29 November 2012

Enjoying the Quiet

I haven't had much to say over the last couple months. I feel like I'm plugged into a unit recharging myself. I've been mostly okay with it thinking, if you don't got it, you don't got it. I do have to keep reminding myself that it's part of the cycle of living. We go through quiet moments and it's okay to simply exist in the quiet.

Things have been great at my day job. Great in the way that staying and fighting the good fight and witnessing the changes in committing to stay rather than run away. All through my life I've been the person to move on. I think it's a symptom of having moved a lot as a kid. No problem was ever too big to walk away from. Or, if I had a problem it was no big deal because we'd probably be moving soon and I wouldn't have to face the problem anymore. It's not easy to speak your mind every single day at every opportunity when people misunderstand us. My worry was always that I would come across as the angry Black woman. I know if I'm just seen as the angry Black woman then no one will ever 'HEAR' what I'm saying.

I stayed even with the worry. I stayed and consistently spoke my mind. I stayed and things have become so good for me in my position, relationships have surpassed what I could ever believe they could have become. I stayed and this current state of contentment has made me quiet. Last week I was able to move into the realization that I don't have to fight anymore. People are listening to me. People are valuing the work that I do. So now that I don't have to be on hyper alert what shall I do?

I've been contemplating my personal 9 year and what past junk I can get rid of, heal myself from. Behaviours and mind sets that have served me well in the past but are no longer needed, like my nature to run away. I remember a friend Jordan saying to me years ago that we often carry survival techniques with us that served us well when we were in crisis but can sabotage our lives when we are no longer in crisis. Those words have always stayed with me in a profound way.

It is astounding to me to have witnessed someone who didn't believe a word I said to seeing that person value my opinion and ideas. That has been a truly powerful experience and lesson for me. And so I'm still in my quiet. I am deep breathing, meditative breathing, into my quiet. I am listening to what my silence has to say to me. What other powers might I have if I stick to one goal? What other survival techniques can I transform?

I've been quietly unearthing my buried treasure. I've been thinking about the light, my light, that I have to offer. It's a little flickering candle at the moment. I've been nurturing it and very mindful of those who would blow on it with insensitivity. I've been acknowledging my fragility, that's the part I never admit to. I like to scare people out of affecting my fragility. I scare people by being the elephant trampling everything in her path. I scare people by being the deadly Mother bear who runs at danger with hysterical fear protecting her baby cub.

Now that I know how to do that, use those survival techniques to protect my fragility, my little flickering candle, how do I learn how to share myself with openness? How do I bring the self protective side and the fragile side out together? That is my goal to work on in my Personal 1 year in 2013.

16 September 2012

Sabbath Progress Log for 15Sept12 Sat

I went to bed after midnight Friday night and woke up Saturday around 6:20am.
It really is nice just to wake up when I wake up as opposed to waking up to alarms. That jarring is so bad for the nerves.

I woke with a happy smile and wished myself a Happy Sabbath. It felt appropriate. :)
I gave myself a Reiki treatment (which I don't do enough) while using the Doctor Ho unit. My back has been still sensitive since I pulled it out a couple weeks ago.

I did my morning pages and ate a fruit salad of oranges, raspberries and strawberries. Ate a couple apples and promptly went back to sleep for a few hours.

Around 1pm I found I was struggling with not turning on the television. I didn't care about the internet or the phone but the TV, especially since I knew that the Gilmore Girls was on. Crazy since I've watched all the episodes. But once I got over the struggling, I did some reading and later in the afternoon I did some writing and wrote up all my blog entries. I also worked on New Moon wishes reading to get an idea of what my list will be.

The main thing I'd noticed by the end of the day was that I wasn't feeling the normal anxiety that I usually feel on the weekend. That anxiety is the feeling that time is passing by and I'm not making good use of it. By the end of the day I felt like I had a fully relaxing day, aside from the TV struggle of about an hour. Bad habits die hard.

I feel like I could have got more accomplished writing wise but that's my schtick, I never feel like I accomplish enough. I did get a lot of much needed sleep and it was super nice not to have spent my day doing laundry and grocery shopping and all the chores that normally eat up my Saturday. And cat cuddles. The cats were very enthusiastic about spending all that extra time cuddled up in bed.

So, that's one Sabbath attempted and enjoyed. The true test is how I'll feel during the work week. Of course it's only one so I'll monitor the changes over the month of Sabbaths. I think it's something I can continue.


New Moon in Virgo

For the New Moon in Virgo, Simone says Mercury, the planet which rules Virgo, conjoins the Sun and Moon at the lunation. This hyper-mental energy requires placing our thoughts in service of our goals.

Well that works with my commitment to observing a Sabbath.

I also liked this idea ...
It’s time to acknowledge that despite some failures, you’ve also experienced successes, whether great or small, since the spring. Write down these successes and celebrate them. Virgo likes making lists and tallying progress; it also supports regular practice—the dedication which slowly moves us in a new direction. Whether it’s a daily walk, a morning blessing before heading off to work, clearing clutter one drawer at a time, sending out resumes to find a more fulfilling job, or volunteering for a cause you believe in, small acts will yield big shifts over time.

I read up on Virgo New Moon Wishes using Jan Spiller's book, New Moon Astrology She says no more than 10 wishes total for the month (new moon to new moon).

Here are some ideas for wishes to focus on:

- developing a healthy eating plan
- developing an exercise routine
- removing addictions to cigarettes, bad sugars etc
- completing work projects with minimal stress and maximum efficiency
- creating a routine for work/play life balance
- creating neatness and order in our home
- paying bills/ debts on time
- discerning what's important and what is not
- appreciating the opportunities that are offered to us
- focus on the here and now moment

Happy New Moon! Hope you are making new moon wishes and making them come true for you. :)


Sabbath - Feeding and Enriching My Artistic Soul

I wrote up a set of my rules/ guidelines of what my Sabbath will be. I kept in mind my work schedule because I do work some Friday nights. I want a level of flexibility that will help me to succeed.

I got groceries on the way home from work Friday night and after I put them away and turned off my alarms, my 25 hour Sabbath began. I've already decided that should I have to work on a Saturday night I will have my Sabbath on a Sunday. Like I said, keeping it flexible. And during my writing festival, I think I will do this during a week day since the festival is 10 days long and I'll have all that time off during the week.

Anyway, here are my current guidelines:

- Starts 25 hours from the time I get home on Friday
- Eat healthy, cleansing foods and juices
- can attend anything that enriches my artistic soul
- Can attend writing festivals
- Keep a Progress Log

- No chores
- No television
- No email
- No phone
- No internet
- No cooking unless crock pot or simple meal

Observance Activities
- Prayer
- Meditation
- Kundalini Yoga and chanting (use ibook - it has no internet connection)
- Qigong (ibook)
- Reading
- Music (maybe, haven't made a decision, yet)
- Work on Novel in progress
- Write blog entries
- Write Essays
- poem
- Draw
- Walks
- Goal Setting:
a) What I'd like to study in 2013
b) 50th birthday ideas
c) Finances


Observing the Sabbath

I've decided to observe the Sabbath!

July and August were weird months for me. I felt like my insides were struggling to get a proper space within my body. That's the best way I can describe it. It was the caterpillar struggle to get out of its gunk to become a butterfly. Except of course, I haven't had any major transformation yet, just the continued struggling.

I've had face to face discussions with a number of my girlfriends and I noticed one theme. We all feel as if we've given up doing the things that kept us enthusiastic. You know? Keeping a journal used to be filled with pictures and quotes and ideas and song lyrics. Now our journals are bland, "The weather was nice. I bought groceries today."

I marveled with one girlfriend about how I stopped doing my morning pages because I was boring myself! I seemed to have lost the stream of consciousness rhythm that I normally have when I do my pages. The rhythm that digs into the subconscious because the self editor is asleep. We both sighed that, "where did I lose my enthusiasm for life," sigh.

I told the same girlfriend that I'd started going to cheap Tuesday night movies weekly just to add something, anything. And I'd written up a list of healing activities that might actually push me toward the butterfly type transformation that maybe my insides were struggling for. I've got the list, I still haven't done what's on the list. (hangs head)

To make matters worse, my part time job has kicked back in since the beginning of September. So I'm back to working two jobs and in my free time, heck, during my work time, I'm always tired. And my list has been burning in my thoughts. Each day that I don't do anything on that list I'm disgruntled. Every day I begin the day asking, "How am I going to fit this in?"

Thursday, September 13th, I woke up and said out loud, "I'm going to observe the Sabbath." It's been something that has floated in my mind since July 6th when I read Gretchen Rubin's email from her Happiness Project blog. It was an interview of Joshua Foer who, you guessed it, attributes his happiness to keeping the Sabbath.

What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

I keep the Jewish Sabbath, which is not something I did when I was 18. For 25 hours each week, everything gets turned off. No email. No phone. I don’t make anything. I don’t destroy anything. No matter how much stress I have in my life, it all evaporates on Friday night.

