Saturday, July 23, 2011

The End.....or rather To Be Continued

So I haven't been here since June 12th.  I did not plan to go on a blogging hiatus.  It just happened that way. I have had a lot of experiences over the last month or so that I could share, but these experiences will not be recounted here.  I have chosen to keep this part of my journey private.  I don't feel that I need to share how I have become the person that I am, but I do feel that I need to share with you who I am today.  This will also be my last post here.

First of all, I would like to offer an apology to my family and friends.  The person I am about to describe may be a stranger to you.  I have been very good at keeping myself pretty well hidden.  I'm here now and I'm not hiding anymore.

My name is Jill.  I am a wife, a mother of 6, a mother-in-law and a grandmother.  I am a sister and a friend. I am an unschooler who also supports my kids who want to be in public school.  I am a teacher and a student.  I am an energy healer.  I am a practicing writer with much to learn.  I have passion, but I don't always share it openly with others.  I am an introvert who loves to surround myself with small groups of people from time to time.  I have a hard time being in very large crowds.

I love daisies and I love being outside in my backyard near my mystical oak tree.  I revere Mother Earth and I feel most connected to her when I am near water, specifically Lake Superior.  My spirituality is like a large quilt of all faiths interwoven.  I do pick and choose which aspects resonate with me and I discard the rest, but I respect that others do not.  I respect that all people have their beliefs and it is none of my business how they choose to practice their faith.  There are many things about organized religion that I don't support, but you won't see me on a soapbox.  I choose to focus my energy on what feels right for me in this world.

I believe that Love will hold us together and that hate will drive us apart.  I believe that the Light of the Divine Creator is within us all and that it is my purpose in this life to shine my Light.  To be a beacon to others whose Light feels dim.  I am up for the challenge.

I have bad days along the way.  It does not mean that I am broken.  It just means that I am temporarily out of alignment with my Higher Self.  It is during these times when I will turn to those in my life whose Light is shining bright, so that I can see my way back.  I believe that we get to choose the kind of life we will live.  I believe that I am not defined by who I was or where I have come from.  I chose to forgive and to be forgiven.  I chose to live the life that my Soul has been missing.

And so I come to close this blog.  It has served its purpose for me and I hope it has been a source of comfort and inspiration for others.  I will not stop writing.  I can't.  My soul needs for me to write because the spoken word doesn't come easy for me. I will continue to write on my website, and it will still be just my thoughts.  It won't be what is was here.  I hope you'll join me at Shining Life Healing.  I'm looking forward to sharing and learning along with you.

Thank you for all the support I've received over the years.  I will be forever grateful.  Keep it shiny!

Just my thoughts.

Although I will not be posting here anymore, I will leave the blog available for others to read.  I don't want to erase the journey that I have been on.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 13 - #Trust30 writing challenge

Just in case you happen to be following these writing prompts, I skipped yesterday, because I can.  :)

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Surprise by Ashley Ambirge

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?

I think back to the time when I admitted to myself that the clutter that was taking over our house was looking more and more like hoarding.  Of course I never said that 'h' word out loud.  I would just admit that the clutter was getting out of control.  I remember thinking that there was nothing I could do about it.  I would start the de-cluttering process and quickly quit because I became overwhelmed.  Then I gathered up all my inner-strength (which I happen to have plenty of) and just jumped in.  40+ boxes and numerous garbage bags later, I had accomplished something that I never thought would be possible.

I look back at that time in my life and I feel grateful for being shown the way by the Divine.  I was shown that I can do anything that I want to do.  Sometimes I forget that I have that spark inside of me.  Sometimes I just don't want to do things that seem hard.  That's ok.  Because I get to choose which actions I will take.  I get to decide when things need to be faced.

Maybe I'll choose to do something surprising this week.....and maybe I won't.

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #13 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 11 - #Trust30 writing challenge

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Divine Idea by Fabian Kruse

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

I am a recovering imitator.  I can take on someone else's beliefs and behaviors with the blink of an eye.  I suppose we all can to some extent, but I have made many important life decisions based on the fact that somebody I knew (and was very fond of) did the same thing.  It can be easier to just do what someone else does.  Its easier to let them do all the research and soul searching than it is for me to weigh the pros and cons and actually let my intuition lead me.  That just takes too much work.  

There is no 12 step program for compulsive imitators, so thankfully I have been able to walk away from being the imitator all on my own.  I have been able to be 'like' me.  With the exception of one area.

Homeschooling.  I have an incredibly hard time with just letting myself homeschool the Littles in the manner that resonates best with our family.  I still don't give people a straight answer when they ask me how I manage to homeschool the kids.  So I come up with a description of how other people I know homeschool and pass it off as how we do it.

