Thursday, June 30, 2016

Comes Around


Photo by Jacki

Six years ago one of my dear soul friends came for a visit and like all of her visits, she came with her camera strapped over her shoulder. She loves photography and there are very few moments where I can remember seeing her without her faithful machine ready to give us glimpses of the world as she sees it.

She has an eye for angles. She sees angles I just can't find. She sees colors, streams of light, gestures of the body, tilts of a blossom, expressions of humanity that tell a story of the goodness available and intended for the world. The images she records with her camera are more than the stunning portrayal of a fleeting moment, they are bread crumbs leading hearts back sources of abiding joy. Rivers of new life in a dessert of scheduled smog, and daily mundane.

Photo by Jacki
When she returned home after that trip, I received a sad message relaying that her camera had been crushed in the baggage claim. She was able to save her photos but the machine would be no more. We were both young adults. Young professionals, trying to make it doing work we loved that fulfilled us. Unfortunately, that sort of work does not always come with a paycheck that can keep you going for very long. I knew it was would to be a while before my friend could afford another camera. 

The thought of her without a camera made my heart ache. It would be like taking my right hand so that I could no longer paint. A piece of her soul would be couped up inside her, unable to fly to the depths and heights that it longed for, unable to visit the places where it belonged. The wholeness of life that she was able to experience and share through her lens should not be stopped by this mishap at the airport. 

It seemed like the most obvious thing I could ever do- I wrote her a check. I couldn't afford a whole camera and new lenses either, but I could give her something to put towards a new camera. When my mom heard the tale, she too sent my friend a check. Later, I found out that we were two of many people who heard of the death of her camera and immediately sent her some funds to buy a new one. I know that the truth that motivated me was the same powerful force that motivated her loved ones. We all believed she could not be without a camera.

Photo by Jacki
Last month, she came to visit me for the weekend. We enjoyed a much needed time of restoration and refueling, as well as some great space to catch up and enjoy one another's company. At one point, she asked me if there was anything I needed for Waked Up Studio. I explained that starting a new business is hard and involves some serious budgeting.I don't have investors or grants to work from, so I make some sales, save my money, and bide my time. The next big ticket item that I absolutely need to keep the business up is a good camera. 

I need to continually update my website and social media. I need to appropriately document my artwork and take good enough photos to be able to make prints someday. I would love to eventually be able to make video lessons and demos for my students. All of this will take a good camera. I thought it would probably be the end of the year before I could afford to buy a nice one that could fill this need. 

She started to smile and said, "Well, this is perfect."

Photo by Jacki
It turns out that her husband gave her the gift of a new camera for Christmas this year and she was looking for a home for the camera that she bought using the funds given to her that spring her camera was crushed in the airport. The very camera that I and many other people contributed towards bringing back into her life. 

I never occurred to me that this was a gesture that would come back to me. I didn't even think about the "return" on such a gift. It was not even a gift to me- it was necessary. It was obvious that she HAD to have a camera and if I could help to make that happen then that is what I must do. A dozen people gave generously, and the gifts of that camera have been given back to us over and over again as we devour her photos and enjoy her homemade cards. 

Photo by Jacki
I haven't thought about that camera in years. Today it is sitting in my living room, a gift from a friend who sees beauty in the complicated smog of a business day and believes in the transformational magic of generosity.

Photo by Jacki
I am an awed witness to the Spirit's movements and I am filled with gratitude towards this incredible woman whose heart pours out messages of love and hope that arrive at my doorstep sometimes dressed up as a package from the postal service. 



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

If you will it, it will come


Have you ever had an experience where you thought about something and then the next thing you knew, it was happening right in front of you?

This has happened to me a lot over the years. In the simplest form, I will think about my mom and then she will call me only a second after she crossed my mind. The grandest example would be my having an idea that involved someone else who I had not discussed the idea with and then that person just proposed exactly what I was thinking or made it happen. 

I am sure there are plenty of great explanations for these experiences but I am inclined to ponder- did my mind make it occur?

