Opening My Heart

Heart Connection (by Alisa Looney)

“If you keep your heart open you can meet people who change your life.” ~ Sam Levinson

“I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more.” ~ Chief Joseph

Just recently it occurred to me that I have a tendency to protect myself. I want to be an open hearted person, but I keep a part of my thoughts and emotions hidden. I’m not yet sure why that is but I’m willing to find the answer. This applies to all of my social media and even face-to-face connections. 

The other day I was thinking about how I can better engage you, my readers, and even those who listen to my Story~Power podcast. I’d like to encourage discussions, create a community with like minded people, which I assume many of you are, and what came to mind was the fact that I keep part of myself in reserve and you must feel that and follow suit. And then I saw a way I can become more open. When one of you likes my post, I can reply to your like with a personal “Thank you”. I do always respond to comments with a personal message, but the fact that you took the time to read or listen to my posts and indicate you liked it means a lot to me and I need to let you know that. 

When I receive a personal thank you from a business, I feel seen and appreciated. Let me give you two examples.

Two or three years ago as I was listening to the podcast “What Should I Read Next” with Anne Bogel, her guest was the creator/owner of the CW Pencil Enterprise. The woman’s name is Caroline Weaver WSIRN Ep 99: Nobody hates a beautiful book (or a handwritten letter). Anne’s website is Modern Mrs Darcy. In any case, the podcast was not only about Caroline’s passion for reading, but also her passion for high end, beautifully crafted pencils, pens, and anything to do with writing by hand. I’m so happy to see that her business has survived the pandemic because that Christmas I decided to support her and ordered items from her website. When the package arrived, there was a hand written thank you note inside. When I read it, I cried. It was wonderful to be something other than just a number. Not many businesses add that degree of personal touch to their customer service. I was deeply touched.

Caroline Weaver is not the only one who thanks her customers personally. We like to use environmentally friendly cleaning and personal care items as much as possible and about a year or so ago I found a company called The Grove Collaborative from which I could purchase many of the items we like to use. The reason we decided to use The Grove is because they use a percentage of their profits to plant trees. Our dollars are going toward something bigger than just protecting the environment with the products we use. When I got the first package, again, there was a hand written thank you inside the box. And every time I order something from them, they send a gift. This week it was a beautiful bamboo cutting board.

My point is this. If I want to spread love and joy out into the world, then I have to do it with a completely open heart. So, I’m going to go back to all the likes I received in 2020, and the new ones for this year and send you a personal thank you for your interest. This may take me some time, but one day soon, you might get a notification that I’ve sent you a message.

Have a wonderful weekend and seek out as much love and joy as you can because I believe that is how we heal our wounded hearts.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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This Isn’t Us?

Columbia River Gorge

“Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself, and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is … Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.” ~ Pope Francis 

Monday at lunch I was taking a quick look at Facebook and one of my friends shared an article from Yes! Magazine. The title is “The Shared History of Wild Horses and Indigenous People.” When I saw the title I said to myself, “There were no horses on this continent until he Spanish brought them.” But, since I’ve vowed to investigate when some idea challenges what I think I know, I read the article. What I discovered is that I was wrong. As it turns out, and this is verified by archeologists, wild horses did live on this continent but they were believed to have been wiped out in the last Ice Age. Indigenous people are setting the record straight. In fact, the small numbers of horses that now remain from the larger herds are being cared for on two different sanctuaries, one in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and one in Alabama.  

This fascinating article, that shot down my arrogant assumption that I knew the truth because I learned it in History class, set up what happened later in the week.

I’ve been confronting my assumptions in small doses for the last few months, since the Black Lives Matter movement has become so prominent. It’s uncomfortable work, but I’m glad I’m learning that many of my assumptions are wrong. As part of my resolve to become better educated, I put the book, How The South Won The Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America by Heather Cox Richardson (See this article about her in the New York Times) on my Amazon wish list. If it was on my wish list, I could put off buying it until I felt ready to read it. Spirit works in mysterious ways. I got it for Christmas. It’s in my house now beaconing me to read it. 

My sister, who is the one who introduced the book to me, has been sharing bits and pieces from it. She’s much more brave than I am and bought it shortly after she discovered Heather Cox Richardson on Facebook. From what she shared, reading this book is not going to make me feel comfortable. I think it’s going to require me to speak up and take action. That makes me feel uneasy. Speaking up on certain topics is outside my comfort zone.

All of these things were rattling around in my head when the riots and invasion of the Capital Building happened on Wednesday January 6th. I rarely watch the news, but on Wednesday evening, I turned it on. My resolve to understand the times we’re living in made me watch instead of turning away and saying to myself, “This will work itself out.” But just like the phrase that so many news people and pundits said, “What’s going on. This isn’t us,” rang out, a growing number of news people, Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid of MSNBC among them, said things like, “This is us until we face our history and our wounds.” They are right. We have to confront the REAL history of our country.

