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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

The weather has cooperated with me the last three weeks, and I have been able to go on substantial hikes. The first was in Cedarville State park and was a 7-mile hike. Although I was tired after that relatively flat hike, I was very proud of myself.  I had been thinking about hiking, and I actually hiked a respectable distance. The next weekend we went to Rock Creek Park and logged 5-miles but with a lot more challenging terrain. This weekend I logged almost 8-miles at St. Mary’s Lake with a 500 ft elevation change.

What started this was that I had watched the movies A Walk in the Woods and Wild, both based on true stories about hiking the Appalachian and Oregon-Pacific trails. There was something quite thought provoking about each of these stories. It stirred a longing in me. A desire for more adventure, to be in nature more, to explore… to challenge myself.

I’ve started with these trails in order to build up. Soon I want to walk the entire Three Notch Trail from Charlotte Hall to Baggett Park which is about 11-miles.  I’ve ordered a couple of books about the trails in the MD, DC and VA area. With my ultimate goal to do some of the Appalachian Trail.

I have been quite surprised at all the offers by friends to come with me. While that’s heartwarming, I have my sister and grandson who are logging miles with me. And I’m also wanting to do some of this on my own, I think this is where challenging myself comes in to play.

Spring has been the perfect time to create and start this new adventure, and I’m looking forward to see how it all grows with me.  And I certainly hope the weather continues to cooperate with me!

Wishing you an adventurous month!

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As you know, I work for Hospice. I have been a home health aide for just shy of 2 years now. I know how the program works, I know what we do, I am an integral part of the Hospice team.  However, I also became a family member on the receiving end of Hospice. The team did not allow me to participate in my father in laws care; instead they told me to just be his daughter in law.

I always say I’m so lucky to have a job that I get paid to love people.  But to be on the receiving end of this changed my perspective.  I know we have a big impact on our patients and their families, they tell us all the time. To see how Hospice works from the family’s perspective was enlightening, very touching and heartwarming.

Most of us think and feel it is better to give than to receive. Well, sometimes we need to receive – and it’s not only ok, but very good for us to receive. Being on the receiving side I find myself short on words that genuinely tell the depth of our appreciation.

A week or so after my father in law’s passing one of our social workers checked in with me to see how I was doing, and she asked me what I was going to do for self-care that weekend. Not sure what my expression took over my face, but she posed a concept that hadn’t been at the forefront of my thoughts. I think I mumbled something about attending a funeral, and doing the same ol’ chores and errands I do every weekend.

With her gentle suggestion fresh on my mind, that weekend I did splurge and pamper myself. While going for my morning jog, I intentionally smiled and appreciated all of nature. After attending that funeral I indulged in a little retail therapy which I was going to do online, but opted instead to enjoy a little bit of time walking around the stores instead. And I listened to my internal dialog and spent extra time writing.

Gratitude is about shifting your attention to appreciation for what is there, for what you are and what you have. And Kimberly helped me shift my focus to appreciation, to enjoying life, appreciating nature’s surroundings, and to allowing myself to slow down and to spend a little time on myself.

All the robins are busy in my front yard, the tulips are starting to grow, and I’m hoping the weather becomes more cooperative and that I can get a garden planted this year! I hope this month is filled with all sorts of things that bring a smile to your heart.

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Happy New Year!

What will 2019 bring? For one thing, it will bring 365 days of opportunities.  In past years, there were plenty of New Year’s met without any goals or resolutions. I would easily fall back to my old standby “to be a better person than I was the previous year.”   As with many resolutions it was made with good intentions. Even though it was one that didn’t require much effort as I always strive to be a better person every day.

This year… I do have some things on my calendar that I am looking forward to. First being a trip to AZ to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday with him. My son, sister and hopefully my brother and nephew will be there as well. I’m also looking forward to teaching more this year. This past November I held a Reiki I class, I hadn’t taught Reiki in a couple of years and it felt truly wonderful to teach again. And this year I’ll be teaching more classes.

After over 2 years of getting established in the healthcare industry, and finding my niche there, I am now really starting to blend my two worlds.

Pondering a New Year’s resolution, I looked to Wiki where they define resolution as a resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.  Hmm, ‘improve life’, that’s good. Let’s look at the synonyms for resolution, and I find the words determination and purpose.  Yes, I like that – what is my purpose for this year.  Working in Hospice, it is easy to see what the purpose should be – to enjoy life!  That sounds kind of flippant, but I genuinely mean it.

