Recommit 

        The past few mornings when I have woken up I have felt a tug to get more disciplined with my writing.   As busy as I am, I thought I will start again when my schedule allows it. Which only means that I have to restart the process again.  

        However, this morning the writer in me was not having it.  Nope, not at all.  I even tried to ignore that voice that said “enough already with the excuses, you must walk the walk. ” It’s not that I do not want to write, it’s just that I allow the “other” things in life to take a precedence leaving minimal or no time at all for my true passion.  

         So I have decided to recommit to myself and to my true passion by bestowing the honor and respect they each deserve.  I know that by doing this I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.  

          This recommitment today came in the form of a trip to a wonderful coffee shop that allowed me the time to gather my thoughts and prepare this blog.  It is during this time that clarity presided and a knowing that I have come too far to put this on the shelf for later.   I have to do it now and nurture this creative side that is just bursting at the seams and wants to be expressed.  

With gratitude,

Lisa 

Who’s the Driver?

        Early this morning I decided it was time to post to the Blue Bird Writes after a little hiatus.  It could not possibly be that my last post was in March, could it?  Well, yes it was.  How can I ever jump back in?  My inner critic has given me so many reasons why not to publish another blog ever again.  Who wants to read my blog, it’s been so long, why bother and, perhaps the best, how can you consider yourself a writer after this?  

        As I compassionately listen to that inner critic and give her enough time on the stage of my mind to feel valued, I lovingly and softly tell her that some people may want to read my blog and if it is even one person, then I have an audience.  I continue to tell her that blogging is a new aspect of my writing that I am getting comfortable with and it may take me longer than the usual blogger and I am okay with that.  That’s how I will grow at my own pace. And, YES, I do consider myself a writer.  It is a passion of mine, I just feel truly myself when I write. It is who I am and what makes Lisa, Lisa.  

        I am grateful that I am able to not pass judgement on myself.  But, it is the process that I work through every time I listen to the inner critic.  I allow her to take the stage, state her opinion and thank her for her thoughts.  Like Elizabeth Gilbert mentioned in her book, Big Magic, you can let the fear and judgement sit in your car, but you can’t let them drive the car.  My inner critic is just the passenger in my car, I am the driver.  And……I have made another blog post.  
With gratitude,

Lisa


Sharing Yourself

        How have I shared myself with others and not feel a deep sense of depletion?  I usually, without a doubt, have felt that I have given so much of myself to others and feel that I have not received enough  in return.  But, that thought process is so flawed and perhaps that is why I have felt so depleted causing me, to a certain extent, to diminish how much of myself I do share, be it my time, energy, talents, or gifts. 

        If I look deeper into the idea of sharing myself it is actually allowing myself to receive more perhaps not from the same person as I have shared myself with.  Often my feelings of depletion would further render feelings of judgement, selfishness, unappreciation, and anger.  Initially, they may have been directed toward the person, but I would come to eventually realize they were really directed toward myself.  

        In the process of becoming a more authentic human being and learning more about myself, I am discovering and understanding that my perspective was faulted and mainly at myself.  How can you become a more authentic person then to share who you are and what God has given you with others.  That is what being human is, isn’t it?  

        We all have many gifts and talents that we have been blessed with.  It is our responsibility to identify those gifts and to share.  How do we know what those gifts are?  It is what your authentic self keeps calling you to do,  it is that leap of excitement and a deep knowing that this feels right for me. 

        My cancer diagnosis was the catalyst for my inward journey.   I have learned so much of myself and will continue to go deeper and learn even more.  During this exciting process of discovery, I am healing both the physical and emotional wounds that I have had the tendency to carry forward like a trunk of misfit memories that I can’t seem to release.  But gingerly and compassionately, I move forward going deeper and deeper making the trunk lighter and lighter  and uncovering and enjoying my gifts that I only wish to share with you.  

        I am ever so grateful that during my self discovery I have brought to light my joy of writing.  Writing moves my soul and because it brings me so much joy I am sharing it with you, the reader of this blog.  This is not to seek accolades, but to just share myself with you.  

With gratitude,

Lisa

  

Coming Out of My Shell

        It may seem unusual to most people that know me but, I am an introvert at heart.  Preferring the comforts of quiet solitude and to be with my thoughts which usually is only interrupted by my snoring dog.  There are times when I wish I had the courage to jump out of my shell a little more often.   I am so comfortable in that shell and feel really safe.  I have been taking baby steps with my authentic self guiding me to creating the life that brings me much joy.  But, those baby steps have been put on hold and I went back in my shell.  Maybe it was to sit with my progress, gain more courage to take more baby steps or reevaluate why I am doing all of this. It is probably all of them and a few more.   

