Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Silent Observations

Recently, when I traveled back home, there were a number of very personal, very adult type issues to deal with for a number of family members. My elderly parents had been making a series of upsetting decisions about how they were going to manage their ongoing health issues and care in their home. In doing so, they cut themselves off from those who loved them. Their choices led to a series of unfortunate events and finally the death of my stepfather in a serious fall. While the parental drama is still playing out with the future of my mother, I feel the power of It Is What It Is within me and know that whatever happens going forward is about the choices that have been made by others - not something I have any control over.

In a year when my theme word is listen, the more I listen, the quieter I get - but the more I hear and understand, strange thing, eh? Listening to what’s going on around me, what other people are saying, what I’m thinking, and what I’m feeling help me respond in a more centered way - help me to understand the moment. I’m less likely to react because I have this better understanding of the moment - what I need to say, or not say, what I need to do, or not do.

During all of this family drama, what could have been a very stressful time home for me - wasn’t. I became even more quiet in this year of listen, and focused on what it was I needed to do or not do in this scenario. This silent listening of the heart helped me respond in that centered way I spoke of. I was not reactionary - simply responding to what I was hearing, feeling and understanding within - what was appropriate for me in this situation. Strong emotions can get in the way at times like this and the need for control can be strong, but I released that need for control a long time ago. I was able to not get emotionally involved because I was listening, focusing - I did what I needed to do in clarity and have been able to carry on with my life and move forward.

My theme word listen has served me well so far this year and I continue to feel the centered peace it gives me. So, maybe all this listening business is not such a strange thing after all. I’ll leave you with this silent observation - listen and silent have the same letters! Perhaps listening would serve you well, too. Are you listening?

Take care, 
Michelle

Heart shaped cloud photo courtesy of prof.bizzarro

Friday, September 14, 2018

Today

A little something to contemplate...

Where I am today is the accumulation of where I have been. It’s the what, and the when I have been through. This accumulation has brought me to this time and to this place today. I release myself emotionally, mentally, and physically from that which does not serve a purpose today. I release the past and won’t get caught in future thinking today.

Yesterday is not today, tomorrow is not today. Today is just that – this day. I have this morning, this afternoon, and this evening to be this day. So, I'll relax and be today.

And just in case I'm having a really bad today, I'll consider this - I will never have to do today again!

Michelle

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow photo unable to credit properly

Friday, August 31, 2018

Nine

With this post I begin my ninth year of blogging at this website. I’m still somewhat startled when someone mentions something I have blogged about in the regular course of conversation - momentarily I think, how do they know that? Then it dawns on me, oh they've read my book or follow one of my blogs. It’s kind of like a big hug, though, and a confirmation that my writing is not all about me. It’s knowing there are others out there connecting with my words that motivate me to continue writing.

When I first began blogging, I was determined to blog for at least five years. Then my goal was to blog until I published my book It Is What It Is. With that goal accomplished in May of this year - now what? I can honestly say I don’t know. Currently, I publish on this site and on our travel site with my husband. I may not publish as often as I used to here, but my personal thoughts are dedicated to this site and not the travel site. Let’s just say, those blogs are two entirely different takes on what I have going on in my life. What I do know is that I will continue to post here for now, and hopefully continue to inspire others with my words.

Many of you have asked if there will be another book, I know I have more books in my head, but it depends which one wants to come out next! I've also been asked by a number of people to publish how we went about making such an abrupt change in our lifestyle, and that just happens to be one of the books in my head! Whether or not I can dedicate the time to write books, publish blogs, and fit this all in with my full time traveling lifestyle will remain to be seen. Until then, I’ll keep you posted!

Thank YOU for all your kind words, comments, and sharing the love of this site with others over the years. Here’s to another one - cheers!

Michelle

Photo courtesy of iconspng.com

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Catching Up with It Is What It Is

This just in...
After staying in areas with limited to no internet service and handling delays due to traveling the last 6 weeks, my book It Is What It Is was officially updated on July 10. So, for those of you ordering books for the first time or ordering additional books, you will receive the corrected cover version.

On a personal note...
While I was home recently, I delivered a copy of my book to various people that had inspired the many essays I wrote in Part II of It Is What It Is. When I had a theme in mind for a chapter, it seemingly fell in my lap the very day I was going to write about that particular theme. Many of the people I visited recently had no idea I had written a book way back when. It was delightful to spend time with friends I hadn’t seen in years. In one case, my caring mailman I wrote about in Part I had died. I felt a great sadness for someone I knew very little about, but that someone, Eric, had a major impact on my life. As I look back on everyone involved, not only in this book but in my life, I understand there’s a reason why people filter through our lives at one time or another. I am eternally grateful for having recognized their strengths that fulfilled my needs. I can only hope I've been there to fulfill their needs.

Sharing...
As I'm traveling around, I've been donating signed copies of It Is What It Is to local libraries. It puts a smile on the face of whoever I hand my book over to. And of course, I can't help feel the love in return. You may not be aware of this, but local libraries are always glad to receive donated books. Prior to downsizing our life to traveling full-time, we donated our extensive reading collection to the local library and any books of value to Seattle Children's Hospital thrift stores. 100% of the proceeds at these bargain boutiques goes to the uncompensated family care fund - for those families who cannot afford needed medical care.

Many of you have mentioned purchasing It Is What It Is for others, only to find those that have been given a book are not able to place a review on Amazon. In order to comment, you have to be a verified buyer. If you would like a comment to be available for others, you can send it to me and I will include it on my book buzz page above. See the sidebar to the right to contact me.

Michelle
Book photo courtesy of damclark's

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Home Again, Home Again



I recently was back to my old stomping grounds for a few weeks. I mean that quite literally because I went for a run in my old neighborhood. I enjoyed putting my legs through their paces on paths well-travelled over the years, but I wasn’t ready for the remarkable thing that happened while I was running. My mind began wandering back to the time when I first began walking then in 2005 running the hills around my home. My old stomping grounds reminded me just how much I loved running those hills and those trails, but I was also reminded of the many things in my life I had left on the trail, so to speak.

  • I recovered from three surgeries eager to find my stride as soon as I could.
  • I pushed myself when I was dealing with anemia or other ravages due to Crohn’s disease.
  • I bounced-back from cracked ribs after a snowboarder careened into me and sent me skyward.
  • I built-up bone strength even with osteoporosis at my side.
  • I healed my heart when it was hurting over my husband’s Cancer journey.
  • I soothed my soul as I mourned the loss of friends or family.
  • I overcame fears I might have had.
  • I strengthened my body and strengthened the peace within.
  • I rejoiced in the changes of the seasons.
  • I discovered and restored my sense of self.
  • I evaluated choice, prepared for change, and surrendered control.
  • I found the words to write and publish my blog and most recently my book, It Is What It Is.

While I can’t remember how many running shoes I've worn out on those old stomping grounds, I do remember the feelings I have worked through, what I left on the trail, and more importantly what I gained. I always felt as if those roads and trails were mine since I saw them in a more physical and intimate way rain, snow, or shine. They will always be my stomping grounds whether I live there or not, and I'll always feel at one with this area - after all, we have a history! One thing that stuck with me as a few of the neighbors drove by during my recent run was that I tried to wave and smile at everyone no matter how I was feeling - just in case they needed the recognition that they mattered, and in those moments, mattered more than what I was going through.

Michelle

On the trail photo courtesy of DaMClark's
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