Spirit of Dragonflies

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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2018 – A Year of Opportunity & Growth

In this first week of the year, many people anticipate beginnings, changes, and opportunities for growth. Share with us an image that evokes this spirit of change and newness — the smile of a new friend, a freshly planted garden, an empty journal waiting to be filled. Growth is very personal, and I encourage you to interpret this as literally or as broadly as you like. Happy New Year — we can’t wait to see your photos!

When writing the story of your life don’t let anyone else hold the pen. ~ Unknown ~

What story will you write in 2018. Take hole of the pen and start writing your own story – not someone else’s idea of your story. This can be a year of growth if you just pick up the pen and decide what it is you want to bring to your life this year and ever year thereafter.

Journaling has always been one of my favorite things to do whether home sitting in my chair, at my desk, first thing when waking, or while enjoying a coffee shop. My family is always very encouraging and I have been blessed with some wonderful journals over the years. On the New Year’s Eve, I review my goals from the previous year and count my blessings for all that was accomplished. If there is anything left that wasn’t accomplished it is time to rethink if this should be carried on to the next year or possibly it was something that I thought was a goal and ended up not being that important after all.

This year when I reviewed 2017, I felt very blessed with so many wonderful events:

  • I witnessed two of my children get married – each wedding was very special and magical
  • Spent time with my family (all four of my sisters in one place at the same time is a rare occurrence and saw one of my nieces for the first time in ten years) – blessing
  • Hiked in Pennsylvania with my children, their spouses and two grandsons
  • Spent quality time with my grandchildren on numerous occasions
  • Traveled to California a couple of times to visit my daughter and her family
    • Spent Thanksgiving week in San Diego and Santa Barbara – took a ride along the Pacific Coast.
  • Traveled to New Mexico twice – one to visit my granddaughter and her boyfriend before they returned to NYS and once to visit a blogging friend. It was wonderful visiting different areas of this beautiful state and experiencing Spirit Walk with Mary
  • Visited Innisfree Gardens with two of my cousins
  • Went hiking and snowshoeing
  • Created new jewelry
  • Learned more about doTERRA essential oils and making rollerballs
  • Facilitated my first essential oil rollerball class and did quite well
  • Attended my first craft fair to sell rollerballs, framed photos and jewelry
  • Purchased a Nespresso Machine and Vitamix – both were on my list
  • Spent several weekends at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center volunteering and attending programs
  • Facilitated bi-weekly meditations at work
  • Visited new places in MA, PA and NY
  • Traveled for work with my supervisor – visiting new locations along the way
  • And, so many more wonderful events

Those are just some of the wonderful growth experiences from 2017. I am looking forward to what 2018 brings.

Growth is not always something we look forward to – sometimes growth comes in other ways that we may not anticipate or request. At the end of 2017 I learned that I was AFib – not something I would have set as a goal however life decided that this was going to be a learning lesson. Sometimes there are wrenches thrown into the mix just to keep us on our toes and helps us appreciate life. With medication my heart is feeling much better.

Guess my growth is learning to listen to my body and follow through with medical care. Physicians and specialists are needed for some health issues and we can still be open to integrative therapies in conjunction with the medical field. I’ve learned that acupuncture, essential oils, and Therapeutic Touch can bring balance to the body, mind and spirit when in the midst of an awakening to the reality of life. Medication, although not wanted, can save lives for certain illnesses. I am grateful for the medication that slowed my heart rate and corrected the irregular heart beat. I realized that sometimes our bodies malfunction no matter how well we think we are taking care of them. It is fine to feel shocked and disappointed for a short time if we don’t stay in that dark place for too long. Once we open ourselves to the fact that this is part of our new reality, we can move forward to make plans to live and enjoy every minute of life. We can release all that holds us back and be ready to jump right into the next creative journey. There is no time to keep toxic people, situations or environments in our lives. We need to remember that everyone has their own darkness and to be kind and understanding to all because we never really know their true story unless we take the time to listen. Be grateful for other’s good fortunes because there is always darkness with the light. Remember when you are in darkness that light is always present and ready to shine upon you once the cloud shifts.

Life is a balance of light and darkness, without one we would not be able to appreciate the other. Until our last breath is taken, we should be enjoying life, spending time with supportive/caring people, paying attention to all of our blessings, and living in a state of gratitude.

