Saturday, April 28, 2007

I Am Safe and I Can Trust My Intuition

Here is another card from my card collection, which I believe is from Louise Hay:

It is hard for me to believe sometimes that I can trust my intuition, that my intuition is trustworthy. I want to believe, I think, that my intuition is screwy and that I can be victimized. However, I know---KNOW---that this is absolutely not true. My intuition is right on course; I just need to actually listen and have courage to follow through. And if I have listened, there is no such thing as "victimized"---all things that happen to me are lessons for my own healing and growth. And for everyone else involved, too. This is what I know is true.

I know we've started Week 11 in Finding Water, on Discipline, but I still have a little more to write about Safety...I'm a little behind. But it's all good, right :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Chuckle

I don't know about you, but I need a good laugh today. My apologies to my friends who do not drink alcohol; however, I think you still will find this funny!

Oops, sorry folks, that link isn't working, so I guess the Nurse Ratched blog is down for now. Check back later as it really is funny.

~Picture by Brother Rick

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thank You To My Friend

A special thank you to my friend who is coming to visit us next month. We had a good talk the other night and my friend decided to fly here to visit to show support to me and my husband and to help us out with some things here. I was incredibly grateful. I was most touched, though, when my friend said, "Well, that's what friends are for!" I think I'd forgotten that, with all of the troubles I've been having lately. It made me smile and warmed my heart. Good friends, real friends, are the bedrock of life.

Speaking of good friends, a special thank you to D. and J., too, who have been great listeners and always there for me. And to P. who has been through this with other close friends. And of course, all of my Finding Water and blogging friends. Lastly, to B., who is praying for me and hubbie.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark from his Night Flowers Collection

I Am Safe and I Am Loved

Here is another cards from my inspirational card collection. This too fits in with our Finding Water theme of safety. It seemed to fit for my day:

Aren't you just loving our reading for Week 10? I know that at the beginning of the online group ten weeks ago I found some of Julia Cameron's writing negative, but now I'm finding it so uplifting. I'm not sure what has changed---the book or me or both---but it's really seeming applicable to what I need to read and is helping to ground me through some storms.

Again, these cards are not ones that I've made myself but are from my extensive unboxed card collection. I think they are Louise Hay cards. If you know, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I am Safe and I am Free

This is from my card collection. It was apropos for this week, since in Finding Water (and in my personal life) the focus is "safety". I didn't make these cards, and although I don't save the boxes, I believe this one is from one of the Louise Hay collections. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Claim this affirmation for yourself, if you need to. I know I do!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Decluttering is Hot Topic

There is a wonderful discussion on decluttering as creating space here at Carrie Bartkowiak's blog. Be sure to read the comments, as they have some good points in them, too. She echoes my concept of seeing decluttering as "creating space", transforming it into a freeing activity filled with possibilities rather than as an overwhelming chore.

Recently it's been suggested by my healer/bodyworker Shannon that since I decided to declutter my house and my life, that this process is going on in other areas, too, and my recent life losses may be related to letting go of things to create space. This in no way diminishes the incredibly high value of what was lost (e.g., the loss of my wonderful father), but just means that it is time in my life for something else, something different, something unknown that the Universe wants to bring my way. Dr. Christiane Northrup writes in her book "The Wisdom of Menopause" that this time "in between" can be difficult for women---a time when they have very real losses and a vast space that has not yet been filled by anything---it's sort of a different type of "empty nest syndrome" (not related to children but to an emptiness in our lives). It is at this time, she says, that we can trust Spirit and trust ourselves that good and wonderful things can and will come our way. Although this time may be filled with space and vastness as in a kind of free-fall (that's what it feels like to me), it need not be filled with fear, but can be a time of joy and trust, and a time for the development of our faith in the Universe's goodness and caring for us. I truly love this idea.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark: Dale Chihuly sculpture in Union Station, Tacoma, WA

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Better Times at the happyluau

Well, things are a bit better at the happyluau today. See my smile :) I went on my Artist Date to the St. Placid Priory, a local monastic community and just walked around the grounds and thought about life. I met several of the sisters there and asked them pointed and direct questions, hoping to benefit from their wisdom and experience. They had no easy answers, for there really are none, but it was fun to discuss deep topics with wise women.

Finding Water News: Also yesterday I did all of week 9's reading and divining rods. I can hardly believe it is now week 10! I feel like I have grown so much from this process. The continually beautiful and thought-provoking postings from our our leaders Jessie and Leah help me grow each week. The encouragement from all of you is invaluable to me. I continue to read your blogs, although I've been lax about blogging myself.

I feel like I have some perspective on my troubles of late, and know that grieving is a process and all will be resolved in time. I know I'll be ok. Life makes sense. I even feel safe (it's week 10 after all). Thank all of you for your love and prayers and good thoughts sent my way.

Even my stalker issue seems to be resolved, I pray. Some of you may have noticed some odd comments on my blog, which were from someone who had been a long-distance friend of mine for many years, but who had changed in ways that caused me to decide to cease contact with him. He'd tried persistently for some time after that to continue to contact me, despite my requests---then demands---for no contact. At last he gave up (almost a year ago), but with my latest difficulties I guess he sensed an opportunity of some sort, so he renewed his efforts to reestablish contact, going from viewing my blog excessively (and throwing my stats counter way off) to odd commenting on my blog and finally to beginning to phone me again. My husband stepped in (thank you sooo much, hubbie) to call him and left a message on Friday insisting that he stop and so far all has been quiet. Although I fear my stalker was just gone for the weekend, I want to believe that he has decided to move on with his life. I am wishing him blessings and sending him on his way to interact with people who want his attentions and interactions and who will give him what I cannot. In case he does return, I'm posting this here, hoping there is a part of him that can understand that continuing to stalk me will not bring good things to either of us, but that moving forward in other directions will earn him my eternal gratitude and bring him better days, surely.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark, taken yesterday

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Can't Process Or Make Sense of Life, Lately

Sometimes I just don’t understand. Nothing makes sense to me lately.

Starting with the Virginia Tech Massacre. I cannot comprehend this. I just do not have it within me. What could cause this? How do we deal with this?

But there are other things in my immediate sphere. How can one friend betray another, when one has given everything they have to their friend and would gladly give more? How can this happen? Why would someone take---violently take---what would be freely given?

How can a child, whom you love and would do anything to help, turn their back on you and find help and sustenance from those who would do them harm? And at the same time hate you? When you would freely give them what they’d need if they would just step back and try to understand that you are not the enemy? They could ask…and trust that the love and the provision would be there….ask without threatening and bullying…and they would have exactly what they’d need?

I just feel like I cannot recover from one devastating surprise when I am faced with another. There seem to be too many surprises, too many betrayals, too many massacres (even one is too many). Greed. Entitlement. Hatred.

I guess what it comes down to is fear. Fear that the love would not be there, when it would be. Fear that violence, threats, bullying, stealing---that these are the only way, the only things that work.

Today I am very, very sad.

I’ve been sporadic with my blog for a while. I’ve been physically and emotionally exhausted, but am taking care of myself today and hope to be back soon.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark from Night Flower Collection

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sad News, Virginia Tech

Sad news out of Virginia Tech. Prayers and love sent out for all of the people affected by this, including the families and friends of the slain students, the other students living in fear at Virginia Tech, and yes, even the shooter(s) and their families. All are in fear and pain now. In fact, I think we all are in fear and pain as we contemplate this act and what is happening to our world. The news of such atrocities travels like the speed of light over the blogosphere and the television and radio and we are all deeply affected.

Our world is so far from peace. Yet it is what we all want, above all. I feel very tired and very sad. It feels like mourning.

~Picture by Me

Take It

"The world feels too much with me. I get overwhelmed and I want someplace safe and quiet in which to dream and work."---Julia Cameron, "Finding Water"

How many of us feel like this? I know that I do most of the time. In the past, my body has forced me to take the space I need to process things, find peace, create, dream. Now, I am wise enough to take it. I hope.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Small Gifts of Life

"In order to thrive as artists---and, once could argue, as people---we need to be avilable to the universal flow. When we put a stopper on our capacity for joy by anorectically declining the small gifts of life, we turn aside the larger gifts as well."---Julia Cameron in "Inspirations: Meditations from The Artist's Way"

Today I want to accept the small gifts of life. Today. Right now. In the midst of the fray. What small gifts is the Universe bringing your way today?

~Picture by Hubbie Mark from his Night Flowers collection

Monday, April 9, 2007

Put in A Good Week

Despite a tough week, I finished Week 7 with basically what I intended: 7 days in a row of morning pages, 7 days of goodly walks, 7 days of yoga, 6 days of decluttering, and an okay (but not fantastic) Artist Date. Now I'm ready to TAKE OFF...except for my morning pages, which I'm addicted to now :) I stretched and grew and strived and learned...and now I'm ready for a little rest.

So, I've given myself permission to let things slide this week to allow myself to gain energy again to be able to do things from a "want to" instead of a "have to" perspective.

This week I want to improve my Artist Date. Week 7 I did a collage about my life crisis, which was healing, but grief-filled and painful as all get out. It was not fun. An AD is supposed to be FUN!! So, this week FUN is on the agenda!

