Gathering. Cleansing. Stories. Blessings

When we were at the Wild Goose Festival and in Rachelle‘s session, we were telling stories to one another and the listener reflected back the key words to the speaker, words that might reveal core values.

20160709_171632I went to hear the story of a woman who did not have a partner in the exercise. I won’t share her story, as it isn’t mine to tell, but I can give you an important summary. The lesson. A timely one.

She was worried if the story was unsettling that it wouldn’t work– but of course, we are who we are in good times and bad. And we sometimes learn the most from the darkest moments.

The story was one of a situation where her partner’s race put them both at risk.

At the end, he said, "You can leave, I can’t expect you to stay through this."

And her response was, "I would never leave you alone in this."

The word I heard and reflected back to her was "Togetherness"
and little did I know but, as she said, "Unity is kinda [her] thing!"
We found a core value.

She chose "Togetherness" on day long ago, and then again when I wrote the word on her arm and when she spoke it aloud to the gathered community.

Sometimes togetherness is best when we don’t choose it at all, but when our love is so strong that we are compelled to cling tightly to the ones we love in the face of fear.

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Reading? Not really . . .

More like workbooking. And drawing. And thinking.
But with the help of a book.

Design the Life You Love was the best kid of commitment.
It is a catalyst for your creativity and really can aid you in bringing an intentional quality to the way you think about your life.
Better yet, it provides exercises for determining what it is you really want and inspired me to seek it out.
As someone who binge-reads and consumes books with fury– this was one that I had to take my time with in order to soak in all the potential both in the book and in my life!

I’m reading again. Can you tell? More importantly, I am back on the review train!
Blogging for Books!

“Normally”

Welcome to Winter Solstice 2015.

HOWL. SEEK.
WANDER. NEST.
CHERISH. BURN.
GATHER. LOVE.
REFLECT. SING.
SURRENDER. BE.
RELEASE. GUIDE.
NURTURE. HELP.
FORGIVE. HOPE.

(This super awesome shirt came from skylinefever on Etsy.)

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Every sentence that has passed through my head has begun with “normally”…
which indicates that my way of celebrating and reflecting is usually different.

“Normally” I am just as busy—maybe moreso. And yet, I “normally” feel like I have more time to reflect.

What I am realizing is that I have had the same amount of time—very little.
But “normally” I have less to process.

“Normally” my year is not so full as this one was.
A year ago today there was no indication that we would move this year.

I have continued through this year, in addition to all the events that don’t “normally “ happen, to continue to choose activity when I could choose otherwise. I have insisted on still living my life. Being with friends. Traveling. Partying. Even when I haven’t had time to put all the pieces together emotionally. It will come in time. Perhaps that is what next year will be.
Letting it all settle slowly, instead of trying to tie up all the loose ends here in a single short day.

I give you my reflection for the moment, the day—the shortest one.
I don’t have words yet. But see, so much living. Just in these last weeks!'300' Effect Sepiaannuncunicornmonkfriendsnycnightpplcalowlsylvtomrrceiling

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I am reading this book.

I am reviewing this book.
It is one of the ways I am practicing a new way of conscious reading and retaining information. And I also get free books. So that’s what’s up.
Thanks to Hay House for the opportunity to read this pretty one.

First, I am a sucker for a pretty cover. The description of this book focuses on light working—which is normally too high on the floof factor, even for me. But guess what, I love her description of light working. And the suggestions are practical and grounded in everyday life.

As I was reading early on, I was disappointed by the way the book was divided into short sections, but as I continued I grew to love the format and found it really versatile for digesting the information. It would also really make it easy doing a read along or book group with others. All of the prompts give it a workbook feel that is casual and great food for thought.

The personal stories that the author shares are less memoir, more sharing life with a friend in a café. I have to admit, I am reading it again already. That’s a good sign for me.

The Time Garden is as enchanting as the title suggests!

Hey everyone—I have been reading a ton of Advanced Reader Copies of new books these days—mostly digital. But this week I receive one of the old fashioned kind . . . and it is perfect.

It’s listed for middle grades and up, but for me, I am considering this my first grown up coloring book. They are all the rage at the moment and I had been resisting the trend.
How lucky I am to have had this be my introductory experience to such a serene meditative concept.
Anyone can see by the cover and sample images that Daria Song is a fine artist and illustrator, filling a book almost entirely of image with detail after meticulous detail. What puts this publication over the top as a standout in a market flooded with designs to color is a truly charming story that guides you deeper into the visual story. Add to that the quality of this book is absolutely luxurious. It has a heavy silky dust jacket, another beautiful hidden cover underneath. The weight and texture of the paper is perfect for the purpose. I promise you, it is thick enough that you can color with scrapbooking markers and not see a hint of it bleeding or fading through to the other side of the page.
This book made me feel special just handling it. Working in it transported me beyond any mundane daily task and into a world of whimsy and creativity. I cannot thank Blogging for Books and Penguin Random House/Watson-Guptill enough for the opportunity to preview this title.
I recommend getting a copy 100%– then have a cup of tea, choose your pens or pens and enjoy!

I send myself emails

This is from earlier this week.

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It all started with a moon.

The earth’s moon.

My moon. Our moon.
la luna.

This past Saturday the moon was FULL.

And word from astrologists . . . SUPER.

My months have been reordering themselves, fairly strictly around the cycle–
as if being a woman doesn’t already set one on that path.

After the MADNESS of 2014, and the CHAOS of the first half of 2015,

I am like, nesting, or something.
It’s a strange thing for me.
I am such a gypsy.
But during all the activity this year I feel like I have been wielding some great power– like I am trying to lasso the world’s largest creature, direct a tornado with my breath, or balance all the earth’s energy on the tip of my little finger.

I have been more than successful at taming the wildness.

But now.
I am seeking to maintain the beautiful movement of this life and still sustainably harness it.

. . .

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So, I rebooted my tea drinking meditation time

and joined a year long course to help guide me in all this wish fulfillment.

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Special love to Mindy!

Done with the Dares

I have spent a little more than a month now working my way through the #DareToExcel Challenge

I (mostly) completed the first 10 and posted about them as I went . . . then I got very journal-ly about it all and less blog-gy. But I would still like to share my annotations of the final dares!

Dare 11 involved reaching out to someone in the spirit of collaboration.
This dare happened to time out perfectly with my guiding a group of women through and online course directly related to my challenge/experiment.
I ended up making a number of connections. I have a sort of sub-dare that involves something much more closely related to the challenges and “putting myself out there”—let’s just say business cards were made and given to a local business whose clients may need my services. We have a mutual agreement to call one another with questions and guidance.

Dare 12 was about personal style—sharing my own genius, integrity and distinct point of view. I have to say this entire process has been identity-honing. And for someone whose life’s work has depended on identity formation—kudos to the work here for getting me clearer yet. Who knew?
I have done so much of the thinking already—it was time to get out all the lists and really break things down to the essence.

Dare 13 centered on the phrase “Design to Delight” — can we just get posters printed of this already??? The very idea was inspiring. During this time I was approached with an opportunity to meet the needs of someone, and my offer was simply to be present for them however they needed. During a very stressful process, that was in fact, most delight-full to them.

Dare 14 was to champion another’s work in public. WELL. Let me tell you. Serendipity was already at Play, because I was in the midst of helping a couple of friends fund some successful crowdfunding campaigns! Congraaaatualtions, kids!

Dare 15 is the call to claim the New Story being lived.
And I have. And I will.
And it deserves its own post. Just maybe later.

And with pictures.