I have good feelings about my New Year’s resolution of bringing more clarity into my life by focusing on little things in the moment. Part of the process is simply reminding myself that finding inspiration and direction will naturally happen when the time is right. There’s no need to plan tasks or compose to-do lists. Rather, awareness and presence, in themselves, create a welcoming space for life’s healing energy to fill.


Word-art that says "Be aware" and many other positive words in the shape of a woman.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I had a massage appointment Tuesday afternoon, which followed about a week of having a tight, painful area on the right side of my back. The therapist worked on it for awhile, but it was still bothering me in the evening. I had not lifted anything heavy and did not seem to have any bruise or injury, so I thought it was probably caused by stress.

I woke up feeling thirsty around 3 AM and drank some orange juice. Then I got back in bed and was just about to fall asleep when I remembered that a sore back was among the tactics used by Dame Shadow, my self-appointed subconscious protector, when she felt I wasn’t doing enough to address a problem.

“Okay, Dame Shadow,” I said sleepily in my thoughts, while lying face down on my pillow, “I know you like to keep me guessing, but can you give me at least a small hint as to what’s going on here?”

After a moment, I felt a weight on the edge of the bed as Dame Shadow sat down next to me, dressed in a luminous velvet gown with long, rustling sleeves. She had brought with her an assortment of oil pastels, but no canvas or paper.

Photo of oil pastels in a stack.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

The reason for the absence of a canvas became clear when the Dame started pressing the pastels, one at a time, into my back and shoulders. Evidently she was placing dots of various colors on my skin, but I had no idea what the pattern might be. She didn’t seem inclined to explain what she was doing, either. I lay there for a few minutes without saying anything, but then she poked an especially tender spot.

“Ow! Isn’t that enough? Just what are you doing anyway?” I complained. “Whatever you’re drawing on my back, you know I can’t see it. Even if we had some daylight, I still would need a mirror.”

The Dame added a few more dots, leaned back as if to admire her handiwork, and chuckled.

“That’s often the way life is,” she told me. “We can’t see the picture in real time, but only the reflection later.”

Last week was so dark and gray that I ordered a sparkly sleeveless top from a catalog to cheer myself up. That was somewhat out of character for me, as I’m not usually an impulse shopper. It definitely left me feeling more cheerful when I put it on, though. I would say there’s no harm in it because we all need to buy new clothes sometime! And now that the days are getting longer, it’s starting to feel just a little bit like spring. Even though today started with icy drizzle and ended with snow, we’re not that far away.

Word-art that says "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." -Victor Hugo

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Sometimes it can be hard to find energy when, like this week, it’s just one dark winter day after another. Still, there are many reasons to be grateful. Even the little things, like a flameless candle on my desk and a colorful lighted keyboard that my husband gave me for Christmas, add up to feeling well nurtured and cared for—when we take the time to notice them.

Word-art that says "Grateful for being" and many other words with a candle image.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Sometimes on these long, dark winter nights, I get a feeling that can best be described as a longing to go home. It is just as likely to pop up when I am in my house, so it’s not about a specific physical place in the here and now. Maybe it has to do with a childhood home, or an ancestral home—it might even be a collective wish to get back on the mothership. I honestly don’t know.

When that happens, a good book always leaves me feeling more at home in the world. Being able to explore different places and times while discovering a wonderful assortment of new friends there, just by reading words on paper (or more often a screen, nowadays) always seemed magical to me.

Word-art that says "Books are the plane, the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home." -Anna Quindlen

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I had a quiet day at home on Monday because it was a company holiday for me, while my husband had to go to work. The weather had turned colder, with snow flurries, and I didn’t feel at all like going out or—to be honest—doing much of anything. I put a picture of a frozen stream on my digital art display because, well, that was the sort of day it felt like to me.

Photo of a frozen stream with bare mountains in the background.

(Photo credit: Giuseppe Milo)

Sitting down with a good book and a cup of tea seemed just right, but I couldn’t make up my mind what I felt like reading. That reminded me that I had been meaning to install Libby on my phone. Libby is an electronic borrowing app; first you identify your library system and enter your card number, and then you can browse the library’s catalog and either reserve a paper book or (in the US) get an ebook on your Kindle. There is no need to return the ebook because it is automatically removed from the Kindle when the library loan expires.

I downloaded the Libby app and found it easy to set up and use—it took only a few minutes. Why I hadn’t gotten around to doing it before, I don’t know. For the past several years I’d been buying books from Amazon and, as I mentioned in a post last year, got totally out of the habit of visiting the library. Now that I have a convenient app, I hope to do better from now on!

Today I want to give a shout-out to all the bloggers who take part in positive groups such as Nurturing Thursday. Even though the posts often are short, and maybe they don’t get a lot of comments, we shouldn’t assume that they have no impact or that they go unappreciated. Sometimes our small, persistent efforts add more goodness to the world than we realize.

Word-art that says "Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

January 16, 2020 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags:

I’ve been feeling pretty good since Monday morning, as if old subconscious tension lifted away overnight. When I went to bed Sunday night, I was asking myself what I should do to bring more energy into my life. Sometimes I get interesting answers in my dreams when I go to sleep with a question in mind.

The dream that I had Monday morning wasn’t what anyone would call realistic. I saw myself going back to college to change careers, and I was on the rowing team. In effect, I became a teenager all over again—except that I was never a college athlete in real life.

College women rowing a four.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

Then I woke up and bounced out of bed, feeling healthy and full of energy like a teenager. Some amount of physical tightness and stiffness, which seemed to reflect adult worries and expectations, had gone away.

I don’t foresee myself literally starting all over again as a college student, and of course there are some benefits to having a broader adult perspective. Even so, that dream certainly was telling me that the way to get more energy is by learning and doing new things. Maybe, sometime this year, I’ll discover an interesting opportunity that feels like a fresh start in life. I’m going to stay on the lookout for it!

My daughter, her husband, and his family went to Florida for a week’s vacation and just got back today. Meanwhile, my husband and I were taking care of her dogs while she was gone. They were mostly well behaved, except for running around in backyard mud, which wasn’t entirely their fault because it had been raining a lot; and of course, they would have needed bathing sometime during the week anyway.

We had a bit of sunshine here today, along with rising temperatures, which left me feeling cheerful. It won’t be long before the days are longer and we wake up to birds happily chirping.

Word-art that says "Make today ridiculously awesome."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

January 7, 2020 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

I’ve been having odd dreams this week, and they didn’t seem to be about anything happening in real life, so I decided to write about them in my blog and see if I could make better sense of them. Putting things into written words usually helps to give me more perspective.

Photo of mountains behind hills.

First, I dreamed that I had been a prisoner. After my release, I was talking with a kind woman who sold nutritional supplements. She told me that I needed to take especially good care of myself.

In the next dream, I was standing in a parking lot next to a pile of junky machinery. An older man wanted me to take it away because he didn’t need it anymore. I told him that it wouldn’t fit in my car.

Then I dreamed that I was pregnant and was told at the doctor’s office that everything was going well.

Putting all of that together, I’d say that the first dream was straightforward advice from my subconscious to take good care of myself—not because of literal imprisonment, but to recover from past feelings of being stuck. The second dream probably had something to do with speaking up for myself and not letting people impose on me. As for the last dream, although I definitely am not pregnant in real life, I’ll interpret it as telling me that whatever I might be creating would go well. All helpful and encouraging messages!