Posted in cystic fibrosis, NODAPL, psychology, self improvement, social commentary

Happy New Year No Fear

Once again I must apologize to my poor neglected bloggie. It’s been two months since I last posted. Sounds like a 12 Step meeting, doesn’t it?  My name is Sue and I am an artist-writer-psychic intuitive-blogger and all around passive-aggressive rabble-rouser who enjoys retreating. 🙂

No need to recap the ridiculous drama of recent elections in the US. I’m so sorry that we have to deal with more corruption and slanderous whackadoodle energy out there. It’s totally forked up but as a spiritual type writer, my focus is on continuing to TRY and walk the talk and conquer my challenges. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers

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So dear kindred spirits and fellow bloggers, it’s onward into the new year with no fear.  I’m here to support YOU on your creative journey. As my gift to you I’m sharing some family pics and original photographs of some of my recent favorite memories. Am missing a few family members who were unable to travel because of work schedules, but here goes:

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Christmas 2016 with some of the family-we’re totally rainbow people. We come in all colors of the heart.

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Concert Five Blind Boys of Alabama with octogenarian powerhouse, Jimmy Carter

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Our granddaughter’s annual holiday big canvas painting

As you know I’m into causes. Please join me in contributing your no fear energy into a cause in 2017. I support and stand with #NODAPL  as they refuse to wilt in the face of the greed monsters who simply do not consider the devastating consequences of oil spills and water contamination. ACTION relieves anxiety.

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                                                     Original art * Nature Heals* acrylic

As always, we’re supporting and praying for a cure for cystic fibrosis, because our granddaughter is fighting it. I love this photo of her playing the clarinet. GO CF’ers!  Stay strong!

 

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Playing an instrument helps children learn teamwork, discover talent, develop social skills, increase confidence, and increase eye-hand coordination.  Express yourself!

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Exploring Sedona

Much love and appreciation to you all-back to working on the memoir.

                                the work shed window

                                                   Old California

Journal prompt: write about fear. What helps you face your fears? See yourself as a spiritual guide, relative, or teacher who takes you by the hand and walks with you as you challenge yourself. What would your guide say to you? Don’t hold back. Use images to add to your journal entry. What feelings come over you as you write about fear? Where does fear live within your body? If fear (and money) were no option, what would you DO?

Posted in angels, cystic fibrosis, journal prompts, Writing for healing

Minding Your Q’s and Dealing with Disappointment

 

Q's blog post

“We must first be skeptical and doubt everything, as we do in the modern world. Skepticism produces questions, questions lead to investigation…and investigation and experimentation bring answers” – Dalai Lama on What Matters Most, Conversations on Anger, Compassion, and Action

Last post I wrote about the “P’s” and doing a vision board. Vision may include sound. Sound is language, language is words and feeling. As a workshop enthusiast, one of the most inspiring group sessions I ever attended was with Barbara Marciniak, channeler of the “P’s” or the Pleiadians. What we did at the session was called toning. Hundreds of people basically hummed (chanted) one note in varying octaves for longer than five minutes. Talk about astro-planing your psyche. The result was powerful beyond words, an otherworldly yet familiar feeling of empowerment through sound. What I felt was an enormous level of affirmation similar to a religious experience I had as a child.

If that’s a bit much for you, I understand. Your mother or English teacher probably never instructed you on metaphysics when reminding you to be on your best behavior. As an angel practitioner and psychic medium, I love communicating with other realms. The result is always loving and supportive. Journal writing affects me the same way. You know it’s working because you feel good. Speaking of support, let’s talk about the Q’s.

The Q’s are about: quandary, questioning, query, and quiet.

     Quandary

  • Who ever lived without facing some form of challenge or a dreaded situation? Dealing with problems is perhaps the only way to write about the raw truth. As I’ve shared previously, our granddaughter has cystic fibrosis. When we first heard about her diagnosis and had to face the reality that her little life and body were compromised, it took all my courage to stay strong. My husband is a polio survivor. Every movement has to be calculated. We can’t just go globe-trotting without major preparations. His legs don’t work like normal people. However, Jesse has one of the best attitudes of anyone I’ve ever met-and I learn so much from him about approaching life.
  •  Questioning
    • Do you intuitively accept everything you hear or read? How do you decide whom or what to trust?
    • In blogging I’ve found that reviewing author’s books, participating in writing groups, and    constantly supporting others does not mean they will come back and support you. In fact, I’ve done Interviews and have been involved in “friendships,” only to find that the writers don’t even bother to respond on their own interviews, nor will they automatically follow your blog. Now I know better, and I’m stronger for it. People are competitive and self-involved; writers are no different from any other ambitious group. Moral of the story: stay positive.
    • Don’t get hung up on other people’s cliques. I asked one person four times to be a guest on my blog. It never happened. Another ‘spiritual’ person scoffed at someone who had less than 5000 followers on the internet. Get on down the road! Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other venues are not the only way to reach out to others. Believe in yourself. It takes time. Offer classes in person.
    •  Keep journaling. Stay with your craft.
  • Query
    • Have you learned how to do a classic query letter? Who are the experts on this? Talk to as many people as you can and read about doing this important step.
  • Quiet
    • Making time for silence and long periods of solitude are essential for self- development.
    • Entering silence can be done when physically in the presence of others. Example, read Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, or Quiet by Susan Cain. I also like Emotional Freedom by Judith Orloff. She’s one of my favorite psychics, and an MD.
    • Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet.

Another aspect of quiet is calming the beastly inner critic. Banish your inside prissy, demanding, perfect boss. Guys have them too-one of my best friends told me. Men often have a fear of rejection, death or weakness. They  might not want to share openly. Sometimes what isn’t said speaks loudly.

Try a different perspective. If you’re a mechanic, go hang out at a garden club. If you’re a six figure income CEO, try volunteering in a senior center. Always had security? Try living at the cheapest, nastiest hotel you can find.

Find out what excites you.

Here’s one more Q:

Que, slang for “ what?” Say what?

  • Maybe, just maybe, others don’t get you. Years ago I wrote a piece on driving a hybrid and the instructor had no idea what I was saying. Another student understood, but I felt bad because I thought the teacher would get it. Sometimes the issue is cultural, age-specific, or gender related. Don’t worry, somebody is going to be the perfect helper for you.
  • Maybe you are in the wrong group! Go find another or start one.

So about support, if people aren’t readily available or responsive, just stay with it. Try a week in a different geographic setting. If you write in first person, try writing in third person.

Journal prompt: Which one of the “Q’s” interests you? Why? Do you enjoy ‘safe’ writing or raw writing? Pretend you are a famous critic evaluating your own work. Of course you are not Steven King or J.K. Rowling (I have the first four letters of the last name & have never read Harry Potter-but I really like her because she defied the odds), but just for a moment, pretend you are famous.

Write to yourself as a ‘nobody.’ Write yourself a rave review. How do you feel? Even if it seems ridiculous, try it anyway.

Do you have a strong writing or support group? Do you need one? Most writers will say you do. Did J. K. Rowling have a writing support group? I think she just WROTE. Are you afraid of constructive criticism? Are you honest with others about what you think of their writing? Write about who or what makes you feel like you belong. I find that artists are more accepting of other artists, than writers, for example. But that’s just me.

Discussion: Read, read, read. Reading is always my favorite way of dealing with lack of support or rejection. Right now my inner critic is on a roll, so my inner comedian wants to take over. It helps.

look up

” For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, ‘ the angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.’ ” -Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning.

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copyright © 2014 Susan E. Rowland

 

 

 

Posted in cystic fibrosis, journal prompts, journaling, memoir, Writing for healing

Journaling Through Intense Memories

march 2009 copy

Above is a paint sketch I did in 2009 when our granddaughter was four years old. She was learning how to interact with the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. She had been admitted to the hospital for treatment of cystic fibrosis, a condition she was born with–and diagnosed at two months old. She was  on a breathing machine to increase her lung capacity. In CF language, it’s called  a tune up.  The patient usually feels better after the procedure.

Jesse and I were visiting her in the hospital. It was challenging  to learn  to contain my emotions so my worry didn’t show.  Both my parents were deceased and I had to gather my wits and go on without their gentle encouragement. How was I going to be a good role model, to remain calm, focused and supportive?

For some reason, I was thinking about that day in Oakland as I drove around doing my errands today.  I missed my father because of his deep medical knowledge. When he explained things the world made sense. All the parts fit together. Logical. Inspirational. Detailed.

So, I went up to the post office just to get out of the house for a moment and get some orders out. I needed a break from a piece I was writing about my husband’s polio stories.

The heat made the desert plants seem vibrant. Cacti looked like valiant warriors with spears and thick, verdant skins. Everything pokes you here. Saguaro take hundreds of years to grow….I have to come to love each giant king as an individual.

The sky was clear with fantastic clouds that delighted me with their shapes and cartoon images. As a child I would spend hours looking at the sky and the patterns on walls. Long spans of time, minutes upon minutes of waiting, watching, and dreaming would take me up, slowly like an archetypal Ferris wheel. There was the moment when at the top in a rush of excitement you wonder if it will all go back down again, down to safety and security. Sleep would come, or the day would dawn and all the patterns reemerged.

