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just keep following your heart and everything will fall into place
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Posted on 12/5/2012
For the past year I have been studying the Tarot. I was interested because I had gotten a deck years ago but didn't know anything about them and I had one free night a week and a class opened up right at the start of my separation/divorce. I figured "Hey, there must be a reason"...because that's the way the world works; from my experience. Turned out to be one of the most enjoyable classes I ever took with one of the most amazing teachers I ever had. The interesting thing about the Tarot is it follows the Path of the Hero, or what is commonly called THE HERO'S JOURNEY--which is the path we are all on in life. We are the heroes in our own story and we all encounter trials and tribulations, and deceit, trickery, dishonesty, paralyzing moments, courage, joy, bravery, the whole gamut. All these "lessons" are mapped out by the tarot. And when you have a "reading"--where the cards are laid out in a spread of some sort, where you are on your path will be revealed. Nothing that happens cannot be triumphed over--so there should be no fear when one receives the TOWER card (as I did) or the DEATH card (as I did) as there are only blessings in life and "blessings in disguise" (My blessing was in disguise!).
One draws THE WORLD card at the end of a cycle. Everything has come to pass as it should have and everything came together with amazing synchronicity to make it happen. The entire World conspired to pull it all together. No mistakes in life; you have completed your mission.
Thus, this cycle of my life has come to an end. And when we don't feel that things are fair or we were treated badly--there was a reason for it--and that effect will be known when it is time. Karma is always punching the time-clock. Nobody gets a free pass....so rest easy and let it all go--
turnarounds are a given. Nothing ever stays the same.
And so here we are--at the start of a new cycle. I definitely feel a change within and without. If I thought I was a fool before in my marriage--I am certainly one now. But it has a whole different meaning in the Tarot.
I might fall into that abyss if I don't look where I'm going; so enamored am I with my new surroundings and feeling so carefree and unburdened; no longer a slave to the chains that used to bind me. My dog warns me of my animal instincts and my parcel lets me know I have all I need to take the journey. Who knows what lies ahead....?
...but that is the part that makes the unknown so interesting and exciting.
This card is numbered "0".
We're starting from scratch.
Posted on 11/11/2012
Transitions and Transformations have been taking place over the last year. I am learning how to be on my own and there are pros and cons to that style of living. I definitely prefer it to the way I was living however so change is good. I would never go back to my old life now. Couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn't--don't have to. That feels incredibly wonderful to say. A year ago I never thought I would ever be in this space--with these feelings. WOW.
I am incredibly grateful for truth and clarity even though it came with a painful price tag. This just goes to show, we don't know everything that is best for us in this thing called life.
People tell me all the time now how much better I look and I can see it for myself. The night I took this photo I was on top of the world....It's really quite amazing actually--what happens when you don't have to carry such a heavy load anymore. When you've been living with a lie for a long time. The years come off. I must also say though, it certainly hasn't been easy-in fact, it's been quite nasty and ugly at times--most times in fact. Shedding a skin after all can be painful and scary and truthfully it hurt a great deal. This will be a long road ahead still but everyday it seems to matter less. That's the beauty of time. It will always be on my side.
Some things are still very much in the unknown--but I'm sure it will sort out soon enough and whatever cards are dealt will be perhaps better known than a constant feeling of limbo and uncertainty. A little is good--that unknown stuff--but we like to know what we've got and where we're going. Taking stock of what we have so we know what we need and how to take the steps to obtain what we don't.
I never thought I would ever say this but I feel divorce can be an amazing chance at a better life. Being that my own parents divorced when I was eight, I have a lot of painful memories of that decision. But I believe somewhere along the line, my parents got stuck and didn't move on and remained resentful and bitter.
I'm moving on. Catching that train. Hopping on that plane. Experiencing the un~experienced. Discovering the forgotten parts of me or the parts that I didn't know existed. It's kinda cool actually. What a gift.
Everything that happens in your life is a gift. Even the bad things--because they eventually turn around and become the best thing that ever happened to you sort of things.
We learn from our mistakes. Or we don't. The choice is ours.
"Don't look back. You're not going in that direction."
Posted on 7/23/2012
I am starting to remember the person I used to be before I had to give up certain things in order to fit into a box; or a role. That has been a complete surprise as it was so long buried.
It does not hurt anymore.
In fact, quite the opposite.
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Posted on 7/13/2012
So, in the spirit of moving forward, I might turn to my blog to keep me focused on the present moment and to not get stuck in the horrors of the past--reliving them over and over in my mind--or even the present details of what I am currently facing as I have to find a way to accept actions and behaviors I don't agree with or condone.
When one has been reborn, one looks at the world with new eyes--and in some ways is full of innocence and in other ways jaded by past experiences. It is important to keep one's heart open even in the face of such pain and hurt and not close down. I realize if I close down, life will pass me by and I will become bitter and cynical because someone else's heart was not open and allowed me to experience the negative effects of that by the mask they wore.
The question now becomes what do I want to create for myself? And what do I want to take from my old life and carry with me into the new? Was anything worth saving? Honestly, I do not know. But I can't start completely new. I have skills, I have/had aspirations, I have talent, I have experience. Now that I'm not dizzy, bleary-eyed and tearful everyday maybe I can figure that out. There is much to clear out of my living space from the past so I can infuse that space with new energy and hope for a better future. Someone left me to do all that by myself and thankfully it is finally getting done.
One day at a Time I guess. I have come already such a long way from where I once stood. Time will heal all the wounds and reveal the master plan. That is why it exists. If we knew the ending to the story, there would be no point in living."Life is an Adventure to be lived, not a problem to be solved."
I found that line in my brother Johnny's journals and now I finally get what it means.
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Posted on 7/12/2012
My marriage of 17 years is over. It was a long relationship; 24 years. My husband chose to end it the worst way possible and that has been hard on me. But I'm a tough cookie, no stranger to hardship, and I am ready to move on finally. I choose to grieve that relationship in it's entirety and heal from it, and honor it, learn from it and forgive it in order to get to this place I am now. He did not. That is no longer my problem. Hurray.
So everything from this day forward is new and part of my redesigned life. I will be 51 in a couple of weeks--If the 40's knocked out everything that I knew, my 50th year wiped out all the rest of the things that were wrong in my life. I'm basically starting from scratch. Now that I'm cleansed I feel as fresh eyed as a new born baby. This is a rebirth that came after a long and torturous horrible death--but now I am resurrected and determined to live a full, authentic, whole life -- and most of all, a happy one.
I really believe that's possible.
For I am a great creator.
Posted on 7/8/2012
|(click to enlarge)|
So many people, myself included once upon a time, think this is the most horrendous thing to be on earth. Alone.
That is a misconception. Being Alone with Oneself is the only place to find true bliss.
Can you be your own best friend? Can you sit with yourself in silence without needing a distraction?
Alone is the place to be. Can you take yourself out? Can you sit alone in a restaurant? You will never find better company. Fall in love with yourself.
The above was taken from a book by David Viscott, Finding Your Strength in Difficult Times
I am finding that he was right.
The best thing in the world is to be whole and not be in a state of NEED. Many people NEED someone to distract them from themselves and they confuse this feeling with love. It is not. It is merely a distraction to keep them from discovering themselves. And when you fall in love with yourself first, then you are really able to fall in love with someone else. But you really, really have to fall in love with yourself--and until you are alone with yourself, you will never find that love.
And I have found that it is deep and profound and it will never leave you and it can never be destroyed. It's the real deal! Find the true love of your life--yourself.....and fall deeply, madly and crazily in love.
Posted on 7/1/2012
“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.” ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real*********************************************************************************
I may be a lot of things, but I one thing I know for sure is I am very REAL.
Posted on 6/29/2012
I followed the white rabbit--boy did I ever. And what I found down the rabbit hole made my head spin round and round. I even got as sick as Neo did as I was jolted into a whole new reality when I got unplugged. But that's a story for another time and maybe another book.
Why my life follows this movie like a road map I have no idea; but it does. Go figure; I just want to know when I get to meet Keanu Reeves.
The good news is my book is available now for pre-order on Amazon
and will be out in February 2013. That's nice to know. And I imagine by then it will be a whole new ballgame I'll be playing. I hope this book takes me places I've never been. We shall see...
Posted on 6/28/2012
I have been away from blogging for a long time. Yes. True.
Life threw me an unexpected curve ball.
A nasty one.
But I am still here.
Everything for a reason.
I finished my book. It will be out in the spring of 2013. Lucky me; that was hard to do in the midst of the unthinkable.
Seeing what I last wrote here before the rug got pulled out from under me; I guess I was almost ready for it. THE UNKNOWN is now upon me. And although that initially scared the hell out of me; I now have learned it's the only way to fly. I have learned to face fear and call it by name and make it my friend. Fear has much to tell us; so you BEST make it your ally. It's the only way to transcend it.
