Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Imbolc (February 2nd)

Spring is here! we've survived another winter! the days are already getting longer, and my soul celebrates!
i'm learning as much as i can about the old celtic ways, and on friday i'll tune in for an imbolc ceremony by telephone as part of my earth rhythms class.
i'm loving all the connections i'm finding - the Church was very good at adopting sacred days and places and giving them a christian spin. imbolc - the feast of brigid - became candlemas - the purification of the virgin mary. but i love the oldest reasons to celebrate - the ewes are getting ready for lambing: 'im-bolc' means 'in the belly' and the fact the spring flowers - like snowdrops and daffodils - are heralding the new season!!
whose spirits cannot be lifted at the sight of these gorgeous flowers?
i'm so blessed to live in the beautiful, english countryside, and i get out in the sunshine every day if i can. it's still pretty cold, but the sun has real warmth in it. no wonder my soul and body respond to all this new life! no wonder i feel really well - deep in my belly!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: Dream the dream

(sorry it isn't the best video - liverpool are in red, havant in yellow for the non-football-lovers out there!)

yesterday was one of those dream FA Cup ties - a tiny club, havant & waterlooville, took on
liverpool at anfield... havant, who usually see 400 supporters on a saturday, played on the hollowed turf to 42,000+ - 36,000 liverpool faithful and 6,000 who travelled 250 miles to cheer their team on.
the part-time footballers - a courier, a teacher, a builder, a taxi-driver, a binman... - took on some of the highest paid professional footballers, and what a first half!! they surpassed their wildest dreams and scored first - at the famous kop end! liverpool equalized, but too many of the premier team were making mistakes, and havant scored again!! just before half-time, liverpool redeemed themselves and equallized again...
these part-time players totally deserved to be level-pegging as they went at half-time. they played with 110% commitment and serious skill - yes, liverpool weren't playing well, but havant were playing great!!
of course, as a liverpool supporter, i really didn't want my team to go out of the competition and thankfully as havant tired, liverpool stepped up a gear and won 5-2. but the dream continued for the little team - the whole ground gave them a standing ovation, and they lapped it up!! thirteen men - 11 first team players and 2 substitutes - will have memories of this day to share with their children and grandchildren - they took on the mighty liverpool and played their hearts out!!
and thanks to their performance, this little club will have revenue to last them several years - they get half the day's match ticket takings!
tomorrow they go back to their regular jobs, but nobody can take away their achievements on a glorious january day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Bat medicine

this morning i listened to susan gregg's power animal meditation as part of the earth rhythms online class i'm taking this year - and all i can say is WOW!

i was able to instantly relax into it and my imagination took flight... at first, i experienced the sense i was upside down in the dark - 'oh, i'm in a chrysalis,' i confidently said to myself. 'i must be turning into a moth or butterfly...'

then i had the strongest sense i was flying - in the dark - and i could 'see' clearly - 'maybe i'm an owl,' i said... then i heard a high shrill sound, but it wasn't an owl screech...

i ended the meditation still not sure who i was, so i took my jamie sams' medicine cards and book from the shelf... i let the book fall open, and surprise, surprise, it was BAT calling to me!

bat medicine symbolizes death and rebirth and initiation and discovering how to navigate the fearful, disorienting dark times...

since my stroke last may, i have had to relearn the basics of speech, walking and my right arm is still paralyzed - talk about disorienting! all the things we take for granted - like washing and dressing - are major tasks for me...

but i AM relearning, and although day-to-day progress feels pitifully slow, what i have accomplished in 8 months is awesome!!

my physio is doing wonders with my body - as the aches i woke up with testify after her mega-session yesterday - but it's experiences like this morning's power animal meditation that just confirm why i HAD to take this class. clearly, i'm on the most amazing spiritual journey of my life...

again, all i can say is WOW!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: Prayer

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean
--the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth
instead of up and down
--who is gazing around with her
enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms
and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Deep energy

(the relevance of the video will become apparent - i promise!)

on new year's eve, one of the things i asked to come into my life was 'energy'. by that, i envisioned physical energy to aid my recovery, creative energy to put pen and paint to paper, and personal energy to connect with like-minded souls around the globe... and i've got to tell you, i have felt soooo energized from the first day of 2008! i know i shouldn't be amazed - but i am!!

i've accomplished so many little tasks each day without taking a nap, and i've had the energy to interact with nick and the kids in the evening. this while having no physio since 21 december - my next appointment is friday - and my hormones are raging with ongoing PMS...

i've been journalling each day - my left-handed writing is getter better and faster - and i've got so many ideas of how i want to spent my time each week day, i'm fairly popping inside!!

i've made so many new connections with people since i discovered etsy and bought all my xmas pressies from there, and i've deepened some connections i've known for a while. one of those is with virginia at sacred ruminations, who's got three quizzes to try from blogthings - i was 83% creative and my intrapersonal intelligence was 94%, so my reports are the same as virginia's.

while i was on blogthings, i took the 'how indie are you?' test and here's my results:

You Are 79% Indie

You're a very indie person, and admit it, you look down a little on people who strive to be normal.
You'll indulge in a little mainstream pop culture every now and then. But for you, anything not indie is a guilty pleasure!

i wouldn't have described myself as three-quarters 'indie' - to me i'm too old and 'settled' - and i certainly don't look down on anybody!! but i DO love (and maybe 'look up to'?) those i would call 'indie' like damien rice and all those wonderful artisans at etsy!!

maybe i'm an indie girl trapped in a 40+, somewhat overweight body... maybe on new year's eve i invoked my own deep indie-girl energy to surface... and maybe she will be my guide as i navigate the days of this new year - how fun!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: My altar/mantel

as i spend most of my day in my big, blue chair, the gas fire and the mantel is almost always in my view... so i've made it as beautiful as possible :o)
i couldn't get the whole mantel in the close up shot, but you can see some of my favourite art pieces. on the far left is the card i received yesterday from dear
zorana. the next painting is by her too - as is the tiny bird sculpture in front of it :o)
in between zorana's two paintings is this beautiful
mini sculpture by cyrus the potter - she's just too exquisite and contemplative!
you've met serena
before - she just has to take centre-stage, and to her right is serene by gintare bruzas, such a talented painter!
out of shot and completing the display is this little
angel by tascha - she always looks out for me with her gorgeous green eyes...
then you can see my altar at its best - all lit up! i'm always the first to wake up in a morning, and at this time of year it's dark and cold. so before i settle down to start my day, i light the fire and the candles... and i pray and meditate with my 'friends' looking knowingly across at me - and smiling...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a pleasant New Year's Eve. i spent the evening with my best mate, Tina, watching Under the Tuscan Sun, sharing a shamanic ritual where we burnt sticks bearing three things we wanted to let go of, and made arrows of the three things we wanted to let into our lives, and counting down the minutes with Jools Holland!!

This is my new planner for 2008 made by Emily at Keepsake Couture.I love it!! it's big - A4 size - with space to write everything! I just love the handmade design on the front - and those colours! I'm using it to plan my life for the next year - not just appointments, etc., but intentions for each week and on what area i want to focus my energy each week. i'm using Jennifer Louden's Life Organizer to prompt the questions to ask my heart what she wants each day... i don't know where my heart will lead this year, but i figure it's about time i gave her a chance to lead my choices for the first time in my life!!