Monday, June 30, 2014

Destiny Orientation, Part 1

Walking down the hall in the sub-basement of the school district office, I passed a sign that, at first, didn't quite register. The words slipped easily inside my brain. It took a few seconds for the irony to follow. This was the sign: Destiny Orientation. It was being offered in a computer lab. Huh. I wasn't quite sure how they were planning on orienting people to their destiny, but I certainly found the signage humorous.

More than anything else, I wondered how the school district could even suggest knowing anything about orienting people to their destinies. One would think that Destiny Orientation is what education is truly all about ~~ but then, one would be sadly mistaken. Unless one's destiny is about taking tests. Or doing what everyone else around you is doing. Ah, but that's mostly political chatter.

What I want to do is make a sign like this and put it up in my office to see if anyone notices. Or asks what it means. Or if it can open a discussion about what destiny is.... and how one orients oneself toward it.

How do you orient yourself? How do you know where your destiny lies? Where do you think it is? What kind of sign do you need ~ or have you seen ~ pointing it out to you?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Regret Effect

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
~ Alexander Graham Bell

Life brings many opportunities to choose to focus on either the closed door or the open one. Along with that come many chances to feel regret.

Regret leaves an effect behind when it seems to pass us. It's not always an effect we notice or we name, but it is there just the same. There's a palpable sadness, an internal turning back, a yearning for what was. As we turn back, we miss what is present in our lives at this very moment. We fail to recognize the good, the holy in the now.

When we are given the opportunity to ‘return’ to that past moment ~ a reconnection with a previous partner, a replay of a business meeting, a once-favorite fishing hole ~ it doesn’t really matter. We are different now. Time and life have both gone forward and what we ‘remember’ is no longer what it once had been. There really is no going back.

Occasionally we have to force our eyes and our minds forward, toward the open door. We have to accept that the other door has closed, no matter how much we want it to be different. When we move on with purpose and intention, we find there is grace and beauty in that forward motion. The new doorway that has opened brings its own set of joys and challenges. It is the direction of life.

Are there things in your life that you regret? What do you think would/could be different? How has your life progressed past that time? Have you gone through the open door?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Moon in Cancer

Early Friday morning, the New Moon slid into Cancer, Her home sign. In it She expresses fully as the Great Mother, the Nurturer. Cancer is the sign of deep emotions and connections and family. Both Sun and Moon in Cancer means a double dose of Mama Love!

New Moons are about letting go, shedding, renewal. This New Moon opposes Pluto in Capricorn; the God/dess of the Underworld intimating that what's arriving renewed cannot fit in the constraints of what has gone before. It's about completing projects and moving on. Whatever I cling to, thinking I'm safe and secure, is instead limiting my opportunity to grow and step into a fuller expression of my power. Pluto is all about moving through and transforming feelings of insecurity in order to assure the deeper, truer experience of inner security. Pluto is also about Power. With the New Moon in Cancer, I need to be sure I own my power in all its aspects, including the Shadow side. Which means I need to be aware of all those aspects myself.                                                        

The Cancer New Moon is part of the final ripples of the Grand Cardinal Cross ~ it is a Dark Moon in Cancer, a Cardinal Sign. My focus continues to be the Divine Feminine, observing how the feminine principal is empowered in the world. With so much masculine huffing and puffing going on in the world, from Kim Jong-un's retaliation threat if Seth Rogen's film is released to Bashar al-Assad's willingness to wipe out huge groups of his own people to Iraq's loss of control in many key areas to John Boehner suing President Obama, the Divine Mother needs to be invited in to help settle the testosterone battles. If enough of us call on the Divine Feminine, perhaps things can change direction.

How do you honor a New Moon? Have you been feeling deeper emotional connection and conflict the past few days? What do you do in response? How do you honor the Divine Feminine?

Friday, June 27, 2014

By All Means Paint

Six Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” 
― Vincent van Gogh

On a beautiful summer day, Van Gogh's sunflowers imitate reality with their brightness and lively color. I am always amazed by the intensity of the blues and golds that Van Gogh used. Every stroke brings the image to life. Every slight shift of color infuses it with movement.

