SEARCHING CHILDHOOD TO UNDERSTAND TODAY A puzzle always starts with ‘begin here.’ For a Jigsaw it’s the corners. But when it’s your heart where do I begin? Deep in my body, in my gut and my abdomen. All broken, needing to be fixed. Child inside, if you are truly there then speak to me. Tell me of your sorrows, your disappointments, and hurts. I know there are many. I want to know your anger, your bitterness at having to fight for anything you needed. I want to know what it felt like to bring yourself up, to have no direction or help from our parents. I want to know your loneliness, your disappointments, your struggles, your fears. I know you are still in me and afraid. There is no more need for fear. They are gone and we are here. We survived. Not only did we survive, but we’ve made a good life, a great life. What is missing now is an understanding of what we went through during those early years. Remembering will make us whole, will take away the fears and the depression, will allow us to move on to an even better life, free and clear and clean. What will it be like to clean out all that garbage, to put it to rest, to not carry the emotional baggage anymore? To have energy, to be able to eat normally, to feel freedom from all the issues we have carried around for these eighty-five years. I am sorry to have taken so long to get here. We have both suffered but not for lack of trying to figure it all out. We just needed to get to this place with the willingness to face it all. I cannot undo all those years. But we are here now and I am ready. Ready to hear it all, know it all. It is up to you. You are the one who endured it. I will not put pressure on you, you have had enough of that in your young life. I will wait until you are ready. Let me know when we can begin to write our memoir.

s your heart

What Happened to Serenity

First let me say I am sorry for not posting as I usually do. I am fine but am having severe headaches having Nothing to do with Any Virus.

I cry easily –  I know that. Always have. But now I cry for those I see on TV who have the virus and died, for those who have the virus and are in the hospital, for those who are separated from their loved ones who are hospitalized.

All our lives have changed. Every one of us. Some in different ways. Ways we never imagined before. Ways that bring anxiety. Can I shop? Can I go to the Post Office? All the news is about the virus . About not having jobs or money. How do we learn to live this way? Will this be forever?  

How many of us choose to move through this experience with serenity? Not many that I spoke to. The opposite of serenity is anxiety, not a state that is healthy to be in for a long time. There is help! A Simple Way to quiet the turmoil inside

Choose to make an Altar. Yes, an altar. Here is mine.

It does not have to be complicated or difficult, or based on a religion or a set of ideas that don’t relate to you. It can be a simple altar, a personal expression of what you want to focus on right now. You don’t have to build anything or take up a lot of space. You don’t have to buy anything or follow a complex set of instructions. All you need is to have a general understanding of what an altar is and the willingness to allow yourself to access this ancient tool.

It simply serves as a resting place for meaningful objects. It focuses the eye and provides a place for contemplation and, if so desired, ritual. All of which can be quite simple. One idea is a pot with a bulb planted in it and set on a box. Living things can act as a reminder that things bloom in their own time. You might choose to write things on scraps of paper and place them in or under the box, or in an envelope next to it. A candle, flowers, most anything that catches your eye – any household objects – which comes from intuition or intention works well.

It is not necessarily the objects you place at you altar – it is the time you spend with them daily, taking this time as sacred to you to gain the quiet inside necessary to get through this time.

To All My Faithful Elisha Followers

I want to thank you all for staying with me and following Elisha’s Story. I also want to let you know that Elisha is the main character in my book, Mountain of Full Moons and if you would like, you can read her whole story and find out what happens to her as she is banished and travels through Palestine. Her adventures are many, both good and bad and eventually she does return home, her heart in her mouth, not knowing if she will ever be acceptable there.
The book is now on Amazon for pre-ordering and will launch on April 14.

Thanks again. I hope you had as much fun as I did following Elisha’s problems and antics.

Why eat Butternut Squash

One serving of butternut squash has: 

  • More than 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin A
  • Nearly 40% of your daily requirement of vitamin C
  • About 15% of your daily requirement of magnesium
  • About 18% of your daily requirement of potassium
  • About 5% of your daily requirement of calcium

One serving of butternut squash is roughly 87% water, which helps keep you hydrated.

Like other orange-colored fruits and vegetables, butternut squash is full of beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Your body converts them to vitamin A, which is important for your immune system.

Butternut squash has lutein and zeaxanthin, often found in yellow fruits and vegetables as well as eggs. Along with beta-carotene and vitamin A, these protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays.

Your body needs a bit of healthy fat to best absorb these eye-benefitting nutrients, so consider eating butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil.

Foods high in dietary fiber can help keep your weight in balance and lower your cancer risk. Research shows that butternut squash can help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, in particular.

Classic Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil

1 carrot, diced

I celery stalk, diced

1 onion, diced

4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen

½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme

4 cups broth

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Heat in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until vegetables begin to soften and onions turn translucent 3-4 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Puree the soup and ENJOY.

What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up

I was pacing, jumpy, unable to settle down. I wanted to do something and didn’t know what. I’d like to write but my head’s empty. The guy’s coming to fix my bathroom but that’s not for another 45 minutes. What to do in the meantime? This was how my days went. Little or no direction unless I made one up.  

Today feels different and I’m not sure why. I force myself to sit down at the computer hoping words will come. “Just write,” I tell myself, “it doesn’t matter what.” Two words go through my head, nothing and enough. It isn’t like I did nothing with my life, it just feels that way, like it’s never enough. I had a modest career as an opera singer and got to sing in major opera houses and with almost all of the prestigious names in the business. I was fortunate to sing major roles with all most of the smaller opera companies in every part of New York State. I loved singing; I didn’t always love doing smaller roles. No, it wasn’t ego. It was the need to express emotions inside I couldn’t get out of me any other way.  

I established an office as an agent for opera singers and relevant personnel, a business I gave up because it wasn’t satisfying. I gave it to a woman who was interested and moved on to my next career – singing and acting as a ship’s hostess on cruise ships. That lasted for a few years. I loved the glamor, the gowns every night, the caviar and turtle soup, free use of the beauty shop, and free drinks. Who could ask for more? Me. Life there was so much like a fantasy that I finally walked away, realizing that I missed my family and needed to have my feet on the ground.  

After settling in at home I go through a major existential crisis followed by an awakening that sends me back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree and go on to get my Masters while studying a different kind of psychology called Psychosynthesis. I work in the field of addictions and think I found my place. I do my Ph.D. in psychology and holistic healing when I come across another kind of therapy that integrates voice, movement, and breathwork. Voice Movement Therapy combined interests I had throughout my life. The two-year course is stimulating and provocative until the last module. The founder and trainer shows the class his true colors. He methodically attacks and demolishes everyone in the room. Since this horrendous experience, I am not able to use the material I learned.  

The big question that constantly rears its head is, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” I say out loud, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” That’s the one I can’t answer. I’ve asked that question for years. My family laughs it off and moves on to the next topic. It’s not that I have nothing to look forward to. I fill up my time with things I love to do – singing in musicals, acting in plays, doing commercials, and see my psychology clients three days a week.  

I cut back after having a full-time practice when my father dies. I need to grieve my own way. I start writing and although it helps, it’s not enough. All of it together is not enough. Is this how I’m supposed to finish out my days? Tears well up, so I knew there is something else. A major change? A grand move? I consider going to Afghanistan or Costa Rica to volunteer and work to help empower the women of those countries. My deep desire is to help women who have no voice. Perhaps I identify with them and want to show them the possibilities of a different existence. My dissertation was about helping women find their voices through movement and sound work. I didn’t think this was the kind of work the women of third world countries need. I didn’t presume to know what they needed but whatever it was, I wanted to learn and help. 

