All posts filed under: The Journey

No News is Good News

The Journey Continues… It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my journal. On the one hand, it means that nothing exciting (or newsworthy) has been going on. On the other hand—and more importantly—the old idiom rings true: No news is good news. Today marks 1,229 days of sobriety… so that’s good news!

Yesterday’s News

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be. —Author Unknown I’ve been thinking a lot. That’s what happens when I have time on my hands (did I just say that in an earlier post?). What I’ve noticed lately is that—in certain areas—I’m a bit of a control freak. Nothing huge, mind you, just little nagging issues that bother me.

End of the Rainbow

Something wonderful happens when it rains here! I saw this ‘end of the rainbow’ a few weeks ago and thought it was a great image for this evening. I logged on a while ago and saw that I have 25 minutes to go until my sober anniversary. Woo! School is keeping me SUPER busy, and I rarely come up for air… but I’ve been thinking about everyone! Anyway, I added a lot of drama to this photo, just because. It was quite a dramatic feeling to walk out and see it in person. I never really knew if you could see the end of a rainbow until I actually saw it. And now I’ve hit my 3 year sobriety mark and life is fabulous. What’s funny is that I shared it on Facebook the day that I shot the image, and someone seemed adamant that it wasn’t real. I guess my Photoshop adventures have placed my photo shares in the “this image could be fake” category. BUT… it is real. That’s about all for now. …

Gratitude Hour

Time can be a little deceptive. It’s been two months since the fall semester ended, and—to be honest—it feels like it’s been a year. I’m grateful for the “down time,” don’t get me wrong, but that old familiar feeling… that it’s time to get moving… has taken hold, and Tuesday can’t come soon enough. It’s kind of like long, out of town vacations. They’re awesome! They’re fun, relaxing, and refreshing, but eventually you reach that point where you just want to go home. So… Daily Addiction’s word today is Inspire, and I’ve been thinking about that word quite a bit (burning the midnight oil again). In my pondering, I realized that one of the reasons my life, and this blog, have morphed and grown so much over the past couple of years is because so many of you have inspired me. Undoubtedly, I’ll be online much less once my classes start… so it seems like the perfect time to express my gratitude for that inspiration. To all the photographers out there, thank you for sharing. …

Go With the Flow

Late last night, as I pondered what to write about in my next post, the question “what are you trying to accomplish here?” came to mind. I thought about how my blog started—how I wanted to share the story of my recovery, and offer words of “hope” to other people who were still suffering—and then I thought about how the subject matter has twisted, turned, and evolved over time.   I wondered if certain words that I’ve written were (or were not) necessary; whether or not they conveyed anything “positive or uplifting” to the person they might reach, or if they were just “filler.” The bottom line is that I want to write words that matter, and I critique my words harshly… reprimanding myself at times for being hasty; not thinking things through carefully, or failing to do my very best. I think it boils down to two things: impatience and perfectionism. I always feel rushed—like there’s some ‘imaginary’ deadline I have to meet—so I zig zag around to get things done at warp speed …

Wings to Fly

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. Gustave Flaubert I’m back from my mini vacation… and I feel like I’m ready to fly! I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, and a plethora of images to sort through… but I wanted to share one of my favorite photographs thus far. I shot this the first day of my trip, at a park near the beach. I love capturing birds on the move (as many of you already know), so I was thrilled when this duck struck a pose and I was able to catch it. I just love it when that happens! Until later…Peace & Love Everyone!—Janet

Raw Beauty

I had a revelation the other day, when I was pondering what breathtaking means to me. I realized that my relationship with photo programs began when I was shooting nature in Colorado. There’s just something that you feel—when you see nature with your own eyes—that can’t be reproduced when you look at a photograph. At least that’s how I see it. Post-processing started as my way of trying to recapture that feeling somehow. Of course, now my images often morph into wild or wacky art—and end up looking quite different in the end. The first photo above literally became last night’s Circle of Life. Feeling playful and rebellious, I shaped it into something abstract. Anyway, all of these images were taken from our apartment, when we lived in Colorado, and I’ve done as little as possible to them. We had the best view in the complex, and Mother Nature… with all of her raw beauty… never failed to put on an amazing show.

Magical Makeovers

—A Page in My Journal My best friend went to cosmetology school when she was eighteen, and I was the brave subject of her very first “perm.” It looked pretty BAD, but eventually my hair grew out. Over the years that followed (or decades I should say), she became the extremely talented hairdresser that she is today. For many of those years, although she did exactly what I had asked her to do, I’d come away from her shop feeling slightly disappointed. Sometimes I wondered if it was just MY hair that never seemed to come out “just like” the pictures that I would bring her. I don’t know why it took her so many years to say it; but finally one day when we were discussing my dissatisfaction, she said that sometimes people come in believing that their new color or cut will make them look just like “the woman” in the photographs that they bring in, but that just isn’t the case. And it certainly isn’t a reality. All I can say is …

Introspection

Fear, like a giant boulder…Stays weighted at my feet.—Afraid I’ll miss the curtain call, I stay paralyzed…Gazing at the stage to find my cue. Impatience, like a cold wind…Sends me sailing into a flurry.—I shatter into pieces, chasing a million things…Until all that’s left are tiny shards. Reason, like a brilliant scientist…Wants to put me back together.—Like a puzzle to be solved, I inspect the fragments…But many of the pieces have been lost. Acceptance, like a soft embrace…Whispers I am enough.—The mystery becomes magical, and I feel love. But, Gratitude… Sweet, sweet Gratitude—Like a burning flame…She warms my soul. … Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Gratitude Today’s Accomplishment: Write a poem without a rhyme Dr. Seuss likes to whistle tunes to me when I even ‘think’ about poetry, so this was extremely hard for me. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. —African Proverb

Playing the Game

Well, I never made it outside yesterday (Boooo). Honestly… it is freaking COLD here! Not as cold as so many places, but in California these recent “extremes” are quite shocking to some of us natives. Anyway, even though I made a silent vow to stay away from my archived photographs, this morning I remembered some images I took at the park some time ago, and this one seemed perfect for today’s thoughts. Par for the course, I played around in Photoshop to make it appear a little “dreamy.” I couldn’t help but wonder if this young boy was dreaming a little himself at that moment; feeling hopeful about his future in baseball. I don’t know if I mentioned it before… but this past summer I played coed slow-pitch softball. I’ve now joined a winter league, and this weekend is our first practice game. A friend of mine—who has never played before—has also signed up, and this past Sunday the two of us went to the batting cages. After showing her how to hold the bat, …

Melting Time

I’m actually getting a late start on word prompts tonight. I really do enjoy those, but trying to fit multiple words into a poem or story is—to be honest—exhausting me. I think I need a word for the “week,” so that I have time to digest it, and ponder what the word really means to me. That rush-rush to get it written in one day gives me a weird adrenaline rush! Anyway, I thought I would give the mind a rest tonight—so I did an image for the word Segue: to make a transition without interruption from one activity, topic, scene. It’s a bit abstract (duh!), but it’s a really cool tree that I visited at Christmas, with lights dangling from it, and fireworks exploding behind it in the night sky—celebrating our segue into the new year. I’m actually happy with this one! If I ever had to settle on any specific style, I think I’d do more of these crazy pieces. That’s about all for tonight! We have 2 hours to go here, and …

A Better Me

It’s always exciting to see a new year approaching, and the word goal really got me thinking today. Not about my goals for the year ahead, but about the goals I’ve already set—over the last couple of years—and how they have helped change, or shape me, in ways I never expected. In all honesty, sometimes I have NO idea where this journey is taking me. When I made the decision to go to college, I was SURE that Graphic Design was the path that was meant for me. When I decided to alter my course, and major in Psychology, it felt “perfectly natural.” And now—while I’m figuring out how to work English into the equation—I can’t help but wonder: “Will I ever get this right?”

