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My Broken Road of Blogging and Social Media

Blogging has been a love/ hate relationship from the beginning. When this all started I used it for very personal reasons. It was a vehicle to break illusions, confront fear, and meet other people because words are good for all three.

In my life, I often tap out events to see them from a different perspective. I’ve found they look completely different when I get them out of my head. The result is that I learn far more about myself and other people. If these posts help someone else in the process, then so much the better because we grow from other people’s experience as much as our own.

That’s the purpose of a collective consciousness, to share each laugh or tear and in the telling of life stories become more of our true selves through these teachers. I’ve had many who’ve opened my eyes to a larger universe and helped me avoid otherwise painful lessons. Not always because I’m as human as the next person and, sometimes, very stubborn. But eventually I see the light of wisdom in the advice I receive.

The problem I recently faced with all of this is one I hadn’t anticipated. This tool for breaking through illusion and fear has caused a fair bit of turbulence in my personal life and relationships. Though I explain time and again the purpose of writing out my life and struggles, they eventually offend or upset someone.

So I have two choices — walk away from social media or stop worrying about what people think. The second being the more difficult because I have big love for the people who are or have been in my life.

It’s an excruciating decision.

“You’ve become an amazing woman,” a good friend recently said. “When I met you two years ago, you were this unsure girl who accepted everything everyone did and let people walk all over her. You’ve grown so much, and I’m happy I got to see it.”

These changes were forty years in the making and took every ounce of strength and courage. It nearly broke me, and by that I mean I was ready to send my daughter back to California and fade off the face of the planet.

It’s interesting people say, “Love yourself and do what’s right for your life.”

It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? Because what they mean is… do it so long as it doesn’t change anything with them. We admire people who blaze their own path, but demonize them when they fall short of our expectations. No one is immune from this human failing, not even me. But over the past several years, I’ve come to understand that I won’t understand why or how people do things, but I respect their journey, even if it’s far from mine. And I’d hoped for the same respect in return.

But when I started saying:

“Hey, I want to help, but I just can’t.”

 

Or… “Look, if you want to be here you need to start contributing because I can’t afford to support you.”

And… “I’m not going to be your part time playtoy, so if you want a relationship let’s do this thing.” 

That’s when I found out who was here to be part of my life and who wasn’t. I found out who truly respected me and who didn’t. I thought I’d be more angry, but not really. I mean, sure I’m sad because we’d put a lot of time and energy into those relationships, but they also created a lot more turmoil than I’d realized.

I have many fond memories, and they’ve all been wonderful teachers of one kind or another. So none of the time we spent together was wasted, at least not from my perspective.

 

Looking back serves one purpose, to see my strengths and failings in any given moment, and possibly do it better in this one. In my mistakes and successes, I find lessons and teachers. In my words, I cut through the crap and find the reality outside the complicated mess of thoughts and emotions twirling through my head. Though these posts have evolved, this process hasn’t changed, but I have through it.

So, I suppose I answered my own question in the course of writing this post. It isn’t a big screw you to world, but rather points me back to something I wrote this summer.

Authenticity because anything else is slow death.

Just as I don’t have the right to tell any of you who you are or should be, no one has the right to tell me either. We might be able to try on other people’s shoes, but we can’t walk in them because their road is paved by a lifetime of experiences we can never know.

Ultimately, we have power over one thing – Choice. Not the outcomes or consequences, but we choose the path to our next lesson. And mine is a dirt road where maps or GPS have yet to conquer. Though I may hit a pothole of two, I have a feeling it will end up being one of the biggest adventures of my life.

And in this very moment as I write these words, I’ve decided you’ll find out about it right here, if you choose to join me. 🙂

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Categories: answers, breaking illusions, Choice, love, relationships, the universes we create, what once was | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Measures of success… & other launch day realities

0 Best seller

On the verge…

Of success? Maybe.

Of worldwide recognition? It could happen.

But one book does not a writing career make.

I had no illusions about my first book launch. It’s not a matter of confidence, but one of realism. This is a damn tough business. Editors, publishers, covers, formatting, constant digital interaction—all of it takes time and energy and money. Most of which I never seem to have enough of, but somehow manage anyway.

No book is an overnight bestseller and it takes several more, combined with many years, for a series to grab a readership. I know the numbers. I’ve seen the stats. The reality is stark and unyielding, but it’s not impossible and it’s no longer intimidating.

This one book is proof, mostly to myself, that I can do this. Now it’s time for the next step.

