September 2008 Archives

Different, yes. And I like it!

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My dear, departed mother used to say that she'd get all caught up mine and my sisters' melodramas, which we'd convey with great emotion and dire proclamations and then when she'd call us back the next day to see how we were doing, we'd have to ask her to remind us what she was talking about as we'd long since moved on! I feel like some of you may be feeling that way after reading my last melodramatic blog entry!

I doubt it will surprise you when I tell you I've long since moved on from my moment of cringe-worthy smallness, and that I am back to mySelf once more. When Rick came home, I felt so very peaceful after my frequency-raising activities, and he seemed to have taken on a level of peace I'd never before experienced in him and we had a lovely reunion. So yes--in answer to the question I was asking in the midst of my angst, things are different--and better! He is still totally devoted, and apologized for not clarifying about the time he spent with the woman from his group to whom he'd given a ride to the airport--he said he'd spent most of the hour they talked telling her about me and Easy World!

Sometimes I can be quite the doofus. But hey--can't we all?!

Last night I signed the contract with the big New York publisher--all 5 copies--and we got them off in the mail. I'm now officially and legally committed to turning in a polished manuscript of 60,000 words by January 2, 2009. (As soon as I get a copy back of the contract signed by them, I'll make my big announcement.) So if I'm not quite as prolific on the blog as usual for the next 3 months, you'll know why.

I'm really enjoying the writing--as long as I stay in Easy World with it, of course. Everytime I start to stress over it at all, it feels HORRIBLE, so I'm training myself to practice what I preach about it. And I was, literally "preaching" about the value of lower-energy activities in EW today, so I got the chance to test it out.


I had a couple of times when I hit the wall with the writing this afternoon, and instead of freaking out about it, I briefly spent valuable regeneration time puttering out in the garden the first time it happened, and then was inspired to take a short nap the second time--very important EW activities! Both times, I woke up raring to go again with fresh energy and ideas. I do love that napping is a way to get a lot done in Easy World!

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Will things be different now?

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Warning: The following is not very enlightened, but, I'm hoping, the sharing of it will be, if for no other reason than to demonstrate transparency and the courage to tell the truth to and about oneself, even when it's not pretty...

I'm feeling awfully vulnerable right now. Rick will be returning this evening from the 37 Days Retreat he went to in Asheville, NC, and as glad as I am on the one hand that he just beatifically reported by phone that it was "amazing," sounding high as a kite from it all, I am also, I'll readily admit, feeling a little threatened.

No, I'm not proud of that. I know that it's entirely of the ego to be anything but totally thrilled that someone I care so deeply for had such a magical and empowering experience of opening up to himself and being in the alchemy of the retreat experience. This is Rick's first such experience, while I've been in such situations many times before, and I know they don't readily transmit to others who weren't there. I knew from the time many months ago when I initially signed off on him going and encouraged him to do so, that it would put us in different spaces.

How might he have changed because of this? How might our life together be affected by the revelations arising from it? How has being in a group of fifteen participants, when he was one of only two men and the rest women, most in their forties, who surely saw Rick's wonderfulness and wished they had such a sensitive yet manly man themselves, going to change how he sees himself, and thus, me? They were part of the magic; I was not.

Might he now be wondering if the work of being my partner is too much? If the life we have together is nourishing enough to his spirit?

To be fair, Rick has never given me one moment's cause to wonder at his committment to me. He has been as loyal as a husband and friend could possibly be. No--this is my own stuff. My own shadow. My own ugly insecurities coming out of the shadows to poke at me. The enlightened me is not threatened. The enlightened me knows that whatever happens is in Divine Order, and that All Is Well.

It surely did not, however, encourage me to the bright side of the road when he said he'd just spent the last hour in great conversation with a lovely woman from the group--a woman who was part of the magic (when I was not, my little self adds)--to whom he'd given a ride to the airport. She is, he said, in the process of getting a divorce.

The funny thing is, if you want to call it funny, is that I had already intuited this before he even called. I could feel it. I could feel him with an attractive woman, feeling all warm and fuzzy. I guessed that he would be giving a lovely woman a ride to the airport, and that it would be an extension of the magical experience he's been wrapped up in all weekend.

I want to be happy for him to have those juicy feelings. I want that not to threaten me. I want to get back to Julia, the wife who is certain of her marriage; the spiritual teacher who is above all that.

