Category Archives: recovery

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?

In the middle…

circle within
circle within

Saying no can be the ultimate self-care. Claudia Black

Art Happens
Art Happens

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity! Albert Einstein 

Just a few quotes found in The Artist Way: week 10 recovering the sense of self-protection.

Found object and trash projects have been a photography medium I have been involved in during the past year. Take with my iPhone  4 !

Ordinary to Extraordinary

“We ourselves must choose each step. And to choose each step and be strong enough to endure what will follow on our repeated choice we have to develop a deep spiritual practice within the terms of ordinary life, trying at all moments to stay centered in the heart, the truth of the heart, the peace of the heart, so that the pain of growth can be borne within that peace and be infused by it” Andrew Harvey: The Return of the Mother.

Is life ordinary? Or is it not extraordinary!!! Extraordinary that we breathe each moment into the next moment. That life is ever evolving with or without our conscious involvement within it. Last evening I was granted a gift beyond my understanding of deserving the gift. Along with that gift the sense of gratitude overwhelmed me to tears, overcome with a sense of “how do I accept this?” What do I say, how can I repay this presentation? Than the realization of deeper friendship and love that lies within the gift from artist to artist, and friend to friend. Out of the depths of ordinary, out of showing up each day, out of the reaching out the hand to another one has reached back.

The songs “Make Believe” and “If I Loved You” touched some old memories, yet new meanings were layered over those memories of romantic love to to understand the idea of “acting as if” to believe in oneself even when the world seems to be falling about around you. When nothing seem to be in your favor. The Universe shines the light, cools the breeze, touches a place that has been unaired and darkened by survival.Glimpse of light

On each repeated choice we have to develop a deep spiritual practice, that practice is showing up each day, being aware of the details, being grateful sometimes just to get to the end of the day or waking in the morning.

Staying centered in truth, in peace, and in love.

I wrote the upper part of this on July 8th I didn’t believe it captured the essence of what I was trying to convey. So all writing stopped.

What have I been up to since the last blog? I have been rediscovering who I was, who I am meant to be. That uncovering is slow, yet warm and welcoming at times, is any of it practical? Who knows? Have I ever really been practical? Not very much, as serious as these blogs seem to be, I am not a practical person in that light the twist and turns of my life will attest to.

Now of course I have to get practical or serious in some cases. Taking care of myself. I need help financially, there is no more kindness of stranger or Mom. Of course once the house sells there shall be an amount that if properly managed can subside the plans I have to maintain my photography work, and build a healing/spiritual practice.

Until than I had to apply for food stamps, which I received and has been very useful for purchase of food.
There was a blog planned for that discussion. The uses of the gifts of natures goodness, plants and veggies. A friend had taken me to Produce Junction and we shared our abundance and I was more than grateful, overwhelmed with the kindness. What so much a little could buy.

Before all of this I had connected with a friend who has a space that is called Holistic Living Studio in Glassboro NJ. We shared Reiki together and as we checked in with each other she offered the space to do my Reiki practice and to host the Reiki Share. At the time I was still kind of numb but grateful for the offer and I truly considered it. A month ago we had our first Reiki share group which well attended, the vibrations/energy motivated those numb parts of me to say yes. Let’s do this thing!

The Buddha Sits

I placed out into the Universe that I am receiving Reiki Clients, three days a week during certain hours. The Universe has not gotten that message out yet but I am sure she will very soon. Along with that a friend got in touch with me with in days of saying yes to the use of the studio about doing Essential Oils workshop and a Fire Ceremony Shamanic event. We got the energy flowing for those to happen.
In that same inspiration, we discussed Reiki 1 classes for the fall. I am looking into Crystal and stone practice healing workshops, and meditation practice, as well as so many other assorted possibilities.

How practical is all of that. This is what I am suppose to do, these are the gifts I was given to share. This has been my vision for a long time. The light is now beginning to shine brightly again.

One more gift that was graciously given to me. A few weeks before my birthday I placed on my status on Facebook if anyone wished to give me a Birthday gift, the suggestion was to purchase Street Photo books from Michael Penn. I had committed to buy his self produced Philadelphia Project,  full page black and white photography magazines for $10 each. With the recent setback financially I could not afford them, and he had been saving them for me. Within less than an hour someone who I know from photography group messaged me that he was working with Michael to get the books for me. I was stunned and extremely excited and beyond grateful! I received all the back-ordered books and more, a week later!

These gifts are gifts that have been so freely given. I hope to honor that with my practice of healing and paying it forward when opportunities present themselves!