Mindful

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.  Thích Nhất Hạnh After last night’s post, I decided to commit to black and whites for a while. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure why I haven’t done more—since I love them so much—but after working on the image that I’ve featured here, it all came back to me; they aren’t easy to do, and they can be pretty tricky. Actually, I think that’s exactly what was needed right now; something to challenge me a little and push me to learn.

Transparency

This is my take on another photograph from my recent trip to the zoo. It was actually a moving light that shone on the concrete walkway to form what I believe is a rose, or some other type of flower. I used a paint effect to accentuate the lines a little. It’s not one of my favorites, but I thought it went really well with the Word of the Day challenge, the word being kinky; as in “having kinks or twists.”

Moonstruck

moon·struck/adjective1. unable to think or act normally, especially because of being in love. Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge. Every now and then I check out the word of the day challenge, hoping it will inspire me to start writing poetry. As you can see by my recent posts… that hasn’t really worked out for me! Anyway, I was inspired by today’s word: Moonstruck, and now it’s a half hour before midnight and I’m barely getting started! I wanted to do the featured image first—and it took me much longer than I had expected—so it looks like the poetry will have to wait. I think the image captures the “moonstruck” mood though, so it’s all good. Have a beautiful week everyone… Peace and Love!

Gazing Upward

I saw this sunset a week ago, just before my Thursday evening class started. It was beautiful just the way it was, but I wanted to do something with it. I feel like I need a ‘creative reprieve’ more and more these days. Not that anything is going bad, or I am stressed out or anything; I just think that sitting down to get creative helps put a halt to my overthinking. It’s like wordless prayer. It forces me to be still. So… I hit another ‘month’ anniversary; 2 years and 8 months sober as of yesterday. It’s not like I count the days or anything, but when I see the calendar hit the 7th each month I make a mental note—thinking about where I was then compared to where I am now. What a difference 977 days make! Anyway, that’s about all for now. Have a beautiful day everyone! Remember to stop and smell the roses… enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend… or gaze up at a beautiful sunset. Because when you …

Carpe Noctem

I realized this evening that I stay up much later than I used to. I wanted to work on this image tonight because I just love the trees. The next thing I knew it was after midnight again! If you ask me, I think all of the lines from the leafless branches seem to make their own art. I love how nature does that; flaunts its beauty without shame, even in the most vulnerable and unexpected places. I was never quite sure if the trees were even alive when I took the photograph, because as far as my eyes could see, it looked like sticks… upon sticks… upon sticks! Still, it looked beautiful to me. I think it has to do with growing up in the city. When all you really know of nature is what’s in your own backyard—or in the neighborhood park—glimpses of natural landscapes, untouched by man, create a sense of awe and wonder that’s truly unforgettable. I love that. Anyway, the later it got, the more I thought about how I’m becoming a night …

Happy Anniversary!

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. Oscar Wilde Would you believe that today marks exactly two years for me here on the blog? Another week and I’ll also reach two years and seven months sober. Praise God for that! Time flies when you’re busy making plans, that’s for sure. Speaking of making plans, I had an epiphany recently. One of the students in my English class mentioned something about changing how society views a certain subject. I can’t remember what it was she was referring to, but that’s not really the point anyway—it’s what happened after. Grinning, our professor reminded the class that they were young, and that they had their whole lives ahead of them to change the world. At first, I felt a little sad. There I sat, surrounded by teens and young adults—the oldest probably 26 years old—and I was… well… somewhere in my fifties. Somehow his words just struck me. It’s not often that I get discouraged, but …

Upside Down

Sometimes you have to let life turn you upside down so you can learn how to live right side up. I’ve been having some weird feelings lately. I think I’d call it “lack of joy,” but at the same time I keep reminding myself to stay grateful. What I’m REALLY grateful for is the fact that I have the wherewithal to remind myself of that! What I’ve been catching myself doing a lot lately is living everywhere but in the present, and I realized today that this is the reason my joy has slipped away. Believe it or not, I still have eleven weeks left in this semester and I’ve spent hours—if not days—trying to plan my schedule for spring. I even met with someone at the university I’ll be transferring to next year so that I could start planning ahead for those classes too! I know it’s smart to have goals and plan ahead, that’s not the issue. For me, the problem occurs when—in making those plans—I lose sight of where I am right …

Empty Promises

I’ve been thinking (for a while now) about doing recovery images; pictures that portray the feelings of freedom and joy that come with getting—and living—sober. I think my mind was in too many different places, or I didn’t plan it out well, because this one could actually go either way. Is she trying to climb into the bottle, or is she climbing out? Is she about to jump off—into the beauty of freedom and life; or is she holding on—longing to stay close to the forbidden fruit that leads her only to death? Maybe it’s supposed to be thought provoking and open to personal interpretation… I don’t know. Regardless, I’m happy with it. I’m hoping that it’s the first in a new “Recovery Series,” but don’t quote me on that just yet. I’ve also been thinking about dabbling in poetry again. My English class this semester is really stirring up some creative thoughts! That’s about all for now. Life is good, God is great, and it’s a beautiful day to be alive! Courage is the power …

Dream Chasers

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell In visiting some images from my past, I stumbled on this photograph I took of some of my friends taking surf lessons. I thought it was a good representation of my thoughts lately; about hard work and determination. One of our math assignments last week was to read an article by Carol S. Dweck—the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University—about fixed mindsets vs. growth mindsets. What’s interesting is that in doing so, I learned a little something about myself. A person with a fixed mindset believes that intelligence levels, talents, and abilities are fixed, that we inherently have what we have (basically what we are fortunate enough to be born with), and that’s it. A person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that intelligence levels, talents, and abilities can be cultivated through effort and education; they are potentials that can be realized through learning and practice. I’ve always had a tendency to …

Let’s Dance!

Today is my first day off and I’m still trying to get into the groove of the changes. All of my classes over the summer were online, so my face-to-face socializing was minimal. Now I’m surrounded by young people in their late teens and early 20’s, and every class has group activities. Talk about culture shock! I wasn’t sure if I would get on the blog much during fall semester, but I just finished purchasing all of my textbooks and I’m not in the mood for homework yet. Ha! Tomorrow. Anyway, I was trying out a new paint program today and this image seemed perfect for my state of mind. It looks to me like there’s a man with a rather large nose, sunglasses, and some facial hair, peeking through—right around the center of the image. I thought it was amusing; it reminded me of how it feels to try something new. Sometimes you peek inside first, but you take a little step—and you feel the the newness of the experience—then before you know it, …

Bringing Out the Bold

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. Carl Jung It’s been a battle between intellect & creativity for me this week. Right brain vs. left. I needed to do something playful because I wasn’t having much fun with what I’ve been doing—still tweaking the blog. O.C.D. much?!? I know they don’t get seen much, but my intellect’s been telling me to delete the posts that are too irrelevant, remove old images that seem weird or boring, fix those accidental double line spaces, and edit some things I said in the past that now sound silly (Hey, this isn’t twitter! I can do a re-do, right?!) So, speaking of silly; I mentioned that looking back on my story was a great gratitude exercise for me, but there’s something else that I noticed that’s been really eye opening for me. In every other post—be it a story or an image—I was constantly explaining myself and …

There’s no “I” in Team

But there’s a “Me” in Mentor. First of all, I wanted to share at least one of my school projects here. I’ve butchered it now, but before I made the edits it was the backside of an album cover I created. I haven’t been too thrilled with many of my projects thus far, but the good news is that taking the classes helped me figure out that I needed to go in a completely different direction. And I’m so happy I did—so it’s all good! Secondly, I thought I would elaborate on my idea—my vision—about a program for people who are in recovery. My initial thoughts about it started when I was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my (sober) life. My passion for photography and art —or anything that entails creativity really—was where it all started. I imagined an art gallery of sorts, with walls covered in various pieces done by people who are new to recovery, who are trying to get their lives back in order, and are in …

The Next Chapter

Just hours after I said that I don’t have much to share these days, all kinds of thoughts started churning around. I haven’t even slept well the past two nights because my mind’s been racing! It reminded me of all the times I proclaimed that I was going to do a new image series, and then the whole idea would just fizzle out. I can never seem to stick with a plan! This time it worked for my benefit though… sort of reverse psychology, I guess. I was going through my files yesterday, doing a little housecleaning, and I came across one of my old posts; back when I first started the blog. It was such a great reminder to me, and the timing was perfect! When my friend Gil first encouraged me to write, and to share my story with others, it was the first time in SO long that I felt my life had purpose. I not only had my sobriety, I had this HOPE that I could share with others. I think …

A Handful of Dew

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop were not there, I think the ocean would be less by that missing drop. Mother Teresa Greetings Everyone! It’s been a couple of months since I opened up any of my Adobe programs, so I thought I would give it a shot today and see if the right side of my brain still works. I took this photo of an orange and dew drop when I was in my photography class, so today I added the hand and used scale and some paint effects to make it look larger than life. I thought it was fun. My second year of school starts in two weeks, and once that’s finished I’ll be just one class shy of earning my Associates Degree in Psychology, so this time next year I should be finishing up and planning for my graduation and University transfer. I’ve been contemplating what I want to do with my blog these days. I seem to …

Flying Solo

It’s been tough for me to post lately. Considering the old saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” I’ve come to a new and quite similar saying of my own – about myself and my writing – and I’m trying to live by it now. “If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all.” Actually, I thought about this while taking an English class over winter. Writing essays about emerging technologies and bullying on the internet, I found myself really questioning why it is I’m interested in writing, and why I found it so hard (or perhaps tedious is a better word) to write those essays. To make matters more confusing, I had also been pondering why graphic design was becoming less appealing to me after some of the projects I did for class. It was the answer that came to me that I actually got excited about… in order for these things to work, they have to come from my heart. That being said, …

Perfectly Imperfect

Even imperfection itself may have its ideal or perfect state. Thomas de Quincey It’s the first day of “spring break” here in California, and I wanted to share a photograph I took last year, just before fall. I shot this while I was working on a project for my photography class, but I ended up changing my subject to water and I never turned this one in. The tree may look familiar to some of you; it’s the Ginkgo that sits in the backyard.  I wanted to do something in black and white today, and I’m crazy about all of the organic lines. Everything is going really well these days! I celebrated 2 years sober on March 7th – and a full load of classes this semester is keeping me busy (and out of trouble). I’ve been exploring different majors, and have been told that this is actually par for the course; most students change their majors up to 4 times before they finally find what fits. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter! I’ve …

If

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe …

The Facade

Don’t trade in  your authenticity for approval. The photography book that I’ve been browsing through is really inspiring me. I’ve said before that I prefer black and whites, and that was actually the only thing I would hang on the walls of my old place, but I rarely finish and/or post one here. So… I thought I would try one today. It was a struggle to go through with it, because the original photograph had some awesome color! But, I stuck to my guns. My goal here was to create contrast. I think I did pretty good lightening the sky, but the bushes and mountains in the background still leave some clutter that I’m not crazy about. I think I like it though! This photograph was taken in Jerome, Arizona- the old 1800’s mining town I talked about before. I love old places! I liked the idea of a “facade” for this post, because I was thinking about authenticity last night. I’m SUPER excited about being in a classroom full of people come August, but I …

Come Together

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. —Henry Ford This is a bit of a mishmosh of thoughts, but it all ties together. First of all the image is just something I was toying around with. I combined three different photos I took of kids playing at the beach. Then I did some tinkering in Photoshop and Illustrator to create the look of a drawing. I added outlines to give it a poster kind of look and to (hopefully) tie in with the “come together” theme. I had my first writing class last night and I have to say that it already has me thinking about how writing may (or may not) fit into my future. I’ll repeat what I shared in the class, as we each had to talk briefly about why we took the class. Since starting this blog, a recurring thought I’ve had is “Can I really WRITE? OR do I just know how to write about myself?” I WILL say that the reason I started …

