Monday, January 14, 2019

My Inner Journey - I've hit over a 1,000 views

Serenity Prayer

As my title of this post says, I've reached 1,044 hits. I've been writing as regularly as I can up until now. I wish I had more focused mental energy to write every day or a least every two or three days.  But for now I'll will be content with being able to write little buy slowly. My long hand jounaling also has decreased, but something is better than nothing.

When I ask myself why I write, I heard Shawn Leonard say writing is like prayer, which I have always felt to be true, since I began to daily journal. It doesn't mean that I always want to do it but I do anyway because it's good for me, helping me to define my world and who I am.
 I can connect with the power greater than myself. It's meditative, restorative and imparts serenity.

 Truthfully, I'm not really sure I understand why people are reluctant to write on a regular basis. I expect it might be for a few reasons, like worrying about critcism or exposing yourself. But if this is the case, I say you're the one who holds the pen, and you choose what you write. What's written, is up to no one else, but you.

 Worry is useless exercise. It reflects our mistrust and lack of faith in the Universe or in God, which ever you prefer. Journaling takes you on an interesting inner journey, that covers a life time of adventures, numerous challenges, a whole lot of highs and lows, and inbetween times, which can be pretty mundane and makes for real boring reading, regardless though, they are just as important.

Writing and reading go hand and hand. I was first introduced to regular journaling, by a friend who was an artist, teacher and an art therapist. She  recommended I read a book, which she lent to me.  The  Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, is a life changing book, my favourite kind, and  it's how I learned about ''Morning Pages''.
The rewards of writing, journaling and blogging are great, and I'll continue to do so, for the rest of my life, as long as I can, one day at a time, because writing is good for my soul.

Monday, January 7, 2019

My Transformation

The Ugly Duckling Egg Tempera on Wood Panel - 12'' Diameter - 2011 - Catherine Meyers 

Many of us, especially when we're young, feel like the Ugly Duckling, as I've depicted in my painting and often these feelings of being an outsider or not belonging carry on into our adult life, and sadly even up unitl our death. I see this ugly duckling opinion of ourselves as an illusion, and very difficult to overcome, unless we can find some kind of hope in a power greater than ourselves.

 I'm writing this to tell you since September 13th, 2018 my life as I knew, continued with my  own personal transformation, which when I think about it, began 27 years ago January 2nd, when I stopped drinking. I had been that ugly duckling up until that point, when my life thankfully began to really change. I haven't written a blog post since September or perhaps even August. Nor have I written in my daily long hand journal since August 2018. So finally I'm journaling, and I have the desire to blog.

The reason I specifically mention September 13th, it was the day my doctor informed me the CT scan I had been given, revealed that I had breast cancer which had metasicised on spots on my bones, lungs, liver, and head. I fell apart at that moment. I don't know what exactly I was thinking, but I'm certain my immediate feeling was the instinctual reaction of panic and dread, with the thought that I was going to die.

And so since September 13th I've been learning how to cope with this news, and trying to figure out what I need to do. It's a rollercoaster of feelings between denial, acceptance,  hope and a myriad of other feelings and thoughts.

 I've been trying to figure out what is next, trying to take care of myself, and have concern for my friends and family. I have had 27 years of 12 Step recovery and have learned the skills to live in the present moment and day. It's what helps to keep me sane, because there is nothing that will drive you more nutty and quicker that worrying about the past and projecting into the future.

 And so I draw on  those 12 step skills. The differnce now is, there's an intensity with which I'm compelled to  live my life with, each day. This is because I live with the possibily that I might die before I'm ready to go. It's not easy at all, because I'm always falling short, being a human being  Accepting this fact, I don't simply say this as an excuse for not making the concerted effort to change.

Don't think that this transformation is negative. It's a journey of sober self - actualization. It's my belief, this is the only way I can transform in a way that consistently sticks and becomes the foundation of who I've been, am being and hope to become.

I am basically a hopeful and optimistic person. But I don't think this has come to me naturally. It has been the influence of my mother, who had a strong faith in God, but as a very young child I had the distinct sense of there being a spirit that was watching over me and with me. And today I still feel this, but more so and I actively pray for others and myself. I meditate, read, and try to be the best person I can be.

In A.A. We have slogans and we all have our favourites. Mine is H.O.W. which stands for Honesty, Open Mind, and Willingness. I have worked on these three for the past 27 years.
These three things have become very, important and relevant to me, more now then ever, because I am opening up my heart and mind to Spirit and letting this guide me, trusting that I have spirit guides to show me the way. This gives me comfort and confidence to live life to the fullest from here on in.

