Love & Marry Your Self Forever: Chapter 5

gaianguardian1Chapter 5 / Self-Love Manifestations

You are a gorgeous being of light, and you are worthy of abundant love and happiness. When you are fully tapped into love with the Beloved, you are in the best love affair of your life. Are you feeling the love? We will further explore self-care practices in today’s segment of your self-love journey.

 

Weekly Self-Love Date & Gift of Self-Appreciation

You are taking your Self, your creative Goddess inside, on a splendid date this week! Yay! And hopefully for most weeks for the remainder of your Earthwalk sharing love with / in Gaia. This is another self-love activity that is simple, but it will make a big difference in your life because it is an affirmation of your worth and you give it to your Self.

Your self-love date can be at any time and on any day you wish, and it can be for any duration of time. Women especially, but also many men, are hard workers and often caregivers for their family and friends. We are all busy in our lives, and some are overworked and too busy. Do your best to make your self-love date at least an hour. It’s helpful to choose the same day each week and block the time off in your calendar, but you can vary the time, if you wish.

You will be alone on this date. This is a time for you to reconnect with YOU! Choose an activity that makes you happy and delights your inner Child. While you are on your date, give yourself a gift of appreciation. This gift can be small or large; it can be whimsical or practical. You can make it yourself or purchase something you need or desire. It can be as simple as an affirmation.

gaianguardian5Retreat Your Self

In Europe, most people receive five weeks of vacation from employers; in the US, most people are doing well if they receive one or two weeks off from work. This shows up in our health and longevity; stress is a killer and causes all sorts of problems in our internal systems. You are highly encouraged to make retreat a priority in your life. When I speak of retreat, I mean a period of time where you are intentionally setting aside time for your Self and your inner journey. The intention is re-connection with Source and your creativity, vision, life purpose.

A retreat can take the place of your self-love date whenever you wish; they are very similar. On retreat, however, the focus is intentionally inward; while on a self-love date, any type of focus will do as long as you are engaged in an activity that delights you. Retreats can be taken alone, one-on-one with a professional guide or a friend, or in a group. There are professional retreat coaches, like me, who love creating retreats for groups and individuals.

Retreats can be outdoors or indoors, but it’s best to choose a place that you will enjoy and serves your intention and purpose for the retreat. Since the idea is rest and rejuvenation, you want to choose a place where you will feel comfortable. While the focus is on an inward journey, that journey is of your own choosing and can be with any intention or purpose. That said, it’s always best to frame a clear intention before you embark on retreat.

Perhaps you desire a retreat walking alone in a park or wilderness area? Maybe you’d like to retreat in a comfortable bed & breakfast inn with an experienced guide (and a spa) for a luxurious weekend get-away designed especially for you? Perhaps you’d like to share a longer retreat with a group at a retreat space with all the elements carefully crafted and planned, so you receive a shared, ultimate retreat experience?

Group retreat offerings can be a fabulous and affordable way to retreat your Self. You receive guidance from a professional retreat coach, plus community, sharing, and mirroring from the other retreatants in the group. Group retreats can be especially growthful and memorable because they are shared, and human beings are social animals.

Group retreats can be custom-designed for a specific group, or they are created and offered by a retreat coach and open to the public. There are an extraordinary variety of group retreats available for you to seek out and choose from.

Retreats are a fabulous way for you to re-connect with what is truly important in your life and on your self-love journey. Your retreats can be simple or grand (and as often) as you need and desire. The natural world, in the arms of Gaia, is one of the best places to retreat and re-connect. God/dess, reTREAT thyself!

gaianguardian3Creative Visualization

Imagine and visualize that which you desire to create in your life. Simultaneously feel the wonderful feelings you experience when you manifest what you dream of. See yourself already there and feel your joy, power and glory while riding the success pony.

If you like, make a dream collage or vision board, where you draw and/or clip and paste images and words that convey your vision onto poster board. Hang it in a prominent place to regularly see your dream and to remind your Self to do your creative visualization exercises daily, plus take the necessary action steps to make your dream real.

Focus on manifesting one important vision or aspect of your life at a time while you are building your creative visualization muscles. Be gentle with yourself and don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Sometimes manifestation happens quickly, even instantly. For other dreams and intentions, it takes time, patience and plenty of concrete, action steps. Remember those little steps add up to big leaps!

The energetic possibilities of the Universe are infinite. It’s crucial to embrace the mystery of the unknown in order to fully tap into the realm of your creative possibilities. It is when you are faced with not-knowing, a challenge, or a question that you become your most creative and insightful.