        That is why I have not made any blog posts.  I have written.  Actually,  I have written a lot, all bloggable (did I just make a new word?) material. It’s just that I have resided in my shell a lot longer then I thought I would have and not posted anything.  The one thing I realized being in the shell longer is that it is harder to come out.  

        A few weeks ago I was at the hospital for a routine physical.  Doctor’s visits always bring up a lot of anxious feelings for me.  But, I had to have the courage to go through the doors reminding myself that in one hour I will be done.  The visit was less than an hour actually more like 20 minutes.  I didn’t even wait in the waiting room.  It was a great appointment  and I was thoroughly relieved. 

        As I was leaving the hospital, an idea popped up and said you should take a ride to the beach and see the lake. You always wanted to.  Have the courage! Take another baby step.  You’re already this far what’s another 20 minutes.  

        The prospect of having courage to do this was exciting. So when I was leaving the parking garage I drove north instead of south and landed at the beach in 20 minutes.  

        Giving myself the opportunity to listen to my authentic self provided a boost to my courage to stay out of my shell a lot longer and have a wonderful time.  It is the fuel I needed to take a few more baby steps.  

        I was so proud of myself and received so much during my excursion. I don’t blame myself for the extended retreat in my shell because I needed that time.   It is just the observation of coming out of my shell.   Being able to observe that of myself is just as beautiful as the photo I took below of the lake on a cold January day.  

 
With gratitude,

Lisa

‘Tis the Season

I have been working on my writing and have been reading tremendously .  Hence,  I have not been sharing on my blog.  Not that I did not want to, I have been itching to blog.  I just felt that I was not ready to do so.  Each day, I would make a valiant effort, but to no avail I just did not put my fingers to the keyboard.

Today, however, the fingers hit the keyboard.  I am longing for a huge snowstorm to catapult the Christmas season into overdrive (yes, I am a snow lover), unfortunately, El Nino has something else planned this year.  I am waiting for my hydrangeas to start exhibiting little buds.  I would not be too surprised if that happened by next week.

In year’s past, the month of December tends to be incredibly hectic for me. I know I am not the only human that feels this way.   Usually, I succumb to all of the traditional aspects of the holiday season; shopping, running to the grocery store every day for the week leading up to Christmas, wrapping presents until midnight a few nights in a row, feeling guilty about not sending our more Christmas cards, not buying enough presents or decorating the house enough.

I love Christmas and I have decided to take stock of all of the “to do” lists and chores and reevaluated them.  In particular, how do these tasks enhance my holiday season?  Some do and more of them don’t.

For instance, not all of the decorations are out and hung.  To the contrary, my tree has a very limited number of ornaments and I actually really like it a lot.  My oldest daughter kept asking “Mom, when are we decorating the tree?” and I said “It is decorated, we are trying to celebrate a simple Christmas.”  On that note, I applied the simple Christmas mentality to this holiday season.

I know the holidays are what you make of them, just like everything else in life.  I can either fall into step with the madness or pause and simply celebrate the joyfulness of the season.  I have chosen the latter, because it works for me. I want to cherish these moments and, most importantly, be present for them.  That is what I strive for in all areas in my  life.  Christmas invites us to have quiet time for reflection of the past year and to consider the endless possibilities that each new year brings.

  I wish that you will all experience Christmas in your own joyful way.  It will be a simple Christmas for me.   ‘Tis the Season.

With gratitude,

Lisa

 

 

 

The Door Opens 

        The journals I had kept during my treatment for cancer were my attempt to figure out who the heck I am as a person and what the hell am I supposed to do with this cancer diagnosis.  The cancer diagnosis was quickly and significantly reshaping every aspect of my life and had changed the course of my life.  I will never know how my life was supposed to be before cancer. I will never know that because I walked through that door of a life changing event and when I turned around to go back, cancer locked the door and threw away the key.

        I enjoy writing so much that it is natural for me.  Why did I stifle myself for so many years by not considering myself a writer or making an attempt at the craft?  I did not allow myself to develop this part of me in a natural process, but it was there the entire time. When cancer knocked on my door and invited herself into my life, I had to do something with her.  I couldn’t hide from her, nope, she was going to be apart of my life, no matter what I did.

        My diagnosis was mine to have. I even went so far to make sure there wasn’t a mix up in my pathology results and questioned the hospital’s pathology review process with my doctor’s staff, not once, but twice.  Seriously,  since when did I become a doctor and acquired the ability to create a pathology department’s protocol and standard of care.  But, I had to ask the questions because it was part of my process. Honestly, I was hoping my bad fortune would not be mine at all. A rather horrible joke the universe was playing on me.

        I had my surgery, a double mastectomy (which creates a whole other set of emotions, but that is for another blog post), and I happily said goodbye to cancer.

        But, not without the very slow and gentle unveiling of my Writing.   Writing for myself and discovering all aspects of who I am, every creative expression and thought process.  Sometimes a locked door forces you to open another one.   And that I did.  I opened a door to a part of my soul that was patiently waiting for me irrespective of how I got there.

With gratitude,

Lisa

My Lessons of Loss

        Our losses are moments (or in my case, an extremely long period of time) of transitions.   They are doorways or a stopping place to grieve the lives we had and what will no longer be.   It’s a time to sit still and acknowledge the loss and accept that we have to go on as difficult as it may be.  I have had many losses in my life.  The loss of my father , the loss of a life as I knew it before my daughter’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, the loss of my mother, loss of friendships and my loss of how life was before I got cancer. These are just some of the biggies to note.    But, when I am at the place I am now, I can see that these are supposed to be my point of transitions that I was supposed to have. With each transition, I have since learned that it is the opportunity for me to learn more about myself only if I let it. Yes, I cry, get really ticked off and even have been know to question God excessively for  an inordinate period of time as to why me.

        I read when I am experiencing these losses.  Hoping that reading a book will provide me with the precise how to’s of immediately overcoming this loss.  That is how my methodical mind works.  But, I also feel my feelings with great intensity. I try to learn  from many of the masters that have equally experienced losses.   One such lesson that resonates with me is the Buddhist teaching of impermanence which is basically the concept of this to shall pass.   I try to integrate this  teaching into my thought process.  It is so hard when I am in the thick of these transitions.  I have learned the difficult lesson that it is how I respond to these experiences that will dictate  how I will be affected by them.   I wish I can say that I will be free from anymore losses in my life, but I know that losses are universal to all of us.

        Knowing that I can write from this place now is only because I have transitioned from my most recent loss and that I am in the acceptance phase.   I am grateful that I am in this place and I know from the teaching of impermanence that this will not last but,  I am mindful that today the losses have delivered me here to this present moment of grace and that is all I have.

With gratitude,

Lisa

So Honored

        Taking baby steps in this new adventure of my blog writing life hasn’t been easy.  It’s been rather challenging and, sometimes, it’s a little scary. Ok, who am I kidding, it’s been really scary. But, I am going to keep writing!

        So I wanted to take this time to say thank you for reading this blog.  I am honored that you’ve taken time from your busy schedules and shared a piece of your life by reading about mine.  I hope that I can offer a bit of compassion, insight, kindness, love, inspiration, creativity and relatability from my posts.

With gratitude,

Lisa

Oh, I Should Do That!

  I have had a tendency to go through life saying “Oh, I should do that!!!”  Whether it is hiking a mountain on the pacific coast trail, going on a European cruise, visiting the Taj Mahal, run a marathon  or just simply doing something out of my ordinary routine.   I keep a list of these potential experiences.  Creating the list is as good as completing the experiences, right????.  The “Oh, I should do that” list sometimes haunts me similar to the new “FOMO” trend aka fear of missing out. These things simply stay on my list and I wonder how it would feel to check off an item on my list.

        About a month ago I made the decision that one of my “oh, I should do that” items would become an  “I am doing that” item.

        Last night I can say I did that!!!!!!

        What is it??????

        I love how music lends itself to transending my level of creativity.  One of my favorite groups is The Piano Guys.  As you can tell it is on my blog page.

         Yesterday evening  I had the pleasure of seeing The Piano Guys live at Ravinia Festival, an outdoor concert venue.  It was magical being there outside on a beautiful evening listening to The Piano Guys live with one of my favorite people ever, my husband, celebrating my birthday week.

        Oh I am so glad I was there.  I am relishing in the joy I feel and the joy I created for myself by making the decision to do that.

        So stop and make your “Oh, I should have done that to I have done that!” And…….it was an exhilarating experience of joy!!!! My “Oh, I should have done that,” became I did that yesterday evening.

With so much gratitude this morning,

Lisa