Posted in Awareness, Beauty, Children's Books, Co-Creation Manifestation, Creativity, Energy, Family, Light, Love, Music, Reconstructurist, Spiritual ABCs, Spiritual Parenting, Transformation

Magnificent March Brings Sacred Spring

Fertility Spring Birth Spring Beginnings Spring Renewal Spring Light Spring!

Namaste Blessed, Birthing, Blooming Beauty!

Happy spring! Happy March! Women’s History Month! St. Patrick’s Day! Equinox ~ First Day of Spring! What a month! Are you feeling the Equinox renewal and balance?!  Here’s hoping your hearts and calendars are full ~ yet not too full ~ with fun, frolic, and expanded awareness opportunities! For my part, life’s beautiful celebrations have been a bit tempered with the continued swirling political energies and my personal family journeys. Below, I speak a bit about ‘women’s work’ globally and what that has meant for me personally and in relation to Leaping Literacy this month.

Yet, let us delay no further in fully embracing the wonders of SPRING! Officially March 20th this year, Equinox ushers in spring (and fall on the other side of our pretty planet!) bringing equal hours of light and dark as our days become longer in light, our nights shorter in darkness. AND! Equinox brings the rich beauty and history of Goddess Ostara. Before Christianity (and I suppose other organized religions like Judaism & Islam too), Goddess and nature worship was widespread. Goddess Ostara was also known as Esther (Easter!) and known for renewal, resurrection, birth, re-birth. Today, we can metaphysically align with all these energies as nature calls our Spirits out to dance with the sprouts of green and colorful blossoms. Here’s is a prayer that combines these energies:

Sacred Spring! Oh, you reignite our passionate hearts to take flight!
Thank You Goddess Ostara for renewal, balance, and resurrection.
Thank You holy Source of All Creation for blooming perfection;
divine order grace,  transformation’s face of magnificent magnitude.
May we all spring forward now full of faith, trust, and joyful gratitude!

I also wrote a new song this week with and for Ostara and the gloriousness of spring. Here it is!

Ostara Ignites!

Easter Esther Ostara!
©2017Laurie Story Vela Song is here with lyrics below.

Ostara Ignites! ©2017Laurie Story Vela

Chorus:
Spring is here alive and bright!
Spring is here alive and bright!
Green is reaching for the light
Easter, Esther, Ostara
Easter, Esther, Ostara

Ostara shines new birthing delights
Spring is here alive and bright
Light returning to balance the night
Ostara ignites our passions to flight
Chorus

Ostara Shines on fertile ground
scattering seeds all around
Like green seedlings we reach for the light
With renewed desires, our passions take flight
Chorus

This celebration of Ostara and spring kicked in for me last week as we experienced desert blooms ~ fresh flower faces smiling up from the cracked, dry earth. Life appearing from where it seems there is only barren dryness. We had gone south looking at universities for Jeremiah (he applies in the fall!) and I insisted on taking in the super bloom on the desert that came after so much rain this year. Jeremiah was happy enough to take it in from the car ~ yet he missed much! Though this picture looks like we were off road, I assure you there was a good size, legal road underneath our tires! It was an amazing, far as the eye could see experience that I relished. These moments of nature’s beauty feed the soul long after! One patch I tip toed through was full of caterpillars on their way to transformation …

Women’s Work

Transformation! There is a lot of that going on these days! Women’s History Month reminds us of some of the incredible struggles women have gone through. The plethora of information and inspiration is out there in growing web pages which I still aspire to add to.  As women, we are the receptive ones and yet the ones to give birth. Throughout history, women have been the ones to surrender … yes, in childbirth. And in patriarchal society ‘norms’ that still dominate in many places today. Spiritually, surrender can be a great strength; ‘Thy will be my will’. In learning to balance surrender and birth, there is a powerful co-creation wisdom. In this time of evolving consciousness, women hold a special place in the birthing process of humanity. As the world undergoes definite birthing pains with continued power struggles, the receptive, flowing female energies are needed more than ever.

My own ‘women’s work’ has been embodied in my Lenten intention to let go of doubt. By naming and claiming ~ anything ~ along with persistent practice, you will find how deep the roots go. In my own case, doubt runs much deeper than I would like! My days are filled with family service as I continue to care for the elders ~ my dad in particular who is still on the ranch which leaves me 2 sets of houses, food, bills (his) pills, etc. ‘Women’s work is never done’ as the saying goes leaving us the truth that all too often, as women our time is consumed by caring for the needs of others. Before last week’s Spring Break college looking road trip, I hosted Jeremiah’s dad here in our tiny home for a week. While he is a good man, he is one to really fill a place up with his big presence. I got to practice surrender, step away from a lot of work I had on my list and say, what project would I/could I get done this week? I put together the demo CD of the 36 Short Spirit Songs A ~ Z ~ now ready as a practice CD for the intergenerational voices who can help bring these singing affirmations to the world! These spiritual family literacy songs came to life throughout our alphabetic 2016 and continue their journey into being. So goes the birthing process of co-creation transformation and manifestation!

 Our Leaping Literacy Library Free Shelf this month features some strong female energies! They include SoulPlay Earth Gym Guide Rachel Flower, Teen Talent actress Angel playing a Reconstructionist scene of Anne Frank and Tess the liberated snake in the newly re-illustrated Laurie StorEBook, Tess’ Dress.One of our alliteration Laurie StorEBooks is on the Free Shelf this month as well; Carey Canary’s Cakes gives us a creative, caring & quite chipper canary:
I like to think my imaginary mentor Dr. Seuss would like Carey the strong little canary! March is also Dr. Seuss’ birthday with lots of literacy based celebrations. We visited Geisel Library on the UCSD campus; I sat on the Dr’s lap (bronze statue outside!) and felt encouraged to continue keeping on with my Laurie StorEBooks. From the Seuss archives on the inside of the library, I was amazed by this cartoon the Dr. did in the 1940’s: WOW! And time marches on … ~!

