September Slow Down

“You’re going to live to be a colorful old bird,” my beloved teacher David told me more than a decade ago. Those words resonated because I was born in a Chinese year of the rooster, and also because I love birds…

Thinking of myself as a colorful bird now, I can’t say that longevity feels like a blessing. While my wings are not broken, they are certainly not functioning properly. There is a huge gap between how I feel and how I would like to feel, and thus between what I can do and what I would like to do.

On March 10th I shared my future self visualization in the post “Your Future Self: A Visualization Practice.” I read that visualization out loud daily until just a few days ago when I realized that my “plans” and “goals” and “intentions” are not happening the way I imagined and desired, due to ongoing health issues.

As I shared in my post “Reaching for Orange to Calm Your Mind,” I was hoping for a diagnosis that would help me to better understand this body, so I went to see a new doctor. Well, I love my new doctor – she is really wonderful, and… she is referring me to a rheumatologist for the not-so-wonderful diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

That diagnosis was not a surprise, because I had it in the past, but then I did a hypnosis program on myself and I was basically symptom-free for almost 3.5 years… Or was I?

Dear reader, have you ever suddenly realized that the stories you have been telling yourself and others may not have been true? Perhaps you just wanted them to be true? Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling of realizing that you need to face reality more honestly? If you answered yes to these questions, then maybe you will relate to what I’m about to share…

Sometimes a crisis, health or otherwise, functions like a truth serum. I am suddenly faced with taking an honest look at areas in which I have been in denial, such as denying how much anxiety I have, and denying how much impaired concentration I experience daily.

In doing this reality check, I am also wondering if I am really 97-98% healed of the trauma I experienced (as I shared in my post “The Helper Who Helps the Helpers”), or do I just want to be at that level of healed?

And so now I am even questioning if I really was Fibromyalgia-Free for almost 3.5 years as I claimed, or did I just want to be free of it? (Thankfully I did not publish the book I wrote about how I had healed myself from it!) Certainly I still continued to experience many symptoms and sensitivities during that time.

Sometimes we project out what we want to be true, rather than what is actually true. Have you experienced that?

Yesterday I did my month’s end review of my journal and calendar, and reflected upon the keywords I had set for August: Humility, Patience, and Peace… Well! Be careful what you ask for! I am certainly humbled by feeling sick for three weeks and having all my plans fall apart. As for patience, well, it just seems irrelevant to me now! All the striving and worrying and setting goals required patience, but now that I have no idea what is ahead, I don’t really even need patience. What will be will be, at the right time. I have lost all sense of control, so there’s nothing to be patient about. As for peace, I am feeling the peace (in moments) that naturally comes with being humble… so I guess my August prayers were answered, but not in ways I would have wanted or guessed.

So, dear reader, I am facing the reality I am in, and surrendering to my fate… and to my stars… Thus, my September keywords have arisen from the fog of this fibro flare: Slow down, Calm down, Enjoy the small things, Smile, and Cultivate a Sense of Humor.

My main intention is for September to be a slow down month for the StarFire Teja Blog, and in general.

I’ll end this post with a sweet little quote from Mother Teresa: “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

Thank you for reading!

What are your keywords for September?

 

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Rooster photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash.

 

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StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Be At Peace With What Is

 

May you have patience with the pace in which you are heading towards your goals.

May you appreciate each small step you take.

May your weekend be blessed with acceptance of what you cannot control.

May you be at peace with What Is.

 

Thank you to everyone who is following the StarFire Teja Blog…
Now up to 100 blog followers! 🙂

I hope you enjoy these posts… and if you haven’t already done so, please check out my new book, now available on Lulu… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

“23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange”

 

Sunset photo at the Ohio River taken by Teja (I can’t stop taking photos of sunsets!!!)

New Month, New Journal

Wow, I have really been going through the journals this Summer! As I shared in a previous post (“4 Helpful Tips for Looking for a New Doctor”), I have been dealing with some health issues, and when I don’t feel well physically, the combination of being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and feeling sick makes me more prone to feeling overwhelmed. So during those times, I pull even further inside, and I don’t connect much with friends… Thus, I write a lot more in my journal during those times!

Can you relate to this? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?

How was the month of July for you? Did you write anything down in a journal or calendar?

Yesterday I reviewed my journal and calendar for the month of July, and here are a few highlights ~

~ My mantra was “Calm Down & Happy Up.”

