An Invitation

You can create a life you love… right here, right now.

You’re going to work with the raw material of your life… exactly as it is.

Start with a willingness to practice creating moments of
Peace, Joy, Empowerment, And love… in each day.

What would that look like?
What is peace? Joy? Empowerment? Love?
How does one live those qualities?

Peace is a deep inner quiet we each have within us, that can be accessed anywhere, any
time, by briefly pausing, breathing deeply and allowing one’s self to be still.

Joy is the exuberant feeling that comes from being aware and awake to the small miracles
and wonder of life in each moment.

Empowerment is recognizing one’s ability to take action, and taking action.

Love is making a choice in this moment to support one’s divine potential or that of
another with kindness and compassion. Love is not an adjective, it is a verb.

You can create a life you love by bringing these qualities to the circumstances of your life
as they are now. All you need is a sincere “yes” to yourself… and a daybook…

A daybook can be on your phone, I-pad, computer. It can be a big beautiful journal or a
little notepad that can be carried easily in a pocket or purse. It can be a graphic journal
where you draw instead of write.

Each day just take a moment to record:

When today did I create a moment of peace?
When today did I create a moment of joy?
When today did I create a moment of empowerment?
When today did I create a moment of love?

As you begin doing this right here, right now… your life will change and you will begin
creating a life you love.

Posts made in June, 2014

The Banquet of Life

The Banquet of Life

 

Dear Readers, For the next three Mondays we will re-post chapters from Tamera’s book, Creating a Life You Love, while she prepares for a  journalist’s panel on the famous Gary Gilmore case which she is participating in Fri. July 18 in Salt Lake City, UT (9:15 p.m. at the Salt Lake City main library)  She will return to her regular articles July 28. 

What if we moved from the narrow margins of our lives, to a landscape of possibility?

Each of us has a relationship with life. And often it is a relationship of waiting . . . waiting until . . . we have more free time . . . the baby can walk . . . the kids are in school . . . we can quit our job. . we can get a job. .

And then, we will be content. And then, everything will be alright.

There’s always an excuse for not coming to the banquet!

But we don’t have to wait. Whatever the current condition of our lives, the banquet is right here, right now. And there is a place set for us at the table of life.

banquet-300x163-1Whatever our circumstances we can experience peace, joy, empowerment and love. We have that ability in us. And life is rich with the possibility of a feast for our senses if we will just show up with presence, attention, and deliberate choice.

We can begin now to live what we love.

We do this by changing our story about how life is supposed to be. We do this by noticing now what inspires us and putting a serving of that on our plates.

Years ago I worked with a woman who had suffered a profound loss in her life, the suicide of someone in her immediate family. When she came to my office, two years after the death, she was numb, calcified, and immune to any joy in life. It was completely understandable. As she recounted the unfolding of this tragedy, tears flowed down both of our faces.

Our work together was slow and painstaking. I was assisting her to gradually change her relationship with the tragedy in such a way that she could give herself permission to take her place at the banquet of life once more.

It required allowing her heart to be unfettered by pouring out its grief; it required self-forgiveness and forgiveness of other; and most importantly it involved trusting that even something so devastating could be embraced as one of life’s teachers. It required surrender and trusting the mysteries of life — knowing that many things are outside of our control and that something larger than what we can see is always happening.

The new narrative that was authored by this courageous client provided a new view about self, about life, and about the choices that we can allow ourselves.

Allow the client did! She picked up a guitar she hadn’t touched in years and began to play. She gave herself permission to date and went dancing. The shifts were simple, but life changing. By expanding the narrow margins of her life, she gradually began to author a new narrative of possibility, despite her despair.

Too often we give our power away to the adversity of our lives; to the difficult people who are part of our circle; to current circumstances that indeed feel limiting. But what we focus on expands. A positive shift is possible with the slightest adjustments.

