I was originally going to title this blog "Random Girl", because that's how I feel a good deal of the time, but then I began reevaluating. One of my deeply held beliefs is that there are no accidents, and that the reason things happen, or get said, or whatever, serves a purpose. If I truly believe that (which I do), then how could my thoughts and writings and such be truly random?
It's been my experience to this point in my life that even the weirdest, worst things that happen take a logical place in the big picture, but generally not until some time (sometimes a LOT of time) has gone by.
Most often something that happened to me, or that I heard or read somewhere, comes in handy when one of my children is faced with an issue of some sort. Sometimes it's a friend who's having a trouble. Sometimes it's an idea that turns into a business or that gets expanded into a bigger, better idea.
Following that train of thought, I mulled over some of the things brewing in my brain to write about here, and realized that IT WAS MAKING ME MORE AWARE, more fully present in my daily life. It was also crystalizing thoughts and beliefs and information that I've been incubating for quite some time now. That, I decided, was a VERY worthwhile thing (for me, at least), and obviously served a purpose.
The question then becomes: If I realize, as I now do, that "random" isn't really a concept I believe, why would I include it at all? The answer to this is that, at the moment that things are happening, or being said, or thought, or whatever, they may seem completely random. It takes the context of time and further experience to see how it all holds together.
Hence, the title of this little blog: I'm being Random on Purpose. Some of my best insights and actions have followed stream-of-consciousness thought flow. My train of thought derails frequently, and takes me where I wasn't planning to go, but the destination is usually better than the one I'd planned on...
Originally posted May 10, 2007
Okay, let's start with true confessions: I have a short attention span. I mean, REALLY short! They say that the sign of a creative mind is several unfinished projects lying around, and I'm going to go with that thought. I'd hate to think that it's just because I'm...hmm, what's the word...can't come up with a term, but it relates to failure-to-follow through. Nah - I'll go with creative. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Having said that, I'll also say this: Maybe it's not so much a creative thing as it is a level of interest thing. There are so many things out there that interest me, and I feel like I have to at least TRY them all (or as many as possible)! Then, sometimes I lose interest along the way and move on to the next thing. We can't love everything all the time, can we?
Ultimately my point is this: Life is way too short to waste my time with things that don't interest me, even if once upon a time they did. If I lose interest, rather than flog a dead horse, I merely move on to the next point of interest. Hey - a weird analogy just popped into my head! Let's say that you're on a sightseeing trip across America (you can see where this is going, can't you?) You wouldn't just stand and stare at Old Faithful for the whole trip - you'd get back in your car and head out to the Grand Canyon and over to Venice Beach to see the freaks and up to San Francisco to Fisherman's Wharf and all the rest of it! Similarly, I'm a firm believer in pursuing your interests, but when interest wanes, move on... There's a BILLION things out there (and no, I don't think I'm exaggerating) to see and do and try!
So, that's the rest of my little introduction. Not that you cared so much, but introductions are a good thing, I think - makes it friendlier. What I'll post on here is whatever enters my head and/or whatever I create with my hands or whatever wonderful things that I come across to share. As with other areas of my life, it could be a daily thing, or a weekly thing, or some of each. Depends on what life presents me with that particular day. Speaking of presents, this is one of my favorite quotes:
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift - that's why we call it the present." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
That is my gift today - a nudge to you to go and do something with your ever-new, ever-PRESENT! I'm off to do the same!
Originally posted May 11, 2007
So, a few days ago Sherry calls me with a question: What does it mean when there are spiders literally EVERYWHERE in your space? (Sherry is my best friend and I will refer to her often, as we interact in some way pretty much every day, and her name is bound to come up from time to time as a result of my relating daily experiences now and then...)
Anyway - the reason she asks me questions like this is because she knows I collect books (and quotes and music and...) on a WIDE variety of subjects although, in my opinion, everything is interconnected to everything else, so it's all really sort of the same subject if you think about it long enough to find the connection. But, I digress.
