Monthly Archives: August 2012

Circle of One



I had an amazing experience yesterday during meditation. An event felt with such clarity I share it in the hope that you also will take time to sit quietly in order to discover more about yourself, connection with Spirit and about living.

After imaging through a series of colors I had reached a state of quiet calm.  There I saw a circle of individuals around me…one of the individuals was in fact me. “I” was observing my physical self yet simultaneously existing as both the observer and the person being observed. I, as physical self, felt a wave of compassion as the circle observed my life experiences and saw the child behind the woman who had been raised in a home with an alcoholic parent. Both the child and woman carried wounds in the form of fragility and sadness.

What triggered this experience while in meditation was the country song “Blown Away,” done by Carrie Underwood. I’ve been hearing this frequently on the radio. It’s the story of a young girl growing up with an alcoholic father. The video for the song shows a storm approaching with tornado sirens blaring. After watching the music video I found there was a resurfacing of the memories and emotional wounds carried as a child. It is not that I have buried the experiences, they rise and fall as they will, I accept, observe and then let them go. Watch the video for yourself, it’s quite powerful (use the back button to return to this Blog):

As the meditation continued to unfold with my existing in duality, the Circle of One spoke in a union of voices, “Be compassionate toward your self. Give your self comfort. Respect and love the child who experienced what are now memories carried as an adult woman.” They reached out in waves of compassion, holding me close, all the while illustrating how here in the physical I must also consciously embrace the child and now woman in loving care rather than just putting the surfaced memories aside. What a profound experience.

At the same time there were images and words requesting I share this with you dear readers, that I encourage you to find the time to sit quietly and connect with the Spirit Collective, with the Circle of One. Hold yourself and the memories that rise to the surface in loving care and compassion. The entire experience spoke to how we are hard on ourselves, driven to let the past go in order to move forward. Embrace your memories and your self with compassion and love, we are very obviously not alone in this endeavor. We are more than this…

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.” ~ Erich Fromm

Our Divine Connection


Share your heart. Practicing love and acceptance of others is the most effective way to demonstrate living Spirit and the infinite compassion of Grace. Fast-paced days, hectic schedules, rushing to the next place, e-mails, voice mails, text messages, where is your heart as you move about through the sea of must do’s?

How do I share my heart and practice love? After meditation and prayer, I jot down insights, some of which are for others who have requested information. Making breakfast there’s time to gab with my son. While we eat he shows me his favorite morning videos or the political announcements he considers absurd. It’s a highlight of my day, we share laughter. During the drive to school we listen to new music he’s downloaded or created himself. It’s a special time for us so I don’t answer my cell phone or respond to texts. It’s just us. We sit in appreciation and acceptance of each other, me for his music and him for my lame jokes.

Once I’m at the office, I find out how people are doing. Winding through the hall a hey there and what’s up goes out to everyone on the hallways. If someone wants or needs to talk, I listen and provide a hug when called for, or get a needed hug myself. Since I’m usually early, this does not bite into work time. Throughout the day, I make an effort to stop what I’m doing to listen to the person who has walked in my door to talk about a work related or personal topic. I give them my full attention turning away from my computer or paper-filled desk.

Really it all comes down to being mindful of actions. By paying attention to what’s in front of you, not only are you exhibiting patience, but you are also modeling acceptance and love. This hasn’t always come easily for me. It’s meant having to practice patience and the realization that the needs of others are just as important as my own, primarily because we are all one. We are all part of the Whole. It’s meant seeing with different eyes, with the eyes of loving Spirit. Until I felt a complete connection with something greater than myself sharing my heart and living love was more work than a way of life.

In February of this year I had a profound mystical experience that brought that deeper connection to reality. During meditation, completely aware of my whereabouts, I found myself surrounded by others. I found myself to be one of many personalities. We, each of us were different in characteristics, yet we still existed as one, connected, intertwined energies with no means, method or desire to be separate. Collectively it felt like great love, the most encompassing love, which was, which is our true state of being. In this Spirit state, we are Creators. I exist as my Creator, or rather I am the Creator of my “self,” the body manifest here on Earth. I am, you are exactly as you exist physically on Earth. You, all of your character traits, your personality, this is what you are there, only much greater. You are Love. There is no strife, no pain, no opposites.

In this place, all of character or personalities were clothed in fluid pastel colored hues. The colors or “people” I experienced were many, vivid, alive, moving and flowing, and the air alive with excited conversation. Together we were planning paths and life events. There was a joyful sense of knowing, of being connected in Love. During that time, I was comfortably aware that earthly reality provides the opportunity for individualization, individual creativity and autonomy, something we cannot experience as part of the Spirit Collective. I saw with clarity that even at the core of the individualization experienced on earth, there is a creative story and interweaving of all personalities that is agreed upon in the purest form.

