May 30, 2017 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

I had a weird dream where my husband and I were driving home after a road trip, and we noticed that a broom somehow had gotten in the car. It was just an ordinary, well-used utility broom, like the sort that might be found in the garage next to the rakes and shovels.

Brooms, rakes, and other tools on a rack in the garage.

My husband wanted to turn around and take the broom back to its owners. I said that instead of wasting time and gas, we should just send them some money to buy another broom or return it the next time we were there. In real life, my husband is sensible enough that I am sure he would agree.

But in the dream, he didn’t see it that way; and suddenly I felt overwhelmed by sadness like it was a horrible tragedy and the end of the world. Then I started to wake up. As the dream faded, something urged me not to forget the details—that I needed to remember.

I dutifully committed this odd dream to memory, although I had no clue what profound message my subconscious mind might have wanted to communicate by way of a misplaced broom. After pondering it for a while, I decided that it had something to do with sweeping away unnecessary drama. Maybe what I need to remember is that small disruptions shouldn’t feel like the end of the world!

As those of us in the Northern Hemisphere go into the summer season of picnics, parades, beach parties and other seasonal fun with our friends and family members, we should cultivate a habit of putting kind acts on our schedules too. No matter how much kindness we share, it never runs short—there’s always much more to go around!

Word-art that says "Throw kindness around like confetti."

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.

Although I’m not really going to the beach for Memorial Day weekend, I decided to get in the mood anyway by putting a cute beach and pool cartoon on my art display. Okay, maybe I can’t jump into the picture and be there; but hey, my inner child doesn’t know that, right?

Cartoon image of a pool with lounge chairs at the beach.

Who says that doing therapy on oneself has to be all about angst and excavating mounds of deeply buried negative emotions? I honestly think that sometimes it might be more worthwhile just to invite my inner child to hang out at the beach for a little while, build a sand castle or two, and enjoy a yummy confection from the ice-cream truck.

At the very least, it can be a useful reminder not to take life too seriously!

I hope that all my readers got off to a good start on a Thursday filled with wonderful things, and that there will be many more to come!

Word-art that says "May your day be filled with positive energy, positive people, and positive experiences."

And if you’re around people who talk too much about politics, it helps to keep in mind that because the world has been changing so fast, everyone on both sides has gotten anxious and afraid. What’s needed is more understanding and love. The song “Lotta Love” comes to mind; I have to admit, I’m fond of those ’70s songs with all the horns playing.

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.

May 17, 2017 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Often when I wake up, my husband is already awake and getting started on the day. After saying good morning, he’ll usually ask how I am, or something similar. My usual answer is “Doing well,” in a cheerful tone. Sometimes if I am the first to wake, we reverse our lines in the scripted morning exchange.

This is all very common, of course; and certainly it is better than waking up grumpy or looking out the window and complaining about the weather. A little reassurance that everything is okay helps to start the day feeling more confident. Still, I wonder if maybe there’s some interference with awareness of genuine feelings on a deeper subconscious level. What if something isn’t quite right, but we smile and act like it’s a nice walk in a rose garden anyway?

Grass path through rose garden in bloom.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

Literally, it is true that I am doing well every morning. Everything in my life seems to be going along pretty smoothly at the moment, without any problems worth mentioning. But taking the time to add just a few more details might, perhaps, make that answer start to feel more real.

“Doing well… it’s a lovely sunny day and I’m looking forward to getting outdoors.”

While that’s not always going to be the case, it is also possible to acknowledge having less pleasant feelings honestly, while still finding positive ways to frame them.

“I’m okay… didn’t sleep well and had bad dreams, but I’m going to take it easy today and expect to feel better after a while.”

That should be enough to satisfy the morning reassurance ritual, while also letting the subconscious mind know that there’s no need to pretend the big hungry dragon in the nightmare wasn’t scary. Feeling obligated to pretend can be draining; and when that happens below the level of conscious awareness, we don’t even know why our energy gets low. Making clear to the subconscious that it is allowed to have real feelings can help to ensure they don’t get suppressed and build up to cause problems.

May 14, 2017 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Last weekend, I mentioned to my husband that I had noticed the water was running slowly in the kitchen sink’s tap from the reverse-osmosis filter. He changed the filters and repressurized the tank. At once, the water flow was much better. As with most time-change items, the improvement was much more noticeable than the slowly degraded performance from one day to the next had been.

Reverse osmosis filter unit under the kitchen sink.

The water from the tap looked frothy all week. Even now, it still has a few air bubbles, which naturally happens as a result of servicing the system. Not a problem—it just takes a while for the air bubbles to work themselves out.

That’s true with many kinds of maintenance; it takes a little time for things to settle afterward. It’s not all that different from what goes on in our personal lives when we have to deal with changes in society and technology. However much of an improvement something may be, it’s unavoidable that there will be some amount of disruption.

Getting anxious when things look different is a natural reaction. But rather than letting our worries build up, we might do better simply to recognize that small disruptions happen and that, often, they’re no more of a problem than if they had been just a few air bubbles.

I didn’t get my Nurturing Thursday post up earlier because I wasn’t sure what kind of entry would best suit my feelings. I had been in kind of a dithering mood this week generally; and with several different items of positive word-art saved in my WordPress media library, I couldn’t make up my mind which to use, or whether I should try something else instead.

Then I decided that I’d better just go ahead and pick something from my media library and get a post written; so, here’s this one, which actually turned out to fit my mood today with a fair degree of accuracy. Funny how things work out sometimes—but, generally, I would say that when we go ahead and take some constructive action, they do seem to end up working out.

Word-art that says "The most effective way to do it is to do it." -Amelia Earhart

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.

May 9, 2017 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

This past week has been unseasonably chilly for May, and too much rain made the river unrowable for days, so I’ve mainly been sitting indoors and trying to shake off grumpy feelings. After looking out the window at another dark and cloudy morning, I put a view of a forest trail on my art display today, with sunlight softly filtering through the trees.

Forest trail in springtime, with light filtering through the trees.

Such a peaceful scene! But however much I tried, I couldn’t quite manage to convince myself that I was really just about to go for a nice long walk in the forest on a warm sunny day. The sky was still just as dark after work, and I finally got off my rear end and ran around the block a few times, just to get some fresh air even if there wasn’t any sun to be found.

Without the chilly wind that we’d had for the past few days, it actually felt pretty comfortable; and then two women driving by in a big SUV stopped to compliment me for being in shape. By the time I got back home, I was more cheerful than I’d felt earlier. I walked past the art display again and—just for a moment—almost caught myself thinking the sunlight was real.

May 4, 2017 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Usually I don’t discuss politics on my blog. The main reason for that is because I prefer to look more broadly at the underlying cultural stories rather than getting into the battle du jour. Framing political issues in terms of battles and other war metaphors is, of course, one of those stories itself. Although there are many other ways to look at the process of governing, in our society just about everything in politics is routinely described as a fight. It’s not easy to step outside that cultural box and find better alternatives.

Still, we shouldn’t give up on changing society for the better, even (or perhaps especially) at times when there is nothing constructive happening in politics. The culture is not under anyone’s control; rather, it develops organically, based in large part on the words and choices that make up our everyday lives. Even the simple decision to talk about working to improve society, instead of using the language of battles and fights, can have far more impact than anyone knows. We don’t have to be wealthy or powerful before we can set those constructive changes in motion.

Word-art that says "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank

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 put a picture of a manor house surrounded by lovely gardens on my digital art display today, so that when I see it on my dining room wall, it gives the impression that I’m looking out a window at the swanky mansion next door. Of course, in real life my neighbors just have another ordinary suburban house; but I believe such images help to cultivate feelings of abundance because the subconscious mind often doesn’t distinguish between real life and the stories we choose to tell ourselves.

Manor house with garden in foreground.

Most of the pictures I have displayed so far, though, are of a different kind entirely. They are nature scenes, quiet paths or forests that invite imaginary wanderings. That choice is itself a powerful message, this time from the subconscious—telling me, in no uncertain terms, that what my soul really longs for is simplicity rather than material things.