Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without being tired. ~ Mother Teresa
Namaste Breath Of Love Expressed!
I greet you in the name of the greatest power, Love! It is Love that calls me here, Love that calls me forward, Love that unites us in this right now moment, and Love that can heal our hurting humanity.
I open with a song; a music video made for those families separated at our US border. I wrote the song while on ocean retreat sharing it with many international visitors at the hostel where I was. Written from the perspective of a child, it has been a prayer of solidarity I have been singing to help my own hurting heart and helpless hands in this horrific situation. The song, Mama Where Are You? is here:
I have not posted in this sacred cyber space for 3 months due to so many other commitments including the weekly, pictorial news I have been doing for the Youth Ed at Spiritual Life Center. My own family life continues to be exhausting, intense and demanding. The last May day I posted here, my auntie had a cerebral hemorrhage and left her body 3 days later. She was able to hear us at times letting her know we loved her and I sang to her multiple times including as she took her last breath. Song helped bring sacred awareness to her death. That reverent moment still opens my heart to peace. Both of my parents are in heart failure and too often gasping for breath as my one and only #1 son prepares to leave for college after being away adventuring most of the summer. Deep breath of yes allowance … Our transfomational tool of the day … breathe deep!
Through a deep, conscious breath we can come into oneness with ourselves, with another, our family, our world family. In the conscious yes breath, I align with the shine of my divine design doing what is mine to live Love, to make Love in this world. The life sustaining breath is an instant go to for nurturing oneness and practicing peace.
For any who know me or this place of sharing, you know there are millions of words for the last 12 weeks. So! In case you want to listen some, breathe with me, sing with me ~ pray and play with me, Owl, and Octopus, here is a (long!)Vlog:
As mentioned in the vlog, the Love making I do in this world that feeds me most is my work/play. Returning to my work feeds my soul and keeps me happier. We all need to feel on purpose by showing up for the truest callings of our hearts. For me, that’s music, the Leaping Literacy Library and our Creative Spirit Family events like our annual Feathers Of Freedom Family Camp. There are a few wonderful updates to report on all of the above!
The CD of short Spirit songs I began writing in 2016 is at the duplicators! Originally planned as ‘Children’s Chants’, it morphed and became an I Am exploration through the alphabet ~ Awake And Aware Through Zeal Zap! It is 37 songs (not all letters are created equal!) with a total run time of 54:22. I will continue to be in service to the songs by showing up here and elsewhere with links and samples and such!
The CD debuts next week at our annual Feathers Of Freedom Camp; some of the songs will be shared at some of our circles with my young master musicians, Jeremiah (18) and Cameron (17) who recorded, mixed and mastered the CD. Yippee!
Camp! I have been saying for years we will have 100+peeps and this is the year! Great gratitude for partnering with Spiritual Life Center; through their promotion and invitations, we have lots of new peeps of all ages joining us this year. And great gratitude for our wonderful crew who are also saying woo hoo! I am knee deep in feathers, tea cups and wings for Fairy Tea, Feature Creature Teachers for our (inner) Treasure Hunt and so much more! If you are called, we can still fit you in if you sign up this week!
There are many aspects of the Library in what seems like a slow incubator. From the archives to the dreams and everywhere in between, here is a glimpse of some developing goodness with my supportive friend Rev Karene as Olive and me as puppet Owlet.
I am celebrating this right now moment with a deep breath of gratitude for this space and especially for you sharing it with me at any mindful moment. Thank you. I know I have not been up for nurturing a regular connection here this year yet I am re-committing hopefully in service to others as well as myself. When our hearts keep calling, we can always begin again … in any blessed breath.
Whatever goodness you are up to, may you be blessed in it. May we all be oneness blessed in the Love that created us as we continue to make Love, live Love, do and be Love in our all too often troubled world. Thank you for the Love of you. Namaste, Love!
Greetings this fleeting last breath of February! I am here, in this mindful moment, in large part motivated by not missing the mark on the month. This blog was birthed in February 2011 and I have been here every month and couldn’t miss this one! Deep breath of commitment, surrender, pause for purpose … Truth is, my life hasn’t really had room for this blog of late … hence the last moment markers on the last few months’ dates. Time to realign the shine of this divine design? Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe so. If you are here, at any divine shine moment, thank you. Let us have a heart to heart.