It could be as simple as giving ourselves an extra 30 minutes a day either in the morning, on our lunch hour, or at night to offer ourselves a serving of that something we have been craving – to start a graphic journal, go for a swim in the lake at sundown, drive to Swan Valley for a square ice cream cone, pen a few lines of a poem, pick a bouquet, have a meaningful conversation, read a few pages of a favorite book, turn the television off and dance.

Contemplate these questions:

What would it mean for you to say yes to life?

What would it mean to allow yourself to take your place at the banquet of life?

What unresolved emotions, limiting beliefs, or excuses get in the way?

What would you like more of in life?

What would you like less of?

Even as we just begin to contemplate these questions, we are starting the work/play of expanding our life’s margins. The shift begins within: in our thoughts, our hearts, and our choices. Accepting that it is our birthright to have a joyful, abundant life is the first step towards seeing the banquet that is spread before us now with the contrasting flavors of sweet and bitter, joy and pain.  Each partners with the other to create a life of meaning and purpose.  This banquet is served now, will you take your place at the table?

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The Story of the Stillness

Dear Readers, For the next four Mondays we will re-post 4 chapters of Tamera’s book, Creating a Life You Love, while she prepares for a  journalist’s panel on the famous Gary Gilmore case which she is participating in Fri. July 18 in Salt Lake City, UT (9:15 p.m. at the Salt Lake City main library)  She will return to her regular articles July 28.  In the meantime please enjoy some of her early chapters which launched this site.

The Story of the Stillness

A few years back I received an invitation to “be still.”

Stop rushing. Stop striving. Stop grasping.

Slow down. Pause. Breathe. Look. Listen. See.

The invitation came to me in the foggy silver stillness of late December in the Northwest. The wrapping paper had been recycled, gifts were resting in the backs of drawers, and ornaments tucked away in the darkness of the attic. The anticipation of the vast expanse of another year was present.

It couldn’t have been a more incongruent time to consider being still, or so I thought.
I was in my first year of graduate school. Each week consisted of numerous pages of reading, a couple of papers to write, research to, do and usually a project in process.

The mother of six daughters – four still living at home, I was needed to help with homework; give rides to sports and lessons; offer a listening ear; and most importantly, to be present to them — not thinking about my presentation on Carl Jung or passing a research methods exam.

There was also the upkeep of the home – keeping the pantry full, the laundry done, a basic semblance of order.

I couldn’t imagine when or even where I could possibly be still. I was already living my life on fast forward in a desperate attempt to cram everything that needed to be done into what seemed like never enough time. I experienced extreme time poverty.

Perhaps I needed stillness more than I ever had needed anything in my life.

004-300x199I was 48 years old at the time and I had set goals every year of my life since I was 11. The invitation came on a winter day as I drove across the Columbia River from Washington to Oregon to do some shopping. The tall evergreens on the Washington side were draped in a gauzy shroud of gray fog. As I approached the long silver ribbon of the bridge, I found myself in deep contemplation. Alone in the stillness of the car, a distinct, clear, and strong impression came to me: “Don’t set goals this year.”

I was curious about this, but might have dismissed it except that I recognized it as an invitation from both the core of my soul and from the Divine as I understand it. The message continued and was completed with a verse from Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” The directive was to contemplate this scriptural phrase for the next year and to in fact practice being still.

I felt a swell of relief upon receiving this rather random guidance. I teared up at the thought of perhaps setting down the ongoing burden I bore as a woman navigating the treacherous terrain of parenting, marriage, running a household, and school.

My life thus far had taught me many important lessons about surrendering, releasing control, trusting both the Divine and myself. But somewhere in the blur I called my life, I had forgotten these lessons.

And so I whispered my answer, a hallowed “yes.”

What happened in my life during the year of stillness was miraculous. I was able to complete my degree in two years instead of three. Home life was held together adequately. And despite being in school I was able to be there for my daughters whether it was attending soccer games and music concerts or planning a graduation celebration. Most importantly I felt peace and a new trust in life and myself.

