Jun 282012
 

Have you ever felt guilty?

Deeply, horribly, heart-wrenchingly guilty?

What have you done about it? How did you get past it?

Because that’s how I’ve been feeling on and off over the past few weeks.

And as of this morning, I’ve been transforming it into something that feels much lighter. Aaaaah.

As you know if you read my last post, my sweet dog Ollie recently died. It turns out that he was misdiagnosed, and although I’m now sure that I knew all along what was really going on with him, I didn’t know enough at the time to confidently push back with the vets’ diagnosis.

But even more than that, I’m haunted by the idea that I “should” have gotten him to the vet sooner. Besides pre-empting his fast and sudden turn for the worse, I’d have been able to take him to our regular vet who’s really good and who maybe would have diagnosed him correctly, fixed him up, and sent him home with us.

So every now and then … periodically … who am I kidding: frequently!… guilt comes to roost.

It settles in on my heart with its big, black heaviness and squeezes the life out of me.

And guilt is a problem because — and you’ll find this, too — when you do consciousness work it’s best if you can be in a clean, clear, good space. (Of course,  doing consciousness work actually helps you get there. But it’s a dance between the two — with one leading for awhile … then the other.) I do a lot of consciousness work for clients and if I need to, I can set my emotions aside. But of course it’s always easier when my vibration is high, and harder when I feel such dispair. (In fact when this happened, I was on the brink of finalizing a date for a free group Holographic Emergence session for subscribers. I decided the registrants deserved better so I postponed it. But stay tuned for an announcement with a new date!)

But besides the fact that it’s trickier to do good sessions, the guilt itself feels absolutely horrible, and on top of  fresh, deep, grief it can make you feel almost ill.

So I’ve been searching for a reprieve, sometimes desperately, sometimes calmly and wisely. Although I don’t want to just ignore it (let’s move on, think happy thoughts, etc.) nor rationalize why it’s all really okay (he’s in a better place, you didn’t know, you looooved him, etc.), I do want this to “process” already!

But how?

Well first I reached for a lot of my old stand-by’s. (I had them in this post but it got much too long so I took them out. You’ll get them another time.)

Even then, I was aware that, as I wrote to a friend:

I keep wanting to grasp for answers “out there”, and I try, but they seem to only be panaceas. (Of course I now have to remind myself there isn’t an “out there”. It’s all “in here”. And I know the answer(s)/or whatever is too.)

And although I got a lot of comfort and growth from most all of the things I did, I still wan’t quite at peace with it yet.

Still, they were all important because I’m sure they contributed to the movement that opened me to a new and powerful realization this morning.

A New Realization

I don’t know if it’s the ultimate answer (or if there even is one), but it’s definitely promising. (Promising enough to lift my spirits enough to write today — for the first time in quite awhile!)

And here’s how it came about.

Early this morning, soon after I got up, I went to Ollie’s grave and apologized through my deep sobs:

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Then I got into the jacuzzi.

I realized after about 5 or 10 min. that I hadn’t even taken a moment to appreciate the beautiful day. I remembered that I had appreciated it as I first walked out the door but that my thought had immediately gone to the idea that Ollie would have loved it. It was nice and cool and he would have loved going for a morning walk. But he couldn’t because he was dead. And sadness and guilt had immediately enveloped me.

But as I remembered that, I looked around at what a beautiful day it still was. The hummingbirds were doing their thing at the feeder, sunlight dappled through the leaves of the trees, the air was clear and wonderfully scented, and everything seemed right with the world.

And a thought came to me:

Do I deserve to enjoy this day too?

And then almost as if I could see myself through other eyes, I realized that this person, me, Patti, had done the best she could. And ya, maybe she made a mistake — she probably did — but she didn’t do it out of bad intentions. (And even if she did, that’s not the point.) She deserves good things too. She’s a good person. She tries! (Oh, God bless her, she tries!)

And even as I was thinking this I realized that even with all that said, she doesn’t have to “earn”.

There’s a spark of innocence, a spark of Divine there that no matter what the personality has learned or not learned so far, that beingevery being — deserves love …  and deserves happiness … and deserves joy.

And the answer is yes.

Really? Even someone who’s made a horrible mistake and “should” have known better?

YES.

And not only that: she deserves to be able to reclaim her freedom and joy fully.

For without that she can’t share what it is that she’s here to share.

And what good does that do for anybody?

Have Compassion for Yourself

And so, this is the most comfort I’ve had around this issue since it first reared its head.

I also suspect that it will offer the same to you.

And even in situations where we’re not in deep despair over something we did, but any time we’re judging ourselves for something or another, it’s a perfect exercise to practice.

At this point, I can still feel some guilt. But I also feel compassion for me.

It’s not either-or, but BOTH for awhile. Okay. That’s okay. The guilt is already subsiding. (Oh great, so now it’s “merely” grief. But okay, I’ll take it.)

So it’s not gone (yet), but if anything can transmute it, it’s the light/love. From my experience, that in itself can dissolve or transform all the shadows and difficulties.

It’s powerful stuff.

And interestingly, the very thing that makes me so sad to have let Ollie down, his innocence and his beautiful trusting spirit, that very thing also exists in me.

My spirit is also beautiful and innocent, and likewise deserving of love.

And so now every time I feel that guilt I also love myself:

I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

I’ll keep you posted … but you’ll know. You’ll actually know because you’ll see me come back to life. It’s already happening. I can feel it.

If you’ve ever felt guilt, what — if anything — have you done about it? Where did you find comfort? Did anything help? Please share!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Hey sisters!

If you have a biz and you want it to be

profitable + creative + FUN

then join us over at Leoni Dawson’s Goddess Circle!

I only recently joined but am blown away by the plethora of inspiring and practical information and tools she makes available on such diverse topics as creativity, creating sacred space, sacred business, $$earning money$$, etc.

(And I do believe if it weren’t for her Wild Donkey Secret to Getting Stuff Done, I might not have even gotten this post out today. But WAIT! As of today she released an improved & expanded version of that article as an ebook. Completely FREE! You can get it here: The Project Finisher Ebook: How To Finish Your Projects + Get Them Out Into The World!)

I’m only now getting involved in the social aspects of the Goddess Circle with the other “goddesses”, but the sisterhood and energy is promising — and I’m excited!

Here’s the deal: She’s doubling her prices in a few days, and even at that price it’ll be worth it. But for now, you can get in at half that price. I highly recommend it. It’s awesome, I’m not kidding! (Yes, I’m an affiliate, and you can be assured I wouldn’t be unless I was nuts about it.)

Jun 202012
 

Ollie

Every morning, the very first thing I do after my feet hit the floor is huggle with the big, cuddly, furry ball of love known as Ollie.

He’s our goofy yellow lab who we got from the pound when he was about 3 or 4.

He makes his loud anticipatory groaning noise (yes, our dog sort of purrs), so I get down on my knees. He dives and rolls and offers up his belly. He seems to need to put his mouth on my hands ever so gently and of course I allow this as it’s a part of our connectiing.

After a minute or so of this he gets up again and dives under my arm with glee to be loved again. And so it goes and would go on as long as I have time.

Jasmine

But within a few minutes I get up and go over to sweet Jasmine who is lying quietly on her bed watching us. She’s become so regal in her old age.

She’s our boxer who we got at 6 mos. of age after she’d been returned to her original owner several times and they were at their wits end as to what to do with her. What a blessing she’s been.

Her little white face looks at me patiently (it used to be the most beautiful velvet black when she was younger) and she eagerly accepts my gentle hugs and kisses. She loves the insides of her ear flaps massaged and so I do that as she presses against my fingers, all the while listening to the sweet nothings I whisper in her ear.

She is so beautiful.

As all this is going on, I am happily aware of my husband, the love of my life, who is still snuggled up in bed under the down comforter, snoozing away. We are all being (somewhat) quiet so as not to disturb him. But asleep or not, he is an integral part of this family activity going on practically under his nose (or more like his toes).

As I give and receive all this wonderful love and affection, I can’t help but feel so glad to be alive (overwhelmed, almost) and I so appreciate this glorious thing called life and all the gifts it has showered upon me.

My cup runneth over.

I can’t help but smile.

And after this wonderfully sacred start, I move into my day.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Happy summer, everyone! I know … where have I been? And what does this post have to do with Emergence?

Well … nothing. (And everything.)

I’ve been amiss because I’m grieving right now. Deeply. HUGELY.

Sweet Ollie passed away suddenly last week. He had a mild to moderate case of bloat which was misdiagnosed and after a grueling 4 days the poor thing gave up the ghost. Fortunately, he was here at home with us by then. Sadly, I think if the vet had listened to me and treated him for bloat immediately he’d be here with us now. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

As to Jasmine, well, she left us just over a year ago.

I honestly am not capable of writing with my heart right now and I refuse to blog here as a duty. So what I’ve done is snatched this March 2010 post from my short-lived personal blog to re-post here for you. I hope you like it.

I wanted to touch in and I wanted to let you know where I’ve been, but this is about all I can muster right now. Forgive me.

Blessings to you and love those critters while you’ve got ‘em (oh, I know you do!) Thanks for your patience, and namasté.

P.S. I just remembered that some of you met Ollie! Remember this?

Apr 042012
 

Don’t you love a bargain?

I do too.

And I love activations, magical thinking, books, and all types of meditation.

They all have the potential to open you to new worlds, just like cracking the egg does for a little hatch-ling.

And oooo, combinations of all of the above are worth getting excited about!

Here are some valuable bargains that have come to my attention lately that I want to share with you.

(And they’re almost upon us so read this now!)

Activations

If you didn’t see my tweets or Facebook postings and haven’t already registered, hop on over to Jo Dunning’s site and sign up for her “Activations of Awakening”.

It’s imminent! Tonight (Weds. ) at 6p PDT.

You write down your intentions for the session ahead of time, and then show up.

It’s different than what I did in my recent Spring Activation, and you can read all about Jo’s on her site.

I did it in Jan. ’11 and it was powerful! I swear, all kinds of things related to my intentions were suddenly on the move. So much so that it was a bit overwhelming for awhile.

Oh, and did I say it’s FREE? Yes!

And speaking of free, check out her brand new Wish Project while you’re there.

Thank you, Jo! :-)

Magical Raven, Beautiful Book

I live in the high desert and over the years here have deeply connected with the ravens and all that Raven implies. S/he is magical, a messenger, and helps bring the subconscious into the light of awareness.

I recently had a friend pass away who was known far and wide as Raven. A gifted poet and otherwise remarkable man who was loved by many. So sad for us left behind without his bright light.

And then what flies into my life unexpectedly but a book about Raven. It’s beautifully written by my sweet and wise friend Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker. I’m enjoying it little morsel by little morsel and can say that the love with which it obviously was written is almost palpable.

In Christopher’s words:

I’ve written four or five books over the years but am most proud of an animal fable entitled The Raven Who Spoke with God.

It’s a story about integrity and the unconquerable spirit in us all, and I mailed out the first copies on the morning of 9/11. The book was translated into 11 foreign-language editions but then it reached the end of its natural life, or so I thought.

Recently, however, my book has been published in Kindle format.

Oh, and did I say it’s FREE too?

Well, that is if you jump on it this Easter weekend, from this Friday thru Sunday, you can download a free Kindle edition. (And if you don’t have a Kindle it’s a snap to install the free software from Amazon so you can read Kindle books on your PC or Mac.)

You can get it here. And please help spread the word!

And of course it will still be available after this weekend, and well worth the little bit Christopher is asking for it.

Thank you, Christopher! :-)

Meditation System Plus Plus

And finally, someone I know is getting close to releasing an awesome meditation product.

[Update: This meditation product has launched! You can find out more about it here.]

It’s aimed at the busy individual (know anyone like that?) who wants to reawaken to their natural inner balance, their calm connection to spirit, and their body’s natural state of health. It helps awaken intuitive guidance, dreams and aspirations, and it enhances productivity and success.

I was lucky to be one of the reviewers and my gosh! I can’t say enough good things about it.

I was hugely impressed.

It consists of:

  • 1 instruction manual (how to use the system)
  • 3 beautiful (and beautifully written) books
  • 1 workbook, and
  • 20 guided meditations

I’m not normally much of a guided meditation gal, but I have to say, I absolutely loved them! Every day I looked so forward to my guided meditation time.

It seemed to me that it’s almost like 3 offerings in one, although tightly integrated so each supports the others.

It’s like a class on silent meditation, another on using guided meditations, and yet another with step-by-step instruction/exercises for creating your own guided meditations to visualize what it is you want to create in your life.

ON top of that, there are four bonuses included … and they’re BIG bonuses!

And then I found out the asking price. What?! I thought I must have read it wrong.

Surely the price was supposed to have a zero behind it or maybe in the middle.

But no.

Talk about value. It’s worth it for the versatile set of guided meditations alone.

I’m delighted to have an interview with the creator about it that I’ll post here for you once the product’s available.

[Update: It's available! You can find the interview here.]

You’ll hear all about the (amazing!) bonuses and you’ll get a link to a special free download so you can try out a part of the system.

Note that the system is not available quite yet! But in the interview post I’ll include all the details about how to get your hot little hands on it once it’s available. (And just so you know, if I’m smart I’ll be an affiliate by then, because it’s a truly remarkable system and I highly recommend it.)

Thank you, Mystery Person! :-)

That’s it for now. Signing off. Happy Easter, and namasté.

If you take advantage of any of these bargains, please let us know what you thought of them in the comments!

Feb 142012
 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wishing you sweet love.

This is short and sweet today because — speaking of love — I’m spending a week with my awesome son and his wonderful little family in northern CA. I’m doing my best to play catch-up with my almost-2-yr.-old granddaughter. :-)

And if I work it right, I’m going to get to meet Sarah who lives near them, and who writes the fantastic blog Wellness – The Natural Way.

And … just about now, I’m on my way home to my sweet sweet man. :-)

Love love love!

But if you want a little something more than good love wishes, I’m serving up one of my favorite posts about love:

A Message About Your Relationship to Love

Something rather startling happened to me in late 1992, soon after my dad passed away. It was both comforting and revelatory in its simple wisdom. [more *magic*]

Wishing you the best that today can possibly offer. Thanks for being in my life.

Jan 272012
 

What the heck do multidimensions have to do with pink hair? you may ask. Well … we’ll get there soon enough.

And let’s get right to the multidimensional part first.

Multidimensional Living

First, thanks to everyone who gave me feedback about which topics you prefer to see here. (It’s not too late, you can put your druthers in here.) I appreciate it a lot!

Many of you want to hear more about my use of the term “multidimensional”.

And most of you responded to my question about videos too — mainly that you don’t watch them (and I don’t, either) — yet guess what this post is about? A video! (Plus multidimensional living. Plus pink hair living. And we’ll get to those in a minute. ;-) )

Don’t worry, I don’t think I’ll be doing many videos. Probably just a short one on my “About” page so you can get a sense of who I am, and a few others here and there.

But! It just so happens that I’m currently in a fun and inspiring Bootcamp about making videos for blogs, and I just did my first ever headshot video as practice.

And in it, I talk about multidimensional living, so I want to share it with you!

This wasn’t an easy decision, but I find I’m feeling more free every day to let my real self shine, including on this blog.

It’s by no means perfect and it’s good for me to let go of that. For example, I actually say some things by accident that are incorrect (e.g. I use the word create once when I mean influence) and I skip a whole lot of relevant points I wanted to make.

But as long as you don’t hold me to every word, I think this practice video gives you a sense of what I mean by the word “multidimensional” in my blog topic. (Until I do the “real” one, which will be much better. ;-) )

It’s 7 min. long but you’ll get the main idea in the first few minutes, then you can jump ship.

A most important point that I failed to make is that the whole stick/spectrum is you (me … us).

And an aspect of living multidimensionally is that we integrate all our various parts into who we are and how we express.

And we live freely as who we are, no matter what that looks like.

Even if it means we dye our hair pink!

Pink Hair Living

This post was inspired by the article Pink Hair Blogging by Sonia Simone. I read it about a year ago and it’s left a lasting impression. I bet you’ll love it too. (This post was also triggered by a funny bootcamp practice video by Courtney Carver of the wonderful blog Be More With Less. It was about letting our hair down and reminded me of the Pink Hair article.)

I’d even formatted the main points Sonia made and printed them on a card that I keep on my desk. (You can change the word “write” to the word “live” … or not!)

Maybe what I’m doing here is more like “Hair in Curlers” blogging (where I ought to be a little horrified, but I’m not). But what the hey.

How about you? Do you dare to let your pink tendrils unfurl with wild abandon? (Guys, this includes you!)

Or do you have comments about multidimensional living?

Are you integrated?

Would love to hear …

Dec 232011
 

Did you know that it’s more natural to be a sprinter than a marathon-er?

That breaks at relatively short intervals are critical for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being?

It’s true.

And if you want some inspiring and motivating reading that will help your productivity while at the same time give you permission — even encouragement — to make balance a priority, you’ll love digging into the bestselling guide The Power of Full Engagement by Loehr & Schwartz. It’s excellent. [I've only had it a few weeks and already I'm more productive -- have you seen how many posts I've cranked out? -- and I feel better at the same time.]

And perfect timing too. You’ll be all revved up for the new year, and ready to enjoy a nice, healthy break in the meantime.

♥ ♥ ♥

I’ll be absent from this blog from now until around Weds., Jan. 4.

