A Moment Like This

RAF_SkipsABeat_Jan2015Poetry seen in a different light can cause an uproar of passion deep in my soul. There is so much expression in every line, every word, every letter. There is a meaning behind their placement on the page. Even before the ink dries, or when the message is freshly shared, the moment before reading the poem, there is a skip in steps. Heartbeat quickens.

Opening the page cannot happen fast enough. In the dimly lit room, with the soft music playing a song that happens to have lyrics that are overheard, “like a touch, like a dream, you’re my amaranthine.”

The words come into focus. The smile, the feelings, the emotions, the opened magic book with magic lightseverything. It was worth the wait of a time difference. It became one to remember. Poetry – words weaved together in such a way that it is sexy. It is full of passion. Anticipation. This could be the beginning. And, if it is, it is perfection. The timing could not be better.

Sitting down in amazement, wondering if anyone else has this experience, finding it so easy to just read and re-read what was shared and going about the day. As the day goes on, it is hard to concentrate due to wondering when the next one will be shared.

Such an opportunity here to grow, to fall, to rise, to discover, to be dismantled, to be put back together and to find what has always been there, just never noticed. A chance to not only be active, but productive. A moment in time to be ….. together.

 

Went Out For A Coffee —

2It was your typical Sunday morning. I had laundry going, had just jumped out of a magically cleansing shower and was cuddling with my kitty while writing my book. I had so much on my mind and one of those things included going to the local coffee place for a little writing, a little eating, and a little visiting.

Enter the cameras. And lighting equipment. Walkie talkies. Props. Christmas decorations. Christmas? Yep. And dogs. Dogs? Check.

Vibrant waitress greets me … and we talk hair. I am still being a bit oblivious to what is going on around me as I place my order for a hot chocolate, a water and 2 potato, avocado and cheese breakfast tacos (no egg).

I sit down, unpack my belongings, and settle in for some writing time. Prepping for some serious, soul-wrenching and earth-shattering scribbling. Then, after eating and beginning on said scrawls, I finally become aware that around me, a movie is being made. The directors, the lighting people, and all of the other many people involved in creating the ambiance of a movie begin scuffling about. And I had a front seat.

Cue, the actors. It was not because they were gorgeous and made up (though they were) but it was because they seemed to have a ‘way’ about them. (Oh, cue ‘baby I love your way, every day.’). Then, IT happened. Coming in the door after the first few actors, was the one I recognized. I had just been voting for him on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (season 19). His face was so familiar. Finally, the person who seemed in charge sat behind me. The waitress was back, too. And she got me, and her, in a huddle and asked if any of the actors were someone she knew. Then, she answered. JONATHAN BENNETT.

aaron samuelsHe was the Aaron Samuels in ‘Mean Girls’, along with so many other parts I had seen him in, such as ‘A Christmas Wish’ as Sebastian, Michael in ‘Author’s Anonymous’, and so many more roles.

I sat for a bit longer and then he came near the table. I looked towards him, and said, “I am a huge fan!” Typical speak, I am sure he hears it all of the time. Why couldn’t have I said something unique? But, I am telling you all, in the moment, you don’t go to what you think you would love to say in the face of meeting someone famous. You go to what everyone else does. “I am your biggest fan,” “I am a huge fan,” “You’re gorgeous and I want to eat whipped cream off of your lips.” What? Not the last one? No? Just me then. Okay.

I had always thought he was a very handsome man. But, that day, he Jonathan-Bennett-boyfriend-girlfriend-2014rocked my socks off with that suave, funkalicious way about him. He asked what I was writing and I just said I was working on my third book and he looked impressed. I mentioned that I was the ‘writer worth catching,’ He said he wanted to know more. About me! He wanted to know more. I asked if I could get a picture with him, he said of course. Then they needed him on the set. Oh, that’s right. He was there to make a movie, not see me.

I went back to writing, this time with a bit of a smile on my lips and a getty-up in my heart. I looked around and wondered if anyone noticed that I had turned five shades brighter. I noticed a little bit of a hustle and bustle as I did this. There was a very cute gentleman looking around for someone and asked if I had seen a family that was supposed to be there. I answered him, “Yes, but they had left.” He replied, “They were to be in the movie.”

I said something I never thought I would say. “I’ll be in the movie,” in a half joking, half-serious way. He said, “You want to be in the movie?” I said, ‘Sure, if you need me!”

The next seconds of my life were amazingly slow …. because then, cue cute guy:

“Okay, they need you in this scene. We will do the paperwork later.”