His quote also amazes me. I cannot count the number of times in my life I've heard that voice saying, you cannot....  Many times I didn't listen, I simply did whatever I chose and let that voice fall into silence. There were some times, however, when I did listen. Maybe not to the full you cannot...., but certainly to the voice telling me that I was better off where I was, doing what I was, staying the path I was on. That voice keeps me abreast of the status quo ~ or closer to it than I might have wandered otherwise.

 Do I regret the decision to listen to that voice? Sometimes. The truth for me lies muddled in between. Sometimes I wasn't ready to move on. Sometimes I wanted to be more adventurous. Sometimes I felt frustrated. Sometimes I was seeking a way out of that frustration. Mostly, I recognize that my life has been its own version of a miracle, filled with wonder and joy, adventure and challenge.

What does that inner voice say to you? Have you listened to the you cannot...? Have you moved beyond it? How do you feel about your choice?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Sayings

In an article at, Bill Murphy, Jr. lists several things happy people say:

  • "I'm happy to see you."
  • "Remember when you..."
  • "You might not realize this, but..."
  • "You're really great at..."
  • "You really impressed me when..."
  • "I believe in you."
  • "I'd like to hear your thoughts about...."
  • "Tell me more."
  • "I took your suggestion."
  • "I'm sorry."
  • "I'd like to be more like you."
  • "Thank you."
  • "You're welcome."
  • "No."

Even though this relates directly to the work place, it's also true in our contact with people every day. When our focus is on others ~ letting them know they're important to us, telling them we think highly of them, acknowledging their contributions ~ we feel better overall. We feel better about ourselves too. We should say these things when we truly believe them ~ every time we think of saying them.

Sometimes I stop myself from saying "Thank you" or "You did a great job" because I think my compliment or comment is sentimental, trivial or out of line. When I say what I sincerely believe, I'm often met with smiles. I am too good at over-thinking.

One of the most difficult statements to make is "I'm sorry." It's easier when the reason is outside my control, like an illness or an accident or something of that nature. It's not as easy when I'm apologizing for making a mistake. What I know is that apologizing often clears the air for everyone to move on. It's not that others don't know the mistake was made, it's that I own up to making it. I take responsibility for my actions, or inactions.

Another difficult statement is the single word "No." I want to be able to say "Yes" to everything asked of me. Somehow, I believe that saying "Yes" means I'm generous and will win me some sort of points. However, that's not true. Sometimes I am not able to stretch myself as much as I'd like to do. When I find I can't do it all, those commitments start to slide and I feel even worse about myself than if I said "No" in the first place.

Although I don't believe in any absolute in terms of this list, I understand the power of making these statements on a regular basis. They turn my focus to others, and I feel better, happier, when I do that.

What about you? Do any of these statements register with you in terms of your personal happiness scale? How do you respond when people say these statements to you?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
~ John Lubbock, The Use of Life

In our busy, perpetual motion world, sometimes slipping away and finding a place to rest, to relax, to slow down enough to breathe, is the best thing we can do for ourselves. So much of our time is spent being busy ~ with work, with email and the internet, with friends and family ~ a busyness that takes its toll on our mental and emotional health. We begin to think in terms of "When can I get enough time for...?" or "If I only had the time, I'd..." or "Maybe I can do that next...." Time becomes a commodity we bargain with. Taking time to rest, taking time to simply stop and be still, seems beyond our ken.

I've been taking that kind of time for myself lately. I haven't pushed to write these blogs. I've even missed a few days.... and forgiven myself for doing so. I have books to read, reports to write, applications to fill out, people to call. Instead, I've been sitting on my porch, or in front of Starbucks or in the park, resting, relaxing, letting my mind wander wherever it chooses to roam. I find myself lost in creative moments that I do not write down or attempt to capture in any form. I know that the rest, the wandering thoughts, the purposeful quietude, will bring forth the creativity when the time is right. I know that 'wasting time' is decidedly not a waste of time. Its benefits bring me breath and joy.

