Sunday, September 30, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 3: Standing Up

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie.

Today I stood up for myself. I was explaining to someone about what I'd learned from the key fob incident, and they said, "You don't deserve to have a key fob like that---no one does. You can buy really cheap key fobs, so no one should spend that much money on one." This person is very frugal, and also doesn't understand the concept of being good to oneself. So I said (but more importantly, believed), "I deserved that key fob" and meant it. And left it there, not defending or justifying it, as I would have in the past. I knew I wanted it, and deserved it, and that was enough.

This is a much harder project than any I've done before. So far it isn't much fun. The steps feel too small, like they are all baby steps. The big steps feel like I've distanced myself from them for so long, either because they are overwhelming or because I'm just too afraid. I'm living a complacent life far away from most of the steps because...because I'm just too afraid. However, I trust that this will be SO good for me, especially the intensity, which for me is going to be necessary to really break through, I'm thinking. With a slower pace I'd be able to avoid too much.

So, onward I go.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Sacred Sundays: The BLT

Sometimes Sacred Sundays can be really simple things, like today: a special BLT made by LoveHubbie Mark. It started out with a huge tomato from our garden: This thing was absolutely ginormous!

So LoveHubbie cut it up:

And made it into a BLT:

And all I had to say was
"Neato Bandito"---a quote from Kikipotamus, who is herself an amazing cook and who prepares food for others with love, just like LoveHubbie!

Eating food that has been cooked with love is sacred. And rare. And a blessing whenever it occurs, but especially on Sacred Sundays.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 1 and Day 2: Baby Steps

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I started this out slowly, and am already behind in my blogging. I have to get into the groove again and start to build momentum so that I can get the benefits that are possible out of this. I truly want to live a life from love, not fear, and during this time learn a lot about things that I'm afraid of. There are so many things...Jessie's doing great and is an example for me!

Yesterday was Day 1 for me, and I wrote my first Amazon Vine Review. Vine is a new program by Amazon that I was invited to participate in. Vine offers books and many other items at the beginning of the month to the Vine members. We pick whatever ones we want and are sent them for free by Amazon with the understanding that we will review them. All of them are advance copies, so our reviews have the potential to affect sales; also, the Vine members, many of whom are writers and editors and English teachers by profession, read the reviews. So I wanted mine to be good and was procrastinating about writing it. Well, I just did it, and it was hard, but felt so satisfying to just do it and get out of the way. It was a good first step in living adventurously, as it was a baby step.

Today was Day 2. I had no idea what I was going to do, and only a couple of hours left in the day. I sat down to blog and decided to buy something I wanted from ebay, but didn't feel I deserved. It was a leather key fob I'd already made low bids for under "Best Offer" and lost five times over the past several weeks. I resisted going up to a reasonable offer because a leather key fob is such a frivolous and unnecessary item (when plastic or a shoe lace---which I have been using---or a cheap leather key fob would do as well), and although this one was priced reasonably for what it was, it was still very expensive. It was hard for me to give myself something nice. So I just now made a reasonable offer for it. We'll see if it's accepted. Either way, I feel happy that I broke through this barrier of "I don't deserve it".

I still don't feel really comfortable about what I just did, but a little tremble-y, a lot excited. Mostly about thinking about what other things I could let myself deserve. All the possibilities. I don't mean additional expenditures necessarily (LoveHubbie is breathing a sigh of relief) but just good things in general.

My biological family trained me that I don't deserve good things, nice things. As an adult I perpetuated this belief, and although I don't believe it at all with my head, in my heart it is another matter. I want to overcome this and know know know that I deserve good nice happy wonderful things in my life.

UPDATE: Reasonable offer for leather key fob was just declined, so I have the benefit of stepping out and giving myself a gift but LoveHubbie and I just saved some money :)

~Pictures by LoveHubbie Mark

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today I Got Two New Toys

Well, today was a red letter day. In preparation for NaNoWriMo (in which you write every day to complete a novel in a month) in November I ordered an Alphasmart Neo. I am unable to use laptop computers (the keyboards give me carpal tunnel) and the Alphasmart has a full size keyboard, which means I can write remotely. At last! Type remotely, that in type quickly and do word counts, upload and download to a computer. In coffeeshops...outside...anywhere! Those of you with laptops may take this for granted, but I'm new to this so it opens a whole new world up to me.

The Neo is a sturdy word processor for people who want to do volume writing without a lot of editing; you're really supposed to do that on a regular computer where you can see the whole screen. It does autosaves of every word, is light like a calculator, and goes 700 hours on 3 AA batteries! If you purposely do not want to edit your writing and just produce---quickly and easily---and you don't want to spend a lot of money, the Neo is something you might enjoy.

I found out about it by reading Chris Baty's "No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days" a book I highly recommend for NaNoWriMo participants.

I made a deal with LoveHubbie that if I complete NaNoWriMo, he'll pay for the Neo, but if I fail to complete it, I'll have to pay for the Neo. More support for me in actually doing this :) I love this deal.

Then..then...Amazon sent me an email offering me a in totally FREE...Flip Camcorder in order to do video reviews for them. I thought it was a joke at first. At last those 1433 reviews (as of today) I've done on Amazon are starting to pay off :) I'm intrigued by all of the creative possibilities of doing video reviews.

Reviewing books, kitchen appliances, music, tea, movies, electronic items, bedding, and pretty much everything else I've ever bought on Amazon or elsewhere is my #3 hobby, behind reading and walking. So I'm so thrilled to have this opportunity. I've never had a video recorder or camcorder before, so it's pretty, pretty cool.

~Pictures by LoveHubbie Mark from Lahaina, Maui

Wellness Wednesday: Kombucha Tea

Years ago, I used to brew kombucha tea by hand. I always had a mother going and loved my evening ritual of drinking kombucha until I found out how careful one had to be to avoid contamination and food poisoning and even sort of scared me off of preparing it myself.

Well, it's not the 80's anymore and now commercial versions of kombucha are available. Synergy or G.T. Davis Kombucha is the only one I've found that I like, as it is not sweet and is raw and organic. It is a little expensive (around $4 per bottle) but is worth it. It contains lots of beneficial bacteria (and dozens of other health benefits) and is a wonderful treat. It may contain trace amounts of alcohol (less than 0.5%) too, due to the fermentation process.

So since it was Wellness Wednesday, I had one today to celebrate.

In the olden days, you had to know someone in order to get a mother. Now, 20 years later, you can actually buy mothers on Amazon. As well as take Kombucha pills, tinctures, get it in hot tea, and pretty much any other way you can imagine.

I do so enjoy my kombucha.

Find out more about Wellness Wednesday here at Elena's blog or check the column of Wednesday Wellness Writers on Elena's blog.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Sacred Sunday

Today I woke up with a normal attitude for me these last several days---wanting and hoping but not having---disappointment---worry and uncertainty.

I realized after visiting some of my blog sisters, especially Annie and Lisa that:


to a very large degree (umm...maybe 100%). I've been reacting and letting inertia and "my natural state" (which is worry and anxiety) take over my life. Some of it is the change in the weather and some is unsettling circumstances (which I'll write about later) and some is probably physiological. But I've been pretty depressed and in a funk for days...probably since My Sacred Life ended, if not before. But at least when I was doing MSL, it caused me to refocus throughout the day and to think positively and reframe life, not get taken over by random thoughts, so-called normal fears, and form a habit of worry, discouragement, settling, a small life, etc.

I'm realizing too as I'm writing this that I've been trying to force things to happen instead of creating them or allowing them, instead of surrendering to the wisdom of the Universe for me.

So, I'm going to refocus, nurture myself with healthy behaviors, strongly consider physiological help via herbs and medications, and create something different.

What is making this a Sacred Sunday is that I'm going to get back on track...back into a space of sacredness...change my attitude...and re-member my dreams and the path that I've been on that was good.

Rediscover the possibility that shaped my life for so long and that has temporarily gone behind a cloud.

