this Buddhist garden
calm comes over me
this Buddhist garden
calm comes over me
For the past year, I have been examining fear. What I am afraid of, what situations seem scary to me, and how I get through these situations. I have noticed that fear has been the subject of several of the blogs that I follow as well. One talked about fear of not producing or launching ones creative work. Another was dedicated to the fear of death. Still another about the fear of losing themselves, especially in context to relationships. Even I wrote a post about facing my fear of ticks. (You can read this post by clicking here Facing Fear.) The list goes on and on. Just as there are all kinds of variations on the theme of love, there are just as many variations on fear.
The science-fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert has many excellent lessons and interesting themes. One of my favorite parts is when Paul of House Atreides is tested by Reverend Mother Mohiam. You may remember the scene from the movie…. where Paul has to stick his hand in the box. I wonder, could I pass such a test, where everything that was happening was in my mind.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ―Paul Atreides from Frank Herbert,
What Paul says about fear is really important. It is important because it is true.
Fear can kill your mind. It can break your nerve. It can stun you and hold you back. Fear denies progress and ends relationships. Here is the truly crazy thing. Fear can only do this if we allow it to. What you give power to (fear) can control you. Do you want fear to be the one in control?
The first decision I have to make is to face my fears. We all have ways of coping and avoiding things we don’t want to face. Once I have decided to do that, I have to recognize these scary moments and face or embrace them. Once these situations have passed the fear is gone and I remain. Fear has no power if I face it and take away its power.
I know that this is not easy. Things scare us for a reason. However there is a difference between being taken aback for a moment and allowing fear to control you. I don’t want fear to be controlling me.
What scares you? How do you face or embrace your fears? Is there a benefit to letting fear be in control? What is the benefit of conquering your fears? What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Full or empty? Status quo?
What is your world view?
The other night I was out walking in gently falling snow. There is something magical about this experience. It is cold but not too cold. The snow is falling in big fluffy flakes. It is night. Snowflakes are illuminated by streetlights. Sounds are muffled because of the snow. The world around you becomes a snow globe that is continually shaken.
I wasn’t listening to music. But I was struck by how much this walk through the night of gently falling snow reminded me of the piano music of George Winston. Especially his album called December.
Even now as I type these words, warm and surrounded by light, the magic of that moment is still with me. The crunch of my boots on the snow. The glitter of snowflakes as they danced through the streetlights. Muffled sounds of cars far away. Just me in the night of gently falling snow.
“There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.” -Carol Rifka Brunt
Richard Jury is a character from the imagination of Martha Grimes in her series of books named after actual English pubs. I have enjoyed reading all of the Inspector Jury stories. Partly because of this character. In one of the books, Jury is driving to a remote area for a murder investigation. When looking out at fields of unbroken snow, he fantasizes about getting out of the car and tromping through them leaving only his footprints.
When I was in college at Minot State University, I had a 10 hour drive from Minot, North Dakota to the town in Montana where my parents lived. In the winter, driving across Eastern Montana, I noticed miles and miles of fields of unbroken snow. I, like the character Richard Jury, wanted to get out of the car and start mucking up the perfect snow with my footprints and the occasional snow angel.
“When life gives you snow, go snowshoeing.” -Unknown
Many years ago, my friend Laura and her husband Chris invited me to go snowshoeing with them, Laura’s parents and brother. It was Christmas eve and it was the first time I had ever been snowshoeing. We drove to the mountains and found a good place to park. We got out, put on winter gear, snowshoes and backpacks. We hiked back into the mountains for about a mile. I loved the sound of snowshoes in the quiet of the winter wilderness. Upon finding a good spot, Chris carved out an area for a campfire. We had mats to sit on, so we would not get wet or cold from the snow. We sat around the fire drinking hot cocoa, eating Christmas cookies and singing carols. After awhile, snow began to fall gently. We put out the fire, cleaned up the mats and materials from our winter picnic, and headed back to the car. It was the perfect introduction to hiking with snowshoes.
Nature in winter can be magical. The earth covered in snow. It changes the way everything looks, providing a fresh perspective of things. For me, experiencing nature (winter, spring, summer or fall) provides profound experiences. What provides these types of experiences for you?
Perfect winter day.
Sunshine, blue sky, fresh snow, cold….
Outside, here I come!
Cold Winter Sunset.
Me, thinking of you, as I
stand in the stark wind.
I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Patrick of Patrick’s Real Stories. He is a very sincere person who is trying to understand the world through his and other’s stories. Thank you so much Patrick for nominating me. It is an honor to be awarded the Mystery Blogger Award. Please check out Patrick’s blog here: Patrick Stories
WHAT IS THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD?
