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Getting Stronger

Almost three weeks ago I went to a specialist on Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.  I have been taking supplements on a steady schedule.  I even traveled over 1200 miles (round trip) visiting my family last weekend.  My husband was not able to attend because my oldest had a track meet.  I did take my younger two kids and we had a wonderful time.  One of the main reasons things went well I believe is the result of the supplements I have been taking.

I am finding more of my good energy returning.  I still need to take my down time and think about the choices I make.  I am also attending an appointment in a few days for additional follow-up.  We want to continue to assess where the break down is occurring in my metabolism and take more correctional steps.  I love the fall/winter holidays and have full intention of enjoying them this year with my family.

Writing Workshop

Thank goodness it is Friday” is a thought I am sure many of you are thinking!

While I know that many of my friends have plenty to do and keep up with,

I have found that any kind of writing is good for the mind, body, and spirit.

Even when I was working full time, writing was almost like therapy.  During

that time I wasn’t concerned about publishing, just being a practicing writer

as I was teaching the writing process.

So, are you ready to take care of yourself with some writing?

This is an event I have participated in twice, it is that good.

Here is the info:

You receive techniques, coaching, inspiration,
and direction on how to get LOTS of writing done (thus the
name of the event: *30 Articles in Just 30 Days*). Take
a look at the website where you can learn all about this and other
special upcoming ‘happenings’ and more about my mentor:

Dr. Meggin McIntosh at Emphasis on Excellence ™

http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?af=730933

This is the sixth time this writing class has been offered.

I know that the success stories pile in every week! I’d love for you to
be part of it, too, i.e., if writing and getting your writing ‘out there’
is one of your goals.

Dr. Meggin McIntosh and Gini Cunningham will be
teaching this class (on the phone, with extensive handouts)
on Saturday, October 24, 2009. To learn more and to register, just
go here:

*30 Articles in 30 Days*

http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?Clk=3006347 .

Have a great weekend!

Bright Life Solutions

I love the phrase, “Bright Life Solutions.” I wish I had thought of it but a person who brought sunshine into my life thought of it instead. As many of my readers know, I entered the teaching profession some years ago. And while I do not teach in a public school at this time, I have found great pleasure working with adults. After spending time as a certified life coach, I trained others the coaching process through an entity called Professional Christian Coaching & Counseling Academy. One of my shining students is Nikia Williams.

Nikia Williams created a web site for her coaching practice and the site is an excellent visual of her warmth.  I thoroughly enjoy her laughter, her faith, and positive spirit.  She has also taken the step of a writing, and created a blog where you can gain more insight to her source of strength.  Consider meeting my friend and feel her warmth and enjoyment of life.

I Have a Story to Tell

I have a story to tell. It’s about letting go. It’s about grieving.

Some people said it took a lot of courage to do what I did. I felt I had no other choice if I wanted to live to see my children grow up. Three school years have now passed. My teacher friends are gearing up for the new year. And tears now flow.

I cannot go back to where I was and who I was. My mind remembers the stress and difficulties but my spirit still mourns the loss. I don’t know how else to explain it, other than I’m letting go of something. I’ve yet to truly understand grief. I know what it is. I have mourned grandparents. I’ve even grieved over the loss of childhood. I am now grieving over what once was.

For fifteen years I identified myself as a teacher in one location. Since junior high I knew I was supposed to be a teacher. I had a sink or swim experience with five year olds and I didn’t just keep my head above water, I swam heartily. I never looked back. I kept my eyes on the goal – finish high school, go to college and get my teaching degree, get a job in public education. Nothing else entered my mind. Somewhere I made room to date a boy and marry him. And my focus was always teaching. In my first intro to teaching class the professor told the mentoring teacher, “Kelly doesn’t need to sit at the back of the room. She needs to do something right away.” So, my first day in the second grade class I was given fifteen minutes to review the English lesson and told to teach. “I’ll be standing off to the side. I won’t let you mess things up.” And I didn’t mess anything up. I easily beat the competition.

I didn’t get that job the first year out of college. No, I was a substitute instead. And even then, the music teachers fought over who got me to cover their class in their quarterly meetings. My mentoring teacher during my long term student teaching became ill. She asked for me to teach her class for an undesignated amount of time. I loved the responsibility.

Then it happened. I landed a job in a rural town that most teachers wanted to get out of. I was focused, energetic, and gave all my time to the cause. Nothing else seemed to matter. My wise step-father said, “Kelly, you need to live outside the classroom.” I didn’t know how. I had a child and loved him and had no worries. My son had a wonderful stay at home dad. Then, I had my second child and life became a little more stressful balancing motherhood and teaching at the same time. By then, my husband had found another role in our community and the responsibilities of parenthood were shared a bit more equally. A year home with my newborn daughter was challenging in that I loved being with her and I missed my role in the school. Then when I returned to the classroom I was torn with my daughter at day care and me working. So, I stayed up most of the night holding my daughter. Then my husband and I were surprised with a third gift from heaven.

I never doubted that I am to be a teacher. But with my third child born, balancing parenthood and the severe increase of stress in the work environment, my own body couldn’t take life any more in the manner that I was living it. I knew it was wrong for me to continue in my current paid position and resigned. I had to let go and allow my body to heal from the many days of living without rest. My journey continues and it is a new season.

Now I’m embracing the page with the words I need to say. I wanted to be a writer when I was a child. Somewhere in those teen years I received the message that I couldn’t write. That was the wrong message. I am a writer. I have too much inside me to stay inside. I have a story to tell. Many stories need to be written. My understandings of what works and what doesn’t work, pain and joy – these things need to be told.

Grief is an emotion we experience. It is difficult to explain and it is real. What I recognize is that when a person is grieving, the challenge lies in looking forward. The water is murky and fear lurks nearby. A friend once said, “Kelly, your faith moves mountains.” Sometimes I still need to hear those words. Faith is what gives strength to moving forward.

August 29

Today I’m blogging for the simple need to write about the funeral proceedings for Sen. Kennedy.  I’m of the younger Kennedy generation in that I was born the year that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.  And, as I have not spent a lot of my time and energy studying politics, I am now learning so many things about Sen. Kennedy and his family.  I guess I feel some regret of not really knowing about the Kennedy family previously.  I did not realize the significance of Sen. Kennedy supporting Pres. Obama.

In the funeral service today I think the people captured a whole man.  The rituals, the symbolism, and the messages sharing his core values gives me much “food for thought” on my own beliefs and who I am.    I find it funny that commentaries make reference to his Irish lineage as I am also Irish.  I find it interesting the continued reference to his hardships.  I thought one of the most poignant stories shared is the young Ted Kennedy, Jr. who just lost a leg due to bone cancer.  Sen. Kennedy’s words to his son about never giving up seems to be a key message Sen. Kennedy lived.

I found the Scriptures chosen to be valuable words to hear today.  They are reminders to all of us why we are here on this earth.

Fibromyalgia Blog

Some readers of my blog may not realize that a word that entered my vocabulary a couple years ago is fibromyalgia.  I have had chronic health issues and a point came when I needed to remove myself from my work environment and take care better care of me.  It was during that time my family learned the name of the health issue I experience daily.  Recently I made the decision to write about my experiences and share this with others.

Another site has some additional good source for women’s health.  Fibro-myalgia.com has graciously shared some of my writing and I want to recognize the site author here.  So, if you want to learn more, this is another resource for you to explore.

Kennedy Legacy

Sen. Kennedy was a man of influence.  My understanding is that while he may not have been elected president in his earlier political career, he had the presidents’ ear and was aware of the voice of people.  His influence, I imagine, will be studied and considered even more now that his time on this physical earth has passed.

Discussing politics during or after dinner is not in my memory of growing up.  I never had an interest in pursuing Political Science and was happy with my C in high school government class (my senior year I was in a bit of academic rebellion).   And yet, my son’s 7th birthday,  August 25, 2009, will be logged in my memory because of a man who I believe has made a difference in politics.

I did not focus too much on politics until really 9/11.  I was aware of things, casted my votes paying a bit more attention during elections, and then that day got my attention.  Also about then, so did NCLB.  As I’ve grown older, my understanding of the influence of people in government has grown.  This is especially true since I began working from home and could actually listen to the politicians and do some of my own internet research.  Like today, I filled in my gaps of the Kennedy family.

I am in awe of this family of Irish descent.  I know very little about this family, though I felt the respect and honor of the Kennedy family when I visited Arlington Cemetery last spring.  May we learn from history how each person can make a difference.

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery

The image is a reminder of the influence of the Kennedy legacy.  As the media shares the story of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, we revisit the influence and history of the family.  Consider the time and issues of the late Pres. Kennedy to the present…I am proud to be an American.

I love my three children.  I also love peace and quiet.  These two things don’t really mesh together.  Is there anyone who can disagree with me?