Sweep the cobwebs off my soul and take action that I know is what I need right now.

I'll let you know how it goes.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark altered by Me

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wellness Wednesday...Caught Unawares...10:30pm

Today is Wellness Wednesday, and I forgot. I was taking a day off from blogging after being Creative for a Month and completing Carla's My Sacred Life Project. And then, when I checked my blog reader, Bloglines, for the day, and discovered that it was "Wellness Wednesday", I decided I needed to post after all!

I felt a little bad because my site visits had skyrocketed and I had nothing to offer for Wellness Wednesday.

So just now I thought back. What had I done to support a wellness lifestyle today?

For me, there is great room to move upwards with respect to wellness. So I'm in a good place :)

Even so, today I rested, for the most part. I watched some television. I got a lot of sleep. Lots of walking, too. Until my husband, called in my blog "LoveHubbie", had his heart attack a little over a year ago, I had worked as a life coach. I had ideas at the time of being a "rest coach". What I really needed was to get some rest myself. I still struggle with workaholism, giving myself permission to play, giving myself permission to create. If you do too, please visit Carla's Women at Rest blog. It will be nurturing to you, I promise. And Jennifer Louden's blog, too.

So, anyway, today I rested...some.

Just remember....and say to yourself:

And that's about it. But today, it feels like enough.

Thanks, Elena, for Wellness Wednesdays!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 30


Today the My Sacred Life Project is ending for me. Endings are sacred, for without them there could not be


As I mentioned yesterday, I will continue to blog about My Sacred Life and other things, too...just not every day! And, I've decided that come November, I'll be doing the NaNoWriMo for the first time. Anybody else up for doing it with me?

I'm tired, have had a long day, so I'll say goodnight but not goodbye with some beautiful pictures, of course by LoveHubbie!

Goodnight, All! I send each and every one of you my Love and Abundant Blessings!

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 29


Today it is raining in the Pacific Northwest where I live. Fall seems to be here, soon to be followed by winter, with lots of rain---and maybe snow, power outages, sleet, and ice. This fall I am going to see the blessing and joy of the rain instead of whining about it all the time and calling sunny days "nice" and rainy days "ugly". I get to start today---yay! Then I'll be trained and ready to take on the winter, a much bigger challenge.

We who live in this wonderful place often forget about where we came from and why we moved and how and where we used to live. I know I do. I get accustomed to the beauty, the trees, the animals, the mountains, the fresh clean air, the norm of fresh organic luscious food. I live in an incredible small town, the only place on earth I'd like to be, except for Hawaii, where I someday may live, too. (I'm being positive today and purposefully seeing the future as limitless.)

So this is my garden in the rain:

Even the rain makes the day sacred, because it feeds the earth and the plants. Plus it provides a contrast to the sunny days, and I appreciate them more. (I'm trying here, reaching, wanting to appreciate it...really!)

There's even another reason to appreciate the rain today. Christiane Northrup writes on her Daily Inspiration today:

"Opt for optimism. Studies show that those who see the glass half full actually live healthier, longer lives. Remember, optimism is a choice that also takes courage."

I'm all for choices that take courage. So I'm going to "act as if" and love, love, love the rain in my words, and in my thoughts. I know that this will... eventually...change my experience.

And, of course, everything is like this, not just the rain, I was thinking. I want to appreciate everything about My Sacred Life. As I near the end of my month, I know that although I will cease blogging every day about my sacred life, I want to continue to find sacredness, signs of God, signs of life, signs of every moment.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 28

Today I couldn't decide between two things that made today extra-special and sacred to me.

The most important one, to me, was LoveHubbie:

It is a sacred and special thing to have a life partner who you know you are meant to be with.

The second was a little squirrel (maybe a very distant relation to Kikipotamus' Rusty) who was sitting on an old birdhouse outside our window gnawing on a pinecone. The numerous squirrels who live in our backyard woods strip pinecones just like we eat corn-on-the-cob (when we're really, really hungry) and seem to relish them immensely. I was going to only post one picture, but for the second she shut her eyes and looked even cuter, so I thought I'd post two. She brightened up my day this morning, and it stayed bright all day, despite the overcast skies and rain.