Learn to enjoy and dance with mystery and uncertainty. Doing so will foster your highest creative potential. Make up vision songs to sing to your Self while you are dancing. You will begin to consciously manifest your visions with the power of your thoughts, feelings, and concrete action steps. The Universe will support you,  as long as you complete tasks that are necessary and do your part. There may be outcomes that appear to be setbacks, and maybe it’s just time to rest and regroup, embrace the Mystery.

You must also expect and believe that your cherished dreams will manifest and that you are worthy of what you desire. This often takes inner growth to move through any subconscious blocks, fears or resistance you may carry that sabotage your dreams. Your comfort journal and your morning pages will help you with this personal growth. You can also seek out a trusted, professional counselor or life coach to assist you in transforming those blocks.

To learn more about creative visualization, visit Shakti Gawain at www.shaktigawain.com. She’s a wise woman, and I’m eternally grateful for her wisdom. Creative visualization works! I’ve tested it again and again. See for yourself. Creative visualization practice will bring you magical manifestations… just be careful what you ask for because your thoughts and energy are very powerful, said with a smile. 

FIELDWORK:

  1. Gather your journal and pen and whatever you need to be comfortable. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted for a period of time.
  1. Go outside into Nature, if you are able and willing, and try to sit in the sunlight.
  2. Before you begin the fieldwork exercises, ground and center yourself in the Now with your breath, remind yourself that you are a divine child of Goddess and that you are deeply interconnected to the One.
  1. Make a list of places and activities you will enjoy on your weekly self-love dates. Here are some ideas to stimulate your imagination:
  • hiking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, bicycling
  • shopping for a special gift, a trip to a museum, movie, concert, lecture
  • reading, writing in your journal, arts & crafts, sewing

Pick a day and time for your date this week, mark it in your calendar and stick to it. Set your intention to take your Self on a date every week and keep your commitment to yourself. Your well being is important.

  1. Make a list of things you’d like to give to your Self as gifts of appreciation. You can combine them with your date. For instance, if you’re going to take your Self shopping, buy a gift then. Or if you’ll be going for a hike, you could create a love note, a token, or a special snack that you give yourself along the way. Perhaps sewing is what you wish to do; if so, you could give yourself a gift that fits with that activity. Let your imagination run free when planning your dates and gifts; and also allow yourself moments of spontaneity when your inner voice prompts you. I like to give myself gifts of fruit and nuts, fresh juices, teas & kombucha.
  1. Make a list of places you would like to retreat in. They can be as near as your backyard or far away and exotic. A natural retreat can be as short as a few minutes out of a busy day, a few hours, a day, weekend or much longer. Pick one of the places on your list and make a plan to go there and retreat soon. You will do this retreat alone. Decide how long your retreat will last.

For this first adventure, you may wish to make it a mini-retreat of one to three hours. Determine what activities you’d like to do while on retreat. Here are few ideas to consider: meditation, walking, painting or drawing, writing, soaking in a hot tub or springs, saunas, pools and gyms, drinking a cup of tea with reflection, simply gazing upon the world around you with focus and mindfulness. If you have a desired outcome for the retreat, set that intention and take the action steps necessary to bring that outcome to fruition. It can be a working retreat as well: chop wood, carry water with mindfulness.

  1. Choose a dream or vision of something which you would like to manifest in your life. Start with something relatively simple. Practice creative visualization to make it real. It is best to exercise these muscles several times each day. Make a small vision board to support your manifestation process, if this appeals to you. Write about it in your journal often. Be patient and watch for the magical synchronicity and synergy to happen! Keep track of this in your journal.
  1. Remember to write your morning pages every day.
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Love & Marry Your Self Forever: Chapter 4

c5Chapter 4 / Vanquish Your Inner Critic

So how are you doing so far? Are you enjoying the Course? You’re encouraged to send me your thoughts and any constructive feedback as we progress, and this helps me improve my services and products. I’m generally happy to hear from friends and clients.

Morning Pages

Today we are focusing upon a writing practice that Julia Cameron calls “morning pages” in her excellent and well-known book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (you can find her at http://juliacameronlive.com/the-artists-way/ for more on this subject and her work). Morning pages is a practice of writing three pages each morning upon awakening (or at another time if you prefer), and doing this practice is a precious gift to your Self.

Morning is recommended because you are fresh from your dream state, and your Inner Wise One is more easily accessible. Another reason morning is recommended is because you get all the mind-clutter out and onto the page, where you can see it. You’ll get all your mindful planning done before you begin your day and go out into the world.

You may write whatever comes and is true for you… just let your thoughts and feelings flow out in a stream of consciousness without judgment or censure. Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar and spelling, etc. because this is not for anyone other than your Self. If you don’t feel inspired or feel resistant, begin with writing that down. Just write! The important thing is to write at least three pages most days. Consider making this a pleasurable habit over a beverage you enjoy while sitting in your favorite, comfortable chair… preferably in the sunshine, when available.

You could write these morning pages in your Marry Your Self Forever Journal, but I suggest you have another journal that you keep just for morning pages, so that your comfort journal remains such. Some people like to write their morning pages (or keep a journal) on their computer or write them while they are commuting to and from their jobs. Again, do what works best for you and write them at a time that feels right and makes sense in your schedule. It may turn out that you write your pages at another time during the day, like before bed; that’s perfectly okay, too.

For now, refrain from going back and reading the pages you have written. You may do this at some point in the future, if you choose, once this practice has become firmly established and working its magical healing. Again, I urge you to write whatever is true for you in the moment. Do not share your morning pages with anyone; they are for your eyes and inner healing only. You will be able to write more freely knowing this is a safe space for you to express yourself authentically.

c4Vanquish the Voice of Your Inner Critic

Over the course of time consistently writing your morning pages, you’ll discover that the voice of your inner critic will grow weaker and become less frequent. You will learn to create positive self-talk to counter any self-limiting or self-defeating, critical voices and their messages, as well as changing underlying beliefs that hamper your progress. You’ll also find that this is a way to clarify your thoughts, grow closer to your dreams, visions, life purpose, and make concrete action steps and plans to bring those visions and life purpose into reality with integrity, authenticity and satisfaction.

I have written morning pages consistently for years now and can testify to their effectiveness. I used to be very hard on myself and suffered pain from my own inner critical and self-defeating voices. As a result, I also had a mean girl inside who would periodically react, act out, and sometimes behave with harsh judgment and criticism toward others and speak hurtful words I would later regret.

I’m thrilled to share that the inner critic rarely resides within my being these days. My mean girl has virtually disappeared! I want you to know that this is possible for you, too. In fact, the possibilities are endless and are only limited by our imaginations and consciousness.

Put Your Inner Critic to Work and Give It a Good Purpose

When you encounter your inner critic, be sure to send it out into the world to do some other work. Give your inner critic and saboteur some purpose and good use. This way it will stop limiting YOU and sabotaging your dreams and self-love! Thank your inner critic for whatever service it may have provided to you in the past, request its cooperation with your adult self in the present, and then send it to help preserve the rain forests or work to end poverty. You can even assign the inner critic the more mundane, drudge work of the world, if you like. The important thing is that you are taking action to empower your positive self-talk and develop your sense of worth, while also hopefully enjoying some fun and laughs.

You’ll find writing morning pages a powerful path to personal growth. If you miss a day now and then, that’s fine. Just return to the practice when you can.

Fieldwork:

  1. Gather your journal and pen (or your computer) and whatever you need to be comfortable. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted for a period of time. This is YOUR time to nurture your Self. Make an attempt to give yourself special YOU time every day, whether you are doing this eCourse or not.
  1. Go outside into Nature, if you are able and willing, and try to sit in the sunlight. It’s well-proven that sunshine is quite beneficial for the health of our bodies; this is also true of spending time communing and attuning with the natural world.
  2. Before you begin the fieldwork exercises, ground your Self — take a few deep breaths, imagine yourself surrounded by healing pink light, center yourself in the Now, remind yourself that you are a divine child of Source (whatever you choose to name this higher power or Force) and that you are deeply interconnected to everything within the web of life.
  1. Answer these questions:
  • When will I write my morning pages?
  • Where will I write my pages?
  • Will I write them in the same place or various places, as I feel moved?
  • Am I willing to commit to writing these pages for at least 12 weeks in order to see concrete results?
  1. Write down the following sentences. As you write each sentence, notice if you hear any critical, negating, or condemning voices inside and jot down whatever you hear below each sentence. Once you are done with writing each sentence and any accompanying inner messages, re-frame the negative self-talk or critical messages in a way that is self-affirming and a validation instead.

Think about where these negative voices or phrases may have come from. Was it sometime during your childhood, in your family, at school, in church, and/or on the playground or later in your life? Write down the origins of your inner critic as you think about this. How has this “story” served you in the past? Can it now serve you in a better way? If you hear a Yes! or a validation in response to a sentence, make a note of those affirming voices and where they came from, too!

Take your time with this exercise, allow the questions to bring forth the inner voices and listen intently. This is an exercise you can repeat with different validating statements.