Backstage Pass

Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star, And everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are. The Kinks, Celluloid Heroes I’m sharing the end of yesterday’s day trip first, since it’s something I’m pretty darn proud of. I actually made it to the TOP of the mountain, so not only did I view the Hollywood sign (in person) for the very first time, but I hiked up to see if from the backside. This is quite an accomplishment for me because… well… I am NOT a hiker! Ha! And I was the very last one in the group to make it up, but I kept going even though my legs kept saying “NO!” Today I am definitely feeling the pain, but it was well worth it. My dear friend who lives near Portland is responsible for getting me off of my duff, and out into the places where those “fit people” go. And it was exhilarating! I do believe I will be doing more things like this. I’ve been a bit of a hermit since I broke both of …

Little Stargazer

A simple, childlike faith in a Divine Friend solves all the problems that come to us by land or sea. -Helen Keller We had some awesome cloud formations yesterday so I finally dusted off my camera and got a few new shots of the sky. 

Love, Fear & Courage

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. -John Lennon  Well… it seems that my study of the word trust kind of fizzled out. I knew a whole year on one word was not my cup of tea! 😉 Regardless, even a week (or a month) spent on studying a word is something I would recommend. It seems to work better as an evolving process for me. I move from one word to the next, as I learn and discover things. Lately love, fear and courage are words that keep coming up. I’m learning so much about self-love, which these days I would have to call acceptance. It’s not about my past, or …

A Bright Burst

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado My journey sure is getting interesting! Every day I learn a little something about myself, about my habits, and about the power of thoughts. 

Light Trickles

Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet After altering this photograph enough times I decided to go for the variety pack image… (thanks for the suggestion Nickel boy) hence the somewhat applicable quote. 😉 I think the purple negative at bottom right is actually my favorite. Below are clickable versions for anyone interested. After all of the reading I’ve been doing it was nice to sit and clear my head by working on this. But I’ll get back to my reading soon. I am absolutely fascinated by all things relating to psychology. More and more light trickles in as I discover things about our minds, our personalities, and society- and it really HAS helped me with the whole self-acceptance thing. You know… something I realized is that it’s not looking back at my old self that gets me off track and feeling a little “less than”… it’s looking too far ahead. I do believe that God is taking me to amazing places, but spending too much of my time and energy trying to zero …

Strut Your Stuff

I want to live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.  I failed to mention that while I was busy babysitting the pugs, I also had to keep an eye on three chickens. It appears that I live in a world of threes! Anyway, I just wanted to share this one. I have more images- probably even better ones, but I really liked the fact that you can see her strutting. And she is beautiful! Peace and Love….   ACTION: Any Change Toward Improving Ones Nature.

Love & Acceptance

Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice. Bob Goff I forgot to include something in my previous post. I was trying to watch my word count, and I left out an important part of the story; which was the reason that I chose to do the visualization of my inner critic in the first place! My friend that asked me to share Saturday night spoke after me, and something he said really stuck with me. About love and acceptance. There’s something that I’ve felt I lacked… you know… that something that was holding me back from being more of service before. I thought perhaps it was the thought that I didn’t know enough, or maybe I didn’t have enough sobriety time, or…. ?? The point is that I’ve never been able to pinpoint what it was that was holding me back. There are two sayings in the program that baffled me, because they are almost conflicting. One is you can’t transmit something you haven’t got… and the second is that you have to give it away to …

Food For Thought

First of all, I was asked to do a panel Saturday night. When I got there and saw my friend behind a podium (with a microphone!)… I almost lost my cookies. And yes… that is what I had to do. Share my story in front of a fairly large group from behind that podium. That’s a FIRST for me, for sure. One good thing about “telling your story” is that you really can’t mess it up, because it IS your story! It never changes! Overall I think it went well. Which leads me to the point of my post… My inner critic. Let the Lunatics Out of the Attic I read the coolest thing in a book on introverts. Visualizing your inner critic. I’m sharing it with you because there must be someone else out there who could benefit from it. That’s my guess anyway. So, the inner critic starts out looking like a big ogre. A large, mean and very grumpy looking character. He looks a bit like a judge; wearing a robe, a frown and holding a gavel. Why …

Painted Sunset

I mentioned before that I felt I was entering a new season, and… well… I believe that it’s here! This seems to be a season of learning for me. That being said, you’ll probably hear from me a little less often, simply because it means talking (or writing) less and listening (or reading) more. Funny thing about saying I’ll be writing less. I actually plan to write MORE, but less on the blog and more in my private journal and some short story projects. As interesting things come up, I will definitely share… but I want to focus on completing projects before I write about them. I seem to be one of those people that halts action once I share the steps I plan to take. It’s like I jinx myself! As a precautionary measure, I’m keeping things to myself until I actually finish the tasks I want to complete. I’ve learned some fascinating things about Introverts. I picked up another book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. …

Another Life Boat

Fish Out of Water! That heading is from a book that I’m reading and I just HAVE to share about it. Yesterday was a really tough day. I met with my sponsor and we talked about my re-entry into the business world. At some point in the conversation I felt overwhelmed and started to cry. Every time I talk (or think) about this upcoming job search, this crazy fear comes out in me. Fear of mental exhaustion is what I’ve been calling it. I haven’t felt ready to go back to ANYTHING full-time, at ALL. Not right now anyway. After our meeting I felt a bit beaten, sad… and VERY tired. I felt myself sinking into a depression, BUT… I held on and did what she had suggested. I reviewed my resentments (which happen to pertain to some old business relationships), and my character defects… and read some of the A.A. prayers. One of those prayers is asking God to remove the defects that are standing in the way of my usefulness.  One thing that’s been bothering me …

A Peaceful Place

We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts. A.W. Tozer I thought I’d do one image before I head off to bed. I took a very, VERY long nap earlier this evening and I really do hope I am able to sleep tonight! I wanted something to do to keep my mind quiet. Tomorrow afternoon I’m leading an A.A. meeting, down the street from my house. This means about ten to fifteen minutes of telling my story, or at least share about what’s helped me stay sober. I’ve been mindful not to worry about it… mainly made some bullet points… and I’m staying in the zone of not overthinking it. Anyway, the image is from south Texas and I thought it looked like somewhere I’d like to be sitting right now, to be quiet and still.  The water looks a bit like mud, but I wanted to keep the colors soft and neutral… so it’s still pretty close to how …

Finding Rest

I found the words this morning! So, I am going to go with it, with very little editing… so I hope this all makes sense. I guess the coolest thing I’ve found about studying the word trust is that it keeps leading me to new words. This morning the word was REST. First of all… here is what I’ve learned about what it means to trust God… He is a place of refuge, and (in) Him we are surrounded by His protection and embraced by His compassion. Trusting Him means: to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to hold onto Him, to flee to Him for protection, to stay, to hope, to expect, to be patient, and to linger in expectation… and wait. It also has a lot to do with being on the inside. Examples are: to be firm (in), to confide (in), to have confidence (in), to be secure (in), to seek refuge (in), to feel safe (in), to have assurance (in), to abide (in) and to find rest (in). This morning finding rest in …

Feeling Funky

I wanted to do something colorful tonight, so here you have it! Writer’s block has been preventing me from writing much of anything about my study of the word TRUST. Every single time I’ve tried! So weird! Anyway… I’m surrendering on the production of that post. At least until the words come streaming in. And I trust that they will. In time. I WILL share something beautiful that I found though! What I’ve been searching around for are the various meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words that are translated to the English word trust in the Bible- and I took this from one of my many finds. Trust has to do with being surrounded and protected in His mercy. Trust is to distinguish that He is good, and to be wrapped and swaddled in the goodness of His everlasting arms.  You can’t beat that. Who doesn’t love to be wrapped and swaddled in God’s everlasting arms?!? Anyway, things are going great! I’ve been going to more meetings, reading a lot, and really feeling at peace. I’ve got a couple of people keeping their eyes …

