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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Today I am sharing excerpts from my journal, about some of my goals for 2012: 

  • “Write my first book — Motorcycle Memoir – draft by 8/1/12.” 
  • “Focus my positive energies in ways to enhance the lives of myself, Cliff and others.  Journal to help me with context and staying on track.” 
  • “Work on organizing/clearing stuff out of house.  Keep only what we need and love.” 

I added quotes, including this one:  “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” — Lennon & McCartney

I wrote the journal entries yesterday while travelling home from a weekend in North Dakota.  Within an hour of writing the words above (and more), the Beatles song The End, with the lyrics I quoted (from the Abbey Road album, recorded in 1969) came on the radio.  I felt like I had called it to me.  Those are certainly words to live by.

I would like to thank Dorothy Sander, who generously invited me to be a guest blogger.  The result was this piece I wrote about  Lifetime Learning: Summer Camp for Adults.  If you have not yet checked out Aging Abundantly, I can highly recommend it for its inspiring and honest articles on subjects that matter to women. After Dorothy posted my piece, it was linked to, as Summer Fun for Boomers, by ThirdAge.com, a website for boomer women. 

I am grateful for this recognition and opportunity to share my writing. Thank you!

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Here is the guy I fell for! This photo shows Cliff on his bike, with our travel trailer, taken in the early 1980s.

I am living in the 1980s, as I remember my past in order to realize my dreams for the future.  I am writing my first travel memoir.

Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Make Three is about the journeys I took with my husband which generated stories of love and adventure.  During the past few years I have been composing my account of these stories during writing classes. Now I am putting the chapters together to become my first e-book.

I am well on my way to completing this memoir. My plans are to publish this as a Kindle e-book before I publish the book I have been working on: Realize Your Dreams: An Action Plan for Life Transformation.

Last week I had the great privilege to participate in a writing workshop called Pilgrimages: Mindful Travel Writing & Memoir at Madeline Island School of the Arts, where I worked on this memoir.  It was taught by Catherine Watson, an accomplished travel writer and inspiring instructor and mentor.  I was part of a small group of students who poured our hearts out, writing in a supportive environment. My thanks to all involved. Did a mention that it was a fantastic experience?

The reason I was able to participate in this workshop is because I was the recipient of an Individual Artists Grant, which I would like to acknowledge with gratitude: “This activity is made possible by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds generously provided by the McKnight Foundation.”

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What have you failed at today? Did you go outside your comfort zone and try something new? Then celebrate your failures!

If we don’t make the effort every day to choose actions that will bring enjoyment into our lives, the moment will pass. Then we are just another day older and no closer to realizing our dreams. What stops us from taking action? Is it the fear that we could fail in our efforts?

Recently Sara Blakely, the young billionaire who created the Spanx shapewear enterprise, appeared on the CBS morning news show. She said that while she was growing up she was expected to fail at trying things. At dinner conversations her father would ask, “How did you fail today?” She might reply, “I tried out for cheerleading – I was terrible at it!” And he would cheer her on. She became comfortable with failure, and certainly wasn’t afraid to try something new!

True confession: One of my biggest failures happened a few years ago when my husband and were traveling in Italy (I was the trip planner). We purchased train tickets with our destination being Cortona in Tuscany. We ended up in Crotone, located in the instep of the boot-shaped Italy. Ooops. I celebrate this mistake because we were traveling on our own, not part of a tour group, we were out of our element and loving it, and we saw a part of the country we otherwise would not have visited. I will be writing about this adventure–and many others–in a future travel memoir. If we hadn’t been willing to risk failure, we never would have had the experiences we did!

I look to other writers for inspiration and valuable information. Today I read a posting titled Why It’s OK to Be Naive  by Nick Thacker, who was the guest writer on Jane Friedman’s blog. He writes, “Our fear of failure leads us toward procrastination, lack of motivation, and, well, failure. But by being naïve and reaching for the most out-of-reach goals and successes we’ll at least be motivated by the fact that we’re part of the few who can say we’ve tried it.”

Want to realize your dreams? Then go for them! Success or failure–either way, celebrate the outcome.

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In your quest to live a full and rich life, have you considered using meditation, visualization techniques, or guided imagery?

Recently I had an experience in using Interactive Guided Imagery to explore some personal matters. I was assisted by Emmy Vadnais, a Holistic Occupational Therapist & Intuitive Healer. I was in the comfort of my own home. My session took place over the telephone, with dialogue between Emmy and me as I went through this experience.

Emmy’s prompts helped me to relax and reach a meditative state where I could access my intuitive, inner self. With her assistance, I imagined my own guide helping me discover answers to my questions and providing me with self acceptance and support. The Interactive Guided Imagery session helped me to find clarity on what my next steps should be.

OT TrendsBefore meeting Emmy Vadnais, I had an incomplete concept of what being an Occupational Therapist could entail. She recently wrote an article about  Observations and Trends in this field.  In it she notes that some Occupational Therapists are getting trained in and are practicing Holistic Therapies and others are being certified as Life and Health and Wellness Coaches.

“Occupational Therapy is a remarkable profession that assists individuals to live their best lives,” she wrote. “Occupational Therapists believe that we find meaning in our lives through the activities we engage in.”

I salute this helping profession and the individuals who can help us live full lives and realize our dreams!

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The theme of my blog is “realize your dreams.”  I hope that does not imply that when a specific aspiration is fulfilled that the quest ends, and now we can stop and stay there.  I believe the journey toward our life transformation will always lead us to new places, if we allow ourselves to keep open to the possibilities that are before us.

I recently discovered the blog Aging Abundantly, written by Dorothy Sander. I love her message, and the way she expresses it.  I was especially moved by yesterday’s entry: What Do You Long For?  Read it and take it to heart, as I did.

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Cheers and a standing ovation for people who share their passion for dance, music, and theater by putting on a live show for us!  Yesterday I was delighted to be in the audience of an entertaining performance called Reflections on the Danube “from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.”

Ethnic Dance Theatre, a Minneapolis-based dance troupe that has been creating great experiences for performers and audiences since 1974, brought us along on a journey through the countries of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. It presented the history and culture of these countries in song, dance, and swirling colorful costumes of embroidered aprons, vests, ribbons, and jaunty caps.

 The show tickets were my gift for my husband (happy birthday, Honey!)  Our friend, Kathryn-Sonja (pictured with me in the lobby after the performance) is one of the dancers.  We love to see the skill and exuberance she brings to the performance.

During the show I was fortunate enough to be seated by a young girl who was bubbling over with excitement as she whispered to me that her mom was one of the singers.  She joyfully sang along under her breath to the songs she had heard her mother practicing at home.  I asked the girl if she was a singer too, and she told me she performed in the children’s choir at a St. Lucia festival in December.  Here comes the next generation of performing artists!

One of the best things about live shows is the interaction between the performers and the audience.  We are in it together!  I encourage those who are interested in the performing arts to indulge their passion—learn it, do it!  The rest of us?  We can support the arts by enjoying a show and cheering on the performers!

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I read with interest a recent posting by Susan Kiernan-Lewis: The One Thing You Need to Know to Have a Great Life.

Sticking with Susan’s theme of referring to popular movies to help craft our personal philosophies, I’ll choose the scene where Glinda, the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, told Dorothy that she had the power to go home all along. 

We all have the power within us to create the life we want to lead.  What keeps us from tapping into this inner knowledge and direction?  Depending on the individual, it could be responsibilities to others, the distractions caused by the commotion in our heads and in our lives, fear of making changes, or inertia–not knowing how to take that first step.  Sometimes we have to find a place of peace and make a point to listen to that quiet voice within ourselves and believe we have the right to take the first step toward realizing our dreams. 

My journey started when I went back to college (at age 50+) to get my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies.  Once I took that first step, I felt empowered.  I am developing my capacity to be my authentic self, and exploring my own creativity.

I believe each individual has a unique path to self-fulfillment.  I’m currently writing a book to inspire other people to take that step and create their own journey of personal transformation.

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