~Pictures by LoveHubbie

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 27

A Full Day

Today I was uncharacteristically at a loss about what to pick for the My Sacred Life Project. It usually comes to me pretty strongly, but today was different. Then I realized that it was a different day, busy in a sense that a lot happened (not busy as in rushing), and in that I got a whole lot done. I was very grateful for the fullness and the ordinary accomplishments of the day. I like days like these.

This picture of the inside of this orchid may not seem to go with the post, but to me it suggests a fullness and a leisureliness at the same time. And beauty. So it's perfect.

~Picture by LoveHubbie

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 26

Creative for a Month Day 30---Creativity

Today is one of my last days for the Creative for a Month Project. I started on August 15th, and during this time, learned a lot about creativity and myself, but the best results from it were that I started to share my work with others (and through your comments become more confident), and even more importantly, came to derive much comfort from being creative, as opposed to the nasty "shadow comforts" (like eating, drinking, wasting time, etc.). I now enjoy something creative every day, and enjoy it immensely!

Here are my last two collages.

The first is called "Do Do Do":

It is a compilation of ripped up old "To Do" lists with image transfers (I think that's what they're called) of my own facial distortions covered over multiple times with Mod Podge. I like it because it exemplifies the frustration of always doing (as opposed to "just being" and enjoying life). I like how the lists show through the transfers. I feel this way less often now, but it still is a familiar state I return to again and again, one that I must actively work spiritually to draw, even woo myself out of.

The other is called "Can I Save Him?":

It is a collage about LoveHubbie. I suppose this is my stance in our relationship, not in the sense that I believe that I truly can save him from anything at all, but more about my efforts to try to save his essence, to encourage his being who he truly is, and to help him experience joy. Since his heart attack just over a year ago, other physical challenges, some very difficult problems with his adult children, and some straining business and personal situations, I see less of "him" than I'm used to seeing. I don't want to lose him, and find myself working hard to keep his spirits up.

So, thank you, Karen, Elizabeth, Leah, Jessie, and Sherie, and everyone else who encouraged me this month, for helping to teach me the importance and sacredness of creativity!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 25

The Comfort of Strangers

I am realizing how many anonymous people have been supportive to me over these last two days. I normally live the life of a total semi-hermit, but since the theft at our house, I've been interacting with so many people (say more than I'd interact with in weeks or months), and all have been supportive; it has been wonderful in an interesting kind of way. Small ways, normally, but ways that are touching nevertheless.

I'm not talking about the normally supportive people, like this wonderful blog community, or friends, or neighbors, or people I know. Or my incredible, stupendous there-is-no-adjective-for-him urologist, who today got me in and took care of my painful UTI (probably due to stress) post-haste. Or his understanding medical staff.

I'm talking about people I've never met and never may interact with again---anonymous people---some whose names I know and some whose names I'll never know. First of all, the innumerable clerical people who have helped me and made my life easier these last hours. Then there was the locksmith, about seven different people who helped me at my alarm center, neighbors I've never met before, an automotive professional who is going to help me with my car situation, a telemarketer who called and expressed concern and sensitively offered to call back at "a better time"...more I can't remember right now....

Lastly there was a caring alarm repairman today who I am convinced is an angel sent to share wisdom and love with me. (I know this sounds super-goofy, but it's really true, and I'm not on drugs or drinking! :)

I know that this probably sounds funny, but, with the people whom I've met personally, I look into their eyes, and I see a familiarity, I see a connection, something looking back at me that feels like me. I know that we are all one, but for some reason I have experienced it in a profound way in the last 48 hours.

It is an indescribable feeling, and one that made my life immensely sacred today.

~Picture by LoveHubbie taken in Lahaina, Maui

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 24

A Fragile Safety

Yesterday I had my safety affected in an impactful way. After a busy morning, I went for a walk in the afternoon. I live in a somewhat remote, wooded area. Before I left, I hid my spare house key in a carefully selected outdoor hiding place (inside an old tree stump...we occasionally rotate the location) and I left my bulky ginormous key chain with everything known to man on it (including car keys, Lojack, key chain ornaments, carabiner, charms, etc.) in another location hidden on the ground inside a bush.

This has been my routine for years. I also set our house alarm. Normally, I'd just run out and leave the place open, but two weeks ago we had a violent (as in kicking in the door and ripping off the door frame) break-in and burglary right next door. So everything was locked up like Fort Knox. As it will be from now on indefinitely.

I was gone for an hour and twenty minutes. When I came back, my key chain was gone. I looked and looked for it, thinking that perhaps an animal like a raccoon had taken it and dragged it off. Finally I resigned myself that I wasn't going to find it, and my car keys and other keys were gone permanently.

I was glad that I had the spare house key to rely on, since my husband was unavailable to be called, and I had no phone access anyway. The spare key had been left where an animal couldn't remove it, thank goodness. When I went to get it, I found out that it, too, had been removed. An animal had removed it, but that animal had to be human. Someone had to have been watching me to have seen both locations; no one could have found both so quickly without seeing me beforehand. That was when the panic hit me...someone was watching my every movement from somewhere out in the woods. They probably didn't break in because there wasn't time, but they took the keys, so they'd be back later.

There's more to the story, but it just includes everything I did because I was so freaked out, how hard it was to find someone home to help me, how I finally got help, the police, the locksmith, etc., and mostly fear, and total terror.

I worked on processing it especially hard this morning (last night I just let the fear run rampant), with LoveHubbie gone to work, while I waited alone for the locksmith to arrive and make these new keys to our various doors and locks. I wanted to process the fear, forgive the thieves, and get into a space where I could concentrate on doing something besides just shaking and worrying. I have always felt totally safe, always, so this is the first time I've dealt with this. I worked on it some this afternoon, too. I am still very angry at the thieves (and still working on forgiveness), but feel empowered, like I am not living in fear (but anger, which is progress), and I can concentrate again.

Safety makes my life sacred, but it is important to remember that it is not an unequivocal safety. It is a fragile safety, a safety with caveats. A safety never to be taken for granted. Even the new keys---which I am unbelievably grateful for---do not make me safe. Bad things happen all the time. From far worse things than weirdos hiding and peeping from the woods. As 9/11 reminded us yesterday.

I could have been more cautious, and will in the future. And I won't take my safety for granted. I won't fear either.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 23

I've struggled to find a suitable way to commemorate 9/11, the loss of life, the sacrifices so many people made, the grief many families still live with, and the lives that are being lost in our current war. There is no suitable way.

So, I'm going to blatantly copy an idea that at least two others in our My Sacred Life blogging community have come up with as a small token of respect.

Hopefully you can read my candle (which is from Carla's company Zena Moon) but in case you can't, it says:
There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky.
And there are some griefs so still
Noone knows how deep they are. ---May Sarton

Creative for A Month Day 26-27

I've finished one collage of the three I've been working on, called "She Creates a Safe Place"...the other two I'm more excited about but are requiring more work. I keep learning so much and keep going each day. I think I'm the newbie artist in this group and I'm SO glad I've kept going long enough to really enjoy this!

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 22

Gentleness, Not Forcing, Being Me, and Believing in Me

Today I had a little decision to make, but it actually was a big decision that I've been thinking about for a week (you'll see why later). LoveHubbie is joining a gym, and so I've been considering joining, too. Again. Yes, again. Despite that every time I've ever joined a gym, I've stopped going due to (1) injury or (2) lack of interest. I SO want to get in shape, and joining a gym would enable me to be serious (because I'm paying money), be with LoveHubbie, and be with my friend Karen who belongs to the same gym. But it has been this huge dilemma for me, and until today I didn't fully understand why.

I have this little personally-designed movement practice that I've been doing since last week. It involves:

Yoga...super-beginner yoga...mostly stretches, actually, but I like them. I'm using a book, but I have DVD's for later when I get a little flexible. The one I'll start with is yoga for obese people that looks like it's just what I need. In my forties I only was successful (as in didn't get injured or drop out from frustration) at gentle classes for seniors.