Sigh...I guess I just need to get back to work on the Easy World book, which is what I've been doing since Rick left Friday morning, and I've been thrilled with the progress. Actually, what I really need is to get back to Easy World, period, where everything is easy, even putting aside your own insecurities to welcome your wonderful, retreat-besotted husband home. Maybe, first, however, I need to do a #3...

UPDATE: Okay. It's all I can do to keep myself from deleting this entry out of embarrassment, and an ego-need for my smallness to be kept secret. But I felt the inspiration and energy to post it to begin with, so I'll trust that, and leave it in hopes that it serves some worthwhile purpose.

I did use the Step-by-Step Frequency Raising System and had my #3, plus a few minutes'-worth of a nap, a drop of Release essential oil blend, a cathartic kitchen cleaning, a bit of cooking, and I feel like me again. Confident, happy, centered me, whose best friend is on his way home after a really great experience. Me, who is excited to hear all about it and be excited with him.

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The new me

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Here is the photo I'll be using from now till time to change again. (There is one I like even more, but I'm saving it for Choosing Easy World's book cover!) I've been wanting a picture with a Lake Michigan backdrop for a long, long time, and serendipitously, my sister, Ann, was at the lake when we were, and was happy to do a photo shoot with me. 

For most purposes, like the JuliaRogersHamrick.com home page, I'll just use the face, but in other situations, I'll use the whole thing like you see it here:

 

Julia med.jpgThis feels much better to me--more honest (though, of course, there is a little Photoshopping involved!). The old picture

 

Julia Rogers Hamrick sm.jpg

was flattering but there were a couple of things that bothered me about it. One, is that I wasn't fully smiling and felt it might be less inviting, and two, I don't look like that anymore! I have gained quite a bit of weight and added 4.5 years since then. And, while I'd rather be slimmer, I'm not ashamed of that!

My intention for the new photo was to look like a fun, happy person you'd like to spend time with. I hope that's the way you feel when you look at it! I like the natural light in it, too--Rick thought I needed to kill some of the bright gold of the sunlight, but I love that, so I didn't. Thanks to my sister, Ann Salisbury, for her fabulous photography! (She's a professional and quite amazing artist as you will see when you click on her name, and she is very talented with the camera as well, which, I think is evident in my photo.)

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Our view has changed

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And so the sun has set on our '08 Lake Michigan vacation.

as the sun sets on our vacation.jpg

We're home at last after 2 full days of driving. Rick has the car unloaded--now for the unpacking!

I'm exhausted, but I wanted to share this.

Yesterday was a very long day in the car, and we really pushed to get to Omaha where we had reservations, so we'd have a shorter day today (it's a 1300 mile trip in all from the cottage to our house in Denver). We were driving through western Iowa after dark, still about 120 miles from Omaha, and started seeing a HUGE thunderstorm ahead in exactly the direction we were going. It was really magnificent, with giant bolts of lightning--sometimes they looked bundled with a half dozen or more hitting at the same time close to the same spot--never seen anything quite like it. It lit the whole sky, from south to north about as far as we could see.

While my enlightened self was enjoying the majesty of it, my animal body and worry-wort ego-mind were getting very, very tense as we were headed directly into it. I had to force myself to stop imagining tornadoes, etc. To top it off, we were in a dicey construction zone with 6 lanes winnowed down to 2, and with 2-way traffic, complete with tight barricades, big trucks, etc. and heavy rain, I decided to try gratitude and appreciation--for the storm, for our safety, etc., and that helped greatly, but that ol' reptilian brain just kept giving the danger signal. Soon, though I wanted to be, I was not in Easy World anymore!

Just as I could feel myself really starting to clench up again in fear, we passed an elegant billboard (is that an oxymoron?!) with a photo of a butterfly on it that simply said, "Watch the magic unfold!" with some small words at the bottom. It was advertising the new butterfly exhibit at the Omaha zoo. How perfect!

In case you don't remember, the tag line for Easy World, after "I choose to live in Easy World where everything is easy," is "breathe...relax...allow...enjoy...and watch the magic unfold!" So that's what I did, and not too long afterward, I-80 veered south a bit and we left the storm, which by this time, was moving north, behind, having only encountered some very brief periods of hard rain to go along with the spectacular light show.

Then, today, we passed a flatbed truck trailer carrying dozens of huge spools of something and each one was labeled in large letters with the word "Spirit!"  Loved that!

