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Healing

A Writers Retreat, A Miracle, Say Yes!

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“You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a woman must think of herself in her heart, because this is what she is.” –A Course in Miracles

I attended the “Women Writers in the Redwoods” conference last year. Thirty women came and were coached by five teachers in an incredible setting at Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center outside of Coralitas, California. Today, I found out I could have a discount/partial scholarship. I immediately wrote back and said, “Yes.” Within a few minutes, a friend asked a favor, and paid for the rest of the conference.

A powerful word, yes!

I do believe in saying yes, even when I don’t necessarily know how its all going to work out. I’m always amazed when events are orchestrated to bring a gift. The retreat last year helped me recommit to my writing. I started blogging, writing my next book, and rejoined a poetry writing group. The retreat this year will help me continue my writing journey, make new writerly friends, and see again all the wonderful women I met last year. And I know there will be unknown mystery gifts coming too.

Just morning while reading a book on meditation, creativity, and joy, I thought I would like to join a meditation class. This isn’t a meditation class, but it is held at  a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center in the Santa Cruz mountains. I do plan on meditating while there.

I must remember what the Course in Miracles says, “Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. They are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.”

Ah life, ah angels, thank you, thank you for your gifts. And remember, when opportunity shows up, say yes.

What unexpected gifts have you received lately? Any miracles to report?

 

 

Finding A Spirit Guide, I Mean Bird!

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At my “Artist Way Class” we played with clay, let our hands do the talking, and were introduced to an animal guide for the class. My clay morphed from hawk to pelican. My guide, the pelican, has been showing up all week.

I was above Seabright Beach on the cliffs when this large, wide winged bird floated up on the wind  level with my view of him. Oh, so majestic and ancient looking at the same time. I am for a moment transported into the mystery – the feeling that everything in life is orchestrated and in divine order.

According to Animals Speak by Ted Andrews, pelicans symbolically represent the ability “to be buoyant and rest on the top in spite of life’s circumstances. The pelican teaches that no matter how difficult life becomes, no matter how much you plunge, you can pop to the surface.”

I drew the picture above in my drawing class at Cabrillo College. I had fun getting to know pelicans through drawing them. Such amazing birds! The Audubon Society says of them, “An unmistakable bird of coastal waters. Groups of Brown Pelicans fly low over the waves in single file, flapping and gliding in unison. Their feeding behavior is spectacular, as they plunge headlong into the water in pursuit of fish.”

Call on a pelican when you’re going through challenging times and plunging to meet life’s challenges. Know you can just rest on the spiritual waters, no matter what is going on in your life. Ask the pelicans for their magic and power!

What birds are you attracted to? What do you think they mean to you spiritually? What message are they giving you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Calls

A Poem Dedicated to Madyson Middleton and Laura Jordan of Santa Cruz, California

 

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She calls, provides me with a simple life,

a life on the San Lorenzo River,

overlooking pink eucalyptus and pine.

She urges ­– become a painter, a writer,

live in an intentional arts community.

 

Some mornings, coffee in hand,

cat on my lap, I marvel.

I am suppose to paint, write,

I am suppose to contemplate,

drink it in, the flash of

of the iridescent blue jay,

against the forest green.

 

Called, yes, thirty-three years ago,

a sudden awakening, a rebirth.

I was led to the Unity Prayer Room,

Lee Summit, Missouri,

praying with people from

the U.S, the world.

 

I learned,

“Be still and know I am God.

Be still and know I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.”

 

My vocation included sitting for a

half-hour in the dead of night, winter,

in the dimly lit chapel

where prayer had been

continuous for ninety years.

 

I did my best, I didn’t understand,

how I’d arrived there,

but, I was deeply honored;

my own wounds healing.

 

It’s as if I’m on an invisible path,

sometimes lit, sometimes not,

headed north, slowly, following a map of

valleys and mountains without designation,

but with stars and moon revealed.

 

And just last summer

a little girl, Maddy, eight,

a neighbor on the first floor,

was murdered by another

neighbor, fifteen, a sick boy

who just wanted to know what

it felt like to kill someone.

 

On this holy ground,

Tibetian monks performed

an exorcism – with loud clanging

bells, gongs, and drums.

They chanted for a good hour,

red and gold robes in dim light

in our community room,

releasing, cleansing, and purifying.

If only it was that easy.

I and others, children too,

lit candles and prayed for days.

 

I was called to offer

a light of a painting,

red and gold, “Golden Spirit,”

to Laura, Maddy’s brave mother.

Now I know why,

in all this light and darkness too,

why ­–

I paint, pray, and write.

 

 

 

 

Happy, Oh God, It’s Valentine’s Day

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I know it’s a little late, but hey, we still have hours to go. I hope all you single people on the planet, I think its half of us, yes billions, have a truly great day. And everyone else.

Here in Santa Cruz, California, the weather has been like a beautiful painting, more spring/summer than winter. Yes, we worry, but we love these days. 76 degrees. Okay, did you notice how I changed the topic to a very safe topic? The weather!

Well, I must admit, even though I had a great Valentines Day and weekend, I still have/had this hysterical little girl (ten) within who is worried about all the classmates who didn’t give me a Valentine’s Day card in 1962. I’ve attempted taking care of her, multiple trips to See’s Candy, new earrings, and crazy texts to my boyfriend who can’t wait until this holiday is over.

Just for fun this morning, my boyfriend and I had a fight about Hilary and Bernie. I like them both. He, for some reason, wants to tell me all these very questionable stories, thirty plus years of them, spread globally by Hilary haters, about Hilary, my hero. Really, when she was in the White House, they, men and women,  just wanted her to bake cookies and serve tea 1800’s style. They didn’t want her to think or work on any of our many health or education issues.

I found this from Hamburger – “Hilary really is a paradox. In Gallup polling, Hillary Clinton has been voted the most admired woman in the world 17 times, yet The New York Times is on record as having called her the “most hated First Lady” ever. The media have referred to her has “nagging”, “controlling” and “conniving” but also as “loyal”, “fearless” and “intelligent.”

Just so you know, my still boyfriend and I have agreed not to ever talk about Hilary again. It’s our “H” word. He is now taking me out to dinner. Thank God.

And don’t you love this badass Hilary quote – “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession.” But paradoxically, you can now find Hilary’s chocolate chip cookie recipe online here – http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a4436/hillary-clintons-chocolate-chips-893/

So investigate Hilary for yourself and tell me what you find. And do have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

 

Dark Morning of the Soul

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Sometimes, even our mornings can seem dark. Sometimes, the hardest thing is just to get up, as if we have come back from a sad dream. When this happens to me, I ask the angels for help. I might remember to pray, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.” Then my hungry cat, Pangea, will pounce on me until I’m up. Peet’s coffee is also waiting for me…

I hope you have a lighter, brighter day!

Stand Up for Yourself

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Speaking up for yourself is a form of self care. I don’t know why its still hard for me, but it is. So when I do say my truth– I feel like I’m putting a grey film on the day. I hear you, girlfriend. I know that’s ridiculous! But, I do. But hey, sometimes I’m just stating the obvious!

So speak up, stand up! Just like this red flower sitting in a bed of prickly succulent arms. Say it with love, or whatever, just say it. Hey, we don’t have to be perfect.

What aren’t you saying that possibly would help move your life forward? See you tomorrow.

Fifteen Self Care Ideas

IMG_2436Sometimes, when all is too busy and spinning, the best thing you can do is take a time out and practice nurturing yourself.  Here is a short list of kind ways to take care of yourself.

Mind

Write a new affirmation on a card and say it through out the day.
Start a compliments box and write down sweet things others say to you.
Go cloud watching, lie on the sand, grass or ground if you can, and breathe deeply.
Take one-minute meditations between activities and say your affirmation.
Do a mini-declutter of a book shelf, drawer or closet. Give it away to someone as a mini-gift.

Body

Go to a dance, aerobics or yoga class. Pretend you’re sixteen.
Stretch, walk or jog in your nearest park. Hug a tree.
Ask your body what it wants and listen. Then do that!
Give yourself the gift of a massage, pedicure, or manicure.
Eat your veggies, drink water, and love yourself.

Soul

See the beauty in birds, animals, plants and trees.
Watch the flames in a fire and cuddle with a cat or friend.
Cook and enjoy a healthy, delicious meal with family or friends.
Attend live music performance or play and soak in the richness.
Find and give yourself time to read a great book.

What’s your favorite self care activity? Do that. Give thanks and enjoy your day!