Welcome to Small Reflections

"Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Duck photo source: Lisa's Chaos
I hope you enjoy your visit. If you're looking for something specific, check out the links to posts by category in my sidebar and down a ways. They'll assist with tracking down different types of posts found on each of my three blogs. You might also enjoy checking out the other sites: Sacred Ruminations, Blog Rolls, Bling & Blurbs, and Happily Retired Gal.

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fun Monday #24 ... Morning Musings & More

Make Time for Small Reflections
Sarah is today's Fun Monday hostess, and she writes:
"I would like you to take your camera (or your artistic talents!) on a day tour with you. I want to know where you go, what you get up to on a “normal” day (disclaimer - it doesn’t have to be “normal”!). All the details you would consider boring! You are free to make your FM posts as long or as short as you’d like!"
Last week got away from me and I didn't check the challenge until last night as I was turning off the computer ... so I figured I'd miss out once again (having not planned ahead), but (serendipitously) this morning's reading gave me an idea so I'm running with it and participating today after all.

Even though I'm retired, I awaken (w/o an alarm) and arise early ... usually before 4am. My day typically begins (after feeding the animals and making coffee) with writing in my journal while listening to inspiring music ... coupled with some stretching ... meditation & prayer ... and a bit of 'reading' from whatever 'calls' to me. It has (for the most part) been like this for decades, even while I was a member of the work force. I believe taking time for such things is essential for maintaining my health and helps me 'focus' on 'what matters' ... releasing what doesn't.
I suspect it's part of what made me 'effective' as a teacher for 34 years, keeping me centered & sane ... especially in the face of some crazily chaotic times.

What follows is an excerpt from
TRANSITIONS: Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life by Julia Cameron and begins with a quote:
"There is a Secret One inside us;
the planets in all the galaxies
pass through his hands like beads.
There is a string of beads one should
look at with luminous eyes."
"We are like jewelers. At the start of any day, we have before us the beautiful beads of differing choices. Choice by choice, moment by moment, I build the necklace of my day, stringing together the choices that form artful living. Will I be quiet today or outgoing, solitary or involved with friends, reflective or expressive? Will I write letters, make phone calls, pay bills, sweep floors or go for a good long walk? Moving through my day with conscious grace, I connect to the web of life. I, too, am a bead in a larger pattern.

Today I choose to live by conscious design, nurturing myself and others in body, mind, and spirit. I ask for a receive guidance in my choices. I cherish the pattern of my life."
So ... while many of you are rushing off to work and/or getting children ready for school ... usually, (on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays most weekends) I have the luxury of creating & publishing posts for my blogs ... taking Molly for a walk ... and doing some 'blog visiting' ... gardening ... and/or tackling tasks around home (as I determinedly try to reduce clutter & mess in my environment) while trying to continually 'simplify' my life. On Tuesdays & Thursdays I rush off to my Photoshop Elements class and run errands on the way home, so I've cultivated the habit of creating & publishing HoTs, Ruby Tuesday, and T-13 the night before to keep the flow of things going here at Small Reflections.

I am exceedingly grateful for the life I lead currently ... and (for that matter) for all the experiences of my life leading up to this moment. I you'd like to know more, click for my list of 101 Things About Me ... created when I reached my 101st post in January of 2008.

Recently (while looking for an 'e-card- to send a friend) I came upon this at Tut's ...
... and I thought this is an amazing message to share with the world. We're all so busy living our lives that many of us lose sight of the myriad of ways we touch others ... with a smile, kind word, loving prayers, by listening & just being present ... in the midst of of active lives. So ... today I encourage everyone who passes by to pause & reflect on the two questions personally, then share the opportunity with others to do likewise. It's often the smallest thing that makes the greatest difference, and all too often ... it goes unnoticed.
Click for others participating in Fun Monday

This collage
(added after the fact at 10:45am)
highlights a few aspects of my life visually
... including my fur-companions (Molly & Ms. Kitty) ... my 'routines' of enjoying my front yard for gardening, journaling, blogging. playing with Molly & interacting with neighbors ... a few dramatic weather variations of beach life (the sunrise upper left & 'moon shot' lower right were taken last Thursday morning & the palm fronds are a result of recent Santa Ana winds) ... the 'visor' signifies my daily walks & outdoor activities ... and the Red Hat cup highlights some of my 'social' interactions.
Small Reflections ... Smile Back
I'm counting down to my
1st Blogoversary on October 22nd
in just 2 days ...

