A Step of Faith

Faith is a passionate intuition. ~William Wordsworth  red maple 014 We live in a society controlled by ego. The world influences our perceptions and conditions us to make choices based solely on logic. As we fall prey to this pressure we lose touch with our souls.

We seldom take time to listen to the quiet voice within. Albert Einstein nailed it when he said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” We all experience intuition whether we realize it or not. Perhaps it’s a voice or a feeling of urgency which directs us to do something out of our normal routine. Sometimes, we shrug it off. Other times, we obey not knowing how it has impacted our lives.

We have become distrustful of ourselves. We question ourselves until we doubt the validity of the voice. We assume this intruder is our imagination, and we block its entrance into our lives. Through the shaping of society we have lost this Divine Guidance, the gift of spirit connection. Because it is in our nature to question, many refuse to listen to this unknown source often referred to as a gut feeling or instinct. Tapping into this unexplained knowledge requires trust.

We struggle to know the difference between ego and intuition. Ego is in your head whereas intuition comes from within, meaning you will feel a physical sensation as well. Ego speaks loudly and becomes almost obnoxious when ignored while intuition is more of a gentle nudge in the right direction and will continue to whisper or redirect you if you make the wrong decision.

There are times we must not look to others for answers but to ourselves. Answers and guidance reside within us. We must quiet our minds and listen.

The inner voice is in agreement with our bodies, minds, and spirits. It knows what we need to hear and when we need this information. It is important to learn to distinguish intuition from thoughts, emotions, and opinions.

Exercising awareness develops intuition. As we practice attentiveness we grow intellectually and spiritually, thus connecting us with our life’s purpose. Where has your intuition led you?

Blog Hop Around The World: Get On Your Creative Genius!

Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions. ~Paulo Coelho

I was asked to do this blog hop by my longtime friend, Patti. Patti is a nature lover, especially birds. She can identify them like no one else I know. And the fabulous pics she gets from her kitchen window, you just have to go to her blog and check them out. Now, if I was taking photos from my front window they’d be filled with window smudge not beautiful birds and squirrels…perhaps, I can talk Patti into coming over and cleaning my windows!

What am I working on? I am working on a novel, currently titled “Chasing Shadows”. I’ve only restarted it five million times, and it has evolved into an entirely (well, almost entirely) different story than when I started. Same main character, same first line, somewhat same backstory, but is finally coming to life. My main character is talking to me and leading me…YAY!  I also have two other novels started and placed on the backburner. I am still slowly working on some memoir as well as another nonfiction book.

I am also a fiber artist, and always have several projects on hand. I don’t devote as much time to this during the summer months as there is so much to see and do. I’ve just started the beading process on a fractal threading project I was working on this past winter. (Photos attached at end of post.)

How does my work differ from others of its genre? As far as my WIP novel, I really haven’t placed it in a genre as it is both character and plot driven at this point…perhaps, that is how it’s different, huh?

As far as my nonfiction, most is inspired by nature photography. I will take a photograph and then the words start swirling in my head…so maybe one could say the words are written by an offbeat lady with a connection to the natural life around her.

As far as fiber art goes I am self-taught. Most of my projects are mixed media, containing quilting techniques, crochet, painting, beading, etc… I especially enjoy using semiprecious stones and natural objects in my work as it gives me a sense of grounding.

Why do I create what I do? I feel called from within to write the words I write. I don’t write to say something; I write when I have something to say. This goes for fiction as well as nonfiction.

Also, I am a storyteller at heart. I consider it a gift from my father who could spin a tale and have everyone within earshot spellbound. While, I can’t do that verbally as he did, I hope to someday do that through written word.

With sewing and crafting, it comes naturally. I’ve had a needle in my hand since I was four years old. My babysitter taught me to sew and make things, and it’s brought me great joy all of my life.

How does your creating process work? My muse tends to visit in the middle of the night. We are currently fighting with his timing. I’d like my process be whenever I get the opportunity to write, but apparently I need to become more disciplined for that to happen.  I keep a notebook and often when I am reading a book on the craft of writing, scenes of my book will arrive in snippets which I jot in my notebook or on a computer file. Whenever bits and pieces come to me, I write them on whatever I can find handy if my notebook is not nearby. I am much more prolific if I start writing by hand and then transfer to computer. I’ve found my organization works better by hand as well. I use index cards to record scenes to place in order later. I also use a writer’s program called WriteWay which keeps me organized. Yeah, I realize I do most of these things twice by doing them this way, but it helps me know when it’s time to “kill my darlings”!

With fiber art, a vision of a completed project appears in my head often while hiking. When I get home I sketch it out and proceed from there. Many times, my projects end up taking a left turn and wind up nothing like I originally anticipated.