Over the years, I have heard stories of people who promise that you can pour your energy into the food you eat, the art you make, the relationships you want to foster or destroy. You can think about something until it seems real like you are beckoning it to life with your intentions. 

Some Native American tribes call this your "medicine". The idea that you call things out of the universe that you desire or fear. The belief that everything that is happening to you is something you have created with your will.

I once watched a documentary where people would spend time making clouds disappear by concentrating their energy on one particular cloud and slowly making it vanish. The tip, of course, was that you should start with the smaller clouds and then work your way up to the bigger ones. I admit, I have tried this but it didn't really work for me. I didn't really desire for the clouds to go away. My belief has always been that they are meant to be there and who am I to move them? That is not a good way of thinking of you were ever going to move a cloud with your mind.

A couple cloudless days ago, Joel wanted me to relay my plan for our new home and land because he wanted to be sure we were on the same page. However, it wasn't just that, he also wanted me to tell him what I have envisioned for the place because he said, "If you have been imagining it then it is going to happen and I need to be prepared for it."

I was a little taken aback by this comment. I do believe in the power of envisioning what you want to happen and I do believe we call positive and negative experiences out of the universe (even though I am not sure how far I am willing to take that belief yet). However, I was so caught off guard by his request because I had not thought about how I was manipulating our futures just by envisioning what they could be like or that I needed to include him in those musings. 

It sounds like a harmless little past time- picturing your life differently- but the truth is that you are creating a different life every time you imagine it differently. I am convinced that the minute you are able to SEE your life in a new way or a situation in a new way it is already beginning to evolve. Just claiming a hope, a joy, a fear for what is to come is going to manifest a change in your own behavior which will be like a wind sailing you into a port that resembles the experience you just innocently pictured in your mind. 

There are a lot of people who poo-poo the practice of envisioning and I understand why. I just heard the other day of a group who put all of their good vibes and available energy into trying to win the lotto. That isn't really what I mean when I talk about willing something out of the universe. I think when your will and the Creator's will for your life begin to align, things that pour from your imagination become movements in the Divine's plan. They become real because they are really part of your path. 

I don't think it happens quickly but it can. The power of our minds, our wills, our medicine, is strong. The more we believe something is the way it is, it will become that. We experience this so much more often in the negative sense, but what if we could harness this practice and envision good things for our futures?

While envisioning often brings about a physical change, what makes it a viable practice in my book is that it brings about an internal transformation. Your attitude changes. Your beliefs change. The filter from which you view the world changes which means that your experience will change. To be able to change your experience, change your own mind, is really what is going to change the world around you and bring your imaginings to life. 

So maybe I am no good at evaporating clouds with my thoughts, but I do know that I have visions for my future and those are already being woven into life around me.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Sale!


It is summer time. It is a new season. It is time for change.

With the changing of the seasons comes the need for me to feel the continual ebb and flow of energy moving through my studio and home. Like breathing, I experience the tides of spiritual movement rush through the house, bringing with it inspirations, colors, and images to create and share. In the same way, that flow pushes it's way back out of the door just like it came, only this time, it takes with it the energy from the journey I experienced within and shares it with someone new.

I am working on a new series. I am continually taking commissions. Until there is a day when I have plenty of space to work in, I will need to be vigilant about finding new homes for my prayerful pieces. 

To celebrate summer, a new start, a new season and the warm melting off of old inspirations and blossoming of new, I am having a sale on EVERYTHING in my shop. You will find all the prices have dropped and everything is discounted. I would love to see these inspirations find their way into your homes and hearts. 

Please check it out here and remember that subscribers receive special discounts, gifts, and deals every month. This month's subscribers deal is "Buy 2 and get 1 FREE". Subscribe for the coupon code by signing up on the "Gratitude List".

Thank you, always, for your continued support and interest. Each one of these pieces is not just a piece of art, it is a piece of my heart and soul. I have prayed into every single creation and you will receive that blessing written in a card on the back when you take your piece home. 




