If we were to write…

When I was about ten or eleven, I had a pen pal. She was my Grandma’s cousin and was about 50 years older than me. She was one of the coolest people I have ever met. She was the first person that I knew who talked about meditation and sustainable logging, long before either were cool. She traveled and wrote to me about her adventures. It was fantastic to get a letter addressed to ME from someone who was obliviously living a grand life.

It dawned on me that pen pals are a thing of the past (How many times do you write an actual letter in a year?). But this blogging thing, isn’t it a bit like having the whole world as your pen pal? How cool is it to connect with people, instantly on the other side of the planet. More and more the boundaries that once separated all of us fade in the wake of technology. It is easy to forget that not that long ago things were different. There was no need to unplug because we weren’t plugged in. Communication was slower, and some people could argue that the slowness and effort required made people value communication more then than now. But the sheer number of people blogging and twittering and posting tells me that the desire to hear and be heard to as strong as ever. It is just far easier now.

Still… if you wrote me a letter to tell me about your life, would it be more special than an IM?

A Beautiful Body Project – Jade Beall

Jade Beall – A Beautiful Body #1

Jade Beall is a photographer from Tuscon who has started a project called ‘A Beautiful Body Project‘ capturing the full diversity of mother’s bodies. It is a wonderful reclaiming of something divine, the belly of a woman who has birthed children.

This project reminds me of the powerful feelings of awe I had when I looked at my own postpartum body, shortly after giving birth to my son. The pure, raw power of creation beamed back at me from every stretch mark and curve. I could not deny the wild beauty of my body, a body that instinctually created life, without any input, guidance or direction from my conscious mind. My body took over when I got pregnant and when I surrendered to its power during labour and birth, I could only look on my body with eyes of love and admiration.

I must admit that cultural expectations of what my body is supposed to look like has crept into my consciousness. But this is the gift of children, especially small ones, they have not yet been brainwashed into thinking there is only one way for a woman to look. To them, as mommy, you are a goddess. In their eyes, you are the most beautiful person on the planet and they can’t take their eyes off of you. No one else will love you as completely as your child does.

This adoration of the body of the mother is perfectly captured by Beall’s work. Check it out

and reclaim the power inherent in birthing and raising children.

Ella Fitzgerald – Summertime

One of my all time favorite songs. It just happens to be on repeat in my head whenever the weather is hot. I love savoring this heat, in a few months it will be winter and we will need these hot days to get us through.

Feng Shui for the Soul

Several years ago on a dreamy trip to Portland, Oregon, I picked up a copy of Denise Linn’s “Feng Shui for the Soul” from the world’s best bookstore, Powell’s. This book has been on my ‘to read’ pile until today. I don’t normally write about books I haven’t finished, but even a few pages into the book I have received such tremendous benefit, I just had to share.

I have several Feng Shui books already, which describe the art of placement of objects in the home to enhance energy. It is a fascinating topic and I have at times tried to arrange my surroundings to match the detailed suggestions in the books. But life intervenes, as it tends to do, and my home quickly resumes it’s status as a messy work in progress.

I can honestly say that Denise Linn’s book is quite different from others I have read on this topic. Rather than setting out complicated charts and set rules to follow, she encourages you to tune into the energy within your home and the objects inside it. With a few basic tools you can powerfully transform the energy in your home. I know because I did a clutter-clearing of every room in my house today. It felt great. Of course there is more to do and more clutter to release or organize, but I was amazed at how easy it was and how much better the place looks and feels in a relatively short amount of time.

I used a pendulum to test the energy of each room or corner, as recommended in the book, and just took care of the obvious things that needed straightening or tossing. The energy shifted every time I moved something, even if I didn’t clean the area completely. This is a new concept for me, that clutter clearing could easily be done in stages without any unfinished energy in the home. When I have cleared clutter before it had always been a big production, with boxes and recycling piles and bags of half sorted things everywhere. The place always looked worse before it got better. This step is completely unnecessary. By tuning into the energy of the space, a tiny little bit of work can make a huge difference.

Mostly, what I love about this book is the humility and honesty of Denise Linn. There is no judgement for having a messy house. I felt so calm during the whole process and even more so knowing that I can tackle little parts of it at a time and still have a big effect. I think clearing out stuff is a continual process that is a necessary part of having a home, this is the first time it has been easy. I highly recommend this valuable book. 🙂

Dangling from the moon

False-color image of the Moon taken by the Gal...

False-color image of the Moon taken by the Galileo orbiter showing geological features. NASA photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following a dream is a twisty turny path. Launching anything new, from a wine store to a new baby is a heady mix of chaos and euphoria. The roller coaster metaphor goes a long way with me, since that sickly rushing in the pit of the stomach followed by a series of compressions and decompressions pretty much define how I feel most of the time when starting a new project. The thought “This might actually work!” races through my mind and I am at once exhilarated and petrified.

Crossing into new territory requires a hopeful heart. There must be hope for dreams to enter. There are solutions in a hopeful mind that are not available otherwise. I have caught myself numerous times this week talking about what I don’t want. Words that are not in harmony with my desires clang and bang against my head. My sensitivity has been turned way up. I notice myself parroting negative affirmations and I must stop and wash out my own ears. Did I really just say that?

This growth stuff is a continual process. Every life experience brings more to unravel and learn. I have joyful appreciation for my lapses into negative talk, because I notice them. Having cleaned up a bunch of the ‘big stuff’, cleared out the big issues, in my life I am hyper aware of even minor discomfort. This is really good, because before I was unconscious to my own words. Now they shout in my ears.

The courage to be me. It is a beautiful thing, to meet someone who lives from their essence. You can see them sparkling from a mile away. I am, in truth, a sparkling divine being, and so are you. I am so happy to be swinging on a star and sliding down the moon. I would rather dance on the edge of creation and risk being called a loon than perpetually wait in the sidelines for external approval.

So here I sit. On the moon. Living from the moment at the top of the roller coaster.

Nurturing Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert. She rocks. I hope she always keeps writing. I hope she always lets the magic fairies that live in her walls sneeze their fairy snot all over her.

Watch. 🙂

 

Firework by PS22

I’ve had this song running through my head lately. Enjoy!

Fruition

There is a section in the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, where he discusses the exploits of a gold prospector who spent considerable effort mining a seam of gold. The gold seam stopped and they could not find it again. The miner gave up and sold his claim to another group. The second group promptly set to work and found a huge deposit of gold only three feet from where the original miner had stopped.

This powerful gem of a story has stuck with me. Giving up can seem to be the easy way out. If you stop pushing forward, growing, changing, then no one gets upset or uncomfortable. But stopping short of your full potential denies yourself of marvelous riches.

I have been living in this space, three feet from gold, for a while now. Logic would counsel that I just stop, but my heart… my heart says “keep going”. It feels better, way better, to try, even fail, than to never start. Or even worse, to start and then give up before I have done my best.

Sometimes all that is needed is a minor course correction, just as in the gold example. A gentle reappraisal and fresh perspective to make gains in an otherwise stagnant endeavor. The main thing, never give up.

Throw your heart over the bar

I’m reading “The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Written in 1952, it is still relevant today; although you may need to overlook gender bias in the workplace, it was written before the feminist revolution after all. He is also a Christian minister, but I find it relatively easy to replace the word ‘God’ with the word ‘Divine’ and not get lost in the differences of beliefs.

It is an amazingly well written book that is resonating with me on many levels. It is filled with practical advice and numerous examples of how to apply positive thinking in your life.

The message that has stuck the most with me is advice that was given by a trapeze artist to people he was teaching. “Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.” Meaning, put your full attention and focus on what you are doing, commit fully, and then allow the world to rush in and carry you forward.

Imagine the ease of just flowing with the moment you are in. Adjusting your course as you go rather than trying to demand and force your way through life. It is a concept that has stuck.

A worthy read.

Think

We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit. A minor shift in thought changes everything. Letting go of needing the external to fill the internal, we learn to fill ourselves first. Happiness floats in, riding the decision. Decide. Decide to be happy.

Ignore the well-meaners. Ignore advice from the unhappy. Listen instead to the silver nurtured syrup that sings in your own heart. Let the inner sweet flavor all your dishes… for all your days… for as many as they are… this is it, this is all, this is life. You are living it. Right now. This moment. Decide.

Be.

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