I’m off for my own much-needed break where I will reinvigorate my love of all things subtle, intuitive and holographic. To commune with my soul.

The process has already begun and it feels maaa-velous!

Thanks to those of you who participated in my drawing for 2 free readings! I’ll announce the lucky winners sometime this weekend on my facebook page and am already looking forward to the readings. :-D

As to my regular (lately) Friday posts for Sonia Choquette’s weekly classes? Fugeddaboddit. Some of you said you wanted to do it with me online but with the exception of one (yes, one!) comment, I’ve not heard a peep. In fact, my blog has not been so quiet since I started it over a year ago, and I can only assume these class posts are a big, fat, flop.

So I’m discontinuing them. (Psst: I’m secretly glad because I really don’t want to have extra commitments over the holidays anyway. Down-time, ya know? I’m so ready.)

So, happy holidays to you, and I’ll see you in the new year.

Here’s wishing you many blessings in the meantime and after. Namasté.

Dec 092011
 

Have you gotten a bit more in touch with your body this past week? I’m happy to report that I have, and my body and spirit are both delighted.

This is the end of Week 2 of the 10 week online course “The Answer is Simple”. Sonia’s topic this week was to  “Welcome Your Spirit” by loving your body as its sacred temple.

Did you?

(If you’re just joining us, the entire course is offered free by Sonia Choquette, and some of us are working it together here with a discussion at the end of each week. Join us!)

Love Your Body

Sonia reminded us to be attentive to our body, to embrace it, and to give it what it needs to thrive.

I took it as a reminder to be more conscious of both my body and my indwelling spirit. For me, being more attentive brought to mind all kinds of ideas and experiences I’d like to share. (But as I started to, I realized that each one is a post in itself. I don’t need to overwhelm you with it all right now. ;-) ) But ultimately, being reminded of all these things helped strengthen my conscious connection between body and spirit.

Her main point, I think, was to appreciate our bodies as the sacred vessels for our life force or spirit. She points out that it’s our body that gives us the ability to “think and choose and move and create”, and that it’s a gift. And she goes on to encourage us to respect and honor it, to love it unconditionally, and then, importantly, to express and act on that.

Your Body as a Manifestation of Spirit

As to the fact that we’re often critical of our bodies, she points out that your body is the perfect one for you, and that it’s a gift. I totally and completely agree. I mean, how blessed are we? Crazy blessed, I’d say!

Like last week, though — and for the sake of our discussion — I would put it a subtly different way.

My own intuitive sense is that your body is the main (although not only) point of manifestation for your being. This is slightly different than the temple idea in that your body doesn’t encompass your being like a temple, since your being is not confined to your body. More accurately, your body is the part of your beingness that is manifesting directly in this 3-D world.

So by necessity and by definition, your body exactly matches who you are in your essence. It’s merely the more dense part of that same pattern which is you.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Or what did this bring up for you this week?

Be Attentive to Your Body

Sonia’s recommendations for putting these ideas into practice this week were:

1. Pay attention to how your body responds to things, e.g. to thoughts, to sound (including how you speak of it). She gave a lot of examples of thanking it out loud.

2. Give it the basics (water, rest and what it needs to get this e.g. pillow, white noise, lotion, foot rub, etc.)

I’d been in the process of some major “maintenance” ;-) , i.e. dental work, routine checkups, therapy on my arm and shoulder (if you’re a blogger or writer, watch your ergonomics!), etc. and have been paying much attention to this area already.

It’s not so much that I’m communing with and loving it in a lovey-dovey way as I’m doing the practical things that it needs.

Still, it does appreciate it, I can tell. :-)

I also intend to keep a good bit of my time free over the holidays so I can tend to my health with some of the many effective holistic practices I enjoy.

3. Speak kindly to and about your body. It hears it. Spirit loves having a body.

Here it’s about loving your body unconditionally.

Sonia says that the more you love it, the more your body will become the body that you idealize. Hmmm, I’d not thought of it that way and haven’t experimented with this yet but I’m going to. Stay tuned for an updated, ravishing me!

She ends this suggestion by recommending you treat your body well and that if you do, you’ll attract all kinds of wonderful things.

4. Don’t let an hour go by that you don’t appreciate it or do something for it.

Wow. I tried this and it’s easy to forget. But it did help bring more body awareness and appreciation into my life this week, both welcome things!

Did you do any or all of these things? Or did you improvise some of your own? What were they and what did you find?

And now … On to week 3! See you again soon!

P.S. Eliza over at Silver & Grace has released an inspiring ebook featuring some talented women writers … plus me. :-) Click on the image to the left to grab a FREE copy, and check out my new guest post as well as her gracious article about me as one of the ebook contributors.


> > > Special GIVEAWAY Announcement < < <

Do you want a free reading? I’m giving away two — winner’s choice of 3 types!

You can choose a:

All I ask is that you:

1) “Like” Lightspirited Being on facebook (button to the right if you’re reading this from the blog) AND

2) Write on Lightspirited Being’s facebook wall that you want to be in the “Solstice Drawing”

That’s it!

I’ll draw 2 qualifying recipients on the Solstice (Dec. 21 here in NM). Please feel free to spread the word until then.

Thanks so much — and good luck!


Click here to go enter your vote for Lightspirited Being.

I’d be thrilled to make it into the top 50 blogs but I can’t do it without you!

If you like this blog, I’d so appreciate it if you’d cast a vote for it. [Voting closes soon!]

All you have to do is click here or on the badge above to go to the voting site. Once there, scroll all the way to the bottom, and say you vote for Lightspirited Being in the comment box.

Thank you! ♥

Dec 062011
 

I used to have an ambivalent relationship with holidays.

I loved them because I got to be away from work, do some special activities, and see friends or family that I didn’t get to see regularly.

At the same time, I dreaded holidays because they always got stressful. Even when I made reasonable plans, my commitments inevitably multiplied like bunnies and before I knew it, I was frazzled and distracted, doing things I’d rather not, and all with an obligatory smile plastered on my face.

But all that changed soon after I met my husband. He had begun a practice of going to Yosemite for Christmas.

When I first considered going, I knew immediately it wouldn’t work. I mean, what about all my holiday “stuff”?

Getting together with family on Christmas eve?

Christmas dinner and all it involves?

What about all the presents I had to buy? And wrap? And pack? And send? And give in person?

The cards I had to write and mail?

The tree to buy and decorate?

All the boxes of Christmas decorations to unpack and put out, and then pack away again.

All the cookies I had to bake?

All the Christmas parties to flit around to?

What about donations to the needy, the service work to do?

On and on. And on and on. Aggh!

But alas … Christmas in Yosemite sure did sound heavenly!

So I began thinking about how to do most of my other stuff ahead of time. Yes! I could do it before and while preparing for the 5 day trip to Yosemite! But the thought of that just freaked me out.

And then it hit me.

I had been moving through all my holiday activities like an automaton. Sure, I enjoyed some of them, and some of them touched my heart.

But most of them were not enjoyable or meaningful at all, or they added so much stress and took so much time or money that they were just not worth it to me.

A New and Improved Way to Do Holidays

And for the first time, I began to make conscious choices about how I wanted to spend the holidays.

I let all the had-to’s and shoulds just fall away in favor of the want-to’s.

We went to Yosemite at Christmas for a number of years and it was *magical*. We used the heater in our little cabin as our imaginary fireplace and opened our few little gifts to each other. We went to the fancy Bracebridge dinner at the Ahwahnee, a lavish affair with an 8-course meal. We ate bad food in the brightly lit and nearly empty cafeteria and had lovely exchanges with the cafeteria workers, and oddly, that remains one of our happiest memories. And I’ll never forget being in the tiny chapel there with snow falling gently outside, while 2 young kids in front of us fought loudly over the candles for the candle-light service. My heart soared and I laughed and cried at the same time.

Those experiences enriched my life and made me a better person.

This was the point of Christmas.

Connect with the Holiday Spirit

You, too, can trade in your stressful pile of obligations for free time (*gasp*) where you can connect with the special meaning that each holiday embodies by nurturing its lovely spirit and bringing it to life.

You can make the holiday spirit a significant part of your experience instead of something fleeting you try to grasp or catch a quick glimpse of in-between commitments that have gotten out of control.

Examine Your Assumptions

Examine each thing you do and every person you connect with and ask yourself why you do it.

Did you merely “inherit” it and now just do it without choosing to do it? Without realizing you don’t have to?

Are you allowing others’ expectations to overly influence you?

Do you enjoy doing these things?

Do you enjoy being with these people? (Yes, ask this about family. Maybe especially about family.)

Can you afford it easily or does it add undue stress?

What are the results? Are they worth the investment of time and money?

Maybe you’ll find that some of these things really are where you want to put your energy. Good! Now you know. And the rest you can consider letting go of.

