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)!

Pondering the new year…centering it around LOVE!

Once again we are at the end of a year and facing the beginning of a new one. For what ever reason I always get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead this time of year and with that excitement I like to make list of what I want to achieve and experience moving forward. I have always been a deep thinker and I love making list of goals and day dreaming of what is possible. As we enter the new year many of us reflect back to what happened in the past year good or bad. I have had some bad in regards to friends passing, storm damage and unfortunate happenings that resulted in a non extant bank balance at times but I choose not to focus on those things. They happen, they are a part of life and I want to take all things good or bad and focus on what those experiences gave me not what they took away from me. Negative things DO happen, life is like that but when you choose to focus on only the positive, you move through “things” quicker and that enhances your quality of life.

So with the new year quickly approaching here is my list so far:

-come out of the closet….as a mixed media artist! My friends have known for years of my artistic endeavors and how I have been giving my art to charity and as gifts. I have not publicly marketed or shown my work as an artist and I have hopes of extending my creative career with additional income doing this in 2012!

-learn how to weld by taking a welding class, yep I have wanted this for years but I hope this will be the year I finally learn, I want to be able to make table legs and lamps after learning how to throw fire from a torch!

-look into the possibilities of re-launching “ReTune Nashville” as a non-profit 501c3 that helps raise money for inner city schools art and music programs. This has been in the back of my mind since ReTune Nashville was launched as a flood relief project. I have a teaching background and understand the politics and lack of budget available for these programs and I truly believe that  music and art can help those students who are not doing well academically. Imagine the possibilities we could create for underprivileged kids by giving them a reason to feel self worth through art and music. Imagine a non profit that also allows those who contribute to have a platform to share their talents with the world. This is not just a platform about giving to help, it is helping and being showcased as a mentor for artistic and musical talent. It is about giving back and becoming an inspiration to others. I have a vision and pray that God will bring the people into my life who have the strengths to make this a reality!

-offer a workshop to people wanting to know how to take better pictures and how to use imagery to promote themselves in the world of social media. Working on the logistics now, hoping I have the appeal and value to offer others inspiration and knowledge to improve their visibility!

-continue meeting and making new friends who inspire me through positivity!

– continue writing about my personal experiences in a way that inspires others to be more loving to themselves and to others. My hope is to motivate others to be happier in their lives through positive thinking!

-date more…have fun dating and enjoy the pursuit of flirtation that it creates!

-and of course the one thing on the list every year…work out and lose those few extra pounds, my new “Move’s Like Jagger” plan has great potential!

I still have a few days left to add to this list but I also want to reflect on how 2011 has enriched my life. The hurdles I have experienced and what will stand out most as my greatest memories from the year.

-the most important thing 2011 has given to me is the gift of love and wonderful friendships. I am extremely grateful for the beautiful friends I have in my life, how those relationships grew this year and how love has multiplied all around me due to those wonderful relationships.

-I am blessed to have had a better year in business than the past few years due to the economy, I was able to pick up some big accounts including the Cracker Barrel and feel so blessed to be doing what I love and getting paid for it.

-I am grateful for all the volunteers, sponsors and support of so many people through out Nashville who helped make “ReTune Nashville” so successful. I am proud that all of our hard work was able to raise $ 65,000.00 to help musicians and songwriters who were directly affected by the flood of 2010. It was a one year labor of love and commitment and by far the most gratifying thing I have ever been a part of in this lifetime.

-I lost two very important friends…a best friend from my past life in Orlando, Florida Victoria Bowen died from heart issues at the age of 51 and one of my best friends Dina D’Gerolamo passed away in September, she was my age, we had similar backgrounds and I felt a connection to her like a family member. Although I miss them both so much I know they are in a better place and I am so honored to have had the chance to have had their friendship while they were alive, I will cherish those memories for a lifetime!

So with that I am done for now with my pondering….I am curious what your new year has in store. Please feel free to share with me your list! One last thing I want to hope for in the new year, I hope that every single one of you out there choose to enhance your life with love this year. Love toward others, love for something you enjoy doing, love for your family, love for what you eat, love for who you spend time with, love for where you go, love for what you share, love in all your judgement, love in the words that leave your mouth, love in forgiveness, and most of all love for your self. If we all put a little more effort into “LOVE” I believe the world will be a better place, one baby step at a time. And with that I hope you will spread the word of “Love”, I will continue working on my art series “Love Is…” and wishing you all love from the bottom of my goofy, humble, grateful, open, touched heart, pass it on!