  • I love myself deeply and truly.
  • I am living from my vision and in prosperity.
  • My inner reality is created moment by moment by the choices that I make.
  • I am beautiful, strong, powerful, tender, vulnerable, soft and unique.
  • Creativity and generative-power are my birthrights, and I utilize them well in fulfilling my needs and desires.
  • Everything I need is available to me, and I have more than what I need to be happy.
  • My happiness is my choice. I choose how I respond to external circumstances and events.
  1. As you move through your days, practice mindfulness in the moment and notice when you hear the judgmental voice of the inner critic and what it says. Immediately acknowledge and then counter that voice with the validations you have created or make one up on the spot. If you begin to notice a repeating refrain or pattern, you can have validations prepared and ready! You’re invited to write down these validations and affirmations and place them around your habitat in places where you’ll see them often. Repeat them regularly to yourself; consider making them into mantras to chant softly as you do other tasks.
  1. If you wish to develop your mindfulness, simply notice and give silent words to what you are doing whenever you can remember to do this and make it a practice. It helps to meditate regularly and often, even if it’s simply for a few minutes or while doing a mundane task like washing the dishes! Try this dish-washing mindfulness meditation of breathing and noticing each moment. Say silently (or out loud) to yourself what is happening in the moment as you wash and rinse, dry and put away the dishes. You might be surprised at what an enjoyable activity and calming respite this simple, everyday task can become! As you wash, say statements like: I am washing the dishes. I feel the warm water. I see and feel the bubbles on my hands. I am now rinsing and see the water over the plate. You get the point, yeah? You can do this with any activity you choose.
  1. Another simple practice while meditating is to notice and let go easily of the thoughts that arise — accept, acknowledge and let them pass as the clouds pass over the sky, without clinging or holding on. As you breathe out, let go by saying, “As I breathe out, I let go.” Then, “As I breathe in, I am love.” With mindfulness practice combined with morning pages, you will gradually quiet and eventually vanquish the voice of your inner critic. At the same time, you will be growing your sense of prosperity and joy.
  1. Write your morning pages.
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Love & Marry Your Self Forever: Chapter 3

DSC07814Chapter 3 / Make Your Love Real

Do you accept and believe that you are responsible for your perception, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and well-being to a great extent? To embrace this perspective is empowering, together with sharing your voice, gifts and talents that are uniquely yours to give. It takes you far from victimhood and internalized oppression; it brings you to the possibility of you as an effective change agent, leader and force for good. From moment to moment, you co-create outcomes you need and desire from a place of choice, regardless of external circumstances.

As your supportive ally and co-creator, I am walking beside you on this spiritual path. We are learning and growing together. Always remember that you are Seen, you are Known, and you are Loved. Take in this truth, coupled with the energy of Universal Life Force, with each breath.

DSC07801Creating & Keeping a Journal Fosters Your Development & Creativity

Keeping a diary or journal is a time-tested tradition, which fosters the development of creativity and reaching our potential. A journal is an awesome tool to use toward the fulfillment of your plans and visions. You’re invited and encouraged to make a journal especially for this eCourse to record your journey, so you may look back, review, and remember. Naming, giving voice to, and writing down your experiences, thoughts and feelings also brings them more deeply home to your heart-mind, helps you to fully integrate learnings and transitions, and also effectively enables their embodiment and manifestation into the material plane.

Why not gift yourself with a beautiful journal and pen (or, better yet, a set of colored felt pens) just for this purpose? To do so would be a validation of your magnificently creative Self and your Inner Child. You may embellish the pages with drawings, photographs, stickers, stamps, clip art from magazines and/or comic strips, feathers, ribbons, small pieces of fabric, lace, felt, poems, found objects, buttons, quotations, sweet notes from loved ones, and any other meaningful memento you find attractive and comforting. Give your imagination free rein to express itself and have fun with your journal!

DSC07775A Journal Gives Back Gifts

A journal is an awesome friend, and a place where you may rest on the page as you write, draw, and create. What’s great is that you can take this journal anywhere, and it’s nice to take on trips when you’ll be away from home and loved ones. You can also carry your eCourse binder when you’re ready to do your fieldwork. Your journal — a self-love oasis — is a respite from the cares of your world, a sweet spot where you find comfort and solace during challenging times.

Be sure especially to record special moments or events that engender feelings of wonder, love, well-being, gratitude, blessing and grace within you, so you may draw them forth whenever you wish. Know that this emphasis on what feels good (wholesome states of consciousness) also develops and deepens your prosperity consciousness (more on this later).

Make Your Self-Love Real

Make your journal a place of self-care and nurturing, where you share your best Self and positive, loving, hopeful thoughts, words, and images, along with healing of old stories and wounds, insights, places and personal growth work. Give this special journal a name, such as….

 Fill in your name   Comfort Journal

_______ Gratitude & Self-Love Journal

Love and Commitment to ________ Journal

_______ Juicy Fun Healing Book of JOY

Butterfly Wings of ___________ or

whatever your heart desires. Make your self-love REAL and LAUGH!

In closing today, I wish to affirm that learning to love ourselves well for most of us is a life-long process. You can choose to see the truth and value of your process of natural unfolding, and learn to relish the small steps that move you toward the Now and the future you envision. Know that there will be bumps, blocks and detours along the way, and you’ll make mistakes. That is all part of our process and may be for good reasons that you may not be aware of. It is through our mistakes that we learn and grow. What matters is to do your best and forgive yourself any mistakes. Acknowledge your challenges as growth opportunities for they make you a better person.

DSC07733Fieldwork:

  • Gather your journal and pen (or your computer) and whatever you need to be comfortable. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted for a period of time. This is YOUR time to nurture your Self. Make an attempt to give yourself special YOU time every day, whether you are doing this eCourse or not.
  • Go outside into Nature, if you are able and willing, and try to sit in the sunlight. It’s well-proven that sunshine is quite beneficial for the health of our bodies; this is also true of spending time communing and attuning with the natural world.
  • Before you begin the fieldwork activities, ground your Self by taking a few deep breaths and feeling your feet firmly on the ground. Imagine yourself surrounded by healing pink light. Center yourself in the Now. Remind yourself that you are a divine child of Source / God / Goddess / Universe, and you are deeply interconnected to everything within the web of life.
  • Answer these questions:
  • How does it feel to be taking this step now?
  • What feelings are coming up for me in reading the eCourse?
  • How am I currently feeling about myself?
  • Where is my level of self-worth and well-being?
  • What is my intention in doing this course and marrying my Self?
  • What do I hope to take away from this journey?
  • How will I know if that has happened for me?
  • Is there anything I need to do or let go of to make space for this and commit to its completion?
  • Is there anything or anyone standing in my way that I need to share and resolve with?
  • What amount of uninterrupted solitude will I make for writing?
  • I am learning to love myself deeply and hereby commit to my own nurturing and well-being.
  • How will this improve and change my life?

 

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Love & Marry Your Self Forever: Chapter 2

"Nesting Behavior"

“Nesting Behavior” (Acrylic, 16″ x 20″)

Chapter 2 / Goddess, Gaia & You

It’s another beautiful day of self-love in paradise! I honor the Goddess / God / Universe within you, and Spirit is our topic in today’s installment. What is the name (or names) that you give to this powerful Source energy within your being and which surrounds you? This energy or life force resonates within every living being. How do you conceptualize this divine energy? What does it look like in your mental imagery?

In this eCourse, I will use the terms “Source,” “Universe,” “Beloved,” and “Goddess,” along with the feminine pronoun. This is to honor and strengthen the Divine Feminine in each of us. We will also raise our awareness of the interconnected web of life and Earth. I also acknowledge the God or Divine Masculine, which also resides within and all around us. We may call Source by any name; She is beyond the duality of masculine and feminine. What is most important is that you give Her name(s), image(s) that are meaningful for you and that resonate with your inner Self.

We are all One and all from the same creative Source energy. When we get beyond the realms of ego, form, dualism and individualism, there is no separation. The long, wondrous, evolutionary journey we have all made together is evoked in a splendid way by Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn in his poem, “The Old Mendicant.” Take a few moments to allow these lines to sink in; hear them as if they were addressed to you:

Being rock, being gas, being mist, being Mind,

Being the mesons traveling among galaxies with the

   speed of light,

You have come here, my beloved one …

You have manifested yourself as trees, as grass, as

   butterflies, as single-celled beings, and as

   chrysanthemums;

but the eyes with which you looked at me this morning

tell me you have never died.

Spiritual Foundations

To embrace your Self with deep compassion and view your Self as a magnificent manifestation of Source is to embrace the truth. This is also a remarkably rich spiritual path. When I speak of deep self-love, it is with this in mind. To grow and practice self-love is not about an ego-based, narcissistic perspective.

In seeking to expand your creative potential and personal power by growing your self-love, it is most helpful to look deeply within. Many sages and prophets have told us this throughout the ages. It is not by looking outside ourselves that we will find true and lasting liberation, happiness and peace. You have the inner capacity and resilience, through Source, to creatively meet whatever life may bring you.

To enliven, honor, and strengthen your intuition and Goddess within …

  • Care for your Self with deep love and compassion by doing what feels wholesome & healthy;
  • Pause often to reflect and consciously choose actions in alignment with your core values;
  • Meditate and Practice Mindfulness to remember and grow your consciousness; and
  • Play within endeavors and activities that bring you meaning, happiness and satisfaction.

Her voice and guidance will be clearer to you as you increase your self-love. To love your Self is the same as loving Goddess and Earth-Gaia — loving all simultaneously. When you write your Morning Pages and in your comfort journal each day (more on this in next two installments), you are strengthening and deepening this connection with Source. You are shoring up your spiritual foundations to help you increase your various capacities. Your spiritual foundations are the bedrock of your Inner Garden, and they will serve you well through life’s peaks and valleys.

Gaian Web of Infinite Possibilities

Gaia is a living, breathing being and web of infinite energetic possibility. You are a part of that Web. Every thought, feeling, and action impacts the energy and integrity of the Web of the One Love. You are far more powerful than you may realize.

Your energies and thoughts reach beyond the limits of space and time. This has been scientifically documented by the Heart-Math Institute and other researchers in the field of heart-mind resonance theory. With mindfulness, vision and clear intention, you can consciously choose how you impact and influence the Gaian Web.

Have you ever been walking in a forest or other place in the natural world and felt the sense of the sacred within you? The natural beauty and majesty of our Earth, from the simplest little dandelion flower to a grand Redwood forest, has been our Source since our species began its evolutionary journey ages ago. Because of this primal bond, we feel the Earth’s energetic pulse and life force in our bodies and hold subconscious, ancestral, cellular memories.

Gaia, with Her rich, watery, oxygen-producing ecosystem, breathes us. Gaia sustains us with Her abundant, renewable resources. In this way, the Earth is our Mother. We all know this, but many of us have lost the deep sense of connection with that which sustains, nourishes and, in a sense, loves us. The Mother is not honored and cherished in our culture, as She has been and still is by indigenous peoples, and as She will be again, if our species is to survive.

Not only does the Earth sustain us, She also heals us. Walking within the dappled shade of a forest creates a sense of well being and peace. Sitting on a beach by the sea, on a lake, or beside a river has a similar effect. While you are sitting next to a tree or in a luscious garden of flowers and plants, consciously connect to the energy of those beings; notice how this energetic connection heals and grounds you.

Make time to re-connect with the natural world every day, even if it is just for a few minutes in your yard, a nearby park or tending a house plant. Make this practice a part of your spiritual path. It is during these times of retreat, vacation and rest in nature that you are most likely to find the answers to your questions and clear resolution of dilemmas.

Fieldwork

Incorporate daily connection with nature and Gaia-Source as a part of your life and spiritual practice. Practice grounding in nature to bring you to present-moment awareness and build your resilience. To do this, simply choose a place where you won’t be disturbed, breathe deeply down through your chest and into your stomach. You can place your hand upon your stomach to stay in touch with your breath. Sit or stand with your feet placed on the ground.

Meditate upon and visualize the Universe’s light energy flowing into the top of your head (your crown chakra), down through your being to your heart chakra, and then continuing down through your root or first chakra, flowing out of your being and deep into the center of the Earth. Visualize the light as healing energy bathing your body and each of its cells. Send it to the places in your body that feel tired, achy or tense. Imagine your Self being held in the soft lap of Goddess. Repeat the mantra “Breathing in, I am home; breathing out, I am peace.”

This is a simple and refreshing meditation you can do anywhere. It is especially effective when combined with Gaian energies by being outside in nature.

Calm and relax your being and come present to the moment by taking a few deep breaths and repeat, “I am a child of Goddess, and I am worthy of all good.”

Journey within and see in your mind’s eye your Inner Garden. Think about its foundations and what you want them to be like. Do you have a strong foundation in place upon which to build the rest of your garden? If not, what more needs to be done? Are there (or would you like) any outcroppings, hills or mountains in your garden? What about brickwork, walkways? Ask your Inner Goddess these types of questions and listen intently for the answers. Begin to build your inner garden and focus on the foundational aspects.

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Love & Marry Your Self Forever: Chapter 1

c1Chapter 1 / Introduction & Benefits

Welcome to the Love & Marry Your Self Forever eCourse! This is a renewal practice and a life-long love affair with your beautiful Self, your Muse, your inner Beloved.

You have given your Self a wonderful gift by making this life-serving, nurturing choice to create a powerful foundation of self-care and self-love, culminating in a self-marriage ceremony. This will sustain you for the rest of your life, with abiding inner peace, wholeness and happiness — a still lake you can dip into whenever you wish to refresh your Self. In this way, you also sustain your world and that which you love by serving from an overflowing cup of love. You can become love in addition to being a lover.  

You will receive these amazing benefits from this eCourse:

  • Increased Inner Awareness and Mindfulness
  • Growth in Self-Esteem, Self-Love, Self-Worth
  • Higher Levels of Resiliency, Faith and Trust
  • Practices to Silence Your Inner Critic

Connection with your Inner Self and Celebration of Special Moments

Take a moment to check-in with your Self and clearly acknowledge that you ARE embarking on this self-love adventure. Drop within and notice if there is a response — a clear feeling, a voice, a whisper, a tingle. The presence of our inner Self (or observer) shows up differently for each of us. Remaining well-connected to this Presence takes development of mindful awareness through practice.

