Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Bountiful Year

I will remember 2006 as a beautiful, bountiful year. My heart opened wider. My mind opened wider. My Soul woke up and embraced the world.

The most significant moments were had in Berlin. Walking through the Brandenburg Gate and standing in front of the remaining section of the Berlin Wall.

2 life-changing books crossed my path and altered my perception of reality: The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

I discovered the power of the digital camera.

I discovered the serenity of yoga.

I introduced myself to Buddhism.

I made lots of new friends.

I started honoring my psychic flashes and simmering intuition.

I let go of some people whose time with me had passed.

I found my spiritual home.

I found my right livelihood.

I fell in love with cheese and have begun dating wine.

I laughed more than ever in my life.

I learned to send healing energy through my hands and heart.

I came out of the writer's closet and started a blog.

I fell in love with a 6" tall Italian Pope and swooned at the sound of his native language.

I joined the Pagan Princess Club, the Blasphemy Club, and became an International Vixen of Mystery.

I became more comfortable in my own skin.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my random ramblings in 2006. From first time readers to the known and anonymous regulars, I wish you all the highest possible, best and most loving good in 2007. My heart is full because of your interest and support.

Namaste~ Graciel

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Our Friendly World

The world is populated by wonderful people. Kind people. Loving people. In every corner, in every climate, in every culture. Do not listen to the fickle, fan-flaming media and grandiose governments who wish us to live in fear of each other. Listen instead to the heartbeat of the collective human subconscious that knows unequivocally there is more positive energy than negative. More good stories than bad. More triumph than failure. More similarities than differences. More peace than war.

Every culture breeds fabulous human beings. Every culture harbors more friends than we can possibly enjoy in one lifetime. The glory of our shrinking world is the unlimited opportunities that now exist to share wonder and kindness and love with people who live beyond our own borders and people who move from other parts of the world to within our own borders. It is up to us to take the opportunities. To be open and willing and reciprocal with potential friends from afar. To embrace the swift river of love that flows around the world.

There are dynamic women in England. Helpful men in France. Gracious women in Australia. Intelligent men in Canada. Pick a location, pick a culture, there will be people worth knowing and befriending. French Polynesia, Sweden, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Algeria. Each brimming with big hearts and fast smiles, waiting to be discovered.

The more curious we become about each other, the more time we take to learn from each other, the more we take each other into our hearts, the less illusionary sway will be felt from institutions-of-influence behaving badly. The less we will be inclined to numbly wage war for false reasons. The more we will insist on policies of peace in our cultures, peace in our religions, peace in our corners of the world. Because friends honor friends and love honors love.

The more comfortable we become with the wonderful people of the world, the more friends we will have, the more love we will have, and the more balance we will instill in the soul of our species.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Guardian Angels

Be aware, as you read these words, there is an Angel standing behind you. This Angel is bending over your shoulder to read my blog post. If you are interested in what I have to say, so is your personal Angel. We each have a Guardian Angel assigned directly to us, with interests similar to ours. Even my friend, Doubting Doug, who wants me to disavow my belief in alien life forms, has an Angel by his side throughout his waking moments. He joins his Angels in other planes of existence in his sleeping moments. But don't tell him. Doug's Angel prefers the doubting type. Says he does a better job without Doug's awareness and likely interference. Most of us, however, would be better off knowing we are being guided and assisted at every turn. The Angel over your shoulder is now nodding and smiling .

Guardian Angels take their jobs seriously. Their main objective is to keep us safe and sound. They also do their level best to make us aware of the energy of Love. They are aware of God's blueprint plan for us and work tirelessly to help us stick to that plan. They are the louder voices when the soft, intuitive voice of God is ignored. They are the opener of doorways and the sometimes necessary boot-to-the-butt that gets us over the threshold. They are the invisible arms that cradle us during the dark nights of the soul. They are wayshowers, lightbringers, bastions of compassion and mercy. They are life-long companions. Eternal companions. Proof we are never alone.

Guardian Angels are happiest and most fulfilled in their jobs when we acknowledge their presence in our lives. When we ask for their names. When we make one up if we aren't sure of the answer. When we call on them in good times and bad. When we thank them for their help. When we simply enjoy our lives.

If we spent one conscious week acknowledging our Guardian Angels, our lives would seem to miraculously improve. Less effort would be expended to fulfill our daily rounds. More love would swell in our often weary hearts. Moods would lift. Burdens would lift. Luck would reign upon us. All for the mere price of talking to the invisible. Outloud or telepathically, depending on who's in the room with us.

When we open our hearts and expand our minds, wings rush in to fill the space. Wings of the friendliest kind, the most loving kind, the most loyal kind. Wings that will lift us and steady us along the blueprint path of our lives. Wings that will enfold us and hold us in darkness and light.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I am being admonished to follow my intuition. To really stop and listen to that still, small voice within. To notice the nudges and nuances sprinkled throughout my waking life. I am being admonished to follow this deep well of reason and insight and unfailing guidance in order that I may come to know peace. In order that I may come to know the bare, unwavering strength of myself. In order that I may come to know God as It proclaims Itself through my being.

Intuition is God talking to Itself, guiding Itself and knowing Itself in Its infinitesimal forms. I am God. You are God. As such, we are never alone, never without aid, never without love. We are given instruction for everything we need. We are given the resources to live a unique and prosperous life. The instruction comes in the form of our intuition. The resources become available when we heed our intuition.

Intuition, or the voice of God, is the sudden but calm prompting we feel in our brains or our hearts. The prompting that says in the shower, "no, use the other shampoo today". The prompting that says on the drive to work, "Take the longer route this time". The prompting that says on the way to the station, "don't get on that train". Every prompting, nudge and still, small voice is guidance meant to improve our current circumstance. It is the Energy of Love sending the net to support our daily high wire act.

It is up to each of us to listen to and heed the guidance. We must make our own net appear. This takes practice. It takes noticing the voice and the nudge. And then it takes action, regardless of how potentially unreasonable the voice and the nudge may seem. With each successive action taken based on a voice and a nudge, and the resulting improved circumstance, we learn to trust our intuition. Eventually, we will stop and listen, even for half a beat, before embarking or deciding on anything. Because the voice of God has an opinion on everything. Always, always, a positive, life-affirming opinion.

When at first we heed and follow our intuition, resistance from outside sources will likely appear. Other people will doubt our decisions. They will do their best to dissuade us, to thwart us. Especially if they are deaf to their own intuitive promptings. We must not listen to them. We must not not change our course or direction or hesitation. Instead, we must the have the courage to follow God's tailor-made guidance for us, as individuals. Our lives are not about following the direction of others. Our lives are all about following our inner, intuitive direction.

Peace and inner strength and more prosperous lives are ours for the listening. Ours for the heeding and acting. Ours for the small price of being still, and knowing God is with us and in us.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Papal Christmas Blessings

Pope Innocent the 3rd's Christmas wish came true. He feels blessed beyond reason and deservability. It turns out the Pope wasn't asking St. Nick for a Harley or a plane ticket to Rome or a puppy or even an end to world hunger. Instead, he was asking and hoping and praying for a Spotted Dick. My voice went up an octave when I said, "You asked for a Spotted Dick for Christmas?? I hope you had the sense to ask for penicillin as well!"

It turns out the Pope meant his favorite British delicacy, not an STD. Good Lord. We now have 12 cans of raisin-studded pudding in the cupboard. When you're 6" tall, that's a lot of pudding. Not to worry, the Pope told me. He never gets sick of eating Spotted Dick.

Froliche Weihnachten!

I enjoy being first generation German at Christmastime. There's always chocolate covered marzipan. Baked goods fit to be served at the gates of heaven. A big Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. And real candles on the tree.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Pope and The Saint

It was Kismet. Fate. The goodest of Luck. It was a red-velvet day. A banner day. A what-are-the-chances day. It was Sunday last when the Pope and me were out early at the market, shopping for flowers and cheese and a can of spam, when what to our wondering eyes did appear... But Saint Nicholas and his lovely bride, buying carrots for the reindeer.

Pope Innocent was so out-of-this-world excited to see his favorite Saint, he fainted and fell into our handbasket, right on top of the stinky-foot cheese. Luckily, the offensive odor revived him immediately. He stood up on the spam and began shouting, "Nicky, Nicky, over here. It's me, Inny!!" Right there, among the fruits and the nuts, the Pope and the Saint had a glorious reunion.

We snapped a quick photo with Nick and the Mrs, and the Pope gave his rather lengthy list of must-haves for Christmas. At one point, in the seemingly endless list, that jolly old elf blushed like a school boy. I was instantly worried Innocent was not living up to his name in his requests, and I turned to apologize to the Mrs for possible transgressions into the sex-toy department. It turns out, Mrs. Claus is hipper than we all knew. She winked at me and said, "Who do you think puts the tingle in Santa's jingle?" Well, now.

I finally had to wrestle Innocent off Nick's lap and let the couple finish their shopping in peace. When asked what my Christmas wish was, I hemmed and hawed and thought to ask for world peace. But instead, I was honest and said, "Viggo Mortensen, dressed in paint-splattered jeans and nothin' else". Mrs. Claus gave me a high five.

I hope there'll be room under the Christmas tree for the Pope's mother-lode. He won't even give me a hint as to what he asked for. As for me, I'm putting a tree on my nightstand, mistletoe on my headboard and a brick of Danish cheese under my pillow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Everyday Miracles

I do not need state-of-the-art miracles. I do not need raising-the-dead miracles. I do not need lead to turn to gold, nor do I need bodies of water to part or be tread upon. To know that God exists, to know that I am a part of the great I AM, I need only everyday miracles.

Miracles are everywhere. They are mine and yours for the taking, the observing and the pleasuring in. The wing of a butterfly, the flight of a bird, the cleansing function of a liver, the purr of a cat, the muscles in the face that allow for a smile, the internet and the laugh of a child. Each one a miracle and an ordinary wonder of the world. If I am awake and aware, I find my life is crowded with miracles. Crowded with unbelievable creations and beauty and majesty. The most amazing thing about everyday miracles is this: the more I notice them and express my gratitude for them, the more miracles I become privy to.

This past April, while touring the streets of Berlin, I came upon a fleamarket. As I entered the grounds, I stated quietly to myself I would like to find for sale, a handwritten, German letter in one of the market stalls. In the first row, an older German man walked to the front of his stall as I approached. Without a word, he held a piece of folded paper out to me. He motioned for me to take it. I opened it up to find it was a handwritten, German letter dated 1904. I laughed and reached for my wallet to pay for it, and through interpretation, he said it was his gift to me. It was more than a gift from a complete stranger, it was synchronicity and telepathy and a stunning collision of higher forces working with ordinary means. It was a bona-fide everyday miracle.

There is no special season for miracles. No special occasion for miracles. No special key that will unlock the miracle vault. There is only my eyes and ears and lips and hands and heart and willingness to give and receive the miracles gifted by God everyday.

Thank you for your comments!

Yesterday, my friend, Lowell, told me he left a comment on my blog, but it needed my approval before it would appear. What??? Needed my approval? Holy cripe, I had no idea I needed to do that. So just now, I went into my "moderate comments" section of the Blogger dashboard and lordy, Lowell was right. There were 14+ comments going back to October waiting for my okay. How embarassing.

I clicked the appropriate buttons and now all hidden comments are revealed. And, lucky me, blessed me, they are all so kind and supportive. I wish to thank each person who left a comment about my writing or photos. I'm honored by your words. I especially wish to thank Pisces Project, dispenser of wisdom and truth. (I'm most sorry about not knowing your comments for this length of time...)

Shortly, I will be investigating each blog-site of those who have investigated mine. Again, gracious thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. In my world, Christmas just came early.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Great Equalizers

Today an acquaintance said to me, "Boy, you sure know how to work a room". He was commenting on a conversation he had overheard between me and a stranger. A conversation where I spoke to the stranger as if she were my friend. As if we spoke on a regular basis. The conversation was comfortable, funny and a mission was accomplished by the time we were finished speaking. Yes, there are times I can work a room. I can work it when I remember to approach people as if we are equals. And we are.

There is not one person I can think of that is more important than me. There is not one person you can think of that is more important than you. Exclusionary religious beliefs are the brain-children of small minds, but those small minds have the same importance and the same value as the sects, colors and genders they would deem inferior. In the workplace, the manager is the same as the janitor. No one is better or more worthy than another. We are actually all the same. How can I say this? Two words.

Blood and piss. ~ The great equalizers of humanity.

Underneath all the labeling, the name calling, the civil warring, the postulating, and the tiring prejudices, we are the same flesh and bone. Blood must flow. Urine must excrete. We are all designed the same. We are all birthed the same. And death will come to all of us. No label or name or discriminating thought will ever change this common bond. The heart of a Muslim or homosexual or Pagan or addict beats exactly the same as the others'. We all share a common core essence. The energy expended to dispel this inalienable truth continues to be the downfall of humanity.

We are all here on this plane of existence to learn. No one person's lessons are more important than another's. Every lesson is about letting more love into our lives. About honoring ourselves so we may honor others. About comprehending the sameness and glory and sheer beauty of our species. All the while we are learning and letting, honoring and comprehending, hearts are beating and bladders are emptying.

By nature of our very well-thought-out bodily design, we are rendered equals. Our common bond is sealed. When we remember this and act on this, there is no room we cannot work. There is no friend we cannot make. There is no mission of love we cannot accomplish.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Postcard From Tibet

I was beginning to feel abandoned. Left out. Left Behind, in a non-Christian Fundamentalist way. I was beginning to pout and reduce my Christmas list by one. Until today. At long last,I received a postcard from Tibet. It was signed by Pope Innocent the 3rd, my 6" tall side-kick and traveling companion. The postcard was tattered and slightly smeared from its lengthy journey, but the teeny-tiny handwriting was still legible. And the excitement was palpable.

After Pope Innocent's encounter with his Homey Lama, aka Dalai, back in September at the University of Buffalo, he made immediate plans to go on an extended Buddhist retreat in Tibet. To expand his mind, enlighten his soul, and spend time in the company of other men who live their lives in dresses. Innocent confided in me before I dropped him off at the airport back in October, that he hoped to find out the Buddhist Monks went commando under their robes. He felt his own choice of hanging free in the breeze would surely get him a ticket into the sacred Buddhist Brotherhood, where "comfort and simplicity" are the wardrobe mantras. Judging by the length of time he's been gone, the Brotherhood buys no stock in Fruit of the Loom.

The Pope wrote to me about learning Qigong, the power of concentrated awareness. About sitting in meditation for 1/2 days and full days. About chanting the Heart Sutra with its emphasis on selflessness and impermanence. About walking the path of the Bodhisattvas, those enlightened, genderless Beings.

I sensed great enthusiasm from the Pope's postcard about the wealth of spiritual knowledge he's gained from the Brotherhood. But to my secret delight, I also sensed homesickness. He plans to be home for Christmas, with a sack full of colorful presents from Tibet. His postcard postscript asked me to clear some space in the creche for his new-found lady love, Kuan-yin. Evidently, he wants his Goddess of Mercy to sit in contemplation beside the manger. He claims she's a good friend of his Beloved Mary. (I might have to put a cow or two out to pasture to accomodate another guest in the creche.)

Now that the Pope will be back in residence for the holidays, I find myself chanting the universal mantra of love and compassion, OM MANI PADME HUNG, to the tune of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas". And I can finish the last of my Christmas shopping. A gift certificate, for the Pope, to the Tatoo and Piercing Parlor on Elmwood Avenue. I'm placing bets he chooses the snow lion, symbol of fearless joy, for his bicep and an OM for his butt cheek. As for the piercing, I won't even venture a guess as to where he wants to dangle Kuan-yin.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Coincidence is defined as "an accidental occurrence of events or ideas at the same time". There is no such thing. Events or ideas that appear to be tied together by an invisible string and dangled into our waking lives are not accidents. They are not meer coincidences to be dismissed as unexplainable quirks in the space-time continuum. What we may call a coincidence is actually the voice of God speaking to us, attempting to get our attention and send us an important message. A message that could very well change our lives.

Think of coincidental events and happenings as a road map. A bread-crumb trail. A pathway to a better, more fulfilling life. God is constantly speaking to each of us, leading us down the road, the trail, or the path towards opportunities that would make us infinitely more blissful and balanced. Infinitely more healthy and wealthy. If we would only pay attention. If we would only acknowledge God's subtle language with a response. If we would only muster up the courage to set foot on the road, the trail, or the path that opens up before us when faced with a synchronistic meeting of ideas or people or events.

Next time you think of someone out of the blue and 2 hours later run into them at the gas station or Target, have the courage to approach them and start a conversation. Especially if starting that conversation feels uncomfortable. There is something important that each person has to say to the other. Some puzzle piece or bread crumb that each person holds for the other's life path. Somehow, the other person will have an answer or idea or tidbit of wisdom to bestow that will be more than timely. God loves to speak to us through each other and will arrange often-unlooked-for meetings to get Its message delivered. To lead us to better lives. However, we are regularly so engrossed in our mundane routines that we miss the connections or simply dismiss the opportunities and chance meetings as unimportant.

Every coincidental happening is important. If suddenly images of polar bears are everywhere we turn, or a book is mentioned to us 3 times in one week or a person stays stuck in our minds, don't dismiss this. Follow it. We must keep our eyes and ears wide open. We must ask God for clarity on what that bear or book or person has to tell us that applies to our lives right now. We must take action to get the answers. Google polar bears, read the book or contact the person. One tiny spark of information that comes from that source will impact our lives. Always for our betterment. Always for our highest good.

When we become awake to all the "coincidences" that happen to us every day of every year, when we dare, through conscious action, to follow the map laid out before us, our lives will improve. Our self-esteem will improve. Our hearts will lighten and we will feel what it is to lay in the palm of God's loving Hand.

{This post has been brought to you by a new computer, dressed in black, complete with a sexy, slim 17" monitor. Happy Holidays to me!}

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


There is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Each act of kindness that flows through the heart, hand and mind of a human being, birthing itself into the world, is a miracle. Is a gift. Is a pebble dropped in the center of a pond. An act of kindness is an opportunity for more light and goodness and love to be showered on the world, even a tiny corner of it. This is no small thing.

An act of kindness can change the life of the recipient. It can bring hope into despair, light into darkness. It can shift and open the mind of the recipient in ways that are unknowable prior to the act. It can be the long-awaited seed that nestles in the soil of a barren heart and gently coaxes a life into bloom.

An act of kindness can be as simple as listening to someone who is usually overlooked. As simple as making eye contact and smiling. As simple as a sincere compliment. It can be a plate full of homemade cookies or a warm hand placed on a spine. Whatever the chosen act of kindness, it is a statement that honors the value and inherent worthiness of the recipient. It affirms and confirms the they are deserving of peace and joy, love and help. It is a tip-of-the-hat to the God-essence within them.

Vow to be a bringer of miracles into the world. Vow to give more gifts that money can't buy. Vow to drop more pebbles into more ponds. Vow to be kind at every possible turn. To yourself, to your loved ones, to your neighbors, to the woman who passes you on the down escalator as you are riding up. There are no small acts of kindness. And there is no small need for more of them.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Only Truth

It's so easy to focus on the annoying, disappointing and seemingly wrong behavior exhibited in our friends and relations. It's so easy to find fault. It's so easy to blame. It's so easy to take the low road with sweeping judgments. It's time we collectively take the high road and focus on the good behavior, the kind behavior of our friends and relations. Even if it is rarely exhibited. Even if it is regularly sunk beneath the muck of fear. Because what we focus on, what we choose to hold in our minds regarding ourselves, our friends and our relations has the power to call forth the best or the worst. The truth or the falseness. The love or the not-love.

I once struck up a friendship with a European man. We came to know each other through correspondence. His letters were kind and respectful and fascinating. He opened up a new world for me with his European viewpoint and approach to life. I believe I did the same for him. We eventually met and spent a glorious day together, talking non-stop as if we were old friends. His presence felt so comfortable. So wonderful. We met again and again and again. Eventually, fears arose and the meetings became less comfortable and more stressful. Then they stopped and our friendship hung in mid-air, waiting for definition and clarification. It never came.

Although I'm not fond of unfinished business and even less fond of heartache, I have chosen to remember and focus on the original kindness and old-friend-comfort whenever he crosses my mind. Because that's who this man is. I witnessed the truth of this person. I witnessed the love he carries in his heart. Everything else I might have witnessed is false. Everything else is love suppressed by fear. Everything else is an illusion I choose not to focus on. This choice may never bring resolution to our stunted friendship, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I hold the best possible version of this man in my heart and mind. This will help to empower him and me to move forward in our lives and be less fearful with future friends and relations.

Love is our only truth. Everything else is false. Is an illusion. Is the antithesis of who we are. The cranky pants, the lies, the hurtful words, the indifference~ we are not those things, those behaviors. We are not our fears, no matter how often and how strongly they arise. We are pure love at the core of our being. We are kindness and respect. We are compassion and caring. We are better than we think we are. Our friends and relations are better than we sometimes give them credit for. Let's choose to focus on the goodness and the love we have witnessed in each other. Let's call forth our collective best. Let's be the truth that will heal and empower the world.