Thursday, November 23, 2017

Serendipity #poetry


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for my family and friends that are here, in our home, eating good food and partaking of great company. I am blessed. This year I have seen myself grow.  Growth in ways I only dreamed about in my past. Part of this growth has been setting boundaries, prioritizing my mental health, saying YES way more than NO, and having a grateful heart. Showing kindness to those around me, loving more, and worrying less. I am so happy! 

I have a little bucket list that I have kept for a few years. It all began a few years ago when I could feel time rushing by and me feeling like I was watching it slowly slip away, one day at a time. I am proud to say that I have done almost all of the things on my list. It wasn't a list to be completed by the time I die, but a list of things to be done before I turned 50. I turn 50 in April of 2018.

My final item was being nude in a public place. This scared me to death! I wasn't sure I could do it, to be honest. When the experience actually happened it was nothing like what I had expected it to be. I will write more about this experience in one of my Sifting Through Life pieces on an upcoming Saturday issue. 

I wrote this poem as I sat on the last day, outside, watching the river roar by. It was the clearest and bluest sky possible. The yellow leaves were like flames along the riverfront. So bright and peaceful, swaying in the slight breeze. I was relaxed and soooooo very happy. I was at peace, hence the title.

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is on it? Have you had any experiences that stirred up fear and then when it was done, the fear was gone or seemed silly? 


Serendipity
By Sherron Watson

Peel away the shame,                   our clothes
Open the mind,                 journey
to a place and time,                     free
from society,           social angst
Step into the pools warmth,           liquid sunshine
Let the earthy aroma rise up,                      inhale the scent
Breathe deep into hungry lungs,       mellow
Relax, sit,                      deep in mindless thought
meditate, escape, fluid in water,                 our bodies
float,           our skin
like a sponge,                 absorbing the minerals
Our minds,                                     clearing the landscape
of life as we drift to the center,                        reconnect to
 the universe, finding strength,               renewal
Hearing nothing,                   yet aware of everything
Our souls delight to find,  to see,                         to feel
transcendent knowledge,                  peaceful minds
Joyful hearts ripple ripe with rejuvenating awakening,              balance
Take me here, again, please,                  sooner than later
to this place in the mountains with an alpine view,           yellow bursts of life, Autumn
Basking in nudity, mind, and soul,                    body grounded
The springs light a flame, spark a dream,                       burn deep
upon the skin and divine truth,              sheer serendipity

Can we return soon?                

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sifting Through Life: What's Your Story?

This was from a trip that Cory and I took to Bend by ourselves. This picture doesn't tell any story unless I give the details to my family.  They would never know that this was taken outside of Bend or that we hiked Misery Trail or that the weather was a perfect 75 degrees. We all take a lot of pictures but I would like us to tell the stories behind the pictures taken so those memories are not lost forever. I know for me, I take so many pictures because of technology, that many of them go undocumented, printed off, or scrapbooked. They are kind of stored in cyber space and forgotten.

I do a lot of writing for school (psychology major) and here on my blog. I tell a lot of stories. I love to write and share with others what I have learned, am learning, and my experiences. In fact, you know a lot about me if you read my blog. Some of my thoughts are small, while others get wordy and lengthy. My poetry is short, not always sweet, but a story never the less. Talking to other people we learn, or I hope we do, about their lives. Our lives are multifaceted with an array of memories, emotions, trauma, experiences, and so on. You name it and someone out there has done it or lived it.

That's kind of exciting to think about.

A story often has a beginning, middle, and an end. Most of us are not at the end portion quite yet, other than, we can speculate and dream. The end usually has a bucket list attached to it too. Embedded deep within the beginning and middle parts we have chapters and pages of story telling to share.

Our stories attach us to our communities of friends and family. They are one way we are able to bond and create trust, authenticity, and empathy. When we see those we hang out with may have similar stories, it immediately gives us something in common. If our stories are different, then this gives us a chance to share and learn from one another.

Kids love to hear a good story or be read a story. Why is this? I believe it's a vital part of their developmental states. They learn about emotions, life experiences, cultural differences, moral codes, and so much more all from a story or a book.

I wish that I had spent more time listening to the stories from the older generations in my own family. There were not many stories with grand climaxes or mysterious characters, but I have heard enough, to wish I knew more.

Today we take pictures. So many pictures. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree with this to a point. It is if you know the context, a portion of the circumstances, or even a few of the characters. What happens when you don't know much about the picture and the words that should exist are never found? I think about old family photos that sit in boxes and go untouched for years.  Those stories die with those individuals and if no one takes the time to listen and ask, then those stories are lost.

I believe we each have a story to tell. Do we wait to be asked before we tell it? Do we share it anyway with our kids? Should we keep a journal? I think this is up to the individual person to decide who they share their story with, but I do think to tell the story is important.

The good news about being the story teller of your personal journey is that you get to pick and choose which parts of the highlight reel are aired and how much of it is shared. Not to mention the little bit about facts and embellishments.  If you tell your story, more than likely, the facts will be straight and clear.

We can each think of a person that we can look back on and wish we had asked more questions or simply listened more when they spoke. I think to a time when my great grandmother visited from Texas. She was very old and cranky. I was young too (dang it) but I was old enough that I could have listened more. I always wondered if she was really as ornery as everyone depicted her to be. If so, was it because of her family, where she lived, her personality, her circumstances, her unhappiness, or simply that was a character trait she was born with. I won't ever know because I didn't ask the questions to learn more about her story.

Not all stories are happy or have happy endings. It is understandable why some would not be okay sharing or revealing too much of themselves about an unfortunate time in their personal lives. I think of my own situation and I agree with my comment. There are definitely scenes that I would not reveal to just anyone, but I have shared a lot with a few. Those times that I have revealed a hardship, personal challenge, mixed feelings, or mistakes, have been moments of bonding and a coming together in the form of a deeper relationship. These personal stories are yours to express when you are ready to do so, if ever at all.

My point in writing this piece is not to push anyone into telling stories to trigger negativity in your life, but, to challenge you to listen to the stories around you. Think of your story and then look for the story in others.  Hear what they have to say. This Sifting Through Life is more to encourage us as humans to reach out, ask for the stories, and listen to the tales.

One thing I am learning in school is that people like to talk, they like to hear their own voices, and they like to share parts of themselves. For some, it's not as easy, it may take more time and that is okay. Place your sincere interest in the person you are listening to and you will discover volumes of tales.  Not all of them will be worthy of awards or movie scripts and I don't think this is the point. The point is to create a connection, open up your senses to new ideas and thoughts, to find common ground, to explore differences, and to share.

Our stories allow us to share a part of ourselves that pictures don't tell, that our posterity down the road will forget or they don't know. The holidays are here. This is a great time to share and listen to stories told by friends and family. With this new awareness of connection through storytelling, notice how you might be listening better or even telling your story with more zeal and zest.

Go find a story. Listen. Then, when they ask, tell them your story.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Words #poetry

There are times when asking for help is the last thing we want to do. Sometimes the thought of reaching outside yourself and asking for help is too scary. I get this. I denied myself help for a long time because I was afraid of the unknown, what people would think, or how I would change.

I wanted to change but that is scary. It's an uphill battle which takes time, patience, a lot of energy, and some deep soul searching. I am not a psychologist yet, but someday I will be. I want to help people understand that our minds are sometimes our biggest foes. We have been programmed to believe our thoughts and ideas and feel as though we are being held hostage, like a prisoner. 

One way that I have been able to free myself is through words. Words written down here in Simply Gourmet or in my journals, through poetry (like I share on Thursdays) and words spoken to my friends and family. 

When I wrote this poem, I was feeling as though, my mind was holding me hostage, again. I knew that I was holding back words, out of fear of hurting or wounding others. At the time, I was unable to express my thoughts. This poem came from that experience. It also forced me to read the words out loud.  My expression in the poem was a way for me to ask for help. Help from outside sources that could nudge me along to the path of freedom. 

Help comes in many forms. From willing friends, family, and partners to professionals. Asking for help is brave and courageous.  Freeing our minds can be as simple as pouring your guts out over dinner to your cat. 




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sifting Through Life: Defining Moments

Kids are vessels of knowledge and can definitely, lead you to some of your most defining moments in this life.

I wrote an entry yesterday that included the word: defining. I can't really stop thinking about the word.  It's a word that resonates within me a feeling of rejuvenation, a need to make my existence whole and complete. In a way, I opened my mind and my eyes to a new understanding of what I should be focusing my energy toward. Instead of looking for these moments, I need to recognize that they already exist each and every day of my life. I need to show gratitude to these simple nudges and confirmations.

I have met and talked with friends and family who feel overwhelmed, feel as though they are working nonstop without purpose, or who are simply trying to figure out what their purpose is here on Earth. They are faithful humans, who are of the belief, that there must be more to this life. Some feel lost in this experience because they want more, they want a sign, they might even be leaning on others too much, instead of listening and searching within themselves for strength and guidance. I feel that we are all searching for something. Searching for the one thing that will take us to the next level of this life, yearning for a state of higher expectations with the hopes of maybe discovering love, finding happiness or seeing joy.  Do these big moments make up our defining moments or are defining moments made up of smaller events, everyday insights, and a simple feeling of abundance?

Defining moments in our life happen. They are there. What is missing is our awareness. Not everything that is manifested toward us will be as large as the final fireworks display during a 4th of July weekend. Sometimes it is simply a sparkler that your kid is holding. We tend to want to look up when maybe we should be looking down or even forward. If we open ourselves up to the opportunity of love, of being spiritual, or quieting our minds, of giving thanks...we won't miss our defining moments. I believe the key to recognizing our defining moments is awareness and gratitude.

I remember a day, 8 summers ago, when I returned from a week-long event. I went to this event with the expectation that we were going to be enriched and fed daily with enlightening stories and spirited events. My week found me all over the place with my emotions and some of my expectations were shattered. I had experiences that ranged from laughter to sadness. One particular situation changed my whole belief system. It was the defining moment that pushed me to the edge of my sanity and reality as I knew it. I witnessed a young girl be the recipient of harsh words, unfair stereotyping, and bullying by an adult leader. I felt broken and helpless. I was enraged at the amount of unsympathetic rendering the other leaders expressed to a young woman who felt compelled to be a part of a much bigger picture, despite not dressing "the code".  I remember returning and feeling that if this is what I am supposed to believe our universe is about, then it is not right for me. I listened, I heard and I acted. Since then, I have looked back and recognized this was a defining moment for me. One of many experiences that have shaped the person I am today.

These defining moments, whether they are small or big, are opening my heart to new understandings; they are enlightening my spirit and soul. I am learning to generate an energy from within me that yearns for the happiness I know this existence on Earth can offer to those of us who are open to the idea that this universe is here to help guide and channel us in a direction that opens up our world to endless possibilities. A path to our purpose. When we have these experiences, they can be hard to explain to others, or to ourselves. One word I use to describe this is happiness. Others may use these words instead: joy, love, acceptance, gratitude, charity, kindness or a phrase that we are blessed beyond words. It all feels like serendipity to me. But I know it's not by chance, but with purpose.

There is a childlike approach to awareness and mindfulness. Children live in the moment because they don't have the experiences, maturity, or history to allow any thoughts or ideas to creep into their worlds.  As I travel, I see children from all walks of life.  I see their laughter, their eagerness to enjoy life, the simple ways they can take the hand of another child and just be. In that moment, in that 20 minutes, they have to be friends, best friends even....that is their world. They stay present, they engage their behavior with those around them. Most children know what love and happiness are because they are not jaded to the scrapes and cuts of life. I say most because we know that there are children who, unfortunately, know all about the hardships of life. My idea is that children are born into this world with purity and openness from the beginning and their environments shape their behaviors and outlooks on life. When I talk about childlike, I am referring to this purest form of innocence which children often display.

To be childlike, in my opinion, is a gift. I encourage you to watch children play, to listen to them, to acknowledge their knowledge, to be present with them. I strongly believe that many of my defining moments have come from these little people in my life. They teach us and give us opportunities if we have the awareness, mindfulness, and openness to listen and to accept what they are offering. This week I encourage you to pay attention to the little things in your life. Those little things, like children, that are trying to teach you, guide you, and help you find your defining moments.

More than ever, I believe this is a time in our history, where our views are changing and our desires are being manifested to higher levels of spirituality. I think the universe is very connected to those of us seeking a higher standard and she is eager with a willingness to teach and guide us. This requires us to do our part through showing kindness, gratitude, love, and empathy to all walks of life, especially children. Do you ever wonder why we have these little people/teens in our homes for around 18 years? I do. I think about this all the time. I am blessed to have four great kids, plus all of their friends, in my life. As I mentioned before, I learn so much from them. As parents we think our jobs are to teach and guide them, but what if it is more of a team effort? This is food for thought.

Enjoy every moment, enjoy your families, be grateful.............love to all my friends and family. Without you I would have missed out on some very important defining moments in my life. I am still growing into my mindfulness and awareness. This journey has been so special. I truly feel alive and living with purpose.

ENJOY!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Take It, It's Yours #poetry


Gifts given for the wrong reason have the potential to unravel our trust. Gift giving is an interesting exchange of events. I personally love giving and receiving gifts. In the past though, I have had the experience of receiving gifts that felt like bargaining tools.  Given without sincerity or with a lack of care and concern. Thrust upon you with the idea that it will be favored and it will be enjoyed. This poem comes from a place in my childhood of receiving gifts from individuals who, in my opinion, were harmful to my existence, for the emotional harm they incurred. A place that, for one day we were expected to be family or friends and forget all of the bad experiences of a fractured relationship.  We wore smiles, exchanged gifts, laughed, and then started the next day with the same lack of caring, loving, or genuine relationships that were expressed the day before.

This sucks! To be quite honest. Especially when kids are involved. Children don't have the emotional capabilities of playing head games during the holiday season. They take most things at face value and when we toy with gifts and false pretenses, it leaves a hole and causes trust issues. Don't be that relative that is only nice at holiday parties and during celebrations. 

