Today I’m going to try my first attempt at “free writing.” I’ve said a prayer and hope to have some divine spiritual guidance as to what the purpose of my life on this earth is…there’s got to be something greater than what I’m doing. I believe I was put here during this specific time to meet specific people who need to hear my story or experience my love and assistance with whatever it is they’re struggling with.

Life can’t just be about walking through day by day with no clear direction just taking one day at a time. Sure, one day at a time is all you can do when you’re working towards a goal or something bigger than today but I have no direction really, no clear-cut purpose for my life.

I’m 51 years old and I can remember my mother telling me all the years of my life that God has given me gifts to use for His greater purposes. I just need to figure out what those gifts are and use them. So, for all these years I’ve been searching on my own and can’t, for the life of me, figure it out.

I’ve always been more comfortable at home rather than fighting to climb some corporate ladder somewhere where nobody cares about you and all they care about is their next paycheck and their next raise and next promotion. I’ve never been that type of person. I’m happiest just going about my business and doing things at my own pace and when I want to do it. I’m too old now to have someone telling me what time I have to wake up each morning. When I can eat lunch or go to the bathroom, when I can take a break and when I can take some time off for fun. Not gonna do it at this point in my life. I’ve done it before, many times and those were the lowest points in my life for the most part. I’ve had low points when I wasn’t working but every DAY sucked when I had to get up from a deep sleep, get in the shower, make myself pretty whether I felt like it or not, got dressed and left all of my responsibilities sitting in the dust at home while I went to make someone else richer, to build their business and secure their future.

It’s my turn.

My gifts, I believe are my love and passion for writing like I’m doing here in my journal…I could do this all day long. I’m not as much a fan of writing if I have to do a ton of research on a topic I care nothing about or know very little about. Now, if it’s something I want to learn about (like the self-help, loving yourself, finding your purpose in life, etc. that I’m learning about now, I’m all over it.) If you want me to write about a famous historical figure or the conditions in German concentration camps, I’ll pass.

My other gift, I think, is photography. I believe I have an eye for good composition. I’m learning the technical details of photography while working with Nellie, my mentor, and friend. Her focus is on photographing women which is fine but I still struggle with being so damned shy that I can’t move and I hope and pray every time that she or her client cancels and I don’t have to go but when I do, it’s fine and I have a good time and all is good. I also struggle with zero self-confidence and fear of rejection or someone thinking I’m not good enough, especially Nellie. She’s a rockstar photographer in town and people really respect her work so I have a lot to bring to the table. She has her CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) credentials and has won awards. She rubs elbows with nationally and internationally known photographers and it’s terribly intimidating to this shy little girl.

I like photographing my own pets, macro photography and landscapes…just about anything besides people. People are nervous and I’m nervous and it’s just all uncomfortable. I’m fine with some people, most people, actually, but it’s that initial getting past the pleasantries and getting my butt to the studio or whatever location.

So, what is my purpose in this life? How can what I’ve lived so far in my life, help someone else? Where do I go from here? I am open to hearing what the angels and God and whatever other guiding forces are out there have to say to guide me to what’s next. I’m here and waiting for His spirit to move through mine and onto this keyboard in some miracle because I’m at a loss. Something that can give me a reason to get up every day and put on a smile and face the world!

Is it a blog about fathers? A blog to fathers? A book to fathers ? A book/blog to other girls growing up without fathers? Being a girl being raised by just my mom and my older brothers who weren’t quite the best role models, I have learned how important it is for girls to have a decent father figure. There are so many psychological issues that crop up when a girl doesn’t have a doting daddy.

Growing up, my friends’ fathers always had pet names for them…”Buttercup,” ”Pumpkin,” “Princess,” etc. I remember always craving to be somebody’s princess. One day, while doing a Bible study when I was probably around 35 years old…it occurred to me…I have a Heavenly Father! I am a wonderfully created, one-of-a-kind, daughter of the KING of KINGS! I AM a princess! I am HIS princess! The best and most flawless father known to mankind! I suddenly saw myself as lucky! I was lucky to not have a human father, messed up from his own childhood and other issues, I had the perfect Father and I was His Princess! *Squeeeeee!!*

father-daughter-quotes-for-daddy

I believe my “tribe” will be girls and women who are growing up or did grow up without a father figure at home and possibly none at all.

Where does my photography fit in here? My focus will be on fathers with their daughters being who they are when they’re together…finding the relationship between them and bringing out the emotions and bond that they share. I will also photograph girls/women with the father figure they relate to if it’s not their biological or adopted father.

Down the road, I could probably even expand on this to include the relationships between mothers and sons. From personal experience, I know there is a special bond between mothers and their sons.

I would love to read any comments from anyone who has tried free writing before and anyone still searching for their purpose in this world.

Until next time…

Phyllis

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On January 13th, I started a juice “fast” after weeks of contemplation.  I put the word “Fast” in quotes because my idea of fasting and most everyone elses idea of fasting are undoubtedly different.  I researched different types of juicers, watched videos, read blogs, you name it.  One of the things that really pushed me to do this though was watching the movie on YouTube called, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.”  And, by January 13th of this year, I thought I was ready to start a juice fast.  I was ready in my head and heart anyway.

I started this blog with a detailed account of Day 2 of my juice fast.  Day 1 was uneventful and well, basically, I was unfamiliar with my juicer and didn’t schedule my “meals” so I ended up at the end of the day having only had half of my intended meals.  As long as I have something in my stomach, I don’t think about eating all that much.  Or so I thought.

Day 2

I started the day with 2 glasses of warm water with the juice from half a lemon and ginger.  I started drinking hot lemon water several weeks ago in place of my usual 2-4 cups of coffee and now, I actually look forward to my lemon water in the mornings!  This was the best part about today.

juice fast

Carrot, Apple, Lemon Juice

Breakfast: Carrot, Apple, Lemon Juice

For breakfast, I had a Carrot, apple, lemon juice.  It tasted awesome & I will definitely have this again!  It was very refreshing and I LOVE the kick from the ginger.  This juice consists of 4 carrots, 2 granny smith apples, and a whole lemon.  I zest the lemon to remove the most bitter parts of the skin and keep all the health “pith” which is the white skin under the peel.  Best part is…I save the lemon zest for Jon to use in a yummy recipe later!

I woke up with a headache and no energy at all.  In fact, I felt like crap all day…drained of energy and totally in a fog in my brain.  My concentration issues were multiplied 10-fold today as my body is adjusting and clearly detoxifying.

juice fast

O.N.E. Coconut Water

Mid-Morning – Coconut Water

I’ve tasted coconut water once before and just about gagged.  The one I bought before was horrible and I couldn’t even get the whole serving down the hatch without fear of it coming back up.  I was hesitant to try it again but for the sake of my juice fast, I was willing to give it another shot.  I wanted to go by the book and follow all the rules.  I just picked the brand that our local grocery had on sale and wow…what a difference!  This brand was actually very tasty…not like milk-chocolate-tasty, but it was pretty good and I had no trouble drinking it.  It actually tasted like it may have come straight from the coconut.  The ingredients list is one thing: Coconut Water.  Yay!

I felt dizzy, very emotional, depressed, tired, lethargic & had a dull achy headache all day.

juice fast

Green Lemonade-Before

LunchGreen Lemonade

This one was very tasty too, and a little tart taste which gives it the name “lemonade!” This recipe made two glasses of juice which was nice.  I really felt like I needed it.  This recipe calls for: Eight kale leaves, 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 granny smith apple, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks, and a whole lemon.

If I didn’t have so much to get done, I would have gone back to bed half way through the day.

 

juice fast

Green Lemonade-After

 

juice fast

Joe’s Mean Green

Snack ~ Joe’s Mean Green Juice

Another really tasty drink.  This one consisted of: Eight kale leaves, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 1 apple, 1//2 a lemon, and a piece of ginger root.

Still feeling awful and just wanting to go to bed, but I had a busy office day, felt determined and was pushing myself to get through the day.  I kept telling myself, it’s only 10 days.  You can do ANYTHING for 10 days, right?

Juice fast

Garden Variety

The Garden Variety juice has: 2 Apples, 2 Cucumbers, 8 Kale leaves, and a handful of parsley.

I wasn’t even really hungry for dinner but I was determined and wanted to at least get ONE full day of going by the book in.

 

juice fast

Purple Passion

Dessert – Purple Passion

30 purple, red or black grapes, 1 basket of blueberries, and a handful of mint leaves.

I pushed through it though and actually stayed up watching TV until after midnight!  In fact, I had a burst of energy around 10pm and vacuumed the master bedroom, living room rug and the tile throughout the rest of the living room/kitchen/dining areas.  How cool that was!!

Hopefully, the energy stays & the lethargy, moodiness, and headache go soon.

 

Where am I now and how am I doing you ask?  Well, today is February 4th and I’ve been juicing ALMOST daily since I started this.  Not a full day of juices, although I did make it through the first 5-6 days doing nothing but juices.  I lost 8 lbs. during that time and have since lost another 2-3 lbs.  I have problems with retaining water when I sit for long periods of time and as a writer, that’s what I do.  Every day.  So, depending on my activity levels, my weight can fluctuate 2-4 pounds in either direction on any given day so I don’t rely on my scale like some people do.

I’m feeling better overall and don’t feel bloated in my belly like I did.  If I drink my juice too fast, however, it tends to sit hard on my belly for about a half hour.  I try to drink plenty of extra water when this happens and it seems to help.  I have learned to sip my juice though and enjoy the flavors.  My Irritable Bowel Syndrome and digestive issues have gone away completely as long as I’m juicing.  There’s nothing I’ve juiced that bothers me and the only time I have any flare-ups now is when I do eat something solid that I know will bother me.  Things high in fiber (roughage) and anything with pulp or skin on it.  Apples, tomatoes, peppers, oranges, grapefruit, spinach, kale, lettuce, pears, you name it.  I can now eat/drink all of this stuff with no after effects!

I’ll put together my 6 day menu next and share with you guys some other recipes.  This post was just for day two to give you an idea of what it was like starting out.  There’s several other recipes I’m dying to share with you.

I’ve had people ask me what juicer I’m using…that my photos look great and that the juicer looks to be doing an excellent job.  I will say, the juicer I’m using is awesome.  I’m using the Breville Juice Fountain – Multi Speed. I don’t get ANY pulp in my juice at all.  It’s nothing but pure juice.  Cleaning it is a breeze and it’s all dishwasher safe.  During the day, I just rinse it and wipe it with a washcloth but at the end of the day I’ll wash it with soap and water or run it through a dishwasher cycle.

So, talk to me.  Have you been considering a juice fast or adding juicing to your day somehow?  Tell me your thoughts.  If you have any questions about my own experience, I’m happy to answer those too.

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nurtureAt the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, do you set goals? Make resolutions? Do nothing?

The year 2013 is now behind us and a new year has begun.  It’s typical for people to take this opportunity to set new goals or more commonly make “New Year’s Resolutions.” These goals or resolutions are good and bad. Good because they give us something to look forward to and to strive for in the new year. Maybe it’s to lose weight or to eat better or to be a better person. But, the bad thing about this is that these goals aren’t measurable and therefore aren’t attainable. If I set out to lose 15 lbs. that’s measurable and attainable. If I set a goal to make “X” amount of dollars per month freelance writing, that’s measurable and attainable. But, to just say I want to lose weight or make money writing…I’m setting myself up to fail already. How will I know when I’ve attained my goal if there’s no end in sight?

This year, I’m doing something completely different. Something I’ve never done before. I’m going to apply a THEME to the year and incorporate that theme into everything I do. My goals will be based on this theme and my objectives to reach my goals will include that theme.

My theme for 2014 is… Nurture.

  • Nurture my career as a writer.
  • Nurture my relationship with my son who lives half way across the country.
  • Nurture my body.
  • Nurture my self-esteem.
  • Nurture strangers.

As a writer, I plan to take a few courses that will help me learn to be a better writer and to schedule time into my calendar to actually sit and write.  Not plan, not organize, not tinkering with websites, not research…but actual writing!  As I writer, I gotta WRITE!

As a mother, I find myself putting off calling my son worrying that I might be interrupting him, or thinking he’s probably at work or busy doing something around the house or driving in his car.  Because of this, I don’t get to talk to him nearly as often as I want to and I find that weeks can go by when I don’t hear his voice and this makes me sad.  I plan to call him regularly and if I don’t reach him, at least he’ll know he’s been on my mind and he’ll have a voice reminder that his mama loves him dearly and misses him terribly!

My body is the only one I get and in the last few months, I haven’t been taking very good care of it.  I’ve put on several pounds that I had previously lost and had been successful at keeping off, until now.  I’m going to get back to the routine I had set for myself when I had lost the weight and change-up some of my eating habits as well.  I suffer from IBS and my flare-ups are severe.  I’m not satisfied with my doctors telling me there’s not much I can do to “fix it” so I’m on a mission to fix it myself.  I’m going to do a ten-day juice fast and then plan on juicing at least one meal a day, maybe two.

Low self-esteem is dreadful.  My entire life has been a constant battle of that inner-voice telling me one thing and my arguing with that voice to convince it otherwise.  I’m learning how to talk myself into doing things that I would normally avoid due to that voice speaking louder than my own.  Learning and practicing these techniques have been nothing short of awesome and I’m hoping 2014 will be the year that my low self-esteem becomes HIGH and powerful.  Starting with surrounding myself with people who respect me and treat me how I should be treated.  I’m going to stay off the scale and learn to love my body the way it is and as I mentioned before, make it healthy, not skinny.

Strangers are people just like me and they have their ups and downs just like I do.  This year, I’m going to go out of my way to be friendlier and more engaging with strangers.  Hopefully, I can make someone smile that was having a bad day or lift someone’s spirit by a kind word or deed.  I’m going to head into my days, treating strangers as if we’ve been friends for years.

What are you doing different (if anything) in 2014 that you didn’t do in 2013?

Drop me a quick note and answer the first question I posed in this post.  Comments are the new “high-five!”

Come on…make my day and give me a high-five.

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