Two in a Boat by Jeanette MacDonald
Here is my thought for the week:
The questions I've been asking myself lately are, What can I do today to make a difference in the world that I live in, and love so deeply?
And, How can I show up today, so that I can be even more loving than I was yesterday?
Sometimes life just feels so heavy, and perhaps I even feel a bit (or a lot) skeptical about what the point of living it is. The last few months I have been learning to see the darker side of myself, and learning how not to deny that this part exists within me, as has been my default regarding my darker side in the past (I have felt shame around this side of me
). Rather than continuing to deny that this part of myself existed, I started to heal through embracing and loving all aspects of my self.
I've also been learning how to FEEL
all of the emotions behind the darkness that's within me - unusually the prevalent emotion behind my darkness is fear.
We all have a dark side. I argued this point, wanting to be all roses, but the rule seems to be, that which we deplore in ourselves, we will also deplore in others
. If we begin to understand this, we can begin to learn to love all aspects of ourselves, fully, including the dark parts. Then (and only then) we can begin to embrace, love, and forgive the same darkness we see in others. I believe it is only when we can love this part of ourselves that we are able to contribute to saving the world
The darkness out there
merely reflects the un-integrated darkness within the hearts of each of us, collectively. I wrestle with the darkness I see "out there" in the world. It just seems so big and impossible to heal. But in reality, that darkness is merely a reflection of my own darkness.
That darkness can be a sign post showing me what parts in me that still need attention and healing. And, more importantly, the darkness, out there, shows me the lack of faith I have in the Infinite Powers of Source.
If we are all made from Source, then even the dark parts of us are made from Source. If we believe in something greater than ourselves; if we believe The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts, then we cannot pick and choose which parts of us are from Source, and which Parts of us are not. Perhaps then, even the darkness we see in the world is in itself merely an expression of the dark aspects of Source (being that we agree that Source is Infinite, and encompasses all of creation)? Wouldn't it make sense to apply the same principle that we have found to heal our own dark part of ourselves, individually, to heal the collective body of humanity, as well? If we could consider Source (or if you are a science minded person, try replacing Source with something more that cannot be explained...the unknown force of the Universe...the ether) as being of infinite intelligence, and witty in every possible way, then we could see that Source could indeed create the scenario we now find ourselves in. if Source is Infinite by nature, then we will be able to conceive of the idea that It could exercise It's wicked of sense of humor by putting someone dark, and sinister, with the name of "Trump," in the presidential seat at this time. Could it be that Source, in Its Infinite Humor,is actually providing us with the clues we are searching for, regarding the present (or presidential) world riddle? Don't we often say "Love "trumps" fear?" Could Trump be Source's ironic clue to us all, in Its attempt to wake us up to the fact that fear only breeds more fear, while Love is the All Powerful healing Source?
Just look at the way the human brain lights up when scientists study it when it is focused on thoughts of love and compassion, compared to what happens when it is given no focus at all. The brain focused on love lights up like New York City, while the mind at idle does nothing at all. Watch Joe Dispenza, on YouTube, to learn more about how powerful the human brain is at creating its environment through focused thought. I believe, training our brains by focusing on love and compassion has the potential to bring about the collective healing we are yearning for.
This art piece is called Two in a Boat. And yes, we CAN be the paddles for humanity, even though it seems we might be up the creek without any at this time. That is not true. Love does trump fear. But, we've got to stop focusing on all the wrong that is going on out there (while staying present to it), so we may begin to heal humanity. We can consciously choose to do something powerful like focusing on the healing powers of Love. It is helpful to remember that there is a heart in each of us that wants to love and be loved. Today I will extend love ahave faith that all is well and as it should be,.
Have a blessed week. <3
Goddess of All Creation by Jeanette MacDonald Art - the hearts represent the web of life in which we are all intricately connected.
This is not an easy piece for me to write. In fact it is the hardest piece I have ever written. But, intuitively, I know that I have a responsibility to be courageous, to write it and share it.
I had the privilege, and honour, of attending a spiritual event on Sunday. The topics and sharing reminded me that we are ALL unique expressions of the same Divine Love. This philosophy resonated with me, and it sparked a thoughtful exploration into my own heart and beliefs. And I wish to share what came up for me here.
One of the things That I noticed at this gathering was that there was a strong Divine Feminine presence. This made sense, given that the majority of the attendees were women. The fact that there were way more women there than men, intrigued me. It reminded me of what the Dalai Lama said, that "The world will be saved by the western woman.
Now, I am a huge fan of the Dalai Lama, and I remember experiencing a tinge of self-righteous (and perhaps even divisive) pride around that remark, being that I am included in the group who the Dalai Lama said will save the world. But, I have to be honest, there was also something that didn't feel quite right to me. The Dalai Lama advocates for trying to see things from many different perspectives before forming an opinion. Plus, he humbly refers to himself as being just one of the seven billion inhabitants on Earth, so I am sure he won't mind that I have a different perspective on who it will be that saves the world.