While my teacher friends are gearing up for the classroom, I’m gearing up for a new quiet routine also.  If you are a highly sensitive person (a real term from the field of psychology), having one person in the house while you are working changes how you are able to use the natural energy force.  I understand why writers and other artists go on retreats and just want to be left alone.  It is during these times that we can listen deeply to what the spirit of life is sharing with us.  It is in those long quiet moments that we discover who we are and can commune with our Creator.  We practice just ‘being’ and do not worry about ‘doing.’  I read an interesting article recently (sorry, I don’t remember the author) who made reference that in our current culture we have things backwards.  I agree with his message that we try ‘to do’ before we learn how ‘to be.’

During the silence we learn how to be.  This is something I have learned partly as a result of chronic fatigue.

Crafty Friends

When you hear the word crafty, do you think of the synonym “sly” or do you think of your aunt or grandma sitting in her chair with things she has created?  I think it is funny how in the English language this term has two distinct meanings.  Now, with my blog title, I could write about those who are sly as a fox that I enjoy hanging around.  Or, I can write about those who have a hobby of making unique gifts.  I could also discuss how writers craft their ideas on the page.

Well, today it is short and simple…I’ve discovered a lady who enjoys creating unique gifts who also enjoys my blog.  So, I just want to recognize her and send you to her cute, hand made, collectible dolls.  With the holidays coming, some of you like to find a new something for the season.  Here’s the link:  http://www.cedarhillrustics.com/intro.html.

So, Maggie of Alburqueque, NM, hope your craftiness serves you well this fall season at Cedar Hill Rustic’s.  Your Primitives and Folk Dolls are cute!

Authenticity

A few years back this word kind of hit my forehead.  Really…I thought, is this “______” for real?  Here are some thoughts about authenticity.

First, here are a handful of definitions:

  • the quality of being genuine and trustworthy (American Heritage)
  • of undisputed origin; genuine (adj. authentic; Oxford)
  • correctness (Encarta)
  • authoritative (Merriam-Webster)
  • real or true (Cambridge)

Recently, I’ve encountered a few conversations when the core issue is authenticity.  Most people, I believe, want to be authentic.  We want to be truthful and genuine.  And, at the same time, I think we sometimes behave in a manner to protect ourselves. Let me share an example.

Imagine being a teacher.  You are a role model to many people.  You strive to present your best whenever you are in the professional setting.  You have knowledge of content and practice skills in the professional setting.  You share the value of reading a variety of text, both informational and fictional.  You confess to believe in what you are doing.  You believe that staying up on the professional issues of education is vital to your personal growth.  And then, you arrive home, tired and away from the numerous things coming at you in the work place.  All you want to do is “veg” or “escape.”  You never find time for this personal growth you claim is so important to you.  You seldom journal and capture the ideas that are swirling inside and need an outlet.  Are you being authentic?

I ask this question and share this scenario because sometimes it is easier to make judgments without “walking in the other person’s shoes.”  I believe that authenticity can be looked at on a continuum.  This teacher really does believe in the things she says and then she feels stuck when she is not able to do what she says is important.  Days or seasons may occur when being who we say we are is more difficult to apply.  We don’t want to tell our boss our weaknesses; we want to present our best selves – our potential.  At home, the people who are around us all the time, they tend to see our weaknesses because we are not usually trying to hold onto that job of being a mother.  We are a mother whether we feel like it or not that day!

Also, seasons may occur when that authenticity is emanating almost continuously.  We converse with people, listening intently to the things around us and have the inner strength to hold to our core values.  We discover our resources and are able to fulfill the commitments we make with minimal challenges.  The whole self is in alignment – the physical, the emotional, the intellectual.   Our behaviors clearly match our beliefs.

I know of situations when not being authentic has been a way of protecting one’s self.  Have you been in a conversation when you were asked if you know about something and you politely say no?  Did you anticipate the next part of the conversation and it was easier to say no in the beginning?  I see this as a way of protecting one’s space and energy.   It isn’t that you don’t care at all about the situation, you are prioritzing your life.  You prioritize your values.

Life with forgiveness allows the fruits of the Spirit – hope, peace, and joy – to grow.  KJE

Last night I wrote about living life without forgiveness.  Tonight I am writing about life with forgiveness.  We really do have a choice.

The tree stood tall alongside a younger tree of the forest.  A woman sat on a log cut lengthwise.  She contemplated the expression of another woman sitting adjacent.  A decision point arrived for the younger individual.

“Listen to the whispers of the forest.  What do you hear?”

“I don’t know.  I’ve never listened to the trees before.”

“Listen to more than just the trees moving in the air.  Close your eyes and remove the distractions of the other voices competing for your attention.”

The woman did as she was told.  The women sat quietly.

“What did you hear this time?”

“I heard some kind of bird chirping.  I heard the water lapping on the bank.  Something was rustling to my left.”

