~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Friday, May 29, 2009

Angels of Peace

"Let us not be justices of the peace, but angels of peace."
~ Saint Therese of Lisieux

I've always felt that there was a conflict in "enforcing" peace. Within that context there is aggression and an inability to "walk the talk." What happens if we don't force peacefulness upon others? What happens if we simply are the peace we want to see? What comes up in our minds when we contemplate being peace instead of forcing peace? Fear? Resistance? Superiority? Anger? Ego? Is war necessary? What can we learn about ourselves through this reflection? How can we bring peace into our own lives?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Clever Girl

Morgana is so clever. I sit at the kitchen table studying. She comes over to me, nudges my elbow with her nose, and waits. I smile but continue with my studies. She nudges again. I smile. She comes around to the other side and nudges. I smile and ask "do you need to go 'outside'?" She wags her tail. I move my chair back. Pooka gets up from MORGAN'S BED and comes over to me eagerly to go 'outside' while Morgana quickly and quietly goes over to HER bed, lies down, and starts chewing on the bone left there. So, without having to move Pooka herself, she gets the bed AND the bone. Clever. And Pooka doesn't even realize what Morgana did because she didn't make a big deal of it ... and now he sits staring at me. Waiting. Too cute.

(The photo is from a few years ago. Morgana (on the right) is much more clever these days - older and wiser at 10 years.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Color & Fragrance

"Like a lovely flower,
full of color but lacking in fragrance,
are the words of those who do not
practice what they preach.

Like a lovely flower
full of color and fragrance
are the words of those who
practice what they preach."

~ The Dhammapada, translated by Eknath Easwaran

This entry drew me in. How many times have we listened to someone whose words are powerful and inspiring yet we see how they live and are left wondering where the Truth is? However, that view leads to judgement of others. Better that I attend to my own flower within - do I exude both color AND fragrance? Do I express the Truth I feel inside as well as permeate the air around me with the essence of my actions?

Friday, May 22, 2009


"The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still, small voice of conscience." ~ Ghandi

As more of us listen to that still, small voice, there is tremendous opportunity...
Do you hear the voice?
Do you turn away?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Net

I had to send a huge 'thank you' a short bit ago to a friend. A few years ago she gifted me with her old mosquito net hat. At the time, I thought, well I can't imagine wearing that but who knows, and set it aside. Well, we have stunning weather today so this morning Ron and I went outside to do some yard work and clean up our various flower & hosta beds. OMG. Swarms and swarms of mosquitos and black-flies! ACK! In spite of bug repellants (herbal), these starving little beings were determined to suck me dry. I was miserable after only ten minutes and just about to call it a day when I remembered The Net. That ugly piece of apparel saved my life! LOL Okay, maybe not my life but certainly my face and my sanity if I wanted to stay outside. :-) I was absolutely tickled pink that I kept The Net as a gift. :-)

So now I have freshly cleaned flower beds (my sedum bed is my favorite, thus the photo) and accomplished what I set out to do. Thanks to The Net. ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009


When I meditate inside our home rather than outdoors, I often find mantras to be helpful whether chanting or singing, whether listening or vocalizing myself or both. They provide a point of focus that allow my busy, 'monkey-mind' to rest.

One of my favorite CD's to listen to during meditation, if I want mantra rather than solely instrumental, is by On Wings of Song & Robert Gass called Heart of Perfect Wisdom which consists of both the longer (30 minutes) Gate Gate and the short (12 minutes) Beyond The Beyond. Both of these are incredible for assisting induction into deep meditation, although especially the shorter piece so it can be nice to start with that one even if we wish to continue moving into a longer meditation.

I bought this CD in 1995 and it has been a valuable musical aid over the years when I feel the need to center but am unable to go out into nature and/or simply want to go within wherever I am. The Tibetan Bells, Singing Bowls, and very low, Tibetan style chanting result in sonic entrainment -- they produce extremely low frequencies which actually entrain the biological rhythms of the body and help induce the brain waves, heart beat and respiration of the listener to resonate to these frequencies. ... [and the high frequencies] seem to charge and energize the cortex of the brain. (Jonathan S. Goldman, Director, Sound Healers Association)

Sound and mantra (chanting) in meditation is referred to by everyone from Jon Kabat-Zinn (Director of Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical School) to David Frawley (Ayurvedic Scholar) to Eknath Easwaran (Passage Meditation).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fire to Air

This morning...

Vata! Wind! Air! The invigorating roar of the wind through the pines sings to my heart like the dove calls to its mate. The pure tones of the Corinthian Bells chimes add their melody to that of Earth Mother's wildly clamoring Prana. Swaying. Bending. Uplifting. Wildly dancing - plant life ecstatically dances raising limbs and stems and delicate leaves high to be one with the flow of the incredible elemental energy at play this dawn. Almost as if to say 'your electric power was out last night so that my power this morning could be felt more deeply. I am the untamed. I am the force that comes through allowing.'

