Poetry Sunday-Sanctuary

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Sanctuary

 

When I am weary, weak and muddle-headed,

I seek IT.

 

 

When fear grips me and pulls me down,

I discover IT.

 

 

When tears, troubles, and worries will not abide

I crave IT.

 

 

And when inspiration is not found,

I encounter IT….

 

 

Here in my sanctuary,

As near as my soul’s own light.

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

 

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This poem was a challenge for me to identify my sanctuary.  Where do I find my refuge, retreat and safe harbor?  While nature and my garden are my go to spots for a sanctuary and wildlife can bring me great solace, my greatest sanctuary is what I find within me.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

 

 

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I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and  with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

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Special Note:  Phlox symbolizes unanimity or harmony, unity, accord.

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I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about finding your sanctuary.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Discovering My Life Force

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“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”  ~Martha Graham

 

 

I am a deep thinker.  I have always been and recognized this at an early age.  I was able to tap into my innermost thoughts, those held deep in the recesses of my soul until given voice.  Even when I was working as an educator, I contemplated below the surface of issues and felt them deeply.

 

And most recently, I have been exploring those deep recesses to bring my thoughts to light again.  Maybe that is why I took to meditation so eagerly as it has been a means to help me in my exploration.

 

People have asked me how I am able to write the way I do…..and I say it just comes.  Some days the words are stuck, blocked, and I know I have to work on the blockage first before they can flow.  Many days as I sit in quiet solitude a phrase, a snippet of a thought will caress the outer reaches of my consciousness, and I will play with it to see if it has potential.  Maybe it is not the right time and it will float away for now.

 

And some days, I will sit to write about a subject, and the channel will be open as the words flow out hard, fast until exhausted I sit and read it back wondering who wrote this.  But it is always about the words.  Finding those elusive words, those precious thoughts, the speaking of my soul let loose to bring tears to my eyes, or laughter to my heart always meant for me first.

 

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Words have been my life force.  Whether spoken or written, they are the Universal energy that flows through me.  They are picked up on the soft winds and the howling gales and are strewn about me.  I lift them up and send them out into the world.  Some in short verses with deep meaning and others as lessons I want to share as I create new energy that will come back to me.

 

My words are not always positive especially those spoken.  They come as a firestorm sometimes, and I have to keep a close watch on those emotional outbursts.  I know now that those times are best left unspoken, and some time away is called for to assure I am not wounding or being sucked down into a dark place I did not intend to go.  I have better control now and exert it.

 

And I polish the positive words.  I shine them as they are picked up in the light and float out in gleeful currents.  Those are my true words full of emotion but so much more useful, compassionate, peaceful, rich and powerful.  These are the words I want to keep as my life force.  Those that heal not hurt.  There is no purpose in the hurt.  It causes me greater harm in the long run.

 

So I keep to my true purpose and think deep thoughts, feel passionately, hurt, let go, forgive, judge less, love more and speak earnestly.  The heart smiles, the soul is expanded and the tears of happiness fill me up and wash me blissfully.

 

 

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Special Note:  The Cardinal Flower pictured here signifies energy.

 

 

The picture below is my gift to you this week.  Please download it and use it to spread the positive energy around you.

 

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

 

 

Poetry Sundays-Saving A Life

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Saving A Life

 

In saving a life, you save a soul.

A heart is mended, a light is shone.

 

 

In saving my life, a path was cleared.

A breath was taken, there was no fear.

 

 

Giving back to life, now gratitude is expressed.

A kindness is returned, a celebration to commence.

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

 

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This poem came to me while I was relaxing during a healing session.  I had been to this practitioner for the last 6 years, and I was feeling as if I really was healing my life…all of my life-physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

 

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I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and  with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

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Special Note:  Daffodils symbolizes rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life.  A bunch of daffodils indicates joy and happiness.  These daffodils are wonderful reminders of the spring that was and the spring that will come again.

 

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I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about finding your life.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

The Worry-Go-Round

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“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Corrie ten Boom

 

I come from a long line of worriers.  My world was steeped in their distress.  Maybe they worried because of the events of their time… living in poverty, experiencing many wars.  Losing loved ones and friends to sickness.  Survival was their mantra.

 

But as they grew it seemed their worries only grew, never diminishing.  And that was the world I knew.  If I was sick, the worry was would I survive….of course I was sickly as a young child, born with asthma and almost died of pneumonia when I was one.  And I began to worry at an early age, as children listen and take in the feelings around them.

 

The daily messages were life sucks, nothing ever goes right, we can’t catch a break…the not-so-positive messages that were not always in your face, but presented more subtly.  So we were raised with that subliminal message to think the worst would always happen.  Maybe it was a survival technique.  If you didn’t raise your hopes, then they couldn’t be dashed too harshly.

 

But in living with these negative messages of circumstance all the time, I would never think to aim too high…I was afraid of the long fall.  And life was predetermined so just suck it up and live with the misery.  As I look back on it, I realized how sad some of those worriers were.  They did not have much of a life because they would never dare to strive for it.  And I seemed to always be settling for what was thrust upon me having no hope to make it better.

 

 

DSCN1240I am not sure when the shift happened….it was a slow turn where I would work at worrying less.  But I’d get only so far away from the Worry Road, and then something would happen.  The worry would suck me in dropping me back on the Worry-Go-Round until I was dizzy with it again.

 

But I can tell you when I was freed from the endless, needless cycle or worry.  It began when I started to slow, to just be with myself.  It continued with daily practices of meditation, leaning in to emotions and then letting them go.  When I dropped self-judgment and immersed myself in doing what I loved, I found happiness surrounded me, a beacon shining from deep within.  

 

Currently I find any worries have been pushed into my subconscious and show up in my dreams from time to time.  So when I catch these worries, I am gentle with myself as I acknowledge there is nothing to fear and then I bid it adieu.  I am not perfect with this…nor will I ever be.  It is a process to lessen the worries that will show up from time to time.  But they cannot last long as each dawn that beacon chases away any darkness that wants to linger.

 

 

As a side note….I have recently come across many readings about worry.  It was also one of the lessons I worked through during Sandra Pawula’s Mini-Mindfulness Challenge.  I liked the gentle way she approached diminishing worry.  If you have a chance check out her blog, and this wonderful set of lessons.

 

 

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Special Note:  Queen Anne’s Lace signifies haven, home, comfort; antidotes for worry.

 

 

The picture below is my gift to you this week.  Please download it and use it to spread light.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

Poetry Sunday-I Am

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I Am…

 

a kind heart, a ray of light,

a soul awake reaching new heights.

 

 

a word of truth, a harmonious sound,

a soft step protecting all that surrounds.

 

 

a searching eye across fields of gold,

young in mind, a body old.

 

 

a blissful life, a softening touch,

I am… and that is enough.

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

 

 

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I am adding a bit of poetry to my Creative Sundays.  I am combining photos, collages and verse.  I hope you enjoy these posts.  This one was inspired by a challenge to think of ourselves as we look outside ourselves and observe who we are.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some very lovely verse.

 

 

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I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and  with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

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Special Note:  The monochrome photos are those of Hardy Hibiscus.  In the Language of Flowers, Hibiscus (Mallow) means delicate beauty or sweet disposition.

 

 

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I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about enthusiasm.   I hope you can capture your own enthusiasm in something creative.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 

I am flower

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Creating My Fear

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Fear has always been my greatest enemy.  It has controlled me.  And consumed me.  So much so that I prefered to remain invisible for many, many years.  I chalked it up to being an introvert.  I was just not wired to be out there taking risks.  Nice excuse and it served me well.  And I had folks protect that hard shell I created for myself.

 

But as my job changed and I had to put myself out into the public eye more, I was forced out of that cushy, but dangerous, comfort zone.  And what do you know I was successful and happy in the change that had come over me.  My courage increased as I continued to move out of that zone growing along the way.

 

I forgot that with growth comes pain and with pain that fear was back.  Big and ugly, looming, sucking my reservoirs dry.  And it wasn’t until I hit a high, hard wall that I decided to go back to my roots.  Back to the mighty word.  My words. The words that speak from the soul.  From deep down inside my belly forcing those emotions back out exposing my raw self.  Funny thing was there was no fear once those words were laid bare.  At least not for a while.

 

But I did not understand, that fear would return over and over to beat me up and knock me down.  And I let that fear suffocate me, cutting me off from my words.  It wasn’t until I read an interview with a wonderful purveyor of words.  One who understood that in order to create with words you had to embrace fear.  Know that you would and must create it along with your soulful work.  It was not to be squashed, but accepted.  Embraced and even cultivated.  Because without that fear you would cease to create; really create from your roots.

 

 

“I believe that Creativity and Fear are basically conjoined twins; they share all the same major organs, and cannot be separated, one from the other, without killing them both. And you don’t want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear!  You must accept that Creativity cannot walk even one step forward except by marching side-by-side with its attached sibling of Fear.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

 

 

Simple words really.  Create and Fear.  Inexplicably intertwined.  And to cut off my DSCN9826fear was to cut off the flow of my words rendering me mute.  Safe yes, but mute.  Soul speak quieted.  My heart smothered.  So the choice was simple. It was time to stop despairing.  It was time to whisper those fears.  To take fear by the hand and walk with it.  Get to know it intimately.  Give it voice.  And as that fearful voice rose, I discovered my words.

 

Those deep down feeling words are flowing again.  And as long as I keep fear beside me, I will compose, generate, form and otherwise forge my words here every month.

 

Special Note:  Water lilies symbolize Eloquence and Purity of heart.

 

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Update 6 months later:

This post was  originally published January 22, 2014 when I became a regular part of the team writing at Vision and Verb.  And it was the inspiration for starting this new blog….to continue to challenge my fears and to not lose my words and creativity.

It has been six weeks since starting this blog, and I am having so much fun stretching my creativity wings with photography and what I call my weekly ‘heart-felt’ posts on Thursdays.

I will be expanding my creative Sunday posts in September by adding some poetry.  I hope to join in a few poetry sites for their challenges as I continue my love for reading and writing poetry.  There is something so very personal and soulful in poetry, and I hope to continue to tap into my soul giving you little glimpses.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about fear.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

 

Creativity Continued

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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.  ~Scott Adams

 

 

 

Well the photo challenge for August is over, but there are some more photos I want to share that I really love.  Love was the last word on the last day of August and a most appropriate word to convey how I feel about these pictures.  And I am featuring black and white photography again as I have really loved experimenting with it.  This first photo shows the dew in the garden as the first rays of morning illuminate it.

 

 

I hope you like these additional monochrome photos.  I am linking in with The Weekend of Black and White, and with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.  And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

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This my favorite chair.  I love it, and it was a gift from my husband many years ago.  It is a Stickley Morris spindle back oak/leather chair that reclines like an antique recliner with pegs.  I used this chair a lot when I was recovering from surgery.

 

 

 

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A favorite shelf of some books I love.

 

 

 

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This intriguing picture is my cement porch which steps down to the front step and then to the brick sidewalk.  I love the lines and the progression of the patterns.

 

 

 

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The cattails in the pond are lit up by the morning sun, and are contrasted against the bright foliage.  These are a favorite sight from my window.

 

 

 

DSCN3638This is a favorite view from the French doors inside to the patio in the late afternoon.

 

 

 

DSCN3649And if you look closely at the wicker chair on the patio (from the picture above) you can see how the shadows of the plants play on it.  Here it is in closeup.  I love the contrast of the dark chair, the light and shadows.

 

 

 

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The gazebo is a favorite subject of mine to photograph.  I love how it looks in the late afternoon shade as you can see clearly through it to the fence and meadow behind it.  It is interesting how the gazebo slats line up with the fence behind it.

 

 

 

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And finally I really loved how the bee house looked in the late afternoon shadow of the ash tree it was hanging on.

 

 

 


I leave you with
 a bit of a sentiment that tells how I feel when I explore my world with a camera.  I hope you can capture your own enthusiasm in something creative.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

A Kinder Place

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“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.  Kindness in giving creates love.”

― Lao Tzu

 

I have a friend who is a consummate giver.  I love watching her give by doing little acts of kindness…seeing someone struggling with a door that she gladly holds open as many others walk on.  Or giving up her space in line for an elderly gentleman, and letting into traffic that frazzled mom with a van load of kids.  No judgement here as I have walked or driven on by as well in my own little world not noticing.

 

But it is in these small, almost mindless, acts of kindness that we spread love, and I know we can all use more of that.  We never know what ripple effect our kindness can have.  But I know when someone has shown me a kindness, I feel happy, grateful and it makes me realize I need to give a little more.  No obligation just a pure, loving, wanting that permeates from within me that must be released or maybe unleashed on the world.

 

I love walking down the street and smiling at everyone.  Even those who do not look my way.  Maybe they will feel the love flowing to them.  And it is amazing how much someone can be uplifted by that smile…that little simple kindness that uses so many of my 43 facial muscles.  I usually get more smiles in return, but it is not why I do it.  I am giving straight from my heart center letting it flow out…and boy does it make me beam inside like sunshine emanating from every pore…feeling warm and luscious almost like the rich chocolate oozing from the center of  a flourless cake.

 

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I found someone’s wallet once and made a point of finding out who they were, and drove it to their house.  They wanted to give me a reward, but the reward for me was in giving them peace of mind.  And do you know that I have lost things like credit cards and keys and somehow they are brought back to me.  A bit of karma maybe riding that kindness wave.

 

 

 

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.  ~Dalai Lama

 

Kindness is an important and often missing element in our world it seems these days.  One that if practiced more, we might not have as much suffering, anger and hatred swirling about.  I’m not saying it will all just go away magically, but I know there would be less angry people in a kinder world.

 

Doing something that makes me feel good, and given with heartfelt love and no obligation or strings attached.  What a most precious genuine gift for the receiver and bliss for the giver (said with a bright, big, beaming smile of love to all)!

 

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Special Note:  The blossoms in the pictures here are elderberry blossoms.  These lovely blossoms signify kindness.  And produce a yummy berry (as seen below) I share with the birds in fall and winter.

 

 

The picture below is my gift to you this week.  Please download it and use it to spread kindness.

 

elderberries painting

 

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.