Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘adventures’

January 25, 2015 Returning to reality

My lovely vacation with my daughter is coming to an end as she returns to school and I return to my own responsibilities and of course, to my cats.  I gave myself an extra day this time, and I’m so very glad I did.  It’s been a long time since we had a couple of days to just go on adventures.

Friday, she took me to Ocean Beach to visit the crystal shop she’d found.  Sadly, although the sign said it was supposed to be open, there was nobody in sight.  Deciding to wander a bit, she did a Google search and found another shop almost exactly where we were, but one block over.  We had a bit of trouble finding it as it was set back from the main row of shops, but once we did, we were very glad that the other store had been closed.  This shop was very light and bright with stones and crystals arranged neatly by type.  Hand written cards explained the properties of each of the stones.  They had racks of pendulums scattered throughout the store and though I picked one up, it didn’t quite feel right.  Instead, it convinced me to keep looking and eventually I was drawn to a red jasper (my other pendulum is Mookite, another form of Jasper).  Thiis one really spoke to me.  I ended up with several small stones, a jasper heart stone (I’ve been collecting those lately) and the pendulum.

Saturday, I watched Heather practice kicks and falls in her karate class before heading over to Souplantation for lunch.  Then it was time to get ready for the halfway party for the spouse’s of the sailors on her husband’s ship.  Her friend Christina made up the third part of our rather motley trio, though we left when the freestyle dancing started and were all happy to have an early night.

Today, we started with breakfast at Souplantation.  Our plan was to go see a movie called Mortdecai (anything with Johnny Depp is a go for us) but we had gotten started so early that we had about an hour until the movie started.  She’d been telling me about a town up in the mountains which is known for its apples, cider and pie, so off we went.  It’s  quaint little town called Julian with clapboard buildings and shops full of hand made clothing, jewelry, soaps and, of course pie.  I found some beautiful hand made earrings at a very reasonable price (I just love the dangly ones) and she found some yummy hand made soaps.

We finished the day at her favorite sushi  place  before coming home to a nice little campfire in her fire pit.  Now, we’re settling down in our respective rooms, as the independent cusses we are, doing our own thing before going to sleep, she to be ready for her 7:30 class and me to make the 2 1/2 hour drive home.  (after rush hour, of course)

This weekend has really made me feel energized as I got to spend a lot of time outside, one day, walking around near the beach and another in the mountains at something over 5000 feet.  I feel so blessed to live where moutains and beach can be an hour or less to reach.  I always plan on being run a little ragged when I come for a visit, but it is well worth it!  This time, I leave especially energized from all of my time out in nature, and for some of it, far from all of the usual human trappings.  We even got to see the camels at a camel dairy farm!  How often do you get to see that?

Everything I’ve heard or read tonight points to a very active week with things heppening very quickly and a need to react and respond quickly to opportunities.  After this wonderfull long weeknd, I think I’m well prepared for whatever the Universe has in store for me.  If you’d like to follow some of my favorites, check out Elizabeth Peru’s Global Tip-off on Deltawaves or Doreen Virtue’s Weekly Angel Oracle.

My gratitudes tonight are:

1. I am grateful for a full and uplifting weekend with my daughter.

2. I am grateful for a week full of joy, opportunities and suprirses heading my way.

3. I am grateful to be heading home tomorrow as I’m ready for my own space, my own routine, my own responsibilities and my own cats (though I do love my grand kitties and grand puppy dearly.)

4. I am grateful for opportunities to just regroup and revitalize before my world gets crazy busy.

5. I am grateful for abundance: love, life, adventures, possibilities, opportunities, inspiration, imagination, friends, joy, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

January 4, 2015 5 things…um…what was that topic again?

If you can’t think of anything to write, just start writing, and something will come to you!

Truer words! As I started my meditation today, I had a great idea for a blog topic. As usual, I thought “Sure, I’ll remember it when I finish meditating!” Needless to say, the only part I remembered was the “5 things…”

But as soon as I typed my title and started to write, I glanced at the new and improved blog title and remembered. I was going to write about five things which we take for granted, but which are truly leaps of faith.

First, let me qualify my position. In my mind, every step outside our comfort zone is a leap of faith. We don’t know whether we’ll be safe or not. We don’t know if our little adventure will be successful or not, so we take that step only because we have faith that things will turn out, at the very least, OK, and if we’re lucky, it will be so great that we’ll want to venture even further.

So what leaps of faith do we take on a regular basis?