We are all devoted to something. Some of us devoted to too many things. Yes, let us all be devoted to humanity. In the oneness blessed of who we be, let us pray for the tapestry of hearts that is the collective body we are home to. It is easy and perhaps natural to be wrapped up in what is right before us with no mind or heart space left for ‘others’. Tragedies occur, come into our consciousness, we pray for those affected and then we necessarily move on. Yet! Devotion demands diligence. Continued prayers and caring. Whether our thoughts, words, actions seem to have an impact on humanity’s heart or not, we continue to show up in the smallest of ways … with Love, in Love, as Love. We do because devotion makes a difference ~ if in no other heart than our own. We are, after all, heart energy. Holy Creator’s breath of Love expressed. With a mindful, loving presence, we can manage our energy with everything from food choices, thoughts, balanced choices of time for work, sleep, spiritual practice and play. I have not been visually online much at all the last few weeks (months?) as I show up for so many other areas of life and strive for balance and beauty within and in all I am dedicated and devoted to. Facebook is something I seemingly abandoned mostly out of life and energy overwhelm. The swirling energies of social media became too much for me to successfully manage so I just stepped (way!) back. Increased peace and balance are worth it and working for me, for now. Our lives continue to be an evolution of old & new, light & dark, good & bad. With Love in the center, divine order is always unfolding. I still have a fair amount of energy going to the elders all dying slow, slow deaths (like this blog?! ~ maybe ~). I see what it is to stop caring as the literal energy in the body lessons to the point of inability to show up for things that were once important, or even inspirational. Juxtaposed to my now 18 year old son in the thick of scholarship applications, local speech contests, drama and band performances ~ he like I have been for so much of life ~ lending his young, zealous energies here, there and everywhere! Balance. Angels and ancestors whisper to learn from the old, bring their strength and Love to the new. As I have let go of some things and still struggle to do half of what calls, I appreciate the divine dance of divinity as it plays out in life’s infinity. Dying and living, co-creating on all levels, we are humanity. At the heart of how I express life and Love these days is in the elevation of vibration ~ in work, play, everyday conversations. If we can somehow leave peeps the better for our interactions … sometimes I am golden in this and other times less so. We know how people, situations, news, views make us feel. Our inner Grace Positioning System will always let us know whether we are elevating and being elevated or going the other direction. With that information, we often have the freedom to choose whether to continue or disengage for the sake of our highest and best. There is no better playground to practice this than in our minds and hearts. Feeling good and positive and elevated can be work yet with the right transformative tools, it can be fairly easy and even enJOYable. And when it’s not, we keep our 3rd eyes on the prize knowing we will get to that feel good place of Love and it is well worth the journey. Indeed, it is the only way to go for ultimate happiness and elevation of ourselves ~ and humanity!Leaping Literacy Library! It is a place I am dedicated to be! I keep working on what’s there and inching towards what I want to be there! Our Free Shelf is freshly stocked with E’s as we change letters every 2 weeks in keeping with our For Humanity Daily Play & Pray Calendar at New Thought Families. There are special invitations and videos with the Season For Peace as well as inspirational game pages with Peaceful Reconstructionists. Even though I haven’t been making room for the Blog, the other regular features of the websites have been receiving as much TLC as I can muster. The daily Play & Pray celebrates 10 years in May and it remains the truest invitation I can issue you … a playful opportunity to be in your heart each day.As we find ourselves in this year’s Lenten season with Equinox and Easter coming this way, may we all entrust everlasting essence as we shape our days. We are made of Love and all the ways we choose to express this divinity has an impact on humanity and life’s energy. From any and all darkness, may we align with the shine of our divine design and our Spirits Rising ~ anytime! Thank you again for being here. Thank you for continuing to rise into your highest Love expressed. Namaste, Love Divine, Namaste!
Namaste Awake and Aware Allowing, Accepting Ones!
How you BE this conscious moment?! I greet you in the names of acceptance and allowance with a big breath of beautiful, bountiful becoming and creativity caressed compassion awareness. As the first month of 2018 draws to a close, I find myself here with too much to say and a dedicated determination to align with the shine of my divine design to the best of my capabilities at this time. In less poetic terms, I am accepting and allowing messy me to post here less than perfectly according to my 2018 plans … for humanity! Today is the scheduled 3rd post of the year with the courageous, compassionate Letter C. And since Abundant A & Beautiful B were swept away in my January days, we will (eventually!) hear from each of our sacred ABCs this fine day. Today, the POTUS of our fair land gives his 1 year anniversary State Of The Union Address. I am choosing not to tune in as I have heard more than enough and will hear some highlights later, I’m sure. Instead, I revisited some January pictures and a new song born out of the Martin Luther King March For The Dream and the 2nd annual Women’s March. I put prayers to feet in both of them locally with my 17 year old son. In the Women’s March, he brought his guitar and we sang some ~ lots of ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ easily drawing verses from the myriad of colorful, creative, passionate signs. Here’s some pictures in a little video where I am singing a new song I wrote this month with pictures from the 2 marches; one voice, many feet! The voice is rough yet so is the journey! There are also a few pictures starting near the end from around the world curtesy of generous photographers at Pixabay.
Ah yes, always so much to co-create ~ consciously or unconsciously! This day also marks the beginning of AGNT’s 20th Season For Peace which is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will once again run our 64 Ways In 64 Days on our New Thought Families daily Play & Pray Calendar. Here is an excerpt from today’s calendar where co-creative C takes center stage:
Ask: What is mine to co-create? Affirm: I Am that I Am the Co-Creator of my life! Keep consciously creating today ~ whatever your heart is calling you to. Ask your heart what it wants to create … a picture? A song? A new idea? If you feel happy and excited ~ or even a little scared, it’s probably yours to do. So speak the first word of it, make the first line … know that all of creation is with you to help co-create your goodness!