I know now I will be living in the UNKNOWN for the remainder of my days. It's the only place where anything can happen. The KNOWN is a definite bore and a chore and static and not evolving at all. That is NOT LIVING and I AM ALIVE AND WELL and still kicking and most of all I'm still following my heart. The only compass to navigate by.
Posted on 3/14/2012
It is very quiet up here in outer space. Walking on the Moon.
But you can see to all eternity and run wild and free.
It can be very dark though.
making it difficult to create something new.
One yearns for the familiar and thinks of Home.
But part of the adventure of traveling to outer space is exploring uncharted territory and embracing the unknown.
Posted on 2/17/2012
Posted on 8/19/2011
I've been plugging away on Chester's Colorful Easter Eggs for the last few months; working on the cut-paper collage illustrations. I have a deadline now, and so I've really got to put my nose to the grindstone to get it finished so it will be in the bookstores (what are those?) by next spring.
I am anxious to see this end. I have discovered things that were hinted about but are now pretty realized in the making of this book. I wish to move on; I wish to write something for an older audience; I wish to get out of my studio and out and about.
Years ago, I wanted seclusion. I didn't want to face people. I was busy licking wounds and I was also exploring the inner me---something which was ultimately very satisfying. I made a heck of a lot of art--of all kinds. It was good for my soul.
Now my soul wants to expand. I long to fold up my laptop and travel to new places. I want a portable studio--one that involves just my imagination and a keyboard. I don't want any more sticky fingers. I want to linger over language. I want to be mysterious and deep. I want a more mature audience. I can't talk to preschoolers anymore; I've grown some.
Maybe I'll be back. One never knows. But I long to explore the unknown. Dream the long forgotten dream and bring it back to life.
The Great American Novel. It's been on my mind since I was a teenager full of angst. By November, I'll be immersing myself in it's full creation.
I will give it the grand ole try.
Posted on 8/11/2011
"The fact is I don't want my book to be taken lightly. Telling these memories is so painful for me. It's already been six years since my friend went away, taking his sheep with him. If I try to describe him here, it's so I won't forget him. It's sad to forget a friend. Not everyone has had a friend. And I might become like the grown-ups who are no longer interested in anything but numbers. Which is still another reason why I bought a box of paints and some pencils...I grope in one direction and another, as best I can. In the end, I'm sure to get certain more important details all wrong. But here you will have to forgive me. My friend never explained anything. Perhaps he thought I was like himself. But I, unfortunately, cannot see a sheep through the sides of a crate. I may be a little like the grown-ups. I must have grown old."
---from the pop-up translation of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
spoken by the narrator, the pilot. WHICH
amazingly echoes where I am right now--
a synchronicity I cannot ignore....
for I am to tell the stories for the ones who could not be there:
"I do not want this book to be taken lightly. Telling these memories is painful for me and it HAS been SIX years exactly since my brother went away, taking his flute with him. If I try and describe him here, it's so I won't forget him. It is SAD to FORGET a friend--sadder to forget a baby brother...not everyone has had a friend or a brother who thought much the way I do--And I don't want to become like the grown-ups who don't believe in anything but what they can see with their eyes and process logically with their minds.
Which is another reason why I got my computer updated and want to leave cut-paper behind and get out of this studio which these days feels like a prison; I have been lost in a desert....I grope in one direction and another, as best I can. In the end, I'm sure to get certain more important details about what transpired all wrong. But here you will have to forgive me. My brother never explained anything. Everything I have found out all on my own. Perhaps he thought I was like himself--AND HE WAS RIGHT. But I unfortunately, cannot exactly hear a flute playing when the moon is full. I may be a little like the grown-ups. I must have grown old having just turned 50. BUT I do believe there is a lot more here than meets the eye; in fact, much of it can only be seen with the heart. But I do have a great deal of faith that I am going in the right direction, that I am on my true path, that I am now living in my truth and am no longer afraid to do so."
Posted on 7/27/2011
Today is the last day of the 40's; tomorrow I will be 50 years old.
50 years wise!
In many ways, my life will just be beginning. A lot of the sh*t has come to pass, and I'm still here. I survived it all. And I came out the other side. The forties sucked big time, like a giant tsunami, they wiped out everything I knew. I had to pick up whatever pieces were left, whatever was lasting and good, and will now carry it forward with me into what I imagine will be the best years of my life.
I learned a lot during those 40's though; and from this day forward will be consciously creating my life as I continue to examine my beliefs--letting go of the old ones that no longer serve me; the ones I inherited from my ancestors as well as society. And instead, will be adopting new ways of thinking. The sky is the limit~(meaning there is no limit).