Monday, June 27, 2016

Monsoon Project

June has been a month of painting for me in Waked Up Studio. I haven't had any classes on the schedule so I have focused on commissions and new originals to offer in July. One of my commissions came from a dear friend of mine who is opening a sushi and rice bowl restaurant in Mooresville, NC. She is decorating the space and asked me to create two giant, collaged, cherry trees for highlighting a prominent corner. 

These canvases are 5 feet by 5 feet and I had to get them specially made by a guy I knew from the Art League in town. They are so huge that most of the work I have done on them has had to happen on our porch because there is not enough space for them in our tiny house. 

Learning how far a tube of acrylic paint will go or just how much gesso I will need to prepare a canvas this size has been a very valuable experience. I've dreamed of painting this big for a long time, but it has not made sense for me to explore this dream on my own with the limited space I have to work in. This commission has given me permission to imagine how this might function for me on a regular basis when I have a studio space designed for just such an undertaking (which will be made possible when we move into my grandparents home that we are refurbishing).

For now, these beauties will be installed soon to coincide with the grand opening of another location for the Joel's Sushi chain. If you are ever passing by exit 33 and feel your stomach growl, hop off and visit Monsoon for a great meal and a gander of my biggest originals to date! 


































Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ladders



Do you ever feel like your life is the game of chutes and ladders? You take one step forward and one step back but you just aren't really getting anywhere?

This morning, Joel had the first pause he has had in months and it was probably only an hour, but he chose to read from a book called, "Be Love Now" by Ram Dass. Noelle is in another growth spurt and I am on day 4 of a minimal nights sleep so he gave me another hour to try and reclaim some zzz's while he hung out with her in the den. When I zombied in to see what they were up to he greeted me with this line from the book, "The more you try to change the more things stay the same." 

I wasn't ready to be challenged so quickly after waking up so I didn't give it the thought it really deserved at the time. Instead, I made breakfast and we ate it on the porch. 

Now that a few more hours have passed and the beauty of our morning together on the porch turned into the frustration of an afternoon in the yard trying to fix our broken car, I find myself settling on that thought- the more you try to change the more things stay the same.

What the hell does that mean? 

Tired and annoyed, after an unsuccessful car repair attempt I sighed, thinking, "We just can't catch a break." But before that thought had even left my mind a filmstrip of "breaks" flashed before my eyes from the last few days. None, and I mean NONE, of our plans for our family weekend of camping in the mountains came to pass. However, it still felt like a really nice time full of little serendipities and answered prayers even in the midst of our destroyed plans and malfunctioning vehicles.

This has been one of the toughest seasons we have endured as a couple and a family. It is so full of good things that we are building towards to create a good future, but it is a very demanding season. The hardest parts aren't the physical demands but trying to conquer your own minds and hearts as we endure them. This has been a season of not giving up. Not letting the chutes of life dissuade us from living it to the fullest even when we are feeling confined by so many of our decisions and opportunities. 

When I ponder Joel's quote from the morning I just see that game from my childhood...those ladders and those red slides. As a kid, I always liked the idea of going down some of those long slides because they seemed so fun, but in the end, it meant you would have to hike all the way back up to where you were if you were ever going to win. Maybe I just didn't care about winning because climbing up that far is so much harder and demands so much more from you.

If we are going to get ahead we are going to have to climb. The steady onslaught of work at my grandparents home that we are fixing up, our cars falling apart, demands from our jobs, duties in the home where we live, diligent attention to our tight budget, needs from our child, family, friends, and all that life offers, seem to suspend us in a habitual state of just keeping our heads above water without allowing us to climb into the boat and simply enjoy the ride. 

We have to climb, one step at a time. If we give up, even for a moment, we just might slip right down one of those great, big slides. That ride down might even feel so freeing but in the end, we will just have to start over and climb back up to where we came from because our dreams and desires are not going to go away and they are not going to simply come to life on their own. We have to keep pressing on and that is the hardest part of this blessed season.

While we work steadfastly to try to make things better, what I am begging to understand is that things are already good. Fullness is already there. Goodness is already being handed to us. Yes, it is really hard and demanding AND yes, it is already good.

I think I get it now. We can try and manipulate our circumstances all we want but they will never be different if we can't change our minds. Nothing is ever going to change if we can't change how we perceive our experiences. 

For me, I keep climbing and on the climb, though I am sore and tired and frustrated, I stop to receive the gifts along the way and they are there. The cool nights breeze coming in from the car windows that won't roll up. The text from my in-laws saying they are finishing the awful work at the house for us today since we are home working on the car. The moment of eating breakfast together on the porch instead of around a picnic table at our campsite. It really is all good.

We just have to keep climbing because that is how you win.








Thursday, June 23, 2016

Need to Hide



I hit traffic the other day and wondered if there was any good way to spend that time sitting in gridlock on 77. Before I was even thinking, I made a quick request of the Universe and asked that there be something inspiring on the radio. I was hoping for a good song or a station that didn't play top 40. Instead, I stumbled upon "Invisibila" on NPR

This particular episode called, "The New Norm" was a story about an old french woman who created a technique to help people get in touch with their emotions. She impressed one gentleman so much, by helping him work out some issues with his teenage son, that he hired her to come and do the same thing with his managers on his oil rig. 

These were men who worked hard, lived rough, and barely shared their thoughts with their wives, let alone some strange french lady. These guys who were taught to live into all the stereotypes of masculinity were asked to share their feelings with their co-workers and eventually, this would bring about an 85% increase in rig safety over the next year. They got to know one another. They were vulnerable, they could ask for help and they could anticipate one another's needs. It changed how things worked on the rig for the better. 

It was an incredible episode and it really got me thinking about a lot of things. What stuck me with most of the day didn't really have to do with the work Claire (that was the french woman's name) did with Shell Oil. It was a segment from a class she took that was very influential to the work that she would end up doing later in life. 

There was a type of therapy where a guy would stand on stage and just yell questions at people. It sounded something like this, "Why do you need to appear smart? What do you need to appear successful? Why do you need to dress that way?" and so on. The idea behind these questions was simply that we use those things that we "need to be" to hide something that we actually are. 

This got to me. So I started thinking about what I need to be seen or experienced as. The first thing that came to mind was a superficial moment from a few days prior. I was getting dressed, ready to start my day of painting and childcare when I realized I was putting back on the black tank top and orange workout shorts that I have been wearing for a couple of days. Not only that, all of my outfits have started to resemble this one and I just wash them and put them back on, day in and day out. 

They work for me for a number of practical reasons but I did ponder why I have all the clothing that I own if I am not going to wear it. My wardrobe is filled with all manner of tribal prints, floral ponchos, Indian harem pants, Thai printed T's, colors, colors, colors, and unique items that I have found on my travels that represent some version of myself that I think is pretty cool. I actually thought about putting some of these items on the just to "feel" like myself even though they were not suitable for the work that I needed to do. I didn't give into this notion because I do not want to feed the idea that my clothing is a symbol for who I am. I want to just be who I am no matter my outfits. However, for a moment, I looked in the mirror and thought, "You look too sporty", and I had to talk myself out of changing.

After hearing that show, I found myself asking why do I need to wear those cool, "hippie" clothes (as my neighbors call them). Why do I not feel like myself unless I have those on? 
And if some man was yelling a question at me from a stage it might sound like this: Why do you want to look different?

The answer came to me like a ringing of a gong. I do not want to appear normal. 

It sounds like the dumbest most surface thing I could spend my time thinking about, but here it was, the truth slapping me in the face. I do not want to appear normal. Worse off, I don't want to acknowledge that, indeed, I am normal. 

Essentially, this therapeutic technique declares that all the things you are drawn to, that you like, that you want to surround yourself with, are just a guise to hide what it is that you don't want anyone to know about you. The therapy works with claiming these very honest parts of yourself. I need to claim that I am normal. Just a normal person who likes and does normal things on a normal life timeline. Just saying it out loud to my husband and neighbor really did take a load off that I didn't even know I was carrying. 