Having been graced with such a powerful experience, knowing that we are all connected with each other in a greater divine manner, this gift is what allows me to practice patience and forgiveness, to love unconditionally, to accept with compassion, because in the end we are each a part of the other. We are one. You are my sister, my brother and I yours. So whatever we do or say to each other, however we behave, ultimately this is how we are treating ourselves. Share your heart. Practice patience, love and kindness. We are more than this…

“From the moment you came into this world, a ladder was placed in front of you, that you might transcend it. From earth, you became plant,  from plant, you became animal, afterwards, you became a human being endowed with knowledge, intellect and faith. Behold the body, born of dust, how perfect it has become. Why should you fear its end? Where were you ever made less by dying? When you pass beyond this human form no doubt you will become an angel and soar through the heavens, but don’t stop there, even heavenly bodies grow old. Pass again from the heavenly realm and plunge, plunge into the vast ocean of consciousness, let the drop of water that is you become a hundred mighty seas. But do not think that the drop alone becomes the ocean. The ocean too becomes the drop.”

 – Rumi 

Joyfilled Dimensions


I love this inspirational prayer from Joyce Rupp. As tough as it is to move into Monday and the work week, find joy in your days. Happy Monday everyone!

“Help me to enter into the joyful dimensions of my work. Let me not be so involved and serious about it that I miss the many pleasures and joys that are inherent in it. Lighten me up when I am feeling my work’s heaviness. May I remember that I need balance in my life, that laughter and leisure are essential pieces of celebrating life. Take me to sources of zest and enthusiasm without guilt or hesitation. May my work become one of the playgrounds of my life.” – Joyce Rupp (Adapted)


During meditation thoughts of family, work, friends and activities drift across minds inner landscape, a constant flow. I find I can now move through the flow. It’s like wading across a river to the other side. There on the river bank lies a cushion of peace-filled silence. It’s taken years of practice to move across the stream. Living and working in the physical, I am immersed in activity. Providing for others, caring for my home, pets, working full-time during the day, doing readings in the evenings, there seems little or no opportunity to step away. That autopilot wants to take over with no focus toward peace or self-nurturing.

What have I done? I’ve made sitting a priority by practicing meditation in the morning, grabbing five-minute pockets of time throughout the day, spending ten minutes centering when I get home and meditating in the evening from twenty to sixty minutes. I’m in my element. Dear reader, despite how busy you are, do it. Find the time. Start with sitting just a few minutes a day. It can be hard at first. Putting thought aside to reach that place of peace takes practice.

Once this becomes habit, there will be a heightened awareness, you’ll begin to listen more to instinct, you’ll see signs you’ve longed to see. Occasionally during meditations you may find answers sitting right there with you. Practice, practice, practice. Sitting quietly enriches living in the physical world. Reaching that riverbank takes you deeper toward understanding self and touching Spirit within. We are more than this…

“Our soul, where we are most deeply connected with God, is simply a wordless place of simply knowing what we know. It holds waves of feeling, insight and wisdom, beckoning us to dive into the mystery of the intuitive…The Beloved invites us to enter these soul-waters and surrender to the unconditional Love that supports and sustains us. There the voices of our deep, intuitive knowing will provide us with all we need to continue our journey.” ~ Doris Klein

Wading the River

Floating Along, well trying


by Rolf Hicker

“But what if…” I was cut off quickly. “Can I stop you right there? Stop. Ok, breathe. Just go down the river, move with the flow. Can you do that? Move with the flow?” I could hear laughter in her voice. It was the traditional Sunday morning confession between my cousin and I, she in New Mexico, me in Illinois. “Put the what if’s aside, move with the life waters, let them carry you. There is no control, remember? We have no control. Kick back, rest and enjoy the ride.”  A wise woman.

In a five-minute gush of words, I had confessed my anxiety over a relationship situation I had no idea how to process. Thoughts, feelings, words jumping out across the cell towers to the patient ears of my darling cousin. Once she’d brought me back, asking if I could flow with the life waters, I had an immediate inner image of floating along peacefully with and where the current moved. All was well. I needed the reminder, a refrain in between the gushed words. “Move with the flow, move with the flow, move with the flow.”

I realized the stream of thought and gushing words tumbling out of mind onto the life waters were in fact memories of past experiences, interweaving anxiety that could very well move me to the river’s bank to sit frozen watching the river, instead of jumping in and enjoying the ride. Time to jump in dear reader’s. Let go of the past, it’s the only way to move to new possibilities. Live in the moment, each a new now, and then another, and another, and another. We are more than this…

“Think of life being like a mighty river, such as the Mississippi or the Amazon.  Sometimes the river floods, sometimes it quiets.  Sometimes it cuts a new course, drowning some farmland and leaving some old river bottom high and dry.  One could fight the river and curse its vicissitudes, or one could sail on the river, fish in the river, drink from the river, irrigate crops from the river, and live happily on the river.  Fighting against life, like fighting against a mighty river is a pointless waste of energy and upset.  Within the constraints life sets and within its vagaries, we still have immense freedom of action.  We can fully express our commitments and live life to the fullest without fighting against it.” ~ by Jonathan L. Huie

Therapeutic Solitude


Well I’ve done it good, let myself get so empathically overloaded with other people’s energies I can barely function. It started innocently enough with family, the kids needing me for one thing or another, before I knew it I was deep into the stories and living the events right along with them, feeling their confusion, frustration, and in some instances emotional pain. Then of course there’s socializing with friends and friends of friends, just a touch on the shoulder or an innocent hug sets off all kinds of images, and then there are the reams and reams of recorded dreams at night, world events or everyday life probabilities until wham! I’m sitting in a foggy cloud trying to figure out what belongs to me and what doesn’t.

I’ve been here before and its preventable. If I do a system check each morning I find there’s a raised awareness of where I’m at empathically, it’s a huge help, which by the way no I have not done in many moons. What I should be doing in the morning is going through my short mental checklist of questions. How did I sleep? How do I feel? Am I carrying unfinished business? What absolutely has to be accomplished today? Then a calming morning meditation to center and I’m ready for the day. Throughout the day, I will do little mini checks to stay focused and centered. Excuses? I got off track. I forgot. I didn’t realize the autopilot button had been pushed, yet again. The dog ate my homework. I lost my peace. Only for a brief period, however enough to throw my entire system out of whack.

Today it was necessary to sit in quiet meditation contemplating how every ounce of energy had been used and how even sleep, which was also a broken hot mess, couldn’t regenerate this depleted body, mind, soul. I let it go too far. Of course I’m totally responsible. I know better. I’m the writer, the gal up on the soapbox telling you all dear readers to stay mindful, practice peace and compassion, love your brother’s and sisters, and don’t forget to take care of you! Ahem. Hellllo? I lost my peace. I lost my place on the path. I messed up and now I have to start over.

That’s the good thing. We get to start over. At any time on the path, pick a moment and its new. When I woke from a tossed, jumbled, crazy night of sleep and realized I was a psychic mess, I grabbed the first thing we physical beings go for. I’m sick. I have a bug of some kind, maybe a virus or a cold. After going through the system check, realizing I hadn’t done this in weeks, I knew there was no virus or cold, instead it was time to psychically check-in and tune-up. I took the day off to recover, from the office, from the children, from friends and family. Nine hours of examination, meditation, reading, writing and recovery.

I was able to sort through all the energies. The examination revealed more than I wanted to know. There were feelings there I hadn’t acknowledged. They were mine and frankly I don’t want to work with them. But I see them now and that’s the half of it isn’t it. I’ll continue to examine them throughout the week and resolve the issues attached to the feelings until they’ve all been resolved. Another recognition, that in addition to working, I had appointments of one kind or another for every night this upcoming week, and for the weekend, in some cases squeezing people into short pockets of time I thought I might have, probably don’t but maybe. What  had I done!?

Fortunately I was able to take the day off as well as talk with some of the individuals I had plans with. When I cancelled explaining why, yes I did, they were absolutely fine with it and understood. (Thank you, you know who you are) In some cases I can’t cancel, school open house and all that. I share this story with you in the hope that you will see your own frantic need for self-care and self-nurturing. You don’t have to be an empath or psychic to stretch yourself too thin. You dear reader know what I’m talking about. Even as you’re staring at this screen, I can see the wheels turning, you’re looking at how you’ve overextended yourself and how you’re going to make a change. Do it. Don’t wait until you have to take a day off because you’ve exhausted yourself in every way. Practice self-care. We are more than this…

“There is a tension in living fully, what often feels like an opposition between our longing for the solitude where we can find our own company and the desire to be fully and intimately with the world…some days solitude is an impossibility. Caught up in the activities of daily living, I ache for my own company and am filled with a sorrow that makes me weep when I cannot find it…..If I do not find a way to regularly create a place in my life for time that is empty, when nothing is scheduled or expected or reached for so I can be with myself, my glands swell, warning of an impending descent into illness, calling me back to stillness.” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation


I love this Anais Nin quote. It holds a message for us all, to move away from “shallow living” into meaningful moments, minutes, hours, days, years…to move into more meaningful lives.

Reach out for your sons and daughters. Hug them, tell a lame joke, walk with them, enjoy their stories and laughter, watch a favorite cartoon, let them share the video games you don’t understand but they’re expert at, go to a sporting event, play mini golf, go bowling…share your time deeply.

