Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pure Foolishness

"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness. "
~May Sarton

This quote is courtesy of my blogger friend and artist Carmen, thank you for the inspiration. I have always been good with the discipline and order part, weaker with the play and foolishness, especially pure foolishness. In this second half-century of my life, I am going to remedy that!

~Photo by Me

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Necessary Rest

Sometimes we choose rest, and other times our bodies demand rest. Friday my body demanded rest.

I had various health challenges that rose up throughout last week while I was pushing to meet my quotas for NaNoWriMo and Art Every Day November. To make a long story short, it did not work for me to incorporate these wonderful projects into my life right now, to my great disappointment. I successfully worked them both for three days while also needing to install a new operating system on my computer, coping with a distraught family member who became suicidal, and finding out that my migraine medication of 40 years has been discontinued and having nothing effective to replace it with. Several other stresses rose up too. I haven't had such a week in many years.

Among other minor health challenges, I developed carpal tunnel syndrome again in my wrists along with the tendons in my thumbs becoming inflamed (due to the extra typing I was doing). I therefore have to keep my typing to a minimum for a while, and am hoping that since I only let this continue for a few days it will reverse itself. I also severely strained my left shoulder--I'm still not sure what is wrong with it.

So I'm resting this weekend.

I do accept this, and will figure out what to do later on after I'm feeling better again. (:

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thank you to everyone who cheered me on in my mushroom post :)  You have to be quite an expert to try to eat mushrooms--you really have to know what you're doing, and I do not, so I'd never eat them. I do eat local mushrooms that I buy that others have identified though. Some of the ones along my driveway are so ugly and slimy that they could not be made appetizing to me no matter what had been done to them.

Here are just a few more pictures:

I hope you enjoyed these :) Wishing you a wonderful weekend filled with blessings, joy, and peace, xoO

Friday, October 28, 2011

November Every Day

This month, in addition to participating in NaNoWriMo, I'm going to be joining Leah in her Art Every Day Month. So that means I'll be making art every day as well as writing 2,000 words or so each day. I think that both processes will complement each other.

Find out more about Leah's Art Every Day Month here, and if you'd like she has exciting resources for support as well here--one resource she has is a cool Art Every Day Month Survival Guide, so check it out!

Whatever happens, November is going to be a super-exciting and challenging month. I'm excited!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wellness Wednesday: In Gratitude

Thank you to everyone who commented on my post about my professional plans and NaNoWriMo. You all helped so very, very much.

I really liked Patti's plan of mixing creative alone time with time out spent with others part-time. That really is what is appealing to me the most right now. Kate R. suggested following what gives me joy, and I so want to remember that. Mary Catherine and Kate I. brought up that I could decide after I have more information after November, and that is what I think will also work best for me. Kate I. also reminded me that I can change my mind if something doesn't work, and that uncertainty can be a fine place to rest...all will be well.

Everyone--Patti, Cinner, Kate R., Mary Catherine, Sarah, and Kate I.--all had encouraging things to say about NaNoWriMo, and guess what--I'm doing it in just 5 days--Whoo Hoo! For those who are interested, more info about NaNoWriMo is here, and one of my blog posts from 2007 about NaNoWriMo is here.

So this week I got out my trusty old AlphaSmart Neo whom I named Kaiolohia back in 2007. She had to be dusted out and pulled out from long-term storage as she hadn't been used at all in the past four years. She needed a whole new operating system installed, so I got to know the technical support people at AlphaSmart and was very impressed. I now have a dedicated word processor specifically for production writing, and she's all set up and ready to go! 50,000 words, here I come!

In addition, I looked back at my posts and videos from 2007 about NaNoWriMo and noticed that several of you who congratulated me about finishing four years ago are still readers of happyluau and are people I consider now dear friends: Patti, Kate R., Kristine, and Kelly. Thank you for hanging in there with me for so long. And thank you to all of you who read and encourage me with your comments. Today, I am so very grateful for YOU!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Mushroom Season

Well, it is fall in the U.S., and in the Pacific Northwest it is mushroom season. I have much going on in the drama and relationship area that I cannot blog about, so since I want to stay in touch with you and share my life with you, I'm sharing what I can, and today it's mushrooms. These are all mushrooms I spotted in a single day on my driveway, as here they pop up everywhere in all sorts of colors. I like not knowing what they are called, but simply enjoying them for what they are.

Especially if you're not from the area, I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of nature's miracles.

I headed out with my camera, hoping I'd find some good ones to share with you and I wasn't disappointed.

This first one shows how the mushrooms pop up anywhere, even where other things are planted:

Here is an interesting mushroom with an Asian-type hat as a top:

This picture shows how they are seeming to pop up all over the place:

Here is a rather large mushroom with a gigantic slug squeezing it. Kind of creepy in an October-Halloween kind of way:

Here is how they can cluster along the driveway:

This picture shows the interesting texture of these mushrooms:

This mushroom is thick and meaty:

Look at the bright orange color of this one:

And up close: 

This one is quite slimy:

This one complex:

And here is one last one for you:

I hope you've enjoyed these, and that you had a wonderful weekend, and a special Sacred Sunday!

