Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Is Risen! Easter Sunday 2016

Holy week has officially come to a close with the celebrations that are being held today.  Three days ago, the son of God was crucified, given the death of criminals, made an example of to wash away the sins of those who believed.  He was entombed, wrapped as was the custom and laid upon the stone, to bring about what had been spoken of in prophecy.  That third day, it was women, visiting the tomb that learned that Christ had risen.  The tomb, empty, devoid of the body of Jesus.  

This is the miracle that is celebrated today.

If you've been following the blog, not that I've given it enough love and know that my belief structure pulls from both Eastern and Western religious ceremony.  Yes, I still observe the practice of Lent.  Fasting.  Easter.  Christmas.  Holi.  One day I will make it to India to celebrate Holi even though I am not a practicing Hindu, my believes find some of their teachings universal.  The same with Buddhism.  

My life is enriched by the spiritual practices I keep, and yes, I am celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I have been baptized, received my first communion, and been confirmed in the Catholic Church.  I have given my membership with a Christian  Church, and have found a loving Church family.  However, my beliefs are not only based off the Christian Faith.  

I hope that this closure to holy week fills you with love, light, laughter and blessings.  

I'm off to eat a few pieces of chocolate, now that I can have it!  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Season of Lent 2016

Forty days. 

Forty nights.




I was born and raised Catholic.  I've stated this many a time.  Lenten observances are still something that I find myself doing.  An automatic thing to me.  It is natural to allow myself those forty days of cleansing, of focusing on my spirituality, and my faith.  Yes, part of my beliefs and my faith are rooted in Catholicism and Christianity as much as they have roots in faiths considered by the first two as pagan.  

The 2016 Lenten season for me is a bit different.  There are many things that I could choose from to give up: facebook, tumblr, twitter, instagram, and various other social media vices.  However, I have chosen instead to give up chocolate for the Lenten season.  Those that know me well, know that this is a very, very difficult thing for me to give up.  

I have had 4 pieces of chocolate since Lent started and those were Valentine's Day treats that were had on that Sunday.  Today, I indulged and had a few thin mints from the freezer.  Those are my indulgence sweets, but the remainder of the thin mints will remain until Easter Sunday - provided I have the willpower to leave them alone that long.  

There are several things I pray for during this Lenten season, and not all of them are for my own peace of mind and benefit.  I pray for those suffering across the world for many reasons, and I pray that love and light soon chase away the darkness that envelops them.   I could list so many more things that I offer up in prayer, but then we would be here all day.  

I am attempting to be more accountable for myself, and ensure that my life is lived in accordance with my beliefs.  This is something I will struggle with, and there are times I will fail.  However, I know there will be those who will hold me accountable and ensure that I once again find  the path that I am meant to take.

I leave you with the hope that your day is filled with blessings, love and light.  

Radio Silence - Broken

Since the last time I have written here quite a bit has happened.  Including in the ushering in of not one, but two new years.  The last two years have not entirely been easy for me, nor have they been completely without hope or bright spots.  Even in the dark, I manage to find some light to cling to in hopes that I do not get swallowed by the hate, negativity, and other malevolent forces that have laid claim to my life at the time. 

I have spent the last few weeks in a bit of retrospect I have learned that I am not devoting enough time to myself.  I give more of myself to others than I truly have at times.  I have been neglecting my passions: writing, photography, and moments of simple indulgence.  I don't do things for myself any more because I have been seeing them as things that aren't important and the resources for those things are more often than not redirected to things for others.  So I have felt completely drained when I should be allowing myself moments to recharge and indulge in me alone.  

I am an avid reader, and I have been attempting to keep up with my review blog, and that has been going well.  Aside from a few slips and a couple of weeks where I have not posted anything save for things that I had committed myself to.  I am behind on reviews, I am behind on quite a few things.  It is time that I stop making excuses and start getting things done that I need to get done.  I am the only one that can be held accountable for the promises that I make.  

Perhaps I take too much on to myself, I have an inability to say no.  I need to learn to use that word a bit more to others and saying yes to myself a bit more.  I need to restart my meditation time, be it in the shower with music blaring, or laying in my bed thirty minutes before bed to center myself and ensure that I am in the right headspace for when I wake in the morning and I can continue to live my life in a way that benefits everyone and especially me.  