Am I being a drama queen? Am I immersed in my own grandiosity to think I could do this? Can I survive in the conditions in which they live? What will I learn and how will it change me? Will I go and be disappointed? Will I be able to help at all? A million questions go through my head with no answers. And the fear of making such a change, such a commitment holds me back from deciding. 

When will there be enough? Enough applause, enough awards, enough recognition to satisfy that attention-starved little girl who still lives inside me and needs to know she exists. Not just exists physically, but as a person with feelings, thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams that are valid. 

 

SORRY – I really want to give my books away. This is not a Sham.

The problem is I don’t know how to do this and keep everyone’s emails safe. I need the email to get in touch and have the address to send the book and gift.

If anyone can help me please let me know. About 100 books are waiting.

Please reply to this email if you can help.

Thanks, Irene

 

 

I Must Clean Out The Office

THE BOOKS LISTED BELOW ARE ONES I READ. SOME HAVE MARKINGS OR HIGHLIGHTING, VERY FEW ARE OLD AND YELLOW. THEY ARE ALL IN READABLE CONDITION SO….

                  THIS WILL BE FIRST COME – FIRST TO GET – SO JUMP IN, SIGN UP ON MY BLOG SO I HAVE YOUR ADDRESS AND CAN MAIL YOUR CHOICE.

And HAPPY READING   

           The first to sign up will also receive another small gift.                                      

JUST FOR FUN READING

  1. DOUBLE CROSS, by Sam & Chuck Giancana
  2. BILLY BATHGATE, by E.L. Doctorow
  3. ECHOES, by Maeve Binchy
  4. CRISIS POINT, by Ken Currie
  5. THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER, by Nelson Demille
  6. THE CHARM SCHOOL, by Nelson Demille
  7. SUITE 606, by J.D. Robb
  8. THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC, by Robert Ludlum
  9. THE SICILIAN, by Mario Puzo
  10. SHADOW OF THE STORM, by Debra Dier
  11. PRAYER FOR THE DEAD, by David Wiltse
  12. THE TWO MRS. GRENVILLES, by Dominick Dunne
  13. THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, by May Sarton
  14. SHAMAN, by Noah Gordon
  15. BACK TO EDEN, by Jethro Kloss
  16. TERRORIST, by John Updike
  17. COLD MOUNTAIN, by Charles Frazier
  18. FUGITIVE PIECES, by Anne Michaels
  19. DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY & DENIM, by David Sedaris
  20. THE SALAMANDER, by Bayard
  21. THE LINCOLN LAWYER, by Michael Connelly
  22. ASHES TO ASHES, by Tami Hoag

CRAFT OF WRITING

  1. THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, by William Strunk Jr & E.B. White
  2. THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER TRAITS, by Linda N. Edelstein
  3. MEMORIES, MILESTONES & MEMOIRS, by Emily Rosen
  4. I GOTTA CROW, WOMEN, VOICE & WRITING, by Jill Hackett
  5. BODY LANGUAGE, by Julius Fast
  6. READING LIKE A WRITER, by Francine Prose
  7. 20 MASTER PLOTS & HOW TO BUILD THEM, by Ronald B Tobias
  8. THE WRITER’S JOURNEY, by Christopher Vogler
  9. THE PLOT WHISPERER BOOK OF WRITING PROMPTS, by Martha Alderson
  10. WIRED FOR STORY, by Lisa Cron
  11. BREAK INTO FICTION, by Mary Buckham & Dianna Love
  12. THE ART OF FICTION WRITING, by Emily Hanlon
  13. WRITING DOWN THE BONES, by Natalie Goldberg
  14. WRITING THE NATURAL WAY, by Gabriele Lusser Rico
  15. PROPOSALS THAT WORK, by Lawrence F Locke
  16. HOW I SOLD 1 MILLION E-B00KS IN 5 MONTHS, by John Locke
  17. WRITING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF, by Lois Guarino
  18. THE ARTIST’S WAY, by Julia Cameron179 WAYS TO SAVE A NOVEL, by Peter Selgin
  19. OLD FRIEND FROM FAR AWAY, Memoir
  20. PRACTICE OF WRITING MEMOIR, by Natalie Goldberg
  21. MORE, A Memoir of Hungers, by Sara Truit
  22. MEMOIR, by Judith Barrington
  23.    INTIMATE READING, The Contemporary Women’s Memoir, by Janet Mason Ellerby         

                                     SPIRITUALITY

  1. THE ART OF HAPPINESS, by The Dali Lama & Howard C Cutler
  2. THRESHOLDS OF THE MIND , by Bill Harris
  3. STOP YOUR CRAVINGS , by Jennifer Workman
  4. THE SOUL’S CODE , by James Hillman
  5. WATER DANCE , by Juliana Larson
  6. CROSSING THE UNKNOWN SEA , by David Whyte
  7. ARISTOTLE, NICOMACHEAN ETHICS , by Martin Ostwald
  8. THE REIKI TOUCH , by William Lee Rand
  9. ANAM CARA, A Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue
  10. THE LIGHTWORKERS WAY, by Doreen Virtue, PH.D.
  11. AWAKENING THE HEART, John Welwood
  12. THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS, by Thich Nhat Hanh
  13. TRANSFORMATION AND HEALING, Thich Nhat Hanh
  14. ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT, Caroline Myss, Ph.D.
  15. FINDING COURAGE, by Irene Zahava
  16. AWAKENING THE HEROES WITHIN, Carol S. Pearson

 

            JOURNALING

          RENEWAL, a time for you. Personal Journal, Deepak Chopra

          My life pages, by Janet Conner

I Wish it Were Over

IMG_0513 - CopyI am giving up hope. I hear my Abba and Ima talking about the council and what may happen to me. They have many choices while I have none. They can cut off my hand, shave my head, tie me to a post for days, and beat me until bones are broken. And no one can say a word against them.

Banishment may be the kindest thing they can do. I don’t want to hope for that. It might interfere with something less horrible I have not thought of.

What am I to do? My days are filled with anguish and a bad tummy. I shake all over as I try to obey Ima’s instructions. When will the torture end? Whatever their decision, I hope it comes quickly. It is hard to live this way, not knowing what will happen and how I will survive.

I am sorry to write all this to you but it is the truth – the way it is for now and I don’t know how much longer. If you do not want to hear from me anymore I understand. I wouldn’t want to hear it either.

I will let you know as soon as I find out and thanks for being my friend.

If you don’t hear from me it will be because they chose death.

Pray for me.

Elisha

Mountain Of Full Moons is now available on Amazon .

Healthy Eating. Why Cauliflower?

Cauliflower, spinach, and Chickpea Patties.

6 servings. 1 hour/15 minutes.

3 cups 2 inch cauliflower florets.  1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas

1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess liquid.

¾ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

4 scallions, white and light green part only, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground turmeric

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup Panko bread crumbs, more if needed

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more if needed

Sauce of choice. Tahini, Salsa, spiced yogurt

Preheat oven 350- line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place florets in a steamer over 2 in. water, medium high heat, 10-15 min.

Use potato masher to crush chickpeas and cauliflower til smashed but not smooth. Add spinach, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, parsley & mix well. Stir in cumin, turmeric, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper. Add eggs & ½ breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Shape 1/3 cup chickpea mix into ½ in. patty. Coat with crumbs and place in large skillet with heated 2 Tbs. olive oil. Cook until golden brown about 4 min. then flip over. Repeat until all are done.

Benefits of Cauliflower: contains chemopreventive properties that reduces the risk of developing early cancer and stop further reproduction of tumor cells.

It contains good amounts of vitamin K that shows anti-inflammatory properties. This vitamin is an essential nutrient that prevents vitamin K deficiency and hemorrhages.

Checkout Mountain Full of Moons, now on pre-order on Amazon