Today completes my two-week cycle of the Fire Essence, and I feel that the wind's message to me is that it may be time to move on to Air Essence! To feel within the flexibility and movement that comes with air lifting me up rather than the stiffness that results when I resist or try to control the winds of life. To feel the free-flowing circulation throughout my entire Being. To be like the pines - firm in grounding and principles and faith - but also able to bend and sway and move with the natural flow that is all around if I open to it fully and willingly...

The Fire and Air Essences are part of the White Light Essence series co-created by Ian White (also the co-creator of the Australian Bush Flower Essences). Quite a while back, I had experienced cycles of both Water and Earth Essences when I was drawn to them. Early last year I was feeling that perhaps it was time for Fire but I read the following by Ian and backed away, a bit skittish: "Before working with this Essence an individual will have to be clear if he or she wants irreversible change. One must, deep in their heart or soul, be prepared to move forward no matter what the consequences." Something held me back. But a couple weeks ago, I once again considered Fire and felt no hesitation whatsoever! Fire Essence has been the perfect support these past two weeks in helping me see clearly the direction of my path, for which I express my gratitude. And now Air is calling ... shall I spread my arms wide and be carried upon the wings of spirit, heart opening, wearing my gypsy feathers?! Ian says that "The Air Essence has the potential to bring out a person's spirituality to the highest degree with integrity and passion, while at the same time allowing one to bend and alter his or her reality in a very profound way."

Yes, I do believe I hear the Air Essence calling my spirit ...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Raindrop Kisses

"The raindrops kissed the earth and whispered, -- "We are thy homesick children, mother, come back to thee from the heaven." ~ Tagore

We have had so much rain this past week, that this verse seemed appropriate.


Devotion is time

to touch the Divine.

Space to Be

in Divinity.

One with Source,


I offer devotion not as a religious construct but rather as a way of consciously connecting with All That Is. If I use a ‘name’, it is a way for me to ‘address’ an aspect or archetype of Divinity, not because I think that the Unknowable is a ‘person’ (just one more grand than I), but rather because through the act of addressing the Divine, I am allowed the gift of access to inner, outer, and other realms of Being. I often use genderless names or attributes as reminders that the Divine is All, but sometimes I may seek to be nurtured through the Divine Feminine, at other times supported through the Divine Masculine – applying gender may allow me to relate emotionally. Divinity is in me – Divinity is me. Divinity is you and the rocks and trees and birds and all Life. Divinity is sky and space and ether. But sometimes that Source of All can seem far away – separate – from me.

So I may sit on a log in the woods and be still – Divine Silence. I may light a candle and know the Spark within me is Divine. I may focus upon a prayer or words of inspiration or poem that offers emotion within Divine Speech. I may open my senses to music, incense, or colors that invoke the touch of Divinity. I may talk with my Beloved Friend as she comforts me and cradles me from within and without. These are all forms of devotion.

Further thoughts on this topic ...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Rhod Warrior

We call him Max - The Rhod Warrior.
And he has a story ...

Max was gifted to us by my parents a year or two after we moved here. He was small but unique - not a 'traditional' bushy-type Rhododendron. We planted him in what we thought at the time was a protected yet visible corner of our property; he was nestled in the center of a ring of pine trees near the intersection of our street and the main road. We named him Max - in honor of Mad Max, The Road Warrior, who was also a unique loner - and he was very happy, growing and blooming each Spring. Until 2006.

The year of 2006 is when our town decided to conduct massive road construction along the outer edge of our property line where the main road runs and intersects our street. This was not a fun time. The road crew was noisy and cutting down these majestic pine trees along the right-of-way but there was nothing we could do about it so we practiced acceptance.

Until they hurt Max.

Since I work at home (homemaker, animal-mom, holistic care practitioner, writer, etc!), I kept an eye on the crew. I knew that they were working very near Max but figured he would be fine, secure in his circle of sentinels. So I went away for a few days to a workshop on flower essences, while Ron stayed home with the fur-kids. I was shocked to get a phone call from Ron that Max had been traumatized!

We have no idea why the crew didn't approach us - as it was blatantly obvious from the mulching around Max that he was a cultivated, cared-for plant - but apparently they were in a hurry and not only cut down and bull-dozed several of the magnificent pines on the corner but also ripped Max from the earth and tossed him callously aside into the woods!

Thankfully, Ron saw it all happen and rushed out to rescue Max! Poor Max had several primary limbs broken, plus other minor injuries, not to mention his energetic trauma. But Ron quickly and gently re-planted him in another spot -- still near our street but on our property that was not within the right-of-way -- gave Max a drink and asked me what else I thought he should do. So I had Ron make up a spray bottle to include some Emergency Essence and spritz Max several times a day. Max survived.

Today, three years later, Max continues to grow and bloom, unique and determined. He's a very handsome friend who is settled and content in his new location, providing early blossoms for the bees (there was one gathering nectar early this morning!), and he's a testimony to recovery from trauma.

We confess.
We're a little attached to our friend Max.
Our Rhod/Road Warrior.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Heart of Life is Good

There's a lot about this song that touches me all the way to my tippy-toes; John Mayer's "Heart of Life" is delightful - I find it to be a wonderful pick-me-up song with the perky notes and inspiring chorus:

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good.