At the post office a man was in line in front of me. He was quite tall and wispy thin, not unhealthy, but rather long; you had to look up to see the top of his head. He was elderly, like royally old, a gentleman I could only see from the back. Emotion caught in my throat a little as I thought of my father who was a tall man.

The man carried out his transaction at the counter with the super nice clerk who’s been there forever. The clerk called him by name, “Thanks for coming in, Sam.” My chest tightened and I squashed the feeling of water coming to my eyes. I see the magnet of camaraderie of two souls quietly talking without excess, man to man. As the customer turned around to leave, I greeted him just for a chance to make contact.

“How ya doin, sir?” I noticed his hearing aid. “What’s new?”

He looked towards me, a stranger. Then I saw his crystal clear eyes. I was startled for a second. They were like a child’s eyes. I look right into those peepers, searching. He was totally pure. No malice, no static, no anger… like a  wise wizard. He had an actual aura that I could see.

I felt the presence of angel. I caught myself. When you are in the presence of an angel, there is a shimmering.

“Oh I’m just old. And if anything is new, I’d be the last one to know.”

I laugh.

“Well, glad to see you. Have a great day.”

I continue to watch him slowly, stiffly walking out to his car and I to mine. I try not to let out an audible sigh. I was in a heightened awareness like I was being transported into another time zone. Why was I so emotional? Could a person manifest an angel? No, he was a regular! The clerk knew his name.

Then I remembered my conversation with my granddaughter last night. I tried not to ask her too many questions because it makes her get quiet. But when I say “talk to me” or “tell me all about it” it’s as if a button is pushed and away she goes into her little burst of power. What a joy. She was telling me all about learning how to write cursive. Her teacher had given her a compliment. So my sunshine was talking all over the place about science, natural resources, magnets and “expereements.” Just one conversation, hearing the squeaky little voice filled with enthusiasm catapulted my mood back into well-being.

Journal prompt: Do a sketch about a memory from your past where you couldn’t seem to fit words to the experience. Even if you are not “artistic” use stick figures or shapes to convey the feelings. If you are not comfortable with drawing, do a collage. The images don’t have to be realistic. They can be representational. Write a brief paragraph about your work. Don’t edit, rearrange or moderate your feelings. What do you notice?

Discussion: Feel free to share your work or your thoughts.

Copyright© 2014 by Susan E Rowland

Posted in cystic fibrosis, inspirational, journaling

Monday Blues

ART by Chey

This post is a little message just to give support to everyone. We all have challenges, admit it or not. Monday can sometimes be intense when those of us who are sensitive feel everything. More on that later.

I just had a conversation with my daughter who is the mother of a child with cystic fibrosis, a disease requiring twice daily lung treatments with a breathing machine and vest, digestive enzymes every time she eats, and compromised pancreatic functioning.  CFers must be super cautious about exposure to germs, bacteria,  and colds. They can’t fight infections like normal people. While medical researchers  are on fast-track in finding a cure for CF, living with it in the family, or being a CFer oneself requires great courage and tenacity. In the old days a child with CF was not expected to live long, but now with technology and medications, life quality has changed for the better.

 Shay is now eight years old and in third grade. She does the normal activities most children do such as attending school, playing sports, doing art. She has recently started horseback riding. Horses and animals are such a great source of comfort and are proven therapy for so many.

 On the national CF news, we’ve  all been following Sarah’s  progress. She’s the child who finally received permission (can you believe this?) to have a double lung transplant. So far, so good! Go Sarah, parents, supporters, and medical team.

But, about those Monday blues: for working people as well as folks not in the traditional 9-5 system, moms, dads, retired folks, and students, Mondays can be cruel. You might feel forgotten and inconsequential, but nobody is forgotten. Truly!

For those in the workforce, the first day of the week can be just as stressful, especially if a “boss” is troublesome  or your cubicle is near that one nagging co-worker. Anyone can relate.

For everyone who has a great and happy life regardless of the Monday blues, I applaud you.

Here’s what I suggest for the Monday blues:

  • Keep a gratitude journal and write a list of the good things in your life
  • Take at least ½ hour for exercise
  • Find a recommended support group, study group, or counselor just to have someone to talk with.
  • If you enjoy spirituality, drop into a church, meditation center, or the library and meditate on gathering quiet strength.
  • Treat yourself to a massage. If you can’t afford it, find a relaxation CD and take 10 minutes just for yourself.
  • Watch a silly movie. No time? BS! Take 10 minutes for silliness and play. Toss a ball up in the air for 10 minutes. Ok, 5 minutes.

The universe loves it when we are happy. I’ll try if you will. Remember to drink plenty of fresh water.

All the best to you and yours.

Happy journaling!

above: art by Shay