X is for Xanadu

Laurie's Dream Cottage

Laurie's Dream Cottage

You remember the 1980 musical/romance film, Xanadu, with Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck, and Gene Kelly.

Xanadu—where time stops and the magic never ends.

Xanadu has come to represent the ideal, Nirvana, or paradise. The photograph in this post is of my dream cottage located in the extreme northern Highlands of Scotland. It represents my idea of utopia; my Xanadu.

Geographically speaking, where is your Xanadu?

By the way, Xanadu—the song by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra—was ELO’s first and only #1 hit. The song has been touted as being the only song in the Billboard Hot 100 to begin with the letter “X”.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

I Love My Writer’s Block!

I Love My Writer's Block! by Laurie Buchanan

Most writers—people who put words on paper in order to survive; people who write because they know if they don’t they’ll either implode or explode—have a fear of encountering a Writer’s Block. For most writers, that means anything that stops the flow of writing. 

After the last conference I attended at UW-Wisconsin’s Writer’s Institute and watching other people getting wide-eyed with fear about this “dark inner-demon we would all encounter at some point,” I decided to make a preemptive strike and get myself a Writer’s Block so I could shift my perspective and embrace this thing, rather than run scared.

I had just put my intent out to the Universe when Dave Birr—a friend with a phenomenal collection of crystals—gifted  me with a small basket of gemstones. Hidden among the treasures was an oblong piece of olive-colored Nephrite Jade. My writer’s block!

Jade (or “yu” as it’s called in China), is rich with tradition. It symbolizes the five virtues of humanity: wisdom, compassion, justice, modesty, and courage.

I love my writer’s blockit’s all about flow!

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

www.HolEssence.com
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

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Being Still

Being Still by Laurie Buchanan

Being Still by Laurie Buchanan

The University of Life — Being Still Course Description

On a recent flight I took a photo of the propeller through the window. It was spinning so fast that it appeared motionless. It looked that way not because it wasn’t moving, but because it was spinning so fast.

Physics tells us that everything—without exception—is in motion. Even the massive rock you see in the photograph I took in Nova Scotia. Stillness is dynamic; it is un-conflicted movement (no friction). It can be experienced whenever there is total, unrestricted participation in the moment we’re in; when we’re unreservedly present with whatever we’re doing.

Stillness is a natural rhythm in the cycle of life. In the space that stillness creates—sacred space—we have the opportunity to quiet the mind and body; to re-group, re-charge, re-connect, and to find a point of reference; something to measure against. To find the wisdom we need to move forward. It’s here we’re embraced by the strength of calm serenity.

When we enter stillness, we drink deeply from the well of Divine Love. From this place, we can move back into the busy world refreshed.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Inner Gardening by Laurie Buchanan

Inner Gardening by Laurie Buchanan

My friend Sandi is a Master Gardener. Not strange then, that last week we were talking about gardening. But not your typical gardening. We were talking about woe-is-me gardening; the type that some people cultivate in their inner landscape that yields a bumper crop of weeds including self-pity, short-sightedness, fear, lack, low self-esteem and complacency.

That same week I shared with Terrill of Creative Potager, a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of organic architecture. He said,

The reality of a building is the space within. And what you put into that space will affect how you live in it and what you become. Don’t clutter the place with stuff that does not ennoble it.” 

His point is that it’s the details that express the whole. I believe this is equally true of our inner landscape; our inner garden. If we want to live a life that’s positive, uplifting, constructive and healing, it’s here that we need to cultivate a bumper crop of emotions, feelings and values such as peace of mind, compassion, joy, courage, gratitude and humor.

 

So tell me, how does your garden grow?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All rights reserved 

Contentment

Contentment by Laurie Buchanan

Contentment by Laurie Buchanan

Last week I had the privilege of meeting 12-week old Ellery. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about him. He lives out of state but was here visiting his grandparents and aunt. He also came to visit us at HolEssence. There wasn’t a big exchange. As you can see, Ellery is at peace within himself—he’s the epitome of contentment.

According to Webster, contentment is the state of feeling satisfied with one’s possession, status or situation; to be satisfied with what you have. So what prevents many of us from being content? Desire. When we desire something we don’t have, we’re not content. It is my desire (no pun intended) to be at ease with who I am and what I have. I am content. One of my favorite quotes is by J. Brotherton:

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.” 

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All rights reserved