As I move forward

With positive direction, creative purpose, inventive as well as life challenges that will create abundance in other areas of my life. Stepping up meetings, beginning to build fellowship again, clearing the path and vision of how to show up in the world. Not just show up, to Be in the world, to offer the world ideas and actions to make changes, oh changes, those are why I am here, today, why I am writing and speaking, going live today. Every time we set out to make changes, I know this is true for me, you may have noticed it yourselves. You know when you make those plans, goals are set, your behavior and attitude have shifted to a positive view of what you’re doing, the challenges are fun more than they are fearful? Your happy self “goes yes, we got this, we can do this! ” Than bam! Some one little remark, chips away, the ten people you reached to 2 gave a tentative yes, 2 said no or thank you I already good with this, the other seven, not response to your calls or PM’s.

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You feel like you placed a lot of yourself out there, it felt good in a hope that the others would respond, even at meetings I have sat there unable to communicate with the men about sports, or the job or really have I shared, I was actively listening and hearing the wonder and miracle of AA, hearing and seeing true spirituality grow with the desire to give it away to keep it. These tools to practice the program of recovery, the program of living are amazing life changing behaviors and attitudes only effective when a conscious effort is placed in spirit to guide us to do the right thing.

Well while doing the right thing, challenging habits that I seem to fall into by getting into action has created an opposite reaction, emotionally and even physically. First it was a cold, than most recently a blockage in my urinary track, that is a congenital issue, that causes me to reassess medical issues I have put into place. The cold I managed with natural solutions which has relieved cough, congestion, which still is a bit shaky in the morning, the continued use of natural products assist with that while I manage my day.

Fear, doubt, frustration, standing still, a bit of loneliness where the desire to have friends to talk to that get me, the support and understand this process. I missed being touched, held and/or hugged. It is odd I have gotten nothing but support and encouragement when needed, when ask for or shared about. Yet what does my mind do? My mind says this is too hard, it ask why have you exposed yourself to this again? Aren’t you better off where you were, what are you  doing?  This isn’t going to work, you can’t invest any more money into this unless you see some return for your efforts.

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Why is this so difficult to write? The shadow has shown itself, in doubt even in ego, in fear of failure, or may be even of success. The exposure to the world, reminds me of what I missed, yet didn’t miss it when I was not exposed to it.

This is inventory taking, this is areas of my life that I have to work on, and continue to do so. Without the support, encouragement, positive attitude none of this works.

My purpose in life is to share my gifts in whatever manner they present themselves, which is my photography, my ability to take a recipe, create it, style it for presentation, I have the ability and the experience of using essential oils in my life for the past 2 years, which have assisted my health and wellness in many ways. My recovery is the main spring of all of those gifts to materialise in ways I can not imagine. So it is one step at a time, my doubts, fears, and frustrations have been illuminated before and they shall be again. They are guides to look forward, while making amends to myself and others whom I may have harmed in my disconnected from the world.

Moving forward, being the influencer of our own change is an exciting and thrilling adventure while being frightening to leave the old behind yet know that you have left the old behind because it no longer worked for you, it no longer offered anything but sameness, worries and fears of a different type. Allow spirit to guide you, allow spirit of purpose to enlighten your path, allow the Universe show up in all it glory and wonder so that the world can see that they too can accomplish their goal, their dreams can become reality! And so it is.

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Only now

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I begin to understand that power of giving in, of surrendering even when my old beliefs shout that is being co-dependent, that is giving up of yourself. What I have come know is that surrendering is not giving up or giving in, what it is, is letting go, being open, trainable, teachable. I just read a quote from Andre Gide that states, “trust those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.” For truth-seeker are on a journey to discovery, on a path to be shocked, and amazed. To be dazzled by wonder, to be moved by tears of ecstatic joy and yet broken down on their knees in tears from the ignorance and stubbornness of those who believe that they have found the truth, unwilling to hear or conceive anything other than what they know. For knowing something else would mean admitting they were wrong and their lives were false. Not so completely for a truth knower has set a pattern, has become comfortable while a truth seeker is always expanding, shedding skin like a snake or trees letting go of their leaves so that the new growth will begin again in the spring, in the new season.

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Over and over I had to set my questioning aside. Learning to take direction even intuitively which I trusted much more then what most people have shared with me or have guided me to do or practice. When I begin to get uncomfortable within myself, when I have abandoned everyone for safety, rather than allowing those relationship to inform and enlighten who I am at the moment as well as who I wish to become. Solitude is good to have which allows us to reflect, to readjust our own truths at times, yet when solitude becomes a place of emptiness of loneliness that your truth now holds you prisoner in self-created comfort.