I have recently become interested in politics (in an off-handed sort of way). And it seems that our political state is…how do I put this…failing us miserably. Besides the Dalai Lama, there is a lot of talk out there that women could do a better job of running our planet than our men
have. There is this prevalent notion that our men
have royally screwed things up for the rest of us. As a result, we have begun to organize women's marches and rallies,
to try and bring the feminine solution of love and nurturance to the bedside of our sick mother, Earth. It currently feels, to me anyway, that men are being made to hold vigilance behind us women, with their tails tucked (guiltily) between their legs, because collectively, humanity, is holding our men
responsible for the damage that our dear planet, and mother, has had to endure. All this, while we, the women of the world, self-righteously step up to be the proud fixers
of their mess.
I had an “a-ha” moment this morning. I was able to see a dangerous, prevalent and long-held belief, that we have collectively been holding; a belief that has been used to distract us from seeing a bigger and truer picture: We have been manipulated into continually dividing ourselves into different camps, for hundreds if not thousands of years, creating an us vs. them
predication. And the Dalai Lama, saying that it will be the western women
who will save our world, creates yet another, albeit totally innocent, division. In that scenario, it becomes women vs. all men
(and even women from one part of the world vs. women from other parts of the world,
dividing us all over the place). But the truth is, or at least the way I see it, our men
have not been the ones making these harmful decisions that have adversely affected our planet, any more than we women have been involved in these decisions. The most important decisions; the decisions that affect all of us, have been willingly given over to the lap of a handful of manipulative individuals (who may or may not be mostly men) who sit above all law and all visible governments. And it seems the decisions that these elitist few have been making, in the name of profit and acquisition, has been harming the rest of us for a very long time.
Take war, for example. Do we really believe that our sons (basically our little boys in man suits) wanted to go to war to kill people, when to do so is to commit the greatest sin against their soul-Self and their own humanity? Do we really believe that that our sons wanted to kill their brothers and sisters from afar? I don’t believe they did. I believe, at a very deep level, we know that we are One; we know that what we do to another, we also do to ourselves.
Our sons have had to watch in the trenches while their comrades; their friends and brothers, were blown to smithereens. And when they returned home with their permanent souvenirs, missing a limb or limbs, they would be reminded every day for the rest of their life of the horrors they had had to witness at war.
Our sons, told that they would be heroes when they returned, for having fought for the liberty and freedom of us all, were outcast, and forgotten about, by the ones that had forced them to go in the first place; the ones whose own sons were to be given immunity and spared from having to suffer the same destiny.
I fear the rest of humanity has also been ungracious to our sons (our veterans) after their return from war. Perhaps the reason we do not want to really take a look at what has happened to them is because we feel so guilty that we did not stand up against the elite few?
I realize that this is a graphic topic, probably one most of us (including myself) would rather not think about or talk about, but it is a reality that touches the hearts of us all, and benefits none of us, with the exception of the few who are in charge of creating these wars, and dividing humanity, in order that we will fight for them, and against ourselves, for the elitist benefit alone. When I consider history from this angle, I feel so very sorry for what our sons; our men,
have had to endure.
We need to collectively wake up and realize it is not our men
who have done this to us. It is the elite few; the less than one percent, who we have, collectively (yes, all of us), given our power over to the War Machine; the system that is really responsible for the tremendous pain humanity has had to endure. And these elite few are the only ones who have profited from all of our collective heartbreak.
Some may call me paranoid, or call me a conspiracy theorist, and that is okay. I know it is more important to stand up and share information, especially now, than it is to worry about any names we might be called. Many have suffered already from speaking up, while the bulk of us has turned a blind eye to them. This saddens me (Watch Killswitch (see trailer here
) on Netflix. It will open your eyes a bit)
We are all (the over 99% of humanity) allowing these elitist few to manipulate and control us through the use of lies and deception (propaganda). We are allowing ourselves to be used; and by doing so we are committing heinous acts that go directly against the Spiritual Nature of our being-ness.
I am hoping that we have, collectively, begun to wake up: to see that our men
are beautiful - just like we women are. If you are a man I want you to know that I do not hold you accountable for this travesty, any more than I hold women responsible for it. We have ALL been brain-washed into thinking that what we want is more and more external stuff; the stuff that the one percent is selling us, in exchange for our very souls. I believe that what we really want is not something that can be bought; it is Love; the kind of spiritual joy and fulfillment that can only be found within our collective hearts; within our concern for one another and within our concern for all the species that we share this glorious planet with.
It doesn't matter what kind of car we drive, whether we live in prestigious neighborhood or not, what schools we attend, what churches we worship the god of things
in, whether we are male or female, black, white or any spectrum of color that may lie in between, it doesn’t matter who we love, how we dress, what our political philosophy is; none of that matters - if we don't even have a planet to call home; it doesn’t matter if our animals are sick and dying; it doesn’t matter if our air and water is polluted. Dead is dead, no matter what kind of gloss we put on it.
Our hearts are the only weapon that can heal this devastating situation, I know it. We must begin to March for Humanity,
together, as One. We must be brave enough to say “no” to war.
We must stand up to the powers that have been
. If we do not stand up, we need to know that we are collectively marching humanity, like in Nazi Germany, off to the gas chamber.
I don't understand why this does not concern the elite few. I cannot even begin to fathom that kind of lack of concern. But, I sense that if humanity is to stand a chance at all we must unite. I believe it is our collective Humanity; our collective Love that will give us the strength and power we need to exercise our Power.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Love you all.
This morning I read a really sad post written by a dear friend. This post really got me thinking, and I realized that I needed to write about it. My friend’s young granddaughter had suffered a traumatic event while on the public transit, and understandably, her grandmother was deeply disturbed by what had happened. The girl had worn her scarf covering her (in her words) “cute hair” from the rain like a Muslim woman might wear a Hijab. A man on the bus started hurling profane and abusive insults at her. Sadly, no one on the bus made any attempt to stand up for her, or to support her in any way, including the bus driver.
I too was saddened by the fact that things like this happen in this day and age
, on our glorious and diverse planet. But, the truth is that things like this have been happening for a very long time. We just seem to be waking up to it more. Because of a certain person, this discriminating abuse has begun to affect the masses. I wonder, have a lot of us been maintaining a certain “I can’t see it so it isn’t happening”
attitude, up until now?
The girl was thankful that she had her mp3 player with her so she could drown out, and momentarily escape, the abuse. But she did have thoughts about how she would like to retaliate for the hurt she was experiencing, which I can certainly understand. I too have had dark fantasies when I found my self in humiliating and hurtful situations like this.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, Barry and I are reading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu
(a must read).
Last night’s chapter really had an immense impact on me. It was all about suffering. As many of you might know, I have written a book, and I am just waiting to tie up some loose ends before I publish it. In this book I talk about how I suffered as a child. After reading The Book of Joy
, I am coming to see that my suffering is a kind of spoiled-child type of suffering
. In comparison to my suffering, these two kindly gentlemen share what they have suffered, putting my suffering into perspective. And they say that in comparison to what others have suffered,that they themselves have not really suffered. They talked about a psychologist, who had, herself, survived the holocaust in Nazi Germany. She found that the children who had the greatest chance of survival, during the holocaust, were the ones who had suffered the most prior to the holocaust. It seems that the children who were, as she put it, spoiled and coddled
, were the first to perish; they died waiting for someone out there to come and save them.The startling characteristic that the surviving children shared was an ability to maintain compassion and love within their hearts
, no matter what was happening around them. It wasn't determination that saved them, it was Love.
That really got me thinking. Could it be possibly be dangerous for us to be constantly revisiting our traumas, or even to lament over the traumas that occur in our "now"? I know Jason Silva
talks about cognitive re-framing, noting that we can actually change our pasts (and even our present) by merely going back into our pasts and consciously looking for the good in it, rather than the reinforcement that we did indeed suffer. When we focus on the positive events of our pasts, we heal and actually transform both our past and present, from good to bad; or from sad to joyful.
Yes, that unfortunate situation that happened on the bus IS
very disturbing and IS
truly sad, but it is also an opportunity to see things differently; an opportunity to wake up and be more compassionate. I believe that we who have the most love in our hearts are being called on right now to share that love, no matter what we are experiencing at this time. We need to protect our Love and our Joy with everything we've got, so we do not allow ourselves to be "hurt" into stooping (even the tiniest way) to the level of our abusers. Remaining in Love and Joy is our purpose
; and I believe it is the only solution to healing the darkness present in our glorious and blessed world. We do this by blessing the wounded-self of our abusers. We do it through practicing extreme forgiveness. We do it by having compassion for what those wounded-souls must have experienced in their own lives; for what has in turn made them full of fear and hatred. We cannot take on their darkness, unless we wish to also contribute to the expansion of that darkness. and I know this is definitely what we don't want to do. With knowledge comes responsibility, right?
A few days ago, I forgot my toque (a Canadian word for woolly hat), so I wrapped my scarf around my head like a hijab to keep my ears warm from the bitter cold. As I did that, I said to Barry, “I could be a Muslim, and I would register as one if that is what it took to contribute to correcting this divisive situation.” I would stand united, in Love, whenever and wherever my sisters and brothers needed support. What happened to my friend’s granddaughter is really an opportunity for a passive part of society to wake up and become more compassionate; to be compassionate towards what our Muslim sisters have had to go through, and are still going through right now. This is an excellent opportunity for us us all to begin to take a walk in each other’s shoes! Love is truly our Divine Nature, our greatest intelligence and our most Powerful Strength!
It has been a heck of an start to 2017, don't you think!? I have had my strong moments; moments where I believed that all is well and as it should be; where I have had the faith that what we are experiencing is just part of the process of birthing a new consciousness, or perhaps even a new world. And...I have also had moments where I was totally freaking out because I felt like we were complete and utter victims of vile tyranny. For most who know me, I am rather Pollyanna-ish, and I am proud of it. But the last couple weeks have been hard for me. I have spent many moments wondering how things could possibly work out for our collective good?
Admittedly, I am not good at being in the dark...or being in the anger that sometimes accompanies the dark-side of myself. Maybe that is part of the lessons I am here to learn? Maybe I need more practice feeling
my way through these dark moments? I know that being able to feel
my own anger
, and allowing it to just move through me, came up a lot in my Jump Coaching sessions with Nancy Levin
(which, by the way, I highly recommend for integrating those invisible,past wounds, so we can become whole).Perhaps I need to remind myself to breathe more, knowing that I can get through this...but I still think that we are in for a hell of a ride. I'm convinced it is going to be a feeling-roller-coaster
for some time yet. I guess I better learn to hang on (loosely) and be okay with dwelling in the unknown (or at the very least learn to accept that I am).
