Monday, December 28, 2009

Please Excuse the Mess......

From Random

I've been playing in my new journal all afternoon!! Feels good to do something creative. * o

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Angels in the Snow

Some photos from my walk today - mild temps and light snow falling......

From Random

From Random

From Random
* o

Sunday, December 06, 2009


From Random
(one frosty November morning)

I haven't been blogging much. In fact, I haven't been creative at all much of late. Bit of a slump, or down cycle. It's partly, I think, part of the grieving process. This past July my father died, and I have been sitting with this for awhile. Although I am an avid fan of journaling, art journaling and collage and all sorts of "creative' stuff, for some reason this is not how I've processed my grief. Instead, in the summer I sat a lot in my gazebo and rested and daydreamed. In the fall, I walked a lot, listening to music on the iPod.

And now the days are shorter, darkness comes quickly and the weather has slowly turned winter like. No sitting outside, no long evening walks. I have been busy - busy at work, busy with my spiritual direction course. The spiritual side of my life has been fed with music, and reading and the beginnings and excitement of actually doing spiritual direction work with some wonderful people - while the creative side of my life lies dormant, waiting.

In the liturgical year it is Advent. A time of preparation, waiting, expectation. I sit, pregnant with the possibilities that the birth of a new year can bring. There will be creative times again, there will be new projects, new dreams, and new hopes. And there will be new losses, changes and struggles. And while we wait with hope and joy, there is also sadness and missing those who won't be at the Christmas table this year. Both sides of the coin, the yin and the yang.

Seasons and cycles, the turning of the wheel. I sit in the dusky evening quiet and wait for the light to return again. Advent. * o

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving weekend and snow on the ground! * o

Poetry Moment

All My Body Calls

All my body calls
for something in this sleeping
we call the spirit.
But how
from lifted arms
where stars run through fingers
and the night is like sand
do I breathe a fragrance of its wisdom
do I call its name
or listen to the drops
that trickle down to earth
and hear
life being given
not only through the moving hands of the forest
but through the hand that reaches in
the dark unmoving regions of the chest
and uncovers slowly
the enormous
shape of the ocean.
~ David Whyte ~
(Songs for Coming Home)

(photo is of my favorite spot to sit on my walks)
* o

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Another Tuesday Evening

It's been a beautiful warm and sunny day. The first week of September has provided splendid weather - much better than the entire summer. A cacophony of shrills greet me after work. The cedar waxwings are back, feasting on the berries of the ash tree next door and our hedge.

The Teen Man-Child and I feast on a supper of cold ham, sweet potatoes and a tossed salad. I eat slowly, clean up the dishes and then head out the door for an evening walk.

"Buffy", my iPod, plays the melodious strains of J. Phillip Newell's, "Sounds of the Eternal" as I head down towards the cemetery. Once there, I sit at my favorite spot, the small wooden plank between two trees that overlooks the bay and Doghead mountain. The wind is rustling through tree leaves and there's a haze
covering the town across the bay. The air is scented with that woodsy, damp leafy smell that signals autumn is around the corner.

I listen. I pray. I read from Caitlin Matthew's "Celtic Devotional". I stare out over the bay and watch leaves fall from the trees.

Audio Divinia. Lectio Divinia. Visio Divinia. Sensory Divinia?

Returning home I shower, light a candle and settle down to write. Another Tuesday evening slips away. * o

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pondering Sacred Sound

The past couple of weeks I’ve been exploring “sacred sound”. The awesome Fabeku Fatunmise describes sacred sound as a combination of sound and intention, or in his words: “Sacred sound wraps itself around what you want and feeds it. It nourishes it and gives it presence. It energizes your focus so fully that your focus starts to shake with excitement, knowing it’s just about ready to take the stage and rock out.”

Fabeku has a pretty cool free download of ten minutes of sacred sound – singing bowl and drum - that is really worth checking out. I’ve been playing it once or twice a day, taking time to slow down my breathing, and soak in a few minutes of peace. And I’ve been finding myself a lot calmer, focused and enjoying some spurts of creativity.

I’ve also been playing around with my own hoop drum, a djembe and an amazing little singing bowl I got from Fabeku.

The concept of “sacred sound” appeals to me. I’ve often used music to relax with or shift my energy level higher when I’ve needed it. I’ve used music to pray with. Hymns, Taize chants, and classical pieces are often a part of my prayer and worship time. These are things I think of as “sacred sound” too – maybe in not quite the same stuck-shifting way as what Fabeku works with, but in the sense that it is sound that transports, uplifts and has some pretty groovy positive energy with it.

