Getaway Nourishes My Spirit

My boyfriend’s birthday is Oct. 26th & mine is Oct. 29th.  Since they were bookends to a weekend this year, we decided to  go somewhere quiet & remote.  Nestled among the trees at the top of a dirt road in Milford Pennsylvania, I found a charming little cottage with a joyful stream flowing alongside.  That stream, like every place in nature, has it’s own energy… I could hear it giggling as it danced over the rocks, carrying autumn leaves off to some new adventure.  It beckoned me often throughout the day, every day & I found it to be the perfect place for my morning ritual.  Each morning, as close to sunrise as possible, I greet the Earth by putting my hands flat on the ground & the Cosmos by reaching my arms upward, honor the four directions, & calmly take a few deep breaths as I respectfully reconnect with all that’s sacred– the Divine above, below, & all around me.  These few days away fed my soul.

Our private getaway, tucked in the trees.

The wood stacked next to the cabin provided cozy fires every evening.

A beautiful spot to meditate, listen, or read. Notice the stack of stones on the large rock in the middle of the picture. A nature lover was obviously here before us.

It’s so important to remove one’s self from day-to-day obligations, to nurture the spirit & reconnect with nature.  We need to give ourselves permission to feed our hungry souls.  For me, it means leaving my to-do lists behind & unplugging the world (including my cell phone, the television, & the computer).

Even if you can’t afford a vacation “getaway”, get away by unplugging the world & staying home alone or with someone you love.  Care for your Self in a way that is right for you– “replenish your well” as some say.

The more we care for our Selves, the more we have to give others.

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A Gardener’s Prayer of Thanks

One of my favorite autumn rituals is preparing my garden for winter.  I take this time to kneel, putting my hands, prayer-like, on the cool soil, giving thanks to Mother Earth for all she gives to me.  “Great Mother, thank you for your countless gifts this year.  Thank you for the doe who greeted me at my fence at dawn, staring at me as I stared in awe at her.  Thank you for the abundance, from blueberries & raspberries to herbs & vegetables; I appreciate it all.  Thank you for the summer days when my niece & I made fresh pesto from your rich bounty.  Thank you for the returning snakes, spiders, birds, & rabbits who signal a healthy, safe yard where they can eat & take shelter without fear of poisoning from pesticides & herbicides.  Thank you for the moonlight that continues to peer in my window at night, bathing me in her magic.  Thank you for the bulbs that are hibernating, resting before they make an energetic return in the spring.  Thank you for unforgettable times with my boyfriend who loves & appreciates you as much as I do.  Thank you for providing a space for my dogs to nap in the sun.  Thank you for a place to set our hammock & some lawnchairs so friends & family feel welcome.  Thank you.  I’m so very grateful.”

Thank you for a sunny place to rest my paws.

Thank you for the breeze that blows through my ears & tail.

Thank you for the changing leaves & rolling clouds.

Thank you for the dried zinnias, whose seeds feed famished birds.

Thank you for the tools to make my workload lighter.

Thank you for the memories.

I feel like Mother Nature is simply making a costume change, preparing to return in a new, dazzling display of icy blues & snowy whites.  Every season is special & I honor every one.  Blessed Be.

Balancing Head & Heart

A friend & I were comparing my Soul Wish vision board workshop (see my Nov. 7,2011 post) & her “What’s On Your Mind?” class.  Mine addresses the desires of the heart & hers identifies what’s going on in the head.  While I have participants let go of their mind chatter & intuitively create a collage that reveals what matters most to them on a subconscious level, she has people search for words or images in magazines that directly relate to what’s on their minds.

I hate to admit this but I’m certain the images representing my thoughts would be completely disconnected from my heart’s desire right now.  While my heart aches for nature, love, beauty, peace, harmony, & time to do things I enjoy with people I care about, my mind worries about bills, work, chores, & things I cannot control.  Not always but the point is that there is an obvious disconnect between what I want in my life & what I’m allowing to rule my head.  Yes, I said it, “What I’m ALLOWING to rule my head.”   What we focus on is our choice. 

Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, in reference to slavery in the United States.  Aren’t those words also true of a person whose heart & head are divided?

A person with a divided heart & mind will suffer dis-ease, which can lead to disease- physical, emotional, & mental.  People in this position say things like, “I’m torn” or “I’m being pulled in two directions”.  A person who harmonizes their heart & head is more balanced in every way.  How does one create balance once imbalance is recognized?  Hands.  Hands?  Yes, hands.  Use your hands to create something, anything… art, a wonderful meal, a garden.  Use your hands to help others… people, animals, the environment.  Use your hands to hug, caress, build, & support.  Get out of your head & into your heart through your hands.

Cobwebs in My Creative Space

I knew it had been a long time since I played in my creative space when I saw a big, silky cobweb connect the ceiling to the top of my art table.  How did this happen?  Creativity is a key component of my life yet I diminished its worth, letting anything & everything else get in the way.  Setting aside the things we love isn’t healthy so I took a couple of hours to clean my art space & reacquaint myself with the treasures waiting patiently on shelves, tucked into storage bins, & hidden behind cabinet doors.  This reawakened my creativity & inspired me to start a new project.  Gathering the paints & objects that “spoke to me”, I went upstairs & decided to transform an old table into something new.  First, I painted it a glossy red, then covered it with gypsy-inspired objects.

It’s important to reevaluate our priorities once in a while, making sure we allow space in our lives for who & what matters most.    To see Gypsy Table & other art work that I have for sale, please visit my shop at  www.etsy.com/shop/PureSusan.

Autumn: A Different Harvest

I absolutely adore autumn; it’s my favorite time of year.  We sleep with the windows open, snuggled under blankets as the temperature outside drops to a chilly 47 degrees F.  By afternoon, a warm breeze flows through the room, reminding me that summer may be gone but not forgotten… not just yet anyway.

Local farmers have set up stands to sell their gourds, pumpkins, corn, & flowers.

They are harvesting their crops & in a way, so am I.  Both of our harvests are the result of seeds we planted.  Some seeds are bearing wonderful fruit in my life.  For example, I’ve put more attention on who & what I value most– my boyfriend, my pets, my friends & family, creativity, nature, & spirituality.

As a result of the seeds I planted, I am aware that my authentic Self is separate from my experiences.  I am not my job.  Accomplishments & failures are  opportunities to learn & grow but do not define me.

On a more humorous note, some seeds did not bear fruit this year.  I planted seeds of intention for new opportunities to come along but so far, a multimillionaire has not called to say, “I want to fully fund a spiritual/creative retreat for women & want you be the director.”  Nor has anyone emailed to tell me, “I love the art you are selling on etsy.com.  Would you like to be a full-time artist & never worry about money again?”  I’ll be replanting these seeds next year 🙂

I reverently enter this autumn season, knowing that I can only harvest the seeds I nurture throughout the year.  I hope your seeds bear fruit for you, too.