Use It Or Lose It

I have a confession to make….my comfortable fall-back position is to look outside myself for guidance when I’m in a period of turmoil, whether it be job concerns, relationship issues, or spiritual questioning.  I grab the nearest self-help books, take the workshops, & listen to all the audio-recordings from motivational speakers & gurus that I can find.  Someone “out there” must be able to help me.  Right?  Not necessarily.

Here’s the bottom line.  All of those are wonderful resources BUT…. if I don’t internalize the lessons & APPLY them to my life, none of them will work.  Would I expect to get benefits from a piece of exercise equipment I never use?  Would I become a better artist if I never picked up my brush to paint?

I’ve learned to ….USE IT OR LOSE IT

Here is a short list of useful strategies I have in place to center myself- tools that both nourish & nurture me.

  1. Meditate
  2. Journal write
  3. Create art
  4. Work in my garden
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Connect with nature
  7. Pray
  8. Listen to music
  9. Spend time with those I love
  10. Read
  11. Take time to be alone
  12. Get a massage
  13. Give or receive a Reiki session
  14. Take a power nap
  15. Rattle or drum to change the energy around me
  16. Use positive affirmations
  17. Hold a smooth stone & get grounded again
  18. Play with the dogs
  19. Focus on the many gifts & blessings in my life

I have a great many tools in my “self-care” toolbox but it’s up to me… and only me… to use them when I need them.

 

 

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A Blessing To Each Flower

For Summer Solstice, my friends and I are gathering to honor this special day & recommit ourselves to one another… unique blossoms that together form a garden of incredible beauty, grace, & strength.  I wrote this poem to remind us of what makes us thrive.

 

A Blessing To Each Flower

A seed secure in the soil asks not, “What shall I be?”

It’s unique beauty comes naturally, effortlessly.

Nourished and nurtured, it grows more fully into itself

And what it is IS what it is meant to be.

 

The birch envies not the willow

Nor does it strive to be anything other than Birch.

Daffodil degrades not the dandelion

Nor does it mock the maple.

 

For all have a place in Gaia’s garden.

All are loved & accepted unconditionally.

And while each has needs that differ from another

All radiantly bloom with this blessing….

 

May we each have the tender care we need,

May we each be given the space to grow,

May we see our own beauty,

And may we celebrate the uniqueness in every blossom.

Make Sacred Space

Earlier this month, I spoke on the subject of Making Sacred Space.  The transcript is below….

We’re going on a journey this morning to explore the concept of making sacred space, as far as the outer edges of the universe & as close as your own soul.  To me, making sacred space is the ability to create a holy connection between our highest selves, other beings, & all that is.  I’m offering the suggestion that this holiest of ideas begins & ends with you.  This is a deeply meaningful concept for me & by the end of this contemplative, participatory service- where you’ll have opportunities to meditate- I hope it will be for you, too.

Energy is all around us, going in all directions, but it’s the energy that you put out that you’ll receive back.  If you set the intention & make authentic connections, any space can be sacred.  Both intention & connection are equally important & completely in your power to manifest.  Sacredness is a choice.

We’re going to start with our intention & open our arms for a holy hug, embracing all that is.  Then, we’ll slowly close our arms to embrace the greater community… closer still to embrace our loved ones…. & closer still until we are embracing our Selves, with a capital “S”, creating the ultimate sacred space within.

I.  UNIVERSAL/GLOBAL/COLLECTIVE/ARCHETYPAL

On a grand scale, there are collective sacred spaces made such by the intention of those who created them AND their spiritual significance to others who experience them.  These places are highly charged for generations of people feel this concentration of energy.  It’s not just the physical aspect of place but the power felt there.  These places include burial mounds, temples, mosques, & cathedrals.

I grew up in the Catholic tradition so for my earliest years, churches, places that housed the relics of saints, & the Vatican were considered sacred.  I distinctly remember when I was 9 or 10, sitting in the pew with my family… physically present but mentally, spiritually, & emotionally cut off.  The space was no longer sacred to me for although the intention of those who designed it was there, my spiritual connection to it was not.  I could appreciate the stained glass, statuary, & intricate carvings… but they held no sacredness, no significance for me any longer.  I learned fairly early that it’s not the space alone.  It’s our emotional engagement… our relationship with it that makes it sacred.