The holiday season is quickly approaching. Focus on improving relationships with those nearest and dearest to you. Focus on positive relationships. Correct any behavior that might be misleading to those around you. Bring the holiday spirit into your home with genuine care and sustainability that will last longer than one day because the calendar says it's a holiday. 

To Follow:  simplygourmetpoetry on instagram, click link.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sifting Through Life: Be the One

Mt. Hood in the distance as we drove up to Detroit Lake in Oregon. A gorgeous fall weekend spent in the mountains.

Be the ONE person that you want to see in everybody else. If you want to receive love, then give love.  If you want to experience laughter, then share a smile. When you want to be heard, listen to a friend.  When you want to receive kindness, then find those in need. Life is a fountain of opportunities to be the ONE.

When I look around and see the cycle of this life and how we are each put on this earth with specific abilities, talents and insights, I wonder why we take it for granted that tomorrow will be the day, or next month I will call, or my goal starts on Monday. Why wait to share, to give, to change.

I know that for me and my short time here, I have had some amazing people come into my life and "be the one" at a time when all I wanted to do was cry, to give up or to just be ....gone.  I don't think we always know why certain things happen, but I do believe that if we listen to our inner self we will find that it is more in tune with what we need to be doing than what we want to be doing.

Believing that you are of worth and that you can make a difference is sometimes like a play. You must act the part before the part becomes you; before you feel the role and make it your own. This sounds a bit like lying, especially to me, who likes to be as honest as I can, but I believe in the very act of being happy will make you happy. The act of giving will make you charitable. The act of believing can make you the ONE.

My family, especially my hubby and kids, have seen me at my worst and they have seen me at my best. Together we have created a bond that is eternal, accepting, loving and beautiful. In many instances they have been the ONE for me and I hope that I have been the ONE for them at times in their lives when they needed me to be.

Giving of ourselves, sharing our talents and expressing inspiration to others, are only a few ways of being the ONE for our families, our neighbors and our friends.  If we look inside and decide to be our best at all times then we cannot and will not look back on this life and feel the need for a "do-over".   If you are lucky in this life, people will give you a second chance, but there is no guarantee of this. So, be the ONE today and in turn you can give back and be the ONE for somebody else. We all need friends, we all need acceptance, we all need silence in order to be heard.

I can remember many times when out of the blue I got a call, or a visit "just because". Those are times I treasure because it confirms to me that I was being heard, even though my fears and tears were expressed in silence. Listen to those small whisperings through out the day, then act on those feelings.  I think you will be surprised of the internal life line that you have with others. In this small act, you can be the ONE.

Being the best you, is not about giving and receiving, it's about being. It's about being the best that you know how to be; with no expectation of a return. The joy comes in finding the peace in each of us when we listen and act.

In a small phrase, a title of a movie and a simple truth...PAY IT FORWARD.  Give of yourself, see yourself in others and become the ONE.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Masterpiece #poetry

      Poetry is a way to express emotion. To add context to our inner dialogue. I love to write poetry and have enjoyed sharing my pieces here on Simply Gourmet. When I first started, I felt the need to hide my words behind an alias name, hence the willow jade links. I have since reconsidered and have changed my poetry Instagram page to be Simply Gourmet Poetry. I don't need to hide or feel ashamed of the words I write. I don't need to protect the past that haunts me, but share my journey through my words. I am healing at an incredible rate on the inside (my mind and soul) through this process. Some of my words are hard for me to read but after I write them and read them, it magically opens up a space to add new memories. In a sense, erasing the past, and implanting the best of the best, my life today.

     When we learn to release the hurt and anger, accepting that it exists, this is when the healing begins. This is when our journey to a brightness of joy and happiness evolves. The feelings that are expressed in my poems come from this place and may seem dark and filled with pain. This is because some of them are. I believe that it is okay to feel these feelings. They are natural and normal. It is when we suppress them or try to bury and hid them they get messy and make our lives messy.

    Life is fragile and too short to spend it in a constant state of unhappiness. I write a lot about simplifying and happiness. This is because I am on a journey to live life to my fullest, to be my best, and to extend love and harmony to those around me.
    
     I would love to hear your interpretations of the poems and if they resonated with you too. If you wish to follow along with my Instagram account here is the link.  Simply Gourmet Poetry.

ENJOY!

Masterpiece 

written by Sherron Watson


                                      Flawed and cracked,

                                    like a broken vase.
                                    
                                   Nothing stays in,
it all pours out.

Fragile and weak.
Spotting a fake.

Nothing authentic
or worth the price.

A piece of work,
imperfect art.

Passed by, overlooked,
nobody wants you.

Come home with me,
I collect broken hearts

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