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Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

Peace Makers in a Volatile World

Keeping the Peace Behind the Scenes

My personal peace makerThere are people in our lives who willingly accept the role of peace maker. They’re the ones who seemingly sit quietly in the background, stepping in to extend a gentle hand when our emotional campfire threatens to explode into a full-fledged forest fire. They bury their own needs in favor of those of the people around them just to avoid arguments.

Most of the time we don’t even recognize what they’re doing, much less appreciate it. We don’t see how often their own wants and needs aren’t met just so they can keep everyone else happy. Worst of all, we don’t see what it costs them to consistently occupy this place in our lives.

It isn’t that they wouldn’t like to have things their way once in a while. They just value peace and quiet more. They’re typically extremely sensitive so arguments and unrest upset them terribly.

So they allow a sibling or friend to have it their way all the time. They back down from an argument though they know they’re in the right. They agree when they’d rather stand up to someone and make their point without being shouted down. Yet deep inside, the resentment and frustration build to what we’d consider staggering levels; levels we’d not tolerate in ourselves, yet silently expect them to endure all the time.

Peace Makers in Volatile Families

I don’t think my daughters ever knew a time when there wasn’t some kind of tension in our household. At first, it was between their father and me, but eventually, my daughter Jenni and I filled in the gap when he was no longer a part of our lives. Meanwhile, Heather did her best to stay in the background, letting Jenni have the limelight and make all the choices I asked them to make together. Jenni learned Heather would give way rather than risk the wrath of her red-headed virago of a twin. That left me to manage the explosions. In hindsight, the kindest thing I did was to give them separate bedrooms when they were about 11. It gave Heather the sanctuary she desperately needed, even if it was just a thin door between herself and the near-constant volatility of our household.

As children do, my girls grew up—Jenni still believing creating a category 5 storm would make us bend to her will, and Heather allowing her resentment towards her sister to surface and grow. I regret to say she fed my own annoyance with my youngest child until it no longer hurt to sever the relationship.

The truth is, both of my girls are hard-headed and stubborn. They’re both quick to anger but Heather lets hers go more quickly. Jenni seems to hold her anger close like a security blanket. As if as long as she gets her way, she’ll be happy, and yet, I don’t think she is. I think she’d like to have her real family back, but believes she’s gone too far to come back.

Releasing Pent-up Anger and Resentment

On the bright side, since Jenni chose to remove herself from our lives, Heather and I have grown closer. But better than our closeness, she’s learned to release some of the anger and frustration that built up throughout her childhood. She’s no longer living in the shadow of a sister who’d willingly throw her under the bus if it meant someone would like her. I often wonder if she sacrificed her relationship with her sister for nothing. Nobody ever thought better of her for turning her back on her sister. People remember her for her bright red hair, but they remember Heather for her kindness and helpfulness.

Every group dynamic has at least one peace maker. It might be you or someone else. Whoever takes on the role sacrifices a great deal of themselves in order to fulfill the weighty obligations it entails. Some may hold the role for a lifetime while others will find a way to allow their own wants and needs to be met.

Sadly, the resentment which builds up is often left to fester, unspoken and without release. It might manifest itself as broken families like ours, or as health issues, or even interpersonal ones. A peace makers ability to love and be loved is thwarted and misguided by constantly subverting their own needs for the sake of peace in their environment.

Being a Peace Maker Whether We Like it or Not

I also believe that we are all the peace maker at some point in our lives. We all find ourselves in situations where it’s better to just keep silent and go along because someone else is so desperate to be right that they simply shout the rest of the world down. I can think of several occasions where I worked for someone like that and in my own way, became the peace maker. However, as it was so contrary to my normal state of being, the silence with which I tolerated the situation was anything but peaceful inside myself.

The unrest and resentment I carried around while exposed to what I realize were merely desperately insecure narcissists is really what made me realize what the real peace makers must be carrying around inside. Well, that and what I’ve seen break loose in my daughter, Heather since the split with her sister. That resentment hurts my heart, but I know anything I do or so would, if anything, just make matters worse. Like the place I hold for Jenni should she decide to re-establish our relationship on more mutually satisfying terms, I hold the same place for both girls to reach some kind of understanding and acceptance. They are very different people with divergent values, they share a bond of twin-ship only another twin would understand.

