Untethered

“Walk outside on a clear night and just look up into the sky. You are sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere.”

Michael A. Singer

Life: From A to Z

I’m back for my series Life: From A to Z and I’m nearing the end now… with the useful letter “U.” I’ve decided to combine the letters X, Y, and Z, so I have just three more posts to go and then I’ll be moving on to something totally new and different. Hip Hip Hooray! I love new things.

Continue reading “Untethered”

Surrender

WE POSSESS THE POWER, BUT HAVE TO LET GO TO FLY.

—janet—

This 11 word challenge was a little complicated, but I like the idea of being limited to just a few words. That being said, I hope my 11 word, self-made “proverb” makes sense.

I could have done better with 3 or 4 more words! I guess you could call this “fortune cookie style.” Anyway, I know that I sometimes boast about my frugality, but I broke down and splurged recently. I bought the new iPhone. I’ve been experimenting and learning for a week or two now and I’m having so much fun!

The featured image is a composite piece consisting of a motion blur background (something else that I’ve been experimenting with), a bird that I photographed ages ago, and a couple of different iPhone app effects. I think it’s safe to say that you can expect a whole new “iPhone image series” in the very near future.

That’s about all for now, so thanks for stopping by!

I’ll be back in a few days to resume my series Life: From A to Z.

Weekend Writing Prompt #196: Write a poem or a piece of prose using the word POSSESS in exactly 11 words.

The Village - Artwork

Trust with a capital “T”

The Story

An American business man was vacationing in a small coastal fishing village. One morning he stood on the pier and watched as a small boat docked. Inside the boat was one fisherman with several large yellowfin tuna. He complimented the man on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

“Only a little while,” the fisherman said.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”  The business man asked.

“I have enough to take care of my needs today.” The fisherman replied.

“Well what do you do with the rest of your time?” The man asked.

The fisherman looked around the village and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The business man scoffed. “I have an MBA, and I can help you grow your business. You should spend more time fishing. With the additional proceeds, you can buy a bigger boat. With the profits from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You could move from this small coastal fishing village and live in a big city, like Los Angeles. Eventually you could move to New York City and run your expanding enterprise from there.”

“How long would this take?” The fisherman asked.

 “15 to 20 years.” He replied.

The fisherman looked puzzled. “And then what?”

The business man laughed. “That’s the best part. When the time is right you announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public. You would make millions!”

“Millions? And then what?” The fisherman asked.

The business man looked around the village and smiled.

“Well then you could retire! You could move to a small coastal fishing village. You could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings and sip wine, and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The Moral of The Story

Aside from the fact that the business man suffers from good old American Greed—which is a gimme—I think this story also talks about one of my favorite “T” words: Trust.

When I pondered the word Trust, the story immediately came to mind. My thoughts went back to my post Perspectives on Possibilities, and that whole erroneous mindset that prompts me to analyze and categorize my hobbies and passions, and discard those that I’ll (most likely) never make money at—regardless of how fulfilling they may be.  

What I’m thinking here is that Trusting God (which needs to be done in order to surrender) is about handing over those old ideals. Just like that business man, I find myself being lured into the trap—that old rat race mentality.

I start thinking that I need to make millions (A.K.A. more than I really need) and stockpile the cash so that one day I’ll be able to rest easy. The flipside to that thought is that—if I simply put my Trust in God—I can rest easy RIGHT NOW. I can have peace of mind today because, just like that fisherman…

I have enough to take care of my needs today.

—Janet

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Matthew 6:34

The featured image is something I made for fun. It’s a coastal village made out of fabric. I was inspired by an artist I came across on Facebook (sorry I can’t find his name at the moment!). He uses denim to construct art and it’s amazing. Mine is strictly Photoshop, using a pattern and fills, but it was a blast to make none-the-less!

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 and then, sometime later, I look back to question everything and point out the imperfections.

Needless to say, the only thing that emerged from all of my overthinking was a bunch of unnecessary stress.

As I laid down to rest, I did what comes naturally now…

I surrendered.

I listened to my music, turned everything over to God… and I allowed my body to relax… as the tears rolled down my cheeks. They weren’t tears of sadness or frustration, mind you; they were tears of peace, tears of joy, and tears of love. Surrender will do that.

For today’s Which Way Challenge, I decided to use this photo because it reminded me that striving too hard, or failing to surrender, is like trying to force your way through rush hour traffic. You can push and prod, change lanes frequently, honk your horn… and even shout obscenities, but the fact of the matter is you won’t really get too far. Plus you’ll suffer from self-inflicted stress, and probably piss off other drivers in the process.

Surrender, on the other hand, reminds me of my road trips. I know it will be a long journey, I know I’ll run into traffic, and I welcome the unexpected detours. I relax, play my music, go with the flow… and soak in the scenery.

And if anyone asks me which way I’m going, I answer “hmmm… I don’t know… wherever the road takes me…”

Peace & Love—
—Janet

Which Way Challenge: January 24th

The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender.

Just Breathe

The poetry of earth is never dead. -John Keats

I needed to take a time out tonight and do something simple and relaxing. Believe it or not, I’m still archiving old images online and I found one that I love but haven’t worked on (or posted) yet.

This is Turquoise Lake, in Colorado. The clouds were awesome, so that’s actually what I was aiming to capture that day. It seems there’s a couple trees obstructing the view, but I like that you get the feel of what else was around me… a beautiful lake, blue sky, cool clouds, and lots and lots of TREES. That’s Colorado for you!

Anyway, I thought this photograph was perfect for my thoughts tonight.

About surrender.

A couple of weeks ago, someone shared their simple morning prayer. A surrender prayer. It’s actually a very popular one, but for some reason… on that particular day, it REALLY stuck with me.

“Thy will be done, not mine.”

I’ve prayed the same phrase MANY times before, but suddenly it feels a bit different. Each time that I say it I feel a pressure release- like meditating. It’s such a great reminder that I’m not the one at the controls, and all I really need to do is keep putting my best foot forward. And thank God for my salvation, sanity and sobriety, of course. 🙂

That’s about all for now. I hope that everyone has a beautiful, blessed week!

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.

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 it looked when I was there in 2011. For the most part.

I hope that your week ahead is a blessed one.

Peace and love!