Helping a neighbor, being a responsible person by questioning disrespect or inappropriate behavior of those around you can be challenging, and a bit frightening and most people choose not to get involved because of that fear. Yet speaking up, using our voices and our talents to shift the energy, shift the thinking, a little at a time is our purpose in life. Do I know whether I influenced anyone, no not always or not immediately and it is not my business to know, or receive a reward in gratitude or praise. The gift is that I challenged myself, I went beyond my comfort zone, I was being brave for the other people who are too frightened, too unaware, that live in a world of complaint, who are knocked out by the chaos into semi-coma, sleep walking yet in their hearts they desire change unable to see a way out.

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The way out is surrender it is not surrender “I give up, it is impossible!” It is surrender of giving,  it is the letting go of all truths, old beliefs, old patterns of behavior by asking questions, changing the way you go to work in the morning, the way you greet the day even. Ok I feel crappy today, I recognize this so what do I need to do to change that feeling, sometimes it is as simple as taking a shower, making a good meal for yourself, stretching. Hey have time for a walk? Take a walk. Not focusing on a situation doesn’t change the situation per se it offers other choices, allowing growth and awareness to begin.

Make a list of that behaviors you would like to change. You know what they are, make list now. Once that list is done, choose one behavior to begin to change, work on that one behavior for a week. Yes the whole week 7 days. The next week chose another, practice creating change for another week; of course you are still in the process of that change you make the week before, has it become a habit or do you still have to think about doing? Did you stop when you started the next weeks behavioral change? That is okay, just pick up the new behavior again. Going down the list checking those old activities that kept you stuck. The process will not be perfect, no one ever is, even I who sit here writing this to you falls short of this many times. I get caught up in my comfort, it a pattern yet when that pattern becomes boring and isolates us to the world around us that is when action is required. There is a saying, “if you always do what you always done, you will always get, what you always got.”

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If you no longer “want” what you already have, begin to make those changes, today. Allow your truth to be shaken, allow awareness to guide and inform your actions. Ask for help when help is needed; take that class, talk to the guy or girl you think is cute at the coffee shop or in class. Plan better meals for yourself and your family, surrender to the sameness to create a difference.

I share this because I am in the process of this myself. I will check back in a few days. I would like to see what you decide to change. We are on this path together let’s make it more powerful, more meaningful, more loving, more compassionate, more give.

I am love, Jeff

There is a spell or a poem

A spell to Commit Pronoia, Jennifer Welwood

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discover connection everywhere;

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I am given unimaginable gifts;

Surrendering into the emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

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Each condition I flee from pursues me.

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And becomes itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.

I bow to the one who had made it so,

Who has crafted this Master Game;

To play it is pure delight,

To honor it is true devotion.

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This spell or poem spoke to me this morning while doing my practice of reading mediations. A reading mediation is one in which the language of the scripture, if you wish to use that “religious” word. A reading mediation can be a selections of passages from your favorite books or quotes that you may have accumulated in a journal or dairy. Words and language that your feel as you read them, I like to say them out loud, it gives me a sense of life, gives the words and lanuage energy, lets them loose on or into the Universe. As ritual passages they become more magical, reciting the words consciously allows for them to form, give meaning, allows you to feel and sense what they mean, how structure and or tone informs your spirit, breathe, take a moment between the sentences, hold the last one until it lets go.

Letting go informs your conscious you are ready to receive the next line, the next assistance, the next illumination, the next loving caress or uplifting phrase that will carry you on to the next.

Listen to your voice, the sound of it, are you quiet, is it tough or tender, are you commanding the words forth with projection, or are you meekly rendering them across the air into your space? Are those words intimate, are they strong and powerful, like a lover encouraging you on? Sudders my come, you may feel sweaty or faint, or nothing. If nothing, stop, breathe, re-set your intention, your purpose.

Read the previous sentence, or passage, feel it now, understand your pace, how does it feel now?

There are days that it becomes routine and you rush through the practice just to get on with your day, it is okay for now yet remember to embrace the practice next time. That energy and consciousness is what you take with you into your day. A word or a phrase may come to you when driving to work, or doing your chores, a conversation with a friend or even a stranger can sometimes remind you of who you are, and who you are seeking to become. In a flash or later in a thoughtful moment your warrior has come upon its weekness or its strenght, here is where the creative tools are brought forth to craft your being.

It is not perfection we seek even when it feels like that is so. It is the authentic self we seek and begin to know. In our aloneness we are not alone, in our fear we are fearless, in our pursuits we discover we can be transformed.

Delight in the journey, find laughter in the imperfection, and joy in the challenges. Embrace the gifts each moment offers.