That's not exactly imitating though is it?  That's more of a lie.  Because I don't actually imitate the actions of how others homeschool. I imitate the philosophy.  I imply that we are ecclectic, relaxed homeschoolers, when in fact we are unschoolers through and through.  Sometimes I even talk about curriculum with people.  *Gasp*  I almost convince myself that I should have a curriculum for the kids.  I almost convince myself that I should be forcing them to sit down and read the classics and then make them write book reports and take tests.  

But you see, I can recognize when I'm being an imitator now.  I can see that to do those things would go against everything that I believe in.  My homeschooling is so far from mainstream that I keep it a secret from most.  Because I don't want to subject myself to the questions.  I don't want to have to defend the choices that my family makes.  I don't want to have to convince someone who doesn't understand that I'm not guilty of educational neglect.

So the jury is out.  Is this imitating or is this just avoiding conflict.  Hmm....I'm not exactly sure, but I am sure of one thing.  I am sure that I can choose to live my life in the manner that resonates best with me.  I can choose to raise my children in the manner that I feel benefits them as the unique individuals that were born to be.

If I want my children to grow into the kind of adult that doesn't suffer from these suicidal tendencies of imitation, then I better not do it myself.  I better stand tall and share the whole me.  What you see has to be what you get.  Their success in living a joyful, truthful life depends on it.

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #11 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 10 - #Trust30 writing challenge

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your Personal Message by Eric Handler

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say?

What is burning deep inside of me right now is an affirmation.  An affirmation that you are already all that you need to be.  We don't have to go searching or trying to learn how to be a better, happier person.  Within each of us a light is glowing.  It glows to show us the way.  The way to find true happiness and unbelievable bliss is to take a straight path right to the center of our being.  

The Divine/God/Source, whatever you connect with, is there.  Waiting to be unchained.  Ready to shine so bright that everyone around will need to sunglasses just to see who you are.  This light that lies within us needs to be shared and shared often.  No matter how many times you give it away it will always be there to sustain you and carry you through this life.

Trust yourself.  Be yourself.  If you don't know who 'yourself' is just look in a mirror.  That beautiful being lies inside of this body you have.  Close your eyes and look.  Maybe you'll see yourself, maybe you'll feel something or maybe you'll hear that still quiet voice that is you.  Just give yourself a chance to be.

You are Love.  You are Light.  You are ready.  

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #9 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 9 - #Trust30 writing challenge

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Afraid to Do by Mary Jaksc

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.

I don't know if I can think of anything 'too scary' to write about.  I have already written about my scariest moment, so that doesn't need to be rehashed.  I suppose there is one other thing that scares me to write about.  That thing is the monster in my basement.  It lives in 3 rooms down there and its massive and its scary and sometimes it comes upstairs in our main living area.

I've tried for years and years to get rid of it, but it has too much control over me.  It taunts me.  There are times when I go down there ready to kick some monster butt and I throw open the door.... and I freeze.  The monster stares me down and I am completely defenseless.  I instantly lose any confidence that I may have had that this time I was going to win.

I go back upstairs with my head held low and forget about the monster.  I bury its presence deep inside and go about my happy life.  Until a writing prompt like this comes along and reminds me that there is this one thing that is 'too scary' to write about.  Stupid writing prompt!

So here I sit.  Thinking about this monster and how it holds me captive in my own home.  I look around my room and I see that my monster has snuck into my room and is bearing down on me. Its got me surrounded and feeling a bit suffocated.  Stupid monster!

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #9 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 8 - #Trust30 writing challenge

There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Five Years by Corbett Barr

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?

Five years ago I was pushing 40 and miserable.  I weighed about 270lbs and couldn't stand the thought of spending the rest of my life with me.  Here is what I would say, but she wont hear the words.  

"I know you're miserable and that you hate your life.  I know that you trudge along and put up a good front, but you are wishing you were someone else.  You have to know that you are loved deeply by your family and friends.  They think that you are a patient and loving mother and doting wife, but you don't see yourself that way.  You can be those things.  You can be happy and healthy, you just have to do some work first.  You need to heal your Spirit.  You need to unchain your Spirit.  It is being held tightly in a hidden place within you and she needs to shine.

You don't think that you deserve to be happy, but everyone deserves happiness.  Everyone deserves to live their life in Joy.  You deserve all these loving children that you have.  You deserve this wonderful man who you say saved your life.  Your life has value.  Your happiness is your choice, though.  You could stop blaming everyone and everything for your miserable life and just choose today as the day that you take back control.  You decide.  

