Thursday, 29 August 2013

Touchstones of the Heart~ by Susan Cadley

I’m a lover of life, celebrator of the small, cheerleader for the soul, and hope holder.  Reverence is my favorite word. 

When I lose someone or when I realize loss of life is imminent, I find myself bracing for what is to come and all the feelings that go along with the deep emotion of grief.  Grief is an emotion that rises up from the depths and takes you along for the ride on what can feel like a tumultuous river.   It’s not an emotion to be controlled or managed.  Like a river, it needs to move.   It will move you through loss if you allow it to have its way with you.  Otherwise you may get lost in a swirling eddy by the side of the river.  Grief will wait.

I began experiencing loss as a 5 year old when my paternal grandfather died.
My dad explained my grandfather’s lifeless body to me this way; “your grandfather is not really there; what you see is like a pencil without the lead.”  I wondered about that lead and where it had gone?   The stark reality of someone being here one minute and gone the next is jarring and traumatic.  I trusted my dad, as most little girls would and I would remember his words when he passed away 8 years later.   My family experienced continual losses throughout the years and after I got married, my husband’s family lost loved ones that I had come to know and love.

In order to honor my loved ones and to keep their memory alive, I created touchstones with their name and I keep them inside a sacred circle in my yard. They are my “tribe on the other side”.  And I believe as I send my love to them, their love returns to me.

Love is a powerful force.  Touch into the love when you need it.

When people are in the dying process, they usually want their friends and family around them.  Stories are told and remincing about past life celebrations are shared.  At the end of the journey here on earth, it’s people and love that is cherished.  The love we feel is what survives.  You can test this theory by closing your eyes and remembering someone you love that you’ve lost.  A feeling will more than likely rise up in you.  That is the love and connection you have with that person.  That feeling of love never dies or leaves you.

The heart emits much more electromagnetic energy than that of the brain or any other organ, according to recent research.  You can use the love that your heart holds as energy, fuel, or support when you need it.  Love is a touchstone. Tap into this limitless power.

Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Soul Coach and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul;

Monday, 26 August 2013

Be Your Own Best Friend by Ginny Lennox

"The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize; is the portrait of your soul.”  –JoyBell C.
I was reading a blog post just now about being your own teacher and having all of the answers inside of you.  I do believe that as we get to know ourselves better and better we will find the answers to the questions we have, if we give ourselves permission to be still and to be quiet.

When I read the words be your own teacher for some reason the phrase "Be you own best friend" popped into my head.  Some days I do think I am my own best friend.  I try to take care of myself and make decisions that are best for me while not hurting anyone else.  It took a long long time to come to this point in life. But important things are worth waiting for and yes I should have listened to my mother who gave me this advice many years ago when I was a teenager.

What does being my own best friend mean to me?  It means really listening to what I need. It means living a life that is calm and peaceful. It is saying "yes" to things that are interesting and challenging and "no" to things that don't make sense to me now.  It is accepting that writing and painting are an important part of my life and making sure that I create time to do both each day.  It is remembering that exercise makes me feel not only stronger but gives me energy.  It is not being hard on myself when I reread something that I have written and published and then three days later finding not one but two or three or four mistakes.  I would tell my best friend it didn't matter, now I say those same words to me and really mean them.

Being my own best friend means being there for me. It means taking care of me the same way I would take care of someone else.  It means having fun, laughing, and taking a deep breath when things get stressful.  It is reminding myself that life is filled with ups and downs and to learn from both. Most of all its recognizing that I'm not perfect and no one expects me to be.  I think I am going to like being my own best friend.  How about you - what does being your own best friend mean to you?

Ginny, a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, believes that each and every day is filled with special moments to be enjoyed and treasured.  On her blog, Special Moments in Time, Ginny encourages everyone to recognize and celebrate their own special moments each day.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

My Hero, Celebrating his Life and Lessons Learned, by Glenda Myles

I must be at that age, my early 40’s, where we begin to watch our parents’ health fail. Recently several friends have lost a parent or a parent has been diagnosed with something terminal. It is heartbreaking.

In August 2012, my own father was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was a very scary time for us as he underwent surgery to remove part of his lung. We are fortunate as he survived and continues to thrive. But I am also realistic. Each day I get to spend with him is a gift.

In those weeks before, during and after the surgery, I thought about many things. I saw both my parents as human beings, maybe for the first time, not just my parents. And in that moment I saw their frailty, their fears, and their courage.  It became easier to understand that they were doing the best they could every day. It became easier to forgive them and let go of any baggage that I may have been carrying.

In the long hours at the hospital as I watched my father deal with the pain in the aftermath, I saw a side of my father I had not seen before. He was the strong, silent type if there ever was one. He endured. He had a long military career and grew up in that tough exterior environment. Here, in this moment, he was vulnerable. It was humbling.

During these months, as I came to terms with what was happening, I considered what my father meant to me and what I learned from him. What came to me was loyalty and hard-working.

You see, my father is a very loyal man. I remember questioning it when I was younger. He stayed in situations, I would have left. He didn’t have the best childhood. He left home at a young age and worked to send money home to help his family. And he has remained forgiving and loyal to his family since he was young, when most others would have walked away.

Like many men of his generation the military was a smart career choice – it provided a good wage, job security, and opportunity. He didn’t graduate high school but was a smart man (and years later he would go back to school to get his GED). He worked hard. He still works hard. After 35 years of service in the military he retired for one year before going back to work. He has since worked another 25 years. After his surgery and recovery, he wanted to get back to work. I was shocked but it is his community, it keeps him active and engaged. At 76, he continues to work and be active. I hope that it helps him have a better quality of life.

As I think of the lessons that I have learned from him and his life, I am filled with love and gratitude.

Glenda is a healer, coach, and teacher as a doula, educator, reiki practitioner, dance facilitator, kundalini yogi, and earth-medicine creator. She facilitates a new group called Awe-Inspiring Women, a community based on respect, support, education and, occasionally provoking a conversation, so that we can take responsibility for the world we've created and encourage a better world.

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Quiet Hero by Angel Young

I've been pondering on heroes - I'm not much of a hero worshiper, never got really obsessed with a pop group, and I've been struggling to really see who would be good to put forward - aside from the obviously marvellous Jamie Ridler!

Kindly the universe has obliged with a gentle reminder of my artistic beginnings. Andy (my husband) and I have just got back from Latitude where we've been selling Andy's Jewellery. Latitude is a really fantastic festival - a bit like Glastonbury but smaller (a mere 35,000 people) and more diverse with lots of poetry, literature, art, comedy, film etc as well as the music playing until 3am! We had beautiful weather, worked our socks off, and had a really great time. Andy's my hero too - at every opportunity he says "I am a silversmith" he puts us shy-of-our-talents ladies to shame! But I digress.

A lovely lady came to my stall, and she seemed familiar, but it was because she looked quite like another friend of mine. But then she spoke, and she spoke just like my textiles and art teacher from High School. And it turned out she was my former art teacher, from like 25 years ago! My favourite teacher from school.

And Miss D. is a hero of mine. Naturally creative, Miss D could easily draw, paint, batik etc just as you would want to - with a bit of flair. And she challenged us, made me spread my wings a little bit further, encouraged us to be bold. And created this sanctuary in the art room, where we could retreat at lunchtime, and allowed us freedom to explore what it meant to produce art in lots of different mediums. What a gift. I just wouldn't have had the courage to explore my creative side without this basis back there in the mists of time. Quietly, working behind the scenes in my brain, is the groundwork put in there by Miss D.

Today, it turns out that Miss D is painting full time. How wonderful is that! So, to my rediscovered hero, Miss D - thank you! I genuinely wouldn't have survived without the sanctuary of creativity you instilled in me, and many others, all those years ago.

Angel lives in the UK, and is enjoying the summer plotting some lovely textiles projects.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

I Want to Celebrate by Jodi Crane

Celebrate: to honor, bless, praise, emblazon, exalt, glorify, laud, magnify, resound, or proclaim.

I want to celebrate those who…
  • Do for others without expectation of a return favor or word of gratitude.
  • Do what’s right even if it’s unpopular.
  • Do their own thing in their own unique way and timeframe.
  • Don’t take the easy way out.
  • Face their fears whether they had a choice to or not.
  • Have made sacrifices because they were thinking of others before themselves.
  • Try and fail and yet get up and try again.

I want to celebrate those who…
  • Nurture,
  • Support,
  • Forgive,
  • Mentor,
  • Love,
  • and Celebrate me.

Jodi Crane is a player, creative, play therapist, professor, and more.  Find her playing here.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Cool by Kelly Besecke

I have a thing for "cool people," and I have a specific image of what "cool people" are like. They're bohemian and iconoclastic. They challenge our ideas of what's normal and beautiful and good. They read Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg and D. H. Lawrence, Dostoevsky and Eastern-bloc writers I've never heard of, and if they're exceptionally cool, Zora Neale Hurston and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They like Picasso and surrealism and dark things. They're edgy. They're avante garde, artistic, brilliant, and discerning. They like Lennon more than McCartney, but they like early, little-known blues musicians even more than that. Their humor is filled with unexpected observations, unique word choices, and original twists of phrase.