~All photos--such as they are--by me--can't wait until I get my new phone with a working camera. I need the editing software...these are as good as I could get, though, and I really hope you enjoy them :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Professional Plans And NaNoWriMo

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome you gave to me as I've returned to blogging. I loved your comments, and I received the inner nourishment they gave me. I send my love radiating back to each of you!

Believe it or not, I intended to blog "almost" daily, and here it is again almost another week having passed...I am not as organized nor as on top of things as I've been, I'm afraid.

Well, I'm at a point in my life in which I need to return to work, probably by next year sometime. So it's not really soon, but I can't delay forever. I need to be at least thinking about it now. As I see it, I have five main choices:

(1) Go back to being a Life Coach.
If I did this option, I could make the most money, but it takes a lot of energy and verve to be an entrepreneur, and I'm more in a self-healing mode right now, so I don't know about this one. Also on the plus side, I could work from home, and things are so beautiful and peaceful here. In addition, I could see myself doing this for the long haul. I already know how I would coach, but I'd need to freshen up my credentials and get a bit more training, too. This option would take a lot of effort to implement.

(2) Be Underemployed.
I like this one. It would be almost effortless. It would involve getting an easy job of some type, temporarily and just for the money until the point would come where I could launch something bigger. This honors the healing mode I'm in. Such jobs can stifle creativity though (at least for me), so I wouldn't want to get stuck there for years and years. When I'm stuck in this way it can be hard to summon the energy to live a bigger life. I am not a high-energy person, and this could leave me in a stagnant place unable to get out.

(3) Write.
This is my dream job, and one that really doesn't involve money unless I have the luxury of waiting for an indefinite period of time, because I don't want to write articles--I want to write novels. On the one hand, I love the contemplative lifestyle, I could work from home, and many people think this is what I should do. On the other hand, who actually makes money as a writer, and can I be one of those very few people?

(4) Something Else.
This is something I haven't thought of yet.

(5) Some Combination of the above.
I thrive with a single focus, am not too good with multi-tasking. However, it's possible.

If I take Oprah's advice that she gave recently in an interview at Facebook headquarters, there is one clear choice for me. Oprah said that she was scared to death of starting her own television network. She asked herself, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" (That old standby coaching question!) Then it was easy for her to know how to proceed--of course, she would start her own television network.

So if I ask myself that same question, the clear choice (and also the one I am most afraid of) is option number (3). To explore it I am thinking that I may enter NaNoWriMo again. NaNoWriMo is a creative writing project in which people all over the world (over 200,000 people) join together and write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It is an annual contest. You win if you finish. I did it once back in 2007, and loved it. From that time, I have the first half of a novel--a draft--but a pretty decent one, I think.

After NaNoWriMo I was all charged up to write. I ended up writing a non-fiction book for a charity that may ultimately get published someday, but for that for now is in limbo. I spent a lot of time writing that book, and oodles of money getting it edited, and it has languished. I suspect it may never be published. I can't afford for that to happen again--have a book be a money pit. I learned a lot from that experience though.

So, to get things fired up again, I'm thinking that I may just do NaNoWriMo next month. I could end up with a completed draft of a book. I'd be writing part two of that book I wrote four years ago. It would only be one month out of my life and I'd learn if the person I am today enjoys that kind of work, fun, and intensity. I'd also learn if what I write could be any good and make any money, even a nominal amount. That would be useful feedback.

So what do you think? I really value your opinions; everyone thinks so differently and I find much insight in the advice of wise friends (you).

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Months Have Gone By!

It has been almost two months since I last blogged. I don't think I've ever taken that long of a hiatus since I started blogging back in the 90's. It certainly wasn't planned.

I found myself in a time when there was so little I had to share, mostly for privacy reasons, but also because my creativity had dried up a lot, and it seemed to be all I could do to just function in my life with its seemingly enormous challenges, and limit my online life to keeping up with all of your blogs, and a stray random Facebook comment now and again. Towards the end I read your blogs but couldn't even bring myself to comment. The intense family issues I've been experiencing have kept me absorbed and busy.

I felt as though I had nothing to give and just received, received, received, which really felt good. I was like a dry sponge that was cracking and needed to just let in support and love from other people, which I did receive in spades. Including from many of you, for which I am so grateful. Thank you, thank you!

Many aspects of my life have changed in the last four months or so, all for the better. I've been involved in lots and lots of therapy--individual and group, Twelve Step work, and practical lifestyle changes. Last week I spent the entire week in Atlanta, Georgia, at a Family Week in a treatment center learning about addiction and enjoying 2-3 hours of intense therapy per day. My family is different now, moving on a positive path, and I am grateful for all of it. I would never have thought I could have said that.

Along the way I have met many wonderful people, both professionals and non, some of the most caring people imaginable. It has been a great experience. I have been struck by the strength and courage of so many people who are in recovery and of those who support people in recovery. My sense of reality and my personal beliefs have changed and I have grown.