You can walk away from the inner bully that you live with.  Just show her the door.  She'll go away, but you have to ask her to go and you have to mean it.  You have a bright and shiny Spirit and you deserve to get to know her.  I love you."

I'm having a hard time with the second part of this prompt.  I have no idea who I'm going to be in 5 years.  As far as I'm concerned, I'll be speaking to the person I am right now.  Yes, I'll have some more life experiences, and I hope that I will be much wiser.  So I struggle with what I would want to say other than,

"Stay true to who you are and keep showing others that a bright and shiny life is possible.  Keep on the path and live joyfully and loudly.  Keep loving with your heart wide open.  Most of all, though, Keep it Shiny!!"

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #8 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 7 - #Trust30 writing challenge

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 7 prompt

Matt Cheuvront - Dare To Be Bold

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?

I really need to stop saving these for the evening.  Its getting harder to put my all into it when I'm tired from a long day, but here goes.  What is something I've always wanted to accomplish but have been too afraid to pursue?  Hmm...... Just one thing?  Ah, what the hell, I'm just going to say it.  I've always wanted to be a real writer.  I want to write a book.  There! I said it.  I wrote it!  Or rather, I typed it.  I'll write it down when I'm done here.

Obstacles in my way?  Me, me and me.  Yup! I'm the only thing that stands in my way.  If I stepped out of the way I could work on things like learning how to write.  (I guess its a good idea to have good grammar and punctuation skills.)  I lack these things, but they aren't obstacles.  I can improve those skills.  I can learn anything that I need to learn to be a writer.  However, not if I am standing in the doorway blocking the entrance.  Remove my fear and I can do anything.

So that brings me to a tangible plan to overcome these obstacles.  Easy peasy.  Step down out of the way.  Quit blocking the door so that I can step through it and see what becoming a real writer looks and feels like.  I know it will be a lot of work and it will take time, but I've got time and I can do the work.  I just got goosebumps.  How exciting to know that I can do anything. 

When I let myself. 

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #5 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 6 - #Trust30 writing challenge

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 5 prompt

Jonathan Mead - Come Alive

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

This prompt is not doing anything for me today.  Maybe its because I've had a very busy Sunday with my family and I'm exhausted.  Or maybe I'm already living and don't feel like I need to prepare to live.  Sure, if I had a week to live my days would probably look different.  I would probably be seeing a lot of family and friends. I would probably write a ton of letters of farewell to all of the beautiful souls that I've met out there in cyberspace.   I would probably spend a lot of time sitting in my back yard communing with my mystical oak tree. 

There would be some moments of deep pain as I try to prepare my children for my departure.  There would be long talks about what I believe happens when the Spirit leaves the body.  I suppose if I were to change anything about how I'm living my life right now, it would be to have those kinds of conversations with the Littles now.  Just to avoid the time spent trying to explain it with only a week left.

I really dislike writing these kinds of posts.  Because we all know that there are things that we could probably do to live our lives more joyfully.  I'm just beginning to work on an area of my life that dims my shiny, so I know that I have room for improvement.  My problem with this prompt is that I don't think that I need to prepare to live.  I am living.  Two years ago this prompt would have stirred me and probably been beneficial, but today it just seems kind of boring. 

I know how to experience joy in my living.  I am drawn toward helping others experience joy in their living as well.

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #5 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 5 - #Trust30 writing challenge

If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 5 prompt

Chris Guillebeau - Travel

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

Wow.  I could sit and ponder on this for a long time.  I have never dreamed of being a world traveller.  As a matter of fact, the thought of getting on an airplane scares me silly.  I think the anxiety of flying would completely ruin the trip for me.  So I turned my focus to someplace state side that I could drive to.  I like driving.  I like the freedom of being able to pull over and explore someplace that comes up on the way.  So as I contemplated where one place that I would like to visit before I die, I came up with several locations.

I would have to say that the place I want to go most of all is back to Colorado.  Back to the state I was born in and lived until I was almost 14.  I don't have a lot of fond memories of Colorado.  I don't have many memories of those years in Colorado at all.  So why do I want to go back? 

I feel drawn there.  I feel like I need to go back to this place that seems like a mystery to me.  There's a part of me that is hoping to capture some of those lost memories.  There's also a part of me that hopes that if I return I'll remember nothing and can put to rest this desire to have my childhood returned to me.  I'm not sure I want to remember some of my childhood but I'm also sure I would welcome any happy memories that may come forward.  The only thing that matters is that I need to go back there.  I need to see the small town I grew up in.  I need to smell its smells and listen.  Maybe something familiar will nudge me.  Maybe it will just be a small town in Colorado.

