Connectedness

It’s a word often used and I’ve been thinking about it all year. I’m practicing ways to be more intentional with connectedness. Case in point, my friend Dawn over at Aging with Grace.

Around a month ago, she published a post about a book she came across on her bookshelf and was going to read again. The name of the book is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. While reading Dawn’s blogpost, I spotted that same book on my shelf collecting dust, so I wiped it off and vowed to begin reading it as well.

It’s a daily read, so I leave it laying out in pain sight. When my world gets still, I sit down and read it, knowing she’s read the same page. I’m sure the time of day we read varies as I picture Dawn reading it first thing in the morning with a cup of tea. That would be the proper way and I learn from Dawn the proper way to do things.

But that’s in my mind’s eye, maybe she’s more like me in having to make an appointment with myself to sit down and read it.

This morning as I strolled through the house, I realized it’s a workday and the schedule for today began rolling through my mind. I pressed the pause button on it and made a cup of coffee. Once the cup was complete, I went to my corner, sat in the chair, and picked up the book. Turning to today’s page and reading it over while sipping my magical brew gave me a full sense of connectedness.

What we have on our plate can wait while we share a moment of connectedness.

Click here to enjoy Dawn’s original post entitled, “Abundance Isn’t Always Simple.” She’s a soul filled Writer. 💖

A Moment’s Notice

I woke up to the sound of a bulldozer knocking down trees next to my home. The woods that offered privacy, shade and homes for the animals are no more. Poof.

I stood at the kitchen window in horror as trees were tossed carelessly into a dumpster. Their life and the years they stood became irrelevant in the path of progress.

The edge of our driveway is the beam to the left.

The last few days the machine’s have been still, and that’s been much needed. I knew the two lots were for sale, but didn’t realize they’d sold. Someone is building a couple of houses there, with one facing the street I live on, and another one facing the street behind me. My daughter and I had no warning this was about to happen. It all transpired within a moment’s notice.

This morning I sat in silence on my bench in the front yard for the first time in days. The one positive I’ve noticed is there’s more light with less trees. Over the weekend I was still adjusting to the new landscape, or the lack thereof and texted my daughter. I felt helpless over the situation and was distraught over the woods being gone. Then my daughter responded with this nugget of wisdom.

“I understand Momma. I wish we would’ve had a head’s up, but maybe it’s better that we didn’t”. ~My daughter.

This cup is empty, but my heart is full.

When God wants us to stand still and trust in His plan, we relinquish control. Instead of focusing on what’s gone, I can appreciate what this change brought, such as more light and a cool breeze entering the yard. We won’t see His full plan immediately, but He’s watching how we behave in a moment’s notice.

I Need To

Earlier this week while writing my Morning Pages, I noticed the final paragraph was filled with these three words, I need to. There’s a smallish list of things I’ve been setting aside that my heart wants to do.

I need to write some letters to friends, and have been wanting to for weeks. I need to fill out an application for free parking at the lake for my truck, and hopefully have my paddleboard in tow. My board hasn’t been dropped into the water all year. I need to keep calling around about a new windshield for my truck that was hit by a rock and cracked. Things like that.

This month I’ve been looking at commitments, and diving deeper into them. It really made me take a look at what I’m committed to and the quality time I give those commitments. I need to recommit to dating because right now it feels like men are making an appointment to see me. My two jobs are taking all of my commitment, but that’s not good for the mind, body, or spirit in the long run. We need to carve out time for what feeds our hearts.

That night I was reading my Magnolia magazine during a huge thunderstorm. What began as a distraction from the thunder and torrential rain became just what I needed. I didn’t realize this month’s issue was focused on commitment, until I read what’s posted below by Joanna Gaines. This year, I’ve learned to have commitments without projecting any particular outcome and it’s a very freeing experience to just remain committed, no matter what.

“So, as I sit here now, thinking about the pursuits and the people I’m committed to, I’m not worrying about outcomes, or how they should look through the lens of a culture that so highly values results. Because maybe the true purpose of being devoted to something isn’t found in how it ends, but in the way it takes shape~~or even ends up shaping us~~along the way.” ~Joanna Gaines.

So, my lovelies, this weekend I’m going to find some stillness to hear my heart and do what it says I need to.

Eat the Frog

I was perplexed by these three words displayed on my momentum plugin. It was early Sunday morning, and not enough coffee had been consumed, but I felt like I should know what this means.

Google and I had a conversation. Me: “Hey Google! What does eat the frog mean?” Google replies, “Eat that Frog technique delivers an important message that says if people wish to be successful in their lives, then they have to take immediate, and necessary actions without overthinking too much. According to Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog tactic should be implemented first thing in the morning.”

My momentum plugin needs to tell me that on Monday, not a Sunday. Up until this week, I was taking Monday’s off, but our Team has expanded. There’s a lot of activity in Basecamp on Monday’s and I tried to ignore it, but I can either be a part of it, or play catchup on Tuesday’s. I chose to be a Team player and be present on Monday’s. That way I can give immediate response to who needs what.

I’ll have a normal work week of Monday through Friday with Zen Habits! My other job will take a little bit of weekend time, but we’re going back to Self Care Sunday. Monday will be our designated day to eat the frog.

