My best friend Big D…

It has been difficult to keep my mind focused on work. Today the news came I have awaited for a week, my beloved pup of only 6 years has renal failure and will likely have to be put down sometime soon. My heart is breaking with the news and yet I know that life is once again teaching me something positive in a sea of what feels negative right now.  I have always thought of writing a book called “My Conversations with God.” It seems I have them often, when things are good and when things are bad. I have had numerous conversations with God lately, in the past week I have asked for a chance to have my pup for a few more years but I also trust in my higher power, it is in his hands as to what my path ahead is to be, not just with my pet but with my life. In the past 7 years I have experiences so many losses, pets, lovers, best friends and family members. Perhaps this is life’s way of preparing me for change by allowing my grief to also bring gratitude even when experiencing those things I have no control over. 

I know I am on my way to my next chapter. Over the years I have learned to be a little more in tuned to things even though I am constantly questioning my thinking. I can’t explain exactly what I mean by that but I feel more connected to life and to experiences than I ever did in the past, perhaps my quality of quiet time has allowed a deeper sense of meaning within. A few weeks ago I remember thinking one night as I looked at my dog there was a weird feeling of sadness in his eyes I had seen in Mozart’s (my last pup) before I learned of his cancer. I can’t fully explain it but I was more aware of that thought with D, because I remembered that moment after the fact with Mozi. I remember saying as I let D out that night I love you so much but feeling like something felt uncomfortable, of course I brushed it off because he is so young and it was one of those -less than a second- thought. I have noticed he seems to be more attached to me, following me around the house more than in the past. Small little thoughts briefly crossed my mind before any of this knowledge was brought to light of this unexpected health issue….so strange.

Deisel is my angel, I tell him that all the time. When in 2008 I lost my dog Mozart to cancer, my once boyfriend to depression and a drug overdose and my step father to heart failure. I felt as if Deisel saved me by becoming my healer. That was a very dark time with a very cloudy recollection for a year or two but I do remember watching this pup grow, love me and become a part of my life. For those of us who are true pet lovers we understand that unconditional bond that develops, it is something that words can not explain. It is heart felt, and today my heart hurts with the news. I know there will be a day when I will have to allow the vet to give that fetal shot and Deisel will enter on to a peaceful sleep as he passes, I experienced that with Mozart and it was difficult. I also know I will continue to feel loss with those around me because with life comes death and it is a continued cycle until it is our turn.

From where I stand now I do believe in the saying that when one door closes another one opens. While my eyes will most likely not be dry for sometime I know that there are always good things ahead regardless of the hurt I am feeling right now. God continues to bless me with beautiful life experiences, I choose to keep love in my heart and happiness in my life no matter what happens. I will cherish each day I have from this day forward with my best friend Big D until fate calls upon him to leave me. Each walk will carry more meaning, each time he slings his metal bowl across the deck I will laugh harder, each night before bed as I give him a hug and a kiss on the nose I will be sure he knows how much he truly means to me. I love my big dog, this will be hard but I will make the best of it with the time I have.

I saw a post on FB recently where a 6  year old child had to experience the procedure of losing his pet, the child’s response was “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

That really registered in me (here is the story if you want to read more).

I have not written much since learning my Dad had cancer although I have so much inside I want to share. This was good to get out I hope you can feel connected with what was said. Thank you for reading, sending love and hoping you will pass it on….

Do you want to live an extraordinary life?

I have amped up my soul searching efforts lately, perhaps it is because I am older, maybe I am at a crossroads with life vs. happiness. What ever the case I am realizing that there are a lot of unhappy, angry and unhealthy people out there and that saddens me. Are you one of them? What would you say if I asked you this question; “Do you want to live an extraordinary life?” I present that question to myself often and as I grow I find that it is continuously changing.

When I first thought deeply about this question it centered around money because I felt with more money I could be much happier, and live more extraordinarily. In our culture most of us tend to center everything in our lives around money. When in our teens we want money to buy candy or toys and then a car and gas money. When we graduate from high school we need money to go to college because a college education assures we will be more successful which will offer us a higher source of income. When we get out of college we need more money to provide our lives with new opportunities in travel, in buying a home, in buying a new car or perhaps in having a family. It we grow up poor we may not have any of these beliefs it may just be the ability to survive. If we grow up rich, money may have no measure but we might be lacking in other areas due to circumstances money may have created.

While it is true that money allows so much more to happen in our lives I believe being rich does not assure we will live an extraordinary life, in fact it has potential to destroy our chances. The reason our focus shouldn’t be on the money is that ” money” is a material thing not an emotion. Material things create temporary emotion not continuous emotion. How many times have you gone out, splurged on something and a day, week or month later moved on to wanting something else? Having that “thing”  creates excitement at first but the emotion of “having” it gradually fades once you’ve achieved the goal. It is not achieving the goals we create that offer us continuous happiness it is an awareness of positive emotion and the energy in that moment of experience. The emotion of happiness is what allows us to live extraordinarily and it is always centered around the emotion of feeling good. In that moment it creates an internal energy that is high.

Scientific evidence proves that our thoughts are the most powerful energy in creating our actions and shaping our lives. Many kids that are born into poor or troubled families become poor or troubled adults not because of money but because of their choices. They believe internally that it is their destiny because that is what they are taught, their thoughts reflect that and it comes to be. Negative energy is the result of negative thoughts and negative emotions. Negative energy can result in negative choices. That being said there are many positive and empowering stories of people born poor or from troubled families who have changed their course in life through their thinking, Dr. Wayne Dyer is a great example, Louise Hay is another!

It is my belief through my own experiences that what I choose to think guides me into fruition. I want to be happy and in order to “be” that I need to allow my choices to guide me to experiences that create the emotion of happiness? Life experiences do not always support the ability to be in a constant emotion of happiness but I have a choice to allow myself to shift the negative experiences quickly from acceptance to rediscovery. The power of our thoughts is the most powerful life source that exist with in each of us. It is not always easy but it is possible if we push ourselves to stay in a positive state of mind no matter what transpires.

The past few weeks I have worked hard to be in a mindful place, by questioning my thoughts, my emotions and by experiencing these things with a constant awareness. I have paid close attention to my feelings when around others both socially in person and online. While in that space I have started to see  more clearly those people I need to spend less time interacting with versus those I should spend more time with based on the internal feelings I am left with after parting ways. The result is solely negative or positive and I choose positive because I don’t like how my body feels when in the presence of a negative influence. Those negative people are not bad people they have just chosen a mindset either consciously or non consciously based on their own thinking as to what their reality is. I choose to create my own positive mindset no matter how hard or how many people tell me different or try to argue my belief (or believe I am a flake, they are entitled to their opinion). The more I allow positive people around me the better I feel because of the energy they exude. The opposite result will apply if I choose to be around negative people, I know because I spent the first 35+ years of my life in that negative space. While in that place I was sad, depressed, unhealthy, angry, judgmental and most likely not all that fun to be around.

So do you want to live an extraordinary life? Are you willing to let go of negativity in order to become more positive? Start with baby steps, start by being aware of what negative words you or others are using. Start by being aware of how negative experiences and thoughts feel internally. Allow yourself to compare those with positive feelings. Eliminant words like I can’t and I don’t have and speak as if you are and you do. Start realizing the internal feeling you have in every moment you are breathing. If you are sad think about what that feels like and what is causing that feeling. When you are happy, what does that feel like, why? When you are angry, what does that feel like, why? Why are you judging others in a way that makes them wrong? Are you feeling guilty about something, why, what does that feel like? If you allow yourself to sit back and not only feel those emotions but understand why they are occurring and what your body feel like in those moments I believe you can create a new path to happiness. Your happiness lives within you, not out side of you. Your happiness is based on the power of those internal experiences and emotions. You have the choice to choose change through your thinking! It is not always easy and never constant but the more aware you are the easier it gets to stay positive, the faster you can choose to make it happen and the happier you will become.

If you want an extraordinary life you have to start with thinking extroidinary thoughts and that starts by thinking positive. It requires that you, with out a doubt BELIEVE anything is possible. In turn the energy you carry as well as emit will become positive and powerful. You will see positive things happen in your life with out reason, you will meet people who make you feel good and whom inspire you. You will smile more, give more and love deeper. Negative things that others think, say or do will no longer matter because you are developing strength and confidence within.

Thank you for reading and as always I am sending love…pass it on!

Making sense of negativity and creating positive change…

For two days now I have awoken with feelings of sadness, my heart aches for all those children and teachers who died friday in such a senseless manner. Like so many people I believe we are all trying to understand in disbelief why these kinds of things happen. In a world that reflects war, poverty, illness and abuse how do these horrific things keep happening in a country designed around opportunity and freedom?

I studied journalism in college and wanted to be a photo journalist for my first 2 years until I realized that most of what I would be doing was reporting sad stories. Later I received a BS in Art Education but was saddened inside the public school system with the despair within the family life of so many of my students, the heartbreak was too heavy for me. Not wanting to be constantly reminded of the negative part of our culture I opted to be a commercial photographer. I fight constantly to avoid watching the news, I am drawn to knowing what is happening in our world but have realized in my studies of metaphysics and spiritual awareness that too much exposure leads to negative energy and judgement. With all the media coverage on the event in Connecticut we can’t seem to avoid anger and we search for blame that comes with tragedy, it’s all over tv, facebook and twitter. Gun laws will be challenged, people will be criticized and religion will be judged because after all how could GOD allow such a thing to happen. How do we take such negativity and create positive change?

What I say from here forward will be honest yet opinionated. It is only my presumption which I am entitled to as you are to yours. It is not intended to challenge or hurt any one. It is my voice only and comes from my beliefs, experiences and my hope for some sort of understanding of what life is teaching me, I share for the sole purpose of possibly bringing positive awareness though negative experiences.

I believe we are living in a time of mass separation. We are being challenged not by God but by what we as humans have created. We are allowing money, judgement, fear and anger to lead us, to overtake our ability to think clearly. Individually we are not taking accountability for our actions and we are being influenced by tv shows, media and technology not by our own internal soul. We are becoming numb because of overstimulation and operating outside of ourselves not internally where our true humanity lies. We are desensitizing our youth because of what we are allowing them to experience during their developmental and cognitive years. I believe mental illness is a result of this not because people are weak or going crazy but because their minds are being conditioned from all that is available from the outside world way to young not to mention everyone is being medicated.

It is time to set some boundaries and make some changes, if you haven’t read the book “Boundaries” by Cloud/Townsend I recommend you start there, especially as a parent!!! I am not a parent so many will say I am not entitled to an opinion on parenting, I respect that opinion. I have however studied some areas of phycology and sociology and I have always been intrigued by human nature and the power of our minds. I believe through my own personal work that our personalities develop from the experiences we have from birth until around 6-8 years old. We put meaning, both negative and positive to events that happen in those years and generate life time thinking patterns, fears and beliefs based on how we process all of those events. Our parents beliefs also influence how we process things during that time of cognitive development. If we as adults are operating from a sense of numbness based on all the external stimulation (tv,media, religion) then our children are also operating from numbness during the development stage so wouldn’t it make sense that they begin to believe these negative stimuli if they are not told to believe otherwise. Their minds at that age are like a sponge and they are influenced by everything around them. How do we expect young people to process all of these things positively in those early years of cognitive development if we ourselves are operating from a numb state. How vital is it for us to get a handle on our thinking, our judgements and our anger. Our young people are a product of what is available to them and they will grow up to be that which influences them in those younger years. Now, more than ever we as humans need to get a handle on things and realize if it looks negative or sounds negative it is and that creates negative thinking, negative events and negative energy. If a persons enjoyment is watching people being gunned down, infidelity and anger driven drama on tv or if that exist in the home on a regular basis I can assume there is a lot of emotional unhappiness because of the negativity that person is operating from within. Not because they are bad people but because negativity attracts negativity.

Personally I want to live my life feeling happy, everyday, as much as I possibly can because I want to feel good. So I ask you as an individual what is the one thing that makes you feel good no matter what? I preach this so much I am sure most people out there think I’m a hopeless romantic hippie but we all know down deep inside LOVE is the only true emotion that when felt can bring an overall happiness that resonates in not only our minds but in our hearts. I believe it is the most powerful emotion available to us but with judgment, dishonesty and anger, love can not exist, it can not resonate because there in no negativity in the feeling of love. It’s free, it is available and it heals. It will be what gets those families in CT through their losses, it is what gets us through tough times and it is in my opinion the only way we can ever get a handle on what is happening in our world. Love what you do, love who you are and love who your with, three simple things that you have power over. When we live from happiness we create that around us because others see that and want it too. I realize that these things can’t change all of our worldly problems but change happens slowly in life. If we all stop looking at everyone else and start with ourselves working on clearing our minds and operating from a clear loving mindset I believe miracles will happen.

All I want is for you, if you have read this far to consider doing this…

-watch tv less and sit in silence more to see what thoughts appear in your mind

-think about what you can do within your self to make you and only you feel better, to be a better person or be happier with your life

-be grateful for the wonderful things you have and stop wishing you had more

-do something nice for someone else just for the sake of being nice

-treat yourself good because you deserve it

-stop hanging out with negative people, if you are that negative person realize you are, forgive yourself, make positive changes to change that part of you and discover how awesome that feels

-communicate with others openly and honestly about how things make you feel, with out judgment and with delicacy, not making them wrong but merely letting them know if something is hurtful to you

lastly and most importantly tell the ones you love that you love them, say it out loud and be sure they hear you because we never know when it might be our last time with those loved ones. Never, ever take that for granted!

Sending love…pass it on!

What single word might express how I feel right here right now…

I’ve been struggling all summer with so many internal thoughts about my life, where I am and where I have been. I mentioned in my last post about the struggle, the boredom and that in my past, every 10 years or so when I felt this way I would pack up and move, start over and re-invent who I am. This time around I am content with where I live and no longer feel the desire to pack and move, I love Nashville. A few weekends back, as I did my early morning ritual, scroll through FB and twitter feeds I noticed a friend’s post:

“I’m interested to see who reads my post. I realize that’ s about 5 of you… So if you read this, leave me a one word comment about your day. Only one word please. Then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you!

For what ever reason, in that moment I thought…what single word might express how I feel right here right now. In that moment an avalanche of words came rushing through my mind. Words of how I felt, words of how I wanted to feel, words of what I wanted and didn’t want scrambled through my mind! It was then I realized, with my current struggle, I have been slowly isolating myself from the world. I’ve turned down every lake day, most every pool day and every thing in between. I’ve always had a good reason, in my own mind to pass on these things, the need to work on the house, grade papers, edit images…or the one that I use most, I don’t want to spend money on fun because times are tough. Honestly I wasn’t totally aware of what I was doing, I had my self believing my reasons and as the time passed I became more and more isolated from the world. My only interaction seemed to be FB and that left me feeling empty. So on that Saturday I started my pondering of meaningful words which of course become thoughts of all kinds.

It became one of those lonely, cry all day, feel sorry for myself weekends. I reflected on my family, how much I miss them, how we are all getting old and our time is limited. I cried.

I watched a sappy love story on tv and was reminded of my past decisions, where I am and that, I have to admit, I am a bit lonely, not unhappy but I do miss having a companion I can laugh with, share with and be intimate with. I cried.

I thought about my wonderful friends, about how I was disappointed that no one ever checks in much anymore, no calls or text. Then I thought, how can I expect them to stick around if I continue to close them off…I cried.

I thought about Dina, Victoria, Todd, Rusty, Mozi, Elwin and Grannie…those so close to me that I have lost in such a short time and how much I miss them. I cried.

I thought about my frustration with my ever changing career, my lack of feeling I am doing anything in my life that feels worthy and my fear of what can I do? I cried.

I watched a show about millionaire’s who secretly go to non-profits as undercover volunteers. They share stories, learn about those people they are helping and those running the cause who give their lives to others unselfishly. Then after getting close to these people they tell them they are donating large amounts of money to the cause because of how much they have learned, tears always fall on the show….and I cried.

As Sunday morning rolled around I watched my tv church episode and as always cried because of what I believe to be true and that God is with me.

Sometimes I find solace in being home especially the weekends, sitting in silence just listening to the sounds outside knowing everyone else is out being social. That strange loneliness mixed with a uncomfort knowing there is no one special in my life other than friends and family. It often is in those moments I find the most clarity, the most confusion and the most in-depth feeling of existence.

As my weekend of self reflection ended, Monday I went back into auto pilot and began the week. I had the realization Monday morning that I could not use a single word to express where I am right here right now. Love and Gratitude were the first of many that surfaced. I always start in GRATITUDE. I am grateful for all that is, good and bad because it is in that emotion especially over that weekend within my sadness that I realize it has to happen to feel something. I may be different from most in that when I am lonely I tend to make myself lonelier because I withdraw, I have to because it is the only way I know how to get quiet. I have to be grateful, I have to reflect, to hurt and cry. Those things always remind me that I am feeling and I am living. I am being touched by what I am experiencing. I am becoming wise to the secrets that life holds. I am finding out what moves me most and perhaps in time those triggers that make me cry the most hold the secret to where I am headed and what my life purpose is to be. With that I always end at LOVE.

I am living and though it may be in silence from the rest of the world sometimes, I know when it is time, after a few good cries, and some internal realization I will resurface and become social as I always do. With every single step no matter how easy or hard those steps come I continue to begin EACH next chapter of life while I have the breath in my lungs to do what I am here to do. Patience, stillness, gratitude and love must be my friends because that is what is guiding me to a new place. No packing bags at this point in my life, at least for now. I choose to reflect on the baggage I carried, grow, learn and know I can for once re-invent myself while all my friends watch with my feet planted here in Nashville for another 10 years! What words can you come up with to express how you feel right now? Think about it…maybe you will have a weekend like I did and on Monday awake with a huge smile!