A blessed trip, indeed.

Here is what was waiting when we got home--our Sweet Autumn Clematis (on the arbor) at its peak of beauty. It's not a Lake Michigan sunset, but we enjoyed kicking back on the patio and admiring its beauty when we got home:

after Epworth garden.jpg

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Time's a-fleetin'

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Apologies for my delinquency in posting. I wish I had something profound to say, but I just don't! I will just briefly catch you up on our vacation activities and trust that I will find something meaningful that needs to be said when it's time! I have been working on the Easy World book, so I guess all the insights are going there...

This time is speeding by. I can hardly believe we'll be heading back to Colorado on Tuesday morning. I just love being here and wish we could stay another month. Other than the first few days when it rained and rained and rained, it's been gorgeous. Sunny and 70s--perfect. But Rick is booked for a retreat in North Carolina that starts a week from today (Friday), and is scheduled to fly out of Denver, so we need to get on back. And, of course, by this time next month, it could be snowing here!

I can hardly even tell you what we've been doing. It's been a blur of hanging out, resting, writing, reading, cooking, cleaning, dining in, dining out, dog-walking, visiting, and so on. My sister, Ann, who is an amazing watercolor artist and excellent photographer, took some photos of me the other evening on the beach--no, not in a swimsuit--ACK! I need a new professional photo, as I've mentioned quite often on this blog over the last couple of years, and we managed to get one that I'm really happy with. You'll be seeing it soon...

It's been nice to spend time with Ann. She and I had a girls' day yesterday (Thursday) and went to lunch in Pentwater, a little resort town very closeby, and did some shopping . That was great. Truthfully, I have not wanted to do all that much socially. In fact as little as I've done, I might even wish to have done even less! For me, heaven is just hanging around the cottage, watching the lake! I love having time with Rick and it seems that we haven't quite had enough.

As I sign off, I'll leave you with one of the gazillion sunset photos we've taken. (Ya gotta love a digital camera!) This is from last night, looking out the front porch window:

sunset wickersm.jpg:


 

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Is it time for a nap yet?

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Greetings from the beautiful--and wet--Lake Michigan shore! Let me start by saying I am not complaining. What with Ike drowning Texas, a rainy Saturday here where we are safe and sound is a gift. It's almost like permission to nap--or, at least, not to do too much other than appreciate not having to do too much.

We certainly spent the days prior doing a lot. After a pack-a-thon in the days before hitting the road, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday in transit. It's just under 1300 miles from home to here and we were on the road between 10 and 11 hours the first day, and almost 13 hours the second. Here, you see the gorgeous roadside wildflowers in Eastern Colorado at 80 mph, and Rick in the driver's seat:

 

wildflowers I-70 2.jpg

Rick driving I-70.jpg

The first night we stopped in Atlantic, Iowa at the Super 8--our first time in one and we were quite impressed (of course, our expectations were pretty low!). This is a picture of a farm right behind the motel, which is in town. We love Iowa--mostly for the big-hearted, kind people, but  also for its mostly bucolic nature:

Iowa country Atlantic.jpg

The first full evening we were here (I'm not counting the night we arrived because it was too late!), we watched a string of storms moving across the lake. Love the gunmetal sky and the silvery water. This is a view from right in front of the cottage:

Storm passes over Lake Mich.jpg

Got to spend time with Dad--he's doing great, if a little challenged with some memory issues, and was mostly on his best behavior. He did, however demonstrate that he has retained some of his crusty nature through it all and has not forgotten where my buttons are located, though I'm proud to say I did not take the bait! He left yesterday morning with brother-in-law Steve as his escort to fly home to North Carolina, and made it safely with no further traumatic airport incidents.

I have to say that as much as I was happy to see him, I was just as happy when we were able to really claim the cottage for ourselves after he left as the adults we are. (There's nothing like being with your dad to whom you will always be an eight-year-old to make you appreciate your own maturity, even if it comes with some sags, wrinkles and gray hairs!) We had thought about getting a cleaning lady in to clean after he left, but I ended up cleaning things myself and it actually felt good--very therapeutic.

Yesterday was about cleaning, claiming the space, unpacking, procuring groceries, etc., and I decided I needed a home-cooked meal after lots of fast food and takeout since we arrived, so I cooked and had Ann (my sister who is still here in her own cottage down the beach) over for dinner. By the time I got everything done I needed to do, it was late before I went to bed. So today is, hence, the "do only what you feel like" day. I'm thinking we'll have lots of those over the next 10 days. Hopefully, some of them will be "work on the Easy World manuscript" days!

So...here's a view out the window to the south this gray, soggy morning:


gray day to southsm.jpg The dogs are doing their best to stay unconscious. They are not keen on rain.

Lilah undercoversm.jpg

 

Roly checking out Lilahsm.jpg In this photo, Rick is working a puzzle my sisters had started and mostly finished, and you can see where I am sitting to write this. (I bought the gladiolas yesterday--they are a traditional cottage "must"):

Rick gray Sat am.jpg Meantime, I actually did get some stuff done today, including this blog entry, which I wrote in between things, and am planning my nap. Rick's already taking his. More when Spirit moves me here in Easy World!

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North again

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I'm just taking a break from packing for our trip to Lake Michigan and writing copious notes for the housesitter/mousesitter, etc. Yes, we're going again, but this time, we'll be staying at the other cottage in the family. (You may remember that last year--see Sept. 2007 archives--we stayed at my sister Ann's cottage, but her hubby retired this year and they are there much longer than usual now that he's free.) This one has been bequeathed to my other sister (Linda) and me, but it's still Dad's to use as he wishes for as long as he lives.

My dad will still be there when we arrive and it will be great to see him if only for a bit more than a day (He leaves Friday morning.) He has healed very well from all accounts, including his surgeon's--he went back for his last visit a few days ago. Steve, my aforementioned brother-in-law is very kindly escorting him on the airplane trip home. That leaves my sister, Ann, still at the lake for us to spend time with. I'm very excited about that!

This will be the first time in my 54 years that I will ever have been at that cottage without a parent, and the first time I've been able to have the dogs there (don't ask--arbitrary parental cottage rule that has now been rescinded at last!). I am so excited to finally be able to be the adult in charge and have time to just relax there. Of course, Rick will also be in charge, but he's not my parent!

I'll be writing alot--I really need to put in much of my time working on the Easy World manuscript, as I've given myself a tight deadline in hopes of having the book out as soon as possible (think late 2009 instead of early 2010!). Rick and I chuckle at how slowly the mainstream publishing world works compared to small publishers like us. I finished the manuscript for Recreating Eden on March 14, 2004, and the book arrived from the printer in mid-May. With the big publishers, it generally takes between a year and two years from the time you turn in your manuscript before the book hits the shelves!

Anyway, we'll be on the road for 2 days and we've checked out a pile of audiobooks from the Denver Public Library. It will be a long trip but fun. We're definitely planning to travel in Easy World! I'll have email access by Thursday, and I expect to keep blogging, if, perhaps, on a more limited basis while I'm gone.

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I'm ready!

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Yesterday was the first time our cleaning lady was able to really clean in my office. Before the new desk and new bookcases, there just wasn't enough room to maneuver, nor enough surfaces exposed! Even on the floor! Some pieces of furniture were completely blocked by boxes and piles of stuff. There's still a pile of boxes--need to decide which ones to keep and which ones to break them down for the recycle bin, which always seems like a challenge because of the need to have boxes for shipping books to Amazon, etc. I'm just going to trust my intuition and only save the ones I feel I'll need soon, instead of going by that old Difficult World fear-based notion of "the minute I get rid of it, I'll need it." In Easy World, you always have what you need, when you need it, no matter what.

In these photos, you can see my new desk with my old desk pushed up underneath it, providing a home for my docking station, printer, and a place for Rick to sit with his laptop (still just a wish!) just as if it was meant to be! You can tell that the new desk and bookcases (on the same wall as my desk) match the old desk and bookcases like they were special-ordered, which, in a manner of speaking, they were (from the Universe). Now, I know some of you will look at these pictures and wonder why I'm showing them. I mean--my office is not exactly glamorous, and, for sure, it's cluttered! But if you had seen things before, you'd know exactly why I'm so proud!

The feature of this picture is the empty floor next to the desk! (You can see just the very edge of my little office mates' headquarters on the floor in the bottom right.)

J's desksm.jpgJ's desk 2sm.jpgHere you see my office mates coming to work:

L & R come to worksm.jpg

And this is my monitor with Easy World wallpaper. You can get your own on the EW Freebies page (scroll down to bottom). It's a great reminder to stay in Easy World!