Our New Thought Families Daily Play & Pray Calendar this month features Compassion In Action. Our long list of Reconstructionist pages and games has once again stalled ~ leaving me to once again practice lots of self compassion! Yet! This (Women’s History) Month isn’t over for another week+ so I’ll update you again here! Balance of calendar inspired, I will keep planting seeds!

Spring Seeds! ~ Planting Your Glorious Garden! 

Yes, spring! This is a great time to plant spiritual seeds in our minds and hearts. As the earth around us is bursting forth with green goodness and colorful, blooming gloriousness, we can take the energy of renewal to plant seeds of what we want more of … freedom, community, relaxation, inspiration, intuition, creativity … What is calling you? Whatever it is, put some representation of it on your altar ~ and/or on your heart. Be sure to water it with faith filled remembrance in the days to come as well as be mindful to weed out any doubts or fears that sprout up around it.
Whatever you are planting this day, this season, may it bring you an ever increasing bounty of blessings and abundance! I send you seeds of great appreciation, contemplation, co-creation & celebration. Namaste, Love!

12th Annual Feathers Of Freedom Family Camp!
 
Free Spirit Weekend ~ August 18-20, 2017
 

Early bird deadline 3/31!
And! NEW Option: Free Spirit Full Week! ~ August 14-20, 2017 

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Posted in Acceptance, Appreciation, Awareness, Blessings, Co-Creation Manifestation, Faith, Gratitude, Music, Oneness, Presence, Sacred, Thanks Living, Transformation, Truth, Unity, Vibrations, Vision, Wisdom

Vibrant Voices Vibrate Vision

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Namaste Visionary Voters ~Vibrational Voices Of Vision!
I greet you in gratitude for this moment of time in the Circle of Creation. With a vibrational remembrance of unconditional Love, let us breathe our divine essence now. Deep breath. Let us make space for the still small sacred voice within to be heard.307-turndownvolumeIn this week of Halloween, Samhain, All Saints and All Soul’s Days, Day of the Dead, and the last few days before our American election, there are indeed many voices swirling all around us and inside us. They all carry vibrations and as vibrational beings in a vibrational world, our emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies can’t help but respond. We are response able ~ and responsible for all of our reactions and vibrations even if they are all too often still playing out in our unconscious reality ~ you know, the one that shows up as THE reality?! And! We can, in every moment, choose to be and feel the GOOD VIBES of the ever present, omnipresent sacred in us and all around us!308-vibrationsSo! As awake and aware conscious beings on a spiritual path, we can name and claim the visions of our hearts as the reality we are shaping ~ for ourselves and others. The holy days of this week hold vibrant voices of the past that tell us much of what we do and how we do it ~ should we choose to listen! Briefly, the Pagan or Wiccan traditions embodied in Samhain, were, and are, all about honoring the turning of the seasons including the remembrance of our ancestors. Halloween precedes the Days of the Dead/Souls/Saints as part of this remembrance. I like to think of the playful dress up of Halloween as the dead’s way of reminding us to be anyone and everything we choose while we’re still alive in these bodies! If it’s one thing I have learned from all the elder care and in asking the ancestors and departed friends for guidance, it’s DON’T WAIT! (And ya, I still procrastinate! Been working on this post all week ~ in this space and in my head! ~) 300-visionaryVisions are all too often extinguished out of fear! We do this to ourselves and to each other.  Again, in keeping with the holi-days of this week, did you know that the word witch simply means wise one?! When patriarchy and Christianity were on the rise, the wise women ~ witches ~ were such a threat that there was a holocaust killing between 9 and 11 million people. We will tend to this next time in more deserved detail ~ in the W post! ~ yet for this vibratory discussion of voices, let us stay awake and aware that society all too often silences the voices of the wise.

bison-1581895
When hundreds dressed in riot gear showed up at Standing Rock shooting rubber bullets and pepper spray at the ‘Water Protectors’, the buffalo came too ~ hundreds of them … in their earthly and divine wisdom, they came seemingly to protect the protectors.

Our Mother Earth has such wisdom for us and (too) many refuse to listen to her insistent, wise voice! Our indigenous people have always listened, and we in turn, as a society, don’t listen to them! Standing Rock is the current setting for one of the most profound spiritual uprisings and perhaps one of the biggest shifts of our time. Because of police violence that broke out there last week and has continued this week, more people are hearing about it though it seems to be still a trickle into mainstream news. In answer to my own heart hurting as this escalates, we have a page on the New Thought Families website with some videos about the big story and some of the smaller ones … some of the faces in the now 8,000 that have gathered, like the beautiful young woman, Sky Bird Black Owl who gave birth there. In case you need a short recap; Standing Rock is a native American reservation in North Dakota. The Great Sioux Nation retains this reservation in accordance with the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. They started camping out the 1st of April (more than 7 months ago!) to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline project which threatens the drinking water for millions and has been tearing apart sacred burial grounds that should be protected under the treaty. More than 350 tribes of indigenous peoples have now come to Standing Rock to join the Water Protectors in their peaceful, prayerful protest of the ‘Black Snake’. They are unarmed. They are in constant prayer and ceremony. And they are being attacked even as the construction continues (though it is supposed to be on hold). The voice of big oil is drowning out the wise voices of our indigenous people. Part of the divine order yes in all of this is the joining in solidarity; some of the tribes praying together used to war with each other.  I pray for their safety, and for the sanity of humanity to once and for all stop this destruction. I also pray that we, as a nation, will hear their voices, vision, and vibrations for a more harmonious way to be in relationship with our Creator, our gorgeous earth home and with each other. Aho! May we all see in sweeping vistas of divinity … For Humanity!
306-vista

