Category Archives: Spirituality

Three Day Quote Challenge

I was Tagged by John Howell and Nicholas Rossis to participate in the Three Day Quote Challenge. This one is real easy and fun. Here are the rules:

1 Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you, John and Nicholas!)
2 Post your quote.
3 Pass it on to three others.

Here’s the quote:


I nominate Sue Coletta, Craig Boyack, and Adrienne Morris. Have fun!

Medication Holiday and Why I Can’t Go There


I made an announcement a week, or so, ago. My plan was to take a medication holiday from a mood disorder meds I have been on and off of since the age of nineteen. My courage has left me.

In the past, I was taken off meds to process through my education, or to carry my children. The meds slow thought processes (a compromise to learning new things), along with body metabolism. There is a numbing down of emotion and with that a deep and cutting loss of the ability to feel.

Being an extremely empathetic person, the loss of the ability to feel is not necessarily a bad thing. It does, however, pose limits to the experience of emotion. Sometimes those limits are good. Rage is in check. Anger is minimized. But so is joy, and happiness. On the meds, there is a numb sort of existence devoid of any extremes. Without the extremes, I made an excellent nurse for more than thirty years. I have a portfolio of commendations. Until the emotions began to bleed through due to stress.

I witnessed and contested some serious abuse and neglect in a pediatric long-term residential facility I was working in and up against a huge and powerful corporation and a gang of despicable people. Some of the abuse resulting in loss of limb or death. It was a two year battle. The place is closed now, if it’s any consolation.

I wrote a long and thoughtful post last evening but did not publish it.

I was recalling all of the times that I have gone over the edge and what happened. They were exciting times, filled with emotion, creative energy, and productivity. I had volumes of imaginative, expressive, original writing. I painted gorgeous pictures in oils and water colors, made fascinating jewelry, and had nearly a hundred ceramic creations that I ultimately smashed against my plaster walls in a fury.

You see, therein lies the problem.

At the end of any one of those glorious manic episodes of profound self-discovery and accomplishment were days and weeks filled with hallucinations, delusions, isolation, darkness and despair. It was frightening…no, it was horrifying. The crash that eventually came caused me to either fight the ones closest to me, or to fall into catatonia so deep that my soul wasn’t present anymore. The depressive loss of the spiritual self so profound that I not only didn’t care whether I lived or died, I didn’t even know if I was alive or dead.

Say I am exercising good judgment to stay on my meds.

Say I’m a coward for not being willing to try.

Can I live in constant state of fight or flight?

I don’t want to know.

The torment of sanity can be worse than insanity.

I’m just afraid of going over the edge and not being able to get back.

There is some sweet sorrow in the fact that the meds make me better controlled.


Instant or Delayed Gratification?


How are you with delayed gratification? When I was in nursing school, I would study so hard to make good grades, but sometimes, even though the grades were good, family matters and personal issues would result in me having to withdraw and wait a year to pick up the course again as everything was in sequence for the nursing program.

I really wanted to see my family’s standard of living improve, so I stuck with it and endured to the end, but it wasn’t easy. It took me eleven years to get a four year degree.

Nobody says writing, publishing and marketing a book is easy. It takes months, even years, to write and prepare a novel, publish, and even more months and years to effectively market, unless you already have a fan base built up.

Do not be discouraged. If you really want to see your books sell, it will happen.

When things seem to slow down, and progress seems too far away, I sometimes need to step outside of the task at hand do something that gives me a sense if instant gratification. I make jewelry, bead necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Unlike my writing, hours later I have a completed project in my hands. It is that feeling of completion with something tangible to show for it that helps me along.

If you are one of us writers who needs instant gratification, knit, crochet, bead, paint, draw…find something that will give you instant gratification to balance out that feeling that your writing project is an eternity away from completion. Or find some way to reward yourself for smaller accomplishments along the way…a weekend spent camping in exchange for a weekend of writing, a Sunday drive along the coast for a week of writing, a video game for every fifteen hundred words.

Then go back and write!

Don’t give up!

Find your balance.


White Wolf in My Dream

I stopped trying to interpret dreams many years ago. When I studied religions, I also studied dreaming. (Psychology, sociology, political science and a host of other inter and intra personal relations.)images

The spiritual symbolism of the white wolf goes back eons. For a wolf or wolves to appear in a person’s dream we can learn about our subconscious. “From singular or family groups, we can learn about the nature of the dreamer or people that the dreamer is connected to in their life. It can also reveal information pertaining to their spiritual growth and internal changes such as emotional growth, decisions surrounding personal relationships or even career goals.”

Last night, around 2 am, I was dreaming. I don’t often dream. My meds knock me out and my mind goes blank. I may be dreaming, but I am not aware.

38a795fa605d27d38620603422ebec2cMy dream involved my characters in a book I am editing and I can’t recall much about it. In an instant, an aggressive white wolf image was up close, his face in my face. It startled me and I jerked to jump two feet off the bed. My heart was racing and the fight or flight response kicked in. I was scared! More like a flash of nightmare than dream.

Of course, as soon as I opened my eyes, it was gone. That didn’t take but a second. The ordeal was short lived, but quite impressive.

This morning, with the internet at my fingertips, I found this really neat article on wolf dreams by Debbie Edwards, a psychologist.

WOLVES in Dreams – Meanings and Interpretations

I like the way Ms. Edwards lays it out on her page.

  1. Wolves are surrounded by notions of mysticism, magic and folklore.
  2. Color: black, gray, white , red.
  3. Lone or Group.
  4. Behavior: timid, aggressive, protective, playful, sleeping, invisible.
  5. Environment: day or night, clear skies or storms, stars and moon

Here is how my dream interprets:

Regarding the dreamer: A white wolf can represent someone or something that is directly influenced by spiritual communication or teachings. Someone that would be very knowledgeable or connected spiritually could be represented by a white wolf. It can also represent the purity of a message that is delivered by a spiritual presence. It can also represent someone who is pursuing a stronger connection to their faith, spiritual practices or ceremonial activities.

[One thing in my book I have been trying to do in my writing is offer insights in the narrative. I’m also trying to develop more of a spiritual connection to my characters. My alpha reader is giving me guidance.] 

The lone wolf: If a wolf appears to the dreamer without the company of his or her pack, it is important to pay attention to a specific person or situation that is relevant to the dreamer which would describe more of an isolated or detailed situation or person.

[I am still processing the alpha reader’s impression of my book and its characters. He has been giving me examples over the last few days.]

Aggressive- An aggressive wolf can represent defensive postures or fear based movements in life. Is the dreamer feeling under attack by someone or others? Is there an aggressive person in their life who is trying to intimidate them?

[I’ll say. I’m defending my baby.]

Night or day- A wolf appearing at night will reveal things either hidden in the subconscious or things that may not be “visible” in the dreamers perception. Something is happening that the dreamer is given an inside view on that otherwise has been elusive from view.

[My alpha reader is most likely right and I am wrong. Like it or not!]

This was my dream interpretation, whether accurate, or not.

Do you dream?

Have you ever felt a need to have a dream interpreted?

Do you dream about writing, or your characters?

Psychiatrist, Writing, Religion, and Dr. Who


Today I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. I only see him for about fifteen minutes every three months. So I told him that I am writing another book and he gave me his blessings. But he did advise me to stop staying up until 2 am writing, so I will be calling it quits at midnight.

He’s Hindu of some sort, an Indian man.

I told him also about the progress with my first book.

So he says to me, “Why don’t you write Christian stuff? My patients bring it in here all the time. It must really sell. Everybody is trying to get in touch with their spirituality. How to be a better Christian. Christian romance, Christian fiction.”

Now I would think he should know me better, so that started a long conversation about why I didn’t feel qualified to interpret the word of God through the Christian belief system, being as I am agnostic and the primary reason I am not Buddhist is because I like to kill stuff….especially stuff before I eat it.

That’s on a spiritual plane, on a physical plane, I have entirely different thoughts. Evolution has some holes in it. I am pretty well convinced that there is a planet out there with the rest of my relatives on it.

I told him more about “Melody of Madness”.

He assured me that with my family history, personal history, and experience in psychiatric and forensic nursing, (I used to work with him) I am highly qualified to write this book.

I told him it was fiction, but he refuses to believe me.

Claudette, one of the main characters, has a relationship with God during her life, so it will have some spiritual undertones, as she was “born again” a few times, and Christianity is explored through the characters and how they lived their lives in that era. She also plays the piano in her church.

I don’t make any claims to know what it is like to believe that Jesus died to save my soul from hell, to cleanse my sins away, or to open the pathway to heaven.

Jesus was a kind, generous, loving individual who was miraculously gifted and deeply disturbed.

Celebrating Winter Solstice

The season officially changes today to wintertime with the Winter Solstice celebration. This marks the beginning winter_solstice_party_invitation-r33d79c2e5cb047998505147846a191f0_imtet_8byvr_512of our snowbird season. Tonight our friends meet at a home and gather around the fire pit. We draw a card from a deck. The host has a different deck and he draws out a card from his deck.  Whoever has the matching card picks a gift and then the next person can choose to take a gift from someone else or pick a new gift. The gifts are sometimes very nice ones, but most of the time they are gag gifts or something really unusual.  Sometimes you end up going home with what you brought. There is laughter and a whole year of stories to tell.