The thing that most people don’t know is I launched this book with rotating internet outage and on the brink of my power being shut off. Yep, that’s right. I’m staring at the notice of imminent outage scheduled for the 31st of July. I’m short on my rent for tomorrow, and my fridge is nearly bare. My life is either on the threshold of something big, or a complete collapse. 

Yet, I’m not broken or hopeless or particularly depressed. Because this is life. We claw our way through, chasing dreams or building them with the hopes and intention to be greater than circumstances. Everyone is experiencing their own level of struggle, and one is not larger than another. Our demons, whether internal or external, only have the power we give them. It’s not about triumph over life, but a slow and steady commitment to living through it while still recognizing the moments of joy and connection.

I own little of worth, but the things I cherish aren’t objects of financial value. Over the past five years, I’ve watched my children grow into amazing and kind adults. I’ve made genuine and life-long friendships. I’ve found people who know the parts of me that huddle in the corner for fear of losing everything, and the parts that take on the world. Still they believe in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.

Sometimes I screw everything up. Sometimes I get in over my head and am too prideful to ask for help. Sometimes I don’t have a single answer and wish people would stop asking me questions.

In fact, I’m not exactly sure what to do at this moment.

But in the face of acknowledging I know absolutely nothing, the Universe gave me an answer… or solution… or a peaceful silence that is an answer all by itself.

So, yes, my first launch was quiet. Almost ninja-like. Because I have no illusions that one book is the cure. But I took another step forward, and persistence is the only absolute certainty I know.

 

***

Ring Binder Cover V3

Ring Binder is now available on Amazon kindle.

Categories: answers, belief, life, mistakes, not giving up, questions, relationships, tomorrow | Tags: , | 10 Comments

Melody, Stars, & Golden Barley

*

The golden tips of the barley grass now reach above the old worn fence posts. In the evening, when the sun shines just right I swear it looks like spun strands of honey. Even the bees buzzing around them seemed confused, but they flit through them trying to catch the sunlit treasure anyway.

I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

The fire licks the log. Though resistant, its smoldering edges eventually succumb to ancient embers, still showing signs of life from the burning man she created the night before. The ash of which circles the old wheelwell in gray-white reverence.

And… I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

When the sun finally falls beneath the misty mountains, a milk sky of stars begin to form. Their twinkle is no map to some distant land. No, they’ve already led these weary travelers to their final destination. We lay beneath them, pointing out the constellations… or making up our own… because this sacred land can only be found by those who know the stars never move, but stay constant and fixed even when the largest of their kind come out to greet the day.

Still… I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

The soft melody playing in the background dronws out a passing train. Its clickety-clack reminds us that adventure is a steel track away and waiting for us to venture down it. The knowledge soothes us, but fails to move us because we’ve seen that world. Its hustle and bustle isn’t suited for hearts that find more beauty in the twined flight of hawks overhead than the patchwork of cars roaring by.

Did I mention…? I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

He gets the laundry while she sits next to me sketching another masterpiece. Soon he’ll find the words to describe his latest adventure. I wait patiently, watching the his long distant gaze into the now dying flames. I know he sees something hidden within them, but he’s not ready to share those secrets. So, again I write of the melody, and stars, and golden barley, and passing trains.

A more peaceful place I can’t imagine.

*

“What with all my expectations long abandoned
My solitary nature notwithstanding…”

I said it, I meant it… then, now and always.

 

Categories: answers, belief, certainty, choosing faith, contentment, found, patience, relationships, secrets, the universe, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Message of Love

*

It’s an illusion, the glimmered mirage reflected in watery eyes doesn’t dip past the surface, but the rocks you skip aren’t meant to sink. They skim in rippled jumps, each barely tapping the water as it reaches for the other shore. Exhausted from the journey, they eventually succumb to the pull and sink.

Before you watch them disappear beneath the waves, another rock is hand ready and held tight.

The breeze carries a message through a flowing curtain of willows. They weep for a world-weary heart hardened by time and a touch of life. Desperate to catch your eye, the branches wave frantically, whipping just above your head. When the rustle grows, you glance in annoyance cursing the disruption. The branches, drained from the effort, release the call to let it settle back along the wind.

But life is persistent; it turns to the nightingale, hoping that the sun-brushed melody melts past the iced prison walls surrounding your heart.

The nightingale sings, on the water’s edge, fighting past cellophane wings to catch your ear. His little heart beats a foreign rhythm of love. The song drifts past an unwilling soul wrapped comfortably in its loneliness. As he prepares to expend his final breath, you turn to throw another stone and stir the water with a splash. Off he flies in search of new ears to capture.

