Monday, April 30, 2007

Saving Grace

Dear Pisces Project~

I found her. Right where you said she would be, beyond the fear. Instinct told me, the best place to find her was off the beaten trail, trespassing in the woods with her digital camera. Trillium were everywhere, carpeting the leaf litter from last year. Sunshine, cool breezes, trees, woodpeckers, chipmunks, 3 kinds of butterflies and singing cardinals. Enough wildflowers to fill Heaven. And no one else in sight.

Peace came.
Peace came.
Peace came.

All photographs copyright(c)2007 Graciel

Saving Grace part 2

All photographs copyright(c)2007 Graciel

The Red Trillium

All photographs copyright(c)2007 Graciel

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Watch This...Pass It On

The Mission

Where has she gone? Where is her passion, her drive, her full flaming heart? Where is the Woman who loves love and believes in world peace? Where is the Daughter of Nature who lays with her chest against the new April grass and exchanges heart beats with the Great Mother? Where is the Champion of a woman's right to free self expression? Where is the Artist, the Lover, the Advocate for trees? Where is the Writer and Thinker and dependable Friend? Where is the Woman who talks with Faeries and meditates and knows there is more to this world than meets the eye?

She is lost. Lost under grey skies and dirty floors and lack of time for dreaming the not-so-impossible dream. She is lost to the energy drain of working for others. She is lost to the sadness of empty rooms and empty hands.

My only mission is to find her. The only way to find her is to love her. The only way to love her is listen to the cries of her heart. To make time for her dreams. To help her remember that God is the fullness of heart, hand and home.

To Risk

William Arthur Ward, "To Risk"

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing is nothing.
She may avoid suffering and sorrow, But she cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by her servitude she is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.

Monday, April 23, 2007

April Walk


The physical environment within our homes contributes to the quality of our lives. We are constantly involved in an energy exchange with the things we choose to live with. The quality and the energy have to do with our reaction to the things we bring in and keep in our environment. Every object either lifts us up or weighs us down. Stagnates us or sets us free. Enriches us or depletes us. If we love something or need something, it contributes positive energy to our daily lives. If we don't like something, are indifferent to it, or if we're hoarding something out of fear, it serves as an energy drain. That drain contributes to ill health, ill thoughts and lack-luster lives. To increase our energy, boost our health and uncover the missing luster, we can choose to change the atmosphere within our homes. We can choose to get rid of the crap.
Crap is defined as: clothes that are stuffing closets that haven't been worn in 2 years. ( We are either too fat, too thin, or we never liked the rags from the get-go). Magazines in piles, read and unread. (We can live without the uptight recipes from Martha's kitchen. There simply aren't enough hours in the day). The lamp or the vase or the drippy picture of butterflies that Aunt Evelyn gave us for our wedding or that milestone birthday. ( Since when do we need to live with Aunt Evelyn's taste, especially when it is not ours? We'll tell her the vase was victimized by the cat). Receipts from 10 years ago, books we will never read again, kitchen appliances dead in the back of the cabinet, slivers of soap neatly stored under the bathroom sink. Crap is anything that serves no purpose, does not enhance our lives and takes up valuable space in our limited space.
Often we feel paralyzed when facing the daunting task of getting rid of our crap. We have so much, we'll never get through it all, Aunt Evelyn will be mad at me... and on the excuses go. Where do we start? We start with one closet. One cabinet. One drawer. One cluttered counter top. We make a small commitment and go forth from there. We look carefully at each object and ask if it makes us happy. We consider if we truly need it. We reclaim our space, one small effort at a time. We surround ourselves with only things that we love, and that serve our higher good. We recycle, donate and remove the rest.
Harmony and happiness and good health lie beneath the clutter and crap. We must take charge of our personal environments. We must make them a true reflection of our goodness and worth. We must let the positive energy we deserve flow freely in our homes if we want it to flow freely in our lives.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bless the World

I subscribe to the idea that thoughts and words have power, that thoughts and words create reality. Both individual and collective realities. My world, my reality is a tapestry of thoughts and ideas I have repeated to myself over and over. My world is reinforced, torn down or built anew based on self-talk, as well as mental and verbal declarations. As I think, so shall I be. In the beginning was the Word. Argue with me all you want, but the exact same principle applies to you. It also applies to the world at large.

The human world, in its current delicate state, is a tapestry of agreed-upon thoughts, beliefs and declarations. The prolific "ain't it awful" diatribe heard in every office building, every shopping mall, every sports bar, and every diner, to say nothing of the private home, is a contributing factor to the chaos the world is currently in. Negativity, pessimism, hopelessness, and prejudice are powerful creative forces we are all collectively, and unknowingly unleashing on the world. Our individual private worlds, and the world as a whole.

What do we do to take back our power, to strengthen the state of human affairs, to save the world from human blight? We start talking. We start declaring positive, optimistic, hopeful and unbiased words to each other and to ourselves. We take back our power by thinking more carefully before we speak. By refusing to engage in the "ain't it awful" conversations. By choosing not to slander races and religions and regions of the planet we know nothing about.

What else do we do to save the world and save ourselves? We ask the God of our choice to intervene on our behalf and the behalf of any situation that concerns us. We speak the command, we ask to receive, we invoke through our thoughts and our words the most powerful Force in existence.

Worried about the current, chaotic direction of the United States of America? Ask God to bless America. Ask it over and over without insisting on how that blessing is to be doled-out and received. Worried about the devastation and death and war in Iraq? Ask God to bless Iraq. Ask every single day. Ask passionately. Ask without condition. Let God invoke the ways and means to support the Iraqi people in a dignified, sustainable and loving manner. Let our collective, powerful words assist in the creation of stability in the cradle of civilization.

Concerned about the ethnic cleansing in Darfur? Ask God to bless Darfur. Concerned about the child sex-slave trade in Cambodia? Ask God to bless Cambodia. Don't despair, don't feel helpless, don't give up. Use the power at hand in your living room in Topeka, in Liverpool, in New Dehli, in Santiago. Use the power of thought and the spoken word to assist in the creation of a more loving reality for the human race. Speak to uplift. Speak to rebuild. Speak to bless the world.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Great Madness

I have moments of madness. Lengthy minutes of self doubt. Blinding flashes of crumbling confidence. In the madness, I am paralyzed. Wings are severed from my body. Blood pulses at a deafening pace. Hope and reason are seemingly lost.

In the madness, the familiar madness, I have learned to pray. I have learned to remove myself from the opinions of others and convalesce in the presence of God. We meet most often on the floor, with a lavender blanket and a cup of tea. On the floor, wrapped in the blanket, I sit and ask for guidance. I sit and listen. I simply sit.

In the convalescent silence, madness meets its doom. Wings are reattached. Blood quietly flows. God whispers to my quiet mind of hope and reason and great truth. God reminds me that my truth is different from the truth of others and that the secret of bliss, the secret of inner peace, lies in heeding the taylor-made guidance for me. The guidance that says, my heart alone has the answers to my questions. My heart alone has the direct link to God's atlas for my path and its quality. My heart alone is the only opinion that matters in matters of my life, my love and my bliss.

And so it is with you. Sit through the madness. Care not for the opinions of others. Allow the presence of God, the whispers of God, to direct your truth and your life. Feel your wings unfurl and allow the moment-to-moment bliss you richly deserve. There beyond the great madness, there beyond the self doubt, in the presence of God we will meet. All truths will be honored, all hearts confirmed, all wings will have strength to fly.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Vote For Inspiration

It seems my friend, Polli, had nominated my blog for the "Best Inspirational Blog of 2006". Go figure, I made the top 10. Now the voting begins. To be honest, I don't know what this all means. But Polli has such faith in my writing and I want to honor her trust in me. So, could you please help this endeavor and click on the above link? Scroll down to the 3rd category, Inspirational Blogs, and click on my "Evenstar Art" button to cast your vote. Oddly, you can vote each and every day until April 13th.
I read something about Las Vegas and maybe a little sidebar icon if I win. Cash would be better, but heck, the icon would be neat for all you 13 regulars who check in with me.
I appreciate your help, and your vote. I'll let you know, after Polli lets me know, what the outcome is. A year's supply of European chocolate would also be nice...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Stones Of My Desire

I have a desire to embrace and love the world. A longing to understand other people, other cultures, other ways of expressing joy. If desires are pure and heart-based, if they serve a higher purpose and open doors for more goodness to rush in, the Universe is obliged to fulfill them. The Universe will scatter the stones that create the path to walk boldly into the arms of desire. 3 months ago, the stones of heaven began raining down on the uncharted land before me. A path was formed. An opportunity was created. Desire beckoned me forward.

3 months ago, I began a technology-facilitated conversation with a man from another country. A country I have given little heed to in my life, despite the ongoing media blitz. A man from ancient Babylon, now known as Iraq. Fascination, revelation, humor and endearment are the hallmarks of our daily contact. It thrills me and pains me and enriches me to hear about his daily life and his larger life in a country filled with torment.

Surprisingly, we have more in common than would be initially conceived. No religious affiliation, a love of laughter, a search for truth, the same limited palette for wine. We do, however, have different levels of tolerance for issues of human behavior. Where he beats me hands down is in tolerance of the self. My desire to know the world, to know compassion and tolerance for the world, has led me rocketing back to my own inner world. The world a man thousands of miles away can accept and appreciate and applaud. The world I compulsively judge and question and find lacking.

My fascination and revelation lie in the Universal truth that one cannot have tolerance for the world if one does not have tolerance for the self. In seeking the outer, I am ultimately seeking the inner. Because bottom line, the is no outer world. Everything is a reflection of the one mind and body and soul reacting to itself. To love and embrace the world, I must love and embrace myself. No judgement. No questions. No lack.

The Universe knew to scatter the stones of my desire between Buffalo and Baghdad. It knew my secret desire, my first desire was to love and embrace myself. It knew precisely, in all the world, the soul to facilitate and tolerate and beckon me onward to higher purpose. It knew time and distance and impossibility do not exist when love and all worlds are waiting to be embraced.