I have chosen the steps, I have consciously awakened mind, body, and spirit, through continual practice of sharing gratitude that allow the flow and vibration to bring these sources of abundance to us. The Universe has more than enough to share, so share the gifts of love.

I am Love…

Om Shanti

Om Shanti… I am the light, I am the peace of the world. I am the light, I am the peace of the world. I am the light, I am the peace of the world… Om Shanti. Bliss

Tangled
Tangled

I am the process of soothing the fire-breathing dragon! The fire burns of reaction, of unconscious loss, dragon has been wakened to protect its possessions, its family, it’s lair. A stranger has stepped in disturbing the peaceful slumber.

Dragon awakened last evening after coming back from my nieces Christmas gathering. I ignore as many family gatherings that I can. For I am the stranger among them. I don’t know how to be. There is no drama, just family members who spend time together or at least communicate on a regular basis. Of course I am always invited and now it is to bring mom even though I have asked them to pick her up several times during the past year. Christmas is the one occasion I felt that I would/should show up.

spiral
spiral

I suppose resentment is the response that reacted as anger once getting home. With a confused mother, wandering around the house looking for something she could not name.  I wanted to just set with the dogs, I just wanted to be. Riley’s inability to walk has become a sadness almost too unbearable to contemplate. My patience with both of Mom and Riley blooms into confused anger. Poor Muffin sits there looking at me or wants to go outside.

Sleep was interrupted several times with Riley crying which I think I was sensing in my sleep, the night was not restful. 5:30 am was wake up time. Still hearing cries from down stairs, I prepared to settle at the table with laptop, fresh coffee, dogs at my feet. Once I got everything situated, moved Riley in the room with me, coffee hot, computer warmed up, ready to engage. Mom arrives, wandering about, looking for the comb she using for the dogs. I already explained to her it was on 6 am. The dogs are still sleeping, I am feeling anxious, hyperventilating, trying to keep calm, almost in tears.  Trying to explain to mom the hour and my time, etc. She disappears, Muffin ask to go out, a walk will do us good. It is dark and raining, I am in near tears, walking being present, being the moment, trying to recognise and honor what I have been experiencing.  I say prayers as I walk, I have for years, 3rd and 7th step prayer, St Francis Prayer, another I took in from Joel S. Goldsmith readings.

every direction
every direction

Upon coming in the house and once again getting settle, Mom is dressed, getting her coffee. I can’t be in this energy now. I so wanted to sit with the dogs, to blog etc. Yet the TV comes on and mom wanders from room to room. I packed up and returned to my room, my over stuff sanctuary. Let candles,  downloaded photos I took two days ago, viewed them while listening to Bliss: Hundred Thousand Angels.

I love when I am moved by my own photographs, even stunned by them at times! Having a moment. Those moments seem rarer that once before, yet the magic still can happen.  I research Dragon myth and archetype for dragon was the creature that came to mind. The protector, the fire-breathing beast roaring.  Of course poor dragon should not have to be blamed, as well as anyone else. It is I feeling unsafe, unprotected, maybe even up loved, a stranger to myself and to others.

extended
extended

Om Shanti, the vibration of OM was and always is soothing, moving, comforting.  The affirmation: I am light, I am the Peace of the world repeated  for 5 minutes  gives me hope and a bit of peace. I don’t feel that I am either the Light or the Peace of the world but I can find serenity among those sounds.

Om Shanti Om Shanti Om Shanti : I am the Light, and the Peace of the World

Photos: 

The Key is to…

“And what’s funny is that if we take small steps each day, each moment, when we look back, we can be amazed at how far we’ve come. The key is to not let the chaos and the pain stop you, but to realize that they are also an important and vital part of life.”  Mastin Kipp: The Daily Love Blog 

twist of chaos
twist of chaos

The whole purpose to write, to journal is to take those small steps each day. After I wrote yesterday the censor came to visit, saying ” Yo! People don’t want to read this stuff everyday.” I know that and these pages are not for people, they are for me, my personal journey through everyday stuff.  If others receive insight, wisdom, clarity, or guidance good for them!

Through the fog of one of my recurring headaches I stumble on to these pages. The day always begins with attention to the dogs. Riley now infirm, doesn’t move around much, so cleanup is a necessary step. Make the coffee, walk Muffin in the freezing weather. She is such a joy, she reminds me to laugh. If I let her out before I get all my warm clothes on she will just basically stand there waiting. As soon as I walk outside, she falls to the ground and rolls over, rolling about. Seemingly saying “here I am dad play with me. Rub my belly. ” Because we are not going anywhere very fast until I do just that.

