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Thank you so much for journeying with me these past three years!
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The adventure continues!
As 2016 is slipping away, it is with deep gratitude that I bid the year farewell. This Year of Surrender has been an amazing journey for me, full of delights and unexpected surprises, lessons and celebrations, connections and fresh opportunities.
Here is my year in review.
Using the symbol of the River, to represent the flow of Life, this year was about immersing myself in that flow, and seeing where Life took me. Resistance was my signal that I was attempting to take back control, and moving out of flow. I became very aware of what triggered resistance, and how to release those things that quite literally created drag as I journeyed. My mantra was Open to everything, attached to nothing, which kept me in a space of receiving and free from expectations.
I celebrated the people in my life, for the first time this year writing a birthday blog post for every member of my family, immediate and extended. Being open to such an undertaking led me to looking up each person’s name, so I could share it in the post. I thought about that beautiful soul all day, surrounding him or her with love and gratitude, and honored their lives and accomplishments. It was, admittedly, a big commitment. And yet I am so glad I followed that prompting.
There were other joyous occasions in 2016. My daughter Adriel married her sweetheart, Nate. Two of my three children purchased homes. I was present for my grandchildren and great nieces and great nephews during football games, award assemblies, concerts, parades and half time shows.
Dayan and I attended our first Comic Con, in St Louis. There we met the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors and one of the companions, Rose. The way that opportunity came together strongly reinforced my belief that the Divine cares for every aspect of our lives.
Two major life shifters both occurred mid summer, and have had a lasting impact on me.
A simple exercise in the book Walking in This World, by Julia Cameron, took on a life of its own and inspired me to practice 30 days of creativity. I wrote 30 activities on slips of paper and drew one each day. What began as a month of fun quickly became an exercise in deep faith and trust. I recognized that I was asking a question of the Divine. What surprised me was that I, in return, was asked the same question. That beautiful time of surrendering to something so much bigger and more extraordinary that I could ever have imagined has influenced the direction my journey is taking for 2017.
And another question that I posed to the Divine, involving my health and the severe nerve pain in my legs, was answered as well. I was led to Anthony William, and his books, Medical Medium and Life Changing Foods. My life has shifted dramatically after connecting with Anthony. I switched to a plant based diet, and avoid a short list of foods. I now feel better than I have in many years, and I am experiencing great health and well being, while diminishing my pain. The results have been staggering, and life changing, so much so that I will be launching a second blog in January, created around my healing journey.
What a tremendous year 2016 has been. The things I have learned from living in surrender and openness. I said good bye to a dear friend this year as well, and many entertainers and celebrities that I appreciated passed on too. However, their legacies live on, and I still feel their impact on my life. One of those, who transitioned early in 2016, has had a profound influence on my continuing journey.
That’s a story for next year. For while the Year of Surrender is concluding, the lessons I learned and the changes I embraced during those 12 months will continue on the journey with me.
And continue I will. Join me for an exciting new adventure!
Today I got to scratch an item off of my bucket list. For years I’ve enjoyed browsing through pages of gorgeous clothing, both online and in an actual catalog, from The J Peterman Company. I was drawn to this clothing company the first time I read their tag line:
“People want things that are hard to find. Things that have romance, but a factual romance, about them.”
I was captivated.
So captivated, in fact, that I regularly added cutouts from the charming catalogs, called Owner’s Manuals, to my yearly vision boards. Someday, I vowed, I would make a purchase from J Peterman’s. In the meantime, I enjoyed dreaming, and reading the long copy that accompanies the illustrations for the classic and vintage style clothes.
Because, that is the real charm of this unique catalog. The copy writing is as distinctive as the clothing, with clever and creative stories explaining how the product was discovered, or how the wearer of the clothes might feel in that long duster or silk dress. Reading through a J Peterman Owner’s Manual stirs my imagination and makes me smile.
Recently I discovered The J Peterman Company on Facebook. To my delight, the company regularly offers promotions and give aways, presenting the opportunity to at last purchase, or even win, a J Peterman original. When their half off sale appeared in my newsfeed yesterday and was extended until midnight tonight, I knew it was time to cross this long desired wish off of my bucket list. The clothes are high end items, and rightly so. One is paying for art, after all. Half off was a siren call that I could not ignore.
After careful perusal, I felt most drawn to the Artist’s Sweater in electric blue, whose story is presented above.
I made my purchase and I am so excited to receive my sweater. It is more than an article of clothing. It is a dream made manifest…a fantasy that has become reality…and an invitation to create my own story.
It might begin like this…
“She slipped into the sweater, the classic style as much at home in her studio as it was in the corporate office. Playful. Sensual. And oh so imaginative. She felt inspired, as did all who saw it…”
What fun it will be to see how that story unfolds!
