Breaking Free — Almost There

Starlings

Starlings by Marilyn Peddle – Courtesy of PhotoDropper (https://www.flickr.com/photos/71153021@N00/4357665982)

I haven’t written much nor have I been in the mix lately. I apologize. There’s a reason for that — I’m not going to lie. I’ve been facing personal demons and struggling with writing about it. I don’t want to add any more drama than is already out there. Instead, maybe sharing a bit of the process for me to finally break free of old beliefs that no longer serve me will help some of you.

Something is shifting within me and calling. I can feel it, though, I’m not quite sure what it is or where it will take me. So, I’ve been laying low and, needless to say, resisting a lot. Only this time, the ‘forces-that-be’ appear to have been set in motion and won’t be denied.

It’s a battle between mind and heart, as I am again sitting at this computer and, for the “nth” time, attempting to write this story. It’s difficult because I’m living the story as I write it. It’s forever changing and my thoughts are jumbled up. Yet, my heart compels me to write. So, here goes.

Many things have shown up lately as I’ve once again taken on the challenges of spiritual growth by embracing authentic, personal responsibility of old fears. I can see where they’re interconnected and have arrived to be addressed. They will no longer tolerate the busyness of life and will no longer be put on the back shelf.

Funny, how once we decide to truly look within and willingly seek help to make heart changes, Pandora’s box springs open. One of these life-long battles that’s recently raised its head is my eyesight.

It’s something I’ve struggled with as far back as early childhood. I can remember around 7 years of age, when I got my first glasses. It was nighttime and, when I stepped outside the eye doctor’s office to leave with my parents, I remember looking up at the sky. It was as if I saw stars for the first time. I couldn’t stop looking up and then all around — trees, cars, buildings. It was mesmerizing. Everything seemed to have been drawn closer and I could see them clearly. I was discovering a new world all within the context of these framed glasses.

In school I no longer had to rely on copying classmates’ notes nor sit up front to see the board. I could see for myself. Only then, it was the teasing to contend with in being called, “four eyes”. I was so insecure, I would have given up the ability to see if I could have only been accepted by my peers.

Either way, it still didn’t seem to matter. My school work still suffered and the teasing continued. In my youthful innocence, I even turned to prayer that I remembered from Sunday School for clear eyesight. But over time, that didn’t seem to work either,  so I gave up and life went on — I adapted.

More glasses, stronger prescriptions, hard contacts, contacts with holes, soft toric contacts: they all helped me throughout the years to see and function in my world as I know it. I’ve been happily settling for the best possible combinations of correction in order to see. Sometimes, compromising distance to balance medium and close-up vision.

Now, I’m at a crossroads, as it is in life when you come to a wall and can’t run anymore. My contact prescription has run out as well as my contacts, my glasses barely function between distance, middle and close up correction and my eye appointment revealed I’m a candidate for cataract surgery. Well . . .

I have an appointment with the surgeon Monday but given the additional cost for astigmatism that option isn’t necessarily a gimme either, after insurance coverage.

So, I’ve come full circle from the first glasses in grade school and prayers for clear eyesight. Given the spiritual work I’ve been processing, I’m more tuned into my feelings and when I hear hubby say, “I want to do this for you”, my heart wants to cry as if I’m hearing those words come from a higher source in answer to a prayer so long ago.

So, I found it fitting that I, ironically, came across Karin’s post “Murmuration” recently and this video helped to clarify what is going on and serve as a source of encouragement. It speaks to me on what I look to see and feel – free and spontaneous: something like these beautiful starlings in flight captured by filmmaker, Neels Castillon, on a commercial shoot in Marseille, France, in 2013. It’s called “A Bird Ballet(please watch – it may help you understand):

The beauty of these birds soaring in harmony caught up in the sheer pleasure of flying is refreshing. It’s freeing to my soul no matter what obstacles. How light and effortless they move about the sky without running into one another. It’s as if they’re dancing to a heavenly tune only they can hear.

It’s the excitement I get each time I feel loved and get guidance from a higher source when faced with challenges in my life. I know I’m not alone. I don’t know what will be the outcome of all of this but just from listening to the stirring on the inside there’s more going on than what I see.

Maybe, through the course of working through all these awakenings, I’ll write a book. If I do, I think I’ll call it, “Don’t Kill the Messenger”, as I enter another 10-week Presence Process for the 5th time.

For now, I hope you know in reading this story that no matter what age, life will always keep challenging you to get out of yourself, inviting you to take leaps and push the boundaries. If you don’t know how, go out and watch the birds.

I hope you’ll accept the challenge and become all that you came here to be.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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Note: For more information, here are some resources I’ve found to be helpful in my spiritual growth:

  • “The Presence Process – A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness” – Revised Edition by Michael Brown. You can also visit his site to learn more at “The Presence Portal”.
  • “Wishes Fulfilled” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • “Don’t Die with Your Music Still In You” by Serena J. Dyer
  • “I Can See Clearly Now” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • “I Am” Wishes Fulfilled Meditation by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and James F. Twyman
  • “Experiencing the Miraculous” — a Spiritual Journey to Assisi, Lourdes and Medjugorje — 4-DVD set by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • (Now reading) “Take Off Your Glasses and See – How to Heal Your Eyesight and Expand Your Insight” by Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D.
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Ghost Stories From an Old House: #Story

My Grandparents' House - Many Years Later - Photo © 2012 Courtesy of My Cousin

My Grandparents’ House – Many Years Later – Photo © 2012 Courtesy of My Cousin

Hi everyone — sending a quick note to let you know and thank Susan Cooper for the honor of being her guest over at “Finding Our Way Now” with the contribution of the following story.

It’s a story I wrote last year and begins like this.

