Posted in authors, book, community, demons, Emotional, fight, health, hope, lesson, life, meditation, Mental, mind, Physical, quote, Spiritual, walk, write

Writing a Book

As an employee wellness coordinator for a large-sized government entity, I keep myself versed on health and wellness topics and periodically take certification courses.  Depression and mental health are major issues in the United States.  A person can know this by listening to the news or viewing social media at any given moment these days.  More and more training in the health and wellness fields are focusing on the “7 dimensions of wellness” that make a person “whole”.  If any of these are lacking, it affects the other dimensions of a person, and the community around.

7 Dimensions of Wellness

These past few weeks God is urging me to write, more than I have written before with my journals, blogs, letters, and poems.  I am writing a book about wholeness, the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental healing for a woman with post-traumatic stress disorder which affects the social, intellectual, occupational, and environmental dimensions of her life.  It is based on the true story of a Christian woman and her struggles after a traumatic event.  Subsequent therapy reveals more than this sexual assault trauma, but the dysfunction she is living in her marriage.  It is a story of hope despite the reality of trauma, and the fight against shame and demons associated with  sexual assault.  Life’s lessons are learned in every situation and circumstance, if we listen.

I have applied for a writing fellowship at a writers colony in Arkansas, and hope to hear good news by November.  If awarded I will be granted 2-weeks stay at this writers lovely retreat center.  My calendar will allow for this next spring, if I am awarded.   If not granted the fellowship, well I may take 2 weeks off and hide out in my husband and I’s cottage to focus on this work with greater depth.  Projects with my employer have shifted with earlier deadlines, so spring will be a lovely time to write, take walks, meditate, and write again.  “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed,” Ernest Hemingway is quoted.  For me it will be my pen and journal, and pecking away on the keyboard of my laptop.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Posted in authors, darkness, daughter, Family, God, house, husband, life, Prayer, silence, Spiritual, walk

Silence

“Cobbles rumble when a wave recedes, and thunders break the air in lightning storms.  I call these noises silence …wherever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God’s speaking… the silence is all there is.  It is the alpha and the omega,” writes author, Annie Dillard.  We had a few summer storms this past week.  In the night, awaken to the pitter-patter of raindrops on the window next to my bedside.  Then the thunder claps and echoes in the darkness.  And the silence follows.  Awaken to pray.  Most of the time I know who for and why.  Other times I do not, and await to hear the still small voice.Rain on Screen

My husband and I have downsized our own living space by moving into a 4-room house. Not sure if to call us “minimalists”, but having a smaller home has slowed us down. We are more focused on our relationship, and that was our intent.  More quiet time, more silence than what we have lived the past 4 years while sharing our bigger home with my daughter and her family.  No pets in our new space either, we enjoy the neighbors’ pets during our walks.  Just the Mr. and I, simple or elaborate meals prepared in-house depending on the mood, less eating out.  Projects and chores or snuggling on a love seat watching a classic movie.  And the silence. “Slow living … opens up the prospect of slow love, the most sustaining sort of love … a love that comes of unhurried and focused attention to the simplest things, available to all of us, at any time, should we choose to engage:  family, friendship, food, music, art, books, our bodies, our minds, our souls, and the life that blooms and buzzes all around us … slow love comes out of the quiet hours, out of learning from the silence that is always there when we want it,” writes Dominique Browning, former editor of a major design/decor publication.

We all need the silence.

Posted in authors, book, challenges, change, day, easy going, Family, father, house, lesson, life, mother, people, quote, understand, walk, words

History Lessons

Life evolves, perpetually moving.  Hopefully, forward.  But maybe we would rather live in the past, the good ole’ days?  I dream of the whimsy of unhurried days.  Summer afternoon napping in a hammock under a willow tree.  Leisurely walking the shoreline combing the white sand for a treasured seashell or starfish left behind by the ocean blue waves.  Sunday autumn walks spotting the brightest red leaved tree.  Hot tea and freshly baked scones for a winter snack gathered with my youngsters.  Life is not so easy-going while working full-time hours as a human resources professional.  Commuting, family obligations and responsibilities, bills, and then keeping house for our two homes.  I am sure it is not easy as a carpenter in the summer heat.  Or the 1000 sandwiches prepared for another hungry crowd.  Or the school teacher putting together lesson plans and then teaching them to the 100 & 1 needs of the students you are responsible for.  The disabled or elderly making doctor appointments and their thinning budgets.