There were quite a few years when I was in my twenties where I was so angry about much of life - broken promises, scattered dreams, loss of self, insecurities galore. I wanted to believe that the heart of life was good but had a difficult time getting there. I know I wasn't alone in that space, and during that time was blessed with the companionship of two awesome friends (Kiki and Nancy), so this message is for anyone still in that space -- I send you





Know the heart of life is good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Beyond the familiar plane of biological and emotional needs lies a third dimension of spiritual needs that cannot be denied: the need for meaning, a purpose for living, a place in the fabric of life where we belong.

Because this dimension is part of our very being, we live inescapably in two worlds, the material and the spiritual. To live fully means being at home in both these realms, and that requires a way to bring the deep wisdom of the heart into daily life.

~ Eknath Easwaran, excerpt from his article "Invitation to a Journey"

I first read this author via his books on The Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita for my studies in Ayurvedic Healing. My own journey revealed itself more fully to me in 1995; I have been a spiritual seeker ever since.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Emerges

Sometimes I'm so surprised by what emerges from my pen! LOL Following are two little poems that came out before going to bed last night and Saturday night; normally, I do write a bit, generally as gratitude notes to myself for the day, but occasionally other 'stuff' comes through as well...

Once upon a time
a little girl
picks up her shoe
and inside is a snail.

"Is my trail a crime?"
a little voice
asks calling up
from inside the shell.

"You've spread it with slime!"
the cry came out
tears falling down
salt mixing with goo.

A pinch at a time
backwards she goes
retracing her path
erasing all signs of ... who ...

* * *

Light diffused in lunar glow
that guides our sight to inner flow
so we might see and hear and know
the wondrous gifts of our own soul.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I have eggs on the brain this morning!

It started Friday when I was excited to see that Rippling Waters organic farm just down the road from us was open for the season. I quickly bought some eggs produced by a local farmer; these chickens are free-range and fed organic grains and allowed by the farmer to live out their natural lives as fully and comfortably as possible. We only eat a modest number of eggs so this works out well for us and the chickens.

Then, this morning, breakfast at krista's (our favorite local eating place!) was enticing: eggs benedict with fresh asparagus. It was absolutely DELICIOUS. Honestly, I was oohing and ahhing throughout the entire meal! Her sauce is divine and I had never had it with asparagus before - but certainly will in the future (with or without the eggs). I don't have eggs too often when we eat out because I'm never sure where the restaurants buy them, but krista tends to buy local whenever possible (and I give thanks to the chicken for her offering).

This brings me to awareness about eggs. I recently returned to the state of not eating meat or poultry - and rarely fish. When Ron and I first met in 1999, I had been a vegetarian-type for about four or five years, but somehow let that slip as time went by. With renewed energy these past few years toward health of mind, body and spirit, I knew I would return to conscious eating. Along with this, of course, comes an awareness of how most chickens in 'factory farms' are treated in order to get their eggs -- so I am as careful as possible in where I get my eggs (same thing with dairy products).

This state of awareness of food (animals, plants, world, environment) is one I'm cultivating, and of which I'm mindful. I'm far from perfect but then none of us are. I simply do my best, one step at a time. Being mindful. Being present.

"Quantum wellness, when it comes to eating, is about keeping your eyes open and scrutinizing the process from beginning to end, as well as thinking about how your dietary choices affect others. ... Any food choice that is truly good for your health will also be beneficial to your spiritual well-being (meaning that no spiritual principles, such as mercy, compassion, environmental stewardship, or kindness, have been violated)." ~ Kathy Freston, Quantum Wellness

Last year, during the Women & Wellness Goddess Within party, each of the women attending created their own 'egg of creativity and new beginnings'. I had done this same thing several years earlier with a small group of friends and found it fun and rewarding. I always enjoy how the eggs reveal themselves to reflect inner guidance. The photo is of my own egg creations; the green one was from my earlier party - revealing a devotion to the divine feminine - while the others are from last year's party - sharing my new direction toward love, peace, empowerment and play! Spring egg decorating is not just for kids - I encourage you to try it! Even more simple, just cultivate egg symbolism through meditation or another art form. Draw an egg and within it place all those things which you would like to bring into your life!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Is there ever silence? Listen ... what do we hear when we think there is silence? We hear the world passing through the construct of time.

I step into the night ... peepers, coyotes, owls ... rustling leaves on limb and ground ... tiny, unidentified whispers in the shadows ... something falls to earth ... a quiet 'woof!' from one of the dogs as he stares intensely into the darkness ...

So many sounds in the so-called silence. But I couldn't have heard them if I had been speaking, taking up space with unnecessary words.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

The first of May is celebrated in many cultures as a joyful day of new beginnings and lusty growth! Celebrate, dance, and make a joyful noise! Touch the ground, leap like a frog, play and create! :-)

Do take a moment to read the poem "Song" posted by Owls Daughter at her blog Bringing in the May. Lovely...
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