Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Not a Bad Month.. It is a Life Changing Month

On the eve of typically my Worst Month Ever, I decided to do a little reflection on just how scary September is for me.

Then... something happened.

As I was driving down HWY 224 heading from Montezuma to Perry, it hit me. It wasn't that September was so terrible. I mean, think about it, I survived. Yes, it altered my course of existence...

But.. that's IT!

It simply altered my course. It was God's way of shaking me to my core and having me shift directions-alter my sails-take the road less traveled - etc. 
These fundamentally core shaking experiences were just basic plate tectonics doing their thing with my soul. 

As I sit and grasp the weird nuances that always seem to happen, I have to view it as life changing. Always for the better, in one way or another. Always. 

With that being said, I'm just living my life. I promised myself that 2015 was going to be a beautiful, soul-enriching year, and I have happily stayed the course. I spent another fantastic two weekends with my S.G. soaking up nature and feeling this incredible, to-the-bone, peace. Life is good, and I am continuously collecting beautiful moments. 

Last weekend, I got to meet S.G.'s granddaughter. I held this little baby girl in my arms and sort of marveled at how tiny she was. Knowing me, I am a little unsure of myself around babies, so in about 60 seconds flat, I handed her back to her father. 

I spent a little more time with SG's middle child (biologically oldest,) at the farm. We enjoyed chatting, watching Youtube videos and picking muscadines. 

SG took me on a golf-cart ride around Preston, his home town. I snapped this shot of his home church as we were rounding the bend. Just the perfect example of a small country church in the deep South.

I came back home and got a wild hair. I needed a change - in more ways than one. I chopped 5 inches off of my hair. 

Ta - Dah!!

This past weekend I headed back down to SG's and indulged in more delicious, juicy muscadines. 

Gypsy and I spent a little time together while my guy had to go into work for a little while. Coffee and a dog.. not a bad combo. 

I spent most of the weekend working on some of my freelance writing assignments for Macon Magazine. 
Finally, I got back into Macon this morning and read this. 

I think September needs to not be so much about me, but what I can give back. If I put enough good into the world, certainly I can escape this month fairly unscathed... right?

Until next time... 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Savoring the Moment, Prepping for the Future

There is no doubt about it, I have been soaking up as much of life as I possibly can. No more wasting time, not more wasting it with the wrong people. One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the years is to just accept where life leads you. 

I found myself back home in late 2011, and I've been doing my thing for almost 4 years. However, I feel a closing of another chapter on the horizon and it's an exciting place to be.

For now, I will love and spend as much time with the people who want to be in my life as I possibly can.  Speaking of spending time - I spent the weekend with my S.G. and parentals at the beach. We took my parents down to S.G.'s beach house to celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary. Lots of good food, salt and sand, and laughs. Something we all needed. 

Just before the beach trip, I threw a tea party at the museum. A true "Southerners" tea party. 

 Everything is going so well at the Cannonball House! We are doing better than they did last year fiscally (with me at the helm.) That's a proud moment for me. Honestly. I feel really good about my work life, my personal life, and so many other things. 

My writing is going well also. Macon Magazine just published another one of my stories, and the 11th Hour publishes something from me just about every issue. 

 And in honor of my sweet Zen Kitty - It is national black cat appreciation day!

All is well in my world. 
All is well.

I'll have more to say later, but wanted to check in. 

I feel fall creeping in... just around the corner. 

And yes, that means September. But I can't let it get me down. 

Not this year.

Any year with a 5 in it or a 6 is typically a lucky year for me.

So far, so good!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dancing , Daughters, and Day Later Yoga

Today's affirmation read, "Stay open. Keep your fire burning bright. When you recognize what inspires you, you'll be recognizing the Light." 

If I am going to go by what I am learning in Week One of the Artist's Way, then that Light is nothing more than God. 

Nice thought. Inspiration comes from God. 
Check and check.

Check out the little quote on my Yogi Tea this morning - "Love has no fear and no vengeance." 

So incredibly true there also.

Alright, now let's get down to brass tacks. I made myself eat healthy and go to yoga last night. 24 whole hours. I did.. I did. 

I dusted off my old yoga mat that I purchased a while back from GAIAM and grabbed my yoga bag and accessories, and made my way down to Tatnall Square Park for lesson one in a Journey to Wellness. The class started at 7pm, and I made sure to get there just about 10 minutes early to find the perfect spot... and I did- right in the back where I belonged. lol

I contorted and breathed deeply and said my intentions to myself. I wiped my brow a few dozen times (it's August.. in Georgia.. and the sun is still out. We'll call this Hot Yoga.) The best news - I did it and I survived. A few times as I was leaning over into Downward Dog, I said to myself, "What the eff are you doing here?" But I was there. 
Then as I was doing some plank with my right leg extended behind me like a broken ballerina trying to do an arabesque, I said to myself, "Just push through." Next thing I knew, it was over and I was sitting among some very kind people with interesting stories. 

I'll go back. I will. 

It's a process. A really, uncomfortable process. 

This morning I had a super healthy breakfast, and no sooner did I step outside to run some errands this jack hole pissed me off in our museum's parking lot (which later led to me purchasing some Krystal fries. We all have our issues.... don't judge.) For the record, Greenscapes Lawn Service in Macon (478-477-0953) has some super rude drivers. Not only did he try to cut me off, then he proceeded to verbally attack me as I was waiting to pull out of our drive way. Needless to say, he got the wrong girl. 

I can thank my south Macon upbringing on that one. *sigh* You can take the girl out of Bloomfield... 