And then of course there are all the prayerful whispers and angry shouts accompanying our upcoming elections. With a particular focus on our unprecedented Presidential race, my heart has also been hurting with what seems like so many around me in my rural town, and indeed in my own family who are voting for the man endorsed by the KKK. I voted this week already, had an emotional and cathartic phone conversation with a female family member followed by a long FaceBook post. So for now, I am back in divine order peace trusting the highest good is unfolding for all. I did vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton and I am praying for her and for all in this turbulent time. Our country and the world deserve a leader who listens as well as has a strong voice. In my prayers for humanity, I absolutely join with those at Standing Rock in hope that our government can and will listen to the wisdom of the people and of the buffalo ~ even over the roar of all the other accusations, name calling, and ugliness that has become this election. Perhaps more than ever, this is a vote of character over and above party & politics. hillary-clinton-1754429 302-vote

I Am Voting For Humanity!

You know ‘For Humanity’ as our Spiritual ABC Theme this year ~ little did I know where we all were headed … Glad Spirit did! Ultimately, as a species we are waking up into more and more of our truth as spiritual beings. We are having some pretty extreme birthing pains as evidenced in so many angry voices … voting and otherwise. Yet! Each voice, and each vote counts ~ yours, mine, every voice! Let us not lose faith or hope in humanity and our evolution ~ no matter what! And! Let’s join our voices together in solidarity and song! I wrote the For Humanity Song last January and when friend & SoulPlay Storyteller Ruth Humphreys ( & sometimes daily Play & Pray Calendar narrator!) interviewed me for her Live Your Childhood Dream web show , we thought of doing a compilation music video with faces and voices from all over … the world?! So! Before our bittersweet 2016 ends, here’s the song with your invitation to sing along! Our webpage has lyrics, chords, and a download of those + mp3 and this singing video + Ruth’s video with the backstory. Page is HERE! We are looking for as many participants as possible this month of November to sing some of the song on video and send it to us for a group compilation video to come out in December! The video below is just me singing it in my living room the other day ~ you can sing it anywhere too. I sang it lower for what will hopefully be a better key for you?! We would SO love YOUR voice singing along!

So, yes, our vivacious V’s are already making way for wonderful W on our daily Play & Pray Calendar at New Thought Families! Today, we are reverently connecting with water and I add here and now deep gratitude & protection for the Water protectors at Standing Rock. By the end of the weekend, W should be the new feature on our Leaping Literacy Library’s Free Shelf ~ so grab your V’s ~ including voicing your dreams with SoulPlay Visible Dreamer Jean Kathryn Carlson!

freebies

Thank you so much for being here in visionary vibration as we voice our vote for ourselves, each other, our planet home, and for Humanity! May you continue to envision vistas, voice your visions, and turn down the volume on all else when you need to. Let us be in faith filled ThanksLiving with the truth of the divine that is always giving us the free will blessing to co-create our highest and best! Namaste, Love!

Posted in Acceptance, Affirmations, Awareness, Beauty, Blessings, Co-Creation Manifestation, Compassion, Love, Music

Loving Life In The Messy Middle

Rays_spinNamaste Shining Rays of Summer Solstice Love Expressed!
I greet you in the name of compassionate oneness this illuminated June of justice where the world spotlight has been on mass murder and the mayhem of hate manifested through the hurting heart of humanity. And! The resurgent rise of LOVE in the face of the hate that cannot survive the Light of Love we truly be. We are the Light Of Love ~ yes blessed expressed!

Solstice June 20th marked this year’s Solstice; here on the Northern hemisphere, the longest day of sun rays. Today, June 21st, is the ‘official’ first day of summer which originated, no doubt, from this turning point in our planet’s rotation around our life giving sun. Metaphysically, summer Solstice illuminates our lives; giving us an opportunity to more clearly review our life’s meaning. While the winter Solstice is a time of darkness, harkening us to turn to the light within for wisdom, the summer sun beckons us to look around at all we have done, all we are doing, and all we wish to do … to co-create, to mindfully manifest.
LoveWriteBecause this co-creation is messy middle Love life long, don’t miss the magnificent manifesting opportunities for living more of the shining truth of you found below near the bottom of this post!