I'm not sure just how I'll 'mark this milestone' ... but I'm hoping for 'inspiration' to strike soon and I hope you'll visit celebrate with me. In case you missed them over the weekend ...
Unconscious Mutterings & More (with a 'kewl' tip)
and ... remember to leave me a comment or two ... just because.

Thought for Today
"My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand." Thich Nhat Hanh


Faye said...

This is exciting Storyteller to get the first glimpse in Julia Cameron's new book--I must get it. Cameron has been my muse for artistic/creative living for many years. I love her because she's not perfect and has had to deal with her own life demons and survive. Like you, I'm retired and have the luxury of deciding how my days will be lived, not frittered away. I try to follow the "Five Things" rule--as in surely I can accomplih five small things every day.

I'm being lazy about Fun Monday this week because my most recent post, "On to Amsterdam", is an account of a "normal" travel day on my recent European tour. Check it out if you'd enjoy travelogues!

Joy Des Jardins said...

You are amazing Virginia....arising before 4 am every day...WOW. I used to get up by 5:30 every day when I worked, but now I don't know how I did it. Your daily routine is inspiring...but not surprising for someone like you who seems so organized, energetic and industrious. Have a beautiful week sweetie...

kitten said...

Beautiful post and pics. Your days look beautiful as well!
I wonder a lot about what will my life be like once my kids get grown and gone. Looking into people's lives like yours gives me hope that it wont be that bad.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Thanks for sharing your day! Your animals are beautiful. Yep, I do the 4am wakeup myself, as you saw, but it's more out of necessity...however, even when I'm at a point in life where that isn't necessary, I'll probably always be an early bird. There is something magical about being out and about in the early morning while the rest of the world is sleeping!

Ivanhoe said...

What an inspirational post today, my dear Storyteller. I just helped out a friend in need and it feels so good to give. I think I enjoy giving more than receiving. I will blog about it in a week or so...
Have a wonderful Monday :o)

Roan said...

4:00 am is so early! I consider myself a morning person, but I'm not as dedicated as you! Great post! BJ

Sayre said...

I hope that if I ever get to retire, I can live my days much like yours. My grandmother in Wales does much the same and it seems absolutely lovely - especially compared to the chaos that is my present life.

Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I like that your days are relaxing much of the same as mine. :) Allowing us to do what we want. :) But I'm not a morning person at all, I'm a night owl. :)

Joyce said...

This was such an encouraging post, Storyteller, with the encouragement (one you've given before!) to live mindfully and meaningfully.

Your collage is lovely, as is Tut's creation.

Yours is one of the last blogs I'm checking before getting some sleep. Goodnight! Hope to see you in Bloggyland tomorrow. :)

Sarah said...

Thanks very much for sharing your day with us for this Fun Monday. It's been a real pleasure to see what everyone else gets up to!

The photos and inspiration you've shared today have been lovely :)

Sarah x

ChrisB said...

You are the second person I've seen today who gets up at that early hour! I'm a little more leisurely now I've got used to being retired.
I love the collage.

Unknown said...

I'm glad I checked back at Saras and found your link under latecomers! Great post, great blog! Nice to get to know you.

Hootin Anni said...

I love how you begin your day...you know? I think I'm going to begin once again taking my music with me in the morning when I do my walking in the morning...I used to then, for some reason, I stopped. And now that you say you listen to music to inspire you for the day....that's just what I'll do.

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