Any hoo....Thanks to a dear friend (an earth angel sent to help me through this time) I was asked to do another round of the Artist's Way -Julia Cameron's 12 week book/course, with her. It has been quite sometime since I last did the TAW, and I had forgotten all the really cool and juicy tid-bits, that this wonderful practice brings me. This is the book that set me on my artist's path years ago.
Yesterday I read the Introduction, and already I have had so many epiphanies. I realize (again?) that Julia Cameron has used recovery as the framework for her course. A course that has, over the years, successfully helped unblock many artists, of all descriptions. I did not realize how recovery was such a big part of the TAW, last time I cycled through it...weird. Perhaps that was because I was so early in my own recovery. Because of what recovery has brought me in my own life, I feel like everyone could benefit from the tools and gifts that recovery has brought me. Well, guess what? Everyone does have access...and it can be found within this amazing and healing book.
If you are a blocked artist, or even someone who does not feel like they are living a fulfilling life; or if you yearn for more, this blog post is my gift, custom-designed to your needs. I would put a link here for Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, but my preference would be for you to support your community and buy it from your local bookstore:-)
I have been in recovery for nearly 15 years but, as I have written before, but two and a half years ago I had a small slip (a slip means that I used my substance of choice and broke my continuous abstinence)
. That slip now reminds me of what is going on today in the world. The gift of that slip was that it helped me become more aware of the fact that while I had not been using my substance of choice to numb out
anymore, I was not really recovering
(healing) either. When I slipped, as painful as it was, I kept it a secret for a month before I had the courage to reach out for help. Thankfully,sharing my shame helped get me back into recovery. That slip really woke me out of a deep slumber. Perhaps, for the first time, I realized how powerless I really was. I had been in recovery for twelve years, sure, but truthfully I had merely substituted one substance for another more invisible, and more socially-acceptable substance. Substances were the Band-aids I used to covere the pain of my broken heart, and my soul-sickness.
The way I relate my story, to the state the world finds itself in, is this: While I deemed things as "not really that bad
," I allowed myself to stay stuck, in a deep state of slumber. But when things get really bad, and I could no longer deny it because I slipped, I began to suffer so greatly that I could no longer deny that something was seriously was wrong with me. I had to reach a sort of spiritual-bottom
(and that is what I believe is happening now. Globally we are suffering a collective/spiritual -bottom). And we are being forced to wake up.
Recovery introduced me to the idea that there was "Something More
" that I could access, around the clock, for support. That Something More helped me get straightened out so I could begin to heal. I began to realize that the joy I was seeking could not to be found out there in
the external world. Through recovery, I began to wake up to the realization that healing was an inside job. As I have begun to heal, my creative journey has continued to expand...and I feel fulfilled.
There is a certain prominent person in the world right now whom, I believe, is a reflection of our collective/spiritual-bottom. My eyes have been opened wide to the fact that the material world, and our desires for more and more stuff, are NOT where the joy we crave resides.
I love how Julia Cameron uses TAW to lead us to the place where we can find our joy; our true place of Something More
. I love how she teaches us how to find our creativity within, so we can begin this healing process. TAW is a deep process. But I feel that the more creative we can become right now, the more collective-healing we will experience.
I started the Basic Tools chapter yesterday morning, and I decided that I would not push to get through this book this time, even though I wanted to do Week One's reading straight away. This time around I want to savor the journey, and really take it in. Here are a few concepts that have literally jumped off the page for me already:
*We must make a commitment to one hour a day of practicing TAW principles
. This is easy for me because I have to limit doing my art most days because given the chance I would do it all day. But I know we must learn not to make excuses for why we have no time to do the things we want to do. Most times our excuses are fear based. Perhaps we think we can't be the kind of artist we want to be. I am here to tell you that we can. we just have to commit to showing up and putting the time in. All artists start off as beginners..
*Cameron distinguishes that "withdrawal" is different for the recovering artist than a person recovering from substances. She says "We ourselves are the substance we withdraw to, not from, as we pull our overextended and misplaced energy back into our own core
*"We must allow the bolt of pain to strike us
." This year has been all about learning to feel all of my feelings....especially anger. Cameron just reinforces how necessary it is to integrate all our fragmented parts into our awareness so we can become whole and heal.
*"Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you are crazy
." I love my family and friends, but I DON"T care what they think of me, my writing, or my art anymore! And it is such a relief. I stand at the edge of the abyss and allow myself to free fall (most days :-)!
*Make a cartoon character out of our censor, so I can laugh at it whenever I hear it rear its screechy, and ugly voice; remembering that my critic's opinions are NOT the truth
. In fact, I am going to allow the opinions of my critic to challenge me.
*On the other side of our fears we get to "hear the still, small voice that is at once our creator's and our own
." Love!!! This is where we get to be with the 'I" that is not this body. And we get to be with that "I" during our morning pages meditation (three pages of free writing each morning....magic happens here).
*I love how Cameron explains that our "Logic Brain
" is always our second, third or fourth thought....never our first
*Cameron says that any original thoughts look dangerous to our Censor
(fear of failure?taking risks).
*I love how she says morning pages are meditation, and as meditations are the gateway to God
Hope this look at the bright side, at creativity, makes you feel better. I really do believe we are all being called to raise the vibrational frequency on the planet, more than ever, right now. That means we must get out from under the fear that keeps us stuck and sick. If you can, look into doing The Artist's Way for yourself. Find me on Facebook, or send me an email, if you want to ask any questions, or if I can help in any way. Either way, let's commit to keeping the faith and trying and find joy in our lives. Even though we are eternal beings, our physical lives are short. Don't forget to live it!
Wishing you love, healing and creativity,
We are not saints...that is clear. Progress over perfection, right?
I found myself spiraling down into a deep pit of fear and despair on Tuesday. While I was grasping for the sides of the pit, I ran into a dear friend, and even though I never said anything about what was feeling (about the fear I was experiencing) she could sense the fear-energy; which like Love-energy, is so powerful. Later that night my friend brought me over some of her home-made red lentil soup because of that silent connection. I can't tell you how much that resonance meant to me.I love that I don't just plummet into a hole, never to return, anymore. I seem to have this inner-knowing that says, "Now is the time to do that work stuff you are incessantly talking about." I knew that the darkness I was experiencing was not good for anyone - least of all me. I want to contribute to the raising of the positive vibrational frequencies on this planet. Going deeper into the darkness is not going to accomplish that goal. I sense it is actually going to have the opposite effect.We can only ever be part of the solution or part of the problem
. Can you feel that truth deep within your cells? I can. I knew I was raising the negative vibrational frequencies with my fears, but my fear-mind
wanted to go down that hole? I had to stop myself. I had to breathe so I could feel that I was not powerless
like I was feeling I was. We all have a much greater Power-Force within us
. We were born with this Power. But we have to evoke it. The physical realm - the realm we all find ourselves in at this time - seems to be the pain-realm, though.
Barry and I have just started reading The Book of Joy, by the Dali Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
, together. We are not that far into it yet, but already I have heard a few things that are quieting my fears. One is that Dali Lama says suffering is inevitable. But our response to that suffering is optional.
He likens it to getting hit by an an arrow, and if we choose to see only our suffering (seeing ourselves as victims), we are actually making a choice to take two arrows - to be hurt by our hurt. So, in essence, we get to choose whether we will be hurt once or whether we will be hurt twice, by a situation.
The Dali Lama, who he himself has suffered greatly during his own life, has repeatedly chosen to take only the first arrow - the one which was out of his control. Even more, he has chosen to transform that first arrow into a gift. He says his life experience has been better for the struggles and the pain he has endured. His struggles actually given him a richer life experience.
There was something in those words that sparked a deep knowing within my own heart. I realize that today I am where I am as a result of having gone through my own suffering. My pain has led me to express my heart through painting, writing, making clay figures, recovering from addictions, and even having relationships with people - people that I love so dearly my heart could burst at the mere thought of them. So how could I ever, even for one second, feel resentment towards the pain that I have suffered?
I first heard of the idea of "practicing non-violence
" ten years ago from a local community member and yoga teacher, at Yoga by the Sea, here in Roberts Creek. I had no idea what "practicing non-violence" meant, but it rattled around in my head for years, and still does today. I kind of know what it means now. Today there is more need than ever for us to begin to make the practice of non-violence part of our life. It means that we need to understand that we are always making a choice to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Hate does not stop hate. It grows it. If we want to heal this planet, we need to practice, compassion, Love, and as the Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu advocate; we need to practice the art, and healing Power, of Joy within our lives.
Now, I know we are all up to our eyeballs with this new and uncertain political atmosphere, we all find ourselves in. But, I believe we are being called on to make a choice here. Will we be marching for peace
, or fighting against imaginary negative forces? That one decision alone will determine whether we contribute to the healing of our glorious planet, or contribute to experiencing even more pain; whether we choose the second arrow or not.
The sickness we are waking up to right now is not new. It has been here for a long time. But, the symptoms will not be suppressed or covered up anymore. The band-aid is being ripped off, exposing the wound for all to see.
I'm convinced that we must seek alternative forms of healing now, if we ever hope to address this gaping wound. We must do something different than we have done before. We must be brave, and apply the balm of Love to the wounds that are the hardest for us to apply it to. And we all know where those wounds that need addressing are.
Anyway, that is my two cents for this week. Sending Love, LIght and Resonance to the hearts of all. I am going to choose to take only the first arrow, and meet that arrow with Love and Faith. I will choose to be grateful for that arrow, as well, knowing it has the potential to take me to a better place than I have ever been.
Peace and Love,
I have been so busy making art for my art journal, and working on my Soul Bearer sculptures, that I am late blogging this week. So, as a gift to you, I thought I would include an excerpt from my book. I am waiting on a couple important parts and then it is off to press for this baby! As I am sure you can imagine, I am very excited. This book represents hundreds of hours of my work. It was no small task to put together, and I am very proud of what I have been able to create with it. I hope that this book will speak to your heart as well. I guess we will see. <3
We Are Thought Horticulturists
Mind is cause, and experience is effect. If you do not like the effect you are getting, the obvious remedy is to alter the cause and then the effect will naturally alter too.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Matthew 23:26)
It's foolish to plant orange seeds and expect an apple tree to grow. In essence, we are thought-horticulturalists whose outer conditions always result from our inner thought-seeds. So, if our thoughts are clean, the state of our outer conditions will also be clean. In recovery, this inner cleansing is called the tenth step: “continued to take a personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” This is the spiritual housekeeping step. We must be accountable for our thinking, at all times, if we hope to be joyous, happy and free.
Keeping our thoughts clean demands that we act from a place of Love. We learn to be honest, open and willing (HOW), thinking the most of others, while learning to love and forgive ourselves for our own shortcomings. We never condemn ourselves; we honor our growth, because in order to love others we need to love our Selves first. If we can accomplish this, as it said, we will get to live a life beyond our wildest dreams.
Today, God, may I love my Self thoroughly so I may love others. When I am tempted toward judgment, let me turn to the Light of Your Spirit, trusting that all our experiences are intentional. Let me be of service to others by keeping my inner state clean.
I know for sure, what we dwell on is who we become. ~ Oprah Winfrey
I have committed to doing a blog post a week...two weeks in and I am doing pretty good. Ha! The part that gets me is that there are not enough hours in the day for me to do all I want to do. I want to create clay creatures, I am doing my art journaling, writing, blogging, I love to read, I just signed up to Gaia.com, and I am loving the documentaries on there. on top of all that, I literally just finished a 10 week Jump coaching group with Nancy Levin. My plate is full.
I am also working on the final stages of my book. I hired a local proof-reader, Heather Ross, at the recommendation of friends and I am not disappointed. Wow!!! She is one pro editor and proof-reader. If you need any editing or proof-reading done, send her a message. I am seriously impressed. You won't be disappointed.
Proof-reading is the last stage I needed to complete before my manuscript (have I told you how much I love the word manuscript?) will be ready for publishing! I can't even believe it. I am so excited, and a lot nervous. But I am full speed ahead anyway. It feels like I have been working on this book for....ever! But I have only been at it for a couple months. The cards were edited before hand and then they became a big part of my book, of course. My book is a recovery/spiritual/self-help/creativity guide/ biography. It has a lot of my own vulnerable life lessons included in it. Let's just say that I haven't held back. I lay it all out there.
The big learning for me, in making this book, is that we are all human. We all screw up. But the one who forges ahead, through the fears that others will find out we are not perfect, wins. We do not necessarily win money (although we have a better chance at that too) by keeping on keeping on, but we win the respect of ourselves, and serious self-love. Those old blunders from my past,
that I thought were the worst things in the world, now feel like "whatever" - so I messed up...so what. Look at what I was able to do because I didn't let it paralyze me.
So where do I go from here? What do I want to do with this one glorious life now? I have decided this is the year that I will take risks. I want to start my own little art course biz. Just small simple courses that anyone can do, so anyone learn to tap into their own creative hearts. This is just a dream so far, but I can feel it, and it excites me.
Anyway, this is me checking in. If there is anything you would be interested in learning that I could offer, please let me know in the comment section. I would love to hear about it. Let's share our hearts and make beautiful heart art this year.
Lots of love...Jeanette
The cover for my art journal for 2017
Happy New Year everybody! It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me. I am sure it has been, at the very least, somewhat busy for you, as well?
Here we are in the year 2017. As a child that would have thought 2017 sounded way off and very futuristic. But, here we are on January 4th, and it is my first-born son, Chris,' birthday. He turns 37 today. The New Year, and my son's birthday, have me reflecting on my life. I was seventeen when Chris came into this crazy world through me. I am not the same person today, obviously. This one beautiful individual has been with me through lots of changes. I am so grateful that I chose to be his mom, and that he chose me (and his dad) to be his way into this realm. Happy Birthday Chris!
My New Year was lovely. I got to spend it with my second son, Ryan, and his three gorgeous girls: Taya, Paitan and Reese. I am so proud that they are my family. There are no more beautiful human-beings on the face of the planet, as far as I am concerned. We rang in the New Year with a yummy meal, along with our good friends (and adopted family members) Gerry and Carol. They have become near and dear to my heart. I know what a blessing it is to have friends like these two. I could gush about them all day, but suffice it to say that I know I am very blessed.
After dinner we played a dice game (and ate junk food) until midnight, along with the two older girls (yes, I stayed awake until midnight...and all three of the girls did too). We laughed a lot! And my friend Carol won four games
...I am sure you can imagine, there was a bit of envy in the room. Ha!
While we were playing dice at the table I asked what everyone's word for 2017 is. All sorts of words flashing through my mind; words like, compassion, truth, feelings, authenticity, no more triggers, whole self, love, empathy, healing, self-love, fearlessness, awareness
. I was having a great deal of difficulty narrowing it down to one word. What I crave most is to be a healthier version of myself this year; to live consciously. I have begun to realize that there are as many truths as there are people. For me, the thing is to become aware of the skeletons that I have been dragging along with me from the past. Because those skeletons have been tainting my present moment experiences.
Today I know I need to bury those skeletons. But, how does one go about doing something like that? Well, I have begun to see that becoming aware of my wounded-self
is the first step. If I continue to avoid looking at my hurts (because some of them are so very painful to me) I won't stand a chance at becoming aware of why I behave the way I do. It is important for me to figure that out so I can begin to live consciously, so I can manifest that which I do want in my life. I must feel all of my feelings
, and even mourn them, before I will be able to bury those skeletons, so I may invite new, more joyful experiences into my life. If I don't become aware of all of my feelings
, I will continue to be, unwittingly, triggered by them. Basically, if I do not do this shadow-work, I will not stand a chance at creating the life I want for myself.
I woke up New Years Day and I knew what my word was going to be. It is integration
. I have been choosing words for the New Year, for a number of years now, but I have never felt so aligned with a word as I do this year. This one word encapsulated everything I wanted to achieve. If I can integrate all that old wounded stuff into my awareness, I can finally heal and experience self-love
. I have heard this statement a lot in recent years: "you must love yourself before you can love anyone else."
So, I knew it had to start with me, but how was I supposed to accomplish that? I think I am beginning to figure it out.
You see, I am the sort of person who wants to be a good person
. I am sure you get that. So, what I have been doing is,that when thoughts come up that I judge as being not the sort of thoughts that a good person
would think, I stuff them. I berate myself for having them in the first place. What has happened is my inner-child, who wants nothing more than to express her true feelings, has been having a temper tantrum (for my whole life). She has felt betrayed by me; she has felt betrayed by her guardian. I have discovered that when I allow myself to feel all of my feelings
; when I hold space for myself to feel everything
, without judgement, I begin to heal; I feel honored by myself, and my heart softens. So, you guessed it, my word for this year is INTEGRATION
A very generous friend has created a free art journal group for this year. If you feel compelled you may be able to jump in and do it with us. The image above is my cover for the art journal that I have made (from scratch without a YouTube even) for this group. The more you do art, the more creative you become. It is like a muscle that needs to be used in order to be strengthened. I will keep you posted on my progress. I have started my "word page" and I love it already. It is a sort of pop-up book, style, page. It floats my inner-child's boat. Here is the link to Maria's Green's
website. From there you can find her Facebook group. There is a lot of support to be found, for exploring your inner-creative-muse, there.
Lots and lots of love and healing to you and your family in 2017.
Here is the link for the art journal course. You won't want to miss it if this sort of thing appeals to you. It is a very generous offering. Thank you Maria. <3
My son, Ryan , myself and his three beauties!!!
Happy holidays Everyone!
We are right in the middle, between Christmas and New Years. I am reflecting on how wonderful, low-key, stress-free and enjoyable our holiday was. It is such a relief to not have to have to open presents on Christmas morning (yes I am serious). It was quiet in our house with just Barry, myself and our fur-babies, Sydney (the pug), Buddy (the kitty) and our newest family member, Poppy (the Thai dog)..
After doing our usual thing (just like we do every other morning) we set about making a dinner for a hand-full of awesome friends. There were six of us all together...and that was sweet. We ate a beautiful dinner and played dice. We laughed our heads off. Thank you to those who made my Christmas. I love you all.
I have been working on my book and I am getting very close. The edits (by knliterary) are done, and now I have a local woman doing the proof-reading for me. I want this book to be as clean as possible. Will it be perfect? No. I am not perfect. I have shared four very vulnerable life stories within it. I sometimes fall back into my insecurities and have awful thoughts about this book. I think things like:
A. Am I qualified to write this book from my own unique perspective? The answer to that is a big YES!!! We all are. This is me. I am a thoughtful, philosophical, curious person, who longs for the "more" of life. I want to live my life full on.And I want to tell you about it.
B. Will the people I look up to like what I have written? Will they support me in my endeavors? Or will they sneer that I am "stupid" and a "fraud"? The answer to that is that I do not know the answer to that. But, I must risk it anyway. I don't want to hide out in my life for fear that I will not meet some person's (out there) approval. That is not the life for me. I want to meet my own approval. Additionally, I want to do "stuff" I want to live fearlessly. I want to have the faith that I have been led here...to this exact place. I feel that way. If this book does not work out the way I would like...then that means it will work out differently somehow, and that "somehow" might be better than I could ever imagine (often that is the case). I believe this....really I do.
C. People like George Micheal are dying younger than I am now (my dad died at 49) so to get to be here this long is a bonus. Do I want to risk dying a life un-lived? No I do not. So what if I make an ass of myself by living and sharing my life wide-open? At least I made something of myself!
D. Does my story have any value? My story (and your story) is beautiful and YES it does. I have been through a lot in this life, and I have lived to tell about it...so I am going to do just that. It will resonate with some of you, surely. And if just one person feels less alone because they see themselves in my story, then my book will be a great success.
E. Will it destroy me to share my secrets with the world? Every single time I put my vulnerability out there, I grow. It is the secrets that we keep, and limit ourselves by, that will eventually kill us prematurely...I am convinced of this. The fact that I no longer want to hide who I am, or who I was, shows me that I am no longer stuck in all that old out-dated shame I used to pack around with me. When I share my secrets, I am liberated from them. They no longer have the power to hurt me. It is magical! That which used to paralyze me in the past lights me up in the now, if I can put my vulnerable self out there, while being present with all my feelings, I will heal.