And that got me pondering this morning about what other sounds I would label as sacred. I started listing them in my journal and so far have come up with:

  • listening to the heart beat of my beloved while snuggling close
  • a cat's purr
  • a baby laughing (or a bunch of babies laughing! - dare you to watch this and not giggle)
  • birds singing in my backyard
  • a small child's soft breathing while sleeping
  • the fountains gurgling in my ponds
  • leaves rustling
  • loon calling
  • waves lapping on shore
  • snow crunching underfoot
  • windchimes (when the breeze blows gently, when it's really windy, windchimes are just annoying!)

I’ve noticed that quite a few in my list are nature sounds. I am blessed to live in a small town surrounded by mountains, lakes and trees and I wonder what a city dweller’s list would look like?

I think the point is that there is so much noise around us, we’ve tuned out. We miss the truly beautiful notes in our day. Some of this constant noise may actually be pretty harmful to us - to our health, to our energy levels.

Grab your journal and make a quick list of sounds you would call sacred. Sounds that uplift and heal you. Don’t over think it, just jot things down. (Why not download Fabeku’s free sacred sound clip while you’re doing that…). Become aware of the noise around you. What sounds are you missing or tuning out? How can you bring more of these sacred sounds into your life?

* o

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Bliss

Spent the better part of the evening here in the gazebo, drinking my tea, reading and journaling. It was finally warm enough to enjoy it!!!

Worked this afternoon on making a hoop drum, part of the sacred art portion of Module One in the spiritual direction training. I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to figure out the instructions, but it turned out not too bad. The drum is drying now, and then I will paint a design on it (haven't decided what yet).

Here's a slideshow of the drum making process:

* o

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Feet!

Got an email today from my friend Zura who has a great new course offering - here's the details:

"I am announcing a brand new e-Course called Happy Feet. It is a three week course that teaches you exactly how to paint any pair of shoes. The course will begin May 9th, so if you’re interested, check it out soon.

You can find information about the course at The cost is $20.00 and you probably already have all the supplies needed. You can paint shoes you already have or get some at a thrift store for around $5."

Zura's courses are always well worth the money, so if you've got a craving to paint yourself some wicked shoes, check it out! * o

Monday, April 27, 2009


Cardinals have always been a very special, symbolic bird for me. And since they are more common in the southern parts of this province than here, when I went on my retreat at Easter I was really hoping I might catch a glimpse of one.

Saturday afternoon of the retreat I had quite a bit of spare time, and went for a walk on the hospital grounds next to the convent. There is a shrine garden there - a really nice spot for quiet meditation and reflection. After sitting there for some time, I started to head back. I had been listening to the birds singing, and thought "gee, it sure would be nice if I could just see one cardinal, it would make this retreat time so special". Ask, and ye shall receive. At that very moment, a cardinal flew up into the tree in front of me, looking straight at me. As I breathed prayers of "thank you, thank you", the cardinal flew back into the shrine garden, landing at the base of the cross. I sat back down and stared at it. Then it flew into the tree beside me, and sang to me. We spent at least ten minutes there in that garden, bird and I, before he flew off again. I literally bounced back to the convent, wanting to shout out "I saw a cardinal! I saw a cardinal!" but fortunately remembered this was a silent retreat. Shouting would have been frowned upon.

The next afternoon I returned to the shrine garden to do some writing in my journal. I shared the space with a chipmunk who kept darting back and forth amongst the rocks and bushes. I was naturally hoping to see the cardinal again, just one more time. I hard barely breathed that prayer when he appeared in the tree in front of me. He didn't stay as long this time, but I was just as pleased to see him.

The cardinal affirmed to me that I was in the right place, and that God was with me. That was all I needed.

(image - cardinal - watercolor crayons - April 2009) * o

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Virtual Retreat - April 25th!!!

