Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5/30/12 - Illuminating Yes

My blog post yesterday bothered me.  I'm glad I shared it because it definitely represents an important part of my journey to the open road, but it just didn't feel right.   It didn't come from a place of light, and my heart and my mind were in discord.  I want to turn the momentum around to the positive.

I recently listened online to a sermon given by my friend, Rev. David Howard.  The title of his talk is Conscious Choice and in it he talks about illumined consciousness and the 3 foundational lies we can find ourselves living if we're not careful:

1)  I don't have enough --> I need more.
2)  I don't do enough --> I need to do more.
3)  I am not enough --> I need to be more.

I no longer feel the need to have more and consequently I do not feel trapped by the 1st one.  In fact, unless you count my desire for an RV, I want less.  I carry things out of this apartment on a daily basis and for quite awhile now, with rare exception, I haven't purchased anything that's not consumable.  In this move, I really brought 5 times the quantity I need, but at least I have time to pare down as much as I want before going mobile.

I digress. Mea culpa.

The lie that sneaks up on me is that I need to do more to be more.  I need to write more so that I can be successful.  I need to work more so that I can be mobile.  I need to do more so that I can be a better daughter, friend, Aunt, neighbor, employee - on and on, infinitum.  ENOUGH!

David also talks about making conscious choices based on YES rather than no.

For example, I really, really, really do not like to shop.  I recently ran out of coffee filters.  I kept saying to myself, "I don't want to go shopping, but I'm really tired of being without coffee."  I was trying to pick the lesser of 2 evils.  I literally said out loud, "Well, I don't want to be without coffee anymore," and began gathering my keys and purse.  Then it hit me.

Even this simple scenario was a great example for illuminating the YES instead of the no.  So I dropped the no's, dropped the negatives, and quit basing the decision on what I didn't want.  (Thank you David.)  So,  I said YES to coffee instead of no to being without.  It's just a slight tweak but one that makes all the difference.  My whole attitude changed.

The same concept applies to my blog post yesterday and my social sabbatical:

I don't want to be spread too thin and constantly be drained from social commitments
--> I am saying YES to taking care of myself and giving my hopes and dreams a chance.

I don't want to get mental or depressed over this -->
          I am saying YES to the energy and creativity being released.
          I  am saying YES to being blessed.
          I am saying YES to the joy that swells in my heart. 

I don't want to lose anyone from my life over this -->
          I am saying YES to letting loved ones know how much they mean to me, NMW.
          I am saying YES to the outpouring of love and support I receive on a daily basis.

I don't want to do all this and nothing come of it -->
          I am saying YES to whatever God and the universe has in store.
          I am saying YES to doing the next right thing and leaving the results up to God.

And last but not least, I am saying YES to the Grace of Jesus Christ (not religion) that I so readily forget about yet live in every second of every day.  Through God, all things are possible (ref, Matthew 19:26).

In his sermon, David goes on to say that there are also 3 truths:
1)  God is light.
2)  We are an expression of that light.
3)   With faith and trust, that light will guide us to the greatest unfolding of our life experience.

I feel that I am in the throng of that unfolding, and I say YES.

Joseph Prince says, "God is abundance and inexhaustible supply.  He is not El Cheapo.  He is El Shaddai - the Almighty.  Break out of a mentality of lack by choosing to fix your eyes on an abundant God, who has put His unlimited resources at your disposal."

 I hope everyone says YES to that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5/29/12 - Family and Friends

WELCOME to our newest wonderful readers!  Susan Johnson joins us from Truckee, CA.  Glad you're here Susan!  And Judie Seeders signed up as well.  That is awesome.  Thanks ladies!  If you update your information or want your blog listed here, just let me know.  Again - Welcome, and HugZ!

Well, with few exceptions, I've pretty much told everyone about my decision to take a 6-month social sabbatical and dedicate the time to writing and getting my life in order.  The reactions have been...  interesting.

1)  Regarding my desire to be a fulltimer and even boondock - "You might as well give that up.  It doesn't work like you seem to think it does.  You can't live like that fulltime."

2)  When I mentioned in a similar conversation with someone else that I don't get lonely and would be perfectly fine boondocking in the wilderness with few to no people around - "You can't do that.  We were made to be with people and need each other.  It's unnatural otherwise.  You have to have people."

3)  Discussions about my sabbatical - "Isolating that long would make me depressed."  "I don't get it but do what makes you happy."  "Why make the announcement?  Why not just do it?"