One of the books is Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. It is very much based on Native American tradition and lore, and has to do with animal totems. The thought is that all animals, including birds and insects, provide messages to us from the Universe (or God or Holy Spirit or whatever label you're comfortable with). You are ABSOLUTELY free to disagree with me, but to me it just makes sense.
Every living, breathing organism on this planet is interconnected with every other, and comes from the same source. Why would we not be able to give and receive information? Why would we choose to limit the information we're willing to accept? Wouldn't we want to gather all the information we could, regardless of the source? I know I'm all about expanding my knowledge base, and I'll take it any way you care to dish it up, thank you!
Please understand that I'm not suggesting that you adopt, or even necessarily believe, all of the information, just that you open yourself up to receiving it and mulling it over to see what you really do think and what really does fit.
So, back to the spiders: If spiders show up in your space in greater than normal numbers or with more persistence (I once had a spider follow me around - literally - for a whole morning before I said, "Okay! I GET it!", whereupon he went on about his spider-y business elsewhere), then you are supposed to pay attention to things represented by the spiders. They are all about being creative, especially where alphabets and the written word are concerned. Are you supposed to be writing? Are you stifling creativity in some other way? Are you "stuck" anywhere in your life (job, relationship, thought process, etc.)? Look around and see where you could be more creative and/or what you need to do to get un-stuck.
My apologies to Mr. Andrews if I've oversimplified or misquoted (the book is in storage right now because I recently moved and haven't unpacked everything yet), but you get the idea. If you're really interested, I suggest you get the book for yourself.
I further suggest that you take another look around the big, wide wonderful world around you and see what else you've been missing. There's LOTS of stuff out there! How much of it do you (or I) really pay attention to, think about in any depth, or have any interaction with whatsoever? I have to go walk around and look at my neighborhood now - lots of stuff just around the corner, even!
Originally posted May 12, 2007
Listen To Your Muse
Faced a dilemma last week: I had so many things that I wanted to do, that I was stuck in a funk of not knowing where to start. This usually happens when the clutter in a particular room is out of control, or I'm moving again and have to pack up my life, or other equally truly mind-boggling situations. This was more of a kid-in-a-candy-store type of dilemma, but I was stuck nonetheless. What to do? Call my best friend Sherry and explain my problem. Her solution? Do SOMETHING! Didn't really matter which thing (although she did suggest which one I might want to start with, too), just GET MOVING! Good advice, that!
I remember back in my church-going days I had to teach the teenage girls about finding their purpose in life (which I still haven't figured out for myself!), and part of the lesson was to just move down a path, and you would find out fairly quickly if it was the right one or the wrong one for you - "Don't expect the Lord to direct your path if you're not willing to move your feet". (No, I don't know who said it - I remember the what, but not the who.) I guess I have a path or two more to wander down, since I still haven't found anything that fits in the long term. (Did I mention my short attention span?)
Paula Poundstone (one of my all-time favorite comediennes) was quizzing one of her audience members about her plans after college. The young girl had no clue what she wanted to do with her education. Paula then asked the entire audience how many people were doing what they really wanted to do. Not many hands went up. She quipped, "You know how grown-ups are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up? They're looking for IDEAS!" Probably some truth to that...
I'm not really going anywhere with all of this, I guess - just throwing it out there for you to mull over along with me. I heard somewhere that you should try to make a career out of whatever it is you do that, when you are doing it, you are absorbed and happy enough not to notice the passing of time. What does that for you? Could you make it a lifelong pursuit?
Phrases like "Follow your bliss" and "Listen to your muse" and similar set my imagination going and fill me with a certain feeling that I would love to maintain all the time. Unfortunately, the daily-ness of life intrudes and I get sidetracked. Also, I still have the ongoing dilemma of too many options. What absorbs me today may make me yawn tomorrow.
Maybe the truest thing for me - maybe for you, too - is to listen ALL THE TIME, and if the muse (or spirit or inner knowing or whatever label you care to place on it) calls for a change in direction, even in midstream, then so be it!