~Picture by Me

Bad Surprises

"Surprise is where creativity comes in."---Ray Bradbury via "Finding Water" by Julia Cameron

I have been surprised by truth these last several days, especially today, and have the opportunity to be creative in my life, not in the classic sense, as with art or writing. I can really see the connection between creativity and divine guidance when I view it this way.

As a recovered recovering control freak I'm used to viewing surprise as unwelcome if it was a "bad" surprise (as opposed to a happy surprise), because it meant I wasn't in control, and was at the effect of something. (I didn't mind not being in control for a happy surprise.) Instead, I can choose to see "bad" surprises as an opening, a chance to apply creativity to life, and to welcome divine guidance right in the moment, at the exact time when it is needed.

This quote in our reading was an epiphany and a balm. I am grateful.

~Picture by Me

Uncovering a Sense of Truth

OMG, this has been the theme of my life for the last week. All kinds of truths in our lives have been uncovered, things that were there all the time but that I didn't see because I didn't want to.

Today I was wearing one of my Energy Muse necklaces. At a pivotal moment in the day, a time when I acted upon a major incredibly difficult decision, the necklace spontaneously broke and the gemstone beads exploded all over the multi-colored carpet and "disappeared"! The beads were translucent and the same colors as the carpet, so we couldn't see them at all---they had vanished. We managed to pick them up by feel only, using our hands, and it was fascinating how they "appeared".

They reminded me of this crisis we (my husband and I) are in---little truths, hidden from me, but yet there, just invistible to my naked eye. Each discovery---astounding---we didn't see it, and then...we did. As we learn more and more truth and are willing to see it---it is there for us. Of course it was always there. And at some level we knew it, intuited it, but ignored our intuition because it wasn't what we wanted. So now, the truth hurts, but it also heals. It is a process, a journey we must travel---ready or not---but we are embracing acceptance and a knowledge that truth is always good and that everything ultimately will be for the good of all involved.

I will never, ever ignore my intuition again.

~Picture by Me

Friday, April 6, 2007

You're Enough

"For many of us, raised to believe that money is the real source of security, a dependence on God feels foodhardy, suicidal, even laughable. When we consider the lilies of the fields, we think they are quaint, too out of it for the modern world. Listening to the siren song of more, we are deaf to the still small voice waiting in our soul to whisper, "You're enough."---Julia Cameron in "Inspirations"

Decluttering awakens me to the wisdom of less, the freedom of less, and the excitement of new beginnings, although they be intertwined with loss. This is how life works.

I am, and my husband is also, presently enmeshed in one of the most difficult times of loss either one of us has ever had. First my husband lost his father less than a month ago. Now we have a mind-numbing loss that I will write more about later, but one that is especially poignant because it is Easter time. It's important for me to remember my frequent comment to others that "this too shall pass" and that dependence on God is the only way many of us (including me) can get through life. For me, in some mystical way, God is within me, something I used to call the Holy Spirit, but now I feel more comfortable just calling "spirit" or "me".

Below is a beautiful picture I purchased a while ago by an unknown artist (I can't read her/his name in the signature). It is a poem called "I Am Enough". I love this, and think you will too:

I wish everyone a wonderful Easter, and a glorious weekend of beautiful weather. We are expected to have a high of 80 degrees today and our Farmer's Market is open after being closed all winter. Spring has sprung.

~Top picture with my cell phone, bottom by Hubbie Mark

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Weird Random Thoughts

This is a post about my random thoughts after reading several of the blogs I track regularly.

There was an article about how Texas was the last bastion of Neanderthal's after this article about Texas justice, ostensibly an oxymoron. Hubbie Mark is from Texas, but in this case I have to agree. Is this not unbelievable or what? UPDATE: A reader called attention to some of the details in this story and noooow it makes sense to me. I missed the ball on this one...ooops!

There was a bizarre picture of a make-shift refrigeration system in the upper Midwest. I am soooo glad that I no longer live in South Dakota, when I see the height of the snow...although my time there was good in many ways, I'm a Pacific Northwest girl through and through.

And then, lastly, there is an article about a pet peeve of mine, and admittedly, I'm writing this greatly for my hubbie. He doesn't understand why it drives me crazy when the person in the seat ahead of me in an airplane lowers his/her seat, most especially when it doesn't need to be lowered, say, if they are eating. I don't mind subsuming my being able to enjoy my flight via reading to accommodate my fellow passenger's need to sleep. I do mind sacrificing my enjoyment of the flight I've paid for for absolutely no reason whatsoever---simply because they forgot to raise their seat. I have to admit that I usually "raise" it for them, since they are so oblivious. But Hubbie is afraid that a fight will someday ensue, and he will be forced to defend my honor. I guess his fears are somewhat legitimate?