Joshua's mention of keeping the Jewish Sabbath brought me back to almost 30 years ago when I was a part-time live in Nanny for an Orthodox Jewish family. I was hired to care for their 6 kids specifically for the Sabbath. The family had their lights on timers so the proper lights would turn on in specific rooms like the dining room during Sabbath lunch. The Mrs used a crock pot for their lunch and put the food in before the Sabbath started and it was ready in time for lunch.

But the best part of observing the family keep the Sabbath was watching the kids devour books because there was nothing else to do. They'd each borrow a pile of books from the library before the Sabbath started and they would read, for hours! I remember telling my mother about it all those years ago. "What a great idea," I'd told her, "It's a great opportunity to slow down." The Mister and Mrs had a nap while I kept an eye on their children and the children read books and books and books and books!

Of course I'm not Jewish, nor am I religious but I know I need something drastic. I need to give myself the gift of time. So just in time for the new moon in Virgo, I've committed to observing an Artistic Sabbath for at least 4 Saturdays in a row and I'll revisit my commitment to see what changes I can make.

Here's the full interview. Oh and in the comments someone posted this Sabbath Manifesto for those who are doing it for non-religious reasons. Awesome! I hadn't thought of wine! lol


21 July 2012

I Need a Champion!

I feel like I've been so much more calmer inside since I had my "secrets" breakthrough. Something about that makes me feel like everything is okay and will be okay. It's a welcome change.

I've still been maintaining the, "Slow down, stop racing, and simply be," advice. As part of that, I've been watching movies. I don't have a vast collection of movies but I am growing a decent collection. My corner store started selling DVD's and I normally ignore them but last weekend I decided to ask the clerk how much they were and they are $6.99 each or 2 for $10. Really? hmm.

As I was looking at them and trying to narrow the amount of DVD's I bought, I decided I wanted to watch some movies on second chances. It's feeling like a theme for me and any inspiration is always good.

I bought The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
And The Man on the Train with Donald Sutherland
The 4th movie I bought had nothing to do with 2nd chances but simply filled my 2 for $10 purchase.

So far, I've watched The Vow and Larry Crowne.
The Vow was surprising because it wasn't what I expected. It's the line, "I have to make my wife fall in love with me again," in the promos that is misleading. They really don't spend much time showing him doing that. They have one date and he attends her sister's wedding and then that's it. He backs away. It was a sweet film but if I were to re-write it, I would go deep into the husband courting his wife who doesn't remember who he is. Isn't that the point?

Larry Crowne I did like a lot. I liked the quirkiness of it. Of course Nia Vardalos was one of the writers and that makes total sense. Her best writing is the quirky, lovable characters who might be perceived as ,I hate to say, losers. They are the other people, the people that we don't rush to tell stories about. Not the history makers.

Larry Crowne as a character who had to start over, decluttered his life and downsized. And went back to school. And the gist of the story, for both his character and Julia Robert's character is it's never too late. A great, inspiring reminder.

Watching both those movies made me want to buy Eat, Pray, Love. Which I bought yesterday and watched last night. This movie I had actually watched before and ultimately bought the book and read it. This really is The Second Chances movie.

In the book Elizabeth Gilbert gets into excruciating detail of her 'male' issues. So as I watched the movie that information was in my head, even if it was more brushed stroked in the movie. It's important to know who we need to be for ourselves when we're in relationships.

I love the discussion of muffin tops and enjoying the pleasure of eating and no man has turned away a naked woman because she has a muffin top.

And the Italian's joy or perfecting of doing nothing. Dolce Far Niente. Yes, I thought of my 9 year numerology forecast when that was mentioned.

In India, of course, I enjoyed the struggle with meditation. The struggle to quiet the mind, to surrender, to give up trying to control.

And I loved everything about Bali, er, Javier Bardem. Really? Could they find a more beautiful man? I could be inspired by anything that Javier Bardem told me. lol

His comment about how she looks, "you are thin and elegant from a distance and then up close you are soft and fleshy!"

And what she needs, "You don't need a man, you need a CHAMPION!"

I feel like I shed emotional poundage this month. I've grown more comfortable in spending time in Dolce Far Niente.

And my take away tools for my Second Chances starter kit:

- A man worth his weight, will wait. I want a Champion. I want a man who knows how to court a woman.
- It's never too late for second chances. Declutter, downsize. Study and practice my passions.
- Eat what I love. Tone down the criticism on my changing body. I am 48 years old. I'm not going to have the same anything that I had as a 20 or 30 year old.
- Pray. I've got my Kundalini Yoga practice but I would like to add sitting in silence and smiling for 20 minutes a day. I LOVE THAT IDEA!
- Love. Love myself exactly as I am. And Love others more openly without holding back.

Oh and if anyone has any suggestions on any movies that cover "2nd Chances," I'd welcome them! :)


17 July 2012

July 9 Year - Breaking Through

We eat too much, drink too much, smoke too much and whatever too much because we're not always in touch with what we're really feeling.

I've been standing in quicksand this month. Stuck and not able to move forward despite knowing what I want to do and even knowing the steps I can take to do it. I have to admit it's been bugging me. Shit! I'm always doing this work, always looking within, always looking at ways to move past all the garbage I've lived through, the hurts, the beat downs etc. I'm always looking at the ways that I've played a part in all of it. Quite frankly I've been sick of it.

I've tried to adhere to Christine Delorey's advice to "Slow down, stop racing, and simply Be." Well that part has been easy if you put it in a being lazy perspective because, to me, I've just been lazy. On a more enlightened plane, I've been waiting for some answer for a question I haven't asked yet. Yes.

It's half way through the month and Christine always mentions to re-read the forecast for the month to find deeper meaning. Two things stood out for me yesterday when I re-read my forecast. The past reappearing and some secret that will surface. I kept asking what was showing up now that was like a repeat of my past. And what possible secret could there be left? I've dug through all the secrets.

It's a good thing that I believe in Christine's work because this month's forecast was a pain in my ass. ha-ha!

It says,
There is a strangeness about this cycle and you may be unsure of what your next move should be. You want to do something, but the feeling persists that whatever you do may not work the way you want, and may be a waste of your time and energy.

I have been weaving in and out of sureness and unsureness of indeed what my next move is. How do I keep motivated with my writing, work my two jobs and have a social life. It's summer for crying out loud, I can be disciplined in the winter months when I'm happy not to leave the house.

This fear of inadequacy is being triggered by the voice of guilt telling you that you must constantly be doing something – and that doing nothing and getting nowhere in this human ‘race’ is unacceptable. Stop judging yourself by these outdated standards. Slow down. Stop doing, stop racing, and simply BE. Accept the uncertainty of it all and know that no matter how much pressure you are under, the situation will change in due course.

First thought, "I don't know if I feel inadequate" and mid month, "okay maybe I do feel inadequate." But at least there is a positive that the situation will change in due course. More waiting but what the heck am I waiting for? Why can't I just plow through?

Be aware of how past actions have led to your present situation. You are likely to be more ‘alone’ than usual and, if not, then it is up to you to take some private time and space for yourself. You have some very important thinking, feeling, and healing to do. The question is, “What do I really want?”, which can only be answered by another question: “What do I really feel?”

I keep looking at my past actions but am coming up blank. I look at what I call my laziness. Whenever I say I'm lazy to others they remind me of all that I actually do that proves that I'm not lazy. But I always feel like I can do better. Last year I realized that what stops me a lot is that I think 'that could have been done better' about everything. It's a level of perfectionism that buries me.

I have been more alone than usual and that I've been mostly fine with. I keep telling myself that I'm alone because I need to be, if I didn't need to be I wouldn't be alone. But how can I use this alone time wisely. How can I do it better? ha ha!

And I've been constantly asking myself, What do I really want, What do I really feel? And I haven't always been sure about what feel I'm looking at. What do I really feel about work? What do I really feel about my life? What do I really feel about what I really want to do? Yes, I can drive myself crazy.

The reason the events of July are so confusing or contradictory is because your sense of direction has become muddled. The only way you will be able to see your options, let alone make a decision, is to go inside, back in time, and determine what it was in the past that led you here; to this state of being lost.
In fact, you are likely to find yourself in the past whether you put yourself there or not...
Look for a connection between mistakes you see others making and mistakes you have made yourself, as there could be a futile case of the pot calling the kettle black going on.

What is it from my past that has led me here? I do feel lost. In my 'lostness' in the first half of this month I kept trying to think of the past. What is happening now that 'seems' like the past? I touched on it a couple times in conversations but didn't really realize that that was it. On my walk with my friend I'd mentioned my frustration with some friends about how I feel like they punish me when I don't do things the way they want me to. You know, someone ignores me for awhile so I don't chase after him or her and I feel this distinct punishing energy coming from him or her?

And in the other conversation I was cracking a riff on being Brown Snow. I said that in my childhood I could compare my story to Snow White but since I'm a black woman I couldn't call myself that, I'd have to call myself Brown Snow. It cracked us up. But it did delve into the punishment for just being me idea that has been bugging me.

Secrets from the past may reappear. Deal with them because, in the 9 year, past issues that you don’t deal with usually find a way to deal with you. Either bring a secret into the open, or accept that the matter is unresolved. Then work through the fear or guilt you are holding in as a result. You may find that an issue no longer needs secrecy, but if you stand to hurt yourself or someone else by “coming clean”, ask yourself what would really be gained by making a painful revelation. Perhaps the only person you need to reveal your secret to is you. Or, perhaps someone else’s secret will be revealed to you. Maybe someone will shock you as they reveal how they secretly feel about you.

And that damn secret! I was secretly hoping that the secret was someone revealing to me how he secretly feels about me but then I realized I didn't actually know anyone who I wanted to profess some love for me because you know, exes are exes for a reason. And most of the other men I know are married and the ones that aren't, not so much. Unless Dwayne Johnson (the rock) appeared suddenly and saw me once and was completely dumbstruck by his instant love for me?

The secret about finding the bio-father isn't such a big secret except he doesn't know I've found him.

Okay Christine, you're killing me here!

Last night I walked home from work and as I was, I reminded myself that this alone time is good, it's what's needed otherwise I wouldn't be alone, in the middle of a Beautiful July. That I just need to make better use of this time. I got home and got my writing stuff all organized in one spot to dig into my novel rewrite. I attached my Livescribe pen to my computer to charge. Then promptly started to play Cubis and drink a couple glasses wine. Woo hoo! Better use of my time!

In my dream last night, my mother and I were looking out the window watching these grown men playing. They were helping one man move out and came across hot wheels and proceeded to set up hot wheels tracks and were getting the cars to do flips and stuff. My mother and I were watching them and laughing at how men can be boys.

I woke up at 2:15am. I had the debate about whether I should get up or sleep until 3am. I couldn't decide if that early was really a part of my normal early rising or if I woke up because the fans made me cold and I just needed a sheet to cover me. I tried to fall back to sleep but by 2:30am I knew it was probably my early rising time and I'd get up and do my morning pages. I can always go have a wee nap after yoga.

And my morning pages wrote themselves. My first sentence was, "Is the secret that I am lonely? And from there delved into what I am still grieving about men, about my family and feeling that I've done everything wrong. And I delved deep into what my fears are that are related to the punishing thing that really stops me from being intimate with others, sharing myself (my feelings, my thoughts, my dreams). It's causing me to remain stuck, this feeling that some of the people I trust and love and give to beat me down and don't value me the way I need to be valued. My hurt and fear is the quicksand that is keeping me stuck. Okay, I'll say it, I am scared to have everything that I want, I know I can have it, because I'm scared that the moment I feel good in it, comfortable in it, confident in it, some one I love is going to wipe it all away and it will be lost and how will I ever recover.

There's a lot more in there. My morning pages are three legal size pages after all. And the ironic thing is about that dream this morning. A couple years after my mother passed away a psychic told me 'when you're mother appears in a dream, ask her what she has come to tell you." Man oh man, every time my mother appeared in a dream I'd wake up frustrated because I'd forget to ask the question. It wasn't until I said good-bye to a work friend who had passed away, whose funeral I couldn't attend, as I was falling asleep I wished her well and told her to look for my mother that my mother would help her out on this new plane, that I finally had the dream and asked my mother the question. In that dream, like in the dream this morning, my mother and I were looking out the window watching people and their antics outside.

Some how those two dreams feel like bookends to me right now. And the connection clicked in as I was writing the dream this morning in my pages. I had tears streaming down my face and I was laughing. It wasn't the painful tears of release. It was the happy tears of how powerful our lives are and our value in life. And our connections to EVERYTHING!

And P.S. if the Rock would like to come meet me and profess his undying love for me, I'd still be okay with it.


05 July 2012

Live Now - Art Exhibit.

Last night I went to an art showing of Simone Frank's at the BAND Gallery.
Her exhibit was a series inspired by a bar brawl.
Her description :

About this collection:

"This body of work was inspired by an altercation I had with a man in a bar called The Painted Lady on Ossington Ave. in Toronto. At first he was full of compliments, but when his affections weren't returned he became quite ugly. Another man I met, a gentleman had just asked me out to dinner but instead of basking in that, the inappropriate behavior of his employee enraged me. I pushed him before he could hit me. He threatened my life verbally. Long story short, a bar brawl ensued. I felt quite guilty about that act of violence as I prefer peaceful resolutions. The incident inspired me to create this series.

The full story is told in a book submitted for publishing called, No More Kissing Frogs."

Beautiful work. I'm really liking the idea of doing any kind of series. I talked to someone last night about Ntozake Shange's, "For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf." I've been carrying that book around with me since I recently watched the Tyler Perry movie for it.

Yeah I like the idea of doing some sort of series and looking at a topic or a feeling or an incident from every angle.

I'm glad that I went to the opening. Thankfully I promised myself that I would go to it no matter what and once I make a promise... I can be shy with new people. Even worse is I can talk myself out of going places because I get caught in what I think is going to happen and then I don't show up. I think I'm going to be the only single person and I'll be standing by myself in a corner trying not to look awkward. I've done the no show so many times that it really has to become the fear that I walk through. Especially since I'm always glad, at the end of the outing, that I showed up.

I've also noticed that I get shy about talking about myself as an artist. Simone introduced me to people as "my writer friend" and I got scared of the inevitable questions. I added the qualifier that, "I'm her unpublished writer friend."

I shouldn't have worried though. In a group of other artists, they totally get it. There wasn't that normal look that you get from people sometimes where you feel that they think you're not really a writer if you're unpublished.

Some of the different conversations I had with the different artists and friends of the artists were about self-publishing and e-books in particular and whether I was thinking about going that route. I think certain types of genres are more appropriate for self-publishing, straight to e-book. We talked about blogging and social media and putting yourself out there and how much do you focus on stats vs just doing your work and letting the right followers come to you. If you build it they will come.

Some one asked me if I did any other art and I told her about the two times I've met the cartoonist Lynda Barry.
How the first time I met Lynda, she asked me "do you draw?"
And I told her that I used to draw cartoons.
She told me, "start drawing again."
From that suggestion I started doing my scribble drawings. The 2nd time I met Lynda, I mentioned that she had told me to start drawing again and I showed her the drawings I'd been doing. It was such a positive experience. Lynda Barry is a wonderful, wonderful woman!

Needless to say, talking about myself as an artist/writer last night turned out to be good for my soul. I felt good. I felt comfortable. I felt like I was with people who understood. Which of course is the whole point of having a weekly artist's date, right? It's to feed your artist's soul.

And part of the universe's message to me of Living Now, I think, has to do with walking through my fear that stops me from going out and meeting new people. I always feel good after I've shown up. I'm still that scared kid who went to a different school every year. I just keep forgetting that I always made a new friend on the first day of school. :)


03 July 2012

Do It Now!

What kind of messages has the Universe been giving you lately? Have you been listening for them?

I've been going through at least a week of "Do it Now" messages. Everywhere!
I know what it is too. I'm feeling like I need to make some major changes and the big picture looks so daunting. Of course, I'm too busy looking at the end result, the realization of the goal as opposed to the baby steps that I need to take to get me going on the journey.

I'm feeling such a sense of urgency though, in all the Universe's messages. I'm feeling the sense of urgency and I'm feeling stuck in place all at the same time. But of course, as is normally the case, Christine Delorey's forecast for me for July is giving me suggestions on how to deal.

Slow down. Stop doing. Stop racing, and simply BE. Accept the uncertainty of it all.

And that's exactly what I've been doing tonight. Just sitting and relaxing and writing in my journal and giving myself some space to breathe.

The June portion of Cancer was emotional and moody and crabby. I went through four days where I was really struggling with depression. In a way that I haven't in years. It worried me but I realize my version of cabin fever is depression. I've got to be the Squirrel who plays and works. I've got to find more balance.

For the Canada Day long weekend, I played. I got out and enjoyed the festivities. I walked through a neighbourhood that I would love to live in and caught myself thinking about why I couldn't live in that area then decided that I would simply have a driver and the problem will be solved. lol.

On Sunday, I got freaked out by all the people out in the streets during the gay pride festivities and bee-lined out of the crowd. Heading home, I came upon a group of buskers playing some funky, horn heavy music and ended up hanging out and listening to them for four hours and making a new friend. Another single woman like me, just hanging out, checking out what's going on in the city and happening upon these crazy talented young men. We sat together and cracked each other up and pointed out good looking men and people watched and laughed like we were long lost kin.

And Monday I met up with my walking buddy to walk. We got our sweat on and caught up and laughed and made a couple beer pit stops and six hours went by in a flash and we were hugging our good-byes until the next time.


When I had all my neck and shoulder and arm pain, my physical therapist told me that I needed to take more breaks at work. Through our discussions over the months I went to see her, we agreed that the better way for me to do my work for my physical well-being was to stretch out what I was doing. Instead of printing three reports and going to retrieve them all from the printer at once, it's better to print one report, get up and go to the printer, print the next report, get up and go to the printer etc.

I need to do that in every area of my life. Slow down. Stop trying to race through every chore to get everything done. Take a breather. Go out and enjoy the amazing weather and discover what magical things come my way.

I get it now, the urgency isn't simply to do it now. The urgency is to LIVE NOW!