I don't think my example was anything mind-blowing or life-changing. But it did offer me an awareness of my own motivations and attractions. This is why I avoid scenarios that seem really mundane and typical. This is why there are certain types of people I just can't make friends with. This is the reason I find myself attracted to the items I am drawn to. This new awareness has made me feel lighter and more free which is the whole point of any therapy that I would deem a success. 

 So, on that note, what about you? What needs are you hiding behind? What are you, really?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thorn Among the Roses

Shrewsbury, England


When I was fourteen, my Dad signed up for a "pulpit exchange" in England which took our family to Shrewsbury for a summer. Our family switched lives with another preacher's family. This meant that our houses, cars, friends, jobs, and churches were exchanged, including all of the duties that came with those areas of life. 

(A fun detail that did not come to pass until nearly ten years later was that our two families would become united as one. My sister, who was only twelve at the time, would fall in love with the oldest son of this family and they would eventually get married.)



It was during this strange and delightful summer abroad that my Dad started referring to us (his family and women-mom, me and my sister) as "his roses". In fact, being ushered into many new spaces to make introductions with people, Dad would say, "And here are all my girls, as you can see I am the thorn among the roses." Everyone would chuckle at the jest, or look on with admiration as we shook hands and exchanged hugs. 

In the States, we were normal kids. Probably less than normal. We were sort of weird "Preacher's kids" trying to be normal. We dressed like other kids and did things they did. We didn't stand out all that much besides being Jeff's girls which did matter in our community. But outside of that, we were two pretty awkward teens that came with all of that predictable territory. Being looked at with admiration was not something we had a lot of experience with. 

Here, in this church in England, people would beam at us and make comments about our beauty and kindness. There was an older gentleman in the congregation who would stare at me and my sister shaking his head saying, "Such glamor! Just stunning!" We had no idea what to do with this sort of attention and weren't ever convinced that it was even warranted. 

YEARS later in England, this is my sister and me
I don't know what my sister felt about it, but I remember this being the first time I realized that Dad thought I was pretty. In fact, he thought all three of us were pretty. He was such a trickster, always joking with us, that this new gesture really stuck with me. He made a lot of speeches about his desire for us to become women of good character and really discouraged us from superficial vanities like wanting to be thought of as beautiful. But at this stage of life, of course, I wanted that.

It felt marvelous when he would stretch out his hand, ushering us into a room with regal grace, smiling proudly at "his girls". Outside of our daily routine and our community at home, where reputation and example were always at stake, he could simply say that he thought we were lovely. 

4 years later on another trip to England with Daddy

Perhaps he meant it only as a tease, but for a 14-year-old who often felt anything but beautiful, hearing my father call me a "rose" stuck with me all my life. It certainly did not convince me I was beautiful in a world full of models and impossible ideals, but deep within me, confidence started to bloom. It was more like an inner knowing, a trust, that there is a man in this world who thinks I am lovely and good. It was hope and it was a drop of worthiness for this very young teen. 

And I am not saying all little girls need to know that their Dad's think they are beautiful. They need to hear all sorts of truths from their father's. Becoming a "rose" to my father was something that I needed to hear at a stage in my life where acne and growth spurts plagued my self-esteem. I needed to hear a lot of things from my Dad over the years, but the timing of this phrase was well placed and has forged a space in my memory even still.



This Father's Day, as I hold my own little girl in my arms and watch her interact with her father, I remember how important the gestures of a daddy truly are. She is going to remember the words that Joel uses when he speaks to her and about her. She will hear them and take them to heart. She will remember his gestures and the introductions he makes when she walks into a room. She will hold on to the expressions on his face when he looks at her and she will read them like a book, understanding every moment of pride and disappointment. 

Joel will be the first man Noelle will ever love. He will be her example of what a man is. Our Father's are desperately important figures in our lives for so many reasons, but one of them so clear now- they create action. 



In my experience my Father's words became affirmations or challenges. Both of the categories sprung me to action either becoming more like he affirmed or trying to change what he challenged in me (and then there was the occasional rebellion which was also an action in the end). I think a Father's words are powerful because they create spiritual movement for better or for worse. Father's words and gestures, whether we want them to or not, do affect us and transform our lives. 