There is that poem or passage, or even a spell that leads you…

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scattered

Across the years, through decades, scattered letters, poems, photographs, along with piles of journals, those journal writing books of different colors, textures, and sizes. There are loose leaf paper file binders in bright colors strewn about the bed, the floor of the apartment that is now the present while these artifacts are glimpses into the past of what once was to become who one is today.

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Will anyone remember who I am? Do they know who I am or was? Does it even matter? It seems to matter to me today, in the past year people have transitioned from this world who meant something to me in one way or another, as inspiration, as mentors, as symbols of strength in the face of all a matter of challenges life presented to them.

I have been considering stories about my mother, I have a small note paper “diary” of her’s before she was my mother, she is a teenager writing about going to dances, describing boys she meets and her girl friends she attends the evenings with. There are other pages where Betty details the training she receives so that she can work as a phone operator for Bell Telephone in Camden.

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With those memories of my mom, there flashes the thoughts of my father who I had spent much less time with because he worked shift work and was gone at 50 from heart attack, I was only 27-28. He never met grand children, or they the pleasure of his company.  There are no letters or journals from dad, oh there is one letter from when he was at basic training which we were told he never was in the army, I have not come across that letter again. I have camera’s he used, there are photographs of us as kids and people he worked with as well as his family members, mother, step-sister and her family.

So in considering all those stories, life histories, in a flash I saw myself not being seen or known, with the lives of people being shorted, two deaths in a month of fellow recovery acquaintances, two or three people from a spiritual group we all once belong too. My x-wife who has had a return of her breast cancer and the death of my last long term partner a year ago; along with the fact I celebrated 28 years of sobriety and I will be 65 this year, morality seems to be nudging at my consciousness while I seem to be diddling my days away.

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With the archives of letters, journals, folders, photographs, and blog pages, along with unreliable memories scattered about, I have stories to write, stories to tell that may enlighten, inform, maybe confound my days and nights with more questions than answers. Who knows where any of it will lead yet the beginning has begun. Join me as I piece together the scattered.

 

Now for the food portion…

What better way to expand my blog than with a 5 day smoothie cleanse to introduce the food blog portion of The Reluctant Bloger: a creative journey that will begin to feature wellness suggestion from my own everyday life experience.

As an off and on again vegetarian for years and never could got the hang of it and I am not sure I have it now? Since there is so much information out there and I have fallen in love with food blogs, not only the recipes but the photography as well. Many of the blogs are from women who started posting recipes, or house keeping ideas and have created a business with some amazing layouts and photography website/blog.  As the blog evolves I will be sharing some of my favorites, in time hopefully have guest blogger or share blogs together.

The creative journey that I have been on for many years now has led my down this path it was not one I have really shared about and I still don’t have all the information and or confidence to make some of this happen yet I have been called to offer my experiences, sharing my knowledge, learning from others, practices I have taken to improve me wellbeing emotionally and spiritually as well as physically.

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Several weeks ago I began making smoothies for breakfast or an occasional lunch, the reason behind that was not to get in on the trend but to put more fruits into my eating habits,  because every time I buy fruit it usually sits in my refrigerator, going bad, do you that?  My thought was making smoothies was a creative way to get the fruit and veggies into my body instead of my trash.

So the morning of May 1st I started a The 5 Day Smoothie Cleanse offered by Alyssa Rimmer of Simply Quinoa Blog which I have been following and using many of her wonderful recipe. I took the challenge, yet have not set goals in mind other than to reset my gut health a bit and ramp up some energy as well as lose a few pounds. Whatever happens I will have created and enjoyed some powerful healthful smoothies and Buddha Bowls.

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Well this is evolution of my blog which will feature stories,  recipes, photography, wellness practice ideas, DIY projects for your home and personal use. I hope to see you follow a long, build new a followers.

What wellness topics would you like to see discussed, I look forward to this new exciting addition to The Reluctant Bloger: A Creative Journey and sharing this life long experiences with you!

 

The only way is through…

Yesterday I placed myself in the experience of not getting into action because the gremlin on my shoulder or in my head kept say; “you’re not ready yet, you don’t know what you’re doing!” On and on that voice clouding my actions, dimming my emotions, lowering my defenses.

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The Universe was showing me the path, offering me the guidance, even the permission to get into action whether I am or feel ready. This morning one more “sign” presented itself which placed me in an attitude of gratitude as well as a state of tears. I was extremely touched by response to a photo and status I had posted after a long day of trying to show up. Along with that I received a post and message using one of my photos for a class that was beginning in May. The course is presented by Robin Rice, titled Speaking Your Sage; Writing Your Wise. The study is a practice in telling our stories, in a form that allows one to expressed their creativity through art, writing, painting, photography, coaching, and most of all being authentic.