Start a gratitude journal today – you may just be surprised at how grateful you become. May 2018 be a year filled with health, wellbeing, creativity, joy, and overall abundance in every area of your life. I am grateful for your taking the time to read my blog.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/growth-2/


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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”

 

Releasing fear behind as I zip through the forest

Releasing fear behind as I zip through the forest

This week’s challenge reminded me of a personal victory I had while visiting Alaska. First it was a personal victory to even visit this massive state – it was a dream since my youth.

Zip lining is something I was familiar with and had an experience with once when I brought a foster child I was working with to Adirondack Experience for a reunion visit. There were a dozen girls who were at the reunion, many from the urban areas and attending the week in the Adirondacks was taking them out of their comfort zones. Add in the rope courses, zip lining and climbing poles was even further out of their element. The youth I brought wanted to climb up the tree ladder and experience the zip line but fear overtook her. I, with my fear of heights, hadn’t planned on participating but decided to show her that to overcome her fears she had to experience this, that day, for she may never have this experience again.

I slowly climbed the ladder, looking upward for fear if I looked down I would freeze. While in BASIC training with the Army I froze when climbing the various obstacles along the obstacle course but pushed forward because I wanted to lead the young girls who were in my company. I was 32 at the time serving with girls as young as 17 year olds old. So, climbing this tree with this young girl’s future in mind put enough pressure on me to climb to the top but this time I was in my late 40s. Once at the top, I sat and slid over to the guide. He locked me in to the harness and I scooted to the edge – feet dangling as I continued to look out and up at the trees. I leaned back and whispered for him to shove me off because I would never willingly jump off. He said lean forward. I asked for him to repeat. He did and added that I should look at the trees and lean forward. The girls were shouting encouragement from below and then I leaned over to look down at them and, I was flying in the air down through the trees so quick that it was all a blur. At the end the rope snapped tight and my feet continued onward out in front of me, then back behind me a few times until the weight of my body and gravity brought my body to a slow swing. The guide met my feet with a ladder and once my feet were secure I released the lock of the harness from the rope. The girls were cheering and I was still in disbelief. It was a wonderful feeling but my body continue to shake in response to the experience.  I wasn’t ready to try again.

A decade later, my sister and I were checking out the excursions on the cruise ship and I decided zip lining in Alaska would add to my experience and fulfilled a few dreams – Alaska, temperate rain forest and zip lining. My sister declined the invitation so I went off on my own.

We road a boat across the bay to the island. Having an island of trees was pretty amazing to begin with. There were several zip lines throughout the adventure. The first wasn’t too long or too high – higher than the Adirondack Experience but compared to what was to come in hindsight it wasn’t. The trees were further apart as well. When I climbed the platform tears of joy filled my eyes – I was in Alaska, in a temperate rain forest zip lining. It was overwhelming. My knees were not quite as excited as they wobbled under me and my heart joined in with a little extra thump now and then. I was not going to let this stop me.

They buckle you up and off you go into the trees, sometimes not even knowing where you will land but I continued onward with others in my group.

Getting ready for my turn

Getting ready for my turn

I received my certificate and medal to show that I was victorious. Might have even stood a little taller and straighter that day. What better way to experience Alaska!!

Love and Light!


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In Search of Dragonflies

Dragonflies have not always intrigued me. In fact, as a child I was petrified of the dragonfly and damselflies because my mother told me they would sew my eyes and mouth shut.

What piqued my interest? It wasn’t actually the actual insect. When I owned my home I became obsessed with Trading Spaces. A television show that aired weekly with neighbors trading spaces in their home for remodeling of one room. Some of the decorators were a little out there for me with grass walls, bright colors and unusual themes. What I did like was how watching got those creative juices flowing and had me always on the lookout for a home improvement project to include laying my own subfloor and ceramic tile on my kitchen floor, painting, wallpapering, installing lights, a front and back door as well as a installing a stained glass window in my bedroom. The latter installations with the assistance of my son.

Where did the dragonflies come in? On a visit to Jo-Ann’s Fabric I found a red material with gold dragonflies. The material cost over $25 a yard. This was not affordable at the time but every time I would visit Jo-Ann’s the first place I went was to check on the material. One day I received a 1/2 off coupon in the mail and an unexpected check. That was the day I purchased several yards of the material. I didn’t know how to sew at the time but I borrowed my sister’s sewing machine and while watching Trading Spaces paid attention to the sewing and gave it a try. The curtains came out perfect. All the dragonflies lined up across the top of the curtain rod in a straight line. Three set of curtains all perfectly in alignment. That was the start. Then came the earring, a necklace, wall hanging, more earrings and an obsession was developed.

While walking in the Saratoga National Park I noticed dragonflies of many sizes along my walks. Every time I went on vacation, more dragonflies. Not always easy to capture with the camera but on many occasions I was successful. If you notice the dragonfly photo on my site you will see a red dragonfly that I captured on film while visiting The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena California. http://www.huntington.org

On Friday I was enjoying an overnight with my niece at the Moreau State Park campground. While she read her book I wandered off to check out the trails. Along the way I spotted a beaver dam in the distance and went to check it out. Upon closer examination I noticed dragonflies skittering around in the air, landing on lily pads and enjoying the beautiful day. I had the camera and a couple of lenses so I clicked, checked to see if they were captured, clicked and viewed. Nothing to keep. There seemed to be several pairs flying together in the air mating. Mating dragonflies seem to fly faster than when single. It was difficult and I kept missing them. Then I sat on the beach, switched lenses and waited patiently. It wasn’t until after I shot several that I actually looked. This is what I captured:

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Can you imagine how excited I was when to my surprise when I actually captured photos of dragonflies in flight? Around an hour and a half after sitting it was time to return to the campsite. That’s when I noticed this amazing butterfly fluttering about from flower to flower. I ran after the little miracle and captured two shots before returning to the path. It wasn’t until two days later that I discovered the butterfly had a white circle with writing attached to a wing. As you will see, it isn’t legible because I hadn’t even noticed until after the fact. First I thought possibly the butterfly was electronic and someone was having fun watching me chase it along the path, then thought possibly it was part of a research project. Not sure how the sticker found its way to the wing but it was interesting.

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The entire weekend was spent camping, traveling to Rhode Island to visit my nephew and more sites, kayaking, and then on to the annual Garlic Festival in Bennington, VT. While kayaking dragonflies had a fun time skittering along the marsh area, moving too quickly for me to capture them from the kayak. By the time the camera was up and ready to shoot, they had moved on to the next area. The camera went down and I sat back to enjoy the sunset and dragonflies.

Taking in the scenery, water, sunset, sunrise, sound of the loons and paddles whooshing along the water, smell of fresh air and dragonflies plus a little tree hugging – what more could one ask for in one long weekend:)

Today an interesting thing happened. While waiting in line to order coffee with my granddaughter, I was sharing with her about the adventure in search of dragonflies when the woman behind interrupted. She was embarrassed to interrupt however when she heard us discussing dragonflies she wanted to share a recently published book titled Dragonflies by Pieter van Dokkum. The book must have sold out because they are back ordered. Looking forward to receiving my copy when they are available. Check out these two websites.

Do you have a love of an insect, animal or other nature that you pursue? I would love to hear about your adventures if you would like to share.

Love and Light!


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The Artist – Taylor Rose Yetto

My granddaughter just posted her site and I would love to share her artistic talent with you. She is reaching out and sharing her light and love of art, creativity, and life.

Check our her site and let me know what you think of her art. As you probably can tell, I am very proud of her. Hope you enjoy!

http://artforthefaylover.weebly.com/other-fun-stuff.html

Love and Light!

 


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Living A Magnificent, Loving Life

Happy Wednesday!!

Make it Happen

Make it Happen

What steps can you take today to reach your goals?

If we wake every morning grateful for another day of life with at least one goal in mind to move to the next level; follow through with deciding on one small step to take and follow through with taking that step(s); in a short period of time you your life circumstances will shift. This is true whether it is a financial, health, creating, developing new skills . . . Can you read an article; eliminate soda, chips, candy, fast food; can you put away a couple of dollars per day or even some change not counting it for several months; stretch, try planking, walk, dance in your living room; place your negative thoughts on a cloud and visualize them dissipate; wear a rubber band on your wrist and every time you have a negative thought that isn’t serving you switch wrists or snap it and become aware; what about meditating or taking time for some deep breaths . . .

Our life is a reflection of what we focus on and the thoughts and emotions that go along with what we are focusing on. Today, let’s take time to begin attracting the life of our dreams!!

I’m off to practice planking and making a healthy breakfast, packing a healthy lunch and water for work. What steps can you take today to reach your amazing life?

If you are interested in a free one hour coaching session to assist with changing your thoughts and having an amazing life,  fill out the form below or leave me a message and we will set up a day and time for your coaching session.

Love and Light!!

Certified LOA Coach from Quantum Success Coaching Academy

Certified LOA Coach from Quantum Success Coaching Academy


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Be Grateful and Remain Focused on What You Want

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and can’t think beyond the immediate situation whether that be lack of finances, dislike of our job, house repairs, anger at a spouse or significant other, our children’s poor behavior or a multitude of other daily events. Sometimes these thoughts take over our life and we can’t seem to move forward.

Now think of times in your life that you were so happy and content that you wanted the feeling to last forever. The birth of a new baby, wedding, engagement, while playing with children, a windfall of cash whether it be income tax return – inheritance – bonus, vacation, everything working the way you planned.

We need more of the feelings we receive from the latter when we are happy and content in life. We can have this everyday maybe at different levels but it is always there and available to us no matter what is occurring outside of us. Even if we are ill, know someone who is ill, have lost a loved one, or had any other life events that cause a trauma, sadness or leave us at a loss for what to do.

You may be saying this isn’t possible. How can you remain happy and content in life if you just found out you have cancer or a loved one has a terminal disease? Or you may wonder how anyone can be happy if they become unemployed, can’t pay the bills, foreclose on their house.

There are people who do remain in a place of contentment and find something to be grateful for no matter what the circumstance. You have heard the expression if one door closes another opens. Look at people you may know who have lost jobs they despised. Even though they despised the job and complained about it daily, the loss of that position made them face a closing door. What if they had been grateful to have a job, to receive a paycheck, to enjoy getting up and going to work with their coworkers. When they no longer had this position they became grateful for the job and angry that it was no longer available. Now they had to face the new world of job searching, maybe learning new skills, reevaluating what was important in a job and heading in a different direction. They may have decided to start their own business in a field they love. As they move forward in this new position they become grateful that they were laid off or fired because it put them on a trajectory to where they wanted to be. It may have been the push they needed to move them in the direction of their dreams.

For someone who is ill, maybe they were living a life filled with stress or displeasure, not properly caring for their body. This is not for all people who become ill but if you look around there are many that are ill as a result of their eating poor diets, smoking, consuming too much alcohol or drugs, taking too many prescription drugs, lack of exercise, constant stressing over what might be. Sometimes an illness can be the wake up call – your body letting you know what you are doing isn’t working. Many times after a stressful situation that continues in the person’s mind well over the time of the event they may become ill. There are people who once they find out they are ill change their diet and begin a healthier lifestyle. Maybe they quit smoking after a heart attack and begin to eat natural food, adding more fruits and vegetables into their meal. They begin walking daily or join a gym, participate in a 3 or 5K event. They realize they are grateful for the illness that change their lives.

My question is why not just be grateful everyday for what we do have. Today I am grateful that I have a job that provides a decent salary with benefits, a rental home that keeps me safe and warm, food to eat, a car to drive, an Apple computer and iPhone. I didn’t always have these luxuries. When my children were small we didn’t have a car so I walked them to the babysitter and then walked the mile to work. We didn’t have a telephone (a time before cell phones) or a television. We spent our time together dancing to records on the turntable (we didn’t have CDs then). The kids played outside with the neighborhood children and they all came to my house to play and have snacks. They built an airplane from the toy box and wood in the back of the apartment and we played hide-n-seek in our house. We didn’t have very much but I was grateful everyday that I had my children and a job to pay the bills always knowing that their was more. Knowing that we would have more one day. I didn’t sit and feel bad, I searched for ways out of the situation. This is when I decided to find a way to attend college. Taking one course at a time, in the evening, over an eight year period I finally received an Associates in Science degree. My position in the factory changed from dish machine operator to Customer Service Representative to Office Manager, handling shipping and production, and eventually over the nine years I accepted an outside sales representative position. There were times of stress, three-month unemployment, little food to feed the children but we survived and looking back I feel this was due to feeling gratitude everyday the day – not every moment of the day – but throughout the day. In the midst of financial difficulty we could still dance, play, and focus on a better life in the future. I was grateful I had a job, that we had a place to live, and lived in an area where neighbors helped neighbors. It wasn’t the best location but it was safe and there were plenty of children on our street. I never doubted that the situation was temporary.

The day I received my Bachelor Degree from a private college I thought this was it. I was grateful to have received my Associates Degree so the BA was a bonus and the result of meeting the right people who guided me along the way. When I walked the stage at SUNY Albany to receive my Master’s Degree, I once again stood in awe because I knew anything was possible. Being open to receiving and meeting people along the way opened doors for me. There were many people along my path that provided insight, direction guidance and love. Not all of the advice and direction was welcomed at the time presented but they all provided direction needed at the time and I am forever grateful.

Live in the space in between – a grateful space between where you are and where you want to be. That space where people and events occur that clear the path to your future. Learn to be grateful in that space. Last year I walked the stage at UCLA to receive my Creative Writing diploma and tears filled my eyes because when I was that young mother walking to the factory job I had dreamed of the day I would graduate from UCLA. Dreams come true and once one is fulfilled have another waiting or in process.

Never give up, always continue to move forward one step at a time. Your dream today can become your reality tomorrow if you can just be grateful for where you are today knowing you are steps away from where you want to be. Smile once in a while and be friendly to all. You never know when the person you are speaking with in a coffee shop or while standing in line at the grocery may be a person to open a door and take you one step closer to your goal or you may be that person for them.

If you are interested in learning more about taking steps to reach your goals, please fill out the contact form below for a free one hour coaching session. I would love to hear from you and guide you on your path.

Live large, be grateful, and love life!!

Love and Light,

Sandy


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Snowy Day Decluttering Cont.

Update on my snowy day decluttering project. I would like to share that I have removed over 200 hundred books from my shelves after using Marie Kondo’s method of spreading the books on the floor and asking myself “Does this spark joy?” The result as you can see from the photo is a pile of books to donate and space on my shelves for other items that do spark joy.

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Don’t get me wrong, I still have hundred’s of books but was able to leave space on those still housing books and emptied one completely. Loving the space and will try this again in a couple of weeks to see if I can release more. The closets and drawers look great. Tomorrow will be the papers. Next week will be the kitchen cabinets again even though there isn’t very much to take out of those. The last decluttering removed all poor choices in food and they have not returned. Many dishes were released as well. By Spring this house will be home to only those items I truly love.

Another benefit of this process was by sharing my decluttering others were inspired to begin the process as well. That is what life is about, being inspired and inspiring others. Remember Law of Attraction – we attract what we think and feel. I feel abundant, giving, inspired, and free so I know the Universe is providing me with more of what I want in life. By releasing what no longer is needed in our life we can begin to attract what we do want as we move forward. Loving life!!

If you have an experience that you would like to share or if you would like a free 30 minute coaching session to help you get started leave me a comment below and I will be in touch.

Love and Light,
Sandy


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Snowy Day Decluttering

What to do on a snowy windy day? Or rainy day? Well if you read any FaceBook posts it would seem to complain is the thing to do. Let’s not indulge those whose only means of entertainment and activity is to complain because it is too cold to drive to the mall. Let’s move our own lives in a different direction. One of hope, love, laughter, and enjoyment no matter what is occurring in our environment. This includes all the ebbs and flows in life.

Last night I began the act of cleaning and decluttering. If you read earlier posts you know that I did this in the summer and most people visiting would think I really don’t have too much clutter. Compared with some family members, I don’t have any clutter. However, yesterday after my iMovie class at Apple and speaking to the supervisor about a part-time position, I began to think about how to reduce time spent cleaning my home so I could be free to work my full-time position and a part-time position while writing my book, coaching, and motivating others. All of which are a priority in my life. Working at Apple would be an excellent opportunity to learn and enhance my computer skills – cleaning and holding onto items that are no longer useful in my new life are not. So releasing once again was a necessity.

I have hundreds of books sorted throughout the house by category. Women Studies are in the antique barrister bookcase in the living room. All books on neurology and brain – behavior are located on a shelf near the couch in the living room along with teaming and business books. Feng Shui, create books, and novels are on the bookshelf in the dining room. The dining room is also home to a small shelf of children’s books. On the small shelf in the hallway is a small collection of motivational books such as Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. This is strategically located so anyone heading to the bedrooms can grab something that might motivate them. In my office I have a very large shelf that is home to Memoirs, Law of Attraction, Writing, and Spiritual books along with some favorite items like my drum, family photos, and office supply crate. There is also an antique barrister bookshelf that has been home to all of my older philosophical books to include Ayn Rand, Lin Yutang, Jung and others. There is also one bookshelf that belonged to my mother which is home to my journals from over the last two decades. Some of those journals may start in January 1 of one year then in the center may begin with August three years later. There is no rhyme or reason. These I continue to hold on to for my writing material.

This brings me to decluttering. I have a few books on decluttering. Prior to beginning the process I sat with the newest in my collection and discovered a new thought on decluttering. In the past I have read books on decluttering by removing one item a day or donating an item if a new one is purchased. The latter is the way I try to keep a handle on my material possessions. I don’t know about you but it can be difficult to let go of some sentimental items even when they have long worn out their welcome. They sit looking at us day after day and we wonder why we keep them. Then we put it off for another day. Eventually they build up over time – people die and we take something that belonged to them, we can’t allow anything that belonged to our mother, father, aunt, uncle, friend to be passed to a stranger. Or remnants of a former relationship remain in a drawer, box in the attic, in the jewelry box. You know what you have hidden. Here are some of the books I have on decluttering.

Each one spoke to me when I purchased and read them. The book on De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life was actually from a class I went to on releasing stress from your life. It was a very helpful class. The more stuff we have the more we have to care for – to dust – to find a place for – more upkeep – less time for doing what we want to do. We use our stuff as an excuse not to accomplish our goals. If we have to clean then we can’t write that novel or paint that picture or take that hike. If we don’t clean out that cabinet of food that is not healthy the better chance we will reach in and grab something unhealthy on those stressful days. The less we own the freer we are – that is a reality.

The newest book, the life-changing magic of tidying up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo, shares in the value of making one clean swoop and removing it all – removing it from your home immediately. The benefit is a renewed life. A fresh start. A release from what is holding you back.

So I will share what she feels about decluttering books. She said take them all off the shelf – ALL of them. This is a difficult task. As I shared there are all categorized by topic and author. Taking all the books off the shelf and placing them together on the floor. They are no longer lying dormant on the shelf. Then pick up each book and ask yourself “Does this spark joy?”

If too many like myself – she says to divide them by category. General (books you read for pleasure) – Practical (references, cookbooks), Visual (photograph collections), Magazines. Oh did I mention I have a collection of Victoria magazines from the 1990s – 2000 when they went out of business. Ms Kondo shares that you are not to start reading the book – this is what I end up doing. You can only touch it and ask yourself if you need it or not. We have to stop and think about the purpose the books serve. Now mind you, I felt very good about releasing the 60+ books sitting in a pile on the dining room floor. Today, on this cold February day, I shall go back through the books and whereto autographed or not only keep those that inspire me. There is always the library which can house the books and I can go there and borrow them when needed. After all my niece is a librarian and capable of finding books I am interested in reading.

Well I have to go now to place the remaining couple of hundred books on the floor to see which will remain in my hall of fame book collection. It is at once frightening and invigorating – almost freeing.

I’ll let you know how I it turns out. After the books, it will be time to tackle the papers sitting in the files from my writing classes and internships/fellowships from a decade ago.

What do you do when you are inside on those rainy, snowy, windy days?

Hope this helped. Decluttering results in releasing material belongings and freeing you which can reduce stress and improve health. Give it a try!!

Love and Light,
Sandy


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Breaking the Block of Resistance

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This book was one of five on the recommended reading list for my non-fiction writing class. Fortunately for me this was the only book available at Barnes and Noble on Thursday evening. Once I began reading I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who procrastinates, makes excuses for why they aren’t succeeding or pursuing their dreams, and especially for anyone who blames others for their inability to create.

When my two older children were in high school one of the words in our home that floated in the air on a daily basis was procrastination. They both despised that word. I on the other hand didn’t have time for their procrastination because I was working three part-time jobs while attending school full-time and raising a family on my own. If they procrastinated and tried to cram something in at the last-minute like fund-raisers they knew about for a month and let me know about the day before money was due or items they needed for their class and decided the night before to let me know they needed an $85 calculator. I would ask where I was to get this $85 – out of thin air. So that was life in our home.

