To Dream a Life into Being #wonder #nature #being

The river beside the trail

Or perhaps I should say, “To walk a life into being.”

My husband and I spent the 4th in nature. It was the perfect way for us to express a reverence for what feels worthy, real, and based upon love. We brought the dogs along, which meant a perfect day for our canine companions as well.

Sitting on our front porch with a cup of tea dividing us, I scrolled through the “All Trails” app on my phone until I found one that just felt right. A new trail, to us, not too far away. And so, after breakfast was consumed, water bottles filled, and a couple of granola bars tucked in pockets, we set off in a race to the “minivan.”

We no longer have a minivan, but my husband and I love to shout out, “go straight to the minivan,” to incite the dogs and annoy the teenagers. The said teenagers, though, had their own plans for the day. Still, it brought a smile to our faces, and, naturally the dogs’ who could not have been happier. There’s nothing like a good car ride as long as the destination is not the vets.

With windows cranked to snout-level, we were off on our new adventure. The day perfect according to the weather. The high hovering around 80, the breeze just enough to keep most of the bugs away, and the sky as blue as our children’s eyes. We did miss them, but sometimes it’s nice to have that time to recall how you began.

And for us, it began 31 years ago. I’m going to take a slight pause to let that sink in…

We were at the place where our son is temporarily residing, the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program. It was July 4th, 1991, and although I can’t tell you the exact details about the weather, I can recall in full-color the certain sundress I borrowed from a friend to impress a boy I had seen on the baseball field at recreation time. We met over bowls of ice cream, and the rest is our story.

So here we were, 31 years later, celebrating our story in the quiet way we knew best. Out in nature. We parked beside a wooden sign in front of a field of grasses, milkweed, and butterflies and suddenly I found myself falling in love, again. This land, not wholly ours, but from which we are all birthed, enfolding us like a mother who forgives even if she never forgets. And we, walking upon her, opened to love.

And wild wonder.

I was 48, 17, and 4. All ages wrapped up into one body, which is the way wonder finds us. Time slips past meaning and nothing else matters. The body’s bounds tangible, yet free. And the mind, that illusive organ without a physical structure, finds its tune and begins to sing of home. There it nothing better.

Life unties its binds in these moments and pure being erupts into the dream without the nightmare. As we walked that trail through the butterfly fields and into the woods beside a river, I began to dream of Life as it opened before us. The smile, spreading ever-wide upon my face. My body alive with the energy of being. And that vision that enfolded wider with each footstep, imprinted in full-color upon the canvas of my mind.

What a gift of a day.

Become a Coach for HSPs with Jules De Vitto #HSP #lifecoaching

The HSP coaching program can be found here

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jules De Vitto, a Transpersonal Coach and Trainer for Highly Sensitive People, as a guest on “The Highly Sensitive Humans” podcast. During the podcast, Jules and I chatted about our experiences living as HSPs and how we have used our own struggles and triumphs to help others thrive in a world that can both overwhelm us and fill us with joy.

Jules is offering a 3-Month Professional Training on How to Coach Highly Sensitive People starting on September 5, 2022. The course is accredited by the International Association of Coaches, Therapists and Mentors. It offers an integrative and embodied approach, drawing on psychological and spiritual perspectives, to help empower highly sensitive people who struggle with life.

Jules uses a mindfulness, trauma-informed, compassion-focused approach to her training. In the course, you’ll learn the fundamental skills needed to coach HSPs. Upon completion of the training, you’ll also receive Professional Development (40-hours) certification credentials.

Spaces for the course are limited to just 20 people. More detailed information on it can be found here.

Jules has a small number of scholarships available for those who require financial support to join the course. Please email her at info@highlysensiivehumans.com if you’d like to apply for the scholarship.

#WRITEPHOTO – FEATHER CLOUD #clouds #cloudformations

Honored to have a photo of mine featured in KL’s #writephoto prompt this week and looking forward to reading the creative prose that it inspires:

New2Writing

Afternoon Everyone,

Welcome to the weekly #writephoto prompt!

This week’s prompt is a post with a difference – our JULY guest photo!

Feather Cloud – Image by A Kehas

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a beautiful feathered cloud in the colours of a rainbow.

A great bigthank youto Alethea for agreeing to be the featured photo this month. What a beautiful photo for us. Pop over to her blog athttps://aletheakehas.com/to show her some love!

The regulars already know this bit, but for those that don’t:

  • EachThursdayatNoon GMTI will post the #writephoto prompt
  • Use the image and prompt as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly.
  • Please have your entries linked back to the original prompt post by the followingTuesdayatNoon…

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The Return #return #writephoto #SueVincent

Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The last star reader was called down from the hills to prophecy the outcome of the divide. He stood on the cusp of the morning, more sure of where he was going than all who stood below. To understand the language of the stars was a gift seeded into the womb and those who received it could not pass it along. Only their words carried forth the song of the light. A light to which he longed to return.

Yet it was his duty to translate when beckoned. How weary he was of trying to reduce the vast into the limited. Minds trapped inside longing were not easily opened, and for the star reader this was another futile effort.

“I see it!” hollered a tiny voice. “I see the dragon!”

“What is she talking about?”

“Shush the child.”

“What insolence. Put her back to bed!”

The crowd below grew angry together, feeding upon the rise of their wrath bestowed upon a wee child who spoke only the truth. The last star reader watched and waited. He listened to the rise and fall of dissonance and sighed.

“See what I mean?” he muttered up to the sky.

“What are you waiting for?” the sky replied.

“It will not work. It never does.”

“Speak to the girl then.”

“Come here,” he beckoned in the softest of whispers, yet she heard him.

Softly she crawled the tangled roots, grabbling hold of the grasses for support until she reach the last star reader. He said nothing, just nudged the staff towards her waiting hand. One finger and then another curled the weathered wood.

No one knew she was missing. No one knew she had left their masses. Filled with their wrath, they had forgotten all meaning.

“Why don’t they see it?” she asked the reader as she peered at the angry mob below.

“Because their eyes have turned blind.”

“But it’s so beautiful.”

“Those who cannot see truth cannot see beauty.”

So the wee child turned her head back to the sky and the dragon, every-so-gently, swooped down to receive her.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge #return.

Christmas Nostalgia #childhood #childhood #traditions #christmas #holidays

Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

During the quiet moments of yesterday, my mind played back childhood memories of Christmas. In particular, I thought of the holiday spend with my grandmothers when I was eight. I had three grandmothers during most of my childhood, as my birth parents divorced when I was quite little.

The first scenes of Christmas past to slip into my conscious mind were wrapped in favorite gifts from “Grammie.” Grammie loved to shop and she had a wonderful knack for gifting the perfect presents, even though she hardly knew me. The one Christmas I can remember spending at Grammie’s house, when I was eight-years-old, she made me a ruffled skirt of shiny green-and-white plaid, bought me the Sugar Plum Fairy Effenabee doll, and a pale pink satin nightgown with a matching robe. I could not have been more delighted with the contents of her beautifully wrapped gifts nestled under Grammie’s tree and labeled for me.

One of several french horns from Grammie

I never saw Grammie again on Christmas, but for several years she sent her perfect gifts perfectly wrapped inside an oversized box addressed to me and my sister. Inside the brown packing container, a handmade wreath adorned with ornaments welcomed us to the holiday’s delights. Tiny rocking horses, french horns, and silver bells hung from the evergreen boughs until they were untangled and nestled into boxes of ornaments to be hung in later years on our own trees.

One of Grammie’s recycled wreath ornaments

I don’t remember the gifts of my other grandmother gave me that Christmas. Instead, I remember sitting in her green velvet chair in the living room admiring her crystal bowl of ribbon candy almost-too-pretty-to-eat. Yet, it’s enough. A simple memory that contains more feeling than images, but evokes the joy of the holiday in my child self.

These brief, simple memories are from a cherished, yet troubled Christmas now long past. I have many more, filled with vivid scenes of laughter, food, and gifts shared with my stepfamily. Yet not one stands out for me in particular. I think perhaps it’s easier to take for granted what we become used to, even if it only occurs once a year.

I wonder what my own children will choose to cherish from past holidays as they grow older. No doubt they will be different, shaped by their individual perspectives of joy and love.

The Token #Tokens #writephoto #suevincent

Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The raven circled in wait while the seeker studied the land. The bird knew her in the memory of her bones and the knowing had brought the raven into flight to follow the girl’s path. Finally she had arrived. Millenia had passed and the raven’s ancestors foretold that she would someday be there to recover the magic held inside the stones. They had watched time pass without judgement or remorse, tending the land as they did the skies with patience.

Some who traveled the land foretold doom in the birds’ black visage, shivering at the shadows cast upon their souls, unsettling the darkness they held within. It was not the raven’s darkness, but those that hovered inside their shadows. This the ravens knew as they circled the light and waited for the awakened one.

Still others shot pellets that brought pain and sometimes death to halt the mighty wings and silence the haunting calls, laughing as the ravens fell back to Earth not realizing that the fall was also theirs. Such was the way of the humans who walked with the pomp of fear hidden inside bravado. But the ravens forgave their young minds, knowing that this too was a passage and that each life circles back to the point of union when it is ready.

This one, though, walked as though she was the land and also the sky. The raven could see all elements inside of her, woven into the membrane of life that held her body close but not her mind. Open she was to all before her. Each footstep, each touch of the earth and stone, brought the call of home through her cells, and the girl began to hum the language once lost through the channels of her throat.

Above, the raven resisted the longing to call back. To respond to her and join their voices as one. You must wait until she finds the token, the ancestors had warned. Only then will you know with certainty that she is the one.

Each circling of the girl cast a shadow upon her, but the girl never wavered in her step. She had passed beyond the threshold of fear and the reasoning of the mind to the place of heart-knowing. And she was almost there.

They had dropped the feather under the mound of stones that led to the chamber’s opening, pushing the shaft with their beaks to pierce the ground. Buried under heather and bracken, above layers of soil, the sacred site had long been neglected by the touch of humans. Only the unseen passed its gates now, but the raven knew the time had come to mark the change.

She approached with love only. Slender fingers traced the outlines of form, and above the raven’s body began to rock in rhythm to the heartbeat of the awakened land. The black feather waved, but held fast to the opening. And as the girl entered the channel of the goddess’s womb, leaving the feather behind to dance her joy, the raven burst into song.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt #token. Please click here to see the original post to participate.

The “Shit Show” of Life #joy #fear #life #faith

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I have a friend who has been sharing her forecasts for the future with me. Last night, on our ride home together from the lake, passing sign after sign supporting the aggressor, my daughter asked me if I, or any of my friends, had tried to predict the outcome of the election. And so I told her that prediction is imperfect as I began I mini lecture on free will. I didn’t tell her the whole truth, that I simply don’t want to know something that might pull me into hopelessness.

I am finding these days I want to close my ears and eyes to what I don’t want to see. I’d like to hold onto hope only, and the belief that we can grow infinitely closer to love in just one moment, changing forever the outcome of doom.

I used to channel like my friend, and quite often. I still do, but not by choice. When she slips me into a past life regression to heal the physical body, I find the higher self slides effortlessly into the gap to reveal what my dreams bring forth in the night.

The other day, I found myself bemoaning the “shit-show” that this summer has been in so many ways, along with the confession that each “shit-show” that has played out in my own life has come after a premonition as though that self that sits behind the scenes has pulled the curtain down to prepare me for each horror I don’t want to see.

After the complaining, I stopped to peer more closely at the “show,” realizing that I had placed my own value by giving it a descriptor. Without the descriptor, I am reminded that we are always, in sometimes undecipherable ways, given what we need. The struggle is real when we make it so, but I find myself longing for the easy breath. Yet, the breakdown must come before the opening. I am just one tiny mirror of the billions that surround me. We are a world collapsing to unfold.

My friend, when I speak with her, rejoices in the scene she sees, but while she talks I find myself falling into the acts of the play that bring us to the final scene she has fixed upon. We disagree about the necessity of life returning to the great womb until I need to see it for myself. I part the curtain with caution, and as it falls effortlessly away I realize how much I have held onto the notion of pain and fear. How foolish I have been to forget that the love and joy I seek is always waiting on the other side. The veil between so thin it in fact does not exist outside of our own minds.

#Clouded #writephoto

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Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The dream keeper ran through Sky. Unseen by most, his ursine form clouded the blue beyond and brought the west winds to seed the stars’ wisdom into the valley between the hills. Earth waited breathless, opening her womb to receive his air as mist. His shape dissolving into hers as droplets coalesced into the seeds of being and implanted themselves into her cavern. Love stirred the grasses into parting, caressing the memories of stones with light until the sigh released into One.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt #clouded

Flustered Without Mustard: Finding Calm with Angry or Frustrated by Barbara Haas Featured on A Better World of Books #mindfulbooks #mindfulness

It’s my pleasure to add another book to the growing collection of “A Better World of Books.” Today’s feature is brought to you by the self-proclaimed “word wrangler,” Barbara ‘Rhubarb’ Haas and her book for calming emotions illustrated by Mary Ann ‘June Hog’ Kruse, Flustered Without Mustard: Finding Calm When Angry or Frustrated. Flustered-Cover-768x842

Written in rhyme, using playful verse to appeal to a young audience, Flustered Without Mustard offers pages filled with teachable wisdom for taming volatile emotions in people of all ages.

Haas uses a simple narrative of a hot dog vendor who has not ordered enough mustard to meet the hungry demands of his customers to tell her tale of rhyming mindfulness. Although I think her story could be enhanced by more showing than telling, Haas incorporates the vendor’s predicament into examples of how her readers can reign in their emotional responses to stay calm and level headed. This is where her book shines.

More than a story, Flustered without Mustard is a go-to-guidebook for ways to calm one’s state of mind and move through life’s obstacles with centeredness and ease.  Although each tip appears in whimsical meter, much thought and wisdom is held inside of the lines:

“If you’ve let loose, quickly adjust, find your center.

Counting three breaths may help you remember.

You could shake like a dog when you’re really upset,

Or you can sing, or dance, or play clarinet!”

Filled with mindful coping techniques to stay centered and calm, such as the five given in just the four lines of rhyme above, Flustered without Mustard has a place in any classroom or home to be picked up often as a reminder of how easy it is to lose one’s temper and reign it back into a more peaceful state of mind.

Haas’s book, which she self-published just this year, has already received numerous testimonials from educators. The author, herself, has worked in the field of education since the 1970s and offers the arrangement of author’s visits to schools and libraries.

To learn more about Barbara ‘Rhubarb” Haas and her book Flustered without Mustard, you can find her at Rhubarbwisdombooks.com.

 

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea