Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Read Barry's Blog

Do yourself a favor today and read the July 23rd post from: about belonging. I had to re-apply my mascara afterwards. And after reading this brilliant post, follow Barry's instructions. To the letter. Because we all just want to belong.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Ant, The Butterfly and Me

Yesterday was one of those rare and glorious days. Sunshine, blue sky, upper 70's, no humidity. And all the neighbors with swimming pools...gone. To celebrate, I spent the day in my backyard doing nothing. Just sitting on the grass, drawing in the green, grounding energy, watching the minutiae of nature and the complex simplicity of God.

Ants investigated my sandals, spiders navigated the crinkles of my skirt, small butterflies zig-zagged on the breeze, all while black and grey squirrels bombed my yard with shards of walnut shells. Families of purple martins twittered and swirled above the trees, cardinals sang and chipping sparrows tested their courage for seed with me mere feet away. Bees and wasps flew by. Flowers swayed in the breeze. This year's bunny made a singular scoot to the safety of a neighbor's shed.

I've needed a day where my attention is focused on nothing but the extraordinary in the ordinary, the wisdom of close-to-home nature, the poetic details of daily living. When life gets too complex, too exhausting or too stressful, the simplicity of grass and trees and open sky can soothe one's soul like little else. For there, in quiet evidence, is the hand of God directing the smallest detail. The ant, the butterfly and me.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

To Save or Destroy

The Gospel of Thomas: “If you bring forth what is inside you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is inside you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.”
This, for anyone who cares to know, is the reason why I blog.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Universal Time

The most worthwhile things in this world take patience
and time to ripen.
The most beautiful things do not follow a set schedule
or demand or even a heartfelt hope.
They have a Universal time of their own to manifest.
And in the end, which is really the beginning, the timing will be
more perfect than could ever have been dreamed of...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Sisterhood of the Flowing Skirts

Yesterday there was a gathering. 5 women in flowing skirts set out for a day of communing with the spiritual and communing with nature. The Love Goddess wore a rainbow skirt, the Earth Mother wore ocean blue, the Great Seer wore deep purple, the Healer wore black and white, and me, the Goddess in Transition wore cattail brown. Together, we were the Sisterhood of the Flowing Skirts. Together, we meditated, laughed out loud, soaked up the blue sky and changed the world.

We spent the day at the largest Spiritualist community this side of nowhere, known as Lily Dale. This is where seekers from all over the world come to be healed and helped by registered Mediums doling out messages from the Great Beyond. We went with no expectations and no needs. We followed the rhythm of our skirts and simply flowed from one locale to the next. We shopped for incense and tumbled stones. We walked with faeries through the woods. We had a picnic of snow peas and cherries and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds on the grass by the lake. We walked the labyrinth. We talked with trees. We fed the resident cats.

And then, we broke the rules. If there is a sacred spot in Lily Dale, it is The Stump. Tucked away in a small, old-growth forest lies the remains of the original platform on which Mediums would perch and transmit messages from dear departed Uncle Fred or Grandmother Mary. The Stump, more than 120 years later, is still the site of twice daily message services for any who stop by and sit in the pews. The Mediums no longer perch on the Stump, but pace back and forth in front of it while speaking. The Stump is now encased in cement. The Stump is now off limits to any and all. Except for... one divine half hour in the late afternoon on an obscure Monday in July when the Sisterhood of the Flowing Skirts ascended the 3 steps to the top of the Stump and claimed it.

The energy transmitting through the cement from the well-loved Stump was palpable, powerful and filled with joy. It made me giggle. It felt as if that energy could heal anyone who touched it. We held hands and closed our eyes and drew the energy into our bodies. We prayed for the awakening of every woman in the world to the sacredness of her own being. We prayed for the healing of planet earth. For a time, we were all rooted to that Stump, unable to even think of climbing down. Mesmerized by the vibrations. Loath to break the spell.

No one took notice of our rule-breaking Sisterhood. We were not scolded or chastised or evicted. We were invisible to all, except for the crows, while we giggled and swooned and prayed. While we flowed and followed our instincts. While we stepped boldly forward to change the world.

Friday, July 13, 2007


There is a hint of a breeze blowing through my transition. A freshness. A newness. A promise. This light breeze carries with it interests that are novel and unexpected. My brain and my heart are slowly turning their combined attention to things and ideas that have lived on the outskirts of my awareness. Things that, before this transition into expanded womanhood, I could not muster up the energy or enthusiasm to care about to any large degree. Things that did not define the woman I am letting go of, but seem to be outlining the woman destined to emerge.

Clothes of a more feminine nature are suddenly wafting in on the breeze. As is handmade jewelry and the first perfume to tantalize my wrists since Love's Baby Soft defined my teenage years. Shoes are of greater interest. Homemade bread is of greater interest. Fiction has usurped nonfiction as my bedtime sleep-aid of choice. Retablos and 600 square foot houses and seashells have tugged hard at my expanding heart. Turkish bazaars and Tunisian seashores and Russian forests have all swept through on that same breeze.

Plants have become a necessity in the acceleration of freshness. My brown-tipped and sadly neglected collection of green living things has recently been joined by one lush ivy, one lucky bamboo, one mixed pot of herbs and tomorrow, oh joyful tomorrow, one lavender orchid plant, with petals shaped like butterflies, to grace the north window of my living room.

Freshness and newness and promise. Universal breadcrumbs and puzzle pieces. All doled out in the darkness and lightness of my transition. All designed to keep my head above water, instill hope and help me understand there will be beauty and creativity and adventure on the other side of letting go.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I am the caterpillar that has turned to mush inside its cocoon. I am the woman in a state of unhurried transition. Cooped up and forced to let go of who I know myself to be. Hoping to emerge one day, one hour, one minute with a clear direction on how to move forward in my life. How to stop inching and crawling along and learn to fly on untested wings.

I never saw this coming, this soul-deep, emotional tidal-wave-of-a-transition. It has not been fun and it has gone on seemingly beyond acceptable limits. But likely, the point of it all is to break me free of self-imposed limits. I have more than a few. Some are staunch and decades old. None of them serve my higher good. And so, the Universe has decided to crush me, mush me like a bug, stew me in my own juices and make me wait. Wait through the tears, the mind-babble and the long moments of unhappiness. Wait through the restlessness, the insults to ego and the yearnings which cannot be named.

I have stewed so long I have almost evaporated. Which, again, is the point. When the old me, the self-limiting me, the I-can't-possibly-deserve-that me has dissolved into vapors, only then can the reformation begin. Only then can I possibly hope to carry out the dreams I have for myself. Dreams of deep love and family. Dreams of serving the greater good of humanity. Dreams of healing nature from the worst of humanity. Dreams of daily peace of mind.

What will bring about my reformation? What will move me beyond the mush? What will form my butterfly wings? Patience with myself. A surrender of the woman I used to be. Acceptance and nonresistance of the turmoil within me. And willingness. Willingness to allow the woman God meant for me to be to transition, to emerge and to fly.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Beautiful Disaster

Where there is pain, there is comfort. Where something shatters, something forms. Where darkness presses down, light rises. You, in your great despair, take notice. While you are plummeting, Angelic forces are lifting you up. While in the midst of turmoil, out of the corner of your awareness, you will see and feel and sense the beauty in your disaster.

Nothing is ever completely bad or wrong or more than you can handle. Signs and omens of utter goodness abound in the center of a whirlwind, in the center of a life in transition. In a torrent of tears and confusion, keep one eye open and half an ear tuned. A savior will call on the phone, a bird of exquisite color will alight outside your window, money will suddenly manifest in your washing machine. Signs of grace and truth and mercy will shower themselves upon you in your darkest moments, shower you until you notice even one of them.

If you lose something, you will always gain something, though it be in a form too subtle to see through your tears. Keep crying. Keep cleansing your vision and one powerful moment between sobs, the light of mercy will shine through and you will know. You will know that nothing painful is as it appears to be. You will know that the lessons being learned through the grief and the sorrow will shape you into a more eloquent human being. A more capable human being. A human being who knows that love is ever present for everyone. That love is always the beauty in the disaster.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Flicker of Wisdom

Yesterday morning I had blood on my hands. Again. It wasn't my own. It belonged to the yellow-shafted flicker I lifted off the pavement in the first stages of my journey into work. I thought the flicker was dead when I approached it. It lay on its side, one brown eye staring at the sky. But its head moved as I lifted it. I immediately started talking quietly as I carried it to the roadside. I squatted on the grass, shielding it from the wind of the passing vehicles. The flicker was injured beyond repair, but its heart kept beating beneath my fingers. It held on and it suffered. I cradled it and I talked.
I told the flicker how beautiful it was and that is was one of my favorite birds. I thanked it for being an important messenger. I told it every time I saw one of its kind I knew the healing energy of Love was at play in my life and any intensely felt emotions were cleansing me of all that might stand in my way of that Love. I told it that Angels of Mercy were here at the roadside, ready to usher it home. And still its heart beat on.
I quietly implored it to please just let go. Let go, let go, let go. There was no need to stay, no need to suffer, just let go and fly free. Fly free in lands more beautiful than this. But it stayed. Bleeding into my hands, moving its head, ignoring my pleas.
I searched for a soft, sheltered spot to lay it down, and let its own will be done. I chose a tree next to tall grass and laid it at the edge. I folded a large leaf and placed it under its head, hoping it would comfort. I whispered, "Don't stay long. They're waiting for you. Let go, let go let go."
I drove on with red-stained hands. 20 minutes later, just as I arrived at work, a single white balloon slowly drifted skyward in the west. I stood and watched the balloon until it was out of my sight. The flicker whispered in my ear, "I'm flying again. I'm free. And Graciel, let go, let go, let go".

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"It is not physical solitude that actually separates one from others; not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation. It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger.

When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. How often in a large city, shaking hands with my friends, I have felt the wilderness stretching between us. Both of us were wandering in arid wastes, having lost the springs that nourished us -- or having found them dry. Only when one is connected to one's own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude."

- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Feminine Life-Line

Lately, I have come across younger women who lack the skill of befriending other women. They view other females, especially in their own peer group, as competition for men, for attention, for elusive kudos. They alienate the very beings who will someday be their only life-line to maintaining sanity. The need for that lifeline may not come for years or decades, but it will come. In one form or another, one tragedy or another, one loss or another. If young women have not sought the support and friendship of other women, have not developed the needful skills of listening and being available, when their world crashes or their men can't relate, their misery will skirt the brink of the unbearable.

Because in the end, as designed by a Force much wiser than us all, women are encoded to nurture, protect and rally in support of anyone or anything in need of compassion. Women in touch with themselves possess the strength of warriors. Strength that cannot always be measured, but can always be felt. Strength that creates impact. Strength that creates change. Strength that heals and restores.

I am alive today because of the strength and compassion and the buckets of love poured over me by my women friends. Were it not for the rally of the various-aged women I have befriended throughout my adult life, I would have succumbed to the insanity of illness, trauma and the demise of relationships. Do not think this excludes the needful energy of men to create life-saving balance in the world of a woman, especially this woman. But the deepest understanding and compassion travels along the invisible threads of the divine feminine energy. Those threads, when woven together through laughter, sharing and genuine trust, over time, create a reciprocal shield that can bear all things and pull us back from the brink.

Women in touch with themselves are needed to befriend the women who are not. Younger women who have not yet felt the necessity of building a feminine support system, who have not experienced deep trust, who have never been taught there is no need for competition are waiting. Waiting, consciously or subconsciously, for the divine energy they were born into to lift them up. To show them the way. To offer them compassion so they will know how to give it. To teach them how to respect the divine energy within them and channel it, as needed, to save the world, one woman at a time.