Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Myth of My Fear

The Myth of Fear
By Amanda S.

In nature all of the creatures valued the tier of power.  
It was understood.  
Know your place in the Land. Know where you come from.  Accept It.

The magnificent Lioness knew this as she proudly marched through the rivers, the marsh, and the fields.  Her flowing mane seemed to mock all of the others.  I am Better.  Look at Me!  
She was massive, strong, powerful, and confident.  
She had no fear of confidence.

The Apeious pounded the ground with pride.  Rather The Family walked in pride, always together.  No one dared cross the Apeious.  No one tried to infiltrate them.  They were one.  
Loyal.  Strong.  Dark.  Loved.  
The Apeious owned the entire Knotted Forest.  They had no fear of family and security.

Even the Slither knew it’s place.  It was low to the ground, but it lashed out at lighting speed.  It defied others with it’s poisonous touch, deceiving nature, and intellectual plans.  The Slither had no fear of death.  It owned death.

Some would say that Grubella had the most challenging journey in nature.  Struggling.  Slow.  Plump.  Grubella.  
Grubella had the worst fate of all- insignificance.  
In the darkest part of her world was a very bright spot- The Unicorn.  
Her friend the Unicorn was mythical, magical, beautiful, and wonderful.  Grubella longed to be like her.  She always wanted to hear her stories.  To know her was to love her.  The Unicorn really felt the same way.  They would spend days talking about the magic in the air.  The Unicorn would always take Grubella for rides through the twisted jungles and majestic tipped mountains.  It felt amazing to go so fast and to be in wonder.

One day the land fell under a curse.
Too many creatures with too many egos, made for a disaster.
Creatures who take but never give back.
The nature was not respected or loved.
The nature began to die.

The Unicorn tried with all of her might to protect Grubella from the destruction surrounding them.  The Unicorn brought her food, she gave her rides, and most important of all she gave her hope and encouragement.
It was not enough.  
With the nature, Grubella was dying.
A hard shell began to form around Grubella.

Please don’t go.  Please don’t go.
The Unicorn begged nature to spare her little friend.
She loved Grubella.  
She loved their conversations and laughter.  
She loved her purpose to care for her.

The Unicorn tried to break the shell around Grubella. 
The trees and the vines and the leaves told her that she would destroy her friend even more if she dare help against nature.

By nightfall, the worn Unicorn fell into a deep slumber.  

When the Unicorn woke before day break she found herself in the presence of the most gorgeous creature she had ever witnessed.  
She lay in a pool of glitter with a sweeping mane of gold hair.  
It was her wings that were the most glorious.  
Grand. Colorful.  Illuminating.

She was unmoving, and the Unicorn became overwhelmed and began to cry.

Do not cry dear friend.  It is me, Grubella.

No. It could not be.  
The Unicorn starred into two brilliant and familiar eyes.
It was Grubella!

The Unicorn felt panic at the struggling creature before her.
I will help you.
I will care for you.
I can save you.

Oh Unicorn, who I love.
This time I must save myself.
Grubella smiled weakly.  
I know you are fearful, but
it is my journey now.  
If I live or die I have to try now.

The Unicorn walked away, stepping in her own puddle of tears as she left, leaving her friend in pain.

It was many moons before the Unicorn heard from Grubella again.  The Land was dying and life was a dull shade of grey now. 
At her lowest point, the Unicorn felt herself leave the world.   Before she closed her eyes, she looked up….
 there floating in the sky was the winged beauty with familiar eyes.

She assumed the worse but got the best.

I will now save you friend. Grubella whispered.
And she did.  
It was Grubella’s dream to save her friend now.

After that, Grubella saved the Land and others like it.  She humbled the creatures.  She made them understand that the circle of life takes strength, perseverance, and time at the bottom before one can understand life.

The Unicorn rarely saw her friend, but always felt her magic.  From that time forward, the unicorn shared the secret of fear with her children, her great grandchildren, her great, great, great grandchildren:

I know you are fearful, but 
it is your journey now.  
If you live or die, you have to try now.

The Myth of My Fire

The Myth of My Fire
By Amanda S.

It was the annual festival of life where the people came together to celebrate the new.  They whispered in anticipation.  All of them wondering what the gift of the child offered.  
The Gift of Fire.  
A hush went over the crowd as they wondered how this gift would impact them as a village.  The child slowly walked out of the tent.  Her eyes were the only windows to her gift-
Powerful.  Dangerous. Warm. Fire.
The child was special indeed, but she did not always appreciate or understand her gift.  In her sensitivity she was unsure of why she was different and how to manage that difference.
As she grew older each day, she became a little fearful of herself, and focused on the many that she met on her journey.

The Child of Earth- grounded, connected to the world, full of ideas, busy…
Can I borrow your fire for more energy? the Child of Earth asked.
Of course!  said the Child of Fire.

The Child of Water-  in constant movement, fluidly, self assured, useful….
Can I borrow your fire for a reaction? for purpose? the Child of Water asked.
Yes you can!  said the Child of Fire.