So today I wanted to update you, and then see if I can continue blogging, to take on the challenge of being authentic and yet respecting issues of privacy and anonymity. It won't be easy, but I miss blogging, and I miss all of you--the part of our interaction where I share my life with you too, not just yours with me. So here we go....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Connected In a Place of Safety

The Internet is not safe, how could it be...yet, here I have found a safe place to express myself.

Kathryn Antyr from Collage Diva wrote this post about how she feels connection with other people online and how when someone IRL (in real life) dismisses her online life she has a disconnect with them. I too feel this way. It feels like the person who does not understand is shutting a door that I then will not be able to open to them.

It is a struggle for me though, to find balance between an online life and a life in vivo or in person because paradoxically I do feel safer online. I think this is an illusion.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: And in Illness

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 

So today I am sharing the joy even though I have shingles. For the 4th time. The last time was five years ago. But my joy is in that I am able to be connected to you and with myself...and yes, I am even able to FEEL the joy although sick...illness is a part of life! And showing up for "what is" is also a part of life, I am finding out...paradoxically, this BRINGS joy. Today, I am wishing YOU joy!

Here is my piece "Joy in Pain" completed:

And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:

Being alive still another day

Anticipating the day as being "good" :)

Being able to see

Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)


If you are reading wish you JOY!

~photo by me with my iPhone

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thanks to Those Who Bring Joy

Thank you Patti, for the color you add in my life! Some people just bring color and joy with them, with their, energy, don't you think? Like kate i, writing yesterday on her blog about gratitude and reminding me of what I need to see in every thing that happens--gratitude. And thank you for sending joy my way, Kate and Dawn and all bring joy to the happyluau.

I also appreciated seeing the comments from gemma--it looks like you lived in Phoenix, where I lived for over ten years, and still love to visit. It got way too hot there for me and I ended up here in the Land of Perpetual Rain and Missing Summers. And from Mary...who does things the simpler and easier way by picking fruit from local farmers instead of having fruit trees to care for. I just bought a fruit picker. And I have someone to help me pick as well (although maybe I should just ask deb :), since they are very high up. Sometimes simpler is better. 

I love that Rebecca has described my castle as "joy-colored". Oh, yes! Joy is every color and all colors and any color, isn't it? And Meri wrote about cultivating and harvesting joy...this is a wonderful way to look at it, I think.

I receive the love you sent, Noelle, with gratitude and happiness. And the insights about Joy having its opposite waiting in the shadows...I have indeed had a rebirth. I'm going through an intense time, fortunately with lots of wonderful support here and in therapy and in two therapeutic groups I am in. And someone I love and am close to is going through a very painful and hopefully healing time. Every day is filled with uncertainty, and at the same time serenity, and I learn from each and every one of you and find courage to face each day. I really and truly see how much we all need each other.

In the past I've been much of a hermit. I really thought this was good for me. Although I'll always be introverted, I now see this as also a type of isolating and withdrawal to deal with pain---pain that I didn't deal with though, or maybe couldn't deal with at the time. It was my best attempt though. Now I am turning that around and very painfully coming out of my shell, being reborn. It is a precious time and I thank you for sharing it with me.

Kristine, art is therapeutic, and I know it, but I haven't yet experienced it like that yet. God knows I want to! I think that I am [still] holding back, but that as long as I persist and don't run away from or avoid my feelings and make time for art that I will have a breakthrough.

I hope to have more art to share with you soon :) xoO

The above photo is the very rare "Indian Pipe" or "Ghost Plant", which is not actually a plant nor a fungus, but considered an "oddity" and is growing right along our driveway.

~Photos by me

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: Even in Pain...

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 

I found a post that spoke to me on Kathryn Antyr's blog the other day, Collage Diva. It is about grace, and joy, and how people are hurting because this is the human condition. It is about feeling joy and bringing it to others.

Joy is so vital, isn't it? I'm glad we celebrate Thursdays and allocate it as a day specifically for joy.

It is supposedly summer here, but the warmth hasn't arrived yet and the garden is confused. Things that I usually have a lot of (strawberries) I have none of and other things (our cherry tree) is heavy with fruit. Here are some cherries I got from my cherry tree--about 4 pounds!

After your comments on my last post, I decided to delve into my art again and see what would come out. I hadn't done anything since mid-June. I found two uncompleted projects and worked for a brief bit on them. I am going to post them here mid-way completed and then again for you when I'm done.

This is a castle I made out of some packing material and the tops off of the syringes my hormone creams come in. I don't know why, but I love it. It has a ways to go yet.

This is a collage I made out of packing materials. It's hard to see and just barely started, although I've been working on it for so long (maybe a year). It says "joy in pain" (the letters have glare on them). I hope you'll enjoy seeing both of these two projects when they are done.

We are so blessed to be here, as Rebecca said, and to find joy...even in pain.

And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:

Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

If you are reading wish you JOY!