You paying attention to your messages? I hope so. :)


21 June 2012

Sun in Cancer - Cancer Focus

I wrote in my entry, The Women I Follow that "Guru Rattana helped me to look at the signs we are in and create a focus pertaining to that signs qualities."

Well, as of yesterday, we moved out of Gemini and into Cancer.

Here are some notes I highlighted from Guru Rattana's Monthly New Millennium Being for the Sun in Cancer.

Cancer's evolutionary themes focus on
(1) finding security, i.e. feeling safe, secure, and protected in life,
(2) receiving nurturing and love,
(3) figuring out how to deal with intimacy and vulnerability, without getting lost or used,
(4) finding an inner identity that honors and supports (not try to transcend) the above human needs, and
(5) learning how to use our subtle sensory system to tap into the power of love in our feelings and emotional body.

The Cancer/Capricorn polarity pair is about creating a sense of security and nurturing within ourselves (Cancer) and sustaining this consciousness in the challenging circumstances of worldly activities (Capricorn.)

Cultivate a stable inner foundation using strategies that include:

(1) accepting our feelings
(2) the examination of our painful past and identifying the programming that keeps us in a state of trauma and fear, and
(3) choosing to learn from our tests, forgiving and loving ourselves exactly the way we are, and moving on to more satisfying soul experiences.

How do we know when we are avoiding the lessons that our emotional responses are trying to teach use? If the same emotional problems and relationship dysfunctions keep surfacing, the verdict is 'denial.'

Learn to pay attention to and to trust our instincts, which operate at a very subtle level. Instincts don't give us verbal messages. They give us feeling messages. It is critical that we train ourselves to pay attention. It is also important to validate ourselves and our sensitivity.

We need to legitimize our human needs and not feel guilty or shamed by our humanness. Accept and honor, not apologize for our sensitivity. When we acknowledge as valid our needs (and essence), it is easier to ask for what we want without fear or shame. And our self-accepting projection helps us get what we ask for.

Learn how to separate ourselves energetically from situations and relationships that cause us to feel overwhelmed, invaded, and sucked dry. The purpose of the separation is not to escape, but to give oneself the space to do the inner work necessary
(1) to be able to emotionally handle life,
(2) to be able to receive love and experience the juice of life, and
(3) to love ourselves with all our heart.

Every life experience offers an opportunity to test our inner progress. When we can stay present and relax into what we are feeling without being bothered and burdened by fear, without judging and criticizing ourselves, we are making real progress.

Relate to everyone and every experience as carriers of messages from the Universe.

An impediment to our human and spiritual growth is the expectation that life can be perfect and that we are supposed to be perfect ourselves. This belief sets us up to be even more vulnerable and afraid. We don't accept, and in extreme cases, even hate ourselves. We make ourselves miserable when we cannot accommodate and accept the imperfect human condition.

It is easy to identify where the 'should be perfect' belief shows up -- recurring situations that we must face over and over again despite our efforts to escape. These include changing locations, relationships, jobs, and even spiritual paths -- and finding that we face the same challenges in the 'new' situation.

We have to deal with the way we are. We are each born to find our power from our 'weaknesses' (undeveloped gifts). We find resolution in learning our life lessons.

The human path is not about transcending, or more accurately denying and suppressing our physical and emotional desires and needs. Our human path is about accepting our state as a child learning about life, ourselves and others through experience, i.e. trial and error, failure and success.

Our ability to embrace our own emotions and love our inner child, awakens us to subtle sensitivities of the inner child in every man and woman. When we witness how every human being is a child in this world (doing the best that they can!), we can relate to others with both respect, kindness, and compassion. We feel the deep longing to love and be loved and can speak to the heart of everyone's soul. Others feel accepted in our presence, which gives them the space to love themselves.

Of course, Guru Rattana's newsletter has far more in depth information. When I printed it off it was ten pages!

The three pieces of these notes that speak the loudest to me are:

1 - "Relate to everyone and every experience as carriers of messages from the Universe."

This is something I've been working on for a few years now. What is the Universe trying to tell me in this situation? What are the lessons in this experience?

2 - "We are each born to find our power from our 'weaknesses'(undeveloped gifts)."

That's beautiful. What are my weaknesses and how can I work with them, work on them, to turn them into gifts?

3- "Our ability to embrace our own emotions and love our inner child, awakens us to subtle sensitivities of the inner child in every man and woman. When we witness how every human being is a child in this world (doing the best that they can!), we can relate to others with both respect, kindness, and compassion. We feel the deep longing to love and be loved and can speak to the heart of everyone's soul. Others feel accepted in our presence, which gives them the space to love themselves."

This one hit home today after an altercation with someone which didn't have to turn into an altercation. I saw it mounting and didn't change my actions to stop it because I felt I was in the right.

The quote makes me think, "What if I could see this person's inner child, what would he look like to me?"

There is this one side of this volatile, grown man who has temper tantrums. And those cannot be tolerated. But then there's that aspect of an injured inner child, he's hurting inside and he doesn't know how to make it stop. I still won't tolerate the temper tantrums, mind you, but I can have a bit more compassion for him when I look at him this way. Interesting.


Sun in Cancer and other Astrological Events

I just got the latest New Millennium Being from Guru Rattana yesterday. I decided that I would start to journal around certain dates, things that are going on in my life to add to my Numerology and Personal Years notes that I keep from what I learn from Christine Delorey's forecasts

One of the things I've noticed in the more in depth Astrological forecasts that astrologers will discuss something like a current eclipse being similar to one that occurred in 1993. And asking if you can remember anything from that time and if so, a theme that emerged then may be repeated now but in a different way. If you read my piece on my cycles of personal years and discovering the repeated themes that I've faced, you can see the importance to me, anyway, of keeping track. Whatever I can learn and use. :)

Here are the dates and Astrological Events that will be included in my notes, stuff to focus on, stuff to keep in mind, stuff to look for:

(Of course, if you subscribe to Guru Rattana's New Millennium Being, you'll get far more info and a Kundalini Yoga mantra to practice during the month of Cancer.) I'll do another post with some Cancerian themes to look for during the month.

The message is CHANGE!

JUNE 20 - SUMMER SOLSTICE and Sun moves into Cancer - The electric Gemini energy gives way to softer, more nurturing energy.

JUNE 23 - Ceres the dwarf planet that symbolizes the Great Goddess moves into Gemini. Our alliances and communications are now empowered by feminine expressions as we are less in our head and more in our hearts.

JUNE 24 - First of 7 exact Uranus/Pluto squares between now and 2015. Uranus calls for freedom, reform, innovation, and revolution. Pluto obliges us to look at what is hidden in our subconscious that gets in the way of expressing our authentic soul power. Squares mark major turning points. We are obliged to transform from deep within and to make major changes in our personal and collective lives. You may have noticed that the pressure for transformation is increasing.

JUNE 25 - SATURN goes DIRECT. Notice if you feel like a burden is lifted and that you can finally move forward with the projects that have been held back.

JUNE 27 - Venus goes direct at 7 degrees Gemini More forward movement and now you know what you want.

SATURN (JUNE 25) AND VENUS (JUNE 27) GO DIRECT - going to feel a sense of relief and more energized . Will feel less resistance and be able to finally move forward. It has been a strange year with these long periods of retrograde including the Mars retrograde. So don't be so hard on yourself if you feel like the time has passed and you haven't gotten much done. (June 27 to 12July to feel relief and energized - take action and advantage of the direct movement while it lasts.)a couple weeks and plunged back into retrogrades - take action and advantage of the direct movement while it lasts. After August 7, only the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) will be retrograde, until October 4 when Jupiter goes retrograde in Gemini. We have 2 months (August 7 - October 4) when we can flow with the cosmic tailwinds. These 2 months are going to be the action months of 2012 - plan now.

JUNE 29 - Sun at 8 degrees Cancer opposes Pluto and squares Uranus. Transformation! intensity and force for change.

JULY 3 - MARS enters LIBRA

JULY 3 - CAPRICORN FULL MOON - talk less and feel more.

JULY 13 - Uranus goes RETROGRADE - When an outer or slow moving planet like Uranus changes direction, its presence and influence is intensified for weeks. The 5 months that Uranus is retrograde (until Dec 13 on the Sagittarius New Moon) gives us a chance to identify what programs, beliefs, and cultural conditioning enslave our psyche and to let them go.

JULY 14 - MERCURY goes RETROGRADE - in Leo invites us to pause and identify if we are operating out of our ego or heart.

August 7 - MERCURY goes DIRECT 

JULY 18-19 - CANCER NEW MOON (28 degrees) - Our ability to fearlessly move forward in our life (Capricorn) will be a good way to monitor the progress we have made in dealing with our Cancer issues. Since our inner reality (Cancer) greatly influences our outer reality (Capricorn), our outer life will demonstrate our inner success.

July 18 – 19 - Mars opposing Uranus and squaring Pluto - intensity and force for change. their effects build up and continue through July. the cardinal dynamic is active and may play out in relationship issues. By taking action, you will relieve some of the pressure and feel better. If you want things to happen, know that you are being supported by the planets to co-create what you want.

Hope this info is of interest to you too.


19 June 2012

New Moon in Gemini

I subscribe to Astrologer Dawn's email newsletter and one of my favourite emails to receive is on the New Moon and New Moon wishes to focus on.

The New Moon started today and is in Gemini. Gemini rules communications. Last month's new moon was also in Gemini on May 20th. She wrote two similar newsletters for both of the new moons. The 2nd newsletter gives more details. I'm going to quote from both newsletters.

I chuckled as I read them both today (I'd kept a copy of the 1st one last month) because I realized that the newsletters were actually applying to my recent blog entries.

In Dawn's email she says, "When the New Moon enters Gemini your wishes need to be around expanding your communication skills."
In relationships she wrote, "Moon in Gemini revolves around being heard and hearing and seeing others. You might write, I find myself easily communicating my thoughts, emotions and needs in a loving gentle manner. Or I want to find myself setting healthy boundaries and the ability to communicate those boundaries in a positive light." This applies to my blog entry on Social Media and friend requests.

"This month is also about changing your perception about issues in your life. Make some wishes around clarity, I want to find myself peaceful and calm in the face of difficult situations." My blog entry Snake Venom and the Wolves

"Another wish might be I want to easily find myself looking at situations in a positive manner; coming up with a variety of solutions." Both blog entries
Snake Venom and the Wolves and Today's Investing in my Happiness.

"Until we design the life that we want to live we are just reacting to the world. We need to be responding so that the decisions we make fall in line with who we are, where we want to go and how we are going to get there."

I've worked with setting New Moon goals for several years but since I've been following Astrologer Dawn's I've been getting more clarity on specific things to focus on with each Astrological sign the moon is in. The closer to the new moon that you make your wishes, the better. And the new moon period is up until the full moon.

I'm off to tweak my new moon wishes on some other bigger changes I want for myself.

Hope it's something you'll consider doing too. :)


Investing In My Happiness

Since Saturday’s question of where the venom comes from, I’ve been taking another look at what makes me happy. I took an uncomfortable look at the ways that I am filled with venom. The ways I can be dismissive or downright mean. Hey I’m no saint. :) The more I thought of those difficult, woman in the mirror, realities of my personality, the more I thought about ways to solve it for me. And that is to focus on making myself as happy as possible as often as possible. I know that when I have a focus that is larger than the annoying realities I can shrug the annoyances off. My best example is when I worked in retail and kept my focus on my writing and never got caught up in the work place dramas or affected by nasty customers etc.

If I’m going to continue to transform the venom injections of each day, I need to have a ready repertoire of what makes and keeps me happy. You know, simple and manageable stuff that keeps me going.

Have you ever checked out Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project? Gretchen spent a year “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.” And then she wrote a book. She can guide you with far better information on, well, making a project out of it.

My little list started with the promise that I would get back into getting up early to write and do yoga. As a motivation, I decided to tell myself that it was an investment in my happiness, so I wouldn’t press the snooze button and roll over. The rest of the list is just choosing from things I already own or things that are free or cheap. To remind myself that I don’t have to spend money. Although it’s nice to spend money once in awhile. :)

1- My number one goal is to get back to doing stuff for me in the mornings before I go to work. That’s at least my morning pages and a session of Kundalini Yoga. Truly, that investment is the one that pays me the most. I just plain old 'feel good'. I am putting my goals first, making my goals a priority by getting up to do them. I feel more motivated when I get to work, less distracted. Some times I can be in a bad mood simply because I’m mad at myself for not getting stuff done. So I’m getting up when I wake up. Monday it was 3am and this morning it was 4:07 am. I used to be a religious 4am riser but then I let it fall by the wayside. Dr. Wayne Dyer mentioned it in the most enlightening way quoting Rumi –“ The morning breeze has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep.” I love that idea, I will hear the secrets if I simply get up. Get up! Get up! And the secret is that I’m way more productive and happier if I don’t press snooze for 15 more minutes of shut eye. Plus when I get up the moment I wake up, I’m actually less tired than if I sleep by the snooze button.
A good article on reasons to rise early

My other ways to invest in my happiness in no particular order are:
2- Sitting somewhere to feed the squirrels. I love squirrels, they make me laugh, they are fun to watch and feeding them reminds me that the Universe always provides so trust in the Universe.
I love what Squirrel Meaning and Symbolic Thoughts about Squirrels has to remind us about squirrels.

It's not commonly known that the squirrel only actually finds 10% of the nuts he hides for safekeeping. This is another message from the squirrel that we can also foolishly over-prepare.
Although, I like to think that what one squirrel doesn't find, another squirrel does.

This one says:
The gathering power of Squirrel is a great gift.
It teaches us balance within the circle of gathering and giving out.
They remind us that in our quest for our goals,
it is vital to make time for play and socializing.

Squirrel teaches us to conserve our energy for times of need.
If your totem is Squirrel or Squirrel has recently entered your life,
lighten your load of things that are unnecessary –
things that you have gathered in the past and may be cluttering your life –
thoughts, worries, and stresses.

3- Music & Singing – I have a vast music collection because I love music and I worked at a Record Store back in the day. I used to meet up with a girlfriend every Sunday for breakfast and she also has a vast collection. One year, she decided that she would play all of her music in alphabetical order and every week we'd meet up and she'd say, "I listened to the Bangles, The Beatles... Next week I'm moving onto the C's."
I'm going to pull that idea out of the vault and start doing that.
And the singing part is self explanatory. lol I love to sing and my cats tolerate it. :)

4- Playing with my cats (speaking of the cats). Gatsby , my tuxedo, loves to play fetch with a straw. He will sometimes bring the straw to bed to remind me that anytime I’m ready, he’s ready. Zelda, my grey domestic long-hair, loves to get under the sheet just as I’m flicking it in the air to put on the bed. She meows as I tickle her through the sheet. And I giggle! I've been trying to do that earlier every night so I can play longer with her before I have to go to sleep.

5- Ken Burns Jazz . I like to slip in a DVD while I’m getting ready for work and listen to stories of Jazz. I wish there were more affordable Jazz collections.

6- Crockpot cooking. I used to do more of this. And would try out zany recipes. I need to pick that up again. Cheap, easy, set it and forget it and leftovers!

7- Scribble Drawing – I literally scribble on a piece of paper. And then look for shapes and colour them in. It’s like looking for shapes in the clouds only doing it on paper. I have a sketch book filled with them. Perfect to do in a waiting room.

8- Long Walks – walking dates. This is my favourite way to get together with friends. A good walk across the city, through the ravines, along the water, anywhere. Sadly, not enough of my friends say yes to it. My one friend Lolo will walk until I say stop because my joints are hurting. Lol It’s free, you spend quality time together, you get a work out, you get to see the city.

9 - Spiritual Cinema Circle – I’ve been a member for several years now, so I have quite a collection of movies and shorts. They are a nice change from the Hollywood blockbuster. I watch them more on a winter weekend and I’m always thrilled with what I watch. One of my favourite shorts is about a little girl who outgrows her imaginary friend.

10 - And of course the zillions of physical books I have in my place, still unread. Plus my kobo and kindle that I carry every day!

11 - And Food! The summer and the best fruits. Blueberries and raspberries for breakfast makes me smile with each bite. Walking with a bag of CHERRIES! Oh Cherries, how I squeal the moment they are available. lol Fresh Strawberries in an almond smoothie. Watermelon, morning, noon and night! It's so easy to eat healthy in the summer!

So, yes, that's my easy list. Are you thinking about yours? Please do tell me what you do to invest in your happiness?


17 June 2012

Snake Venom and The Wolves

Hay House was live streaming Dr. Wayne Dyer's movie My Greatest Teacher this weekend. I guess to fall in line with Father's day.

The quote from it that started my day yesterday was, "It's not the snake bite that kills you, it's the venom." The interpretation was that we stay so focused on the bad things that happen to us that they become a venom in our systems.

So many little things can get into our systems and affect our reactions to everything. You know, so many of us walk around with a negative spin on life and we don't even notice it.

I went to my cats vet clinic for their open house, yesterday. I've always wanted to know what it looked like behind the scenes. What a gorgeous place. When I adopted my Gatsby from them, I had promised that I would use them for all my cats because my experience with them had been so positive. They've cared for my 4 cats and were beyond compassionate and gentle when I had to put down Picasso in 2010 and Quincy in Feb. I love their staff, so it figures that I would get a large dose of inspiration going there yesterday.

I left my house with the question, "Where is the venom coming from?" Because I knew I wanted to write about it. I know I still have a lot of work to do with my level of patience in certain situations. I have to admit, I am so tired of working with people who don't know how to do their jobs, after years or months of working in their positions. I can't always hide my disdain. It is becoming venom in my system. I need to remind myself to keep my eyes on the goal, my goal.

I sat with my co-worker on Thursday and we had a conversation about a disturbing news piece that has been swirling around Canada for the last little while. The news has been about a guy (I refuse to mention his name and give him more air time) who killed a Chinese student in Montreal, mutilated the student and mailed his parts to a political party office and to Vancouver. It's such a disturbing story and with every new breaking news piece, it just gets to become more disturbing.