Give your Peace Makers a Break

My purpose behind writing this article is to raise awareness of the people around us who keep life on a more even keel. But it’s also to acknowledge those of you who have taken on the role yourselves. The peace makers need and deserve to be heard. They have opinions and a unique perspective which just might bring solutions we’ve never even considered. They also need to be allowed to step away from the role, whether forced on them or self-imposed. They carry a lot of our tension and stress so we can function as reasonably normal human beings. It isn’t an easy job and is often a thankless one as well.

It’s time we acknowledged our peace makers and helped them drop their burden. It’s time to allow them to shine unencumbered by everyone else’s shit.

Remembering to be Grateful

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for the peace makers who have made my life easier, and who have shouldered my crap at those times when I neither noticed nor appreciated their sacrifices.
  2. I am grateful for the outpouring of love I’m getting while trying to figure out what’s ailing my sweet boy, Toby.
  3. I am grateful for the gift of writing which has helped me work through the challenges in my life pretty much since the time I was able to write complete sentences.
  4. I am grateful for the understanding I’m getting from my more outspoken friends as I quietly break my silence over our current political climate. There will be no soapboxes. I’m still a behind-the-scenes kind of girl.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; health, happiness, beauty, communication, joy. inspiration, new clients, lessons, challenges, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

You can find the original video about peace makers here.

 

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

September 14, 2014 Catching up

Living in a vortex

Have you ever heard the term “spiraling out of control”? Have you ever lived it? Or, the better question is, have you ever not lived it? I just watched a video about how the solar system isn’t really just a bunch of planets circling the sun, but rather, a sun which is moving through space, dragging the planets behind it. Thus, the orbits are really spirals as the planets circle the sun while chasing it across the sky.

Life is rather like that. We rarely stand in one place and just go around and around. We move, ever forward, our orbit, if you will, following that forward progression, stretching out, from birth do death, in an ever evolving spiral. Even though we may repeat certain lessons endlessly, the actual delivery of that lesson changes over time, partly because we might actually assimilate part of the lesson after a few dozen iterations, but also because the format of the lesson must be appropriate to where we are in life if we’re even expected to recognize it, much less, learn the darn thing! (I am reminded, at this point, of the lessons in both patience and kindness which haunt me like a specter as I continue to be gifted the opportunity to finally nail those suckers…yet, still the lessons come.) I won’t call the yet-to-be-learned lessons failures as there truly are no failures, just lessons in what doesn’t work!

Getting back to my original point: catching up.

As the ADHD once again redirected my thoughts, I left my original point before I’d even started to type tonight. That point? Catching up. The week got away from me as the celebration of my daughter’s birth was uppermost in my mind. She arrived here Thursday night, and if you were watching, posts for the last couple of days were noticeably absent. But overdancing on an already sore foot (if you can show me a dance addict who hasn’t done that a time or two, I’ll kiss their shoes!) gave me an unexpected day of little activity as I paid the price by needing to stay off of it entirely for awhile. I even had to decline the opportunity to start learning a new kind of dancing, much to my disgust! But I promised myself and my friend, Dezi that I will soon accept the challenge of learning Casino Rueda while taking another step out of my cozy little comfort zone.

However, the day was not a total bust. I finally got my computer checked out and was assured that most of my problem was the accumulation of dust inside the case. I am also relieved to learn that my hard drive is healthy and not facing imminent demise. The best news is that my printer and all of its functions are now fully–functional again. This is especially helpful as I prepare to take Chapter 1 of “Sasha’s Journey” to my very first read and critique. The activity requires hard copies of the material I’m presenting, so having a working relationship between printer and computer is somewhat important to the cause. I just need to get some sort of heat goo which my technical person assures me he will apply for me. (I admit, I don’t exactly know what the stuff is, much less where on the computer it should be applied! The little knowledge I have carries the very real risk of putting my electronics in jeopardy; a risk I’m not willing to take as my work load is starting to increase, and my schedule of tasks requiring my computer grows exponentially.

So a day spent reading, snuggling with the cats and completing tasks which were temporarily abandoned (like daily blog posts) leaves me feeling rather pleased and accomplished. The week ahead, filled with doctor visits, meeting with another editor for my book, working with a new client and of course, dancing, will give me a great start towards getting back on task with all of the things I’ve set aside lately. There is a lot of truth to the saying “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. The busier I am, the more efficient I become, and the more tasks I’m able to accomplish. Lately, my accomplishment rate has settled into one of the lowest places ever, and I can no longer tolerate such sloth. A temporary hiatus on either traveling or having a house guest will be helpful as well.

My goal for the next few weeks is to get some of the longer term tasks off of my to-do list and to revise the format a bit so that I can generate graphical data from the weekly progress. If I were writing a spell to ensure success, I would, at this point add: “As I will, so mote it be.”

In fact, let me take a stab at it!

Completion of the tasks at hand
Be they exciting or rather bland
Motivation is what I seek
Triggered by the words I speak
To trim my list by one, two or three
As I will, so mote it be!

Inspiration is definitely flowing more freely this week, and tasks I’ve left hanging are seeming less daunting now. I’m getting encouragement from many directions, and stepping out into opportunities which have recently begun appearing (or more likely, I’ve finally just opened my eyes to see what was already there, awaiting my notice). So may things swirling in this vortex of my life, that make it impossible to avoid feeling and joining the pace as it speeds up once again. It’s been awhile since my life was a wild roller coaster ride, and it feels as if that wheel is about to turn and the wonder and excitement is being turned up a few notches. Stay tuned as the ride will be interesting, exciting and sometimes frustrating, but never, ever boring!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for new insights.
2. I am grateful for encouragement from new and old directions.
3. I am grateful for synchronicity which brought me another editor.
4. I am grateful for the fun, busy weeks which have come to an end for awhile so I can really get down to business.
5. I am grateful for abundance: projects, prosperity, enthusiasm, motivation, creativity, tenacity, love, friendship,harmony, peace, kindness, patience and love.

Namaste

September 2, 2014 Love those recurring lessons

Face challenge, learn lesson, move on. Repeat as necessary.

From time to time, the Universe “encourages” me to repeat a lesson when I don’t show evidence of having taken that lesson into my soul. Often, the repeated lessons come courtesy of someone else, and frequently, it is by example.

Today, I was presented with three previous lessons in one. The first, trust people and give them the benefit of the doubt, until they give you reason to do otherwise. The second: trust your instincts even when you can’t find concrete proof that you’re right. And the third, and maybe most important as I recently allowed myself to forget it: Don’t get involved in other peoples’ battles, especially if you don’t know both sides of the issue well, and have a right to make a judgement. Even then, Stay the hell out of the middle!

Several months ago, I was forced to set some pretty drastic boundaries for the sake of myself and my immediate family. Thankfully, those boundaries seemed to have done the trick…until today. I received a comment that seemed benign at first, but there was something vaguely familiar and disturbing about the second part…but I gave the poster the benefit of the doubt as I was unable to find evidence of the previous experience.

On the one hand, I feel I did the right thing by giving the benefit of the doubt, but as the dialogue continued, it became clear that my first instinct was not to be ignored. Clearly, some people’s lives are very narrow, and, I don’t know, maybe loneliness causes them to take up the sword for other people, even those they barely know. I am often inspired by people who face challenges in their lives I can’t even imagine, yet are able to rise above them and actually do the world some good. Unfortunately, a lot of us are not able to rise above our own pain and misery (and in all honesty, I can’t say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could, if faced with the challenges some of these people face), and seek some kind of outlet.

For some, the outlet is to just crawl into ourselves and close the world off entirely. For others, it might be to act as an advocate for others. But some just use it as an excuse to start fights and breed hate wherever they go. If they can’t find a cause of their own, they’ll adopt someone else’s, in fact, anyone else’s. I could go all goody-goody here and say that I give them tons of compassion and send them love and light, but the fact is, when their target is me or mine, the best I can do is to refuse their invitation.

There comes a time when the best thing to do is build a better boundary.

I may not have learned everything perfectly, and I certainly still let myself get sucked into someone else’s drama on occasion (but I’m working on that!). The one thing I have learned, though, is that when someone finds it necessary to repeatedly attack with no valid reason for doing so, and in spite of previously established boundaries, it is simply an indication that I need to re-establish my boundaries with a bit more strength.

One who engages the irrational is also likely to try to teach a pig to sing…with much the same results.

It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of lessons, but I’ve finally learned that yelling back (literally or figuratively) at someone who isn’t rational never ends well for either side. While I can’t do anything about the choices others make, I can choose not to lower myself to the level of a mindless robot who goes on the offensive just because someone told them to. What I can do is to try to learn from their actions as I’m going on about my business.

I’ve heard it said that if you find someone else’s behavior offensive, it’s because it is a mirror into something you need to work on in yourself. So I am grateful for these reminders, and truly do take them to heart. Every time I have an experience which raises unpleasant feelings within myself, I know it’s time to do some soul searching. Everyone truly is put into our lives for a reason, even if it is only to show us where we need to make improvements in ourselves.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for those people who remind me of flaws I have not finished fixing.
2. I am grateful for opportunities to show that I have actually learned and retained some of my lessons.
3. I am grateful that I feel no need to try to make others miserable when the better choice is to make myself and others happy.
4. I am grateful for opportunities to be a better me.
5. I am grateful for abundance; lessons, challenges, opportunities, kindness, health, happiness, joy, beauty, love, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

August 28, 2014 Social media…do you want fries with that?

Unfollow or unfriend.  Choose wisely.   August 28, 2014 Social media…do you want fries with that?.

August 28, 2014 Social media…do you want fries with that?

When it comes to social media, it really is to each her own, these days!

As time has gone on, the different ways people perceive and use social media has created an ever-widening gap between me and those who are on my friends list; but I’m not alone in this. The discussions about de-friending or unfollowing someone because of the content they share on our news feed has been escalating, at least among the people I know. Here is what I’ve observed people sharing of late (in no particular order):

  • Family pictures
  • Health status
  • Relationship status/changes
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Business promotion
  • Positive affirmations
  • Games, both, ostensibly in promotion of a cause, or just for fun
  • Observations of the world in general
  • Doom and gloom prophecies
  • Music appreciation
  • Selfies

We all have our own ideas of what is “allowed” on our news feed and what’s not, and the reasons for our choices don’t need to be explained. I’ve learned that if I unfollow someone, it doesn’t raise a glaring red flag, nor is it telling someone (erroneously) that I don’t like them as a person. It simply says “I appreciate your opinion, but I prefer that I don’t see it all the time on a place I go for fun and, sometimes, inspiration.” That being said, I’ve unfollowed people when posts become excessive in the following areas:

  • Health status, when there is an excess of posts complaining about conditions, yet failing to actually do something about it.
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Business promotion (this one only when the posts become really excessive, so it doesn’t happen often)
  • Doom and gloom prophecies. I don’t really care whether these prophecies are based in fact or not. I simply don’t want to see anything which complains or blames without offering feasible solutions.

Again, if someone posts on any of these subjects now and again, I really don’t have a problem with seeing the occasional post on my news feed. It’s like anything else. Everything is fine in moderation (except maybe abusiveness or pure evil).

Most of my friends are pretty open and honest about what they do and do not like to see, and I try to respect that, at least insofar as anything I might post to their wall. I like to think that, with the exception of positive affirmations, I don’t post any topic in excess, but I am sure there are some who might see differently. (OK, so I may post more than my share of adorable cat pictures, but in my defense, I’m not posting a bunch of pictures of adorable grandchildren!).

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

The main thing is that we respect each others’ right to post what is important for them to share, knowing that there are polite and impolite ways to shield ourselves from the ones which might annoy or offend us. Heck, if we were all interested in exactly the same things, it wouldn’t be long before we’d just see the same posts over and over and over again, and, like a soap opera, we’d only need to check in every week or two to know everything that was going on! How boring would that be? As it is, some posts already go around for awhile, then, just as we think we’ve seen the last, someone starts re-posting them all over again! I can’t tell you how many times I’ll start reading something, only to realize that I saw it a month or so ago. It just goes to show that things travel more quickly in some circles than others.

For the people out there who are tired of my content, feel free to unfollow me; I completely understand. But if you unfriend me just because we have different viewpoints, we’ll both be the poorer as our world will become less diverse. Whether it’s meant that way or not, removing someone as a friend translates into an act of anger, whether  intended or not, and it’s often difficult to bridge the gap once it’s in place.

So to those who’ve let me know that they don’t appreciate or participate in some of the shenanigans, rest assured that I’ll try to remember to exclude you next time one goes around. But if, for some reason, I forget, please feel free to remind me before you just block me out of your life. I don’t set out to annoy or offend (though I will, on occasion post a rant with clear warnings!), but as a human, I do, on occasion, err, and once I either figure it out for myself or have it brought to my attention, I’ll always take ownership and do my best to make it right. (admittedly, I won’t always agree that I have been offensive or unkind. Like everyone else, I’m a work in progress, and my experiences have colored my perspective.)

Fortunately, I know that a lot of my friends are like me and appreciate the diversity as it allows us to bring each other lessons we might otherwise have missed, or at least, would have taken much longer to learn. But I think, over the last couple of years, we’ve all learned what social media can and cannot do for us, and have, for the most part, used it to connect, but after connecting, we all get out into the world rather than hiding behind our computers as the stereotypical user might do. It makes me wonder what the numbers are as far as users who think talking to people on the computer all day is real connecting vs. those who use the medium to reach out, but save the true connecting for social gatherings which actually require you to shower, dress and leave the comparative comfort of the four walls they call home…something to ponder.

My Gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my friends in all of their wonderful, unique, sometimes quirky, but never boring, diversity.
2. I am grateful that I’ve reached the end of my current hermit stage, and that my friends care enough to be concerned when I’m not present, but understand when I explain why.
3. I am grateful that I have the ability to check out from society whenever I want or need to, but can just as easily check back in.
4. I am grateful for the amazing relationship I have with my daughter, and how much we continue to share, despite the distance in miles.
5. I am grateful for all of the abundance in my life; love, friendship, health, happiness, peace, harmony, prosperity and charity.

Namaste

August 27, 2014 Life’s a Beach, Baby!

To everything, turn, turn, turn. There’s a time to work and a time to hang out.

Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut and let plans slide. Just because you spent a day clearing your plate so you could finally finish that writing project, doesn’t mean that you can’t look at a 90 degree day with an option for a day sitting on the beach, chatting with the girls and watching a lone surfer catch some pretty gnarly waves and say: “I choose door #2, Monty!”, grab the beach chair and sun screen and run, not walk to that stretch of sand where the cool breeze caresses your skin which, despite the sun screen, is turning rather pink.

This option could not have come at a better time, either. After nearly a week of avoiding Humanity like the plague, I was just about ready to come out of my self-imposed hidey hole. What better place to do it than a beautiful beach near the marina in the company of a couple of women who have no intention of spoiling the day with any kind of negativity? Better still, school is back in session, so the only children in sight were well-supervised toddlers. beach day 2

That’s exactly what we did, and as you can see, the day could not have been any more perfect! The sky was blue, the waves were crashing dramatically on the shore, dogs were romping, but far enough away that we could enjoy their antics without being splattered with sand or doused with sea water. Of course, my friend, Dezi and her high school friend looked like a couple of models right off of the runway, while I was my usual, comfortable self. The idea of moussing my hair or putting makeup on to go to the beach doesn’t even cross my mind! Not that my Mama didn’t raise me to look perfect when I walked out my front door. Her lessons just didn’t take as I will always prefer comfort over fashion. Dezi, on the other hand, even managed to look amazing hours after surgery!

It takes all kinds, and I’m the kind who likes going unnoticed

It occurs to me that we choose to use our time in completely different ways. Dezi, as well as a couple of other friends of mine, will get up an hour and a half to two hours before they leave the house so they can ensure that they look like a picture out of a magazine when they walk out the door. I’ll use that same time to feed the cats, eat a light breakfast, linger over a cup of coffee and check my email. And frankly, to look as good as they do after an hour or so of primping, I’d need at least three! My personal canvas doesn’t have the muscle memory theirs does! Years of looking perfect has given them the practice they need to accomplish a great deal more than I can in the same amount of time.

These are women who, even in their 40’s (and they will continue long into their 50’s and 60’s), turn heads wherever they go. They take a lot of pride in their appearance and it shows. I give them a great deal of credit for putting all of that effort in. It makes them feel good, so why shouldn’t they? Me? I couldn’t care less if I turn a head or not, and as long as I’m comfortable, clean and relatively neat when I leave the house, that’s quite enough for me! But you can bet your bippie I know who to go to for advice when I need to look good for a book signing tour or a walk on the red carpet when my books are made into movies! Until then, I’ll be their comfy friend who is happy to fade into the background while they soak up all of the attention. The Hermit in me is very grateful for friends who allow me to hide in the shadows and people watch! How else do I get inspiration for my characters?

Nothing like a little sunburn and blisters to let you know you had an amazing day!

As I slowly wind down from my day, surrounded by my cats who are quite happy that I spend my time as I do, I appreciate the light pink cast to my skin, the evidence that I didn’t apply the sun screen as evenly as I could have, and walk gingerly on the blisters gracing the balls of my feet from either hot I didn’t register or sand rubbing inside my shoes. These are my trophies for a day spent doing something I wanted to rather than following a rigid schedule and doing what I needed to today. I know that in between appointments and commitments over the next few days, I’ll get back to what I need to do, refreshed and inspired, and will likely do a better job than I might have had I just tied myself to the desk and plowed through.

