Thank You Very Much

Signs & SymbolsAfter eight & a half VERY FULL years of major life changes, deep losses, personal growth challenges, difficult adversities and intensive, healing WORK mingled with juicy new, energetic awakenings and creative endeavors that make my entire being SING, today I affirm and shout out:

These are the most excellent days of my life! This is my best summer ever because I chose to simply stay put at home, enjoy short day trips and gift myself with plenty of R&R. Whee! Here’s to tranquility, solitude, self-nurture, stability in the simple, local, good life within wholeness and an overflowing cup of infinite, unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness.

oooooo  )))))))  ******* oooooooo  )))))))))  *********  Triple Aries Fire (Sun, Mercury & Ascendant), Aquarian Moon & Mars, Scorpio North Node & Neptune, Venus in Pisces and a lucky double Grand Trine in Fire signs (between Saturn in Sagittarius, Pluto & Uranus in Leo, & Aries planets). FEMME FIRE!! ******  oooooooooo ))))))))) *******

Landscapes & Nature

Milky Way Galaxy

It feels as if my unique, cosmic astrological cluster of star influences is being birthed into karmic, destined creative expression as this alternative, counter-cultural, revolutionary chrysalis / emergent butterfly flies free of her dark cocoon. *laughter* Yes, a divine period of retreat to protect and strengthen these fragile wings and better learn the art of flight and free fall. 

I feel incredibly healthy, vibrant, happy in long summer days of sunshine, dancing, reading/writing and swimming. I’m seriously content to simply be alive and living in a self-generative field of complete, pain-free harmony — a homebody cozy in my tiny studio nest creating and making art to my heart’s content, enjoying my bodily senses in this beautiful world, secure on cloud nine in my body-spirit-mind at ease, at peace. Faith and trust restored! Passionately alive, consciously aware and liberated! Chasing after my dreams and desires, my garments laced with non-attachment to outcomes, my healer’s hands free of fears borne of unrealistic expectations. Heart wide open. A beginner’s mind enhanced by an intentionally cultivated sense of wonder as I embrace and awaken my inner girl in loveliness, in playfulness and fun, in what makes me/she truly happy, fulfilled and content. A journey of exploration and discovery ….

I would not be where I am today without the losses, adversities, changes and pains I’ve endured and the limitations I have learned to manage well. I would not be alive, resting in joy and gratitude, without the friends, loves and healers who have shown up to help me.

Leah Song says it all in “Thank You Very Much” — raw, inspiring, beautiful… and true.

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A Monk Without Restrictions

CelebritiesHis Holiness the Dalai Lama recently celebrated his 80th birthday on July 7 with Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Global Compassion Summit held at UC-Irvine. “His Holiness is not often interested in popular music, but was very taken with Michael Franti and Spearhead, joking about his tattoos, how such a big man can be ‘so light,’ and honoring the joy and compassion he creates through music.” In this fun and interesting short (~ 7 min) conversation, he also dubbed Michael “a good monk without restrictions.” *smile*

Conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/400026323512786/videos/vb.400026323512786/453801914801893/?type=2&theater

A sweet performance of “Once A Day,” by Michael Franti and Spearhead. A gentle reminder to appreciate the people we love and the preciousness of the moments of our lives.

Global Peace Through the Arts!

Once A Day

Yo,
No no no no you never know what the world’s gonna show you,
It ain’t up to you.
You always think it’s gonna happen to another person,
And it’s never ever gonna happen to you.
You got your friends, you got your money,
Got your family, got your honey,
You think you got a million days.
But then life comes along
And it knocks you right down to the ground and that’s why I say,

Everybody oughta hug somebody, at least once a day.
And everybody oughta kiss somebody, at least once a day.
Everybody’s gonna miss somebody, at least once a day.
And everybody gotta love somebody, every day!

And we all will rise up! (Rise up)
And we all will rise up! (Yeah)
And we all will rise up!

I heard the purpose of life’s to live a life full of purpose,
And so don’t ever take for granted what the spirit has given you
In the first verse,
You might never get a second verse,
This ain’t a rehearsal, you can’t put it in reverse.
Believe in yourself, don’t let nobody be a negative or tell you what to do.
Cause I know (cause I know)
In this sweet, sweet life that just this much is true!

And we all will rise up! (Rise up)
And we all will rise up! (Yeah)
And we all will rise up!

So don’t you worry bout what people say,
Raise your head up and be on your way.
And it don’t matter if you fall today,
Just get up, get up, get up, get up!

