Posted in Inspiration, Journey, Life

Comfortable Silences

Silence can be quite uncomfortable when you find yourself amongst the wrong company. You may remember the urge to make idle conversation and engage in meaningless small talk. It’s all an effort of avoiding that strange, uncomfortably feeling. It’s trying to fit in, to not be labeled “weird”, to do what we think is expected of us.

Silence can also be grace saving and soothing depending on the situation. Especially when working in retail I think. Silence may allow you to enjoy quiet time on your own, being able to do whatever you want, not having to be considerate, while giving in to your every whim without distractions and interruptions.

But is there a third scenario? Personally I like people I can have comfortable silences with. Have you met someone like this? Isn’t it blissful…it’s like coming home… having finally arrived, and being accepted for the beautiful self you are without pretense and disguises.

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Posted in Journey, Love

An art print musing

Picture taken from google

This picture itself was so powerful to me, I couldn’t help but to incorporate it into a blog post. It is full of life, in bloom, and it reminds me that we all are an essential part of this universe, this world. The paintings on the bodies may suggest plant matter, but to me it speaks of true love and the impact each one of us has on our environment, the earth. There are hues of calm blue where life is good, and fiery reds that need attention. I see a gaze into the windows of our soul, the eyes, a knowing, a certainty that it is often replaced when words become unnecessary. It is also then that the heart knows when the search is over.

Posted in Journey, Planets, Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

During this months full moon, I was lucky to join a local group of amazing people and participate in the pink full moon ceremony. One purpose was to release anything that no longer serves us, while giving back the old self to the creator to make room for your new self.

I also pulled this card pictured above and had to smile. I found it as confirmation for everything that has been going on lately. I am just now getting back into the process of posting regularly and getting back in touch with you. Of course health permitting, as it was due to that, and being unable to type at times. What hasn’t changed are the big dreams I have for myself and my ever growing future. This Pluto retrograde may just be my window of opportunity to make it all happen.

The retrograde begun on April 24th and will last until October 3rd. Pluto is all about intensity and digging deep into your life. You might also feel a little more angst around that time as Pluto brings up a lot of deep stuff within. You might wonder what you are doing with your life, what you feel passionate about, and the deeper meaning of things. It could be a scary time but also a time for transition. For most of us, it is those very times that scare us, while things as we know them change, and we don’t know what to expect. I guess it will depend on your own beliefs and whether you view your glass as half empty or as half full. The deep stuff may scare the wits out of you, but may also help you to come to terms. It will be the deciding factor of how you experience the next five month, so keep it as positive and easy going as possible for yourself.

I found a nice little compilation from Alex Myles highlighting the Pluto retrograde and here it is.

Pluto retrograde

April 24-October 3

Time for a major life transition

This retrograde illuminates the need to release anything harmful and out of alignment and brings in harmony, inner peace, health and transformation.

What to expect:

  • Emotional, mental and spiritual renewal and regeneration
  • Incredible opportunities replacing every disappointment
  • The elimination of whatever has been holding you back
  • Easily letting go of whatever has already let go of you
  • Dissipation of anything superficial, outdated and unfulfilling
  • Meaningful and soulful connections and amazing possibilities

Not all that bad is it? Carpe Diem 💙

Posted in Chronic illness, Journey

Salvation Prayer

I constantly try to make sense of events in my life, and I always search for the silver lining. No matter how dreadful things get, how gloomy and hopeless a situation appears, there is always a reason, always something to be learned.

Recently I went to a job interview and felt really good about it, despite of not meeting the preferred criteria of speaking Spanish. We chatted for 45 minutes and were in contact for four days after the interview, all the way up to the day a decision was to be made. From there on out, I didn’t hear anything back and decided to email after a few days. Nothing, and nearly a week later the silence has been my answer. I found it really strange, and never in a million years would I have anticipated that outcome. So what does this have to do with a salvation prayer?

  • I took it as a sign that “this”, another job and perhaps getting lost in the shuffle of things was not what I am suppose to do. Instead I am daring to dream big and have decided to pursue my photography, my paintings, writings and other crafts. It started with a “nice” idea, a hope and a dream, and it wasn’t until the other day and a serious kick in the teeth that I became serious about it. I don’t have it all figured out yet, and don’t have to prove anything to anyone, accept myself, but it brings me great purpose and a meaning that reminds me of the beginning and the onset of my chronic illness.
  • About thirteen years ago I was in a similar situation as the RA made its debut. It was not as bad as it has been currently, but nevertheless it was bad enough. Perhaps even scarier because I was new to all of it. I remember it being just as painful, but the overall battle seemed shorter or perhaps I was stronger back then. I don’t know.
  • It was back then that I was introduced to hiking and our beautiful outdoors we call Mother Nature. I found purpose and meaning, a motivation and hunger for more. I combined my hobbies such as my photography, and learned to be still. To listen to what really mattered, to go against the grain and to chase my nirvana. It was as if I started to live again, and guess what – the RA eventually went into remission and I experienced many years after that were pain free.
  • All of this came back to me the other day and another “maybe” introduced itself. Maybe this was all a part of the universes plan for me. Maybe it was time to find that motivation, purpose and meaning once again to offset the stresses. I remembered some of my coworkers always thinking that I wasted my talents working an ordinary job and that I should pursue my gifts. Could it be that this is my now, that time? Was the RA literally forcing me to my luck, and was this my silver lining amongst the chaos? Did everything had meaning in the process, even the silence from the employer who left me hanging? I think so and there are no ordinary moments, are there?
  • Quickly thoughts turned into ideas, into goals and dreams, into motivation, and if there was ever a time to go for it, to let it stand for more than just a dream and die trying, then this is would be that time. It was that day that I came across the salvation prayer and it became my answer. This could be very well be my savior and what could send the RA into remission once more. I have to believe it to be so as this current stage of my being cannot be my truths. It happened before, and it can happen again. Faith and love, my two swords will carry me through.
  • Salvation prayer (for all who read this)
  • “I put this healing in your hands, Raphael. I give you my trust, my love and my attention to your strength. Heal this person with your light and give him/her clarity for their future path. Thank you for your help and grace to share your divine strength with us.
  • Blessed be the kingdom of angels.
  • Blessed be the divine helpers.
  • We are one with you and your healing. This is how healing happens and divine energies flow.
  • We bow in front of you in love and gratitude.”
  • All love flows from heart to heart
  • Posted in Journey, Mom

    Work in progress

    We had a terrible fight last night. The one that left me walking out on Mom, once more. It wasn’t due to anger or not being able to take the meanness she had in store for me, as it is nothing more then frustrated efforts to hold on to the life she once knew. Her fear of losing control is overwhelming, and adjusting and accepting her new life is very slow. I’m sure she knows something is wrong, that things are not the same anymore, and I think for the first time she is realizing the seriousness of her situation. That she is not in charge anymore, and that she is not able to get herself out of the nursing home. It has dawned that she could be there forever. I imagine it has to be frightening to her, spending the rest of her days in a place she doesn’t want to be, regardless of how well she is taken care of. A prison if you will and I’m sure she views it as such. Everything is fine between us as long as no serious conversation is addressed, but more and more “I want to go home” is a regular part of any interaction. I have learned not to engage in it, and sometimes it works and she drops it, and other times she won’t.

    The new bill for the upcoming month arrived a few days ago, and she knows that within this week her bank account will be charged an absurd amount of money, which is her monthly contribution part. She still cannot comprehend how much care she requires, and that life as she knew it years ago, is not the same anymore. Whole timeframes in between as her sickness progressed are lost, and she doesn’t remember. She believes she just recently went shopping and did all kinds of other activities, when in reality it has been years. The diabetes and the onset of dementia has robbed those years from her. Try to explain something to someone who doesn’t remember and thinks that they know everything. Impossible.

    Yesterday was one of those days and she didn’t drop the topic of wanting to go home. It was time bound and crucial, with only a few days left until the automatic charge would occur, so how could she? It was all or nothing as it would mean having to stay another month. Her frustration about her own situation turned into blame and guilt towards me. Holding on to that straw, unimaginable things came over her lips. I was the sounding block, the only one left to blame. It was almost eerie how calm I remained as all these things were addressed and meant for me. All my faults in her eyes, the do’s and don’ts that didn’t meet her approval, leaving her behind, that things would be different if my Dad was alive, my failed marriages and what I amounted to, all came out without any effort. Sure a few words flew back in my defense, but her attacks mainly bounced off of me. Unfazed, and unwilling to accept fault for the responsibilities that were hers and for the things she knew little about. Unwilling to be dragged down to that level, I sat through it for the most part. This was not my mother talking to me, and I saw the devil doing his work through her. It’s something that I have been reminding myself of for the past week when it comes to pain from different directions. All evil, just like all good has a source and it’s been more then once that I shouted at the devil to “fuck off”and that he wasn’t going to break me. (Sorry for the language, but it’s the only way I can convey the intensity of those moments). And no, I have not gone insane yet, and shouting it out actually felt pretty good. I do have a hell of a fight to fight and I have known before entering that it would take all of me, every resource possible to come out alive of this one. I’m fighting and I’m not done….

