“Wait Is a Four Letter Word.”

Loving me, too, means learning to trust the timing.

Anything is Possible!

When God says, “Wait,” we can control only two things: how we wait and who we become along the way.  __Elizabeth Laing Thompson

When God Says Wait Enter for a chance to win a free copy by signing up for my monthly newsletter to the right >>>

It’s always something. If it’s not waiting for your soulmate, it’s waiting for your kids to become independent, or waiting to retire, or waiting for your manuscript to be ready for publication.

I’ve just started reading the book, When God Says Wait, by Elizabeth Thompson. It’s easy to read with well-fictionalized biblical stories, personal stories from the author, and simple exercises at the end of each chapter. I sure could’ve used this book 15 years ago when I was wondering if I’d ever fall in love again, if I’d ever find a partner who’d be a good fit. Still, the messages about “navigating life’s detours…

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Letting Go and Trusting Time

go-with-the-flow

It’s been just over a month since I “retired.” That word doesn’t feel accurate – especially since I’m just as busy as I ever was. Graduated might be a better fit. I’ve transitioned to a more creative lifestyle with more freedom and flexibility. But old habits die hard.

My stress level is still higher than I want it to be, higher than my intended lifestyle would require. The technical aspects of self-publishing are challenging, but I’m working through that process one step at a time. My stress level might have more to do with the self-imposed deadline to have my book available by Valentine’s Day. I’ve said that I’m taking my own advice and trusting the timing on the release date, but I still feel like I should be able to at least have it available to pre-order by then. There’s that retched word: should. I should be able to figure out the self-publishing systems and  meet that deadline.

Never mind that my father died less than three weeks ago while I was out of town visiting my grandchildren, and that I am/was his closest family member, that he was the strongest and bravest man I’ve ever known, that his death carries more weight than I might want to feel, and that yesterday I started the long process of going through some of the stuff in his house located an hour away, and it was exhausting.

I should still be able to meet my deadline! says the relentless hero child in my head.

Why do I do that to myself? I should know better. I taught stress management and relaxation skills for at least 20 years. It was my favorite part of my old job. Maybe it kept me somewhat sane in an insane system. But I haven’t practiced those skills lately. Maybe I should. Maybe I will. Gently

For 30 many years, I pushed myself to comply with expectations that were often unreasonable. It’s a habit I want to release now. It no longer serves me. So what if I don’t get the book out by February 14? It would be nice, but what’s the point of graduating to a more creative life of freedom and flexibility if I’m going to stress myself out with my own expectations?

Deep breath.

It’s okay that there is still work to do on me – that I’m still learning to relax and let go. Old habits die hard, and it’s only been a month or so since I graduated.

I will be kind and gentle with myself.

I will allow myself to enjoy this new adventure.

I will allow myself time to grieve.

I will trust the natural flow of my life.

I will trust the timing.

 

Goals for 2017

path-to-beach

Jana Green’s post about self care inspired me to make a list of goals for the new year:, a

And Brad, at Writing to Freedom, got me thinking of them as intentions.

I’ve been sitting on this post for long enough, and it’s time to put it out there!

My plans and intentions for this year are:

1. Walk around the block or swim (not around the block) at least three times per week. Who knows? This might even lead to a little jogging!

2. Stretch for at least 10 minutes each day. Putting on some music might help.

3. Take at least five minutes every day to stop and breathe, maybe in mountain pose, before and after I stretch, and hopefully, this will turn into more time in the present moment.

4. Publish my book in 2017! I’m about to send the manuscript to my line editor, that means jumping into the rest of the process: finish the painting for the back cover, decide on how the front and back cover will fit together, get an ISBN number, change the theme on “Anything is Possible!” so it has a side bar, Work on my January Newsletter, share excerpts on both of my blogs (stay tuned!), gather a team of Trust the Timing fans through a Facebook group (email me at joannesilvia@aol if your interested – even if you’re not on Facebook.)

5. Focus most of my attention on what’s positive in people in come in contact with. I often do this with my words, but I want to do it more in my thoughts. I want to have a more loving attitude about the people who are dear to me and not nitpick about the imperfections I would like to fix in them. And hey, that includes me!

6. Develop my sense of humor. I’m getting better at laughing at myself in a loving way and I want to get better at laughing when other people irritate me, though I might laugh at them in my head, in a nice way, mostly. Stream of consciousness writing has helped me with my sense of humor, so maybe I’ll practice SOC more…. Maybe someday, I’ll create an anonymous blog just for that purpose. 🙂  Won’t that be fun!

Wishing you and all those you care for a wonderful new year!

 

 

 

 

One-Liner Wednesday: It’s Never Too Late

1linerwedsbadgewes

 

“It’s Never Too Late to Become What you Might Have Been.”

 

I’m counting on it.

Since I was ten years old, I’ve had a talent for drawing. And I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. But I never pursued these creative arts seriously. I just didn’t think they were important enough.

Now, I’m about to turn 61. Beyond midlife. Or maybe not, but it doesn’t matter, because I have today and hopefully tomorrow.

Inspired by Jana Green’s post:

http://thebeggarsbakery.net/2015/12/11/the-dream-makers-daughters-women-stepping-out-in-mid-life/

One Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/07/one-liner-wednesday-the-answer-is-right-in-front-of-you/

Here’s what Linda says about the rules:

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

You Don’t Have to Attend…

“You don’t have to attend every party you’re invited to.”

1linerwedsbadgewes

I don’t remember where I read that quote. It was probably some self-help book. The people pleaser in me says I should read every blog post I’m invited to via subscriptions. I started subscribing to more blogs about a month or two ago so I wouldn’t miss any posts. Now, my inbox runneth over. If I read all the posts I’ve gotten myself invited to, I’d have no time to work on my book, or my art.

I love writing my book, but it tends to get pushed out of the way by everything else – errands, favors, housework, social media, and my inbox.

I have to set priorities, to honor my time.

My goal today was to not even look at my inbox (or Facebook) until I’d worked on my book for at least three hours. I did it!

As much as I want to read all the posts of blogs I subscribe to, and some I don’t subscribe to, I’m going to let it be okay if I don’t.

Does anyone else struggle with this?

If I’m the only one, I need to let that be okay, too.

One-Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G. Hill, at

https://lindaghill.com/2016/10/19/one-liner-wednesday-presidential-poop/

The rules/guidelines are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Coming Home to Art

JoAnne painting rabbits

Painting bunnies in the Forest of Dreams

I  did it!  On the 1st day of June, at the age of 60, I made a leap of faith by cutting back to one day a week at my counseling job. Accepting my new-ish husband’s offer of financial support so that I could spend more time following my creative dreams has been scary. I was the super responsible bread winner for over thirty years, during my first marriage, and then as a single mom. Could I trust a man to support me?  But weary of the  burdens of growing paperwork in the mental health field, I  knew it was time to honor my own needs. God gave me creative talents, but I had not valued them, or maybe I needed to learn some things before coming back to the creative arts. Either way, I’m more thankful than I can express.

The synchronicity of perfect timing affirmed my decision. At the end of May, as my leaping day approached, I won blue ribbons for writing and sold one of my original paintings along with a couple of prints at Silver Arts, part of Senior Games. It was also in the second half of May that I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference and got valuable feedback. And in May, I started working on the community mural, A Forest of Dreams. Support of my artistic skill flowed freely, nurturing my decision to follow the call back home to art.

Not that painting and writing are easy. I’m not fast. I don’t think I’ve ever been fast at anything. But when I paint or write, or play my guitar, I lose track of time. I become absorbed in the creative process that feeds my soul.

I’m not sharing all this to toot my own horn, though it’s okay to do that. I ask you to celebrate with me, and to know, this:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”  Mary Ann Evans/George Eliot

Later this week, I’ll write  more about the Forest of Dreams Mural in “Anything is Possible,” and I’ll share that post here on “Loving Me, Too.” Thanks for reading and for sharing this journey with me!

Kicking the Self-Doubt Gremlin’s Butt

gremlin from pixabay

A little monster from Pixabay

Last night, I went to the local awards ceremony for Silver Arts which is part of Senior Games. I didn’t even know Senior Games includes not only an art category, but also a literary category, until a couple months ago when the Silver Arts coordinator stood at the door of another art show handing out applications for Silver Arts.

At the show last night, there were so many beautiful paintings without ribbons, it wasn’t hard to accept that my two paintings did not get any ribbons. Then I went to the literary arts table and discovered that two of my three entries had blue ribbons next to them. What a nice surprise!

 

Dreams of Wild Communion Problem Step Dog

I found out later that there weren’t many entries for the literary arts categories. And though   I saw that there were other entries for my categories of poetry and life experience, because there were second and third place winners, I heard the whispers of the gremlin of self- doubt telling me my ribbons weren’t that valuable because there weren’t that many entries.

Then, this morning, I woke up trying to figure out what this dream meant:

I was sitting on a couch in a room with a few other people. From the floor, two young boys pulled on my skirt. It was my favorite comfortable knit skirt. They tugged and wrestled with with it. I told them to stop, but they ignored me. They pulled like naughty puppies having a tug-0-war. No one intervened, so I had to – before they pulled my skirt off of me. I yelled at them as loud as I could, “STOP IT! STOP IT!

I got up, pulling my skirt back into place. I felt angry and close to tears, but calmed my voice enough to tell the boys, very firmly: “When a woman says no, it means NO!” Then I went in the other room, and the dream shifted to something else. It seems that after I calmed down, I was making other plans with a friend.

In bed this morning, I tried to imagine what this dream was about, besides the no means no  message which by itself is important.

While still in bed, I looked at Facebook from my phone. Many people had congratulated me on winning two blue ribbons at the Silver Arts event which of course I had to post on FB.

The self-doubt gremlin came back with a vengeance:

Now everyone thinks you’re such a good writer, and it’s such a big deal, but what if there were only three entries? That’s not a big deal. You’re an impostor! Stop building yourself up like you’re so hot. You probably shouldn’t have even posted that on FB since there weren’t a lot of entries…….

The little boys in my dream, trying to pull off my favorite skirt, were like self-doubt gremlins assaulting my hopes and dreams. So, I say to you again, gremlins:

STOP IT! GO AWAY AND LEAVE  ME  ALONE!

WHEN A WOMAN SAYS NO, SHE MEANS NO!

YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!

THOSE ARE MY BLUE RIBBONS,

AND I WON THEM FAIR AND SQUARE!

I’M A WRITER, AND I AM GOING TO KICK YOUR BUTT!

 

PS: Here’s my winning poem. It’s dear to my heart.

https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/dreams-of-wild-communion/