Showing posts with label Cultivating Lightheartedness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cultivating Lightheartedness. Show all posts

February 27, 2019

Delight Your Heart

Random Acts of Kindness I do or like to do:
  • Leave angel cards in sugar bowls of restaurants
  • Volunteer at the Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, reading to toddlers
  • Let them interrupt
  • Paying sincere compliments
  • Donate towels and blankets to the SPCA
  • Send handwritten thank you notes in the mail
  • Have fresh flowers from my garden in my office and home
  • Bring banana bread to the new neighbor
  • Ask people their first name and remember them
  • Move people's trash cans when they get knocked over
  • Leave notes for folks with nice gardens
  • Lammas - the unexpected gift 
  • Leave love notes
  • Give myself the gift of time
  • Smile at people
  • Make good eye contact
  • Chayla videos
  • Keep the house/ temple beautiful
  • Buying mom the iPad, teaching her to use it
  • Driving to Stockton to visit Amber every two weeks for four years
  • Be flexible in changing client appointments
  • Refer out to my colleagues
  • Pick up the tab
  • Leave the flotsam and jetsam from past relationships as treasures for others to find
  • Cook four quiches at a time to feed me and my family
  • Give myself time to read during the day
  • Allow space when driving on the freeway
  • Slow down
  • Stop being mean to myself
  • Love my Self more
What are you doing to delight your heart today?

January 16, 2019

Small Changes

Ruby-throated hummingbird
Sending me hot flashes
Hormonal morse code
Brilliant crimson embed
Stillness in constant motion

Spiderwebs connote stillness
Ancient mansions with 
Dusty sheets over furniture

Yet the spider is in constant motion
Working and reworking
Never bitching or moaning
Like I do

Here is another day
Another routine
Maybe a small change in the pattern
To create perpetual improvement

December 26, 2018

Thoughts on Silence

How noisy I am, trying to be quiet. The scrape of the chair, the rattle of a drawer, the shuffling sounds as I dig through my bags. I take my time, like a bird building her nest, putting things away, hanging others up, making room for art supplies.

When I awake at 2:30 am with another hot flash, I think about the retreat facilitator asking about the silence inside. What is the difference between quiet and silence? I notice it easy to share silence with my daughter, while I am often quiet with my husband.

With my daughter, walking together to work, after a few comments about the cats and the weather, we simply walk, we don't talk. Sometimes she's on her phone, texting, connecting, doing what she enjoys, the more virtual the relationship the better sometimes. She is intelligent and romantic, introverted, and has been reluctant at the best to learn how to drive, which is fine by me. Here is where I am generous, if not spoiling, I indulge her capricious whims and rarely ask her to help with housework beyond putting away the dishes. However, we get along, travel well together, give each other space, and she always rolls her eyes at my bad jokes.

My husband and I can be silent, but he has much to say, and I find it easier to be quiet than to respond to his politics and beliefs, an easy way to avoid an argument. And easy not to share my own perusals, simply because I think he will not take me seriously, like times during my Ph.D. program exploring alternative healing. Quiet can be the path of least resistance, but I worry the silence could erode our relationships as it has in my past. As they say, "Silence is consent."
I enjoy putting everything in its place, it's pleasing to me that all will remain just so for these few days, not dealing with other peoples their clutter, no incessant small talk, especially first thing in the morning when I am the most contemplative, the most reflective.

When I think about generosity, I recognize the need to give myself that space - whether I meditate or mess around on the computer playing games, it's my transition time to the day. Chip always wants to talk about dreams. I always want to respond. We are good together that way, but I've had to learn to adapt. I notice it was easier to pay attention to when we only had a few precious days each weekend. His daily neediness is as much of a mixed bag as how I feel about the cats - yes, I love you, but please get off my lap and out of my face. I need this time to compose myself for a day of clients,  let alone friends, daughter, husband, the cats.

