C is for Clairs

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We all have them—the clairs—they’re innate. The French word “clair” means “clear.” It’s the root word for each of the Clairs:

Clairvoyance (clear seeing) is seeing an image in our mind’s eye. It can be in motion, like a movie; or it can be still, like a photograph. It can occur when we’re awake, or asleep, eyes open or closed. The image can be figurative or literal.

Clairaudience (clear hearing) is receiving or “hearing” messages in thought form, with our “mental ears.” The source attributed to these messages is often one’s soul, higher self, angels, or deceased loved ones.  It can also be an actual sound or literal voice that we hear with our physical ears.

Claircognizance (clear knowing) is knowing something for a fact without any supporting evidence. Most of us have walked into a room where the atmosphere is so thick with tension we could choke on it. We don’t know what is going on, but we know for certain that it’s not good. Our knowing—gut instinct in our head—has kicked into high gear.

Clairsentience (clear feeling) is feeling a literal sensation such as a chill when there’s no change in temperature, or a perceived sensation such as the touch of a hand when we’re alone. It can even be a smell when there’s no reason for it.

Some people disregard their clairs, while others are intentionally aware. Which of the clairs are you most sensitive to?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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


© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.

A is for Alchemy

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A very basic explanation of alchemy is that it transforms something common into something special. Derived from the Arabic word al-kimia, alchemy can be either a practice, or a way of life:

As a practice, the focus of this ancient art is an attempt to change base metals into gold—making the alchemist outwardly rich—financial gain.

As a way of life, the focus is on living with intention, achieving wisdom, and doing the work it takes to become a little more enlightened every day—making the alchemist inwardly rich—inner wealth.

What area of your life could use a touch of alchemy?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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


© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Low Down, No Good, Dirty Rotten, Yellow Bellied, Side-Windin’, Sap-Suckin’, Swamp Rat!

That’s precisely what I look like day 3 after The Incident. My face actually scared squirrels on our bike ride this morning!

Day 3 - Bar Room Brawl Look

Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt as bad as it looks.
Needless to say, I’m incognito


Speaking of incognito . . .

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. No one knew this, but the
violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social
experiment about perception, taste, and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several questions:

In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? If so, do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be that if we don’t have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

… how many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

My Bar Room Brawl Look

My bar room brawl look

Yesterday morning at 8:30 I was in the final throes of getting ready for work. Most everything I do is backed with a great deal of energy—including brushing my teeth. I’d just spent a good 5 minutes gargling and leaned forward enthusiastically over the sink to spit when WHAP! I slammed my head into the shelf on our medicine cabinet.

My glasses went flying, I’m surprised they didn’t break. The impact made my knees buckle, which slumped me to the floor, clunking my chin on the basin counter on the way down. Tears sprang from my eyes as a natural reflex. Len heard the THUNK! followed by the fall, and came running.

“What happened?!” he shouted.

“I just knocked myself silly.”

“Your forehead’s bleeding and it’s starting to swell.”

While applying Neosporin it occured to me… “Get the camera, quick!”

“Why?” he asked.

“This is tomorrow’s blog,” I said with a grin.

I’d just been writing a piece about chronos time and kairos time as it relates to memory and was so caught up in it that I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and nearly knocked myself out.

The moral of the story? Be mindful. There’s a Zen proverb that says:
When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Enriching Our Lives Through Tea

Blooming Flower Tea

One of my clients brought me a delightful gift of blooming flower tea from a recent trip overseas. It was a pleasure this morning to sit quietly and watch the leaves gently unfurl. For the occasion—truly enjoying a cuppa tea is an occasion—I delved into the pages of one of my favorite tea books: Tea Here Now: Rituals, Remedies, and Meditations by Donna Fellman and Lhasha Tizer.

While I’m enjoying this delicious morning cuppa blooming flower tea, I’d like to share with you a small passage from page 142 in their book:

“Tea has enhanced our own lives in many ways. It has refined our way of moving, teaching us to carry ourselves with grace, dignity, and precision—helping us to develop a newfound sense of our bodies. We tread gently, aware of our personal impact upon the world and respectful of all that we encounter along the way. Learning to make tea becomes an exquisite and personal art.

It’s also a way of being and doing that can inform our entire lifestyle. It allows us to do whatever we do well, take time to pause and reflect, and contemplate our actions deeply. Tea does not tell us what do, or what to reflect on, or what actions to take. It only encourages us to pursue our endeavors mindfully, thoughtfully, with integrity and consideration—all the qualities that we learned through making a cup of tea well apply to doing anything well. The spirit of tea invokes a sense of caring and attention, a feeling for excellence that can have a positive influence in every part of our lives.”

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

A Hint of Magic in the Air

The morning started out almost like any other, but there was the slightest hint of something different in the air—magic—as we turned our bikes onto the Fox River Trail and headed south to historic Elgin, Illinois.

We turned our bikes south on the Fox River Trail

Riding along the Fox River, we enjoyed the way it winked back at the sun who was flirting shamelessly with it.

The river winks back at the sun

We rode past beautiful scenery that waved its leafy fingers, beckoning us to leave the trail and play.

We rode past beautiful scenery

But we didn’t. We stayed on the trail that eventually took us within feet of the river.

The bike path took us really close to the river

We could tell by the change in scenery that we were getting close to our destination.

We're getting close to our destination

Finally, we arrive in historic Elgin, Illinois—made famous by the Elgin Watch Company.

We arrive in historic Elgin, Illinois

I love libraries. As you can imagine, lots of magic is let loose in the children’s section of the Elgin library.

The children's section of the phenomenal Elgin library.

We continued our journey to see the Grand Victoria riverboat casino. After dazzling the security guard with our brilliant smiles (and using just a hint of magic), he allowed us to use their very nice restrooms.

The Grand Victoria riverboat casino

On the return trip, we stopped and fortified ourselves for the ride back home with a delicious breakfast at “The Measuring Cup.”

We ate a delicious breakfast at "The Measuring Cup"

Then, you’ll never … ever … believe what we saw. How had we possibly missed this on the ride down? Impossible!

How could we have possibly missed THIS on the ride down?

A castle! The early morning hint of magic in the air proved to be true.

A castle!

With the zoom lens we got a closeup view. How cool is that?!

With a zoom lens, we get a closeup view

See those blue tubes hanging over our right shoulders? Those are how we drink water while riding. We wear “Camelbak” packs that each hold 100 ounces of water. When we’re thirsty, we just bite down on the bite-valve and voilà! Perfect for a long, hot ride.

Our Camelbak packs make it easy to stay hydrated on a long, hot bicycle ride

There’s magic around us all the time, all we have to do is pay attention.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Line of Communication – How’s Your Delivery Style?

Line of Communication by Laurie Buchanan

Riding our bicycles the other morning we passed what seemed like a never-ending line of telephone poles—a line of communication—standing smartly at attention. It made me think of the game “gossip” where someone whispers a bit of information into a person’s ear, it’s passed along in the same manner, and by the time the last person shares it out loud with the group, it’s changed considerably from the original message.

That line of thinking caused me examine my own communication and ask:

Am I clear, concise, and articulate?
Do I say what I mean, and mean what I say?
Do I deliver my message like a nail gun—hammering each point home? Or do I deliver it with graceful strength that leaves the recipient’s dignity in tact?

In other words, would I want to be on the receiving end of my own delivery style?

My mother used to say, “Laurie, make your words sweet and tender today, for tomorrow you may have to eat them.”

How’s your line of communication?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. 

Life – A Steep Price!

Clock Tower UW-Madison by Laurie Buchanan

Clock Tower UW-Madison by Laurie Buchanan

One of the questions I ask myself when it comes to deciding how to use time is, “Is it worth the cost?” I am, after all, going to pay for it with my life. We each have a certain number of heartbeats; a certain number of breaths. None of us knows our personal expiration date. How we use our time is how we’re either spending or investing our life.

Before engaging in activities such as watching reruns on television, staying in a job we can’t stand, or remaining in a relationship that’s bankrupting our heart, we can ask ourselves, “Is this worth exchanging my life for?” Life! That’s a pretty steep price to pay. That’s why I opt for activities that are investments—something that yields a return; a dividend. It might be health from exercise, laughter from spending time with friends, fulfillment from writing, relaxation from a nap, or peace of mind from meditation.

On a recent post in his blog Living and Dying with Eyes Wide Open, Peter came to the conclusion that he can allow himself experiences simply for the mere joy of it. I commented, “Peter – In my experience “for the mere joy of it” is quite possibly one of the best “returns on investment” (dividend) that a person can have.”

If you know me at all, you know I have a small issue (okay, a big problem) with the breathtaking speed at which times goes flying by. In an effort to soothe my frustration, one of my friends gave me a StoryPeople greeting card by artist and storyteller, Brian Andreas. It says, “Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.” I love that!


© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Listen Up

Apple Blossoms by Laurie Buchanan

Apple Blossoms by Laurie Buchanan

Different from hearing, one of the benchmarks of a great communicator is their ability to listen:

We hear dogs bark, tires squeal, birds chirp, a siren wail, and church bells ring. When we hear, it’s usually passive. A passive listener is oftentimes busy formulating their own response while another person is speaking.

Listening is active; it’s something we invest our self in. An active listener pays attention; they take in what’s being said. By intent, when I listen to another person I remain aware of their inherent divinity. This practice prevents me from interrupting. Most of us would never interrupt Divine Love—God.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Living Meditation

Living Meditation by Laurie Buchanan

Living Meditation by Laurie Buchanan

University of Life  – Living Meditation Course Description

For some people, meditation is a loving task that they make time for. For others, meditation is a way of living; a way of life. Most of us would agree that:

– we are not our bodies
– each person is an expression of divinity
– the essential quality of divinity is light

When we focus on light—Divine Love—we find joy in our journey, our actions are not contrived, we maintain awareness, have a servant’s heart (act for the benefit of others), have peace of mind, and we recognize the presence of light in everyone and everything. As we hold light—HeartLight—sacred space is created; space that allows us to move with equanimity.

Living meditation is dynamic; it occurs throughout our everyday experience—the good, the bad, and the indifferent. It’s easy to spot people whose lives are a living meditation. They teach more by who they are and what they do, than by what they say. They shine—their light precedes them.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.