Celebrate this important step in your life. Powerful forces have brought us together for this sacred endeavor. This brings me gladness, and I am celebrating with you! We are intentionally choosing to walk the peaceful Beauty Way and cultivate an inner garden filled with wonder and delight!

Please acknowledge and accept that you are a precious and unique person. You were born with essential goodness, worthiness. You are ever-evolving within constant change, integration, growth and process. Remember it is your journey that truly matters, and not the final destination or outcome, which, let’s face it, is essentially the same for each of us.

Give thanks now and each day for the gift and blessings of your life, and the Earth and Source which sustain our lives. To practice daily gratitude for what is good in your life achieves and sustains wholesome states of consciousness.

Introduction to eCourse and What to Expect  

You’ll receive a daily installment of this course for the next 12 days — a total of 13 glorious, value-packed chapters of guidance for more fully awakening to your joy, aliveness, and love. The course will culminate in a ceremonial ritual and commitment just right for YOU because you will create it from a place of deep self-examination and knowing. This gradual unfolding and culmination in ceremony supports and empowers you to become the subject of your own life story, rather than seeing yourself and your body, as through a looking-glass, objectified.

To be the subject of your life story means you are self-determining and self-actualizing from your whole Self and co-creating your life from a place of personal acceptance and power. You are a magnificent being of energy and far more than just the external image (or restrictive roles) the media and cultural conditioning view as object.

The Love & Marry Your Self Forever eCourse is designed so that each step or learning builds upon the previous one. It is most effective to read the chapters in sequence, and then complete the fieldwork activities, before moving on to the next chapter. You further optimize its value by incorporating the suggested practices into your daily routines; and, in doing so, will experience a marked improvement in your sense of self-worth and well-being.

You may choose to complete this course quickly, or you may take as long as you desire. What’s important is that you listen to and honor your Self, your needs/wants. You can take this awakening at your own pace and ease. Remember to view this as a process.  You’re encouraged to ENJOY reading the course, completing the fieldwork, and then practicing the suggested activities.

You are free to make adjustments, as they suit you; however, be aware that your choices will impact how much value you take-away from the course, as well as how well you are able to integrate the teachings. You can print the course and keep it in a binder to make it more portable. It’s advantageous and beneficial to do the fieldwork outside in Nature. I highly encourage you to retreat your Self in Nature whenever possible… make it a regular practice.

Self-Acceptance is Key

I leave you today with the invitation to practice loving acceptance of whatever arises within you. Be gentle with yourself, take your time, acknowledge you have done your best with the circumstances you have been presented with, and accept whatever feelings arise. The fact that the emotions are there within you makes them valid and acceptable.

Acceptance is key to successful development of your self-love. Do not turn away; do not judge yourself; forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made in the past or shame you may feel. Please do your best to realize that we all have our shadow sides and wounded places.

We must give those hurt parts of us love and attention in order to transform them into that which truly serves our vision and purpose. With love and acceptance of your Self in all your different aspects, imperfections, flaws, gifts, and other characteristics which make you unique, human and vulnerable, you will grow in peace and happiness.This does not mean we don’t choose to work to improve our lives and our world; it does mean acceptance of what IS and being okay with starting from that place over and over again.

FIELDWORK:

Ground your Self by taking a few deep breaths, filling your chest and then your belly. Place your hand on your stomach to remain mindful of your breath. Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Imagine yourself surrounded by healing pink light and breathe it in; allow it to radiate into your core and through your body. Center yourself in the Now. Begin to notice your thoughts and let them pass by like clouds across the sky, without clinging or attachment. Remind yourself that you are a divine child of Source / God / Goddess / Universe, and you are deeply interconnected to everything within the web of life.

Think about what you may need or wish to let go of. As you breathe in, say, “Breathing in, I am letting go” and visualize yourself releasing. As you breathe out, smile to yourself and say, “Breathing out, I am free.” Repeat this process as many times as you wish, for whatever you wish to release. It is helpful to work on letting go of one thing at a time until you truly feel a sense of release and liberation from any attachments, thoughts, or stories impeding your movement.

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Playing with Fire

Science & Technology

Fire Dance

How to play with creative fire in the Burning Times is an interesting question. Part II of today’s musicology life-lesson involves a listen to fiery Jim Morrison and The Doors.

Touch Me

Light My Fire

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Rapture Riders on the Storm

I continue my forays into popular music history / herstory today; and, as a result, I’m riding the rapture on the storm and workin’ the mojo with Blondie (Debbie Harry and friends). I also feel inspired by the old-to-new mashup video (included below) with Jim Morrison and The Doors. It also features a cameo appearance by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was the subject of my recent Art History final term paper. In the process of researching his story and writing the paper, I grew my admiration and love of Basquiat and his body of creative work.