There is merit to each - except the boondocking not being feasible.  Thousands do it quite well every day.  Some of you are even reading this and nodding your head in agreement.  My hats off to you for already being out there.  Kudos!  :)

I'm not saying I don't want anything to do with people.  I just don't need the level of social interaction that others seem to require.  My sabbatical as I have defined it will suit me just fine.  I am willing to meet with someone for a meal, once a week, for a couple of hours within 5 miles of my home.  The necessities of life put me in plenty of contact with people.  Too much actually.  I wish I were able to shave at least half of those obligations off so I could isolate and write even more.

I can't quit work.  I have to take the dogs out several times a day.  Grocery shopping, doing laundry, and other such errands are necessary.  The only thing I have that I can cut out of my life to stop the noise and isolate are my social interactions.  Until I can live and travel fulltime in an RV, this is the only option and it's the only chance I have of making it work.  For me.

I don't know what will happen over this time period.  I may get mental or depressed, but I don't think so.  In fact, I may be happier than I ever have been.  Time will tell.

Why make the announcement?  That was a great question.  I had to chew on it for awhile to come up with an answer.  I made the announcement and told those close to me (and the world wide web, grin) because I want and need support.  I need for my sabbatical to be honored and I hope that  pressure won't be put on me to break it.

And quite frankly, it's scary jumping off a cliff like this and I'm battling enough with the naysayers in my head without having to battle others too.  I'm kind of hoping that the announcement will alleviate some of those battles.

All I know is I have to try.  June 1 is getting close.  That's the official launch date and my NO's and commitment will be ironclad.  By then, hopefully, I will be the only person left to do battle with and that's the scariest scenario of all!

The following is an excerpt from UCA's Daily Word for 5/28:

Today I take the opportunity to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me. I give thanks for the many ways in which they have blessed and enriched my life. I seek ways to honor them.

Many people I may have never personally met have also helped make my life better. Public servants, service providers and others who work behind the scenes, all contribute to my life in significant ways. Today I also say a prayer of gratitude for the work they do and the ways in which they serve.

I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.—Ephesians 1:16
With gratitude, I bring you to heart and mind.  You are a gift from God.
When I look back on the times I shared with friends and family, I know our bonds cannot be broken.  Through laughter and tears, good times and bad, we have created indelible memories.
Today I take the opportunity to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me.  I give thanks for the many ways in which they have blessed and enriched my life.  I seek ways to honor them.

I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
--Ephesians 1:16

Monday, May 28, 2012

5/28/12 - Memorial Day Tribute

Black Horse Photography By Keegan J. Friesian
I chose this picture as a shoutout and show of respect to all that serve or who have served....

But this isn't Veteran's Day.  This is Memorial Day, a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in our Armed Forces.  It's also a day to remember the family, friends and loved ones they left behind.

Borrowed from Mike Gleason on FB

It doesn't matter whether you agree with war, or Armed Forces, or even those who choose to serve.  Today, it doesn't matter.  They died serving their country and are to be honored for that service, that sacrifice.  Period.

Personally?  I prefer to live in la-la-la land and still have hope for world peace, not domination or the need to fight for freedom or justice.  Here are 2 messages that touched my heart recently.

This 1st one was from the Daily Word of the Unity Church of Arlington on 5/26:
Prayerfully, I stand for peace.

In my thoughts and prayers, I affirm peace for myself and for the world.  With patience and courage, I stand for peace no matter what the circumstance.  I hold a vision of peace in the midst of conflict.  I honor the dream of peace in each one of us.

My prayer and vision are made manifest when I serve as an understanding presence during a disagreement.  Standing for peace, I encourage others to listen, to honor each other, and to seek common ground.

Every land, every nation, includes people like me who are standing for peace.  We are one in Spirit, and our oneness generates true power.  One by one, we stand for peace and together we bring it forth in our world.

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
               neither shall they learn war any more.
                                                         -- Isaiah 2:4
The 2nd is from a post on Wayne Wir's blog:
At the end of the talk someone from the audience asked the Dalai Lama, "Why didn't you fight back against the Chinese?"  The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, "Well, war is obsolete, you know."  Then after a few moments, his face grave, he said, "Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back... but the heart, the heart would never understand.  Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you."
One of Wayne's readers left this comment:
"Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back… but the heart, the heart would never understand"

If Jesus had this quote to use people would understand “turn the other cheek” better.
To that, I can only say, "Amen."  But I am able to gather all of that information and say whatever I want through free, public speech while sitting in my cozy apartment, drinking coffee and writing on the internet because I live in the land of the free and the brave.  So, I'll step down off my soap box and close with a HUGE thank you to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

5/27/12 - NO Way

I shared a picture of Bentley all hairy and dirty so it seemed only fair that I show you one of him clean and groomed.  :)

I could get used to this NO thing.  What a fantastic day we had!  You can tell that because you're getting a 2nd post today!  :)

On top of it all, I went to the local dog park this evening (pic below) and met Sue, a CHSP park host!  My wonderful readers know that CHSP has been my haven in heaven for quite awhile now.  What a treat it was to meet Sue and have the opportunity to visit with her!  I almost didn't recognize her out of uniform.  LOL.

