Introducing Dancing Jaguar’s Book Club Featuring The Labyrinth! #bookclub #kidsbookclub #spiritcamp #dancingjaguar #middlegrade

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May Selection for Dancing Jaguar’s Book Club 

I’m excited and honored to announce my middle-grade metaphysical fantasy book, The Labyrinthwill be featured this month in Dancing Jaguar’s Kids’ Book Club!

Eva Goulette, the vision behind Dancing Jaguar Inspirations and Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camps, will be hosting this virtual book club via Zoom. It is free and open to all, but recommended for ages 8-13. th

During the May series, when Eva and the kids will be exploring the magical world of The Labyrinth, I will be making special author appearances.

There is no purchase necessary to join the Book Club. Kids and their parents are encouraged to explore the book’s companion site, Warriors Of Light Club, for an introduction to its metaphysical teachings and the six young protagonists, Aponi, Shesha, Lupe, Dell, Ari, and Sula. While exploring, visitors who have not yet read The Labyrinth can try to guess what each character’s power animal is.

The hints are in the names…

The thirteen-year-old protagonists in The Labyrinth have a lot in common with the children and teens who attend Dancing Jaguar’s camps and events. Although the six teens do their best to blend into their outer world, each harbors gifts that are not easily embraced or understood by those around them. In the magical world of the labyrinth, though, the rules of the outer world break down and the teens learn to become empowered warriors of light.  Here in this strange and mysterious realm, the nature of their true selves are revealed, as the warriors learn to embrace the strengths of their power animals, work together to repair the broken lines of light in Earth, and save Aponi’s mother who is trapped inside the shadows of her mind.  But first they must save each other…

To learn more about the book club, or Dancing Jaguar Inspirations, and Dancing Jaguar Spirit Camps and events for kids, please visit Eva’s website. Here you can explore the wonderful and nurturing environment Eva has created for kids and teens who are seeking to understand and embrace their true selves. I’m including a brief description from her site, which describes the essence of Eva’s mission and the wonderful opportunity for enrichment she has created for youth through her camps:

“With a holistic approach to integrating mind, body, and spir­it, this camp teaches children how to nurture their inner world.  We live in a modern society that places value on nurturing the mind and body.  Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camp teaches children how to nurture their heart and spirit. When children are encouraged to trust their intuition, honor their truth, and speak from the heart, they can develop their inner compass and trust themselves to make choices in high school and beyond that will sustain them.”

I have known Eva for years, although we only met in-person last summer, and have had the honor of following her vision and see it grow and flourish. She is a kindred spirit, with a strong passion for empowering and nurturing young minds and bodies so that they can grow with confidence in a world that can sometimes seen harsh and insensitive. I could not be more grateful that she has chosen to share her wisdom and the beauty of her light while she offers to explore the magical world of The Labyrinth with young seekers.

If you know a child who might be interested in the book club, or in Eva’s spirit camps, which have expanded into the virtual world at this time of social distancing, please share.

 

 

Dream School Continues with a Puzzling Visit from a Wooden Dragon and a Red Panda

 

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It was yet another fitful night in the realm of dreams. Back to school I went. This time to a peculiar college with a new roommate/dream guide. She sat before me, on the opposite bed, after I had tried to parcel out the pieces of her enormous puzzle into boxes on the floor below. Each one containing a jigsaw assortment that somehow went with the one beside it. Three, I believe in total, of interconnected scenes.

She seemed amused by my earnestness. Although she wore the face of teenager, large brown eyes framed by blond tresses, she was clearly wise beyond the years she showed me. Around her neck wrapped a red panda. Her pet? I wasn’t entirely sure how it had gotten into our room and why it was around my roommate’s shoulders like a living scarf, but I was fascinated. It was as though an old friend had come to visit me.

Let me return, for a moment, to the realm of daytime, and set the clock back about four decades. Imagine a little girl with blue eyes and dirty blond hair staring up at a caged enclosure where two red pandas are on display in their zoo-home. The little girl is about seven years old and she has declared those two curious looking pandas her absolute favorite animals in the entire zoo. This zoo that she visits often each summer because her father works there as a landscaper.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

The red panda on the upper branch stares back at her, its brown eyes soft with understanding. The little girl is sure the animal can read her mind. She is sure a connection has been formed. Her love for the creature is sealed inside her heart. They share something beyond words. This soft, gentle being who looks more like a tiny bear crossed with a fox has become the girl’s chosen totem, at least for awhile.

