A few minutes on the patio

I like to forget time for at least a few moments each day. Outside, with my camera (and Zelda), I sit and watch the world unfold around me.

Zelda rolling with Joy in the sun.

Under the apple tree, I find the refuge of peace and stillness. Abundance enfolds me in a canopy of green.

Summer's green fruit ripens in abundance

Summer’s green fruit ripens in abundance.

And peaks its orange bloom past the bars of the gate. Nothing can hold it back, it seems.

The color of creation

The color of creation.

Nature, I have always found, plays the game of life much better than I do, moving easily with the unspoken rhythm.

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Bird acrobatics.

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Truth balanced on a branch.

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If you look closely, you can see the elementals zipping by.

Messages abound when we care to see them. Not everything is obvious. Sometimes we have to expand our vision and look with new eyes. That’s were the hidden gifts are found.

My eyes see the image of an owl.

My eyes see the image of an owl.

 

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Unity, Peace and Diversity: Part Two

A wonderful post about the importance of unity:

This lovely space in Glastonbury, on a damp July Sunday, became, for a magical hour or so, a place of sanctuary. I would love to think that the energy built yesterday will extend that feeling of in…

Source: Unity, Peace and Diversity: Part Two

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Gardening for the Mind, Body & Spirit

My friend Ginny, who incidentally inspired the idea for this post, told me she “grows vegetables to nourish her body and flowers to nourish her soul.” Tending to her ornamental gardens is a meditative act for Ginny, while growing vegetables instills in her an appreciation for the harvest that will nourish her body.

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I believe gardening can feed both the body and the soul, as it does for Ginny. The very act of growing and nurturing life is inherently spiritual, and can be a healing balm to our entire being. All of our senses are brought to life when we garden with awareness. The eyes feast on the rainbow of hues that nature offers, adding regeneration and balance to the energy centers in our body, or chakras, which vibrate to the color frequencies seen in the natural world. For example, when we gaze at the abundance of green leaves in the spring, which erupt out of the gray of winter’s dormancy, the heart chakra is awakened. A bold daisy with its yellow center, in turn, reminds us that we hold the sun within our solar plexus and the power to live with courage and joy.

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Actively participating in the planting, care and harvesting of life nurtures our own creative center, which is held within our lower abdomen, our second chakra, and vibrates in the color of orange. We are all creative beings, which is most likely one of the many reasons so many of us love to garden. At the end of the growing season, when we reap the rewards of our harvest from the food we planted, we bring the wonderment of the life we helped to create into our own bodies for nourishment and enjoyment.

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Another friend of mine, Becca, gardens barefoot, and when she told me this I thought, Could there possibly be a better way? When our naked feet touch bare ground, we find balance, stimulating our root chakra and grounding us to Earth. Our bodies are of the Earth, and sometimes in the bustle of our daily lives we forget this. When we dig our hands in dirt to plant and weed, we re-establish a primal, and I believe, an essential reconnection with Earth.

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It’s difficult to deny the joy that can be found through gardening. When we are surrounded by the blissful fragrance of blooms, such as May lilacs, our instinct is to breathe fully, through our noses, to take in the full bounty of their aromas. Our eyes cannot help but admire, in turn, the purple star-like clusters that form a glorious array. And, if we sit in stillness for a few moments with our senses open, we often find ourselves in the state of joy-filled presence. This presence opens up our higher chakras, bringing us to a state of spiritual connection to the life-force energy that flows within us and in nature.

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Gardening is also wonderful way to clear the troubled mind and heart. You’ve probably come across one of those popular sayings about gardening being the best therapist. Those of us who garden can attest to its truth. When we garden, especially with the intent to nurture life, we do just that. We heal. We grow. We rebirth with the plants we tend to each spring.

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When I was going though my spiritual awakening, I found refuge in gardening. Pulling up rocks and tearing up patches of lawn satisfied my primal need for release. The over-flow of repressed emotions I had long held inside erupted into the creation of new life as I brought order to chaos. The Earth, ever-forgiving, offered herself to my hands, which needed to pull and destroy, but also to rebuild. Where patchy grass once spread an uneven mat of green, I soon had walls of rocks encircling irises and lilies given to me by my mother, the source of such much of my inner turmoil. Later, I added roses, which reminded me of the grandmother I hadn’t seen since the summer day I said goodbye to her when I was twelve and flew three thousand miles away for the last time. Now, years later, I still seek balance in my gardens. The plants I help to grow offer me refuge, and a place of beautiful abundance where I can find peace and joy.

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Gardening, with its cyclical process of life and death, can remind us that we are also continually growing and rebirthing ourselves. As we allow our old ways of being to die off to the new, just as the pepper plant offers its green fleshy heart for nourishment before its stalks return to the detritus of Earth each fall. The seeds inside offering the promise of new life, a new harvest of creation in the spring.

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The Eyes of an Elephant: A Plea for Help Fundraiser

Last night I woke around 2 in the morning because the sensor light in my daughter’s room was on. Finding her sound asleep, I touched the lamp to turn it off and went back to bed, but could not fall back to sleep. As I closed my eyes, an image of the elephant exhibit at the Oregon Zoo popped into my head, a place I had visited each year as a child when I would go west to see my birthfather.