~Lower picture via my cell phone, upper photo and first two weird random things from Brother Rick

A Daring Adventure

I have been noticing the brave and wonderful journey of Carla Blazek as she navigates the storms of life in her blog Zena Musings. Today's Zena Musings featured my favorite quote by Helen Keller:

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature."---Helen Keller

I am especially fond of the second line of this quote: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" and believe this with all my heart. I find it especially impacting that it was Helen Keller---who was blind, deaf, and mute---who wrote this.

Carla is moving to a new city and a new life, relocating her business without her husband and without her beloved canine companion of many years. She is so brave and authentic and very inspirational to me. She has the opportunity to recreate her identity and her life from scratch. So scary, too. A daring adventure.

Anyway, so on a much, much smaller scale, decluttering is recreating your life, and potentially, your identity. You are making your environment fit your current life and values. It is a creative act. Carla is involved in super-creation, but if you're decluttering, you are being creative. When I see decluttering like this it becomes fun instead of mind-numbing drudgery most of the time. Decluttering is reinventing your home to reflect who you are now.

Here is one of my challenges: to create a sacred space:
"You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so where you do not know what is in the morning paper. A place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. At first you may think othing's happening. But if you have a sacred space and take advantage of it and use it every day, something will happen. Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again."---Joseph Campbell in Mariel Hemingway's "Healthy Living from the Inside Out"

Isn't this great? Mariel suggests ways that this can be done with limited finances and/or space. I love the idea of having a sacred space to come home to myself in on a daily basis. I have an informal area, but nothing intentional. I am particularly excited about this, and am right now working on my "nook", where I think I'm going to locate this sacred space. When I get it done, I'll post pictures of it.

Mariel's book is exceptional, wholistic, and comprehensive, and has been intrinsic to me in recreating my physical space, including my home, office, body, spirit, and diet. Her book has inspired me to restart my yoga practice. And I am "right ready" to tackle a major improvement in my diet, making it cleaner and healthier via the potpourri of ideas in the book.

So I plod, celebrate, drag my feet, move, dance, on with my decluttering project (see here and here for more), recreating my living space (and getting a big fat whopping tax deduction as well!)

~Picture of the rose from my cell phone

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Happy Song at the happyluau

This is an all-time favorite song of mine. Click here to play it. It will pop open a QuickTime window on your computer, provided you have QuickTime, that is. I have absolutely no idea what it means, but it is amazingly cute and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face because of the joy in the singers' voices. Thought this might brighten your day :) No, it's not Hawaiian, but Mongolian, as we're very diverse here at the happyluau!

~Picture by Hubbie Mark from his Night Flowers collection

Monday, April 2, 2007

Keeping Up

Well, I've been keeping up with what I intended this week so far. Each day I've done my morning pages, gone for a solo walk, done my yoga, and twice I did my decluttering (I totally forgot the first day, Saturday). I've been busy, but my week has been different in a very, very good way. I love the structure and the support it provides. My life is much richer, much more on track, and I seem to get more done, too. Now for the rest of the week...

~Picture by Hubbie Mark from his Night Flowers collection

Artist Date Reminder

"As Artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them---to restock the trout pond, so to speak. I call this process filling the well. In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do not do what you should do---spiritual sit-ups like reading a dull but recommended critical text. Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery."---Julia Cameron in "Inspirations: Meditations from The Artist's Way"

I read this quote this morning in a little book of Julia Cameron meditations and thought I'd use it to prepare for my Artist Date this week. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do for my Artist Date. But I like the idea of it being a "solo play date", with the emphasis on play. Later, Julia Cameron describes it this way:

"You need artist dates. Your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to. But what exactly is an artist date? An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a solo play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers."

I'd been slacking on my Artist Date, sort of taking time off to do something I like, and since I was taking a break from work and duties, back-calling it an "artist date". I liked this little reminder that it's supposed to be much more intentional and infinitely more nurturing. I thought you might appreciate the reminder too.

If you're not in Finding Water, do you ever take yourself out for an Artist Date? You say you're not an artist, but that's ok...try it, and see what happens---you may surprise yourself!

~Picture Via Cute Overload

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fools Day

"Happy April Fools Day. There's an old saying that God protects babes and fools. So do something silly today. If nothing else, it will lift your spirits and improve your mood."---Dr. Christiane Northrup in her Daily Inspiration

This explains a lot, doesn't it? Have a great Sunday. I am looking forward to a spectacular day (I'm thinking that this positive attitude will help), even though I need to go into work for at least part of the day. How about you?

~Picture by Hubbie Mark from his Night Flowers collection