Blossoms

Faded Blues

The authentic self is the soul made visible.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

This photograph reminds me of my favorite pair of jeans— a nice shade of blue; comfortable and worn; and the perfect amount of fade. I love jeans. I have more jeans than I care to admit. Styles and sizes vary.

Jeans make me feel authentic.

When I’m in my jeans, I’m free to be me (sounds like a commercial). I can sit, stand, walk, hike, run, climb or dance… and everything feels right.

Formal attire, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It feels like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes—clothes that don’t belong to me. Formal wear feels inauthentic to me.

Which brings me back to feeling like a fraud. I thought I’d journal, and start where it all starts—in my mind. The quote made me laugh because I thought of something that happens a lot (so there’s some humor here too).

I really AM an authentic person. I am more transparent than what most normal people would consider “socially acceptable.” In other words, I talk way too much about things that—perhaps—should be private. Not just on the blog… in the face to face world too.

What I’m trying to say is that I don’t think this “feeling like a fraud” thing has anything at all to do with being phony or inauthentic. So, that answers that. I’m no phony bologna. 🙂

What the quote made me think about is self-perception. That is where one form of this misalignment starts (and yes, there are others). I really do feel as though my soul is made visible, and—in my humble opinion—my soul is pretty easy on the eyes! She’s friendly, bubbly, youthful, joyful, healthy and full of energy and life. And my soul is always smiling.

I can’t really describe how I envision my soul, but somewhere in my subconscious—for reasons I can’t explain—she is radiant. She sparkles, and she glows. So… what happens? I walk by a mirror or a window and I see my reflection.

And suddenly I’m like “HUH? Who is that?!”

I’m not dissing myself here. All I’m saying is that my ideas about me, and the me that I see in front of me… well, they aren’t a perfect match. So, this begs the question… which one is right?

That’s all for now. It’s late again.

Thanks for reading!! I’ll pick up where I left off another time.

—Janet

Sacred Space

Petals of white satin guard the stairway. As I make my way up, their feathery ends sway in the wind, draping the earth like a wedding gown train. Pillars of amber rise above the entrance to touch the sky. As I enter and take a seat, I see soft silk brushes, painting the clouds with gold. I am in awe, and then suddenly I realize…

I am home.

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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 that I love my friend dearly—and her honesty—and she really got through to me that day. Getting my hair cut to look like Jennifer Aniston’s latest style will NOT make me look like “Jennifer Aniston.” Such a simple fact, but it took my friend’s directness to make me grasp that truth.

Today I read a post by another blogger, and I had an “Aha!” moment. I realized that sometimes I’m still looking for those “magical” makeovers—just not with my hair. I get trapped into thinking that if I do the right things, I’ll suddenly be “someone else.”

I’ll no longer procrastinate or stay in my sweats until late in the afternoon. I’ll be able to function without coffee. I’ll be a designer, a writer… or perhaps a cage fighter. (Hey, stranger things have happened!)

The point is that I’m beginning to see why I struggle with follow-through. I envision that “someone else” that I expect to resemble, and… well… I’m still me. I’m not Jillian Michaels in the gym, or [insert name here] anywhere else. And when I realize that I haven’t “magically” transformed into someone else, I feel that same disappointment I felt when I left my friend’s hair salon. Then I change directions—or I give up.

As I thought about these things, a phrase from recovery came to mind: “Just for today.

So I embraced “who I am,” instead of “who I want to be,” and I did the things that I love. I didn’t try to function without my coffee, and I stayed in my sweats way too long. And I was a writer… just for today.

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Dr. Seuss

Sometimes I think Dr. Seuss had it all figured out.

—Janet

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

I’ve decided to make a commitment this month. I’m going to “write something every day,” and “work on things that I find challenging.”

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


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 about what anyone else thinks of me. And it’s not about what I have accomplished (or failed at); where I live, what I do for work, or even what I drive… it’s about being the best ME that I can be. And it’s about building character.

I read something about walking with God. It said that God cares more about how we handle our journey than about where we end up. Makes complete sense! And it helped me stop the worrying about where I’ll be in the future.

It really IS amazing how love and acceptance for yourself; for where you are at this very moment, changes your outlook on life… and your perceptions of others, too. The more I accept myself (just as I am), the kinder and more patient I seem to be.

Imagine that. 😉


The other thing- that I’ve probably heard (or read) a thousand times, but somehow never let sink in- was about fear and courage. That it’s not about the absence of fear, but the courage to go on in spite of your fears”. I don’t know why but when I heard that the other day it finally clicked. It helped me truly accept the fact that YES I still fear things… but that’s OK… because I have courage now.


Anyway, I thought this was a good topic to go with my image. Opposing forces. A Yin and Yang kind of thing.

I got a load of new books from the library today and I can’t get myself to sit and read even one of them right now. I needed some art time. My meditation.

It’s so nice to simply clear my head… create… and just BE.

That’s about all for now. Happy Saturday…  and Peace and Love to you all!

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain