Things that Go Bump in Your Mind


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‘Tis the season of creaks and squeaks and ghostly imaginings. I just realized that Halloween is tomorrow, and I haven’t done my usual number of spooky posts and reflections on things that go bump in the night. Anyone who has … Continue reading

Don’t Wait . . . Create

I had an epiphany in the middle of the night last week.

It was not a religious epiphany or something that can save the world. I awoke from a dream with a feeling of peace and a moment of clarity.

A clear view of the bend in the river from a bridge in Vermont.

I finally understood what has been holding me down from truly pursuing my dream to reinvent myself and create my ideal career. After several days of deepening depression and frustration, I broke through to an understanding of what is wrong and how to begin fixing it.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody when I say that the thing holding me back the most is

I am not talking about fear of the unknown, because my life has really been a series of unknowns. What I seem to fear is following a non-traditional path.

To put it more simply, while I keep saying I want to create my own career that doesn’t fit the mold, I still am using traditional methods to find work, praying each day that I will discover a job description that matches my dream job. I am still looking for a position that someone else creates and I fill.

But, in my moment of epiphany, a phrase sang out loudly in my head:

Don’t Wait . . . Create! I think this will be my motto for my new company, a company of one that I am giving birth to as I type each word.  I know what I have to do now, and I am beginning to plan. I am still scared, because I am wandering into a completely unknown world, where I have a lot to learn. I don’t really know how to start my own business. But, if there is one thing I do know, I always learn what I need to know to achieve what needs to be done. So I cannot let my fear stop me.

What are the next steps? I’m slowly trying to figure that out, and I even wrote a Hub about it (not a brilliant Hub, but at least I wrote something).

I know that one of the first steps I need to take is to really clarify what services I want to offer. I plan to market myself as a Teaching Artist, Theater Artist, Creative Thinker and Writing Consultant who offers individualized programming to meet the needs of my clients. I’m going to provide examples of things that I can do, such as:

  • Work with students of all ages to create a performance on specific themes
  • Use drama techniques in non-theater classrooms to enhance learning of specific subjects.
  • Work with adults with special needs to encourage creativity and enhance interpersonal relations, as well as build confidence.
  • Work with individual groups to find new ways of approaching problems such as bullying or effective ways of communicating.
  • Use creative techniques to enhance writing and encourage students of different skill levels to find their individual voices.

Whew! Those are off the top of my head. Do they work? Do they sound good? Would you hire me?

Here’s where you, my blogging friends come in. I need help! In so many different ways. I think I’m losing my mind. ;)

Don’t worry, I’m not asking for money, I just want advice and input. So, if you have any suggestions about how to achieve this momentous goal, please speak up, or even e-mail me.

I also have a fun challenge. I want to make myself an LLC but I don’t want it to be Lisa Kramer, LLC. I want a name for this company, and a logo. Right now the name I am playing with is “Eclectic Approaches” but I am open to any suggestions from this fabulous blogging community that has such a way with words.

Epiphanies come when you least expect them. Last week I was struggling through the dark wood, unable to see past my depression and my fears.That evening, I had hit rock bottom, hiding from my family in my bedroom and curling up in a defeated ball of emotions, followed later by a complete outburst of tears, anger, frustration, loneliness and fear. But the explosion opened the way for messages I needed to hear. I cannot describe the dream or the image that spoke with such clarity. I couldn’t even remember it when it happened. All I now is that right now I feel like I am on a good path.

I wonder where the path leads?

Photo by Sarah KramerLee

The Journey as Sestina

 I felt like writing poetry today, and decided to challenge myself by writing in a form called Sestina. I’ve only used this form once before, in a poem I wrote years ago for my sister called “A Sestina from the Heart”


Box by box, item by item, I pack for our move
to a place both familiar and yet unknown
pursuing a life or perhaps a dream
of days filled with fulfilling work and challenges
met with a smile, a laugh, and joy
and evenings filled with stars, friends, and peace.

What will it take to find that peace?
Does the solution lie with this next move?
Or does the truth lie with inner joy
and acceptance that life is a journey into the unknown
with every day bringing new challenges
as we pursue our ever-changing dream?

What happens when we become unsure and dream-
less, tossing and turning at night in search of elusive peace?
Perhaps the search for a new dream becomes one of the challenges
which keeps a soul vibrant and constantly on the move
always  embracing the unexpected and the unknown
which will sometimes bring sadness but more often joy.

What if you find life is not filled with joy?
Or that everything you hope for is only a dream?
Then the next step becomes another unknown
followed by another, and another, and another until you find the peace-
ful place inside your heart which encourages a move
toward other dreams, other stories, other challenges.

Unless, of course, you wish for a life without challenges,
but for me that seems like a life without joy.
For me a successful challenge is a move
toward the next step of the journey and piece of the dream.
Knowing I can handle what comes gives me a sense of peace
even as I journey into the unknown.

I knowingly take steps toward the unknown
trusting that life will not give me any challenges
I cannot face. Knowing that even days not filled with peace,
can still be filled with joy.
As long as I keep working toward a dream
then nothing bad will happen on this, or any,  move.

While I don’t know what challenges this move
will bring, I believe that the unknown dream
is the one that will bring me peace and joy.

H is for . . .

I have been struggling a little today, with a blank screen and a blank mind. This will be a week of juggling too many balls at once, and I am feeling overwhelmed. When I posted on Facebook that I had nothing to say and no “H” words to write about, my dear friend Beth suggested that perhaps I need to write about the word HELP! I took that idea, and then borrowed a little from the inspiration of the wonderful Kathy McCullough at Reinventing the Event Horizon who has been sharing her fabulous art that reveals so much of the pain and beauty in her psyche. I thought I’d take to color and paper, and see where my mind brought me. This is the result:

H is for the Hills that I have yet to climb.

His for the Hopelessness that builds inside.

H is for Happiness I yearn for and Hope to find.

H is for the Heaven in my daughter’s Hazel eyes.

H is for the Home and the Hearth of my dreams

H is for the Hurt that I try to abate.

H is for Hunger that I Hope to feed.

H is for the Humor that Helps me Live.

What Happens Next?

My most recent unknown started here. (Photo by Steve Kramer


I’ve noticed that many people lately live fearful lives.

There seem to be many causes for this:

  • The economy: which leaves financial security and career opportunities unknown
  • Nature: which leaves the question of the entire earth surviving into the future unknown
  • An aging society: which leaves us open to more unknown diseases and health issues
  • Overwhelming possibilities: which makes more people feel like something is wrong when their path to “success” is unknown
  • Loss of community: which makes people feel alone in the unknown.

Does anyone see the common word here? It is the unknown.

Many of my friends have been feeling this fear lately. Either in person or on Facebook, or even in the blogosphere, people are becoming overwhelmed by the unknown, as I was reminded reading A. Hab’s post yesterday.

I am no exception, but I don’t want to live in fear anymore.

I have been living with the unknown for several years now. Actually, I think it has been longer than that. I entered the unknown when I graduated with a Ph.D and then had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life. I’d achieved many dreams, but didn’t have any new clear dreams or goals. I moved further into the unknown when my husband, through the politics of academia, was not given tenure in his position–just as the economy crashed. So we moved blindly forward hoping to find a place to land safely and call home.

We landed on our feet, but we still live in the unknown because this does not feel like home. I am beginning to discover new dreams, but that becomes harder because I am now fully ensconced in early Middle Age. For some reason it feels harder to dream big when you have to support a family and compete against people half your age. But shouldn’t experience be more valuable than youth? You would think so.

Everyday I wake up into the unknown.

Today I woke up without a clue what to write about, and almost a fear of facing this blog.  Today I woke up without a plan, without a goal, without a known.

But, as I write this, I know that’s okay. I have survived the unknown, and I will continue to survive the unknown.

That’s the only thing I really know. And I think that has to be enough.

Would anyone care to join me on an exciting adventure into the unknown? I promise you, it will be exciting and take us to places we could never imagine.

And, to reveal my inner Gleek–Rachel’s song from yesterdays show really goes along with how I’m feeling today:

Creating Dreams in the Midst of Chaos

I am struggling a little today with who I am and what I want out of life. I mean, I’m surrounding by people pursuing their passions and following their dreams, but I feel like a supporting player. I guess that’s okay, but it can be frustrating at times when I know I can do so much more. I’m not saying I have to be the star, but sometimes I want to do something more. Yet, I’m surrounded by people and things that need me to just support them; Sarah, the dogs, Nathan, the CT, my family . . . and the list goes on. Where am I in all this?

She Who Laughs at Herself . . .

I was just fooling around on Facebook and got my daily fortune cookie. It said “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” It got me thinking that I am taking everything too seriously. Yes, my life doesn’t seem to be going in the direction I thought it would. Yes, life is complicated and scary right now. But, I can still laugh. I can still dream, even if I’m not sure what those dreams are right now. I can still dance. Last night Sarah and I had a mini dance party in the living room and it was wonderful. If I can learn to just be, and trust in the universe, then I know I will end up somewhere great. I’m sure of it. And eventually, I will see the humor in this whole situation. So, it may be taking me down right now, but I’m going down laughing.