What A Week

Roller Coaster at night, Seaside Heights, NJ

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” ~ Reinhold Neibuhr

Last week’s post is still eerily appropriate after the roller coaster week we’ve just had. The negative energies flying around have been so intense that I have not slept well. I’ve been exhausted, jittery, out of sorts, bemused, and confused. What the heck is going on? It feels like we’re living in a nightmare. And yet, sometimes you have to make a mess before the closets are cleaned, or the meal is made.

It’s been so hard this week to keep my balance and stay positive. I’ve spent so much time each morning writing in my journal, meditating, and sending Reiki that I haven’t accomplished as much as I would have liked. Yet it feels like an important time to be taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Here is what I do when I’m feeling as if everything in my world is changing so rapidly that I can’t keep up.

Meditate. I’m not a champion meditator, but taking my mind off of shattering events for a few moments is enormously helpful. You may choose to spend time in prayer, listen to soothing music, or read inspirational material. It doesn’t matter. Do something that disconnects you from the craziness going on around you.

Write in my journal. I’ve been keeping a journal off and on for forty-three years. I’ve found it to be a tremendous comfort to pour out my feelings onto the pages. Sometimes I get answers to my questions, but I always receive comfort from writing my emotions. In a way it’s like turning on the faucet and letting all the negativity and confusion flow out my pen.

Send Reiki. For those of you who don’t know, Reiki is one of the laying on of hands healing techniques, though it can be sent at a distance. When I send Reiki, I feel like I’m actually doing something to calm the waters of a situation, or to help someone heal. And since Reiki practitioners are like a conduit for healing and positive energy, I get the benefits too. I think of Reiki as focused prayer. But if you don’t do Reiki, you can pray or do some other healing technique. Focusing on healing for ourselves and others is highly beneficial. It’s like throwing a rock into the water and watching the ripples expand to the opposite shore.

Talk with family and friends. I talk mostly with my husband and sister, but there are other friends and family I talk to as well. It’s always good to get another perspective on what’s happening.

Telling myself “I love you”. This one may sound weird but I just started doing this and I do feel better when I do it. I mean how often do we send ourselves love? For me I’m mostly criticizing myself. But if God loves me just the way I am, who am I to argue with Her?

Deep breathing. I find that when I’m stressed I do not take deep breaths. I clench up my abdomen which is not only bad for breathing, but bad for my digestion as well. Just taking a few deep breaths helps me feel as if I’ve put down a heavy weight.

Exercise. Okay, I’m not good at this one, but my husband goes for a two mile walk almost every day. When he does, I can tell a difference in his mood. I do stretches, and a few Tai Chi movements and I do feel better after doing them.

Other people swear by going out into nature. I go out and feed the birds upon occasion and since we live in the country, I enjoy watching the wildlife in our yard. Seeing the quail families, the other birds, or the deer come and drink from our bird bath is always a treat.

Writing about the ways I try to keep my equilibrium when I’m feeling unsettled has helped me feel better. 

I hope you are surviving and maybe even thriving during this extremely tumultuous time we’re living in. I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have of how to stay calm when everything seems to be blowing up around you. 

Thanks for following. Take care of yourselves.

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.

Musicals to the Visual and Aural Arts

I have been privileged to have so many wonderful students over my years of teaching at Cochise College in southern Arizona. Melissa is one of them. I love her enthusiasm and drive to make her dreams come true. We had some internet issues in the beginning of the podcast. I hope you will excuse them and keep listening because Melissa had some unexpected suggestions for me, and you.

Melissa Villanueva was born and raised in a small Mexican town close to the US-Mexico border. She is 19 years old and a Musical Theater major. She came to the United States when she was 15-years-old and began her college education at 16. She currently works as a Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist on Instagram and Youtube. She has taken singing, acting, and dance lessons, and plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre. She has played the lead roles in classical Shakespeare plays including Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure. Additionally, she has performed various musical, classical, and popular music numbers in singing recitals and choirs in diverse venues. She is currently building her musical theatre repertoire with songs that range from the classics including The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables to much newer musicals including Anastasia and Hamilton. She hopes to one day star in a Broadway Musical.