As I flutter and mutter to myself after this good putter, I do notice the moments of stillness, the inner silence, the fleeting peace. Then the gerbil in my head starts up again, "...and then I'll get some coffee and then I'll take a shower and then I'll start on the watercolors..." It's not that this is a voice I do not want to listen to, but it is repetitive and unoriginal, it wears me out with its constant need for clatter and nose.

Being in silence helps me hear the birds, the creak of the stairs, the hum of my electric toothbrush that seems so out of place. Thank goodness I didn't bring my vibrator. Even the ubiquitous sound of my electric fan has been silenced. Spacing out through the window, it's easy to hear the cacophony of a sudden burst of honking, the traffic in the distance, tuning more closely into the hum of hummingbird wings, the cry of the raven. I notice the spiderweb threads, vibrating silver in the sunlight. What sounds, what music does it make with the wind? Will I be able to hear it as I go deeper within?

Blessed Be.

January 23, 2017

Join me on LIVE Radio with Santa Cruz Socialites

Please join me on LIVE Radio with Santa Cruz Socialites on Tuesday, January 24 from 9:00am-9:30am. I will be sharing holistic tips for managing post holiday/inauguration/ seasonal depression by cultivating lightheartedness, releasing worry & doubt, and practicing positive mental yoga through self hypnosis and other mindfulness techniques.

Up next on The Socialite Series: Listen LIVE

Episode #32: Tips for Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka: Post Holiday Depression, with guest host Kayla Garnet Rose.

June 20, 2016

Poem for Marya

One day Marya the Creatress was walking her path,
When she realized - she really needed a bath!
She rubbed and she scrubbed at all of her spots,
But nothing seemed to remove those red dots!

Off she went to her favorite healer,
A witch in the woods, a real potion dealer.
Who stood up tall, in pink and white striped socks,
And exclaimed, "Oh my dear - You have chicken pox!"

Now the creatress had wandered both far and near,
She was familiar with the ways of Salmon and Deer.
She knew all about Coyote, and the wily Fox,
But what, oh, what, could she learn from the Chicken Pox?

She thought, she mumbled, she scratched and she itched,
She went through hell and tried not to bitch,
Because now she understood those in chronic pain,
Who deal with a similar hell, again and again...

She went on a vision quest, searching high and low,
Climbed the mountains, basked in the meadow.
On Solstice Night, she discovered wisdom of the Owl-
Whoooo simply said -
Be friends with all that is fair and fowl.

Blessed Be!

June 16, 2016

Temple of Laphrodite Mini Magic Spells

Yay! As my final project for The Creatress Salon (a 12 week course working with coaches, artists, healers and musicians) I created a mini deck of cards: Temple of Laphrodite Mini Magic Spells: Tiny Meditations and Healing Affirmations.

Using my favorite sayings and my own photos, these 25 little cards printed on extra sturdy cardstock are perfect for your altar on the go. 

Simply breathe, focus, choose a card, reflect, rinse repeat. Available in a repurposed tin box or colorful gauze bag, just the right size for purse or backpack.

I made a limited amount available for our Creatress Salon on Thursday, June 23, or you can order them here.

Commemorative Tin Box $15
Gauze Bag $10
(+$5 for shipping/handling)

All proceeds go towards The Artemis Project, which envisions a world of healthy, empowered girls that grow up supported to become self-actualized women.

I will be participating in four different performance pieces in the upcoming Creatress Salon. It is our last hurrah - I'm in a dance piece, short skit, singing, and performing a personal monologue - wahooo! And I sure would love to see your smiling facing in the audience!

The four month class was designed to encourage creativity through a system of support, grounding, clearing, and manifestation.  I wanted to work on my tarot deck, and these cards are my prototype for a bigger project. Please join us!

The Creatress Salon
Thursday, June 23 7:30pm
Pacific Cultural Center
Sliding scale donation $10-20

I sure do hope to see you there!

April 2, 2016

Thoughts on Turning 50 and Re-Creating the Crone

 "Work is love made visible." - Rumi

I've been doing art projects that have been on my mind for years, including painting this statue from Philippa Bowers, which was part of a Goddess fountain when I had my cafe back in the 90s. About two foot tall, glazed in a matt green, cradling a large vibrant purple amethyst cluster, We named her Hypatia after the greek mathematician, who was killed by having her flesh flayed with oyster shells.

We would add a few drops of bleach each week to the fountain water, to keep down bacteria. After a dozen years, bleach deposit both built up and began to decay parts of her face and body, as well as loosening the crystals in her belly. After I closed Herland, Hypatia came to live in my garden, along with an assortment of other broken nosed and gently damaged goddesses.

Being flayed was a feeling I related to, and during those dozen years I got over a dozen tattoos.

Much of this was a reclaiming of my body, my beliefs, and my standards of beauty. A way to be comfortable in my skin. Everyone has scars on the inside - mine are on the outside, and they are pretty, colorful, and make for good stories.

Now approaching 50, I'm experiencing a new body image issue, that of becoming the crone, the hag, the elder. What does it mean to age gracefully? What does it mean to express my authentic self? I am questioning dying my hair, working to accept my buddha belly (now I know why it's called "middle" age), while pondering the delight in creases, folds, and wrinkles.

So I decided to paint Hypatia, to reclaim her as a symbol of my croning. Her hair is silver white, with a crown of pearls and roses. I will begin detailing more of her face and body next. I'm also painting a wooden stand to a marble table that she might sit on, and a ceramic cat from my daughter's garden. I like working like this, on a few projects at once, since as the paint is drying on one thing I can paint another one.

As I painted her white hair, fine wrinkles, smile lines, tattoos, and scars, I thought of Ani DFranco's line, "I got highways for stretch marks, see where I've grown". I think about all the ways to love a body that is half a century old, the ways to treat myself with tenderness and respect. Just like my old car, this body needs more regular tunings, more quality fuel, and more lubricant.

How will you re-create yourself today?



March 12, 2016

Re-Creating MySelf

I have just begun a 4 month course, "The Creatress Project", hosted by Narayani Gaia and Marya Stark. My main intention is to be in an accountability group, and to both give and receive constructive criticism, general encouragement/support, and possible long termnetworking/collaborations. My focus will be on writing and creating art, specifically to publishing my own tarot deck and book, although I also have a host of other projects I would like to see published. My goals for these 12 weeks are:
  • Cultivate/return to a daily creative practice: writing or making art
  • Connect with women on weekly basis as part of my spiritual practice
  • Birth a long term project that has been gestating for years
The first step was to find time, of course. I realize I spend at least an hour a day playing games on the computer, particularly in the mornings, which is my personal prime time. I like to do a crossword puzzle and a jigsaw puzzle, which feels like a nice brain warm up, and balanced between left and right brain activities. Simply deciding to do these games in the evening as part of my relaxation meant I freed up my morning hour without feeling like I was denying myself something that I enjoy.

Especially since I do enjoy both writing and making art. The resistance comes from that little perfectionist voice that says "it's not good enough". Well, the only way to get good is to develop that daily practice, but starting from that place of joy and wonder, of beginner's mind, the delight of the child playing with colors.

June 17, 2014

World's Happiest Cat

The hardest part about vacation is missing my cats. I made this little video and watched in every day. This is June, the world's happiest cat. Rather than purring, she makes tiny little wuffing noises. Her pure joy is simply contagious! 

October 16, 2013

Silent Retreat, Big Sur

My summer retreat started early, on Thursday, after dropping Amber off at her other parent's, knowing she was also getting ready for her big adventure in Europe. I spent the afternoon in relative silence, exchanging a few words with a neighbor, chatting with the cats, mostly fettering around, packing for the weekend. I had been quite surprised by the last minute email from Chip deciding not to go on the retreat, but was glad that he was taking care of himself, taking care of business, and most importantly, willing to look in on the cats over the weekend.

Friday I cleaned the house, mowed the lawn, did laundry and dishes, put clean sheets on the bed, not just for Chip to enjoy but for me to come home to order and grace after the retreat. I gave up on writing my final paper, realizing quite simply I had more research to do than could accomplish in a few hours,and went on a walk instead, depositing checks at the ATM and stopping for a few goodies from New Leaf before heading down the coast.

Despite leaving early, traffic was ridiculous at 2pm, construction creating bottle necks and head aches as I contemplated alternate routes. I decided the truth was I had nothing else to do, plenty of time, and that this was a part of the retreat, sinking into my thoughts rather than getting distractedly the radio, the hum of the air conditioner my only tune. I found myself in a deep fantasy of our wedding day, now that our plans had changed quite drastically from a large celebration with friends and family to what I had originally envisioned, a completely private ceremony between the two of us. My fancies ranged from trekking out to Point Lobos to skydiving in Hollister, ballroom dancing in the city to quiet beaches in Kauai.

After twenty minutes of stop and go, traffic let up after Park Ave, creating smooth sailing for the rest of the two hour trip down the coast. I waved at my parents house in seaside, noticed the driveway to highlands inn, thought about stopping at the Lucia lodge, and suddenly there was the turn into the New Camaldoli Hermitage. The two mile driveway switch-backed over the golden hills bursting with life - Scottish broom, purple sweet peas, pampas grass cheering me on as red tailed hawks swooped overhead.

I went into the bookstore to register, and to my surprise the assistant on duty not only lives in Santa Cruz, but we live on the same street. Small world, interesting way to meet a neighbor. I drove my car down to the hermitage, found my room and unpacked. I sat outside in my little enclosed garden, enjoying the late afternoon sun. A blue jay flew down from the fig tree, looked at me, ruffled it's feathers and pretended to be hurt. I know this bird ruse to lure predators away, and sure enough as I peered up into the leafy green foliage I could see a nest.

Little peeping noises commenced, and as I sat half a dozen teeny fuzz balls began to appear on the tiny trail by my garden. After a few minutes a mama quail appeared, saw me, and quickly ushered her young into the bushes. Hummingbirds came to sip from the orange monkey flowers as I looked across the ocean.

After a light supper, I walked over to Scholastica were the writing workshops were held. A dozen women sat in a circle, each with several journals piled at their feet, candles on the table flickering over an altar of stones, statues, seashells and pinec ones. I realized that I only had a couple pages left in my journal, so the rest of the weekend would write in old journals on random blank pages, something I found rather pleasing in disrupting any linear conceptions of time.

Saturday I woke up early and started reading a book my daughter had recommended. At 9am we had another workshop, reviewing our journals for themes. After lunch I spent the entire afternoon in my little garden, devouring the four hundred page book. After finishing it, I decided to walk down the two mile driveway for some exercise. Going down was easy enough, but hiking back was way more of a struggle, and I had to stop it seemed every ten yards or so, resting in the shade of tree, photographing the purple sweet peas, California poppies and live oaks. We had another evening workshop, after which I was quite content to simply go to bed.

Sunday I ate quiche for breakfast, then went to the morning session. The rest of the day was evenly divided between reviewing old journals, collating in scraps of paper that had accumulated over the years, and creating a healing mandala for my new blended family. I had a lot of satisfaction in  ripping out some pages and  destroying them, no need to cling to the pain of the past. After dinner I started packing, already thinking about the cats, emails, the rest of my week, reminding my self to stay present and enjoy the last of my stay.

Monday morning I woke up early again, took a shower and finished packing up the car. I took a shorter walk to stretch out my calves, still aching from the hike up the hill on Saturday. The fog filled in the valley and there was this feeling of looking down into the clouds, pale pinks and golds dancing in the snowy whiteness, the crisp blue sky above. Wafts of mists would come and envelop me, not the least bit cold, I felt like I could take bites our of the fog, feed myself on the droplets of moisture. Circling back around to the hermitage I found a picnic table to sit and contemplate, writing down my notes for the weekend, eager to share them with Chip after getting back home to Santa Cruz.