~ Lots of very happy days: feeling happier and happier in my new nun chapter!

~ Thunderstorms and fireworks.

~ Feeling really in alignment with purpose.

~ Realization: My main job is to be happy.

~ I really LOVE blogging… I keep hearing that quote, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” (Marsha Sinetar) And, my Mom said, “Consider yourself a writer. Period.”

~ Realization: I am really fringe!

~ Super grateful for donations to my work!

~ Enjoying birdsong and bugsong.

~ Put a Sun on it, sunshine girl.

~ Full of happy!

~ Praying for inner peace. One day at a time. Do what I can each day.

So… Now I am looking ahead to this brand new month of August, and here are my keywords: Humility, Patience, and Peace. As I continue blogging and making visits with dying hospice patients, I pray to be humble, patient, and peaceful.

And, once I approve the proofing copy of my new book (arriving in the mail today!), I will enjoy promoting the book (Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life) and leading healing circles, while feeling humble, patient, and peaceful. I will really enjoy the work, while feeling Happy, Happy, Happy!!!

What are your goals for August? What are your keywords and intentions?

I hope you enjoyed this post.
Happy August to you! 🙂

 

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Writing a Book Strengthens Many Virtues

Throughout the process of working on my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I have managed to keep the work in balance with the self-care. Daily spiritual practices have sustained me, and more than once I have witnessed myself applying a concept from the book in my life. (Watch for a future post on that!)

Admittedly, I am currently in a very comfortable living situation, and each week I am only working out in the world a few afternoons as a hospice volunteer… So, I have had the gift of time for keeping the balance with work and self-care. However, my status as a boomeranger at age 49 is not necessarily something to be proud of, and at times it has seriously challenged my sense of self-esteem. It has also given me plenty of opportunities to practice self-compassion, surrender, and humility.

Writing a book also brings opportunities for strengthening many virtues. Over the past few weeks I have faced a few delays to getting my new book published. Naturally those delays are teaching me patience, as well as strengthening my surrender, humility, and self-compassion.

And, a couple of weeks ago I sent an email letter to more than 100 friends and family, explaining that I need approximately $300 more to complete the first phase of launching my new book, and only three people have replied… And only one of them said she is sorry she cannot contribute. Well, needless to say, that experience has been a golden opportunity for strengthening my surrender, humility, self-compassion, and self-love.

The process of writing and publishing a book is a lot of hard work, on many levels. It takes a lot of inner strength. And, it strengthens many virtues!

Thank you for reading this post. If you would like to make a donation to my work, I would appreciate that so very much.
Please visit this page: Donate.

May your mind be happy! 🙂

Some Changes Take A Long Time

Do you write in a journal? If so, do you ever go back and review some of your old journals?

I have been keeping journals for more than for forty years! When I began writing in my first “diary” I was about eight years old. I still have all of my diaries and journals (in many boxes), with a vision to read them again when I’m in my nineties!

One time, during my late thirties, I was feeling very frustrated with myself because I felt like I wasn’t growing and changing as quickly as I thought I should be. So, I pulled out a stack of old journals, and read through them, and while it was painful to see how I had written about the same issues and problems over and over again (for decades, ad nauseam), it was also very encouraging to see all the many ways that I really had changed for the better. It was a good lesson for me in understanding that some changes take a long time. Patience is a virtue, indeed!

Sometimes, when we are caught up in our daily activities, we can’t see the progress we are actually making on the timeline of our lives. This is why it can be so helpful to regularly review and reflect. To that end, I now have a practice in which I review my journal and calendar at the end of each month and then I set keywords for the next month to help me focus my energies. You might also benefit from doing these practices.

The photo* with this blog post is of my recent journal covers. I used to buy expensive journals, but then I discovered the fun of making my own collages on the covers of plain sketchbooks. The journal I’m about to finish is the one with the frog, and I’m sure going to miss that cover! The one on the far right is the one that I just decorated today. I found both the sketchbook and the glittery green paper at the Dollar Tree!

Recently I enjoyed a blog post by my blogger friend Andrea, of The Hummingbird’s Journal, “How I Pick the Perfect Writing Journal” in which she shared that she prefers dot ruled paper in her journals. I have never used dot paper, but the idea is intriguing to me, so I might try that in a future journal.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share your thoughts on journaling down below where it says “Leave A Reply.”

 

*If you are viewing this post in an email, to see the photo simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog.