Category Archives: Personal Essay

Dancing into Becoming a Writer

I have been writing all my life. As a little girl it was mostly poetry where I expressed the feelings that were buried inside me. Emotions I couldn’t express from fear and not allowing myself to feel. Afraid to feel anything I wrote words on a page yet I didn’t “feel” them. They were words on a page that were inside me but not allowed to surface from my subconscious mind.

I gave up the dream of being a writer as a teenager when I was told I had to prepare for a practical job like teaching.

For years my only writing was in a journal. When my kids were little and I was lost, I wrote a story that poured out of me. I hand wrote it in notebook after notebook. One friend encouraged me to write loaning me a computer. That manuscript is still in a box in my closet.

Then years later after my children were grown I was telling my story of my journey to strangers in a dining hall and was encouraged to write my story. When I began to write it I was struggling wondering if I could write it, finish it and actually ever publish it.

Another friend challenged me to write a short book and publish it. She even gave me the title, ‘Dancing on the Beach‘ because I never walked the beach I always danced down the beach. And so Dancing on the Beach was the first successful step into being able to say I was a writer.

I wrote that Memoir and published it. It changed forms many times through the process but I completed it. Sharing my story has had effects I hadn’t imagine. I now stand strong in myself. I now try new things. I now follow my heart wherever it leads.

My writing too has shifted more from the interpersonal to living in the world and real life adventures.  Still it is all personal, it is still my stories, it is still me as I evolve and become more of myself.

Sisters Travel Adventures has taken route and cruising and travel have grow in my passion. It has always been a hidden passion but now I am free to be and explore passions I once hid from myself. I am no longer bound by the past or what was and now I am stepping into what I can become.

Life evolves, I evolve and so does my writing as it should.

So come along on my adventures- through my writing or in fact you can join an Sisters Travel Adventure sometime.

Coming Soon My New Book

Taking to the Seas/The Next Journey into Being Me

Sisters Travel Adventures Series

Discover Yourself through Discovering the World

Sitting here in homeport watching the sunrise over the ocean on a cold winter day, I dream of cruising in the warm Caribbean sunshine. I live in Paradise. I dive the dream of living at the ocean. I am blessed beyond anything I would have believed 10 years ago. And yet I dream bigger dreams now.

My dad instilled the love of ships and sea in my. The beach became my sanctuary when I couldn’t get out on the sea. It lets me imagine and see the possibilities that are out there beyond the horizon of my everyday life.

I have wanderlust. I long to see distant shores. To discover beaches in every port. More than that I long to see other places, to have new experiences, to meet new people. In learning and exploring the world and what others know and live I develop more of who I am. I open doors within my self that I never knew existed.

I become more of who I am. I step more and more into who I am. I am more understanding of others, and of myself. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself, to be comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown, to conquer fears, to discover what I am capable of, and who I can be. I become more of who I am.

Travel is the ultimate mindfulness pursuit. It makes me become present in my surroundings, with what I am doing, experiencing and what I see and hear around me. When you are out of your eliminate, out of your everyday routine you become more aware, more alert to your surroundings, more present to your experiences. It happens almost naturally if you let it.

Travel is transformational. Travel shifts my perspective. It shows me not only possibilities of life but it connects me with myself and with others.

When I travel with someone it allows me to experience them in new ways. To develop a closer bond, to appreciate our differences and share our experiences. It teaches us how to be together and respect each other’s space and time.

Travel is an inner and outer journey. It is in discovering other cultures, other places, other people and the world-even the world right outside your door- that you discover yourself in the process.

 

Storms of Life

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I had made a resolution once before to post every month but life gets in the way. Once I finished my memoir I spent time resting, then enjoying the summer life on the island.

Finishing a major project that had been years in the making was amazing. It made me not want to take on any major project anytime soon. I took on teaching some personal development classes. Mostly I reacquainted myself with the beach, the ocean, my friends and my community.

My sister and I were overdue for a Sisters Travel Adventure. Even planning that became a logistical adventure in and of itself. Finally we decided on a cruise to Cuba.

The cruise itself was wonderful. Experiencing Cuba amazing!  I spent a great deal of it following in Hemingway’s footsteps. The writer in me couldn’t resist. In doing so I was able to experience Cuban culture and experience the openness of the people. I discovered that they had a love affair with Hemingway way beyond my interest in seeing the places he spent his time writing and drinking! (That’s another blog in and of itself that I still haven’t taken the time to write)

And while on that cruise my life began to take a turn I didn’t see coming. As we explored Cozumel, I heard rumblings of a major hurricane heading for the east coast- the Carolina’s to be exact. The next day on the ship I heard people talking anxiously about this hurricane.

I met people who lived around me concerned about getting home and what they would do when they got there. I still wasn’t concerned but I was alert. Then I met a women who lived not far from where I lived, she had talked to family back home and she was  very alarmed about what they had told her.

I finally tuned in – when I am on a trip I unplug from my phone, the news etc. I watched the news and saw this massive storm heading straight for where I lived. So I went from vacation to evacuation.

The month of September just went by. It seemed forever before I was able to return home. And when I did life was off kilter as every one tried to pick up the pieces.I was lucky as the damage in my life was contained and manageable but it shook me up.

It sent me looking for my next step-my next project. I craved a new direction. So in the midst of clean up I made a decision to step into a new direction with my career.

That has kept me out of circulation as I restructure and rearrange my thoughts, my development, my directions and my projects. I am excited about this new avenue. I am trying to interweave and blend this new project into my life.

I actually came on here to see about making changes and restructuring my website and blog(s). And instead I find myself writing to you- here. I am not sure how it is all going to come together yet, it is still a work in progress.

I am good at turning corners, in fact  I crave the adventure of change, new learning, new possibilities, new discoveries, exploring new places and meeting new people. I guess that is why I love travel so much! And it is another travel component that is the new path I am adding to my projects.

One of the Amazing things about traveling is through discovering other places, cultures and meeting new people I have discovered and uncovered so much more about myself,  who I am and who I am capable of being. Stepping out of my comfort zone, reaching out and connecting into the world has taught me more about what lies within me.

I have seen my passion of travel be reignited several years ago and wanderlust has taken me by the storm! And more that just sharing my love of travel through my series Sisters Travel Adventures- it is time to take that a step further and help you Discover the World and Yourself through this amazing world of cruising and traveling!

It is time for you to Come Along on These Amazing Cruise Adventures or to Have one of Your Own!!

So are you ready to take to the Ocean of Possibilities and Set Sail to Discover the World!

 

Music’s Influence in Our Lives

Music has been a part of me all my life. I wanted to be a singer or play an instrument as a child. I tried to join the chorus but the teacher said I couldn’t sing. I wanted to learn to play the piano but my mom said I had to play the clarinet or flute. I choose the clarinet. I learned to dabble a little on an organ and later on a keyboard. Yet I never became proficient at playing any instrument.

Writing has been my main avenue of self-expression since I couldn’t seem to express it in music myself and depended on others music to speak. Songs and lyrics have been my verbal expression of my feelings and emotions. I even took a songwriting class in my thirties.

I ended up dancing. Tap dancing, ballet dancing, modern dance, expressive dance. Dancing became my connection to the music. The way I expressed the music I was hearing in my soul.

Music has gotten me through feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, emptiness, sadness, grief, and depression. It lifted my spirit gave me moments of joy and happiness. It created moments of life and living. It gave me hope when I was feeling despair. It got me through moments of weakness and helped me find inner strength in reserve.

Music has played an influential role in my life. It has helped express feelings and emotions that I was unable to express outwardly. It gave me strength during times of difficulties. It was my refuge when I needed to hide. It was my secret place. My cocoon to feel safe, and gather strength and inspiration. It gave me back my life at a time my life I felt empty and barren.