In the last six months, I have also become a member at a Christian church.  As you know from reading this blog, I was raised Catholic and ultimately my belief system is much more diverse and cannot be laid claim to a singular label.  I pull from a variety of sources for my spirituality and I am as of yet, finding myself connected with this group of people - however there is quite a bit about me that this group does not know.  

I am a proud member of the LGBT community, and I do not adhere to the views that homosexuality is a sin.  We were all created in the image of a loving deity, and no mater who or what we are...we are loved and adored. 

I need to remember the following things this year and in the years to come: 

1. It is okay to say no
2. I am loved
3. I am allowed me time
4. I cannot solve all the problems

These are just a few of the things I need to remember, but they are by far some of the most important of them.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

As 2014 Comes to a Close

As December works its way closer and closer to it's end and January and 2015 inch closer and closer to their beginnings I am taking stock in what this year has brought me in terms of creativity.  I have 2 manuscripts that have been started - two stories that I am in the process of writing and working my way through.  One of which will be soon going in a completely different direction than it originally started once I get the things I need to begin planning it out and rewriting it.  
The two writing projects I am in the midst of are: 
1. The Heart of Evalian - NaNoWriMo 2014 novel with a current word count of 51264, and about 1/2 way to where it needs to be before the evil red pen of editing is taken to it. 
2. Black Spade, The Four Queens, Book 1 - Yup, a series.  Everyone knows the story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.  However, there are 4 queens in a deck of cards.  Each story, will be stand alone for the most part, but have small interwoven details of the four queens: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.  Though don't expect the Queen of Hearts to be anything like the one that Alice comes across in Wonderland.  *grins* This one will not be for the faint of heart, but it will get your pulse racing. 
Those are my writing projects, and hopefully something will come from them and ultimately I will begin working toward getting one or both of them published.  I'm not sure if Evalian  will end up being a series or not, but I know The Four Queens will be four books long. 
I've also got an abundance of photographs to edit and get situated, and will be taking more when I go to the Christmas parade. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Much Neglected Space

Unfortunately both this blog and my book review blog have been sorely neglected the second half of this year, and I cannot exactly say why, other than I've been stressed beyond words with how things are going at the moment.  Financial responsibilities have more often than not made me wish for the days of college where I had very little financial responsibilities and spent most of my time actually enjoying what I was doing and the people I was with. 

At the moment there is no net, cable, telephone at the house simply because at the moment there isn't enough money to cover the cost of everything and ensure that the lights stay on and there is food on the table.  Work has been screwing around on my hours, and that simply adds to the stress when I am not making enough money to simply survive (though doing that on the paultry sum that fast food service pays is laughable), and so things have fallen by the wayside.  On top of all that, I have found myself in need of a cell phone, because smart phones, much like buttered toast, when you drop them land face first and when they land on the concrete, that tends to mean your screen now looks like a stained glass window - and is now a deadly weapon that targets the pads of your thumbs and index fingers alike when you text, answer calls, or do anything that even remotely requires you to touch the face of your phone.

However, on that note, I will have a new phone on the 17th of this month, and I will have the absolute JOY of downloading all my apps and hyper-organizing my phone.  My phone, my Kindle, and my computer are the major things that I tend to hyper-organize simply because those are the three things that I use most often on a daily basis.  Everything is exactly how I want it and when new things are added they are put in a specific place and that ensures that I can find it quickly and easily enough.

That just leaves the matter of finding enough money to find a net provider in our area that sucks a lot less than Comcast does.  While it would be beneficial to have a land line phone, it isn't actually a necessity any longer as we have 3 cell phones in the house.  However, at this time I doubt it would be something we can afford at this time.  We are also considering an alternative to cable in the form of something along the lines of Chromecast or Amazon TV.  The Amazon one would be optimal especially since we currently and continually support a prime membership for the benefits that it offers us, even though we very rarely order things from Amazon.

I got to spend time with a very good friend last night after work, and it was something that was needed as well as sorely missed.  Her blog is Random Thoughts and Jots, and I highly recommend checking her out.  I've known her for going on 15 years now, if not a bit more, she's been there for me for most of the things that have gone wrong, and I love her like a sister.  Her life hasn't been easy lately either, and we've both been muddling through it and trying to make the most of the absolutely crappy hand we've been dealt thus far. 

So far, 2014 is not ending on a high note, however there are still quite a few days left and hopefully something will begin to turn around for both me and my best friend, Jessie.  If not this year, then hopefully we will both find something better, something more fulfilling in 2015. 

And this is my update for the time being, and I wish all of you warmth and happiness.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Finding My Inner Beauty: My Struggle with Self-Image

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”  ~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Self-image.  This is something that I struggle with.  I am slowly getting better with loving, and being comfortable in my skin.  I have always been overweight, I've always been the nerd.  It's not the nerd label that I've always had the issue with - I've above and beyond accepted my nerdiness, and will not change for anyone.  It is the overweight label that I've struggled with since I was a kid.  Bullies have been a common staple in my life - snide comments, questions of if I should or shouldn't eat something, and many other things have impacted me on levels that I've only recently learned. 

In sixth grade, I was bullied incessantly mainly because that was the year that I got my first pair of glasses.  So, not only was I fat, but I was the fat girl with glasses.  I recall one day, it was actually the day that it ended when I was bullied and demeaned so much that I burst into tears in the cafeteria at school.  The principle or dean had called him out on his behavior - yes, it was a boy, and no the old adage about 'he likes you if he picks on you' does not apply to this situation.  He had to publicly apologize to me and ended up receiving a two week in-school suspension, with a threat of suspension if his behavior continued. 

The bullying did not happen much during high school, but there were select instances - none that were as pronounced or memorable as that day in sixth grade.  I'd actually managed to get along with quite a few people at both the high schools I attended - and my nerddom continued throughout.  I was in various clubs and my friends were fantastic and helped boost my self-esteem and my self-image.  I even enjoyed going to things like homecoming and prom, because I felt good about myself.  The ups never lasted long though.  Depression sucks.  Being fat and hating the body you are in is something all together not a good thing. 

Looking back over the years I can mark the highs and lows, the happiness and the disgust at what I looked like.  Yes, there were boyfriends - not many because I was the heavy girl, and fat girls didn't usually get the guy.  But, the ones I got were decent enough, and treated me well enough (with exceptions) and the breakups weren't always my fault but thinking that I hadn't been enough, done enough was constantly a battle in my head when I was in and out of relationships in high school. 

Then, i went to college.  Enter the two girls that had turned out to be two of the biggest bullies that I'd -ever- experienced and I was stuck living with them for my freshman year. Things were well and good the summer before school started, and we even hung out - they even came to a P!nk concert with me at the House of Blues, however, when they learned part of who I was, they became slanderous and malicious toward me - and would constantly post rude and derogatory remarks on my message board outside our dorm room.  I ended up taking refuge with a few friends and ultimately found a way out of that room and into a room where I was accepted for who I was, and helped me deal with the bullying that had come from my first college roommates.  There was a time when I'd considered not coming back to school, because I'd had to deal with so much, but thankfully it did not perpetuate beyond that one semester - and once I was in a 'safer' room it made things easier and I enjoyed the remainder of my college experience. 

Finding people that accepted me for who I was, what I was, was something that hadn't happened since my little group in High School, and I enjoyed the fact that there were people that I could simply be myself with.  It was through college, that I learned to further be more accepting of who I was, it made the struggle easier.  It didn't end it entirely, but it was easier to bear the challenges.

To say that I have found the place where I am truly happy with myself, would be a lie.  But, to say that I am pleased with where I am now, would be accurate (though my employment situation needs to improve).  I have been progressively losing weight, health issues are getting better because of it and I am working on finding a place that will make me happier all around.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lyrical Interlude: Monster by Skillet

Occasionally, while I am listening to a song a singular lyric or an entire verse will jump out at me and simply describe the mood that I'm in, or how something has made me feel recently.  Currently I've been listening to a lot of Skillet, simply because I adore them, but mainly because they have become my go to for attempting to recenter myself when I have no desire to resort to new age, or classical (though I use those often as well). 
Today, I'd been listening to Monster by Skillet, and this one particular verse simply stood out at me more than the rest of the song, and it can easily be applied to various things that have been going on in my life - and ultimately the fact that I'm attempting to figure out how to deal with certain situations and ultimately I'm not sure how things will play out and there are parts of me that I do keep hidden.  

It's hiding in the dark
It's teeth are razor sharp
There's no escape for me
It wants my soul,
It wants my heart

So, ultimately I find myself rewinding and listening to this particular part of the song over and over again.  What does it mean?  To what event in my life currently is it pointing to?  I do not have the answers, nor do I expect them to show themselves anytime soon.  However, I do hope that they surface soon enough.