And yes, hula, a longtime ambition of mine to learn. I flunked out of the local community center beginner's hula class (really) after one semester because I couldn't get the was too fast-paced and strict for me. I would cry in frustration after every class, because I loved it so much but absolutely could not get it. But the desire to learn to hula has never left me. So I'm learning hula now from DVD's. And playing each part over and over and over and over again, giving myself the repetition my class had lacked.

And then there are the weights. I like free weights, although it's been years since I've worked with them. When I was in my thirties I was a personal trainer (can you believe it?) so I found and dusted off my weights and started back last week with a few simple upper body exercises that felt fantastic.

Oh, and I walk up and down my driveway (1/4 mile round trip) throughout the day to think and process things and sometimes take longer walks outside, too. I wear a pedometer and do an average of 10,000 accumulated steps.

Anyway, it's a very gentle and peaceful movement practice, and I do it here in my house in the woods where I can have silence or else listen to Oprah and Friends XM. I love it, but somehow it feels like it's not enough, or that I'm not going to keep with it, like I'll let myself down or I won't progress and it will just be a drop in the bucket for what I need to do. It's not "serious" like joining a gym. Plus, walking outside is great now in the Pacific Northwest, but is hellish for me in the rain and cold and snow and ice. It feels like it could so easily be a failure overall, because it's all up to me.

Well, today I realized that "gentleness" and "not forcing" is ME now, and it's the way I want to do things, even if it is slower, or riskier, or harder in the winter. I love being alone. And exercising in a gym, with the music, the indoor air, the machines that force certain predefined settings, the frenetic activity of everyone around you (and of you, too)---it's just not me now.

I want to take the step to trust myself and give myself a chance to succeed on my own terms.

I've had a free pass to this 24-hour gym for almost a week now and haven't been able to "force" myself to go once. Now there's a clue! I could listen to my body and my soul instead of doing what makes sense to everybody else, and in fact, is right for so many people---just now me, not right now. And believe in myself... It is a scary step for me to honor my feelings and my intuitive sense of what will work for me instead of whipping myself to do it the way other people think I should. And it is scarier yet to believe in myself when I've let myself down so many times before.

But it's what I'm choosing.

For many of you, this would probably be a normal, natural step, but for me it was an epiphany. I couldn't wait to share it with you :)

Bravely Facing Feelings

"I will name, express, and fully release any emotions that are blocking my journey to a healthy self."---Dr. Christiane Northrup from her Daily Inspirations

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 21

Today LoveHubbie and I are doing a cleanse, eating a lot of fresh fruit and other healthy things, including this beautiful cantaloupe and lots of water, in order to clean our systems and break some of our unhealthy cravings. We started yesterday. We are both doing it, but LoveHubbie hates it and I love it, even though it is hard to do. I feel weak and hungry since I'm detoxing but happy to be on a different, healthier path.

I can really see the difference that attitude makes. LoveHubbie's experience is totally miserable, and mine is difficult but kind of peaceful and even joyful, because I am tired of living a life run by food cravings and I know how much my body wants this. I want to learn to apply this to the rest of my life and have this same attitude towards things that are much more difficult for me---like illness and injuries---those are times when my attitude focuses more on my suffering and less on the seeing good and positive in each situation.

Creative for a Month Days 23-25

I thought I'd be finished with my latest three collages by now, but am still working on them---lately at least an hour or more a day---which has been great. I've been really enjoying how things are coming together. Maybe I'm finally getting into some kind of rhythm where art is a part of my life :)

~Bottom Picture by LoveHubbie

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 20

Today I continued my huge decluttering project. This time I actually binned up all of my "sausage clothes" (clothes that make me feel like I'm a sausage because they're too tight). They were pretty much all my clothes. I put them in the garage. Actually, LoveHubbie put them in the garage, carrying them three at a time---all 21 bins! LoveHubbie is STRONG :) It felt so good to get them out of my closet.