I was denying myself this activity,  maybe denying is not the activity, I was keeping myself small, I would illuminate small areas of my life and creativity only once in a while, because I was unclear what I had to offer with those actions, who I am, the voice would say, what do you know, the voice would announce. I stepped back from showing up, oh yes, I was there but only on the surface, on the edges, in the mean time my life experiences kept getting smaller rather then expanding and evolving.

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One of voices the Universe used was of Barbra Streisand’s rendition of Sondheim’s “Putting it Together” where she is releasing a new CD of songs, while I am about to launch a wellness practice that I have been preparing, researching, learning about etc… therefore these words resonated,

A vision’s just a vision if it’s only in your head
If no one gets to hear it, it’s as good as dead
It has to come to life
Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together, that’s what counts…

Who am I? I have gift to share, a voice to share my story, my experience. All the knowledge  I have cluttering up my head serves no one, every class, video, podcast, workshop in the recent days have stated the gifts are to share. I recovery we taught, even if you have one day, to the person who just walked into the room you have something to share.

No everything is not in place, yet enough to start, there is nothing to go around the process is through. I have to go through with the knowledge; most of all, life experience. I don’t know everything, yet I offer what I have,  learn and evolved.

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What do you have to go through to get to where you wish to Be?

Hiding or preparing?

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While in the shower this morning that voice that seems to get stimulated when you are cleansing yourself from the day before preparing to the day ahead, that voice, the voice that comes to you in the silence, not the neighbors voice from the shared wall in the bathroom. Your voice taking to you, sometime he is the gremlin chattering in you head about all the “failure” or “not enough” you know, the coulda, woulda, you shoulda done this or this or this. Well we are here now so none of the applies here.

The shower voice said, ” You’re hiding. You have been hiding since your left Easton Mt and returned home to NJ. Not just while you where caring for your mother, not while you were grieving for her and Riley, not since  you became to elder generation, not since you seemed to have disappointed people who were close to you or they disappointed you by not showing up as authentic as  you thought they were.”

During those times you managed to move forward, to show up, to get everyday living opportunities to assist you, you continued to do  your practice of spiritual reading and morning pages in some form or another. You walked everyday with Muffin and took photo’s while building a new life for yourself. Not bad,  you accomplished activities on your own, continued to share your work with galleries, exhibition, on your Redbubble site.

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Than Muffin was gone and I had no excuse to really go out anymore, oh sure you did for a while yet slowing those moments got to be less and less, those walks a bit boring, same old, same old. Five months ago, I stopped doing my morning pages and the reading of inspiring tracts to stimulate the emotional/spiritual sense of who I am. I thought I wanted more or I needed more. More what I didn’t know. The practice was no longer effective in many ways. Reading inspiring language is a powerful  experience when you can place them in action in your daily life. My life was just me.

Yes life still goes on, I continue to find ways to self improve through healthy eating by preparing meals from scratch, I have fallen in love with food blogs, I continue to discover how I can show up in the world even when I can hardly afford to show up in the world. A year and half ago I began to incorporate essential oils into my daily life while also learning how EO’s work with the body, mind, and spirit while improving all around health. I was uncomfortable for a while sharing this with other, so I researched, I watched video’s, I attended on-line Essential oil classes, social network seminars, pod cast, etc. Once again I have knowledge and wisdom about something I believe in yet the fear jumps in the way.

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For many years I have sought to share what I know, and I don’t know anymore than many other people, What I sought to accomplish is to guide and coach people into a fully integrated way of living. Seeking to do so and believing I could are two separate actions.

I am I a good enough example, are my life experiences and story interesting enough for people to seek me out for advice/guidance? Do people believe in me? Will they believe in me? Sometimes you just have to jump off the ledge, you have to let go of the and enjoy the roller coaster ride! I am going off the ledge, I have shooting around the next bend on the ride called life.

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Was I hiding or preparing? Is there a difference ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For I will always find you…

Finding You in Beauty

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Penetrating Light

The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.

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I thought of you

I thought of you.

I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers

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tucked away

As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.

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ending beauty

I’m very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
–Walter Rinder

Unfolding

How many times have I considered returning to theses pages, to blog again, I truly don’t know yet what I do know this blog and the practice of  writing here is like a friend to me that I have left behind and wish to reconnect and build a stronger conscious relationship with.

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cloud magic

I wrote in my morning pages that I have so many parts of me that make who I am who I am and the  person and or being is ever-changing, well not really changing, manifesting, evolving into a whole presence of being.

A year and 10 months ago when I began the new phase in life it was fresh start and the old challenges and daily struggles gone. I was truly on my own which was at first lonely, no not lonely I had felt abandoned, everything and everyone I once knew and counted on was gone, or seemed that way. I had to become responsible for myself which meant uncovering who I was now. As I unpacked boxes from a lifetime ago that had been in storage the old me began to emerge again, some of that person I did not wish to experience again, so he was set aside. There were recent creative activities I had even let go of that I now wish to bring forward once again.

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suspended leaves

Those being the healer, of course I had healing of my own to do first. Being the healer meant I can share my wisdom and knowledge to those around me in whatever form that showed up as. The healing of self began  with eating healthier, getting exercise, building new social and creative connections and relationships. Ever growing, evolving and experiencing life in the present.

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discovered connection everywhere,

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I am given unimaginable gifts;

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

 

Each condition I flee from pursues me.

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And become itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.

I bow to the one who made it so,

Who has crafted this Master Game;

To play it is pure delight,

To honor it is true devotion.

Jennifer Welwood: psychotherapist

 

I discovered this poem this morning which resonated with who I am becoming. The following blogs will illuminate that process of awareness. Who will show up are the many facets of my being, the inperfect self improving being we all have the opportunity to become.

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unfolding morning glory

 

 

 

 

The Art of answers and questions…

I cannot expect even my own art to provide the answers—only to hope it keeps asking the right questions. Grace Hartigan

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That art is the art of being an example of how to be fully present in the world, even when fear and sadness which try to invade from every other direction. Yet it from within that the right questions are asked  so that hope can bring the answers forth to be shining beacons on the present, guiding us to a fuller better improved future, for it is in the now that the future is planted, it is the days that follow that the future is nurtured and tended lovingly, compassionately offering the best solutions during the evolution of the human population and the evolution of the planet for its continual growth.

gaggle of geese
gaggle of geese

Yes I was gifted with the art of photography, I was sent out to use that gift to acknowledge the land, the planet, even if is just my small little bit of it, the everyday moments, the daily life that is there for us to see, as well as admire, to bring a smile, a warm thought. Whether it is the sunlight shining through the leaves on a tree, or the shimmer the light makes across the water of the lake, did you notice, squirrel scurry up that tree, did he stop and chatter at you? Are there rabbits along the edges of the bushes, look there they are! What color is the sky today? Pale blue, azure blue, grey looking like rain or snow, are there clouds, what kind, what do they look like, are they still or swiftly moving across the landscape? Did you notice birds flying there in the blue of the sky, did you recognize one or another, where you captured by their flight, how they move, up and down, or flapping wings like crazy to get to the next place, maybe there was one that captured your attention because it seem to float and rotate around the sky seeking something? Amazing right? All of that life surrounds you as you walk even if it is just to your car to get to one place or another. Were there people who you went past as you headed out, your neighbor, the mailman, a stranger walking their dog, did you acknowledge them or they you? A smile, and good morning, hey what up? This life, this is the fullness of life, the everyday events, pay attention to them they are just as important as any other activity in your life. Who knows that glimpse of a squirrel or rabbit, the flash of a bird flying across the cloud filled sky, the person you greeted or greeted you may be just the event that can shift your life to a fuller awareness of the beauty the surrounds you.

Oneness
Oneness

These are only small incidence that make up our daily lives, look around at the art of creation, look around at the creativity of evolution, and experience the grandest of a friendship with the planet and the other creatures that inhabit the same space each one contributing to its future.

Beyond the Clouds

I needed write something besides my daily activities from the day before, I need to shine light in my soul as well as out into the world. More and more I believe that my most pleasurable place is here writing even when the writing is not so good, but the fact that I get to create a world I wish to see, a world I wish to live in and do live in much of the time. There are moments that we have to stand outside of ourselves to see what surrounds and informs us of who we are, we tend to take the everyday for granted, while it continues to bless us with a powerful experience, Life!

in the details
in the details

Say thank you, remember to be grateful for it all, the good and the bad, the good we expect that bad not so much, but it is in the challenge that pulls us up, informs us of who we are, reflects back to us the person we have become. Is that person someone your admire, is that person who you thought you were, or are there more experiences that you must meet to continue on your journey? It is not about more things, and stuff that you have, it is about who you are and who you present to the world. Yes sometimes he or she may not so pretty to witness yet there are those moments when we shine with all the glory that we are at the moment. Hold them like jewels, to enrich the magic of your presence, let them shine, share those facets with the world around for there are more and plenty to share. The more you share the more there is.

Thank you for reading and viewing this blog, the photos will be released to my store front within a few hours. Please pop over and give them a view there.

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