    Recently I have been explained that the devil has more of an interest in me because I’m a threat to his work. Because I want to spread love and compassion, because I want everyone to succeed and live as harmonious as possible. A huge goal with all the challenges we have today, but the only way for me.

    I want to feel deeply, with my eyes wide open and it’s exactly what I got. Not always will I feel good things, but such is life, and we can’t choose to only inhale the awesome moments. The challenges are part of it and mold us into who we are. But seriously, hasn’t there been enough molding over the past six month? I could use a break from it.

    Gossip is not my thing either, and it spreads hurt. People with little facts add their own information/opinions, while pulling you through the mud. Forgetting that words are far more powerful than physical contact at times. It’s betrayal each and every time it happens. Physical contact can heal, but words remain engraved forever, and most of the times there is little that is actually true. It is what it is, one sided and you don’t get a chance to put the record straight. You have to live with people’s image of you that is often the furthest from the truth. It can leave you lonely and misunderstood. Just the thought of having to defend your character leaves sadness and is wrong.

    I want my conversations to be meaningful, beyond the surfaces of small talk. I guess it means to get down and personal, beyond the polite chatter. It means sharing information, give and take beyond the basics. How else could we ever get to know who we truly are? What our needs are and how we best can support each other? I know it stirs many other questions, about trust, being vulnerable and getting hurt. About nobody’s business and about lowering that wall and letting someone in. It’s an entirely different post, but it is who I strive to be most days. No pretending, no disguise, what you see is what you get. It’s just not always understood and I know it is only because it’s so different, so unusual. It takes guts and it’s not because someone doesn’t try. We all communicate in different ways, fit for us.

    Have you ever noticed that you can be in a room with someone and still feel alone? That you live a life with someone and there is no connection? You merely exist next to each other, day after day?

    I want an emotional connection before a rational one. Chances are no one understands your journey anyways. It’s specific to you, and your own way of handling things. Your own emotions and level of preparedness. Where you are in your own journey through life. Unless you walk in those shoes yourself, you remain a bystander and can only support what your rational mind tells you. Emotions are usually absent from this, but what I need in response. Using reversed psychology, putting yourself into that situation, considering what you would do, might present different views.

    I walked out on Mom yesterday. Angered and frustrated, but not hurt. I didn’t let the attacks reach my heart. I walked out because I gave up, and because I didn’t see any chance of getting through to her. It was a lost cause, and we would just argue back and forth. There was no resolve and I knew it. I removed myself from the situation, perhaps afraid that I couldn’t hold that shield up long enough to protect myself. Perhaps because I have heard it millions of times. Perhaps because it was well noted and I would never forget, but because I didn’t need any reminders. I left her behind, unable to follow me, sitting in her wheelchair, unable to do anything but throw verbal abuses. I walked out and took that opportunity away from her by doing so. I held all the cards, I had been in charge. It was back at home that I realized this. I didn’t want to be, and I will never enjoy holding power over, or be in charge over another human being. I AM NOT SUPERIOR.

    I was hungry and I made asparagus creme soup, adding tons of brown mushrooms I wanted to use up. It was late already as all those thoughts crossed my mind. I wished I hadn’t walked out. We fought, which would be followed by a few good days, tiptoeing around each other, trying to keep the peace, and then the viscous circle would all repeat itself. I had to return and let her get it all out. Perhaps resolve a few things since the subject was warm already, although I felt that nothing would miraculously fall into place. I remembered that Mom’s voice cracked during our fight, and it was the closest I have ever seen her to tears. Afraid of having to stay in the home, the emotions nearly overwhelmed her. I had overlooked it in the heat of the moment, but it became crystal clear once I was at home. It’s all I could hear and see and it nearly overwhelmed me now. The amount of fear and hurt it took for her to get to the that point had to be tremendous. She was always in so much control, keeping her feeling well under check, it definitely was obvious that she experienced a moment of vulnerability. I had to go back.

    I was grateful to have my cousins car that night. I grabbed the pot of soup and returned to Mom. She was lying in bed and looked up in surprise that I was back. I didn’t know what to expect and I went without expectations, but preparing my heart for the worst. I told her to get up while placing the soup on the table. She muttered a bit, but complied. She didn’t even have her dentures in anymore, but who needs teeth eating soup? I put her shoes on and placed her into the wheelchair. Together we sat at the table, in a nearly dark room, eating out of one pot and no other mean word fell. We talked normal, and there was care and compassion in her voice. Finally at 9PM, worried that I would get locked into the nursing home (I think deep down she hoped I would have to spend the night with her according to hints and references) she thanked me for the soup, hugged me goodnight, and told me to make it home safe. These were more emotions then she shows on most days. I’m sure the situations will repeat, and chances are it wasn’t the last time Mom will struggle with the realization and acceptance of staying in the nursing home. Yet last night was progress in overcoming, working through it and returning the light in the most difficult of situations to illuminate the darkness.

    Posted in Hiking, Journey

    The return to “self”

    Today marked my second train ride to Mittenwald. It is fairly inexpensive and I will be here until Friday afternoon when I make my return trip.

    Mittenwald has become a special little place in my beloved mountains. It has it all except the huge tourist crowds, which makes it perfect for me. Sometimes I think retail has ruined me for all times, and large crowds and noise are mostly a turn off. With my mind so full, solitude and quiet help me reconnect. You could say I almost doubled my step goal today and I went back to the rock garden I called the Bavarian Stone Henge. I loved it there the first time and got to spent more time his time around. It was beautiful and peaceful, a true gem. From there I made the hike to Lautersee and couldn’t have had a better view for dinner. (Stay tuned for pictures). Afternoon thunderstorms added to the ambience and made for pretty pictures and a tad bit cooler temperatures that were welcome. Weather lightening rounded off the day with a spectacular light show over the Karwendel Mountains. Tomorrow’s adventure will take me up those mountains, and I’m crossing my fingers that the weather holds. It should be spectacular.

    Posted in Europe, Journey

    Down-time

    It’s been a couple of lazy days, but it’s been anything else but fun. Nothing got done, no laundry, no cleaning, I didn’t see Mom and things that need to be taken care of for her, have been on the back burner. I got sick with a summer cold, courtesy of my cousin Michaela, who had it first. Some things are not meant to be shared so eagerly, and this would be one. 😉 I’ve been miserable and the bed is permanently shaped to the contours of my body. The vampires (mosquitoes) have still been active and robbing me of much needed rest to recover quicker. It’s been heading up temperature wise and I have my window open at night. Only now, already punished being sick and bitten, my neighbor has decided to turn on his bright yard light that illuminates my bedroom and work in his shed until 2 AM. Last night was the second in a row….perfect timing.

    Today is the first time I’m writing again and my scheduled posts have been depleted. Luckily I had them scheduled ahead, because there was no way to hold a thought without dizziness and my head threatening to explode. I can’t remember having a headache like this the last time. But all is making perfect sense now, and it is clear to me what it was that I needed protection from. First the black feather that I found and then numerous messages in varying ways, urging me to rest, to take it easy, and step a little slower. It all compiled up until this very moment, I’m just not sure if the resting period now is proactive or responsive to something that was required earlier. Honestly, I feel it’s been brewing for awhile.

    My mind has gone blank and I have not interacted much on the blog, nor do I feel like I have put out quality material. I have posted what I call fillers for the majority, although this statement does not apply to all. I have been uninspired for the most part over the past two weeks and I find it hard to concentrate. I know im tired and I have gone with the motions just letting life and it’s circumstances float me through the days. There are things that are important to me, things that concern you, and still I can’t find the energy to do them. I know I will….soon. In the meantime, I hope to leave you content with another picture I took in Rothenburg recently. It’s a famous and most photographed spot called “The Plönlein”.

    Posted in Journey, Spirituality

    Dad, I know you’re there

    Yesterday was a huge day for me with so many events that I have to break them down into several posts. The signs are working overtime right now to help guide me through this challenging time. It was my niece Sophia’s Konfirmation. I stopped by a bit early to do her make up, while her hair was being done at the same time. She looked beautiful, and seemingly so much further ahead as I remembered myself being at her age. She clearly knew who she was and represented herself in a stunning dress, heels and natural looking make up that was meant to enhance her own beauty. Times sure had changed, and today’s youth was definitely a new generation all of their own. I felt timid and scared at this age, and it wasn’t long ago that I had lost Dad in a tragic freak accident at work. I paused for a moment wishing that these young innocent souls would never have to experience such pain and be showered with happy moments.

    It was during our walk to church that I found a black feather in front of my path. I quickly picked it up and stored it in my purse. All I could think of was what I knew about finding feathers, and that is “When feathers appear, your loved ones are near.” Loved ones can be someone who you have lost, or your guardian angel. I was looking forward going to church, and it had been many years since I had been there last. Perhaps the feather was to comfort me that I wouldn’t be alone, and that Dad was watching over me. I knew that the color of the feather had meaning as well, but I couldn’t recall finding a black one before, and I would have to research the message it was carrying my way. What I found was quite incredible, but please keep in mind that I didn’t learn about the meaning of the feather until much later in the evening as the day had come to an end. I will write my experience in church in a separate post to tie it all together and it’s all connected, but here is what my black feather had to tell me.

    Whether you lost someone close to you or you’re struggling to make a big decision, the black feather could guide you through life and help you achieve happiness.

    You’re being protected by someone you loved and lost….

    It seems like someone you loved and lost is watching over you and protecting you. The appearance of a black feather may suggest that a little negativity is heading your way but, with the help of this special someone, you’ll get through any rough patches and emerge stronger than ever before. (I wrote about the negativity and feeling something in a recent post, I just didn’t know what was to come at the time I found the feather.)

    You’re not alone….

    We all have times in our lives where we can feel overcome with a sense of loneliness or isolation. It’s perfectly natural to feel this way and more often than not, these negative emotions will soon pass us by. If you stumble across a black feather while suffering from a prolonged period of loneliness, take it as a sign that you’re not on your own. Although you might not realize it, a spirit is watching over you and encouraging you through life. This spirit could belong to a loved one who died recently or it could be your guardian angel.

    A sense of clarity is on its way…

    Are you struggling to make a big decision? Perhaps you’re at a crossroads in life and you don’t know which path to take. If you stumble across a black feather, it could be a sign that clarity is on its way. You’ll need to use your intuition so you can follow the path your most drawn to. When you see a black feather, it may be wise to follow the strongest emotion you currently feeling. Have you been offered a new job but do you feel oddly suspicious of the company? Perhaps the feathers is trying to tell you to continue your job search and find something else. If you find a black feather when thinking about embarking on an exciting but scary adventure, it could have appeared to give you a nudge to take the leap. After all you’re being protected by someone you loved and lost.

    Dad, I know you are there…

    Posted in Journey, Life

    This old house

    While I was still in the states, I had a eerie feeling about staying in Mom’s house alone. It’s a huge house with a rounded ceiling cellar, that I hated to go in as a child and which I’m still not fond of. Then there is the first floor, which used to be my grandparents apartment. The upper floor is Mom’s apartment, and then there is a two story attic in which the wind gets caught in a stormy day, causing it to howl as if it was haunted. I’ve been sleeping here for the past seven days, and frankly I was too exhausted to care or get scared. As I said before, everything, my whole being went into auto mode, powering through one obstacle after another. Weird how things all of a sudden don’t matter anymore and your fears are replaced with more recent and current emotions.

    I took the day off, and didn’t get to see Mom today. I remained worried about her throughout the day since she wasn’t feeling all that great yesterday. I didn’t either, and I was afraid to get her more sick than she already is. Plus I wanted to take care of myself as well, and hoped to recover so I can get better quickly. I woke up at the usual 5AM mark, what is it with 5AM, but stayed in bed, napping on and off. Finally around 11, I got up and thought that I felt better, which I did, except my voice was super scratchy and low. I was looking forward to a quiet day. I started to muddle around in the house, big mistake. My goal was to get my childhood room to somewhat of a safe haven, somewhat of a sanctuary for myself. Little did I know it would become a project of hours. I haven’t hiked or been in nature since I got here, I felt I needed a space to be calm and relaxed. It’s been a power week, jumping from task to task and things are far from being over. I needed a day off, but ended up doing too much and spent all afternoon into the evening keeping myself busy. Honestly I’m glad about getting things done, but it was a mistake and I should have rested. It’s been hard to do with everything that is going on, almost as if I have forgotten how to, or feel guilty admits the chaos. I will have to set limits for myself and balance tasks, I do know better and won’t be good to anyone if I run myself down. Surprisingly the RA is holding and is allowing to do what needs to be done. But hardly eating today didn’t help things either, and tonight will probably be an earlier night than yesterday to catch as much rest as possible.

    I will go see Mom tomorrow for a few hours, and run errands in the afternoon with my cousin who suggested I tag along on her errand run to stock up on a few things. Much appreciated since I still don’t have my own transportation, and try to take advantage whenever I can. Everybody has been more than helpful, chauffeuring me around, but I still love the freedom of having your own wheels and taking a drive in the country.

    A copy of Mom’s framed picture of the house. You can’t miss the big whites house.