Monday, June 29, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays #11

Some of my most influential friends are books!
Inspired by: Caroline Myss and Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
There is a shift going on in the Universe. Do you feel it? I certainly do. Maybe the shift is only happening in my internal Universe, but I think it is mirroring a larger one. One you may be feeling as well. Shifts are notoriously uncomfortable. They require movement into new ways of being. They require letting go of the worn out, the habitual, the clenched fists of fear. They require new information and the bravery to apply it. They require willingness to experience more profound levels of life.
I am willing. And the Universe responded with clues and prompts and magnetic instincts that drew me back to women I have known before. Caroline Myss and her bestseller, Anatomy of the Spirit, has been on my bookshelf for many years. I've skim-read it many times, but now, as I am prompted to ramp up my personal power, her energy medicine model of the 7 centers of spiritual and physical power in the human body has me reading and crimping pages from its start to finish. Ms. Myss has helped me understand and embrace my sticking-point 3rd chakra. So for now, it's all about the yellow as I seek to be more grounded and self assured.
The other woman, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, lived on my bookshelf in 1995. I loaned my skimmed version of Women Who Run With The Wolves to God-knows-who. It was never returned. In the Adirondack Mountains last week, I claimed her back. As well, a short time before, I had purchased the next Myss book, Sacred Contracts~awakening your divine potential. Here's the awesome Universal clue to my shift. Both books are about archetypes and their personal application for self empowerment.
Lord knows, if I am meant to experience a more profound and succulent life, I must embrace and reveal my inner wild woman. I must allow myself to run with the wolves. I tell you truly, my soul is begging for that permission. If I make the choice to express my divine potential, to live out loud my inner call to service, I would be wise to consider the archetypes that Myss lays out in Sacred Contracts and understand how the ones that apply to me can be used to bring more light to the world. 12 archetypes, Myss says, are the foundations of our beingness and behaviors. I am especially drawn to understanding my shadow archetypes of the "saboteur" and the "wounded child". In soothing these archetypal energies within me, I stand a good chance of finally releasing the behavior patterns that hold me down and keep me small.
So I read. And takes notes and crease pages and let the words of women more wise than me draw me up to my higher potentials. I am uncomfortable. But from the kneeling position, surrounded by words, I am blessed and grateful and most definitely inspired.
{For more Inspire Me Mondays from people I adore, click here. Please visit my friend, Don, over at his brand new blog Unconventional Questions for the newest addition of inspirational thoughts. If you'd care to join me on Inspire Me Mondays, grab the badge off the side bar, and email me (Graciel) at I'll be delighted to add your cute self the the list!}

Monday, June 22, 2009

Midsummer's Manifestation

It is the time of the summer solstice with a new moon thrown in. It is a powerful time to re-set your course. Both a solstice and a new moon offer opportunity to invoke positive changes and create new intentions. Lump them together and the opportunity is sweetened.
If there is something you wish to create or manifest between now and the winter solstice, get busy. Get busy listening to your own intuition. Your dreams. Your dusty ambitions. Write your wishes down. Gather pictures of your ideals. Put them where you can see them and read them every day. Get charged, get excited. Feel your wishes coming true. Dare to believe you can make something good come to life. Dare to believe in the power of your own intentions.
Be clear in what you choose to bring forth. If you are only clear on one thing, then be ridiculously clear and strong on that one thing. Watch it be pulled right out of the realm of the unmanifest into your waking life. Use the incredible power of the human mind, along with the force of the sun and the moon.
Get clear. Keep clear. Look at your wishes and ideals every day. Make room for a well- deserved midsummer manifestation.
{Like my solstice cupcakes that were accidently shaken up, just go with the flow as you change your course. In the midst of non-perfection, life is still yummy.}

Inspire Me Mondays # 10

Good friends, good food, and the green, green earth.
Inspired by: the Adirondack Mountains in New York State.
It was the loons. Or maybe it was the healing greens of the ferns and the pines. Maybe the
lakes, the rippling mountains, the orange-feathered Indian paintbrush strewn through every field. Maybe it was Lake Placid, Saranac Lake or sweet Lake Clear. Maybe the pool table in the middle of the kitchen, the endless home-cooked buffet, the respite from computer and phone.
It wasn't the mosquitoes.
Maybe it was the crystals and the incense and the Goddess meditations. Or the 2am giggles. The finger piano, the drum, the vibrating, cell-rearranging Tibetan singing bowls. Maybe it was the communion of Nature and nurturing souls. Maybe my inner peace came from all of it.
But, I think it was the loons.
For more Inspire Me Monday offerings, click here. To join me in the quest for inspiration each Monday, grab the badge on my sidebar and email me: I'll add you to the list of lovely, inspired souls.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Never Too Late

I tell you, no, it is never too late. There is still time. Excuses are only your unsure self holding court, wings folded. No, you are not too old, you are not too busy, you are not too under financed. Okay, maybe you need to modify your dream now, since you've put it off, but is it doable? Absolutely. Birds who take late to the wing fly the highest.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays #9

Blue skies, sunshine, gentle breeze. Perfection.
Inspired by: the sweetness and peace of ordinary moments.
I watched them from the stoop. The stoop I have spent my entire life sitting on. The one at the back of my parent's house. I watched the comings and goings of squirrels and voles, of grackles and goldfinches, of robins and wrens. Sparrows feeding babies in 2nd story hollows, chickadees snatching seeds and zipping away, and the joy bird sipping nectar with invisible wings. Then came King Cardinal and his buff-colored Queen. The favorite sight from the stoop.
Amid birds calls and breezes from my spot on the stoop, chatter could be heard from behind. In the kitchen, the ladies conversed while dipping chicken in eggs and breadcrumbs, while making dressing and whipping the cream. The chatter was soothing and familiar, if not quite completely understood. Plattduetsch, the dialect of northern Germany and part of the Netherlands, has been the background noise of my life.
Along with the song of the wren, I let the song of their words wrap me in an imaginary shawl of silk. Someday, the chatter will cease and the cream will no longer be whipped in that kitchen by those 3 women. And I will pull tight the imaginary shawl of their words. I will remember the taste of the cream from the bowl that, of course, had to match the place mats. I will remember the exquisite blue sky and the cool of the steps of the stoop and the privileged evening of the sweet and the peace found in ordinary moments.
For more links to Inspire Me Mondays from ladies I adore, click HERE.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Message of Love

At 5:30am, just before turning on the shower, I heard it. A thud on the kitchen counter, the clanging twirl of a glass being pushed by small, black paws and the satisfying crash of glass hitting the floor. Blue shards everywhere and a smile on my face. Thank you, Black Prince of fun and destruction. Thank you for bearing the message of good fortune and hope. For, you see, every time glass shatters around me, good news awaits and a piece of my unnecessary-to-hold-on-to-past is let go.
After a shattering, my senses are heightened. I am wide-eyed on the look out for clues as to what transition is occurring in my life. The answers are usually spread out over days. Today, my first clue arrived on the phone. "The cancer tumors have shrunk", said my Mother. The chemotherapy is working. Her liver, site of the secondary tumors, is now on the path to becoming a candidate for a 5 hour operation to remove and ablate the offensive cells. Hopes are high, patience is needed, and fingers are crossed.
But more than that, I have work to do. This is what I am doing. I am picturing my Mother as healthy. I am visualizing removing her liver into my hands and scrubbing it clean. I am visualizing bathing her liver in the pink light of love and returning it to her completely healed. As well, the parade of healing flowers will not cease. Nor will my daily, steadfast support in whatever way she needs. A window of opportunity has opened. It's time to be strong and fly through.
I await the next clues. Let them come. Come more good news, more letting go. Come love, come love, come love.
And so, in turn, I offer a message of hope to you. If you or someone you love or someone you know needs healing, picture yourself or them as healed. Do not be squeamish. Visualize scrubbing clean the place within that needs to be healed. Most importantly, send love to that place and love to the whole person. Bathe them in pink light or picture yourself holding them tight and sending loving energy from your heart directly into theirs.
It is the energy of love that is the supreme healer of all God's creations. Use the love bottled up within you to make a difference. Visualize your love and positive intentions flowing out of you and into the person in need. Visualize more love flowing back into you to fill your well. It is your overflow of loving energy that you give. Give as often as instinct advises. No matter what, truly, no matter what the love you share in your visualizations will make a difference.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


If your heart is troubled in any way, I wish for you sanctuary in softness. Let beauty and love support you. Release all resistance. Bee well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


They are everywhere for me. Young, red-coated female deer. They run in broad daylight along hedges and tree lines and open fields. They approach roadways in rush hour traffic. They are displaced by their mothers who have new souls to tend. They are searching. Searching with wide eyes and confusion on just where to go in this world. Searching for new territory to call home.
They are everywhere, these rusty deer, but soon, hopefully soon, they will be somewhere safe and welcoming. Somewhere with wood and field, shelter and food to devote the business of their lives to. I search with them. I search for safe territory to offer my devotion, to feel safe and welcomed in this life.
I have felt long moments of safety and belonging in the conventional cloisters of family and friends and lovers and work. It is those moments in between when safety and belonging seem to vanish that send me searching for true home territory. I long for steadfast devotion. As ever, I am reminded to look within, to look around and to look up.
Home territory, the devotional respite for my heart and soul, is not a place. It is an energy. A knowingness. An unshakable faith. It is love. It is God. And though it is not a place, I have set a place to remind me it always exists. I have set an altar in my home. Multi and non-denominational all at once, with statues and pictures and flowers and feathers. A place to kneel and pray and calm my confusions. A place to remember I cannot be displaced. For the energy of love, God's love, is always devoted to me.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays #8

Inspired by: the beauty and spirit of new, little things. Welcome, Arabian baby. I just love your sand-colored suit and the bold, white star on your forehead. My sleepy town of Mayberry is so much sweeter since you arrived.
Find out what my favorite Inspire Me Mondays ladies have to offer you today.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Fault Line

This is a day I wish I could wax on about the joys of cinnamon toast and the recipe for margaritas I'm in love with and slurping down. This is a day I wish I could tell you I'm planning on belly dancing in my living room to some 99 cent ethnic record I bought at Thrifty's World of Music and Love. This is a day I will tell you none of those things. Because I was born under the sign of Scorpio in the tumultuous mid 1960's and I'm a deep thinking, soul searching, rather freakish sort of woman. Lightness of Being does not come easy to me. Especially on days when my heart feels heavy and the light coming through the paper bag over my head is dim. This is that day.
It's the fault line, you see. The one I have been straddling for decades. My left foot on the Traditional Woman side, my right foot on the Super Woman side. That line, hacked into the ground by opposing familial and societal views of the unforgettable 1960's, is rumbling. Cracking. Splitting wide before my very eyes. The split is a void that allows none of my tactics. The ones where I am always in a hurry to move forward while clinging tenaciously to the voices of the past.
My strength to straddle that line has almost run out. I feel myself falling forward, paper bag securely over my head. It's dark. I can't even yell for help. The void swallows all resistance. But true to form, I'm thinking, thinking, thinking as my feet lose their grip. How does? What if? Why can't? When will? Where the frig will I land? I'm tired.
"Welcome to the void", I hear, "where confusion is cleansed and your own solid ground is discovered." Crying is allowed, accomplishments are not. The door to the past and the window to the future are closed. Suck it up and stay in the present. Begin to see clearly the only definitions of life that matter. Your own. The rules of tradition and society are hell. In the dark, find your own heaven, and when you're ready, let your new lightness of being lead you to solid ground.
For now, the void. But there is a day coming where you will find me belly dancing while thinking deeply of my new definitions and the merits of cinnamon toast.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


You can do it. Whatever "it" is, I promise you, you can do it. You have enough strength, enough courage, enough wits about you. It's time to stop doubting yourself. You are all and you have all you need to get started. Whatever else you need after you start will just come. You can do it.
Believe in yourself. Trust your instincts. It's time. Set yourself free. Begin.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays # 7

In praise of silence. And all it reveals.
Inspired by: The Abbey of the Genesee, 3258 River Road, Piffard, NY 14533, 55 miles east of Buffalo, in the Genesee River Valley region of New York State. This is the home of 33 monks who follow the Order of Cistercians of Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappists. Theirs is a silent order, with select Monks who interact with the public. They are contemplatives who do not watch TV or listen to the radio or engage in "other irrelevant media". The 50,000 books in their private library, the 1,200 acres of stunning land, their prayerful day which begins at 2:25am and ends at 7pm, as well as their world famous, fabulously delicious Monk's Bread offer everything a Monk could need in his pursuit of reverence for God.
Me, the no-particular-religion-kinda-girl, makes a pilgrimage to the Abbey every year. This is my 26th year of making the fairly short drive to sit inside a work of art in silence. I love the Abbey. Its timbers and gigantic field stones, its hand-calligraphied hymnals and sandal-wearing Brothers, its billowing clouds and green meadows, and the thick chunks of stained glass aligned between boulders to form windows of color. It is nature and art and sacredness combined. It is silent and soothing. It is a place of peace.
Don't forget the bread. It is how the Monks sustain themselves. And let me tell you, it is outstanding. You can buy most varieties in grocery stores in NY state, but I have seen it as far south as Florida. The Abbey has always had a tiny bread room with very spare hours and a slot in the wall to slide your money through. But now, those media-shunning Monks have hired savvy lay people to enlarge their bread room, extend the selling hours and cash you out by computer. They offer fruitcakes with whiskey and brandy, brownies and special cakes and my new favorite offering, creamed honey with cinnamon to spread on your brotherly bread. Go for the silent beauty, but trust me, bring your wallet.
Yes, silence is inspiring me. More than ever. I have found it to be where my dreams live, waiting patiently for me to stop the chaos and listen. I'm so eager for my dreams to manifest, I have lately used spoken language and music sparingly on my days off from work. The rewards are pouring in in the form of brainstorms and passions made clear. It seems to be my season of deep contemplation. My bread is rising. The baking will come. And then, sweet then, the offering of my silence will be heard.
{If you care to play along with me for Inspire Me Mondays, grab the badge off my side bar, place it in your own, email me at and I will add you to the list of lovelies who offer inspiration of their own. Our newest IMM friend is Jeanne at Daily Reflections from Atwater Pond. Stop by and see what inspiration she offers. Click on the badge to link to more inspiration. Yay!}