If you paused, the absence would be glaring, but the urge to continue skipping overwhelms the senses. So you throw another stone, hoping this one will make it to the other side. The frustration builds as each one falls faster beneath the deep indigo waters than the last.

Realization has yet to take hold, but life is persistent.

It compels the lazy clouds to gather. A flashing blanket of white extends across the sky. When it begins to cry, you feel the first drop roll across your cheek. You brush it away without a thought. The first drip safely in hand, you return to task. Scowling at the heavens, you warn them in brief sharp glances.

A deep voice rumbles across the hills. It grows to a deafening roar as you scream out for silence. Undeterred, the sky opens. In typed drips on the water’s surface, it faithfully sends the message of love. As it soaks through, you feel the warmth dip past the skin.

Your face turns skyward letting each one roll down rose touched cheeks.

It continues to flow as the stones drop down into the moss-covered soil below. Finally, the words pool right below the neck, through brittle walls, into that space emptied by loneliness.

…because life is persistent and all it needs is time.

Categories: answers, belief, choosing faith, heart, life, messages, pain, patience, purpose, scars, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Journey

She hangs by her knees from the old oak taking in bits of its wisdom. The spirits gather around reverent in their silence. Her path to changed perspective lies ahead, but ivy creeps along her legs to anchor the moment.

The oak whispers in a deep and ancient voice, “only change can be found on the path before you, but perspective lies in the hanging.”

She sighs, a release of struggles and toil to allow peace to enter. However, the flood before her creates anxiety that she can’t ignore. The wave of red and fur pulses with a fire that consumes all in their wake.  She’s certain they’ll tear her apart before the flames burn. Her first reaction is to lie down and let it pass, but the wise oak speaks again.

“Look just behind you. The Foxes give chase to a hare only steps away. Though the wave blocks your path, it isn’t you they’re after. These obstacles will pass, but you mustn’t back down. Fight through the wall to find your way.”

The woman stands tall, power coursing through her muscles to near exhaustion, but the wave moves on seeking other prey. So she continues down the path.

In the brush that follows, a majestic white swan flails in the briar. Tempted by the sweet fruit, it missed the thorns guarding its prize. The woman transforms into a humming bird carefully moving the vines aside to grant the swan’s freedom. Its graceful wings extend carrying the swan far above the patch to a small hill. Thin pillars of silver surround it gleaming in the fading light.

Returned to her feminine form, the woman strolls down to examine the pillars.

The swan sits as a guardian on the hilltop. Upon inspection, the woman notices the pillars surrounding it are large pens. Near the base of the hill, a man huddles pen in hand. The mask he wears hides his true nature. His smirk a mark of self-satisfaction at the clever way he managed to steal the pen away, but the swan isn’t fooled. She watches him from the corner of her eye well aware of the nature hidden by the mask. His deception will only serve to poison each word he writes with uncertainty and pessimism.

The woman takes note of the scene before her, and then continues on the journey.

A clearing soon appears as she travels father still. In it stands another oak, ancient and ethereal. The woman rests for a while in its shade, but as time passes, the tree weaves her into its branches.

Travelers who wander by see her there in the oak. They marvel at the warmth and generosity that shines from the tree through her eyes. The woman willingly lends support to all at their request. The inner strength they see comes from that of life; a pure energy transmuted through the branches from the sun. As they continue on, the leaves she hands them are tokens, reminders of the time they’ve spent together. Each leaf whispers a secret that only she can hear, a symphony of voices to guide the wayward travelers.

Soon a weary and despondent man appears before the oak . The woman smiles warmth down on him. The branches of her arms transform to soft-feathered wings, as she becomes the swan. The man struggles to climb onto her back and soon the two float among the clouds.

As she flies ever higher, exhaustion does not find her. The steady beat of her heart matches each wing flap creating a rhythm that comforts the man. He’s content to let her bear the weight soaking in bits of energy and light.

Below dawn has found the world. Its landscape unfolds before them; each canyon scarring the earth seems a distant memory of pain. Even the warning caws of crows catching the wind go unnoticed. He sees the destination ahead once hidden beyond the clouds. She bears him to a place of peace where words flow like raindrops in the spring.

Renewed, he at the vision clutches the feathers on her back in anticipation of their arrival.

Together they stand, a human ladder of strength, inscribing the journey in stone. He holds her up to reach the highest parts of the wall. Alone she can barely scratch the surface, but together the hard stone easily gives way to her smooth fleshy fingers.