The song “In the Flesh” reaffirms the intrinsic value of up-close and personal relationships versus those carried out primarily long distance and/or in the cyber vortex, all the while knowing from experience that absence does make the heart grow fonder. Here’s to love and artivism in all its many forms and dimensions and figuring out what works best for us individually and collectively in cooperation! Hear ye, hear ye! *grin* Enjoy!

The Hardest Part

Living in the Real World

Rapture Riders – Blondie & The Doors

In the Flesh

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Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror, a Primer

Understanding-ISIS-COVER-242x400“The US is back at war. A new version of what was once known as George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” has become the central component of American foreign policy. The US/NATO assault on Libya in 2011, thousands of troops on the ground in Iraq, plans to keep combat troops in Afghanistan, drone wars rising in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere—and now new air wars are underway against ISIS and others in Iraq, Syria and perhaps beyond.

In this newest addition to Interlink’s wide-ranging Understanding Global Issues series, Phyllis Bennis answers the basic questions facing so many people struggling to figure out what the US war is all about: What is ISIS? Why are they so violent? Should Obama have kept troops in Iraq? Is ISIS the same as al-Qaeda? Can you really go to war against terror? How should the US respond to ISIS? What dangers lie ahead?” ~Institute for Policy Studies

“Fellow Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the advisory board of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She writes and speaks widely across the U.S. and around the world as part of the global peace movement. She continues to serve as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.

Co-sponsored by Peace ActionTeaching for Change, and Jewish Voice for Peace – DC Metro ChapterBennis discusses her book and answer questions posed by Busboys & Poets’ own Andy Shallal in the video below, with lots of time for audience Q&As too.

Without jargon, in her usual easy-to-use Frequently Asked Questions format, Bennis sorts through the hype to get to the root of this newest version of Washington’s continuing global war on terror.” ~IPS

With her customary lucidity and talent for judicious interpretation, Phyllis Bennis provides an authoritative introduction to all that is now known about ISIS. It is more than a ‘primer,’ offering an indispensable account of the complex turmoil afflicting the Middle East.

Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law & Practice at Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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The Great Love Affair: It’s My Way

Families & People

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery. However many of life’s large, captivating principles and small, captivating details we may explore, unpuzzle, and learn by heart, there will still be vast unknown realms to lure us. If uncertainty is the essence of romance, there will always be enough uncertainty to make life sizzle and renew our sense of wonder. It bothers some people that no matter how passionately they may delve, the universe remains inscrutable. “For my part,” Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between. ~Diane Ackerman, from A Natural History of the Senses

It’s My Way, Buffy Sainte-Marie:

It’s My Way

(I’m cutting my) own way
through my own day
and all I dare say is
It’s my own

(Got my) own seeds
Got my own weeds
I’ve got my own harvest
that I’ve sown

I can tell you
things I‘ve done
and I can sing you
songs I’ve sung
But there’s one thing
I can’t give
for I and I alone can live

The years I’ve known,
the life I’ve grown.
Got a way I’m going,
and it’s my Way.

I’ve got my own stakes
in my own game
I’ve got my own name
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own Kith
I’ve got my own Kin
I’ve got my own Sin
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own peace
I’ve got my own wrath
I’ve got my own path that only I can go
I’ve got my own sword in my own hand
I’ve got my own plan that only I can know

Don’t be crying Don’t be sighing
Your day will come; your day alone
Years you’ll know and a life you’ll grow
You got a way to go and it’s all on your own

I’ve got my own World
I’ve got my own Life
I’ve got my own Strife
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own wrong
I’ve got my own right
I’ve got my own fight
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own Prayers
I’ve got my own Fears
I’ve got my own Tears
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own Joy
I’ve got my own Load
I’ve got my own Road
and it’s my Way

Put down the story of what I’ve known
Your bound for glory all of your own Put down the story of what I say
You’re bound for glory
all on your own one day

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Power In The Blood!

Families & PeopleWoman Power in the Wise Blood! Feelin’ it with Buffy Sainte-Marie and Wakan Tanka. Justice in the soul. Spirit in the DNA.

“It’s tempting to mythologize Buffy Sainte-Marie — to call her a folk-music mother of dragons, or at least a shaman calling up lost spirits in her music. It’s easy, after all, to exoticize individualistic women, especially women of color; doing so can even feel like offering a compliment. But on Power In The Blood, her first studio album since 2008, the 74-year-old firebrand defies categorization, as she has … ” read more of NPR Review of here.

Power In The Blood

Ke Sakihitin Awasis (I Love You Baby)

Farm In The Middle of Nowhere

 

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