It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. These bloggers not only captivate; but inspire and motivate their readers. They are one of the best our there, and they deserve the recognition that they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. -Okoto Enigma (https://www.okotoenigmasblog.com/my-greatest-creation-yet/)
THREE THINGS ABOUT Me:
I wish to thank Romina from the blog Living What You Love for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award. She is a passionate blogger who writes motivational and Inspirational posts. Romina’s site is elegant, inspiring and full of beautiful images. When you visit her blog you will leave motivated and up-lifted. Please check out her blog by clicking on the following link: Living What You Love
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award.
6. Comment on each blog to let them know you’ve nominated them and a link to the post you created.
I had wanted to write a blog for many years. I followed several blogs and read articles about starting and writing a blog. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I was scared of putting my thoughts and ideas down on the page. I think that part of this was because I did not think of myself as a writer.
A friend of mine encouraged me to start writing my blog. Translation: He gave me the much-needed kick in the seat of my pants to get me started. I created my blog site called Cats Out of the Box and my first blog post was on May 23, 2015, called Impermanence or Why I Started Writing a Blog.
Thanks to the support of my family, friends and the WordPress blog community, I have written over a hundred posts, there are people who are following my blog, I have developed amazing blog friendships, and have a new confidence in writing. To all of you, thank you so much for your encouragement and inspiration.
My first piece of advice to new bloggers is to write about what interests you. Don’t worry about having people follow your blog or getting likes. If you are doing something you enjoy, it will show and people will discover your creative work.
My second piece of advice is to check out the blogs of others on WordPress. The WordPress blog community is incredibly supportive. Also it is a great way to read and learn amazing things from other creative writers.
11) Sands of Time
13) Alphe’s Corner
14) Life of Chaz
I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Brian of the blog Just Brian. Brian’s blog is filled with amazing poems, short stories, comments regarding life, and so much more. You can even listen to him read his poetry. To me, poetry read by the poet has so much more impact than when I read it to myself. Thank you so much, Brian, for nominating me for this cheerful award. If you haven’t checked out his site, you can do so by clicking on this link: Brian, Just Brian
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
4. List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
The Questions for me
1. If you could travel back in time where would it be and why? I think the “Dr Who” approach to time travel is best. Why just go to one place in time when you could travel backwards and forwards through time?
2. Painting or Reading? Both. I like to read and I love to paint.
3. What is one country you would want to visit and why? So many places to go and things to see and so little time. Top five, as of right now and why: Ulan Bator, Mongolia – museums & Genghis Khan; Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia – largest fresh water lake in the world; Fiji – 333 of the happiest islands on earth; Galapagos Islands – this place is amazing; and Patagonia in Argentina and Chile – mountains.
4. What are you most afraid of? This is a challenging question. I’m not a fan of zombies in any form. What I find scarier than flesh-eating, mindless, once were people, is the thought that I may not be living up to my creative potential. That scares me. Keeps me awake at night.
5. As a child, what did you dream of doing? I wanted to be an adventurer. Explore the earth. Still want to be an adventurer and that is why I enjoy hiking so much.
6. What would you name your boat if you had one? Cats Out of the Box
7. If you had to change your name, what would it be and why would you choose that name? Honestly, I love my name and will not change it.
8. Would you rather be famous when you are alive and forgotten when you die or unknown when you are alive but famous after you die? Not sure that I care for either option. Fame is fleeting. I just want to enjoy being in the moment.
9. If you could only keep five possessions what would they be? Backpack, sleeping bag, compass, port-a-stove, and portable water purifier.
10. If you could get rid of a part of your body, what would it be? I am not sure about this question. My body makes up me. Taking away part of my body would take away from who I am. Long answer short, I wouldn’t get rid of anything.
11. If you won the lottery what would you do? Pay off my debts. Help family, friends and select charities. Set up a fund that I would have income for the rest of my life. Travel, write and create art.
Questions for the nominees
1. Why did you start a blog?
2. What types of blogs do you follow?
3. Would you rather be nice or kind?
4. What are you most afraid of? (This question was to good not to pass along.)
5. Do you like to go to see movies at the cinema or plays at the theater?
6. If you own a car, does it have a name? What type of car is it and what is it’s name?
7. What was your favorite childhood toy?
8. Coffee or tea and why?
9. What is your favorite time of year?
10. Have you ever told a secret that someone had told you and asked you not to share?
11. If you won the lottery what would you do? (Another great question that I had to share.)
1. Living What You Love
10. Sands of Time
11. Alphe’s Corner
I want to thank Patrick of Patrick Stories, Romina of Living What You Love and Brian of Just Brian one more time for nominating me for these awards. Thank you!
White snow and blue sky,
My snowshoes crunch through the snow.
Hiking in winter.