 

 

 

 

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Sunflower Bloom

My sunflower patch is in beautiful bloom! Ah summertime… and the livin’ is easy. Bees are busy with pollen harvest and flying back to their hive with full pollen sacs. Other pollinators are also enjoying themselves. This is a volunteer patch that self-sowed from last autumn, when I left the seed heads to dry outdoors for the birds and other wildlife. I also leave water for the birds and animals, since we are in a severe drought. The birds and cats visit to drink regularly, and it’s a fun, heartwarming show. Simple pleasures caring for life in the green zone. I’m excited about making botanical drawings of these gorgeous sunflowers outside in the open air. Yes to art! Yes to life! Yes to love!

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The Kind Heart of Patience

Signs & SymbolsGratitude for signposts on the journey today from beloved dharma teacher, Pema Chodron, and these excerpts from Comfortable with Uncertainty: Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion:

If one wishes suffering not to happen to the people and the earth, it begins with a kind heart.

Learning not to cause harm to ourselves or others is a basic Buddhist teaching. Nonaggression has the power to heal. Not harming ourselves or others is the basis of enlightened society. This is how there could be a sane world. It starts with sane citizens, and that is us. The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.

The ground of our not causing harm is mindfulness, a sense of clear seeing with respect and compassion for what it is we see. This is what basic practice shows us. But mindfulness doesn’t stop with formal meditation. It helps us relate with all the details of our lives. It helps us see and hear and smell without closing our eyes or our ears or our noses. It’s a lifetime’s journey to relate honestly to the immediacy of our experience and to respect ourselves enough not to judge it. As we become more wholehearted in this journey of gentle honesty, it comes as a shock to realize how much we’ve blinded ourselves to some of the ways in which we cause harm.

Slogan: “All activities should be done with one intention.”

Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to drop it, not being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth, walking, sitting — whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention. That intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.

Patience

Gourment & DrinkThe power of the paramita of patience is that it is the antidote to anger, a way to learn to love and care for whatever we meet on the path. By patience, we do not mean enduring — grin and bear it. In any situation, instead of reacting suddenly, we could chew it, smell it, look at it, and open ourselves to seeing what’s there. The opposite of patience is aggression — the desire to jump and move, to push against our lives, to try to fill up space. The journey of patience involves relaxing, opening to what’s happening, experiencing a sense of wonder.

One of the ways to practice patience is to do tonglen. When we want to make a sudden move, when we start to speed through life, when we feel we must have resolution, when someone yells at us and we feel insulted, we want to yell back or get even. We want to put out our poison. Instead, we can connect with basic human restlessness, basic human aggression, by practicing tonglen for all beings. Then we can send out a sense of space, which further slows things down. Sitting there, standing there, we can allow the space for the usual habitual thing not to happen. Our words and actions might be quite different because we allowed ourselves time to touch and taste and see the situation first.

As we train in the paramita of patience, we are first of all patient with ourselves. We learn to relax with the restlessness of our energy — the energy of anger, boredom, and excitement. Patience takes courage. It is not an ideal state of calm. In fact, when we practice patience we will see our agitation far more clearly.

The question always remains:

To what are we really committed? Is it to playing it safe and manipulating our life and the rest of the world so that it will give us security and confirmation? Or is our commitment to exploring deeper and deeper levels of letting go? Do we take refuge in small, self-satisfied actions, speech and mind? Or do we take refuge in warriorship, in taking a leap, in going beyond our usual safety zones?

Gratitude to Dharma Comics

Gratitude to Dharma Comics

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Warm Love, Van

Families & People

Live Your Life With Love

Continuing from last evening, I’m in a Van Morrison / Lotus Love celebration mode today as I complete domestic beautification tasks. Uh huh… I found a bit of bright treasure last night in my dreams. It looks like a diamond light shining bliss from my core essence.

Lotus got her sexy love groove turned fully back on in May! Love is here to stay and expanding every day because it’s ever-present everywhere.

Alright! This warm love light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

“Warm Love” with Van Morrison.

“Warm Love”

Look at the ivy on the cold clinging wall
Look at the flowers and the green grass so tall
It’s not a matter of when push comes to shove
It’s just an hour on the wings of a dove
I dig it when you’re fancy dressed up in lace
I dig it when you have a smile on your face
This inspiration’s got to be on the flow
This invitation’s got to see it and know
It’s just warm love
It’s just warm love
And it’s everpresent everywhere
And it’s everpresent everywhere
That warm love
To the country I’m going
Lay and laugh in the sun
You can bring, bring your guitar along
We’ll sing some songs, we’ll have some fun
The sky is crying and it’s time to go home
And we shall hurry to the car from the foam
Sit by the fire and dry out our wet clothes
It’s raining outside from the skies up above
Inside it’s warm love
Inside it’s warm love
And it’s everpresent everywhere
And it’s everpresent everywhere
Warm love
Warm love
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Sweet Tupelo Honey Love Letter

Science & Technology

“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”  ~Rumi

Van Morrison’s songs have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I feel vulnerable in unfamiliar territory tonight … living with what seems like ever-present uncertainty in these days, these changing times. I turn to the familiar and comforting, like the soothing sound of Van’s guitar and voice, to care for myself and balance the intense feelings swirling in my being. What can I say? Sometimes passion and life changes get the better of me, but I wouldn’t change a thing! The cosmos works its magic, the energy flows, the karmic wheel turns. I choose to walk calmly in the Pure Land of Shambhala, without a map to guide me. There is the inner guidance of the strong heart-mind of compassion and insight.

I thought I’d follow love, make an experimental blog-love letter-post for myself … and share with you. I’ve written love letters and poems to myself before but never publicly. All this transparent, public sharing is a BIG experiment. I know I’m in good company, though.

“Tupelo Honey” and “Wavelength” (in the 1979 vid below) from singer-songwriter par excellence, Van Morrison, is sent with deep love and respect to the sweet girl-woman-lover of me, who is as sweet as Tupelo honey and an angel, a lover of the first degree. I feel glad with tenderness as I head into the dreamtime to further explore meaning and where perhaps my psyche will discover new, buried treasure. Uncertainty / not knowing is a place of a finer creativity, and that’s a good thing to remember now.

“Tupelo Honey”

You can take all the tea in China
Put it in a big brown bag for me
Sail right around the seven oceans
Drop it straight into the deep blue sea
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

You can’t stop us on the road to freedom
You can’t keep us ’cause our eyes can see
Men with insight, men in granite
Knights in armor bent on chivalry
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

You know she’s alright
You know she’s alright with me
She’s alright, she’s alright (she’s an angel)

You can take all the tea in China
Put it in a big brown bag for me
Sail it right around the seven oceans
Drop it smack dab in the middle of the deep blue sea
Because she’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like the honey, baby, from the bee
She’s my baby, you know she’s alright…..

 

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“After I Saw You” Animated Short Film – Dharma Comics

I love Dharma Comics and Leah Perlman’s poems, wisdom and simplicity. Based upon one of Leah’s comics, her first animated short film was recently created. It’s called “After I Saw You,” produced by Yolanda Barker and a team of collaborators. It’s lovely and touching… I cried because it expresses my own heart-healing experiences and feelings of grateful tenderness concerning a personal connection into love expansion in recent months. Synchronicity strikes again! *smile*

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Ain’t I A Woman, Sojourner Truth

Flowers & Trees“In 1851, Sojourner Truth joined George Thompson, an abolitionist and speaker, on a lecture tour through central and western New York State. In May, she attended the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio where she delivered her famous extemporaneous speech on women’s rights, later known as “Ain’t I a Woman.” The convention was organized by Hannah Tracy and Frances Dana Barker Gage, who both were present when Truth spoke. Different versions of Truth’s words have been recorded, with the first one published a month later by Marius Robinson, a newspaper owner and editor who was in the audience. Robinson’s recounting of the speech included no instance of the question “Ain’t I a Woman?” Twelve years later in May 1863, Gage published another very different, version. In it, Truth’s speech pattern had characteristics of Southern slaves, and the speech included sentences and phrases that Robinson didn’t report. Gage’s version of the speech became the historic standard, and is known as “Ain’t I a Woman?” because that question was repeated four times. Truth’s own speech pattern was not Southern in nature, as she was born and raised in New York, and spoke only Dutch until she was nine years old.

In contrast to Robinson’s report, Gage’s 1863 version included Truth saying her 13 children were sold away from her into slavery. Truth is widely believed to have had five children, with one sold away, and was never known to boast more children. Gage’s 1863 recollection of the convention conflicts with her own report directly after the convention: Gage wrote in 1851 that Akron in general and the press in particular were largely friendly to the woman’s rights convention, but in 1863 she wrote that the convention leaders were fearful of the “mobbish” opponents. Other eyewitness reports of Truth’s speech told a calm story, one where all faces were “beaming with joyous gladness” at the session where Truth spoke; that not “one discordant note” interrupted the harmony of the proceedings. In contemporary reports, Truth was warmly received by the convention-goers, the majority of whom were long-standing abolitionists, friendly to progressive ideas of race and civil rights. In Gage’s 1863 version, Truth was met with hisses, with voices calling to prevent her from speaking.