Now I can actually live with a few clothes that fit and that I can pretty up and thus feel better about myself. Plus the others are organized so that as I lose weight I can pull them out and find them. I feel happy and totally exhausted.

~Pictures by Me

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 19

Time. Is sacred in my life.

No matter how much I tell myself differently, or what I believe, there always seems to be a scarcity of time, though. The hours of the day just whiz by and I am left doing only a small fraction of what I want to do.

Does anyone else experience this? How do I get out of this trap? Time feels so precious, and like there is never, ever anywhere near enough, and although I've changed my beliefs about it, I have so far been unable to change my experience.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark, altered with PSP by Me

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Creative for a Month Day 22

Today my creativity project was spent on the massivly demanding Quiet Time Spiritual Tools list. It was fun, though. I'm glad you all are enjoying it.

My Sacred Life Day 18

My Quiet Time.

Many days in the morning when I get up I have what I call a quiet time. It's at this time that I use what I call my "spiritual tools", each of which I am so grateful for. I don't use all of them every day, but choose what I feel inspired to use on any given day, depending on how much time I can allot to my quiet time. This quiet time is a part of my new structure, in that I'm going to take the time to have a quiet time every day, even if it's only for a few minutes.

Here are my spiritual tools:

1. Journaling.

I really let myself go in my journal, writing all types of lists, thoughts, stream-of-consciousness things, secret things. I also use it to help me make decisions. A really good journal time for me is pretty time intensive; it takes me about an hour to get into the nitty-gritty stuff, but almost never make that much time. This journal---the nicest I've ever had---was made for me by Leslie at Comfortable Shoes Studio.

2. Labyrinth.

I love when I can walk a labyrinth, but mostly I finger-walk my small personal labyrinths. This one was made by Stasia. They are meditative tools that put me in a receptive mode to hear Spirit.

3. Candles.

I love the ritual of lighting a candle to start my quiet time, especially a fragrant aromatherapy candle. I used to use another type of candle, but then found out about Carla's, so I exclusively use hers now, since they're so wonderful.

4. Energy Muse Necklaces.

I wear one of these necklaces every day, depending upon my mood, and upon what I want to remind myself of throughout the day. They are intentional necklaces that carry a special energetic vibration of their own. This one is called Pele, named after the Hawaiian volcano goddess, a necklace that I exclusively wear in Hawaii, and it is my favorite. I do keep it on my dresser all the time, though:

5. Tea.

I drink a cup of tea as a ritual while I'm having my quiet time.

6. Prayer Beads.

These are a new addition to my quiet time "menu". They are lovely beads made by Deborah of Story-Beads. They are very special to me. I walk with them when I go on a meditative walk. I use this one in particular to scan and be in my body. These in particular are "Clarity and Balance" beads.

7. ACIM.

Stands for "A Course in Miracles", a program of spiritual psychotherapy that I study to become more peaceful and forgiving.

8. Daybook.

I am always reading a daybook for inspiration, which helps me to sense the passage of time through the year as I work through it. I am currently reading Mark Nepo's "The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have":

9. Other Reading.

I am always reading several spiritual books, just because they feed my spirit. Here's my current stack:

10. Oracle Cards.

Sometimes I read oracle cards and sometimes inspirational cards, but I love them. Currently, I am using Sonia Choquette's "Trust Your Vibes" deck:

11. Hawaii.

I incorporate something of Hawaii into every quiet time, because I am passionately in love with Hawaii, and doing so makes my soul happy.

12. My Aloha Religion.

Lastly, I have a "statement of beliefs" that is actually 17 pages long that is an amalgamation of all of the important spiritual things I believe. I call it "my aloha religion" because it has much in common with Hawaiian cultural values, but it is uniquely my own. Sometimes I read it when I feel far from who I really am, when I need to be reminded of what I stand for.

Again, I don't do these all---ever, but just pick the ones that resonate for the day! I am not myself without some sort of quiet time, though---the most sacred time of the day for me.

~Pictures by LoveHubbie (the good ones) and Me (the rest)