Do you allow yourself to rest? How do you rest? What form does your 'wasting time' take? What benefit/s does it bring to you? How do you feel after a bout of 'wasting time'?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shedding Tension

"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world."
~ Ada Louise Huxtable

Shedding tensions. Summer certainly has that potential. The weather is warmer and the days are brighter, longer. Grass grows faster. Flowers bloom brighter. Fruit ripens and is sweet to the taste. Everything and everyone turns towards the sun. Long days provide more time for celebration and relaxation. Travel happens frequently during the summertime and people are pleasant when they are able to shed the drudgery of their homes and go elsewhere. Returning home is a joy after a trip. It's the place we are willing to return to. Even though we are there regularly all the rest of the year, in the summer everything just seems better.

Shedding tensions. Warmth is a relaxant. It eases stiff and sore muscles. Summer provides me the opportunity to shift gears. There are fairs and open air markets and concerts in the park during the summer. These events are all over and readily accessible. Even at later evening hours, it is still light outside when returning from them. With activity and accessibility comes the chance to see people I miss seeing in the winter. I love the slower pace, the brighter days, the shifting sense of time. With less tension, I relax into the joy of right timing for everything.

What is it about summer that helps you to shed tension? What makes summer different from the other seasons for you? How does it help you feel that all's right with the world?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wolf Medicine

When looking for an energetic focus for the beginning of a new week, I pulled a card from Stone People Medicine. Wolf showed up.

From the book by Manny Twofeathers:
What you can expect from Wolf medicine:

  • A dynamic and outgoing personality
  • Ability to learn and teach easily
  • Good communication
  • Strong determination
  • Alertness, good sense
  • Thoughtfulness toward others
In the Celtic tradition, the Wolf is a source of lunar power. Celtic myths say Wolf would hunt down the sun and devour it at dusk each day so the power of the moon would come forth.

Both of these make sense to me for different reasons. Though in general, I am more at home in solitude, when the teacher/learner side of me surfaces, I can be very dynamic. I wonder what I am setting forth to learn as this week begins. When will it then be incorporated into what I 'teach' or share with others? Hmmm. My curiosity is piqued!

The Celtic Wolf tradition brought a grin to my face ~ perhaps a wolfish grin? ~ because I am, and always have been, enamored of the moon. Drawing Wolf medicine makes so much sense for me. I draw much power, learning and strength from the moon. It has taught me much about the cyclical nature of life ~ fullness through dark night and back again to fullness. The greatest gift has been the realization that each day will be different and fullness will always return. Always.

What does Wolf medicine mean to and for you? What tradition fits your way of being in the world? Is there another animal that attracts you? What is it? Why does it attract you?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstice

In the Northern Hemisphere ~ Happy Summer Solstice!
May the longest day of the year bring you grace, peace and joy!

Summer Solstice is one of the significant quarter celebrations of the pagan year. It marks the longest day. Though we often label it the 'start' of summer, it is more the midst and high point of summer instead. Neopagans refer to it as Litha or Midsummer.

Summer slides in as Spring slides out ~ on Beltane. The seasons are not so clearly delineated that they never overlap. But their cycle is predictable as one follows upon the other. With those changes, we have an inkling of what is to come.

Today has been a very low-key Solstice for me. I didn't go to the celebration where many of my women friends were gathering. Although I miss the contact with them, this particular year, I appreciate the solitude even more. My celebration is quiet, alone, gentle, reverent. In other years I relished the dancing, the reverie, the community celebration. My daughter grew up attending the women's gatherings at the Summer Solstice. So many beautiful, strong women gathered around her. She knew them for the wonder that each of them was. They saw and called forth her strength and her voice. Even in my solitude, I send a prayer of blessing and gratitude for each woman who ever shared Solstice with me.

I know many who celebrate Solstice ~ women and men alike. It is a day of Light, a day for Gladness, a day overflowing with Life. I wish each and every one of them Light, Joy and Love for the coming year. [For my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, the wish is the same, as they celebrate the Winter Solstice, the Return of the Light.]

What do you do to celebrate Solstice? How do you acknowledge the changing times of the year? Do you recognize the Wheel of the Seasons? or do you have another way to celebrate?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Alter the Past

The entire premise of X-Men: Days of Future Past is altering the past to create a new future/present. I don't want to include too many spoilers, but I will say the dude stealing away behind/between Wolverine and the young Professor X is William Stryker. Nothing like meeting your nemesis when he's a younger punk!

Rather than chatting about the movie itself, I am once again fascinated by and enamored of yet another view of time travel. Our culture, for the most part, believes time to be immutable and only running one way.  In science fiction, time often shows up as fluid. Sometimes it's immutable; sometimes it's changeable; sometimes it's a combination of the two ~ some incidents are fixed in time (like the death of JFK, the U.S. Civil War, the rise of Adolph Hitler....) and some are not. What a wild concept!

What do you think? Is time travel possible? Would you be interested in it? Why or why not? Do you think you can alter the past? Why would you want to?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Focus on Intuition

I was looking through my books and spotted the Animal Wisdom Tarot deck so I decided to shuffle it and draw a card. As I was gathering the cards, Ibis fell out and onto my lap. Chuckling, I thought, "Here's the surprise gift for me." I set it aside and kept shuffling, focusing on the question: "What strength do I need for tomorrow?" I drew the Sea Turtle.

Ibis, my surprise gift, brings the message: Trust intuition, speak the truth. How fitting! I could not have chosen better. It brings the qualities of being Astute, Honest, Stately and Forthright. I'm heading into several meetings tomorrow and these qualities will certainly come in handy. I plan to keep them in mind where they can serve me well.

I thoroughly enjoy the synchronicity of cards falling into my lap. Sometimes the surprises outshine the focused draw card. That's not true this time. Sea Turtle complements Ibis entirely. Its message: Feel deep, love true. Those two were meant to be together for me tomorrow. It will help if I not only use my intuition, but also feel deeply connected to those who will be with me in the meetings. And the qualities Sea Turtle brings are being Intuitive, Aesthetic, Loving and Deep. A double whammy of intuition/intuitiveness. I will need to stay deeply connected and grounded. Great reminders that no matter what I have in my schedule, focusing on that connection to God/dess, Spirit, Universe, the Ineffable One ~ no matter what the name ~ will keep me approaching everything going on with an open, loving heart.

What do you do when you have a big day ahead of you? How do you prepare? What rituals do you perform to keep you focused?                                                                                        

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Life Awaits

Speaking with a friend recently, I referenced Joseph Campbell and the many ideas I learned reading and listening to him. This quote came to mind since it fits the current theme of my life.

I planned different tracks for my life over the years: where I would live, where I would teach, what and who I would teach, where I would travel, who I would be with (in every different sense of that phrase), how long I would be somewhere, how long I would do something.... I could go on and on.

Yet each time something new showed up and I shifted from my plan to what was waiting for me, I discovered a renewal that left me nothing but grateful. Maybe not at first, but when I stepped out of the way, breathed into the change and relaxed, it was beautiful.

It's the last line of this quote that brings out my grin. I don't know that I looked at the changes as shedding skin, but that certainly fits. My thoughts went more to the adage about the seed needing to die in the earth in order for the plant to grow. Both metaphors work. Beauty and renewal arrive when I let go of what no longer serves or suits me.

What skins have you shed? As the seasons change, what needs to change within you? How do you open yourself to the process of letting go?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Control and Decisions

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
~ Maya Angelou, New York Women in Communications

I've spent time in my life practicing being a control freak ~ wanting to be in charge of everything that was happening, resisting change, blaming others for creating that change. 

I'd like to say that's not my general modus operandi for most of my life. That's true. It's not. Yet for the moments when it is, it takes over ~ like the wind preceding a tornado. It sweeps through everything I am doing and knocks it all askew. My point of view shifts. I generally scream, NO! ~ though most often, not aloud. Like a two-year-old, I want my plans to go forward as I planned them to happen.

What I find is that if I relax during those moments, if I breathe through the scream, what's happening isn't so bad. The sooner I relax, the easier it is to flow with what's happening and enjoy the moment. Well, maybe 'enjoy' is not the optimal term. Once I'm in the flow of the change, it no longer has power over me. Funny how that works, when I let go of control, I am less out of control and I take the control of my life back from the change point.

Good luck following that.... Let me give an example:
I want to go to a movie. I have a plan in my head about going to the 1:30 movie at the local theater. When I get home at noon, I find my partner in the midst of a major yard clean-up. My partner demands that I help because the neighbors are coming over for a barbecue. My inner NO! explodes. This is a radical change to my plans! How dare someone do that to me! 
Outcome 1: I shout at my partner about the change in my plans. We both stop being productive to argue for the next 15 minutes. I stride into the house and slam the door. Going to my movie is either not happening or I'll be too pissy to enjoy it.
Outcome 2: I tell my partner I need a minute to absorb the news and go into the house. I breathe deeply and consider the options: the movie is playing later and even the next day. The invitation has already gone to the neighbors. So I join in the clean-up, and enjoy the time with the neighbors.
It's all in how I choose to respond.

How do you respond to change? How does being out of control feel to you? What do you want to change in your reaction?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Industrious Sweetness

Wisdom of Avalon ~ Colette Baron Reid
I love bees. Over the years, I've learned much from observing them. Some societies, ancient as well as current, revere them.

From the Wisdom of Avalon guide:
"When the Bee buzzes onto your path, it's a reminder that hard work and a firm commitment to building your dream, a sweet outcome is assured. ... effort is essential as you progress along your path in order to make your dreams a reality. The Bee is an industrious, busy creature that's always making honey. The Bee 'gets busy,' and that honey will soon be yours. The Bee is always a fortunate omen."

Sometimes I act as though things will happen even if I don't do anything. Like expecting dinner to prepare itself. Like wondering why I'm out of socks when I haven't done the laundry for weeks. Like wanting to take an inexpensive trip without actually checking for cost and availability of flights.

Sometimes things do fall into place without my doing much. A friend invites me to dinner. A last minute space opens up in a workshop I want to attend. A co-worker mentions having an extra ticket to a play I wanted to see. These are all strokes of luck ~ luck is also a gift from the Bee.

I've noticed as I continue to do these blogs daily ~ it's been more than 3 months now ~ a sweet, soft feeling comes over me when I sit down at the computer to compose them. I've begun to reveal more of myself ~ discovering more of my personal sharing and writing style as well as my creativity. Being industrious, setting myself a daily writing goal and accomplishing it, brings its own sweetness.

What do you find joy in doing? What do you resist? What brings sweetness to you when its accomplished even though you first resisted? What does Bee bring to you?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wibbly Wobbly

Doctor Who fans will recognize this quote from an episode called "Blink." Written by Stephen Moffat, the series writer at the time, it was a simplified version of how time, and time travel, worked. Oh. It was also stated by the last of the Timelords.

I used to consider time as totally linear ~ it only moved in one direction as well. However, the more I read and study, the more I discover that it really isn't quite that simple a concept.

When I was in college, I recall long and heated discussions about time being the 4th dimension. I don't recall anything ever being clearly decided. The primary use for the discourse was the exercise of our deductive reasoning, our capacity to persuade and our imaginations.

Our language often refers to time as "standing still" or "flying" or other terms designating varying degrees of movement. Is that because the passage of time is truly related to our focus or desire? or is it an illusion created by how we focus our minds?

Lately, I've spent time with dreamers. People who re-enter their dreams to discover more of what the dream has to tell them. I've spent time with shamanic practitioners as well. People who slide into other realities for the purpose of healing. Practicing with these groups, I've discovered that time is fluid and you can go backwards and forwards and sideways. Time holds definition only as long as we hold the same definition.

My fascination with Doctor Who comes from that same place within me that seeks out the company of dreamers and shamans. The place where dreams, imagination, healing and time bump up against each other and help me to become more than what I thought I was.

How do you experience time? What teases your imagination? What helps you dream? What helps you heal?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


As I was getting dressed this morning, I discovered a deck of cards on the floor, the Jewish Mysticism Knowledge Cards. Having no idea how they got there, I picked up the deck and pulled it out of the box. I shuffled the deck with a specific question (or two related questions) in mind: What strength do I need for today? What would help me through the day?

