"We become what we think about." ~ Earl Nightingale

Welcome to Sacred Ruminations

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a
pseudonym.

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,


Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Context for Revisiting Old Journal Entries

Regarding yesterday, today's (and possibly future) offerings here at Sacred Ruminations ...

In the course of learning how to do new blogging things technically and joining in NaBloPoMo & Holidailies without much thought, I've allowed myself to get distracted from my initial purpose in creating this blog. Losing sight of my original intention, recognizing I've strayed, and in an effort to refocus ... I decided to return to old journals and share whatever I found, resisting the urge to "rethink" and/or get caught up in endless efforts to "revise & edit" to make things "perfect" ... so what I posted yesterday was just that ... a spontaneous attempt to be bold, stick my neck out and see what happened. In retrospect, although I believe it was "a good thing" generally speaking ... this morning I feel compelled to create a "context" for this shift (even as I hear the "I'm not perfect" song in my head as I type). And so ... I offer this "orientation" without further ado.

In December of 1999, I was reading Chapter 2 of WISHCRAFT by Barbara Sher entitled "The Environment that Creates Winners" wherein she encourages readers to ask themselves questions about the family we grew up in and writes:

"If your answer to all or most of these questions is 'Yes,' congratulations. I'm jealous. Your are one of the rare and lucky ones. You had the great good fortune to be raised in the environment that creates winners -- the optimum environment for the growth and flourishing of human beings.

The fact is that very few of us were lucky enough to grow up in such an environment. I certainly wasn't. It wasn't our parent's fault. They weren't raised in that kind of environment either, and they couldn't have had any idea how to create one. Given their own upbringing, it's moving that most of them still managed to provide us with at least one or two features of that environment -- because they loved us.

Every 'Yes" you can answer to one of these questions is something inside you that you can build on -- the beginning of a bridge between your child genius and its full adult expression. For every "No," I'll invite you to give a little thought to how your life could have been different if you'd been able to answer "Yes." Even if you answer every one of these questions "No," don't despair. With the help of this book, you will be able to build that bridge now."

Question #1 asked "In your family, when you were growing up, were you treated as though you had a unique kind of genius that was loved and respected?" So it was that I picked up my pencil and explored what I remembered of my life as a child and then considered what might have been, if only ...

Next I offered what I wrote in response to this question:
"What might you have been if your family had ...
--treated you as though you had a unique kind of genius that was loved and respected
--told you that you could do and be anything you wanted -- and that you'd be loved and admired no matter what it was
--given you real help and encouragement in finding out what you wanted to do and how to do it
--encouraged you to explore all your own talents and interests, even if they changed from day to day
--allowed you to complain when the going got rough, and given you sympathy instead of being told to quit
--bailed you out when you got in over your head -- without reproach
--surrounded you with winners who were pleased when you won
What would you be doing now? What would you already have done? What kind of person would you be? Think BIG. Be as extravagant and far-fetched as you like."
That's what I posted yesterday here.

Today's entry follows. It's my December 1999 response to this prompt from WISHCRAFT: "Choose a color that appeals to you ... role-play that color ... pretend you are that color and speak for it, since it cannot speak for itself."

I am teal ...
green with a strong touch of blue
like the ocean in which dolphins play ...
watery yet reminiscent of new growth on trees
and unusual blossoms on exotic flowers,
a breath of fresh air with a minty flavor
... a tangy contrast to the orange sunlight of
Satsuma tangerine scent ...
sweet ... without seeds & easy to peel
deliciously melting in the mouth.

Then this exercise: "Play detective. Snoop around your own house or room as if you were a private-eye trying to find out who lived here just from the style revealed in the house. Make an inventory of as many characteristics and interests you can find.

A reader ...
or at least a collector of books
this woman seems also to be a ...
connoisseur of dust bunnies,
seeker of light
with candles & lanterns everywhere,
perhaps obsessed by
(or at least concerned with) time
due to the surprisingly large number of
clocks & watches in plain view,
lover of music
with an organ & piano inside
(and an old upright "player" piano in the garage)
CD players upstairs & down ...
perhaps a bit disorganized with
reading & writing materials everywhere,
spiritual ...
with several manger scenes
numerous angels on display,
some "Santa" stuph, but no tree ...
strange assortment of food in the pantry & fridge
wide range of reading material
even here in the kitchen,
classy everyday dishes ... three sets? ... odd
with another set of China in the hutch,
likes wood and plaids
decorates in straight lines
but writes in curves
creating unique visual pieces ... framed on display,
has three rocking chairs but no children,
herds of giraffes
but seems to take few risks on her own,
spreads out "stuph" ...
perhaps for easy access,
procrastinator ...
creative spirit,
no matter what's needed, she's got it ...
(even if she'll never use it)
but she'll give you whatever you need ...
motivators on the fridge and around mirrors
reminding her of positive thoughts
no matter what.

Reading this today and looking around my living space, I'm aware that my description would be similar ... suggesting little has changed, and yet my pantry and fridge contain "healthier" food choices than in 1999 ... and I've created a "writing area" downstairs in what used to be "the family room" with computer & peripherals more easily accessible than in my old upstairs office. With no "papers to grade" or "lessons to plan" since I've been "happily retired" for almost 6 years, my surroundings reflect my current interests. Gardening supplies, kitty food, and puppy toys all lay concealed in attractive but functional storage within the living room for easy access to the front yard. I have invested in a variety of organizational "containers" and experimented with different ways to "display" what I choose to keep (using ideas from REFUSE TO CHOOSE, a more recent book by Barbara Sher) ... as I let go of what I no longer need ... with the intention of clearing my living space of constant clutter while honoring who I am. Slow & steady wins the race.