The party has all of the usual party favorites, food and drinks. There is soft music and dance music, but mostly it is a celebration of the season.  We have a mild seasonal change here in Florida at wintertime with cooler temperatures in the daytime and at night. It can get quite cold here in Central FL in January and February. It is often a wet and windy cold.

For us, the Winter Solstice is not so much about winter spirits, frost, snow, sleet, ice and frigid temperatures. It is more about the return of folk from up north. The snowbird friends are back for the season and there is a sense of joy and happiness in meeting these people again. The streets are busier and the community has a temporary growth. Reuniting and spiritually reconnecting with old friends and knowing that they are safe and healthy brings us a sense of peace and pleasure.  The return of the snowbirds, who stay from winter till spring, is the primary cause for our celebration.  We are glad to see them return, year after year.

However you celebrate the coming of the winter season in your community, I wish you joy!
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a Happy Holiday season !

We will be celebrating Christmas with my daughter and her family and my stepson on Sunday.  Then, we are off to Naples to visit more family and play on the boat while a friend house sits for us and tends to the dogs, cat, and bird.

I will not be posting next week, but may be checking your posts and making some comments via the iPad.

The Rule of 3s

4146570-199711-three-matchesJade Reyner at Jade’s Jungle made a brief post about coincidences this morning and someone commented that these sorts of things tend to run in threes.  I have seen this repeatedly first hand.  What about you?  Are you superstitious at all?

A few days ago, the niece of my first husband sent me a message that her Uncle Kevin Hutto, my former spouse’s brother had died.  We weren’t close like we had been in my youth, but it was still sad.  This is a man I had fond memories of.  He was a fairly young man at 58, and this was unexpected.

Last night, my independent publisher’s daughter at Elderberry Press, sent me an email that her father, David St. John, had died on November 2nd.  They are going to continue the business to keep his legacy alive.  She has worked for her dad for eight years.  They were in the process of notifying everyone.  How tragic.  He was the first non-friend or family member to read my book and discuss it at length with me, giving me the confidence that I needed to proceed with publishing.  He was another fairly young man.

As the Rule of 3s goes, there is yet to be another unexpected death, and I am genuinely concerned.

I don’t think of myself as a very superstitious person, usually. I have a science degree.

I have seen, though, in my Nursing career, this Rule of 3s in action, over and over.

It happens with coincidences.  It happens with deaths.  It happens with chance meetings of old friends.  It happens with clairvoyant dreams. It also seems to happen with accidents.  Things out of the ordinary tend to occur in threes.

Can you think of anytime where the Rule of 3s brought superstition into your life?

What about deaths? Have you noticed that these tend to occur in threes?

Thankful For Passing Traditions

scrooge-mcduck-thanksgiving-dinnerThis is the first time, since I can’t remember when, that I have not had the Thanksgiving Holiday dinner at my home for family and friends.  The kids came home when they could, and home was where mama was.  Sometimes, the kids couldn’t come, or one or two would be missing, I still made the Holiday dinner at my house.  Even when I ate alone, I made the traditional dinner.  As they matured, especially my daughter, they began to contribute to the meal.  Once, my daughter made the entire dinner, but brought it to my home.

Tomorrow we are doing something different.  My daughter is making and serving dinner at her house.  That’s new.  At first, I was a bit unsure.  It was like a part of me was missing.  Tonight, as I relax and think about tomorrow, I find that nothing is missing.  This is something that I could easily get comfortable with.  There has been no busy preparation on my part.  I’ll go over tomorrow at dinnertime and I’ll come home whenever.  My husband will be out of town with his son, so I’ll bring them a plate.  No stress.

Gratitude is something that I feel every morning when I wake up. I usually go out on the porch to have my coffee and meditate over breakfast.  I thank God every day for all the many blessings that we have received.  Tonight, I am thankful for passing on traditions, and creating new ones.  I am thankful I have a daughter and I am thankful that she has a family.  I am thankful to be a part of her family.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

For my friends who don’t celebrate,

Have a Happy Day!

Reviving the Spiritual Self: Looking at the Positives


After yesterday’s let down I am trying to put on my happy face and get with the program today.  There are too many things to be pleased with in this world today to let one little trouble take me down. My plan is to NOT WORRY today. So this is a list of things I have to be pleased about.

  • My girlfriend, Nancy, from Texas is coming in at around 4:30 today.  She, and one other friend, seriously encouraged me to publish “Red Clay and Roses”.  She is nearly seventy and looks and acts all of fifty years old.  I love her dearly and am looking forward to a fun weeklong visit.
  • I have had a surge in eBook sells. (I am advertising on some new sites.  Something I needed to do a long time ago. And when I drop the price, I can add even more sites.) Not any new reviews yet, but I am hoping.
  • My birthday is tomorrow, and while I deplore aging, having another birthday beats the alternative…which would be dead, so I am happy to be alive and happy to have friends and family to celebrate with.
  • Speaking of birthdays, my husband says he already has a surprise gift for me.  I am a little scared, because one year he gave me a shirt with fish on it.  While it was a nice shirt, it was not exactly what I was expecting considering all of the hype around it.  It was a little difficult to feign excitement when I opened it, but I know he still loves me, and he has done much better on other days.
  • My house is cleaner than it has been in months, Yay!
  • Saturday, I am going on a photo tour of Orlando with Nancy to get some pictures of our beautiful city to post on my blog in the future.  We will probably have lunch at Spice, one of my favorite outdoor restaurants on Lake Eola downtown.
  • I have so much going on in my head about my newest book/series idea that needs to get put down on paper, so I won’t possibly run out of things to do anytime soon.

I have online friends who are more like family, who deeply understand, support, and encourage me.  I am so very grateful for the many blessing that have been bestowed on me. I have a husband, children, grandchildren, and friends who love me. I have a beautiful home with plenty of space for making my guests feel comfortable. I have two of the best doggies in the world for company/companionship throughout what might otherwise be lonely days of writing and pounding away at the keyboard.  The lovely Mexican heather plants that I planted last week are doing very well.  The garden is green and filled with tropical flowers the colors of the rainbow.  The wind has died down, and the weather is lovely at a nice and sunshiny 68 degrees, and promises to improve over the day.  We might even get a beach day before Nancy goes back to Texas.

Why worry? See, life really is good.  What do you have to be grateful for?  I am sure if you examined it closely, you would find a multitude of things, as I have.

Afterword and Collective Consciousness


The progress of reality: The purpose of my book, “Red Clay and Roses”, was, through storytelling, to explain how things were during a particular era in time. Many have read the book and enjoyed the read, but some took issue with the one page, “Afterword”, which was meant as a sort of disclaimer.


I do not advocate pro-life or pro-choice with the writing of the book. The book’s storyline simply indicates options available for women in relationships which resulted in pregnancy during a time when options were more limited than they are today and the dilemmas they faced in exploring their options.  Women’s reproductive rights and responsibilities are explored through the telling of individual’s stories in another era in time.  There is also a significant amount of racial tension and angst in the stories.

In the “Afterword” I quoted Mark Twain when he said, “Racism, Chauvinism, and Religion are the three greatest evils of mankind.” I went on to say that the bloodshed in the name of these three things is what makes them tangible evils.

That offended some, and that is okay.


I am not anti-religious, but I am not religious. I do believe that many have died in the name of religion unnecessarily.

In many Eastern cultures there is a concept of non-duality. I have studied many religions from Baptist to Methodist, Judaism to Islam to Christianity, multiple Hindu to multiple Buddhism ways of thinking. It all gets very complicated. There are many shades to the concept of non-duality. In my concept of non-duality, we are all one people with one collective consciousness. When harm is done to one, it not only harms the one and the doer, but harms the whole of humankind in the universe, because we are merely a microcosm in this universe.

oneness people

The internet is a good example of this non-dual “collective consciousness”. This interconnectedness. It is not limited to Earth, in my opinion, but the entire universe. God made it all, whether we believe in science, spirituality, or both, in this country, we are allowed to believe or not believe this is true. In western culture, with many faiths, there is an interconnectedness wherein individuality is retained, and mind, body, and spirit are interrelated. Social creatures that we are, we are not exclusively individuals because we are influenced by other individuals and their reactions to our own selves.

Non-duality is not to be confused with transcendentalism wherein there is inherent goodness of both people and nature…I believe inherent evil and wickedness do exist.

In the Christian way of thinking there is a spiritual union with God. While I am not a practicing religious person, I do have this spiritual union, this interconnectedness with God.

There is a New Age movement confining dogmas with a worldwide view of science and spirituality. It is inclusive and pluralistic. While I agree with some of this movement, I am not in the practice of soul searching. I am quite content with the soul I know myself to have, although I feel that I am enlightened every day that I live and breathe.

According to David Loy, “When you realize that the nature of your mind and the Universe are non-dual you are enlightened.” Non-duality is almost non-conceptual, not easily graspable in an idea. One eastern culture gives a metaphor of the essence function of non-duality: a lamp and its light. They are the same and they are not. There is body and there is function. I am a lamp and its light.  We are one!

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