“Good.  Now you are ready to listen to the whispers.  Let’s spend some more time blending into the forest, becoming a member.”

Again, the women were quiet for awhile.

“Now, open your eyes.  What voice did you hear?”

“The voice was a knowing.  I cannot compare what I heard to an audible sound.”

“So, when you were listening, what did you come to know?”

“I am part of something greater than just the world as I see it.  I felt my muscles release tension I did not know I carried.  I sensed something overwhelm me, as if arms were being wrapped around me.”

“And what words did you receive when those arms wrapped around you?”

“I was told that I was loved.  I was told that I was forgiven.  I need to forgive myself.”

“What does the word ‘forgiven’ mean?”

A pause ensued.

“Give. For- means extremely. Pardon. Stop being angry.”

“So, what does it mean to ‘forgive myself’?”

“I need to stop being angry with myself?”

“And what else?”

“When I am no longer angry I can experience love.”

“What else is possible for you to experience when you forgive?”

“Well, as I sit here, I recognize that I feel peaceful.”

“When peace is sustained, what else happens?”

“I know joy.”

The wind blew the boughs of the mature tree around the younger one.  The expression of the women were of the same mind.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy…” Galations 5:22

Without forgiveness, pebbles on the journey of life cut the skin like jagged rocks. KJE

Evidence of time aged the faces of the individuals I had first known as a child.    On the grassy bank of the lake children explored their environment while their parents prepared for the family barbecue.  I reflected upon the evidence of the past, present, and future.

The small town sits on the fishing lake’s shore.  State park signs and picnic/camping markers greets the visitor who detours from the highway.  Individual cars with a $4 day pass in the window park on well kept grounds.  As the visitors step out of the vehicle, the scent of pine trees enters the nostrils.  Pine needles and small cones crunch under the tennis shoes.  75 degrees and a blue sky with light waffley clouds overhead promise a picture perfect day.

Six out of seven siblings of the family gather together, bringing as many of their adult children and grandchildren possible.  Most of the individuals live within an 80 mile radius and yet these gatherings are rare.  The cousins know of each other and play as children do with the oldest taking the lead of recreational activities.  The boys with fishing poles in hand eventually share their tips to the girls observing the attempts of catching the fish that just jumped out of the water.  When the boys tire of holding the pole, they place a new squirmy worm on the hook for the girl cousins waiting patiently.  As the afternoon continues, the individual quirks of the children honestly express themselves.

Adults greet each other with politeness and identification of who is who takes place.  For me, I look at the faces of the now young adults who I once babysat when they were toddlers and pre-schoolers.  I recall the camping trips when I wasn’t a little kid and I wasn’t an adult either.  I had bounced between the little kid activities and listening to the grown-ups talk.  Now I am the adult with children of my own.  My memory of the relationships and individual behaviors of my family members are acutely accurate.  I also realize that I was not that much younger than my aunts and uncles.  My mom, the oldest of the siblings, has a sister two years younger than me.  And so, as an adult, the differences in age between me and my aunts and uncles seems hardly evident.

I observe a card game of those who enjoyed cards in the past.  I observed my uncle preparing the meat and delegating just as my grandpa had done.  My aunt organized the other food items on the picnic tables just as my grandma had done.  Time had moved forward and while my grandparents are no longer with us, I see them through the others.  Things are in many ways, the same.  I have a moment when I am walking in the days of my youth – listening to the conversations of the grown-ups, watching the younger individuals discuss the rules of the game to be played, and hearing my mother’s voice as she works around the camp ground to engage all those who are present, being the peace maker.

At the end of the day gladness and sadness settles.  I am thankful that I made the trip to this place of my past.  The faces and memories are clarified.  The healing for the memory of the time I lived on this lake’s shore has occurred.  Sadness still remains as some individuals still need healing from their youth and early adult years.  I regret not connecting with a companion of that period of my life.  Avoidance of eye contact and sharing of stories reminds me that not all have received the gift of forgiveness.  Events that are pebbles on my journey are jagged rocks for others.

Have you ever been driving down the road and have to suddenly slam on your brakes?  You know, you are looking at the things further ahead and you don’t see the car slowing down that is right in front of you.  Or maybe you are walking along, helping someone and you are the one that gets hurt?  When Stefan was about four, I was assisting him on his bike.  I was so focused on him that I didn’t see the large rock in front of me, stepped on it, and ended up with a dislocated shoulder from the fall on the pavement.