There's more.  The mountains of Colorado are calling to me.  They have been in my thoughts and dreams lately.  We took a lot of trips into those mountains and they miss me.  I need to go back and experience them as a happy adult.  I need to show them how much I appreciate them, because I don't think I did as a child.  I feel energized just thinking about it.

So how am I going to make sure that I get there.  I talk about going there.  I share the idea with Mr. Man and we put it on our list of places to go.  I plan a trip and I trust that when the time is right, I will make it back there.  If I had to pinpoint a date for this trip it may never happen.  So I'll just say that I'm going to go back to Colorado.  I'm going to revisit my memories and see if we recognize each other after all these years.

I patiently wait for the invitation from the Universe to get back to Colorado.  I trust I'll know when the time is right.

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #5 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 4 - #Trust30 writing challenge

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 4 prompt

Jenny Blake - Post-it Question

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.
Just my thoughts.
This has been day #4 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

#Trust30 writing challenge - One Strong Belief

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Day 3 Prompt

Buster Benson - One Strong Belief

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

This is a hard one.  I feel so much resistance to this one.  Here goes nothing.  Or here goes something.  One strong belief that I possess right now is the belief that we all make our lives what they are.  We all have the ability and the power within to make our lives big and amazing or small and limiting.  We all have the strength to pull ourselves out of any hole that we've fallen into.  When my life sucks, its because I am letting it suck.  I'm not saying that I can control what goes on around me.  I'm saying that I have the strength to take any hardship and face it with trust and hope.  I can choose to move forward in life or I can choose to wallow in self-pity or blame someone (or something) else for my problems. 

I know that terrible things happen to people everyday.  Many times it ends in tragedy, but I believe fully that the tragedy does not have to dictate the quality of life from that moment on.  I feel passionately that we all have the strength to move on in our lives.  We can take the pain and let the lesson that needs to be learned come forward.  No blaming.  No whining.  Just allow the hurt and the pain to flow in and then release it.  So many times we hold on to the pain.  It becomes our friend.  We become used to bad things happening to us.  We expect it.  And the cycle continues.

What if the world could just trust that all will be well?  What if the world could just get up and say "Man that sucked, but look at this beautiful, shining Light I have here in my heart.  Look at how it shines and leads me out of this tragedy."  What a wonderful world that would be.

What inspires this belief?  I used to be one of those people who held on to pain.  I used to be one of those people who would blame everyone (or everything), but myself, for having a crappy life.  I know people who get stuck and keep themselves there and I have so much compassion for them.  There is so much joy to be lived.  So much hope to hold on to.  Yet.....the joy and the hope are kept at bay.  People can convince themselves that it is hopeless and that they can't be happy because of x, y and z.  I have been one of those people.

So today I choose to take my punches with dignity and grace.  I choose to let my Light lead me through every storm like a beacon.  When things get heavy and scary I go within and I allow any pain or anger or frustration to flow through me.  I choose to belive in my heart that everything is as it should be.  I can't explain why tragic things happen to people.  I can't say that I have had many tragic things happen to me, but I take great comfort in knowing that I can weather through any storm.  All I need is to trust that I have the strength within me to face anything.  I will be taken care of and I will find comfort when I need it.

If I could share this with everyone I would.  I try to live my life as shiny as possible.  I try to be an example of living with trust and hope.  I want to help as many people as I can to see themselves as the beautiful, powerful beings that they are.  We can all have a joyful life.  It isn't always easy, but it can always get better.

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #3 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 2 - Today

The Prompt

Liz Danzico – Today

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

Today was a day of living out loud, loving with all my heart and letting go of any moment that isn't right now.

Just my thoughts.

This has been day #2 of the #Trust30 writing challenge. #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

15 minutes to live

I can't believe that I am doing this, but I have signed up for the #Trust30 writing challenge.  #Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. You can see the details here.

So here I am on Day 1.

The Prompt

Gwen Bell - 15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.

2. Write the story that has to be written.

Here I sit, with a mere 15 minutes to live.  15 short minutes to try to express a life-time of gratitude and love to all those that touched my life.  My heart is filled with Love for every single person I have come in contact with in my lifetime.  Yes, everyone.  Even that snobby freshman year roommate I had in college.  Even my first true love who left me for another who made his heart shine more than I did.  All of the contacts that I have had with people in this lifetime sit with me in these 15 minutes.  They remind of the joy, pain and sorrow that have molded me into who I am today. 

I feel so much gratitude for having been given the life that I have.  I will leave behind 1 adoring man, 6 beautiful children, 1 amazing daughter-in-law, 1 perfect grandbaby and countless friends.  I also leave behind 5 siblings, whom I love dearly and have always loved dearly.  I have not been able to express this love with my siblings very freely, but this love has always been true and big. 

My struggles have been many.  Mistakes have been made along the path, but I would change nothing.  Not one thing.  I know that life happens to all of us exactly the way it is meant to happen.  I believe that I have made all the choices I have made because those were the events that had to happen.  Every consequence that I had to face was crucial to helping me become the person I am today.  This last day of my life.

I need all of the people in my life to know that I loved my life and that I loved my chance to know each and every one of you.  I want to send you all this message.  Live your life to the fullest.  Don't doubt your inner guidance for a minute.  You can be all that you want to be.  Even if the whole world around you yells that you have to change.  You don't have to change.  You have to be you.  You get to chose how to live this life.  You get to learn from the good and the bad. 

Love with all your heart.  Don't regret anything.  Just do things differently if need be.  Let your light shine bright for all to see.  Keeping it dim will only leave you wondering what could have been.  My short 44 years on this earth have been well spent.  They have brought me to this place where I need to be.  I am happy, joyous and free.  Make sure that you are all of those things every day, because you never know when you will have 15 minutes to live. 

My last minute is here.  I love you, I honor you and I will be with you whenever you need me.  Keep it shiny!!

Just my thoughts.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Transformation and solitude

So I can't believe its been almost 3 weeks since my last post.  I've been experiencing a whole lot of change since then.  Healing in leaps and bounds spiritually and emotionally.  I have gone from feeling like an empty shell to feeling so full of Light and Life that I usually feel like I'm going to burst.  How's that for transformation?

How did I get here?  That story is coming, but just not today.  Let me just say that I have been transformed and I am still going through this transformation.  I have been handed a new life and getting used to living it has been so exhilarating.  Its amazing to me how when you're ready the heart opens to reveal so much beauty and joy.  And, yes, I do believe that you have to be ready to receive this.  I also believe that I was not ready until now.

So here's where I am today.  I have been able to let go of most of the fears that I was holding on to.  I have been able to release any shame and guilt that was buried within me.  I openly embrace that all that I need is already within me.  I am good enough just the way that I am. 

This healing came to me quite rapidly.  I had some help from a fabulous transformational healer and a fabulous massage therapist.  I met with both of them in the same week and the results were amazing.  (Again, I will go into detail about this at a later time.)

So for the next couple of weeks, I found myself learning how to live again.  Learning how to handle ALL the energy and feelings that were overpowering to me.  Let me tell you, I have learned some awesome techniques for grounding myself.  (That will be a blog post coming up, too.)  I was also called to process all of this on my own.  I had to learn how to live again in solitude.  I had to keep to myself and not allow any outside influence or opinion in.  So I went within the best that I could.

Do you know how hard it is to go within and be solitary in a house with 8 other people?  Not an easy task.  Not to mention that during this time of solitude 4 of the Littles became sick and needed their mama.  Even through all of the everyday distractions, I found pockets of time to steal away and just be by myself.  I learned how to listen to my Spirit while driving the Littles to school.  I learned that going within for guidance is the only way to get answers and find peace.

I've always believed that the Divine lives inside of my Spirit.  I have not always believed that I deserved to feel this Divine Guidance.  Today I believe and I know that I am deserving.  I smile.  I laugh at little silly things.  I hold my Littles a little longer and I feel a warmth in my soul that didn't seem to be there before.  I am drawn to nature even more than I was before.  Mother Earth is even more a part of my spirituality.  God is more a part of my spirituality.  Mother Mary is more a part of my spirituality.  I've always considered my spirituality to be like a big quilt, but it seemed like an unfinished quilt.  Like a project that I had started a few years ago, but put it away because it was getting too hard.  I've taken that quilt out and am completing it more and more each day.

I know that through discussing this transformation some people will feel uncomfortable.  I may lose some friends.  People who I was just beginning to get to know, may decide that we are just not on the same path. It is something that I am willing to risk.  I need to be authentic and honest with who I am and how healing happens for me.  Its what I do.  How can I encourage others to heal if I myself can not be honest with where I am on this path?

My Reiki even feels different.  I honestly never used to feel much intuitively or physically when giving or receiving Reiki.  Now I am learning to be aware of all the physical sensations and mental images that I receive while doing Reiki.  My Reiki practice is transforming right along with me.  I feel even more determined to help guide others in their healing journey and even though I am struggling with reaching prospective clients, I know that in good time I will be able to be of service to more and more people.

My life feels big today.  Grander than grand.  I am who I am and I know that as long as I stay true to this person I will continue to move forward and I'll be able to touch more lives in a positive way.  I'm so grateful for all of you who follow this blog and have been so supportive while I've been on this journey.  I feel your energy and it has helped carry me through.  Thank you.

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Beautiful on the outside and empty on the inside.

Before you read on, I want you to know something.  I'm not depressed.  I'm not falling apart before your eyes.  I don't hate my life.  However, I do need to embrace all that I experience and I'm just getting to the root of what holds me back.  This space has always been my way of getting my thoughts out of my head and has always helped me in getting to a level of healing that I need.  Its not always pretty, but its my journey and I need to take each step as it comes.

Sometimes it feels like I am not capable of feeling.  I know that I go through the motions.  When I do Reiki for others I know that they are receiving the healing that they are getting, and I love being able to do that for them.  When my kids need a hug, I give them what they need and I know that it helps them and I love being able to that for them.  I know that I will be there for friends and family when they need me and I love being able to be there for them.


I want to feel what they are feeling.  I want to feel the healing energy and the love of a hug and the security of knowing that someone has my back.  I know that I am loved and that I will be supported and taken care of, but I long for the day when I can actually 'feel' this.  You know what I mean?  I want to feel the energy of Love and Joy and Happiness.  I want to feel it in my soul. 

I very often feel like this empty shell.  Like I'm one of those beautifully decorated eggs that if you happen to drop you discover that there is nothing inside.  I am capable of loving and giving, but I struggle with receiving.  There is this block inside of me that is wedged in pretty deep.  It is there because as a child I invited it in.  I felt unsafe and I allowed this part of me to come in so I could be safe.  Unfortunately, sometimes feeling safe meant I needed to close off my ability to feel.   Which meant that as I grew older and had more intense life experiences this part of me had to get stronger and stronger. 

I'm not possessed.  I'm just very much aware of this part of me that has a hard time leaving and staying gone.  Or maybe it IS gone, but I just have to relearn how to feel things.  I don't know.  Its the not knowing that gets to me.  Its not knowing when and if I'm ever going to feel the joy of a child or the intense love of a mother.  Or if I'm ever going to feel the protection and abundance that the Divine has for me. 

I do know that if I don't keep keeping on I will become depressed.  I will fall apart in front of everyone.  I will hate my life.  I've been there before.  I really am one of the lucky ones because I am able to accept myself as a beautiful soul who really does love and live and heal.  I don't let the fact that I still feel empty inside destroy me.  Someday my inside will match my outward appearance.  I will hug people and not feel uncomfortable.  I will know great Joy, and Love and Happiness will resonate through me.  Until that day comes I will continue to walk this path that is in front of me.  I'll take some pit stops on the way and I might even go back a few paces now and then.  I will just keep going and being all that I feel I need to be.

I am very grateful for all the beauty in my life.  I am grateful for my beautiful family and friends.  I am grateful for my home and my back yard.  I am grateful for all the amazing people I have met since I started this healing journey.  I look forward to meeting many, many more.  I am grateful for you.

Keep on keeping on, people.  Keep on trudging through the muck and you'll find your Shiny.  I'm finding mine.

Just my thoughts.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am that person

So here I sit typing and re-typing what should be a simple blog post.  I haven't been here in awhile and I have a gazillion things to say, but am struggling with where to begin.  So I'm just going to let the words come as they do.

For the longest time I have been searching for something.  Searching for that certain someone that I want to be.  Searching for the real, authentic Jill.  You know those typical questions.  Who am I?  Why am I here? Am I good enough?  Will people still like me when I get real?  Well, they're typical for me anyway. 

I have to admit that the answers to these questions were impossible to find.  Because I was searching for answers outside of myself.  The real, authentic Jill isn't hidden out in the big world.  She's not misplaced anywhere outside of me.  She's not someone that I have to learn to become.  She IS me.

Its so simple.  Its something I find myself telling others a lot.  The person you are is right inside of you.  So how did I get so far off track?  How could I forget the very important message that I know I have shared here many times before?

Here's what happened to me.  I have this small voice that comes and goes.  I've had this voice with me most of my life.  I would bet that many of us have this small voice at some point.  I have tried to remove it several times.  As I said, she comes and she goes.  Whenever I start to travel on a new path this voice gets scared and she feels that she needs to stay small to be safe.  If she's invisible all will be well.  So the voice gets louder.  Loud enough to be heard by me. 

"You're not good enough." 
"You don't know what you're doing." 
"You are too scared to do that." 
"This is too hard."