The Child of Stars-  full of dreams, ideas, confident, shiny, brilliant, wise...
Can I borrow your fire for light, so that I may shine more brightly? the Child of Stars asked.
I guess that will be good, so that you can shine, said the Child of Fire.

The Child of Fire felt herself weaken, but she preferred to understand the other gifts to her own.  She preferred to help as to not focus on herself, as to not have to control herself.

Finally the Child of the Sun- leader, keeper of time, taking others out of darkness, needed, Grand….
Can I borrow your fire for heat? the Child of the Sun asked.
Yes, I suppose if it will help you,  said the Child of Fire hesitatingly.  

Now the Child of the Fire had nothing left.  She had no starter, no passion, no heat, and no light.  
She waited for the others to help her, but they were busy with their own abilities.  
She could no longer help anyone.
The child with the gift of Fire, decided she had to ignite her own flame if she wanted to survive.
Each day she spent time on nurturing her fire.

She lay on the soft earth catching wood and brush drifting by…
She danced with the cool water, taunting and playing around it…
She reached for the stars, saving the flecks of light she needed…
She basked in the hot sun, capturing licks of heat…

Soon she felt the spark, 
then the flame, 
and then the roar of her own fire.  

And from that time on she appreciated her powerful, emotional, passionate, giving, and warm... Gift of Fire.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Breath Of Fresh Awe

If most people had to fully describe me, they definitely would have to use words like- 
wound tight, keyed up, walking heart attack 
(not to completely describe me, but it would have to be a part...)

I wish I could blame it on my job, my kids, or someone else,
 but when I was a 19 year old cashier, I use to stress if my rings per minute were down.

I've been wound up tight my whole life.
I am motivated.  I am a goal setter.  
I am annoying as crap.
I'm terrible at managing my stress.

Over the years I've even tried a variety of medications for my worrisome nature, but they usually just make me slow, sleepy, lethargic... 
I would rather be spastic.
I even read an article that may explain why my children were such excessive criers as babies.

When my friend J. sent out an invite to the 
Yoga and Creative Writing Workshop- Igniting your Creative Flame,
I thought it looked interesting but not necessarily for me.....

...I didn't want a bunch of hipsters wearing hemp pants telling me to kiss Budha, put my legs behind my head, and Hummmmm Breath my way through two children, a husband, and stack of bills.
Yeah. Right.
Besides, who was going to unload the dishwasher while I'm gone??

Then J. and I went to lunch and she told me her experience of writing, moving, and understanding herself in moments of stress and anxiety.  
We often talk about nurturing our spiritual lives, which can mean different things to us at times, but I enjoy our conversations.

J. knew I enjoyed the creative writing process, and she highly encouraged me to do this workshop.

These days I'm creative, as long as the glue sticks are not dried out and the finger paint isn't used up.

Right away, the people were warm and welcoming.
We had a lot of diversity in the room. 
Different shapes, sizes, and ages.
  Some people I knew really well, some people I knew about, and some people I had never met before.  

I felt we were all connected in that we didn't fit a specific mold.

Everyone had a journey, a story, a walk, and a philosophy of life.
I loved reconnecting with old friends and making new friends!

I want Professor B's sparkly blue skirt.
I really enjoyed our teachers.
Professor B. and Yogi Love

I think Connor would have loved Professor B.
She happens to be a gifted (published) author.
She has this calming, intelligent voice partnered with these colorful tattoos and a tiny, jeweled nose ring.  I could see him asking her a million questions about that nose ring (and trying to see if he could get one). 

Yogi Love knows her craft as well.  
I never thought she would get our group grounded enough to do the yoga moves effectively.
She was able to have us move from each sequence, and she created an atmosphere of relaxation and flow.  She taught us how attitude and movement impact how we feel and how we react.

They were beautiful teachers.

compliments to the cook:
snacks/ lunch with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and nuts

Like my nature, if I exercise, I prefer it to be quick to some rock and roll.  I feel like if I'm not breathing hard and sweating (and believe me it doesn't take much), I'm not doing work.

Yogi Love taught us that this is about being present while appreciating the fact that you can move, you can breath, you can show love to yourself!!  

You can also give yourself a workout in this mental process.

I tend to hold my breath a lot throughout the day, especially if I am upset.  I even hold my breath when I exercise. I don't even notice it until I let it out in a whoooossshhh.

Over the weekend, a was made to do a lot of deep breathing.    
I noticed the impact right away.  
Not only did I not need my inhaler, but I felt so much more relaxed.

the beautiful studio created a lovely element to the workshop

Professor B. lead us in some creative writing exercises.
I love my word processor, but I didn't think my MACbook would be welcome.

I brought a sketchpad.

The simple act of writing with a pen, and without auto spell check, copy/paste, and Google search, grounded me.

I was really shocked at how much I had to say and how much I was able to write creatively.  
I filled every minute of time with space in that sketchpad. 
It was a miracle.

Professor B. lead us in a series of touching poems during the yoga sequence.  We followed that with writing our own myths.

My unedited myths are here and here.  

Perhaps I can go back and give my stories more detail soon.

