Special Post

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
This is a special post for everyone.

Keep Hope Alive We Are With You (1)

Two new things to share.

First.

I put this sign in our front windows for our neighbors to see.  We moved to this house ten years ago.  If you also follow my personal blog, you’ll know why I have rarely ventured out.

Short story

40 years of trauma; 15 years of PTSD; serious physical* illness; got over it; serious physical illness; got over it; Ben disappeared; serious physical illness; got over PTS and agoraphobia (Transformation); getting over latest body sickness; quarantine.

*Not “mortal” as previously written else I’d be a very talented ghost. Duh. *blush*

It’s a bit weird to think that I might be our neighborhood Boo Radley.  But that’s okay.   I hope to change that this summer little by little.  We’re working on a garden.  We finally got masks, thanks to my mom! She was given a box and sent us three.  So now we can safely go shopping.  Rather, my crew can.  Thank God for my family.  I hope to share our garden bounty with neighbors, and (Kindness Diaries on Netflix) host a weekly barbecue once the quarantine lifts. Or maybe schedule pickups. Haven’t figure that out yet.  People need food, and we can grow food.  We have a pretty big yard.

Second

💜

I had an idea. I was actually thinking of my friend Terre when this idea came and then I thought I could put it out to anyone

I’d be willing to create 21-day challenges for families in mourning. I can make graphics too.  These are three weeks of emails to anyone you invite, and a private thread for connection, to remember a loved one.  It can begin with a live video memorial like my friend Mindy did for our first day of our friend Carole on the 29th, a couple of days ago: 

Remembering LeoLady

When LeoLadyC728 left us on April 18th, I wanted to find a way to channel my sadness and help her friends who were very close to her and grieving.  So I created the “Celebrating LeoLady” challenge.  I used Carole’s first 21 posts on KindSpring, giving a lovely glimpse into a beautiful life.
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Gems 5.39

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

5.39

“By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. Forgiveness is no longer an option but a necessity for healing.”  -Caroline Myss

Photo by Niki Flow.

If you know any homeless artists who would like their poems, photos or art featured on under1000skies, on our social media accounts and through our email list, please pass on our information. Thank you!

We’re also always gratefully accepting photos, art, poems or quotes or any Gems anyone might want to share. Special thanks today and always to everyone who has shared these so generously over the years since we began.

Have a great weekend.

. under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 5.19

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

5.19b

Photo by Antonio Doumas, Pixabay

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Gems 4.178

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.178

Hope

Sometimes when life knocks us down, hope is the only thing we feel we have to hold onto. We hope for healing in mind, body and spirit. Hope for a better day, today. Hope for a better day, tomorrow. Hope we see things with fresh eyes when our vision has become narrow. Hope for understanding. Hope that our goals will be achieved. Hope lifts us up. Hope gives us strength to carry on and the trust that all will work out for the best. We set our sights on those hopes and work towards them with a willing heart and an open mind. Each of us has hopes for our personal lives and for the lives of those we love and cherish. Hope is powerful and we need to hold onto it with all our being. Please feel free to share, if you are so inspired.

Photo and essay by TC, KindSpring.org. Used with permission.  Thanks so much TC!  ♡ Original post is here:  Hope When Life Knocks

If you know any homeless artists who would like their poems, photos or art featured on under1000skies, on our social media accounts and through our email list, please pass on our information. Thank you!

We’re also always gratefully accepting photos, art, poems or quotes or any Gems anyone might want to share. Special thanks today and always to everyone who has shared these so generously over the years since we began.

Have a great weekend.

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 4.110

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 4.110

“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.” -Eckhart Tolle

under1000skies

…began on November 11, 2014 on my personal blog, Niki Flow after a conversation on Twitter with author Laurence O’Brien.  It Begins with Me O’Brien shared an article by Christopher Taylor called “Social Cleansing of the Homeless.” This term “Social cleansing” was an unfamiliar one, and the article was horrifying.  When I responded his tweet, O’Brien invited me to do something about it. I’m an agoraphobic with panic disorder…

under1000skies – About Us

MIRACLE

I recently (July 30, 2018) had a quite miraculous turnaround in my own mental health. I wrote about it on my personal site in a poem called Transformation, a series of haiku verses.

If you don’t like poetry, bottom line is, I no longer have the title of “agoraphobic” or someone with “panic disorder.” I’m free!  I feel like I have been let out of prison after 18 years. In both the literal and figurative sense, I really have been.

I went to the supermarket three times in the first week AT (After Transformation — which is cool because one of my Lifetime Aspirations is to hike the entire AT).  So AT, first week – shopping was a high.  I had to use an electric cart, but — wait. What am I saying? I got to use one. 🙂 Those things are fun!  I couldn’t get enough of being out.  I was zipping all over the store, smiling at literally everyone. I must have looked a bit insane.  I puttered up to displays, delighted by the color and variety.

“Cereal, I’ve missed you!” and “Oh! I forgot how many soups there are!”

Crazy lady. =)

I did shopping alone this past weekend while my husband did a Home Depot run. Paid and everything. Go me!  I feel like a kid again, when all this was new and I was brand new to being semi-independent.  I feel like me again, like my old brain is back, except with none of the old tapes screaming at me.

I’m so incredibly grateful and filled with so much joy.  You know what’s really weird?  I woke up sobbing from a nightmare about Ben three nights ago.  This happens about once or twice a month maybe.  Since I learned how to sit with this grief and fear and let it pass through, it’s not nearly as hard.  But the amazing thing to me was, even I was filled with grief, missing my son so much, and feeling like my heart was shattering, I still felt that incredible joy and gratitude — at the same time.  I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.

I’m not afraid anymore.  The changes I have been making feel so natural, almost effortless. I feel like I have slipped into someone, at last, I was always meant to be, and that it will only get better.

I’ve been able to clean and cook and shop and go out to lunch with my son — things I’ve missed because I felt so depressed by this “mind-frak” as I called it that I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything.  My house has light flowing in, both literally and metaphorically.  My meals are healthy and we don’t eat out so much.  I feel like an actual human being again.

Best of all, this has helped my youngest son.  We’re taking voice acting lessons together from a coach on Simbi.  My son has such a beautiful voice, spoken and singing, and voice acting has been a dream of his.  He really admires people like Tony Jay — one of the best voice actors of all time.  I love my son’s company and I’m so proud of the compassionate and kind young man he is.  He has very dear friends, and when I see them together, I see the same gentleness and kindness with them that he has always shown to me.

My husband is happier too – my hero.  I never felt good enough for him, ever.  That was my hangup. Of course I am.  He is one of the best men I have ever known and he’s never complained this entire time we’ve been through this. He’s had to do all the shopping, take me to any doctor visits, just so much.  Now he’s freer, and this makes me so incredibly happy too.  We’re partners again.

 

A New Challenge

It’s good to notice my world, to see endless reasons for joy and gratitude, and to be a part of it.  I’m so glad I didn’t wait too long.  I have new medical challenges, but thanks to my ability to get to doctors and labs, I am finally getting these addressed.

One tool that has helped me more than any in my life so far is a daily email from a beautiful soul Heather Noëll.  About a month ago, my friend Bob recommended her free eCourse TheGivingGameFoundation.com.  It comes with a daily email to a page of really brilliant tools. I committed an hour a day to study beginning a month ago, and I am certain this also helped me to come through that gate of transformation.

I am grateful for this moment now.  I am grateful that every choice I make today is creating tomorrow. I’m grateful for this beautiful corner of the world, here on under1000skies where we are connected.

I’m grateful for you dear person reading this right now. ♥.

With love and hugs and smiles and joy,

Niki Flow, Volunteer Coordinator

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.