Looking to find calm, comfort and confidence in these uncertain times? Refresh, reenergize, and give yourself some self-nurturing with 10 bestselling authors, speakers and teachers at the "Comfort Queen's" 2009 Virtual Retreat and discover how to stay centered and happy in the middle of a rapidly changing world - no travel required! You'll be able to download over a dozen powerful mini-retreat sessions at your convenience and get some soul-nourishing support during live call-in sessions with Jennifer Louden on April 25th. Whether you're seeking to refresh your experience from a prior retreat, or hoping to learn some new ideas for making this year "your" year, the Virtual Retreat is the place to be. Click here to view more details * o

Friday, April 17, 2009

Comment Moderation

Dear "Ritesh" or whoever you are,
It is really bad karma to spam other bloggers with your comments (especially when they are for yoga retreats....shame on you)

The unfortunate day has come when I've had to activate comment moderation for my blog........... * o

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seeds - Reflections from Retreat

"Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout."
- Morihei Ueshiba

Seeds are appearing as frequent metaphors to me these days. In things that I read, in Sunday sermons and in nature around me as spring finally begins to unfold.

On Maundy Thursday I walked the labyrinth at the convent where I was on retreat for Easter. On the path I found a seed pod, with two little seeds in at. I thought of the saying "two peas in a pod" and then felt that the two seeds represented God and me, and God with me.

The above picture was painted using watercolor crayons, which I enjoy using - I seem to have more control of where I want to put the color with them. The basin and the towel are traditional symbols of Maundy Thursday services and the foot washing. At the time, I was reflecting on our servant faith and who are we called to be a servant to. The church needs more "basin and towel" spirituality. Springing forth from the pitcher are the seeds I was surrounded by all weekend - the two seeds in one pod, waiting to burst and grow. Not one lone seed, but two together - the Divine and I.

The silence of my weekend retreat was like fertile soil for a seed, nourishing and planting something that will flower at a later time. Peace washed over me like water and filled me with prayer. I feel myself in the season of spring, waiting, watching and pondering.

What is longing to grow within you right now?

"All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can't see." - Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening * o

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Appearance

This is the last assignment for the module on watercolors. The instructions said you could copy something from the book or come up with something of your own creation, so I went with the latter. Landscapes and flowers just don't seem to be my thing. Actually, I'm not even sure if watercolors are my thing (don't look too closely at the face). I tend to really muck them up in a hurry. Have to wait and see what oils or acrylics bring!

image - "The Appearance" - watercolors - copyright 2009 * o

Monday, March 30, 2009

Homily, Homily

Besides undergoing spiritual direction training, another way that I have been stretching myself and growing lately is through being asked to do the occasional homily at our church when our priest is not available. This is an exercise that both challenges me and terrifies me. The process of writing the homily is great for me - it gets me back into writing. The problem is then you have to stand up on Sunday in front of a bunch of people and actually read out loud what you wrote. This terrifies me. A thousand things run through my head as I stand there, "This is no good", "What if they laugh at me?" "I have no idea what I'm talking about here..." etc. etc. I'm keenly aware that I'm making this all about "me", instead of God. It is a deeply humbling experience and I have nothing but the utmost admiration for my priest and minister friends who get up there and do this every single Sunday. So far I have been blessed by lots of kind comments and no criticisms. Then it occurred to me that I need to stretch myself even more. I need to share what I have written on my blog, and that terrifies me too. Although I have very little idea who reads this blog, or why they do, I still have this strong desire to please, to get it right and to be liked. And I realized that I can't be authentic, I can't be real, if I'm afraid to post something. So, in the interest of spreading my wings just a little bit farther I present to you last Sunday's homily, based on the text of John 12:20-33, because maybe somebody out there needs this today:

“I tell you the truth, a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die to make many seeds. But if it never dies, it remains only a single seed.”

In her novel, Amazing Grace, Kathleen Norris shares snippets of a conversation that takes place during an afternoon women’s Bible study where much of the wisdom is passed on in the stories the women share. She writes: “When I dared to speak, I said that my favorite passage in the chapter had always been Mark 4:27, because it speaks so eloquently of an ordinary miracle: that the farmer “should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.” That seems to apply to so much that I do, I said, commitments that I make when I have no idea what I’m getting into, and somehow they grow into something important, before I know it. My marriage, for instance, I said, and the women laughed, knowingly. It also reminded me, I told them, how mysterious are so many of the things that we take for granted. We know how to plow a field, and how to seed it. But germination and growth are hidden from us, beyond our control. All we can do is wait, and hope, and see. “Only last Saturday,” a woman interrupted, “at the Lutheran fall bazaar. The place mat was real different. I saved mine.” She drew it from her purse and unfolded it. There was a picture of a wheat field and a quote from Martin Luther: “If you could understand a single grain of wheat you would die of wonder.”