Check out The J Peterman Company HERE
This afternoon I at last had the opportunity to see the latest installment in the Star Wars saga…Rogue One. Family members Linda and Roy, long time Star Wars fans like me, accompanied me. And while Rogue One is the newest movie in this long running franchise, the story takes place chronologically after Episode III The Revenge of the Sith and prior to the events in Episode IV A New Hope.
Rogue One stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Spencer Wilding and Riz Ahmed, and features the voice of James Earl Jones. The sci-fi/adventure was directed by Gareth Edwards. The film is rated PG-13, for extended scenes of violence and intense action, and has a run time of 2 hours and 13 minutes.
Jyn Erso (Jones) is the daughter of Galen Erso (Mikkelsen), the reluctant designer of the Death Star for the Imperial Galactic Empire. Separated from her father when she was very young, Jyn grows up to become the unlikely leader of a group of resistance fighters in the Rebel Alliance.
Galen has built a flaw into the weapon of planetary destruction, and he reaches out to his daughter in hopes of providing a way for the Rebels to in turn destroy the Death Star. Jyn teams up with Rebel pilot Cassian Andor (Luna), who has his own agenda, and his droid with attitude, K-2SO (voiced by Tudyk).
As the trio moves from base to base, they assemble an eclectic team comprised of a blind warrior familiar with the Force, Chirrut Imwe (Yen), his faithful friend Baze (Jiang), and Bodhi (Ahmed), a former Empire pilot who has defected to the Rebels.
The Empire, led by Darth Vader (played by Wilding and voiced by Jones) and Orson Krennic (Mendelsohn), continues in its ruthless plan to launch the latest weapon against the Alliance. The future of the galaxy rests with Jyn and her small but fierce group of Rebel fighters.
Rogue One was a great addition to the Star Wars saga. While this first stand alone story introduced a host of new and unfamiliar chatacters, there were plenty of Star Wars devices and several familiar faces to connect this movie with the others, and with the audience. The movie, which was darker, grittier and more war-like than previous films, developed the new characters well, making me appreciate the contributions each one made.
I especially enjoyed the snarky droid, K-2SO, whose droll comments provides most of the film’s comedic moments, and the blind warrior, Chirrut, who continually reminds his comrades of the Force. “I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me.”
And as a Star Wars fan, I was thrilled to see once again the ultimate cinematic bad guy, Darth Vader. I am glad James Earl Jones’ distinctive voice is still the voice of Vader.
Rogue One employs the classic good verses evil plot that is at the core of Star Wars, and yet this is definitely an edgier story.
Fans will enjoy this latest film. And non fans? Well, this might be a great introduction to the Star Wars universe, and the beginning of a long and loving relationship.
I love how Facebook shares memories from my past. The pics and posts are snapshots of where I was a year…or two or three…ago. This meme popped up this morning:
The past two days I have tackled a BIG project…cleaning out a closet in my bedroom. It is amazing the amount of stuff that can be crammed into a small space. It was to the point where I feared opening the door!
I had two goals in mind: get rid of the accumulated clutter…the stuff that no longer feeds my soul…and make the small space function again as a clothes closet.
It was out with the old today. I hate to admit that I hauled three large bags of trash out of that tiny closet. Gone are years of left over Christmas paper and crumbled bows, lumpy pillows, old cans of paint and an assortment of odd items I never knew what to do with.
The closet and then the whole room grew lighter in energy as clutter was cleared away. As I worked, one of my favorite movies, Love Actually, played on the TV/DVD player in the bedroom, an interesting and somehow heart touching counterpoint to the clearing activity I was engaged in. The movie highlights the connectedness of the many characters in the story, while I was busy breaking connections with items that no longer suit me.
I created great space tonight, room in the closet for fresh new things. In preparation for hanging a closet rod and moving my clothes in from another room, I sorted through a pile of clothing, desiring to release, literally, all that no longer fits me. I was thrilled to discover that due to my recent change to a plant based diet, most of my clothes were too big. After sorting and trying on, the majority of my wardrobe went into bags, ready to be donated to a local organization.
I am creating physical space for new clothes that fit better, and creative space to determine what I enjoy wearing and what best serves my needs. It will be fun to take my time and only purchase clothes that “ring my bell”, as Aubrey would say, and bring me joy.
Tomorrow I have games and a stack of old coloring books to sort through, empty picture frames to relocate or donate, and Lord of the Rings collectibles to make decisions about. The many vintage quilts that I hauled out tonight will be cleaned and I’ll determine how best to display them elsewhere in the house.
Then the fun begins, as the cleared out closet is put back together and the clothes that I have remaining will be carefully hung in their fresh new space.
This closet is where Greg and I took shelter when the 2011 EF-5 tornado struck Joplin. That small space sheltered us and protected us from raging wind and debris. It was the calm in the midst of the storm. That space has since become a catch all, which is hardly appropriate for such a sacred place.
It feels very good to free it from clutter, while freeing my heart and soul from the pile of objects I no longer want…or need. New space, in my closet and in my life, ushering in fresh possibilities for a new year. Welcome.