What To Write?

frustratedwriter-250x167Writing is not for the faint of heart. These little letters, mixed together to form words, strung along to form a sentence, then squashed into groups to be titled “paragraphs”, do not always come easy. Let us not even delve into the writing of a book yet, with the myriad of chapters, forewords, acknowledgments, and so on. The words jumble together. The ideas fizzle as life whirls by. The confidence as you scrawled the first words fades. The computer screen glares back at you expectantly. And you sit….waiting….editing….writing….deleting.

Minds are a fickle expanse.

Desire to write grows in your heart. That tell-tale tickle that begins for each author at different times in each of our lives. It is just a thought, at first. Maybe a journal that becomes more of a story to an outsider looking in. Maybe a character on the street that inspires a character in book. It begins and no writer can predict where it might end.

Ability to write comes from your mind. So the tickle in your heart has become “hell-itch” (like the kind you get after a nasty sunburn). You can’t ignore it any longer, so you start. Your mind settles into, what you think is organization, and your fingers begin to put together all the words floating around in that grey goo between your ears. It is like learning to walk. You stumble through the first few lines, you fall in love with your delete button~no one really talks like that. Then they just start rolling. Words coming out of thin air. Smoothly gliding from your mind to the tips of your fingers.

It is magic.

Focus to publish your writing comes from your soul. So now after years and tomes of stories/articles/poems/thoughts/books/scrawlings, it is time. It is time to dig into the most scared of areas in your being and publish. Your words are your soul. Your desire to write has been overtaken by your desire to share. Those still moments when the kids were sleeping, the tears late at night when the only escape were the words, the chaos in your hospital rooms after surgeries, now it is time to share. The focus required to publish consistently becomes a part of your waking moments. No one in your life is exempt from your writing. Teenagers are editors. Best friends are sounding boards for ideas. Family members are marketing gurus. When did this happen? How did this happen?

So you cultivated your heart, mind, and soul. You nurtured the relationship to expose the raw parts of yourself. What happens if you stop?

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Stress

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It seeps in to your life like a thief in the night, stealing away your time, your ambition, even your drive to achieve.  The growing pressure distracts you from your goals.  The smallest of tasks seems overwhelming.

Take a stand!  Do not let this vanquisher of dreams into your life. Banish this scoundrel from your spirit!  Let stress melt away from your heart and refocus your soul on happiness.

Remember,…this to shall pass!

Happy Monday!

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Traveling Within

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Grey veils of clouds blotted out the sun.  The rain hesitated with its exit.  I drove on.  The road is familiar, the terrain unchanged.  I maneuvered my car around slower trucks.  The radio was off, so in the quiet I could focus my rambling thoughts.  The butterflies in my stomach fluttered once again.  The closer I got to my destination the further away I wanted to be.  Hours passed.  I looked out over the horizon to see the patches of sunlight illuminating the hillsides.  The car rocketed up and over each hill.  For as much as I did not want to take this journey I also knew I needed to.

So many times in our lives we look back with regret.  Regret we didn’t say the right words, take the leap of faith or just physically be near someone.  I speak of travel often as a movement, “point A to point B” yet travel is so much more than moving yourself to another location.  Your inner thoughts travel as well.  Look back at an event in your life and see each stop in your mind’s eye.  You did not simply move in one linear direction.  Your thoughts on the event begin, then a process of decisions are consciously or sub-consciously made, which usually changes the course of your physical path, and maybe after some time the thought becomes reality within the outer event. Our thoughts are traveling just as our bodies travel.

At the conclusion of my day, I looked back with fondness at the journey my thoughts had been on and although my wants could not match my needs, I felt a weight lifted to make room for some much-needed peace.  My traveling thoughts were home again.

Travel well my friends!

Off The Beaten Path

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I use the phrase, “off the beaten path” often.  I value the adventure of discovery.  I enjoy finding new, seldom explored areas.  I venture away from the norm and I love sharing my explorations with anyone who will listen to my exuberance.

I am a native Nebraskan.  I have lived in this state my whole life.  It is a perfect location for this wandering traveler.  I am centrally located in the United States, I enjoy white Christmases and hot summers, that remind me of my love of winter.  The cost of living in Nebraska is low, owning an acreage is a reasonable goal.  I have wide open vistas in my backyard, trees that tower over my neighborhood and history that is as boundless as the open skies above us.

I feel The Great Plains are the most overlooked travel destination in the continental US.  It is my favorite “off the beaten path” area.  For the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of  my top picks for fun travel adventures in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Colorado.  I hope to share with you insights to unexplored or seldom explored areas with the intention of sparking travel desires for you.  Most of the highlights will also be sneak peeks of 2015 for Soul Experiences.  So if have not traveled with us yet or haven’t traveled with a group, this may be the preview you need to embrace a new form of traveling.  Come along with us as we search The Great Plains and beyond for “off the beaten path” journeys.

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Recovery

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What a beautiful day to drive the open roads of Nebraska.  The sun is shining down, warming The Great Plains.  The road is calling to me once again.

It has been a very tumultuous storm season so far in Nebraska.  Many lives have been disrupted by the destructive power of wind, hail and tornadoes.  With all the news covering the tragedy in Northeastern Nebraska, my heart is sadden with the loss of lives.  My heart goes out to all those grieving.  My prayers are for continued healing of everyone recovering, both physically and emotionally.  Property has been broken and scattered.  Just as the tornadoes upturned grain bins, homes, churches, and vehicles, lives have been upturned.  The morning light after the devastation only illuminated the work ahead.

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As I drive, I count all my many blessings.  I am happy to know I am able to help where I am needed.  Helping to pick up the pieces of so many broken lives.

While traveling this summer please remember to have respect for the ever-changing weather conditions.  Be aware of storms forming and moving through your area.  But be sure to get out there, into our big wide world.  Enjoy your travels!

Travel well my friends and pray for the continued healing of storm victims.

The Best Nest

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Creative minds will be distracted.

I sat down with my laptop to write.  A cup of hot tea steeping next to me.  As I snuggled in I caught movement outside the window of my sunroom.  Just a flash of dusty red.  Looking closer I saw the industriousness of a small robin.  The evening before from a little different vantage point of my front porch I saw this same robin stuffing beaks full of fluff into the crook of the tree.  The leaves are just beginning to unfurl for the season, so the gray skeleton branches are still very visible.  Time after time the little bird would stuff and the fluff would fall.  Yet this morning I see that all that hard work did pay off.  For he has the start of his summer home, which I am sure he, with his she, will be very happy to raise their offspring.

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Even as a little girl I loved books.  I would beg the adults in my life to read story after story to me.  I loved being transported to another world just by a few simple pictures and words strung together.  One book in particular was read to me over and over again.  It was about two little birds who loved to sing and loved each other.  The only problem in their world was one of them wanted a new nest.  So off they flew to find the perfect place to settle in and raise their family.  They flew from location to location never finding just the right perch, something was always wrong with where they chose.  During a storm they are separated.  From the perspective of the male he is devastated.  You don’t know where she is.  He searches high and low for her trying to find his love.

***SPOILER ALERT*** 🙂

Finally after searching everywhere he thinks, he returns to the old, run, down nest he shared so many happy songs with his love only to find, she had come home to ‘The Best Nest’!  And they lived happily ever after, thankful for what they do have, each other.  Okay the words weren’t actually written that way but that is what I remember the moral of the story being.

So today as you go about your daily activities, be thankful for what you do have.  Even if it is not the fanciest, biggest or best of whatever, It is worth being thankful for.

Travel well my friends.

Community Setbacks

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While traveling through a small town I was shocked and saddened to see a shell of an old building.  The building had been gutted by fire.  The evident age of the building presents its historical significance.  A history that was erased for the next generation by an all-consuming fire, a history now only preserved in photos and recollection.

The structure was once a local watering hole.  People gathering to share stories with each other, mixing in their laughter with the friend or stranger next to them.  Now this once bustling building stands empty.  Void of life.  Surrounded by a safety fence.  What will become of it now?  Torn down I suppose, to be forgotten in time.

What does a building really signify to a community?  It is just mortar and bricks, not a living breathing organism.  Yet our memories are tied directly to tactile objects that stir in us those repressed feelings, thoughts, and senses.  Recalling a special event in our lives or even just a quick hide away from the day-to-day of our lives.  Physical items serve as anchors for our memories.

Embrace what is here and now but be ready to let go of the “things” that tether us to this world.  Life is out there, happening every day.  Enjoy all your life has to offer!

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Take Flight

Our lives are beautifully diverse.  We bustle from here to there.  We experience life from different vantage points.  Let your wings unfurl so you can soar to new heights.  Reach for a goal and grasp it tightly.  You have the power in yourself to achieve anything you dream!wpid-IMG_55117609885691.jpeg Photo courtesy Nathan Rathjen-all rights reserved

Fresh Start

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Today is a new day.  The sun will rise.  The routine will flow.  I will drink my tea and reminisce on a wasted day, for about ten minutes, looking for the positive in yesterday’s events.  Then that day will be gone from my worries and I will be ready for this day.  A fresh start.  On to bigger and better things.  Embrace what lies ahead.  Eyes focused on the path set before me, not behind me where I used to be.  I am ready. 

My Place Of Fear

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I come from a place of fear.  I was not born into this place of fear and I no longer reside there.  Yet the moments of fear that wash over me when I am least expecting it feel like a tidal wave I cannot escape.

I was afraid of my home, I was afraid of my choices, I was afraid of my own thoughts being judged wrong.  I masked it all with a smile of naiveté.  I embraced, what I knew in the depths of my soul as wrong, as right and I justified it all with a label.  My label became the noose around my neck.  Stifling my breathing, blurring my vision, manipulating my words.  Pain wreaked havoc on my body till I could stand it no longer, pushing it back with denial.

I stopped writing.  My written thoughts became my imprisoning tomb.  My thoughts were bad, my ideas were wrong, my life was not my own.  The empty journals were left with only the front inscription of apologies.  My words left me in a whiff of smoke, I burned each word faster, almost, than I could scrawl them on the paper.  Hunting private places to write and burn.  It was a dark time.

I can write again.  It has taken me years, multiple journals, loved ones unending encouragement, but I am back.  Not the same as I was, someone different.  I am confident in my chosen expression.  I will not let another influence, corrupt what I have been given.  I will not let another, place the seed of fear in me ever again.  These are my thoughts, my own, no one else’s.  They are not wrong, or bad, they are thoughts written for the world to read.  You may judge the words, but I will never fear the judgment again.     

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