The interlinking rings she etches tell a story of relationships and love. They become a chain, made stronger as another is added. The impossible becomes ordinary as their combined strength breaks through obstacles.

In unity they understand that the power of one can crumble with the breeze, but when the rings form a chain, their combined resolve becomes an immovable force that can rearrange the stars.

Categories: answers, belief, choosing faith, Drive by life, journeymen, life, love, messages, mistakes, tomorrow | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Music

 

Belief isn’t something you can fake. We’ll see it right behind the eyes. It’s an unwavering light that makes passerby’s stop for a moment and smile. No cloud cover can dim it’s approach because belief pierces even the darkest day. It’s stronger than the words I write and screams out louder than thunder. If it were a wave, it would roll across the face of the earth and wash all doubt away.

If you have it nothing I can say will change it. If you don’t each pointed word will sway you like the branches of a willow tree. I’ll hear the rustling even before I’ve finished speaking. Now I’m not talking about belief in God. Although, the same rules apply. I’m talking about belief in a dream that’s larger than you.

My last post was about believing in hope again. Actually, for those who know me, it went much deeper than a whimsical dream. See, I’ve never had a problem seeing the sunny side of the street. Although, I can’t say I always live there, I certainly have the address down. It’s been more difficult to catch the light these days. I could blame it on my oldest and my ex, but somehow that feels hollow. What they did cut into my belief system deeper than any preacher could. Once I found my way past the betrayal and pain, I realized that sometimes you have to slice through everything you believe so there’s room to grow. Painful as epic life changing events can be there’s no substitute that will make you stand up and say “Oh hell, screw it” faster.

I don’t know where this is going. Maybe that’s just about the right place to be. How much can we actually control anyway? We might just be those feathers in Forest Gump catching a breeze, searching for a good place to rest a while. Or maybe we’re that plastic bag on the side of the street being dragged through puddles and ripped apart by the elements. I like to think we’re all little bits of dandelions blown into the air by small children playing in some cosmic garden…and giggling.

I suppose it doesn’t really matter because my beliefs don’t rattle or shift even when the ground below is slowly sinking. They can take my pride (only gets me in trouble anyway) and my money (yeah, I’m laughing too) and my ability to construct fanciful adventures (I know, the tally stands at one, but I’m working on it), but they will never, ever take away my belief in me.

Categories: answers, belief, certainty, deliverance, Drive by life, freedom, love, messages, moving forward, purpose | Tags: | 1 Comment

Brushing Keys & Building Dreams

 

 

It took a flash brighter than lightning on a starless night for me to see. If not for the scream of a handful of words, I might still be blind. I won’t admit to the tears, because I’m too stubborn to let them fall. I won’t admit to the twist in my stomach, because I’m too thick skinned to let it bubble past the surface. I won’t admit defeat, because I don’t really know the meaning. Instead, I’ll let them scrub the insides clean.

~   ~   ~

Will you know when your paradigm shifts? Will anyone be there to care? I ask these questions often, and then I wonder if they matter. Mine shifted tonight and when I saw the stars again, my three were right where I left them. The comfort of the familiar steadied me. I let the gathered expectations of the last nine months blow away. They piled up when I wasn’t looking, but then I guess we miss the dust bunnies until we’re stepping on them.

Here’s the hardest part of revelation: when it finally happens, no one may be there to share it and no matter how loud you scream no one will hear it.

Instead, I’ll leave it here. Though you won’t understand every word you’ll feel it with me; the excitement that borderlines mania, the fear that borderlines terror, the hope that borderlines faith. When the sharp breath hits like that wall you didn’t see coming, you’ll know. You’ll see it’s all part of who I was, who I am, and who I hope to be. Seek me out to hear the smile in my voice or walk by with a quick uneasy glance; either way I’ll be here brushing keys and building dreams in cloud shaped castles.

Categories: answers, belief, choosing faith, contentment, deliverance, Drive by life, heart, love, messages, mistakes, purpose, questions, relationships, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Life Well-Lived

Silence is our gift. We knew that once when the earth was still young enough to hold wonder. In the darkness of night, the crickets chirped and leaves rustled to make us aware of the quiet. When the chimes ring, I remember for a moment what newness feels like. The stars shine bright against a moonless sky. I sense life ancient and unnamable in their twinkle. It is then I know without doubt I am connected to what came before and what will be after.

