Tag Archives: health

The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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Filed under On Life, On Publishing, On Thinking, On Writing

Asking Myself Questions

Twenty seven days into the New Year – what have I learned? Nearing the end of the first month of 2014, what have I accomplished? Did I make resolutions to be broken or did I promise to make good on dreams that can be fulfilled? These are questions I am willing to ask myself and I hope you will take them to heart and ask yourself, too.

I cannot separate out that I am a writer and expect the outcome to be different from my everyday life. My writing journey IS my life – it’s my writing life and the one I cater to because I have to, I need to, and above all, it’s a part of me that must exist for me to be whole. Writers will nod as they read this, knowing what I mean. Readers will respect there are writers out there to provide them with words to which they can connect. Others – please think of something that means so much to you, you’d be unwilling to give it up, no matter what. That is of what I speak. Passion. Your very soul. The reason for being.

True, there is a scale that tips its balance as life’s events happen, as people need you, and as there are things that have to be done. Most of the time we can ignore a slight imbalance when things aren’t really all that important, they’re not life threatening, or detrimental to our very survival. We can react when we are so inclined to respond. People should always come first, but in that same breath you should never let anyone take your passion from you. It’s up to you to protect that piece of you, as you would your health, your heart, your hope.

This past weekend I spent the day at a women’s conference with several good friends. The event was a charity fundraiser for the Edmonton Dream Centre – a place that helps women in transition through education, self-discovery, and realization. A place that offers hope to those who need help to rediscover their dreams. It was awe inspiring and educational, it was a way to connect and network with those around you, but more importantly, it was a way to reconnect with yourself. Many of us cannot feel from experience what some of the women have gone through, but we can all feel through compassion and empathy based on our own life’s references. I will repeat a post I made that evening after all was said and done – if you do not believe that helping someone achieve their dream is fulfilling – try it.

January has not been a slow month and I am thankful for the weather of late – it has been unseasonably warm, with lots of snow melt, and although icy conditions prevail, I have been able to get out to events and meetings without too much problem. Today is colder, but after all, it is still winter! Work is always busy as we plan for our February annual general meeting and conference – my position means I usually do most of the writing, the speeches, presentations and reports – I even present at breakout sessions. It keeps me busy in my day job capacity. My own company, Dream Write Publishing, is growing. The workload is phenomenal for this time of year – the launch of an important book and teacher’s guide addressing bullying, the completion of an amazing cookbook layout for a local restaurant which is now at print, signing an Australian author for the release of his historical novel in EBook and Print-on-Demand, tentative clients and meetings, scheduling illustrations for upcoming children’s books, preparing royalty summaries, reports, and tax receipts, compiling silent auction donations and door prizes, etc. etc. etc… Looking ahead, just one short month, February is shaping up to be just as busy.

My own fulfillment comes from contributing to others’ dreams. It also comes from my need to write and publish my own work. My involvement with the local writing group fuels my community connection, keeps me connected with my writing friends, and inspires me to do what I love – write. I am nearing completion of my nearest and dearest work – one that has become a part of me over the years. Writing a pivotal scene made me very emotional last night – I felt its end nearing as the characters lose their connection, one I was so involved in and a part of, one I could not bear to let go of…

My own fulfillment comes from making promises to myself that I am able to keep. When asked to make that big commitment for one thing I wanted to do for sure this year – it was to finish and publish that very novel mentioned above. I am planning a writer’s retreat for May. I also took steps toward bettering my health, at least in a small way, so I can continue to enjoy and do all I am involved in. Nothing will get done if I am not healthy. I stepped out of my fears and into the pool to aquasize once a week.

This year so far I find that my emotions are more intense, my dreams are more defined, and my commitment is better outlined. I feel the deep loss of my mother, I feel for friends who have experienced the same, I managed to tackle chores left undone yet I don’t fret about others and just do what I can. I want to love and feel strong. I realize who is important and deserving of my time, I promise to make time for those people always, and I am trying to remain positive and active. In all this consideration, however, I am not saying I won’t overload the system – sorry Mandy – but I will certainly take a second look, apply all that I have learned so far this year already, and still remember to … breathe.

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Filed under On Dreaming, On Life, On Writing

Oiling the Dry Pen

Prologue: I post this to oil the dry pen… nothing more than to put something concrete to paper to jump-start the stalled engine. This piece entitled “I am struggling…” was sitting on my desk top, with the pictures, yet unfinished and abandoned, written in the time after seeking counsel for my ill feelings. I realize, for the most part, my depression was (and is) because I was not being true to my own creative spirit. I need to do my will yet am bound to the promises I make in other areas of my life. The line about dreaming of other places and times holds truth and it is the ungrounded reality speaking. The choice of running away, freeing my soul, just being me… well, that’s a dream harnessed by responsibility and commitment. The time between then and now has elapsed and more promises were made, however, today… I feel as if I wrote this right in the now and the pull of the spiral twists me in and out of good and not so good.

Dear readers: don’t fret for me – all will be well.

Rays of Sunshine

Beyond the clouds the sun shines. In the temporary greyness there exists the proverbial silver lining…

Yet, I struggle, off and on, with few and many things, and I am unsure which of the perpetrators impedes my writing but something prevents me from putting my words to paper. There are no shortage of thoughts and ideas as they come swirling to me in teasing fashion. It’s like knowing what’s good for you yet making a bad decision – loving the bad boy instead of looking to the boy next door. There is comfort in the familiar and sanity in the sameness.

There are no lack of dreams as they harbor their details within my heart and soul, anchored safely until such time I cast them forth from my deep shores. There is desire but not motive. I avoid my journal and have for some time despite my promise – guessing I just need time and things will resume. Not as they once were, but in some other way which I presume will be in due course. My work in progress calls to me and my muse has taken up dancing to amuse herself until I listen to her beckoning call – it reassures me to know these things await me for they are the very core of me and I would not live long without them… I go on and there is so much going on that one would wonder when writing might be practiced upon. I sleep and dream of other worlds where time and money are not necessary and I could take my days upon the balcony in sunshine with coffee cup and pen in hand. I meet with my past to partake in earnest discussion, attempting to dFar to go eal with things that have not lasted wondering where the time has gone and what the future might hold in store. I ponder life and the hand it deals to each of us and how we play the cards expecting certain outcomes yet taking chances with our luck. We push it, count it, destroy it, and call for more when prompted. There is so much push and pull – yin and yang – coming and going… I love my job yet hate decisions I cannot change. I love my company yet want to be there more and can’t. I want to move on but I am weighted to this spot. I want to write but other commitments come to be number one even though recent heartfelt council revealed commitments to me are what I lack and they are to be number one if I am to heal. I desire better health but don’t or can’t make the changes; I am alone and enjoy my oneness yet I am lonely; I am pleased with what I have and who I have become in most ways yet I am not happy. Rather, I don’t feel happiness – sometimes there is nothingness and it is so hard to explain, yet alone reason its existence. There is so much to do and so far to go. I need to work on allowing myself to be happy without guilt or excuse. I need to define what my happiness looks like and make the changes necessary to get there. There is little time to waste on ill will and an unhappy heart.

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Temptation of the Night – Celebration of May Day

As the sun set, a cool breeze played among the grasses on the knoll above the village. Great preparation had filled the day for the May Eve celebrations heralding the season of warmth. With offerings to the gods, there were always prayers and much hope after the long winter that the next six months would reap a bountiful harvest from the fields; that the herds bred during the last warm spell would produce healthy calves and any human babies born to the world birthed during this time. Just as the men took care to see to the livestock, the women took painstaking measures to ensure they did not conceive off-time and deliver during the deathly cold of winter – the baby would be sure to die.

Caolan and Caoimhe knew the significance of this May Eve – their only daughter, Dairine, would be united with her own mate even at a mere fourteen. She was to be brought forth as their offering to the fertility gods asking only that their land bear fruit enough to carry them through the next winter and to the next Beltane. They never asked for more than they needed and always promised if there was extra, their village would share in the wealth. No one went hungry during the winter in close-knit village of Ambrose.

Dairine watched her father with pride – he had been chosen this year as one of the honored nine and he worked without a break during the festival preparations to provide enough firewood to light the biggest bonfire the people had ever seen. Her father promised her the heavens would be alight as if it were daytime, on this, her special day. She knew the significance of the Eve, as well, and was somewhat torn by the decision that was made for her. She knew there had to be more than just the tie to the schedule of the seasons, dividing the year into two six month sections – one of warmth and light and bounty, the other of dark cold, and deprivation. It would be nice to have her love, Finnian, always by her side and to provide a legacy for the clan. But she wondered, is that all there is to life?

“Dairine.” She had been daydreaming watching the sky grow darker as the sun made its way to another place, leaving them in the darkness of the night. The wind played at the flowers and braids intertwined throughout her thick, long hair. The remaining glow from the sun teased at the outline of her head, its fiery color, even more enhanced.

 “Ah, Finn.” He took his hands in hers and pulled her to her feet from her posted watch along the edge of the knoll. The wooden fence stretched beyond their sight and disappeared into the thickening shadows.

“Let us away to the hill.”

“Aye. Be ye in a hurry young lad?” She teased him, knowing he would be thankful of the dimming light, for it was common that his blush matched his shocking head of hair on many occasions.

“Quiet, girl.” He laughed, practicing his stern father voice and he leaned in close to kiss her cheek. She put a hand up to stop him, laughing and teasing.

 “Soon enough, a ghrá mo chroí.” They ran, hand in hand, toward the now increasing crowd that gathered on the crest of the hill.

With a rush and a roar, the timber took the flame and the fingers of heat and light and fire reached toward the heaven. The crowd cheered. It was a magnificent display. From where she stood, Dairine could see the town, abandoned in the dell, dark, its collective hearths doused in order to channel all the prayers and offerings from a single fire. The drum beats began and she danced, laughing, soon losing herself in the crowd of her people. Somewhere Finnian danced too, and she knew he would find her when their time came.

She felt him before she saw him. Her arms waved a glowing stick in the air, circling, circling… and then she stopped. He stood before her – handsome, smiling. Who was this man with such dark hair and eyes, the glow from the fire shimmering on his skin? She felt entranced and alive yet unsure.

 “Allo.” Dairine was cautious but curious.

 “Conas atá tú?” He was charming.

“I am well.”

 “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you. Have we met?”

“No… I am from another place, far away. My name is Ciar.”

Dairine was intrigued. She dreamed of far away and now knew there had to be more. She did not feel fear although she might have if alone. Around her the festival raged with costumes of goat skins and horns; fire sticks made circles of light everywhere in the smoky darkness. She focused back on the man in front of her, feeling the heat of the fire and suddenly her knees trembled.

“Are you alright?” The man held out his hand to her, but she shook her head.

“Far away? Tell me what it is like… far away.”

“It is always light and warm and you would be treasured. I can show you faraway. You do not need to be tied to the seasons anymore if you choose to come with me. I have watched you and wanted you. You have dreamed of me.”

Dairine was intoxicated by his voice. His smile was alluring and his promises nothing she had ever heard. Her life here only offered the limitations of the land and the people, but this man was offering her the dreams she dared not disclose – the one’s she prayed for in the dark of the night in the depths of her bower.

“Come dance with me through the smoke and the fire. Take my hand. Feel cleansed and we shall go far away.” Again, he held out a hand, firm and solid – sure, she extended hers slowly.

“Dairine! Dairine.” A bounding Finnian dressed in shearling, his hair wild in the night wind came up to her with a smile, breathless and sure of himself. “It is time, Dairine.”

“But, Finn… this man…” She pointed into the darkness behind her as Finnian peered past her, laughing.

“What man, precious? I’ll beat his hide iffin he puts a hand on you.” Still laughing he looked her in the eye, and seeing her confusion, pulled her close. “You are cold, my love, come share the heat of the fire.”

As they walked away together, Dairine continued to stare into the darkness. Where once stood her means to far away and her secret dreams, there was nothing – a roar and hiss went up from the bonfire as the long timbers fell, burned through. The crowd cheered and they continued to dance through the cleansing smoke.  

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