My co-worker and I were talking about how these news pieces can really set us up to think that the world is one big cesspool. I'd commented that since I got rid of my television that the only way I can watch the news live is by watching the morning shows like the Breakfast television livestream. Of course every hour they cycle through the same news stories and it almost becomes like a mantra of murder and violence and the incomprehensible. It becomes venom in the system. I've made a new promise to myself that I will only listen to the news in one cycle and then I'll turn it off.

There are so many areas in life, my life where there are opportunities to be injected with venom. Am I going to let the venom poison my bloodstream or am I going to transform the poison to make me stronger?

I was processing all these thoughts as I entered the vet clinic. Everyone was smiling as I walked in. The vet clinic manager walked right up to me the moment I got in there. Big friendly smile, her little poodle named Reggae in her arms. Reggae is a poodle with dreads. Cuteness overload! The manager says with a smile that she will be happy to give me a 'backstage' tour but would I like to help myself to something to eat and drink first? I opted for the food and drink first, I was hungry. lol

Now just as an aside, are you thinking, "oh of course everyone is smiling, they are having an open house. They want your business!"? Sometimes I think that and it's a little negative spin on something that is nice. It's a drop of venom. It takes away from the friendliness. It gives everyone an ulterior motive and I can't fully enjoy myself. Thankfully I wasn't thinking that when I went it. What I was actually thinking was, 'it will be nice to see how many people work here.' Every time I've been there with my cats, I've met someone new.

I got to see the vet who put down my Quincy in February. She had been so touched with Quincy and me, when I had to put her down, that Jamie sent me a condolence card saying so. I balled my eyes out when I got that card, saying that she was touched to have been a part of my experience with my girl and that even though she didn't know me that she felt the love that I have for my pets and that I was a good cat mommy for doing the right thing for Quincy.

I gave her a big hug when I saw her and told her, "I was hoping I'd see you."

I had some strawberry cake with a crazy, tasty fondant. I chatted with a guy who has a hot-dog dog. Yes, I know what they're called. I still like to call them hot dogs. lol
I got my tour, got to pat some kitties and dogs in boarding and got a good appreciation for what their place is.

There was a woman painting a painting of Reggae, the dread-locked black poodle. Her name is Emilia Jajus. I watched her paint a little and I was ready to go. Then out of the blue I looked at her and asked, "How long have you been painting?"

She's been painting since she was a kid of course, said that she moved to Toronto when she was in her twenties, realized that Toronto was more of a 'business' town and got herself a job in a corporate office. She kept painting on the side and as she put it, "my entire cubicle was filled with my work, all my co-workers kept saying I was in the wrong business."

When the economy tanked she was laid off and took that opportunity to put her focus on painting full-time. It wasn't a difficult transition because she had been doing it on the side. And she literally had a painting gig for Starbucks, I think, to sit in one of their coffee shops and paint for a week. She's been painting full time since 2008.

We exchanged contact information and she emailed me yesterday, as promised.

I left the vet clinic feeling inspired by Emilia.

I went to get my groceries and in the grocery store, they made an announcement that the BBQ chicken that is normally $8.99 was on sale all day for $6.99. I thought I'd grab one so I could have a readymade lunch. I wanted a relaxed day, might as well have cooked food, so I don't gotta! :)

I get to the check out and the chicken rings up as $9.99. I mention it to the cashier and she says the price will reduce in the end. It didn't. She checks and rechecks my bill, then says, "I think you have the wrong chicken."
I say, "but those are the only chickens there."
She offers to take it off my bill and I originally say yes, then I change my mind. I wanted that chicken, it was the best looking golden, brown chicken of the bunch. And then a drop of venom as I was leaving the store - "Stinkin' store, they tell you they have a sale and then only offer the expensive chicken that's not even on sale."
And I caught myself, I could have refunded the chicken but I chose to keep it because I wanted it. GET OVER IT AND JUST ENJOY NOT HAVING TO COOK!

It was tasty. I had a couple chicken legs and thighs and a beer. And the rest of the chicken made into chicken salad for sandwiches during the week. A nice Saturday afternoon bite, some leftovers, and a great day overall.

And Emilia. She reminds me of another friend of mine who got laid off from her radio job and decided to focus full time on her singing. Every time I go to her gigs, she just looks so happy. She told me, "I may have to get a part time job in a few months but I really love the way my life has turned out since I've made my singing a priority."

It really reminds me that the main key to transforming the venom in our systems, in my system, is to be focused on what we love. Back in the day, when I worked in Retail, I always had my mind on writing. What I was going to write that night, what I was going to write in the morning before I went to work. I didn't have the venom. Or better yet, I transformed the venom before it affected me. Nasty customer? Shrug shoulders, as soon as this shift is done I'm going home to write.

This morning as I was checking Facebook, my friend Che had shared the picture up there of the two wolves and which wolf you choose to feed. I commented on her share that it was timely. ha! It sure was.

I want to feed the wolf who looks for the inspiration in life. It's everywhere. :)

Check out Emilia Jajus website and gallery. She is as talented as she is beautiful


13 June 2012

Putting Yourself/Myself Out There

Liking my page, reading my blog, friendship requests and selling myself on the internet.

Some people just don’t care what you’re up to. They don’t care. And they have every right not to care. I have a Facebook page as Shelley-Lynne Domingue, writer. I haven’t sold my writing, I haven’t completed my novel. I’m putting myself out there, fitting myself into the shoes of the someone I want to be. Wish me luck, motivation and perseverance.

I haven’t asked many of my friends to like my page, in fact, I’ve never mentioned on my personal face book side that I even have the page. I’ve only sent invitations to people who I was pretty sure would support me. And I kept the invitation no pressure, “like my page if you like and if you don’t want to don’t worry. No hard feelings and I won’t ask you again.”
I kept it low pressure because I have witnessed it all before. I was right about most of the invitations. I have 12 friends who pressed like on my page and 8 people who didn’t. I only invited 20 people.

I have a singer friend who declared once, “if you don’t come to see one of my gigs this year, I will take it to mean that I’m not really your friend.” She of course forgot that many of us had been to several of her gigs over the years. After her ultimatum, I never went to one of her gigs again and I actually liked her singing.
I have known actors who only want to discuss what show they are in now and whether you are going to buy a ticket. Thankfully my actor friends are more sensitive about their sales pitches and usually wait until you ask them, what are you up to?
I have friends who have Facebook pages who send repeated invitations and then put as a status update, “I have 1000 friends why do I only have 10 likes on my page?”
Sometimes, when I’m cranky I want to say, what if I like you but I don’t like your work? It is more than possible. There are some people i like but I don’t like their work.

I discovered/ realized when I first started to blog in 2006 and 99% of my friends ignored my blog:
Maybe people don’t care
Maybe people don’t pay attention
Maybe people don’t like your work
Maybe people are overwhelmed.
And I’m sure there are more maybes to add to the above. But those are the maybes that are affecting me these days. :)

How much of an Internet Presence is good versus overkill?
I’ve been thinking about my internet presence by default. I’ve been watching what others are doing and what I think will work for me or not work for me from what I like and what annoys me. I’ve been asking myself how much I want to be connected to others and in what way.

I have been in overwhelm since I did Robert Lee Brewer’s MNINB’s Platform Challenge . I signed up for almost everything that Robert suggested during the challenge except for Linked In and Klout. As the platform challengers grew in enthusiasm and decided to keep a community they started a Facebook group, of which I joined. We’ve exchanged twitter handles, Facebook pages links to be liked, blog addresses. I have followed and liked and subscribed to every blog that provides an email subscription. I’m so overwhelmed with all this activity, I’ve only been able to check out a couple blogs and make somewhat encouraging comments. There is some great writing out there and I need to free up more of my time to read that great writing.

So with that said, as people from the group start sending me invitations to be friends on Facebook, I have decided to decline. I have to have a place where I can keep up with the people I actually know face to face. There are a few friends on my Facebook who I’ve never met but we have connected through their work for several years and we feel like we “know” each other. We have things in common that we’ve discussed a lot over the years.

I am 2 people short of 500 friends on Facebook. That can be a lot of items in my newsfeed. There’s no way I’m going to be able to catch everything about everyone. Honestly, I don’t know how people manage having 5000 friends and the possibility of all those people popping up in their news feeds. And people who have their twitter account connected to their Facebook so that every tweet shows in their Facebook feed. HELP! OVER KILL!

For me, it makes more sense to have a page and use that to connect outside of my personal Facebook account. I want to be a part of a writing community but I can’t have it be in every little nook & cranny of my online presence. I need to have a place or two for my personal life. I know someone who says, “Writing is like breathing to me.”
Nope, breathing is like breathing to me. And writing is writing. I love writing, I do it as much as possible but I could continue to breathe without it. I’d be sad but I’d breathe. Maybe writing is more like a lover to me. :)

Some of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve increased my on-line Presence:
Facebook: Absolutely everything has a log in as Facebook option. Why would you want to log in everything on to Facebook? Then when you read the article on some condition you don’t want your friends to know about, they know anyway, because yahoo tells Facebook and Facebook provides an update with a link saying you read the article on “name that embarrassing condition.”

Facebook pages vs Personal Profile: Most people who have a page put the same content on their pages as they do in their personal account. The same status, the same “read my blog entry” notification, the same everything.

Personally, I have different content on my Facebook page compared to my personal profile. In my opinion, why should my friends bother liking my page if they can get all the same stuff on my personal profile? Plus, I don’t sell to my friends, so I don’t post my blog entries on my personal profile, ever. If people ask me where they can read my writing, I tell them about my page and my blog. Also then they are genuinely interested. I feel like if I post my blog entries on my personal profile that my friends then feel obligated to read them, whether they want to or not and then they have to compliment. So I don’t create that atmosphere. I want my friends to be my friends. I don’t have any other expectations from them. I don’t expect them to be my readers. I want my friends to be my friends.

Twitter: almost everyone who has something of theirs to sell seems to send that initial Direct message (DM) the moment you follow them. “Hey, Thanks for the follow! I have, I have, I have and follow this and this and this” ha-ha! It’s a bit of a turn off.
I’ve only received 2 DM’s where the people said specifically “if you are interested in prosperous Martians, consider my latest book on prosperous Martians.” As luck would have it, their topics are something I am actually interested in.
And a third DM was sent from Erik Wahl, who has the distinction of being the only person to say, “Hey I’m an artist and this is where you can check out my work, WHERE can I check out yours?”

And Twitter: Did I mention the twitter updates that are posted on Facebook? Every single one? Again, so why am I following you on Twitter when I’m getting the same content on Facebook? (shrugs shoulders)

When I have something to Sell:
I think one of the things I’m seriously considering is how do I like to be sold to? I like buying and finding things to buy in an organic, natural way. I never ever buy anything from overkill. In fact, I will not buy something I like from overkill, out of spite.

While it’s lovely to have great blog stats of page views, and lots of people liking our Facebook pages and enough Twitter followers to rival The Bieb, what does it really mean? If most of them are tuning us out because they liked our pages out of obligation, what purpose does that serve?

When I first started to blog in 2006, once I had a fair amount of blog entries, I emailed my friends to tell them I was blogging. No one replied to my email. No one told me if they even looked at my blog in passing. I was hurt at first but then I put it into perspective. They were too busy, disinterested, forgetful, or they checked out my writing and didn’t like it.

I had to decide, if none of my friends ever looked at my blog would it mean that what I had to say wasn’t important? I let the hurt go and kept with my goal.

Then one friend subscribed to my blog. She was a new friend, at the time, who asked me where she could read my writing and after a bit of reading, she subscribed. She has always been a great reader too. When we saw each other she would tell me about the blog entries that she liked, or made her laugh. And if something really connected with her, she would email me to tell me how it spoke to her, how it reminded her of something she’d been through etc. It really built our friendship. And in the grand scheme of followers, it’s so much better to have one reader who actually reads my entries than a whole bunch of followers who ignore my entries altogether.

I did end up with other bloggers who became followers and subscribers. People whose blogs i read, people who discovered me on their own through who knows what avenue. And some of them are now my Facebook friends, but that’s after years of creating a relationship.

I think it’s good training ground anyway. When I finally sell my work, when I have that book launch or whatever, most of my friends will not show up. Some will purchase my work but most probably won’t. Some people won’t even give it a second thought, for whatever reason. I expect that now and I have no control over it. And I'm OK with it.

So I'm going to keep on doing what I love to do. Find the common folk with the common interests in an organic way. And keep my personal little nook of the interwebs personal. I hope there are no hard feelings. I'd love to have you subscribe to my blog and like my page on Facebook. And leave a comment every once in awhile, if you feel like it.

In my little, figuring out what I have to say in my writing Field of Dreams, "If I write it, they will come... eventually" :)


12 June 2012

Cycles and Patterns - The Cycles of Years

It was last year that Christine Delorey (creativenumerology.com) mentioned going over my previous personal years and writing down all the events I could remember. I took her advice as just, “Oh that’ll be fun and interesting,” not realizing how informative it would really be. I went back into the 1990’s and made notes. This year I’ve been going back further, all the way to my birth. And by the way, if you were ever considering writing your memoirs, this will be a perfect undertaking.

This year, I’m in a personal 9 Year. I’ve taken her advice a step further and I cut and pasted all my previous 9 years into this year’s notes to see at a quick glance what I can learn from the past that will help me today.
Early on, I seemed to sense what the themes would be or maybe what my focus would be for this year. This year for me, is about clearing out the past – and as I’ve discovered through looking at my previous 9 years – Trusting in the Universe.

In looking back at my previous 9 years, I kept it simple. I asked, What have I done in previous 9 years and I listed all that I can remember.

In previous 9 years, I have had major changes that were originally painful but I was happy with the change in the end. I’ve dated disappointing men - a theme of them who all virtually said the same thing either in actual words or with actions (in 1985, 1994, and 2003!)and they all showed up when I was at my happiest (when I felt good about myself) and they wiped it out! When they were done I’d lost some of my light and it felt like a struggle to get it back.

In 2003 My new male theme was to meet men who were taken but only said so after I started to show interest in them after they’d been trying to get my attention. I’ve met at least one per year (every year) since then.

I realized a lifelong goal in one 9 year (1994).

I had a note in my personal manual that says “Remember 2003 when I left my job and trusted that the money would appear and it did!”

I’ve left major jobs that everyone said I was crazy for leaving (1994, 2003). In 2003, not only did I leave a major job that everyone said I was crazy for leaving but I decided not to look for work. I decided that for once in my life, I was going to Trust the Universe without fear, that the universe would provide for me. And it did. I was out of work most of the year, I lived off my savings, worked one shift a week at my part-time job, and I took a course that was $2500, (a lot of money when you don’t have a job!), and other money appeared. And when I thought that I would need to work soon because I was going to need money for rent, my old boss called me and said, “Hey, you want to come back for a 1 year contract?” I was working a week later. That information is so important for me to know. To help me to relax, because I forgot about that time in the new cycle of personal years running from personal year 1 to this year, my personal year 9.

Teaching in my 9 year what I learned in my previous 9 years:

Also I’ve been telling friends this. Artists who have spoken to me about their sadness for a good thing ending (a great show with great cast and relationships or a full-time music playing gig coming to an end) I’ve told them, ‘You created this good so create more of it.”

A friend who has been looking for an apartment and was in the stressful zone, I said, “write down the qualities of what you want in your new apartment and let the Universe take care of it.” Last report, she told me that her current landlord has given her more time to look for a new place and the places she has been looking at have been more within her interest and what she can afford.

Another friend I was telling about paying off my credit card and how I wrote down as a goal that I would pay it off by June 2012. That I had no way of knowing how it would be paid but just to trust that the Universe would help me, guide me to getting it paid. And it was paid before June 2012.

In 2003, I started that cycle of trust but somewhere along the line I lost my way. That’s why I have a document that I call my Manual of Me where I keep track of stuff. It’s so easy to get off track, to get distracted.

Trust in The Universe
In this personal 9 year, I want to go back to living in that Trust that continues on in each new personal year and not just in Personal 9 years. That is my new goal, I know it works.

My Personal 8 Year

I went through 4 years of complete hell. The more time spent in hell the more I turned to Christine DeLorey’s wisdom. Creative Numerology . Finally at the end of my personal 7 year in 2010 which brought me to my knees, I decided to purchase Christine’s personal year book for my personal 8 year which would be in 2011. Mostly because my personal 8 year was going to move me in a positive direction. One of the things Christine had mentioned to me personally in our Facebook communications was that if I faced down the demons of my 7 year, my personal 8 year would clear out most of the junk and dirt. I had to be brave. The personal 8 year would be more of a solitary year but with a difference.

In 2011, my personal 8 year, I found that it took me a few months, probably three, to shake off the stench of the previous year and the fear of the previous four years. It was interesting, I entered 2011 with the attitude of, “If I have to fight for my rights, my voice, my value, I will burn everything down in my path.” but I also had the trepidation that “more of the same” might be my destiny. You know how when you first get off a motorcycle your legs are still vibrating? Well my everything was still vibrating. I was focused on climbing out of the shit pile but that shit smell was still following me a little.

I’m big on themes and titles and at some point I called 2011 “Solitary with a Purpose.” By the end of 2010 (my 7 year) I declared that the push and pull and abuse of the year was all orchestrated to make me say it... I wasn’t going to be a door mat for anyone anymore. I would try to be nice about it first but since the previous hell years proved time and again that that not every one could hear nice, I’d have to make the decision to speak up for myself in all incidences. ‘It doesn’t matter, things will happen the way they happen, speak up for yourself!’ I promised myself that I would yell it until they heard me. And if certain people still couldn’t hear that, then they had to go. No looking back. I’m done with you, cross the street if you see me. ha-ha!

At some point within 2011, I realized that the Solitary with a purpose theme was to enable me to hear my voice and dream my answers. I’m not big on unsolicited advice because it blocks out my voice and when my voice is blocked I don’t remember the dreams I have at night that actually provide me with the answers that I need.

