy I believe writing brings I have minimized the frightening aspects of going public.  I make it sound so easy.
Truth is the mechanics of creating a blog could not be any easier, and the price is right. Free. Although if you are now or do become serious about writing and building a brand behind your name I highly recommend purchasing your domain name and registering your name with Creative Commons.
Blog built. Check.
That was easy.
(note I will put my assistance where my mouth is and offer help to anyone wanting to create a blog but feels stuck)
Now there’s a blank page in front of you with a cursor keeping time it seems with your pulse. A blank page….LARGE….a W>I>D>E open space.
It’s a challenge and one most writers take on happily, even though it’s work. We forget about everything, anything, anyone or anyplace else but what it is that wide open space is allowing us to express. Like a painter with a brand new canvas and tubes of paint, the colors are there for our expression, stringing words together saying what we need to say. Expressing where it is our random thoughts take us, giving no thought to anything else but the melodies the letters combined compose. Rough drafts are our raw work, we give no thought to why the words work, or if they work, they just spill from us. Making them make sense to someone else comes next.
Is there no better feeling than walking away backwards to check what we expressed and finding glimpses of our soul peeking through?
I think so.
Albeit I believe I write for myself first there is no denying the feeling of satisfaction in composing the words so they strike a chord when shared with someone else. I won’t deny either the nerve-wracking anxiety I felt after hitting publish the first few times… and then waiting…..I didn’t know whether to feel relieved if there was feedback, or to be relieved if there wasn’t.  Holding my breath I waited.
Tears . Of relief? Gratitude? Accomplishment? Expression?
All of the above.
For suddenly this deep abyss of wordsmiths and purveyors of words no longer held me prisoner in the unpublished cell, suddenly this community called WordPress became my community, suddenly I was looking forward to the critiquing I had so feared.
My Dear newbies to the land of Blogging and those still on the fence; let me say that the one thing that held me back is not only something I look forward to today but a motivating prompt for me. My thought is this:  If what we write inspires dialogue of any kind we are touching nerves in people enough for a response, we are on the right path of contribution to humanity.
So,….when I encourage you to write, maybe even to blog, it is because in your wordsmithing I read that you have a message to share with the world, or some of us. There are folks who need the message to come from you alone, just how you alone articulate it. It’s true there may be anxiety in hitting that publish button, so think of this: Is the fear so powerful that you can live with not ever knowing who your words might touch?
I thought so. For a time.
Then……I thought… “what if I just do it?” and then… “What if I never?”
To Blog or not to Blog.
Eight years later…I’ve sorted, debated, digested, and am still processing…..
And you came, and you keep coming back, 8 yrs later.
I AM Blogging.
Happy 8 years Barefoot Baroness Readers!

 

 copyright_edit
ttaylor2016

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

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

Time To Go Inward ~ An Open Letter

My Dear Loved One;

Please forgive this open letter, I did not know how else to reach you, and although this is a selfish act on my part I do hope and pray that just my few words and the song I include speaks to your spirit that I know is still searching.

My hope is you will  understand that this which you are going through will all be worth the pain and the struggle someday when you look back. I pray that you will come out the other side someone you like enough to know you deserve to be loved in a healthy, loving, and kind way. Though I am unable to be there for you for what ever reasons, your choice, or mine, please know that I am trusting there is a great chance you will read this.

As the song will tell you; Time To Go Inward.. I am not denying the incredible hard work on your part it is going to take. If you do, although a journey, I think you are going to like the you that you are going to find there. I hope & pray you have the nerve.

Our healing, yours and mine will begin once you are well.

This song I believe will speak to your heart in ways I cannot because of who I am to you. That is why we process and assimilate through music, is it not? My tone may sound reserved, it is. I do not trust my emotion here and it certainly is not the platform for it anyway.

For tonight,  for today, let it be enough that you know I love you, that this will never change. It could not. Know that you are in my prayers and my positive thoughts continuously. You know how much faith I have in this belief.

I have just as much faith in you.

POSTSCRIPT:   (Added March 29, 2013 after speaking via phone)

To you My Loved One:   you reaching out tells me the one thing I needed to know now from you, That you are in a better place today than you have been in a very long time. Today is all that matters for now. It may be all that ever matters. You have always my unconditional love always, sometimes that means having to love from a far. But it never diminishes the love held. Thank you for doing what you are doing. This too shall pass, and things will once again shine more brilliantly for you than you ever thought would happen again. Trust me.. but more importantly trust something more powerful than either of us.
I love you.  I am so proud of you.  Your personal cheering squad~

cyklopps-req

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Signature 2013

Work in Progress- 6 Word Saturday

My Granddaughter Is Mini-Mini Me.

She was eccentric at age 4 yrs old. And old soul by age 10, child of the earth by age 13,

My granddaughter – a work in progress. Having a problem committing (nothing is adhered yet) to anything on this page.  Both, my granddaughter (19) and this page layout……..still very much a works in progress.

©tjhelser2012

Saying So Long

Saying so long to a family member after a long visit can be bittersweet. Often bridged between feeling sad to see them go, and glad to have your house back. That;s how I feel typically when we have had family here for an extended time. For me extended time is anything after a week.By the I am tired of playing look for the needle in the haystack when even just trying to find the coffee filters in the mornings. Why is it that Bear;s best friend thinks that his sense of organization in my kitchen is best for me?

I digress.

Usually this is where I’d be after a week, bummed to see them go, we really did enjoy every minute of each others company and can laugh off the coffee filters.

Not today though. Today I am just bummed. Today our grandson leaves to go back home. He’s been with us a full month and we have loved every second.

I don’t want him to go!

Lletting T go today will be a tug on my heart-strings that will hurt for days. I’ll smell his youth of him on my arms for hours after he leaves, refusing to wash even my hands for a bit, so to hold on to that which keeps him near.

It’s been a full, busy month with T here. Having just the energy alone has been good for me. It’s hard to focus on your woes when there is 13-year-old male energy running through the house, out to the basketball hoop, p-thack!-p-thack! —against the backboard. I love these sounds, love having his presence here. I told him just last week it does not matter if he’s hanging out in his room alone, or being forced to be part of what we’re doing (such tteenage ways) it does not matter to me. Just having him here in the house is what brings him close to me. Having him here, his energy, his soul, his tall lanky body fills the air up with hope and adventure.

When he left last time in the spring he was not as tall as his Papa, This time when he came back he had passed that self-imposed goal and now has to bend to hug me and is towering over me like a man. This little guy who grew into such a tall and fine young man is my favorite grandson. Oh I know, we’re not supposed to have favorites, but in this case it’s okay.

As T reminds me when I say, “T darling, do you know I love you the most, and you are certainly my most favorite grandson to date.” He says, Oh but Nana- I AM your ONLY grandson

So long T-Man, I miss you all ready.

©tjhelser2012