Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Art of Writing

A piece of blank paper in front of me is neither inviting nor encouraging. Instead, I actually find it intimidating. I’m much better off coming at a page with the idea I want to convey firmly in the grip of my brain, pencil flying. This is why I am almost never prepared when inspiration hits. I’m either in the shower, or driving somewhere when I get the Big Idea. Or I’m in the middle of making dinner or packing kids’ lunches before dashing out the door on my way to work. But if I don’t immediately jot down the thought, chances are it won’t be there by the time it’s convenient enough for me to get behind a computer. So post-it notes, napkins and the backs of old envelopes really are my greatest allies.

While many writers would likely describe their craft as a passion, for me it is something more akin to a compulsion and far more about my desire to communicate. The driving force behind all my work is the need to reach out through expression of the written word. And to my mind, there is nothing quite like constructing a beautifully articulated sentence or finding that one perfect word to describe something so clearly there is absolutely no mistaking the intention. Or on the opposite spectrum, to formulate a concept in such abstract terms that it provokes thought and discussion, and encourages more personal interpretation. 

Writing, like other creative endeavors, has the ability to inspire and unite. But without readers and thinkers who can appreciate it, the art is lost. So if you are reading this now, I thank you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The early morning is my favourite time of day to walk about the neighbourhood. And it’s particularly wonderful during the summer months, when the sun has risen by 5:30 a.m., and it’s warm enough to go without a jacket. It’s rare to run into anyone else; Kobi (my dog) and I usually only have to share the streets with some very chatty birds. The air is clean and fresh, Kobi is always enthusiastic and all the well-tended gardens we pass along the way provide an inspiring backdrop.

However, two mornings ago, as Kobi and I took a quick detour through the park on our way home, I was saddened to note how much litter was strewn about so carelessly. It’s a small space, but one that many children and their caretakers regularly enjoy. As I plucked two dirty plastic water bottles from the sand beneath a swing, I wondered why “somebody” (or very many somebodies) hadn’t thought to clean up the mess.

The next day, Kobi and I stuck to our usual route and veered around the perimeter of the park instead of trekking through it. But instead of simply admiring the lovely landscaping across the street, I took another hard look at all the debris, and angrily thought to myself that “somebody” certainly must be responsible for maintaining the area… but who?

This morning, as I walked out my front door, I immediately spotted a grocery bag lying on the lawn. That was when it struck me that the universe might actually be trying to tell me that “somebody” could be me. After scooping it up, Kobi and I headed directly for the park to fill the bag with trash. Less than five minutes later, we were happily on our way again, none the worse for having gone through this exercise.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Good Morning!

What would it be like to wake up every morning and really welcome in the new day? Not just on the weekend or during your vacation, but on a plain old ordinary day.

When I was a stay-at-home mom I had glimpses of what that would be like, though I was generally too sleep deprived to appreciate it. Now, as a full-time working mom, juggling a ridiculously busy schedule, it seems even more impossible.

What would it take to love your life so much that when it’s time to rise and shine you feel joy and wonder, instead of ho hum or even dread? Is it really a matter of money or is this just what we tell ourselves – as a sort of excuse – as we stand in line to buy our weekly tickets for the lotto? Well, that’s a bit of a cop-out, isn’t it? Like we’re giving ourselves permission to delay happiness until we have so much money we wouldn’t know what to do with it all. Not exactly the most productive or realistic plan.

Perhaps the lesson we need to learn here is actually quite elementary and not unlike everything else we’ve learned in life: take it one step at a time. Start or change one thing in your life and then do another and another. Then before you know it, you’re living your ideal life and the mornings are better than ever. Ultimately, that’s my motivation for starting this blog. And while I don’t know where it may lead, I am looking forward to finding out. (I’ll keep you posted!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Transformational Books

Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner's Guide - by Sandra Ingerman
As someone who has experimented with many spiritual modalities, but is new to shamanism, I found this book very easy to read and understand, with journeying techniques that I had no difficulty applying to my current meditation repertoire.
Ms. Ingerman, who has been studying shamanism for more than 25 years, starts off the book with a little history. She provides interesting and relevant facts about its ancient origins, including its practical application for healing emotional and physical illness.
According to the shamanic way, there are three invisible worlds accessible via journeying that are located just beyond our physical realm. Through the use of visualization techniques (your imagination) and repetitive drum music to keep the mind from becoming distracted (courtesy of the CD which accompanies this book), one can easily cross the veil. Each experience is unique, personal and dependent upon the reason for a particular journey. But expect to meet totem animals and teachers in human form to guide you along the way.
From what the author writes here, as well as from what I have experienced myself, there is nothing dangerous about shamanic journeying. My feeling is that anyone interested in receiving spiritual guidance on personal life issues for themselves would benefit from this practice. By outlining it in such an easy-to-follow step-by-step manner, Ms. Ingerman has demystified the process for us, while at the same time demonstrated how relevant this ancient modality is for us today.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shine Your Light: The World Needs You!

Shine your Light, as only you can.  You are not here by some random act… none of us are. We are all apart of the Divine plan with our own unique gifts and talents to share. Only you can be you… and you owe it to yourself and the world to be the best you possible. 

This advice is just as much for me as it is for anyone else. While I have identified myself as a writer for very many years, I have allowed my fears to get in the way of communicating my personal perspective in an open forum. As a former public relations consultant, I am much more comfortable being behind the scenes and helping others bask in the spotlight. But I now realize the time has come for me to put aside my insecurities about how my words might be received and just go for it.

Ultimately, for me (like most of us) the fear is about being harshly judged. Knowing that my way of seeing the world is unconventional and by presenting my ideas in the public arena, I am leaving myself wide open and vulnerable to criticism and potential backlash. But alternatively, by stepping outside of my comfort zone and choosing to share my insights, I may also write something that actually resonates with a few people and even generates positive affects in their lives. And that, for me, is worth everything!

My hope in writing this is that I may inspire you to do the same… in your own way! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We are living in an incredible time of transition… allowing for the possibility of personal transformations of every sort. This, in turn, is affecting society as a whole on a very profound level. Out of the current economic uncertainty, new hope and idealism seem to be emerging. From the ashes of so many ivory towers, we are rediscovering the fertile soil of our dreams. We are waking up to new realizations of what is important in our life experience. And that is why this is an age of metamorphosis.

We, in the western world, have spent the last 100 years in a haze of unconscious development. This has left us with a superficial infrastructure based on monetary greed and a legacy of false notions about success. The continuous pursuit of a “better” job title, more expensive car, bigger house, etc. than one’s neighbour/friend/brother, for purposes of self-aggrandizement, has exacted a toll on all of us. It is Old World thinking that glorifies such ego-based goals. But the tide is turning and the collective no longer cares what “The Joneses” are up to anymore – what’s going on in our own backyards is far more interesting, relevant and important.

With environmental issues finally too big to ignore, an economic crisis that has touched most of us in some way, and health fears reaching pandemic proportions, everyone is scrambling to make sense of the new paradigm. As a result, major shifts in consciousness are occurring… and that is very exciting!

From every death, comes rebirth: an opportunity to reinvent oneself. Of course this is almost never easy, but the reward of following one’s heart and true passions is a happier and more fulfilling life and that has to be worth the effort. So here’s to metamorphosis… Welcome!