And as I move forward, I take these new beliefs with me:
There is a divine order to everything that occurs in the Universe. There are no accidents, no mistakes. Everything is 4 a reason, a reason that will be revealed eventually in the playground of time. A reason that may have a significant effect on you OR someone else. We are all playing it out in the "game of life"--more connected than we could ever imagine. When we come to the end of the game and pass from this world into the next, we don't stop existing. We don't stop being and loose all consciousness. FAR FROM IT. One day, all people will see as I have been priviledged to see, that there is a way to connect to the other side. Someday in the future, it will be excepted as truth just as readily and easily as the way we all know today that the earth is not flat (thank you Chris Columbus).
As people begin to start listening more with their hearts and not with their heads, magic will start to occur. Life will be more playful, more exciting and more surprising as you become more guided by your intuition. It's a little like following a treasure map, finding those secret treasure chests hidden by who-knows-who. These are the breadcrumbs on the path--it's always good to have a trail to follow, otherwise you can get lost. You will be inspired to make leaps of faith into the great unknown and can trust that there will always be a net to catch you even if you can't see it with your eyes.
We are only limited by what we believe. If you don't think it's going to happen, it won't. If you don't believe your deceased loved ones are around, they won't be. Because you won't be open to hearing the messages or seeing the signs.
Open yourself up and the world becomes a magical place. Opportunities and doorways open all the time and are everywhere if one only has the HEART to SEE. And sometimes that really takes a great deal of courage.
Fear will stop you dead in your tracks~don't let it.
Posted on 7/20/2011
and proud of it.
Take the quiz
for yourself. No grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance.
Posted on 7/11/2011
This is my current joy at the moment. I don't know where it's going or where it may lead, but it's flowing like a river. It brings me a deep sense of peace and connectedness that I don't think I can describe with words. http://www.johnnysmythe.blogspot.com
It's a celebration to be sure. There has to be more to google about a life than ghost bikes and the end of it. This person made a difference in my life and forever changed me. That's something worth preserving because I value it. I value him, my brother, Johnny.
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"There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea."
"You became the light on the dark side of me."
"LOve remains a drug that's the High not the pill"
"But did you know that when it SNOWS...."
"My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen..."
I'm discovering that Life takes place under one great big circus tent. We perform our various acts whenever we are able and keeping them all going like clockwork is the key to happiness and growth.
So we have to learn to become jugglers---
in order to keep all our responsibilities and interests up in the air; never allowing one to drop to the floor because when that happens; it's not pretty.
All this takes practice--of course!
In truth, it's a real balancing act requiring a great amount of skill, concentration and conscious attention.
Because we all want to be able to dance like bears someday...
and pull rabbits out of our hats whenever it's necessary.
That said, I've re-opened my etsy shoppe
and filled it with goodies and I'm working on my dancing bears which will make it there shortly and when I get my layouts back from my publisher for my book; I'll be working on the rabbit.
I'm going to try and keep all the balls up in the air this time---and keep my act together.
Then I think that will make me a ...
or perhaps more aptly; a ...
Five new Easter pieces and four bears/friends are coming to the shoppe
today! Got to get to work on those listings now--hope to see ya there!
...vintage style of course!
Been working on some new stuff. Heading in some new directions-always want to keep evolving; that's the reason to be. I'm loving the new direction--hopefully I won't be alone--- but if I am that's okay too.
I am following that heart 'o mine. Investing in yourself; it's the only way to go. Don't look behind you--don't look beside you--there's only one way to go.
Your way. Nobody can do you better than you can. Find your voice and let it sing--in some ways I feel like I am going back to some roots. But more on that later. It's time to set sail.
There's a bunny too--go check them out in the shoppe.
Make sure you are doing what you love and you love what you do---cause if it don't sell-your collection just grows and grows.
And there's something kinda nice about that--believe it or not. I'm getting a body of work. Nice to have if I get famous one day...
And I sold some candy containers. Sweet. More coming--Halloween is going to be fun, fun, fun.
And I feel good I got this in my boy's easter basket this year...
jelly beans--inside and out. Momma done good.
Well, I finally have gotten underway on the illustrations for my new book, CHESTER'S COLORFUL EASTER EGGS. I believe it's coming out next year so the clock is ticking to get this bunny fleshed out on the pages.
One of my first problems was clearing my desk--the arts and crafts are great--but they take up a whole lot of room in my studio. There are supplies and vintage findings all over the place! Not to mention heads and springs and various other things...
Luckily my studio is big enough that I could create three work stations for myself. So I've divided it into thirds.
The middle is for the arts and crafts...
which is surrounded by bins of supplies anyway.
The left side is for the illustration work for the book...
And the right side with another desk is the "office" and is where the computer is.
The important task before me now is the ability to keep the *hatu* shoppe filled with goodies while I work on my book. I decided I will think of the book as being my "day job" while the arts/crafts is my "night job". So I'm hoping I'll be able to bring a bit of balance to the two if I adapt this mindset as I don't want one to suffer on account of the other. We'll see if I can switch gears as readily as I'm hoping.
So off to a good start! Thankfully Halloween and Christmas are still far away so I'm not feeling huge pressure to make stuff at the moment; just a bit of July 4th coming soon. And I bit the bullet and started working on the book and getting it off and running this week as I think all the snags have been worked out for the most part.
There always seems to be a bit of procrastination on my part starting the illustrations because that involves a commitment on the colors, etc. which can be a bit nervewracking because there are so many ways to go.
But after tinkering around with bits of paper for a couple of hours, it's time to make a decision. With cut paper, it's all about the contrast. Things have to pop--since there's no rendering of shadows or anything---in order to read well. By the end of the day yesterday, I had blocked out my colors for the first spread.
Ahhhh! Once you make the commitment, things start to flow...
Where there has been darkness in your life,
lies the opportunity to achieve brilliance.
That is where you shine your light.
Posted on 6/9/2011
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I stopped reading The Happiness Project--I didn't have time.
I'm discovering on my own that life is about staying afloat and keeping it all above sea level. Life is a Balancing Act. It's a garden full of seeds that need love and attention in order to prosper and grow. All these aspects of our lives need attention or like the neglected garden the weeds take over, and the flowers don't bloom because they don't get enough water, or enough sun--and pretty soon they wither and die. So the secret is to tend the garden. Just a few drops of nourishment a day will do. Everything needs attention in order to survive. Don't put it off until another day. Because after all--as we all have heard one time or another--life's too short.
1) So first there's your HEALTH - because if you don't have that--you're out of whack straight from the get-go. And the older we get, I'm finding that's the first thing that goes by the wayside. So, let's make it priority #1. You need to feed the body right, exercise the body, groom the body, clothe the body, take the body for check-ups with the doctors, and give the body a massage for a reward for all the hard work it does for you.
2) Next there's your FAMILY - I don't care what anybody says, I've watched enough movies and been to too many deathbeds to realize, that in The End--Family is what really matters when all is said and done. How did you treat each other? Do you forgive one another for mishaps along the way? Do you make an effort? How's the communication? Do you validate one another by seeing one another--listening to one another--caring about what the other has to say? Can you ease up on the judgement of one another? Try out that thing called unconditional love. This is your tribe--whether you know it or not. Some members easier to get along with than others but put together for a reason. We have much to learn from one another. The ones you don't get along with are your greatest teachers by the way. Teaching compassion, forgiveness, tolerance. The ones you do get along with are the blessings, the joys, the highs--the reasons to be. They make it all worth the while. And those are the ones that follow you wherever you go, and stand in your light--always and forever. There the ones that give you a reason to keep going when you don't think you can take anymore.
Pets are part of the family unit. And the best teachers of unconditional love.
3) Next there's FRIENDS - cause they're the ones you get to pick while you're on this side of the veil. If you have a few good ones, they are as good as family and sometimes they'll stick with you all the way to the end. Sometimes we have ones that leave us, or we leave them and we have to realize nothing lasts forever. Sometimes they leave a big imprint on us, sometimes it's just like dust in the wind---but regardless, we have to realize with all people; that everyone is on their own path and sometimes there's a fork in the road and we have to let go. Letting go is one of the best lessons we learn with friends. We don't have as tight a rein on them as we do with family. We also don't show them all the parts of ourselves--and by that, I mean the nastier parts. Lucky family gets to know those parts best. But friends are the ones that are best at showing support and tooting your horn. Where would we be without friends? They share our passions, they share our laughter, and if you have good ones, they share your sorrow too.
4) WORK is next. Only because we need to pay it homage. This makes up a big chunk of your life so you better like what you do. We all live in a system that works by the all mighty dollar so there's no escaping this one. When you're young, you have to put up with a lot of jobs you may loathe, just to get up the ladder but by the time your an old man or old woman you better be enjoying yourself or you're going to have a lot of problems. There's the people that do the 9-5 thing and come home and separate work from home--and there's the people who work at home and can't for the life of