Just a little note about what I have learned in my 54 years of life: People relate to us when we share that we are not perfect. No one is perfect, but when people try to portray that they are, it scares others who might like to get to know us better, away. If only we can be authentically who we are...warts included, we will have lots of beautiful, authentic friends to journey with. There is nothing like when someone is sharing their secret stories, sans masks, with us (the stories around what we consider to be our short-comings) and their disclosure is met with an empathetic, loving response like, "I know exactly how you feel.I have been where you are. I felt the same way when [INSERT] happened.." A bond is formed within this kind of authentic, compassionate sharing. And...it is such a beautiful thing to experience with a friend. When two people share their authentic truth together it is SO healing. It is a true gift of respect that they are sharing their soul-gems with us. It makes me want more truth. It helps me to accept that my imperfect-self is my most Perfect Self
The illusion of perfection is so boring anyway. No one buys it, and it is painful for others to endure the stories we create around that facade. When we exaggerate, or lie, just to attempt to fit in, it is merely an indication of the work that still needs to be done within. But, we need to have compassion too. We can only ever be where we are, and some of us are so protective because we have been hurt so badly that we cant risk exposing our truth. It hurts too much. I get it. I have been there too. It is a gift to be given the courage to share our blunders. Being locked into our old secrets is painful stuff. Anyway, there you have it. I am choosing to live big and brave by sharing my secrets.
I wish you all a wonderful New Year. I have started to think about what my word for 2017 might be. Words like: compassion, truth, integrity, authenticity are swirling around in my head. I know my word is in there somewhere. Wishing you all the best in the coming year. Thanks for journeying along with me. Thanks for your courage, encouragement, support, compassion and love this past year. I hope I have been at least some of those things for you as well. Because I am grateful for you in my life. <3
Good morning friends!
In keeping with my "new" commitment to blogging once a week, I sat down to write a post yesterday morning, but I ran into a technological problem...yes there was a little cursing going on around here. It took my WHOLE morning to get the glitch straightened out (six hours!) and then I had nothing left to give. So, I closed the laptop and went on my way getting some last minute Christmas things done.
Barry and I do not buy presents for each other at Christmas. It is a time we would rather spend reflecting on just how abundant our lives are already, and it doesn't feel right to buy a bunch more stuff when others in the world struggle, not even having the basics like water and clean air. I try to make something for my grand kids, even if it is to sew a bag (instead of wrapping their present in paper that will just get chucked away) to put their pajamas and a book in. I like home-made things. I like the feeling that I get by making something for those I love. I also like that I am not generating more trash on this planet. I enjoy the idea that something I made can be used a little longer than one day.
I hear the up-and-coming generations yearning for simpler more meaningful gifts for their children, too. And that lights me up. I like that the up-and-comers are interested in getting back to the magic of life that never did come in a box. Dr. Seuss was right, "maybe Christmas does not come from a store...maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?" I like to think it does.
I am not caught up in any religious dogma around the holiday. I merely like the idea of extending, and practicing, good will; offering a loving hand to our neighbors...especially the ones who may have fallen through the cracks in the race to accumulate more and more stuff; in the race to keep up with the Jones'. What if we all made an effort to invite people who need a warm heart and a full stomach, to our table? What if we opened our hearts to see the good that was within each of us, at this time of the year, instead of treating it like a kind of business meeting, inviting only those whom we would like to impress, or who we would use to raise our status in the world? What if we opened our hearts to see the beauty in the hearts of everyone? I have been told that I am not a very realistic person, and this may be true, but that is exactly my idea of a good party.
I know this idea is hard for some to swallow, because we all have our own unresolved issues and insecurities that stand in the way of our hearts being fully open to others. We bring our inner-teenager with us. The part of us that likes to hang with the so-called cool people. But, I hazard to say that we will always find a more complex and honest heart in the ones who have not been living by the present day "popular" standard. In these quirky people we will find the true artists and visionaries.
I put up a few twinkle lights and a handful of decorations. Not a lot, but enough to lend a cozy and magical feel to our humble cottage. The warmth of the fire, and the crackling of the wood, makes it feel a bit old-fashioned here. We are staying home to enjoy the love and quiet of our home, along with our fur-family, this year. These little creatures need us, and we are blessed to have them to light us up, everyday. We are going to join in on a community vigil on Christmas Eve, here on the coast. That will be lovely. And, like last year, if we can muster a few stragglers, we may have an impromptu gathering of those, like us (by choice), who do not have a place to go. By the way, we did just that last year, and it was one of my all-time favorite Christmases! Everyone was in great spirits, with no expectations. We ate a lovely meal together and then played a game of dice. There was a lot of laughter and gratitude in this house.
The holiday season means different things to different people, and we can each define what it will mean to us. I choose to not make it about stuff, but to make it about heart, instead. I pray for the snow they say it is possible we may get. An old fashioned Christmas would be lovely! I wish all of you the best, no matter how you choose to spend this time of the year. I pray for your health, for your family's health, for abundance and prosperity for you all. I hope that 2017 brings you whatever it is that you dream about, and wish for. Sending love and gratitude to and for you all, my friends. Thank you for being my friend; for supporting me on my life's creative journey, and for helping me to become a better person (yes, this includes those of you who challenge me). Soul Peace be yours.
With Love and gratitude,