A country singer by the name of John Michael MontgomeryMe & JMM filled me with hope when I wasn’t sure there was any life for me. With his music, specifically with the song, Life’s a Dance, he helped me find a spark of spirt inside, I thought was gone forever.

I even go to meet him at a concert!

 

Soon after Martina McBride offered me strength and courage. I play Martina McBride when I want to feel comfort and angels sing and to feel empowered. Of all the singers it is her voice that I envy. It evokes memories, it resonates through my body, it comforts my heart and it feels at peace within my soul.

One of her songs, From The Ashes written by Hillary Lindsey and Austin Cunningham, was my anthem for a long. During the time I was in the middle of the fire burning down the old walls waiting for the smoke to pass it gave me hope that I could step into becoming a new stronger person. It helped me discard the past and prepare to be reborn. Another of her songs, The Ride, is my current theme song.

Then when I had fallen lost again, a man I met at a retreat center revived my love of music and dance. It brought my connection to my body and spirit back into the world. Music became personal again. I began going to hear local artists and friends who played. Through them, I came back to music and dance.

Music gave me a way to get back into myself. Music gave me a passion to reenter life.

Music can be a powerful tool for self-reflection, self-discovery and self-expression. Our choices in music can give us clues to our authentic self. We can find hidden pieces and move us more fully into our being and true selves.

Every generation can be identified with the music it grew up on, the music that came out of it tells a story of the times. It tells of their hopes, fears, beliefs, and experiences. In my own life music has impacted my development, character and growth.

Music has found a way back into the foundation of my life. I hear live music every week. I have friends who play and have bands. Though I long to join them playing and singing, I dance my heart out! Even when I have had a long day and am tired, I go listen to my friends play and I get a second wind. It revives my body and spirit.

Music has played a large part in my life. It has had moments of great significance, defining and commemorating events in my life. It has sometimes just been playing softly in the background. It has been consistent and steady. Like family and friends, participating in important moments always there to lean on. Music is a part of my life, a part of me. Music is my best friend.

Music creates History – History creates Music

 What role does Music play in your life?

Step Deeper into Your Dreams

Today is the day I take another step into my life – deeper into the sea of dreams, desires and journey into the next adventure.

My new book, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me is now available. update Memoir Cover

Sharing my story, my life with the world is scary exciting!

Writing being an author has been a long buried dream of mine since I was a little girl, but like I pushed aside my love of the ocean, I buried that dream because I was told it was impractical and unrealistic.

It took fifty years of my life to dig it up and resurrect it. It took almost another ten to write it and find the courage and confidence to rewrite, edit, and publish it.

After writing the rough draft, fear took hold. A friend suggested I test the waters and write a short book on my love of the ocean. That is how Dancing on the Beach came about. A collection of essays expressing deep love and connection to the wisdom of the ocean (501x800)

Rewriting my life story was a long emotional process. I would work on it, have a reader or editor look at it, think about the suggestions then finally rewrite. I went through four different versions and formats before I found the format that fit my story. In hindsight, it was the most logical choice but it took me a roundabout way to get there.

It is my way I guess, I never seem to approach anything in a linear fashion. I love jumping around here and there to see what side trips might be interesting or what I might see or discover.

When I thought about becoming a writer, I never thought about writing personal essay but it is where I found my voice. Writing my own life story wasn’t in the plans either but years ago a teacher had suggested that I write about my experience with dissociation. Years later as I was in the midst of my midlife free fall, other women I shared my story with asked me to write and share it when I arrived.

Truth is arriving at one point just sends me off to another point on the horizon I see. Life is like that. We are never meant to arrive and stay long term just for a while and then to move forward towards something more.

So I have shared my story in hopes it inspires you to free fall or jump into becoming your true self and share it with the world in whatever expression that is for you.

We live life in our experiences expressing our spirit in the present moment

Step Deeper into Your Dreams!