She works 24 hours/week for FHU.  CHSP does not offer wages.  She was as shocked as I was just a few days ago to learn that there are places that offer FHU AND wages.  Wow, as soon as I get an RV I am so out of here.  Anyway, we exchanged phone numbers.  I hope to get to know her and her 3 dogs better, but will remain true to my 6 month social sabbatical NMW.  It's a must.

Today was a maintenance day.  One of the many things I accomplished was to catch up on mail, pay bills and turn in change of address notices.  It took me 3 hours but it felt so good to get it off my plate.  And since I found the courage to say no to other commitments, it also feels really good to know that I can continue doing what I need to tomorrow.

If all goes well, I may even get in a few hours of writing!  We shall see.  My deadline for getting caught up on all the maintenance issues so that I have time for writing is June 1.  After that, proof will be in the pudding (another Great Grandma saying).  Where did she come up with that stuff?

Oh yeah, I also created a spreadsheet to track my time and $s.  I am completely committed to this 6 month sabbatical and turning my life around.  And yes, you have panoptic permission to laugh incessantly at my methodology.  Sorry, it's just the way my brain works.  It's the project manager coming out in me.  This is a project and I'm going to manage it.  The laughing may commence.

Here's a snapshot of the main categories for the last 48 hours:
Sleep - 16.50, General - 5, Spiritual - 1.75, Pet Grooming - 4, Pet Exercise - 3.25, My Blog - 3.75, Others, 3.5, EMail & FB - 1.75, Family & Friends - 1.5, Household Maintenance - 3.25, Financial Maintenance - 3, Drive Time - .75

Yes, I realize it's skewed and off balance.  Yes, I realize it does not include time for writing.  YET.  And NO, I'm not worried.  It's only day 2!  :)

5/27/12 - Signs Everywhere

The pictures in this post are ones I've taken from our walks around the apartment.  There is beauty everywhere.  We just have to look for it sometimes.  I love the positioning of the sun and the moon in this photograph.  Plus the clouds look like a dove to me, or a rising falcon of some sort.


A friend routinely gets devotionals from Joel Osteen Ministries via email.  Yesterday morning, he forwarded this one to me:

"God has an incredibly bright future in store for you that is filled with His blessings and favor.   He’s opening new doors for you.  He’s pouring out His favor. He’s doing things on your behalf you can’t do for yourself.

If you’ll trust that God has you right where He wants you, God will take care of everything.  He cares about every detail of your life — now and in the future.

But before you begin to see that future, you have a choice to make.   You can either get upset about your circumstances or you can begin to bloom right where you’re planted.

I’ve learned that God often changes us before He changes the circumstances around us.   If you allow negative things to dominate your thoughts, they are going to keep you right where you are.

But if you want to see change, if you want to see God open up new doors, then you’ve got to decide to let God promote you where you already are.  You’ve got to bloom, right where God has planted you.

Enjoying and growing in the place God has you sows a seed of greatness into your future!  It’s the best thing you can do to help make something new happen.

Bloom where you’re planted!  Don’t go through life thinking you’ve got too many obstacles or disadvantages.  If you put your hope in God, He’ll direct your steps.

As you enjoy the place He has you in, He’ll begin to move things around in your life.  You’ll be amazed at the outcome.

Victoria and I want you to have this mindset and expect God to do big things in your life, right where you are.   Today, look past your circumstances and prepare yourself for all that God wants to do in your life."


Then midday, I get the following in my In Box from Joseph Prince Ministries:
by Team JP

You can click on the link and read the entire devotional.  It is amazing.  It closes with this Thought for the Day:

Break away from your comfort zone and step out in faith
to do what God has put in your heart.


Yesterday evening, this was posted on Facebook - also by Joseph Prince:

Dear friends,

Do you believe that our God is a BIG God of abundance & inexhaustible supply? He is the Possessor of heaven & earth. He is not El Cheap. He is El Shaddai - the Almighty, all sufficient & all nourishing one! And in Christ, the abundance of God's wisdom, favor, ability, strength & creativity that you need for a successful family, career & ministry, are yours to experience & enjoy!

I want to challenge you to break out of a mentality of lack by choosing to fix your eyes on an abundant God, who has put His unlimited resources at your disposal because you are His beloved child.

Geez, you think someone might be trying to tell me something?  Joe Foxworthy might as well be standing in front of me saying, "Here's your sign."  :)