Those are just some of the thoughts that run through my mind when this voice is trying to keep me small.  So now that that I realize this, what can I do about it?  I can't send it away, I can't tell it to shut up.  It is a part of me.  Its a part of me that is hurt and scared.  It doesn't need to be banished.  It needs to be loved and taken care of.  Ignoring the voice doesn't help, it just gets louder.  I can choose to hear the words and not let them decide for me.  I get to choose where I go and who I am to be.  I get to be big or be small. 

There's another part of me that just wants to shine bright.  Wants to be seen.  She wants to be heard.  She wants to feel peace and joy and self-confidance.  She wants to share this with others.  She wants to be big.  Bigger than that small voice.  That's the person that I am.  That person is whole.  She's proud and she feels energized when she is touching the lives of those around her.  She's authentic.  She doesn't hide behind old patterns and behaviors.  She doesn't act like a hurt teenager.  The first thought that goes through her mind isn't "Will other people like me?"  The first thought that goes through her mind is "Am I being me?"

I am that person.  We are all 'that' person.  That real, authentic person who only wants to shine.  I think that most of us at some point choose to be small.  Fear and pain keep us there.  Choosing to let the fear and pain go allows us to be big.

So I've taken that small voice by the hand and I'm showing it that its time to move beyond the scared teenager.  Its time to grow.  I love growth.  It means that I get to continue on this path that I'm on.  It means that I am going to meet new people and experience new joys.  Will I lose old friends on the way?  Maybe.  Thats ok.  I'm grateful for everybody who has ever been a part of my life.  No matter how long it was.  Its all ok.  As long as I'm that person.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A letter of forgiveness to me

This is a painting I did of my Root Chakra.  I painted the Chakra on the trunk of a tree  The black spot in the center symbolizes the fear that I have been living with and this letter is meant to help release the grip that fear has on me once and for all. 

Dearest Beloved Jill,

I am writing this letter to you today in hopes that you can recieve the forgiveness that you deserve once and for all.  This letter is long overdue.  You don't deserve all of the shame and guilt and unhappiness that you have carried around for so long.  So here is what I need to say:

I forgive you, Jill, for being closed off emotionally as a child.  I forgive you for hating your life as a teen.  I forgive you for being irresponsible as a young adult and turning to alcohol, men and food for comfort.  I forgive you for letting yourself get pregnant as a young, single woman.  I forgive you for being emotionally distant from your young children and your other family members for many years.  I forgive you for being financially irresponsible as a single parent.  I forgive you for starting and quitting so many 'careers'.  I forgive you for spending so many years depressed more than not.  I forgive you for allowing your home to become a place of clutter and chaos.  I forgive you for burying fear so deep inside your body that it turned you into a shell of a person.  I forgive you for keeping your Spirit tied up and gagged for most of your adult life.  I forgive you for being fake and judgemental and hurtful.  I forgive you for doubting that you could ever deserve pure, unconditional Love.  I forgive you for withholding your thoughts and feelings, and looking to others to define them instead.  I forgive you for holding on to resentment and hate for yourself.  I forgive you for not taking care of your beautiful body, mind and spirit.  I forgive you for not forgiving yourself.

You deserve to Love yourself, trust yoursef and feel secure in knowing that you are just who you need to be.  A beautiful, vibrant and shining Spirit resides inside of you and she deserves to been seen, heard and felt all around you.  You, Jill, deserve this forgiveness. You have come a long way in this lifetime.  You have been on an amazing path to healing, but it has become obvious that you have been holding on to fear that you were missing an important stepping stone. So I extend my forgiveness to you and I wish for you a bright and shiny life.  May you always know how much I love you and wish the best for you.  You ARE good enough.  You ARE beautiful on the inside and the outside.  You WILL be surrounded in abundance of all things that make your Spirit shine.

Blessings of Love to you all the days of your life.


Just my thoughts

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gettin' my whine on

So I've just spent the last 2 weeks in a marathon pity party.  You know the kind of party I'm talking about.  When things are going badly and you find yourself welcoming all the yuck.  You get comfortable with all the uncomfortable feelings that are surfacing.  My party started with a nasty virus which kept me up coughing most evenings and laying around most days.  I can't tell you when the last time I was this ill.  It has been quite a while. 

I tried to keep my chin up.  I took care of myself and repeated to myself that "this too shall pass".  It didn't.  I got sicker.  I got crankier.  Being physically exhausted gave way to emotional exhaustion as well.  I gave up.  I quite trying to feel better.  I put my chin down and sulked.  I stopped doing my daily Reiki self-healings.  I chose to get comfortable with feeling crappy and I continued to feel crappy.  Imagine that.

