Thanksgiving trumps blogging?

Thanksgiving oven

Thanksgiving oven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Started working on Thanksgiving today-- a day later than normal and without all the groceries picked up.  Grocery shopping and major cooking all in the same day is a bit much for my stamina.  So, the best I can do for today's entry in NaBloPoMo is to say I'm now too tired to write.

For once, I have remembered to take pictures as I go along so there will be posts on the Scribblings blog about the menu.

It’s the big problem for me with these November daily writing things.  I make a big deal out of Thanksgiving and the planning, shopping and cooking goes on for a couple of weeks.  I mete it out to suit my health issues and I love to do it — but there’s not a lot left of me for anything else.

Nano Poblano over there… and there…

I’ve managed to post every day so far but I said from the beginning Id have to rotate among my blogs to do it.

So yesterday’s post– a discussion of the role of “About” pages–is on the Scribblings blog, here

And I explored a bit on the new Test Realm for Wizard101 and posted about my first adventures here.

Hamakala Revs for a Hit

Hamakala Revs for a Hit

Gotta go do my chanting for the challenge.

On the other blog…

 

I signed up for the writing 101 class that WordPress is conducting this month.  I decided to do it on the Scribblings blog mainly because the assignments for this kind of general writing class are often not conducive to writing a spiritual journey post.  There’s an assignment every day and I’m already behind.

You know I rarely post every day — even rotating among my blogs I often skip days.  So this one is being a little neglected.

I had a big struggle with one of the assignment posts — tried to set it up for future and when it didn’t publish at the time I set I kept going back in.  Somehow the calendar thing kept changing what I set.  Eventually it posted it as a past post and I couldn’t make it move.  So I deleted it.  By then I was so frustrated I accidentally posted it here instead.  When I realized, I took it down and pasted it over there.  Anyway, I know a few people clicked like and commented in the time it was up here and I’m sorry I erased you.

And yes, I felt like her (in the picture).

Healing Journey Page

energy-healing-synergybyjasmine

energy-healing-synergybyjasmine (Photo credit: Synergy by Jasmine)

I finally managed to face the long-planned task of marking all the posts about my healing process with the category “healing journey” and creating a page that has only those posts.  So,Ta Da.  You can see it on the menu above.  When I get rested up from that one there might be a page for the posts I’ve done with info on yoga and movement.  Maybe.  :>)

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Blogging and the spiritual path

MP900341542 Microsoft ClipartI’ve posted a couple of times on the Scribblings blog about my thoughts on keeping track of blog stats (here and here).  In a nutshell, although I see that lots of people are caught up in second-guessing every like, comment and follow/unfollow, I can’t get that caught up in it.  Over time I’ve realized that when it comes to blog stats I’ve taken in the lesson “don’t take anything personally” very well.

It’s a place where it’s clear to me that people have so many complex reasons for the choices they make that there’s no point in trying to figure out why.  As Huna teacher Serge King says, “people are who they are and they do what they do.”  So I shrug and figure they’re gonna do whatever and it has nothing to do with me.  Some might call that learning detachment.

Blogging for me has also been an adventure in stepping out into the world as myself.  My progress has been very slow.  I began by posting twice a week but doing nothing to get readers.  For the first six months pretty much no one read my posts.  In some ways I felt relieved because I always secretly feared that if I expressed my deepest self people would hate me.  The well-publicized adversarial nature of a lot of social media led me to believe that if I revealed my deep thoughts I’d probably have to face nasty comments from anyone who disagreed.

Eventually I decided to see what I needed to do to actually have readers and take my chances on the negative comments.  Over time I’ve stepped out more and more.  The miracle to me has been that in this supportive, amazing, lovely spiritual blogging community not one person has ever left a nasty comment.  Every time I’ve put out a post with the fear that lots of people would take exception to it I’ve found support and encouragement.  (Since I don’t follow stats too closely I don’t know if anyone quit following…)

This has been SO healing for me.  In the last few months I have realized that I’ve stepped out much more not only in the posts I’m writing but in my interactions with fellow bloggers.   A transformation through blogging.

At this point I’m following lots of spiritual bloggers and I like that I spend so much time every day immersed in thoughts about spiritual life.  It’s helping me to deepen my thinking and practice and keep my mind immersed in new world thinking.  I’ve learned a lot from all of you.