Disney Movies especially Anastasia, (1997) Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, Directors (animated)

Anime: Kicki’s Delivery Service (1989) Hayao Miyazaki Director, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) animaated, Hayao Miyazaki, Director, Studio Ghibli animation company, 22 movies, 20 TV titles. The first: The Take of the Princess Kaguya, (2013) Isao Takahata

The Rainmaker (1956) by N. Richard Nash, both play and screenplay Joseph Anthony, director

Melissa’s YouTube channel

Stage Musical Anastasia, Darko Tresnjak, Director

Classic movie with Ingrid Bergman, Anastasia, (1956)  Directed by Anatole Litvak

Favorite song, “In My Dreams” from Anastasia, Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Antigone by Jean Anouilh

The Midnight Gospel (Adult animated series directed by Mike L. Mayfield and Pendleton Ward)

The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time – Stages 1 – 6 (Youtube, vvmtest)

Polish Artist and Sculptor, Zdzislaw Beksiński

Hammer Studios Horror of Dracula (1958) Terrance Fisher, director

A Quiet Place, (2018) John Krasinski, director

Get Out, (2017) Jordan Peele, director and screenwriter

The Blair Witch Project (1999) Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, Directors

Midsommar (2019) Ari Aster, Director

Good Night Mommy (2014) Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz, Directors

Alfred Hitchcock films

Bride and Prejudice (2004) Gurinder Chadha, Director Bollywood Films

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Boomerang Effect

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be.” ~ The Dalai Lama

“Life is short and we have not too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.” ~ Henri-Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher  

The other day I saw a nasty meme about Nancy Pelosi. I didn’t realize it was about her at first because I was looking at it on my phone. But when I read it, I was offended. It would have been despicable no matter who it was about. I dearly wanted to make a nasty comment to the person who posted it, but then I remembered, “What goes around comes around.” I didn’t want to get hit with the negative energy I was thinking of aiming at the person who posted it. 

I know some of you reading this will think I’m crazy when I say that everything is energy and that we get to decide what kind of energy we’re releasing out into the world every moment. So, I was glad I remembered that on that day, and every time I’m tempted to respond in negative ways.

I felt truly liberated when I stopped blaming my pain on outside forces. I’m in charge of the energy I put out and it comes back to me like a boomerang. If I spew hatred, hate is what is going to come back to me.

I understand. Lots of people are frightened. Our way of life is changing and some people don’t have good coping skills to be able to ride the waves of change. What some people do when they’re scared is to lash out and make fun of those they think are against them hoping to gather troops to their side so they’ll feel better. That might work in the short term, but one thing I know from long years of personal and spiritual work, eventually you’ll experience a crash and burn.

Contrary to popular belief, a crash and burn is not a bad thing. Nor is having your life fall apart a punishment. It’s an opportunity to do what I call cosmic closet cleaning. I’m not saying this clearing out process is easy or fun. But there is a great reward on the other side, if you’re willing to do the work. If not, well, be prepared to experience crisis after crisis.

Long ago events in my life made me realize that I had been holding onto a lot of toxic, unresolved emotions. I’d been deeply wounded years earlier, but I’d stuffed down my resentment thinking that I wouldn’t have to deal with it if I didn’t acknowledge it was there. Boy was I wrong! The pain that I thought was buried, was coming out in really odd and destructive ways. I was hurting people because I was hurt. It wasn’t until I actually looked at what had caused my pain that I began to heal. I learned that I had to FEEL the anger and resentment caused by what had happened to me before I could come out of the darkness I’d been living in. 

Healing is a long complicated process. At least it is for me. Even now there are times when I want to live in two worlds, the world where 2020 is a sh*t storm and I need to worry every day about what this or that person did, or what will happen with the virus, or the economy, or yada, yada, yada. The other alternative is to have faith that I live in a world where a Divine force is in charge and everything that happens is for our benefit. I, we, can’t have it both ways. We either live in hell, or we’re going through a kind of birthing process which will lead us back to Eden. Each individual gets to decide which world they will live in. 

For me it’s a daily practice of surrender. Divine Oneness is in charge and I get to see what S/He wants me to do that day. Now that I think of it, it’s really more like a partnership. Divine Oneness is the CEO and I’m Her/His right hand woman.

For you practical minded people, here’s what I do to stay sane and tuned into the real reality. I watch the news sparingly. Most of it is like watching a train wreck. It’s so sensational it’s hard to look away and it stirs so many negative emotions that I have to talk about the experience to dissipate my distress which only sends more negative energy out into the world. Of course, there are real news items mixed in with the sensational stuff, but if real news happens, I’ll hear about it. The segments I stay away from the most, are the pundits and predictors. What they say is only their opinion and to keep my channel clear, I have to ignore them even if they might be right. 

When I’m on social media, I try to scroll past negative posts and memes. Sometimes I hide such posts, or even unfollow people and groups that post them. I have some mantras I say to myself when I’m tempted to get caught up in all the drama. “Only love is real, Everything happens for my highest good, This situation is an opportunity to learn something.” 

I wish I could say I don’t get caught up in the illusion of fear and panic. I do sometimes. But then I feel a gentle presence reminding me that I’m not alone. That I have a choice to fall into fear, or love. In the end, I choose love. It’s my desire to spread that as far and wide as I can.

Thanks for following. I hope you gain something from what you read here. Have a blessed beginning to a new season wherever you are in the world.

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.

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Just Take A Break

“That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” ~ The character Russell from the movie Up.

Columbia River Gorge

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ~ Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Some projects defy good intentions, or deadlines I set for myself. That’s been happening with my second attempt to record my audiobook. This time I was determined to finish recording and editing before the end of the year. But I started having trouble with GarageBand on the first chapter. I would get into the editing mode, and boom, the sound would go out, for no reason. I’d be playing the selection, but all of sudden I couldn’t hear a thing. Barry is going to help me figure out what’s going on, but even that is not moving forward as fast as I wish it would.

For a day or two I was in the dumps about being at a stand still on this project. I whined about that in my journal. I whine a lot in my journal. I have to get out all my bad feelings and then I can hear the answer Spirit wants to give me to solve my problems. So, of course, I got the message after clearing out the negative emotions. Chill out! Take a break. It’s all going to work out. Whew. I really do need a break I’ve been very tired lately. 

But taking a break is hard for me. Every morning I have an agenda for the day in my head. If I don’t accomplish all those tasks, I feel uneasy as if my worth is tied up with all the things I’ve done or not done that day. I guess I need to pay attention to what Neale Donald Walsch said to me 30 or so years ago. “You’re a human being, not a human doing.” Hmm. I haven’t let myself just be for quite some time.

A week or so ago, my husband and I watched the movie, Up on Disney +. I’d forgotten so much of the movie. But one thing stuck out for me. The child character of Russell, who has attached himself to Mr. Fredrickson, tells him about the things he remembers about spending time with his dad. And he says that it’s the boring stuff he remembers the most. And it occurred to me that I don’t allow enough boring stuff into my life. I fill my life with so much work and attempts to be a success that I miss some really important moments. That is sad.

So, life is now presenting me with a chance to slow down. Many spiritual teachers say that everything happens at the proper time. It must not be time to do my audiobook. Okay, that’s fine. I’ll take a break from that and allow myself to recharge instead of pushing myself through as I usually do. Though I know it’s not good to run on empty, I’ve done it most of my life. It’s time to take care of me for a change.

This morning I was thinking about a time shortly after I began teaching public high school. I came back after Christmas break I think it was, and one of my fellow teachers asked me how I was doing. I said, “I feel rested,” which surprised me, because I did. And I can’t really think of many times in my life when I could say, “I feel rested.” 

So my goal for the remainder of this year is to learn to rest when I need it. After all, creativity and contributions to the greater good is nearly impossible when our internal batteries are not charged. 

I want to acknowledge a great loss of many of us in the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. Many of us are heart broken, but I say, rest in peace. You deserve it. Thanks for all you did for us.

Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. Take some time to just “be” this weekend.

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.

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Story~Power ep. 05 Myths, Legends, and Complicated Writers pt. 2

Randy and I attended Graceland University, acted in plays together, and eventually both of us got theatre degrees. We haven’t seen each other in many years, but we keep in touch via social media. I was excited to talk with Randy since he’s a fellow writer. This is part two of a long conversation about our passion for stories.

Randy Murray

Randy Murray was born in rural Southern Illinois, the 5th generation on the family farm. He attended Graceland College (now university) in Lamoni, Iowa, where he received a BA in Theatre and Speech Communications, followed by a Masters of Fine Arts in Playwrighting at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

After college he began work in the early high tech industry as a training developer and instructor, followed by roles leading marketing departments and product management, and ultimately, business management. He capped his career as a business writing and communications consultant for large businesses and marketing agencies.

His play, Grimaldi: King of the Clowns, was performed after his graduation in the SIU main stage season in 1986 as well as preformed for the American College Theatre Festival. It has subsequently been preformed at Howard Payne University and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

His book, Writing Assignments, is available on Amazon.com.

He remains active as a writer and playwright and is an avid ukulele player and performer. He lives in Westerville, Ohio, outside of Columbus, with his wife, Diane. His two adult daughters, one a musician, the other a painter, both have careers in the arts.

Plays, myths and stories discussed in part 2

Birthright a novel in progress by Randy Murray
The Space Between Time by Lucinda Sage-Midgorden (Title not mentioned in recording.)
Grimm’s Fairytales (in original form)
Myth of Prometheus
Myth of Sisyphus
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus
The work of James Thurber at The New Yorker
John McNulty at The New Yorker
The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland 
This Place on Third Avenue by John McNulty
The Mists of Avalon and The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Truman Capote
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, American Gods, and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Orpheus and Eurydice on which the Broadway Musical Hadestown Anaïs Mitchell is based
The Brothers Grimm Fairytales, Demon Voices, and His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
The Story Telling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gotshall
Shogun by James Clavell
The Master and Commander series (The Age of Fighting Sails) by Patrick O’Brian
Jane Austen’s body of work
His Majesty’s Dragon, The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
Poldark series by Winston Graham
Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell
Roots by Alex Haley
The Autobiography of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Aaron Mahnke podcast, “Lore”

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.