Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘Healing’

In Search of a Bit More Time

It’s here, it’s here and as usual, I’m not ready. Where did the time go? I realize I’m a good time waster. I love to just sit and read or write or even watch a good sappy holiday movie on television. I know, I know. Some of you are telling me to get rid of the TV so I can get more done. Have given that great thought but in the healing process, sometimes you have to just sit there and do nothing.

My kitchen helpers are busy too

My kitchen helpers are busy too

I made my lists, checked them twice but unfortunately, timing is everything and nothing ever goes according to plan. I forgot to make a shirt my son had envisioned for someone on his list because I couldn’t find the right shirt in a good color. So once he was here, I let him pick out the shirt and I worked at doing the embroidery, praying (really hard) that it came out straight. Very small shirt on very large hoop made me break into a tiny sweat.

It's a play on her name and it came out straight

It’s a play on her name and it came out straight

I managed to finish another batch of snowflakes with each taking 45 minutes to stitch out. I did get some reading done while keeping an eye on the machine and replacing bobbins as they ran out. Hard work? Not really.

The bakery is open and the fat friars are working hard.

The bakery is open and the fat friars are working hard.


Groceries were bought in the early morning hours when others were having their first cup of coffee so that’s done. But somehow, with company in and out and stuff being moved from one room to another to accommodate and visit, I let myself get too relaxed, falling a tiny bit behind, as usual. I no longer stress about the holidays but I always want to do one more thing. I just need a bit more time.

I’m not signing up for the winter semester of writing class to spend more time getting sewing and embroidery projects done. I don’t have the stamina for all of it but I will miss seeing everyone. We had a grand time at potluck in mid-December. Santa even showed up and had brunch with us.

Even Santa had a story to read. It was quite moving.

Even Santa had a story to read. It was quite moving.

Today we go see family and deliver our gifts to the youngsters. None is all that little anymore. My daughter has done her usual magic and made our tiny purchases look like they came from Saks Fifth Ave. I’m always happy to have someone to feed and spoil a bit so having company is a bit of heaven for me. Cooking for an army is easy, for one, not so easy.

May your day be filled with all the good we received. Yummy!

May your day be filled with all the good we received. Yummy!

So as you can see, I’ve run out of time and space and I know you have so little time left you probably won’t get to read this till next week, but that’s ok. Cut yourself some slack and if you find a tiny bit more time, ENJOY it! That’s what I’m going to with mine…if it shows up. Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday to you and yours.

Just one question. Are you ready for it to be over or are you already planning for next year’s Christmas?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Reasons to Celebrate

Labor Day falls on September 2 this year. The whole country gets a day off to rest or run; the choice is theirs. It was a labor day of a different kind 65 years ago in a tiny village in Germany. It’s still a tiny village, by the way. My mother labored a long time to give birth to a 13 pound girl (yes, you read that right) at home, with no anesthesia. She remembered nothing of that day and it took me awhile to understand why. Mom was a 2 pound baby, incubated in the oven at home and was never supposed to be able to have children. The four of us sure made a liar out of the doctor who told her that.

Main street. You can see beginning to end.

Main street. You can see beginning to end.

No motel or grocery, just a bar and convenience market. They sure are a friendly bunch though.

No motel or grocery, just a bar and convenience market. They sure are a friendly bunch though.

Why celebrate turning 65? That’s just getting old. Well after my birthday, I get Medicare. I have had no health coverage since my divorce a couple of years ago. Not that I need it, but it’s like car insurance, nice to have just in case. The other reason I celebrate is that I’m still here among the living and loving. My first husband only made it to 42. I’m grateful for each and every minute of pain and pleasure. I plan to celebrate big time…for me.

My daughter is taking me to my favorite German restaurant, Gustav’s, where after months and months of a very strict diet, I’m going to indulge in a good German beer, pretzel and cheese fondue, followed with a dinner I will probably end up taking home and topped off with their famous apple strudel. That’s MY idea of celebrating.

Is your mouth watering?

Is your mouth watering?

I have other reasons to celebrate. I’ve exceeded my weight loss goal by more than enough to indulge one day. It’s not easy by any means but I’m feeling sooo much better everyday as well. I think the Bells Palsy is improving as I’m needing the cane less and less for balance.

Another reason to celebrate is that this is my 100th post. I mainly post once a week unless fatigue overtakes me. Life is pretty simple for me and I want to keep my posts remotely interesting. As healing progresses, so will the variety of my writing. I’m still two months shy of my two-year blogiversary. Every time I get a bit discouraged, someone comes for a visit to my site and leaves an encouraging comment. Thank you all for reading and adding so much to my life. Each of you are treasures.

How and what are you celebrating this fine day of no labor?

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.~ Doug Larson

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself.

In Search of a New Routine

The saying is, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s something which I seem to have a lot of experience. I’ve had a pattern since I became ill more than 3 years ago to get a ton of rest, watch some TV, read and eat food that required very little effort on my part. There is a V groove in my carpet from my bed to the kitchen to the chair and back again. Any wonder why I’ve gained (a lot of) weight?

Most mornings I would get up, get a cup of coffee, do my journaling, (morning pages) meditate, read my email and think about exercising. I HATE exercising. Just beat me with a stick and get it over with. I was hungry after the coffee and all the reading so it was time to make something to eat. You can’t exercise on a full stomach so more time would go by and I’d find more excuses. The fitness center is at the bottom on a tiny hill and it’s free though quite small. Another excuse.

Something has changed. I’m not sure what it is but I’m feeling better. I found a new spiritual center on Palm Sunday. It felt like I was home. Then,trying once again to do my Qi Gong exercises, I noticed that I’m not losing my balance if I do it early in the morning. Logic would have it that I change my pattern. Ok, I have a logical mind. Now I get up, turn on the DVD player and begin. One good day lead to the next. I only took Easter Sunday off. I didn’t need to but it was a good excuse. Then I read Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach for that day and begin writing my morning pages. Coffee comes with the e-mail. Yay! It’s watered down, half decaf, half regular coffee but since I’m recovering from a stress induced illness, I try to take it easy on my system. I just can’t give up the coffee.

A very gentle start for those who and do little

A very gentle start for those who can do little

It's a gentle combination of Tai Chi and Yoga  Easier than most and a great start

It’s a gentle combination of Tai Chi and Yoga Easier than most and a great start

On nice days I’ve been taking a walk, with my cane, of course, increasing the distance slowly after the long shut-in winter. I have no yard right now but trying to plant a bit in pots to insure outside activity. I’m finding that I can sew again and even concentrate enough to tackle a project or two that has been on hold all these years.

I've had this for years. Any daily inspiration works.

I’ve had this for years. Any daily inspiration works.

My health is the number one priority, and I’m finally acting on it. No more sitting and waiting for it to return. Being a person who requires routine, I’ve turned mine upside down and do the hard thing first. It will get easier with time. The e-mail will have to go to later in the day as well. I’ll scan it for business that needs to be taken care of, then proceed to the next hardest job. Does this mean I’m no longer insane? Hmmm. I doubt it, but we can hope.

Do you require a regular routine or can you just go with the flow?

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. ~ Mike Murdock

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Focus

I can easily get lost in the wonder of exploring things I haven’t seen in the last year and some of my things have been stored for well over two years. Some are still in boxes in the garage waiting for the last move. That leads me to a familiar quandary. On what do I place my focus now? I’ve had this discussion with my son many times as he has inherited the interest in a wide variety of things from his mother. Some people call it ADD.

I have a book somewhere as yet unpacked called “The Power of Focus” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. I also own “The Power of Focus for Women” by Fran Hewitt and Les Hewitt. It has been sitting on my headboard for the longest time waiting for me to finish it. I just couldn’t get focused.

focused on the project

focused on the project

What I thought I picked up from the first perusing of the book, was that it’s hard to get good at everything so focus on just one thing and become proficient at that. That wasn’t the case. There was so much more to the book. It was more about focusing on getting the life you want. Well, I could use a little of that.

I have so many interests that most days I was spinning my wheels just trying to decide what to do next. I would normally go sew, embroider, craft, paint, or walk miles for exercise and meditation. These days, I’m requiring a different kind of focus. It seems to be more introspective than creative.