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Elephant in Captivity at Oregon Zoo. A haunting sight/A haunted site

Soon images of elephants held in captivity for human entertainment filled my mind. And I saw their eyes. Have you ever looked into an elephant’s eyes and read the story they tell? Try it. You will be forever changed. I can recall that day, 6 years ago, when I took my children to the Oregon Zoo and looked into this elephant’s eyes pictured above and read sorrow. I was filled with guilt. What was I doing? What were we all doing? What had we collectively done to these wise beings?

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Born into Captivity

Elephants are highly intelligent animals. Their eyes and the wisdom they hold, remind me of the eyes of whales. It is widely known and accepted that elephants are deeply empathic creatures who hold the family unit as sacred. They form bonds with others, including humans who show them compassion, which stretch beyond their individual lifetimes. Their psychic connections, along with their ability to remember, surpasses our own. When you look into an elephant’s eyes, you get the impression that you will be remembered long after you leave. You, if you are aware of what you are seeing, will never forget the experience. You will be forever changed.

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They Eye of an Elephant: National Geographic photograph by Jodi Cobb

Several weeks ago, while sitting in meditation, the image of that elephant held behind those bars at the Oregon Zoo returned to me. I saw only its eyes and this time I read their plea for help. I had no choice but to remember. Until, once again, I tried to forget.

Sometimes we seek out messengers, sometimes they come to us. Often, these messengers are animals. We all have guides, or totem animals, who help us along at various stages of our life journeys, and sometimes we are asked to give help in return. In the early hours of this morning, I found myself struggling with the messenger who had come to me again. With the same plea, “Help me.”

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An Unnatural Habitat

 

Later this morning, I went online and found the organization In Defense of Animals, which is committed to elephant rights and protection. I have set up donation page dedicated to this cause, and am offering, in return, a 30 minute energy healing or intuitive reading session (remote or in-person) in return. My goal is to raise at least $1,000. Please consider making a donation in any about. The organization is committed to helping elephants and the various animal rights and rescue causes. Click here to join me in this cause.  For more information on my healing and intuitive services, please visit my website Inner Truth Healing.  When you set up an appointment with me, please let me know you are participating in this fundraiser. Thank you.

 

 

 

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Copy-Editing and Ghostwriting

If there is anyone out there in the WordPress blogging community who is in need of either a Copy Editor, or a Ghostwriter, could you contact me on the blog? I offer both services – and now wa…

Source: Copy-Editing and Ghostwriting

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The Hunt of Desire

The journey of the queen continues with the hunt…

 

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There was a time, perhaps a very long time as we like to measure it, when Guinevere was both the huntress and the hunted. As a mortal woman, she desired to be loved and to love, and she fought these wild yearnings of her body until she gave way to the truth of her heart. Until the Fae within could be recognized as a part of herself, the fair queen gave herself over to the hunt. Men, of which there were many, bared swords in battle to win her heart. The lucky ones, those who were most valiant and pleasing to her eyes, she welcomed into her chamber, not knowing that she would end up becoming imprisoned.

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For many years, when she was young and fair, Guinevere let herself be consumed by the hunt, thinking that this was love. Love became, to her, a passion of the body, its fire burning only so long as there was tinder feed it. Hungry knights and their pleasing gifts were consumed by her desire until they were thrown away, charred and humbled by a fickle heart that was never satiated. The beautiful queen cast aside her king, and many a brave and nobel knight, allowing herself, as she did, to become pray to more dubious pursuers. The fate of many who get caught up in the hunt.

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Time, as it will, took over the hunt, and Guinevere found herself its prisoner. She grew bored with change and its endless cycles. Age marred the pleasing visages of those who pursued her, and now, when she looked in the mirror, she saw a pattern of lines and found she didn’t like the history they traced. The births of her womb only served to repeat the maddening cycle.

Is this all there is? she asked.

When Guinevere looked around her chamber, she saw walls and a locked door. The men who had hunted her barred the doors, those who still pursued her, hacked away at an unforgiving bolt.

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This is not life, Guinevere decided, and she walked woefully towards the gated window and looked at the fertile land beyond. Spring lambs dotted the green expanse, and a soft rain fell from the veil of clouds above. Guinevere found herself taking deep breaths as wind blew into her chamber, and something inside of her began to open.

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The Fae within, dormant for many years, awakened, and Guinevere’s dulled eyes began to shine with new life. The heart, so long contained within her chest, began to beat a wild rhythm. As her head turned to greet the rising sun breaking through the clouds, Guinevere’s eyes caught upon her reflection in the mirror hanging on the wall of her sleeping chamber. For a moment, she let herself notice the creases around her eyes and upon her forehead, and the sigh that escaped her lips was not so much the sound of sadness as it was of relief.

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I have lost nothing but time, the queen whispered, and a smiled began to turn the corners of her mouth. Her hands clasped the iron that bars of the window of her chamber, and she shook them with a vigor that both startled and delighted her. How easily they give way, she exclaimed before she pushed her body through the narrow opening and flew towards the fertile land beyond.

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The Face of a Queen

 

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Legends tell of a queen of great beauty. Guinevere, thought by some to be part mortal, part Fae, a queen who seduced hearts and intoxicated the eyes. Her beauty drew admiration to be sure, of this there appears to be no doubt, but was there more beneath the surface? A greater passion born of the soul that sparks light. For legends also tell of a queen of not just man, but of the land. There is talk of a presence that is of the goddess and a marriage to the landscape, as though her fertile body nurtured the life of not just sons, but a country.  In this, she is much more than a mere woman, a queen of unsurpassed beauty that is more that just what one perceives on the surface.

In some ways it seemed perfect that I had been given this role, not because I consider myself a great beauty, as you will see, but because of my love for the land and for my connection to the fairy realm. I am a romantic at heart, and the idea of playing the role of this legendary queen brought back childhood fantasies, but it also brought back fears, also deeply rooted in childhood.

I was relieved, I confess, to see how few lines I would have to speak, daunted by the thespians I knew, by reputation only, who would be glorious in their given roles. Of course, as these rituals are meant to, I was thrown out of my comfort-zone when I was given, after the first act was completed, a role with no previously seen script. Suddenly I was thrown, literally and figuratively into the hunt. I was not only a desirable queen, but a the prey of man in animal form. I was Guinevere and also the boar.

The boar? I thought when I first drew the card. Why? It had never come to me before as a messenger, or had it? I could not, of course, be sure. An ugly animal, I thought, and not very exciting. Here my preconceived notions began to run the circuits of my mind until I turned the card over and read the script. Okay, I had to admit. It was perfect. For me. For Guinevere, who, like the boar, walks between two worlds.

And, I soon learned, if I was to not only play the roles, but become the roles I was assigned, to the best of my abilities, it would take courage. A certain courage that can perhaps be best learned by the boar. This ugly animal that slowly became beautiful to my eyes.

This post, in many ways, comes down to beauty, and our preconceived, learned and unlearned notions of what true beauty is. Beauty is a subjective feature we often assign upon first glimpse. When I looked at the image on my 5 pound bank note, the thought that took form in my mind was, She’s rather ordinary for a queen. In contrast, when I googled images of actresses who have played queens, in particular, Guinevere, I saw great beauty, upon first glance. Yet, I also noted the efforts that went into, for some, to create this illusion.

When Sue, one of the directors of the Silent Eye School, sent me this (very close-up) photograph that had been taken of my face while I was outside waiting in the cold to enact a final ritual, I thought, Ugh! Look at that chin!

Instead of beauty, which she insisted she saw, my eyes fixated on a chin that bore a history that was often uncomfortable. I recalled my husband’s off-hand comment many years ago, that compared my cleft-chin to an unsavory body part, and realized I was still harboring the hurt from his insensitive words. I rooted deeper into the discomfort, urged on by the energy of boar, and discovered that a chin I had once thought cute and unique as a child, also came with an uncomfortable history. An unspoken connection to a stepfather that liked to take ownership for traits that he also shared. The cleft chin, the blue, blue eyes. And, I realized, a dirty family secret had also soiled my perception of self.

As I looked at the photograph Sue sent me, I wanted to pull the mask  of boar that hid the forehead that reminded me of my birthfather, the one that could more honestly lay claim to my features, over my chin. It didn’t look at all cute to me, it looks pronounced and ugly. While I was at it, I might as well admit I didn’t care for the smile lines that spoke of age around my eyes.

No, to be sure, I didn’t see a great beauty. But, sometimes, when I look in the mirror, and at a rare photograph of myself, I allow myself to see beauty. I find that it is easier to bask in the soft light that may surround a mirror and take stock, privately, of what you have grown to love about yourself. Realizing, in that personal moment, that you have chose this face, this body, for a reason. And, in that distilled essence, there is beauty. There is perfection.

I believe it is too easy to adopt false notions of perfection. We are surrounded by unachievable ideals. Airbrushed faces and bodies sculpted by an excess of diet and exercise, and the nip and tuck of surgery. We compare these images to ourselves and see the creases in our skin, the bulges of fat instead of muscles. Sometimes we also go to extremes, plucking and coloring hairs to hide what nature intended, buying expensive make-up to conceal and enhance , while paying for expensive and risky surgeries to shape our bodies into something artificial.

So, perhaps we would be better served to ask ourselves not how can I achieve perfection (0r rather my ideal of perfection), but how can I love imperfection (0r my idea of imperfection) in myself and others? I find that when I first look at someone, I still see their outer features and make a judgement upon my own perception of beauty, but quickly this changes. Beauty blossoms into something wonderful and great when a brilliant light shines within. True sensuality is expressed in the woman, perhaps deemed by most too old to be a sexy, who has learned what it means to love and be loved, especially the self.

There is something to be said about taking away the mask we hide behind and truly look at what lies beneath. And, as we do so, to see beauty in all its imperfectly, perfect forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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