Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Journal Prompts

When you are stuck in your journaling, or just in a rut, journal prompts are an effective tool to get you "over the hump".

Zura Ledbetter has designed a 12 week e-course that teaches you how to create your own set of journaling prompt cards using techniques such as collage, drawing and painting. The course includes writing prompts, how-to's, images to use and a yahoo group to share with.

So instead of dishing out money for a book of writing prompts, or buying a deck of journal cards, tap into your own creative energy and wisdom and make your personalized deck of prompts this summer.

Course starts July 1 and details can be found here. * o

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lunas continued

Art Journal entry after discovering the luna moth on my walk.

"She dances in beautiful green shimmers, as mysterious as the moon, on silken wings." * o

Monday, June 18, 2007

La Luna

It's been one of those weird kind of days - not really strange, but slightly odd or off. Lots of electrical storms, heavy rains, power surges, and computers doing strange things.

On our walk this afternoon, we spied a Luna moth on the side of the road. I think he may have been near the end of his week of life, or injured because he was just lying on the road, letting the wind push him along. Such brilliant green wings I have never seen.

It was such a small gift of beauty in an otherwise odd day.

* o

Sunday, June 17, 2007

True Rest

I opened my little book on Centering Prayer, from the Contemplative Outreach program, to these words this evening:

Resting in God comes from the Sabbath. Sabbath is time consecrated with our attention, our surrender, honoring those quiet forces of grace and spirit that sustain and heal us.

I don't often take time for Sabbath, at least not true Sabbath. Weekends come with their own chores and demands, and although the pace is different than during the week, and there's usually a Sunday morning church service involved, I don't know if I can honestly say its time "honoring those quiet forces of grace and spirit". It's still just busy time.

On her blog, and in a recent tele-call, Jennifer Louden asked "What is true rest for you?" Excellent question because I believe most of us, especially women, don't really know what true rest looks and feels like and I believe that's a great source of stress for us.

So I've been spending some time contemplating this weekend on what true rest feels like for me. Here's some of what I think it is:
  • sinking down into the mat in corpse pose after spending an hour stretching my body, and feeling how delicious it is to lay there completely relaxed
  • eating when I feel hungry and not having to cook for anyone
  • a really hot bath, followed by pampering myself with a favorite body lotion
  • listening to music with my eyes closed and letting my mind wander
I think once you get going on this, you can really tune in, be creative and start listening to just what it is your body is asking for.

For true, true rest - I'm currently studying my cat. Cats have got true rest down to a fine art. Find a piece of sunshine, plunk yourself in it, stretch and have a nap. What more could there be?

What is true rest for you? * o

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sacred Space Continued

"The garden heals. We hear these words and recognize they are true. Those of us who garden see what we do as creating a sanctuary from the forces of darkness, within and without. A haven of serenity, a respite from the noisy civilization around us."
Marjorie Harris, The Healing Garden

The sun shone this afternoon and butterflies danced around the yard. Lots of them too. It was a good afternoon to paint this old bench and transform this wall by the garage into a patch of sacred space. The bench is a good place to sit in the evenings, with a cup of tea, and to close ones eyes and listen to bubbling fountain. The cedar shrubs offer a bit of seclusion without completing blocking the view of the rest of the yard.

Fortunately, I got the painting done before the black clouds covered the sky and the heavens opened up to a cool, refreshing shower. Fifteen minutes and the sun was out again.

* o

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sacred Space

"We transform our gardens and yards into sacred space when we understand them as places of growth not only for plants and trees but for our inner selves." - Spiritual Gardening, Peg Streep

I spend too much time sometime indoors, surrounding myself with draining energies of computer and office lights. I forget how soul-restoring it can be too dig deep into the earth, to plant something, to pull weeds or to sit and listen to the fountain running in the pond.

Fortunately this afternoon I had a chance to rediscover that while planting the tomatoe plants and the rest of the bedding plants for the garden. The tomatoe plants are usually my husband's domain, but I thought I'd surprise him while he's away this weekend and get them in for him.

So for an hour I puttered in our little back garden, digging into the black earth, inhaling deeply the scent of tomatoe plants, and listening to the starling squawk at me from the garage roof protecting some nearby nest. The sun beat down and an occasional light breeze offered some respite from the heat.

"The garden can become a place where we can restore our emotional and spiritual balance and nourish our senses and souls, away from the noise of everyday life" - Spiritual Gardening, Peg Streep

It's been a stressful and somewhat mind numbing week. There are a still a million "things to be done" today and yet all I really want to do is sit outside, close my eyes and listen to the fountain bubble.

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow cycles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace." May Sarton * o