I was shocked. I walked outside and Jonathan said, “Hey, it’s the writer that got away!” I laughed and followed another guy the place I would be beginning from. He explained that I would be walking after Johnathan and the other star, Lexi Giovagnoli and the dogs, and keep walking until I am out of the scene.

Which means : I would be in a scene with Jonathan! Wha what! So, I went to my spot by the tree. I will admit, I was a bit nervous and not the most comfortable. Jonathan picked up on this and yelled out for me to look at uncomfortable as possible and then added I was doing a good job at that.

He knew how to make me feel better because I relaxed right after that. It was wonderful. There were a few takes following that and I had so much fun, feeling like a real actress – someone important. (although, to be honest, I am already pretty important!)

A cute side note, in between takes, Jonathan asked about the ‘worth catching’ thing. I explained that it was that we are ALL worth catching and that was my tag line. He loved it! Jonathan Bennett loved what I did. How cool was this?

RAF_JohnathanBennet_ReneeAvardFurlow_MovieSet_Jan192015Afterward, I did some paperwork which would make me not only an extra, but I would be getting a credit in the movie! After everyone came in, I finally got my picture with Jonathan and the other actors.

Later on, I was told that the camera was going to be facing me and to not look right at the camera – so that was also an awesome thing. And I felt so amazing to be included in this whole thing.

Meeting Jonathan Bennett was incredible. He is even more handsome in person. I love his values. I love the fact that he is down to earth and that he can turn any situation into something fun.

And if you are reading this, Jonathan, I adored meeting you, and it is and always will be a highlight of my life.

So, I will keep you all up to date .. as to when ‘A Dog Walker’s Christmas Tale’ comes out – something tells me it will be around the holidays.

Yes To More Living

The last few weeks of 2014 reminded me of what it was like to be alive and2 live, not just exist. That is something I have not been able to say before. Not with fibromyalgia. But this year I tried something different. I did not claim the fibro as my own. It just merely existed but it was no longer ‘my fibro’ and that made a huge difference in the way I saw life. I trusted that life knew what it was doing. And I allowed it to do its thing. And whatever was going to happen, I was going to allow it and a main thing I did? I felt my way through it all.

So what did I do to help shift from enduring to living?

RAF_NewPainting_December312014Beginning with picking up painting, I felt something I had not felt before. The brush on the canvas. The smell of paint in the air. The feeling of paint on my fingers and looking down and seeing an array of colors building up on said fingers. On some projects, using mixed media methods such as magazine clippings or more so Modge Podge was brought out. That smell is strong but now, already, brings about such warm, inviting feelings. Clipping out various items to go on the canvas is always a favorite thing to do for me. Using stencils and paint pens. And wow oh wow when I see a finished piece! I cannot get over that feeling of pride when I view a completed canvas that I have had the pleasure of doing. I will admit that my husband and I have spoken about it in a half-joking, half-serious manner. He said something along the lines about giving some away because of our lack of wall space and so I made more wall space. Ha! Not that I do not want to bestow any onto anyone else, but I work on these and most are very personal pieces so I would love to keep them. And the last thing about painting that I love? The shopping! I love looking for paints, brushes, stencils, canvases, mixed media stuff and so much more. Michael’s is our place we go to down the road from us and I get coupons all of the time from there. We just live it up while we are in there.

Another big thing that was introduced to me and I decided to go with it daily,RAF_Christmas2014_Makeup is makeup. I have never really had much in the way of makeup and, save for a few times in the past, I have never really tried to wear it or own it. Well, it began with a $13 assortment from Amazon that had everything you needed in one location. It was great. It’s in the shape of a shell, and it opens and you see all that you need with each layer you open. So I began wearing just a little bit each day until I was hooked. The mascara that came with it was tiny and I was out of it and I wanted some lip stick to travel with instead of taking the whole thing with me. So I went to Walgreens a few days ago with those purchases in mind. I found what I needed but stopped. It was the 26th, the day after Christmas, and there were gift sets in the beauty department half off! I went over there. There were cologne and perfume sets, shower gels, and shaving kits. Then it happened, I turned down the next aisle. ALL MAKEUP. And all of it about $1.50 a piece. There was another lady there whom I had been speaking with earlier and we started laughing and we cleaned up that aisle – it was fun. She would look out for me, and I for her. The best part? There was mascara and lip supplies ten fold! I checked out, and even with picking up my medication and a sweet tea, I still paid less than $20 and you see the picture, I cleaned house. And, much like the painting, I am enjoying playing with colors on my face. Whether it be a blue eye shadow one day or a dark pink lip stick another, I am having a blast with it.