I wonder how many of us experience this in our relationships.  Consider my first example – slamming on the brakes.  You are looking at the bigger picture of goals you have in a relationship.  Maybe your goal is having that perfect home and all your finances are being frugally stored for this purpose.  Then suddenly, your partner changes ideas of what that perfect home looks like, how much you are going to spend, or where that home is going to be.  And you say, “Whoa, where did that come from?  I thought…”

In my second example, have you ever been so busy helping some one else reach their goals you’ve neglected your own?  Maybe you were assisting some one with a very important project.  You enjoyed helping them with that project as you were learning and gaining great ideas.  And then, suddenly a deadline comes and goes for a project you were supposed to complete.  Crash!  Serious consequences have occurred.

So, what do you do when these kinds of things happen?  You are focused on what is important.  You know what is needed to get to your destination.  And, you still mess up or miss some important details.  You wonder, “What happened?”  I know what happens for me.  I start experiencing a lot of doubt.  I don’t like doubt.  I really need to get rid of it.  I have a tendency to seek out some one who will listen, understand, and coach me through it.

How about you?  If you have ideas to share, I’d love to hear them.  How do you deal with things that are suddenly right in front of you?  What do you do when you suddenly crash?

I hired some guys to do some interior painting on my home.  I really had planned on doing it myself – 2 years ago!  And, after I painted, papered and decorated my family t.v. room two winters ago, I never got to the kitchen and front room.  You see, I started this process before I knew the cause of my fatigue, sore muscles, and arthritic joints.  After working in my t.v. room with the help of a friend, my right shoulder was seriously out of commission for a few days and for six months was “fatigued.”  The thought of a repeat incident was very unpleasant.

I loved the feeling of accomplishment that winter and kept telling myself, I’ll get the rest done soon.  And then this summer, I again became determined.  I asked a friend if she would help and she said sure.  We started the process of taking down all my collectibles and cleaning and filling in nail holes, etc.  I again quickly tired.  So, I hired some guys to do the high walls and mass surface area.  I am terrible about square footage, but for those who have not been in my house – it took them 4 1/2 gallons of paint!  And that was not doing the ceiling or the doors – just the front room, kitchen, stairway, and small hallway!

I am very thankful for the service and I also have to remember a tip from my mentor – the 80/20 rule.  For those of us who are perfectionists, sometimes we become very anxious when things don’t go or look just perfect.  The 80/20 rule is, once  you get things to 80% near perfect, know that it takes a lot of energy to get to 100% perfect.  Sometimes 80% perfect is good enough.  And this tip from Meggin McIntosh was so needed today.

When I arrived at my home, after spending 5 hours at a table in the grocery store for community awareness on domestic violence, I quickly saw things that needed fixed.  I pointed some of them out and they were fixed.  I kindly paid the guys, and then the real scrutiny began.  I picked up the paint brush and began to “touch up” places.  I know from painting that sometimes it is difficult to know how thick the paint went on or how close the brush went to the edge of a window seal.  You notice things when you walk away and the light shines just right.  So, I wasn’t upset about the condition of things, just reminded myself that it was my house and not theirs so there is a difference in the ownership of the work. After more than a half hour, I had to put the brush down.  I had hit my fatigue point of the day – no more painting was going to happen.  It did not matter that things were not perfect.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very appreciative of the work done.  They accomplished in a day what would have taken me a week!  And, at the same time I am reminded of the standards I set.  I have always set them high.  I raise the bar for myself all the time.  I didn’t recognize this  until my good friend and coach Amy Kovarick helped me see this about myself.  I never had considered myself to be a perfectionist.  I think I know where I inherited that trait and it can be a good thing.

Being a perfectionist pushes me forward.  It helps me question the status quo.  I think about this painting project as a simple example of how we perfectionists are in life sometimes.  We come to a point when we decide we need help, ask for it, and then are sometimes disappointed afterwards.  We do the best we can in the relationship and behind the scenes “fix” what needs to be fixed.  And then a point comes when we need to let go and say, “it is good enough.”

What song do you sing,

Birds of the desert?

Where do you nest

In the crevices of the rock?

 

What words do you speak

To the quiet listener?

Is the message from

The Creator we both seek?

 

Where does the wind move you

In the vast expanse?

How do you hold your course

When the gusts come?

 

Where should I go,

Wise and confident creation?

How do I hold firm

To the values instilled in me?

Overwhelm

I know the feeling of overwhelm.  I know the results of reaching overwhelm.  Sometimes, though, it takes a good friend or a skilled coach to help us recognize the behaviors just before reaching overwhelm.  We need help sometimes pinpointing what is making us feel as if we are in overwhelm.  Then, encouragement is so vital to help you through the results of overwhelm.  My first response is to run away when I just can’t take it anymore.  And then, I still have to come back and deal with it.