The little girl never forgets her love for the red panda, but she moves onto other loves, and other beings fill her heart as she grows. The more visits she makes to the zoo over the summers she flies west to see her father, the more secrets she traps inside of her throat, which becomes wrapped in her growing confusion of truth.

Let’s leap ahead to last night and the return of my quiet and almost forgotten friend who is  wrapped around my roommate’s neck. Before I can inquire why it is there, the red panda is suddenly around my own neck. I unwind it carefully, and hold it before me in my hands where I start to examine its soft body. Although the soft animal appeared well and healthy before, it now seems ill. In particular, it’s throat. As I hold it, the red panda coughs and I can see the damage incurred to its throat.

What have I done? Has my own, damaged throat, somehow damaged my beloved childhood totem? 

I am filled with despair and worry, but before I try to solve this puzzle, let’s explore the nature of the red panda:

Red pandas are native to Asian countries such as Nepal and China. They make their home in high altitude forests where they are endangered due to human encroachment from deforestation and poaching. Quiet creatures by nature, red pandas are “soft spoken” and introverted creatures. They are closer to the size of a large cat than they are to a panda bear. Like their namesake, though, they depend upon bamboo for their survival. Red pandas are solitary creatures who are most active in the between times of dawn and dusk. They are, I am realizing, an awful lot like me.

Which brings me to the curious puzzle that was now before me on the floor of my dream. Where’s my water dragon? I wonder as I gaze at the head of the wooden dragon held together like a puzzle with interlocking pieces.

I am a water child born under an Earth sign. These two elements drive my nature, but as in all forms, they seek to be balanced. Wood is one of my weaker elements, so perhaps my dream self should not have been baffled by the head of the wooden dragon that now lay at my feet.

Often when we wake from the realm of dreams we must knit together the pieces of our night travels as best we can to make sense of the strange landscape of night. Before I fell into slumber last night, I had been thinking about Elan (often knows as Elan of the Leys or  Keeper of the Dragon Lines as she seems to have appeared for my story) and how she made her appearance on the pages of my book, but had left me hanging for weeks as to where she was going to lead me and my characters. As I

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Photo Credit: Pexels

drifted into sleep she came to me, finally stepping out of the shadows of the trees to stretch her antlers to the stars. She was showing me the way, if I chose to follow the path beyond the foothold of Earth…

 

The Labyrinth Featured on Cover Wars

I discovered a fun little competition called “Cover Wars” from a fellow writer and blogger, Ritu Bhathal. The Labyrinth is in the running for this week’s competition of book covers. Take a look if you’re interested. Please vote for your favorite. It’s okay if it’s not The Labyrinth. 🙂 The true credit for my cover goes to Danielle English at Kanizo Art

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To Journey (or not) into the Joy of Darkness

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It’s been a strange couple of weeks, but then again, strange seems to be the new normal. Barely a minute goes by when the POTUS does not make some angry outcry or ignorant blunder. It’s so common, most of us barely bat an eye. Others rise up to toast hatred. Rage is infectious. For some strange reason, it’s now normal to be inhumane. Which begs the question, what are we striving for?

Last week, I posted a brief notice on Facebook in support of a teenager in town who is championing an environmental cause. She is seeking signatures to bring a petition to the legislature. And, like so many young and not-so-young environmental activists who are actively looking for ways to save our planet in crisis, her only M.O. is altruism. Imagine my surprise dismay when 9 out of 10 people who chose to comment, did so from a place of anger. When did altruism become a bad word?

Also last week: a senior in my children’s high school banged a teacher’s head against the cafeteria wall because he wasn’t happy with her, and three men armed with machine guns robbed a house in my town. My children are wondering if the world is going mad. They don’t know how lucky they are. Things like this aren’t normal around here. But, are they becoming normal?

A few weeks ago, school officials in neighboring towns came together for a common cause. Teachers are living in fear. Elementary school teachers. Children are acting out in anger and rage on a daily basis, and no one knows what to do. Yet, thousands of years ago, a group of people discovered that they could calm young and restless bodies and minds through the practice of yoga. The end result, peace. The answers are more ancient than time itself. Five minutes of silence everyday in inner city schools where crime and violence used to be the daily norm, have resulted in dramatic shifts towards harmony. Yet, many of us still resist the doorways within.

Two hours ago, I was wrapping up my walk with my dogs when I saw two of my neighbors across the street from my house. I thought I’d stop over to say “hello,” but on my way I followed their fingers to a stray dog hanging out in my front garden. After hurrying my agitated pets inside, I went back out to see what I could do.