I still feel like I need to take Humanity in small doses, but those doses are a great deal larger than they’ve been for the last week. Typically, the progress I make is in baby steps, but those baby steps continue to add up, and someday, I’ll realize that, along the way, I’ve taken a giant step, or at least one besides the giant leap of faith I took last December which led me to the career path I’m on today. Some may call it retired, but I see it as following the path I was meant to follow, but just took awhile before I was willing to take a few risks and try!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a day of sunshine and relaxation.
2. I am grateful for friends who give me different examples of character and archetype.
3. I am grateful for new perspectives.
4. I am grateful for the large amount of alone time I have these days.
5. I am grateful for abundance: freedom, individuality, love, friendship, happiness, peace,health and prosperity.

Namaste

August 26, 2014 A cha cha kind of day

Two steps forward, one step back

You know those days when everything you do, even the simplest task, requires extra planning and thought? Well, that would be today. From trying unsuccessfully to get my wireless printer to communicate with my computer to fixing a meal or even ordering something online. It all seemed to require extra steps or even workarounds today. I’m almost glad it was a day to get mundane tasks out of the way rather than a day I wanted to be creatively productive. I fear I’d have driven myself batty!

One thing that is going well is my minimalistic presence on social media this week. It even moved a friend to ask if I was ok as I’d been too quiet. Frankly, I’ve enjoyed the quiet, the reading of a couple of books, the time spent talking to the cats and the complete lack of emotional attachment to anything said or done by anyone outside of these four walls. I think I’m just about ready to brave humans, at least in small doses, tomorrow.

As the world around me is hard at work, making lunches, checking homework and keeping to schedules involving work, school, practices, lessons and all of those other parent-y things, I find myself at peace, knowing I did my share of all of those things, putting a lot of my own wants and needs on hold for years while my kids received as well-rounded a life as I could give them. I’m sure, if I stopped and thought about it, there are plenty of things I would have changed if I could, but I can honestly say that I did the best I could, and have no real regrets. Yet, I am also very glad that those years are behind me and I can be as selfish and self-serving as I choose to be, or as selfless and giving as I choose. It’s in my hands now, and nobody suffers if I decide to sit and read all day, or not leave the house for several days in a row. Nobody complains if there’s nothing edible in the house to their liking, or if the laundry piles up for a few extra days.

My routine is pretty consistent, nonetheless. Sure, I may sleep until 8 one day and 11 the next. I may go to bed at 9 one night, and be up until 3 AM a day or two later. Nobody’s schedule is upset and nobody’s dreams go unfulfilled. Honestly? This is a kind of freedom I could only have dreamed of. I never really expected to be living it! Yet, here I am. Laying in bed for an extra hour, just snuggling with the cats who, by the way, don’t really care whether I feed them at 7AM or noon, as long as they get their wet food at some point during the day. They know they won’t starve because the dry food is always out.

Sure, I’m taking longer to fulfill my own dreams, but if I were to be completely honest, this freedom is fulfilling a dream! I hear from my daughter just about every day, despite the fact that her schedule has filled up since school started. If I play hermit for too long, I have friends who will rattle my cage until I come up for air. I’m never alone because at least a couple of my furry kids is always there to keep an eye on me and snag a skritch or two in the process. Best of all, I don’t have to share my space with any other human unless I choose to!

I can dream my dreams of the ranch full of rescued animals (though I know I’d need a few extra hands to really make it work!). I can visualize my book tours and my name on book covers, a website which keeps me writing quick little notes and longer dissertations. I see me getting into shape and staying there, cleaning up my space the rest of the way and making it match the dreams and visions which, for now, keep changing. One day, I’ll even put that tape recorder beside my bed so I can capture all of the wonder of the vivid dreams which fill my sleep, the better to transfer them to computer screen and write more stories.

It’s all there and it’s all mine. No dream is too big, nor too small to be part of a new chapter in a life which is still being written, edited and rewritten, one day at a time.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I can dream the dream and live it too.
2. I am grateful for the freedom I have given to myself this year.
3. I am grateful for everyone and everything which makes my life such a joy.
4. I am grateful for the ability to be a hermit for days on end, if that’s what makes me happy.
5. I am grateful for abundance: freedom, joy, dreams, love, happiness, harmony, faith, health, friendship and prosperity.

Namaste

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