EW wallpapersm.jpgYes--I'm ready for expansion, and, indeed, things are moving rapidly. I have had a couple of great conversations with my Easy World book editor since she got back from her vacation Tuesday, and I'm very psyched! As promised, I'll tell you all about everything SOON!

On a different note, Andrena called yesterday from Gustav-ravaged central Louisiana and said her neighborhood looks like a war zone, with most everyone's homes damaged from fallen trees and wind, but that her house has not had any damage at all. The power is out and may be for weeks, but they are safe and sound and feasting off the food that all the family members that came seeking shelter brought with them, cooking on the gas stove whatever would have spoiled had they left it, and living on a generator which is keeping the lights on, refrigerator and freezer going, and a window air conditioner cooling at least one room of the house. They are not suffering beyond their choice to do so due to some inconveniences! Ladies and gentleman: the power of vibrational shelter! If you haven't listened to the free download of the Vibrational Shelter teleseminar yet, you can
access it here.

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Gustav and TQOJ

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I'm going to be on the radio today, Sept. 2nd, at 4 pm Eastern. I'll be on Welcome Changes Radio with host Velma Gallant, who calls herself "The Queen of Joy." Gotta love that! Almost wish I'd thought of it first. Of course, that does put the pressure on to be at high frequency all the time, and sometimes, just sometimes, one does drop out of joy momentarily, and then I can just imagine being taunted with "Hey! I thought you were supposed to be the Queen of Joy!" I'll just let Velma be TQOJ.

My dear friend, Andrena, is down in Gonzales, Louisiana (north of New Orleans, just south of Baton Rouge), riding out Gustav and its aftermath. I'm assuming they are still without power for the near future as those are the reports from that area, but I'm happy that they have a generator to keep their fridge and their "freezer full of shrimp," as she characterized it, going. Seems whenever there's a hurricane, her house fills up with her husband's relatives who live in the region. I wish I felt more generously about such things, but I'm not at all sure I could be the Queen of Joy with no a/c in muggy Louisiana and a house full of inlaws!

I had a moment of concern about her today and then I remembered that worrying not only does not help a soul, it actually hurts and keeps me out of alignment so that I'm not as useful. So I knocked it off and imagined her feeling grateful that she and family were fine and alive to be getting on each others' nerves...okay--I changed that to "fine and alive and having a great time together"! My other Louisiana friend, Ellen Kennon, took herself and her daughter to the luxurious Peabody in Little Rock so that some of her New Orleans friends could take over her home in St. Francisville (1/2 hour north of Baton Rouge). That's MY idea of riding out the storm!

I had my own interesting experience with Gustav this weekend. After I finished swimming Saturday, I was feeling quite aligned and high frequency (I had just the day before been measured by Dr. S at 1011 on the Hawkins Level of Consciousness scale) and I found myself thinking about the hurricane and, like everyone else, wanting it not to drown New Orleans like Katrina did. I have read a bit about people influencing the weather when their energy was in the frontal lobes of their brain (spiritual center of the brain), so I tuned into the storm--sort of "became" the storm--and commanded it to weaken.

Yes--I commanded it--in no uncertain terms. I felt something of an inner click, and then I felt hugely peaceful afterward. I pretty much forgot about it as I went about preparing dinner, etc. Imagine my surprise when I heard on the Weather Channel a couple of hours later that it had weakened! Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

Then they said, "It will likely strengthen again when it crosses the loop current, and become a Category 4 or 5 hurricane before it makes landfall." And the very, very clear, adamant message come through to me "No, it won't." Again, imagine my astonishment when, yesterday, they said that the storm had speeded up too much to pick up extra energy. And, indeed, it did not turn out to be the monster it had been predicted to be. Now--I am not looking to take credit for the lessening of the storm--I'm sure there were lots and LOTS of people praying for that--but I wanted to share what was quite an interesting experience! If this intrigues you you might enjoy going to NeilSlade.com and reading about
cloud-busting.

Anyway, the topic of the radio show is "Paradise is a Vibrational State." I hope you'll tune in to hear me with TQOJ--you can listen live or it will be available as a podcast to download. I'm sending out a mailing tomorrow--I mean, today--to announce the
radio show and my new Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life class. The mailing also includes the link to hear the Vibrational Shelter audio. But what the heck--I'll go ahead and include all those links here so you don't have to wait! If you haven't yet joined my email list, look to your left on this page and you'll find a little sign-up box.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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