I'm drawn to these people, but they also intimidate me—because, of course, I'm not that cool. An adolescent at heart, I periodically think, "I should be more like them. I should read edgy literature and see art films and try to make my mark and be an explorer of the outside and a pusher of boundaries." Instead, I read Jane Austen and Harry Potter. I seek out stories of good triumphing over evil and love conquering all. And I gravitate to the bright, happy, sparkling play of colors that Claude Monet saw in hay bales and bowls of grapes. Once, I was given a literal pair of rose-colored glasses: I loved them.

Cool people sing with honest understanding of the tragedy and physicality of the human condition; I write with hopeful idealism of the interconnections between people and the unity of the universe. They explore the aesthetics of decay and the things you can see in the dark; I seek out the sun and the spring green of new leaves. Cool people are edgy and challenging; I am reassuring and hopeful.

But here's the truth: What the cool people I'm thinking of really have in common—what's at root, beneath their arcane tastes—is a commitment to authenticity, truth, and honesty. They are themselves rather than some societal version of normal and good. They see people honestly rather than idealistically or cynically. At their best, they identify with and embrace the real—even the real that is dark, negative, and decaying; even human imperfection; even the tragic.

What really makes cool people cool is not their taste in art, literature, film, or music, or even their attraction to themes of darkness, weakness, and tragedy. What really makes them cool is deeper than that: their commitment to truth and authenticity in themselves and to empathetic and raw honesty in their perceptions of others.

And that's what I take in. That's what I try to imitate. What's cool is being who you really are, even if part of who you are borders on someone else's idea of schmaltzy, naive, or pedestrian. None of those one-sided judgments matter. What matters is expressing your truth, your reality, your unique mind, self, perceptions, and feelings, and bringing that out into the great mix of ingredients that makes up the shifting soup of creative expression.

Kelly Besecke writes about spiritual meaning, progressive religion, and authentic living. Her first book, You Can't Put God in a Box: Thoughtful Spirituality in a Rational Age, will be out November 1. Kelly is a dreamer, a thinker, and an incurable idealist who loves singer-songwriter music, impressionism, and every dog she's ever met.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Trust by Shelley Noyes

Trust. Even if you are underground like a seed that hasn’t germinated yet. Trust even if you are wrapped up tightly in a dark cocoon and memories of your green days seem unreal to you now. Trust even when the root begins to break out of the shell of your seed-self. It will feel like you are being split in half--being broken--like your world is exploding. Trust through the pain of the breaking.

Trust when you start to wake up in a too-tight space--when you feel claustrophobic and panicked and all you want to do is thrash around CRAZY until you get out. Trust that the space isn’t too tight for you--that you will be given the strength you need to get out at the right time. Trust when the wind feels freezing on your still-wet wings that you already have everything you need to fly.

Trust that you will be ready. You will know what to do when it is TIME

My name is Shelley. I write about stuff that happens to me so you won't feel so alone. Email me at

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Hero's Quest by Julie Gibbons

Hero Quest Poster
Heroes – in myth, literature, and real life – take journeys, confront dragons (ie problems) and discover the treasure of their true selves. Although they may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community; with themselves, with other people, and with the earth. ~ Carol Pearson
Your creative dreams depend on your commitment to the hero's quest.

Your unwavering dedication will see you through to the other side of all the obstacles life throws in our wake. Be sure that you will not return from your quest unscathed, nor will you return the same. You will face many unknowns as you walk the path and you will gain knowledge that rocks you to your core.

On your return, you will understand how to interpret your soul speak, so that you may not only live in your whole, true self, but commune with your people - those who would hear your words and share them.

The truth that you must hold on to is that you know all you need to get started now - there will be no other more perfect time - and you are ready in this moment. In fact, you have always been ready.

Your creative dreams depend on you, yes. For you are your own hero. Get ready to gather the treasure. Now is the time for you to begin to live the creative life you dream of.

Your first step - discover who you truly are, what you truly want and how you can truly serve. That is your hero’s quest.

Julie Gibbons enjoys art journaling, journal therapy and mixed media. Her passion is self discovery through intuitive, creative practice, to reveal personal patterns, symbolism & archetypes of the true self.
Blog & Website + Etsy

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Shero by Lisa DeYoung

Lisa, aka the mountain mermaid, is a creative, independent spirit who loves to explore and play outdoors. She lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Embracing her creative life is an ongoing adventure, a journey that she loves and trusts more each year – and hopes to inspire others to do the same. She is also an entrepreneur providing innovative business support, including graphic design services, for passionate creative entrepreneurs.