Be Your Own Kind of Bravery

Fortune Favors the Brave

Gypsy tent and wagonThe gypsy fortune teller was very wise and wizened with great age. During this time of her current existence, she had told thousands of fortunes. Whispered and suggested mysterious and wonderful futures to a myriad of people. A great multitude of fools made her wealthy, as had the ambitious, vain, and greedy.

Of the down-trodden, the gentle, the forgotten, she had asked but a small token and then done her best to inspire; peering deep inside to witness their futures. Her “gift” – one not welcomed but accepted. On and on went her memories of those who sat across from her waiting breathless with anticipation for words pronouncing their fortune.

But before today, never had she viewed a woman of such gentle bravery, radiating from her being. Her soul – if you will. Her bravery shining piercingly through the air, hovering protectively as it spread out in progressive waves encompassing all.

A second glance within and the fortune teller finally understood. SHE had returned.

The fortune teller smiled a small, happy smile of relief. Holding out her hand in friendship, “hello my brave Sophia*, we meet again.” Fortune does favor the brave!

again and again

she comes forth to be heard

listen close my humans

~

“all life has purpose”

do you hear Sophia’s* words

echo through the ages

~

*Sophia, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom

And remember, small braveries are as valuable as big ones. Often more important too.

Have a great week ahead.

With sincere affection,

~ Penny

Courage ~ Never be just a reflection!

image

Never be just a reflection, be the one from which the reflection shines” ~ Plh

Do you think you’re brave? Most of us don’t think we are and yet courage is the type of feeling that induces a strength and power within us to emerge. A bravery we didn’t know we had.

What is courage, exactly? Courage is an internal feeling that often sneaks in when you step out of your comfort zone. When you determine to overcome a fear, doubt or concern, when YOU decide to accomplish something you believe to be important or necessary.

There are no dimensions to courage. You can be courageous doing a small thing or a big thing.

What matters is that you occasionally release and exercise your courage muscle. Because – proportionally speaking – the more you encourage yourself in an endeavor, the more secure you’ll feel about yourself, emerging not as a reflection – but the real deal. The real you.

Have a great week ahead, thanks for stopping by … and remember, always take care of you!

With affection,
Penny

An Antidote for Fear, Anger and Guilt

apothecary

There are some words that when understood and utilized actually activate your life’s energy flow. A proven fact. They can fortify your immune system (so you’re healthier), strengthen your resolve of things and assist you in overcoming doubt and other obstacles in your life.

file3421246505623Love – Unconditional acceptance and understanding empathy for the human condition.

Faith or Belief – The pure feeling and revelation of our relationship to creation and the infinite.

Trust – Confidence, believing in and relying on the qualities of integrity and goodness.

Gratitude – A feeling, a humble emotion of sincere and heartfelt thankfulness.

Courage – Bravery, the quality of the mind enabling one to prepare for danger even through fear.

file7241263059338Sounds good doesn’t it! Well if you’re in a store that stocks those items to purchase, you can say I’ll take one of each,  just put it on my bill!

If they came in the form of a pill, we’d pop the pills into our mouth in a heartbeat. 

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. There’s a little more effort on your part required. The good news is that all are readily accessible, you just need to change your mind on how you view yourself and your capabilities.

So how can you accomplish this?

file0002128336733

The “you” who is convinced of what you can’t do, and your head full of all the reasons why.

You believe you can!

You change your ATTITUDE!

You wake up tomorrow and say “I CAN DO THIS” !

You go through each day regardless of what happens believing you can do it!

AND YOU WILL!

The only one stopping you is … you,

your fears, your anger and your guilt.

So there you go.

The antidote you need, yours for the doing!

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Have a great week,

~ Penny

Penny L Howe

 
 
Have you entered this weeks Līgo Haībun Challenge,
its for all writers and poets, Click on link to enter.

Check out the latest entries: 

“The Shy Butterfly” is Published

~

The Shy Butterfly

The Shy Butterfly is published. Now available at Amazon.com. As I write this announcement there are tears running down my face. When I first wrote this story six years ago, the inspiration for the story (which I shared with him at the time) was Duane Brownlee. My daughter’s husband.

the brownlee familyA man endowed with an amazingly happy outlook on life and people. His, a gentle positive attitude about living each day to the fullest. This then was Duane. Three years ago on the weekend of his son’s tenth birthday, Duane was struck and killed by a drug using motorist, just several blocks from his home. I was there, a tragic traumatic event, his family’s lifeDad with children changed forever.

They’ve carried on. Filled with the memories of his loving and happy nature living within each of them.

This book is dedicated to Duane and all my monies received from the sale of the book go to this family for the now and future of their financial needs.

The book is about a shy butterfly afraid to come out of the shadows of a forest and live life in the sunshine. He meets a beautiful Monarch butterfly who encourages him to be brave and step out into the sunlight, to see what he’s been missing, to fully appreciate and enjoy his life.

Currently the book can be purchased and read on all kindle apps. I’ve discovered I like to view this story on my personal computer using kindle cloud. Any device that supports the kindle app will be able to view the wonderful colorful illustrations by Debbie Edwards as they read the words to the story. It is an uplifting story filled with all the positive reasons a child and an adult should brave the everyday challenges of life with a full heart and happy outgoing attitude.

illustration by debbie edwards

The book is available at all Amazon websites around the world. Thank you in advance for those of you who purchase this book.

~ Penny

Penny L Howe

Hope is …

_DSC1864 … ethereal, when one thinks about it.

Seemingly delicate, perhaps fragile at times.

~ Hope

And yet these four little letters perform such a big task.

Hope is believing things will improve, will somehow work out …

 … when there doesn’t seem to be any reason to.

Hope, it’s the “stuff” of impossibilities, dreams, and miracles.

It’s that special something that makes everyday people into their own heroes.

All this Strength from such a gentle little word!

SONY DSC~ Hope!

A good word to know and feel and most of all … to trust in.

Hope is the quintessential word

to share …

to project …

to believe …

in order to not just survive – but thrive!

~

Thanks for visiting me, I hope your tomorrow is an excellent one.

~Penny

plh

Once Upon A Time – A Sea Creature/My Art

This one’s for you, Robyn!

In September I posted A Pigment of My Imagination . At the end of the post was a graphic (the one above). I asked viewers to tell me what it might be a picture of. One of my favorite people (who inspires with every photograph she takes and every word she writes) answered:

Robyn Lee  “Ok – in the picture, I see a mystical but loving sea creature emerging from the depths of an enchanted lake — after sunset… doing his magic for the good of all of mankind.”

Since then I had been thinking about what a “loving”  sea creature would look like, I thought of Robyn’s personality, one that embodies “loving” to me. Yesterday I saw a photo of a bronze rendering of a dragon and I knew I’d found her. Last night I drew this dragon on my notepad. A beautiful (I hope) female sea creature emerging!

But she (the sea creature) needs a name and a short story to go with my picture. So help! I need my creative friends to provide a “name” for her and “a story”. Remember Robyn’s comments “doing magic for the good of all mankind!”. I dedicate this dragon (and hopefully) the stories you come up with to Robyn who bravely fights a battle of her own every day with great dignity and grace (a magic of it’s own, I think). If you follow her you know what I mean, if you don’t then you should http://throughthehealinglens.com/, Thank you,

An update ~ Please go and see the beautiful story that Len has written for Robyn: Thank you, http://myownheart.me/2012/10/04/alnilam-the-water-dragon/#comment-3525, It is a wonderful story everyone!

Penny

Copyright © 2012 by Penny l Howe

…and then she waited.

Sometimes words aren’t enough but I am going to try. I do have a way with words. I know this, but when you’re discussing something so intensely personal and real, it can become hard to put the right words where you want them.

I call this post …and then she waited. It is a long post, something I don’t normally do. But to me this is the most important post I will ever write, So for those of you who have enjoyed some of my other posts I would ask of you as a favor to take the time to read this all the way through – The message I share is for all families out there. Thank you!

This is a post about my daughter Christina! The mother of Jordan, Jack, and Emma (my beloved grandchildren) whom many of you have already met in my other posts! This is a post of several things. Love lost, hardship endured and overcoming adversity against all odds!

This story begins 2 ½ years ago. Christina came down with H1N1 (with severe added complications) and almost died, several times. It was a slow and agonizing recovery – complicated by previous and ongoing chronic pain which she doesn’t let interfere with her life.

Within a few months of recovery she was up and about, her and her husband were busy cleaning the house getting ready for their son Jack’s 10th Birthday celebration. Her husband, was called away mid-day to assist another and never returned. He was struck and killed in a vehicular accident, within an hour he was gone. While this is overwhelmingly sad in and of itself, this is actually where my story begins. After the H1N1, after this families loss.

Something happened to Duane’s (her deceased husband) parents. I don’t know if it was an accumulation of previous events in their life ending with the death of their only son, I just don’t know, but this highly Christian couple turned on both Christina and the children.

It was slow and insidious at first, but it kept creeping in, Innuendo’s to the children about what mom wasn’t doing for them. Being harsh when with them, both in deeds and actions. Two months after their father’s death telling these little ones to grow up, move on. On the night of his death (we didn’t know this till later) showing these 8 and 10 year old children a photograph that had been taken of their father’s body at the hospital to prove he was gone!

I was getting angry, but their mom, a gentle loving soul said to give his parents time. They were being inappropriate because they were grieving and so Christina’s personal grieving had to wait while she did damage control regarding the grandparent’s inappropriate comments and behavior.

She called in psychologists/counselors known to the grandparents, and then the pastor of her/their church for help. These people met and spoke with them several times. Duane’s parents became more bitter in response while cloaking their actions with loving words (“it’s for the best” they would say to others). After a particularly bad incident, the psychologists recommended the children not be allowed to spend time alone with their grandparents.

And so she waited, her own personal grief continuing to be held at bay while she protected and problem solved for her family. At Christmas, that first year without him, the neighborhood, other family and friends and her church were wonderful and amazing. So Christina went and visited them, Duane’s parents and asked for a coming together at this time of year. She came back and I could see she had been crying. Christina does not easily cry.

Their response: She was told they had monetary (their income is double my daughters) concerns and with Duane no longer there to help them, they would have to sell Christina’s house (A home to this family for 12 years that was supposed to have become theirs, the house payment that she had continued to faithfully make payments – on time – after Duane’s death, plus maintenance plus for the last several months she had been paying one of their credit card payments to ease the load – which she could not afford to do. An additional $500 per month!)

Because of work done on the house over the years by Duane and his dad, the value of the house had doubled. They, his parents had decided to sell the house from under this family for the increased equity value. When Christina mentioned the promise his parents had made to the two of them 12 years before when his parents had purchased this house (fixer/upper at that time) to help the young couple, she was told that the promise had been made to Duane not her.

And so again she waited to mourn and geared herself up to fight the battle of her life, saving her family’s home and those special memories so dear to them all. The cruelties to the children are hard to describe. I will name but a few: Them waking up one day to a FOR SALE sign on the lawn (no warning) of the only home the two youngest had ever known. Emma would sit by the sign and look up at it trying to understand and cry. Jack would kick the sign and they would both ask me why. The neighbors were angry and several times removed the sign only to have us ask them (the neighbors) to return the sign or there would be more problems.

It became my habit to take several showers a day. I could cry in the showers and the water cascading down my face would wipe away the traces of my tears so that my daughter and her children couldn’t see them. (In those previous few years I had not worked much, being there for my dad, caregiving my mother and finally my husband – all gone now, so I did not have the money needed to help.) The children had so many nightmares to cope with, as did my daughter. They were all waiting to grieve but the fear of what might happen to their home and those most precious memories of their dad were stronger.

It just kept continuing, this onslaught of insensitivity while Christina attempted to come up with either a legal recourse or the additional financing she needed to purchase the house as a single provider, the church helped as best it could, there just wasn’t enough available funds for what Duane’s parents were asking.

And Christina kept waiting to grieve while trying to come up with solutions. She asked them for time to raise the additional funds needed. She said if they worked together they could work it out. And she continued to faithfully make all payments on time and then came that fateful Sunday in April of this year when after the grandparents attended church they showed up and with official documents served eviction notices to not only her daughter-in-law but also THE CHILDREN. With a smile on her face she handed to each of them a sealed envelope that they took to be a treat.

No word of what was inside, just a sweet loving smile and said they’d see everyone later and they left. It was unbelievable when we saw the legal eviction notices folded up inside.

The unspeakable look on their mom’s face, (it was too late to stop the children from opening the envelopes with excitement) watching the children’s faces, change to confusion by what was inside. Yes, this is absolutely true. Christina did see an attorney regarding the legalities, and while the attorney was horrified and called upon several attorney friends, nothing Duane’s parents had done was illegal – cruel – but not illegal!

So bravely Christina told the children they would be moving. They asked why, she explained what the words on the paper addressed to them meant; they asked why would their grandparents do this? Not wanting to scar the children further, she said the grandparents had become confused since the loss of their son. Jack did say, “I don’t think Daddy would be very happy with them.” And then he too was quiet!

While Christina waited for her time to be able to grieve her private loss of her husband, she became very proactive – she met with Duane’s mother and told her what she thought (finally) of their actions in creative and colorful words that I didn’t even know she knew. She of such a loving, forgiving and gentle nature.

We began to pack and then just a few days before we would have moved, her brother who lives on the other end of the country and had not been fully versed with the activities happening here (his sister, Christina had kept silent about so much because she did not want to be a bother) called her and said: “We (His wife and himself) can’t let Duane’s parents do this to you. Her brother Nick and her sister-in-law, Julie reached out and made the needed financial difference.

As of the beginning of June my daughter owns her own home. She had protected her family and kept the home she and Duane built, not the house but those oh so precious memories and finally she and they could begin to heal in safety.

Finally no more waiting for any of them. The confusion still remains to the youngest as they try to understand what happened to the grandparents, Duane’s parents, whom they still love. Luckily for all in this house, the grandparents will have moved to another state by September 1st, and as for my beautiful incredible amazing daughter Christina…

Well…She discovered blogging. And she discovered all of you. Prior to starting her blog she had never written a poem in her entire life, but if you go there to her blog you will see for yourself a blossoming person who is finally releasing long held emotions and healing from the inside out.

Thank you for greeting her so lovingly, for making her feel cared for, loved and accepted. Just the other day she wrote a post called “You Said…” about her enduring love for Duane. Every word she writes is true and the response from her fellow bloggers was/is amazing. reconstructingchristina

I was sitting nearby and watched. She stared at the computer for the longest time. I watched her repeatedly cry (she who doesn’t show emotions) as she read all the lovely responses she was receiving from each of you.

Speaking personally here as her mother to all of your love and support… I-CANNOT-THANK-YOU-ENOUGH…So if anyone should ask me what I feel about blogging and bloggers this should clarify that. Christina is my daughter and Nick is my son, his wife Julie my wonderful daughter-in-law. I have 5 beautiful grandchildren between them and I am the luckiest person I know because now I also have all of you, my fellow bloggers. I am greatly blessed.

Thank you for reading this chapter of mine and my family’s life. Please take the time right now to hug your partner in life, your parents, your sons and your daughters, your grandsons, your granddaughters. All that you hold most dear and take for granted can be gone or change in a heartbeat.

Penny L. Howe, August 10th 2012