I started keeping notes of any event that felt pertinent. And now as i look back they will provide me with info for years to come.

In January, I made a decision about a person I had an acrimonious relationship with that not only would I get my act together (Make a plan) but I would move on when I said so (my decision, not his). I wasn’t going to simply run away.

In February, I was ‘walking in anger’ as I called it in my notes. I was confrontational and I was calling it as I saw it. Yes a few people were left in tears, it was a process that was needed. The pendulum swings to extremes before it comes to the middle.

In April, during the Easter Long weekend, I had what I call a Spiritual Awakening that included a complete emotional breakdown/ release. I love the timing of life sometimes. Right on time! The Thursday before Good Friday I watched You Tube videos of elephants specifically a series on Shirley and Jenny. (We can watch TV and be on the computer at my part-time job.) By the time my co-worker came to give me my break, I was brimming with emotion. I tried to tell her about those videos and all that they were teaching me but instead I went into these uncontrollable sobs. The best part of it all was I kept trying to stop the sobbing and I kept trying to talk.

What a scary mess of an ugly crying emotional tornado. The poor kid, she was 19 years old, so adorable and innocent looking AND her name means innocent! She’s watching me meltdown like the wicked witch of the west being doused with water. I kept begging myself to walk away and stop talking so I could get my composure but I had no control over any of it. I couldn’t stop sobbing, I couldn’t stop talking, I couldn’t stop any of it. I finally went to the washroom to clean up the evidence of the ugly crazy cry and then I went outside. I went around the corner so if anyone else who came out on their break they wouldn’t see me or talk to me because I knew that I would lose it again.

I’m standing outside and I look up at the sky and there are these clouds. The shape of the clouds? Six elephant heads looking down at me like a cameo you wear on a necklace. Mother elephants. I started to cry softly and said to the Universe, to God, to All That Is, ‘tell me what you want me to do. I’ll do whatever you tell me.’
I felt the message, “Forgive and move into your light.”
You know that voice inside that whispers only once? It was that voice.
I nodded my head.

Apologizing to my innocent co-worker yet again when I went back, she told me a story of her own crazy cry that she had in front of all of her co-workers and a customer. I held my hand up to my mouth, my eyes wide and whispered “No!”
She says, “yeah, we’re women, we cry!” Wise words from the innocent!

As you may have guessed there were elephants in my dreams that night and when I woke the next morning, my morning pages were filled with what it meant to me to step back into my light. And how I need to forgive myself as much as the other people and situations that I need to forgive. I finished the morning pages in time to watch the only morning show that I watched then, Unscripted. It’s an interview show that only shows the person answering the questions. The person on Good Friday was actress, Dee Wallace of Steven Spielberg’s ET movie fame. UnScripted - Dee Wallace

So here I am listening to Dee Wallace reiterating what I just wrote in my morning pages and she gives me a better affirmation, “I want to Feel good,” which became my guiding light from there on. Instead of speaking up in anger to people, I was telling them, “You’re a worth while human being and you deserve honesty. I want to feel good so I cannot have you in my life anymore. “ Imaginez – Vous? As my mother used to say.

I could have used all of the accusations and said screw off but instead I truly felt the gift in forgiving the past and moving on in a way that we could both feel good about. I want to feel good so I won’t be mean to you. And I want to feel good so I’m cutting you free from my life and me free from yours.

Elephants! I could re-hash all the reasons why I’m moving on, but it doesn’t matter, what will make me feel good is moving forward. I wish you the best and I hope that you too can find what makes you feel good. I also bought Dee Wallace’s book Bright Light, simply because I couldn’t’ get my hands on Conscious Creation. Having since read both books, I actually prefer Bright Light.

In July I had the only major angry out burst of the year. In my notes, I call it an Emotional Detox. It was with the person I’d had the acrimonious relationship with for the past few years. In retrospect, I think he needed to see me reach my limit.

Four days later, when we had an opportunity to talk with calmer heads (my calmer head, he never lost it), we had a heart to heart that transformed our relationship. We had a heart to heart where I fully understood what he was going through and my compassion was ignited. We had a heart to heart and everything that went before was forgiven and absolved.

In my personal 8 year, I learned that miracles happen. That I don’t always have to walk away which has been my M.O. throughout my life. That I can feel good and let go of people who I’ve outgrown. And when I’ve tried every angle, I can lose my cool and transform everything.


Be True to Who You Are

The Women I Follow

Your Personal Year

I’ve been chatting with friends lately about knowing your personal year and getting in depth with looking at your patterns in life. I’m completely fascinated with cycles and patterns in life.

I’ve always called my bouts with depression cycles of downtime that are healthy when they are simply a month and problematic when they last over a year. Knowing my personal year and then ultimately looking over years of personal years has helped me to see patterns, cycles and themes in my life.

I’ve been following Christine Delorey’s work since at least 2006. On her websites she provides so much free information like your personal year forecast, plus monthly and weekly ones as well. Check her out, read her work and once you see how accurate her work is, buy her work. That’s how I end up supporting people, by the way. It’s through a person’s free work that ultimately enables me to trust and then happily pay for all that they’ve given. I trust Christine, she has helped me to discover so much.

Truly if you want to gain powerful insights into yourself and your life, run over to her website and find out what your numbers are.

I follow other women: Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone and Guru Rattana’s New Millennium Being. Susan Miller’s monthly forecast is best for me to know specific transits, like the new moon, full moon etc. Guru Rattana helped me to look at the signs we are in, we’re currently in Gemini, and create a focus pertaining to that signs qualities. Plus she got me interested in Kundalini Yoga as a practice that fits more with my personality.

I’ve always believed that yoga had a spiritual focus which included meditation, and chanting as well as the physical aspect. Kundalini Yoga fits with my belief.

Like my relationships, I don’t jump into anything quickly. I’ve read all of the women for years before I purchased their product and when I did, I felt I had no choice because I believed in their work. I purchased Christine’s book Life Cycles several years ago and I continue to purchase it as gifts or at the least recommend it as a “must buy.”

Christine DeLorey's wordpress - Creative Numerology
Christine DeLorey's Creative Numerology.com
Susan Miller's Astrology Zone
Guru Rattana's New Millennium Being


30 May 2012

Theme of Bad Moods?

Life is good so why am I so cranky?

The theme this week seems to involve me going into a bad mood then pulling myself back out it again.
Sometimes it’s stupid little things that bug me, like an uncalled for remark. Other times it’s bigger things like cleaning up other people’s messes as if I made them myself.

But the key to staying in a bad mood or getting out of it lies in my thinking.

I stay in the bad mood when I go down the road of thoughts such as, “Well, that isn’t fair, she should have done such and such;” or “How is this my problem?” or “I’m so tired of blah, blah, blah...” ha-ha! And the list goes on.
Everything is about control isn’t it? If things could simply be the way I think they should be, I’d be happy, wouldn’t I? Or would I? Probably not...

Life has been great after 4 years of soul crushing beat downs. I want to feel good and enjoy my great life now, while I’m in it. I know, for me, that I need to look at the stuff that I do appreciate in my life. There are always things to appreciate.

Trying to be in control will make us crazy. When I still had a television, I used to love watching ‘Hoarders’ because 1 – it always motivated me to go through my clutter and chuck it and 2 – it really made me see how crazy we can make ourselves in our need to be in control. It’s like an addiction. Actually, I think it is an addiction.
Back in April 2012 I wrote this in my journal, The “trying to change what is” addiction. April 2010 - All addictions start as a way to try to control what you can control in order to compensate for what you cannot control. But what you can control becomes out of control.
- Trying to change the system, change other people’s behaviour, change the weather. In our frustration that nothing has changed we hoard, smoke, drink and drug too much, we self-medicate in some way.
- Accept what is – accepting yourself as you are – accepting others as they are.
- The more I focus on what I don’t want the more of “don’t want” I attract.
- Don’t think of what I can’t have, create what I want
- What do I want? In this minute, for this day, for my job, for my life, for my relationships
- In silence – I can find my questions and my answers

I have a manual for myself of reminders of important thoughts I’ve had. It is filled with epiphanies like the addiction to control. It has spiritual dreams I’ve had; info on my power (totem) animals, cycles in my personal years in Numerology , personal manifestoes, and notes from readings that I’ve received. My thoughts are like a skip on a record {vinyl, of course :)}sometimes. I can get stuck in a thought instead of looking at a full experience. Stuck in the skip instead of enjoying the full song.
In the rush of life , in stress and overwhelm, it is so easy to get off track and stuck in unproductive thoughts. I’ll try anything to keep myself moving back to my center.

Julia Cameron, in Walking in This World, mentions creating a first aid kit for our moods. You know, a box that we fill with the stuff that will improve our moods, change our thinking, get us out of the funk. In my box would be pictures of my cats; recordings of songs by Pharaoh Sanders, “High Life”; Earth, Wind & Fire, “Turn it into Something Good”; Sounds of Blackness, “I’m Going all the Way”; and their full album, “The Evolution of Gospel.” And a multitude of other songs from various artists. What would you put in your box?