Love Me Back

A member of Fearless Warrior reached out to me wanting to know my whole story. She had read the About page on my Blog and said, “There’s a gap between leaving your marriage and where you are now.”

I tried to summarize the woman she knows today on a Zoom. There’s over 800 published posts between where it began and what you’re reading now. With every click of the publish button, I left ‘that me’ on the page. Each new day brought a newer me, so I told her, “It’s all in the Blog.” Writing is my therapy.

About a week ago, I found this meme and it pretty much sums up my life. When we leave a broken marriage, unhealthy relationship, or anything that’s not suited for our needs, there’s going to be a gap. It’s up to us how we choose to fill the void.

The options are endless, but you know I like to keep things simple. Instead of pulling something or someone from the outside in, I poured what I already had on the inside out. When I chose everyday to love my life, one day life decided to turn around and love me right back.

Do Great Things

The commitment I made to my writing is to complete two writing practices a day, whether I want to or not. Most days it flows through the fingers, but today it didn’t. One practice is equal to 30 minutes which is comparatively a Pomodoro. If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, you can learn more about it here.

If you’re familiar with this plug-in already, my hope is you’re sharing it with everyone you know who sits in front of a computer the majority of the day. It wasn’t always a happy moment to pull up my browser window for work, but now I look forward to it. I see a breathtaking photo, and receive a poke of encouragement from my browser.

Google Chrome Momentum Plug-in

I posted this on our Fearless Slack channel as a mighty revelation! A man chimed in on the post saying he uses this on all his browsers. I wish he had shared this with us. Sometimes we assume everyone knows what we know, and we’re hesitant to share. I’ve received countless comments from the simplest of shares.

After the motivational phrase it says, ‘Good morning, afternoon or evening Barbara’, dependent upon the time of day it is. It asks what you want to focus on today, and if there’s a project that needs completion, I type that in as a reminder, but most days it’s on a more personal level like writing! A tiny box is over to the left, so at the end of the day I get to check it off and watch it receive a strikethrough.

Pay attention to the small things and let God handle the big ones. Out of all the tasks I do each day, keeping this commitment to my writing feels like a really great thing.

Space to Grow

I’m reading The Artist’s Way for a second time. This year my Kindle died, but instead of replacing the device, I’m replacing digital books with real ones. Julia Cameron was first on the list for replacement, and I found a whole stack of her books at a second hand sale. 🥳

The Morning pages and I have a longtime love/hate relationship. I still can’t write all three pages every morning, but one solid page is better than none. Maybe it’s something you have to build up to, like each stroke across the page is strengthening the muscle needed to go onto page 2 and then 3. I had to smile at Julia’s description of her Morning Pages in The Artist’s Way.

“In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it. I ask you to do this by an apparently pointless process I call the Morning Pages,” says Julia. That’s one of the things I fancy most about these spaces I’ve shared with you this week. Only one has a valid reason, and that’s only temporary. The other two are pointless, and have no solid reason behind them, but when you have no particular reason you stand before the door of possibilities.

This morning my corner wasn’t comfortable to write the Morning Pages, so I moved to the kitchen table. The first sentence said, “I don’t have much to say today,” but before long I was filling in the last line of the page. What Julia describes as an apparently pointless process, is where the magic in this simple practice is revealed.

At this stage of my life there is not a lot of reasoning behind the majority of what takes place. It’s not so much the actual space as it is allowing time within that space to grow.

In My Corner

We’ve been talking about creating spaces. Whether it’s wide open for an upcoming project, which may mean dismantling something you love, or an outdoor space to soak up nature and be available to whomever passes by. This corner was one of the first spaces created and the inspiration came from a Team member of Fearless Warrior.

In this spot you feel at ease, and there’s very little thinking required as the space stirs up creativity itching to be released. Some mornings I walk by it several times telling myself I don’t have time to enjoy it, but I’ve learned if I don’t sit there, my day suffers from not taking the time.

Nothing fancy. It’s literally a corner of the room.

But, it’s mine.

The chair is one of my favorite pieces, and it’s comfy to sit in, but not relaxing. That’s important because I don’t want to dwell there for long. I pour a cup of coffee or tea, place it on the window ledge and then sit in the chair to reflect on possibilities of the day ahead.

It takes about 30 minutes, and it varies each day. Sometimes I need to read, or simply jot down a few ideas, and at other times it’s a full on page of journaling to empty the mind. The ottoman is used to spread out inspiration bubbling up from my artistic side.

Do you have a corner? If not, let me encourage you to create one. The quality of the day begins in my corner.

Let Them Be

My mantra for the past couple of weeks has been, “Let life come to me.” Probably because I had a lot of life come to me in August, but obviously none of it was detrimental to my well-being because I’m still happy with life.

This week, I noticed these little imposters popping up everywhere in two of my flower beds. I didn’t plant them and actually found them hidden underneath what I had planted in May. They must have been planted before we moved here, and sorta recall seeing them last year. They’re thriving under the care of the flowers looming over them and multiplied wherever they fancied.

I saw these bunched up by the fence and tried to help them. Using a spade, I dug a few of them up and moved them over to the right of the bed in an open area, thinking they’d be happier with more space. It’s been several days now of watering them and they don’t look all that happy.

My friend Kat wrote about being tired of continual efforting. You can read her post here and I see you Kat. Let life come to me and know when to let them be.