Monday, January 31, 2011

Visual Journaling

The great thing about journaling is that it doesn’t always have to be written. Art is a great way to journal as well. Even if one doesn’t have much artistic ability (today’s entry is case in point), expressing feeling and/or thought through art mediums can say as much and at times even more. Remember the saying, “A picture paints a thousand words.”
I’m not sure why approaching 50 is having an impact on me. I’m really not sure what the full impact even is. I think, however, along with the approach of the ‘joyful jubilee’, I have many years of buried feelings eager and ready to emerge. They seem to be calling, “ready or not here we come.” Well, maybe it’s more like, “Heeere’s Johnny!”
With regards to these emerging feelings, there seems to be two options. One option would be to continue as I have for the past 15 or so years, heaping things, busyness, additional emotions, etc. on them, which seems to only confound the problem, not to mention burial ground is becoming scarce.  The other option would be to treat these buried feelings as a plethora of bulbs. Not of the light kind but of the flower kind.
In visualizing both these options, the second seems to be the more appealing, as the first would be too much like a very scary scene from a zombie movie.
Each of the elements in today’s visual journal holds a specific message. Maybe the ‘art’ will have a message for you too or maybe you’ll just wonder what I was thinking, which is okay, it’s even okay to ask me if you want. Either way I hope you will be inspired to explore another avenue in your own journaling.
(written on her dress is, 'time has come to give of yourself')

PS to view the Elder Sister Project which inspired yesterday's post, go to

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Elder Sister Project

As the dawn of my 50th birthday nears, I have come to realize how much I have discovered and how much more I have yet to discover along this journey of life. One of the greatest discoveries I have found is that each of us hold keys to unlocking the traits of life. Sometimes, we just don’t realize we have such a possession.  Another discovery is we all receive whisperings of little tokens. Some come in the form of wisdom learned and then shared by others. Some tokens come as divine whispers of wisdom from beyond to within ourselves.  Another great discovery is the knowledge that, while each of us must individually experience life’s journey, we are never alone. With this in mind, I am pleased to have come across the Elder Sister Project and hope my contribution is of some value to sisterhood.
Each of our lives carries with it a bag of mixed events. Some events are welcomed while others, not so much. Fourteen years ago I had a ‘not so much’ event tossed my way. In this event I experienced near death which resulted in the amputation of both my legs. During my fight for life the clarity of understanding came that each of us possess a master key; that key being freedom of choice. I did not choose this event. I did not choose to lose my legs, but I held and still hold the freedom of choice as to how I will deal with this event as well as all of life’s events. Events tossed our way may be man-made, self inflicted, or God given. While we may not always choose life’s events, we always have the freedom to choose how we will react and interact with them. Discover the great key you possess, freedom of choice, then, use it wisely.
Your discovery of the master key of freedom of choice will empower you. You will treasure and hold the key dear. Life’s journey will reveal to you your possession of many keys. All of which will be a treasure to you. The following keys, however, are probably the most useful and healing. They are the keys to forgiveness, joy, peace, and faith.
As women we tend to place a noose of guilt around our neck as if it’s a beautifully jewel adorned necklace. It is not a necklace and it is not beautiful. You have the power to choose to wear the noose of guilt or to remove it. This is life, it is not perfection, and we all do things which require rectification. Set things right in your life, not just with others but with yourself, then learn and let go. There is no need for a noose of guilt for there is forgiveness. The keys to forgiveness are repentance, grace, and mercy.
Some people we see seem to be happy all the time. Is it happiness you see or is it joy? There is a difference. Learn to distinguish between joy and happiness. Happiness isn’t always found in the happenings of life. But, joy abounds in all of life’s happenings, even the unwelcomed ones. The keys to joy are to seek and wonder.
The journey of life seems to become chaotic and hectic and the world around us, more of the same. Yet, peace remains amidst all the frenzy; really, it’s there. Think of where the calm of a hurricane is found. It’s within the center; at the eye of the storm. Center yourself, especially during the frenzied storms of life. The keys to peace are prayer and meditation.
Faith will, on some occasions, quiver and on others become nearly obscure. Do not let go. Hold on to your faith for faith knows when you need an anchor and when you need wings. The keys to faith are hope and  to believe.
As we discover the keys of life, we also discover a great collection of tokens, whisperings of wisdom from great men and women throughout generations and from our angels and God. These whisperings are a gathering of quotes and thoughts which inspire and enlighten our path along the journey. You undoubtedly have a wonderful collection of your own and we probably share some of the same divine wisdom. Here is a small sprinkling of favorites you may not have gathered yet:
Blame or Bloom; Be careful what you wish for; Sticks and stones can break a bone but words can break a heart; If you’re asking, “when is it enough?” it’s enough; Never, ever lose your sense of humor; Laugh until you cry or cry until you laugh; Whenever possible, keep it so simple……........
keys, whisperings, and blessings to all Sisterhood who venture here