Over the next 10 years, Truth spoke before dozens, perhaps hundreds, of audiences. From 1851 to 1853, Truth worked with Marius Robinson, the editor of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Bugle, and traveled around that state speaking. In 1853, she spoke at a suffragist “mob convention” at the Broadway Tabernacle in New York City; that year she also met Harriet Beecher Stowe. In 1856, she traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, to speak to a group called the Friends of Human Progress. In 1858, someone interrupted a speech and accused her of being a man; Truth opened her blouse and revealed her breasts.” ~Wikipedia

Nkechi performs “Ain’t I a Woman” in this TEDxFiDIWomen video. Bravissima!

AIN’T I A WOMAN?

by Sojourner Truth (1798-1883, Black Abolitionist and Former Slave)

Truth delivered in 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.

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Succulence is Powerful! SARK

Flowers & TreesWhat’s new and beckoning to you in your life? What makes you feel juicy and alive? How do you manage your inner critics, so they don’t sabotage you, stop you from moving forward in manifesting your desires, dreams and the miracles waiting to happen in your life?

SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) is one of my sheroes. I read her book Succulent Wild Woman in 1997, when it was published. It’s one of those books that had a life-changing impact and inspired me to begin consciously developing my own inner succulent wild woman. I’m still working on this… a work in progress. *grin*

In 2010, Susan graciously attended my Women’s Self-Love Festival at Joshua Tree, CA and was our main presenter. I enjoyed the pleasure of getting to know her a little, and all of the women loved her presentation. She’s a sweetly generous, zany, eccentric, loving and caring person, as you would imagine if you read any of her books. I enjoyed doing business with SARK and her team, and we mutually supported one another in joint venturing and became marketing affiliates for a while. It’s great to revisit her work.

Self-care is really an inner feelings care system. Most people don’t know how they feel. And, if they do, they don’t know how to hold or have multiple feelings at one time. …

[Self-care] is the foundation for everything about world change.

You gotta help the miracles along. …

Live juicy! Succulence is powerful. The opposite of old is not young, the opposite of old is new.  As long as we continue to experience the new, we will gloriously inhabit all of the ages that we are. So what’s new? And what’s succulent? Succulence is powerful! And so are you! ~SARK

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On Womanly Sexualove: Black Women Poets Speak

Animals & WildlifeMy heart-mind opens to new, found perspectives of this diverse diaspora that is in living color all around me and everywhere my gaze falls. Following this red thread of Source material, poetic radical feminist truths appear way out on the limb. Honestly, these attempts to speak one’s truth appeal to me, so I reach for them. Do I dare to be real? Dare to authentically showcase what is truly attractive to me and resonates within — the voices that speak of liberation, like these courageous sisters? Yes, I choose liberation, trust intuition, speak my truth, reach for knowledge, open to touch and a truer, deeper love and a more transparent intimacy that this season of my life…

demands of me, so I must go there  ->

free-fall summer residence in resistance ->

a womanly rebel’s search ->

risk takes courage, ushers the way home ->

question ALL assumptions, conditioning, patterns, fears ->

break it down, unpack the fallacies ->

breakthrough turbulence, hair flying back ->

synthesize, evolve, holistic integration ->

many questions without answers ->

like Ultimate Frisbie, this research,

this process game of awakening is FUN and what I LIKE TO DO!

May this work serve you and the awakening heart consciousness of us all.

Questions: What does it mean to be fully HUMAN and WOMAN BORN in a space/time matrix that negates and destroys our natural systems and our humanity around every turn? ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION ARE CONNECTED. Where are the roots of this sickness? What are the effective tools for healing – personally and globally?

These questions today lead me to black women poets’ perspectives on love/lust and the many meanings of these slippery words. This personal, yet extremely relevant ROOT GLOBAL HEALING topic of sexualove / touch politics that I am studying in depth once again, as I prepare to test theory by putting it into practice. *giggle* New adventures with Eros, break free of the chains binding my liberation, and shed the heavy weight of the armor that hinders my movements, voice, vision, longevity. This armor is a false security that no longer serves me.

I join with these lovely black women poets speaking and dancing the beautiful bones. Their truth is my truth. Occupy Love: The Revolution! She decided to endure less and enjoy more. Today is a glorious day, and I am grateful.

Gina Loring: You Move Me

Bassey Ikpi – I Want To Kiss You

Frenchie – Fucking Ain’t Conscious

Ursula Rucker – What A Woman Must Do

 

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