The card I picked was Ruach. I already knew that the meaning of Ruach was breath, wind, spirit.... multiple meanings referring to the animating force.

From the back of the card:
"The second of the three primary levels of soul is ruach, which can meabn soul, spirit, anima, wind, breeze, air, breath, odor, thought, mind, ghost, devil. .... God's ruach - His spirit or breath - hovers over the face of the deep in the first chapter of Genesis. .... Ruach-ha-kodesh is the divine spirit, the spirit of prophecy."

It's so very true that today I feel the need for the animating breath of God. I chuckled when the card showed up in my hand. I felt that tickle of recognition as the card slipped out of the deck. In meditation I find myself listening for the breath of God, Ruach, softly playing past my ear. Ruach comes to remind me to pause and to listen and to reflect.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Heroic Journey

In May of 2003, X2: X-Men United was released. I saw it at a matinee one Saturday ~ and later that same day, I picked up a friend and went to see it again. I recommended it to every person I knew ~ with caveats for those who have issues with violence. Was it the greatest movie I'd ever seen? No. Not even close. It was Wolverine's story arc that captured me: the Hero's Journey, a modern-day Hercules.

Like Hercules, Wolverine is massively strong, in a bull or elephant manner. Like Hercules, he is looking for a way to prove himself to, well, mostly to himself. He is a protector of the weak and a righter of wrongs. He takes on impossible feats to protect others, to right wrongs, to prove himself worthy of Olympus. Or in the case of Wolverine, worthy of Professor X and the X-Men.

What drew me to his story was its mythic quality. Wolverine is the consummate hero, yet racked by insecurities and even fears of his own strengths. Mythic stories always seem beyond us ~ except the Hero's Journey. In these stories we see a reflection of what is possible, of what we can do, of how our very weaknesses become integral to our strengths. We all walk that Hero's Journey. Not Wolverine's. Not Hercules's. Not each other's. Our own unique variation on the story. We are attracted to heroes because of their imperfections, their flaws. They make us recognize that we have strengths too, that we have the potential to be heroes.

To what Hero's Journey are you attracted? What positive characteristics do you have? What are your imperfections? How can or do you use these to make you stronger?

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Yesterday would have been my mother's 93rd birthday. She was on my mind all day long. It had been a long time since I'd thought about her that much. It felt good to remember ~~ and it felt painful too.

Some of my memories of my mother are not easy ~ the times I visited her in the nursing home as dementia took more and more of her away, in particular. Or more precisely, dementia took the rest of us away from her. Times, places and people she couldn't remember. On one visit, she was told that her daughter was there, and she responded, "No. Not my daughter. She's gone." I took her hand and rubbed it with mine and said, "No, mom. I'm not gone. I'm right here." She still didn't really see me.

Then there are the memories that I have of a younger, stronger, vibrant her. I remember a time she, Dad and I went to visit her sister and brother-in-law. It was 1970 or '71. Dad and Uncle were talking about the Vietnam War and I was arguing with them about how terrible it was. Dad and Uncle were part of the Greatest Generation and had both served in the Army in WWII. They had a different view of what patriotism was ~ and I was being as far from it as they could imagine. On the way home, Dad was making a point about how disrespectful I had been not only to my elders, but also to my country. My mother countered ~ the only time I ever heard her defend my position on anything ~ and said, "She has a right to speak out. It's her friends who are going there. It's her friends who are dying there."

Years later, long after Dad had died, she and I talked about that conversation. She said Vietnam was the one topic that she and Dad had always disagreed on. She was glad that my brother's number had never come up because she would have done everything in her power to get him to Canada and safety.

Maybe she was so present to me this year because this birthday came hot on the heels of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and all the celebrations and honors that anniversary brought. I understand the honors given for those who fought that day, yet I mourn the thousands who died on the shores as well. Mom brought me a message ~ remember the people while continuing to argue against the cause of their suffering and death.

I love you, Mom. I remember you... all of you.

What remembrances do you have of those who've left your life? What gifts did or do they bring you?

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Wisdom of the House of Night, Colette Baron Reid
Letting go. What a wonderful image of all the flying things ~ butterflies, moths, dragonflies ~ as they rise from what could be captivity. Yet letting go doesn't apply only to things with wings. Ha! Much of the time for me it applies to emotions and concepts even more than to people ~ or butterflies.

There's a saying: If you love something set it free. Letting go applies to those we love as well as to the thoughts and fears we bear within us. This image is a reminder that freedom itself is important.

What happens when I let go of the concepts I have about others? That frees me to be able to see them as they truly are ~ in that moment. What I need to remember is that it frees me. Other people aren't bound by my concepts, I am. They usually don't know, or perhaps even care, what I think.

What happens when I let go of my notions of myself? my own descriptions of who I am? or of who I am not? I free myself to express facets that I may not have expressed before. I can care or love or act in whatever manner is most genuine in that moment.

What happens when I simply let go? when I breathe deeply and release all the fear, anxiety and grief? when I recognize that everyone in my life is his or her own person? I sleep better. My shoulders go down. I laugh more. Energy and love fill me. Letting go improves my life.

What about you? What do you carry around that would be better let go? How does freedom feel to you? Who and/or what benefits the most from your letting go?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Stand Your Ground

I love how perfectly answers arrive when I ask, What do I need for today?

I randomly opened Pocket Guide to Spirit Animals to Skunk. My first reaction was laughte. Spirit was toying with me! Then I read the entry:
"Be assertive and stand your ground..... Make your self-respect and dignity a top priority, offering the same respect to others.
You're taking yourself far too seriously and need to relax, play, and trust that everything else is all right.
It's a good time to deal directly and honestly with that person in your life you find so irritating and overbearing."

After reading that, my immediate response was to laugh out loud with a "what the hell?" attitude. It fits entirely with my current situation. In general, I have no difficulty standing my ground. Like the skunk, I am the ultimate peacemaker ~ sometimes allowing others to run over me in order to keep the peace. What I need in my life right now is the discernment of whether peacemaking is the right option or respectfully and firmly standing my ground. I don't need to scream or demand when I do that ~ or get whiny or bitchy. I can be self-confident and self-assured, showing respect to all (myself included). I don't need to "put on airs" either. Standing my ground, if it's fair and reasonable, is enough.

What do you do to stand your ground? In what area or areas of your life might that be an important rule? What can you learn from Skunk?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Only One Road

"He often used to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep and every path was its tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if your don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.'"
~ Frodo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring

Bilbo Baggins. Anyone who knows of The Hobbit or The Ring Trilogy has encountered Bilbo. Little person? Yes, a Hobbit is a little person with large feet and, especially in the case of Bilbo Baggins, an incredible sense of adventure.

How does this apply to me? It's the Road that's like a great river. I've encountered that Road. I've walked down it. I've crossed it, looking for somewhere else to go or someone else to be. I've explored its tributaries. Sometimes I have been able to keep my feet on it, to walk the directness that the Road represents. Mostly I have found my feet swept out from under me and the Road has taken me by surprise to places where I never thought I'd go, to experience myself in ways that I never thought I could be. An inductee in a cult. A priestess of the Goddess. A priest witnessing other women being ordained. A teacher in Egypt. A lover. A mother. A guide. A friend. So far, I have been blessed to have lived an incredible life. My heart nearly bursts with joy and gratitude. The adventure on this Road continues.

What is your One Road? Where has it led you? Who have you been on it? Who have you met? How do you feel about being on the Road?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Silencing the Voice of Not

There always seems to be a voice in my hear that says I cannot do...something. Generally, the voice chatters about whatever it is I'm attempting to learn or to improve or to add into my life. Of course, the voice knows my vulnerable spots ~ the tender places where I am less settled and more restless already. The places where my vulnerability leaks out around the edges of whatever new or tender spot near which I rest.

What I choose to do in those moments when that voice whispers, cajoles, hounds or hollers determines how much say that voice has in my life, how much power it gets from me. I have the choice to listen or to say, "I'm done with you; I know better; I am better than that." Those words are tough. Tough for me to say. Tough on me. Tough on the voice.

There are times when I believe the voice is powerful. Times when I believe what the voice has to say because it sounds reasonable or logical. But all the voice wants is for me to be safe. Which, to the voice, means to stay risk free, not to draw attention to myself or the possible things I may do with less finesse than I would want. But for me, living risk free is not living at all. It's existing. It's breathing in and out, but little else. I have to keep doing new things, keep stretching my skills, keep finding new learning and growing adventures. That keeps the voice quiet, or at least quieter. And most of the time, that's enough.

What challenges you? What does your voice say? How does your voice in your head try to protect you?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dream Anew

At each day's start, whenever I open myself to it and allow it in, I focus on a goal or dream for the day: How do I want this day to go? What new dream do I want to plant in my life? What is currently blossoming?

In stores or restaurants, I've overheard people commenting on how old they are and/or how set they are in their ways. If I can catch sight of the speaker, I often find that she or he is probably anywhere from 20 to 40 years old. I have to turn quickly away so they don't notice my grin. The overheard conversation circles around how they haven't reached whatever they consider to be "stardom" yet: their book isn't published (or perhaps even written); they haven't found "the one"; their dream job has turned into a nightmare. After years of change, and survival, I know I can set another goal and accomplish it or dream another dream and reach it.

I find that the older I get, the more I realize just how much age is a state of mind. I have the option of letting it define me.... or not. Reviewing my life, I find there have been many times over the years when I renewed my dream or my goal for my life. I have never given up or thought that I was too old or too settled or too set in my ways. Well, not for more than a few days at a time.

Have you set new goals recently? Have you dreamed anew? How has that made you felt? Are you ready to move forward again?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Remember the Magic

There are many sights around me that take my breath away. My blossoming calla lilies. The cat answering my question with what sounds like 'yes'. The beginning crescent moon after a new moon. A heron standing in the wetlands. A deer hopping over a hurricane fence. I could continue on for a long time. Oh, and the Northern Lights.

I get busy during my days and weeks and often forget to look, really look, at the world around me. I am always in awe of the magic I see when I actually open my eyes to it. It's as though I have my eyes open, but my mind is so completely focused on something else ~ my upcoming work day, what I need at the store, who I need to email or call, so much 'stuff' packed into my thoughts ~ that I miss what's right in front of me.

Don't get me wrong. Having the capacity to plan or review my time is an incredible gift all in and of itself. But there must be a balance. There must be time given to ~ and taken for ~ remembering the magic that exists in the world around me, around us. Without it, we/I miss the awesomeness of the world. Then it becomes easier to slip into that space of anxiety or depression or simply 'the blahs'. And I don't want to be there.

What magic do you see around you? What takes your breath away? How do you wake yourself up to seeing it? Do you experience the magic regularly? Why or why not?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Resistance to Fear

Sometimes it takes more than an alarm to get me moving in the morning. Sometimes I'm afraid of what I might find confronting me in my world. Monsters and spiders are not the only things that create fear.

In the past several months, I've discovered there are some subtle energetics that cause me to step into my personal fear space. They aren't specific or overt like a bully waiting for me at the door or a raging hailstorm. What comprises these fears is difficult to comprehend, and even more difficult to explain. It's something like a hiccup in my own sense of well-being, a slight slip in my sense of myself. It's amazing how small a shift can impact my level of fear.

I love Mark Twain's description of Courage ~ because I have become more aware of the subtleties of fear and its expression in my life. When I resist fear ~ fear of being alone, fear of being wrong, fear of being out of control, fear of.... well, whatever might show up or not show up in my day ~ that's when I am most courageous. Fear wants to freeze me in place, like a children's game whose rules are that you can move only when the person who is "It" isn't looking. The point is not that you don't want to move toward "Home," but that you don't want to be seen actually moving. Fear does that to us, to me. It wants me to stop moving forward, to freeze in its view. Every step I take toward basking in the light of the sun and the beauty of the day instead of freezing in fear brings me closer to mastery of that bugaboo. It is my courage that moves me forward, and for that, I am grateful.

How do you choose to move forward? How do you master fear? What do you feel when you move in spite of what fear tells you?