Linda Kulp Trout

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Behaving Boldy

This week for Spiritual Journey Thursday, we are writing about Donna's one little word for 2016: 

I have never thought of myself as someone who is BOLD, yet there have been times that I have acted boldly, For instance, after high school, I joined the Air Force. I was a country girl who had never been on a train, plane, or visited a big city. So, going to basic training over 2000 miles from home was big and BOLD, and it led me to my next decision.

I was married with two sons and ran a full-time day care business when I made the decision to earn my teaching certificate. It took almost ten years, but at 32 yrs. old, I finally earned my degree. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I wasn't sure I could do it. There were many times I wondered if all the late nights and being an outsider among students much younger and smarter than me was worth it, but wanting to show my sons education is important made me BOLD.

Now, I’m dipping a toe into my next BOLD act, and I’m a little nervous about it because it involves writing and posting every day during the month of April. I’ve always wanted to do a project for National Poetry Month, but fear of failure has stopped me.

Then, keeping with my One Little Word— simplify, I came up with an idea.
I’ll announce it tomorrow for Poetry Friday, and I hope you'll stop by and let me know what you  think. 

We all have moments of BOLDNESS. I can’t wait to hear about yours.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Simple Journey

This week for Spiritual Journey Thursday, we are writing about my one little word for 2016:

I chose the word simplify because this year I’m on a journey to slow down and lead a more mindful and simpler life.

I'm cleaning out closets, bookshelves, file cabinets, etc. and discarding anything that no longer has meaning or purpose for me anymore. It's been exhausting but worth it.

I've started to reduce commitments and habits that clutter my day with endless chores and responsibilities. One of the biggest challenges for me is letting go of the need to have a “spotless” house. Not that my house is ever truly spotless!    I like things neat and tidy, but I sometimes go overboard and spend all my time on housework. I'm trying to find a balance I can live with.

For me, the  toughest part of this journey has been the internal one. On a good day, I try not to allow my mind to be cluttered with negativity, guilt, jealousy, worry, or regret. Instead, I’m trying to fill the space with thoughts of joy, hope, and compassion. These emotions energize and lift me toward becoming the person I truly want to be. It's definitely a process that will take some time.

As a society, it seems we’re immersed in constant noise from our devices: TV, radio, laptop…  I’ve started shutting down an hour (or more when possible) each day and giving myself the gift of silence. I'd love to be able to sit in stillness during my hour of silence, but that's not possible right now so I try for 10-15 minutes. 

One thing I'm most excited about is that I’m learning to simplify the way I think about writing.  A big part of that for me is giving up on my need for perfection.  Usually, I start the year with a long list of writing goals and then spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to decide on the perfect idea/project to work on first.  When I finally chose one, fear takes over and I end up talking myself out of it. Then start the process all over again! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Yet, somewhere along the way, I got stuck in thinking that it was the way "real" writers work.  

I'm all for setting goals, but I had to make it work for me.  This year, instead of making a long list of goals, I only made one.  My goal is to write and finish a collection of nonfiction poems on a topic I love.  So far, I’ve completed a draft of twenty-five poems, and now I’m starting on revisions.   I've put away the "what ifs" about publication and for now, I'm just trying to write the best poems I can and enjoy my writing time.

So little, by little, I’m on my way to simplifying my life.  It’s a slow process, but with each tiny step, I feel freer, lighter, and encouraged to continue on this life-changing journey.

I'd love to hear about ways you've simplified your life and especially your writing life.  I can use all the tips I can get! Here's to a simplier life!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

So Much to Admire!

This week for Spiritual Journey Thursday, we are writing about the one little word  Julieanne Harmatz chose- ADMIRE.

Monday mornings are always hard for me. I’m not a morning person, but in order to get to school on time, I have to get up by 5:30.  This past Monday, when the alarm jarred me awake, it was dark and raining outside. I got dressed and headed out dreading my hour-long commute.

Light drizzle fell as I turned the corner onto the main road. Then, there it was – a gorgeous rainbow lighting up the gray sky.  As I drove on admiring the rainbow; I forgot about the rain. There was too much traffic for me to stop and take a photo, but even after it faded, the image stayed with me. Just thinking about that rainbow makes me smile.

Last night, I was thinking about who and what I truly admire. We are blessed to live in an amazing world, and I’m in total admiration of nature. Sunsets, starlit nights, animals, hummingbirds, mountains, the ocean, a doe stepping shyly across the lawn…  There’s always something to see, always something that fills me with wonder.

The people I admired most are the everyday, ordinary people who work hard and do what they can to make the world a better place. My husband, my sons, my daughters-in-law, and my siblings are my heroes because they live their lives in a way that makes me proud of who they are and who they continue to become.

I also admire art, especially poetry. Ever since I was a child, words have always been an important part of my life. Poetry is a superhero when it comes to expressing ideas or emotions. Poetry reminds me that I am not alone. No matter if I’m feeling sorrow or joy; poetry will be there to hold my hand.

One of the lessons I’ve learned from admiration is that the more I find to admire, the happier and more positive I become.  I think that might be because admiration inspires me to be a better person and to slow down and enjoy this life I’ve been given.