Me in the Middle of Summer Reading

 

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First Book

This poem moved me so deeply that I followed up with a Google search and found that Dawna Markova had written a  book by the same title.  “Why are we here?” is the question she asks both herself and the reader of this wonderful book ~ I WILL NOT DIE AN UNLIVED LIFE ~.  It’s written while Dawna is on a retreat to solitude in a cabin far away from the hectic pace of modern life.  Her story travels along different paths than mine has and that’s the whole point of her book.  We’re here to follow our own passion and dreams.

“Anyone on a spiritual quest, seeking to discover their own deep wisdom, and uncover their “calling” will be enriched and energized in a powerful and gentle way……”

(Forward)

“Like the rest of the natural world, human beings go through seasons.  At one point, we are in the full bloom of summer, harvesting, committed, in abundance.  Then, naturally there is an autumnal time of falling away, disillusionment, stagnation, a shedding of what has been used up.  Then must come the fallowness and dormancy of winter, death, rest.  Eventually, as is happening right outside the window of this cabin, there is a great melting into muck and mud, which, if one can persevere, opens naturally into an abundant yellow-green time, when everything is possible and horizons open.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

“In a similar way to A Gift from the Sea, the readers of this book (I Will Not Live An Unlived Life) are invited to accompany me on a journey to come to know more intimately the value and purpose of their lives.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

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Men, Women and Happiness Cropped (2)

Ink Sketch and Watercolor by Mary Lou Q

Second Book

Gift from the Sea #3

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s bookGIFT FROM THE SEA ~ was shared with me by my mother back in the 90’s.  I packed myself a lunch and took a ride to the beach, setting up my chair in front of the ocean.  It was a restful day that I needed badly and I hoped to find nuggets of wisdom and truth from this book.  At the time it was difficult for me to concentrate on it.  I kept thinking ‘How can this wealthy woman whose life is so different than mine even relate to what I’m experiencing?’  It’s only been down through the years and coming across Anne’s various quotes from her book that I’ve decided to read it again.  Dawna Markova read it to inspire her book ‘I Will Not Live An Unlived Life’ and I decided to read them both this summer.

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The Introduction to the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of Gift from the Sea (2005)  is written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s daughter, Reeve Lindbergh:

“I read Gift from the Sea at all Seasons of the Year and of my life.  I never once had the sense that my mother’s 1955 book has lost its freshness, or that the wisdom contained within its pages has ceased to apply, whether to my own life or to what I’ve learned , overtime, about hers.”

“Above all, I think, Gift from the Sea offers its readers an unusual kind of freedom.  It is hard to recognize, or even to describe, but I think this freedom is the real reason this book continues to be so well loved and so well read after all these years.  I am talking about the freedom that comes from choosing to remain open, as my mother did, to life itself, whatever it may bring:  Joys, sorrows, triumphs, failures, suffering, comfort and, certainly, always, change.”

Thanks, Mom!  I get it!  

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A Gift from the Sea

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Third Book

Francis Friendship

Francis Mandewah is one of my Guest Bloggers

Me in the Middle introducing Guest Blogger ~ Francis

I was so inspired by what Francis wrote in his guest blog that I bought his book on Amazon Kindle and I’ve just begun reading it.  His story begins with his life as a 15 year old young man in the African country of Sierra Leone and in the heart of the African diamond zone.  His story too is a spiritual journey of trust in goodness in the world in spite of the hardships and realities that might come along.  It’s his trust in this goodness that makes it possible for Francis to be fully present when God opens a door in his life that leads him to the path of his dreams.

“As I chronicled my trials and tribulations I discovered my voice in between the lines of my story ~ a voice that was filled with faith.”

~ Francis Mandewah ~

“I suppose this dream has been the script for my life, because even as I sit, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always feel a tinge of uncertainty, as if I’m eternally looking for a flight itinerary. I have lived a life filled with the adventure of being ushered onto stage and the turmoil of being blindfolded and locked in a cage. Through my travels, my willingness to walk to and through the door, I discovered within myself a will to not just survive, but to thrive, no matter the circumstance.”

Blood Diamond ~ Sierra Leone

“There are people who are kind, and people who are not kind, among all races and cultures. It was a White man who gave me opportunity so I could realize the American dream.  Our friendship transcended race, and built a positive connection between the races. We can overcome racism through friendship and positive cross-cultural relationships.  “

 

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~ Letter Z

My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

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Zest for LIfe

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Destiny!

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Creative Living

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celebrities time youtube what back

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* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

****  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~ Letter Y

My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

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 “We contain all the ages we have ever been.” 

Anne Lamott ♥

Aging

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Forever Young ~ Joan Baez

 
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Aging #2

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 * Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

****  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~Letter W

My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

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“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
– Henry David Thoreau ~

Writing #4

Me in the Middle of Writing ~ Why Do I Write?

~ Click Here ~

 

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Writing #9

 Me in the Middle of Standing on My Own ~ A Few Poems I Wrote

(Click on Link Above)

Whenever I attempted to write poetry, it was usually at a more challenging time in my life.  When I was sorting through life’s paradoxes and finding my way through the complexities and seeking answers.  When I wasn’t able to find the words to express what was going on inside, writing poetry helped to define that struggle.

 

Writing #5

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Writing has been a path to my middle ground.  It’s there at the center of my thoughts that I’m able to find that thread of continuity of my own self.  It surprises me when, after procrastinating on getting started, I find a joy and freedom that begins to awaken and I wonder why I waited to begin.  It’s an awakening that points to the whole ‘me’.

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Write

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* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

****  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~Letter V

My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

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“What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.” – Brené Brown

 

THIS ^^^^^^ IS THE MOST IMPORTANT VIDEO IN MY LESSONS LEARNED

I’m going to share, once again, my favorite quotes by Brene in this video.  Where did we pick up the message that we’re not worthy ~ that we’re not enough.  We each have to look at our own lives and find the answers to that.  I like how she extends this into our politics and our religions.

Whole-hearted people have a sense of courage… the courage to be imperfect…. the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others.  They had connection as a result of their authenticity.

Vulnerability is kind of the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging and of love.

We numb vulnerability…. You cannot selectively numb emotion.  You can’t say here’s the bad stuff… here’s the vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment.  I don’t want to feel these.  (You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affect or emotion. When we numb those, we numb joy, gratitude, we numb happiness.)

We make everything that is uncertain, certain.  Religion has gone from a belief in faith and mystery to certainty.  ‘I’m right, you’re wrong! Shut Up!’

This is what politics looks like today.  There’s no discourse.  There’s no conversation.  There’s just blame.

You’re imperfect . . . and you are wired for struggle but you are worthy of love and belonging.

My way of dealing with pain and vulnerability was to stuff it down and leave it unexpressed until I had to take the time to bring it all into the open and talk about it and deal with the pain.  We need to tell our stories and to share them with others who will be inspired to do the same.

 “When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal someone else.”  ~ Iyana Vanzant

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The Heart and The Bottle ~ Oliver Jeffers

(Click on the link above)

A tender illustrated fable of what happens when we deny our difficult emotions.  A gentle reminder of what we stand to lose when we lock away loss.

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Vulnerability #3

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* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

****  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***