But how to do this when you have serious problems and stresses, which are extremely difficult, hard, and overwhelming? It’s easy to say, go take a walk outside and notice the insects and rocks on the ground where your about to step. Look at the sky and the clouds, what do you see in them? Do you recognize any of the birds you see or hear? Feel the winds on your face and smell the air. Where are your thoughts meandering to? For me this is at the top of my list of pure enjoyment – but maybe that does not bring any pleasure to you at all.  And in no way am I offering a Pollyanna opinion.  Another way of looking at this is to look for and recognize these moments and be fully present in these moments.  Maybe better said is to make a priority of finding moments of enjoyment, doing some little things that bring you happiness.

The numerology for 2019 is a 3 year! This triad, the 3 representing beginning, middle and end/father, mother, child/mind, body, spirit, represents creative self-expression, relationships, optimism, and inspiration.

Wishing you much peace and all the best in 2019!

 

“Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go away.

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I have Louise Hay’s Heart Thoughts in my bathroom, and each morning I open to a random page to read and ponder. This morning I opened to the subject Time. She writes:

I am here at the right time.

We are all on an endless journey through eternity and the time we spend on this plane of action is but a brief instant. We choose to come to this planet to learn lessons and to work on our spiritual growth, and to expand our capacity to love. There is no right time and no wrong time to come and go. We always come in the middle of the movie and we leave in the middle of the movie. We leave when our particular task is finished. We come to learn to love ourselves more and to share that love with all those around us. We come to open our hearts on a much deeper level. Our capacity to love is the only thing we take with us when we leave. If you left today, how much would you take?

Sometimes I have felt oddly out of place in my life, and other times I know I’m right where I need to be.  In my young adulthood, I truly felt like I was born too late.  Perhaps the better way to articulate is to say I felt that I should have been born in the 50’s rather than the 60’s. I felt all that happened in the 60’s were definitely the environment I wanted to appreciate and be a part of at a more mature age.

In the 1980’s and 90’s I was quite unsettled and impatient. It was a time of searching – for a different life, for spirituality and knowledge, and in retrospect – searching for my true me.  Then the first dozen or so years of 2000 was so heavy with commitment, change, and some very heavy stuff. All that “stuff” is what has led me to the life I have now.  Sometimes I catch myself going down the ol’ what if road: what if I hadn’t sold the store, what if I had gone to nursing school earlier when the desire first bloomed, what if we hadn’t invested with that particular guy. Chasing my own tail is something I can get stuck doing, if I don’t straighten myself out of it.

So reading Louise Hay’s inner wisdom words on time has been good for me.  This year I find myself in a place I hadn’t previously envisioned. I ended up in a job that although I fervently fought it so much in the beginning, has turned out to be such a blessing.  And of all the jobs in my life, I sincerely feel that I am here at the right time.

Changing subjects now, I know the holidays are not fun or happy or good for a lot of people. I know this time of year can be very depressing or lonely and hard. During these hard times, I hope you find the strength to look back at happy memories, to revisit feeling good especially during this time of year; and to tap into your creative and playful self to build new moments and memories that help you.

I sincerely hope everyone finds opportunities to play this month – after all, isn’t this the month for festivities.  And as always, I wish you much peace and joy this month.

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Ahhh, fall time is here!  The season of visual change. The season where nature teaches us the beauty and necessity of letting go. The time of year when day and night are in balance, allowing us equal time to be active and to rest. Oh I’m right there with you when you say this is the season to bring out the boots and sweaters and sit back with a big pumpkin spice latte, and it is that too. There is so much going on out there if we watch the animals and the earth.

In preparation to write my newsletter, I often look back at the previous emails for that month. When I looked back at all the emails I wrote for October through the years, I was surprised to see how every October seemed to bring definite change for me.  I’ve had big educational and career changes that seemed to frequently happen in October through the years.  Sort of seems to coincide with the autumn equinox.

This fall is relatively stable for me this year.  But I do recognize the turbulence within nature and the world. No denying very active hurricanes, earth quakes and fires – – encompassing all four elements!  We also have a very unstable social-emotional element going on in our world as well.

Well, now that I’ve written that, I did experience a huge ‘instability’ last month. I woke up one morning with the severest case of vertigo I’ve ever had.  Talk about turbulence in my world! It was so severe that I missed several days of work, went to the hospital (twice), and am now in physical therapy. Who knew there’s physical therapy for vertigo? And on top of that, there are several different types of vertigo! I am now working with a really great physical therapist on the various types of vertigo that plague me. I am much improved in that I can work and go about my day; but no bending over for me!

My dear sweet Boo came to visit last weekend. Thankfully he was very safe and did not have any damage from the hurricane that went through FL. As always, it was so wonderful being with him.

And now we look towards the upcoming fall and holiday seasons.  In all this activity – both outside of us in the world, and within nature and the environment – I hope you do bundle up in your favorite fall clothes, snuggle up to a warm cup of pumpkin spice latte to relax and watch the beautiful activities of nature.  Notice those huge spiders that weave those amazingly big webs overnight.  Watch the flock of geese flying in formation, and wonder at their navigation.  Smell the autumnal air and pick out the pine, sweet grasses, and different woodsy-spicy scents.  And take the time to find the balance in your life, to find the harmony within your own personal world right now.

I leave you with this quote:

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

Letter to Miss Lewis, Oct. 1, 1841 – George Eliot, George Eliot’s Life, as Related in Her Letters and Journals – Volume 1

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A few of you have reached out to me recently seeking a little help with signs and messages you’re receiving.  Oh how I love helping with this.  A good amount of the signs and messages I get are easily understood, but I still have to work at interpreting some of them.

Growing up I knew I was a sign seeker, although when I was in school I recognized it was an immature method of seeking answers. However I still felt like there was a Universe out there giving me little signs of encouragement, support, and help along the way, and I was ever so attentive trying to figure it all out.  As I learned and grew in life so did my way of picking up and deciphering these messages.

Ted Andrews wrote in Animal-Speak “The true shaman, the true naturalist, works to reconnect conscious human life with Nature and Spirit through totems and ritual. The images of the animals and the expressions of Nature help us to transcend our normal, waking consciousness so that we can more easily attune to the ethereal realms and beings. The first step begins with realizing that all vision and imagery, originating in Nature or the inner mind, has validity on some level.”

I have found that most of the time, we’ve picked up on the sign but are not sure if it is a sign.  And then how to interpret.  To paraphrase an example Ted Andrews gave in workshop I attended, one night you have a dream with a skunk in it, then you’re driving down the road and you smell a skunk, then you go home and turn on the tv and there’s Peppe Le Pew, and a few days later you’re in a store and in with the stuffed animals is a cute little skunk… well how many times do you need to be hit in the head with a 2×4 before you realize skunk is trying to get your attention?

If you’re questioning whether or not an animal or something in nature is a message or sign, then chances are it is. The mere fact that you already are thinking it is indication. Trust yourself! When that dragonfly lights on you and sits with you for a while, you know you are truly communing with nature!

Last weekend on my walk I was surprised by how much white I saw in nature. It was as if there was more white than green outside.  The white mushrooms, dandelion puffs, the clover blooms, flowers, tree bark, fences, clouds, rocks, various moths, a worm, and a couple different dogs. I took notice of what had been on my mind, of my emotions, about my heartfelt reaction to seeing all this white. If you don’t have any books on the various meanings, then you have the world wide web.  But don’t be too quick to look outside of yourself for answers. Always consider what that symbol means to You. Expand your awareness and observations – and then enjoy your connection with nature and spirit!

 

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Yesterday I was being treated to the most wonderful reflexology treatment here at my house. We had begun and were well into my one foot when it sunk into me that Winnie was whining and crying unlike she’s ever done. I knew she wanted to come out with us, but this was moving into more of a desperation cry. So we stopped to go get her and found her stuck in between the posts of the gate! Her head, both front legs and shoulders were on one side of the rungs, and the rest of her on the other side.  With a few panicked calls and an extra set of hands, we successfully pushed the rungs apart and backed her out of the gate. I’m still watching her to make sure she hasn’t hurt anything, and that she’s ok. My poor puppy! And dear sweet Norma not only supported Winnie with her gentle and calm energy while we rescued her, but then was able to take my right back into the wonderful treatment to finish, only with Winnie in with us after that.

In a few weeks it’ll be the vernal equinox and we’ll officially be in summer.  The weather sure hasn’t felt like summer!  I’ve been reading that June will host several astrological events.  From what I’m understanding there have been several planets that were retrograde, but many of them will become direct this month. Jan Spiller is the astrologer I most often consult, and reading her Astrological Edge for June provides me with a little glimmer of hope that I’ll find a little clarity this month.

While I had some wonderful things in May (my father visiting and my birthday just to name a couple), I’m still burdened with the career change I made this year. I am still actively trying to make it better. So I have hopes for what June holds for me.

Wishing you a fun filled month of clarity!

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