I have two creative blog friends I’d like for you to meet. They will post their blog hops on June 30. Please check them out.

Kenzie is a fabulous writer. I have no doubt some day her name will grace the spine of many books. She recently took up photography and has soared with it and opened up her own business. Once you take a look at her awesome portraits you will see why. Her photography blog is here with a link to her writing blog.

Becky is my ever talented friend. I mean she can do ANYTHING! Give her an object and she will remake it to reuse in no time. She can write, cook, sew, and can. She teaches cooking and canning classes. You name it she can pickle it. Seriously, who knew you can pickle strawberries? I didn’t until I met Becky. She is my go to person for recipes and tips. Make sure you visit, Becky, at Chicken Wire & Paper Flowers.

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Lightening The Load

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The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~ Hans Hofmann

I’m a clutter bug. As soon as I toss it, I’ll be sure to need it which will necessitate my purchasing another of the same item. Or I can’t possibly part with said object due to sentimental value. I tend to treasure items with memories of loved ones attached.

I can let go of clothes, appliances, and even some furniture. I just can’t toss out those baby shoes and a couple of much loved toys.

I am able to part with things I know can be of use to others. I have a difficult time letting go of things I know won’t hold the same value to others as it does to me.

Perhaps I need to perfect the art of detachment…to objects, that is. More and more I’m finding the things that matter really aren’t things at all.

My garbage cans have been filled twice. I have many bags lined up for the donation center. I’ve given much away. I’m simplifying in my own way, lightening the load. It might be a long process, but I already feel freer.

In removing the superfluous substances I am reclaiming the substance of what remains. Order is being restored. I feel as if I have more room to think, to breathe. It’s almost as if my energy has been renewed.

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”  ~Author Unknown

Where The Flow Leads

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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We often attempt to control people, especially as a parent we tend to try to control our children’s choices. It’s understandable to want to teach them morals and manners, but sometimes we try to sway their college choices and even decide careers for them. The art of letting go and allowing our offspring to lead their own lives can be both painful and joyous.

When we see our children in the flow of life it is liberating and beautiful. Sometimes it is only in looking back we see synchronicity working in their lives. My youngest son is an example of this. You all may remember my talking about trying to sway his choices a few years back…it only now I see his selections put him where he is supposed to be.

He originally chose a college about four hours from where we live while we had hoped he’d go to a private school near home. It ended up he didn’t like college, and played with the idea of joining the Army. Don’t ask me why, perhaps it was a parenting thing, but I just didn’t feel a military career was up his alley. Then again, maybe it had something to do with his best friend trying to get him to join with him rather than it being a dream of his own. I prayed and prayed he wouldn’t enlist. On day three after the announcement of his plans, he tore his MCL and ACL playing football, not exactly what I’d planned to thwart his efforts; but none the less he had to have surgery and much recovery time which changed his plans.

A couple of years after the knee injury, he met a girl attending the private college I’d wanted him to attend.  Sounds as if he was meant to meet her. They have now been dating for three years. During this time, my son has had a steady job but decided he wanted to become a master electrician. He was just admitted to a program about a thousand miles away. It is near where his girlfriend’s family lives. My son’s program is five years long, and it will take his girlfriend five years to obtain her MFA and Doctorate. Today, the hubby is helping them travel across several states to settle in to pursue their dreams together.

There were many bits and pieces of the process of them getting to this point, but it seems it has all fallen into place. That happens when you are in the flow.

This teaches me to sit back and watch, rather than trying to guide my children to my desired outcome. God knows much better than me where they need to be and when. It’s freeing not to try to be in control.

Though my youngest hasn’t lived at home for several years, it’s still difficult to let go. We gave our children roots, and it’s time to let them use their wings to fly where life takes them.

 

Living Your Life on Purpose

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

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I sometimes spend so much time living for a life purpose I forget to live my life on purpose. I have been doing just that for the past few months. While we’ve been busy with family members as life directs new chapter involving careers and moves, changes, advocating, and celebrations, we’ve been able to take time within the chaos to enjoy connection.

There are so many aspects to life and relationships, I often prioritize where I should be and what I should be doing. I’ve been doing this for years. There are times I feel obligated in one direction while my heart pulls me in another. I’ve learned following my heart is my best route because if my choice is rooted in love I don’t regret my decision.

Often doing what feels good resonates with your soul and leads to life purpose. And other times, it’s simply a part of living. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.

While traveling the road of life, don't forget to roll down the windows and inhale the sweet scent of honey suckle.

While traveling the road of life, don’t forget to roll down the windows and inhale the sweet scent of honey suckle.

Gather by the river with some family and friends...it does a soul good.

Gather by the river with some family and friends…it does a soul good.