Here’s one story about overwhelm:

Imagine working on a home improvement project.  You decide to declutter your home one room at a time.  While you love collecting things and displaying them – gifts from various parts of the world or hand made items from your children – these are a form of input to your senses.  Without even realizing it, you have become overwhelmed from all this stuff.  The response may then be cleaning the clutter.  The constant decision making – and yes, it is decision making – while cleaning and working towards your goal of home improvement, is exhausting.  This cleaning process also takes you to feeling overwhelmed.

So, I need to paint the interior of my home.  I decide that I am not going to put everything back on the walls or on the shelves after painting.  Other things are going to be happening in the future (like also replacing carpet) so I purchase good storage containers and protective wrap to put things away for awhile.  I have been carefully cleaning all my collectibles and taking things off walls to fill in nail holes, and use the shop vac to do what I can to prepare the walls and 3/4 room dividing walls.  So, currently where I had walls of pics of family, art work, and special places the walls are now bare.  A totally different perspective of my home exists.  It is kind of weird to walk down the hallway or sit in my front room.  And I’m thinking, where is the balance in my physical environment?  I need some stimulation and then, I don’t want to feel overwhelmed when I enter a room.

One of my favorite resources for thinking about this is from my mentor, Dr. Meggin McIntosh.  She has shared her ideas with me and others about being in overwhelm and just being whelmed.  She has some great tips for us who want a better handle on overwhelm at: http://tinyurl.com/ny7zyx.

These past few days I’ve sure needed to remember her suggestions!

The Rain

Have you ever listened to the story rain tells you?  The rain has a message, it seems.  This month I have experienced more rain showers than I remember from this month in  years past.  The meteorologists are making predictions of the west coast and inter mountain areas…I may be experiencing more wet, cool afternoons.

Last night as I sat in my car reading and writing while my daughter attended her dance practice, the rain sounds had a distinct rhythm.  Today, the wind and rain came earlier in the day.  Sitting in my home playing a strategy game with my children, we heard the splattering against the windows.  How grateful I am for the protection of my home.  As the plants received nutrition from the Creator, I received warmth from the interaction of my children.

Rain gives us many things.  It sings us a song and reminds us of the grace we receive from our Creator.  Just like scripture says, if our Creator cares enough to water the ground, how much more He is willing to care for us?

When it rains, what are you being given?

My secret place is not in my home.  I love my family and there are times I need to be away from the positive energy of  my children.  My secret place is away from the sounds of the washing machine, the video games, the sweet sound of children playing, contemporary pop culture music.  These sounds represent the enjoyment of life and happiness of my home.  To appreciate these sounds, I must also get away.  I need periodic times at my “Secret Place.”

You know how you don’t know a room is cluttered until it is bare?   You know how you don’t appreciate something sweet until you’ve tasted something that is tart?  By pulling myself away from the sounds of my home, I hear things differently.  I go to my secret place partly for a change in sound.  My secret place doesn’t have the sounds of my home and family.  One is not “better” than the other.  Rather, a different energy is present.  At home the sounds are those of youthful energy.  At my secret place are the sounds of the energy of nature.  Sounds in nature have a calming effect my spirit needs.  And, I appreciate the sounds of my home when I return from hearing the sounds of nature.

Recently I learned that the first sense the fetus develops is the ability to hear.  The body senses sound in ways more than through the vibration of the inner ear.  We absorb sound into our whole body as we are beings made primarily of water, an excellent conduit for sound.  So, consider this when you are tired.  Is your body absorbing too much noise?

What sounds do you desire for your secret place?

Do you  remember the tv series titled “Beauty and the Beast”?  The Beast lives in “a secret place, safe from hate and harm.”  We all need a secret place.  A place where we can go and feel completely safe with all of who we are.  In our secret place we can explore our thoughts.   In this place we hear the whispers of our Creator.  We are strengthened in this secret place.

Our secret place may be a single geographical location.  Or, it may be a place with certain characteristics, like near running water.  Our secret place is where we spend time alone and experience a special peace.  The world stops for a few moments.  We create our own “Garden of Eden.”

Following is a continuation of my thoughts from ‘Remembering the Dream.’  Again, if you want to read the whole document just click here to download it.  My secure shopping cart will pop up and don’t worry, there is no charge.

Connecting the thoughts of your quiet time to present is a challenge for some individuals.  The question that comes up is, “How does the past help the present?”  Well, I draw on the learner inside.  My learner challenges me to ask, “What do I  know as a result of my past behaviors, experiences, emotions, etc.?  How are the experiences of the present the same and different?  Which behaviors were beneficial?  How can I use the energy of my emotions to push me forward?”  These are just a few examples of how I connect things.  Making the connection is different for individuals as we have different strengths in the way in which we learn.  I have more ideas for you to explore.  Consider working with one of these techniques.

Choice 1) Draw two circles that overlap each other.  This is called a Venn diagram.  On the left side write down events of the past.  On the right side write down recent events.  In the middle where the circles over lap put down words or phrases that come to mind which describe how these events are similar.

Choice 2) Make a time line of life events.  Place your paper horizantally.  Draw a straight horizontal line.  On the left side edge write birth and on the right side edge write present.  Now, write down events in your life sequentially.  If the memory of the event is positive, write it above the line.  If the memory of the event is negative, write it below the line.

Choice 3) Draw a T-Chart.  Place your paper vertically and using the whole page draw a “t”.  On the top left write ‘event’ and on the top right put the word ‘effect’  Then begin listing different events.  Sequence is not necessary.  When ideas come to you about what effect that event had, make note of it on the right side.

So, now you have put some beginning thoughts on paper.  Skipping the step of writing things down will make the next  part more difficult, so I strongly recommend writing things.  Remember, no one else needs to see what you put on paper.  If the examples seem like too much work, at least journal write your thoughts to help you with the next part – making the connection of the past to the present.

(Click here if you want to know what to do next.)

Remembering the Dream

Tonight I wrote an article titled ‘Remembering the Dream or Living It.’  I am not putting the whole article here, just some of the beginning.  If you would like all of the article, you can download it.  Click here(Or click at the bottom.)  You will be taken to my shopping cart where you will put in your name and I’ll send it to you by email.  There is no charge, this is just another way to read my article.

Do you remember the dreams you had when you were younger? You may have been ten. You may have been 20. I don’t remember what I wanted to be when I was 10. At that age I remember having my nose in a book living the dreams of my favorite characters. At 20 I was on my way to being a teacher. I knew I was on the correct path, I just didn’t know where my path was going to lead me. At 20 I was living a dream of independence. My question to you, “Are you remembering the dream or living the dream?”

Last week I wrote about margins and how margins are better than resolutions. Now, I am here to tell you I believe that living the dream is better than remembering the dream. And, in order to determine if you are living your dream, you first need to remember what that dream is. Once you remember the dream, you can look at your life and consider the image of the past to the present. The possibility may exist that how you are living now may be better than the dream. Another possibility exists that you are living your dream and you do not feel how you thought you would feel. Are you ready to remember? Here are some things to do BEFORE remembering:

*Schedule time to do this. Really, I mean choose a day and time.

*Select your place. You need to be some where you are not going to be interrupted. You need to be away from people you know.

(For the rest of the article, click here.)

3 Notions of Giving

The day nationally celebrated to remember our early American heritage approaches. I have a few notions about giving to share with you.

~Giving is a daily choice we make. We give to God, to our self, and to others.
~Perfection is not necessary. We are not perfect people. We do not expect everything to be given to us to be perfect, do we?
~Presentation is important. Presentation includes our attitude and/or motive.

When we give, we take a risk. We take the risk of rejection. We take the risk of being accepted. We take the risk of letting go of a preconceived idea. Thanksgiving on the United States calendar is a tradition. Giving is an act of your spirit.

Consider the many ways you give. Consider who you are as a result of giving. What do you give to God? What do you give to your self? What do you give to others? List these thoughts. Then ask yourself, “Do these actions fall in alignment with my core beliefs or core values?” If your actions do fall in alignment, then a sense of peace may be felt in your spirit. If your actions do not fall in alignment with your values, then a sense of distress may be felt.

We are finite beings given a finite amount of energy. We are also uniquely designed. How much energy I give in one area of my life is not likely to be the same quantity as another member in my home or a good friend. We need to recognize that this is okay. Different seasons in our life will also engage us into giving in different ways.

God sees our heart.
Humanity sees the quantity.

Kelly J. Eveleth
Your Mediator to the Learning Process

I have another ‘Plunks’ article available for reading at EzineArticles.  This is my third writing on this theme.  I have a fourth one also in the works.  So, if you are interested, here are the articles and links:

First article: ‘When You Feel the Plunks and See the Ripples’

Second article: ‘Recognizing the Plunks and Ripples’

Third article: ‘Growing Through the Plunks’

Fourth article: I am waiting for approval and will post soon.