Right now my sewing room is a guest room while my sister makes her changes from one place to another, so I can’t sew anyway. We spent the last week packing up her apartment and then cleaning it from top to bottom. Not an easy feat for this tipsy chick. I’m going to try and figure out how to make that a more comfortable guest room since it looks like it will be used in that capacity more often than not.

I read voraciously. Now I can do it without guilt. I have finished 3 books this week including this one.

A good read

A good read

I’m trying also to focus on ways to get well. I think that it’s an option still open to me. Meditation is something else I’m trying to focus on since the walking and gardening meditation have not been available this winter. Come on spring!

Most of us have many things going at once. Trying to do too many of them sometimes leads to doing none well. Making a list sometimes helps me see what should be a priority for the day, week, month, etc. The top of my list is my health but often my actions put it at the bottom. Not eating healthy all the time and easily being distracted from exercise brings my lack of commitment into focus big time.

When I look back on all that has transpired in my life, it seems like everything else has been stripped away from me so I have only a couple of things to focus on. Writing is what I can do now; even more so than reading, actually. The other is my next topic, if I find the courage to post about it. We shall see.

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. ~ Tony Robbins

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of the Combination

My daughter and I had a girl’s day hanging out in our favorite metaphysical bookstore last Saturday. New Renaissance is located in downtown Portland, Oregon. Or is it uptown? We could spend days there but that would be a very expensive venture.

We started out spending some time with one of their readers, just for some fun. Don’t go shaking your heads now. I take everything with a grain of salt but this young lady was pretty good for someone so young. My daughter and I had plenty to giggle about and that was well worth it.

As I perused the books for a few moments before we headed out for linner, (lunch/dinner) a book jumped off the shelf at me. Now I don’t need another book, but this one was insistent. I certainly didn’t need another writing book as I have a minimum of 108. I’m a little slow to learn.

This is my combination so far.

This is my combination so far.

I also picked up the book written by the woman who was giving the evening seminar we were to attend, “Intuitive Healing” by Marie Manuchehri. I had hoped to have it autographed. There were too many people waiting so we gave up and called it a night after the seminar. Yes I’m a bit out there. I’m sure this was not your first clue. You have to cut me a little slack here.

February 11 marks a full three years with the debilitating remnants of Bells Palsy. I’m looking for answers everywhere and anywhere. It should have been gone by now. There has to be a reason it’s not, so the search is still on.
I tend to absorb books more than read them. Like this writing book which has stayed by my side since the first moment I opened it. It combines my primary interests; writing, healing and spirituality.

By the time I read to page three of the first chapter, I was moved to tears. Janet Conner writes of her Covenant. They are vows to herself that she will not break. I’m hoping for some changes in my writing as has felt a bit stilted and shallow. I have waited to post anything because I didn’t like anything I wrote.

It brought me back to my practice of morning pages that Julia Cameron writes about in “The Artist’s Way”. I actually took a 12 week workshop on it doing one chapter at a time. My copies of Julia Cameron’s books are unfortunately still in boxes in the garage.

artistsway (2)

Writing is the most healing thing I have done. When I read Louise Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life” it said that Bells Palsy was a manifestation of extreme control over anger and unwillingness to express feelings. Yup, that was me, the people pleaser. So paper is where I blow off steam and process loss. It’s less messy. Right now, I have nothing left to be angry about. Not even Bells Palsy. It was a gift. I’m hoping to get more from this book and others. It seems to be what I have to do at this moment in time.

I have 3 copies of this well worn book.

I have 3 copies of this well worn book.

Do you have any books that helped you with your writing or your life that I may not have heard of yet? I obviously have nothing but time right now.

“Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. . . .Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: You are accepted.” Paul Johannes Tillich

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of What to Read

I’ve tried all week but there seems to be no end to my cave dwelling. Trying to understand why I couldn’t get anything accomplished brought me to the realization that I’ve been a human doing, not a human being for so long that I need time to refuel. The last four months have been quite taxing. Oh, gosh, that’s coming up too. So, giving myself permission to stop, rest and continue to heal all those damaged nerves in my face and head, takes a great deal discipline.

I’m also coming off sugar and refined carbs. When the munchies encroach on my space too close to the kitchen, I retreat to the cave for protection. Once there, I have no desire to go foraging. It’s a warm and cozy drawing me in some evenings as early as 7:00 p.m. I will read till at least 10, hoping to find peaceful sleep at the end. It works unless a neighbor decides to slam a door or take a shower at 11 p.m. These old buildings are not well insulated.

So, now you will discover my odd reading habits. On rare occasion do I read start to finish. That’s part of why I don’t borrow from the library. Some stories want to be savored for as long as possible. Other books, mostly my non-fiction, require a bit of digestion after each chapter. Can’t rush learning. I also keep several notebooks handy. One is my gratitude journal that I write in immediately after crawling into the cave, the other is my writing and thoughts notebook. Some nights I wake up with something that just has to be written now or lost. I rarely buy magazines anymore but this week I found a couple that wouldn’t stay on the shelf. They just followed me home.

magazines

Here is what is sleeping in my bed this week. I read a chapter of each until I get to the mystery. The one here is an excellent second to the first of the series. I read three chapters last night but still trying to make it last. I’ll end my day with something inspirational to stay in my mind as I sleep.

books in bed

I took this old canvas bag apart to experiment on it after having my sewing machine serviced. I take it with me to try to start conversations whenever possible. Not that many people read anymore and I’m looking for slightly different reading material than many I come across. I have more room for books in my bed since my little dog is no longer taking that space.

book bag

Do you have books in your bed too? Or is it a furry friend? Maybe you just have people partners and your books must reside elsewhere. What are you reading these days?

My furry friend Schatzie sorely missed.

My furry friend Schatzie sorely missed.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”Marcus Tullius Cicero

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Tact

My mother was a woman who spoke her mind. She was not one to mince words. I often wondered about that expression. Mom was direct in an abrupt, abrasive sort of way. By the time we were done with a meal at a restaurant, most of my siblings and I wanted to crawl under the table and hide. She was just being honest. The silverware was not clean or the glass had something in it. It was always something and she was going to make sure they knew it. Mom had her standards and they were quite high. I was often of the opinion that people like my mother just needed a set of skid chains on their tongue. Sometimes many of us are in need of those skid chains. Now, where did I leave mine?

I am not much of a verbal communicator. There was very little opportunity to express myself. Staying quiet gave me lots of time to read and I tried to learn how to say things in a kind and tactful manner. I was married to a man for 25 years that did all the talking. Every thought in his head, came out of his mouth. We called it “diarrhea” of the mouth. Have you ever been to a party with one of those people? They monopolize the entire conversation.

That’s when I started to write my words on paper instead of holding them in. Problem solved, you would think. Not so much. Words on paper have no facial expression and you cannot see the writer’s face. It takes work to tell if what you meant to say got to the person you were writing to in the same context. You can’t see the sender smile because they were being facetious or attempting to be humorous.That’s where skilled writers have the advantage. They have my deepest respect. Knowing how to put words together so another can feel what you are writing, is a skill I desparately want to learn.

I can read a note and be hurt by it, while all the time the sender was just trying to elaborate their point. Been there, done that, know it will happen again and again. How many times have we written a note, hit the send button, only to wish we had a lasso to rein it back in and make a few adjustments? I have deleted more notes and posts than I have sent because the phrasing can so easily be misconstrued.

The writers that I truly envy are those that can write funny. They don’t have to be tactful. My folks had no visible sense of humor. At least I didn’t see it. I think I inherited the lack of it. Please let that be a skill you can learn.

Mom and Dad smiling.

Mom and Dad smiling.

My day is always better if something makes me laugh so I search it out. Janet Evanovich is one of my all-time favorite writers for relaxed reading. Her “Stephanie Plum” series guaranteed a belly laugh. I even bought her book on how she writes. Though I rarely read novels since I have so many other kinds of books waiting, I yearn for light and funny. It’s very healing.

Writing is not something I have a good handle on yet. Maybe I never will but I have to keep trying. So, let me say up front, if I offend anyone, it’s not intentional. If I take offence, I’ll get over it quickly. Life’s too short and words are so powerful. Intention is the key here. My intention is to be kind, with a sprinkle of humor or my attempt at it. I’ll keep working on developing tact and getting skilled with that lasso.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself