Tag Archives: expression

Hello again

Just like sleeping soundly in a comfy bed I crave self-expression, but at times it eludes me. Writing plays a persistent calming role in my life but doesn’t always flow freely. Sometimes my thoughts swirl in a tangled mess of perplexity and it’s during these times that my words dry up both verbally and in written form. This is where I’ve been for quite some time, hence my absence from blogging.

Like everyone life regularly challenges my limits and teaches me to adapt to new circumstances. Some periods are tougher than others but maturity of years has taught me that eventually these periods pass. I’m heading out the other side of another intense chapter and now look forward to a new travelling adventure in Europe which I’m hoping will reignite my relationship with writing.

Confusing times

Followers of JennaDee blog might have noticed a lack of posts in recent weeks and I feel I owe you an explanation.

This dry spell isn’t due to diminished enthusiasm or effort, in fact sometimes I try too hard making matters even worse. I’ve lost touch with my word flow and temporarily lost my zest for writing. Several reasons for this situation spring to mind.

  1. I finally made peace with my past and (almost) always live in the moment
  2. I am content with what I have and (almost) always accept the way things are
  3. I learned how to stop worrying about things outside of my control
  4. I began a creative writing course

Sharing my thoughts and fears with others was therapeutic when I first started blogging. My online space created an outlet to write about things I’d never spoken about. It felt exhilarating and dangerous to tell my secrets.  Writing posts about mistakes, regrets and heartache flowed freely allowing me to face up to and deal with unresolved issues.

After a year of soul-searching combined with the support of fellow bloggers I learned how to make peace with my past and stop it negatively affecting my life. This shift in attitude  greatly improved my outlook on life.

The problem is now I don’t know what to write about. My life is wonderful, I am healthy, comfortable and want for nothing. I feel guilty that so many people are dealing with adversity in their lives.

Maybe that’s why so many songs and poems reflect stories about heartbreak? Maybe people more readily relate to sadness and difficult situations?

This leads to my last point about my blog drought that arose when I decided to try my hand at creative writing.  While I enjoy the intricacies of developing characters and plot I feel like it is corrupting my natural style of writing. I tend to overuse adjectives and when I re-read my drafts the writing is over-exaggerated and clunky. I seem to have lost my natural voice.

If anyone has any suggestions about how I can retrieve my blog writing vitality  I will be most grateful.

Yours in anticipation
Jenna Dee

Hear no evil

This post contributes to the The Daily Post Sound of Silence weekly writing challenge

Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.  His anxiety subsides.  His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.  ~Jean Arp

My joy is to bask in the ecstasy of silence. No thoughts, no manmade noise only the pure sounds of nature. It is only during silence that I feel the wind and warmth of the sun, smell the fragrance of the trees, taste the salt in the sea air and see the radiance of the natural world around me.

Noise has always bothered me. As a teenager I hated the music of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd instead preferring acoustic folk music.

Truth be told I don’t relate well to a lot of people because I feel alien to popular culture. I’m an introvert.  I watch and listen, and I choose the people I allow into my life very carefully. This is why deciding to write a blog was a big deal for me.

It seems appropriate that my first tentative step into blogging was a post about my need for silence https://jennadee222.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/so-it-begins/

To me a day of torture involves milling crowds of people, pumping music, heavy traffic noise, phones ringing, television ads screaming, politicians bleating and air travel.

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm… As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence.  ~André Kostelanetz

What is your personal sound preference and how does it make you feel?

Serenity

As last year drew to a close I became more pensive than usual, spending time silently reflecting on my landmark year of change, remembering how it unfolded.

Taking plenty of time to re-read all my blog posts (including the comments other bloggers had made) I re-traced my journey, seeing and understanding where I had tripped up and when changes within started emerging.

Several days later on the eve of the New Year I was drawn to a sacred place and sat down to absorb the beauty of nature while breathing in the ocean breeze.

Time stood still and I have no idea how long I sat. Everything around me ceased to exist while an overwhelming feeling of tranquility enveloped my soul.

There are no words to adequately describe what I was feeling.  All I can say is that the experience was peaceful and surreal.

When I stood up I silently thanked the guidance of Lao Tzu who has shown me the Way.

Be careful what you water your dreams with.
Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream.
Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

― Laozi

I  now feel ready and energised to welcome 2014 and eagerly anticipate a new year of spiritual growth and personal development.

Acceptance

Closure is something most people desire and I am no different.

As another calendar year nears the end it seems natural to look back and reflect on how the days unfolded.

I acknowledge 2013 as my first year of change after challenging myself to wake up and pay attention.

Jenna DeeIt took many months and multiple attempts but eventually I found closure on some life situations that had been holding me back for too long.

So it is with satisfaction and a feeling of content that I  close the door on these events and walk towards a new year of challenges.
No regrets.

This morning I read this poem on http://smallactofkindness.wordpress.com/ that eloquently expresses the essence of my post today.

You are not your age,
Nor the size of the clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the color of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You are the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly when you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places you’ve been too,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.
~e.h

Zen moments

Today  is the first year anniversary of writing my blog, Jenna Dee. I’m proud to say this is my 62nd post.

After a series of monumental events in 2012 something erupted within and propelled me toward a year of soul-searching that I tentatively started sharing on my blog.

Writing takes me to a place of clarity where I can translate my thoughts into words. Traveling this path challenges me to accept rather than suppress my emotions, which is both exhausting and exhilarating.

Blogging forces me to talk about things out loud. Knowing that someone somewhere may be reading my words makes me feel accountable. My life began to change when I let hundreds of strangers in to my once very private world.

My online friends encourage, advise and share experiences. We laugh and we cry together. There is always someone there giving me strength to challenge myself to keep moving forward.

This year I woke from years of hibernation; I started to see, feel and listen more.

I learned to be kinder to myself.
I learned to embrace my individuality.
I learned that it’s okay to change my mind and old ways.
I learned to be still.
I learned to stop trying to figure it all out.
I learned to let go.
I learned to be me.

Every day I discovered something new and I’ve collected stories, images and words that made a difference to me at the time I saw them.

My fascination with Asian culture led me to Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. I learned that life is a beautiful mystery that cannot be explained nor understood and that to be Tao is to be unlimited, undefined or unformed.

Writing Peace be with me was difficult.  I bared my soul and shared my pain about  the death of my mother seven years ago. The resulting wave of support that came from bloggers made me understand that my emotions were unfounded. Finally I was able to resolve these feelings. Now I remember the wonderful times we shared rather than thinking about the day she died.

My most popular blog post  Listen to your heart expresses my anguish about painful memories of  nine lost years in my relationship with my son. I once thought he had fallen so far down a deep dark hole that he could never be freed.  This year I saw his head appearing out of that hole and he has emerged back into my life. Words can’t express how grateful I am for this second chance.

I appreciate every comment bloggers make on my posts but this comment on Listen to your heart I treasure dearly.

This reminds me of how much beauty there is this world however painfully wrapped, thank you for writing so deeply from the heart. Sophie

When writing Love is all you need based on an email exchange with my dad I realised my relationship with him has deepened and flourished to one of love and friendship. I have learned from his wisdom and I treasure this extra time we’ve had together.

It has been a year of creating possibilities, of confronting demons and making peace with regrets. I have fallen and regressed many times but each time I got up stronger and more eager to keep trying.

This is not the end of my journey; it is only the first few baby steps.  I have at least thirty more years of my life to fully emerge. I hope I will still be writing my blog then so I can look back and relive the journey of the person I will grow to be.

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tzu

The way to do is to be

Blogging has opened a part of my mind that I’d managed to squash down for some time. It  challenges me to think about some things I’d rather not think about.

For me writing blog posts is therapeutic and helps me greatly at the time of writing by encouraging exploration and expression of my feelings. It is like cleansing my soul.

I’ve discovered that it is quite easy to write or say words but the really difficult part is making meaningful changes in my mind, feelings or attitudes. The actions are a lot harder than the words.

Fairly regularly I re-read my past blog posts and ask myself if have I brought about the changes I promised to modify since writing the post.

The truth is that the answer is usually no, not really, I’m still trying.

But today I gave myself a break by gaining inspiration from ancient philosopher Lao Tzu through his words that tell me to trust myself and just be me.

Always we hope

Always we hope
someone else has the answer
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.
No one else has the answer
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
at the center of your being

You have the answer,
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.
        — Lao Tzu

There is so much to be thankful for

As an avid reader I am constantly learning and inspired by the words of others.

Everything I‘ve read about living a more fulfilled life suggests we take time each day to acknowledge the things we are thankful for.

Today I set out to write a blog starting a gratitude list but after re-reading the blogs I’ve already written it dawned on me that I began my gratitude journal when I started blogging last year.

So before I move forward I want to acknowledge the things I am grateful for that I have already shared with fellow bloggers in the blogs that I have written.

I am truly grateful for ….

The courage to believe in myself

The ability to read and write

Having hope and making new beginnings

The joy of being married for 25 years to my loving husband and for the family we have created

The love and joy my rescue dog “Gracie Dee” has brought to my life

The pleasure of reading novels

Having a lifelong best friend

The safe return of my precious daughters after traveling

Having opportunities to travel

Finding the courage to reclaim my name

Fond childhood memories

Getting back up after stumbling

Letting go of past hurts and regrets

Having the courage to ask for help

The kindness of people willing to offer helpful advice

The eternal love of my mother

Having access to technology

Being me

This is the word

The explosion of information on the Internet removes the necessity to create original writings. At our fingertips we have access to words written by others on any topic imaginable.

The words of others often seem more polished than our own and it’s tempting to copy a chunk of text rather than spending time considering and constructing our own sentences.

While I am eager to read and learn from words written by others, I continually strive to create original written pieces as they reflect time spent thinking and sorting through the corridors of my mind.

Writing empowers me to express myself about things I am passionate about. I spend many hours writing, re-writing and reading my words until I am satisfied with the final piece.

These written pieces are my friends. When I read my words I hear my voice and recall my thoughts from different eras of my life. They are my lifelong collection of words with the power to evoke memories.

Most of the things I write about are an indulgence in self-expression. They are extensions of thoughts residing in my brain that become clearer when written down. I write simply and from the heart.

However, there are always exceptions and if I come across words written by someone else that succinctly express emotions that I relate to then I have no hesitation to use their words. This is one such exception…….

If you want to awaken all of humanity then awaken yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu was a philosopher of ancient China, considered the founder of philosophical Taoism. According to traditions he lived in the 6th century. Throughout history, Laozi’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.

The power of a letter

I’ve always loved hand written letters. The excitement of writing a letter, posting it off to a destination and then receiving a letter back in my mailbox has always intrigued me.

It has always been easier for me to express my feelings on paper rather than verbally. My  personality is unassuming and sometimes I hold back on expression resulting in the other person not receiving the message.  However I have no trouble expressing myself in written form.

Throughout my life I have written letters to people, some were delivered and some never sent, but all of them helped me to express my feelings.

I’ve saved all the personal letters that I have received in a big box that I sometimes take out and read, transporting me back to a time when things were different. Seeing words in my mum’s handwriting somehow comforts me and makes me feel that she is still with me.

This week I had lunch with my best friend and was compelled to write her a letter after I saw her. With her permission I am sharing that letter with you.

To my oldest and dearest friend,

I love you.

Thank you for being my friend throughout all our ups and downs over the past 41 years. I am positive that our friendship will continue until the day we take our last breath.

People have come and gone throughout our lives but our friendship has withstood every situation and never fades. There is nothing that could destroy our bond.

Yesterday when I saw you for our Christmas visit I sensed that you are in pain. I could see it in your eyes, hear it in your words and feel it in my heart.

You are dealing with many stressful situations and I fear they are taking their toll on your peace of mind. I understand that these situations are impacting on your life and are unfair and frustrating.

But you have to step back from them before they eat into your soul.

If you need me to do anything to ease your pain then I expect you to call out to me and ask for help. I am your friend and will stand by you through any situation.

Never lose sight of the kind and loving person you are.

All you need is love.

Just call my name and I’ll be there

My friend’s response

Thank you.  You have such a way with words and can say the things I think, but cannot put into words.  I know you would be there for me no matter what, and I for you, and that is the most comforting thought I have.

Here’s who I am

The thing that appeals to me about blogging is sharing my thoughts with anyone who cares to read my posts. I pledge to write with honesty to reflect my true personality, no lies, no glossing, no fantasy.

My mum passed away years ago and I miss talking to her openly about anything and everything. We passionately shared our opinions that always left me thinking long after the conversation was over.

So I suppose my blog is a connected to reliving the conversations I had with mum,  sharing raw truths in a non-judgmental environment.

If blogs had existed in her lifetime mum could have left a tangible piece of herself for eternity.  Reading her words after she passed would awaken memories allowing them to always remain close.

With this in mind I will continue to write a blog and share my soul with those I love and anyone else who wants to read it. The words will be there for reading today or in years to come.

And if my blog is of no interest to anyone at all I don’t mind because the progression of writing about my feelings is helping me to understand who I really am.