Look into the eyes of your significant other when they’re talking, listen to the words they’re speaking, touch, fingers to fingers, remember what brought you to be sitting there in the first place, share the story again and how it felt, reminisce…connect deeply.

Show interest, become involved in hearing your friends and colleagues, spend time in dialogue, discussing, debating, laughing, loving, dance with them, sit for tea or coffee, have a beer, take a walk, be there now…hear deeply.

Walk prairie trails, run fingers across tall grasses, reach out for the Black-Eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace, hug a tree face to bark, sit on a bench with toes digging into blades of grass or by the creek, dip your feet…feel deeply.

Observe the cities, people walking and chatting, tall buildings, taxis, buses, hustle bustle, whistles, couriers, trains and planes, lakeside runners, sailboats and ferris wheels…see deeply.

Become a mermaid. We are more than this…

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Leave the Shallows

Live Kindness


This morning a colleague was sitting in my office sharing ideas for a new historical display. She wants to highlight women in our organization who have done random acts of kindness. “I know there are those who have done great things and have accomplished much for the community, but what about those who have shown acts of kindness that have never been acknowledged? That’s what I want to capture with pictures and words, those individuals who live their kindness,” she said.

Wow. What a great gift. I know she’ll dig through the archives and come up with wonderful pictures of women from our community helping others across the U.S. and the globe, as well as right here in our own hometowns. After she left my office resonated with the passionate energy she has for this project. I soaked up that energy thinking about the little things people do for me and wondering, had I acknowledged them? What about my own actions? Am I doing anything for others daily? Have I let kindness become enmeshed and ingrained enough so that its in all actions? Do I live as part of the Spirit Collective knowing that the person in front of me is my sister or brother? And you? Are you living your kindness? If so, in what ways? We are more than this…

“I am bred of heaven. And though earth grows more distant in me, I am meet for the worlds you have appointed for me today. Show Your kindness through me. Write welcome upon my face. Set invitation adrift in the tides of my blood. Fan the deep ovens of my faith to flames til I am warm to the touch, right for feasting in a world of famine…

May love give you access to the higher instincts within you, those we share with divinity, that we may have lost in our distractions…”                ~ David Teems

Living Grace


Angel of Grace & Beauty by Mairin Gilmartin

We’re in the midst of it all, the middle of life, people orbiting around, some of whom may be having a tough day and so snap at you when you’ve asked a question, or someone who’s unhappy because things didn’t go the way they had planned and you’re taking the brunt of it, or a child who’s loaded with homework and is grumpy, or a partner or spouse who lost out on an opportunity. Yup, right smack in the middle of it.

Ah, but you dear reader are Grace manifested, so you know to stay in the peace, the calm, to stay in your own moment allowing others to be responsible for their anxiety, anger, sadness or frustration. Yes, they own their experiences, they do not belong to you. Living as part of the Spirit Collective you will of course provide that listening ear, supportive shoulder, and comforting presence, you’ll be there offering Grace, it’s part of your life purpose. We are more than this…

“And now in all your doings be you blessed. God turns to you for help to save the wold. Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you, and all the world stands silent in the Grace you bring from Him. You are the Son He loves, and it is given you to be the means through which His Voice is heard around the world, to close all things of time; to end the sight of all things visible; and to undo all things that change. Through you is ushered in a world unseen, unheard, yet truly there. Holy are you, and in your light the world reflects your holiness, for you are not alone and friendless. I give thanks for you, and join your efforts on behalf of God, knowing they are on my behalf as well, and for all those who walk to God with me.” ~ Helen Schucman and Willam Thetford, A Course in Miracles

Independent Solitude


I sometimes get buried in daily life, forgetting what it means to practice self-care. This last weekend there was so much going on with children and friends I totally forgot to take care of me. I just couldn’t say no, especially to my kids.

Every time I overdo I wonder how I landed in this place again. I’m an aware individual, an intuitive, I know better right? Ha! Thing is I’m also human. The autopilot switch goes on and wham I get lost in the needs of others.

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”         ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now back into the work week, it’s necessary to seek out pockets of time for quick snoozes and centering meditations. Sitting on a park bench by the prairie for five or ten minutes before work, catching a catnap at lunch, there are ways to bring myself back to a wonderfully centered calm. In a few days, I’ll be good as new. Still, it might be a good idea to catch myself before I’m standing with too much going on no time for me and now I’m exhausted place.

How can I do that? I’ll mix five-minute meditations into the day, do some mindful walking at lunchtime, use breaks to reflect on how I allowed myself to run on auto and get to sleep an hour earlier each evening. When the weekend comes around again, I’ll keep an afternoon of rest in the schedule. The key is to keep practicing, to say no sometimes to others and say yes more often to self.  What can you do to recover from those run on days that leave you limping? What can you do to stay on track?

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.” ~ Martha Graham