Yes, our ‘For Humanity’ calendar and focus on our ABC’s is back for 2018 after turbulent 2017. Our Leaping Literacy Free Shelf is set to change every 2 weeks in keeping with the calendar and with this blog. Um … about that … it has taken me all of January to get some mojo back after the TOO MUCHNESS of last year … and well, the To Do’s never really stop with a roll of the calendar year! Last night was a major fundraising concert for Jeremiah’s high school concert and jazz bands so of course I had my hands and feet in that … finishing strong! My boy turns 18 in a few weeks and off to college in a few months so between him and the elders, my time continues to be streeeeetched!
Yet! Here we are! So let’s embrace those sacred ABC’s!
A! Activating abundance through appreciation awareness!There are many ways to practice awareness ~ from self to society. The marches are a great expression of awareness. When we turn our awareness to appreciation ~ in presence and practice, life becomes a bigger celebration! When we appreciate, we activate more and more of what feels good and calls us to celebrate! Appreciate the air, your hands and what they do, your loved ones, your neighbors and community. The more practiced we become at appreciation, the better able we are to appreciate even the things we don’t especially like ~ for their place in the divine whole. And even if your awareness can’t accept that one, know for sure that appreciation will undoubtedly raise your vibration keeping you happier, healthier and more prone towards celebration. Thereby better able to accept and deflect the atrocities and more readily allow your heart to awaken into more of the truth you truly be! This month at Spiritual Life Center, we practiced being awake and aware. We talked about being the kind of awake that opens our hearts into knowing more of the divine essence we truly be. Our Feature Creature Teachers were Bear from the dreamtime cave reminding us that in the stillness, can be the greatest awareness. Snake taught us to be aware of what we need to let go of ~ shedding the old so we can embody the new. Ant reminds us to be aware of each other ~ what is ours to do in community ~ with patience and strength! And last Sunday, we soared with Eagle who sees the big picture with sharp eyes teaching us to see our highest and best and to aim high where we build our nest. In being aware, our mind is a nest, our heart is a nest … we can aim high by nurturing them in the high vibration of appreciation! Use the tool of appreciation to center and re-center in the goodness and blessings of your life. I promise the more you use it, the more it will become 2nd nature! Yes we are blessed … so enter Letter B!
Our breath is the built in tool for centering into our blessings. Taking a deep breath in any moment can calm us down and help us cope. There are many ways to use the breath and any yogi will tell you, they all impact the body, mind and spirit differently! I learned the “breath of grace” years ago listening to Sonia Choquette and I still love it! Try it! Just blow out like you are blowing out the candles on your birthday cake … yes? Yes, blessed! Our holy Creator birthed us with a breath of Love and we can rebirth ourselves any and every moment! Our Creator also gifted us with a beautiful planet. Beauty is always beckoning for us to behold!Beauty is a way we can align with the divine design of this world and of ourselves. The flowers above are China Lilies also known as Narcissus which refers to being a narcissist which in this case I choose to see as a positive. These are my favorite flowers for their cheery appearance and intoxicating fragrance. They courageously bloom early; there have been lots around here this January. Their bountiful beauty beckons us to behold their beauty as a mirror to our own (hence the story of the narcissist associated with them). As this brief bout with B shows, it’s all what we believe! If we bring our sacred awareness into play, we will perceive the beauty in our surroundings and feel the blessings! Conscious Co-Creation!
Of course, all of our spiritual tools are always available. Some days or weeks we have great self mastery in using them. Other times, we fall back into forgetfulness. Courageously on the path, we just realign our consciousness as often as we can and then put conscious compassionate action into our feet, hands, and plans! My own plans seem in slow mo yet these last weeks have been about chipping away at lots of unfinished business ~ like finishing 20+ alliteration titles for the Leaping Literacy Library! It’s one thing to create them yet without the formatting and publication, there’s no way to communicate them. My co-creation celebrations require a lot of compassion … and the courage to just keep blooming through the cracks!
Well, my Love, this long post has rolled over into the absolute last day of January! A blue moon night, we will have no full moon in February and 2 in March making for another blue moon (the blue moon refers to the 2nd full moon in a calendar month). This beautiful planet is ever ready to bathe us in beauty even though we continue to be broken as humanity. Yet! We also continue to awaken and to be aware, to be compassionate and to care. We continually rise … march, speak, reach. Thank you. I truly Love and appreciate you. For being here. For being there. For being awake and aware. Whatever you are co-creating this day, this week, this year, keep believing in the blooming of your beauty … breathe it in … ah … Namaste, Love!
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!
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
Ostara Shines on fertile ground
scattering seeds all around
Like green seedlings we reach for the light
With renewed desires, our passions take flight
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 …
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 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!