As I was thinking about this post, I was leaning toward ignoring the news and not writing about how the horrible acts of violence and vandalism made me feel. But I can’t shy away from the fact that this country, and even the greater world is broken and wounded. And Wednesday’s events pointed out the huge amount of work we need to do.

If you’ve been following my blog posts for any length of time you know that I believe that whatever happens “out there”, is a reflection of what’s happening inside each of us. So, I took a good look at myself. These are the things I found. 

I recently realized that I hurt someone very deeply and at the time, I thought I was right and so even though I had apologized, I did it making excuses for my behavior. That’s not an apology! Looking at and accepting that I can be cruel, judgmental, dismissive of other people’s feelings, and even at times hateful, is extremely difficult. I don’t know about you, but I feel the reaction in my solar plexus and it’s so uncomfortable that all I want to do is get rid of the feelings. Sometimes I gloss them over, or push them into some dark corner of my mind and ignore them. But I’ve lived long enough to know that they don’t stay buried. Those unhealed wounds and wrong assumptions resurface. At first they do it in little ways, but if I don’t take time to examine them, they manifest as bigger and bigger problems.

This is really hard to say, but what happened Wednesday reflects my own stubbornness. There are times when I’m convinced I’m right about something and I want everyone else to believe it too. In fact, I can be a bit of an A-hole about it, like right now. I want everyone to understand that they need to be doing lots of self-examination so we can heal our outer world. On the other hand I know I can only take care of myself. Each person has their own life path. It’s not for me to interfere no matter how much I’d like to.

Hate and racism ARE a part of our country’s history. We have to face that fact. Another friend of mine, shared what happened recently to her adopted daughter of color, and her grandson. While shopping, someone shouted at her and made misinformed, hateful comments. This mom is sure things like this happen to her beautiful daughter more often than she admits. That made me extremely sad. But here’s what made me even more sad, the mom doesn’t see any hope that things will ever change. And that makes me more determined than ever to share about my personal journey of self-discovery. If I’m confronting my own wounds and wrong assumptions and sharing them with you, then maybe, I’ll help create a little snowball effect. 

I know I’m just one person but my mission is to spread as much hope and love as I can. Nothing changes over night, but I’m willing to add my small efforts by making little strides in my own life so that maybe thirty, or fifty, or one hundred years from now the world will be a more loving place.

Thanks to all my new and current followers for reading, liking, and commenting. I appreciate the time you take to read my thoughts.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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Celebration of Writing and Reading

Celebration of Writing and Reading

Beth Orozco has been a resident of the Southwest for many years, though she grew up in Wisconsin. She currently lives on a ranch and still teaches at Cochise College as well at University of Arizona South. She continues to be the guiding force behind both the Cochise Creative Writing Celebration and the Open Mic night sponsored by the Writing Celebration and her Facebook group, I Love My Border Town. Beth is a writer and avid reader. The link for her blog is below in the show notes.

Beth Orozco

Cochise Creative Writer’s Celebration

I Love My Border Town a private group on FaceBook

Cochise Creative Writer’s Celebration Open Mic Night in Sierra Vista and Portal, AZ

Sierra Vista Public Library

Tequila Highway unpublished manuscript by Beth Orozco (Available on her blog. See below)

Still Life, Louise Penny

Tara French, Mystery author, The Searcher: A Novel, In the Woods: A Novel

Pat Conroy, author, The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides

Barbara Kingsolver, author, Unsheltered: A Novel, The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel

The Circle of Ceridwen series, Octavia Randolph

The Circle of Ceridwen Cookery Book (let) on her website, or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Beth’s blog, “Where Southwest Is Served Up Spicy”

Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015) Julian Fellows (creator and writer) Available on Amazon Prime

Dr. Thorne, novel by  Anthony Trollope, series (2016) Niall MacCormick, director, Available on Amazon Prime

Julian Fellows, Gosford Park (2001), writer, Robert Altman, director

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

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Wherever You Go, There You Are

Earth from the Moon

“The mere sense of living is joy enough.” ~ Emily Dickinson

2020 is history! Some say good riddance and here’s to better times ahead. But I say, no matter where I am in time and space, I take all my joys, sorrows, wounds, and triumphs with me.

Part of the reason I don’t make resolutions is because the numbers on the calendar may change but I’m still focused, as I have been for a number of years now, on deep inner work. I’m trying to unlearn things I took for the truth. This is a slow process and every so often I rejoice when I get to take out the trash. Then I go back to see what else needs to be healed and discarded. It’s a never ending process.

2020 was a particularly good year for doing my inner work. I had lots of time on my hands to meditate, write in my journal, and read. I had time to develop new practices like focusing on love whenever hatred took over the news and social media. I must say that was a huge challenge. I’d be so tempted to get sucked into the fear and blame. But something would remind me that love is the only thing that’s real. Everything else is part of the drama we’ve created so we can learn that we’re worthy of love no matter what. That The Creator, or God, or whatever you want to call our source, doesn’t want a thing from us. She/He/It loves us just because we exist. 

I have to say that’s a concept that I still struggle with. I keep remembering those lessons in church about doing good works so I can be worthy to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. That concept fights with the new one that says I’m perfect just as I am, even with all my flaws. Nothing can stop love flowing to me, except for the blocks I put up to stop the flow.

This year I plan to continue to turn my attention back to love when I’m tempted to be judgmental, and blame others for heinous acts. Because one thing I have learned is that the outer world reflects what’s going on inside of me. If I’m in turmoil, so is the world around me.

This week between Christmas and New Years Day, I’ve had some profound realizations. 

  1. No matter how bad things look on the outside, there is always something to be grateful for.
  2. That if I hurt someone and think I was right, I’m not. There is always more than one way to look at the situation and I need to admit I was wrong and not try to justify what I did.
  3. That nature is forgiving and just waiting for us to honor and connect with her. 
  4. That being shut in with my husband for all these months has given us the opportunity to build better communication skills.
  5. That what hurts someone close to home, or on the other side of the globe hurts me, and what helps them helps me. I’m connected to everything that exists and there is no way to break that tie.
  6. That every day is precious. It’s important to find joy and gratitude in the little blessings of life.

I’m sure there are other things I’ve learned this year but that list will do for now.

I hope and pray that this coming year will open doors for you. That you’ll learn new things and learn to love yourself and others just a little bit more.

Blessings to you all. Thanks for following, reading, liking, and commenting on my posts. I appreciate it.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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What I’ve Learned in 2020

Thunderstorm over Corfu

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” ~ Michelle Obama

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ~ Napoleon Hill

I usually keep my end of the year reflections to myself. But this has not been a normal year by any stretch of the imagination, whatever normal means. I don’t like sharing my reflections because I don’t like giving advice. My experience is not going to be your experience. However, these are some things that I’ve come to realize this year and maybe they’ll mean something to you.

I was in a rut, feeling very complacent at the beginning of 2020. It seemed that my life had been plugging along with not much change until we got home from our 2019 Christmas vacation with family. Even before Covid, we had drama happening when our 18 year old heat pump gave up the ghost at the height of winter. And in the process of getting a new one, we had to get rid of rattlesnakes and rats living under the house. We finally got the heat pump in early March. But, of course, just when we thought things were getting better, the virus hit. 

I know this sounds strange given the fact that I used to be an actor and now teach theatre, but I avoid drama in my personal life as much as possible. Well, that wasn’t possible when the worldwide pandemic hit. At first, I hunkered down and enjoyed being home in the quiet. But as time went on and the crisis got worse and worse, I picked up on everyone’s fear. I struggled. How was I going to deal with everything that was going on in the world? What could I possibly do about it? Even though I meditated daily and wrote in my journal, my calm would be interrupted on an almost daily basis and I’d have to try to regain my equilibrium. 

I was slowly digging my way to feeling more balance when a week or so ago, Amanda Ellis, a spiritual teacher I follow on YouTube, said something that made so much sense to me. When we’re in the midst of drama we have an opportunity to open our hearts so we can share more compassion, forgiveness, and love. It’s our choice. And I have to admit that my daily practice has been leading me in that direction. 

My husband and I have said to ourselves and others that we are lucky. We’re grateful that we both still have our jobs, which we can do from home. We have people at our grocery store who gather our list of items and deliver them to our car. We have a roof over our heads and all our family are relatively healthy. Because of that, we’ve noticed the contrast between our lives and those around us. We feel the pain of those who’ve lost family members, or their jobs, and homes. This has made us more inclined to share what we have with organizations that help people who are in greater need than we are. Sending prayers is helpful, but sometimes people need money to help them move forward. If I can provide some money to help someone else, I’m willing to do that. 

I know I’m only seeing the world from my limited perspective. But I do want to open my heart to sharing more love and compassion. I desire to be more sensitive to the needs of others and help where I can. There are so many people in need right now. Deciding who to help can be overwhelming, but I’ve decided that helping a few is better than doing nothing. There are, no doubt, other people who are doing the same, making contributions where they can. Each person who helps someone else causes a ripple effect for good.

This is something else I learned long ago that applies to our current world situation. To help someone out of suffering, we need to be with them but not take on the depths of their despair. That’s not helpful. We need to give them hope in any way we can, because going into suffering with them only amplifies their gloomy world view. I know it’s difficult sometimes to look on the bright side and believe that things will get better. However, dark times are often followed by times of great creativity and progress. It’s true for humanity as a whole, and on a more personal level. We all go through rough patches but we can dig our way out of them. I think we can come out of this terrible situation to a better future. At least that’s what I want to try to create.

I hope you are having a blessed end to this year. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it very much. 

Blessings for a happier, healthier, and more prosperous new year.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.

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