There’s a challenging piece with which I’m still working.  I do bump into posts that seem unnecessarily negative or that express opinions I find offensive.  Since I feel everyone has a right to their opinions, however different from mine, I don’t land a negative comment on them–nor do I hit the “like” button.

I know enough to realize that anything that offends me in someone else reflects something in me.  But instead of instantly doing ho’ o pono pono to heal  in me what bothers me about them, I usually just back out of the post.  Occasionally if there are too many posts that disturb me I quit following the blog.  In my pursuit of oneness I can see that I have some work to do.

For all of these lessons I am so very grateful.  Have you found any spiritual lessons in the blogging world?

Prayer Sunday Open for Comment

First, in case you missed the post about it, this is the same blog as Notes from the Bluegrass but now with a new title and a new look.

As predicted, I didn’t manage the morning Global Peace meditation and, after a lot of not-enough-sleep-days, I didn’t get to the noon peace meditation called for by Ringo until the Central Time Zone’s noon.  But I did chant and toward the end I felt surrounded by a bigger wave of energy than I usually generate from chanting alone.  It felt like I’d expanded out to meet the others who were praying.

Don’t forget there’s now a Facebook page where you can comment on your experiences with the praying, chanting, meditating, etc.  There’s a “like” button for it to the right and I’d so appreciate it if you’d all click on it (when I get enough it will turn on some features for the page that I can’t use now).  I think you need to be logged into FB first.  Hide the page from your wall after that if you don’t want to see the posts…

Change is afoot

Weeping cherries Lexington 2011A couple of months ago I wrote about circumstances changing and that I would be facing a different life when I returned to Kentucky from Marin.  I came back still feeling a little shell shocked and then encountered the psoas issue that kept me still for a couple of weeks so it’s taken a while to re–orient.  I think I needed the time out.

During the break from having a plan the unwinding muscles saga has been moving apace and finally I am free of enough of the vice grip that I can feel its effects on my outlook and sense of well-being.  I’ve also been working at a few things to do with my ancestors and with habits of thinking (some related to the ancestors) for a while now and recently I’ve been feeling the shift from that.  So some quiet, contemplative time worked out well.

Following old counsel from my (late) teacher, Ellen Margron, I didn’t sit around making plans and frantically getting a new structure together.  I’ve let things flow and as my life opens up a plan is coming together that has me feeling excited and committed and determined, etc. for the first time in a long time.  Mostly that involves writing.  But as I contemplated my interest in working for peace I came up with the idea of hosting a “pray together for peace” project.  And, as the ideas and excitement have flowed, I’ve also been contemplating my blogs.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember that a couple of years ago I spun off a second blog, Not Just Sassy on the Inside, with the idea of an outlet for “talking” about things other than my spiritual journey.  And then that I felt the two blogs should be combined at some point.

I still don’t want to pay for an upgrade.   And I’ve noticed the struggle many other bloggers have had upon upgrading to get their followers to re-follow; seems that after a lot of work to build a following you lose a big percentage of it upon getting a new domain name.  Recently I contemplated the two blogs again and decided that I want to switch them.  I love the Not Just Sassy title and feel like it fits the essence of my spiritual journey.

At first I thought about just announcing that the two blogs would now switch identities but then I realized that the same problem about followers would apply — I’m assuming most of the “Notes” followers would drop off if suddenly faced with the content of “Sassy” and vice versa and there I’d be…  Suddenly in an aha moment it occurred to me that WordPress makes it quite easy to change the title of a blog while keeping the same domain.  So, unless anyone wants to chime in with a “DON’T” warning, I’m about to switch the titles.  And the looks.

“Sassy” will become something more like “Scribbles from the Bluegrass”.  After a long period of being kind of undefined, lately I’ve been turning to the “Sassy” blog to express the cooking and writing and occasional commentating sides of myself and it’s feeling like that’s what I want it to be — the place to express interests other than spirituality–with a title that  reflects it better.  I’m also considering a separate blog for “reblogging” as I keep having trouble with my copyright outfit when I reblog on one of the blogs that’s supposed to be my original work.

Both the main blogs are probably going to be pink.  Because I like pink and as the blood flow has returned to my head and changed my complexion I can’t wear pink any more.  So pink.  Lots of pink.  Right now I’m still trying on themes and fiddling with them but I’ve got it narrowed and I plan to change soon.  So now’s the time to shout “No”  or “What do you think you’re doing” or “That won’t work!”  But the pink– don’t even try me….