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Ghost Stories From an Old House: #Story

It was the home where my mother grew up in a small beach town in Virginia, situated on main street and only 2 blocks from downtown.

You wouldn’t think the house would be “haunted” just to look at it. And, oh, what would it say, if it could talk? “I remember that family ― the small, frail man and the large, strong endearing woman. She understood me.”

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I hope you’ll pay Susan a visit, leave a comment and share the love.

Thank You!

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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Humbled

Underwood No. 5 keys Photo by Pat David Courtesy of PhotoDropper

Underwood No. 5 keys Photo by Pat David Courtesy of PhotoDropper

I was humbled today in a very tender way. So much so, I felt embarrassed and was moved to tears. It led me to write this post to capture what I felt so I would remember.

As is the case, I’m grateful in not having to plan most of my days. Instead, I enjoy watching them unfold. I found myself this morning watching this day unfold by attending to techy, computer work. Hubby had gotten another external hard drive with more space to back up our files as I had run out of room on the other drive. I tend to accumulate stuff and have difficulty purging. That’s a topic I’ll save for a different time.

It seemed simple. Create a new folder on the new drive and copy and paste files over from my laptop. As he was giving me the instructions on the new drive, I found my chest and throat tightening to a point where I was having trouble talking. I was panicking about something new to learn and afraid of messing up something I believed to be important. I know it sounds crazy.

I’ve felt this before when I’ve had difficulty understanding, afraid of losing something or screwing it up beyond repair. I don’t know why I get myself so worked up with computer stuff. Lord knows I’ve worked my way through so much in creating a blog, videos, and e-book, even worked as an administrative assistant for some 25+ years.  So, on it went with the banter back and forth until I just copied the ‘dang’ files over . . . and then it happened.

Hubby called me to watch this short video and in the watching I was stopped in my tracks. It gave me an understanding of how silly all this stuff is and what we put ourselves through. Where does it lead and what does it get us? My head didn’t understand but I know somewhere inside of me did with my whole being. It seemed so simple.

Now, I was being shown how it’s done and how to live in the purest form by this gentle soul, Paul Smith, the Typewriter Artist. I don’t know that I can find words to do justice to what this taught me and also note how quick the universe was to kindly point it out with hints of guidance ― I’m thankful it was kind. May you be tenderly touched, as I was, in watching someone who is real, humbly going about the business of living in the most modest of circumstances, while using the talents he’s been given ― no complaints. God bless him. The video says it all.

After watching this, I was embarrassed with how much energy I used getting worked up about computer stuff, as if it was crucial and my life depended on it. I was embarrassed on how little I have to be fearful of in conquering something new, when compared to what Paul has achieved and continues to overcome. I was taken aback by the amount of effort it takes for him in what I would regard as the simplest of tasks.

Yes, it certainly put things in perspective. In the gentlest of ways, I got the message to get over it and use how much I have been given to do the things I love. When you’re picture comes from the inside, it will find a way to get outside.

I was moved to tears by his attitude in how he diligently goes about his work with no one to impress nor timeframe to satisfy. He’s happy and feels blessed with his life ― fulfilled. How different from what life looks like out here with the structure and demands we put on it. How hard we make it when we should just learn to have a heart full of gratitude with the gifts we’ve been given and use them ― joyfully.

I can continue to bang on life to get something out of it or softly listen and be grateful for what tools I have to simply use, enjoy and share. That seems so uncomplicated and is all that’s really needed.

I hope this stirred something in you, as it did me, and that you’ll share.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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Nearing The End of Summer ― A Kenosha Pass Walkabout

Kenosha Pass overlooking South Park in Colorado

Kenosha Pass overlooking South Park – Photo © 2014 by Pat Ruppel

Ahh, the long Labor Day weekend has come and gone. It’s the holiday that falls on the first Monday of September when many families in the U.S. celebrate by barbecuing, camping or going to the beach for one last time before the seasons change. For me, it has always signaled the end of summer.

As I look back over the past few months, I can’t help but reflect on what I did and wonder where the time went. It was a beautiful, cool summer with more showers than usual keeping everything green. We didn’t do much this year except take a ride now and then. I thought I’d share one of those rides with you as another walkabout.

It’s not far from home and a familiar route hauling our horses to many county fairs our girls participated in, as well as 4-H retreats. I hope you enjoy this spontaneous jaunt we took one evening in July over Kenosha Pass in the Colorado Rockies.

I can remember many times driving down that highway, late at night, through snow storms. There was one night in particular when the highway finally opened, the kids and I packed up and headed over the pass to a 4-H weekend retreat. It was one of the firsts for me as a chaperone and a first camp for my daughter and her companions. We didn’t get in until the wee hours of the morning having called ahead to let them know we were on our way. When we arrived, a lot of the campers bundled out of the lodge, got our gear and helped us get settled.

Then, there was the time we were coming home from the little town of Jefferson and over Kenosha Pass. My daughter had a 4-H business meeting and it was late – almost 11:00 pm. The mountain highways are not well-lit and before we knew it, there stood a deer in the middle of the highway. It was too late to avoid and I hit it. We had stopped and pulled over to see if there was anything we could do and survey the damage. But it was too late. It had lived long enough to get up and drop on the side of the highway. Needless to say, the rest of the way home we cried and agonized over the “what-if’s”.

Other times were on hikes when the aspens change (see pictures I posted in a story I wrote called, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) and going over for 4th of July fireworks with the girls when they were young and, now, with our grandkids.

Making memories is what it’s all about and we’ve sure made our fair share of them over the years. Now, as the sky takes on a different look and the air feels crisp, I draw on the warmth and love of the mountain peaks around me knowing that, in their silence, they’ll hold my memories tight, keeping them safe for when I need to revisit and remember what is real and important.

I hope you’ll share what you did this summer and the memories you have made.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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