May 29, 2013

What I love about my life right now

I love working in the mornings and coming home to long afternoons completely by my self, well, of course, with the cats. I love driving Amber to school. I love that she is about to start the adventure known as college, I am equal parts proud and scared, the empty nest looms on the horizon, making me grateful for this day.
I love being in my beautiful house, which is clean, tidy and organized, colorful and bright, full of joy, sunlight, plants and crystals. I love my garden, I love planning on how to make it even better. I love improving my life. 
I love my phd program and learning, learning, learning, creating for myself the time to read. I love being a teacher, I love my students, I love imparting information and empowering others. 
I love my work, I love my clients, I love seeing them change before my eyes as they tune in to their true nature and are also empowered. 
I love my body, I feel strong and healthy, I love my clothes and I love wearing essential oils. I love my cats, that goes without saying. Again I think, I love Amber, watching her blossom before me, I love watching tv together and going out for French fries, quiet times driving in the car listening to the oldies ie my generation, the eighties on the radio. 
I love having Chip in my life, I love our communication, our dance, the ways we come together and move apart during the week, someone I don't take for granted and always feel blessed to spend the time together. I love that we take ballroom dance classes and I love, love, love that we will be married. I love being in love, I love feeling happy.

May 23, 2013

Thoughts on Jealousy

My cats get jealous of each other, so I see that jealousy occurs in nature. What evolutionary purpose can jealousy serve? What message do we get when we sit and have tea with jealousy? What do my cats want? 

Attention. Jealousy can be a message that you need attention from another or need to give attention to yourself. As human beings we need attention, appreciation, to feel respected. And each of us truly deserve attention.

Don't give your power away by saying "she is more (rich, thin, successful, etc). we are all one and rember that whatever that person has you have too, and even better, now you don't have to do it. I see skinny women and I get to enjoy my chubby buddha belly. I see married people and I get to enjoy being single. I see rich people and I get to enjoy not having that much responsibility. 

I did a ritual today to release feelings of despair, abandonment, being disrespected, disregarded and having my feelings dismissed. Ritual is conscious transformation of energy. I blessed all my support systems, from my closest friends, talking to my mother and my brother, working with my coach as well as all of my loyal clients, who have shown up for me and given me what I needed when I needed it the most. Mostly, I honored my self, my tears and my struggles, sang chants to Innana as I buried the ashes of the past, my rage, my grief in the backyard. And yes, both my cats, true companions, were with me the whole time.

Find the love, attention and encouragement you need and deserve to be you, fabulous YOU, and notice the feelings evaporating... let me know how I can help you in your process.

I am the daughter of the ancient mother
I am the child of the mother of the world

Oh Innana
it is you who teaches us
to die, be reborn and rise again
to die, be reborn and rise again
to die, be reborn and rise...
-Lisa Thiel 

March 20, 2013

Healing Children Mandala

This mandala includes the four elements - earth, water, fire and air, and was created with the intention to send healing energy to a newly blended family. The four hearts in the center represent the four children in the situation; the four roses are the four parents, new ways to grow

It definitely took a few layers to create the right shading, both to create the secondary colors and to create the range of light within the colors. I thought a lot about energy blending while doing this exercise, noticing which colors were harmonizing and which were complementary, realizing this would be a good tool to use when creating mandala to create areas of flow as well as areas of creative tension.

February 20, 2013

Healing Relationship Mandala

The healing relationship mandala was the one I spent the most time on. I meditated upon four symbols to represent blending families and to create a healing for my daughter and I, most of which came to me during a cranial sacral treatment. I created arcs of energy that linked four of us together, surrounded by a ring of symbols for friends and family, and a bigger circle representing being grounded and connected to the earth. I abided by the instructions to just keep working, and in the end know I created a potent symbol of my own process of integrating family dynamics as a part of an alchemical whole.

February 13, 2013

Looking Through Old Journals

What is in your old journals?
Once I was a diamond in the rough
Life was hard and life felt tough
Times I felt fragmented, times I felt shattered
Ultimately I found out what really mattered

Cutting away what was simply not sublime
Polishing my edges, simply tailing the time
Like a precision jeweler, chipping away the past
Revealing the heart of the jewel that really does last

My burdens, my woes, all of my stressors
Let this lump of coal do good under pressure
I have many facets and each of them shines
I own all my flaws, they are uniquely mine

Sometimes cold, sometimes hard, always brilliant
My jeweled tones have become more resilient
Times I am humble, times quite ferocious
I know now that I am always precious

I am sparkly and glittery, something quite rare
It took years and years of work to get me there
What was once simply a part of the earth
Now knows her true self her diamond self worth

Everyday I can take care of body and soul
Exercise my mind and exercise my health
In looking through my old journals what I discover:
I have always been engaged with my self.

January 23, 2013

Blossoming Heart Mandala

For my master's degree, I took an elective on mandala art. We worked from a few texts, my favorite being Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing by Judith Cornell, PhD. I will be posting my own mandalas here on my blog, and encourage you to create your own. It was therapeutic, engaging, and most importantly, fun! I used colored pencils on black construction paper, both purchased from my local art store.

Upon meditating with the intention to journey into the divine realities of nature, I was surprised not to receive animal guides but instead plant guides. I created a mandala of a blossoming lotus, with a heart at the center and surrounded by a circle of green leaves. In particular I enjoyed creating a system for out lining the petals, doubling their number with each ring. I thought about how my health is blossoming, especially after a long winter.

December 26, 2012

Heart Mandala

For my master's degree, I took an elective on mandala art. We worked from a few texts, my favorite being Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing by Judith Cornell, PhD. I will be posting my own mandalas here on my blog, and encourage you to create your own. It was therapeutic, engaging, and most importantly, fun! I used colored pencils on black construction paper, both purchased from my local art store.

For this exercise I found myself creating the outline of a heart in the center of the page in a deep red. Radiating out were rays of orange and yellow, with blues and greens creating a background. It was interesting to contemplate the " black void" of the heart as a contrast to the outpouring of rainbow colors. I enjoyed this a meditation to cultivate light heartedness.

December 12, 2012

Peace Mandala

For my master's degree, I took an elective on mandala art. We worked from a few texts, my favorite being Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing by Judith Cornell, PhD. I will be posting my own mandalas here on my blog, and encourage you to create your own. It was therapeutic, engaging, and most importantly, fun! I used colored pencils on black construction paper, both purchased from my local art store.

After blessing my materials, I sat to contemplate a healing symbol, my intention being to focus on peace. Of course, the peace symbol popped up in my mind's eye, and I created a large white peace sign centered on the page.

Next, I outlined the peace symbol in rainbow colors. I filled the background with vines and roses. I felt this was a very useful tool in a current conflict, and can easily see myself sharing the image with them now to literally bring peace to the situation.

November 14, 2012

Dark Heart Mandala

For my master's degree, I took an elective on mandala art. We worked from a few texts, my favorite being Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing by Judith Cornell, PhD. I will be posting my own mandalas here on my blog, and encourage you to create your own. It was therapeutic, engaging, and most importantly, fun! I used colored pencils on black construction paper, both purchased from my local art store.

For this mandala, i have to say I love how the luminous effects are an interplay between dark and light, and I found myself thinking a lot about the recent work we did on "owning the shadow" in the hypnotherapy program that I teach at Twin Lakes College, and the need to embrace and integrate all the aspects of the self to create that feeling of enlightenment.

November 1, 2012

Reiki Hand Mandala

This was one of my favorite exercises. After outlining my left hand, I felt the use of the white pencil to radiate the shape was the perfect symbol for reiki energy. I added a quote my Assata Shakure, " ...I believe in the magic of the hands and the wisdom of the eyes..."

Note: For my master's degree, I took an elective on mandala art. We worked from a few texts, my favorite being Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing by Judith Cornell, PhD. I will be posting my own mandalas here on my blog, and encourage you to create your own. It was therapeutic, engaging, and most importantly, fun! I used colored pencils on black construction paper, both purchased from my local art store.