Leap of Faith number 1: Have you tried that new Brazilian/Persian/Pho/Thai… place? Why don’t we go there for lunch?

You’ve never eaten this kind of food before, have no idea what half of the stuff is, but a co-worker invites you to join them. You think to yourself I enjoy their company and lunch is a great excuse to get out of the office for an hour. Surely I’ll find something on the menu I’ll eat, and it’s kind of an adventure to try something I’ve never had before. What’s the worst that can happen? I end up eating the granola bar I have stashed in my desk for emergencies!” I don’t know about you, but some of the greatest meals I’ve had came out of this particular leap of faith.

Leap of Faith number two: This job is taking me nowhere and I swear, it’s killing me slowly. I think I’ll start looking for another one that suits me better.

Face it. Most people don’t get excited about going through the interview process yet again. Often, we wait until we have no choice, which frankly is the worst time to look for a job! When we start the process because we want to make a change, especially when the job we have pays the bills and could be a lot worse, we are taking a huge leap of faith.

Leap of Faith number three: I think I want to move to a new place, maybe even buy a house/condo/apartment.

Moving is one of the most stressful things we can undertake, and when it involves actually purchasing a residence, you might as well magnify that stress level by about a million. Just the sheaves of paper you have to go through are enough to send a normally stable person right over the edge. We put our faith and trust in realtors, lenders, escrow agents and many nameless, faceless sorts to make this seriously major commitment happen.

Leap of Faith number four: Instead of staying home tonight, I think I’ll try that new restaurant/bar/club/dance venue everyone’s been talking about. Maybe I’ll even see someone I know, but if not, I could meet some new people (Yikes!) who could be fun to hang out with.

To some, this might seem like nothing, but to those introverts like me, going to a crowded public place is extremely daunting. We often need to gird our loins, so to speak, just to put ourselves together and walk out the door.

But how about something even simpler? Because what is a leap of faith, really, but a choice, and a choice to do something which differs from our normal pattern?

Leap of Faith number five: Why not take a different route to work today (or ride my bike, or walk, depending on circumstances and distance)?

There’s definitely an element of chance in this one because you aren’t familiar with traffic patterns or how quickly you can bike or walk, so you might agonize over how much extra time you should allow just in case. But it could be worth it to take a prettier route or to be moving more slowly so you actually see the world around you on your trip.

These days, my life is one continuous leap of faith.

If you’ve been following this blog for the last year or so, you’ll know that I basically jumped right off the cliff about a year ago, and haven’t looked back yet. Sure, it hasn’t turned out as I planned, but the journey has been interesting and educational. From quitting my day job to be a writer (who has yet to actually earn anything for my efforts), to just beginning to learn what is truly involved in publishing a novel, to leaving home for a few days at a time quite frequently since my daughter moved nearly three hours away; I could bore you with a bazillion different leaps I’ve taken, but the point is, those adventures, both large and small have made life interesting for me.

Now, my life is truly one of extremes. I go from spending three or four days alone in my house to spending three or four days away from home, or that same time period going from gym to errands to dancing to visiting friends. In short, both my hermit self and my social self are well-satisfied, and the self who doesn’t do well with authority, I’m in heaven. I do my work with a cat or two curled up on the desk which suits them and me just fine. I don’t have to talk to people unless I want to, and that also suits me fine. I realize this idyllic lifestyle will have to be altered when I’m finally ready to promote my writing or seek paying jobs which might call for a little more structure, but by then, I’ll have learned how to balance both sides of my personality.

Balance: it is what makes life work. Part structure and consistency and part leaps of faith.

It truly is about balancing things out. You leap; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When you start feeling a little shaky, you can take a step back onto familiar ground until you get your bearings and gather your courage to leap again. But each time you need to step back, you’ll find that it isn’t as far back as you used to have to step. Each leap, whether a rousing success, a complete disaster or, most often, somewhere in between carries you further outside of that comfortable little world you allowed yourself to grow used to; the world I like to fondly refer to as “the rut”.

My point with all of this rambling (and yes, Virginia, there is a point) is that we often fear those chances, those leaps of faith because we’ve convinced ourselves that we just don’t take chances. Yet we do! Maybe not every day, but at least once a week. We do something different without even realizing it. So why not do it where it will really shake things up! I did, and I’m still here to tell the tale!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my leaps of faith, both grand and simple.
2. I am grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way who understand how confining our habits can be.
3. I am grateful for the courage to be different, to not conform and to try new things.
4. I am grateful for the love I feel for myself and the comfort I get from being in my own company. I can and do dine in restaurants alone, take trips alone and just spend time alone, doing my own thing.
5. I am grateful for abundance: self-confidence, self-reliance, leaps of faith, successes, lessons, love, joy, health, beauty, friendship, courage, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Blessed be.

September 22, 2014. The more things change…

Must we super-size everything?

Twenty years ago, I had a phone in my car which I fondly referred to as “the brick”. It was large and cumbersome and only worked in the car. As time went by, technology improved and companies worked diligently to make phones both smaller and more portable. Tonight while half listening to the television I caught part of an Apple commercial touting its “huge” new phone.  I realize the phone manufacturers are trying to meld the qualities of both phone and tablet, but I see a certain irony in how things have come full circle. With the aging of our society, our weakening eyesight will require larger screens so, while slimmer and more compact, we will soon find ourselves, at the current rate of development, with cell phones as large or larger than that fondly remembered brick!

Will we now have to super-size our pockets?

I have a preference for carrying my phone in the pocket of my pants. If they keep growing our phones, will the fashion industry have to make pockets to accommodate them? I would be particularly amused to see what they do with the daisy dukes currently in fashion with the younger set. Those things are barely as big as a dinner napkin as it is and I see a phone in a lot of those hip pockets! I suspect that when the girls get dressed to go out they have a check list that goes something like this:

Makeup? Check
Earrings? Check
Necklace? Check
Cell phone? Check
Keys? Check
Credit card? Check

The cell phone is clearly a fashion accessory nowadays. I see a larger phone in about the same light as the giant dollar sign shaped pendants favored by the rappers. Either way, I don’t find it attractive, much less, particularly useful! We seem to be switching back and forth between bigger and smaller faster than Alice and her potions and cakes instructing the observer to “eat me” or “drink me”! I may find myself with an iPhone 4 when everyone else has version 20, but at least I won’t be carrying around another brick!

Since posting on only one topic is usually outside my comfort zone, I’ll yield to temptation again tonight. The next topic is the writing and revising process and the things I’m learning. First of all, while working hard to overcome taking any criticism personally, I’m also learning that it’s very important to line it all up, read it carefully several times, and be very selective about what you do and do not incorporate into those revisions. Yes, I knew this on a cognitive level, but putting it into practice is an entirely different animal.

I’ve received a lot of suggestions, and many of them have been spot on, including recommendations for areas of further study. But as I reach out to other writers, I’m also finding that it’s like anything else. You need to shop around until you find the right fit. By right fit, I don’t mean the one where everyone tells me it’s wonderful and moves on. I want honest input. If it’s crap, tell me, nicely of course, but tell me. If I’m wandering down a path which will have readers running the other way, please let me know. If I bore you in the first page or two, don’t you think I need to know that? And I certainly need to know if I’m using archaic punctuation. If I wanted someone to rubber stamp my work, I’d just give it to my cat!

Granted, I might take some suggestions personally at first, but I am already learning to take what I’m told, go home and give it a day or two to just bounce around in my head. By then, I’ve taken the personal out and found myself with just the suggestions as they relate to the words I’ve written. During that time, I might also pick up a couple of other books to see if what was suggested holds true in work that’s been published and actually sold to people. If so, I’m that much more likely to take the suggestions seriously and do what I can to make my writing better.

None of us are born knowing it all, and putting our efforts out there for someone who (hopefully) knows more to review is how we improve. I’ve written in a void for far too many years. I’m coming out of the closet now, so to speak, and in so doing, want, need, even crave that input that will help make me a better writer.

I seem to have misplaced my comfort zone

Putting my work out there for criticism means leaving that warm, safe little hovel of mine further and further behind. As I bid it good-bye, my feelings are somewhat mixed, but the stronger one is relief. I no longer need to do things as I used to. The road is clear to find my own way, without restrictions. Yes, I’ll encounter new sets of rules, but it will be another opportunity to learn them well enough to break them. That, in and of itself, is an adventure!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for new adventures.
2. I am grateful for things that make me go hmmmm.
3. I am grateful for good friends who listen and help me find my way when I’m feeling lost and confused.
4. I am grateful each and every day for the leap of faith I took late last year. It may not be a financial success as yet, but the intrinsic rewards are infinite.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, love, motivation, energy, life, joy, health and prosperity.


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