Today I must share that my son is so dedicated to his craft that he devotes all of his free time to painting. He has a dedication and love for painting that I envy. It was procrastination but also resistance that I was fighting all those years. I wasn’t smart enough, didn’t have the money, time, education, courage, I was a single Mom . . . You get the picture – victimization was my friend.

When I look back it amazes me that I was able to show up to my part-time jobs, pay the bills, keep the house clean, bake cookies, make real meals, purchase groceries, and play with my children. We even went cross-country skiing in the winter, sleigh riding, hiking in the summer and had additional children over night. All this while moving up the ranks in the Army National Guard, receiving an ASS in Human Services, BA in Sociology, and an MA in Liberal Studies with a focus in Women and Public Policy. I was a success – why didn’t I see it.

I didn’t see it because my focus was on what I didn’t have, that’s why. I wanted to draw, learn how to dance, write a novel but I resisted because I didn’t think I had what it took to accomplish such lofty goals. There are single parents writing a chapter a week while their children sleep and the laundry is in the washer, or recording themselves while in the car driving to and from the grocery store. It wasn’t my children, my parents, siblings – it was my own choices and where I wanted to place my focus.

Today, I don’t read the news, surf the web, play computer games (well once in a while), watch television, or keep a spotless house. I say no thank you when I don’t want to take the time to attend birthday parties, family celebrations, or work get-togethers. Idly sitting around gossiping drives me crazy especially when nothing is resolved and I would rather be writing or taking photos with my new camera. Being able to say no and not feel guilty is something I am working on myself. We are all a work in progress. If you are anything like me there is this guilt that lies right over the surface of everything – always there ready to pounce. This is not mine – it belongs to my mother and father, my siblings – not me. So I am letting it go. Saying “No” is not a bad thing, it allows you the freedom to be the creative person that has been waiting for release from the confines of the guilt, victimization, and anything else that holds us back.

Resistance is there due to our fear. Fear of what others will think, fear of our success, fear of failure, ridicule, fear of not being in with the now – whatever the mood of the day is. Fear of knowing that as we change others won’t understand and will take it personally – that we may lose friends and hurt our families. If we waited for fear to leave we would never move forward, never try new things, venture out and experience the world around us. Maybe it is time to move on from our friends if they are holding us back. Being alone is not a bad thing for a creative person. It doesn’t mean we can’t still be in relationships, the relationships we develop will be with people who are interested in creating as well. They will be the people who understand, form groups with you to brainstorm and share your craft. Those people in our life today who may not understand might just be afraid of pursuing their dreams for the same reasons and your moving out of the norm might just be the trigger needed to free them as well. Then they will come along for the ride with you – not directing but standing next to you.

What are you resisting? What have you always wanted to do but felt you didn’t have time to pursue? If you are a parent, wouldn’t you be a better parent if you show your children how to pursue their dreams, how to continuously grow and learn. Imagine how you can shine and show the way to your nieces, nephews and other adults and children in your life.

Take the first step today. If you want to write, grab a piece of paper and start writing or sit at your computer and start typing. If you want to draw, grab a paper and pencil, markers, paint – whatever medium you feel comfortable with. Bring out the magazines and start cutting out pictures that inspire you, speak to you, bring you to that peaceful place within. Grab an instrument and start playing, watch a YouTube video on how to play. Get some old pieces of wood and start sculpting, sawing, cutting and make something. Take a class at the local school, community college – or better yet why not teach something you know. The ideas and possibilities are endless.

Then tell everyone that you meet “I am a writer” – painter – dancer – singer – carpenter – jewelry maker – fill in whatever it is you want to pursue. Share it on your blog, Facebook page or whatever other source you use. Even if you are not perfect today – it’s not about perfections – share what you are working on and become your dream of yourself. Visualize yourself writing that book, signing books at your book sales, dancing on stage, setting up your art show, selling your jewelry, creating beautiful wooden cabinets. Whatever it is, be IT and act as if IT already exists.

I would love to hear what you are working on and how it makes you feel. As for me, right now I am pursuing writing, photography, and learning how to start a coaching business. Everyday I take one step toward learning and growing in the area of my dream life. This morning it was a business building conference call with a group of like-minded individuals and after the call writing a business plan. Tonight I will write a couple of pages for my writing class. I know that everyday I am one step closer to a successful coaching business and published book that will help motivate and educate others who are interested in pursuing their own life purpose so they can be true to themselves and find peace in their lives.

Love and Light!

Sandy