Yes, our alphabetic year has us wrapping up, X-Y-Z with today expressing some thoughts of the Season in an exploration with the expansive Letter X ~ coupled with the seen and not heard silent e! Gentle readers, were any of you raised with the silent e? A generational thing, my father, in particular was of the mind that children were to be seen and not heard. An interesting placement for an expressive word girl like me! Our current exploration and examination looks at some of the gifts of past and present as we continue to consciously co-create our personal and collective realities. In the Christian tradition, the second week of Advent is underway, celebrating Love or Peace depending on your tradition with the super energized power of Hope as week 1 of Advent and the pink candle of JOY being lit for the 3rd week. As we center in these expectant energies, we experience more of them in our consciousness.
The Power Of Prayer & Expectation!
As in the last few posts, I find myself compelled to be more politically outspoken than ever before. First, great gratitude to the Army Corp of Engineers and President Obama for (finally!) halting the Dakota Access Pipeline on Sunday. YES! #NODAPL Thank you to the thousands of peaceful, prayerful water protectors who stood the (freezing!) ground under illegal, militarized force. Thank you for the thousands of veterans who showed up over the weekend to protect and stand with the people and to say this is not acceptable in the country we fought for. The power of feet to prayer! The tide was turned … for now. The prayer continues to let the black snake sleep and to harness the clean energy of the wind and sun that promises prosperity and sustainability … for all our relations. Aho.
Examination & Excavation!
There is a definite correlation with what has been happening at Standing Rock and the rest of America as we stand divided over the Presidential election. Like racism & sexism, the oil industry should be on it’s way out but not without an uprising of resistance. Environmentally evidenced with the CEO of Exxon being interviewed as the potential Secretary of State, there is a definite eye on turning back our environmental headway and sustaining the greed of big oil companies; talk of reinstating construction of the Keystone pipeline is also in the air. As our wise indigenous people call it, the ‘black snake’ is still very much a threat. So! That is just one aspect of why I ~ and millions of others ~ are harboring hope for a different outcome in this Presidential election.
There is still hope. The Electoral College officially votes in the President on December 19th. With Green party Jill Stein initiated recounts in WI, MI, and PA, there is hope of a different outcome. Stein is maintaining that the integrity of our voting system needs to be checked, hear, here! And! The Electors are free to vote their conscience. The Electoral College was, in part, designed by the forefathers like Alexander Hamilton to be a protection valve to keep someone unfit from being our commander-in-chief. Electors were initially formed as a group of citizens bound not by party, but by their responsibility to this nation. Unfortunately, there has been some loss of this vision as expressed by one Elector from FL who said she campaigned for Trump and would of course vote for him. So much for not bound by party! YET! Let us expect more from other electors given so many red flags about the president elect. Let us expect that the exasperating normalization of his sociopathic behavior all through the campaign and through his cabinet selections, tweets, and ‘Victory Lap’ rallies of late will STOP with the sanity of humanity guiding the Electors to vote for the popular vote winner (by 2.5 million votes), Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am choosing to expect this! Yes, I am along for the ride of divine order in all of it, no matter what. AND! Just like with Standing Rock, it takes prayer to feet, voices raised ~ in Loving expectation for the highest good to execute change! You can write the Electors with your voice through an easy peasy website HERE! An excerpt from the he letter I wrote reads, “We have an extremely experienced and capable President in Hillary Rodham Clinton; the people’s choice by popular vote. No matter what your party affiliation, which of these two candidates do you truly see as able to lead? Able to responsibly hold the nuclear codes? Able to sit with other world leaders? Able to reach across party lines? Which would you like as a role model for your children and grandchildren?” Should you be interested, my whole letter is HERE.
This great nation was founded on an experiment. We must follow human evolution to continue to experiment and expel what doesn’t serve the highest good. My hope is that justice and sanity will prevail in this election as well as our government’s decisions going forward. At the least, let this be the end of the Electoral College which was founded on some good tenants but also on the indigestible, inexcusable back of slavery which equated a slave as 3/5 a person. That’s hard to type. Some parts of our executive history must be expelled. Especially with so many different views in this diverse country, every person and every vote should count equally. We must raise our voices for justice! Again, write the Electors HERE! And if you want to know all about the Electoral college, the government’s site is HERE.
Of course, there is so much to take in these days. We must align with what resonates with our own heart and mind. Ultimately, every part of our existence is up to us to prioritize our own truth. I know of no other way than turning within for deep listening.
Excited Expectation & Exhilaration!