(Not my finest moment. Needless to say, he will not be parking in our driveway anymore to landscape Doc Holliday's area. Plus I seriously doubt he will be acting the fool near our museum ever again. We handled it. Wonder Woman style.)

I digress. 

GREAT news on the home front. This past Saturday, my sweet guy's daughter (okay, it is his step daughter from his first marriage, but she considers him "Dad,") had her baby! 
I believe this technically makes him a grandfather. Check out how big his hands are compared to the baby's body. I'm looking forward to meeting the little girl. Well.. I get really nervous around babies, but I'm sure I can figure this out.

That night I attended the Macon Arts Alliance's Taste of the Arts at Macon's Terminal Station. The theme was "Havana Nights."

So yeah... my organization, The Cannonball House, were celebrity chefs. 

I made Picadillo, a traditional Cuban dish. The recipe came from my dear friend, Tere, from Miami. 

Fun was had by all! 

Life continues to surprise and delight me daily. Membership renewals are flooding into the museum. People came up to me all night telling me how impressed they have been with the publicity and events the Cannonball House has been doing. Things are good, my friends. 

I hope those of you who that have decided to do the Artist's Way with me have gotten or at least ordered your books. If not, that's okay, I'll fill you on some good stuff. Today, simply start, each morning, to keep your Morning pages. That is 3 pages of long hand stream-of-consciousness writing. Without fail, every morning. 

Look, it sucks. I get it. But what you are doing is cleaning out the brain clutter. That way you will be more open to inspiration throughout your day. Just start there. And do it.

I'd love to hear how it goes for you!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Journey into Wellness

It's officially happening - I'm embarking on yet another journey. I think I finally have the tools I need to be successful, and God willing, all will be revealed along the way!

To begin with, I start the "Fall Journey to Wellness" tonight. Yoga lead by my friend, Frances, and nutrition accountability. I bought The Mediterranean Zone Diet book and it was delivered this morning. According to the website, here is what I'm getting:

Dr. Sears revolutionized nutrition with his 1995 bestseller, The Zone. In the two decades since its publication, his dietary principles for optimal hormonal balance to control inflammation have become the standard by which all diets are measured.
The Mediterranean Zone takes his principles of anti-inflammatory nutrition to a new level by explaining the key role that polyphenols play in the reduction of inflammatory responses as well as their activation of anti-aging mechanisms embedded in our genes.
This book will also help you understand not only why the American health-care system is rapidly unraveling, but also what you can do to protect yourself and your family from those consequences.
Sounds good, so far!
In addition, I'm going to dive into a 36 week program to motivate and inspire me to finally write a book. (Details to come!) So many of my friends are published authors, and I thought, what the hell am I waiting for? But first - this journey. I will be working on The Artist's Way. I purchased about three year ago, the complete 3-book journey by Julie Cameron. The first 12 weeks (which works perfectly with my 12 weeks of yoga,) will be based on her first book, The Artist's Way, (according to the website,) is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today-or perhaps even more so-than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In a new introduction to the book, Julia Cameron reflects upon the impact of The Artist’s Way and describes the work she has done during the last decade and the new insights into the creative process that she has gained. Updated and expanded, this anniversary edition reframes The Artist’s Way for a new century. This program will take 12 weeks to complete. 
Then I will head into Walking in this World. Another 12 week program. In this sequel to her international bestseller The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron presents the next step in her course of discovering and recovering the creative self. Part Two in an amazing journey toward discovering our human potential, this book shows readers how to inhabit the world with a sense of wonder. Full of valuable new strategies and techniques for breaking through difficult creative ground, this is a profoundly inspired work by the leading authority on the subject of creativity.
And finally, I will wrap it up with Finding Water, another 12 week program. This powerful new installment in Julia Cameron’s groundbreaking body of work on the creative process will guide readers to discover enduring inspiration that it will lead them to water.
Finding Water completes Julia Cameron’s bestselling trilogy on the creative process, beginning with The Artist’s Way and Walking in This World to offer guidance on weathering the periods in an artist’s life when inspiration appears to have run dry. This book offers advice and wisdom about tackling the most challenging issues an artist faces, such as:
– making the decision to begin a new project;
– persevering when a new approach to your art does not bear immediate fruit;
– staying focused when other parts of your life threaten to distract you from your art; and
– spotting possibilities for artistic inspiration in the most unlikely places.
This powerful new installment in Cameron’s groundbreaking body of work on the creative process will guide readers to discover enduring inspiration-it will lead them to water.
I would like to invite YOU to join me on this journey. If you are interested, I will leave a few of the ideas I have picked up and anything else that might be useful. You can purchase the books I mentioned from the respective websites or Amazon. If you are a Prime Member, you will get free shipping and two day delivery. 
Right now, I would recommend getting the books, and a notebook and pen. That's it. Start as simple as that. We can do this together! Last night, I read a quote in the Artist's Way that reminded me what I needed to do:
It's now or never. I'm not a stand on the sidelines kind of girl. All of the puzzle pieces have been accounted for, all that is left is me. 
One final thought - I was reading my daily devotional. It is from a book I have had since 1996 called Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. Today's thought was "Learn to be Present." She says, "There is a better way to live. One where we keep our hearts open and know what we feel. We take the risk of being vulnerable enough to share who we really are and to allow others to do the same. We become fully present for each moment and each person on our path."
Man... this is an area I really need to work on. My mind wanders a mile a minute, and it is hard to just sit and be in the moment. My hope is tonight, through yoga, I will be able to reconnect with that more spiritual side of who I am. Something.. or rather, someone I lost a long time ago. 
Today as we move forward, Beattie recommends we
Give the gift of presence to yourself and to the world.


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