I don’t have an explanation for what I was somehow able to accomplish that year. I can’t tell you how what happened, happened. I can only tell you why. I had paid strict heed to the call to cultivate inner stillness in the midst of myriad responsibilities. As I did, I was taught volumes about letting go in the rapidly moving current of my life. My job was to allow – allow myself to be carried, trust what I couldn’t see and to enter life’s flow. Of course I had to show up and row, but something else was clearly guiding the boat, controlling the current of the water. My job was not to row against that current. How interesting that I had received the invitation to stillness as I was driving across a river.

I did not adopt a formal meditation practice. Instead I just began the simple practice of taking regular moments throughout every day to pause, to be still. I would withdraw from the humming technical sound of modern life – the beeps and rings of cell phones, and laptops — and the overwhelming feeling of urgency that accompanies life now. When I retreated into myself I found a peaceful place deep within me. I would clear my mind of thought by focusing my attention on the miracle of my own breath continuing to flow in and out of my body endlessly, without ceasing, without thought or assistance from me – yet sustaining my life.

In that place, there was no big problem to solve, no mess to clean up, no plan to be hatched, no ax to grind. I didn’t have to be anywhere. I didn’t have to do anything. I could just be, just come home to my true self, my soul, and to the precious vessel for the soul – my body. I could be in a noisy classroom, but look out the window and while sitting there at my desk, leave to enter a place where those trees, that sky, this breath were all there was for a few eternal minutes.

In that stillness I found rest. I found comfort. I found surrender. The soil of my soul was tilled until it was open for direction, hard work, and assistance from the Divine. I found stillness in my car, in a grocery store line, while waiting for gas or a red light, or by taking a moment to smell the fresh scent of morning, or gaze at the bright twinkle of the big dipper in the night sky. I have continued ever since.

I was taught to replace striving with trust; busyness with presence; and distraction with focus.

And by regularly stepping away from it all, creative powers emerged in life: The ability to find hidden time and to receive fresh ideas or specific direction.

There were no goals set during that year. I used a planner, but only as a supplementary tool. I was living from my soul, from the stillness, instead of the tyranny of the urgent. Though I was busy, in ways life began to feel effortless. I simply had to be present to each task, one at a time. I discovered the beauty of moving from managing my life, to creating life, a life I loved. I came to realize I have a “relationship with life” and that as I changed how I related to the events, tasks, demands, and challenges of life, life changed for the better. I was learning what every creator knows – that inspiration comes from beyond us. Creation is always a collaboration.

I had found peace and I had refound the Divine in the most personal of ways. This is not a fairy tale, there was no happily ever after, life and its challenges still come at me daily, the transmission in my car went out the day after graduation. Menopause soon followed! But it didn’t matter because I was slowly coming to embrace the understanding that both suffering and joy are part of the same whole. I began to drop my judgment about how I thought life should be and started trusting life as it is.

We experience peace, joy, empowerment, and love in our daily lives as we set aside an adversarial relationship with ourselves, our time, and our lives.

How?

We choose to . . .

Trust our lives, Trust time

Trust ourselves . . . Trust the Divine

“Not so easy,” one might say. How does one trust?

By living from . . .

Our souls, versus our egos.

Our voice, versus the noise.

Our truth versus the false beliefs we’ve acquired along our journey.

And we begin this path by entering the stillness within, every day.

Copyright 2012, not to be used without permission.

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Exploring Our Spirituality

“Eastern Philosophy says that human beings have forgotten what they came here for.  With all the stimulation outside of ourselves, we have lost sight of the Beloved, our creator, and have lost ourselves as a result . . . we have the answers within us, but it takes incredible discipline and hard work to gain back those abandoned gifts we were given as a birthright . . . We are each a part of our divine maker and creation itself, and when we accept that connection, we have begun upon the path of enlightenment.” – Christy Turlington, Living Yoga — Creating a Life Practice

Recently I woke up sad, discouraged, and confused.  I was working through a personal struggle and on this gray, bleak morning I was in a complete fog as to what to do.  As I sat pondering I felt an inner nudge to get off the couch, get on my bike, and ride down to the trail in the woods near our home. I did.

Wooded_Path_by_rebelxFlying down the path through tall green cedars created a bit of an emotional clearing for me.  Within minutes I had reached the point where the woods open up to a broad view of the paved Salmon Creek trail and the valley in which it sits.  I gasped when I saw the unique view!

There, resting in the valley was a huge cloud. It looked as if it had descended from the sky, softly settling into the valley as if to pause, to rest. It felt like a welcome acknowledgement from the Divine saying, “I understand the fog and confusion you are in right now.”

fog22Above the vast mist I could see tree tops and the golden glow of the morning sun.  I got off my bike and just sat with it all.  As I did, insight arose. I realized there were things hidden from my consciousness that I couldn’t see. The view of the cloud type fog with the sun just beyond, reminded me that the light of understanding would come in due time.  Most importantly I was being gently coaxed away from my ego self to my spirit/soul self.  In that place I found peace—soft, silent, present.

Exploring our spirituality can be challenging.  It can feel less concrete, more intangible. But to step into the sun in handsmystery, to allow ourselves to explore and experiment with what we believe about our existence, the purpose of life, and what is bigger than us can set us on a path that leads to guidance, peace, insight, inspiration, and transformational experiences.

Questions can open our exploration.  Ask, ponder, consider, and journal about these questions and others that arise.

  • What do I believe?
  • What touches my soul?
  • How have I received inspiration for my life in the past?
  • What helps me feel most connected to the deepest part of myself and to the Divine, as I understand it?

As we begin this quest we discover practices that enrich our spiritual life.  An important part of my spiritual life for many decades has been to strive to practice my Divine Daily Disciplines.

The Divine Daily Disciplines of Self-Care are a pathway home to our true selves. They help us hear our inner voice and the voice of the Divine. They ground us in our authenticity; protect us from cultural chatter that tells us we are not enough; and they nurture aliveness—spiritually, intellectually, physically, and emotionally.  The Disciplines do not have to be practiced perfectly to empower us.  A small effort carried out consistently can have a positive effect on every area of our lives.

Prayer                                                                       

20100330-woman-praying-290x218Prayer helps us create a relationship with our creator and with our own soul. This doorway to the Divine offers inspiration, comfort, and wisdom.

Stillness

As we become still, we come home to ourselves. Taking time daily to sit in silent pause helps us hear our true voice. 

welcomeSacred Reading

Reading from a sacred text that speaks to our inner divinity provides spiritual sustenance as we partake at the table of the Divine.

Study

The quest of the life-long learner offers growth, expansion, and a continual sense of aliveness as we read a page or two a day from a book on any topic that inspires us or perks our curiosity.

WomanJournaling_webJournaling

A few moments with pen to paper, keeps us connected to our experience of life, helps us sort out our feelings, and clears our mind.

Exercise

A brisk walk, run, bike ride, or swim in nature awakens us to the wonder of creation. The exercise floods our body with life giving oxygen, rejuvenates every life-sustaining system in our body, and releases our brain’s chemical mood enhancers.

3a21f4_dd32da5220181098d30207bc68033b87.jpg_256Wisdom Eating

We offer our wondrous bodies true nourishment when we partake of real, natural food—fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and range-fed poultry and beef (eaten sparingly). Our health flourishes, and our energy increases.

Adornment

The concept of adornment moves us away from the dictates of fashion to a personal affirmation and celebration of our bodies. A simple ritual of cleansing, grooming, and adorning honors ourselves as a precious and beautiful creation.

You may wonder why I have included practices that focus on the physical body. The physical body is the house of soul. These practices are a way of honoring our body as a precious container.

Also, discipline of the body strengthens our ability to access the soul. Various religious and spiritual paths contain a health component.  As we learn discipline of our appetite we increase the strength of the spirit and are more able to partake of unseen gifts and receive inspiration.

stanford-chapel-4Other spiritual practices can also include worshipping at a church, temple, or mosque; meditation practice and retreats; fasting; enjoying religious art; walking a labyrinth; studying with a spiritual teacher; or exploring religion.

Following the ‘nudge’ I felt to take an early morning ride gave me a spiritual experience in nature that reminded me I am not alone and that there is always a broader perspective in life.  It offered me the invitation to trust and let go. And, I was reminded that all I really need to worry about in this moment is ‘the next right action’—something I can usually intuit if I just pause to listen to the Divine and the Divine within me.

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Discovering Ourselves Through Dreams

“Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” –from ‘Scarlet Begonias,’ by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

Do you remember what you dreamed last night?

Have you ever had a dream that lingered in your consciousness for days, months, or even years?

Do you attempt to interpret the meaning of your dreams?

Do you ever write down your dreams?

Judy RollinsSince I was a very young child I have been a dreamer . . . actually we all are.  Dreams are one way our subconscious communicates important information to our conscious.  Our subconscious is the part of ourselves which is largely unknown to us.  It holds thoughts, feelings, images, and memories that have been ‘set aside’ in another part of our mind. Though we are unaware of the content of our subconscious, we are affected by it daily.

One of the key ways it makes contact is via situations that trigger us, leading to a sudden rise of emotion.  This emotional energy is always a sign that there is something in us that hasn’t been worked out that is calling for awareness. The subconscious knows this and tries to get our attention. Someone once said that we don’t contact the subconscious, it contacts us!

Dreams are another important way our subconscious communicates with us. The conscious mind is what we interact with most, that is the part of our mind we know. It helps us navigate the tasks of daily life and holds a fixed sense of identity.   By learning how to receive dream communication from our subconscious we open the pathway to more wholeness, creativity, depth, authenticity, and a sense of feeling fully alive.

Judy RollinsDreams shine the light of consciousness onto that which is unconscious.  They become mirrors in which the unseen is revealed, and the parts of ourselves that have been cloaked are disrobed. They also allow us to experience the mystery and wonder of life.

To receive dreams’ insight requires dream interpretation.

Interpretation can lead to personal epiphanies that offer new awareness and create more power to act in our best interest.

As I was writing this article I went back through some of my dream journals and found an account of a lovely dream that had offered me its gifts.

Jessica DalrympleI was living in a lovely forties style white clapboard farm home.  It had a large picture window and was surrounded by verdant green land.  Chickens were pecking for food in the grass. I felt safe and protected.

Suddenly there were two couples who had looked at the home and wanted to make offers to buy it along with the land.  I was excited because of the possibility a sale might create.  Then, out of nowhere, a little girl about 9-years-old, with messy unkempt hair and a black t-shirt that was too short, tugged on my arm and handed me a little note.  I was curious what it said.  I opened the note and read the message as the little girl disappeared.  It said, “Aren’t you going to miss this place?”

At that moment I woke up to a convoluted sense of the sadness of loss, and a melancholy wonder about the farm home.

stock-footage-young-woman-writing-diary-while-sitting-on-the-bed-dolly-shotThe first thing I did upon awakening, after noticing how I felt, was to start writing the dream down.  I did not worry about proper grammar or spelling.  The main object of a dream is to get it down on paper quickly as dreams can so easily slip back into unconsciousness.

I then allowed myself to be still, to just sit with the dream  noticing what feeling had been present during the dreaming.  The first feeling state was one of peace and safety as I strolled around the farm land, close to the white house.  Then, as people arrived, with offers to buy the house and land, I felt excitement about new possibilities.  The arrival of the unkempt child with her message left me with a deep sense of melancholy.

Next I did a quick mental review of what had happened the day of the dream.  I remembered that I had had a difficult talk with my youngest daughter who had just turned 20 and was spreading her wings into her own new life.

Next I wrote down the key elements of the dream, allowing for whatever association they brought up for me.

imagesThe farm house: It reminded me of the first house and only house I remember living in with both of my parents alive.  The first house I actually lived in, before I was old enough to remember, was on a farm. The white clapboard home I remembered felt solid and cared for, the same way I felt while living in that home.  White represented the purity of childhood innocence. (All the parts of a dream represent parts of our selves).

The verdant green land with its grazing poultry: Symbolic of the sense of aliveness, freedom, and safety I felt before I was 9-years-old. The chickens determined quest for 377191_4681599923143_706671800_nfood represented the ongoing necessity of self-care, self-preservation.

The prospective buyers: Represented new possibilities in life and a sense of excitement about what lay beyond the farm. They also are symbolic that there is usually more than one choice.

The unkempt child: She represented the part of me that was unprotected and neglected later in my youth. She was also a reminder that sometimes there are uncertain and difficult obstacles once we have left home.

The note: The note had a dual meaning—my childhood before the loss of my innocence and a reminder not to forget my secure base.

As I reflected more deeply on the dream and continued to write about it in my journal, I realized that I felt very vulnerable about my daughter’s launch into life on her own and how I wouldn’t be able to protect her.  I saw that I had been overprotective of her doing her youth, actually crossing some lines which had become blurred between her autonomous sense of self and my fear based on my own life experience. When I left my childhood home, despite the hope I had, things did not turn out as I had wished or imagined, in fact there had been harm.

FBF9246girlsRunning670The unkempt child was me and I felt she was offering me an invitation to be more focused on my own self-care, the ways I could create a sense of peace in my own life, and to ever be mindful of the wounded child within still seeking verdant pasture.

I had this dream over four years ago. Since then, I have had to learn to let go of all of my six daughters in a variety of ways.  In doing so, I have been learning to stay focused on my own self-care in new ways. This is especially needed when I feel bereft by their absence in my daily life.

Mysterious and curious to me is that Mary Rose, the youngest, ended up living and working on a farm. When I first visited her there, I was taken aback by the farm home—it looked remarkably like the home in my dream and was surrounded by verdant green land, with chickens wandering about, pecking in the grass. Despite my fears about her launching into the world, I felt peace.304395_4681602603210_1806649950_n

 

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Writing Your Way Home

“Have you ever felt a sense of freedom from pouring your heart’s deepest truths into the pages of a journal? Or in a personal piece of writing? . . .You can use these practices to bring greater clarity to your life path, fuel your creativity and deepen your personal relationships.  You can embrace your shadows and mine them for their gifts – while expanding the depths of love and compassions.” –Mark Matousek, author, writing teacher

Girl And Typewriter“Sept. 26, 1969—Here I am expressing my feelings in typing class again. I’m not a very good typer, but I,m improving. Darnit!  I like *&/#?;* so much. I like every thing about him and I haven’t even met him. He is so groovy! Other than that, I HATE my hair today.” 

So begins my first journal, at age 15. Throughout my years I have written my way not only through bad hair days and high school crushes, but the trials of life in general–college, selfhood, marriage, motherhood, illness, deaths, and aging.  The journal journey continues.

Writing can be a form of therapy.  The writer Graham Greene once wrote, “ . . . I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”

WritingYou don’t have to be a writer to journal.  You just have to be willing to sit down and let the words flow from mind to paper.   If you let go of the inner critic, your feelings, thoughts,and observations will write themselves into being.

Why would one want to do this? Even the poet Sylvia Plath wrote about “the terror of a blank sheet of paper.”  But journaling can be a way to come to know ourselves. Our fingers moving a pen across the page, or clicking the keys of a computer can bring us to powerful ‘ah ha’ moments where the light of understanding suddenly illuminates a struggle or inner shadow.

Recently a client shared a poignant paragraph from her journal (and gave me permission to use it anonymously).  She had been struggling with a relapse and wrote prolifically about it.  The writing was a crucial part of her process of waking up to the deception to which she had again fallen prey.

tumblr_mx3fej6DZi1t4s5o7o1_500She penned, “Today  as I write I am realizing I just got lost a little bit, got off the path.  That’s all.  I haven’t ‘ruined everything,’ as I was telling myself.  I got distracted, I strayed a bit from what matters.  But all is not lost.  In fact, I am at a place now, where I feel like I can easily find my way back to true home.”

Here are a few tips from my life as a journal writer for 45 years.  I have interspersed a few more quotes from my past journals.

Select a journal or notebook that captures your attention.  Fancy journals have a certain coy appeal, but sometimes they stifle us by calling our inner perfectionist to attention.  I have found simple spiral and composition notebooks, sometimes with a pretty cover, to be inviting, but not intimidating.

Journaling_RECTShow up to the page.  Instead of ‘figuring out’ what to write, we allow what is in our mind to ‘fall out’ onto the page, as is illustrated above!  Editing is for later. Simply to write some words down activates our brain and phrases begin to pour out voluntarily.

“Sept. 16, 1991 – Mary Rose is grabbing newspapers off the coffee table as I write.  She is starting to pull herself up and even attempt a step.  I’m glad to see she’s interested in current events!  It has been an awful week though.  We had five overdraft checks thanks to my money mishandling.  The girls had a big argument which ended up causing conflict between Brian and I. I feel blue and raw today. . . . Mary Rose just took her first step!  I can’t believe it, my baby will soon be walking! That was a definite mood changer! Helps me remember what matters.”

tumblr_m7l0mv17kY1r4zgh9o1_500_largeMake some regular time to journal, even taking just 10 minutes while waiting for the  kids to get out of school or taking a break at work.  The more you come back to your journal the more you develop a relationship with it.  This is your confidant, the holder of your heart and your burdens.  These pages are sacred space where you are free to say anything, feel all, and then write your way to comfort, perspective, and insight.

“Mar. 29, 2001, Riverside Church, Manhattan – This night is holy.  I am in New York City with Sarah and her Riverside_Navewomen’s ensemble from Fort Vancouver High School. . . . it is just a few blocks away from Columbia University where I had planned to go for my masters in journalism.  I went home instead and met Brian, married, and became a mother.  Now, at this time in my life, I am getting ready to start a masters in counseling psychology at Lewis and Clark college in Portland, Oregon. How interesting it is to me that I am here with my daughter, but close to the university I turned down.  I can see all these years later it just wasn’t the right time or the right course of study.  I am sitting in the nave of this incredible, intricate church and listening to the surreal music of several hundred high school students singing choral music.  It is the music of angels . . . for some reason, at this very moment I feel called.”

Review your journals occasionally. You will see things in a new light.  They can hold experiences that are sad, but show you how strong you are.  They preserve precious memories that are not lost. They can motivate and inspire you.

1237568509503472Finally, a journal is a good place to forget the rules!  Write fast, write sloppy, write in colors, make the writing go in different directions.  Doodle if you feel like it. This is your safe place to truly reveal yourself in all of your shades of life!

“May 26, 2014 – I am in my hometown this morning – Idaho Falls, Idaho, on the banks of The Snake River.  I went for a walk along the river overlooking the falls. The lilacs are in full bloom filling the air with their fragrance.  My mother loved lilacs . . . so do I.  Yesterday I finished my second book for my website – Sorting the Pieces of My Life!  I can’t believe it!  Just a couple of hours a week of writing and a bit more for editing and I have written a book!  What a lesson in big returns from regular small effort.  We hadn’t planned to come here . . . but it’s Memorial Day, I had the opportunity to put flowers on my parent’s graves for the first time in years.  I wanted to, I needed to . . . you can go home again.”

lilac

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