Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NaNoWriMo - for reals

Last year, I participated in my own personal version of NaNoWriMo.  Instead of writing a book, I wrote a daily blog post.  The challenge was as much about finding the time to write every day as it was about finding content to write about every day.  No word counts.  No rules.  Just a personal challenge.  It was not easy, and I think I missed a day or two, although I made them up and made all 30 posts.  Despite everything that attempted to get in my way, I met the challenge.  It was not always easy to find the time or the mojo to write, but it was empowering and confidence building.  Hopefully, my readers also enjoyed it.

This year, it's for reals.  Yep.  I signed up to officially participate in National Novel Writing Month in November.  The official writing begins November 1st and ends November 30th.  The goal?  50,000 words.  In case you are wondering, I did the math.  A daunting 1667 words per day is what needs to be done.  If you miss a day, guess what.  Twice as many!



I'm trying not to panic.  Looking at the calendar, I know there are at least a few days where it will be damn hard to find the time to write 1600 words.  I also know, once I get into it, I may not want to stop.  Sleep is for the weak, right?  ;-)

So why the hell am I doing this?  Especially when also in the final weeks of half-marathon training and the depths of a dearth of daylight.  Well, if you've followed along here for a while, you know I've been strongly guided to write a book.  While NaNoWriMo is really more geared toward fiction novelists, my book is non-fiction. It doesn't really matter.  Having the support of a writing community and some accountability, even if it's only self-imposed, is helpful.  It's something I've wanted to do for years and something the Universe is strongly calling me to do now.  I.  Must.  Write.  This.  Book.  In fact, I did an Angel card reading for myself with a general "What do I need to know today?" question and guess what card came up?  Yep.  Books. 'Your life purpose has to do with writing'.  I swear, I don't make this stuff up!  Validation?  Me thinks yes.

I've been trying to write for months. Not only the book, but I have many blog posts I'd love to pen and literally no time. Something always comes up.  Appointments, sick kids, other commitments, work, lack of focus, too many other things to do that are required to keep this family and household functioning.  They are real, and important for the other areas of my life and growth, but if I'm ever going to get this book written I need to consciously make the time to do it.  That has been made abundantly clear. When I do get in the groove, I could go for hours.

Although I would love the ideal situation in which to write (quiet, uninterrupted time for at least one full day each week, ideally, an entire weekend or week), it's not going to happen and, well, I do need to work and be mommy and attend to all of those related responsibilities.  Until I find me a chef and chauffeur or clone myself, I can't run away to write.

Thus, NaNoWriMo is my shepherd.  Meggie is my muse.  The rest is up to me.  Hopefully with a little help from Spirit and the Universe, by the end of November, I will be well on my way to fulfilling a dream and an important part of my soul's purpose on this earthly journey.

Wish me luck, focus and abundance of time!  I might need it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Something has changed

Ever get the feeling there is a major change coming in your life, but can't quite put a finger on it?

I've had experience with this sort of thing before.  Sometimes it's a good thing.  Sometimes not so much. This time, it's more of an intuitive change in my compass.  Another bend in the path of life.  It will be fantastic.  This I know.  However, it requires some significant changes and a shift in my operating system to accomplish. Therein lies the challenge...

Intuition is a powerful thing.  Learning to listen to it is a life long process.  Learning to trust it is something else entirely.  Acting on what you know you need to do, especially if it's a significant change or pushes you outside of your comfort zone, is where most people get off the train.  There are usually signs all around us that support what we already know we need to do.  Things people say.  Things we see.  Situations we find ourselves in.  People we meet.

This time of year is always one of introspection for me.  As I look back on the past year, it is astounding the change that has occurred in my life.  So amazing and powerful and good.  I am filled with gratitude.  So much validation, new energy, opportunities and goodness has come my way.  In part, because I chose to actively manifest change.  The Universe is throwing wonderful opportunities at me.  At times, it's hard to keep up!

Now, here I sit, at another turning point in my life.  At least from a spiritual standpoint.  Messages about what I need to do to 'level up' are frequent and strong.  My human-ness is resisting some of this.  I know change is necessary, but hard.  I also know, until I make the changes I need to, I will remain 'stuck'.

I ask for the time and guidance to help me understand what I need to do and how.  In the chaos that is the fall in my life, I've had precious little time for nurturing me and my spirit.  I am feeling strongly called back to it.  Ask, and you shall receive.

November and December are emotionally difficult months for me.  They are also the months where I am more apt to listen to spirit and actively process.  As luck would have it, the kids' sports ramp down, giving me a bit more 'me' time as well as more time with them.  Re-balancing time is here.  While many parents of young athletes push them to go, go, go, the PT and mom in me believes they need a break, both physically for their bodies and to re-charge and reconnect to their Divine life purpose, too.  So we all will ramp it down and re-connect to our home, each other and our roots as a family.

As we approach All Hallows Eve, the Day of the Dead and the holiday season, we all need to take care of ourselves and those we love.  Both of the earth and of the other side.  Make a conscious effort not to get caught up in the crazy energy of the season, but instead, remain focused on what really matters.  Listen. Trust.  Love.

I will share with you some of these changes in the coming weeks.  Perhaps you can relate or it will catalyze your own journey.

Be well and true.  Namaste.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Reconnecting and recharging

This past weekend was a special one.  It was a 'get-away' weekend with my husband to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  It was a nice opportunity for us to spend some quality time together, without the distractions of our daily, crazy busy life.   It evolved into so much more.  The gifts of this weekend were unexpected and amazing.  I was not only gifted with the chance to reconnect with my husband, but also to recharge my batteries.  I am solar powered and find such peace and happiness being one with nature. I am filled with gratitude on so many levels. 

First, we drove to Maine for our little mini-moon.  We stayed at an absolutely divine bed and breakfast called the Inn at Ocean's Edge.  I highly recommend it if you are looking for a quiet, romantic B+B. The grounds were beautiful and peaceful.  Our room was warm and inviting, complete with a gas fireplace and a jacuzzi tub for two!  The common rooms had a cozy atmosphere, with sofas and large chairs inviting you to curl up with a cup of tea and a book.  There was an amazing infinity pool (too cold for me!), a hot tub and a pool house with every amenity you could think of.  By the ocean were cozy lounge chairs where you could nap, read, or simply gaze at the bay.  The view was peaceful.  Stairs led to the rocky beach.  It's hard to put into words the beauty and serenity of this place.  Perhaps a few photos will do it justice. 
The view from our room

 The sunrise was spectacular.  Nearly as east as one can get in the Northeast, the sunrise was earlier than at home.
Sunrise, through our window (and screen)
After breakfast we headed north for a 90 minute drive to Acadia National park.  The weather was spectacular.  Not a cloud in the sky.  The scenery along the way was beautiful. When we reached the Visitor center we learned two things.  It was National park day and admission was free and it was the festival of the night sky.  For two people who have a love of stargazing, this was exciting news!  We enjoyed the day driving the park loop road.  Our first stop was sand beach.  We walked the beach.  The first time my toes have touched sand this year!!  I dipped my toes in the ocean but, brrrrr!  We enjoyed a leisurely stroll.  I even found two sand dollars!  I love sand dollars!  

Yay!  Beach!

Sand beach
Next, we stopped off for a hike up the Gorham Mountain Trail, a moderate hike of about an hour up a rocky trail with spectacular views of Bar Harbor and the area islands.  I even found some love on the trails.  

We also partook of lunch and the famous popovers at the Jordan Pond House.  Delicious! 

I love paths

View atop Cadillac Mountain

We ended our day atop Cadillac Mountain where we watched a gorgeous sunset from the summit. 

A bit of meditation as the sun set.  The cool air and warmth on my face was wonderful.

It's all about balance...

We hung around until dark for the star party!  There were over 30 astronomers, some with amazingly powerful kick-ass telescopes trained on nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and specific stars.  We were able to peek through their telescopes and see for ourselves.  Definitely an unexpected gift!  Being atop a mountain, surrounded by ocean, means very little ambient light.  The sky was stunning to the naked eye.  I've seen the  Milky Way from my house.  It looks no where near as defined as it did from Acadia!  We took our blanket and found a spot to lay down on the rock and watched the sky for quite some time.  

We pondered age-old questions.  Are we alone in the Universe?  How insignificant are we and our 'problem's when we realize how truly small we are in the grand scheme of things?  We saw a few shooting stars.  We saw constellations we strain to see from home.  We marveled at the difference and the stark beauty of our Universe.  It was quite romantic as we lay there, holding hands under the stars, no words needed.  Love.  Appreciation.  Connectedness to each other, aware of what we had to go through to find each other in such a vast place. Yes, that.  It's worth nurturing.  We did.  In spades.

Sunday morning I woke to another lovely sunrise although today it was through an ebbing and flowing fog bank.  I grabbed some hot tea and wandered out for a walk around 7 am.  It was silent except for the calls of some gulls and sea birds.  I was blissfully alone on the beach.  The sun danced upon the calm waters.  As I walked down the wooden stairs to the beach, I could hear the tide receding through the rocks that were the beach.  I sat on the bottom step and closed my eyes.   I felt the warm sun on my face and smiled.  I heard the ocean whispering to me.  I felt the cool morning air warming by the minute.  It was a beautiful spot to meditate.  After some time, I decided to wander the beach.  It was slow going walking over the rocks.  I enjoyed being fully present.  I noticed the rocks.  All different shapes, sizes and colors.  Smoothed and shaped by Mother Nature as she tossed them in the waves and sand.  The most natural rock tumbler you can get!  I found several in the shape of hearts.  Can you see the love? 

Stairs to the rocky beach

The fog rolling in

The ocean.  Calm as the tide drifted out.

Sun rising.  Gorgeous.

This one is bigger than it looks.  I so wanted to bring it home.

Tokens of love. 

After another delicious breakfast, we headed toward home.  A detour to the beach of my youth, where my family used to vacation every year when I was a kid into my teen years.  We drove the old familiar way, past the landmarks I loved and remembered so well.   We parked (for free! The unexpected abundance continues!) at Old Orchard Beach and headed straight for some Pier Fries.  I have no idea why, but they are the best french fries ever!  Then we walked the beach. The tide was beginning to come in.  The water was a bit warmer than at Sand Beach, so I walked in the surf with my jeans rolled up.  As I've done on this beach since I was a kid, my eyes were trained for sand dollars.  

My grandmother got me hooked on shelling for sand dollars when I was a kid.  My husband marveled as I found one, then two, then another, and another, until I had 8 in my hand.  I wish I had a pail!  I did get a bit more wet than I intended but one forgets about waves when focused on that sand dollar!  I was so happy.  I was happy to walk on the beach, to commune with the ocean and her cleansing qualities.  To feel the sun on my face, and to reconnect with my youth.  I thought about the meaning this stretch of sand has held for me in my life, I remembered certain snippets of my childhood.  I thanked my grandmother (now in Heaven) for teaching me to hunt sand dollars and for guiding me to find the ones I did today.  I was grateful to share it with my husband, who walked with me, but apart from me, shoes still on, away from the surf. 

I paused.  I thanked the Universe for this gift.  For all the gifts of this weekend.  Not only did my husband and I have a wonderful weekend together, reconnecting and celebrating us, but I reconnected to ME.  Through nature.  With nature.  And love.  Huh.  Always comes back to love.