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!

I mentioned in a recent post that my husband had a new job. Last year he was in a bad situation because he’d been assigned to work on a failing project. So he looked around for job opportunities elsewhere, but didn’t find anything that looked like a good fit.

Then he got laid off when the project was shut down. That seemed like bad luck at the time, but it actually turned out better than if he had quit. He got severance pay, and a recruiter found him a good job in a week. Yay for labor shortages.

Word-art that says "Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a remarkable stroke of luck."

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.

If I had to rate the success of my New Year’s resolution and word of intention for last year, I’d call it a mixed bag. My resolution for 2019 was to better appreciate others’ kindness by keeping a journal of kind things that people did for me. I made daily entries through the end of March, when my subconscious mind unexpectedly yelled at me that I needed to quit giving myself extra stress with unnecessary self-imposed tasks. So the resolution lasted only three months.

My word of intention, Sublime, went more according to plan. I meant it in the sense of the chemistry term—constructing a low-pressure environment in which to vaporize long-frozen anxieties and disappointments. Over the course of the year, some old negative thought patterns did indeed come into conscious awareness and lift away.

The problem with sublimation, however, is that it creates fog. As autumn turned to winter, I often felt that I lacked clear direction—not just for the coming year, but for life more generally. Those feelings gave rise to my word of intention for 2020: Clarity. I’m looking to discover a path leading through a mindscape of brilliant sunshine on a clear winter day, after the fog has lifted and the days have begun to lengthen toward spring and new growth.

Sunlit path through snow in a forest.

(Photo credit: Ari Helminen)

I’ve chosen a New Year’s resolution aimed at reinforcing that intention by regular practice, but without pushing myself to complete any daily tasks or to accomplish any particular goals. What I have in mind is only this: whenever I feel a lack of clarity, I’ll gently bring the moment into better focus. Maybe I’ll do that by paying more attention to my breath, or to a fallen leaf, or to the angle of sunlight through a window. The world is full of small details that form clear images; it’s simply a matter of noticing them.

I had a quiet day because I’m off work for the holidays, and it was especially quiet because my husband was at the office; he just started a new job. So I had nothing to do, except for grocery shopping. It felt very peaceful, almost meditative, because I didn’t feel obligated to keep busy.

An occasional to-do thought floated by, such as “That dusty hardwood floor needs mopping,” or “It’s Thursday, better get going on a blog post.” But I let them pass, telling myself that I had plenty of time for everything. This was a day to just relax, unwind, take good care of myself, and be jolly.

At the end of the day, the groceries are in the refrigerator, the blog post got written, and the floor still needs mopping. All things considered, I believe it’s fair to say that I had a productive day mending those frayed strands of workday time.

Word-art that says "Tis the season to be jolly."

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.

Picking my steps carefully, I made my way through the woods on a foggy Christmas Eve, traversing the chilly landscape of the collective unconscious. There in the land of imagination (just as in real life this year) a thaw had left the ground damp and squelchy. A thin film of half-melted snow blanketed the fallen leaves along the muddy path. Every now and again, something crunched underfoot when I stepped on a rotten branch or an icy puddle, concealed by the leaves and snow.

In the soft midwinter light, the cabin in the clearing looked tiny and far from civilization. It wasn’t really; the archetypal Crone kept her dwelling within a day’s walk of the village and was part of its communal life, although she often spent time in the solitude of the woods to gather herbs and meditate on nature’s wisdom. I had come here on this wet, dark day hoping that she could help me find clarity in a confusing world.

Cabin in a snowy, foggy woods.

(Image by Millie Walker)

As I approached the threshold, a flock of small birds took wing, dimly silhouetted against the snowy forest until they disappeared into the fog.

The Crone opened the door and welcomed me inside, taking my coat while I put my muddy boots on a thick horsehair mat. A crackling fire, complete with roasting chestnuts, made the cabin warm and cheery. A mostly empty teacup on an end table beside the sofa, along with a plate of gingerbread cookies and a half-knitted scarf, made plain what she had been doing before I arrived.

“I’ve been having some trouble finding my way through the fog—of life, that is,” I told the Crone, as she bustled around setting out another cup for me and pouring hot tea for both of us. “This has been a good year for me, overall; but sometimes I feel that I’m wandering aimlessly, without clear landmarks. Perhaps you could tell me a story about finding direction, if that wouldn’t be too much of a bother?”

“No bother at all,” the Crone replied cheerfully, pushing back a strand of silver hair that had fallen across her face. “I can easily talk and knit at the same time.”

I sat down in the old-fashioned parlor chair on the other side of the table, waiting while the Crone settled herself comfortably with her knitting in her lap. She finished the last bite of the gingerbread cookie she’d been eating, and then she began the story.

“Long ago, in a cabin deep in the forest, much like this one, there lived a woodcutter’s wife who imagined on Christmas Eve that she saw an angel through the fog outside her window…”

(continued here)

As the year winds down, I’ve been considering what intentions to set for the New Year. At this point, I haven’t yet formed a clear image in my mind. I feel that my energy has gotten a bit scattered from distractions. Everything seems to be working out well, in general, and I have no reason to complain. All I need right now is time to rest and reflect. Giving more thought to intentions is probably a good place to start.

Word-art with long inspirational quote that begins with "Intentions are causes that create effects."

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’ve had a good week so far, with cheerful conversations in the workplace and plenty of positive energy. One of my coworkers sent this word-art in an email recently; and this week, it felt like the time was just right to pass along the good wishes.

Word-art that says "May your week be filled with good thoughts, kind people and happy moments."

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.