177.Manifest

It is often challenging to see the truth of ourselves and to take responsibility for the life we have manifested ~ especially when we are (proverbially?!) living mired in the messy middle ~ the place between where we have been and where we see ourselves going. Yet! As mindful, conscious, compassionate, co-creators, looking through the illumined eyes of our heart is imperative to seeing where we are in Love. Ernest Holmes said, “Everything is either an act of love or a cry for love.” I wrote a song about it called, “Always Love” that I offer here, now, in music video … as a response to recent, loud, painful cries for Love … with the hope this song and what it sings can bring some compassion and maybe a bit of inspiration from the messy middle of humanity’s family:
Always Love Music Video
Passcode: Always14

Love is Love. Love wins. We have been heartened by these responses again this last week from, and for, the LBGT community in the wake of the shootings in Orlando. There were other tragic killings for more of our brothers and sisters worldwide this last week ~ the high profile ones we heard of and sadly, the many that happen daily, we never hear of. I am reminded that, most often, when tragedy strikes, Love is reawakened within us, calling us to rise up. It is Love that carries us through the daily challenges of being family ~ our immediate families and our global family. We let the best of us lift us up from natural disasters ~ floods, earthquakes, wildfires ~ lift us up from human attacks ~ the big ones like the Pulse Nightclub as well as the little ones like words of condemnation or the indifference of silence from our immediate family. We rise up in Love in the face of hate, fear, illness of body, mind, Spirit. We rise in compassion to meet the mental illness that takes away precious lives leaving a path of incomprehensible pain. We reach for Love & goodness; we make Love and we make music!174.MakeMusicFor surely, the song of Life is always singing in our souls calling us to rise … and rise again! The message of music singing our souls is in part, the song we sing and in part, the songs we choose to listen to ~ And! The response we choose in how we listen!

This past week held a lot for my personal family; a big one was my 16 year old Jeremiah going off to Spain with a school group. Another big piece of sky for him to fly and me to gracefully allow ~ as well as work hard to get him up, up, and away! After leaving him at 4:00 a.m. at the SF airport, I drove to the beach where I used to live before becoming his mom. Arriving there at 5:20 a.m., I embraced the silence of the beach and early dawning sunshine. Some hours later, I sat at a picnic table doing some notebook reflections and a good deal of people listening as lots of them walked by. I also watched a mole digging a big hole; she would move massive mounds of dirt with her mole body surfacing briefly and quickly retreating. She did her work efficiently and mostly silently (except for the crunching of roots!) largely unnoticed as multitudes of peeps strolled by. I marveled at how the mole methodically did her work irrespective of the hub bub going on above her and all around her. I also noticed how dogs are so interested in each other; often causing their people to interact with each other. I remembered last year during the Butte fires here how strangers took such a vocal interest in each other’s lives. As I sat there by the beach, I listened to so many interesting tidbits ~ getting caught up in a few. Most memorably was the mom pushing a baby stroller and talking to her 8 or 9 year old daughter walking beside her … “That little boy drowned. It was not the alligator ~ you don’t have to be afraid of alligators!” The little girl did not answer, her head down. Admittedly, I think I was gaping at the woman who caught my eye. I tried to ease my judgment with compassion ~ for all. And I do have judgments! Not the least of which is that alligators are wild animals who live in some waters (not the one we were next to!). They are to be feared. The little boy would not have drowned had the gator not snatched him. The frantic father could not save his son from the quick snatch of the alligator. I could go on … more judgments about what the Disney Resort should have and shouldn’t have done … yet, for the sake of our mindful moments … let us be free to embrace all in Love, compassion, and the divine order meaning that always lives in the messy middle. Always. No matter what. And in every moment of our choosing, we are free to choose unconditional Love. When we do, we are free.176.FreeMindLet us freely turn to the magic within our minds … it is ready for us whenever we choose to let go of messiness and embrace the blessedness. Truth is, we are infinitely blessed in every breath! And! Not the least of our blessings, is the capacity to live the divine, see the sacred, manifest the magic that lives in each of us and all of us! Yes, it is ‘natural’ to feel the pain of others and the horrible hurt that hate can inflict. It is just as innate to align with the magic flow of life … to feel good, to laugh, to see beauty everywhere present as the Creator’s gift to us ~ and our own gift to us, as co-creators giving to each other! Art, music, inspiring words, kind deeds, conscious conversations. When we set our mind on magic, we manifest more and more of it!          172.ManifestMagic

So! Let’s magically, mindfully meet! Here are some invitations for dancing with the divine; everyday spirituality meets extraordinary opportunities! First, our ongoing daily Play & Pray Calendar ~ multi-media reminders currently embracing the magnificence of mighty, marvelous Letter M ~ also found filling our Leaping Literacy Library Free Shelf which also features SoulPlay Color Me Yoga Marsha Therese Danzig sharing a few mudras from her children’s book of them!Freebies
We also have a very exciting event to tell you about ~ one that will help you live engaged spirituality! This FREE Monday Night Webinar Series begins July 11th & ends October 31st running every Monday from 5:30–6:30 PM Pacific Time:

Webinar BannerJoin powerful spiritual activists and a community of friends in this revolutionary new series. Each 60 minute fully interactive video onscreen (or phone) weekly session will feature inspiration, models, and take-away tools on a variety of leading-edge topics. Learn and engage in the dialogue. Attend as many as you can to open up new paths for practical action. My interactive session will be on Everyday Sacred ABC’s on August 29th. You can register directly HEREABCLogoNTF
Webinar FB Square
These free webinars initiate The Association for Global New Thought’s new mission and
lead up to our exciting October 24-27 symposium in San Diego, “Engaged Spirituality: Tools to Empower the Conscious Majority.” Check it out … Will YOU be there? Early Bird symposium registration ends June, 30th.

What a great webinar series and symposium! And! We still have some cabins for our sacred Sierra’s Feathers Of Freedom Family Camp! I visited the Camp this first day of summer and have the video invitation below. Deep breath of YES! There IS support, Love, and conscious community for us in the messy middle of this joyous journey! Offerings like the Engaged Spirituality webinar and symposium, and our Feathers Of Freedom Camp are here for you should you be called. Thank you so much for sharing the shining truth of you. Namaste, Love!
Feathers16AFeathers Of Freedom Family Camp Invitation Video
Passcode: FFFC16

Feathers16B

Posted in Acceptance, Awareness, Beauty, Family, Humanity, Imagination, Intuition, Light, Love, Music, Nature, Spiritual ABCs, Spiritual Parenting

Heart Inspirations

103.HeartVisionNamaste Integrated Hearts of Inspired Humanity!