Thinking back on that summer in England, Dad's words and gestures honored something in me I had not even claimed about myself yet. It was a gift, one of many, that would shape my life long after he died and continue to teach me a little more about the love of the Father who made me.



Like all relationships and anything that truly matters in this world, intentionality will transform. That summer, Dad pointed me down the path to claiming something I wanted to be true- I am a rose.


  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lunatics



Last night was a full moon and it was lovely on such a clear summer's night. I've spent my life beaming at the moon and admiring its gentle glow. It has been a symbol of beauty and romance and continues to bring a sort of magic to nights when it peeps from behind the clouds. As the years have passed, I've started to realize that our moon is a lot more than an orb of beauty on a nice evening. 

We all know that the moon is a monumental gravitational source for our planet. The very waves and tides in the sea are pulled by the moon. Before women were continually exposed to unnatural light, artificial hormones, and living indoors, the female race would often find their menstrual cycles would mimic the stages of the moon's evolution. The full moon signaled ovulation and the new moon brought on the menstrual period. It's been a long time since women's bodies in the West have been in tune with the moon. 

Throughout history, people have given the moon an eerie power over their communities. The word "Lunatic" is rooted in the word "lunar" and it is referring to people who were driven mad by the full moon. Of course, there are many legends of folks turning into werewolves and vampires during the full moon.

I've found that myths were born of a socially observed truth. Nowadays the full moon is a subject of conversation at hospitals (particularly in the ER and Labor and Delivery) as physicians and nurses swear that on nights with a full moon they have more accidents and more babies to deliver. Some surgeons will not perform operations during the full moon because it is legend that people will bleed heavily creating more chance for complications. Patients and staff alike, report that they sleep poorly for the week leading up to a full moon (folks who aren't even exposed to the moon's glow at night) while others experience increased exhaustion and sleep the days away.

My husband has begun to track the cycle of the moon because he has noticed that people start to "freak out" as the full moon begins to form. Having worked in community 
all his career, he has noticed that during times around the full moon people will be more emotional, sensitive, or more obsessed with checking off their to-do lists. 

There are many scientific studies completed with the hope to reveal just how the full moon affects people on a monthly basis. So far, nothing can be deemed conclusive except that people with gastrointestinal issues will bleed more on the full moon. 

For now, it is up to you to decide if you have seen the patterns in your daily life. 

In Astrology, each sign on the zodiac is affected a little differently by the full moon. This also means that the full moon closest to your birthday will have the strongest pull over your emotional balance. So last night, Gemini's, it was for you guys!

Gemini
You might find that making decisions is hard today. You will feel a dissonance between your head and your heart. In order to regain your balance, it is best to find a physical workout that helps your emotional strength become grounded again. 

Cancer
The full moon will make you moody and emotional, even crabby. You will be seeking intensity and drama so it is best to channel this energy outside of yourself or you are going to take everything personally. This is a great time to write down things that are bugging you.

Leo
The full moon will make you feel like everyone around you is overreacting to life. You try to take control of situations that you sense people are taking too seriously which puts you at risk of seeming overbearing or competitive. This is a time to keep your perspective and not find yourself getting into a fight over protecting a person or a cause that you find is important. 

Virgo
The full moon will make you feel a little down today. Your self-confidence is likely to need a boost but keep yourself motivated by expectations that you can actually fulfill. Be gentle on yourself and try to retain the balance. This is a great time to do something for yourself, like get a massage or acupuncture. 

Libra
You will have all kinds of thoughts and emotions churning inside you and it is unlikely that you will be able to make any important decisions today. You will find that you do not want to conform to anyone's ideas for you. What you need most today is some time to yourself. Spend some time alone and refuel, rest, seek some peace.

Scorpio
Your deeply rooted insecurities will rise to the surface today. You are likely to react in great anger towards people you are around. You might even find that you will want to bring them down a peg or two or that you will challenge most people you encounter today. In order to dilute your charged emotions, you might find that you feel compelled to overindulge in some area of your appetite. Remember to have some compassion for yourself and others. 