Contemplating my anxiety, boredom, a lost compass and a goal almost competed!

Today I awoke feeling restless, wanting to release some anxiety and not really understanding why I was irritable and uneasy. Nothing had happened, no apparent reason for feeling this way but believing there must be something unsettled within me.  Have you ever felt that way? I sat around quietly at first, turned on some music then silent again. It is interesting to just sit quietly and listen. The things around the room, the dog breathing, the fridge, the ac, a motorcycle in the distance. At first it can be uncomfortable but once you allow yourself to become relaxed your mind begins to speak to you. Thoughts and memories come out of no where, nothing is organized just random things but without the noise of tv, radio or people you actually hear your thoughts. After several hours of contemplating, reflecting on where I’ve been, where I am, what seems good or bad within me, the only thing I could come up with was I am ready for some change. Something new, I am unsure what, maybe seek out some new friends, a new hobby, join a new group or something. After several hours of silence I took a nap because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. When I awoke I realized that I need something in my life to intrigue me, to stimulate me, to interest and inspire me because I am becoming too comfortable in my daily regiment which is beginning to bore me. I believe this is what  is creating my anxiety.

What would you do if your compass was broke? I guess in a way that is how I am feeling right now. I am out there doing but not sure what direction I am headed. I have been so dedicated over the past year, first to ReTune Nashville and now to myself, my art and my career and all of a sudden feel a little lost. My entire life I felt I had a map, a goal and a direction, when ever I felt this way I would create more busyness or on several occasions pack up move somewhere new without knowing anyone and start my life over. It kept me happy, it kept me re-mapping my destination, perhaps it was a form of running as my father once said to me but it always worked and pointed me one step closer to where I am now. Eventually I realized that I had to love myself and that is what I have worked towards for the past 10 years here in Nashville. This place I am in now feels different, back then I was not happy with me, once I learned of self love I became happy, now I am just bored. My life list of accomplishments have pretty much been by design minus the things in my relationship sector, and I am unsure what I want next. Nashville is my home 100% so there will be no move in my future to take me to my fresh new life ahead.

I have restricted my social activity and spent many, many hours working towards new year goals I set for myself in January. One in particular was to not date, to focus on me, to get healthier in body and in mind. When I set the “NO” dating goal I told myself I would re-visit dating in August because I felt that would be enough time to get healthy. Dating often seems like a job search to me and I really am not interested in that process. So many of my friends are on dating sites and it all looks too overwhelming to me. It seems it should be so much more simple than that. I always find myself meeting great men but not having any chemistry and then having a difficult time figuring out how to let them know without hurting their feelings in hopes of maintaining a friendship. My problem is that I very seldom feel an attraction or chemistry and then am left with the realization of what a man would think if faced with “I just want to be friends”, most do not want to stick around for that. Maybe it is silly but I love the immediate WOW factor when you have big energy with someone you just met. It is not just physical attraction it is the conversation, the intrigue, the entire package not just one part. Perhaps this is why men and woman seem very different, or maybe it is just me. Men are wired differently and seem to be intrigued with women first through physical attraction before anything else even registers. Please share with me if I have this wrong!

I have been told by several friends that I have no game, that I am unapproachable or that I need to learn the art of flirting. Maybe this is true but I have never really felt I was like any other woman out there. I am not one to flirt with a stranger, to dress flashy in order to turn a head or to have to work at being the center of attention. I am somewhat shy in the presence of an attractive man, even more so if I am attracted to him directly and maybe I give off the impression of not being interested. I feel men have become lazy, they put no effort into the process of dating, maybe that is because so many women are throwing themselves at them or that women have become so independent that men don’t actually have to do anything any more. I think women have become too aggressive and often come off as being desperate. What is wrong with a little mystery, with patience and with getting to know someone before pursuing anything. Maybe I have watched too many movies, maybe too old fashion or perhaps just a hopeless romantic but I can’t be something I am not and if that causes me to remain single because I am not willing to compromise or settle for something I am not then so be it.

When I look at the overall dating scene especially for people my age I realize it is complicated because we have spent half of our lives becoming who we are. I think that many people, male and female are trying too hard, looking for someone who will fill a void that is missing in their lives. I think that there are so many people who can’t just sit and be quiet without freaking out to the silence…which we all know is not silence but our inner voice speaking to us. If we can’t sit alone with ourselves and be happy how can we expect to have someone else make us happy. No one can fulfill that void, that “Thing” that is missing because that thing is inside of us not out there in someone else. If more people realized this I think there would be more happiness and more love within us all. We would allow others to be as they are and love that they are unique, if things don’t match our expectations we have the choice to leave. Making a person wrong for not being what you want will not work, love does not insult for the sake of validation!

What I have learned with age is that the more I am honest with myself and with others the better I become. The more I love myself and life the healthier I am. I am comfortable with who I am, I love my life no matter what it lacks, I have forgiven myself and others for anything and everything from my past and I am by far the healthiest both inside and out than I have ever been in my life. I know that if a man comes into my life he will get a beautiful person, not a perfect person…there are flaws despite my self confidence. Most of all he will get me and will either love that or not. I don’t really think that my anxiety is from the lack of a man being in my life but I do feel allowing myself back in the game could add some interest and perhaps allow me to let go of some of this boredom. How to find a date is another story and it is not August yet so I will wait till then to worry about that. I know that you have to want to date to get a date so until August….sending love out to you all!

“Working on my 2011 desires, pondering the possibilities!”

This time of year is always emotional, when things get slow from the holiday I  allow myself  to sit still and ponder what lies ahead for me.  I am constantly wanting, trying and pushing myself to be a better person, to live compassionately and to live with purpose.

It came to my attention this morning while watching the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” that the hurdles I have to get past, the personal things I am trying to change, those things that I have struggled with are really so small compared to what so many other people are dealing with.  My small life of mistakes have never killed anyone, never left a physical scar and other than the occasional emotional pain I may have left with some I have really lived a pretty clean, safe life.  Safe…I hate that, it seems so boring.  I sometimes feel overwhelmed in the skin I have grown so comfortable in perhaps out of boredom.  I want change, I want to live, to want to experience an extraordinary life not an ordinary life! I search, I uncover things, I try new things yet so often I still feel….BORED.

As I have said so often, perhaps we are not supposed to know the path we are to follow, we choose each road and if we dig deep with in ourselves, if we spend time being still and in a sober state we make healthier decisions. Even with a healthier introspective state of mind we still do not know for sure where each path will take us, when a mistake will be made or weather we will laugh or cry.  To take each moment, to feel each choice, to feel each emotion that our choices create in life…this has to be the path, the right path.  Each of us are different, perhaps our meaning of life is only found at the end of our travels, of our lives.  I hope with my life I leave some sort of knowledgeable impression that will help those confused of the road traveled after I am gone.  I want to leave something meaningful.  As of now it is all I have to offer, I have no husband, no kids nothing really of importance other than my words, imagery, ideas and experiences.  I believe we help others by sharing, being honest and being humble, especially when we share our mistakes as long as we do not make others wrong.  We always have a choice or make the choice that leads us to where ever we are going, we must take that responsibility seriously and with full ownership.

In Eat Pray Love I felt as if I shared very similar circumstances as Elizabeth.  In my marriage, in my wanting change and in my taking a giant leap to bring more meaning to my life.  A few of the things I loved from the film were:

Sometimes loosing balance in life is a part of living in balance with life….

Everyone I have met in my life so far has been a teacher to me…how beautiful

“The Physics of the Quest”- I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” – a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”  ~Elizabeth Gilbert

I love when I discover a book or movie that truly moves me, that motivates me and makes me want to be a better person.  I admit I am scared of love, scared of change, scared of what lies ahead but in 2011 I want to be more productive in taking action because I believe I have to start with fear before I can truly be fearless!

Time to ponder my desires for the year that lies ahead.  I have a week to prepare my list, what is on yours?  Sending love and best wishes for the holiday’s!  xoxo

2010 has arrived…my list of discoveries!

2010 has arrived and so many of us have prepared the usual list of New Years resolutions.  I have never been much for resolutions but I do set goals each year in both my personal and professional life by reflecting on my past year and deciding what changes I want to happen in order to be a happier person.  Each year my first priority always seems to start with my eating habits because diets and challenges all seem to be temporary.  Learning more about nutrition, eating fresh -not processed foods and eating smaller portions is a constant goal.  At 40 something my metabolism is not as it used to be and it is much more challenging to keep my body healthy.  I am excited about finding new ways of staying healthy, I prefer referring to it as “Staying Healthy” rather than wanting to be thin.

When I awoke this morning I though I would make a list of some of the things I have discovered in my life up to this point…here is what I came up with:

*As a woman-feeling healthy, eating right and steady exercise does wonders for self esteem!

*My biggest challenge in life is patience, if I can slow down and enjoy the ride it always has a better outcome.

*Being single can really, really be fun!

*I have no idea how to flirt, actually I stink at it because I was told that by a guy recently.  I need to work on this one.

*Winter sunrises and sun-set are absolutely beautiful!

*I have no idea how to cut wings and pizza out of my diet…or at least to replace them with a healthy alternative.  These two foods are always the first thing that come to mind when I want something really bad!

*The person who invented the chocolate chip cookie was a personal trainer who’s pleasure was seeing the pain of lunges in the eyes of the cookie eater.

*The world needs more love…in every city, state and country, I always feel a bit like a hippie from the 60’s saying that out loud but I do believe it is the most important and underachieved thing in most of our lives.  It is also the one thing that makes us feel the best at any given time when we truly feel it in our hearts.

*I have learned that with age my heart continues to soften and giving something back is becoming more and more important to me.

*That Mr. Deisel is really Mr. Barker and is continuously trying to communicate with his ancestors far away….God help my neighbors, I am working on this issue!

*If you love yourself you have self-confidence, if you have self-confidence you make healthy choices, making healthier choices makes you happier and your life becomes more fulfilling.

*You can not make everyone who comes into your life happy merely by being nice, that some people will always place blame, always be the victim and no matter what you say or do nothing will change their outlook.  With this I have also learned that you must let these people go and pray that they find love within to fix what they believe they don’t have.

*I may not know a thing about men after all!  Over and over we are told that they are very simple creatures of habit….define simple please!

*Life is exactly what we create, creation happens with the way we think. There is no one else to blame in regards to what our lives look like so we need to make our thoughts align with what we want and be accountable.

*I have learned that I have a world of things to be grateful for and I am so, so fortunate for all that I have.

*I have come to realize that I may not have ever really been in love after all.  The thought occurred to me recently while talking to a friend about love and questioning the circumstances of my past relationships.  Do I get so caught up in the excitement of someone showing me attention that I confuse the intimacy and a somewhat codependent time of being together as love.  I am not sure, I have never thought of it in this particular way before.  It is something I am seriously looking at…

*The movie “The Sound of music”? is my all time favorite, and the best love story ever!

*Every human being on this earth wants to be in love and have a partner no matter what they say, it is the most primal part of being human.  What I don’t understand is why is it not occurring more often and why when we all want it, is it so complex and hard to find?

*Coffee doesn’t taste good to me with out all the sugar, it is the one thing that I can’t make healthier and taste good at the same time!

*Working out everyday really helps me to relieve stress and I am learning to love the process more and more.

*I still after 8 years in Nashville hate cold weather…at least when it gets under 40 degrees.

*I love who I am…it has taken 44 years to be able to say it but finally I do, and I look forward to creating more for myself that I will love in the future.

*I believe my purpose here is to continue to find ways to inspire others, my desire is to help, give and continue to discover ways of doing this…it truly brings me happiness.

*Laughter is the one thing that instantly makes us feel good and we all need so much more of it!

I’ve never needed New Years for incentive to change something I needed to change. As I grow older life has become a time of discovery and I have learned to look inside for change rather than having to go outside of myself for incentive.  While doing all of this internal work I have become much happier, I laugh more and I  worry less.  Some goals continue to challenge me, I am still working on increasing my income through my passion, loosing that junk in the trunk and I still have the desire to someday be in a committed relationship. I know that with the work I am doing on ME those things are on the way. The most important thing right know is to enjoy the process, take each day moment by moment and be grateful for all that I have because I know I have a lot!  Sending love out to all of you for the new year…thank you for reading (and please leave a comment if you feel the desire)!