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

There are always trade-offs. So it helps to consider if there are things you might like to do instead.

Maybe you want to leave the newly freed-up time alone. Allow it to just be there and spontaneously enjoy it when it comes around … or not.

Or use your creative spirit to brainstorm some fresh, new ideas that have some life to them.

What does this holiday mean to you? How can you express that?

Who do you love? What do you care about? Do you want to make a connection or contribution?

What do you enjoy? What makes your heart sing? Don’t you deserve to commune with the spirit of the holiday for your benefit as well as for others’?

With just a little deliberate forethought, and feeling into your own heart, you can make the holidays a time to go deep instead of wasting them on meaningless, superficial activities.

Unless you like superficial! It does have its place. The point is to make conscious choices.

Give Yourself Permission

You’re a grown-up now, and no-one is the boss of you.

You don’t need to follow in the old traditions automatically. Of course, if you love them, then yes, indeed!

But spare yourself being an automaton for as long as I was. You can break free now.

Watch What Happens

If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised to find that the things you cut out are not missed. And if they are, well, you can do them next year. You can even do them just because. If they have value, do they need a holiday to go with? Maybe not.

As to the people you usually spend holidays with, perhaps they need to adjust to your new way, but they’ll come around before you know it. You’ll likely find that it’s not nearly so traumatic on them as you imagine.

And the time you do decide to spend with people is much more meaningful when you do it because you genuinely want to be with them.

Nowadays, my list is pared waaaay down. This year, we’re having a low-key holiday. We may or may not decorate, we’ll have a delicious meal that is simple to prepare, and I’ll give a few heartfelt gifts to my son and his family. (They may do a road-trip and arrive on our doorstep. If they do, I’ve got plenty of extra time to spend with them.) Lots of children — too many — in our area need hats and gloves (can you imagine?), and that’s my service/donation priority this season.

And that’s plenty.

It leaves me space to touch in regularly with the spirit of this beautiful season, and see where it takes me in the moment.

I wish you many spirited moments of your own this holiday season.

Thanks for reading!

How do you spend your holidays? Are they spirited? Would love to hear!


> > > Special GIVEAWAY Announcement < < <

Do you want a free reading? I’m giving away two — winner’s choice of 3 types!

You can choose a:

All I ask is that you:

1) “Like” Lightspirited Being on facebook (button to the right if you’re reading this from the blog) AND

2) Write on Lightspirited Being’s facebook wall that you want to be in the “Solstice Drawing”

That’s it!

I’ll draw 2 qualifying recipients on the Solstice (Dec. 21 here in NM). Please feel free to spread the word until then.

Thanks so much — and good luck!


Click here to go enter your vote for Lightspirited Being.

I’d be thrilled to make it into the top 50 blogs but I can’t do it without you!

If you like this blog, I’d so appreciate it if you’d cast a vote for it.

All you have to do is click here or on the badge above to go to the voting site. Once there, scroll all the way to the bottom, and say you vote for Lightspirited Being in the comment box.

Thank you! ♥

Nov 092011
 

Do you ever want to share information about your talents or gifts but balk because it feels like you’re bragging? Or do you sometimes have trouble admitting even to yourself how amazing you are because you’ve been taught that’s egotistical?

Here’s a simple idea that can change your perspective.

Once you see differently, you can share in a way that makes you feel grateful instead of like you’re doing something wrong. It’s good for you and good for those who wouldn’t have heard about what you have to offer if you were hiding it under a bushel because of some mistaken sense of modesty.

We ask ourselves: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. …
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love

I’ve been clean and sober for 28 years today. Yay!

And it’s so funny that one of the lessons I was required to learn to get cleaned up has come back to my attention this week.

It’s exactly about being able to recognize — and yes, even talk about — your own light, yet not feel like you’re bragging. To let yourself shine with no reservation.

First You Surrender

An essential element of my getting clean was to completely surrender to the reality of the situation and even more importantly, to something greater than myself. I had to quit trying to do it all myself. Because I couldn’t. I was totally defeated.

As I watched my surrendered self rack up the clean and sober hours, then the days, then the weeks, I was nothing short of amazed, and puzzled at the same time. How could this be? The moment I quit trying, it happened. It was as if by magic, but I like the word “miracle” better in this situation because honestly, that’s what it felt like and still does.

Then Humility Appears

I began to notice that I could celebrate my sobriety and other achievements more openly than I’d been able to before. There was a different quality to it. It was the quality of humility.

Acknowledge the Gifts

I saw that my sobriety was a gift more than something I’d done. It had been given to me. It’s the same with any of my abilities or talents.

Sure, I’ve nurtured and encouraged many of them, but really, where did they come from in the first place?

They’ve been given to me, and if anything, they’re coming through me. Same with any virtues I might have.

And Let Yourself Shine

When I remember that, I don’t have a problem freely sharing information about what I can do or what I have to offer people. Especially if I figure it’s coming through me for them. That would be selfish, like hoarding it. But even if it’s coming through me for who-knows-what-reason, it’s not especially up to me to decide, or even to judge that.

This all came up recently when I was invited by Eliza Fayle of Silver and Grace to contribute to an ebook about how I make a difference. My first thoughts were related to an earlier pattern of thinking: that I don’t really make much of a difference (what I now think of as false humility — maybe it’s more a lack of gratitude), and that even if I did, I certainly couldn’t “toot my own horn”.

But as I began to jot down a few things, I also began to get really grateful. I started appreciating the things I do do that make a difference — a real difference — in others’ lives. And in the end, the reason I could submit it to her and feel good about it is because of the lessons I learned those 28 years ago about surrender, humility, gifts, and light.

Oh, and miracles. Can’t forget the miracles. :-D

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Want to hear from me and a few other ladies about how we make a difference? You can do that and support Eliza in making a difference at the same time by downloading her new ebook here — for FREE! (Thank you, Eliza!)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And then think about how YOU make a difference, and share it in the comments. What gifts are you putting your personal touches on and then sharing so beautifully?

Aug 042011
 

Are you aware of what a positive effect you can have on yourself, others, and situations when you take a moment to bless them?

“Personality has power to uplift, power to depress, power to curse, and power to bless.

Paul Harris

I grew up thinking only priests could bless things. At the very least I thought I had to invoke God or a saint to do the actual blessing.

Blessings stuck in my throat for awhile, but now I personally believe that the sacred in us, the sacred that we are, the divinity that we are, is perfectly sufficient to bestow a blessing. In fact, it just might be one of our best activities of all; one that we’re made for.

What is a Blessing?

Technically, bless means to invoke divine favor upon, or to pronounce something as holy. Sometimes it’s used to mean the transfer of energy.

To me, it means a good thought or good wishes. It’s a reverence for something and for its existence; an acknowledgement of its preciousness and its sacredness. It’s the decision to see a person or thing in its perfection or wholeness (holy). It can be bestowing “good vibes” on it or giving it your best.

In fact, you can even be a blessing yourself. (In fact, I’m sure you are. ;-) )

Blessings Lead to Blessings

Last week I was on my way to the dentist. I had butterflies and decided to bless his office. I was introduced to the idea of preparing spaces in Reiki, and then again in Matrix Energetics. And I came across a similar idea recently in a home study course.

So I began blessing the dentist’s office.

I blessed the space, then him, then his assistants, and the receptionist whom I’d talked with on the phone. I blessed the whole clinic and then the whole town.

If I choose to bless another person, I will always end up feeling more blessed.

Marianne Williamson

I live in a remote area and it’s a 50 mile drive through the desert to the dentist’s, which is itself in a remote area.

As I drove (and blessed, and drove some more), I couldn’t help but notice the breathtaking scenery and what a pleasant drive it was.

Pretty soon I was blessing and appreciating all kinds of things: my wonderful little car, my nutritious and tasty blackberry smoothie, the gorgeously puffy clouds above the scrubby juniper landscape of the stark desert with its multi-colored mesas. (Oh, I wish I’d had my camera; you’d get to see a photo of it right now.) I blessed my teeth that have done so much for me, and I blessed the feisty little nerve endings that alerted me that something needed to be taken care of. And I couldn’t forget about me. I was also blessing me.

I soon felt so good that I noticed I’d been automatically catapulted into practicing the Law of Attraction, or rather the Law of Allowing. Hmmmm, maybe this dentist visit won’t be so scary after all.

And come to think of it, that was the last of the frayed (or is it ‘fraid?) nerves.

In the end — and what seemed to me a result of the blessing — the whole appointment was a great experience (and yes, there was even drilling involved, eeek). Everyone was super friendly and competent. I liked the dentist a lot.

Can I prove that it’s because of the blessing? No. But come on.

And even if it wasn’t, it just felt so good. And not just to me, but to everyone I came into contact with that day. I’m sure of it.

We can bless everything and anything. So why not do it?

You Can Bless People and Things

Hands-on blessings can be especially powerful. You can bless:

  • Your food (hands hovering just over it)
  • Cards & letters before you send them
  • Gifts before you give them
  • Pets (and I think they bless us at the same time!)
  • Plants (especially effective toward the roots)
  • Yourself (try some hands-on blessing next time you take a shower)

I’ve known people who, as they pay their bills, send a little blessing to the receiver when they lick the envelope or stamp. Or if you pay online, you can do that when you press “make payment”.

Speaking of online, you can send blessings when you:

  • Send an email
  • Publish a post
  • Make a comment or respond to one
  • Thank someone after a webinar

Of course you can always use them in your regular interactive life (you do have one of those, right?) Try it when you:

  • Thank a sales clerk
  • Say goodnight to your loved ones
  • Dial a phone number, or end a call
  • Pass someone on the street
  • Wave at someone

Oh, the list could go on and on.

Essentially, every and any little act, you can consciously add a blessing.

And when you bless someone you’re upset with or resentful of, the blessing can come back to you tenfold. (I’ll write more about this in a separate post. It’s uncanny what happens.)

You Can Bless Places and Spaces

Just like I did with the dentist’s office, you can bless any space whether you’re there or not.

  • Your bedroom before sleep
  • Your home before a party
  • Anywhere you’re going (store, class, etc.)
  • The road you’ll be driving on
  • Your space and your client’s space before a phone or distance session

You Can Bless Past, Present, & Future

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.

Mary Jean Iron

Another way to bless something is to honor it. Like in this quote, how do we bless this day? By appreciating it to the fullest. By being our best we can be.

You can bless certain time periods or events. You can:

  • Bless this moment
  • Bless forward in your day or week, especially if there’s an event you or your loved ones are participating in
  • Bless the results of an upcoming event, whatever they might be
  • Bless past situations, the “good” and the “bad”

Blessings All Around

So you see, the sky’s the limit.

Next time you feel like sharing the joy, send blessings. And if you feel upset, send blessings! Maybe like when I was on my way to the dentist, you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for reading today. Bless you!

And now, do you want to bless us with your comment? Do you do blessings? With what? How? What results have you noticed? Or anything else!

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Jul 062011
 

If you want a way to lift your own spirits and lend a helping hand at the same time, then here’s a quick and easy way to do that.

I don’t know about you but I’m often humbled and touched by the good hearts I see around me in the blog-o-sphere.

Tess Marshall of The Bold Life and Lance Ekum of Jungle of Life are two such hearts.

They took it upon themselves to put together a substantial e-book for you. It’s a collection of favorite posts hand-picked by over 60 writers, all meant to add a touch of goodness to your life.

And it’s free for the taking, if you’d like.

But the really great thing is that in creating and offering it they make it possible for all of us to easily make a contribution to a good cause, thus letting us express our good hearts in the process.

And what is the cause?

It’s the tornado-devastated city of Joplin, Missouri. 100% of the proceeds go directly to Heart of Missouri United Way to help the people of Joplin.

Some of us were lucky to be able to contribute articles. As for you, when you pick up your copy of the e-book, you can easily contribute dollars if you’d like. (And no donation is too small, any amount is appreciated.)

It’s an excellent way to give and receive at the same time.

So if you’re interested, you can check it out here. Grab a copy of the e-book and/or make a donation. It’s easy!

And if you’d like you can also help out by letting people know about it. You can get the graphic here to put on your site — similar to the one in my sidebar — along with a link to the e-book page. (And kudos to Sue Alexander of Inspired Type, for the attractive graphics and beautiful design.)

Thanks to Tess and Lance for making it so easy to lift our own spirits and help others at the same time.

And thank you, too!

And please spread the word by tweeting this post. It would be much appreciated!

Jun 072011
 

Something about the idea that your life might be snatched from you at any moment makes you consider what it means to you.

A little while back I mentioned I was in the midst of a health scare. Well, I’m thrilled to say I’m fine! Thank-you to those of you who wrote (in the comments and privately) to offer your support. I so much appreciate it!

A Healing Journey

During the past month, while I was in limbo on this subject, I’ve had quite the journey.

And even though I wasn’t ill (as it turns out), I find myself more whole now than I was before.

And I continue to heal, from wounds of all kinds.

I’m eager to tell you about some of what’s transpired and the significant gifts I’ve been given. Because they’re available to you, too, if you decide to accept them.

I’ll do this over a number of posts (and/or maybe an e-booklet, I haven’t decided).

And for now, here’s one of them. Enjoy.

A Moment of Irritation

Last week, my husband made a call to a store to ask about something. The woman transferred his call to a different department. It rang and rang. Eventually she came back on, and he explained that he just had a simple question and wondered if she could help him.

He hears a huge sigh from the other end of the phone. Eventually he got his question answered, but here’s where our story takes off. At the sigh.

It struck me. She’s getting paid to help people. Okay, maybe she has a more defined role within that job description, but when you work with customers, you help people.

Embrace The Moment

What if, instead, she had said/thought “How can I help you?” with a true desire to help and with some amount of enthusiasm? Sincerely shifting her focus to be of help and embracing that new direction as exactly where she was supposed to be in that moment?

I’m not judging her. We’ve all been there, at least I have. Stressed. Behind. Irritated at those things life throws at us that are not on our agendas.

But I’ve got a new appreciation for the saying “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”

I know she’d have had a much more pleasant moment (and so would my husband and possibly other callers) had she been able to turn on a dime and embrace the moment as it was. Even if she still needed to delegate him off to someone else, it would have a whole different energy than the chore that it seemed to be.

That’s Nice, But…

Probably we’ve all thought about this idea, and even applied it to some degree.

But if you’re like me, you often slip back into old patterns, and before you know it you’re back at your agenda and getting annoyed at anything that pulls you from it.

The difference is that this time I haven’t done that.

Why? Well…

I think it’s because I’ve gained a new appreciation for life. I’ve been reminded in a big way of how precious it is.

And this kind of thing is exactly what life is.

And I love life.

I’m tired of fighting against it in any way, shape, or form. I really don’t want to do that any more. Lord knows I’ve already done my share of it, plus some.

Life Is a Gift

When I was 29, I got clean and sober. I could so easily have died many times over while I was out there using whatever various and sundry drugs came my way. But I didn’t. I don’t know why. It was grace. A gift. A second chance. A third, fourth, and a fifth (pun intended).

My life today is all extra! Free!

And so is yours, if you think about it.

It’s all icing on the cake.

So, I’m done complaining about the icing on my cake.

I don’t care if it’s too sweet, if it’s chocolate ganache when I want vanilla butter-cream, or vanilla when I want chocolate, or whatever. Okay, maybe I do care, but that’s normal. That’s a preference. Preferences are also a delectable part of life.

I am watching myself bid goodbye to the futile exercise of resisting what is.

Resistance feels yukky and I don’t want to waste my life feeling yukky.

We’re alive, for God’s sake! Alive! And Life happens for us, not to us. I mean, what a precious gift to be walking this earth right now.

Seriously.

Rediscover the Joy

Here’s an exercise that can help this way of being become more automatic.

Watch for moments when you find yourself feeling:

  • irritated
  • annoyed
  • impatient
  • stressed
  • angry
  • resentful
  • fed up

(It works with any emotion but these are the easiest to start with.)

When you notice you’re feeling that way, ask yourself:

  1. What if I just wasn’t here (on earth, alive) at all? Which is the better alternative?
  2. What if all this is “extra” life? A bonus? A free gift? (Dessert, if you will ;-) ?)
  3. What if nothing has to be a certain way, and I’m just here to enjoy the experience of it and experience the joy of it?
  4. How would I feel about this situation then?

It doesn’t mean you aren’t supposed to feel how you feel. Feeling is a part of your energy body and is a great indicator of what’s going on at other levels of your being.

And it doesn’t mean that you don’t make note of the discomfort and go about changing the situation if it makes sense to do so.

But if you sincerely ask and answer those questions, you’ll find it much more easy to embrace that situation fully and to move forward from there.

You’ll no longer resist or fight it, but instead, you’ll be in the flow of it. In the flow of your own life as it is.

And then comes the magic.

Your emotion will lose its charge. It will bend and shift a little — or maybe even a lot.

Everything becomes just kind of amazing. Everything.

And you’ll be able to embrace your life as though you had chosen it. (Because, of course, you have.)

You’ll truly enjoy it, all the way down to your toes.

And maybe best of all — at least for us cake lovers? You’ll realize that you do, indeed, get to have your cake and eat it too. And you get to love each and every bite.

Your Turn

Please let me know how this works for you. I’m very curious if I’ve managed to home in on and communicate the mindset that has made such a difference for me.

Or maybe you have variations on these questions or altogether different ones that help you more. Please share!

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May 232011
 

Dying’s not a sin; not living is.

Jack Lemmon’s character Jake in the movie Dad

I’m in the midst of a bit of a health scare, and have been finding myself examining just what this thing called life actually is, and what it means to me. Of course, I’ve done this before, but situations like this (and on the tails of just having lost my sweet Jasmine) bring a sudden raw clarity about how precious and fleeting our lives are that just isn’t always there otherwise.

On Roses and Poo

We’ve all heard the expression “Stop and smell the roses”. This is great advice. Some of us have gotten really good at it, too.

The problem comes when we get a whiff of poo. I have yet to hear the expression “Stop and smell the poo.” And just for the record, I’m not exactly suggesting that.

But what I am suggesting is that you do stop and appreciate that you can smell the poo. (And the roses too, I suppose. ;-) )

Now, Law of Attraction people (of which I am one, to a degree) would say that the poo provides contrast so you can become more aware that you want roses. That you don’t have to settle for poo but instead can attract roses. This may be.

Life and Its Content

But even at best, the Law of Attraction still only addresses the content of your life. As fun as it may be to learn how to attract roses instead of poo, you’re still just playing in a world of manifestation. Of content.

And by content, I mean everything that appears to be other than your unchanging true nature, your essence. That includes your thoughts, emotions, psychological makeup, energy body, physical body, etc. Even these that seem so close are content.

And life itself is bigger than just content. Much bigger.

The real thrill is learning how to relate to that content so that you can appreciate the richness of it all. All of it. Even the poo.

To be really alive, no matter what.

A poo-free life of roses sounds nice. But even if possible, would it be? Really? Would life be anywhere near as interesting with no challenges, no “negatives”, no poo?

Embrace It All

By far, the best practice I’ve run across (and I’ve run across plenty) in this regard was discovered by John Sherman of River Ganga.

The simple practice he teaches pulled me out of the quicksand of what was becoming an alarming depression after a few huge blows that left me gasping for air.

The need to keep a distance from your own life, the need to maintain a wary watchfulness over what’s coming and going in your own life … that need vanishes. It just goes away.

And life is revealed to be what it’s always been, which is an endlessly challenging, rewarding adventure that is deeply interesting in its own right; that is unpredictable, wondrous; that consists of problems and solutions, desires and aversions that come and go, that have no effect other than to capture our interest.

John Sherman, A Worldwide Meeting – March 12, 2011

And as I continue to do “the looking” as he calls it, my relationship with this fascinating thing called life continues to improve.

John’s simple approach is radical and powerful, and he is a generous and humble man. I can’t recommend him enough.

And if you go to his site, I’d love to hear what you think.

The Privilege of Life

On a related note, my sweet, 79-years-young friend Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker is launching his course today titled “How to Look (and Feel) 10 Years Younger in 4 Weeks”. Christopher has a beautiful spirit and much experience and wisdom about how to fully embrace life.

But aging isn’t an enemy. And it doesn’t need to be a drag. It’s a privilege, rightly.

Christopher Foster (from his new course)

I was lucky to be able to review his course materials and can tell you that if you actually do this course you will come away with useful insights and new habits that can make a marked improvement in how you experience life — no matter what your age.

I just know you’ll love his simple yet profound wisdom, and this world will be a better place because of his sharing of it.

And while you’re at it, check out his interview today on our mutual friend Tess’s inspiring blog The Bold Life.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Apr 232011
 

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that flow,
I am the sunlight on my own grave,

I am a gentle autumn rain,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there I did not die.

Lizzie West:  “Prayer”

I’ve found some comfort in listening to this evocative and hauntingly beautiful song these past few days.

3 days ago, my husband and I made the decision to help Jasmine, our sweet 13-year old boxer, take leave of her pain-wracked body. When she was young she could run like the wind, and we hope that’s what she’s doing again. She so loved it!

Lately we’d been working with the vet trying different pain meds for what we thought was an intensification of her life-long arthritis, but nothing seemed to help.

We found out Tuesday that she had bone cancer and that the already constant pain would only continue to get worse.

We made an appointment for the next day and brought her home for one last night so we could all have a little love-fest and say our goodbyes.

Of course we were and are heartbroken, but there was no question it was time. It’s so hard to take the life of anyone or anything, especially a beloved family member (which she definitely was). But in this case I actually felt some relief being able to help provide her with a release from her suffering. I am so grateful for the ability to do that, and for the loving manner in which our vet and her assistants handled everything.

The Initial Death Experience

When I was in my 20′s, I had a near-death experience. I was right on the brink of departing permanently, yet obviously, still had enough connection to my body to be able to choose to stay. (And it was a choice.)

But the point I want to make here is that it was such a liberating experience! Words cannot describe how expansive and freeing it was to move out of my body and let go, and I was not even in a painful body.

I knew for that brief moment that everything was perfectly fine. And not just there in the spirit world, but even here in the physical realm. Everything. Perfect. Fine. There was no stress, no tension, no anything but bright freedom and goodness.

My life had been so terribly heavy by contrast.

Still, I did decide to “come back”, in fact it was a little difficult to actually do it and I thank my lucky stars I was able to (it was a close call).

I didn’t get so far away as some who actually see other beings and go to “the light”. But it was enough to give me a taste of the experience of dying.

Remembering that was so helpful to me as we watched Jasmine go. I just knew that she was flying free at long last, just as I had done that day. That she was free of her crippling pain. Free of what she obviously held as her serious responsibility of taking care of us even while debilitated. Free and at ease. Liberated. Happy? I hope so.

Luminarias (a New Mexico tradition) on Jasmine's grave

A Goodbye, and a Hello

And so I know that even as we say goodbye to this awesome, sensual life experience here on this beautiful planet with all our fellow creatures, we are — at the same time — entering into another level of what can only be thought of as life as well.

Over the days we prepared for our goodbyes, I was struck by how many times I noticed signs of new life. New buds on the newly transplanted tree. Bright, lime-green leaves popping out on all the large trees along the road. Little flowers blooming even in the sand of this high desert.

I also notice that little birds keep appearing in the oddest of places, and every so often I hear new birdsongs that I haven’t heard in almost a year.

And today the hummingbirds have arrived for the season. How perfect is that?

New Birth, Resurrection, Renewal

And so on that note I wish you a Happy Easter. I hope you get to experience the vibrant sense of renewal that this holiday — this holy day — brings.

And just like the little hatchling of the symbolic Easter egg, may you feel the wonder and vigor of being born anew.

Even if, like us, you’re experiencing some sorrow or loss, may you also experience the sense of newness that that very same transition often brings with it if you but pay attention. For they are two sides of the same coin, after all.

And isn’t it just all a part of the richness of this thing called life? Precious, every bit of it.

If you enjoyed this post, please retweet and share it with your friends. Thank you!

Feb 142011
 

This seems like an auspicious day to let our hearts loose. Don’t you think?

And who knows what that will look like … feel like …

(Probably pretty good!)

It’s time to play!

Check in with your heart and you’ll know I’m right.

At least that’s what my heart is saying to me.

Enough! of the control.

Enough! of the planning.

Enough! trying to do it “right”.

If I listen, my heart says to lighten up.

If I listen, I have a new direction. Inward. And outward.

Toward expression, expansion, and experimentation.

Based on my heart song.

Toward freedom … no, not toward it but reveling in the freedom that is already at hand.

Toward lila, Divine play. Creating freely, for the joy of it.

If not now, when?

I’m listening today. Are you?

Stop a moment.

Right now. Close your eyes. Listen to your heart. (Smile. That helps you hear it. :-D )

What is your heart saying? How can you let it sing today?

Will you?

Happy Valentine’s Day! I wish you a happy heart and joyous creating.

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Jan 312011
 

Float! That’s right. Just float.

Today is one of those days. I went to bed excited about the new week beginning. I tossed and turned thinking (okay, worrying) about what I would post today, trying to decide among several ideas. They tumbled around in my head all night.

But this morning, by the time I was sitting here ready to write, I couldn’t bring myself to write about any of those things. It was the last thing I wanted to do. Not because I didn’t want to write, per se, but because I felt too gloomy to want to do anything, much less write a (God-forbid) cheery or (God-help-me) helpful post.

Why? I have no idea. But we all feel like this from time to time, don’t we?

Just like in the old Larry Sanders Show when Larry’s all bummed out about being rebuffed by a woman, we sometimes want to just put on our dark glasses, lie on the couch, and say “Don’t wanna” to everything.

But we can’t always do that. Sometimes we just have too much to do. Or so we’ve decided. And so we press forward.

We try to be little troopers, but only succeed in making false starts. In the end we decide we were just wasting time, which makes us feel even worse.

I have to admit, it’s not that I even mind feeling how I’m feeling. It’s more that it’s hard to get done what I think I have to do when I’m feeling this way. So I naturally assume if I can somehow get myself to feel better, I can then breeze through my tasks.

And anyway, I tell myself, it feels good to feel good. Right?

On that premise, I visit a few inspiring blogs thinking that surely they will cheer me up. I read a post about laughter, complete with a video that I’m guessing should have got me laughing, but it didn’t. It just bored me.

But then it hit me. A reminder of something I’ve already learned, time and again.

Being In Tune With Cycles

There really is something healing about being in tune with ourselves, including our cycles. We have so many cycles influencing us from “out there” and also those that we ourselves are a part of.

There’s a New Moon tomorrow. That’s one good indication that today is a day to be finishing things instead of expecting a bright fresh energy for new beginnings. And since today is Monday, the Moon’s day, it makes that lunar energy even stronger.

Waning Moon is a good time for completing unfinished business and as I think about that, it occurs to me that I have a lot of little odds and ends that it would be good to finish up. They can suck the life right out of you if just left dangling.

And women, especially, are in tune with and responsive to lunar cycles, as well as our own related hormonal cycles. Don’t even try to tell me (or my husband, for that matter) that these don’t have an impact. Full and New Moons, especially, are influential times of the month.

It’s also gloomy outside. It’s winter here for God’s-sake! There’s a storm moving in and we’re expecting to get almost a foot of snow. It’s a perfect time to nestle in and replenish.

I imagine myself curled up on the couch with a good book, and realize that it’s not that I don’t want to do anything. I am itching to curl up with a chart that I want to look at for a client. That is calling to me. (Soon, chart, I will be there soon…)

As I look at my own chart (jyotish), I also see that right now Saturn is exactly on my Sun. As a Vedic astrologer, that speaks volumes to me, saying it’s not so odd that my light (the Sun) is feeling squashed (by oppressive Saturn) and that I am feeling heavy today for whatever reason. We all have many levels of recurring cycles going on in our lives at any given time.

Jyotish also has something called “dasas” or planetary periods, showing when certain influences will come to the fore in our lives. Right now, I have a strong Moon influence, so I am especially susceptible to this New Moon coming up tomorrow, as are you if you are running a Moon period.

Recognizing Our Sensitivity

There’s also the influence of what is going on in the world at large. I’m often affected by goings-on in the world, especially heavy, difficult events. I think we all are, it’s just that some of us are more sensitive to and aware of how it affects us.

And then there are those I love or am connected to in some strong way, and I often pick up on their moods. (Exactly at this point in typing this, my husband came into my office quite upset. It seems we missed an important filing deadline that we didn’t know about until today related to our finances. This can potentially have a major impact. See?)

But those of us who are empaths, especially, pick up on feelings of those we love from long distances too.  My husband and I regularly run the same emotional currents, even when apart. And most of us have several close loved ones we are not in touch with every day, so we never even know that’s why we were in certain inexplicable moods.

Our Own Subtle Selves

And sometimes, it really is “just us” (as if we actually could be separated from all these other influences), and there are feelings percolating to the surface related to our own feelings that we are not consciously aware of at the moment.

These can be regular emotions such as stress, or they can be intuitive feelings about our own well-being, such as a reluctance to do something because perhaps we know at a deep level that it is not what we are “supposed” to be doing.

Let It Be – aka Float

I often think that we have become a bit too removed from ourselves, from nature, and from natural cycles and events. I also think we are doing ourselves a disservice to forge ahead regardless.

So, my conclusion and recommendation is that when days like this roll around — and roll around they will — see if you can just go with the flow. Perhaps there are a few things you absolutely have to do, so you must do them. But other than that, don’t worry about how you feel and you’ll find that it doesn’t actually feel so bad even to feel bad. :-)

For after all, at the very deepest level, there’s simply us. The abiding self that is simply enjoying being. No special moods or activities are necessary; in fact, they are irrelevant. All is well, all the time, no matter what.

And see if you can possibly respond to that call to withdraw a bit and not be in output mode, ever doing, doing, doing. You will find refreshment there, be much more together tomorrow, and be all the happier and healthier today as well. At least that’s how it works for me.

Or maybe I just needed more caffeine this morning.

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Jan 052011
 

“We’re here to live this storm of wild wonder that is the unfolding of phenomena within our minds, within our consciousness. And when the fear of it goes, then our reception of it is wondrous beyond belief.”

John Sherman, at a Worldwide Online Meeting, Dec. 18, 2010

A few nights ago, I was kneeling on the living room floor with our two dogs as they vied for and got my full attention. The little old slobbery boxer nuzzled under one arm while the goofy, angora-soft lab pushed his way under the other. Multi-colored Christmas lights sparkled around the window, and the hauntingly beautiful, other-worldly music of Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco filled the room.

Suddenly I found myself having an experience of rapture. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt that movement around my heart. You know the feeling –  that humming like there’s an earthquake starting in there? I could barely contain myself.

I was simply and excruciatingly thrilled to be alive. Intensely and unreservedly alive. And every cell in my body was bursting with the wonder of it.

Don’t you just love it when you feel such appreciation for the gift of being alive?

Embrace the Storm of Wild Wonder

It’s not that I was happy because I have my precious dogs, am in a warm & cozy house, am married to the love of my life, or any/all of the obviously positive gifts that have been bestowed upon me.

I was happy even though I don’t have a fancy house, I lost my life saving a few years ago, I’m a basket case when it comes to being productive, and despite all the apparently difficult or challenging situations that have presented themselves.

As far as I could tell, I was happy because I was saying yes to it — to all of it — fully and completely. I was momentarily allowing myself to fully embrace life without the fear that is so often lurking around in the nooks and crannies. I was without the often-present sense that I am somehow at stake here. I wasn’t keeping life at arm’s length for fear that I would be hurt. I wasn’t judging some things as good and others as bad.

This means saying yes to the adventure. For me right now that’s to the launching of a brand new career at the ripe old age of 56. For you, of course, it’s whatever comprises your adventure; those things that excite you and challenge you at the same time.

But at an even deeper level, we say yes to trusting enough in the now to let go of control (as if we ever had control anyway).

We say yes to being alive in a world where everything changes every minute and every second. Where nothing is ever the same from one blink of the eye to the next. Where the unknown looms hugely in front of us, and there are no guarantees.

We say yes to allowing the living, breathing being that we are to be fully alive and to shine its light gloriously in each and every moment.

Dissolve the Fear

Of course this exhilarating fearlessness occurs in our lives from time to time. But isn’t it always rather fleeting? Lately, it’s becoming much less so for me, and more and more a part of who I am.

I’m sure that’s in large part because just over a year ago I discovered a simple – dirt simple – process that has been slowly but surely dissolving the fear, just as promised.

This fear-dissolving process consists of a simple act of looking. Looking at yourself. And I don’t mean psychologically or emotionally. I don’t even mean spiritually. I mean looking at who or what you are at your core. The simple nature of you.

And you don’t even have to see who or what you are, or understand it. You just have to look. And if you do this periodically, then over time the fear melts away.

Is that amazing or what?

I’ll continue to share on this blog what it feels like to have the existential fear of life gradually disappear, and the significant impact it’s had on my experience of life.

I’ll also share more about how you can do it even though I’ve already said it all (yes, it really is that simple).

For now though, if you’re interested in learning more, you can hear it from the proverbial horse’s mouth at River Ganga Foundation. John and Carla Sherman offer a bounty of information in the form of transcripts, audios, videos, and their book Look at Yourself.

I’ve been a spiritual aspirant all my life yet this is a whole new paradigm from anything I’ve ever come into contact with. I highly recommend you check it out.

What are you saying yes to, or what might you want to say yes to that you’ve not? Please share!

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Nov 232010
 

We’ve all heard the phrase “count your blessings” and probably most of us do that quite often.

What we don’t always realize is that we’re neglecting to count some of our best ones because they’re tucked away in places we don’t think to consider.

If we take even a few moments to look we can find some of our most precious treasures buried among our discards. We quickly or even unconsciously judge certain things or experiences to be useless, inferior or even bad, and we toss them away, out of sight, out of mind.

We forget to notice the silver lining.

Gifts from Tragedy

Just last night, I heard of the death of a former classmate and old friend. He died of a sudden heart attack. This was sad enough but it came on the heels of the death of another classmate just a few weeks ago. Both cases are sad in their own way, and although I hadn’t seen one of them in many years, I still felt the loss.

Yet right along with the sadness of his death came a deep appreciation for the fact that I get to be alive. I mean, I’m alive! How cool is that?

If not for this tragedy,  I wouldn’t be experiencing my aliveness to the extent that I am this moment. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be thinking about or appreciating it at all.

And so, this new-found appreciation is a gift of this tragedy.

So this was one example, which just happens to be related to someone else’s misfortune. We easily gain new awareness of the blessings in our own lives when we notice how difficult life is for someone else, including many across the world.

More Hidden Gems

But there is also a benefit to considering our own tragedies and our own difficulties.

For hidden within them are deep and precious gifts.

I can say without a doubt that my most profound blessings have been borne of difficulty. And often the most trying situations bear the greatest gifts. They’re not all in the past, either. There are ongoing challenges, too, that are leaving little gifts in their wake, some I’m sure I haven’t even noticed yet.

The Discovery Process

One of the ways to spirit them out so we can avail ourselves of what they have to offer is to consider these questions and see if they reveal themselves. Some, if not most, are gifts not only to us but to others as well.

Here’s an exercise you can do:

Think of one major difficulty you’ve had, or something you’re going through now.

Got it?

Ok, now, go through these questions one by one with that experience in mind.

For any one situation, most of the questions will not apply. When that’s the case, just move on to the next question.

But there will probably be a handful of questions that will give you pause, and you will see that something new and wonderful entered your life when all you saw at the time was something that you just wanted to get rid of.

And if you have the time, take that moment to explore that question further in whatever way makes sense.

And now, may you discover some gems. :-)

  1. What did you learn that you are using to this day? Would you have learned it without that experience?
  2. Did you develop new skills that you benefit from, share, or enjoy?
  3. Did you become a better person? Did you discover or strengthen a part of your character that has been of value?
  4. Did you have to learn to ask for help? Was a new friendship developed because of that?
  5. Did anyone else benefit from what you went through?
  6. Were you able to help others in similar situations because of your experience?
  7. Did you discover new resources? Or friends you didn’t know you had?
  8. Did you let go of something that was not good for you, even if painful or disorienting at the time?
  9. Did you develop a new perspective on what’s good and what’s bad?
  10. Do you have a new set of values that feels better?
  11. Have you gained compassion and/or a more open heart?
  12. Have you learned how to let go of resentments, or to not develop them in the first place?
  13. Did you have the rug pulled out from under you, only to eventually land in a better place?
  14. If this was a loss of some sort, did something new and wonderful move into your life to fill the empty space that wouldn’t have been there otherwise?
  15. Have you learned how to let go of things when called for?
  16. Do you find any benefit to the impermanence of things? Does it give you an appreciation for things in the moment that you might not have had otherwise?
  17. Did you discover a different apparent source, or a new kind of flow? Is there less fear?
  18. Were you disillusioned? Do you have a new clarity about things, a new realism?
  19. Have you had a shift in your reality? A paradigm shift in what’s meaningful?
  20. Did you discover that you are okay no matter what?

You can repeat this as often as you’d like with any difficult situation.

Do you feel a little more blessed than when you started this exercise?

This exercise could easily include more questions. This set is subjective based on my experiences. I’m certain you have your own list and your own unique blessings that have come from your own difficulties as well. You can always add to it or replace questions as you see fit.

And of course, a few of these things may enter our lives even without difficulties, but it’s been my experience that difficulty is a sure catalyst for tremendous growth.

I dare say that without challenges, life wouldn’t be nearly so rich as it is.

Do you have any questions you’d like to add to this list? Or gifts you’ve gained from what felt like an unredeemable situation at the time? We’d love to hear.

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Nov 012010
 

Beauty can lighten depression, cure the doldrums, and uplift a heavy mood.

If you’re already happy, it can burst your heart wide open and send you soaring to new heights.

Whenever I make a list of things that are important to me, beauty is always right there at the top. I don’t know if I could live without it — or if I would want to.

To me, beauty is as vital as the air we breathe.

I see it with my eyes as I look around this beautiful red-rock canyon where I live in the high desert of northern New Mexico. I hear it with my ears as I listen to the birds singing, or our sweet dogs crunching contentedly on their nightly biscuits before bed.

I see it over and over as I browse around in the blogosphere. You boggle my mind with your amazing talent at expressing yourselves so beautifully, either with your words or your creations.

And I feel it as I digest your messages and appreciate the beauty of your spirits.

Sharing Beauty is Awesome

And now I get to share some beauty with you.

I was recently touched to receive the Beautiful Blogger Award from the lovely Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker. Thank you, Christopher! It’s especially welcome coming from someone who is himself so beautiful. He offers up such a nice space that I find myself drawn to return again and again.

As a condition of receiving this award, I’m asked to:

  • Share 7 things about me that you probably don’t know
    (easy since I am pretty new here)
  • Pass the award on to 5 other beautiful bloggers
    (easy even though I am pretty new here)

Here goes!

7 Things You May Not Know About Me

  1. I had a near death experience when I was in my 20′s. I didn’t die all the way and come back like some people do, but it was remarkable and something I’ll never forget. Indescribably peaceful.
  2. I’ve had a diary (aka journal) all my life, and still do. It’s a real-time record of my hopes and dreams, struggles and triumphs. I’m sure I will incorporate some of it into this blog when it’s helpful. At one point I laughed noticing that if anyone read it they would think I had a horrible life, because for awhile I used it as a way to work out my issues, and it got ignored when things were going well.
  3. I used to think astrology was ridiculous until it actually helped me through a rough patch, and with flying colors. I wondered how it could have possibly been so accurate and helpful and got so fascinated trying to answer that question that I jumped right into a serious study of  it. And here I am now, a certified Vedic astrologer!
  4. In fact, I’m an avid do-it-myselfer. I’m endlessly curious and I love to learn. Combine that with my natural frugality and most of the things I think I can benefit from frequently I just learn how to do myself. That was the story with my astrology and channeling, and it’s been true of my holistic healing modalities and dozens of other things as well. Right now I am in the throes of learning about blogging and I enjoy the learning so much that I barely have (okay, make) time to actually DO it!
  5. I haven’t washed my hair in 3 years. Really! But it’s not as gross as it sounds, I promise. The book Curly Girl became my hair-care “bible” and I learned to not use detergents (aka shampoo) on my hair. I do use conditioner mixed with water and lemon to wash my scalp and I do clean my hair but with water and conditioner, bla bla bla. I’ve never had more compliments in my life.
  6. I’m a born catalyst. I had a past life reading a few decades ago, and was told that being a catalyst is one of my main roles this time around. I soon began to notice how obviously true it was (even before the reading) and continues to be even today. I have been THE impulse for major life change for lots of people, some of whom are close and some of whom have just passed through briefly. It’s very rewarding.
  7. I’ve gone without T.V. but prefer to go with it. I very much enjoy good films and good comedy. I lean toward foreign and independent, not so much blockbusters but I am taken by these new 3-D movies. (Did I mention I used to love hallucinogens?) I can hardly stand that Project Runway is over for the season (so FUN!) and I think they blew it big time by not recognizing the über talented Mondo as the CLEAR winner… agree?

And now I get to pass on this award!

5 Beautiful Bloggers

Here are some beautiful blogs and even more beautiful bloggers — how else could they be expressing such beauty?!

Breathe these in…

  1. The very first blogger I thought of because she so epitomizes the word “beautiful” with her blog was Cristina Colli of Positively Beauty. Everything about her is uplifting and her blog is a luscious treat. Cristina has the most beautiful photos and her design series is phenomenal!
  2. Another beautiful person with a beautiful blog is my friend and sister-in-law Silke Powers of Metamorphosis. I almost didn’t list her here because not only does she already have 27 blogger awards but one of them is this one! But that was from waaay last April, an eternity in the cyber-world, so I think it’s time it comes around again. ;-) If you go take a look, you’ll see why she is so beloved. Her whole blog, including her artwork, knitwear, and photos are so beautiful, and I can testify that she is too — inside and out. (Yes, her husband Daniel is my very talented brother. Daniel’s work is awesome!)
  3. And then there is Eliza Fayle of Silver & Grace. This is now an e-magazine but I discovered her with this post and I was hooked. Don’t you agree she and her blog are beautiful?! I just love this movement of embracing the aging process not to mention the resultant product (yes, that’s us!) Yay!
  4. Kara Thompson of  Conduit of Joy is a beautiful spirit and her blog is wonderful. I returned often to keep up with her fascinating interview series “Coming out of the Psychic Closet”, and now she’s a happy habit. I also enjoy running across her thoughtful comments which seem to be sprinkled all over the web!
  5. And finally, there is Michelle at The Creative Healing Studio. I’ve only just recently discovered Michelle but as with the others the beauty of her blog and the parts of her that shine through it have attracted me, so I will be a regular visitor for now. See if you agree — her artwork alone is worth a look!

And so, congratulations to these 5 ladies and all of you creative beauty-bearers who are reading this right now! Thank you and may you continue to share your abundant good work for as long as it fulfills you.

And now, please share these beautiful links with others — and do leave a little of your own beauty behind for us here in the comment section!

The world is a more beautiful place because of you.

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