Originally posted May 17, 2007
Perception and Manipulation
Okay, first a disclaimer: I realize that my brain operates oddly. I think we have established that. I have been a "fringe-dweller" pretty much my entire life because I can't find anyone on the same wave length ( a few come close, but there are still times when I get that "Wha...?" kind of look, or the reply to what I said doesn't correlate to what I was thinking when I said what I said, etc. I'm sure everyone has this experience now and again, but I have pretty much decided that that's my "comfort zone".)
Anyway, when I was tearing apart the dining room chairs I was reupholstering for my cousin, I let my mind wander like I do (who needs a Zen garden - I've got staples to pull!) I was reflecting on the whole dot thing (see "Altering Patterned Paper" on THIS PAGE), and the responses I've received from various people, most of which have been along the lines of "who'da thunk?", which led me into why I see things that others don't, or they see things that I miss, etc., etc.
Backing up the thought train for a moment, let me give you some background: I've had training in Reiki Seichim and Eye Movement Processing and gone to many wellness and/or holistic seminars and read many books ranging from orthodox religion to New Age self-help to Your category here blah, blah, blah. I guess I wanted to be Enlightened. It worked, to an extent, and I will now impart some of this Wisdom to you:
What we see (our Perception) is unique to us, and is based on our background - where we were born, how we were raised, what education we had, what our life experiences have been, etc. Our perception may or may not be truth, but it becomes our Reality when we find someone who agrees with, and therefore validates, our perception. Two people having the same experience are NOT having the same experience at all! Case in point: If I listen to my children discussing something that happened in their childhood, no two stories will match exactly. Their recollection of events is colored by their perceptions at the time.
Why I'm telling you this is: If you look at polka dots and say "Those are polka dots", you miss seeing all the other things that polka dots are capable of being. Likewise, when we label people, we miss seeing all the other possibilities in them. So much for perception.
On to manipulation: I was mulling over why I liked the two results when I didn't try to disguise the dots (or manipulate them into being "not dots") better. Maybe the polka dots are resistant to being anything other than what they are. People certainly like NOT being manipulated.
Lessons in Papercrafting; Lessons in Life! Like I said, weird mind, but now you see why I still maintain that everything is interconnected, and everything is really the Same Subject. You just have to look for the connections...
Originally posted June 14, 2007
Something To Ponder
This morning I was thinking that I needed to look up a couple of things in my Dreamer's Dictionary. I don't consider the information I get from it to be definitive, by any means, but it's always interesting to see if there's anything that seems relevant. I guess I approach dream analysis the way I approach most things - with an open mind and a bit of skepticism. I'm willing to entertain a notion and mull it over to see what I think of it, but it doesn't get included in my belief system unless it rings true.
Part of what I believe right now is the thought that we already know everything, we've just forgotten, and so when we identify a "new" idea as true, it's really more of a remembering... It makes sense to me on several levels: if it's true that time is relative, and there's truly no beginning and no ending - only the NOW - then why wouldn't we know it all already? The limitations and "laws" of mortality are where we get hung up. If we learn how to transcend those limitations (rephrase - when we remember how to transcend those limitations), maybe that's how/when we move into godhood or whatever's next in the eternal scheme of things.
It's an interesting notion and, as I said, one that makes sense to me, but I'm willing to go with the thought that I could be missing the mark. All "religious" thought and belief is fluid with me, anyway. I think that we can believe and hope and have faith and all of that, but truly knowing isn't really possible, so why spend time worrying about it? Do what works for you and brings you comfort without infringing on/annoying/violating those around you, and it's all good...
Originally posted January 3, 2008
I'm in a bit of an introspective mood today... It started more like the doldrums, but then I came across this, and had a shift in my thinking and mood. Now I'm pondering - again - what really matters and what I can do to be more mindful and aware on a daily basis, or even minute-by-minute. I'd hate to think that it would take something cataclysmic to move me out of ennui and apathy into awareness and action.
Like many others, my intentions are good and I have an intellectual "knowing", but haven't taken that other step into internalizing and acting on what I know. My excuse is always TIME - there's just not enough of it to go around in my current paradigm! And yet...I know that this is my perception, and not even an accurate one... A more honest reason is PRIORITY, and my lack of follow-through on the plan to prioritize I alerted you to a while back.
Regardless, I am now thinking - again - of "What I Know For Sure":
- EVERYTHING happens for a reason - EVERYTHING! I can, with almost complete confidence, say that the reason is to teach you something - usually lessons in love. Ask, "How does this teach me love?", and you can generally see the lesson. Sometimes the lesson is as simple as "I don't value that behavior"...
- You will get the same lesson in a variety of ways until you LEARN IT! Don't like how your life is currently going? Figure out what you're supposed to be learning, and move on!
- You can control NOTHING beyond the three-square-foot area that is your "personal space" - not your spouse, your children, your boss, your circumstances, NOTHING - but within that space you have ABSOLUTE POWER! You - and you alone - are in charge of the thoughts and emotions that move you into or out of the circumstance, the mood, the job, the relationship, etc. It is the actions you take based on those thoughts and emotions that determine your life - YOU get to write your story!
- Continuing that thought: you have to be proactive in your life. A turning point in my personal journey came after I heard this line from the Rush song Free Will: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." It was then that I realized that I had allowed circumstances and others around me to decide for me, with close to disastrous results.
- You have to SAY. It is complete insanity and completely unfair for you (or me) to expect anyone to meet an expectation they don't know you have! Find loving ways to communicate your needs (and wants) to those who matter.
- The Universe (or God or Spirit or higher power or whatever label you're comfortable with) is just as willing to assist you and meet your expectations as you are willing to express them. Again, you have to SAY. The caveat - no frivolity or wavering here - mean what you say and what you expect and back it up with your actions.
There are other things running as an undercurrent in my head that I also know for sure, but these are the ones close enough to the surface to be able to articulate well enough to tap them out here... If any of this is helpful to you, then I'm glad, but - like I've said before - this blog is mostly for me to keep track of and improve my own life, so these are the things I needed to hear again today - glad I told myself! If you've read this far, then take a minute or two (or an hour or two) to ponder what you know "for sure". I'm certainly glad Oprah challenged me to do so (not personally, but in a general readership kind of way - still valuable...)!
Originally posted April 20, 2009
Something Else To Think About
It's been awhile since I mentioned my firm belief that everything is The Same Subject - meaning, basically, that EVERYTHING intertwines with and is connected to EVERYTHING ELSE, so what applies to one area pretty much applies numerous and sundry other places, as well. I've also noticed - frequently - that once you pay attention to a particular thing, it pops up everywhere. Coincidence? No - what we focus on expands, and we attract it by our attention...
After I posted my "For Sure" musings, I received comments and emails that validated several of the things I think about. As I was going about my usual Sunday routine yesterday, I read an interview with Hugh Jackman that included a passage that caught my attention:
"He takes his religion very seriously and would prefer I go to church," Jackman says of his father. "We've had discussions about our separate beliefs. I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosphy is non-confrontational. We believe there are many forms of Scripture. What is true is true and will never change, whether it's in the Bible or in Shakespeare. It's about oneness. Its basic philosophy is that if the Buddha and Krishna and Jesus were all at a dinner table together, they wouldn't be arguing. There is an essential truth. And we are limitless."
AMEN!!! I un-joined the church I was raised in quite a while ago and, while I'm incredibly grateful for the foundation it gave me, I no longer feel guilty about not going - or even not believing various aspects of the dogma. Much of it is still viable and resonates in my daily life, but some does not. I keep what resonates and let the rest go... I, like Mr. Jackman, believe that there are many forms of Scripture, and not all of them are written. Information received in one venue/genre/your label here can be extrapolated and applied in many areas!
Originally posted April 27, 2009
I Am Grateful
- for a husband that loves me, and whom I'm still giddy about eighteen years after our first meeting, and after sixteen years of marriage
- for my first marriage - it provided me with contrast, insight, memories, and six beautiful children
- for parents who were brilliant together - until the day his Alzheimer's completely erased his memory of even being married, my father got all misty-eyed when he talked about my mother. Theirs was a fairy-tale kind of love...
- for my childhood - idyllic, secure, creative, open-ended. My parents encouraged us to be who we really were and pursue every avenue of learning that interested us, and guided without making us feel "less" because we had missed the mark or done something not in line with what they'd taught us. Self esteem and creativity were huge in the home I grew up in.
- for my children. They are constantly teaching me and making me re-think what I think I know. They are all amazing individuals - so similar and so vastly different from each other - and I feel truly blessed to know them.
- for my grandchildren. Ditto on what I said about their parents...
- for my siblings and their significant others and their offspring - what a varied and wonderful group of interesting, heart-warming folk my family is!
- for my friends. I tend to keep myself to myself and, as a result, I have more acquaintances than actual friends, but the handful that I have are a HUGE blessing to me!
- for clothes to wear and food to eat and a roof over my head and a car to drive and a million, billion creature comforts that I enjoy and usually take for granted
- for technology that allows me to learn things that were previously unavailable to me. There is simply not enough time to go to all the classes I would need to attend or read all the books I would need to read to answer the questions that pique my interest from time to time. I can look it up somewhere on the Internet and move on...
- for the same technology that allows me to do what I'm doing right now - share ideas with others that I may or may not ever meet. The blogs I go to daily and the emails and the Facebook (which I'm not on yet - maybe soon) and all are incredible tools to connect us with each other, and my life is enriched because of it.
- for Odd Brain. I enjoy the twists and turns and oddities, and am grateful again for parents who allowed me that freedom and didn't try to discourage my oddness or get me to 'conform'. One result is that I will try pretty much anything that interests me without fear - I'll either succeed brilliantly, learn what to do different the next time, or realize that perhaps my interests will be better served elsewhere. Each result is equally valid, so what's to fear? Thanks, AJ and JG...
There is more - so much more - but you get the idea... Have a very blessed and peaceful and happy Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for you, too!
Originally posted November 26, 2009
Take Time/Make Time
My default programming needs to be reset: I've been running for years on "When I (fill in task or deadline here), then I can (fill in what I'd rather be doing here)". Know what I have to show for it? A string of frantic, frenzied tasks and not a lot of actual living...
This morning it occurred to me that if I want to live my life with purpose and intention, then each task that makes up that life needs to be approached with purpose and intention. Each moment brings the opportunity to appreciate something with any/all of our senses. The "mundane" is so only because I label it as such. If I slow down - just a bit - to put myself fully in the moment, the moments will become much more satisfying, I'm thinking.
I'm also aware that the Law of Attraction comes into play here. If I want the (what I'd rather be doing) to materialize, I need to think of it in the present tense, not the future. Thinking of it as a future event keeps it always in the future. I'll have to do some pondering on that one to see how to switch it up - further bulletins as events warrant...
Today, though, I'm re-writing just a bit: "Make time" will no longer be an idle phrase in my life. Instead, it will be "MAKE the most of the TIME you have"!
Originally posted January 5, 2011
...because sometimes it's needed...
- You don't have all of the information
- You only hear one side of the story
- You were previously uninvolved
- You've never "walked a mile"...
- Step out of judgement
- Keep your advice to yourself (unless asked)
- Be grateful that it's not your situation to deal with
(Yes, this mini-rant was triggered by the goings-on in the "Sue-niverse", as Lauren calls it, but it's still good advice, and I'm reminding me, too...)
Originally posted March 14, 2011
It's All About the Atitude
Funny how we always learn the most in uncomfortable situations, isn't it? Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say from uncomfortable situations than in them. After we pass through whatever the event or circumstance might be, we usually have 20/20 hindsight from which to view and learn...
The past month - and, more especially, the past week - have taught me much. I have had multiple paradigm shifts, and have now arrived at a place of relative peace and calm. Along the way, I've had anger, frustration, despair, resentment, grief - you name it, it came a-callin'!
What I've now realized is that I was giving my power away. NOBODY has the power to "make" me feel ANYTHING, unless I give that power to them. I am the master of my emotions - I get to choose how/what I feel in any given situation!
I was choosing to come from a rational, logical, "this-is-the-way-the-world-should-work" place, which only led to frustration and anger, since I was dealing with circumstances that defy logic. When I chose to shift to a stance that allowed for empathy, perhaps even pity, my emotional charges diffused and I could move into calm.
Will I still have many, many chances to test my theory and my resolve? I'm quite sure the answer is yes. Do I plan to circle back around to calm as quickly as possible? Absolutely!
Keep calm, and carry on...
Originally posted August 2, 2011
On Flogging Dead Horses
...banging your head against walls, and other equally futile acts:
Comes a time when you realize that your head hurts, or that the horse won't revive, and you must collect your scattered energies and move calmly on.
Joy on your journey...
Originally posted August 9, 2011
One More Thought on Futility
I live in an older home with double-hung windows. In order to accommodate a window air-conditioning unit in my studio, it was necessary to raise the lower window, which leaves a gap between the two windows. Normally, there is a screen in place to keep bugs out but it had to be removed, obviously.
In order to seal the gap, I've put a strip across, taped in place, from the top edge of the front window to the glass of the one behind. Bugs (moths, most especially) get between the two windows and can't figure out how to get out. They invariably go up, hit the strip, flutter down just a bit, crawl back up, hit the strip, flutter down just a bit, crawl back up...you get the idea...
Freedom is as simple as going down, since that's where the exit is. It must seem counterintuitive to them to do so but, judging by the growing collection on the lower window frame, release from this cycle of futility comes only with death.
Where are you killing yourself? Maybe you should look around for another direction...
Originally posted August 11, 2011
Thoughts On God
Every now and again I mull over my relationship to the world and the powers that be. Today was such a time, and my train of thought went along these lines:
Every religion (at least the ones that I'm aware of) acknowledge the existence of a higher power or "god", although the definitions and labels may differ somewhat. Even those who do not subscribe to a religion acknowledge that there are powers operating in the Universe that defy our comprehension - that are "higher" or more intelligent or whatever.
In the past I've felt that maybe I should return to the concept of "God" that I was raised with, but I'm just not sure about it. Is it a single being - a Master or a father figure, perhaps? - or a collective consciousness of all of the intelligences that have ever existed, or what? Today as I was mulling the question over once again, I determined that it really didn't matter. An analogy came to mind:
I lived most of my adult life across the continent from my parents. I couldn't see them, so if their appearance differed from my memory of them, there was no way for me to KNOW that. I could, however, speak with them any time that I wanted to, and if I needed advice or assistance I could ask and they would do what they could. Similarly, we can't see "God", so any description is (in my mind) subjective and open to debate. BUT - we can still have a level of confidence in the existence of a higher power and access to it.
Religious leaders and scientists alike acknowledge that we are all part of a larger "organism", if you will - that you and I and the oceans and the trees and the stars are all interconnected and made of the same materials and come from the same source. Following on with that train of thought, it occurred to me that if we are all part of the same "organism", then wouldn't God be part of that organism? Wouldn't that, in fact, validate the thought that we are all divine?
Then it occurred to me that if time is truly relative - that the past and the present and the future all exist concurrently - then our little lifetimes here on this planet are not all that there is to our story - there are chapters that came "before" and that will come "after" those chapters that we are aware of living "now", that have more to tell - and that we're living those concurrently, as well.
Here's the deal: our mortal, finite minds can only glimpse bits of the concepts known as "eternity" and "infinity". It's too big to grasp fully, so we try to organize the information in a way that we can comprehend. My belief is that this is the main contributing factor to all of the various definitions of God and to the religions of the world.
Bottom line for me: it's absolutely, completely pointless to spend any time worrying about the nature of God or aligning myself with any particular religion or philosophy. "Whatever is for the greatest and highest good of everyone involved" is the ONLY quide that I really need to choose among available options.
I DO, however, recognize a need for re-introducing spiritual practices into my daily routine (one of my "tweaks" for the year). When I made meditation and prayer a part of my daily routine, I found that I was living with more purpose, more intention, and more connection - with myself and with those around me. Somewhere along the line I decided that I had too much to do to take the time, and gradually phased it out. I need/want to get back to purposeful, mindful living, as well as aligning myself with "the powers that be", and so I am going to begin again...
Originally posted January 6, 2013