Learning

on the shelf

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Family, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

The prompt for this poem was to show sadness… A patina of dustdulls the lace of my shawland fringe of my mob-cap.My bare feet poke outfrom faded yellowhand sewn cotton.Where are my shoes!Doesn’t she think howcoldmy feet must be?No—she doesn’t. I stare and see herpass by myline of sight.Let’s play, I cry.Her grown up earsno longer registerthe pitch of my voice.She walks by.Tears wellin mymoss green eyes.I long to blinkand let themtrail a streak ofgrime down myporcelain cheeks.Would she noticethen?Perhaps pick meup inonce miniaturemother practicinghands?Wipe my faceand smile downat mewith those samemoss green eyes?Cradle me on hershoulderand pat the dustfrom my dress? Months after her birth her mother saw my head—only that, in a display window. She told us she froze in place— the face on the head, (my head!) was the spitting image of her baby girl’s. Her mother said she waved her baby’s photo wildly —the clerk gasped. The cost was steep and so she chose a plaster body that would fit. My head. I was whole wrapped naked in a box. I was a giftshe longed to earn.I yearned for hertouch and watchedher grow fromafaron a similar shelf.When pudgy armsand legsshot into skinnycoltish limbsthe day came thatI was birthed,wrapped in swaddlingand laid in the armsof my newly bornMother.She christened meTammybut pretended I wasBaby Jesus.My lacy bonnetdoes not hideclose cropped hairfrom a scissorexperiment  gone awry.My bald china pate sportsa spiderwebof cracks frommany breaks.Fallswe took together.Elmer’s was awell used tooland Ibear the scarsof being loved. Years I waited.Watching from on high.And was rewardedwithnew dresses andhats and slippers.Tea parties,carriage rides, thentwirlingto loud music.Secrets. Stories.Shy smiles.Even lies andtears.And some daysyellinginterspersed withcurses.Peace prevailedbut our time togetherdwindled. Until now.I sit.Barefooted.Measuring thedustwith unblinking eyes.Achingly anticipatingthe moment her handswill lift me downlike a broken birdand swipe a softrag over my body.Erasing my pain.Her humming will falter,her voice willcrack likemy head—Oh baby, look atyou.Let’s clean you up!I’ve endured the ache ofbeingforgottenfor this moment.In her handsI...

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starting…again

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Conscious eating, Family, Food and Drink, Learning, Moving your body, Wholehearted | 1 comment

A week before my forty-eighth birthday I removed my rose colored glasses and looked myself in the eye. My upbeat and positive attitudes are a natural extension of the way I see the world and choose to live my life. Most of the time. I met my reflection in the mirror with a sigh. My journey to self-love would not have been possible without a conscious effort to release negative habits of self-sabotage or beating up on myself. Yet, as I squinted at myself in the glare of the overhead bathroom light I admitted that some of those old habits had slipped back into my life. Sigh. Once an emotional overeater always an emotional overeater. Releasing pounds and incorporating exercise didn’t magically erase that tendency in me. There’s no cure only free will. It’s a choice I make every day. Every meal. Every hour. Every minute.  And as my commitment to myself slipped so did my decisions. They were apparent in the scale and my lethargy and apathy—I was going through the motions of fitness. That’s all. I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for a year as of April and I gave myself permission to eat more and move less because I had worked so hard and I deserved a break and my muscles were so sore I could hardly squat to sit on the couch without being a drama queen—ooooowwww! And forget getting up and using my quads or glutes until I was direly close to peeing my pants! I never combined my CrossFit workouts with healthy eating and balanced activity the rest of the week. I did the workouts. I did not quit. I am stronger. I did not gain twenty pounds because I was doing CrossFit three times a week. I did gain ten, and no they are not muscles. I’d have to grow Mr. Universe type muscles to account for a weight gain from muscle mass! A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same but muscles take up less space, a lot less space under your skin. This is why muscles make your body look toned and firm instead of jiggly. I'm stronger but I'm still jiggly! The decision I made staring at my hopeful face was that I was done with being stuck; stuck in the cycle of feeling negative and eating to feel better and feeling worse and eating some more to feel better. It. Doesn’t. Work. I was done with being stuck and choosing to move forward. Again. Yes, again. And instead of seeing the negative aspects of starting again I chose to celebrate any step forward I was willing to make to get out of the quagmire. Serendipitously the timing of my self-talk coincided with the release a week later of ActiveLink from Weight Watchers. I don’t depend entirely on external motivators to nudge or lead me back on course because internal data is more vital to me: how I feel, my happiness quota, an increased energy level, craving protein instead of carbs! But I was excited by the challenge this tool represented and intrigued to see if it tracked as lauded. (We’ve been employee guinea pigs, reporting our experiences before it becomes available to our members.) After an eight day assessment Active Link labeled me an ‘occasional athlete’ and encouraged me to move more consistently throughout my day. I don’t earn activity points only for ‘workouts’ but for all my activity combined all day by using a technology similar to that used in a Wii controller to track movement. Cool, eh? The ActiveLink graphs show my activity...

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Artful Blogging

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

I began blogging in 2005 as a team of bloggers sharing our journeys as Virtual Assistants and building, launching, and running our own businesses from home. Blogging was new to me but I quickly learned how to write with the intention of starting a conversation, sharing authentically, and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.  In 2009 I took the leap and created this blog to share my weight loss journey, writing, creative endeavors, and well…my life.  Artful Blogging introduced me to a community of kindred souls seeking connection for their art, passion for living their dreams, and real people striving to find a balance with who they are and what they do in this world. Stampington & Company publish only four scrumptious issues per year. I relish my time with these pages—curling up with a cup of tea and turning the ringer on the phone to mute. The smooth thick matte texture of the paper appeals to my photographer’s eye, the colors and detailed photos burst off the page in swirls of inspiration. Reading these blogger’s journeys through art and words reveals a theme of serendipities that occur upon embarking on blogging—of finding their true north and living their dreams.    ...

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fantastical fantasy

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

As a teenager I lost myself for weeks in the Four Lands created by Terry Brooks in the Original Sword of Shannara trilogy. I ached to create a world of good versus evil populated with unexpected heroes and dark hooded villains. I learned to write by reading—fantasy books engaged my imagination and allowed me to sprout dragon wings. As an adult when our daughter was born I even chose her name from the third book in the Shannara series; Brin (a headstrong princess disguised as a peasant boy) and Leah (a magical city). My passion for fantasy has not ebbed over the years but I find I am choosy where I invest my time and A Storm of Swords is almost one thousand pages and I have savored every word George R.R. Martin penned in this tome. This is Book Three of a planned eight book series: A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin’s Seven Kingdoms of Westeros has been a scintillating adventure lesson in character development. The series has a plethora of characters that are vividly realized—the proud voices of kings and knights ring clear and true from a world similar to medieval England. Martin masterfully crafts relationships and forges unforeseen connections. I found the chapters written from a child’s point of view the most captivating and inviting which has fueled my writing with alternating shadows and spotlights contrasting innocence and malice. Curious if there are dragons? Of course there are, but I’m bewitched by the dire wolves. Have you seen the television series of Book One: Game of Thrones on HBO? Incredibly well cast and deeply detailed I'm engrossed even when I have to look away from the realistic combat scenes. You?...

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The Weird Sisters

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

I was intrigued by the quote on the cover of the book: “See we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.”  My half-sister is eleven years older than I and so I grew up as an only child yearning for a sister. Siblings and birth order are fascinating to me—my husband is one of nine!   I was a loner as a kid and books were my whole entire world. These three sisters and their parents relate through books so much so that their dad speaks to them primarily in Shakespeare quotes even sends this message in a crisis:   “Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods/For our beloved mother in her pains. And this is how Cordy knew our mother had cancer. This is how she knew we had to come home.” I was entranced by the unique writing style Eleanor Brown chose to tell this story: first person plural, narrated from the collective perspective of the three sisters. How cool is that? Awkward to read at first? Yes, but now I’m on a mission to experience more books written in first person plural. Can you recommend any? Have you ever written form this perspective and if so how’d it go? You can read more about Eleanor’s unique choice of style...

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the war of art

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Books, Inspiration, Learning, Writing | 0 comments

This book rocked my world, kicked me in the butt, eradicated my excuses, and was the ultimate wake-up call for me to sit down and do my creative work. Must, must read. 'Nuff said.

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