Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Mittens Allowed!

Photo courtesy of Bing images
and Stephanie Lynn
A great many blog articles that I write are inspired by random conversations with friends, and this one is no different.  It occurred through a series of emails and blog comments posted between my friend and fellow blogger, Dave Roy (Dave's Buttoned Up Mind blog) and I.  He writes about a lot of tech-ish stuff, video games and such, as well as a fun series on music's one hit wonders.  We're so opposite in writing style, yet we find a great deal to enjoy about one another's respective blogs.  Dave has mentioned a couple times that he appreciates my ability to write long, thoughtful, involved blog posts that flow to the point that he never feels restless or burdened while reading them.

That made me smile, I must say, because every writer dreads hearing that they're writing content so ponderous and lengthy that it is exhausting to their readers to plow through.  I am definitely verbose - I admit this right up front!  In the past, I have actually challenged myself to write tighter content, to produce blog articles that are briefer in format, and I have succeeded.  In fact, some of those examples represent some of my favorite work.  That being said, writing short blog articles isn't all that comfortable for me. There's definitely merit in constantly challenging oneself, as it sharpens the mind and writing skills.  I don't deny that concept, and I do practice restraint much more than anyone could imagine when writing. 

Short articles, however, are not natural to my writing style.  In that conversation with Dave, I likened it to wearing mittens.  For the record, I am not a mitten person.  Not even close!  In fact, I loathe the things.  During my childhood, mittens were the norm for children to wear and actual fingered gloves weren't all that commonly available in stores.  So, mittens prevailed.  My wee hands would be stuffed into those abominations, crammed together and sweating, muffled by the thickly woven material, unable to breathe or FEEL anything.  I would fumble and drop things because my mitten wrapped hands were made clumsy and incapable of securely grasping items, or turning doorknobs, or picking something up.  I absolutely despised it and begged my Mom for fingered gloves every winter, because as the original overly protective single parent, she was determined that we stay bundled up every second we were outside. 

As an adult, regardless of the cold weather, I rarely wear gloves of any type.  In fact, it is rare that I even wear a coat.  East Tennessee has fairly temperate winters these days.  But beyond that, my fingers would much rather feel frozen and be able to breathe than be cloaked in thick mittens, shrouded from the world, unable to experience or express emotions.  Yes, I talk with my hands.  It's intrinsic to my nature, much as is writing.

Ergo, in case you were wondering what my point is with this post, writing short blog articles is akin, to me, to being forced to wear mittens.  Yes, I can write a brilliantly succinct, tightly woven, punchy article that is beautiful in its brevity.  Off the top of my head, there are several of these that come to mind in the Healing Morning archives, and I am justly proud of them.  However, where I truly shine as a writer is in the longer, flowing articles that Dave described.  I like to mosey a bit as I broaden the body of the storyline.  While brevity can deliver a knife edged presentation, there is a lot to appreciate for a bit more of a leisurely stroll down the path towards culmination.  Nuances are there to explore and elaborate upon.  Colors and textures and shadings....tangible memories to paint with words, scensory wonders to revisit and prompt within the reader's mind...those are so much fun to weave together in written format to me!  And to do that in my own unique manner requires that my hands not be mitten muffled. 

So, for the most part, my writing is going to be that longer format.  I always do my best to ensure logical progression and flow to the thoughts expressed here, and I do appreciate the kind affirmation that Dave gave me with his comments on same.  It's always a happy thing to be appreciated and accepted, unconditionally, for who you are at your very core.  At my very core, I am a wordy writer!  Bare fingers tapping madly away at the keyboard, or scribbling with equal fervor with pen and paper....the end product will rarely be brief, unless I am consciously making the effort, out of begrudged self-restraint.  As I am much happier when not practising self-restraint in writing, you can expect the longer, flowy posts here.  I hope that you'll enjoy my efforts and find that the reading is enjoyable.

For this writer, the rule of the day, no matter the weather, is simply, "No Mittens Allowed!"  Freedom of fingers to produce a rhapsody of words suits me.

**Thanks to Stephanie Lynn for graciously helping me out with the above graphic image of the No Mittens Allowed icon.  Stephanie is a gifted graphic artist who makes beautiful banners for Facebook and blog application.  You can contact her on Facebook via http://www.facebook.com/#!/steph4c.**

Friday, November 19, 2010

Song of Friendship

Photo courtesy of
Bing images
As I drove around doing my errands today, I reflected on energy patterns and how they relate to friendship. This post will be published here on Healing Morning blog, but is also destined to be an article in the next quarterly issue of Aromatique Essentials E-zine in Australia. The general theme of this upcoming issue is friendship, and this is why it took me a while to decide exactly what to write. I didn't want to recycle old thoughts, or repackage a prior blog post.

Everything we do, say, think and feel is producing energetic patterns.  These patterns manifest into myriad corporeal forms, but friendship is one pattern that is slightly ephemeral.  It takes shape and form in those people we choose to call friends, be they blood relatives or family of our heart, but friendship itself is an unseen thing.

We all know a wide range of euphemisms that denote how we interact with others.  One would be that "water seeks its own level".  Another would be that "we are judged by the company we keep".  Yet another is my own thought, and it is that when walking on a beach, one grain of sand cannot shift without affecting the millions of other tiny grains around it.  We are like unto that grain of sand in relation to friendship and the people we allow into our Inner Circle. 

As with water seeking its own level, we as human beings resonate at a specific vibratory level, attracting other people vibrating at that same or similar vibration.  This is my own theory, of course, but I feel it rings true.  It would be highly unlikely for any of us to feel physically, emotionally or spiritually comfortable spending time around another person whose intrinsic energy is discordant and not in harmony with our own vibration.  I feel that in this manner, we attract others and we form relationships that complement on an energetic level. 

Because all of Life is of a cyclic nature, there come those moments when friendship...and harmonic energy...no longer match.  It is this moment that we usually find most painful, as it is the hallmark of that relationship coming to an end.  I used to struggle mightily with this experience, as it is my nature and preference to keep people I love in my life forever. For some, these cycles are more easily weathered, but I haven't always handled it with equanimity. It took many years of living through these cycles to understand and accept that not all relationships are meant to last forever.  Indeed, the realization and understanding for me, now, tell me that many friendships are meant to burn brightly, quickly, bring strong blessings, and cycle to a close rather quickly.  I still don't like this particular manifestation, but I have come to recognize the beauty of these experiences when they do occur.  I have found a way to be thankful and appreciative of the time and happiness of every friendship I am blessed with.  If they are of a short duration, I have also learned that sometimes, they cycle back around years later in my life. When this occurs, it is particularly lovely, as both I and that old friend have grown and changed in the interim, allowing a homecoming that is a fascinating celebration.

With age comes wisdom....another old homily.  The older I get, the more I recognize that Life is, indeed, an endless cycle of patterns, dances, puzzles, harmonies and paintings.  I mentioned in my last blog post that "friendships are the defining, delicate touches of color on our Souls, I think.  Each person we allow into our Inner Circle adds a new element to our personal canvas, and in so doing, they add contrast." (Contrasts, November 6, 2010)  Through the medium of the internet, I have connected with people I would never otherwise have been able to meet in this lifetime.  From Knoxville, Tennessee to Australia, I have connected in friendship with Julie Nelson (Aromatique Essentials proprietor) and as a result, my writing is reaching an even wider audience. 

From a good health perspective, friendship is essential to us.  Being able to confide in that close friend, being able to laugh, to play, to relax completely...all of these things nurture our Spirit and bestow a wide range of health benefits.  I could go off on a wild tangent on all the good health aspects of friendship, but that is a topic for another article.  Today, as I ran errands, I reflected on the esoteric application of friendship and how the interactions we have with our friends ultimately weaves a strong energetic presence, albeit invisible to our human eyes. 

Photo courtesy of
 I imagine that the love between friends produces the most beautiful energy pattern, if we could see it with our eyes....produces the most ethereal musical rhapsody, if we could hear it with our ears....produces a woven tapestry of unspeakable beauty, if we could touch it with our hands.  We can do none of these things, but the gift we are given is to feel it with our hearts and minds.  Our Spirit, that essential, unique thumbprint of energy each of us is, feels the blessing and happy energy that friendship produces.  And we are all richer for this blessing. 

Here in the United States, we are approaching our Thanksgiving holiday, so I find this a very fitting tribute to be writing about my own perspective of friendship.  We are always, always exactly where we are meant to be in our lives, with the perfect people surrounding us, offering lessons and reflecting back to us what we are sending out to the world.  Take a moment to give this thought, as it is a powerful statement.  People come into our lives to teach us and also to reflect back to us.  I often remind myself of this very fact if I am feeling dissatisfaction or a lack of harmony surrounding me.  That niggling sensation of things not quite feeling right, as though puzzle pieces aren't aligning properly, is usually a red flag indicating some inner house cleaning is necessary.  Yet another blessing friendship can offer us, if we are willing to listen, be open and also be honest with ourselves.

I find it very appropriate, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, to be writing about the beautiful harmony and blessings of friendship.  As I have written this article, my thoughts have come together in a manner that pleases me, because I also learn from the process.  Little gems of wisdom that I have stumbled across over a lifetime will suddenly surface, fitting into the body of text in just the right fashion.  As a result, my own resolve and Spirit are strengthened and the vibrations that I radiate outward get a bit of a shine and polish.  It is my choice, my conscious intent, to always radiate positive energy so that in return, I may attract similar positive energy and people.  I want the friendships and love in my life to reflect the best version of Me that I am capable of rendering each day.  I call it a song of friendship, this harmony that we all come together to produce.

To those in the United States celebrating Thanksgiving in the coming week, I wish you a safe, happy, blessed holiday.  To my friends and readers elsewhere in this big, beautiful world, I wish you days of peace for the coming holiday season as well.


Sunday, November 7, 2010


Photo courtesy of
Bing images

Contrast: transitive verb
1:  to set off in contrast; to compare or appraise in respect to differences
I chose the word above as the focus of this blog because my life has been a constant stream...a literal parade, recently, of contrasts.

I don't know about anyone else who might be reading this post, but I have been struggling. That's been happening for the past three years as a result of the economy tanking, and for me, it has waxed and waned in intensity.  As a freelance writer, I have experienced some very lean times.  For the most part, I accept this as part of the whole concept of freelancing; work goes in cycles, so you learn to plan ahead and budget accordingly.

I have observed that a great deal of similar energy has been hitting friends and family members, to such an extreme degree that I was driven to research what planetary aspects might be casting some of this energy. I can't quote specifics here because I'm not that well versed in astrology sciences, but a close friend mentioned that we're in a current difficult cycle where erratic energies will affect emotions, relationships and finances through January 2011.  Great news, right?!  Emotions, relationships and finances pretty much cover the whole gamut of our daily lives!

Photo courtesy of
Bing images
 I have a girlfriend who is on my "Short List" of friends - those people who we allow to get truly close to our hearts and that we trust the most.  This past week, she experienced one of the most unexpected, most earth shattering personal experiences within a relationship it is possible to have.  This woman is one of the most beautiful people I know, beautiful inside and out, compassionate, caring, giving, kind, funny...she's just a special Light.  For this to happen to her is bewildering, astounding and baffling.  I realize it is happening for a reason, as all dramatic occurrences do.  She is meant to learn a specific something from the experience.  I know that.  It is just such a deeply dramatic situation, of such an enormity that one must pause to comprehend the magnitude of what is happening to her.

Photo courtesy of
Bing images
Then along comes that word of contrasts. I have also witnessed some truly beautiful moments recently.  My very dear friend and partner in crime in the blogging world, Duane Scott, is getting married on November 7, 2011.  He is so happy right now that I have the mental image of him being one of those cartoon characters that is floating several inches off the ground, buoyed by love, little pulsating hearts replacing the pupils of his eyes.  He is so young, on the brink of starting his whole adult life, and he has been blessed to meet that special person at this early stage.  I can only be happy for him.  I am unable to attend the wedding, to my everlasting frustration, but I will be there in my heart tomorrow as the ceremony takes place.  Additionally, he and his new wife will be visiting me on their drive home from their honeymoon in about 10 days.  The opportunity to spend time face to face will be wonderful...an early Christmas gift of sorts.  They will both still be literally glowing with that Just Married inner light, and that energy will radiate outward. 

The friendship that I have with each separate person mentioned here has grown from these contrasting moments in each of their lives.  One friend is in the depths of despair right now, just fumbling and attempting to find enough balance to get through that next moment.  She is riding that rollercoaster of emotions and navigating her way through the stages of grief with Grace, and doing it pretty much alone.  I am not able to physically get to where she is, and can only be there via phone, texting and prayer.  One friend is tripping merrily along as he approaches one of the most important days of his young life, and he is doing it with humor and cheer.  He is posting absurd little thumbnail sketches of each progressive day of wedding build up, texting me with various "help me with this, please" requests and generally enjoying where his life is leading.

Contrasts.  These two friends and where they are in their respective lives have repeatedly brought that word to mind.  All around me, I am hearing of many people struggling with very dramatic Life Challenges.  I capitalize those two words to denote the enormity - a girlfriend's father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer; another friend was in a very bad car wreck and she's been unemployed for over 18 months; more people than I can count are inches from being homeless because of unemployment.  Yet, in the midst of all of this, contrast comes in and I see reason to rejoice and celebrate.

Photo courtesy of
 I reached a personal milestone this past week that I never thought I would achieve.  I won't go into detail, but it is a milestone I am very proud of.  Yesterday, I was at the mailbox - the day was overcast and windy.  Suddenly the clouds broke open momentarily to clear blue skies and the sun beamed down onto a small patch of shrubbery and I saw a sticker or decal of a Smiley face snagged on the branches.  How could that happen, if not for the unseen hand of a Higher Power parting those clouds and directing that beam of light to find that tiny sticker?  I laughed out loud at the very clear, implicit message.  It was contrast in a very explicit manner - the gray, wet, windy day briefly gifted me with not only blue skies and sunshine, but also with a cheerful Smiley face in the most seemingly random fashion.  It was a Divine "made ya look, made ya grin, made ya laugh!" kind of message that was irresistable in the cheeky, brash humor of it all.  I admire a Higher Power that sends me this type of message!

For those who are struggling right now, I feel your pain, disillusionment and frustration.  I flit in and out of that same pool right now and I recognize the challenge it is for all of us to choose brighter, happier thoughts in the midst of so much worry and concern for the immediate future.  We all know that contrast is necessary.  Therefore, these darker moments are necessary in order for us to fully appreciate the happier times.  Without darkness, we cannot have daylight.  But the promise we have been given is a beautiful one, and that is that after darkness, there will come daylight.

I don't have easy answers for any of us who are struggling.  All I can say is that I have been captured by the fact that there is such a strong example of extreme contrast around me.  I think this is happening for a reason, although I couldn't even begin to understand the deepest logic behind it all.  I would obviously wish for the girlfriend in despair to be lifted up, reassured, comforted and given a quick resolution to her current situation.  I would also wish for my guy friend to never have to experience a single cloudy day in his brand new marriage.  We all know that neither wish can come true.  Indeed, each of these dear friends must navigate their own realities as best they can, and learn the lessons presented to each path.  As their friend, my role is to both celebrate the good times, and be supportive during the bad times.  More moments of contrast result from this. 

My girlfriend will be strengthened by this current trial and she will come out of it an even better, more beautiful version of herself.  My guy friend will go home after his honeymoon and become enmeshed in the daily challenges of cohabiting with a brand new wife, and he also will become a better version of himself. 

Photo courtesy of

As a result of friendship with both these wonderful people, my life is blessed and the contrasts are endless.  Friendships are the defining, delicate touches of color on our Souls, I think.  Each person we allow into our Inner Circle adds a new element to our personal canvas, and in so doing, they add contrast.  I also become a stronger, more well rounded, more beautiful and better version of myself from these relationships. 

This week, each person represents that widest spectrum of contrast, and as a result, they prompted me to write this post.  I am unsure if it makes a great deal of logical sense, as I am swinging back and forth on a fulcrum....deeply sad for my girlfriend, and joyously happy for my guy friend.  The fulcrum itself is Me, and my love for both of them.  I imagine that my personal canvas has gained new depth, color and expression because of the events in both their lives this week.  Contrast continues....and we grow as a result.