Three Years!

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I can’t believe it’s been three years already since I decided to start this blog. Amazing how time flies by and you just don’t notice.

I had much bigger dreams about what this blog would be by now. Unfortunately health, depression, anxiety, pain, exhaustion and lack of self-belief has hindered it’s growth. But that doesn’t mean that it will stay that way.

I have so many great ideas and a passion that just won’t quit. I dream of being more than I am each night, and I am learning to see the awesomeness that I have right now each day. I know that I am a strong woman and that I have one helluva story to tell. I now must gather the confidence each day to just write. To write the characters that are screaming to be free. To write the fictional stories that want to be told.

And to finally tell my own life story from a place of truth and wisdom. My story  has the potential to heal what is broken within myself, and also the power to touch someone else through what I have learned along the way.

I promise to be real each and every time I press ‘publish’ – for both the reader and the story teller. You may see words on a screen, but I can assure you that I have laid my heart out for you. Writing is my truth, my lifeline, and my freedom. It is a gift to me each time they are read. Thank you for sharing my gift.

Let me know what you think of my writing, and my courage to gift you more will grow. Give me some love!

As always, Passionately Written…

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An Evening of Awe and Learning

Stones in waterI am really enjoying where this Journey of Faith has been taking me so far this year. I can’t believe it’s already been about 6 weeks since I came to the idea of learning about different religions, faiths, and beliefs, educating myself on where they came from and how they got to this point, and the many differences and similarities between them all.

Tonight was day three of a six week course on Islamic Thought and Culture. I knew nothing about this religion before this course, and now I am in awe of the similarities to other religions I know of and how many of them have a connection running through them. I love learning so much that I get an adrenaline rush or a high off of the process. I love sinking my teeth into this subject and seeing how it all feels right within this journey I am on. I am where I am supposed to be; wondering, pondering, and researching the questions about how these faiths intersect, and seeing how we aren’t all that different after all. Maybe we, as people with differences who can meld into communities, can create communities that embrace each other’s religions.

It was not long after I decided which religions or faiths I would learn about each month that I realized there would be no possible way I could stay dedicated to this timeline. How can I just learn about one religion this month when the third religion I have listed is having a festival I want to attend and write about, or this person from the end of the year’s faith is only in town in the summer. I can’t possibly expect myself to be so rigid. Religions, faiths, and beliefs are what they are because of the people who uphold them, speak about them, celebrate them, and live them in their heart and their lives. One cannot put that to a timeline. But I needed to have some structure to all of this learning in my life. How can I make both happen at once?

I have decided to not make the months rigid, but use it as a guideline for when I don’t have something in particular to go to or see on a certain date. Reading and reviewing books, journals, and religious texts can be done at any time during the months, and may stay within my loose guidelines. But I have so much to see, places to go, and people to meet. I can’t wait to schedule in more interviews, find more resources, walk into buildings of faith of all kinds, and enjoy food, clothing, languages that are completely new to me. I want to experience the joy of people talking about their rituals and customs, hearing their views of my beliefs, and meeting people who are intrigued to know about this journey I am on.

Along the way I will be able to tell my own story. I will find the words I need to tell you about how I came to this journey of mine. I will tell you about the good things and the bad, and somewhere in their my own history will come to light – both to you and to me. There comes a time when some people look back on their own life and can’t see the steps they have taken to get thus far. I need to look back because I need to appreciate who I am and how I became me. Through my learning about me, I can better teach my daughter about her mother. My journey in this life is not just my own. There are many people who have come into my life and, whether they know it or not, are an integral part of who I am. To this I give them thanks.

So, my dear readers, you are also coming on this journey with me. I hope you enjoy the adventurous ride that is to come. It’s been an incredible one getting to this point. I’m glad for your company.

Once again, it is Passionately Written…

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March Writing Madness

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Today is March 1. I have decided to write for 31 days this month, not to miss a day even for sickness or exhaustion. If I want to continue gaining strength as a writer, I need to darn well write.