Sending love…pass it on!

The wind in my sail has left and I am stranded in a vast sea of possibility, paralyzed…

It has been some time since I have written here at Thinking Diva. For what ever reason I have been in a bit of a funk and working toward trying to get my good energy and attitude back. I have been writing but not posting because I started this blog to share and motivate through being positive. I didn’t want to come off here as being negative even though I realize we all have times when we feel down. That being said most of my struggle’s have been based on life as a whole, not on one particular thing. Maybe I have been having a mid-life crisis! Lately my thoughts are centered around a reoccurring feeling of emptiness, a feeling of lack with everything that has had me wondering how I can get that excitement of life back. Perhaps the experience of loss (all the beautiful friends and family I have lost over the past few years) has created a shift in me that makes me question “Why am I Here?”  It seems that all the things I used to live by no longer have any viability to me. This is not the first time in my life that question has surfaced but it feels a bit different this time around because of my age, my accomplishments and where I am in life.

I AM full of gratitude! I have been very blessed with a wonderful family who I love so much and miss because of the miles I chose to put between us. I have the most wonderful and loving friends you could ask for. I have lived a life doing what I love through a career of creativity. I am content with my “SELF”, I have learned how to maintain self love and my struggle with spirituality has ended so I feel fulfilled. I have no debt, I have a roof over my head, I take care of myself and I am healthy so honestly I have no reason to feel so lost. I feel guilty for my thoughts of “lack” but as we humans often do I sometimes allow regret to surface in what I haven’t had or done. For what ever reason most of my life has been driven by career goals and solely involved only me. I worked hard and did what ever I needed to do, sacrificed what needed to be sacrifice to achieve what I though success was because I truly believed that was what made me happy. Overall I have been a happy person but those things now seem pointless. The things that sadden me in my life right now all center around my lack of personal goals involving others. I will always feel I missed out on the experience of having a child and being a mom. I have excepted it but that awareness does sometimes creep up on me. I have positioned myself in life to be alone, far from family, no responsibilities, no obligations and content with not being in a relationship right now. I wish I had been more mature in my past relationships, I never experienced a healthy-mature relationship in my past because I was not healthy and mature enough to know otherwise. I take full responsibility for my choices, I hold no anger of blame towards anyone and fortunately I know I will do better in this second phase of my life when I am ready to take that step.

As I sit here pondering wether I should even post this I am unsure that these words really have anything you will benefit from. Maybe I am reaching out to you this time hoping for some answers I can’t seem to find, maybe some clarity. My biggest “empty” feeling right now is that I am tired of living my life for just me, it feels so wasteful, it doesn’t have any importance outside of myself and that has come to bother me most. Living the way I have doesn’t feel fulfilling, I don’t feel I am offering myself outwardly in a purposeful way. Is this making any sense? Maybe this is my “story”(we all have one), my need for attention, maybe this is “all about me,” perhaps I am craving validation of feeling like someone or something needs me. Am I just feeling sorry for myself wollering in self pity? Goodness, is that a form of self, co-dependency? I had the realization yesterday that I am probably more than half way through my life. If I died tomorrow I believe I would be ok with what I have accomplished but with the time I have left I want so much more and I don’t want it to center around “just me”. It is not that I am unhappy but there is something really missing and I can’t put my finger on it. I am bored, I feel unchallenged and even worse I have no direction, I am going through the motions of what needs to be done and that is it. It’s like the wind in my sail has left and I am stranded in a vast sea of possibility, paralyzed.

So this is where I stop and go within, I get quiet, I pray, like so many times before but this time I realize….I am really stuck. It’s where I reach out to you and ask what do you think? Is this something we go through and question when we are in our 40’s? Do we all secretly share this and if so what do you all do to create new beginnings? Looking back on my life I see a bit of a pattern here, it seems every 10 years or so when I get bored with my life I pack up and move hundreds of miles to somewhere new to start over, to re-invent and to become excited again. It has worked every single time in my past but this time is different, for once I am really happy with where I live and with my friends. So what now, I can’t run, I don’t want to move….(although there is something intriguing with Santa Fe, Costa Rica or Europe…)

I am reaching out to those of you who were willing to read this far for insight, please share with me, I need a little kick in the ass right about now! Still sending love…but man I could sure use some love right about now (of course there is always moose tracks)!