This month of de-LIGHT ~ FULL December, at least some of our children teachers are exercising their expanding extreme excitement for the arrival of Santa or other gift giving, light filled traditions such as Hanukkah (December 25-January 1, 2016). Our New Thought Families Inspiration page lists some of the light filled celebrations and traditions going on around the world this month like St. Lucia Day on 12/13 and Solstice on 12/21. We are having an intergenerational Living Light PlayShop on the 21st in a sharing celebration with some of our local families. Here our Inspiration page’s celebration THIS day! Christian ~ December 6th ~Saint Nicholas Day Christian celebration of the birth of Saint Nicolas, patron saint of children and role model for gift giving. Many churches named for this saint who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus. It is thought that over the centuries the legendary St. Nicholas was merged with similar cultural and religious figures. Significant among these were the pagan Knecht Ruprecht and the Roman figure of Befana, as well as the Christ child (Christkind, or Kris Kringle). In parts of northern Europe, particularly the Low Countries and some German-speaking areas, St. Nicholas Day has remained a time when children are given special cookies, candies, and gifts.
Yes, letters to Santa are something many of us, in this culture have done; back in the 1960’s, my letter here was written at school, I’m sure. I found it this year in cleaning out one of the cluttered corners at my dad’s ranch. I got to see how similar the 7 year old me is to the 54 year old me ~ wordy! Heartfelt and expectant of the good. We must keep the flame of hope and expectation alive for the expanded heart to stay healthy and hearty!
Feeling exuberant excitement and exhilaration sometimes eludes us as adults caught up in the workaday world. Let’s look to the young children again as our teachers when we need to reconnect with the wonder of what it is to be alive ~ for the awe of existence … our own and the life that surrounds us. It is through the now moments of aware, grateful celebration, we allow our hearts and our happiness to expand. I recently celebrated the last red leaf on our beautiful dogwood tree, clinging to the bare branches as the last expression of fall beauty. Whether it was fear of falling or simply extended, expanded expression, this beautiful lone leaf hung in there for days lending lots of contemplation of existence for me. I was reminded of the short story by O Henry,The Last Leaf, that can be read quickly and easily HERE through the wonders of the world wide web. Though published in 1907, it’s timeless message speaks to how our expressions can expand or even extend each others’ lives. Like the best of Christmas movies (think, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life!), it is exactly fitting in this season of light.
The traditions of each family are handed down to our children. Some are ancient, some adapted, some relatively new. The candle lighting celebration of family, culture and community that is Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1st, 2016) began in 1966 so is 50 years young this season. A 500 year old tradition of Las Pasadasis a procession reenactment of Mary on the donkey with Joseph looking for lodging for the birth of Jesus. In our little town, Las Pasadas began 10 years ago and this year was my 8th to participate; 4 in the walking choir, 4 as a singing musician. The sea of voices and candle lights spread out through our little town always feels holy to me. I am grateful for the ways we can connect to story, ancestors, our inner light and the collective light that is the best of humanity. When we explain to our children who we truly be as shining lights, tradition is part of what makes up the explanation of our existence.
Our daily Play & Pray Calendaras well as our Free Shelfin the Leaping Literacy Online Library are all about the Letter Y the first half of December ~ lots of yesness and yoga! With Laurie StorEBooks and songs featuring yelling, yes, and yellow, we spotlight Yogi Keith Lickeyand Yogini Marsha Therese Danzigwith their yoga explanations and invitations. Coming sometime this week, is a long overdue bit of fairy yoga on the beach with Marsha. Due to bad sound and a replacement soundtrack I just couldn’t sync, I had abandoned the project but with renewed faith and acceptance of what is, I think we can still do some sparkling yogic yesness with marvelous Marsha ~ YES!
Oh, exploring existence of goodness, I wish you so much illumined exuberance … or at the least, a full measure of comfort and joy ~ this moment ~ and all throughout the season! Thank you for the gift of you and your presence here. Whether you express yourself through Christmas cards, a letter to the Electors, to Santa, to Creator, to yourself … may you know you are exactly in the right place in your/our expression and expansion.
May we all keep examining what needs saving from extinction and what needs to be expertly extinguished so that the light and Love of our full expression can shine ~ this season and always! Namaste, Love!
Thanks for joining me here; let’s begin with a group hug! From the depths of shadow, let us align with full moon light reminding us of the Love we are. Deep breath. When we are stressed individually, collectively ~ both! ~ shadows, aka dark side, sabotage, negative patterns can grow incrementally feeding on the energy. Are you wrestling with shadows or rising up to shine? Most likely, some of both? My shadows and risings are showing up here after at least a week of repeated attempts as I show up over and over … overthinking, overeating, overdoing, overwhelming! Yes, I have been sitting in extras with some of my shadows as I navigate the intense energy that has been of late for most of us here in the States. Ultimately, I also believe in divine order and the omnipresent good that is always speaking to our hearts. The personal & collective shadows are just the things to call us home to the best of ourselves.
What a wild couple of weeks it has been since the last voting voices blog post here … today, as we honor the whimsical, wise Letter W in keeping with our alphabetic year, we will also speak to the current climate still swirling since our U.S. election. The discussion here includes the usual spiritual living applications mixed with history, the Electoral College, witches, wounds, words, grace, gratitude, ThanksLiving … weaving it all through Spirit & shadows! There are 3 new songs embedded in this post ~ woo hoo! And I know, I know, overwhelm, whew! 😦 Deep breath … and full permission to skim through this absurdly long offering to whatever part(s) serves you!