Then the negative self-talk reared its razor-sharp tongue.  I started spending way too much time inside my head.  Let me tell you, there are times when that can be a pretty scary place to be.  Suddenly I was not just feeling ill, I was a bad mother, bad wife, lousy friend, terrible Reiki practitioner, lazy bum and a number of other ridiculous untruths.  I didn't deserve to be healthy, I didn't deserve my family or friends and I certainly didn't deserve to have a Reiki practice.  I was gettin' my 'whine' on pretty damn good. 

As a matter of fact, I was still partying pretty heavy this morning.  Until the tears started to flow.  I had felt teary a couple of times over the last 2 weeks, but I always pushed those tears back.  Well the dam broke this morning and I couldn't even stop the tears if I wanted to.  I didn't want to.  I knew in my heart that I needed these tears.  I needed to loosen up all the yuck that I been building up for the past 2 weeks.  It wasn't Mucinex or Nyquil that I needed, it was a good cry. 

As the tears fell I felt all the 'whines' that I was hoarding begin to loosen their grip.  I loosened up the negative labels I had attached to myself.  I loosened up the insecurities and the fears about being a Reiki practitioner I had begun to convince myself of.  I loosened up the resentments I held against people close to me.  I say loosened because I don't know that I have completely released these things, but I definitely feel that they are not weighing me down like they had been.  My cough and sinus pressure has decreased significantly as well.

Coincidence?  I think not.  I think that my spirit just got tired of being told to go sit down and wait for the party to be over.  My spirit knew that the party was getting out of hand and needed to be busted up.  So I've stopped the whining and let my spirit lead me back to a safe place.  The place within my heart where the self-talk is gentle and kind.  Where I can open my mind to all the good that exists for me.  I feel peace here within.

Physically, I still feel somewhat weakened.  Emotionally, I feel refreshed and renewed.  A bit embarrassed that I carried on for so long, but ready to let all of the 'whining' go.  Yeah, I got my whine on pretty good.  I can whine with the best of them, but I can also choose to be done.  I can choose to move forward and let go of the emotions that had gotten wedged inside my body.  It feels good to let it all out. 

Now I get to clean up the mess.  The mess of a house I have now.  The laundry that is piled high.  The groceries that need to be bought.  And I might even take down our Christmas decorations tonight.  Those are the consequences of gettin' my whine on for too long.

So remember the next time you feel some tears coming on to let them fall.  Let them fall freely and wash away the yuck that is trying to gather strength.  You'll feel better sooner.

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Shine: Joyful quiet

"A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live."

~ Bertrand Russell

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I didn't know till this morning what my word for 2011 was to be.  I pondered the last few days, but nothing ever really spoke to me.  This morning while I spent some time self-healing with Reiki the word 'open' kept coming into my mind.  It resonated with me and I knew that that was the word.  I knew exactly what it meant.  It meant living more open-hearted, being more open-minded, and having my eyes wide open to all the beauty that surrounds me each day. 

I want to be more open.  When I'm living openly, I am able to truly see and feel the Love and Beauty that is there.  I am able to express myself and not feel like I am wrong or fake.  Its not always easy for me to open up my mind and my heart.  I often close my mind to new possibilities.  I can push others away that are not like-minded.  I can be guarded and extremely particular with when and who I share my heart with. 

Sadly, the people in my life who don't always get my open-heart are my family.  My Littles, my Mr. Man and my siblings.  I manage to keep them at a distance.  This 2011, as I bring 'open' into my life, I have hope that I will open my heart up more to those closest to me.  I have hope that I will be able to take in the Love that is given to me and give it back in return. 

Yes, 'Open' is definitely the word for me.  With an open mind I will try more things, be more fearless, permit myself to move forward in my business and allow my creative side to finally have a say.  With an open mind I can put the negative side of being judgemental to rest.  I can allow others to be who they are and not disregard them simply because they don't believe what I believe.

Yep, its going to be a good year.  I have so much to be grateful for.  2010 was an amazing year of healing and abundance for me.  I know that 2011 will be filled with the same things.  There will be ups and downs.  There will be tears of joy and tears of sorrow.  With 'Open' lighting my path I will know that, through all things, I will be fine.  I can allow change and growth and healing to happen.

As I bring 'Open' into my everyday I will be able to really feel the gratitude.  I will be able to grow and bloom and shine.  Which reminds me of the mantra that a dear friend gave me almost a year ago. 

I open.  I focus.  I desire.  I flower.

Did you pick a word?  Please share it.  Let it out so that your word can work its magic.  Happiest New Year.  May your 2011 be filled with Love and Joy.

Just my thoughts.