Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here on Monday and Tuesday. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair.

"ONLY ONE THING IS MORE FRIGHTENING THAN SPEAKING YOUR TRUTH, AND THAT IS NOT SPEAKING IT." Naomi Wolf

"We are called human beings, not human doings."
Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

"The way to do is to be."
Laotzu

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs..(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
Theodore Roosevelt


Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Musings - friendship

There's been a lot happening in my life and in the life of my community of friends. I'm not going to share details about my friends' lives here on this blog, but trust me, the things they are dealing with are not easy. At the same time, I have my friends' 15-year-old daughter this week. She spent this past year in Viet Nam with her family and is now about to go to sleep away camp for three weeks. The reasons why I have her and am in the position of getting her ready for camp are too long to go into here, but let me just say that having a teenager around is quite the experience.

The reason for this post is that all of these things have made me realize just how difficult and tricky friendship can be. Each of us faces the world with our own set of values, beliefs, coping mechanisms, personality quirks and ways of handling situations. This means there will be times when one or more of these things will clash with our friend's methods, behaviors, feelings. How we negotiate these clashes are what make a good friendship or a painful one.

I have learned through the years that I have to be honest about how I am feeling, even at the risk of hurting, upsetting or angering my friend. Most of the time, we can negotiate our way through this, but only by really listening to one another and trusting the process. This means having a willingness to lose that friendship, if the issues can't be negotiated.

What I now understand is some people don't live in the same emotional world I live in. They choose to either pretend nothing is happening, ignore what is happening and build resentments, or they are so unaware, they don't even realize something is wrong.

As I said, friendships are difficult and tricky. But so worth the effort to be fully present and learn to be compassionate and loving, perhaps after finding ways to process our resentments and anger. I'm working on this part. I do not want to sit in judgment on others. I have way too many things from my past that I am ashamed of to ever pass judgment on someone else's behavior.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy weekend everyone

Hope you all had a wonderful week. So sorry I couldn't make the rounds. I don't have a minute for myself right now, but wanted to wish everyone a happy weekend and hopefully will be back to normal by next Friday.
Blessings,
karen

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - I'm a bit frazzled

I knew this would be a bit of a frazzling week with two guests overlapping for one night. I knew I wouldn't accomplish much of anything but being with our company and enjoying the connections.
Sorry I won't be able to visit many blogs this week, but I promise to catch up with everyone the following week. Till then,
stay connected.
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Musings - connections

This past week, I've paid more attention to my inner wisdom and listened to it more frequently. The results have been wonderful. I responded to a fellow blogger's post last Friday and it resulted in a telephone call which forged a really wonderful connection.

My sister-in-law came to visit and we enjoyed her tremendously.
A teenage friend returns from a year abroad today and I am hoping to re-connect.
Deep conversations with several friends resulted in insights and awareness.
I realized the reason I have been resisting writing. I will have to go to a very dark place in order to write the next part of my novel and I really don't want to go there, but there's no other way but through. Now that I know what the resistance is, I am hoping to move through it (once all my company leaves, that is).
So, are you connecting--with yourself and with others?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, June 15, 2012

Incentive for Writing

I have an incentive to get back to work on my novel. I can't share what it is. I'm not telling a soul. But it's got me definitely wanting to get the words flowing onto the page once more. Wish me luck.

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - changing your self-image

Here's the deal - I was skinny when I was a kid. My dad used to tell me if I turned sideways, I'd disappear. Then I gained 30 pounds in 30 months after going on birth control pills (I was 19 and getting married). After that, I remained 30-60 pounds overweight, yo yo dieting and never being able to keep the weight off.

Five years ago I gave up dieting and hired a nutritionist. She taught me how to eat, factoring in my food allergies and sensitivities, likes, dislikes, etc. I'd lost 50 pounds and this last year, another 13. I am now skinny. But my mind doesn't think so. It still thinks fat. So when I go shopping, I still look for the larger sizes and when they swim on me, I am quite shocked.

Accepting such a huge change in one's appearance isn't easy. Yes, I am delighted at how I look and especially how I feel. Yes, I love putting on clothing and have it look good. But how am I to get my mind synced with where my body really is? It's almost as if I'm afraid to believe it - probably because I did it so many times before and always got fat again. But this time I've maintained for 5 years, so I think it's time I accepted this is it. Never going to go back to eating the way I used to. And I'm really into strengthening and toning my body as well.

Is your image of yourself accurate?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Musings - a teensie bit geeky

Those of you who know me know that I am technologically challenged. Frankly, it scares me. Once I do something over and over, though, and have some degree of comfort, I really enjoy it. I've had a Macbook Pro for years. Love my Mac - but there are so many things it is capable of that I haven't discovered.

And yet, I've been coveting an I Pad. So I went to Apple and played with it. As I thought through what I would use it for and how much I would use it, I began looking at the I Phone instead. While there, a clerk told me the new I Pod Touch does exactly what the I Pad and I phone do, only it's not a phone and it's smaller.

Well, with the I Phone, you have to pay approximately $30 more per month on top of your current cell phone bill. I didn't want to do that. The I Pad would be another huge distraction for me, keeping me from other priorities that I'm not attending to, like WRITING.

So, I purchased an I Pod touch and am so tickled. I've figured out how to do I calendar. I enter my events on the computer and sync it to the I Pod and voila - my calendar gets transported with me. So cool!

I have a hard time allowing myself to purchase something just cause I want it - it used to be I had to need it before I'd get it. Now I'm learning to indulge myself a little bit.

Do you like gadgets and new toys? If so what? And how often to you indulge yourself?

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, June 8, 2012

More of our Southwest adventure



From Zion, we went on to Lake Tahoe, then Yosemite and finally, Sequoia. I'd been to Lake Tahoe previously, but only spent a few hours there. This time, we drove around the entire lake, stopping here and there for views and a picnic.



Lake Tahoe

picnic at the lake
                                                                                                                                                                Yosemite is mystical, magical and majestic.
hiking in Yosemite

Vernal Falls in Yosemite

This was probably the hardest hike I've ever done - a vertical climb of 400 feet, but oh so worth it.



Bridal Falls in Yosemite
From half-dome, seen below, to the magnificent creature you see below that, to the spectacular valley, Yosemite was filled with wonders.

Half-dome

A coyote taking a stroll

Me standing on what is the circumference of a Sequoia

a Sequoia

me and hubs by a giant Sequoia

I will leave you with one last thought about our trip. While strolling through these magnificent, ancient trees, I received a message: Stand tall; be proud; you are majestic. I pass that along to all of you,

With many blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group - June

How can one call themselves a writer if they aren't writing? I am befuddled. Every spiritual message I receive tells me I am meant to write this book and yet when I sit down to write, nothing is coming. I am reading a book called The War on Art, and the very first paragraph describes exactly how I am feeling. The author calls it resistance and apparently it a very common, human trait. We resist doing what we most want. That is counter-intuitive to me.

I know exactly where my insecurity lies. I'm 63 years old. I see what other authors must do to find an agent and market their books. Self-publishing only increases the amount of work the author must do to sell books. I don't have the energy for that anymore. So I ask myself, why write if I'm not going to publish. I try not thinking about that at all and just write because I love it and because it feeds my soul. But that is not working right now.

So I wait. And hope the words will begin flowing again one day soon.

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday:America's Southwest via Karen and hubs

I grew up in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Concrete sidewalks, brick and concrete buildings, and a few trees here and there. Lots of cars. Lots of people. I moved from NY in 1985 to Portland, Oregon and the beauty took my breath away. I came to Albuquerque in 1994, and soon understood why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. But it wasn't until I married hubby that I began to travel. He introduced me to nature in a whole new way by taking me to the national parks, one by one.

On this trip we began in Moab, Utah where we visited Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion, and Canyonlands. I'd been to Bryce and Canyonlands before, but Zion was new to me. Words can't describe it and pictures can't capture it, but here goes anyway.

One of the many arches in Arches

Landscape Arch in Arches

Arches

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon
Canyonland

Zion

Zion

Zion

Zion

Zion

One of the best things about the trip for me is that I was able to physically do the hiking I wanted to do, despite a knee with no cartilage left. It swelled and hurt, but with Alleve and ice, I managed to do everything I wanted and enjoyed it so much.

It's very odd that in my 20's, 30's, 40s and 50's, I was extremely overweight and out of shape and couldn't physically do these things. Now, at 63, I'm in the best shape of my life. Weird, huh?

More Friday...Tomorrow's Insecure Writers Support Group day
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, June 4, 2012

FabricToday I'm celebrating the release of Jessica Bell's new poetry collection, Fabric ... Wait! Please don't close the tab at the the mention of poetry! Trust me, just read a little note from the author herself before deciding to disappear ...

Jessica says:
My poetry will not baffle you with phrasing that scholars award for academic genius and that can only be understood by those who wrote it. My poetry is for the everyday reader. In fact, it is even for those who don’t like to read poetry at all. Because it is real, stark and simple.

The poems in Fabric are no different. They explore specific moments in different people’s lives that are significant to whom they have become, the choices they’ve made. It’s about how they perceive the world around them, and how each and every one of their thoughts and actions contributes to the fabric of society. Perhaps you will even learn something new about yourself.

So, even if you do not usually read poetry, I urge you to give this one a go. Not because I want sales (though, they are fun!), but because I want more people to understand that not all poetry is scary and complex. Not all poetry is going to take you back to high school English, and not all poetry is going make you feel “stupid”.

You can still say to people that you don’t read poetry … I really don’t mind. Because if you read Fabric, you’re not reading poetry, you’re reading about people. And that’s what reading is about, yes? Living the lives of others?
Are you still here? I hope so!

Please support the life of poetry today by spreading the news about Fabric. Hey, perhaps you might even like to purchase a copy for yourself? The e-book is only $1.99 and the paperback $5.50.

Here are the links:

Let's keep poetry alive! Because not all poetry is "dead" boring ...

About Jessica Bell:

If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. And not because she currently lives in Greece, either. The Australian-native author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist has her roots firmly planted in music, and admits inspiration often stems from lyrics she’s written.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit:

Website:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Back in the saddle - sort of....

Coming home from vacation gets harder and harder the older I get. I like my routines. I like eating the way I need to eat to maintain my weight and remain healthy. I like my creature comforts. While traveling, I need to let go of these needs. It was so stressful trying to eat the way I normally eat, I finally gave up and   the pendulum swung so far the other way, I ate everything I wanted that I never allow myself. I was lucky - only gained 4.5 pounds and 3.5 of them are gone already. But that's what vacations are for, right? Getting ourselves out of our normal routine and experiencing new and wonderful things.

I will have photos, hopefully by Monday, but for now I want to talk about coming home and getting back into routine. I managed to do everything necessary--laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, catching up on emails, phone calls, making appointment, etc. But my writing? Oy vay! I sit down with a block of time and---nothing.

I've thought of giving it all up--the writing, the blog, but that doesn't feel right. So I'm waiting, praying, giving myself some space and cutting myself some slack.

Do you love your routines? Do you have a daily routine? What happens if your routine gets disrupted?
Blessings,
Karen

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