The dog in question was a gentle spirit, and I was pretty sure I’d seen her on my walks before. As one neighbor pointed out, she had no identifying tags, so while she leaned into the other neighbor, I photographed her to post on FB. I was certain she’d soon be identified. She was a pure-bread, and someone had probably spent a pretty penny on her.

Seconds later, a car zoomed around the corner, and, suspecting the owner, we waved it over. Instead of relief and gratitude, we were confronted by an irate man filled with accusations and blame. Blame not for himself for losing his dog, but for the dog and its dog-nappers rescuers. Alter, my neighbor told me she was sure there was another dog in the car. I was certain there was also a child, in a carseat.

The entire scene played out in mere minutes, and all I could manage to do, as well as my neighbor (the other neighbor had gone home) was to try and help corral the dog as kindly as possible while her owner yelled and raged at it. It was distrubing at best. Yet, it also seems strangely like the new normal.

If you follow the POTUS and his army of supporters (which I try my best to avoid), all of the above will seem like mild day in the land of the good old USA. We are a nation gone mad. Or, were we always mad, but just did a better job hiding it?

Six or so years ago, I decided, or rather it was decided by some unseen muse, that I would write a book about six teens who would travel a labyrinth filled with darkness to bring back the light. Thinking they are on a mission to repair the light in Earth and heal the planet, each teen is faced with the discovery that the darkness inside the labyrinth in Earth is also inside of them.

The outer is a mirror of the inner. Always. We all know the saying, “peace begins within.” And, to get to that place of peace, we must travel the darkness within. We must face all of its ugly and fear-filled forms. We must confront it. Untangle it. And above all else, we must love it.

In one of my first yoga classes with preschoolers, there was a young girl who troubled me. She had blue eyes and stringy blond hair she’d often twist into knots with her fingers. She could be cute, but during my classes, she most often wore an ugly face twisted by inner turmoil. Some might say she looked possessed. And, in a way, she was. There was clearly something that was eating away at her happiness and ability to share joy with others in the class. And to find her own joy with the class. Sadly, she made it through one 6-week session, but never returned.

In some ways, I felt like I had failed her. I was not able to give her the individual time she probably needed, and was instead often looking for ways to ensure she wasn’t pestering her fellow classmates. I shared concern with her parents and teachers, and it seemed to be understood.

Even though she is no longer attending my yoga classes, I still see her in passing most weeks. She stands in line when I arrive, waiting to head outside for recess while some of her peers wait for me on the rug. Each time I see her, I make a point of catching her eye, as I do with all children who are waiting. And each time she catches mine, I smile at her.

In the first few weeks, after our time together had ended, my former student would look at me with the eyes of distrust. As though I was perhaps mocking her, or in some way had an intention other than kindness. I continued to look for her eyes and smile. About two weeks ago, amidst all this recent chaos, I caught those two blue eyes looking at me and my smile was met with a smile. A smile of trust and friendship.

I can’t say what this little girl’s demons are, or why she was more tormented by her darkness than some little kids are, but I do know it exists inside all of us, in various forms. We carry the fears of our own lives, and the lives we lived before this one. We carry the fears encoded into our DNA passed down to us in our genes, and we absorb the fears around us. We are solitary beings intricately connected with all life. When one of us is in pain, we all are.

I know that man who collected his wandering dog was acting out of his own deep seated fears, even though it presented itself outwardly as hostility. Our POTUS is doing the same thing. As well as his devoted followers. What troubles me is not their fear, but their unwillingness to travel inside of it. To follow their own labyrinths of darkness to find the light. A light that is filled with the core of love that feeds joy. What troubles me is that so many seem to be okay with, and even embrace, a life fueled by self-righteous anger and hostility, rather than choosing the path of darkness in search of their own light. Granted, it’s not an easy path to take, but unlike with anger and fear, we don’t walk it alone. The POTUS and his followers, and the many others around the world who are choosing hatred as their M.O., may think they are united in a cause, but there is no union with fear. There is only destruction, of the self and the community.

I think perhaps that little blue eyed girl with blond hair who used to take my yoga classes has already discovered this. Yoga may not be her M.O., but kindness now appears to be. I’ve noticed she not only smiles at me, but holds the hands of her classmates eagerly on her way out to recess. I image the fresh air and being close to nature is a balm for her, as it is for all of us. I embrace her choice to find joy in her chosen way.  And, more than anything else, I am happy in the knowing that she seems to know, in her five-year-old self, that joy is her birthright.

Entrance #writephoto #WIP

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Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

 

“Where am I?”

“Dear boy you are inside a crypt. Or, to be more precise, you are inside what once was a tomb. But, before it was that, it was something more.”