Thank you for being here in a celebration of humanity and some spiritual ABC’s for H & I ~ including another springtime splendor Vlog below! I have had a heaping helping of helping others since I was last here celebrating the happy, healthy, harmonious H ~ I also found myself in an inner holding pattern in having the heart to express in this space. Sometimes, the outer busy can force an inner break; perhaps just providing time for integration. Admittedly, I have been over-giving to others, leaving my own heart in need of a hug so I have been doing some of that for physical, mental, and spiritual health. And! All in all, I am still fully committed to communication and celebration ~ for the best of me and for HUMANITY! 112.HipHipHoorayAt the heart of humanity, is the helping hand. When we help each other, we answer the calling of our hearts and we build the collective heart of us ~ the best of what it is to be human. So who have you been lending a hand to, my friend? Lots of someones?! There are so many ways to help ~ a prayer can potentially touch countless others ~ If you turn within, I’m sure your heart will show you what a helper you are! And maybe, you, like me, need to remember to also help YOU!100.HelpingHandYes, let us remember what a help it is to be healthy and HAPPY. Far from being selfish, it is surely for the highest good of our own hearts and that of the world, when we harvest happiness and harbor whatever it is that makes us happy.101.HaveHappinessMay your heart be smiling with happiness now with the beautiful faces above! I am so happy to be able to integrate such smiling hearts into our New Thought Families daily Play & Pray Calendar (thank you Pixabay!). We also have a sprinkling of narration voices there ~ UK Storyteller Ruth Humphreys and our local Creative Spirit Families friend and talent, Jenni Knight narrate a few April days along with teenage Jeremiah and I. My heart is still holding for more voices to join us! How about you?!

Our Leaping Literacy Library Free Shelf is full of I’s as the calendar rolls along!! SoulPlay Wendy Fedan is an imagination celebration not to be missed! Our New Thought Families’ offerings are a few videos from the archives playing with intuition and imagination.
FreebiesAnd NOW! I am so happy to be sharing with you another vlog featuring some of the springtime splendor that surrounds us these fleeting April days. Today’s video speaks to some of our spiritual H’s and I’s ~ with an oh so handsome H that makes an unscripted appearance. It also features 2 of the latest little Spirit ABC songs I wrote yesterday. This Spirit Sing project is called Children’s Chants and there are some great ones coming through though I have started questioning if they are truly ‘chants’ ~ perhaps ‘small songs’ or short songs’ is more accurate. Irrespective, they are being birthed and nurtured this sweet 16 as part of our spiritual ABC’s ~ For Humanity! These 2, in particular, may be bleeding through on melody lines ~ especially in the video. They are Humbled By Humanity and Inside My Heart. Give a listen here to the rough demos if you like:

The process of co-creating is what makes me truly happy. What is it for you? Your inner wisdom, your intuition, is always at the ready to help you invite in more happiness! I wish you all that and more. Namaste, Love!

And! Thank you for sharing the blog ~ and the blog linked vlog below ~ any heart inspired moment you do. Truly grateful for you!

Heart Intuition Vlog Password: HIVLSJ2

Posted in Acceptance, Awareness, Beauty, Blessings, Children's Books, Co-Creation Manifestation, Creativity, devotion, Grace, Gratitude, Hope, Imagination, Love, Music, Nature

Growing Gratitude: Appreciation’s Altitude

94.GrowGratitudeNamaste Green Growing Gusts of Grateful Gusto!

I greet you with great gratitude and appreciation for you ~ and April, and alphabetic guidelines, for the Letter G ~ and H! ~ and for the grace filled growth of gratitude. In this week’s blog, we are further embracing G’s galore as we explore what it is to grow gratitude. From my blessed, safe, and beauty filled existence, I have 3 pictorial examples of how gratefulness can help garner more grace from experiences that otherwise lean towards doubt, grief, defeat, and fear. Though these stories are small, I hope they may serve you in some way ~ thank you for being here!

Birds and animals gratefully store their acorn groceries for another day!
Birds and animals gratefully store away their acorn groceries for another day!

If you watched last week’s grace vlog, you caught a glimpse of the green glory that is surrounding our home this time of year. We are richly blessed with hills and fields of green, dotted with wonderful wildflowers. Right outside my (office) corner window is a dazzling dogwood tree. Even though this is the 5th spring bloom I have witnessed of this tree, I found myself giving into an annual doubt that the itty bitty buds couldn’t possibly yield big, beautiful blooms this year … Blooms1I remember last year thinking my fabulous pink faced friend wouldn’t bloom because of the drought. With much more rain this year, how could I doubt? I dunno … I just did. I watched myself doubting and had conversations of faith. Surely our dogwood would absolutely sprout in grace …???!!! I have to say, I gave gratitude every day and affirmations of this beautiful life unfolding … as if I was gently scolding my inner doubts, that of course the buds would sprout. YES! Of course blessed! Blooms2My little work corner is once more graced with glorious pink blooms galore! With pink triumphantly smiling and sprouting a go-go, how could I ever have been doubting my little buds would grow and glow?! Blooming WorkSo while I am graced in pink divine, how can I help but rhyme?! I have been co-creating more Laurie StorEBooks in keeping with my alphabetic calendar … still a bit late but loving how great it is to co-create! Now, in this next sharing example, you may easily miss the doubt, fear and defeat that threatened to be ample … Briefly put, I ran into more of the technical difficulties that seemingly can come from old software, no budget or supporting workforce, and a grim reaper that can rise up to shout how silly my ‘work’ is and to just GIVE UP already! Whoa. See how the energy just shifted … In the face of the details, I was able to stay my mind on the freedom of grace ~ firm faith in divine order. Everything turned out more than fine ~ I find these latest alliterative Laurie StorEBooks divine! You may remember seeing this title a few weeks back … but the diner was way too dingy … DinaDiner00 copySo technical difficulties aside … rah, rah, and TA DA!DinaDiner06 copyYou can now find Dina Dimetrodon’s Dessert Diner on Kindle! You can also find Fiona Fay’s Family Flower Farm on our Kindle shelf!FlowerFarm00 copyFlowerFarm07 copy
So! I am ever so grateful for staying grateful … or at least faithful in these little big ways in my world this week. What I found is that appreciation is fed by gratitude and this leads to an inevitable altitude of Spirit! Being grateful and faithful has also been fed with large doses of allowance, acceptance, forgiveness and an intermingling of some big C’s ~ commitment and a much dreaded (by me!) C … compromise! In my alphabetic timeline, I seem to forever be behind … of course, this plays out elsewhere in my “never enough” existence! So! With great and grateful use of the spiritual tools, I am celebrating and adjusting as needed. I am working on “G” books and loving them even as I celebrate the “D” and “F” titles above. The Leaping Literacy Library shelves are slowly be transformed for the way better in how they look as well as what they house. (Patient blooms!) For New Thought Families, our daily Play & Pray Calendar is right on track ~ today, we technically are crossing over from G to H:
99.GrowHopeAs we continue to grow and hold hope for humanity, tomorrow marks our 100th “For Humanity” calendar day! We still have hope of sprinkling more narration voices onto our calendar pages ~ the lovely Ruth Humphrey’s narrates 3 days this coming week ~ yay! How about adding your voice?  Contact us, ok?! The magic of technology could add your voice with ours! What do you say? I also want to say that the new Children’s Chants, A~G (11 of them!) are roughly recorded and in place for our Marvelous Members.

The final little pictorial story for grace filled gratitude comes from the calf who died on Good Friday at my dad’s ranch. Briefly told, the little calf got sick and kept taking herself into the pond. Her poor mama didn’t know what to do ~ except protect her from us ~ our good ranch neighbor who tried to help …Cow1Mama cow was having none of the cowboy’s tricks. She ended up on the other side of the pond which caused baby to swim across to her … The whole time, the rest of our little herd of 3 mamas and 3 babies were calling and calling …Cow2Simply put, shortly after crossing the pond, we watched the calf die. I had been praying to the helping angels and it seemed they answered with a hastened death. Since she was to go, and she was suffering, quicker is better. The other cows immediately stopped calling and went away. The mama stood grieving and as I turned away in sadness with our neighbor, I turned inwardly to gratitude. With a prayer of surrender similar to that of my ‘technical difficulty’ one, I affirmed divine order. The conversation that ensued, ended up bringing a huge shift in my dad and release for me. Sadly for my 90 year old dad, and in a blessed gift of grace for me, we will be letting the cows go later this year and our good neighbor will rent the fields for his cows grazing. Truly, divine order grace! Meanwhile, our grieving mama cow is most often found with the small herd but looking away from them. Here, another mama sits with her as she gazes into the flowing creek. Grief is real and deep for this mother and even though I can greet at least part of this situation with gratitude, I’m not sure how it soothes mama cow. I do believe she has grace. And in this and hopefully other moments, she has a friend. Sometimes, just to be gathered together is the greatest gift.Cow3Again, I thank you for being here and I do hope that you are able to garner gratitude for whatever gifts of grace you are facing. I really know how gratifying it is to affirm divine order when everything looks good and how challenging it is when things seem ‘wrong’. Yet I also have a deep appreciation of how gratitude grows the altitude of our well being on all levels … especially when we employ faith filled thankfulness for ALL. Truly, there is no spot where God is not and for that, I am forever grateful. Namaste, Love!

PlayShop THIS Sunday! SO grateful to be gathering!
PlayShopsApril

Posted in Affirmations, Awareness, Blessings, Co-Creation Manifestation, Faith, Family, Love, Music

Dedicated Devotion Drives Direction

48.DevotedTruthNamaste Divine Dance of Daring Devotion!
I greet you in the names of devoted dedication, divine design …  and the letter D! Shall we dance?
45.DivineDanceIn whatever steps you are doing this mindful moment, thank you for pausing here to deliberate how dedicated devotions drive the directions you dance, ultimately determining your destination. Whaaaat do all those dizzying D’s mean exactly? Just that, when we follow the map of our heart, we go the journey of our soul.

Dedicated Devotion.
I became a mom officially 16 years ago today. My Jeremiah came out and I sang to him the song I had written for him while he was in utero. Of course, I had been singing the song for months and then it was his welcoming song here once he made it ‘out’. The song sings, “I vow to honor you and to cherish you, do my absolute best. Say no when it’s needed, more often say yes.” Ah, the mother dance … been singing and stepping it for 16 years now and still my life is dedicated devotion to my son.
Drives Direction.
So it goes that this devotion directs and sometimes dictates the directions I am driven to go. Birthday celebrations this night echo those of long ago … some late night talking and giggles are still leaking from the small bedroom full of large, teenage boys full of pizza, brownies, and a bad movie at the theatre. While they watched the movie, I got my dad some dinner, groceries, a bath, and into bed with goodnight prayer. Doing the elder care is also part of my direction these days as my dedicated devotion to family crosses generational timelines and sprawling dance floors.

What are you dedicated and devoted to that drives your directions? Family? Work? Your own passions? Do you know where they are leading you to? Do you need to know??!!
Determining Destination.
Here is where things get a bit grayer … is there an ultimate destination or is it all about the journey?! “I vow to give you safe nest. I vow to give you the sky.” Jeremiah’s birth song sings on … Can a destination be safe nest sometimes and the open sky at others? Absolutely. Hence, the journey. Over the years, the ‘sky’ looks different as Jeremiah grows more into the man he is becoming ~ and I return (in certain ways) back to the woman I was before I became a mother … as we both prepare for the time when we will no longer share safe nest. “I vow to give you what’s mine; my heart, my home, and my time.”

Listening and following our heart map brings us full circle back to what we’re devoted to … who and what we dance with. I have been dancing with my work in old and new ways these days in the midst of all this family dedication, I am still determined to stay true to the work I am devoted to. Yet, I do seem to still commit to so many other people and things ~ tomorrow we are having a concert cabaret at the school that I have been coordinating. Why do I do these things too? Is it distraction from my work or just part of my ongoing dedication & devotion to my son and our community youth, music … and mothering. It’s all true. And it’s all good. Truly. Life is a divine dance if we let it be!
49.DivinityIn my chosen alphabetic calendar year, I’m still catching some C’s (if not z’s!) as I embrace letter D and the dedicated dreaming, dancing, delighting it delivers. Join us for daily devotions on the New Thought Families Play & Pray Calendar where D is divinely dancing. Sign Up/In to the Free Shelf where we are dancing too! If you’ve never experienced SoulPlay Michelle Peticolas dancing, do! Her heart is definitely leading her divine steps!
FreebiesSo whatever plans you have drawn up, whatever dance steps you are taking, know that your devoted dedication is driving you in divine directions. May your destination be blessed and caressed with the infinity of your divinity.

Awake and aware, breathing blessings, consciously co-creating divinity’s dance! We are the light of Love expressed ~ divinity in action! And so it is. Namaste, Love!

 

Posted in Affirmations, Appreciation, Awareness, Beauty, Co-Creation Manifestation, Creativity, Family, Joy, Light, Love, Music, Presence, Quiet

Returning Light Burning Bright!

HappyThotsNamaste Light of Love Happy Thoughts!

I greet you in the Spirit of the season and light returning in this early dawn after Solstice. Winter Solstice marks the longest, darkest night and the presence of light returning… Indeed, we are ever turning and returning to the Light of Love we are made of!

Walnut tree at dad's ranch gave it's bounty and now stands sunlit and winter bare.
Walnut tree at dad’s ranch gave it’s fall bounty as it has for generations and now stands in its sunlit winter bare beauty.

My daily prayer and intention is to keep turning and returning to the guiding light within me ~ at the moment, the light is shining through my own little Santa studio filled with gift giving madness. I find myself every year with this long list of those I want to remember and thank. My little world is full of good peeps to honor and this year, the nice list is longer for the peeps who are in my dad’s world ~ and thereby mine. The web of elder care is woven with hearts who weave with such Love and dedication. We are blessed. And! What would my world look like if I didn’t have the holiday list?! If I could just continue to keep each in ongoing prayer and let that be enough?! There are different ways to do holiday gratitude and remembrance besides the inevitable overwhelm that seems to be my default setting! I have scaled back with no baking ~ rice krispie treats for all! Utimately, it is ever and always about choice ~ even and especially in the face of overwhelm. I somehow chose not to be present to the gift of this blog over the last few weeks though it has been on the list ~ finding the balance between live life and cyber reflections of life I guess. Our season has been a busy one with plays and music, PlayShop and other events. There is a bit of a pictorial recap below but for any on the holiday go, I offer you this thread from life’s web: keep turning and returning to the light of you … the star, the candle flame, the Solstice sun … light is always calling us home! ShineAnd in this time of holiday heart remembrances & year end reflections, let light ever guide us home. Here is one of the Play suggestions coming up on our New Thought Families, Oh Holy Light daily Play & Pray Calendar:  Map a lighted pathway today! Draw a map of where you’ve been this year. Make sure you mark all the highLIGHTS! Celebrate the bright spots of your year as well as the dark places where the light found you & called you out. See how all the lighted markers on your path helped light the road for your journey. Honor yourself, your family, your year, your life!

For my part, the events of this month have reflected the year; a mix of traditions with stepping more into the light of who I am and what I can offer the world ~ all tempered with what currently is and with the exhaustion that can come from caretaking and running 2 worlds ~ my father’s and my own ~ I have once again been feeding my dad’s cows ~ 4 big hungry mamas who glare at me expectantly when I open the barn door and almost smile gratefully as they chow down their hay:
HungryCows HappyCowsI wonder if our Creator ever sees us like this … the hungry and happy versions of humanity!