I hope I haven't rambled on too much and that I have made some sense for you to understand.

Blessings to you always, stay calm. be brave, watch for the signs. :)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

"Wounded Faith"

Sheila Allan 1955-2017

I've believed in God since I was a young one. A faith that was imparted to me by my dear late mother, for which I'm very grateful.

Having experienced the loss of many of those I deeply loved throughout my life and I don't recall being angry at God. I expect it was because I wanted to see the positive and to find gratitude and meaning within the sorrow. I was never a fan of anger.

Today I was confronted with my anger about my life long dear friends getting sick and dying. It's unfair and made little to no sense to me, and so I found myself angry.

During Sheila's service this afternoon among all who loved her so much, I found myself struggling with the words the Priest expressed, that were supposed to comfort.  Many of my closet friends expressed the same. They felt angry and were questioning why.

After I got home, I reflected. I see anger is a normal human reaction to something that's unfair, and it's in response to not having any answers to the question, why did this happen?

I also now understand, anger draws much more energy than gratitude. I don't want to feed my anger, but I do have a right to it. It's simply a feeling, and feelings pass. And so I choose to be so grateful to have had such a beautiful soul in my life and to have the privilege to call Sheila my dear sweet friend, and she will forever live in my heart.

Here's what Eli Wiesel said about faith and anger. I so love what he said, because it acknowledges that he hasn't lost his faith, but describes what he calls, having a "wounded faith", experiencing anger, questioning, and quarreling with God.

"My faith is a wounded faith, but my life is not without faith. I didn't divorce God, but I'm quarreling and arguing and questioning, it's a wounded faith."

                                                                                        - Eli Wiesel    

Friday, November 3, 2017

Writing a Memoir - Maureen Murdock

Maureen Murdock

As a young adolescent I've always been drawn to writing. Yes I was one of those girls who kept one of those little diaries carefully guarded with the small key. I felt very precious about it. But truthfully I think it was something I felt a certain desire to share it, but at the same time would have been mortified if anyone actually had read my inner most secrets.

My desire to share what I wrote increased in time, as my writing improved, but of course I never thought of myself as a writer, nor even a great reader for that matter, because I had a rather short attention span. But there certainly were books I loved to read. Reading just like writing is a discipline. And within that discipline there is freedom to simply be myself, and to learn how to be the best person I can be.

In my young adulthood while attending University, I learned more about writing out of necessity, having to write papers. Left to my own devices had I not learned to write, I was on the road to failure, in spite of my good intentions but lacking in the skills to succeed in University, that required me to write papers.

I'll certainly be forever grateful for having done so, because learning to write has been so rewarding and a form of self-expression that has greatly enriched and changed my life.

One of my very favourite writers is Maureen Murdock because after reading The Heroine's Journey, that was generously given to me by a good friend. This book was a life changer and affected my way of thinking about who I am as a woman, and opened up my spiritual beliefs surrounding the God of my understanding and the Sacred Feminine.

I believe humans are natural born story tellers, and we all have important stories to tell. Story telling helps to define who we are as humans.

Although I do have three blogs and I get great pleasure out of creating them, my first and foremost way of writing is through long hand cursive writing. I think I could say some of my blog posts are memoir like, but mostly my blogs are tools for learning about creativity and life in all it's forms.

I subscribe to a site about women writers and found this article written by Maureen Murdock about tips for writing a memoir.

  1. Memoir is not an autobiography but rather a selected aspect of a life. No event in your life is too small, but the details are important.
  2. There is a universality to memoirs.
  3. Honesty and Sincerity: Is the narrator authentic? When you are talking about yourself, you are talking about all of us to a certain degree; that’s the universal element. The struggle for emotional truth is central to memoir.
  4. Intimacy: The hallmark of memoir is its intimacy with its audience.
  5. Language in memoir is conversational, everyday, direct.
  6. Humor: Be willing to laugh at yourself, reveal your foibles. We all have them.
  7. Self-Reflection: The essence of memoir is the track of the writer’s thoughts struggling to understand some event in her life. What have you learned from this event?
  8. Character: In writing memoir, you have to make yourself into a believable character. What do you want to know about the people you write about, including yourself?
  9. Scenes: Vignettes, episodes, slices of reality are the building blocks of memoir. Get the reader into the scene with you. What’s happening? Who’s there? What’s the interaction?
  10. Voice and Tense: Start with the personal I (1st-person narrative). Start in the past tense. You are writing about the past in the present. This is what happened then; this is what I know now. You can write in the present tense later!
  11. Purpose: What’s the purpose in writing memoir? Self-discovery, understanding another, healing a relationship, finding a broader perspective, telling a story that must be told?
  12. Have fun!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

My Muckle Wheel

Yesterday a made an unusual and very special purchase that I couldn't really afford, but I felt like I couldn't afford to pass it up either, because I very much doubt that I'd ever have another opportunity like this again.

I feel in my very bones and believe it was the right, once in a lifetime decision that I had to take advantage of, because owning a spinning wheel is something I've wanted for so many years, since I was first exposed to one as a teenager in a spinning workshop, so many years ago.

Always knowing that the price I'd have to pay, it would undoubtedly be realistically way beyond my financial reach, until yesterday! I was able to pay ninety dollars for this spinning wheel, in perfect working order, and probably a turn of the century antique the Great Walking Wheel!

My neighbour in the next village just a few miles down the country road, owned it, but never used this spinning wheel. She had it in her gift shop that she's selling, along with all her inventory. She'd only used it to display the mittens she'd made, attached to the wheel with clothes pegs.

I could never have ever imagined I'd ever be able to find this magnificent wheel right in my own neighbourhood! I'm so very happy and grateful and can hardly wait to get some wool to spin!

"Great wheels are driven spindle wheels and are also called wool wheels, high wheels, walking wheels, or muckle wheels (a Scottish term)."

I feel a great affinity with the spinning wheel and especially with this Great Walking Wheel. It's a metaphor for life really, as it relates and reminds me very much of the three ages of the Moirai, reflecting the lunar phases and the three stages of every human life. They spin, measure and cut in the  Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card.

I have been learning about weaving on a Leclerc table loom that a good friend very generously gave me, and weaving traditionally always began with spinning, and so it's very fitting that I now have my very own spinning wheel to spin the natural wool I choose to use for weaving.

On both my mother and father's side of the family, my grandmothers did very fine handcrafted work, crocheting, lace work, knitting and quilting, which I learned from my mother. I never learned about spinning or weaving other than being briefly exposed to it as a youth. I'm certain my great grandmothers would spin out of necessity and knew how to weave. It gives me a deep sense of connection with them carrying on this fine traditional work.

Photo -

The Great Walking Wheel has been described as being truly enchanting, and I'd have to say I'm enchanted, completely. The photo above is one I found on the great site and it's the same wheel I have, just a much better photo than the one I took of my wheel. As you can see it's a very simple design in form and function. This is the great beauty of the Great Walking Wheel in my opinion.

It's amazing how common textile hand work has been featured in so many mythological stories, and folk lore, especially involving the spinning wheel, which is the oldest form of textile.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tarana Burke - Me Too

Tarana Burke

Not the easiest post to write and think about, but I'm compelled to do so, considering all the ongoing media attention and outpouring of "Me Too" posts on social media in light of film producer Harvey Weinstein, and the allegations of abuse and sexual harassment made against him by women in the film industry.

I also posted "Me Too", having had experiences of being sexually harassed, and subject to abusive relationships at different points throughout my life.

I don't believe many women were at all surprised all of this came to light. It's what women have been experiencing from time immemorial, systemic, cultural and insidious abuse and sexual harassment, threats and rape. As I thought about this today, I made the historical connection of past cultures, when there once was the fundamental belief in the Goddess, when a woman's body was considered sacred, because her womb was the vessel that held the miracle of life itself. I'm so often acutely and painfully aware this spiritual theology of the sacred feminine, is not held in high regard today. It has been replaced and defined in masculine terms, within religious, cultural and societal institutions. The consequences being, everyone continues to experience the fall out from this abuse of destructive power and control in one way or another.

Such an epidemic within society and throughout the world has reached a pivotal crisis by way of a perpetuated shaming silence, keeping women and men imprisoned in shame, through guilt and all to often, blaming the victim.

Of course it's essential that we stand up and speak out against abuse. Everyone and especially men must take a very proactive and significant role in speaking out against this behaviour.

Today I'd heard Quentin Tarantino make a statement he was aware of  Weinstein's behaviour. He said he was heartbroken and regrets he'd been complicit by never speaking out. We can only hope that in the future those like Tarantino will no longer choose to keep silent.

Women need men to be speaking out against predatory, monstrous and deplorable  behaviours, and those responsible need to held accountable legally and socially. Women also need to be believed, supported and men need to proactively promote change. We're all in this together, and we need to help one another make a better world for the following generations.

Power and control must be replaced with compassion, justice and peace in order to preserve, protect, reclaim and honour the very soul of culture.