Cheeky Muffin
Cheeky Muffin

The shadows of the Moon greeted us this morning at 5:45 am. Grateful for no wind, the trees created beautiful shadows, and picture perfect moments of clouds, moon lit paths… I thought I should have my camera, than about photos already taken I could use here. Breathing the fresh frozen air seem to cool the headache a bit as we walked in the almost silent silvery  moment.

Digging out “the Artist’s Way” from under pile other books which cover many spaces of shelves, desks, and surface,  because I had the sense that  I may need to explain what morning pages are, or maybe just remind myself of their purpose! Distracted by trying to discover the proper use of they’re, there, and their. Oy!

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Finding and opening “the Artist’s Way” is like reconnecting to an old friend. There is warm and encouragement in the words, in the process of taking action to unravel or understand the chaos of daily life. The daily life of just doing. Going about from one thing to another without much thought just to get a chore done or a meal made, or a medication given. The sameness of it all is dull, boring, and blocking of much of my creative juice.  Oh god this is difficult, the headache just wants to push everything else out-of-the-way.

Morning pages are to be “three pages” stream of consciousness writing, everyday, for no one else but ourselves. They are to shine light in the dull boring places of blockage, to awaken us to our creativity. There are no right or wrong ways to write your pages.  They are not a story or essay, there are more or less ramblelings of a mad man… it is about recovery of creativity, getting out of our own way.  From there everything else may flow. Or not?

The censor/ego even began to assert itself when there was only one comment to the blog, and then two more when I re-posted on my FB “Nature Spirit Photography page. Which is  underused ! As stated above censor almost caused me not to write this morning, suggesting that no one wants to read this stuff every day. I don’t care.  do I ?

Shadow play
Shadow play

A thought came to me on the walk back to the house, something about is not bravery facing the fear, is not bravery being present amongst the chaos of everyday challenges. The dragon I have to tame is myself, the dragon is part of me but is not me in completion. Dragon is the roaring defense of loss, confusion. The protector as.  Are loss/pain and chaos not the keys to letting go, to moving on, to getting over or through the block?

To view and or purchase photos go here

 

 

Rarely have we seen a person fail…

who has throughly  followed our path.” Big statement yet placed with honesty, and continual practice of service to a Higher Power through the steady conscious awareness of self in daily readiness to help another human being.

Glimmers of light
Glimmers of light

At 12:00 am today I was led out of a tunnel of darkness, into a room full of light, well really crowded with men and women sitting around a table and lining the walls of a strip mall store, drinking coffee, smoking and chatting among themselves. Actually they were reading from a book,  a little blue book, The 12 & 12, which was either shared with me by the person next to me or I was given one while being shown which page and paragraph they were on. Yes I was late to my first AA Meeting at the Malvern Club House.

24 Years ago today those people in that crowded smoked filled room help me begin to change me life, one day at a time.  Being desperate enough to finely seek help for my drinking which had recently gotten me arrested for public lewdness or disturbance. My lover of the past few years had offered me a ultimatum,  it was him or the booze and crazy behavior alcohol and pot created within me. Imagine I went to my first meeting to save my relationship with another person? Yet I discovered after a few short weeks it was the relationship to myself and a Higher Power that would keep me there, allow me to get sober and be sober…

A moment
A moment

24 years is a life time, 24 years is only a beginning of the opening doors, the unraveling of years of unconscious behavior, ideals, and thinking that kept me in the state of want, the state of emptiness. In that state I felt the need to fill the hole in my soul, the ego needed to be constantly stroked. Every action was caused by those needs to be wanted  to be like, to be the best at something.

24 years of awakening, walking along many paths with many people, in meetings, books, in prayer circles, which for a time included religious organizations, than in spiritual community, who did I meet in all those places? I met myself, I meet myself in the reflection of each person and situation that challenges who I am, who I believe I am and who I am becoming.

24 years of re-discovery, have I throughly followed the path? Sometimes, sometimes not. The quote that begins this blog and is major part of the 12 Step Program written by recovering drunks for recovering drunks, and read at many many meeting everyday sets down the path, offers the tools to use, to a practice of a way of life beyond many peoples understanding. The reading offers bit of comfort with these words, ” We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.”

the imperfect path
the imperfect path

Thank goodness for that, I don’t have to be perfect anymore, and I am not by any means. I fall short every day, yet the main thing is I don’t drink, I don’t use a substance, to dumb me. I walk in the woods, I take my camera, and my two lovely animal companions who show me what unconditional love is on a moment to moment basis. I am granted today, this moment, to be present, each a gift to unwrap and savor, sharing with the world around me…

I am grateful.