Inner Alchemy

I began photographing our yellow delicious apple tree in the spring, with the idea of capturing shots at various stages through harvest time. This, in an effort to visually convey transformation:

Alchemy is the process of transforming lead into gold.
Inner alchemy is my term for personal transformation to our highest best.

I believe that life is an expression of the choices we make, with each choice serving to transform us—subtle or obvious—body, mind, and/or spirit.

Further, I believe that whatever we are not changing, we are choosing. So much so, that my life’s purpose is based on this conviction.

The photos in this post were taken between April and September. This six-month window is the typical life cycle for apples in the United States.

Inner alchemy—personal transformation—occurs at different times and speeds for everyone:

  • Early, quick, and dynamic
  • Late, slow, and measured
  • Somewhere in-between

When it comes to personal transformation, are you an early or late bloomer?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook

The Spiritual Practice of Play

During lunch with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in April 2012, one of the things he shared was that he learns best when he laughs.

Our spirits need celebration! What feels joyful to us encourages us along the path of personal growth and expansion.

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” — Michael Pritchard

Play is the exuberant expression of our being, it fuels our joy and wonder. Play provides the energetic space we need to feel alive; it taps into unlimited possibility, inspiring us; it resides at the heart of our creativity and our most carefree moments of devotion. Play is a powerful way to feed our soul.

When was the last time you stepped into the transformational space of play?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

Harvesting Water, Harnessing Heat

During the week I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico it became clear that due to sheer lack, hygiene, and safety issues, two of the most basic needs—drinkable water and heat—are of tremendous concern.

With service above self as their motto, the local Rotary Club go to the people in dire need — not to gave a hand out, but a hand up — a fishing pole instead of a fish — educating people as they go.


The local Rotary Club has amazingly provided:

Water Cisterns
587 Cisterns built in 19 Communities
Benefiting 4000+ family members (+ other school & kinder children)
Cost per cistern – US $700

Ecological Stoves
Constructed 1,400 in 29 Communities
Benefiting 5,000 + family members
Cost per stove – US $48
For more information specific to the phenomenal benefits of the small economical stoves, please follow this link: StoveTeam International

To find out how your financial support can help to change lives, please contact:

John Doherty
jd98lv@hotmail.com
Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, Mexico

Have you ever had to walk miles to reach drinkable water?
Did you know that smoke from open cooking fires kills twice as many people as malaria?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

CASA—Center for the Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende

On Oct 31 I was privileged to speak at the First Annual Wellness and Spirituality Expo in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—a benefit to raise funds and awareness toward the fight to stop violence against women and children.

This life-changing event was sponsored by Sibyl English of SIBYL Magazine and SIBELLA Poetry Magazine.

CASA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Mexico’s most vulnerable communities through a wide brushstroke of educational programs. From childhood development to employment and other areas, including domestic violence prevention and support.

To learn more about how your financial support can help to change lives, simply follow this LINK.

Have you ever been paralyzed with fear—afraid for your life?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved 

Day of the Dead

Saludos—greetings—from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where preparations are excitedly underway for Dia de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—in which the many of the local people remember and honor their deceased loved ones.

Though it may sound somber or macabre, it’s not!

The view from my room in the hacienda where I’m staying

Between Oct 31 and Nov 2 it’s a festivo—festive holiday—with eye-popping, colores vivos—vivid colors—everywhere to welcome departed loved ones, believing that their espíritu—spirits—return to earth for a single day each year to spend time with familia—family.

Day of the Dead is celebrado—celebrated—differently all over the world. In Mexico many of the cemetery lápidas—headstones—have elaborate decorations because it’s thought that the spirits stop there first on their way home. The casas—homes—have intricately decorated ofrendas—altars—to welcome departed loved ones.

Stairwell in hacienda – my room’s at the top

It’s believed that the spirits of bebés y niños—babies and children—arrive at midnight on Oct 31 to spend a full day with their families then leave, and the spirits of adultos—adults—arrive the following day.

Bedroom Ceiling in Hacienda by Laurie Buchanan

¿Alguna vez se celebra el día de los muertos
Have you ever celebrated Day of the Dead?

Escuchar con el corazónlisten with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

“Lo que no va a cambiar, está eligiendo.”
Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

Wait Loss

Different from weight loss (the shedding of pounds), wait loss (the shedding of patience) is less attractive on any figure.

I try not to do battle with time; clearly, it’s a losing proposition. Yet recently I found myself sitting in a waiting room swarming with other people who—like me—were becoming impatient. Fast!

Breathe yourself through this Laurie

  • Inhale to the count of four.
  • Hold to the count of seven.
  • Exhale to the count of eight.
  • Repeat until your name is called.
  • You can do this.

Time—yours, mine, and ours—is irreplaceable. None of us knows how much of it we have left. Not to be squandered, every moment of this precious commodity should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Are you gaining or losing wait?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

Jumping through Mental Hoops – Swoosh!

Our brains—like muscles—become stronger with use. Excuses be gone! There are oh-so-many ways to exercise our brains:

  • The ever popular, jumping to conclusions.
  • Who among us hasn’t tried pushing their luck?
  • Dodging deadlines is always good for an extra shot of adrenaline!
  • There’s the time-tested jogging our memory.
  • Raising the bar of unrealistic expectations.
  • The tried-and-true limiting oneself by running out of options.
  • Stretching the truth forces us to keep double mental books—an especially vigorous workout for the brain!

When was the last time you exercised benefit of the doubt?

Post Script
Nan Palmer, I snuck into your gear…
A special thank you to my friend, Jill Witty, for taking the photograph.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved