Two Days and Family

So for Sunday and Monday, here’s the scoop, just in case someone actually cares about meditation. I know some of you do. I’m not all alone here. So I’ll post in the thought that, if not only now, in the future, someone will need to know some benefits that daily meditation can bring.

And for those of you wh0 are reading this currently, thank you, and I hope you are gaining something from these posts.

So without further ado…

  1. Great sleep
  2. Boost endorphins
  3. Improve memory
  4. Mind-body connection
  5. Tolerance
  6. Consideration
  7. Be one with the universe
  8. Discovery life purpose

And that’s it for today, folks.

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On another note, my family and I went on a photo shoot for Hallie’s senior casuals and some family shots about a week ago. The one I posted is my fave of the three of us, though there are about 500 to choose from. That’s me on the right, Mama on the left, and Hallie in the middle. These are the greatest loves of my life. And they are so beautiful inside and out. Thank God for these girls!!!! Just wanted to show you what family you are a part of.  😀  Welcome to my silly little family.

Love you, guys! Have a lovely evening.

xoxo

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Plotting Along…

Hi y’all. As you know, I’ve attempted to be mostly off of social media for a bit. I’m still at that point but I may post to the blog a little more often than I have. I’ve had a few friends ask me about my blog and tell me they were missing it so I’ll schedule in time to post at least once every other week if not once a week. I must admit, I have missed speaking to you guys on a regular basis. I miss our engagement, our connection. Alas, the life of a writer is much a solitary one, and I admit to appreciating that also. Working from home is right up my alley, as I no longer have to deal with fake gossipy drama-mamas in the corporate setting. Thank You, Lord! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to love your job, working from home and the people you do work for.

Lately, I’ve been going through so many mood changes, and I’m presently experiencing a shift – hard to explain but I’ll try. The mood changes are mostly just a roller coaster of emotion, due to my daughter being a senior in high school, her being accepted to her college of choice, choosing her dorm roommate, planning her grad party and trip, her just turning 18. It’s exciting. It’s an adventure. It’s emotionally draining and bittersweet. As most of you know, Hallie and I have always been extremely close. Our nicknames for each other are Lorelai and Rory (you’ll understand if you’ve ever watched Gilmore Girls). And it sickens me to think of her moving to college next year and not living in this house – only to visit on weekends, holidays and summer break. I don’t even want to imagine what it’ll be like because I want to cry, and then, honestly, to throw up. I know I have to let go. I’m just not ready. It hurts my heart too much. I’m used to her going on trips for a week or two. I miss her, of course, but I take comfort in knowing she’ll be home, as I count down the days. Don’t misunderstand. I do have things on my ‘To Do’ list that I take pride in accomplishing while she’s gone and I do appreciate my alone time. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss my little love monkey. Maybe I can’t use the word “little” anymore, but she will always be my little one, my wee one, my baby, even after she’s 40. Thankfully, she doesn’t mind my nicknames for her. She has nicknames for me, too.  😉

The shift I’m undergoing is multi-faceted. I’ve been on a journey of exploration – not just for the self but being more mindful of others and taking in all of the possibilities for connection with others – looking out for like-minded people to associate myself with but also “trying” to be mindful of others in the sense that no matter their mood, I have to take into account they may be going through something I know nothing about. Such as the clerk at the grocery store or the clothing store we normally frequent. Many times, we think these people are there to serve us and be kind and high spirited while they do it. However, we must put ourselves in their shoes, if only for a moment. If we do this, we may consider that perhaps their grandpa that they were raised by just died, or they lost their best friend in a car accident, or it’s that horrid time of the month and they are in great pain. 

You never know what someone is going through. These people are not there to only serve us. We are here to serve them, as well. We can offer a smile, a kind word, something funny to say to maybe lift their spirits. If nothing else, we can offer our gentle understanding. They are just like us. They have to work to pay the bills. They have to work when they are sick because they have a child to feed and have to make the rent. I admit to sometimes being a harsh judge of people when they are hateful or rude and I have been rude as a retaliation. What sense does that make?! That’s easy. Why is it so easy to fight back with hardness and more difficult to reply with love and compassion? This is something I’ve been mindful of lately and I feel it’s changing me. Mind you, I do still have much work to do in this department, as I am still trying to rid myself of anger I strongly hold on to. I have no idea why I hang onto it.

Not only with others but within myself. I’ve always been my toughest critic, being more hard on myself and sabotaging myself rather than romancing myself, appreciating myself and my accomplishments. I tend to beat myself down over everything – every little thing. But lately, I’ve been watchful of my words, noticing how negative I tend to be on myself, trying to change the language I use. If it’s negative, I’m trying not to say it or change the wording I’d normally use. I’m trying to believe in myself, have faith in me and my abilities. I’m writing down all I’ve ever been good at, then and now, and everything I’ve accomplished. Turns out, I truly have been more of a success than a failure. Many of the things I’ve wanted to do and truly made an effort with have come to pass and I’m practicing daily gratitude for each of these things and in everything I have in my life that makes me thankful and happy.

Normally, I have resting-bitch-face – not because I’m feeling bitchy or depressed or irritable, but because I don’t think about how my face is resting. LOL! Often, I’m contemplating something and that’s how my face is – in contemplation mode, or I’m extremely tired because I walked the dog like 10 times during the night, got up at 4am to go to the gym, worked all day, worked on my book after that, had to go to a meeting or event after that and I’m feeling very DONE with the day.

Lately, I’m practicing mindfulness on the muscles in my face. I actually think I may have inherited my grandmother’s facial expressions. She even frowned in her sleep! I don’t want her facial expressions. So I’m focusing on a slight constant smile, just barely there, enough to lighten my forehead muscles. I’m focusing on every blessing I’ve been granted each day and I’m being actively thankful – meaning thanking the Lord daily, telling these special people how much I love them and how amazing they are, hugging and smooching and laughing at my silly dog, appreciating our home and land more, loving working from home and the jobs I do and the income to pay our bills and save for important things, appreciating going to a great gym and getting healthier, and just every special thing and person, even what may sound small to some – sometimes it’s the smallest blessings that make the biggest impact/difference, and I’m thankful for each one.

Another thing I’m trying to learn is to Let Go and Let God. Being a control freak, this is a hard one, but I’m learning little by little. I am letting go of things and people that no longer serve my life in a positive way. I actually just joined a group that I thought would strengthen my character and spirituality as well as offer friendship and connection but learned that group was not the answer so, after 2 meetings, I let that go. I no longer have space or time in my life for what does not assist me or help me grow in some way on my journey. Joining and leaving that group only helped to further teach me that lesson.

Another mood swing is the novel I’ve been working on since 2013. I cannot count the varied emotions I’ve been going through. I birthed this story with great enthusiasm and excitement, only to set it on a shelf because I had too many clients at different times, too many things going on and I did not have any further time to devote to it. I did have to pay the bills and that was more important. As time went on, I got better clients, bigger contracts, but didn’t want to face the book, because I let fear distract me – fear and lack of faith in myself.

So now, I’m happy to say that I am 95% finished with the book. I thought I was actually finished but am reworking chapter 6. I’m thinking I may even interweave it with chapter 5 or 7 or just leave it the smallest chapter in the book. I kept giving myself a deadline, which in many ways is helpful, while at the time was putting an obstacle in my path. The deadline was more stifling my writability and creativity than bolstering my motivation and ambition to get in touch with my muse. My muse heard DEADLINE and ran for cover! So I will work on my book daily, finish when I finish, revise, revise, revise, then query agents and publish. And then become a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

I am learning to have faith in myself. I am learning to trust myself, love myself, believe in my pursuits – my dreams – my goals. I’m learning to lift myself up to new heights and tell myself only good things and reaching, stretching for a higher plane of existence. There is nothing wrong in bettering myself. I have everything I have ever prayed for, except the one. And the one? It’s only a matter of divine timing, inspired action, and persistence.

What have you been up to lately? Share all your joys, your pursuits, your progress, your fears, your expectations, your news. I have missed you greatly and I only wish for you good things, always.

Love you!

Carol

(P.S. Oh, and that picture? I’m just dreaming of cool Fall weather, wishing for long-sock-wearing, gushy-sweater-wearing weather. Please, chilly Fall breezes – come to Mississippi?). And sorry for the very wordy post…

Thank you, Jesus

My second thank you letter in my 365 Thank You Letters project.

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My dear, sweet, loving Jesus,

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How very special you are to me! I can never thank you enough for always being close by, guiding me, along with our Father’s help. Thank y’all for the employment of God’s many angels, for all our many blessings and most of all, for saving me from my sins so that I can be with you and my family in heaven one day, hopefully far, far from now. No offense. I surely will be so very happy to see you again. I just want to be around on the earth for a while so I can spend more time with my two favorite girls, witness my daughter graduate high school, then college, then her marrying the right guy, my playing ‘Nonnie’ (otherwise known as grandma) to my grandbabe(s), witness my mom turning a happy and healthy 110+, and witness so many more blessings.

Thank you for showing up at all the right times when I needed you most. I know that was you. I felt you sit on the edge of my bed and soothe the pain in my soul. You lulled me to sleep that night. Thank you for getting me out of all those bad decisions and almost bad decisions, for loving me in spite of my many weaknesses and stupidity and anger and meanness. Thank you for your forgiveness and for going to our Father on my behalf.

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When I think of what all you went through for me (for all of us), I can’t help but cry, sweet Jesus. To go through so much torture, cruelty and torment, it physically hurts my heart and body. I wish it could have gone a different way. I wish you could have saved us from our sins without going through such pain and suffering. But you did do it. And you did it for us. Because you love us. Because you’re strong and brave and your love has more courage, strength and power than any physical abuse you could have ever experienced. I know you are healed and feel no physical pain now, but my heart still aches when I think of those six hours you spent on the cross and the torture leading up to that.

Please forgive me for my sins. Please wash me as white as snow. Wash those sins away and renew me in you, sweet Brother. I belong to you and to our Father and I always will. Please help me to be more like you, fill me with your love and compassion and friendship and kindness so that I, too, can spread that love and goodness like you did and still do. Help me to be courageous and strong in spirit. Help me to have confidence so that I can do whatever it is you and our Father wish for me to do. And fill me with your strongest faith, Jesus. You are my truest hero and I will never love anyone as much as I so deeply and truly love you!!! Thank God and YOU for your beautiful soul!!

Love forever and ever till the end of time (if there is such a thing),

Carol

 

Images courtesy of http://www.akiane.com/ and photobucket.com

365 Thank You Letters – Day One

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(WARNING:  A couple of expletives are in this post, so beware… – I’m just bein’ real, people)

Call me crazy. I had an idea last night and thought oh, what a lovely idea to thank different people throughout my life who have helped me in some way (whether directly or indirectly), and post a thank you on my blog, so maybe they’ll see it, maybe they won’t, but I’m putting the energy and positive vibes out there so the thank you is out in the universe. And, if nothing else, it might help you to accept some things that are seemingly negative that have transpired in your life and maybe this will help you see it in a different light, because I believe everything does happen for a reason. I mean, of course, I cannot make sense out of a lot of things, which I won’t even bring up, because I don’t want to get depressed, nor get you down, so…

On with it.  Day One of my 365 Thank You Letters (via blog).

By the way, this is in no certain order of importance. One person is not more important than another, except everyone knows Mama and Hallie are my number 2 people in life.

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Dear Sweet Beloved Heavenly Father (some of you may know him as God),

Hi. It’s me again. I’m sure you know me well from the many times per day I chat it up with you. I can imagine your eyes rolling from the many times I bug you about some of the stupidest, unimportant things I talk about. Or maybe you gently smile, just being happy to hear from me. I’m sure you’re not always happy, because you know this girl can go off and I always seem to direct my anger at you. Sorry about that. Again. Really, really sorry. You know I have anger issues. I’m trying to work on it. But it doesn’t take much sometimes to set me off. You don’t deserve the stuff I say. Again, sorry. Please forgive me. I’ll try to improve.

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I also want to thank you again. For everything. Yes, even the bad stuff. Maybe it seems like bad stuff at the time but sometimes, even years later, it turns out to be a good thing. Like the break up with him, and him, and him, and all those hims. Thank. You. God!!  I am sooooo blessed not to be with those guys anymore. Thank you for the friends I no longer have, too, because I realized what crappy friends they were. Self-serving, never encouraging, never supportive – just neglectful, selfish, angrier people than me. And that’s saying something. So thank you for even the bad stuff.

It seems when something negative is going on, my mind plays tricks on me and for some reason, I think everything is shit in my life, like all I have is bad, bad, bad, and I can’t focus on anything good. I’m really sorry about that. It’s only when I’m angry or depressed but I know my mind is being tricked, because it’s simply untrue. I have more good in my life than bad. I can’t say it’s always been that way (my life was pretty crappy before Hallie was born), but I certainly feel my life is better now than it ever was before. I have so many blessings, I cannot even count them all. No, we don’t have a ton of money and can’t afford to buy a newer car, but I can afford to put food on the table, clothes on our backs and our cars are running.That’s what’s important. And more importantly, we have each other. My girls and I are close, best friends, hang out often with each other and laugh and dance and sing and have such a great time together, we have homes, we have land, we have furbabies, we are healthy, have jobs and a good school, Hallie has a couple of sweet, good quality friends who care about her, and it doesn’t have to get better than that.

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I won’t take up much of your time. I know there are peeps out there who need you more than I do right now. And I know you can do everything and be everywhere at once, but honestly, I’ll cut you a break and let you tend to more important events that need your strong attention. And with that, I’d like to pray for all those lost souls who desperately need you. They are full of hate, anger, piss and venom and there’s probably nothing anyone can say to give them peace. You know they struggle. You know the reasons. I know you love them. Be there for them, Father. Help them. Ease their pain and suffering. Give them comfort. Help their hearts feel love and joy and to know laughter and happiness. And hope and faith. Let them know there is hope. Let your angels whisper in their ears like they do in mine. I used to be that lost soul, Father, as you well remember. I know we are all weak. We all fall. And I pray we all come back to you before all our hope is lost.

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Thank you for listening to me ramblin’ and for loving us and taking such good care of us and for your forgiveness, for the good stuff, the bad and the ugly, because it all helps build our character. I mean, I’m still here, even after I didn’t want to be here anymore. I am. And again, I ask you to use me as you have before. Use me however you wish. I belong to you forever. Even when sometimes I may not act like it, because I get pissed off for 20 minutes or an hour. I always come back, stumbling over my stupidity, but I come back. Thank you for having me, for never turning your back, even though sometimes I accused you of doing just that. I realize, at times, you have to feel a million miles away. I do know you have good reasons. I’m sure part of it is to test my faith. Wow, you’re really good at that. Seems I’m tested daily. Well, some weeks are better than others. Thank you for the good weeks. And I guess thanks for the bad ones, too, because they make me grow in different ways, building strength. I’m still here, so maybe I’m doing something right.

Anywho, I’ll close for now. You go help those peeps who need your shoulder, your ear, your gentle but firm hand. And most of all, your love.

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I love you, Daddy. Thank you for always being the true Daddy I needed.

Love always and forever,

Carol

Happy for Answered Prayers & Showers of Blessings

 

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Good morning, sweeeeeeeeeet neighbors!!!!  Shweeeet friends!  Happy Thankful Thursday to you and I do hope you have much to be thankful for.

I will spare you the million and one things I usually name that I’m thankful for but I’ll always be adding family as that is my number 1, and my sweet friends out there like you, which are part of my number 1.  And God and Jesus that are not only part of my number 1, but part of everything I am and do.  I’m far from perfect, sooooo far, but I try hard every day to make them glad at me.  I use that phrase ‘glad at me’ as my daughter, Hallie, asked me that once when she was about 3 and I’ve never forgotten that sweet question from that precious baby, “Mama, are you glad at me?”  Oof, I’m missing her like crazy right now.  Wish I could squeeze her, but alas, she’s at school, so I have to wait till 3.  😉

Have you ever stepped waaaaay outside your comfort zone and tried something you could never see yourself doing?  Have I told y’all about my video project?  I have been a little hushed about details as I feel talking about it beforehand sort of jinxes myself.  Perhaps that sounds odd.  I just like to be taking action doing the thing and have some sort of flow going or even be finished with a certain amount of steps before I mention.  But since I did get my first major step completed, I’ll talk a little about it.

I had a vision last year for this project.  It just popped into my little imagination.  It was so clear.  Life gets in the way and all that and it got pushed to a back burner to simmer for a while.  Well, it’s been simmering for a year and certain things came into play within the last 2 months that told me I need to get my rear in gear on this project.

I asked God, “If you want me to do this thing, please show me the way.  I cannot work 46-56 hours a week and do the project, but I do need to pay my bills, so please don’t take away any clients.”

The very next week, my biggest client cut my hours, as she needed to stay closer to her budget.  Nothing too threatening but just enough to allow me to still pay my bills (barely) and have time to go out and engage with people.  A beloved friend donated an awesome video camera for the project – a very generous donation.  Other great friends were praying for me and the project, the questions I’d ask, the interviews, the confidence, calmness, soothing of my anxiety, ’cause I was so sure I was either gonna faint or get sick.  So many amazing people believe in me and this project and it made such a difference in my taking action.  I have to say, I got close to chickening out, because of my fear and lack of confidence but I asked myself, “Do you just want to stay shut up in that house every day?  I mean, writing is awesome and it’s one of your dreams and it’s fantastic but this is a great vision, too.  What if something comes of all this?  What if people actually like it?  What if you can relate to these people on a deeper level and really connect with people?  What if people watching and listening to their stories realize they’re not so alone? What if I can (only as a go between) actually shrink the planet through connections and stories?  How cool would that be?  You can always get back to writing after you have this project up and running smoothly.”

So after 1, 2, 3, 4 rejections, I finally got a yes, and while I was interviewing this sweet person, I received several lookers-on also express interest so I’ll be going back to get more interviews!  What a wonderful interview that was yesterday!  What a wonderful lady I talked with, so deep, so compassionate, so thoughtful.  I feel like I have a bit more faith in humanity.  I feel a bit more positive about people.  I had so many great conversations with these several people yesterday and my jitters were put to rest.  So crazy, right?  I made some new friends, and this project is starting to take flight!

Now to spend the time I need editing.  But at least I have done a bit and have my feet good and wet so I know better about what I’m doing.  I cannot wait to get the videos loaded so I can share them with you guys!!!  Won’t be long now!

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OH, and I’m thankful Hallie had a wonderful Sweet 16 in New Orleans.  I took her and Mama and one of Hallie’s best friends (which I also consider a daughter), Sierra, and we all had a fabulous time.  Hadn’t been in years and it’s only 2.5 hours away!  We walked and walked for miles, all day and night.  I cannot believe my baby is 16.  *sniff*

I love you guys!  xoxo

What are you thankful for today?  What great things have been going on in your life this week?

 

(Photos courtesy of ME – Haha! – http://www.instagram.com/carolblakesessums)

Jumping With Joy

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Sorry, I believe I missed last week, but today is Thankful Thursday for this week, so without further ado…

I am soooo stinkin’ thankful!  Thankful for everything!  For my family.  My wonderful daughter on this #NationalDaughtersDay and every day.  My beautiful mother.  Friends that I love and love me back.  Sweet true friends that my daughter has that believe in her and lift her up.  For my generous, loving Jesus.  For my forgiving, faithful God.  For working from home with work and clients I adore.  For this new adventure I’m starting.  For words.  For film.  For good health.  For laughter.  For music.  Cooler weather.  Changing seasons and the color of leaves in the Fall.  For our home and land.  Our furballs that make life fun and funny.  Wonderful food.  Coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  Wine and cheese.  Chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  Road trips to our favorite places and adventures to new ones.  Mountains.  Hiking.  Baking.  Cooking.  Photography.  Writing.  The sunrise.  Sunsets.  Babies.