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Recently, my sister spent a week with me. During her stay we watched a lot of movies. While they were of varying genres, to me there seemed to be an underlying theme, that being, “we are all connected.” While I have always had a sense of the essence of our connectedness, the theme of connectedness has been intuitively prominent over the past several weeks and not just within the movies my sister and I watched or the following examples.
Creating a Facebook page has reconnected me with good friends I had in high school. I am more connected with my nieces and nephews. It’s fun to read their updates; to have a view of their day where I would not otherwise have. I’ve reconnected with people I worked with in the past, served on various committees with, and friends of my children who were in and out of my home while the kids were growing up.
Another episode happened to me this morning while I was comparing an older penny with a newer one. The phrase, “E Pluribus Unum, Out of Many, One,” struck me and again the theme resonated. I’m not sure why, but knowing E Pluribus Unum has 13 letters I decided to see how many letters connectedness has. You guessed it; it has 13 letters. In numerology 13 would be representative of the number 4 (1+3=4). Four is a primal, organic, solid number. Think of the 4 seasons, 4 elements, 4 sides of a square, and looking at 4 as such it becomes a strong number within the physical realm, the realm in which we dwell. If one of the sides of a square is removed it loses its durability and function; think of your home. The 4 elements – earth, air, water, fire – are essential to life in the physical realm. The 4 seasons are dependent on and thus connected with each other.
Until this morning I felt my 49th year was going to be a personal, solitary journey of which I would only be sharing with you. And, I’ve had several friends and family who have commented they will follow me on my 49th year journey as I journal it here. I’m not comfortable with the word follow as I don’t feel I am a leader. And, yes, it is going to be a personal, solitary journey but, I have now come to realize I cannot experience the fullness and purpose of my 49th year journey without you, my family and friends. All of you are welcome within the 4 walls of my home. You are all like the 4 elements which are necessary for life in the physical realm. We are dependent on each other as the ever changing 4 seasons. You see, we are all connected, and thus the 49th year journey continues.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 49th Year Journey

Sitting on the living room floor the eve of my 13th birthday, within the halo light cast down from the lamp on the end table, I admired my birthday cards. The dime was still taped within the one my Great Aunt Mary sent. Looking them over and over again, I decided my favorite one was of a cute pink poodle; once the card was completely opened there was a coloring page. I wondered if it was acceptable for a ‘teenager’ to color. Then, for some strange reason, I decided to calculate out what year I would graduate high school. “Holy Mackerel, 1979, the world will end before then,” was my exact thought. So, I decided, if the world is going to end, I’m going to color the picture within the card.
Half century, 50 years, that’s what I’m approaching December 2011. It seemed to be an event so far in the distant future that I never really thought much about it. When I did give it thought I kind of had the same self response as on my 13th birthday, “Holy Mackerel.”
I heard a quote recently which went something like…all of our parts have a positive intent and a negative potential. With this in mind, my thoughts expanded to add…and we hold the key of choice within our all. This morning I decided, since the world didn’t end in 1979 and Lord willing it won’t end in 2011, and I am going to not only face, but become a half century old, that I could choose to make this a 49th year journey. It is my desire for each day to hold positive intents and if I can’t divert, I hope to at least grow from any negative potentials which may come. I will choose to discover all of who I have become over a half century. As I go along, I intend to journal and share the discoveries with anyone who might want a glimpse or a laugh.
The thought then came to me that I have already missed so many days of my 49th year. Here now was my opportunity to back out. The voices of my inner critic and my self doubt began saying, “This is a big undertaking and you have no idea what you will do, you don’t really want to do this, are you sure you want to make a commitment to share your mundane life with others, I don’t think you can do it…” Oh my, on and on the voices went.
I again reflected back to the eve of my 13th birthday and began to calculate how many days have passed since my 49th birthday. From December 6th to December 31st there are 25 days and today is January 25th, so 25 days for this year, humm, that’s 50 days. It’s a sign!
While I have no idea where each day will lead, the ‘49th Year Journey’ has now begun…