One of the gifts of darkness can be a deeper awareness if we let it be. Our December PlayShop included a sing~a~long concert from our 12 Thoughts CD; the whole event was extra preparation & clean up, etc. so when it was lightly attended by just 3 of our oh so beautiful families, my teenage, multi-instrumentalist elf Jeremiah was moved to tears at day’s end. He simply wanted a bigger audience for the effort. I can relate. And so it is, we co-create! I am re-shaping our 2016 local PlayShop schedule in response to what seems to be a healthier balance of what is and what can be. The PlayShops are an opportunity to share creative heart time intergenerationally. I love them. And it is essential I stay in my own creative heart to effectively offer them! PrePS1 PrePS PSSing CHPSSing2 CHPSSing1 CHPSSing CHPS6 CHPS4 CHPS2For any who may be called to sing transformational thoughts this week (or next season!), Our 12 Thoughts Of Christmas CD is available for instant downloads through CD Baby and also on our new Seasonal Specials Shelf offering in the Leaping Literacy Online Library!12CoverSpecials

The Seasonal Special also includes 6 Christmas LaurieStorEBooks each in 7 super fab formats! Our Leaping Literacy Free Shelf is being QUIET this week which I highly recommend for turning and returning to holiday enJOYment! Our SoulPlay featured one is the harp shaman Cymber Lily Quinn playing in the redwood forest ~ treat you & yours to this unusual moment of merriment! FreebiesFor any of you who ever wanted to peruse the entirety of Leaping Literacy, the Library is open free for 3!

Cruise & Peruse the Library in its entirety FREE for 3 days! Then! Save $200 by joining us for a year for just $97 Special Free & Wee Fee Merry Memberships Available through 1/9/16 Celebrate this end of the year, new year beginning circle of life, light, Love, and *Leaping* Literacy!

As the Leaping Literacy Library speaks to, there are so many ways to explore and express our hearts. Attending to more of the playful and prayerful WHY we read, write, speak, listen ~ communicate! Since attending the Parliament Of World Religions in October, I have been listening ever deeper to what is mine to do in reclaiming the heart of humanity. In the wake of the violence in Paris & San Bernadino along with increasing Islamaphobia, I was called to represent Syria and the humanitarian crisis of refugees in some small way. In trying to put a web page together, talk about overwhelm! But I did post a page in an effort to educate and honor ~ it is mostly some YouTube videos of which there are SO many to choose from. You can share in the ones I chose on our Spotlight On Syria page here.
SyriaFireI also chose to represent Syria at a local event sponsored by an agency that serves children 0-5 and their caregivers. Because how you do 1 thing is how you do everything, I will briefly recap a bit of this experience: Non-profit agencies that serve young children and families were invited to participate by representing a country with a fun, participatory activity/craft, and/or snack. The theme was Winter Festivals though as it turned out, that really meant Christmas. Initially, I signed up saying I would have hummus and pita bread  and a craft to make a Syrian flag. A few days before the event, I was told the flag craft would not fly and to do something holiday related.  Looooooong story shortened, I chose an activity that some of the Christians in Syria have done or do practice. After telling a lot of my participants that 90% of Syrians are Muslim as part of my educational introduction to the activity, I relaxed and related to what was going on around me. Mexico had red and green playdough ~ they were swamped with happy hands. Africa (yes, the whole continent) was making little manger scenes from pre-made craft kits. I had constructed a tissue paper fire representing the bonfire where Syrian Christian families would gather to sing, each holding a lighted candle, hear the Christmas story read by the youngest son and as the fire died down to embers, each would make a wish and jump over the fire (3x). I handed my visitors a battery operated candle to hold as they made a wish and jumped over the tissue paper fire. Many of the littles tried to blow out the flame ~! As I watched the different aged faces making their wishes ~ so beautiful! ~ I was taken back to the heart of my work which is to help others remember their essence by being in their hearts. So simple and yet so complex! And even though I made ‘kid friendly’ hummus replacing the tahini with peanut butter and yogurt, it was still too garlicy and foreign for probably the majority of my visitors! Still and all, I followed my call. And when it was clean up time, I again had to heed my heart and be the Green Queen that I am! ReUse

The manger scene craft next to me yielded a lot of waste that I dumpster dove out ... paper instructions to be recycled, craft remnants to be re-used in PlayShop free form crafts!
The manger scene craft next to me yielded a lot of waste that I dumpster dove out of the trash can … paper instructions to be recycled, craft remnants to be re-used in PlayShop free form crafts!

I only know how to follow my heart as fully as possible. Somewhere in all of it, there is peace, harmony, goodness and balance. I am grateful.

And so it is, we return to the light, the traditions of our hearts, hearths, and homes even as we embrace (or at least accept!) the necessary evolution of change always at play for our families, and this world family of humanity. After several years of being musicians with Jeremiah for our little town’s walking Las Pasadas, this year I sang in the walking choir while Jeremiah played Harry Bailey in the community theatre holiday hit, It’s A Wonderful Life. The high school drama department produced Beauty & The Beast under the direction of Giles Turner (my old drama teacher!) who is a true George Bailey ~ and while I have a fairly cool metaphysical interpretation of Beauty & The Beast that emerged this season, I will close this lengthy holiday post with a simple thought … WE are the gifts and the light of the season ~ for each other. Our higher divine shine aligns with whatever path we find in higher mind, but in the end, us showing up for each other is the gift. Our Feathers Camp Yogi Keith reminded me of this song on our Circle Of Love CD sung to the tune of Simple Gifts:
Some gifts are simple, some gifts are not.
Some gifts are free
and some store bought.
There are lots of ways to give,
here’s just a few.
The best gift we know is the gift of you!

Thank you, thank you shining gift of light and Love! May this moment and season bathe you in the shine of your divine design full of deLIGHT and all things merry and bright! Namaste, Love!

Here is a clip from our local TV station ~ check out 50 + year drama teacher Mr. Turner! ~ while the events we were promoting have passed, the light of our hearts and intentions lingers on!