One thing not many people know about me is that I am a Reiki practitioner. For the past ten years I have practiced Reiki on myself and animals. I found pets and animals were far easier to give Reiki to than people. Quite often I found animals giving me Reiki back. I have from an early time distanced myself from people and instead focused on myself and acquiring knowledge. I found giving Reiki to people too stressful and at times too personal. 
I am a Reiki Master Teacher but until recently I was not comfortable to claim what I do and that I received training and attunements to practice Reiki. But between my writing and photography and the mentors who have encouraged me along the way pushing me to get better, take chances and express myself I finally feel confident to say yes I do practice Reiki. 

Reiki has been a part of my life since my divorce. It helped me heal and gave me something that resonated with my soul. Recently I have been giving Reiki to Mike who would like to learn it himself. He says it relaxes him and helps him to sleep. I need to remind myself to Reiki myself also. Self care is something I sometimes forget.

Some Rambling Thoughts 

I loved the sky this afternoon as I walked around checking off trucks at work. I find my spirits lifting and feel some of my worry leaving. I have been unable to sleep due to worry over work, money and things I want to get done. Mike is great at trying to help me not worry. I tossed and turned in bed this morning until finally going to the living room to watch tv. I try so hard not to worry or be concerned about some things but then my sleep pattern gives me away. I try to be mindful and live in the present but then my

mind races ahead of me in overdrive and the outcomes of scenarios are never good. I get tired of people assuming they know what I worry about, my situation, my political preferences and most of all assuming I like football. I hate it and can’t wait for football season to be over so I can stop hearing about it. I myself love hockey but I don’t post every game on Facebook or expect people to enjoy it. Most people hate hockey. Reasons being they can’t follow the puck, they don’t understand checking, etc. I love hockey I love to play hockey but am well aware most people don’t even know a professional hockey team. My other secret passion is dressage. Which to most people is about as exciting as watching grass grow but I love it-the history, the work the connection with the horse, it all makes my soul sing. 

I just hope to find my people again after wading through many months of football season. I have found I have insulated myself from others for months and wish to speak and chat about things that relate to my every day life. I find it exhausting to hear and talk of politics and history every day. I get it and I have thoughts and feelings on it too but I also need to live my life the best way I know how. By writing, taking photos, caring for the animals, loving Mike and being silly.

Finding Creativity Again

I was surprised to find myself in such a funk recently. I pride myself on positive thinking, living in the moment and loving to laugh. I think I finally snapped to reality when I realized I had almost stopped writing and taking photos. It had become a chore and an almost dreaded task. I love to write and made time every day to write but when it came to actually putting thought to paper I froze or found other things to do. 
I think the downward spiral started just before Thanksgiving. I generally stop pet sitting mid November until January 1 as UPS takes up much of my time and energy during that time. The holidays from Thanksgiving to January 1 are a difficult time for me. My family is spread out across the eastern seaboard and getting together with them is almost impossible due to the fact there is no time off given at UPS for management during that period. I try to enjoy the holiday season but being an introvert and shy at times I find socializing difficult at best. I hate parties and do better in small groups. I was getting off work at night around 11 or 11:30 then have a forty five minute ride home. I found myself focused on getting through the holidays. I was confused when people asked if I’m excited. Excited about what? Your wedding people would answer. I explained I have to get through the holidays first. Most of the summer and fall of 2016 was spent getting Mike well again after his car accident in July. We had the best vacation in October I felt happy and relaxed and often think back to that happy time. I had a health scare in December. I feel that something is wrong with me in that I think everyone else is more excited about the wedding than I am. Trust me I love Mike with all my heart and soul and look forward to being husband and wife but being excited by the wedding is not how I feel at the moment.

I have been trying to figure out the best way to move forward and put creativity back in my life. I have written before than when I cease being creative is when depression tends to set in. 

I reached out for advice on how to kick start my writing again. I was told to write through it and remember everyone goes through times of little creativity. I am looking at making some big changes in my life in the next year or so between marriage, possible job change, my health and downsizing my belongings. Perhaps I need to write about the changes as it may help give me clarity and free up my kind again. 

Do you take time every day to be creative? Do you have a set time or do you do it when it strikes? Do you have to be indoors or outdoors? Do you stretch your comfort zones-instead of writing do you paint or write poetry? Take photography or sew? 

I hope to write more about the journey back to creativity and where I can add creativity in my life to bring more balance.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. Wishing peace love and prosperity to all. It was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed capturing the images of the first few hours of sunlight. Mike and I sat down after the farm work was done to start our hopes dreams and projects journal for 2017. We even put a page in for what we would like to accomplish in five years. I find I achieve more if I write things down as I am inclined to take steps every day to achieve my goals. Writing things down helped settle Mike’s mind. I found myself dreaming big which is something I was reluctant to do in the past. We are looking to 2017 with hope and happiness. We have found a level of peace and happiness with each other that allow us to handle the hard parts of life. As always we are looking to the light be it in each other, the sun and even the tiniest pinprick of starlight that has traveled billions of years to reach us. Much love and appreciation to everyone. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings.

Being Social & Creative 

Mike and I were busy socially this week which is an accomplishment for both of us. Wednesday we stopped by my mom and stepdad’s earlier in the week to drop off Christmas presents to my family in New England. Thursday we attended a coworker’s surprise birthday party at the farm. It was great to see the others who work at the farm during the week that we rarely get to see. It was a laid back fun time that we enjoyed very much. Tonight we attended a Christmas open house and hardly knew anyone there but the hosts. We had wonderful food. We drove home in quiet as being social tends to drain us. I am an introvert and Mike at times struggles with social anxiety. We have both grown so much in the past eighteen months. I told Mike I thought it was good for us to socialize with others at least once a month. My parents and sisters have no trouble socializing or attending parties but I never inherited that gene. I honor and love Mike for overcoming his fears and anxiety to head out into the world with me. He inspires me every day to be creative and has recently been striving for the same thing for himself. Mike is a great cook and is looking forward to branching out more with his recipes. 
Yesterday we had an ice storm and I took the first photo in our yard. I find ice to be fascinating as it can be scary and dangerous but also stunningly beautiful strong and fragile at the same time much like a person. It is how I feel at this time strong and fragile at once. The second photo I feel reflects Mike’s gentleness, kindness and affinity to all creatures. The third and fourth photos are of the ceiling at our friends chapel on their property. The husband built it in addition to building their home. It was amazing. A spiral staircase led underground to a wine cellar and the upstairs is circular and comfortable. The wooden ceiling drew me in and as most know I’m always looking up-at trees, clouds, birds, stars, etc. This holiday season has brought Mike and I to face fears and find strength in each other.

Honesty & Keeping Watch

Mike and I have been together for eighteen months now. As with any couples we bring our own issues and quirks to the relationship. We have been very open and honest with each other from the beginning. I shared with Mike my struggles with depression and bipolar depression that I have had since I was a youngster. Mike shared with me some of his stress, trials and tribulations that can come from being a perfectionist in the military. Mike worked on jet engines and tends to obsess on details others would overlook. He is retired from the military now and has taken that attention to detail and put it into the planning and building of the house we live in. Before I met Mike he lived a quiet life and stayed to himself for the most part. At first he was not too crazy about getting up early to care for animals. He did not enjoy being in public or doing things many of us would take for granted. He did not want to sit by windows or have his back to the door. Now we travel up and down the east coast and locally. Mike smiles, laughs and engages others in conversation. We keep an eye on each other for signs we may be getting a bit blue. He is very aware of my moods as I am his. Still he sometimes gets the thousand yard stare and leaves me behind lost in his thoughts. Today was one of those days. It breaks my heart to see him struggle with the past as many of us do. I feel I have a good insight on his moods based upon my own struggles with depression. He talks of our future and present quite often, which makes me happy, We are about six months from our wedding. We are determined to keep it as stress free as possible. We both are committed to a life of peace, joy, love and adventure. 
I took the first photo at the farm today and in spite of having a tough day we both managed a smile. The second photo I took last week at the farm at sunset.

Fall Colors in the Yard

Demons Arise & Seeking the Light

I felt the demons arise in me yesterday. The familiar feeling I have been dealing with and constantly battling since I was ten years old. The darkness of depression fell hard and fast. I felt the anger, frustration and despair fill me while hoping against hope it would not last long. Sometimes the episodes are short lasting only a day or so and others last for many months or even years. Thankfully this one only lasted a day. 

I have worked hard over the years to battle the depression and know it can be hard to be around me when I’m in a funk. 

To help I write, I photograph, I cry and I look to things that make me happy. I love chasing the light with photography, writing helps me get things out, Mike is tirelessly supportive and then there is nature and the universe. As we head into winter I love the night sky. It is my favorite time of year. When I drive home from work at night the Big Dipper is on my left and Orion is on my right. The moon depending on its phase keeps me company. 

I don’t always know what triggers my depression but this time seems to be filled with change all around me, not being heard and frustration with things I want to get done but get tripped up on doing. 

Today the demons were quieter and I am working a little every day to accomplish what I want to get done. I really have a lot to be grateful and thankful for and I try to keep that in mind but sometimes the depression creeps up and all the sudden the black hole is opened. Mental illness while discussed more is still stigmatized both in society and elsewhere. I wish I could get off work a night or two to work on my mental health as one can get off for a cold or the flu but alas most places don’t want to hear you are depressed. 

As I continue the climb out of the black hole I continue to look to the light of the world and Mike’s undying love for me. He loves me even when I am unlovable. 

The first photo is the view out of our side window looking into the front yard. The moon photos are from the weekend at the farm. I feel at home when the moon is in the sky.

Facing the Unkown & Feeling Worthy

I have been telling myself and Mike that I would finish unpacking and downsizing for about eight months now. Mike has never complained or griped that I have boxes filled with things in two rooms. For the past year I have been struggling with an hectic work schedule, almost constant fatigue and stress. I always had big plans of getting things done in a day or weekend but I am horrible at figuring out how long things should take to complete. To my credit and Mike’s also all three bathrooms, the kitchen, dining room, living room and our bedroom is unpacked and tidy. The two rooms I need to finish is a second bedroom and Mike’s office. The second bedroom will be a creative place for me. Mike as I have said never complains or pushes me to get the rest of the boxes done. He tells me to take my time. 
I realized tonight as I drove home from ups that a part of myself and soul is waiting for things to get difficult with our relationship. I was mortified I felt that way as Mike and I get along great, rarely fight or argue and sincerely enjoy each other’s company. We don’t complete each other as we were already complete but we instead complement each other. Mike gives me strength and unconditional love something I never had with anyone else. Others instead brought out the side of me that felt the need to fight to be heard and a feeling of inadequacy. Mike makes me feel loved and at times I don’t feel worthy of his love but he has been making me realize I am worthy and I return his love. Both of us have come so very far in over a year. Some day I will write more on it. But needless to say there is a sense of peace and comfort we have with each other. 

Tonight I told Mike my underlying fear and what I thought was preventing me finishing unpacking. He was shocked and told me again how he felt. Mike has been wonderful in telling me that his home is now our home. I started tonight after Mike went to sleep to start to slowly unpack. I sometimes hold onto things out of fear but I finally think I am ready to really downsize and enjoy what I decide to keep. I am still amazed by the depth of Mike’s love for me and feel grateful to have him by my side. 

When I moved into Mike’s home he was living like a monk very minimalist. I have a need to have some things about me. Sometimes I have too much and my style is like a crowded English cottage but I’m trying hard to meld Mike and my things and lifestyles together. I will let you know how it goes.

Mike & His Military Life

When I first met Mike I did not know he had served in the military until we met in person. A little know fact is that many men state in their profiles in online dating sites that they are either current or past military. Nine times out of ten it is not true. Mike told me on the phone once that he had served and I was skeptical based on my past experience. When we met I asked more questions and he went into great detail about his service. He served eighteen years in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic for the B-52 bomber. He was very good at what he did and was an instructor for two years to teach others skills to work on the engines. Recently he showed me his commendations, medals and awards. He is not one to brag or speak much of his service but he has slowly been sharing details of it with me. He lights up when he speaks of working on the engines and throttles of the jet. I am very proud of his years of service despite not knowing him at that time. I have learned much about the VA and navigating it since I met Mike. I wonder at times how I would have been as a military spouse had I know Mike when he served but I’m looking forward to our marriage next year and living out the rest of our lives together.

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