I gave away the old upright player piano in the garage years ago to a neighbor who moved to South County. Interestingly, that piano ended up in a local "adult day care center" after passing person to person in an unusual series of interactions. My "ex" called on his 1st day working in the place, wondering how "our piano" ended up in his new workplace. At the time I had no clue, but since then I've learned of its journey and marvel at how the universe works. Perhaps that's a story for another time.

"Intuition is the voice of the nonphysical world." Gary Zukav

To continue with 1999 however ... the following is a "conversation" written with my right & left hands ... about real concerns regarding my role as a teacher at that time as I struggled with some serious personal health issues. By way of explanation, when I was little, all teachers and family members consistently took the pencil from my left hand and put it in my right hand. For a long time I didn't realize I could write with both, but I've discovered experientially that my left hand remains "connected" to spirit ... much as when I was a child and could hear this voice clearly all the time. I think of it as "a voice for God" ... and trust it more all the time.

How are educators supposed to keep themselves healthy when surrounded by such negativity from society, kids, parents and the media?
Be one with me and know I am with you always. You have no failures or flaws, only perfect learnings. Each one teach one, and so it goes. Trust yourself to walk with me and be my voice. I need you!

I try ... and will continue to do so. I'm willing, but weak. Will you take my weakness and make me strong?
Your weaknesses are your strengths ... for they allow you to connect on human terms with one another. Love them and value them as I do.

... and pass it on, right?
Right!

So ... how do I do this?

Pay attention ... trust & obey ... follow your heart ... believe & achieve.

Why do I hold on to "things" and how can I relax & let go of stuph?
Good question ... none of us understands the fears that seem to rule your lives given your strong desire to know love's truth and to live faithfully, especially once you know you can only keep what you give away.

This journal entry closes with this prayer copied in my own hand from ENCHANTED LOVE by Marianne Williamson.

Dear God,

Please remove from me
my resistance to love.
Make straight my path
to the heart of my beloved.
Reveal to me the meaning
of this ride that we are on.
Amen

Later that afternoon I wrote the following:
These are the characteristics of my personality that I most want transformed by the Holy Spirit:
--my need to hold on to material things I no longer need, want, nor even use
--my indecision ... inner confusion & self doubt which keep me stuck and spinning my wheels
--my fear of failure
--my fear of success
--my sense of personal responsibility for the welfare of everyone & everything and the burden of guilt which I so willingly pick up repeatedly
--my self destructive habits -- poor eating, lack of exercise, overwork, denial, procrastination ...
--my lack of love for myself
--my fear of change

"Author and psychotherapist Pat Allen has written that a man's greatest psychic need is to have his thoughts respected, and that a woman's greatest psychic need is to have her feelings cherished ... knowing it has transformed my relationships." Marianne Williamson

And finally this prayer ...
also from ENCHANTED LOVE by Marianne Williamson

Dear God,
I don't wish to be a child any more.
I don't wish to be held back any more.
I don't wish to waste my life!
Deliver me into new realms
repair me where I am broken,
and ready my heart for every thing.
Thank you God
Amen

How much I've grown and changed in the years since then ... and how far I have yet to go. In any case, I'm happy to be back on track with my intentions for this blog. As Jen encouraged us all in Taos ... force nothing and hold nothing back.

8 comments:

Journey Through Life said...

the prayers from Enchanted Love are beautiful. I love Marianne, but I haven't got that book. So lovely to hear a little bit from it!
Annie
xxx

storyteller said...

Annie - I have all her books and have given more copies of several of them to friends and family members than I care to admit. She does have a unique perspective and way with words that "resonate" with my own thinking and I often turn to her works for inspiration ... especially in times of challenge. Thanks for stopping by ... and happy holidays to you.
Hugs and blessings,

The Dream said...

Great to read these words of yours - and others. It's such a trip to go back through my old journals. A tremendous way to "see" the progress. It's also lovely to read of those moments when MORE was REVEALED and left me in awe. Thanks for sharing this - well done.

Williamson ROCKS!

Olivia said...

Virginia,

Thank you for this provocative and introspective and inspiring post for the day before Solstice. Blessings, Olivia

Mama Zen said...

The exercises are really fascinating! Thank you for sharing those!

storyteller said...

Dream – I know exactly what you’re saying about these re-discoveries. Thank you for your supportive and encouraging words. It’s foreign and more than a bit scary to reveal pieces of myself in this manner … but I know it’s long overdue. Yes, Williamson definitely rocks!

Olivia – Thank you for these words. Perhaps it is the coming of Solstice that prompted me to make this leap of faith? I appreciate you pointing out what in my busy-ness I overlooked.

Mama Zen – Thank you for valuing them and sharing these words of encouragement. I’m on my way … little by little.

Hugs and blessings to all,
ream -

lucy said...

what a journey we are all on! i see boldness and bravery growing here...
force nothing and hold nothing back. you get to be in charge on this one!

storyteller said...

Lucy - a bit of inspiration goes a long way! Reading your blog recently has me remembering my own intentions. I could use a "Lucy" persona of my own. Thanks ... for everything.
Hugs and blessings,