I’d love any feed back you have for these articles.  I have more articles on EzineArticles.com also.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 11 Dr. Meggin McIntosh will be hosting a teleseminar titled the Myth of Multi-Tasking with the author Dave Crenshaw.  Dave Crenshaw has written a book titled Myth of Multi-Tasking and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

You can learn more and sign up for this teleseminar by going to the website Emphasis on Excellence.

How does a teleseminar work?

  1. Register for the event.
  2. Receive a confirmation email which provides you with a phone number and a unique code number.
  3. Day of the event, call the number and enter the code when prompted.
  4. You will hear Dr. Meggin McIntosh and her guest speaking.
  5. You will have opportunities to interact with Dr. Meggin McIntosh and the guest at designated times.

For more protocol on participating in teleseminars, you can download this document, “What Is a Teleseminar.”

I have found teleseminars a great way to learn and experience things from the comfort of my home.  All I need is a quiet place and a phone!  The other great thing is that many times the teleseminar is recorded and you can go to a link from a follow-up email and listen to it any time you want.  Some people download the recording and put on their mp3 players and listen while doing something else like walking.

I look forward to hearing your comments about the call.

Autumn Greetings!

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”  ~Joseph Campbell

Autumn and all its glory is here!  The crisp air and smells that winter is coming.  And, my body constantly reminds me of the change in barometric pressure.
A truth in which I live is that there is a time for everything.  Our Creator provides opportunities for us to live and different seasons are given for us to experience.  Times exist in which we must let go of something so that we can fully experience our journey on this earth.  The time has come to let go of the summer activities and embrace the upcoming events with thanksgiving.

Consider the current events in your life.  Describe the season you are now living.  What do you need to live this season of your life more fully?

Your Mediator to the Learning Process

Election Results

The big day is over, but the ripples of the event are just beginning.  I have family and friends pleased with the election results and others who are not pleased.  While I will not share who I voted for in this blog, this is what I believe.  Regardless of who is in office, God is waiting for His followers to discern and act upon the prinicples He has given us to live by.  I recently read a quote concerning God and government.

“Once abolish the God and the government becomes the God.” ~G. K. Chesterton

While yesterday is already dated as an important “historical” event, the message I would like others to recognize is that we are a country that provides choices.  We have a choice to participate in civic service and we have the choice to not participate.  My question is:  After this date, will more people participate in their civic responsibilities?  Or, will people just react to the decisions made?  We have the opportunity to be proactive.

On a local level, the incumbent mayor has been replaced.  In a small community as I live in, each vote really does count.  The newly elected mayor chosen may have received the greater number of individual votes, and the reality is the mayor needs many leadership skills.  One of the skills is the law of influence.  He has influenced the number of individuals to vote for him.  Now, who does he have the relationships with who makes the decisions for our community?  For example, what kind of relationship does he have with our city government, city council, county government, and business people?  Does he have the relationship with others to make a positive influence for our community?  Leadership is not a title.  Leadership is the result of living solid principles of integrity and influence.

On a local level and on a national level, my belief is that all people have a responsibility to participate beyond the election.

Fall Messages

Crisp air

Frosted peaks

Carved squash

Sparse trees

Moving across the expanse

Speaking of winter’s approach

Reminding of the merry making

Preserving energy

Reclusive tendencies of the spirit

Expending energy in selective moments

Drawing upon the stores of summer

Recalling the illumination of warmth

As the rays pierce the dry stillness

Messages of the Creator permeate

Through the poet,

“This season shall also pass.”

The Learning Curve

I am a learner.  I am always drawn to learn new things.  Sometimes, I surprise myself as to the things I can figure out.  Other times, I get frustrated like crazy when I don’t “get it.”  I need to be on a continuous learning curve and am fascinated with words and technology.

I’m wondering what other people enjoy learning.  If you were to make a list of things you would like to learn, what would be on it?  Here are just a few on my list.

  • Chords on the piano
  • How to make a quilt
  • Dreamweaver for web page design
  • Spanish more fluently
  • How to have a successful vegetable garden in the desert

My biggest problem is that I want to learn a lot of things, many I did not put on this page.  I don’t have the enough of the right kind of energy. I have to be selective in how I spend my time.  I’ve come to categorize my energy as it is the only way to manage my many passions.  Some times I need a low learning curve activity.  This activity fulfills my need for learning but requires a small amount of energy.  Some times I need a high learning curve.  I find myself delving into new technology related tasks when I have a high level of energy.  My creativity is also released more when I have a high energy moment.

I was given a creative book called Listography by a friend.  This book prompted more questions I have asked myself, such as this one.

Kelly,

Your Mediator to the Learning Process

This blog from Power Phrase grabbed a hold of me.

Poison Phrase: Will power.