Shades of Spring

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi I’m not a huge fan of pastels, but I thought this was a good fit for the season. And I’m pretty sure that this is a dove. Pigeons and doves confuse me sometimes. I don’t know if I shared that quote before, but it’s been my mantra for the past week and will continue to be for awhile. I realized recently that I was getting WAY ahead of myself for a little while. Or way ahead of God I should say. Sometimes I get some grandiose ideas and then I realize that there are still very small things that I’ve yet to tackle! That’s a bit humbling. And alcoholic thinking. Anyway, I guess a good thing to remember when walking with God is to walk WITH Him, not a mile or so ahead! What’s funny is I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wanted to do a post called No Shortcuts! Then today, I’m reading …

A Healthy Brunch

I’m really liking the action around here today! This is the squirrel that chased the parrots away; munching on a loquat. I guess nature is dictating what I’ll be taking photographs of this season! I’ve added some fun color and the squirrel is a bit hidden (like his henchman) behind a leaf, so I did a zoom in below, for clarity. I was able to capture him “mid-bite”, which was pretty exciting. I guess I’ll be spending more time in the backyard today, so who knows what (or Who) else will show up. I did see a lizard earlier! And I sure wish I liked the taste of those loquats but I have to say that I don’t find them tasty, at ALL. Tonight I’ll be on that panel, at a recovery center nearby, so I’m trying to keep my day stress free. I want to be calm and at peace when I show up… so that my sharing comes with ease. I have a tendency to ramble! May God give me the words that are needed! …

Scrolling Up

I’ve had an unusually hard time finding interesting things to photograph, so I’m sticking with my plan to try new and different ways to edit and display them. In case it’s not clear, this is a tree framed on a scroll.  (it’s hard to know how it’ll look on various devices!) I’m also going to spend more time on ONE image.  I’m always pointing out what I could have done differently… so from now on I’m doing things slower, and hope to make those changes first– then post. I’m aiming for improvement now, rather than speed. (which is a real feat for this speed demon!) In other news… and speaking of being slow… I’ve been in no rush to update my other blog because I’m really thinking things through. Being young in both recovery and my walk with God, I’m finding more and more that I still have ample work to do. Nourishing my soul and allowing my roots to grow deeper, for starters. My relationship with God MUST come first, before anything. So I’m spending more time with …

Positive Vibes

It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy! I think I’ve finally hit the last of the archived images I had saved. I’m sure glad I’m leaving tomorrow! Perfect timing. I may drive my sister crazy with the camera, but lucky for me she’s a very patient soul. Anyway, I just want to send out a whisper of gratitude. I hit 300 followers and to me that’s a huge milestone. More than I ever expected! I’m saying my thanks to you quietly here… because I don’t want to jinx it. I appreciate all of you out there, whether you are one of the three hundred or not. I learn a little something from you guys each and everyday. Thank you so much!! Here’s to all of you! 

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity! Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3. I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put …

Are You in There?

Sometimes I look in the mirror and say… “where did my personality go?!?”  Well… maybe I don’t look in the mirror and say it, but I DO wonder what’s up with me lately. And I don’t mean it in a horrible, sad, woe is me way either. It’s just that I get to the point (now and then) when I realize it’s been WAY too long since I’ve had a good laugh. I still chuckle, but I don’t LOL like I used to. I had a dream last night that I was drinking. How bizarre is that?!?! It was weird! I don’t even think about drinking, at ALL, so I have NO idea where it came from. I hope it’s not because I’m back in the A.A. circuit and listening to all that talk about alcohol… absorbing some kind of subliminal messages or something? The meetings really ARE going well though. Also, I’m emailing my sponsor my resume and we’re going to work on finding me a part time job. Finally. I haven’t given up on the photography and …

Trust

Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Well… I’m starting something new! I’m making my way back into A.A. meetings, and still very passionate about writing, photography and art- but I’m adding on to my activities. I need variety and more balance in my life.