Collective Prayer Sundays Week Two

	This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b43838

Once again, it’s just after midnight EDT and I know many places are way into Sunday.  This is also one of those Sundays I warned you about when I’m just writing, hey, here’s the prayer reminder and post comments here if you wish.

When to pray:  10 minutes minimum between 7:00 and 11:59 pm in your time zone

What prayer:  any prayer, chant, spell, guided meditation for peace, etc. that you wish.  Suggested chant:

May the earth be filled with lovingkindness

May she be well

May she be peaceful and at ease

May she be happy

If you tried the challenge I made in Wednesday’s post, post comments here or do your own post and tag it with CollPraySun.  E-mail me at collpraysun at gmail dot com if you want to comment privately.

Collective Prayer Sundays page is up

cloud for bluegrass blogContinuing with my Collective Prayer Sundays idea, I’ve created a page for it.  I’ve also created an e-mail address just for this:  collpraysun at gmail dot com

There’s also a tag, CollPraySun, to use if you want to blog about the experience of participating in prayers for peace so everyone can read it.  Please also tag with B4Peace (Kozo’s Bloggers for Peace) as posts about praying for peace will fit right in with Bloggers for Peace!

Collective Prayer Sunday–let’s pray for peace together-ish

I know, I know, I posted a Part 1 the other day and this isn’t part 2.  It’s coming.  But that post, which posited that praying or chanting or holding a vision together has an impact on the world, got me thinking about whether we could start something here in the blogging world along those lines.  I’m open to ideas or thoughts about a better way to do it than what I’m about to propose so feel free to speak up and I’ll let you know if there’s a change.  Everyone who wants to participate:  it would be great for you to leave a comment that states your intent just so we all have a sense of the collective that will be sending those waves out every Sunday.

First of all, since I think that collective prayer (I’m defining that to include affirmations, chants, envisioning, healing etc.) has power and I don’t think everyone has to be in the same place or time, I’d like to start a Collective Prayer Sunday group.  And, since it’s hard to pick one time that suits everyone (even in the same time zone, let alone around the world), I thought I’d set a span of hours once a week for people to pray for a minimum of 10 minutes and invite everyone to join in alone or pull together a local group somewhere in those hours in whatever time zone you live in.  I see it as sort of like floating waves of prayers for peace that just keep moving out around the world.

My suggested time:  between 7 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. in whatever time zone you’re in on Sunday evenings.    Again, a minimum of 10 minutes.  If you have a group that wants half an hour or an hour or more — fabulous!  I’ll suggest the lovingkindness chant:  May the earth be filled with lovingkindness, may she  be well, may she be peaceful and at ease, may she be happy.  But if you have a chant or an affirmation or a vision of peace that you or your group would like to do instead, I think the important thing is the intention of peace and health for the world.

I’ll pledge to put up a post each Sunday — even if it just says “Sunday prayer post, discuss please” so that anyone who wants to can leave comments about the experience that week.  I’m also creating a tag “CollPraySun” (collective prayer sunday) so if you want to write a post about how praying for peace impacts you or your group’s experience or…, there’ll be a tag where we can all look for it.

Let me know what you think!

Following guidance down a long and winding road

Close to the end of my favorite walk here you hit this shady spot… ahhh!

For some reason I’m feeling an urge to tell the story of my “guidance” about writing and the twists and turns of it even though I haven’t reached some obvious conclusion –like, project became successful or project was total failure, etc.  This is more the story of a process and an exemplar of how following intuition can become a long and complex journey.  The creating reality and law of attraction teachings often imply that you pretty much focus your vision on something, think some positive thoughts and it will come to pass.  I’ve said before that I’ve found it often doesn’t work that way; this is a story that shows that process can go on for far longer than much of those teachings ever reveal.

I began studying all this “spiritual stuff” in 1985.  A couple of years in, in meditation I was told that I was meant to write and I received images and messages that indicated the writing would be very successful.  Since I wrote short stories all the time as a child and then became good at writing essays and briefs in adulthood, this seemed pretty natural so I started trying to follow a writing path.  Initially I assumed that the book would be about my spiritual journey and I began chronicling my journey [in which I assumed I was taking giant leaps forward into highest consciousness :>) ] in a book entitled “Peeling the Cosmic Onion”.  I struggled with it, wasn’t happy with the pedantic tone I seemed unable to escape and put it aside.

When I went through Nine Gates Mystery School (ninegates.org) I finally realized my hubris and humbly began serious study, feeling that I needed to know a lot more before I wrote a book that could serve as advice for others.  A couple of years later my kundalini experience began and I virtually channeled a novel, Echoing Ancestors.  I went through all the steps to get it published and worked hard to get reviews (got one great one), get it in bookstores, etc.  but all for naught.  Other than friends I don’t think anyone ever bought it.  I felt hugely disappointed but a meditation also helped me to see clearly that given the major health problems I still suffered at the time, I really didn’t have enough energy to match the size of my dream nor enough energy to do all that would be required if my book became bigger.

I loved being back in the world of writing fiction and fairly soon started a second novel, at which I worked diligently for quite a while and then it bogged down.  I could see that the creative writing spark I had as a child had suffered in the years of writing academic and legal pieces but I couldn’t see how to get back there.

Because of the book I started a web site and, having read that you should offer something for free to people who visit, I began to write “Insights for the Spiritual Journey” and once a week or so I put a new one on the site.  After a while when I asked in meditation what I should be doing to earn a living, I’d still receive the answer that I should write, but now in the form of “write the insights”.   I chafed for a while because I wanted to be told to write my novel but eventually I caved. For several years I kept writing the insights and posting the insights and having no readers and developing no interest in the novel.  Eventually, though, I’d written so many that I began to see how to thread it together into a book.  The next couple of years I still worked at other jobs and trying to get workshops off the ground but as much as I could I devoted time to editing and writing new material and organizing until I had a complete book, Insights for the Spiritual Journey.

I tried a couple of places that had been encouraging about the novel but got no interest.  I also did enough research to realize that the publishing game changed to include a requirement for new authors that you show up with a sizable market already in your pocket.  Since I didn’t have one I wasn’t sure what to do.  So I put the book aside and focused my efforts on my yoga and movement classes.  After a while I started having “insights” forming in my head again, but this time shorter and pithier and with a sense of humor.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I turned again to meditation and received the answer “start a blog”.

First I had to find out what a blog was.  I found WordPress and set up a blog and, again on advice of my meditation “counsel”, began to do two posts a week.  Which I read and a friend of mine read.  For six months…  All these years I periodically pointed out to the universe that if my purpose was to be alive here on earth and writing that it would be helpful if the writing provided a way to actually stay alive…  I usually received either silence or advice to trust and keep writing.  Sometimes I shook my fist at the sky.  After six months I was tired of posting into nothingness so I did some research on how to get people to read your blog which led to posting more often, subscribing to a growing list of blogs,  expanding the blogging life to hours and hours a week instead of a couple…  I got subscribers and made blogging friends and had more fun but still had no numbers that would be interesting to a publisher or that would attract advertising.

But after a year-and-a-half or so, I realized that in the whole collection of blog posts I had some themes on which there was a fair body of work.  I’d also begun exploring the e-book world and the relative lack of constraints (like getting rid of the 180,000 word minimum) and heard a story of a friend’s friend who wrote little metaphysical books for Kindle and received a $300,000 check for one pay cycle.  That really goosed me into thinking about what I could do with those blog posts.  In the meantime the manual for my continuing ed movement classes had grown too big to be copying and hauling so I learned how to work with Kindle in order to put the manual up so my students could all get it easily and cheaply without the clerical work from me.

I soon saw the first topic on which I wanted to do a little e-book.  I’ve also had some crazy little pieces that have kept floating in my head the last year which are soon to form a second e-book that has a working title of Saying No to Mr. Wrong.  The first one, which I’m working on here in Marin, is so far titled Relating Heart to Heart:  A guide to playing well with others.  I’m excited about them.  And I can see that all these many steps along the journey were what it took for me to develop a style that feels right and like me.  To gather the wisdom and insight to have things to teach that are actually helpful.

I also can see how my trust in the universe always had limits which was why I kept trying to take other jobs and teach yoga and then my movement classes.  And I have to wonder whether I might possibly have reached the writing style, etc. faster if I’d just trusted and followed only what I was guided to do.  But really I believe that it all needed to happen this way.  I feel very good about this little book.  My health is also finally good enough that I could do a signing tour or say yes to giving talks, etc. without facing a probability of collapse.  It’s about 25 years since I first received the guidance that writing was my path.  I’ve worn a lot of other hats and made my living doing lots of other stuff over those years.  I’ve grown and changed and become healthier not only physically but mentally and emotionally.

The recent blow up that finally has me focused on the writing even seems like a blessing in many ways.  I kind of wish I’d followed my intuition earlier instead of reaching the point where the universe felt like it needed to yank the rug out from under me.  But I probably needed that lesson too.  The point of all this is that I really believe the messages I received 25 years ago were true.  I also believe that I had a very long journey to accomplish in order to reach the place where the vision could become reality.  It’s possible that I’m going to discover there are some more lessons that have to happen but right now I’m excited to see what happens when the “Relating” book goes up in a month or two.   More important, I’m really enjoying the process of creating it.  And I promise I’ll be posting about it whichever way it goes…

Contemplating a new normal…. from Marin

Took this one last year...

San Francisco view from park next door

Time here in Marin always seems to move too quickly–can’t believe I’ve been here a week.  It’s been a very strange time for me. In the couple of weeks before I came out here a lot of things blew up.  From the workshop that was supposed to pay for this trip to a close friendship to a lot of things about how I’ve been earning a tiny living…  I know from reading other blogs that it’s a bit odd for the reader when someone mentions big events like that and then fails to provide more info but I now see why people do it–too many readers know too much and I don’t want to air dirty laundry or create division or “say” something that would reflect badly on anyone.  So my story is about my reaction to the sudden topsy-turvy quality of my life with apologies that I’m not going to say what happened.

Nothing has thrown me for a loop this badly for a long time.  In the couple of weeks before coming to CA I spent so much time feeling paralyzed that I’m amazed I got out here with everything I intended to bring.  None of the practices with which I’ve held equanimity for years helped–and those I only used when I managed to shake off the deep freeze enough to do something.  At the same time from some deep place within I knew that the changes I have to make should have been made a long time ago.  My “guidance” has been telling me for several years to quit putting so much time into movement classes and instead put more effort into writing and I’ve just kept right on teaching.  So part of me feels relieved that I’m free of the enmeshment that kept me trying to teach and somewhere in there I know that all will be well.

For me it’s another instance of realizing that my faith and trust in the universe are pretty shallow.  Since I bought a non-refundable ticket and committed to house/cat sitting I came on the trip even though the means of paying for it disappeared and at moments I wrestle with fear about spending the money at this time.  But, as always, being here is balm to my soul and the paralysis quickly lifted.  I’ve let myself just hang out and do whatever crossed my mind for the first week and watched myself move into a better space.  I can see that it’s time to restore my sporadic meditation practice to a more regular role and that I have to get more disciplined about working on the two e-books that are basically put together in my head.

Of course I have to smile at the part of me that thought spiritual practice had moved me beyond getting dragged into such a deeply emotional response.  It wasn’t anywhere close to as dramatic as it once would have been and two weeks of trauma is nothing compared to the months or years of angst the situation once would have produced.  I can thank many years of spiritual practice and study for the improved response but I also have to note that once I fell into paralysis I did not just naturally pull out the practices and when I did they helped only momentarily (though who can say how much they may collectively have contributed to my improved state of mind…).

In the meantime I’m here in the place I love so dearly and have enjoyed seeing old friends and look forward to a number of visits still to come.  By the time I leave I might even be looking forward to the new life that awaits when I go home.

 

Here I come…

by User Urban 2004 on wikimedia

Saturday I head off for another house/cat sit in lovely Marin.  Already have a bunch of dates written in for visits with friends–can’t wait!–and in between I’ll be hanging out, walking,  relaxing and working on my next e-book project on the beautiful hill I love.  I’ll be out there with only my new tablet.  Haven’t tried to do writing of any length with it so I’m hazy as to how much blogging I will do (for the book I’ll have one of my trusty yellow pads as I’m a hand writing gal when it comes to books).  I’ll at least try to snap some pix and give you some visuals with brief updates.

More awards

Several people have honored me with awards in the last few months and I’ve done a very poor job of keeping track of who gave what.  As I noted a long time ago, I don’t do the whole award thing with the endless lists, etc. but I do always feel grateful and I want to shine a light on those who have honored me and urge you to take a look at their websites.  A big thanks to Ivan Prefontaine at Teacher as Transformer (sorry don’t remember award and can’t find it), Eunice at Living and Lovin for Blog of the Year, and Your Inner Feathers by Ruby for a Shine On award which was so pretty I thought I’d put it in:

 

Thanks so much all of you.  If I’ve forgotten anyone, please put it in a comment with a link and you’ll be added.