Green is my favorite color. I associate it with sacred space—space for transformation to occur; space to find a new direction. When people ask me to pray for them or their loved ones, I explain that I’d be happy to hold HeartLight—sacred space—for them.
The visualization I use is a sugar snap pea. In my mind’s eye, I unzip the pod, scoop out the peas, and place the person inside. Carefully, I re-zip the pod and envision it as a “station,” somewhat like an incubator, of vivid green, pulsing with vital energy that’s working for the person’s highest and best good—body, mind, and spirit.
When was the last time you were zipped in the pod?
During a recent visit with my dad in Encinitas, California (Dec 31 – Jan 1) I spent time at the Self-Realization Fellowship and Meditation Garden. This location—founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda—is always included when I visit.
It’s a wonderful place to recharge one’s personal battery; to just sit and drink in the beauty with all of the senses; to meditate, relax, and renew. It was a welcome part of my journey. I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour.
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”.
I’m drawn to simplicity, efficiency, and order—a place for everything and everything in its place. For me, outer order contributes to inner calm.
I’m drawn to space—the efficiency of physical space.
I’m drawn to clearing clutter—mental and emotional.
My lifestyle is simple, functional, and full.
I’ve shared with you before that my creative muse is wabi-sabi: a practice where inessentials are trimmed away or eliminated. The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the platform for my creativity—space and quiet solitude—simplicity.
In over 31 years of marriage, the one bone of contention that Len and I tug back and forth good-naturedly is that I’m a minimalist and he’s a “maximalist.” I throw and he saves.
During a recent discussion, he asked, “Just exactly why is it that you need to have empty space around you?” I answered, “Because it appeals to my zensibilities.” I meant to say sensibilities, but in retrospect, the word I said fits so much better.
It’s more than being content. For me, it’s the enjoyment of very little, with awareness and deep appreciation of how less is truly more.
Inspiration is an influence; it’s something that has the power to affect.
When a person is inspired by another person, place, or thing, they experience an “aha” moment, or an epiphany that can result in change or action—something that wasn’t planned before the inspiration occurred; it was unforeseen up until the point of inspiration.
Every artist (writer, photographer, sculptor, painter, musician, dancer, gardener, potter, chef, and so forth), has a “muse”—their source of inspiration. Each week I set aside protected time for writing at my home office. My muse—my source of artistic inspiration—is space. Unencumbered space.
I clear my desk so that nothing’s on it except for my laptop. I mark time with a lit tealight candle (they usually burn about 6 hours), and I work in solitude with the exception of the 200-year-old oak tree in our front yard who stands sentinel in front of the window where I write.
This past Monday evening I attended a color therapy presentation in Chicago and the speaker said, “If we give ourself space, we find our direction.” Zing—that statement resonated right to my core!
The following day when I was looking at their website I clicked on the first color combination that attracted me, and a pop-up appeared that read: “SPACE in connection with transition and change. The clarity to find the SPACE within. Enlightenment of the heart.”
The next color combination that attracted me read, “Helps to make decisions. Harmony with nature, a new SPACE and a new place. SPACE. Direction. Truth. The SPACE giver.
The final color combination that I clicked on read, “A transformed heart. SPACE to find spirituality within. The healing heart.”
Just to see if all of the color combinations had something relating to SPACE, I clicked on several. Not another one said anything about it.
Literally – our heart is an amazing pump. Approximately the size of your fist, and weighing less than 1 pound, it circulates approximately 6 quarts of blood throughout the body 3 times every minute. An adult’s heart pumps (re-circulates) nearly 4,000 gallons of blood each day through blood vessels. If these could be laid end-to-end, they would cover a distance of about 60,000 miles!
Symbolically – the heart represents different things to different people; somewhat “in the eye of the beholder,” so to speak. One interpretation that seems to transcend language and culture is that the heart symbolizes love, charity, and compassion.
Whether I’m at the end of a paper letter or email correspondence my closing is always “Listen with your heart.” It’s my perspective that the heart is the intersection of thinking (logic) and feeling (emotion). When these two powerful aspects of self are healthy and used in conjunction with each other, we function from a place of wisdom—the heart. This brings clarity in decision-making, removes drudgery, and adds exponentially to joy in the abundance factor.
It’s my perspective that we shouldn’t lead with our heart and only follow our emotions. Nor should we lead with our head and only follow logic. Rather, we should use the powerful combination of both and listen with our heart.
Author, Judith Campbell said, “When your heart speaks, take good notes.”
Our friend and avid cyclist, Nan, told us about another gorgeous bike trail that she and her husband, Dave, found. The trailhead is in a tiny little town in northern Illinois called Hebron.
On Monday we, too, rode the trail and discovered that it was flanked on one side by breathtakingly beautiful wetlands. And just out of view for a good camera shot without a zoom lens, but well within earshot, there were hundreds of Great Blue Heron and wild turkey. They were singing. We couldn’t tell if it was a combined effort of both types of birds, or if it was one, or the other. Regardless, it was startlingly magnificent to be serenaded in the crisp morning air.
A little further down the trail, we came to the sporadic placement of several manmade nesting boxes. We’re not sure what type of waterfowl they’re for, but we’re fairly confident they’re not meant for the Great Blue Heron or the wild turkey as neither of them could possibly fit into the small circular entrances.
On the return ride, we were gifted to see the same birds, but this time there wasn’t a sound—not a single peep. It was hauntingly quiet. Either they were all asleep, or choir practice was over! Regardless, it was again done in unison.
We hadn’t known until Monday morning that Great Blue Heron hang out with wild turkey. If it’s true that “birds of a feather flock together,” what type of “birds” do you hang out with?
Most of you know that my favorite things on this planet are trees. I love them! You can imagine, then, how tickled I was when the editor of Evolving Your Spirit magazine told me that she is going to print my article, “Dancing With Trees.”
In that same vein, some time ago I wrote a poem, also titled “Dancing With Trees.” I’ve reprinted it here:
Laying next to a deeply furrowed, massive trunk
The earthy scent of bark beckons my fingers to caress
Marveling at the cloudless sky through a canopy of outstretched branches
I listen to the drowsy leaves whisper ancient secrets
Hidden beneath the fertile soil, her deep roots embrace Gaia
Entrenched in what sustains her
A gentle reminder to stand tall in a raging storm
To sway in unison with the wind while reaching for the endless sky
I inhale deeply from the wealth of her life-sustaining breath
Arms open wide; she eagerly receives what I can no longer use
A primordial exchange
The rhythm of our breathing an exquisite dance
Her gnarled and veined hands reach out
Lending me quiet strength while listening with care
In the still silence of our tender communication, she softly murmurs
Death is part of life; I must prepare
Come autumn, I will don my most brilliant cloak
Dazzling yellows and vivid reds that stir the soul
Like feathers falling, it will drop softly; pooling at my feet
With poise and dignity, I will remain unveiled until spring
With a mother’s loving arms, she beckons in silent invitation
Resting in the crook of a strong limb, her branches enfold me
Sleep comes easy, knowing that through the night
I am dancing with trees
Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in all the major spiritual traditions as among the greatest of virtues. I recently came across this quote from Matthew Fox, an American Episcopalian priest and theologian. It said, “Compassion is not sentiment, but is making justice and doing works of mercy. Compassion is not a moral commandment but a flow and overflow of the fullest human and divine energies.”
The virtues of the heart help us make more conscious and ethical decisions; they are what fuels great souls. It is my personal belief that love is a person’s divinity in action.
Compassion is vital to the healing process; the common denominator of all restoration. When we hold heart-based intent (Light, Divine Love) for another person, it yields a dividend; the promotion of health and wellbeing for both the sender and the receiver. It activates HeartLight – illumination of the sacred space within.
It is my perspective that healing cannot take place without love. Like a blade of light that pierces the darkness, HeartLight in our sacred space, inner sanctuary, can remove dis-ease and restore wholeness—body, mind and spirit.
Have you ever been part of the healing process for yourself?
Have you ever been part of the healing process for someone else?
Feng Shui is the art of harmonious living. It involves the intentional placement of items to direct the circulation and flow of energy in a space. The desired outcome is unique by individual. Some people want to create balance and harmony, while others desire to boost their productivity, attract wealth, heighten creativity, advance their career, enhance good luck, and so on.
According to Feng Shui principles, the broom symbolizes insight and wisdom and is believed to have the power to sweep away negative energy, worry, and trouble. This ancient Chinese art counsels that the broom be hung by the door, symbolically sweeping out energy that no longer serves us well, making room for positive energy, abundance, and prosperity.
At our home, we use our brooms daily; they aren’t just for looks. They also serve as a visible reminder of our intent to maintain a positive, respectful, and healthy emotional environment in our sacred space.