As Lupe’s eyes adjusted to the absence of sunlight, he realized the earth around him was glowing. He no longer felt fear, only awe. Tiny orbs of silvery gold speckled the ceiling and walls, and for a moment Lupe thought he was gazing up at the stars.

“They brought the above into the below, as you can see.”

“It’s so cool. But why? And what is it made of, a special paint?” Lupe reached out his fingers.

“Don’t touch it. Don’t touch anything unless I tell you to. You’re walking on sacred ground. Remember that. Those stars you see are made from pyrite and quartz. They’ve been there for thousands of yearsOn.”

Lupe let out a low whistle of air, “Geez, that’s kind of amazing.”

“Yes, it is, isn’t it? No other human now living, aside from you, knows about this place, as far as we know. They’ve found some of the others, but not this one.”

“What’s special about it? The dead bodies? You said this was a crypt, right?”

“Yes, and no, but you won’t see any bodies here. The tombs are still preserved. Untouched by man. We’d like to keep it that way.”

“Fine by me. I’d rather not trip over some dude’s femur if you know what I mean,” Lupe paused. “You said they are untouched by man. Do you men just men, or women too?” He wasn’t why he asked the question, but it suddenly seemed important.

“Ah, they did say you would be bright. I meant men. Women, you see, once held a place of honor. As the sacred bearers of life they were revered as holy beings. Only women  touched the bones that lie here. We are inside a woman’s chamber built to symbolize her womb. It is a place where only women walked.”

“Oh, wow! I thought you had said tomb,” Lupe felt his body fill with the weight of the truth. “Are you sure we should be here now? I mean you’re a ghost, so I suppose you are okay. But I’m a dude.”

“Dude?”

“It’s just an expression. You know, for a person. Anyway, why have you brought me here and not Aponi, Dell, or Sula? I mean, they’re, uh, women, or almost women.”

“Those must be the three females who have been chosen for other tasks. Your friends. Well, you see. There are rules that are now allowed to be broken. But, not just by anyone. You, alone, were chosen to come here, Lupe, because you have proven your love for Earth. Your roots are here, and it’s important that you are not female.”

Lupe felt the weight of these words sink into his mind. Have I really proven myself, though? he wondered.

“You have honored Her with your actions and the reverence you hold inside of your heart. You understand the need for balance, both of the inner and the outer, although you have not yet wholly discovered it. This is why you are allowed to enter this sacred place. There is no force striving to control within you. You do not seek to dominate, but to balance.”

“I see…” Lupe replied, even though he was not sure he did. He let his eyes wander back to the walls of the cave, “Why’d they paint the ceiling like this if it’s a graveyard. I mean, why go through all the work?”

“Ah, but it is not a graveyard, it is a place where life begins and moves on. Look closer at it, perhaps you will be able to figure out why.”

“Hey, is that the Milky Way?” Lupe pointed to a wavy band that held more densely packed crystals of light than its surroundings.”

“I believe that’s what you call it now.”

“Now? You mean it used to have another name?”

“Oh, it’s had several.”

“Like what?”

“The River of Creation. The Great Mother. Plumed Serpent…Your ancestors believed that it was the gateway to where the light of the individual souls are formed, and to where they returned after death.”

“Oh, you mean like the rainbow bridge?”

“Some called it such.”

“Well is it?”

“Is it what?”

“The place where we all come from and where we return when we die?”

“That is not for me to reveal. You are here to observe and discover for yourself. You are here to walk the path of darkness back into the light. Just as your friends are doing.”

Lupe felt himself weighed down by his ancestor’s words. He let his body fall against the cave wall then lower to the ground. Instead of landing on the floor, though, Lupe came to a seat upon a bench he had failed to notice before. It was not large, and appeared to be part of the rock itself. Jutting out about half a foot, the stone seat looked like it was a part of the wall and could comfortably hold three people, side-by-side.

“I see you found the waiting place.”

“Waiting place?”

“Yes. Where those who were chosen would wait to be called.”

“Called for what?”

“To do the work of the Great Mother.”

“But why would they wait here?”

“Because this is where they were tested. The initiates. Here, where the dead lie in wait to be reborn is where the chosen ones from the living come to birth their true selves. It is a place of power and of self-discovery. Some  found they were called here only to return to what they were doing before they came. Others awakened to gifts that had been hidden inside of them. Many healers, prophets, and seers emerged from here. Many Earth Keepers like yourself.”

Lupe felt a rush of energy descend from the crown of his head. The heat flowing inside of him ignited each of Lupe’ cells with a knowing that felt like truth.

“You are not so very surprised, are you?”

“No. I guess I’m not. I mean, somehow I’ve always known I was here, in this life, to help protect Earth. This place,” Lupe paused, “in a weird sort-of way, feels like home.”

“Well, my boy, it should. Come. Let me show you the rest.”

“There’s more?”

“There’s always more.”

 

This is a chapter from my WIP, book two of the Warriors of Light series. When I saw Sue’s photo for this week’s writing prompt I immediately thought of my characters, some of whom find themselves in similar looking places to what we see here. Lupe is one of them, a young teen tasked with a mission to repair the lines of light inside Earth and save the life of his friend’s mother. To participate in Sue’s #writephoto challenge this week, click here

The Chalice & The Sun #yearning

I had been intending to write a blog post about some recent explorations I’ve had with the chalice as a symbol when I opened Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt this morning. There before me was a photograph of water in the shape of a chalice illuminated by the light of the sun. The title, “yearning.” I realized that perhaps I had just been provided with the image I needed to explore this ancient symbol in the way it has come to me recently…

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Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

Years ago, when I first began exploring Tarot, I bought myself the Rider-Wait deck. I  often shuffled the cards to find guidance for my life and writing journey. As frequently happens with Tarot, a card will repeatedly show itself. The Queen of Cups was that card for me.

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The Queen of Cups in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The archetype of The Queen sat before me on her throne contemplating a capped golden chalice in her hands bearing a cross at its top. The card is filled with archetypal symbolism, which is up to the individual to explore in relation to his or her own inner journey.

Now, when I look at the card, I rather fancy the queen shedding the crown she wears, removing the church-like dome of the chalice, and discarding her robes to dive into the waters of life before her until there is no separation. Becoming, if you will, the opened chalice, as in the photo above taken by Sue.

 

Like many, I find myself deeply troubled these days by what appears to be the masculine side of fear’s desire to hold a tighter reign over the divine feminine. We seem to be spiraling backwards (but not backwards enough) instead of forwards as we allow fear to take over. Here in The States we are seeing its struggle for dominance in the form of control over the female body. A struggle for dominance that stretches back thousands of years.

It is disturbing on many levels, for this is not a “war” driven only by men, but by women clouded by the dome of patriarchy that holds the reigns of indoctrinated spirituality premised upon fear and control. When the desire to control over-rides love and balance, Truth is lost.

A couple of weeks ago, my son went on a past-life journey facilitated by a dear friend of mine who is a trained regressionist. We were attempting to get to the root of his extreme sound sensitivities, and what unfolded was a detailed narration of a life as a Templar knight. I won’t tell you his story, as it is not mine to tell, but it feels significant to me to share part of the quest for the Holy Grail that came through. 

A story that was woven into the tapestry my son recalled hanging on the wall where, nearby, a golden goblet with decorative handles held the wine he drank. Of the nine pages of recording from the regression, two phrases haunt me the most, “trying to get the holy grail, but not the blood of Christ, but of someone else.” And later this, “the [priest] tells the story that’s written on the walls. The same story in the tapestry. It is the story of the holy grail, but it’s different. Like it has not been modified.”

“Modified”…

About a week after my son’s regression, I gave my friend a healing session in trade. As with my son’s regression, we had no idea where our journey would take us, but put our trust in the highest aspect of self that is a channel to the divine. I had not been consciously thinking about the chalice while I channeled the healing energies for my friend, but opened myself to receive whatever messages her higher self desired to bring through for her. In her recent history, my friend suffered a serious concussion from a car accident, and even more recently, had a hysterectomy. I was not surprised to see the healing energies travel to these two regions of her body, but I was not expecting to see the chalice.

Inlaid into the structure of her ethereal body, a golden chalice appeared before me, resembling more the “goblet” my son described from his regression than the one appearing on the tarot card. For, it had no cap. Nor was it ornately structured. Instead, the wide basin filled her womb, open to receive. Below, a long narrow stem ran the canal of birth, connecting to the base that opened into the place where life exits the womb. The handles, the fallopian tubes.

Before me, I saw the sacred vessel of the divine feminine fill with the light of the divine from above. Although her physical womb is now gone, she had not lost the essence of the chalice she bore inside of her. She had only to open the golden “womb” to receive the seeds of life giving light from above and allow them to fill her with their creative potential, grow it, and birth it into the world. 

The unbroken, uncapped womb that is the chalice.

And so I find myself gazing into Sue’s photograph and seeing the waters of life held within the womb of the ocean illuminated by the light of the sun. The light upon water create the form of a chalice-like image, with two open ends, in the continual cycle of life. Life not driven by fear or control, but by the light of  Love. 

I think a lot these days about what is happening to the female body is happening to the body of Mother Earth. My writing is taking me deep into her womb as I continue book two in my Warriors of Light visionary fiction series. My characters lead me into the chalice of Earth through broken lines humans have created. They draw me into mysteries that I have yet to discover, into an ancient past were once the vessel of Earth flowed free with the Light that is Life. A time when Earth’s children lived not to destroy her in ownership and greed, but to live as One in harmony. Balanced and fed by the Light within that is also without.  

And I find myself filled with a yearning to return.

 

 

 

 

 

“Who are you?” #YogaForKids

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Image Credit: Pixabay

The little girl peered up at me with teddy bear eyes as she asked her question. She was just a few years older than my daughter was when see used to boldly inquire, “Who are you?” while gazing her deep blue eyes into mine.

The question from the little girl this morning made me smile. Wide and free. “I’m the yoga teacher,” I told her.

“Am I taking yoga? I hope I am.”

“I want to take yoga,” the boy beside her chimed in.

“What’s your name?” Another child joined in the conversation.

I resisted the impulse to gather the group of preschoolers ready to go outside for their recess, turn on some Kira Willey, and lead their eager bodies in an impromptu yoga class. Their faces were irresistibly sunny as though they had no idea it was raining just outside the windows. Instead, I gathered the registration forms together out of the envelope I had hung on the bulletin board just last week, and smiled my way home.

It was my third errand of the morning. Before collecting the registration forms from the two Montessori schools, I had dropped off a bag at the high school. A post-it labeled it for the writing teacher, but it was for one of her students. A girl very different from those three exuberant young children in the preschool classroom. What a difference a dozen  years can make in a life.

She had never said a word, not even in introduction. Perhaps the teacher had overlooked her on purpose because she was shy. But I had seen the shrug of her shoulders and the head bowed a little further towards the table. The head that never looked up in participation for the hour-and-half I was there.

“I see you,” I wanted to whisper in her ear. Not in the tone of a creepy stalker, but with the words of understanding. “I’ve sat in that seat too. Many a time,” I wanted to tell her, but didn’t.

I didn’t because it was not my classroom, and I did not know her story. Sensitive to the fragility of the teenage mind, I kept quiet, like her. But I couldn’t forget about her. Although she was the only one in the classroom that never said a word, to me she was just as important the eager participants who sat around her. Even though she looked like a forgotten island. Or, an island that wanted to be forgotten.

She reminded me of me, but also someone who wasn’t me. I may never know her story. Why she chooses to wrap into herself. But, I ache for what she has lost, already. Perhaps she was once like that little girl with the happy brown eyes who thought nothing of asking a stranger who she was. I’d like to think so, but this also makes me sad.

I don’t know if she’ll read the book I offered her in return for not acknowledging her presence, and for not knowing how to bridge her island for fear of further harm. She may not read even the first word, and that’s okay. I hope she reads the card, though. I think she will. I hope she realizes that someone saw her when she thought she wasn’t seen. Not by the eyes of judgement, but the eyes of understanding. And, I hope that one day she’ll realize she has a beautiful light inside of her that is waiting to be seen.

 

The Paranormal Meets Warriors of Light

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My booth at the fair

It was a strange day, but I didn’t leave feeling defeated or discouraged. I had made $60. The booth fee for the paranormal convention table was $50. My net profit: $10. I didn’t sell one book, instead I sold some totem figurines, a few “Ghost-Be-Gone” sprays and a chakra pendant. Visitors trickled in throughout the day, but not many of the faces changed. Instead, most people were there there for the long-haul, having paid the ticket to see the lectures that were going on every hour or so.

I think I counted five people under the age of 21, but I may have missed one or two. I didn’t know what to expect, so there was really no reason to be disappointed.

Although I had never attended a ParaCon before, and probably looked a bit out of place sitting behind a booth without skulls or haunted baby dolls, I wasn’t entirely out of my element. I’ve done some ghost hunting in my days. I know what it’s like to be haunted. Heck, one of my main characters is a ghost, and that’s just in book one…but, it makes sense that most of the visitors that day were seeking the dark instead of the light. Or so it appeared on the surface.

There were those that stopped. The trio of teens who lingered in their black garb, flipping through the box of totem animals while eying my postcards and books until my friend in the booth beside me brashly announced, “I think you guys should read her book.”

“Really?” the tall one, who never made eye contact asked as he flipped over the cover?

“Yeah, especially you. I can tell you’re looking for answers. You’ll find them there.”

“It’s in Kindle,” I offered. “And it’s much a lot cheaper.”

“Oh really?” he sighed with relief as he took the postcard with all the information he needed.

Throughout the day I found myself wondering if I should lower my price. If I had, I probably would have sold 1 or 2 copies, but there would have been very little or no profit in return. The Indie writer’s world is not easy, and I am still figuring it out. I’ve written a book geared toward, but certainly not limited to, the younger generations. Kids and teens who rarely hold a book in their hands unless it is part of an assignment. A topic we joked about with the three teens who had lingered at my booth yesterday.

I am realizing how much I have ventured into the unknown, or rather, the undetermined. I am not discouraged, though. One seed planted is enough. And there were, perhaps, a couple planted yesterday. Three (not the teens mentioned above) signed up for my newsletter, a handful of others grabbed cards and postcards…maybe a few will go poking around on my website in a search for some answers. And, me, well, I’ll keep writing and venturing into the unknown when it beckons. I’ll welcome, as best as I can, whatever awaits.

I’m okay with that. It’s what I signed up for, after all.

Flying into Fear #dream symbolism

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It was an interesting night in the world of dreams. A night filled with a whole lot of flying, but for a very apparent reason. To fly into my fears. It seems my mind had decided to show me every fear I am holding onto at the moment, while my soul decided, you’re ready, let’s go. 

There is that saying that you see all over the place, “Whatever you fear most, do it.” Sometimes, for practical purposes, we simply should not do what we fear most. Say, for example, we harbor an intense fear of fire and being burned. Should we really step into a furnace? Probably not if we don’t want to seriously harm our physical bodies. What, though, of the metaphorical furnace?

If we examine the roots of our fears, we can arrive at a greater awareness of self. Sometimes what we fear can seem irrational until we realize why we are harboring it. An intense fear of being burned alive might lead us to a past life in Pompeii. Whereas an over-whelming aversion to speaking in crowds might point us back to circumstances in this lifetime when we were rejected for speaking our truths. There is always an origin to our fears, and it is worth exploring the roots if we want to heal and release that which is holding us back from living fully.

Fears lead to growth, when we allow them to. When we open the door to our fears and fly into them, examining all their nuances as we face them head-on, we can discover the core of our being. We are not here to live small, wrapped in the cloaks of protection that are so easy to don when life presents us with defining moments.

In each moment, we have a choices. We can live in stasis, or we can allow the true self to spread wide our wings and fly. Recently, I have made two choices that I would have shirked in the past. At the end of the month I will be vending at a local Paracon fair, where I will be promoting my new visionary fantasy series for kids and teens, Warriors of Light, and its companion teachings. This takes me out of my comfort zone, but instead of being afraid, I’m filled with excitement.

Next month, I’ll be flying across the pond. My soul is calling me back again to a place that feels like home, but for different reasons than my previous visits. In what might appear like a whim of fancy, there is wrapped within a nest of fears that I have decided to unweave. I have, over my years of self-investigation, discovered that it is not easy for me to receive. As I work with the truth that “I am worthy,” I have begun to allow myself to accept the hands that extend in offer to me. There doesn’t, I have come to realize, have to be a string attached to it, just an open-hearted gratitude to receive the gifts of love.

I have been so utterly amazed by the out-pouring of love that is offered when the heart is open to receive. It is a huge obstacle to overcome when one is used to conditions. Yet, so wonderful to free the tethered heart and fly into trust. I don’t know what I will meet in the hills of Cumbria standing among its ancient stones, but so many hands have extended their offers of love to help lead me there. My husband and children, who without even batting an eyelash, have accepted that I will be gone for a few days. My mother-in-law, who has offered to clear her schedule to be with the teenagers, should they need her, and the pets. And, once again I am amazed, humbled and filled with gratitude for dear friends who live in the land of Albion, some of whom I have only known for a few years. It is one thing to accept the offers of one’s family, it is quite another to accept those of friends and strangers. Yet, I have come to realize how much love there really is in the world. How much abundance housed within our hearts.

So, I am flying into my fears, literally and metaphorically, and instead of trepidation, I feel joy, excitement, and a wellspring of gratitude for all the hands that are lifting me into flight.

What are the fears that are holding you back from flying into joy? Perhaps it’s worth taking a moment of self-reflection and examination to discover what is weighing you down at this moment. Release is often much easier than you might expect.

Wanted: Middle Graders for Online Book Club #warriorsoflight #thelabyrinth #middlegradebookclub

Online Book Club for Middle Graders
Join the journey at https://warriorsoflight.club/ 

 

When I began writing The Labyrinth about six years ago, I had one central question in mind, “How can I help kids and teens live their truths without fear?” As a child who lived in fear of speaking her truths, I have experienced the physical and emotional effects of not living in alignment with your inner truths. I believe the greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of empowerment through unconditional love. When we open up to the realization that our children are here for their own unique purpose, and that it is our job as their caregivers to help honor and nurture their inner gifts, we allow them to bloom into the light of their true selves.

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The six main characters in The Labyrinth are young teens who are at that pivotal point in their lives when their sense of self is being developed. They are learning who they are and how they fit into the larger world around them. As each young warrior of light works through their fears and insecurities inside a magical labyrinth filled with light shadowed by darkness, they begin to unlock the gifts of their true selves. Realizing, in this journey of self-discovery, that they are not only powerful, but a necessary part of the web of light that connects all life.

Warriors of
The characters from the Warriors of Light series are featured as teen teachers of life on the site warriorsoflight.club 

The Labyrinth is available worldwide in print and Kindle formats, and I have developed a companion website for readers who seek to explore its themes for self-empowerment and personal growth. As I work to enhance and expand the teachings of the book series, I am looking for input and engagement from its targeted readership. I’d like to bring together a group of kids & teens between the ages of 10-14 who are interested in exploring life through The Labyrinth in an online book club. Over the course of 7 weeks, we’ll read and discuss the themes and passages from the book that have the greatest impact on them.

Empowering Youth Through The Labyrinth

Some of the topics that are explored in The Labyrinth include:

  • Intuitive guidance
  • Yoga, mindfulness & meditation
  • Working with crystals & stones
  • Animal & spirit guides
  • Energy balancing & protection
  • Overcoming fear
  • Finding & embracing one’s gifts

Our discussions will be used to help develop games, workshops and interactive tools, some of which will be hosted on the warriors of light club website, for kids and teens to explore freely.  In exchange, I will send participants a signed copy of the book, and a uniquely designed chakra pendant. Unfortunately I can only ship within the U.S. due to international shipping costs, but if there is a reader outside the U.S. who wishes to join the book club I’d be happy to reimburse the cost of the book ordered off of Amazon.

If you know a child or teen who might be interested in being a part of this online bookclub, which will be hosted via Zoom, please share this post with their caregivers. I’d like to begin soon after the New Year and hold the online gatherings on Sunday evenings around 7pm EST.

More about The Labyrinth & the Warriors of Light Club

About The Labyrinth:

Six young teens find themselves drawn inside a mysterious labyrinth. They have been told they are the chosen ones, tasked with a mission to repair the broken paths of light in the planet. A darkness, they discover, that is driven by a fear that is as much outside of them as it is inside of them. In order to save themselves and the planet, the young warriors must find the strengths of their inner gifts. Becoming, in the process, warriors of light bound together on a journey of discovery that will take them to hidden places in Earth and within themselves.

Reviews of The Labyrinth from readers: 

“This is a beautifully written book that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates adventurers who work to improve themselves and their situations with courage and intelligence. As characters the youngsters show up well in the various situations they find themselves yet not without having to battle their personal demons. I enjoyed it that the violence was not out of proportion to the story, and that there wasn’t a lot of silly “teen age” behavior. Best of all, I felt was the interesting way the author presented nuggets of he Ancient Wisdom, those principles that guide us to our best selves. I can’t wait to see the next book!” — Tasha Halpert

“The Labyrinth is a beautiful metaphysical journey that will appeal to kids who like fantasy and magic. It has at its core an exploration of our relationship with the Earth, and how we each have a shadow side (our fears) that we must be willing to face in order to understand how we can heal ourselves and our planet. The language is beautiful and accessible, the characters diverse and engaging, and the story invites kids to ponder their place in the larger web of life, without being “preachy”… I deeply appreciate the author’s mission to help kids dive below the surface in an age where it’s easy to get lost in the technological and material world.” — Carol Goff

Warriors of Light.Club:

Warriorsoflight.club, a companion website for the book series, was created to provide children, teens, and their caregivers a free, accessible, and safe environment to explore a deeper awareness of self. A monthly newsletter is offered via the website for youth who seek a community where they feel accepted and honored for embracing their true, unique selves.

 

Alethea Kehas, MFA, RMT, RYT200, owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga, works with people of all ages to discover, heal, and realign with their inner truths. The Labyrinth is her second published book, and she is in the processing of writing book 2 of the Warriors of Light series.