Weekend Coffee Share, Surprises or Subtle Transformations

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Come sit on the back porch with me for your morning beverage of choice. It promises to be a slow-moving, sticky Southern day here in North Florida. What would we discuss if we were having coffee today?

Well, Bixby has sniffed around and has already retreated to the house . He certainly doesn’t miss his stray-dog days! Though, he likely will come out again. My drink of choice today is cold, green matcha tea. I am allowing myself to move quite slowly. I hope you don’t mind the pace. Stop a while and relax. I have cardio later, but it can wait!

I’ve had plenty of time lately to take in my surroundings, to stop and smell the roses. Sitting on the porch provides a lot of lovely views of nature. I haven’t seen as many birds lately, but there are other sights.

I’ll be praising the rain again later today. It sure pleases the plants!

This week, I did a little bit of writing for continuation of my short story, Crossroads Diner #205. I hope to extend it to novella-length. Again, slow-going, but I am not fretting over that. I’m allowing myself to move when the muse moves me, and to work on other things when it doesn’t. I am still journaling daily this summer as I eat a slow, relaxed breakfast. It is so good for my relaxation levels.

My journaling experience is accompanied by affirmations by Louise Hay in her journal titled A Garden of Thoughts. Coincidentally, I’m taking an online course on teaching students with special needs, and we are currently learning about Growth Mindset, a very important thing, and I am feeling more enthusiastic about my job and this training than I thought…but let me tell you about my growth in regards to journaling.

Journaling is a part of many self-help programs: AA, chronic pain (TMS) sufferers, etc., because self-reflection helps a person look at how they dealt with things in the past and how they can change it. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and a chronic pain sufferer. Admittedly, I still suffer frequent arthritis pain, and just saw the doctor for a steroid shot in my shoulder this Wednesday. The journaling has really helped my mindset. I’ve often in the past felt like I was less of a person or didn’t deserve great things, that it was just the way it was. That I was limited. I think I addressed the shoulder pro-actively, as I plan to stay active and now I’m stretching it a little more each day.

Breaking out of self-limiting mindset is extremely important. Each of the affirmations in A Garden of Thoughts is highly positive, and I can’t always believe all of them, but I have my own take on them, and I am glad to see the words. For example, today’s affirmation: “I celebrate today, another precious day on Earth. I shall live it with joy. Today I am a new person.” Yet, I just couldn’t agree that today I was, or even ever needed to be a new person. Still, I am not the same-old me. I am much more relaxed than I was six weeks ago, no surprise there.

It does feel like I’m celebrating every day by taking time to smell the roses. This is something that summer provides me, so it’s not entirely new; it is cyclical. I am so habitual. I have my routines: a slow breakfast of cereal heaped high with fruit, a little turmeric powder on top, and more recently, Reiki music during breakfast, and the journaling habit which helps me stay off the computer until after breakfast.* I do feel my stress and intensity melting away a little more each day. My thoughts are: “Today, I am even a little more self-accepting; today I am just a little more grateful, less fearful, and more in love with my lot in life. ”

Each day, I am growing less rigid about outcomes and more determined to enjoy the journey and those who are with me on this journey. I am setting my expectations free, because now is a break from the rat race, so this is the time to do so, and I am getting better at that gradually with each passing day.

No big, sudden surprises, but the gradual realization that I am in love, that I love myself even more, and that I can handle this world and this life, perhaps even handle it well! I’ll continue to celebrate it daily. Perhaps when I return to the ‘rat-race’ this fall, I will maintain this mindset.

Thank you visiting me for a coffee (or tea) chat. What’s new with you?

Weekend Coffee Share, Lazy Summer Lounging

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This last week was very relaxing and maybe even lazy, once I got the vacation laundry done. There were two days of teacher training, however, but Friday gave me a renewed chance for lounging. 🙂

Schultz Center, training and conference center.

The training we received was very informative. Despite English teachers having new standards, new curriculum, and a new text, I left with the feeling “I can do this!” The lesson plans are more clear, and the text completely links with our new state standards, so I’m quite happy with this! I also had a great lunch with a teacher friend at the Garden Cafe!

Since our vacation, I’ve had a sore/stiff shoulder and my boyfriend has a knot in his back muscle near the shoulder blade. For me, it was likely from doing a backstroke while lounging in the Coco Cay waters. For him, it’s definitely from carrying luggage that included my cosmetic carry-on . We both seem to agree that vacation was still worth it!

Here, I’m wearing my obsidian necklace from Chichen Itza, Mexico from Chris. Hard to tell here, but it’s a Tree of Life.
Journaling is part of my summer writing plan that helps me work on mindfulness and gratitude!

On Writing

I wrote probably one page this last week on Ellie, the Time Traveler. I also jotted down thoughts and ideas for continuing Crossroads Dinner #205. I’ve really been distracted by the shoulder. However, I’m still journaling by hand almost daily. Here are some thoughts on being part of the rhythm and flow of life:

From the July 1st prompt: I heard in a pain podcast, “Don’t be fearless, but fear LESS.” (Pain Free You). My thoughts are that we cannot help but to have feelings, but we can try not to over focus on them. This morning, it’s easy for me to trust the process of life. I know all my loved ones are safe, and I’m sitting in a room blessed by Sunshine peeking through my blinds.

Grasshoppers are making joyful noise out in the day as the temperature climbs. It is peaceful. I am noticing it all. On cloudy, rainy days, I need to also spend more time noticing, just observing, because it is also a part of life’s Evan flow, the cycles of nature. I can notice what’s around even if it’s not what I wanted or expected without judging, even if it changes my plans. The dance of nature is so awesome to observe!-PC

That’s where I am right now. I see my doctor about the shoulder next week and will have coffee with a writer friend Thursday. It is sure to be at least a two hour coffee chat! Have a great day, and I hope you find time to relax. Bixby certainly is a guru at this!

Morning Meditations (help from Louise Hay)

Woman with busy-brain learns to meditate and focus her mind on positivity with a little help from the right books.

Do you struggle with meditating like I do? Here’s my latest tool.

So, you have a busy brain? You wake up with a drumbeat in your head thinking of all that you need to do, or you struggle to get up and feel positive about your day in any way? Have you tried meditation, they ask. Ha. My busy brain struggles to meditate and needs all the help it can get. Here’s what’s working for me lately.

Last summer, my holistic friend Kim gave me a lot of journals and self-health books. Since I love books, self-help books and journaling are both things I love to spend my time with, and being a teacher on summer break allows me exactly that! I started last year with the Soul Coaching, 28 days book with focused each week on one of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Believe me, I had a few seriously negative things that I needed to get through last year, but I began to open my eyes more to God’s blessings all around me and to learn more about myself and my spirituality through them.

This year, I am using the Affirmation Journal by Louise Hay pictured above. It really centers my mind each morning on positive things that exist in my life and helps set up my mood for the day. Things are going quite well for me this year, but summer is a time I could be dangerously lazy and develop serious kinks in my neck from reading on the couch or sitting at the computer for countless hours, starting with breakfast even. Being my age, I at times struggle with focus as well and may have 20 tabs open at once, so starting my day with breakfast and writing in this Affirmation Journal helps me to get centered with a positive mindset. Another goal I have is to be more active and have several breaks from sitting, writing, or computer time. So, getting centered in the morning helps me all around.

Sure, I could Google positive thoughts or daily affirmations. No, never mind, I can’t. I would be distracted by the latest drama between two celebrities suing each other over their broken, toxic marriage, or even by Amazon telling me what I should buy now. I could read a Bible passage and reflect on that. No, some of those passages are quite confusing. I was raised on the Bible, and it has its purposes, but if you’ve read it, you know it’s confusing. I’ve had preachers preach that you can’t just pick and choose what passage you wish to read. Sometimes I do agree, other times, I may seek it out. At any rate, I have found this book helpful as it asks for my interpretation and reflection on each thought.

Here is an example based on the thought: “I now accept all good as normal and natural for me….”

I think this entry had a lot to do with gratitude as well, but accepting good things for exactly what they are has been a struggle for me at times, having “busy-brain.” I just want to share what has worked for me lately.

Blessings to you all for a happy week and great summer!

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