So often we talk about living in the now. While such thoughts carry merit, I wonder how often we’re disconnected from our past and future. Life is a cycle of movement. At the second you finish reading this sentence the words will join the past. Does that mean they are no longer worthy of your interest?

My point here is simple. Each moment connects to another to create a stream….in it we laugh or cry or live. Because it ends or has yet to happen doesn’t mean that the value is lost. If we are to be the sum of our parts then every experience, past-present-future, collide to become who we are. In a universe of change it’s vital to know where you’ve been, to understand where you are, and prepare for where you’ve yet to venture.

Every experience will shape you whether you have a chance to live it or not. We all know this life leads to one place. It is the same destination for every person no matter his or her rank. So in the end it isn’t some glorious race to finish first, but to finish well. A life well-lived will be remembered if only by a single person. Can any of us say that isn’t worth it?

Categories: answers, belief, certainty, choosing faith, heart, messages, purpose | Tags: | 2 Comments

Day 1: Seasons

(Source: Roxymusic)

 

We often miss the little things the universe is trying to tell us. It’s not that we don’t want to listen, but I think we clutter our everyday until we simply can’t hear. For most people, spring is the time to clean, prune, and take stock. But, for me, it’s a time to let nature take over. Let the new growth cover all the scars of winter.

Instead I turn to the fall, when the leaves begin to drop and flowers fade. It’s easier for me to see what’s missing when the branches begin to bare. The stunning contrast of what once was and what is now is enough to kick my butt into full on clean mode. I sit back in my chair and map out which branches to cut. Of course, this is where you have to plan each step with care. If you cut the wrong one the tree might be lopsided or you’ll end up with a hole right through the center.

My first instinct is to cut the whole damn thing down. I can always plant another one…right? The downside is you have to go back through the nurturing and growing phase which doesn’t bother me, because that happens to be at the core of my skill set. I’m good at helping things grow into maturity. The problem becomes, once grown, I’m looking for something new to nurture; sometimes forgetting that nothing ever reaches true maturity until winter arrives to take it back.

I guess the point is I’m learning in the fall of my years that cutting everything down and starting new isn’t the answer. If I step back and prune a little here and there when spring returns the new growth will make each branch stronger. Life is a process of death and rebirth, a transition from the newness of spring to the youthful frolic of summer to the changing colors of fall to the decay of winter. I once heard someone say “Unto every season a purpose is given.”
My purpose this fall is to learn a new skill; to carefully prune what isn’t working so as the seasons change my tree grows back balanced, beautiful, and stronger.

 

~   ~

~   ~   ~

“A time to keep, a time to cast away…”

Categories: answers, belief, Drive by life, life, messages, moving forward, patience, purpose, seasons | Tags: | Leave a comment

Contentment

Most days I’m content with the way the wind blows and the sporadic rainfalls of late summer are just enough to clear my head. But the last few months have driven me far from that peace. The simple pleasures of the now are no longer within my grasp. And the frustration is starting to wear on me.

This pathological search mode isn’t part of my baseline. Typically everything has a place and I know where to find it when the need arises, but lately I feel a push I can’t quite quantify. It feels as if I’m being pushed to find the answer to a question I don’t even know. Maybe that’s wrong, because if you broke it down, I think you’d find that something is missing. A part of me that I never noticed before seems empty.

I spent many nights blaming it on the addictions, the lack of contact, writing too much or too little, and those everyday stressors we encounter. The truth is something in me just isn’t there. So my entire being is grasping at straws hoping to catch the right one. The exhaustion of continually pulling back the wrong straw has led me here; back to the page, because if I write it out maybe sense will follow.

I have my doubts, but then that shouldn’t surprise you. I talked about taking risks in my last post. The biggest of which, for me, is believing in myself. Maybe that’s the answer…maybe not. And in those words I reveal something about myself, I think. I am, at the core, a person who needs to find the answers in order to find peace. But how is that possible when the question is obscured?

You may or may not read this. You may or may not care, but then it’s not your job. In the end, I guess it’s just another leg of the journey. Without growth we stagnant and I can think of no greater crime than to sit in one place and never take the next step. So, though I don’t know the question…or answer, I’ll continue to search. Until I find the question, until I know the answers, until the universe shifts again, until exhaustion takes me and I can no longer continue.

~   ~

~   ~   ~

“There’s just too many words we’re never meant to learn…”

Categories: answers, belief, contentment, Drive by life, life, love, messages, patience, questions, relationships, searching, self reflection, taking risks, the next step | Tags: | 6 Comments

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