I received a trike for Christmas. A trike! Can you get over it? I am so very excited! I was able to ride it one day before it became really cold the last few days. And the freedom I felt. The wind in my hair. The joy in my heart. The skipped beats in my heart. And the exhaustion by the time I was done. The seat needs raising and the chain needs greasing. So we have to do that. I rode on the day after Christmas and it’s been way too cold every since, I am waiting for a nice day!

1-1Last night, On new years eve, we refused to go out to drink and party. One, we have Austin. But, two, we are in our mid-thirties. I know others may decide they can party and such at that age, but we are not them. So, after finding out Half Price Books was open til 8, we headed there. I found some gems in the poetry section. Pablo Neruda, Rumi, Sylvia Plath and an unknown named Charles P Ries. I love the smell of the books. I love the amazingness of that store. And we are blessed that it was open last night. Then we went to the grocery store and he purchased some beer and I chose some ‘Jamaican Me Crazy’ wine coolers which I hadn’t drank in quite some time. At home, we watched the older movie, ‘Clue’, which brought back memories. But something just felt off so I was thinking of just going to bed. But then Zach came and sat with me on the couch and cuddled with me and so suddenly things came to life and felt amazing. So, I was open to watching another movie then. So, it was ‘Blazing Saddles’ time. I dozed off on the couch and then woke up for midnight kisses. And then dozed back off on the couch for the evening.

New Years morning. The pitter patter of the rain on the window. The thoughts and intentions for 2015 coming to light. I get up and take a shower and get dressed and I can see how I do dress boho chic and I love it. My intentions roll right out of me –

angel1Yes to sleep, music, water, books, paint, creating, fun, dreams, road trips, love, unplugging, cuddling, writing, encouragement, understanding, devotion, loving, living, breathing, decorating, revamping, more balancing, taking action, letting go, moving on, dropping things off, organizing, f*#king, being, silencing, talking, dancing, singing, reading, less procrastination, more dedication, more participation, true living and less enduring, to stop spinning my wheels and make actual progress, and more, more, more and more …

2015 will be me – magnified. This year better be prepared for me, because I am ready to kick ass.

RAF_ForFacebookPart1_NewYears_ReneeAvardFurlow_January12015

What are you ready to say yes to?

New Moon Reflections On Moonbeams

opened magic book with magic lightsWhere I have come from is not a direct reflection of  who I am. Because my upbringing was less than stellar, I knew what to do to create this Life to be better for my family. I hold on to the happiness I feel from this by realizing how far I have come and how much I have beat in order to be here writing in this moment.

I strive to keep thoughts as happy and joyous as I can make them. In this world, I would love to see what any road that is a dream to travel on has to offer. I know I will make a point to step out of my comfort zone when I feel I should and if I should feel different the next day, I will honor that emotion as being as valid as the other.

To understand the destined and to reach the lessons that need to be learned, one must shed the Ego and be in the raw, and experience every single aspect of this Life, as unpredictable as it is.

magical  nightOn Moonbeams

Swing high and low and go with Life
You cannot make a mistake in this way
Divinity does not create pain and strife
So follow your bright moonbeams
Your inner constellations and stars
Go with that intuition and honor your dreams
No one knows you better than you
Accept when Life gives you a gift
There is no one else it can be given to
And will present when you most need a lift

(Me)

The Wheel Of Fortune

Vintage Typographic BackgroundLife is a series of ups and downs, ins and outs, the good and the bad, and so much more. You get the point. The thing about life is that so many people really believe that they have it ‘under control’. But life has this funny way of being unpredictable. It can throw you a curve ball and before you know it, you’re heading North when you thought you were going South.

There is a difference between having it under control and having it together. When they claim control they are not allowing for the good changes or all changes in general. People in control are often rigid and un-moving and thrown off course and angered greatly when something different is thrown their way. They live their lives planning for the future and always looking ahead at what should be done next and they never fully enjoy life.

People who have it together go with the flow. They can take life as it comes and enjoy the quality of daily moments as they happen. They live life one grateful day at a time. They are not perfect. But when something is thrown at them, they are not completely dismantled. They might veer a bit off but then they return to the driver’s seat. They realize life is unpredictable and will change and not everything stays the same. Life changes. Everything changes.

Even me. And you.2 (4)

PS. The Universe gave me my husband. We lived in the same apartment building. I had no plans for another relationship. I had just hopped out of one and was fully content being a single mom. But, I was outside on the patio a lot talking to my neighbor and letting my son play. And I would see this handsome guy walk to the mailbox and back everyday. I noticed his patterns and I could not stop thinking about his smile. After a couple of months of this, I got brave, really brave, and went downstairs, in my t-shirt and ratty old shorts, knocked on the door, and asked to hang out. For those of you who know me, know that is something I normally would never do. But I feel the Universe intervened and gave me strength and bravery and I somehow knew that he was ‘the one.’ And he was. Life’s curve balls can really, really rule sometimes!

She

fantasy sorceressShe’s nothing out of the ordinary, she has a sane mind, she has brown hair, she has two brown eyes, she has two ears, she has one nose, she has plump lips. But that’s when she is under a regular eye, when she is under mine, she’s extraordinary. Her mind is as complex as the galaxies in the sky. She’ll make up her mind then a few moments later it will change. She thinks bad thoughts about herself but will ooze enough confidence and turn those thoughts around. She spends so much time alone in her own head that she feels she is not worthy, yet when she is alone she’s scared people will leave.

I won’t leave, I’ll never leave.

She plays around with her hair so much it’s like a doll she used to play with as a kid, yet when it lays upon the pillow, it smells like home. She can explore my soul through my eyes like windows; her deep stare more powerful than the sun. She has the most perfect lips, they whisper my name in the silent night air, she uses these lips to compliment me, not just with touch but with words too.

Her smile is one of my favorite parts to look at. A grin that can not only be sweet, innocent but also sexy.  She’ll stand in front of a mirror and as her eyes scan her body, I can already see the judgment written on her face. She picks out the things she dislikes and allows herself to believe they need to change, she contorts her figure trying to make a different her, yet I love her for who she is. With one touch she is able to soothe me, like her hands are medicine and I need healing. A touch so gently it feels as though an angel has been placed upon me.

Her soul is the beauty within her, so delicate yet strong, so calm yet fierce. She scares me, of course she does, but for all the right reasons. My heart explodes when I see her or just hear her name, she is my heroin and I’m an addict. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, yet when it comes to her I am, 

God I adore her with every ounce in my body and yet she still doesn’t see it, she doesn’t believe it. She needs to be told she is loved, she needs to be touched and cared for. I am just a human, living in this world with billions of other humans yet she should love me, I need her to love me. Because she is my destiny, she is my universe with all the millions of stars, she is my garden of Eden, she is my holy grail, she is my alphabet with every letter in between.

What I’m trying to say is, I love me.

 

 

Justice

My spiritual growth at times is at a standstill. And it is entirely my fault that happens. I become overwhelmed with the silliest things. Whether it be procrastinating because I feel no inspiration or being surrounded by distractions (that I create!), I feel very lost when I cannot check in with my spiritual side.

I am going to finally say this and own up to this. I am addicted to being a huge time waster. Whether I get lost in Facebook or reading emails or being on Instagram, hours go by very quickly. My worst habit? Looking up pictures. Mostly of my favorite celebrity stuff. And this includes Pinterest, though I am also trying to incorporate making my pins more site related so I don’t feel like I am accomplishing a whole lot of nothing. And finally, I get caught up on Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu watching all kinds of my favorite TV shows and I lose so much time watching them that I have no inspiration to write, meditate or read.

So here goes nothing –

My Soul Contract:

I, Renee, pledge to you, my sweet soul, that I will acknowledge you more often. I will give you the things you crave more. I will honor you with allowing for your inspiration to be translated to me. I will bless you with spiritual articles and lessons to quench your thirst for that side of me. I will not let the typical ‘zappers’ take all of my energy so that I am at a loss of time with you. I will do what I can to keep the fire alive and allow your inner star to shine. I will welcome the star to shine bright and usher in the ideas and joys and assertiveness that is all worth catching.

I guess even I need to remember – I am worth catching, too.

The Hanged Man

I chose card twelve, the Hanged Man, to post next. Thank you to Lyn Thurman once more for sharing this prompt and this is what I was inspired to write.

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The Hanged Man

There is such a calmness about choosing to hang out. There is a wonder in seeing the world from a different angle. When there is a freedom from everything carried on a daily basis, and the view is flipped, there is such a sweet release and a moment of deep breaths. This all leads to a quiet understanding that this is the break that has been a long time coming.

 There is such a relief because finally things are being let go and it is okay to do so. Also, things are being looked at from a different angle and problems can often be solved faster because of this.

So I am learning – to leave the past in the past. I am learning it is going to be okay and my world will not end if I just release the hold. Resistance to being off the hook is strong but I have determined that I am stronger.

Anne Partain put it beautifully. And it was a major A-ha moment for me. “I think letting go means trusting the outcome to the Source.” (and put whatever word for Source in there that feels right to you: Life, God, Spirit, the Goddess, Divinity, you get the point). Isn’t that just a beautiful way of looking at it? It definitely spoke to me and I have had an easier time letting go ever since.

I do not claim to know all of the answers. But what I do know is there is so much that I do not miss that I thought at one point I could not live without. For instance, I thought I would go belly side up when we stopped subscribing to cable television. But I didn’t. And I know, in this day and age, you can still watch a lot streaming, but not all. And I don’t feel as though I am missing out. I have moved past so many excess things I thought I had to have and I am better because of it.

What do you need to release?

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The High Priestess

Lyn Thurman had an amazing writing challenge during the month of October using the Tarot cards – the major arcana – as prompts. I did not have my blog up then, so I have many articles now stockpiled to share with you – here is what I wrote for the High Priestess, card two.

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She knows me. She knows the way. I feel her coursing through my soul. I know her in my heart and I feel the gentle guidance she provides. There is a sense of calm as she leads me to a quiet spot. I am ready to listen and sit in anticipation. Breathing – one, two, three. And again – one, two, three.

The scroll unravels and I feel her presence. She wants me to understand what I feel more than what I see. I feel contentment on my path. I feel the correct path has finally been placed in my way. Spirit surrounds me and cushions any setbacks I might have. Life is leading me down the thoroughfare of words. And surrounding me with success. And support from my family, friends and more.

I feel and know security is going to encompass my home, my heart, and my soul. I am to be protected. From anything. From everything. Even from nothing. I see that the stillness and the solace sometimes is part of this journey. Heck, sometimes this IS the journey. And I smile. Because she smiles. She knows I understand. And I do. That I do.

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The Journey … So Far —

‘I’d give up everything just to find you.’ – Amy Lee

1 (2)Nothing has been more gratifying than the journey I have been on to get here. Powerful life-altering lessons have taken place over the last month and a half that I have been away from blogging.

Life can be messy. It can be complicated. Sometimes, I have no idea what is going on or what steps I am to take next. I have seen people become lost when they feel they know the way. I know that is what I was doing. But then I realized something.

The whole time I was lost, I was finding myself.6 (4)

Last December, my world changed as I broke my leg in multiple places. That, along with the fact that I had to go in and have every single tooth (but one) extracted were two life-changing events for me. Both of those things also affected the fibro and I was spun for a loop. But I learned that the things that hurt us are often the things that make us the strongest.

When we are in the middle of a struggle, that is when we are learning all of our lessons. So, that is why I can say with confidence, that if you ‘break your leg’ today, and you are hurting, know that tomorrow, you will get up and walk again. It’s that simple. Life gives us challenges every day. We just have to rise to the occasion and meet them with gloves on.

PensandoenelayerOther lessons I have learned include the reasons for the site change. I decided quickly that while the other site served its purpose, it was not something I became excited about. And I felt it to be a bit chaotic and even somewhat kid-like. I felt I needed something more up my alley, more mature and something that represented who I am in the here and now. And so, my own domain was purchased. And here we are.

I have decided to be bold. And daring. To live life according to my rules. If it doesn’t make me smile, or if it doesn’t make sense, I am not going to do it. I am not going to offer long, drawn out explanations for my yes’ or my nos. I am not going to apologize for my life or the way I live my life because I have structured my life in a way that is pleasing to me and it took quite awhile to make it here. And I refuse to just ‘fit in’. I listen to different music. I have a different skip in my step.

That’s what makes me … well, me.1 (3)

After awhile of running away from myself, I also came to another conclusion. The saying is that if you were to find the right person to cause you to want to stop running, you would. Well, what if that person could be yourself? That is what I finally discovered. I traveled in search of who or what would possibly be good enough to cause me to stop looking for the answer, to stop trying to find that reason to quit. I came back home. And I found what I was looking for. I found myself.

And so here we are. A new domain. A new site. A new outlook. And lots of new awareness. It is with all of my heart, and all of my soul that I am here today. I am here to share my life with you. I am here to help you through your life. And I am here to help me through my life.

Thank you for being with me and for taking this step. You are in for a heck of a ride. So am I.