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)!

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!

Love, loneliness and a goofy dream…

I awoke from a dream the other morning in a panic. I had dreamed that I was invited to a Christmas party, everyone there was dressed up with dates including all my ex boyfriends and I was the only one who showed up alone. In the dream I left and started calling all of the hot guys I knew trying to find one to meet me so I didn’t feel so alone but no one could come. In that moment I awoke and I had a sickening feeling in the bottom of my stomach, I was sad, embarrassed and lonely all in that instant. It was as if I was a character in one of those cheesy love stories I have enjoyed watching most of my life, you know the ones…

-the woman who is always with the cheater

-the woman who gets dumped for a prettier or younger woman

-the woman who works too much so no one is interested

-the woman who is too shy, geeky or different and no one wants her

-the woman who’s friends and family say she needs to be married but she cant find a good man

During the holidays when we don’t have family around, friends available and/or we lack a partner to share our time with we may feel lonelier than normal. We have all been in a lonely place at some point in our lives, male or female and often we allow our thoughts to reflect negatively towards ourselves in those times of loneliness. As humans we all want to have a partner to share our love with and when that is not in our lives we sometimes feel inadequate.

I believe that women are generally more sensitive and often more insecure than most men. We tend to treat ourselves terrible with negative self-talk and often that shows outwardly as insecurity especially when we are single. There are a lot of single gals here in Nashville and based on the conversations I have had over the years many of them feel like damaged goods. They can’t figure out why they can’t find a guy or why they always get the guys who are not so perfect for them. There are a lot of women who have never been married and feel they are missing out on something. Some who wanted children yet never quite found the guy that was right for that path. I have come to learn through conversations with my guy friends that women are not always alone in these feelings. As humans we judge ourselves much harder than others and often give off that energy of insecurity. We take our negative experiences with past partners, hold on to the hurt and eventually believe that all partners will be this way. Sometimes these uncomfortable internal feelings can make us treat others in a negative way because of our fear of being hurt. Wether we are hurting others or being hurt the cost of carrying that around is negative and will continue to have negative consequences with our happiness if we don’t learn how to let go of the negativity and change the pattern.

I believe that we attract the energy we are offering in life depending on where we are in our thinking at any given time. It may sound silly but I believe if we can learn to accept ourselves, do a little work to get and keep our mindset in a positive state we will have healthier people come into our lives. This is true with not only companionship but with all relationships. If we allow things to happen keeping a positive outlook rather than passing judgement and allowing our past experiences to resurface we will attract better experiences into our lives. The amount of power we have over our thoughts allows us to change the reoccurring negative things along our life path. I know this is true because I have met people in my life who are always genuinely happy and positive and their lives seem to continue to stay on a positive path because of their attitude not because they are lucky!

These day’s the most important thought I have when facing new opportunities is “am I happy, will this make me happy or is this a positive path that will allow me to feel good”. By allowing these thoughts to occur when facing something I am unsure of I offer myself the opportunity of awareness, not repeat behavior. When I am feeling good and make others feel good it makes me feel even better about myself. I am not saying that I always take the right path but by reminding myself of what is important and being aware of those things as they are happening I feel I am making better choices. No more auto pilot…auto pilot gives me the quickest result not the most beautiful route!

I am sure that this dream signifies something in my own life that I need to look deeper into but I am unsure what exactly that might be. I have gone a year being single and enjoying the fun that it brings. I really have not cared wether I had a date or not because I have enjoyed my time of discovery with in myself and the fun flirting can be with men I have an interest in. I was not consciously making an effort to BE single I just haven’t felt a need or desire to put the effort into anyone. I spent the year looking within my self, doing what I wanted for ME, finding fun things to do and surrounding myself with people who make me happy. I buried myself in charity work, in personal work, in art and learning how to be spiritual alone-just me and my higher power. I revisited my past decisions, forgave the other person, considered the lessons learned, accepted I had a choice in those situations, forgave myself and let go. Some of those past experiences were tough and have continued to re-surface but I am making progress. Allowing myself to forgive, take accountability and letting go sometimes requires revisiting, reworking and redirecting how to take the negative and fill it with something positive. We are human and because of our egos some issues at hand are more difficult to overcome. If we are holding on to anger because someone did something that truly was wrong and unkind we think we feel better playing the victim but carrying that weight will have some negative affect on any relationship moving forward. We will feel complete and eventually happier if we  allow ourselves to feel the hurt, be humble, forgive and let go.

It’s funny after I awoke from that strange dream feeling sad, in the next minute I started laughing because in every one of those silly movies the woman always finds true love. I know I will find it when I am ready and when I do it will be better than any love I have had in the past because with every day that passes I am becoming a better person. With that I know I will attract a healthy, loving and beautiful person into my life! While I am on this journey I am reminded daily of how wonderful love is even if it excludes a partner. Love is always available, I have beautiful loving friends and a loving family so I am not lacking by any means.

If you are out there questioning your worth, feeling insecure and thinking you are not worthy of love remember we are ALL worthy, we are all human and we all sometimes need to take a closer look at how we are treating ourselves. If you are feeling alone because you do not have a partner stop and believe that finding that person can be just as fun as having them. In that moment if you can accept and believe you are a wonderful and loving person deserving of love, and I promise you are, you will be that much closer to finding a loving partner because it has to start on the inside first! Love yourself and watch what shows up all around you! Wishing you all a happy holiday and as always sending love…pass it on!

Stop asking “Who Am I” and evolve by saying “Who Do I Want To Be!”

Who am I?  This is a question I have been asking myself since I was a little girl and not once have I ever truly been able to say who I am, maybe because it always ends up being what I am. Is there a difference between what we are and who we are, I think so. Often when I think I have defined myself I insert those thoughts of what I think others might add and at that moment I become something else.

The person I am today is a very different person from who I was ten years ago. Although I don’t care too much for that earlier person the core of who I am was always there. Back then I was too caught up in the outside world, always worried about what others thought of me and I often acted for the sake of appearing to be what others wanted. I was judgmental, materialistic, insecure, irritated, unhappy and I complained a lot. I did not love who I was and I couldn’t be happy with that lack of self love in my life. It took my life falling apart, my choosing a new direction and making many, many mistakes to change that insecure lonely person. Most importantly it took losing many loved ones, learning gratitude and making a conscious effort to forgive, forget and let go of my past.

I listened to a Sunday service this morning online titled “The Secret of Life” and it opened my eyes to something about myself I didn’t even know. Every time I catch myself thinking about wanting to change things on the outside and choose to work on changing things within myself first…I evolve. I believe we are constantly evolving based on our choices in life and our attitude to how we handle those choices. If we can say with out any hesitation who we are we no longer have something to work towards and time will not allow that to happen.

If I say who I am the truth is it will be my own vision of me, others around me may have a different vision of who they think I actually am. Pondering this makes me want to reach out and have all of you who know me share who you believe me to be. If I have to say it myself I would say this:

I am a woman who believes that kindness and love towards others AND myself makes me a better person. I am sincere, honest, hopeful, weird, geeky at times, goofy, creative, inspired by positivity, open minded, intuitive, inquisitive, sometimes lazy, always laid back, and I care deeply about those in my life. Sometimes I can be insecure about how I look, about how I sometimes act and about what I create. I am uncomfortable in crowds and in front of people especially speaking or singing. I believe I can be inspiring, that I have something to say, that the more I say out loud with passion the better I get at sharing and the better I feel.

So if this is what I believe to be “Who I  Am” or perhaps “What I Am” what does it say about where my life is headed? I think that we all want something, we are all striving towards something in life but with all that we have going on the busyness sometimes shields the truth of what we see. Ok so this is getting a bit deep but what if what we are inside is somehow related to what we have around us. If we lack integrity are the people we hang out with lacking integrity too. Do you notice that when groups of girls or guys hang out they seem to dress alike, to act alike, to be interested in the same things? Well perhaps if we want something different we need to consider that what we do mirror’s what we get, or what we experience. If this is so then consider the possibilities we have within our grasp.

Right now I want to start thinking from a different place. In previous post I have spoke about wanting and needing change because I feel bored. I think it might be time for me to go with in and rather than asking who am I and what do I want perhaps I need to start deciding who I want to be. If I begin to model the new me I believe that new stuff I want will follow close behind. I am excited about the possibilities because they are what ever I want them to be. I look forward to this new way of thinking and what will become on the outside from what I first become on the inside.

I now believe that what I become with in my own heart eventually becomes all that is around me. Rather than me wanting something outside of myself first I will work on what I want within me and I will begin to see that is all that surrounds me. We have to become an example of anything we want in our lives before it can come to be what is in our lives. I know that if I want to get more I need to do more, if I want to be loved I need to love more, if I want great people in my life I have to be a great person to be around, I believe I get out of life what I put into it…I choose to think independently, to work with passion, to strive to be happy everyday, to be kind, to see without judgement, to inspire others when I can, I love blindly and love everyone. I do these things because I know that I feel better and I am becoming a better person by living this way. In time the world around me will mirror these things. The world isn’t waiting for me to catch up, time is marching by and I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what I am confronted with in life. These things are helping me to evolve into a life I love.

In closing I ask you to take some time and contemplate these questions for yourself, “Who am I? What Am I? and Who Do I Want To Be”? I am here ready to listen if you want to share but my hope is that you will become as excited as I am right now about how much possibility is within your very own grasp.  Lets evolve by taking the first step together. Sending love to you all…..