Have You Joined The Symphony?

Have You Joined The Symphony?

May 24, 2018

One of my favorite self-care activities is going outside and listening. I hear birds. Just writing that sentence brings tears of joy and a smile to my face. My neighbors have bird feeders that attract all kinds of birds. I get to hear them sing. They have different songs but all together it really does sound like a symphony, a work of art.  It leads me to think about all of us. We each have a part to sing in the song of life. Individually we can contribute something to this planet that brings joy. Sometimes our fear of being noticed or not being noticed, stops us. The birds are not affected by whether or not they have an audience. They just sing.

What about you? Do you live out your authentic self whether anyone notices or not?

Humming Along

Humming Along

So sorry for a long delay between posts. I ran into a bit of a technical issue with my blog that is now remedied. Since last writing, we have learned that Anna’s lung functions stabilized.  She has about 1/2 her lung capacity. It has remained this way for about the last two months. Our hope is she stays at this level for the long haul. Anna has adjusted to the reduced lung capacity physically and doesn’t notice most of the time. We’ll know more about the progression of the chronic rejection this summer after Anna’s next Dr’s visit at Duke.

NEWS: I have a new website that will be up and running hopefully soon. I’m combining my Journey Forward website with my new, Journey Forward for Life domain. I am planning on offering videos and online workshops to supplement the Journey Forward Workbook. I also have an idea to create in-person retreats that will give a limited number of people the chance to go to a beautiful place where they can work on issues in a group format lead by me.

The first retreat will be on Self Care. You’ll have the opportunity to explore who you are, what you like and don’t like and how you can restore and recharge. We’ll dig into the whys behind the challenges you face in taking care of yourself or even knowing what you like. I’m excited about the changes to come. If you want to stay in the loop, please email me and I’ll get you on my email list. No constant filling of your inbox, just letting you know when I’m launching new offerings. Email me as well if you are interested in participating in my first retreat this summer: karen@journeyforward.net
Here’s to humming along!

Another Anna Update

Another Anna Update

Some of you have asked how Anna is doing so I thought I should write another post to keep you in the loop 🙂 Her lung functions continue to decline. From September to February she dropped 30%. If she continues at that pace, she will need another lung transplant before the year ends. Yesterday she was given Campath, a chemo drug that will reduce her immune system considerably. The hope is to stop the body from attacking her lungs. She will go back to Duke in early April to check her lung function and find out if the Campath helped. The future looks like a lot of “wait and see” (which is the reality for everyone!).

We are living in the moment not freaking out about all the “could be’s”. I continue to grow in this mind set, reminding myself that worrying doesn’t do anything to change reality. This approach does not mean sticking my head in the sand either. It’s an acceptance of reality, researching options and holding loosely to the outcome. I just keep getting opportunities to practice this with big ticket circumstances 🙂
Thank you to all who are holding Anna in your prayers and thoughts. She needs all the support she can get!

Sadness Everywhere

Sadness Everywhere

I am in Cambodia volunteering as a counselor at a retreat for women. The majority of the attendees are from Cambodia. There’s a smattering of women from Canada, Australia and the US as well. As I get to know the women and their stories, I am reminded that sadness knows no boundaries in terms of location and privilege. I want to honor the differences between cultures but I realize more and more the common thread that binds us: want.  The want for something different.  When the want goes unsatisfied, sadness and depression set in.

I am not criticizing the want. Simply noticing it. Giving a voice to it so to speak. The want for a better life or health isn’t wrong or bad; when it goes unmet, we hurt. And that makes sense. It’s good to acknowledge the sadness that comes with an unmet want. The acknowledgement is actually part of the healing. Once acknowledged, we can move toward acceptance of reality. We might not be able to change our situation but we can breathe. We can reach out to others who will accept us in our sadness and just sit with us. Often when we have been heard, we will figure out what our next step needs to be.

I have not met a single person who doesn’t feel sadness and depression at times. I have not met a person who doesn’t want for something. Regardless of geographical location, I believe, if we are honest, we are more alike than different.