Ah, life is sooo good!

I’m not jumping for joy, as if joy is something I can grab out of the air, somehow out of reach, up there above me.  I’m jumping with joy.  I’m filled with joy, with happiness.  I’m so filled with joy, I can’t help but jump with gladness.

I know there’s so many more blessings I can count but I’m livin’ by a schedule – ain’t got all day!  😉

Y’all have a beautiful, wonderful, amazing, prosperous, fun, humorous, thankful and fabulous Friday Eve!  May God bless you and your families!

Love ya!  *smooch*  xoxo

What are you thankful for on this Thankful Thursday?

 

 

(Photo courtesy of gracecomesbyhearing.BlogSpot.com)

Fighting to find Thankfulness

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Okay, so here we go with Thankful Thursday again.  I actually found a lot this morning to be thankful for.  Then, I took my car to the shop since it’s been parked for about 2 months, because of a scratching sound, to find out I need a new drive shaft or something dealing with the back end of my car – I can’t repeat all the lingo.  $1100 to $1200.  I don’t have that money laying around.  I mean, honestly, I’m a divorced/single mom of a busy teen, paying for half of academy tuition (thank you, ex-hub), paying all the bills, etc. and now I have to come up with that.

Well, all the ex-friends of the family thing and all of that issue finally simmered down and is chill now.  Thank you, God.  Yes, I’m angry with You, but I’m still thanking You, because that was a rough situation for the fam.  Well, one family member in particular but when you mess with one, you mess with us all.

Now this.  So I brought the car back home.  Thank God that Hallie has a little 2-person truck we can use till I can save up enough to fix it.  It’s just one thing after the other.  So now I just want to cry.  I’m tired and I’m stressing and depressing and angry and sad.  Tears might make me feel better.  I’m out of wine.  *sniff*

Still, this is about being thankful.  So, even though I’m a bit irritated with God, I will exercise my thankfulness, because as we all know, it can be heaps worse, and if we look for the good in the situations, we can most assuredly find some positives.

I’m thankful we can use Hallie’s truck to get her to school and home and youth group and everywhere else I need to get her off to.  I’m thankful we can use Mama’s car to go get groceries (she’s right next door).  I’m thankful we have a home and land and good school for Hallie to go to.  I’m thankful for our good health.  For people who are actually our friends and love us and defend us and the truth.  For Jesus.  For Hallie.  For Mama.  Friends.  Writing.  Working from home.  For living my dream (or part of my dream).  For all my dreams to be answered but one, which is a ton!  For having amazing, awesome clients, who I love and adore and I love the work I do, which doesn’t even feel like work.  I know I’m blessed.

So now I realize how much I have instead of how much I don’t.  I need to focus on all the good.  Being ever mindful.  I lost it for a moment.  I forgot myself.  Forgot my tons of blessings God has showered us with.  So I’m good now.  I suppose next time when I feel the need to vent, I’ll write down every good thing I can find about my life, ’cause then maybe I won’t feel like venting.  I’ll be filled up with goodness and thankfulness and appreciation and love and adoration for all He has overflowed my cup with.

Thank You, Father!  You are the biggest blessing of all.  Your love for me – for us.  I know you love us.  I feel it in my soul.  Thank you for all these reminders and more.  Oh, and sorry for stressing and depressing.  I still might cry just to get this tension out of my muscles if you don’t mind but I’m better now.  Never stop your whispers.  Sorry for being angry with you.  I know you give me more good than bad.  Thanks for all of it.  The good and the bad.  You use it all.  I love you, too.

Okay, so what are you thankful for today?  Or for this past week, so far?

 

(Photo courtesy of prima.typepad.com)