Do we really have it all with our careers, 2000 + square-foot homes, high-ticket sports events and concerts, organic foodie plates at $50 per, high-tech computer programs, phone apps, texting, social media posts, networking breakfasts, and so on & so on?  Recent weekends while antiquing for my husband and I’s newly acquired get-away house has prompted history lessons. We ask each other why this piece of furniture or household tool was used back in 1940 or another era.  Think back on those less hurried days, many items make sense.  I better understand my parents’ and grandparents’ generations.  Their tight-fist around the piggy bank,  renovated solid wood tables and reupholstered chairs, no big screen TVs but large radios for the living quarters’ entertainment and news, dishes galore because they did not “go out” to eat, and a plethora of tools to fix that broken whatever.  Maybe life was unhurried because it could not be with the lengthy meal preparations and length of time to repair or build?  Maybe life wasn’t so easy back then.  Maybe it just seems that way, because life is not easy now?  Pioneer author Laura Ingalls Wilder once wrote, “Sometimes I wonder if telephones and motor cars are altogether blessings … When my neighbor gets into her car, it is almost sure to run for twelve to fifteen miles before she can stop it, and that takes it way down the road past me.”  Mrs. Wilder recognized how modernization changed her social connections.  I know it affects mine.

I read non-fiction books and articles to find out who I am or who I want to be (or not be).  Marie Kondo encourages us in her book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, “the space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past”.  Such an easy concept, live the now and look to the future rather than the past.  But I would have to challenge those words and their meaning.  I agree with the concept of this book, de-cluttering and making your home or office space functional, becoming a better person.  But the past is why we are who are now, and this will carry to the future.  I rather filter the past, keep the nuggets of wisdom of the past generations, use for guidance.   Learn from and not repeat their mistakes, but I will surely make my own.  That antique end table or butter dish reminds me of past generations’ input into my life, directly or indirectly.  Their legacy, history makes me and you who we are now and what we will become in the days to come.  I ask you to think on someone in your past or from your history lessons.  What is one sentence this person would say to you right now that can effect your today and tomorrow in a positive manner?

Posted in challenges, day, God, life, live, meditation, people, Prayer, purpose, secure, thankful, walk

Present Moment

Three or four days of my work week I am able to break away from the St. Louis County benefits office located in the middle of Clayton’s business district where buses, delivery trucks, cars, financial institutions, niche shops, eateries, entrepreneurs, visitors, and government employees blend.  These 1-hour get-aways can include lunch in or out, meditation and prayer at the corner church, possibly a catnap in a quiet loveseat down the hall, and almost always a walk.  Today I brought lunch from home, egg salad made with white bean hummus (yum!) and whole wheat crackers.  Afterwards I took my daily stroll.  I chose to leave my cell phone and water bottle behind, my security usually a tote on my constitutionals.  It is a brisk 50 degrees this cloudy March Friday.  I can survive without H2O for 20 minutes.  And the cell phone, what did I do for the first 4-1/2 decades of my life without one?!
I have my Fitbit on, but do not check it during this short walk.  Besides I have these Clayton blocks memorized, either 3000, 2000, or 1000 steps depending on what direction, destination, and how far I decide to go.  I made a conscious effort to be present moment on today’s walk.  Four blocks north of my office and back.  The church bells chimed louder.  Other pedestrians’ voices and footsteps were clearer.  I was aware of how many people waited at each of the traffic lights with me, what shoes and jacket they wore, and the colors of the vehicles that passed through the intersection before the crosswalk signal switched.  The birds chirped feverishly.  Flowers popped out at me as if I was the sun.
In contrast, I feel the sharp, damp air on my face, hands, and the tops of my feet.  My joints ache, but this provokes me to keep moving these arthritic parts, and not stifle what God has created.  “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know this clearly.”  Along that thought … What have I been created for these later autumn years of my life?  I think of the human life span as the seasons.  Spring is my childhood.  Summer is my young adult up to mid-life years.  Autumn is my mid-life up to retirement.  And the winter will be retirement and elderly years.  See how the cold, moist air on my arthritic joints brought me to thoughts of my future retirement during this walk?  It is a challenge for this planner and organizer to stay present moment.  Yesterday my heart’s desires bubble up among projects and schedules.  A sketch of the next 5 years came to me.  I have been asking God what am I to do after employee wellness and benefits at the County.  Only 132 weeks until my retirement to be possible.  I give tomorrow’s blueprints to God, my Creator.
Back to present moment … thankful … for this moment to walk, breathe, love, and live fully.