An open mind & an open heart don’t allow for narrow views & soon, my view of the sacred expanded to include much, much more.  I’ve been very privileged to travel the world for most of my life, getting familiar with other cultures & opening myself to other points of view.  I’ve walked on paths around Walden pond, immersing myself in the spirituality of the transcendentalists.  I’ve descended into the tombs of the pharaohs, put my hands into the cool water of the Sea of Galilee, stood in the remains of a temple to Diana on Crete, & removed my shoes before entering Al-Aqsa mosque where beautifully ornate prayer rugs covered the floor.  “This mosque is sacred.  That temple is sacred.  And this pond is sacred, too.”  How can that be?  I believe it was my intention to be fully present & feel the holiness as well as my connection to each of these places-  no boundaries & no limiting labels.

At this level, sacred is archetypal & collective… we agree that this building or that burial mound, even this canyon or that mountain are sacred.  We join a “sacred” already established… Dome of the Rock, Stonehenge, Notre Dame.  There is magic in these places & I find it nourishes my soul to visit them whenever possible for the collective energy of so many people throughout the ages sanctifies the space…relationship building… place to person, person to place, & person to person.

Navarre Scott Momaday, a Southwest American Indian writer wrote, “To encounter the sacred is to be alive at the deepest center of human existence.  Sacred places are the truest definitions of the earth; they stand for the earth immediately and forever; they are its flags & shields.  If you would know the earth for what it really is, learn it through its sacred places.  At Devils’ Tower or Canyon de Chelly or the Cahokia Mounds, you touch the pulse of the living planet; you feel its breath upon you.  You become one with a spirit that pervades geologic time & space.”

I’ve opened my heart to the Universe & see all things natural as profoundly sacred.   Almost 30 years ago, I sat on a grassy mound near a field in central Pennsylvania, in silence & stillness, in that moment, learning (although it’s a lesson I need repeated periodically) that stillness & silence are a direct line to the holy.  Bucks & does emerged from the woods on the far side of the field & cautiously ate… pausing to sniff the air periodically…. Could they sense my presence?  Over a couple of hours, I was joined by butterflies, bees, rabbits, & birds.  I laughed inwardly with joy.  Eventually as the sky grew inky blue just before darkness covered us all… the bucks came leaping & playfully scuffling ever close, within just a few yards of me… We made eye contact.  Then my quiet laughter gave way to enormous teardrops streaming down my cheeks & splashing on my knees as I sat motionless, part of this sacred moment.  I was connected to the divine & for me, this place was… and is… divine. Each animal from deer to ant was divine, the ancient oak in the middle of that field was divine, & I felt my own Divinity in that moment.

Cathedrals, burial mounds, & temples can be agreed upon as sacred sites but how are places like Aushewitz, the 9/11 Flight 93 plane crash site in Shanksville, PA, & Pearl Harbor sacred?  Are they sacred?  The original intention without a doubt, was NOT sacred but have been made so…by collectively honoring those who suffered & died in these places, creating hallowed ground.  I see it as a reclaiming of sorts… empowerment.  There is a new 9/11 museum opening in NYC on Ground Zero.  The reporter on the Today show referred to it as sacred space.  Is it? Last summer, returning from a trip to Vermont, we stopped in a small town for lunch.  As soon as I parked the car & got out, my breath left my body for I saw a sign hanging on a storefront that read, “Welcome to Sandy Hook.  We choose love.”  After losing 20 children & 6 adults to a killer with a gun in Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, the townspeople reclaimed their power, set the intention to choose love, & made their town sacred.  Sacredness is a choice.

So yes, the city of Jerusalem is holy but so are the olive groves outside the old city walls.  And yes, Stonehenge is sacred but so are the rolling fields dotted with grazing sheep in the surrounding countryside.  And we’d probably agree that Notre Dame is sacred but I propose that sacredness can be found in a nearby café sharing a warm baguette & espresso with someone you love.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose.  The ordinary can be sacred if you let it be so.

Daniel Taylor wrote in In Search of Sacred Places: Looking for Wisdom on Celtic Holy Islands,“If you have been in the vicinity of the sacred—even brushed against the holy- you retain it more in your bones than in your head; & if you haven’t, no description of the experience will ever be satisfactory.”

I’ll pause for 1 minute to give you the opportunity to visualize some of your most sacred spaces-take this time to travel the world.  

II.  COMMUNITY

Let’s return to this place, this time & bring our embrace in a bit closer to consider the sacredness of community. Intention + connection = sacred space.  Creating sacred space for others in our community comes easily to some, not so easily to others, sporadic for others still.  It looks different for different people.  A drum circle, a book discussion group, men gathering to stain bookcases, families working together in a community garden, congregants on their knees laying pavers or mosaic stones in our labyrinth nestled in the sacred space between the memorial wall & the breathtakingly beautiful beech tree.  At this level, the sacredness is in our connections to those around us & in the relationships we build.  We honor what we need spiritually & consider what we can bring to others to create a sacred space that is inclusive.

A lifetime ago, I was led to facilitate Bible study groups in CA & when I first arrived here, I held sacred space for gardeners & our beautiful grounds when I chaired the Garden Committee.  I’ve also held space for little ones in RE over the years.  Now, I’m called to focus on creativity & women’s spirituality with those who want to study dreamwork, intuition, earth-based belief systems, & goddess-worshipping cultures… go figure!  I’ve taught Cakes for the Queen of Heaven & Rise Up & Call Her Name workshops, holding space for dozens of congregants & members of the community.  Years later, it’s transformed into the Women’s Spirit Circle, made up of amazing, intelligent women who share the intention & make the conscious effort to hold sacred space for one another through their presence, support, & shared experiences.

And this year, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone by holding sacred space in the form of Red Tent Events.  The intent is that this will be a welcoming, safe nurturing place for women to connect with other women & reconnect with their authentic Selves in significant ways.  With lots of love & support from dear friends, we created a magical space for 23 participants last March & I’m hoping we have an equally positive response to the Red Tent being held on June 21st, when we’ll explore Refilling the Well- Ways We Nourish & Nurture Our Selves.  Just a little plug for an event that I hope will be deeply moving for each woman.

Charles W. Chestnutt wrote “The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe.  One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.”

I know from experience how hard it is sometimes to recognize the sacredness in others, especially the ones we are closest to.  I use the term “spiritual practice” to identify my spirituality because it has to be practice… practically every day.  I’m both a spiritual being having a human experience & a very flawed human being having a spiritual experience.  For some reason, we tolerate a lot from “them”- politicians, big business, our bosses, but we tend to take it out on the ones we are closest to- friends, family, & one another in a congregation.  Why is sacredness so hard to see in others sometimes?  Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.”  Maybe that explains it.

I admit I cannot make the experience sacred for my Red Tent participants any more than the ministers, choir members, or greeters can make this sanctuary sacred for each of us on Sunday.  Remember what I said earlier, it’s intention AND CONNECTION that makes sacred space.  It’s not their responsibility, it’s just as much ours.  It’s our choice to set the intention or not… it’s our choice to connect or not… it’s our choice to make this space sacred… or not.  We each have to come with hearts wide open & participate fully in the making of sacred space.  It’s not a one way street, it’s an exchange of energy.  As someone reminded me a couple of nights ago, right when I needed a loving reminder, showing up physically is only the first step.  Before I blame someone else for what I may feel is a spiritual “lack”, I need to reflect on what I’m bringing to the experience.

“Without love & compassion, nothing is sacred”, Bryant McGill wrote in Voice of Reason.

Consider your connections to the greater York community, this UU community, & your friends.  Where are the sacred spaces for you?  What are you doing to make sacred spaces for your Self & others?  Let’s take one minute to reflect on this.

So let’s tighten that embrace, bringing the circle ever closer… holding onto those we love the most.

III. LOVED ONES Around 1998-1999, all hell broke loose in my life when I lost the extremes, the anchors of my existence, the person I could never please & the person I could never disappoint.  In the eulogy to the latter, I talked about losing my home with the loss of him… my roots seemed to wither & die with my grandfather’s passing.  It wasn’t about the land or the house where I spent the best days of my childhood with him & my grandmother, it was the loss of sacred space created by their unconditional love & our connection to one another.

Truth be told, I find sacred space just about anywhere & everywhere now… at a cookout laughing with a group of friends, watching the clouds from the hammock where I gently rock with napping dogs, & in the garden where my boyfriend & I pick fresh basil & tomatoes for homemade pesto before sitting at the picnic table, watching the sun blanket the barley field in a rosy glow.

When our friends silently step off the deck & walk barefoot among the gardens, I believe they have a sense of the holy & join me in feeling the sacredness of my back yard.  When my niece takes a little bag & fills it with silky soft lamb’s ear, fragrant rosemary, & refreshing mint so she can smell these things hours later when she goes home… she may not articulate it but she is connecting to the sacredness of that space, where sunflower seeds are offertories to the birds & a homemade blueberry cobbler sanctifies friendships.

Sacred space is where you make it.  Heart open… receive it… give it.  It’s all sacred when we choose to see the Divinity all around us.

How do you make your space sacred for your Self & those you love?  What makes it so?  What can you do to make it more sacred?  Thomas Moore wrote in Care of the Soul, “Care for our actual houses, then, however humble, is also care of the soul… Every home is a microcosm, the archetypal “world” embodied in a house or a plot of land or an apartment.”  Let’s meditate on this for one minute, envisioning your intimate space & considering the sacredness there.

IV.  SACRED WITHIN

So we started by radiating our holy intention to manifest the sacred out to the universe & now slowly return, back to our Selves.  The most sacred space of all is within each of us, the Divine Spark… the Light of Love… soul, whatever name you give that which identifies your highest self.

Do you feel that you are sacred?  This can be most difficult for some of us.  Yes, we believe the earth is sacred.  Yes, we see the divine in those around us.  But do we see the divine within ourselves?  Do you?  We are each sacred… despite ourselves… because of our Selves.

How do we make the sacred space within ourselves?  The good news is that you only have to recognize it– for it’s already there.  There is a divine spark in you, a life force energy, kundalini… we each have it.  It’s not about creating sacred space; it’s about acknowledging the divine spark & turning it into a flame.

How do we nurture that sacred space within & deepen our connection to it?  I’ve thought of 5 practices that I can consider when I need to nourish my own sense of sacredness.

  1. Connect to nature.  Find your sense of belonging by hiking in the woods, listening to the roar of the ocean, or lying flat in the grass, imagining roots securing your physical body to Mother Earth.

 

  1. Make energetic connections to rejuvenate your sense of the sacred.  Try reflexology, yoga, tai chi, or Reiki.

In my Reiki practice, for example, I hold sacred space for my client, myself, & the life force energy that connects us both.  If the client remains open to it & is fully invested in the experience, it goes beyond physical, and even the energetic, entering the realm of the spiritual.

  1. Pray and/or meditate.  For me, praying is more like talking & meditating is more like listening… both important aspects of effective communication & both equally important for connecting to a higher source & experiencing the sacredness of the moment.

 

  1. Creative expression, for me, is a great way to make sacred space & nourish the soul… both making art & appreciating art.

 

  1. Lastly, sacred space is best made when we simply remain still & silent.  Set the intention to be reverent for all life, respectful, & even celebratory about the beauty around & within you.  The divine in the everyday.  By setting the intention to focus on the positive, recognizing that all is holy, & connecting to it in a meaningful way, you can make sacred space anywhere.

Donna Davis wrote,  “Open your eyes to the beauty around you; open your mind to the wonders of life; open your heart to those who love you, & always be true to yourself.”

May it be so & blessed be.

Boundaries & Priorities

The other evening, I had a few moments to sit in a lawn chair in my back yard, soaking up the scenery & listening to the birds.  At one point, I looked down at the arm of my chair & saw a delicate little insect with an iridescent green body & transparent wings.  It stayed only a second & was gone.  If I hadn’t looked down at just that moment, I would have missed it entirely.

That’s when it suddenly dawned on me that it’s been a while since I just stopped & participated in nature fully.  I don’t mean glancing up at the sky as I run between my car & the grocery store nor do I mean staring out at the trees as I walk down the hall at work.  I mean sitting in stillness & silence IN nature…. feet on the earth, breeze on the face, & sun on the skin.

Participating.  Being present.

When the realization hit me that I’ve been too busy to connect, I took a cue from people who keep track of expenses so they can see where their money goes, and kept track of where my time goes.  I listed every group, committee, class, & work obligation.  I even listed my boyfriend, dogs, & housework.  I wanted to see it all in black & white.  Am I focusing on what I love or have I gotten distracted by other things?  The answer, I’m ashamed to say, is that I got distracted by other things.  And what’s worse, I make the little things the priority & pushed what mattered to the back burner.  Can anyone out there relate?  It was quite a wake-up call for me.

I admit it; I’m an overachiever.  I’m a woman who says “Yes” and “Sure, I’d love to” without thinking about the time commitment because I like to be helpful & do things I know I’m skilled to do.  We all want to make a difference & feel important.  Right?

But here’s the reality check– I can’t do anything well when I’m doing too much.  The amount of time I need to fulfill all my obligations is greater than the time I have in a given week.  And what’s worse, there is zero time for things like “fun” and “relaxation”.  I cannot do it all.  So it’s time to do 2 things…

Set priorities & establish boundaries.

I put the items on my list in order from most important to least important.  Then, I considered how to scale back.  For some things, it’s easy.  An on-line class ends at the end of the month & an art class ends in early June.  I just won’t take any more classes for a while.  For other things, it’s a little more difficult.  I have to resign from a couple of committees.  I hate to do that but I know that I cannot give my best when I’ve stretched myself so thinly.  Instead, I’ll give the few things that truly matter more of my energy & thereby, make a greater contribution than I am now.  I’m going to keep scaling back until I can take a deep breath & not feel like I’m wearing a corset!

Establishing boundaries may prove to be a bit more challenging for it means I have to look someone in the eye and say “No.  I’d love to help you but no.  I can’t fit anything else in my schedule at this time.”

Some people are masters at multi-tasking.  I’m not one of them.  I prefer focusing on one thing at a time & giving it my best.

Some people can run from one task to another, eating their dinner on their lap while they are driving.  I don’t want that to be my experience.  It’s too stressful.  Plus, I can only eat so many french fries & still fit into my jeans!

I want to have a quality life- balancing the giving & the receiving.  I want to support the causes I care about but I also want to support my own health & well-being.  I need time to watch the insects crawling on my lawn chair.

If it feels like you’re doing too much, YOU ARE.  

List your priorities.  

Start saying no.

There are countless takes on the phrase “Keep Calm & Carry On” but there is an alternative that I saw on a magnet… “Let go or be dragged.”   If it no longer serves your highest good, stop doing it.  Make space for what matters most.  Give as much as you want but remember you have to give to your Self, too.  It’s not selfish… it’s self-preservation.

 

 

 

Heaven on Earth is a Choice

“Heaven on Earth is a choice we must make,

not a place we must find.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Choices.  We’ve each made a million of them.  Some choices are inconsequential… tuna fish or ham for lunch?  Some affect us deeply, leading us either closer to our authentic selves or further away.  Even something as monumental as recognizing heaven on earth is a choice… a shift in perspective… a change in attitude.  What this means is that it’s in our power to choose.  It’s in our power to see heaven on earth, not a select few of us who belong to a specific religion but each & every one of us.

To get the meaning of those words to stream out of my head & flow down into my heart & bubble in my soul takes something more than acknowledging that this logically makes sense.  It takes a decision.  It takes saying, “I choose to focus on other things.  I choose to let go of what isn’t mine to fix or change.  I choose to put my energy into things that bring balance, peace, love, & joy into my life in greater quantities than ever before.”  For you see, when I fill my mind with worry & my days with negativity, I have no space for the positive.  There is no way to see heaven on earth when I’m worried about people & experiences that can cast dark shadows over my life, IF I LET THEM.

Before it sounds like I’m oversimplifying this, I know we all go through dark nights of the soul, genuine times in our lives when tragedy strikes a loved one or ourselves.  We’d love to blink our eyes or click our heels together like Dorothy Gale & escape.  Sometimes, the only way to get through a challenging period is to just get through it.  I was in the room when my father was dying, holding his hand & literally feeling him cross over.  I’ve experienced divorce.  I’ve lost sleep over a stressful job.  I recognize that it’s not easy & that change doesn’t necessarily happen over night.  However, the only way to move upward or outward is to first make the choice to get up, dust yourself off,  & do it.  See that things can be different.  See that you aren’t stuck.  See that while you might not be in heaven on earth, it still exists & you can get there from here.

Decide to make a decision.  Choose to make a choice. 

 

Sacred Smudge Sticks

Like people, each plant has a purpose.  Some provide nourishment, while others offer shelter or have healing properties.  In addition to its use as a culinary herb, Sage is known for protecting one’s environment & healing the energetic field (aura) of the person who uses it.  Some even call it the “Spirit Caller”.   For early Egyptians it promoted fertility & for the Celts, it represented immortality.  At 47, I have no desire for either of those!  Instead, I focus on this aromatic plant’s ability to banish evil & unwanted influences, create sacred space, heal, & inspire wisdom.

I use smudge sticks of Sage (sometimes combined with juniper or cedar) for a variety of reasons, most often, to bless my home.  I light the stick & use an owl feather to direct the scented smoke to the corners of each room.  As I walk in awareness, I say a special blessing for this space to be full of light, laughter, love, & warmth.  I also pray that my family & friends feel welcomed, nurtured, & loved when they enter my home.  Other times, I use sage to prepare for meditation or to dispel the negativity that can follow me home at the end of the day.  I imagine the day’s stress floating on the smoke & eventually disappearing.

Sage 2

As the chance of frost threatens my herb garden, I decided to harvest the varieties of sage to make smudge sticks for my friends. Before I cut the silver green leaves from their woody stems, I said a prayer of gratitude.  Once my basket was full, I brought the sage inside & selected 7 different colors of embroidery floss, representing the chakras, to wrap my sage into bundles.  I grasped a handful of sage, cut the stems evenly across the bottom, & secured them with the floss.   I set the intention that each smudge stick will bring healing & wisdom to the person who uses it.  There is exactly enough sage for the 7 major chakras.  Perfect!  I hope they enjoy the smudge sticks as much as I enjoyed making them.

Pure You: Awaken Your Authentic Self

PureYou_Logo2_Color

There came a point in my life this past year when I had to ask,  “When am I going to invest as much time, energy, & love in myself as I invest in work, relationships, & other commitments?”  Honestly, I’ve never done that, judging it as selfish & self-absorbed.  But how can we give to others if we don’t first nourish ourselves?  I took a deep breath, ready to invest in myself with just as much passion (if not more) as I put into everything else.  Elbert Hubbard said, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.”  I had to give it a try.  I had to commit to an idea I’ve believed in & put into practice, with profound results, for the last several years.

The idea for Pure You: Awaken Your Authentic Self came to me after attempts at getting to know my “authentic self” (i.e. my Soul) through one-dimensional approaches fell short. By “one-dimensional” approaches, I mean any attempt at self-discovery that treats the physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual aspects of us separately without seeing the four as comprising a total human being.  While I am a physical body, an emotional being, a thinker, & a spiritual seeker, compartmentalizing tends to be a “divide & conquer” approach; while I truly believe the Soul (i.e. the Authentic Self) is all of these things & much more.  Focusing on one aspect, expecting enlightenment or healing, is like expecting one leg to support a table.

Picture a plant in your mind, from root system to the flower or fruit-laden top…

Our Soul, our Authentic Self, is like a plant.  A plant has roots that ground it, drawing nourishment from the land.  Our physical body is the same way, grounding in this existence & gaining nourishment from the food we harvest from the earth.  A plant has a stem that draws nutrients up into the rest of the plant, keeping all systems working, & supporting the entire structure.  Our intellect is the same way, regulating everything from body functions to decision-making.  Plants have leaves for photosynthesis, opening to the sun, & drawing in what it needs to energize itself.  Our emotional self is the same way, reaching out for connections & sustenance.  Many plants have flowers or bear fruit.  Our spiritual self is the same way, something beautiful that enhances our lives & capable of becoming something richer that not only nourishes us but those around us.

Can you say a plant is a stem any more than you can say your Authentic Self is your intellect or your emotions?

Pure You takes a “whole-istic” approach to Soul Retrieval, integrating all aspects of you to support your journey of awakening & empowerment.  It’s the sacred space where you can explore who you are at this moment, what you value most, & how you nurture your Self so you can serve others.  Your body, mind, heart, & spirit must be in alignment for your Soul to thrive.

You cannot fulfill your life’s purpose if there is imbalance.

Pure You is the place to find that balance using a variety of ancient & modern methods, including energetic healing, creative expression, dream work, & spiritual exploration to awaken your Authentic Self.  Both my group workshops & individual consultations are challenging, provocative, & meaningful; yet, I’m fully aware that a client will only get out of it what he/she puts into it.  Pure You recognizes your journey of discovery must start & end with you.

Pure You provides the sacred space where you can Turn Your Divine Spark Into a Flame.  There are 3 goals of Pure You

Recognize Your Own Divine Light

Let Your Light Shine

Share Your Light With Others

There is a deep-rooted desire in each of us to respect our own divinity, stand in our power, & connect with all that is in a rich & meaningful way.  Pure You: Awaken Your Authentic Self reunites the physical, emotional, mental, & spiritual aspects of your existence to live your life as your greatest & highest Self.

You are uniquely you, with talents & skills in a combination that no one else possesses. 

On August 10th & 11th, I’ll be premiering my new venture “Pure You: Awaken Your Authentic Self” at the New Visions Celebration of Life Expo in York, PA.  Click on the link below to learn more!

New Visions Celebration of Life Expo

May this balanced approach to empowerment, healing, & awareness resonate with others & help more people stand confidently as their Authentic Selves.

Journeys- A Shared Art Journal

Although my sister & I are emotionally very close, it’s been years since we lived physically close.  To bridge the gap, we decided to create a shared art journal, capturing where we were physically, mentally, & emotionally during the time the journal was in our possession.   After a bit of thought, we agreed our experiences would serve us well if we focused our artwork on the theme of “Journeys”.  What kind of journeys?

Instead of limiting our creative processes by defining the word “Journey”, we left it wide open to interpretation.  Over the course of 2 years, this art journal went back and forth between us until its completion earlier this month.  This shared artistic experience connected us in spirit even when space kept us apart. 

Journey 1

The journal page that started it all.

Journey 2

Journey of the soul.

Journey 3

Journey of the heart & mind.

Journey 4

A lifetime of travel- my journey around the world.

Journey 5

Detail of my journey, showing longing to return “home”.

Journey 6

Our grandmother’s journey to America from Hungary in early 1900s.

Journey 7

Exotic beauty from Gyor Hungary moves to USA.

Journey 8

The spiritual journey within.

Journey 9

The never-ending journey between “right” and “wrong”.

Journey 10

The long journey of mourning my beloved Pixie.

Journey 11

Journey deep within.

Journey 12

Journey to the spirit world.

Journey 13

Detail of the journey to the spirit world… subtitled “Passages”.

Journey 14

The journey that is, perhaps, the most frightening.

Journey 15

Journey of self-awareness & self-worth.

What Makes a Perfect Day?

What makes an ordinary day more extraordinary?  What makes a typical Saturday perfect?  BALANCE.  Just the right mix of work & play, activity & inactivity, movement & stillness.

We woke to a brilliant sun suspended in a turquoise sky.  Instead of the usual rush, we took our time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast & an extra cup of coffee as the birds soared around the backyard, looking for their breakfast, too.  We agreed that we wanted to get our errands done as fast as possible so we could get back home & get outside.  That we did… in record time!

The garden was calling as it tends to do on a 70 degree spring day.  “Play with me!  Nurture me!, it beckoned.  I played in the dirt, weeding flower beds until my fingernails were full of dirt & my arms tingled from a slight sunburn.

Then, the lawnchair began calling as it tends to do after a few hours of yardwork.  “Sit with me.  Keep me company!”  How could I resist?  I grabbed a novel & a glass of wine, reading in the shade until the next voice called.

My dogs, dozing in the grass, grew restless as they tend to do after too much time lying about.  “Walk with us.  Pet us!”  I stretched lazily then rose to get their leashes.  We had a wonderful walk, enjoying the neighbor’s yards where daffodils & tulips of every color danced in the sunshine.

When we returned, my boyfriend was calling as he tends to do on a Saturday after too much time apart.  “Eat with me.  Spend time with me!”  We made a delicious stir-fry veggie dinner & sipped some more wine as the sun began to set on our perfect day.

There’s nothing better than a day spend doing what I love with those I love the most.

Took a Tech “Time-Out”

I deliberately took a tech “time-out” for several days because I found myself paying more attention to my blog, email, & texts than who I love & what I love.  I was writing about life so much that I wasn’t living it.  So, I took a break to realign with Source & took steps to be more present in the present.  That meant…

Connecting:  spending time with people I love, doing things I love.  We hiked a nearby park along a beautiful lake, enjoyed a cookout with beloved friends, & went on a day trip to Washington DC.  I have to say the National Museum of American Indians is phenomenal & a must-see for anyone curious about early Americans (South, Central, & North).  Reading their creation stories, seeing how they lived felt Holy somehow.  The architecture alone is worth the visit.  While most buildings are harsh & angular, this museum is a hushed whisper, curving to mimic a stream, a breeze, or possibly the curves in a landscape.  Beautiful!!  The Blossom Kite Festival on the Mall also took place the day we were visiting.  I felt pure happiness, almost giddy, watching the brightly colored kites dance against the pale blue sky & marveled to see everyone smiling & laughing.  Kite flying is obviously one of life’s simple pleasures, turning everyone into a kid again. 

  Grounding- aligning myself with nature & all that is.  Now that the weather is warming up, I can lay on the ground or sit with my back against a tree to meditate.  It really soothes my spirit & reminds me of the interconnectedness of all things, allowing me the use of all my senses to recognize the changes Spring brings.  I got dirty, too, by picking weeds, raking out flower beds, & planting seeds in tiny pots for transplanting outside in a few more weeks.  For me, getting dirty while gardening is mystical, too, as all my time in nature is fast becoming.

Decluttering-  cleaning out my house & my Self.  I clean out winter clothing & household goods that could serve someone else & give things to charity.  I reevaluate how I spend my time, keeping what serves & eliminating what doesn’t to make way for the new.  Over time, we all outgrow jobs, hobbies, committees, & other interests.  Let them go & see what fills the space.  I recently had to acknowledge that I was holding onto experiences that weren’t mine to hold– a friend’s divorce, a cancer diagnosis, an acquaintance’s termination from work.  I can support, love, & encourage but cannot & should not control.  When I get too immersed in someone else’s experience, it’s time to surrender to what is greater than myself.

Pause when you hear that little voice inside tell you to pause.  It has your best interest at heart.  After all, that small sacred voice IS your voice.

Here are links to the National Museum of American Indians & a video clip of the Blossom Kite Festival (thanks to YouTube).  Enjoy!!

http://nmai.si.edu/visit/washington/