Sagittarius
You might feel overwhelmed by the duties and responsibilities of your life. Choose another day to make important decisions and try to remain light hearted. Spend some time with people who are fun and delight you so that you can take your mind off your burdens. The load is lighter when you talk about it with friends you trust. 

Capricorns
Surround yourself with anyone who feels like family to you. This is a time to put your work down and focus on good cheer and spending time with those you love. Avoid people who surround themselves with conflict today. You need to focus on peace and keep your mind off your responsibilities. 

Aquarius
If you do not feel acknowledged you are going to get really angry. Stay away from people or situations that don't lift you up or you might find yourself seeking revenge. Write down your thoughts and emotions that are negative and replace each word with a positive. Try to avoid power struggles today.

Pisces
You will not do well discerning what is needed today. Stay away from people or situations where you might be taken advantage of because you are at risk of missing the cues. This is a good time to practice art (painting, writing, music, decorating) or try an exercise class to keep you grounded.

Aries
Old issues around love and relationships will likely come up today. Other people might come to you for advice but don't be too quick to answer because you might regret it later. Today is a good day to practice moderation and taking it slow or else old emotions might rise to the surface and make you say things you don't mean.

Taurus
You'd really prefer to hide from the world today because you might feel like you are not able to communicate what you are needing or are feeling. You might also experience that others just don't understand what you are trying to say. Go easy on yourself. This is a good day to take off, read a book, just take a break for a few minutes. 

It is interesting to read how each sign is affected by the power of the moon. Each of these signs also have 
triggers leading up to the full moon too. Lots of people will be working hard to clean house, tackle some jobs that have been on the back-burner for a long time, or complete their to-do lists. Other signs will feel increasingly out of whack, off balance, and emotional. While some signs will look like they are nesting, other signs will be crying about something that happened weeks ago, while others will be picking fights right and left. 

Whether you give the moon this power or not, it doesn't hurt to be a little bit aware of when it is close to becoming full. You might just find that we all get a little looney when La Bella Luna is on the rise. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Life's Purpose




God is at the heart of what brings you joy.

 In fact, I believe that the very thing that brings you joy has been put there by the One in the first place. In whatever that space, time, place, or experience is, if you would let yourself become aware of it, you could encounter the Divine consciously. And probably do unconsciously which is why you love it so much. 

I have spent a lot of time pondering what I want to do with my life. What I am coming to know is that we were all created to live out of Center. It is in the Center, the space where we know true peace and wholeness, that we experience the fullness of life. And in Center we learn how to make our way forward traveling onto the path we were created to walk.

For many, I think that a discontented life is one where you are living into some external expectation of who you ought to be according to someone else's standards. Whatever that space might be, chances are there is a void always present, ready to be filled. The longing to live a little differently, to fill that space, to connect to something bigger, probably will not go away until you seek out what it is that you need.

I was listening to Oprah's top ten lessons for success last night and she said that the most important thing you can do in life is figure out your purpose. Why are you here on this Earth? She believes that everyone on Earth is meant to use their gifts to share something with others. So the question to ask yourself is,"what do I want to share with the world?"

Once you know that then you can truly begin to live. Your personality should enable you to live into your soul's calling. Everything you say you are, that you do, that you create, should point you and others to your spiritual purpose on this planet. These two things must be in alignment or there will be dissonance in your life. 

I have experienced that God knows the desires of my heart and what I am learning a little more each day is that God has placed those desires on my heart. This means that my heart's longing and God's plan for my spiritual impact on this Earth are the same. At times when I am truly present, they are dancing in perfect union together. The more that I embrace this blessing the more joy I am able to experience. 

I know a lot of folks who just aren't sure what to do with their lives. If this is you, then perhaps you could make time for some quiet so that you can ponder what brings you joy. Then from that, allow the Spirit to draw you a little more closely to the way that God has placed that joy on your heart and how this joy is meant to be shared with the others 

My experience of God's gifts are that they are abundant. And out of this abundance comes the opportunity to share.... the continual breath and rhythm of pouring in and overflowing out where there is no deficit of love.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Safe

I was once told by a local mystic that all souls choose the life they are living now. That our souls step into the lives lived on this planet as willing participants in a journey to grow in a certain way. Every individual journey is faced for a certain reason made specifically for the soul that chose it. That the lessons this particular experience of life can offer are exactly the ones that this soul needs in order to grow in the way intended for them to live a little more closely into the Divine's call placed upon that Spirit. That our "life's callings" are actually "Spirit's Callings" which we take on the minute we are created. 




This was a curious idea to me. Imagine having a choice over the life that you are in. That if this could be true then you pre-chose your parents, the experience of your youth, the pain that would come upon you and the scenarios that you might overcome. You chose the joys and sarrows, and even the physical body that you would become part of during this experience of living in order to grow in a specific way. 

I first heard this message when I was pregnant. I could not help but apply it to my daughter who was being woven together inside me. Did she choose me and all the things that would happen to her because she was born of me? And did I choose my life because I also knew at some point I would become her mother? What do we have to teach one another?

I don't know if it is my wild imagination or an acute inuition, but I began to sense that I was getting to know this Spirit growing inside me during the months of my pregnancy. I can't say that this was a truly vivid and detailed sensation, but the whole time I was pregnant, I had this overwhelming need to tell my daughter she would be safe with me. 

I wanted her to trust that I would take care of her, love her and provide everything I could for her needs. I just needed her to know that because I just had a feeling she needed to hear it.

Even while I was in labor, it was like she was hesitant about beginning life here. There was a long pause right as she began to crown like she had changed her mind and would rather stay inside. When she came forth, it took her many, many seconds to take a breath. When she was handed to me, I held her to my chest and stared at her tiny form screaming in my arms. All I could think to say to her was simply, "You are safe. You are safe. You are safe."




I watched a Memoriam today for the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. I needed to hear their names and learn something of their lives; taken too soon. Could they have chosen this journey long ago when their spirits were just twinkles in the universe? Is there something so big going on here that I could not ever chance to fathom such lessons dedicated to each soul on this planet? I hope so and sometimes I believe that there is. 




But for now, my heart aches more presently for the mother's who held their babies in their arms and uttered words to them of assurance that they will be safe here. Babies who are now shot dead in a nightclub because they were men who loved men. 

Staring into the eyes of my daughter I feel convicted that she must know that she will be safe. That I would give my very life in a flash to make sure that she could choose an existence on this planet where she felt safe to love and grow and become the woman she is destined to be. However, I watch these newsreels and hear the cries of so many people, feeling my own eyes widen to the reality that I cannot offer her this any more than those mothers could of the men and women who were shot on Sunday. I cannot keep her safe in a world where so many people are strung out on hate and fear. I cannot keep her safe from the righteous ones who take action without love. 


photo by Katherine Roehrig


I don't know if our Spirit's chose the lives we are living in now, but I do believe we are all living with a calling placed upon them. We have been given gifts that we are meant to share and in sharing, we will help to enable the Oneness and unity that was created for this world. 

In a world full of so many beliefs, so many "knowings" it makes it even harder to imagine that we could all come to experience the gift of true Oneness created by love. But the minute I doubt that this is possible is the minute I have to take back what I promised my daughter at birth and I will not do that. 

I will not stop working towards a world where my daughter will be safe. Where men and women can live, grow and thrive without feeling the pangs and sorrows delivered in hate. There have been too many people who have died for this cause and we cannot back away in fear. There are many things to do. There is much to transform and oversee and make new. We need leadership desperately. We need reform in so many ways. There are big items on the to-do list of what will make this country safe. But for those of you who are like me and wonder what you can do right now, I say this- figure out what your purpose is and share your gifts. If we could all do this then I believe that much of this reform would be set into motion quite naturally. 

It starts with you and me. Don't stand frozen in fear and grief...get to work. Whether you believe your Spirit chose this place and time, this life right now, or not, you cannot deny that there is something to be done and we all have the power to create incredible change. You don't have to do it for my child, or your child, or for the children who were lost on Sunday. Do it for you, the child that you are, who believed your mother when she said, "You are safe here".