(I know there are incomplete sentences, I'm obsessed with the overuse of the comma, and one is not suppose to end a sentence in a preposition.  This is CREATIVE bad sentence structure.)

a dear 'tree' friend 

Through poetry, prose, breath, movement, motion, and friendship... 
I felt myself..well... connect to myself. 

a walk in the present

Normally, I am unable to focus to pray for longer than a few minutes.
I found myself developing more of a spiritual connection with God through the meditation. 

God showed me through the stretching of my fingers to the wiggling of my toes that I was loved and we should show self love.

Yogi Love made a great point during our restorative session:
If you look at the persecution of people going on in the world right now, whether it be for their gender or for their faith, we have a lot to be thankful for in America.  
We should appreciate what we have and who we are at all times. 
We should love our brother and sister, regardless of differences.

Be Present.
Have Faith.


5 AM this morning:
 movement partnered with writing out my prayers

My new philosophy:  Lotus Pray, Lotus all Pray

I think the older I get, 
the more I've come to the realization that this is truly the body that we have for life.
The more aware we are of our bodies, the more love we offer ourselves through healthy choices and limitation, the more love and service we will be able to offer others.

I hope to use these strategies to truly manage stress in my life without completely putting out my creative fire!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:14

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wilderness Escape

I can't believe another VBS has passed.
It was another great year.
I was able to focus on one job, and that of course is my favorite:  The Drama.

This made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable, as opposed to my brain having to divide time, which is never good.

VBS of years past  herehere, and here.

Welcome to Wilderness Escape  2014
All Israelites report to the desert please!

Malachi (the Whiner) with Moses is not into the journey (but really not into slavery either).

"Moses... it's hot out here... I'm hungry... this sand is disgusting!"

God answered, 'I will be with you.' 
(Exodus 3:12)

God is with us, so TRUST GOD!

The Israelites, 
do the impossible and cross the Red Sea!  
Exodus 14-15

Moses was our local celebrity,
(and happens to be a great youth in real life).

God provides quail!

"For your Father knows exactly what you need even 

before you ask him!" 

(Matthew 6:8)

Peeps Quail by the fire!

God gives us what we need so, 

After a good night's rest....

....God provides more with manna! 
Exodus 16

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." 

Philippians 4:13

Israel defeats the Almalekites with the support of God!
Exodus 17

God gives us strength, 

Moses remembers Passover.
God's people gave two swipes over the door with the blood of the lamb to seek His protection.
Exodus 12

 'For I am with you and will save you,' says the Lord." 

(Jeremiah 30:11)

"I will bless the Lord who guides me." 

(Psalm 16:7)

The Israelites huddled inside their homes, praying that God will save their families.

The next morning....

...God's people were saved, but they had to eat a piece of unleavened bread, pack up quickly, and move fast.

God Saves, 

A little rain doesn't stop our fun!

God's People said 'Amen'.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy Fourth of July (9 Days Late)

Happy Fourth of July

God Bless America

Church Float

We had big fun:
a parade, lunch at O&Os, another fun volleyball game, and then on to Nana and Papa's house for a cookout dinner!

Parade Float- Riding With All American Cutie Pies

Happy Birthday Mema

I married into a great family!  

As I was pulling up to Nana and Papa's House I noticed a little boy run across the yard.
'I wonder who that was?' I asked Connor.
Then I saw another little head dart across the yard, and then another.....

(Of course they now live in Florida, but they were in England for so long we call them our 'cousins from England', and they have slight English accents.  #AirForceFamily)

It was a big Surprise!!! 
They were trying to surprise me and they did.

We haven't seen the two oldest boys in about five years, and we have never met the two youngest. 
 Within 5 minutes Connor hopped out of the car, and this was the scene:

Really. 5 minutes. Clothing was in the driveway. 

It doesn't matter Connor doesn't know these boys- wildness is a universal language, right?

Connor somehow managed to even get a bloody nose at one point, it was THAT fun (lol), 
he begged to spend the night and had a great time.

I loved it.
What can I say?  I have a heart for boys, and the more energy they have, the better I like them!

We have quite a crew now:

The Oldest:
leader of the pack, fun, charming, watches all the good "karate movies", great at play

Next in Line:
(dad Uncle A. is in the background)
same age as C., "everything is AWESOME", seems very close with big brother K., great older brother, loves to laugh, a hugger

Next C.- 
I think you have met this one.  ;)

sweet. sweet. sweet. 
follows and chases the older boys, quiet in nature, adorable little smiles ready whenever we needed one... 

Baby Brother:
loves his mama, loves his snacks, bath time, and play (but mostly mama, his mama is gone in this pic.)

Tot Carlee:
loves shoes, necklaces, her brother, 
and personal space (DIVA)

Auntie M. :
AMAZING mother to 4 boys all under age 10.
We let her hold the quiet girl in a dress for a few minutes, with promises to go shoe shopping soon.

Baby A.: 
(her parents stayed out of view of my camera)
loves everything (even my camera), 
happy. happy. happy.
exploration, music, computers, iPads, has extra sweetness for her cuz Connor, best kissy cheeks

I don't know... 
I think they need a few more grandchildren.
More boys... 
Definitely More Boys

God Bless Our Families