 

Writing has been my love, my escape, and my clear, creative communication for almost all of my life. I have always loved the feelings when someone reads my work; therefore I have wanted to be a published author since I was 10 years old. I was published in the newspaper when I was in my 20’s; was a very good ghost writer in my 30’s; and I taught myself business writing and social media basics so I could write for several businesses and a couple of charities in my 30’s and 40’s. Now in my mid-40’s, I have also been a book reviewer for an International Spiritual magazine, and started 2 blogs – one for my creative writing and passionate musings, and one book review blog that allows me to read books by my peers and have my own literary thoughts published to help others. I love writing and I love to be read. These are great platforms for my creativity.

And then procrastination and self doubt enter. With them slinks in perfectionism and fear of failure – or was it fear of success? I think that one is a double-sided coin. But why do these evil traits, moods, emotions, life-slaughtering, crazy-inducing, talent-doubting pains in my patootie have to ruin what I love so dearly? I hate the mind chatter. I abhor the editing dialogue. I crave to dismantle the OCD blurts of incompetence at the peak of my creative flow. I need to lock up the critic, the mime, the doubting Sammie, the evader of all things good. I must conquer my lax inner demons with determination, tenacity, and good old ass-whoopin’ ambition. Time to sit at the keyboard with fingers limber and ready, or the pen hovering over the blank page. It is now or never, woman! Just do it!

Whoa ya! I feel the epistle juices flowing in me now. The blood is pumping, and the fingers are tapping. This is the feeling I love. Writing is a daily challenge in itself, but like many other daily habits, I can create a positive routine. I want to get my words out as easily as I used to. I was younger and healthier, but I ain’t dead yet. There is so much left in me to tell. I believe that you can keep learning until the moment you take your last breathe, and to me writing is the greatest way to learn about myself. When writing I am genuine and completely in tune to myself. It is like when I meditate – I go into the deepest part of me that not even my conscious self can see. It is the truly awakened part of me. Writing is a blessing that was given to me by God, and it is up to me to honour this blessing by using it to the best of my ability. I need to share it with the world because I am good at it and I have a lot of things to say that could touch someone that needs it. I can’t waste my gift. So it’s time to push away all those doubts and fears and become the best writer I can be each and every day. So here’s to March and my writing madness. May they be 31 days of beauty, tenacity, and learning abundance.

As always, Passionately Written…

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Choosing Freedom

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day in Canada. Bell Let’s Talk day raised over $6.2 million. Just one call, text, tweet, and share at a time, Canadians coast-to-coast helped to break the stigma surrounding mental illness in Canada. I am proud to have participated in this initiative. I believe in it because mental illness has touched my life in many ways. I have lived with depression and anxiety for 28 years, but I didn’t always know what it was. Others in my family have also had bouts with depression or anxiety, but it was never talked about. How can you get better if you never talk about what is wrong? And why must there be shame in the struggles that can’t be seen?

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There is power in numbers, as we saw in the 126 million #BellLetsTalk communications yesterday. But more than that, there is power in voice. It takes just one person to speak up for a ripple effect to begin. Start talking in your family, school, office, or community and see what happens. If you are struggling, isn’t it nice to have someone there to talk to? Well, maybe someone in your life just needs to know you will listen. Open the conversation and see who jumps in.

Earlier today, I read a wonderful article in Chatelaine Magazine. Stephanie Reidy wrote about her 20 year battle with depression, and it really resonated with me – the feelings, the denial, and the ultimate choice of getting help or losing everything. Stephanie’s story is similar to a lot of people; one big difference is that she got help and now tells her story to others in the hopes of connecting with at least one person meant to hear it that day. This is the piece that resonated with me the most. I, too, have told my story of abuse and pain to others in the hopes of making a difference in just one person’s life. I may never know who I may help, but I feel that everything I have gone through in my life will be worth it if just one person hears my story and speaks up about their own.

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I am just one person in a sea of many, but I am ready to start the ripple effect. Who will be the next to tell their story?

As always, it is Passionately Written.

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