An ordinary miracle. We plant a seed in the ground, we water it, fertilize it and if all conditions are right the seed will blossom into some plant we can eat or beautiful flowers to admire. But none of this will take place if the seed is not planted. It remains simply a seed.

Our modern society is a bit removed from that ordinary miracle. Sure, some of us might have small gardens in our backyard, but for the most part we’ve gotten pretty used to walking into the produce section of Zechner’s and picking up whatever vegetables we feel like eating. We don’t think much about the work that went into bringing them there - the tilling of the soil and the planting of seeds, hoping that they will produce a full crop. We just expect it to be there.

And perhaps that was what the crowd was like around Jesus that day. Some were following him around and some came to see what all the fuss was about. They’d gotten used to him wandering and preaching and maybe they had some expectations about what they were going to hear from him. But instead Jesus starts talking about seeds dying, losing your life to gain it, and being lifted up from the earth.

I wonder if the crowd that sat there that day, listening to Jesus talk understood that he was talking about himself. That in a few days, he would be crucified and buried in a tomb. Everything was about to change. When they found the tomb empty, would they remember these words?

For a few days they would be plunged into grief and loss, their world shattered by Jesus’ death. Yet, we know, the story doesn’t end with an empty tomb.

One of my current favorite CD’s is called “Unfolding” by The River’s Voice. There’s a song on it called Regeneration and I’d like to share the words with you.

(regeneration from Unfolding (2001)
the seed is planted in the ground
the rain and sun come pouring down
from deep within
new life is born
the roots take hold,
the seed is torn
but in its death the seed renews
the promises, the many hues
of God's creative gift to all
through summer, winter,
spring and fall

In it’s death the seed renews. No, the story doesn’t end with an empty tomb. In fact, the story is still going on. Jesus' death and resurrection transformed the world. We were given the gift of new life, all from a single grain of wheat. If we really understand this, to paraphrase Martin Luther, it’s amazing we haven’t all died of wonder. * o

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Poetry Moment


By what are you saved? And how?
Saved like a bit of string,
tucked away in a drawer?
Saved like a child rushed from
a burning building, already
singed and coughing smoke?
Or are you salvaged
like a car part -- the one good door
when the rest is wrecked?

Do you believe me when I say
you are neither salvaged nor saved,
but salved, anointed by gentle hands
where you are most tender?
Haven't you seen
the way snow curls down
like a fresh sheet, how it
covers everything,
makes everything
beautiful, without exception?

~ Lynn Ungar ~

(Blessing the Bread)
* o

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunny Days and other ways I'm avoiding working on stuff

"Sunny Days, oh sunny sunny days....ain't nothing better in the world I know, then lying in the sun with my radio....."

Of course, if Lighthouse were to record that tune today instead of back in the 70's it would have to be "ain't nothing better in the world I know, then lying in the sun with my iPod, or iPhone, or Blackberry....etc...." :)

It's been a glorious sunny weekend, and while I'm not naive enough to think that spring is here yet, I do loves me some sunshine. I just came back from a walk with Buffy, my new iPod (she's slim, sleek, decked out in killer purple and I'm pretty sure could save me from vampires..) and there ain't nothing better in the world I know than a walk in the sun with tunes on the iPod and a chance to reflect on my week - the good, the bad and otherwise OK.

The application is in!

I submitted my application to Spirations last week, and am now just waiting for my interview. It's helping me to work on patience, since I always want to do everything right now. I'm looking forward to this next step in the journey, even though I'm also freaking out about whether I've made the right choice or can do this. Repeat to self: "I can do this. It will be OK."

Love to hear the Robin going Tweet, Tweet, Tweet!

Twitter. I need a Twitter intervention. I'm spending so much time on there lately that Facebook has called up asked me if we're still friends. Seriously. But I've met a bunch of cool people, or "Tweeps" so it's not all bad!

I can't see clearly now...

Little floaters in my eye,
You're so annoying when you pass by...

Last month the vitreous fluid in my left eye began to detach - which is apparantly a common occurence and not too serious, but has caused several large floaters to take up residence in my eyeball and not leave. My optometrist originally said 7-10 days and things would settle down. Friday he said the good news was no retinal tears, but the floaters are around to stay. Eventually I'm supposed to get used to it. Meanwhile, if you pass by me and I'm randomly swatting non-existence things around my head just ignore me. Can't wait for blackfly season.

Because if Havi said jump off a bridge....

Jewish cookies. I heart Havi Brooks and am a big fan of the work she, and that adorable duck of hers, does. Such a big fan that she has me twirling my arms around my head in some bizarre sort of "do it wrong to get it right" yoga called Shiva Nata, regularly stretching with what she calls non-sucky yoga, and adding to my vocabulary with words like "biggification" and "stuckify". So when Havi mentioned these cookies called "hamentaschen" (or Havi's cookies in my house because I can't pronounce that) I thought, "those look delicious, I'm going to make some". I'm not even sure I like figs, but whatever I had to make them. So that is what I spent most of yesterday doing. Trying to make those damn cookies. See it looked easy enough on the blog, but I'm pretty sure that was just some trick of Havi's now, like Shiva Nata. It's the cookie form of Shiva. Anyway, as I was desparately trying to get my crumbling cookie dough to roll out, the countertop covered in flour and cookie bits, remembering finally that I don't like to make cookies, my husband smirks and asks "where did you say you got that recipe from again?" I wanted to answer that I was pretty sure it was channelled from the seventh circle of Hell or something, but I just mumbled "Havi's blog" and kept on rolling. Bless his heart, he gave me that patient "my wife and her crazy ideas" look and didn't say much more. My cookies look nothing like the ones pictured on Havi's blog (note to self: look at the picture next time). But, here's the thing, they are good. I mean really, really good. These are like the best cookies I've eaten! I'll bet the ones she makes are even better. Curse you Havi and your precocious ducky Selma! Check out Havi's blog, but for God's sake, stay away from the cookies!

Hmmm....I think it's time for a cookie break! * o

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Conversations with Cordelia

(Background - Cordelia is what I'm calling my inner critic these days. She's a chameleon that changes depending on the situation. She's mostly a composite of that girl we all knew in high school - you know the really good looking, popular girl that always made you feel like the brainiac nerd who couldn't dress properly and didn't know what to do with her hair? She's the Buffy to your Willow, off partying with the hot guy in school while you're stuck in the library doing research with Mr. Giles. And, she's partly made up of that friend I had in high school who was always trying to "help" me by pointing out what was wrong with me, and who once gave me a copy of "How to Be Your Own Best Friend", which to this day I'm still trying to think was well intentioned and not just a cruel hint. In short, she is mostly everything I am not.)

I'm working on my application for Spirations Institute and have gotten to the essay part. Write your spiritual journey in about 1,000 words. I'm stuck and avoiding it, and Cordelia pops in and plunks herself down in front of me. Well, plunks is probably not correct since Cordelia is anything but awkward. As usual, she looks good - perfect hair and makeup, nice slim black jeans, powder blue cotton long sleeved tee and a scarf perfectly wrapped around her neck. Damn, she does know how to dress well. That's so annoying.

Cordelia: "So, is that the latest?" She points to the papers spread out in front of me.

Me: "Latest what?"

Cordelia: (Tossing her head lightly to one side.) "You know, your latest thing, dream, whatever you want to call it. Is that what you're working on?"

Me: "Ya its an application for spiritual direction training, kinda stuck on it right now but I want to get it done this weekend."

My cat, the traitor, jumps up on her lap and Cordelia begins to stroke him, somewhat absentmindedly. "Hmm...I thought you were going to be, like, a writer or something? Or a creativity coach? An artist? I don't know, I can't keep up (she sighs) you're always changing it."

Me: "Well...I've done some writing and that, but I don't know I just feel pulled to explore this right now. I think I want to combine the creativity and the spirituality into something."

Cordelia gives me that haughty look she is oh so good at. "Something?" she snorts "see that's your problem - no focus. You don't really know what it is you want."

Me (defensively): "I can focus when I want." I briefly focus on a fantasy involving tightening that cute little scarf around her neck.

Cordelia looks around. "Ya sure - looks like you have piles of focus. I see your art course over there waiting for you to get back to it, a couple of half finished journals lying around, a bunch of unread books, files that have to be put away......girl, procrastination is your name."

Rather childishly I reply, "Ya, so what? I work full time too remember? And I did finish my Certificate of Spirituality so I am capable of finishing things,"

Cordelia smiles. "Well, where's all this playing going to get you anyway - don't you think you're just wasting time and money?"

I bite my lip. "No, I'm not playing. I'm trying to figure out what it is I want to do."

Cordelia (snarkily): "So what will this, (she waves her hand in the air) spiritual direction thingy get you anyway? What can you do with it exactly?"

"Well, I'll be companioning people on their spiritual journeys, I'll be listening to their stories, encouraging them - kinda like a spiritual coach I guess. And I want to do more retreats..." My voice starts to trail off.

Cordelia laughs. "Aren't you worried people are going to start thinking you're a little flaky?"

"I'm talking to you aren't I? How much flakier can it get?"

"But you can't make any real money at this can you? It's not like you're going to quit your job or anything, so why bother?"

I let out an exasperated sigh. "Because I need to do it. Because if I don't, I'll just dry up inside. No, I can't quit my job right now but that's not all of it. It's about growing, and discovering me, and not squashing my creativity, and connecting with something greater."

Cordelia picked that cat off her lap, got up, brushed the cat hair off her jeans and stretched, an obvious bored look on her face. "Ok honey, if that's what you really want" she said in a tone that implied why the hell would anyone want that? "Anyway, I've gotta run, important meeting. We'll catch up later, maybe by then you'll figure out what it is you want to be when you grow up (giggle). Call me."

Cordelia glided out the door and for a long time I started at it. Truth is, I probably will call her later. That's just the kind of co-dependent relationship we have. * o

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mid-Week Poetic Moment

The Moment

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

~ Margaret Atwood ~

(morning in the burned house)
* o

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quiet Saturday Night

Painted this watercolor landscape last weekend as one of my assignments. I'm still really trying to get the hang of watercolors and mixing colors, there were parts of this that just didn't come out as dark as I wanted them to. But I have to admit I do like playing with them and it doesn't take long for a couple of hours to just fly by!

Spent the day on chores and errands and catching up on stuff. Had a great veggie pizza for supper and am now preparing to relax for the rest of the evening. The College Kid headed back on the bus this morning, and the High School Kid is out spending the evening with friends so the house has once again settled into quiet.

I found some instructions this week for making prayer ropes, so I might just grab some cord, sit down on the couch with the hubby and while he's watching TV, see if I can't figure out how to make the knots. Depending on how it goes, I may just give up real quick! :) * o

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bits and Pieces of Things

Today's post will be brought to you in bullet form:

  • Still suffering from "Bloggers Block". Keep feeling that I have nothing deep or meaningful to post, or that my posts are too short or whatever and so every time I sit down to blog something......I don't....hence the bullet list today :)
  • Lent is looming. This, oddly enough, is a very busy time of year for us church folks. Which I always find an interesting paradox since we are supposed to give stuff up for Lent and I always end up taking on more...hhmmm...
  • Spirituality and Practice has an e-course for Lent - "The Cry of the Prophet - Practicing Spirituality with Joan Chittister" - looking forward to that starting up this week and being the focus of my devotions during this time.
  • If Lent is not your thing, the next few weeks can be a good time for thinking about what is going on in your life, creatively or otherwise. What are you saying "Yes" to and what are you saying "No" to? What is brewing within you? What do you long to express? Are there things you need to let go of? What wants to burst forth and rise up from you :)
  • Looking forward to a chat this week with Trish Bruxvoort-Colligan from Spirations Institute. I'm being pulled more and more towards spiritual direction, especially as I find myself facilitating at retreats more often so I'm trying to find a program that will help me grow in that direction. This one looks promising, and I have my fingers crossed!
  • Artella has a great deal on their new Mixed-Media Self-Portraits course - you can get the details at my creativity coaching blog here
  • The College Boy is home for a week!!
And that's it - now I think I should go and play with some watercolors and try and get another assignment done! * o

Friday, February 13, 2009

For My Love

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

- e. e. cummings ~

(Complete Poems, 1904-1962)
* o

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Playing with Paint

I had a nice creative afternoon, working on some assignments for my art course. The watercolor flowers above are part of the lesson I was working on. I had the tunes playing, the paint flying and before I knew it it was supper time! The exact thing I needed after a busy and rough week. It feels good to be creating again. Now if I could just somehow find a way to make the weekends longer...... * o

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sacred Space

My altar * o

Monday, February 02, 2009

Some Journal Pages - Part One

I've been focusing heavily this week on healing. I had surgery last week to remove some kidney stones and I've been taking the time to rest and recuperate. So I've had some moments to work on journal pages and thought I would share a few. Since I can't quite figure out how to line up pictures properly, I've broken them into three separate posts!

This month in Jen Louden's Comfort Cafe the theme is Self-Trust. This journal page was an art journal exercise around the theme. I started with writing words that represented what I didn't trust about myself. Then stamped and painted over the words. Then I found images and symbols that represented "self-trust" to me and did some writing over that. * o

Some Journal Pages - Part Two

My intention word - "JOY". Reminding myself to stop and think, "what would JOY look like right now?" and "what could JOY bring to this moment?".

Brick archways are appearing a lot lately in my doodling. Open doors? Paths to new possibilities? * o

Some Journal Pages - Part Three

Another "self-trust" image - peace and serenity, confidence and knowing..... * o

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Something Finished!

Completion. It seems odd to be thinking about completion at the beginning of the new year - the time when most are thinking about new projects and new beginnings.

But, this month I received my Certificate in Spirituality - the acknowledgment that I have completed two years of study, a whole lot of reading and a few reflection papers.

It feels good to be done. In the past two years I have stretched and grown in my faith journey now I am "resting in transition". I'm allowing myself time to think of what direction I want to take next, what twist in the path will this journey take me.

Completion feels good. * o

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How To Stay Calm......

As part of the pre-launch into her "Comfort During Uncertain Times" virtual retreat, the awesome Comfort Queen, Jennifer Louden, has been featuring a series of blog postings offering some sage advice on comfort and fear and worry and all those other things that keep us from breathing slow and natural :)

Today, Jen is featuring "How to Stay Calm When the Whole World is Worrying". Learn how to spread some happiness and calm and download a free audio.

Here's some more info on the virtual retreat - it promises to be a great weekend at a very affordable price - join me?

Looking to find calm, comfort and confidence in these uncertain times? Join 10 bestselling authors, speakers and teachers at the "Comfort Queen's" 2009 Virtual Retreat January 16th-19th and discover how to stay centered and happy in the middle of a rapidly changing world - no travel required! Call in live or download over a dozen powerful retreat sessions at your convenience and get the soul-nourishing support you need to make this year "your" year. Click here for more details. Click here to visit Jennifer Louden website! * o

Monday, January 05, 2009

For Presence

For Presence

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)
* o

Sunday, January 04, 2009

How Not To...

...smash open a Terry's Chocolate Orange....

Boys - sometimes they just don't completely think through the process! * o

A Freebie and A Great Deal

If practicing your creativity was one of your resolutions this year, here is a freebie from Artella and a great deal to help you get started!

Download a FREE copy of the Artella eBook, Peace by Piece: Collage Your Way to Inner Peace and Harmony. This workbook guides you through several collage projects, each one designed to bring you closer to your true self and your powerful ability for manifesting your dreams and desires. Download your copy here!

Save 55% at Artella!
Save 55% off up to 5 Artella items during Artella's Holiday Gift Gala Super Sale! Then pick your choice of 4 creative gift packs! Check out the Gift Gala Super Sale, here!

Find thousands of creative products in The Artella Store! * o

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I Will Begin

The inspiration for this comes from Lynn Jericho's "Inner Christmas - Twelve Holy Nights", The Need for Beginnings.

The idea is to take the list of verbs that indicate beginnings and write sentences beginning with "I will". So, for 2009:

I will begin each day with a few minutes of prayer.
I will birth new projects and new dreams.
I will start dreaming more often.
I will commence a journey of unlimited possibilities.
I will launch creatively and confidently forward.
I will emerge confident in the direction I'm heading.
I will initiate steps that take me towards a healthier me.
I will conceive of possibilities instead of set-backs.
I will generate as much positive energy as I can.
I will create as often as I can.
I will originate art that feeds me spiritually.
I will reveal more of what is in my heart.
I will unveil what is hidden from me.
I will renew my soul.

There you have it, a personal manifesto for the year.

A few people on a couple of the journaling lists I belong to were discussing resolutions and whether they make them or not, and they shared that instead of a resolution they chose a word for the year. Instead of trying to pick a word out of thin air, I went to a deck of inspirational cards I have, shuffled them and chose: "Learning Experience" (yay me, I get two words instead of one). So my intention for the year will be to try and see things as a "learning experience" and learn what I can from them! * o

What I love most...

...about being off this week:

  • sleeping in
  • yoga and prayer in the mornings
  • reading, and getting totally absorbed in good novels
  • feeling the creative energy starting to resurface
  • spending time with John and the boys
  • not having to go out in the crappy cold if I don't want to
  • catching up on emails
  • resting in the transition not wanting to go back to work yet....(sigh)... * o