Perhaps the volume of what I am sharing is best said in this brand new song that speaks to the shadows and how we are called to shine through them ~ indeed, rise above them:
Shadows tall and long are all around.
Even ones you love have let you down. Feelin’ dismayed, betrayed, broken apart …
Let the cracks allow more light to shine through your heart! (Chorus)
How deep is your shadow today? Do you feel ancestors alive in your DNA? Painful blame, shame, name casting games … Justice grows and knows how to chase all our shadows away! So rise up and shine! Darkness is at the door.
Answer with your light; shine brighter than ever before! Shine the light that seeds your soul! Shine the Love that makes you whole.
Shine the Love … that shortens your shadow … Shorten your shadow … Shine brighter than ever before!
Shine more … explore the shadows …. How long and deep … your light … your shadow …
Hear the song here:
The volume of voices we spoke of last time has been turned up with many engaged in a war of words crisscrossing the world wide web and the concrete streets themselves. America is experiencing some of the biggest birthing pains we’ve felt in a while … maybe since 1968?! This election and the president elect have given rise to a wealth of voices spewing intolerance and hate. It’s as if the sleeping giant was awakened with voices ringing out in every corner. Of course, there are so many examples out there that I will not feed energy to by repeating them here. The spotlight is on the shadows so we can see better who stands where. Families refusing to sit together at Thanksgiving, FaceBook friends unfriending each other are some of the more benign yet prevalent fallout. The clock seems to have been turned back as a backlash against the inevitable global family we be with all people treated fairly; freedom and justice for all! Ultimately, it is all a cry for Love and healing. So many of us felt truly heartbroken at what seems to be a victory for racism, misogyny & demagoguery. I have been experiencing heartbreak yet at the same time the incredible rising that is the formidable human Spirit. Yes, the good is always present and Love always prevails. We are all of us the walking wounded and all capable of and willing for wellness. The pain body shadow we all carry is like much of our lives, largely unconscious. We carry the pain of our ancestors, as well as the sins of our fathers. The word sin is an archery term that means to miss the mark, to make a mistake. As human beings, we certainly all make mistakes individually and collectively. We all have the scars of oppression. Our souls remember it all. One of the reasons I kept crying and feeling betrayed was the shadow of my own sexual abuses and harassments that had been green lighted in this campaign. So many men ~ and women! ~ were willing to accept Trump’s behavior and “locker room” talk. Indeed, they gave him their vote for the highest office in the land with a willingness to turn away from that and all of his other hurtful, hateful talk and bullying demonstrations. At the least, we have all seen manners were given a backseat when the biggest bully on the playground was elected to the highest office in the land. And again! Coming out of the shadows into the light, is part of transformation! One of the positives that has arisen is the willingness to be a warrior or warrioress for any of the disenfranchised people the Trump campaign targeted. Included in the positive stirrings are personal calls to action for so many of us along with the expanded education and awareness of the election process itself. Voter fraud and suppression are real and being investigated in many states. Hillary Rodham Clinton won the popular vote and the % numbers continue to rise. In case you don’t know (I didn’t!), our President will be elected on December 19th. I am among millions with the hope that history will once again be made that day.
The President has not been elected yet. This will happen with the Electoral College Votes due on December 19th. If you have been wondering how it works when someone like Clinton (or Gore) win the popular vote but lose the Election, that’s due to the Electoral College. That is also how a race with so many millions of voters is called within hours while weeks later, votes are still being counted.
There are indeed some great YouTube videos explaining the Electoral College ~ and more being made by the day! Here are 2 by a sharp lawyer, CPG Grey who describes everything in detail. In this 1st one, he talks about the December vote starting around 3:00 min.
As spiritual beings having a physical experience, is it wise to be caught up in all the workings of government and social injustices? As someone who lived in a spiritual bubble for a long time, and still do to an extent ~ it is much easier to be at peace and joyful in living when you look the other way or la la la it away out of earshot. Yet! We belong to each other. To fully take care of each other, it requires speaking up and acting as necessary. We must always figure out what’s ours to do ~ I didn’t start or run the petition above but I am choosing to share it. Like everything else, there are layers to this. The hope of a different outcome (however small) helped me move on from heartbreak into action. Truthfully, Jeremiah showed me videos about the Electoral college earlier this year and I remarked how messed up it was but did not engage with any amount of passion or action ~ until now.
What? When? Where? Why?
Many on this New Thought path say to just ignore and rise above it all. We each must decide for ourselves. At one point Jeremiah said, “Mom, you function much better in your bubble.” My teenage son had never seen me so sad and undone. I explained to him that I feel called to balance being aware of (some of) the unfair without allowing it to tear me apart. I am called to speak up and do what I can while also being in joyful ThanksLiving as much as I can. I have been wearing feathers in my hair as I affirm, “I stand with you Standing Rock”. As told last post, I hold the wise buffalo energy for the water protectors as I can from where I am.
Witches Were Wise Ones
Also mentioned in the last post, and saved for this W discussion, the week before Halloween, I was part of a church service about witches with an interfaith minister friend. Most of us have no clue about the true history of what a witch is, what really happened with witch trials, etc. It is explained beautifully and succinctly here:
From Kate Marks in Circle Of Song: It is important for us to reclaim the word witch; to associate it with true wisdom, positive power and healing. Witch originally comes from the Celtic word Wicca. It means the wise one, the one who practices the craft of the wise. Witches (predominately women) worshipped nature and the Goddess. With the rise of Christianity, especially in Europe, witches came to be seen as heretics, as a threat to the power of the church and the growing patriarchy, many were persecuted and murdered. The height of the witch hunts occurred from the 14th to the 18th centuries, killing between nine and eleven million people. It was not until 1951 that the last anti-witch law in England was repealed.
Part of what happened in this unprecedented election, was that for the first time a woman ran for President. The unconscious shadow was not ready to accept this possibility. It is still widely held at least in the subconscious ~ that a woman should not have this kind of power. The media ran story after story about how untrustworthy she was and people believed it all though it was mostly speculation ~ some see it as a witch hunt. Obviously, we all see the world and have our truth the way we do ~ I’m pointing here to some of the subconscious programing that makes up our truth. I have been reminded of Mary Magdalene who is disputed throughout Christianity for who she was and who she was to Jesus; Prostitute? Disciple? Bride of Christ? Ultimately her message is about unconditional Love; showing up as you are in all your good despite what others think of you or say about you. I believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a very wise and strong woman who does indeed live by the beautiful Methodist creed her mother taught her, ‘Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.’ She will keep doing that good ~ as will we all!
So! Spiritual teachings! In the church service I led Bonnie Lockhart’s wonderful “Who Were The Witches” song as part of our education. I led a meditation speaking the words of the new song of mine that follows here. The calling of this song is to holy restitution ~ as we know that we are all in the circle of persecution as both persecutor & victim … at different points in our lifetime(s). Song MP3 and lyrics are here:
Fires are burning, yearning for justice. Our hearts are timeless flames of forgiveness. We’re all in the circle of persecution. We meet in the center … now … for holy restitution.
For all of the wise ones burned as false witness. For all of the witches, we beg your forgiveness. For all who’ve been enslaved. For all who are brave. We honor you now for the lives that you gave.
We wipe all the tears cried in times of trial. We sift through the ashes of fearful denial. We won’t be afraid of all who are wise. For all who were denied, we bring justice to the lies.
And so we go with the wisdom we know. In memory of the wise, Love won’t be denied. We honor the divine, in the circle of time. Chorus We are the center … NOW … of holy restitution.
And so it is that we can continue to expand the circles of time, within our own hearts and minds. We can be the holy restitution right here, right now. And we can reach back in the circle of time for all of the wounded ones in our ancestry … especially as the backlash reminds us to do so.
Working it out!Our Leaping Literacy Library alphabetic expressions have crossed into the Letter X, who, for our purposes is inseparable from silent e. We’re going to keep the W offerings on the Free Shelf and add the (e)X’s in there tomorrow! Beautiful UK mum and spiritual teacher/healer Kate Beddow has a wonderful adventure in the SoulPlay section ~ a full 30 minute video, Wishing In The Woods ~ woo hoo! One of the brand new alliterative Laurie StorEBooks is there too. The work of Leaping Literacy Library & Creative Spirit Families is looking toward 2017 with expansions and perhaps a few omissions … Continue the daily Play & Pray Calendar after 8.5 years? Keep showing up to this blog after weekly or bi-weekly posts for nearly 6 years? For who? You?! Blessed to have so much freedom of decision and expression! Change is always an option for new good to rise up and shine from the shadows!
ThanksForgiving & ThanksLiving
So, since my processing and beach time bring this ridiculously long sharing up to a few days before our (U.S.) Thanksgiving, lets settle in the good grace of this holi-day and what it offers us before I close. In giving thanks, we are able to raise our vibration and appreciation for this sacred gift of life. We all have incredible blessings to be thankful for! In reaching for gratitude, we can invite our hearts to let go of whatever is in the way … practice some ThanksForgiving at the table as we allow all the judgments that keep us in our righteous anger to soften into compassion … Allow ourselves to let the grace of goodness bring us home into unconditional Love with the trust and knowing that the higher good is ~ always ~ unfolding. Living the art of ThanksLiving is to be in a grateful flow of appreciation for ALL that is! Look to our youngest teachers … very young children are in the joy and wonder of the now. They burst into anger or tears when they feel it and they just as quickly let it go to return to Love and joy. We ARE so blessed! Let’s sing it! Here’s one of the simple, alphabetic Short Spirit Songs of 2016:
Yes, we are blessed! Yes, we are blessed!
Blessings fill my life and we say yes, yes, yes! Yes, we are blessed! Yes, we are blessed!
We receive, We give thanks, We pass it on, We are blessed!
May your Thanksgiving be full of blessings, ThanksForgiving as needed and lots of ThanksLiving moments of Love, joy, and goodness. May all of our wistful wonderings and wonderful wishes find their truth in the shadows and in the light of Love that we are made of. The Light Of Love that is … always … and in all ways. Namaste, Love!
PS! 4th Song ~ For Humanity!
Our 2016 theme song got a bit of a tweak this week ~ check it out here! Thanks for singing … for humanity!
I greet you with tender tenacity this chilly, changeable October morning in celebration of truth, trust, transformation and terrific Letter T! I hope this moment finds you transforming through the season and all else with relative ease, grace, and trust filled peace. With swirling political energies polarizing our nation, a terrible hurricane wreaking havoc for many, continued horrors of war, refugees, and innocent lives being tortured and lost, these tumultuous times can be trying to say the least. Truth be told, it can be hard to know who and what to trust.Ultimately, we must be able to trust ourselves. This requires the willingness and ability to show up for ourselves … to love and honor our truth so much that we take time daily to be with it. That we take the time to listen to our heart, inner wisdom and guidance always aligning us with what is ours to do in the natural evolution of our soul’s transformative journey.We are indeed much like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly except that we do this countless times in a lifetime. Even in any given day, we may find ourselves crawling, curling up into a chrysalis of transformation and emerging to fly … one thought at a time. As I have noted here … a lot … thinking thankful thoughts is a sure fire way to align with our higher selves ~ and at the least feel better moment by moment! Indeed, there is always something to be grateful for and gratitude leads us to living in a flow of appreciation and ThanksLiving. This practice serves me so well, especially in these trying times. The T word I would like to avoid is presidential contender Trump … he has offered me such a trigger to deepening my ThanksLiving … especially in the face of those in my family or community who would vote for him. With all the compassion I am capable of, I consciously connect with unconditional Love … Political deets aside, let me just refer to the Atlantic Monthly who since it’s inception in 1857, historically made it’s 3rd Presidential candidate endorsement this week with Hilary Clinton. Because I view this as a moral and spiritual cause, I find those who are speaking out against injustice to be yet another great cause for ThanksLiving!My personal, familial journey with aging parents, in particular, continues to be a trial. I spent a day at the hospital with my mom this week … her main aortic heart valve has stopped working. Again, I center in compassion and unconditional Love for her journey in the midst of a medical system that is not my way. All of it offers me opportunities to transform my judgments into decisions that work for me … to keep me on my own track of tenderness, togetherness, and trust. In focusing on the teachings of T, tenderness has come up … tenderly! The strength needed to navigate our personal and global lives requires a tender softness to stay in alignment with our heart and soul. Our mind and judgements more often lean towards toughness and tenacity ~ absolutely needed at times, to be sure. Yet it is tenderness that tends to the still small voice of truth.May we all teach our children to be both tenacious and tender when it comes to telling themselves the truth of who they truly be!
Truth Telling Time! From the depths of my creative bubble, I feel the urge to be transparent here today for any who care to track this path with me ~ thank you if you do! As our Creative Spirit Families alphabetic year enters the home stretch, I find myself still at the beginning of the list of Spirit StorEBooks … and in the messy middle of my tall order of alliterative Laurie StorEBooks though there ARE 33 new published titles this 2016! ~ sample them all from HERE! And yes, those of you who readily know there are 26 letters in the alphabet can see that the good news and bad news of creative me is that 1 title per letter wasn’t enough! I am doing 3 per letter though all letters not being equal, some coming up like Q and X may have to be reasonably reckoned with. I am simultaneously working on multiple titles, some I hope to complete this weekend but here are the latest ones published:
And! In this prolific 2016, I’m fairly well on track with the alphabetic Children’s Chants or Spirit Short Songs as they are leaning towards being named (26 of 36 complete ~ again 1 per letter in some cases just wasn’t sufficient!) as well as the 286 multi-media calendar pages completed for your daily intergenerational, interfaith, heart centering opportunities on our daily Play & Pray Calendarwhich is just today tipping towards the unique Letter U. U ushers in the restocking of the Leaping Literacy Library Free Shelf this weekend. If you haven’t already, do play with tremendous Letter T and our oh so talented teens in the SoulPlay section of the current fab freebies!
And so it is, I wish you tons of trustworthy truth for you and yours. For those who are heartened through traditions and interfaith inspirations, visit our October Interfaith Listings at New Thought Families ~ it’s a huge month of celebrations! Just this week, the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana was celebrated ~ ah, the promise of a sweet new year! Barry Louis Polisar has a great free resourceexplaining the holiday with sweet simplicity and this song is beyond sweet, truly a transformative experience! EnJOY! Namaste, tender truth of transformation!