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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Set Your Intentions for the New Year

I am enjoying wonderful HEALTH and WELL-BEING. My body is functioning perfectly just as designed. My senses are WIDE-open, appreciating all of the GIFTS awaiting me.

When I awake in the morning, I always look forward to the delightful DAY ahead of me. I include JOY and GRATITUDE in my thoughts and activities and many moments of being especially MINDFUL of what I am experiencing.

My body is always leading me to a PATH of Vibrant Health. I LISTEN to its wisdom and HONOR its messages.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

Monday, December 20, 2010

Earth School

LIFE LESSONS present themselves to me each day through the most unexpected and creative channels. I watch carefully for the CLUES that point me to the PATH of WISDOM.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dolce Far Niente

In the midst of the holiday season when so many preparations are being made…Christmas trees bedazzled with shimmering lights, ingredients assembled for an array of culinary pleasures, shopping excursions planned to catch the latest sales, spotlighting of porches and roofs with illusionary reindeer…

In the midst of all of this, does it seem strange that I would wish you Dolce Far Niente... The Sweetness of Doing Absolutely Nothing!

And yet, what more perfect time to just BE in the midst of all of these treasures?

Time moves so quickly now as we hasten to finish our self-appointed tasks for the holidays and, if we don’t pause to take in the ambiance and flavor and spirit of these moments, they will be gone before we know it. We will be left with crumbled Christmas wrappings to clean up, dishes to wash from the fabulous dinner we have prepared and an exhausted body for our reward.

So let’s imagine another dimension to our celebration.

I invite you (and myself as a reminder as I write this), to not miss a single breath of this breathtaking season. To allow the brilliant red poinsettias to nourish and sustain us with their glorious color and powerful presence. To honor the trees populating our landscape outside as they abide winter’s passing and keep their spring secrets warm inside their roots for us. To enjoy the delicately flavored herbal tea and gingerbread one sip and one small and succulent bite at a time as delicate snowflakes descend outside our windows. To watch the faces of the young and young-at-heart as they embrace the magic of families gathering and the waves of joy layering the room as gifts expected (and surprised) are revealed.

Let us all fully embrace the beauty of this season, honor its festive and joyous rhythm and reverence the MAGNIFICENT MOMENTS being given to us!

For our experience to feel whole, our body must be allowed to permeate our expe...rience, BE our experience, entirely. And our awareness must be released from living in our heads and allowed to flow into EVERYTHING.

Meredith Murphy

Monday, December 13, 2010


I joyfully RELEASE

the FEAR response

of endless attempts to find solutions

to every problem

and gratefully SURRENDER

to Divine Guidance

as my Source

of Light and Love.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The most beautiful Legacy
that the Universe
bestows upon me
of the

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

Friday, December 10, 2010

Returning Home

When I am lost
in the expectations

of what others want from me,
to My Authentic Self
and find my way back
to Who I Truly Am.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Third Identity

We all want to have the most beautiful relationships…kindred souls sharing our thoughts and feelings, listening to each other with perfect engagement, affirming the amazing gifts we see in each other, sharing the joy and pain of our adventures.


The “instant snapshot” of this idyllic picture reigns mostly in our hopes and dreams and in our imaginations…for real relationships take a great amount of work…and patience…and nurturing… and, often, our egos join in and cause even more complications.

Recently, I heard a podcast by Meredith Murphy of Expect Wonderful in which she discusses “whole relationships” and how to achieve them. In this presentation she says that every relationship between two people has a third identity, too…and, that is, the energy of the relationship that is created between them. And, this, according to Meredith, is an important place to put our attention, especially when there is discord and strife.

As I reflect on this thought, I feel drawn to the invitation to leave self and move beyond to this energy vortex. Tuning in to this energy field seems to change the picture for me. It releases my personal reactions and, instead, focuses on what is going on in this energetic exchange and, especially, it focuses on the question of where/what is the energy of the other person in the relationship at this time.

This conscious choice naturally (and immediately) introduces caring and compassion directly back into the picture for me. It shifts the focus to a loving place. And this is what I aspire to.

It is so wonderful to find a way to get to love so directly during a time of dissonance and unrest.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hello to Russia!

Sending love and light to my Russian friend who is reading my blog RIGHT NOW!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Share YOUR Music!

This is a Celebration of You!

Please accept my thanks and appreciation for sharing your beautiful energy by accessing this blog, reading the blog entries and reflecting on the thoughts contained in them.

Blogger statistics indicate that people have found their way to the Mystic Marks blog not only from the United States but also from Germany, France, Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and other world locations.

You are so very welcome here. And so appreciated.

I would like to invite you to bring your consciousness into the mix in still another way…and, that is, by leaving comments at the end of this or any other entry so that we can all share in your responses and reflections.

Make the music go farther…and last even longer!

If you feel comfortable with this invitation, please join in with a word or two... or more... if you are so inclined…and please be sure to let all of us know exactly where in the world you are.

Blessings, light and love for a most beautiful day!

Marie Helena

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Tipping Point*

The World English Dictionary defines tipping point as the crisis stage in a process when a significant change takes place. Whenever we do powerful emotional work on ourselves, we are preparing for the possibility of reaching this tipping point. I have recently been reflecting on this process and consciously striving to achieve it. Most recently, an experience I had led me to believe I could feel it close by.

When the possibility of a sudden change in plans for a very significant social event occurred, I found myself having an unusual response. Instead of feeling anxious or concerned about the prospect of this possible change, I felt like embracing it, with an underlying trust that all things happen for a reason and for the greater good and, most importantly…for the healing of my soul. I felt as if all is well and would continue to be well for I, like everyone, have the beautiful gift of being Divinely guided as I move through my day.

I had read all of these reasons many times before in the works of significant authors but somehow at this moment I was ready to take the leap from theory to embracing of the heart. I’m not sure how this happened but I think it was a long series of small steps that moved me in this direction. When I made this leap, I was amazed to find how calm I felt. It was a relief to be in this new place and I wondered how I could expand it.

Of course, the Divine Universe proceeded to help me on my way. Within a day or two I read this message in my emails.

The more I listen to the sounds of my body, of the wind, of the day around me, the calmer I feel. Interesting...as I allow the day to flow through me and be in me, my being naturally harmonizes and I am peace.

Meredith Murphy

What I took from this message is the importance of not being attached to anything in particular...not having assumptions and expectations of my own…but, instead, KNOWING that everything is as is should be and enjoying the gifts of the day (even though they may sometimes arrive in strange packages).

We are constantly being given important messages through people and events and, if the circumstances of our lives change, we can trust that the message we need to hear requires that particular change in the environment to be perfectly delivered.

Perhaps this feels like such a profound change because we are altering our genetic makeup by consciously choosing this belief. Bruce Lipton, leading edge scientist and author of The Biology of Belief, points out that our DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.

If we choose to positively embrace what is given us and honor it as a
Divine spark offering us guidance on our life path, our journey promises to be the amazing adventure we have dreamed of!

*Title borrowed from a book of the same name, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Magic of Flow

People are seldom happier, says psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, than when they’re in…flow. You know the feeling…you are blithely unaware of time passing…or the knee that’s been acting up…or even the sound of a dog barking in the background. You aren’t noticing anything but what is directly in front of you. There is no To-Do list hammering at your brain nor any worries or concerns. Only the joy and bliss of doing something you love.

Perhaps your flow comes from getting lost in the paradise of nature…or from teaching a child how to pass the ball…or from tinkering with a recipe…or creating a painting…or dancing Zorba style. Whatever it is that brings you to that fascinating place is a Divine gift that you have recognized and received.

We are beginning to find out how very important it is to regularly put ourselves into the entrancing and magical splendor of flow. When we are there, our highest selves are shining. We work tirelessly. Our creativity abounds. We are indulging in one of the greatest states we can access as humans.

What fires our desire to move into flow? Joy…and…Love. The Joy we feel and the love we give to ourselves by indulging in something that is so wonderful and satisfying to us.

When we love ourselves enough to make time for flow, we are building a supply of love that overflows to others. What a beautiful gateway to opening our hearts and sharing the bounty of the talents and gifts we have so joyfully cultivated!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On the Way to the Light

There is a vase of flowers sitting on my desk. Baby white carnations. In a very tall, (actually, too tall) glass vase with a square opening. The interesting thing about the arrangement is that most of the flowers peek out the top a few inches and a few of the flowers, the shorter ones, are actually under the water.

The carnations crowning the vase are expressing their joy and enthusiasm, coexisting together, sharing their “home”, brushing one another’s petals…making the bouquet even more radiant.. They look like love expressing itself.

The carnations under the water level seem to be nourished by the liquid around them which is clear and translucent and seems to be holding some mysterious message. It’s as if they are exactly where they need to be and are getting just what is required for them at this moment in time. Their stems touch the bottom of the vase just as do the taller ones…each flower is grounded, regardless of its placement.

I can’t help but feel there is a lesson here.

On our way to the top of the vase where we shine in all of our glory…we may well need to stop and be nourished by the water of others’ kindness. We may need to be open to receiving the care often given to us with such love and compassion.

I think sometimes we don’t recognize that we need to be immersed in the water or even that someone is providing it for us…but it is life-giving and so powerful…a step  on the way to the Light.

Perhaps, like the flowers, we need to pause in our day, experience our thirst, let ourselves be satiated and recognize who is sustaining us with this beautiful gift.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Holding Space

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

Thomas Merton

It seems so perfectly reasonable to want others to be like we are…to treat us the way we treat them, to see the world through our eyes, to react and respond in the ways we find most fitting. How comfortable that would be…How perfectly relaxing…How delightful not to ever have to deal with comments or with behavior that makes us feel uneasy.

The reason we interact with the world in the way we do is because our behavior is the product of our experiences.
We have done some suffering and some learning and have come to some conclusions about the way we choose to live. And we are weary from the battle and desire to coexist peacefully with others in this very personal world we have created for ourselves.

The problem is that the same work we are doing for ourselves…that same task of making sense out of our lives and experiences and making mistakes and finding new ways of responding is also the work of every other human being.
And we are, all of us, on our own journeys about how we learn the lessons and what directions the path we choose will take us. Thus, the great variety in human behavior.

It is so easy to question why someone can’t see what we see or do what we do…and to be annoyed and irritated by this. But if we expand our vision past the feeling of the moment, we can see the maze of life journeys unfolding and intersecting each other…each in its own rhythm and pace which may very well not be a match for ours.

If we look to the example of a person very dear to us whom we love and care for…we can probably recognize that we want this person to do what is best for him/herself…even if it is not what we prefer. Love prompts that understanding, that acceptance, that behavior in us. And, if we view this loved one as a microcosm of the world, it is clear that loving everyone is wanting everyone to do what feels best to them…as each individual navigates their life lessons and journeys…not on our time line and schedule but on theirs.

We HOLD SPACE for them while they do this and send our blessings.
And when we hold space for another person, we support them but do not interfere with the work of their journey. We respect and honor others as they find their way and do not force them to behave as we would like them to. If we use the beautiful example of the way we, hopefully, treat someone we care for as a microcosm and extend it to the macrocosm of the world, we will be emitting a powerful and transforming message of LOVE as we send our blessings to every fellow inhabitant of this glorious universe.

Just as I choose to bring into my life
the experiences I desire,
I also practice
the Art of Allowing
HONOR THE PATHS of others.

Mystic Marks: Bookmarks for the Soul

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mum's the Word

It’s almost Halloween and I am a holiday junkie. The front porch is filled with scarecrows, corn stalks, bales of hay, a black cat and some very big (and I mean big) pots of chrysanthemums in purple, yellow and white. And though I love the color and texture of everything on the porch, the really big deal for me is putting my face right into the flowers and taking in their essence… the touch and smell and coolness…in other words, their vibration!

I take breaks during the day to go out and do this. It connects me with nature’s bountiful gifts and beauty. It lifts me out of my everyday tasks and says, “We’re right here…just waiting for you to enjoy us.” Yep, those flowers are smiling. I know it. They love to have someone get right in their faces.

Which reminds me…I am also addicted to hugging trees. I have a particular tree in the neighborhood that lets me feel its roots straight down into the earth. I used to look around before I approached the tree, but, naw…I don’t look around anymore. I just see that beauty and go for it.
I hug bushes, too. And have been for many years.

Although I am no gardener, I think that this is exactly the kind of high that gardeners feel when they do their thing.
Now here’s a really interesting fact I learned recently about plants and gardeners. If you are raising plants that you will eat, when you tend them with personal, loving care they produce for you whatever your DNA requires.

Now that’s mind blowing. And it sure tells you that the universe is alive and wanting to spread its goodness everywhere.
So have at ‘em…pumpkins, flowers, trees….the whole works. They’re just waiting for your perceptive eyes and glowing attention.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Amping Up the Vibration

Are you getting too comfy in your lazy boy chair? Or sitting at your computer? Watching the “Game of the Week” (guys, you know what I mean)? Watching a reality series? Or, have you become a news junkie? There are repercussions for all that sitting and I am experiencing one of them: back issues.

My most treasured practice recently has been to read, research and, most of all, compose at the computer…and I can be so oblivious to how much time I spend there. But my back knows. Oh, yes. It’s keeping track.

I read somewhere recently that we should get up every twenty minutes from the computer so I brought out a timer and am experimenting with setting it each time I begin working. Sneaking a peak at it, I am dismayed at how fast the minutes are moving. But my back is talking to me. And loudly. So I am going to listen and obey.

As I got up from the computer at the first ring and did some walking and stretching in the hallway, I found myself doing some interesting things. Getting grounded...really feeling the floor I was walking on. Noticing the sunlight streaming in the window. Thinking about what I could do that day that would really please me and make a difference in my life. Remembering my resolve to work on my health choices. And, best of all, feeling
GRATITUDE for the many blessings of my life.

A lot has been said recently about the importance and significance of making Gratitude Lists…How it nudges us past our preoccupation with ourselves…How it makes us remember the many gifts we have been given…How it moves us into a higher vibration.

And this might be the greatest gift of all. THE VIBRATION REWARD. Because when we move into a higher vibration, we can no longer exist in the world of
Why Me? and that kind of thinking.

So I am resolved to set that timer each time I sit down to the computer and each time I sit in my lazy boy and…oops, just heard a ring. Got to go. And, while I am strolling leisurely through my home and enjoying the sunlight and beauty of the day, I’m feeling GRATEFUL for that beautiful reminder of how to take care of my body and soul.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dancing With the Stars!

It’s Monday night, eight p.m. and the bouncy, brilliant theme song of Dancing With the Stars beams into the room! Die hard sports fan are busy with Monday Night Football but I’m ready for a lavish evening of musicality, costumes and lights. Once the dancing starts, my feet will not stand still. No matter what command I give them. Dancing with the Stars is talking to some primitive longing that cannot be denied in the human soul. A longing to move, to feel, to be completely engaged in the moment. And the dancers are expressing it with passion and artistry.

The background stories on the stars and professionals are so interesting and amazing. Jennifer Grey, who performed an intricate Argentine Tango last week with Derek Hough, suffered for years from a neck injury she got in a car accident. Now she wants to prove that she can do what she had never expected of herself. Florence Henderson, TV icon, has been glowing with delight at the sheer joy of being one of the dancers…her already huge eyes growing even bigger…revealing the intense drive of her spirit. Others have told stories of hardship and pain and frustration, sharing the extreme difficulties involved in practicing so many hours each day. But something is obviously driving them…To excel? To achieve their personal best? To let the soul shine? To be so absolutely lost in the moment? Whatever it is that propels them forward, it’s real and it’s palpable and it shows in everything they do.

And their passionate desire to dance, to compete, to reach for the stars is complemented so beautifully by the AFFECTION they always seem to develop for each other. They are thrilled when they perform brilliantly but they are also thrilled when their fellow dancers do so. They celebrate each other, supporting, praising and encouraging each individual. They hug one another during moments of triumph and despair. Notice their eyes and you will see a world in which people have CONNECTED with each other.

This is an assembly of individuals where all the performers are expressing their emotions (in one manner or another) and dancing their hearts out and encouraging and applauding each other. Watch the way this group swarms around the couple that has been eliminated at the end of the Results Show on Tuesday night. With warm and affectionate hugs. With a world of empathic emotions on their faces. They are a family of friends and they want the best for each other.
A microcosm of a beautiful universe. The one we would all love to live in…where everyone is a part of the greater whole and knows it…embraces it…loves it.

When head judge Len Goodman announces at the beginning of the show, Live From Hollywood, maybe he’s really saying
Live From A World To Come!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Help Me Understand

I worked for many years for a wonderful boss. I loved going to work every day and that says a lot. I felt appreciated, valued and enjoyed. And I had fun. All the time. The office “crew” I worked with was composed of delightful, bright, fun-loving and creative people who embraced life with a passion. And my boss recognized, rewarded and even inspired this. One of his favorite sayings was, “What am I running here…a country club?”. And that’s exactly the kind of work atmosphere we had. Open, creative, silly, passionate, caring and, most of all, hardworking. We would do everything it took to get the job done and get it done superbly but we had so much fun it didn’t feel like work.

My boss and I gave many gifts to each other as we collaborated and negotiated our way through our work life. Whenever something urgent appeared, we went quickly and very efficiently into action. And one of the many other important ways we helped each other was to advise the other when it was time to "Cool Your Jets." Not that either of us wanted to hear it at the time, but it always came when it was most needed and most helpful for stabilizing the situation.

Of all of the many things I appreciated about my boss, the greatest for me was his use of the beautiful phrase, Help me understand. Whenever we had locked horns over an issue or I felt misunderstood I would invite him to join me in a conference room for a private conversation. And he was always eager to comply. As I explained to him (usually with intense emotion) what my issue or problem was, he always sat close to me and gave me the most exquisite eye contact, following my story and letting me explain everything. Afterwards, he would almost always say, “I was not aware you felt this way at all. Help me understand.”

.three words which became for me one of the biggest lessons of my life. I found this phrase to make such a difference in the feeling I had about my work life. And I find this phrase to be so important in the context of interpersonal relationships. The potential applications are unending. I have so admired the ability of my boss to drop into that beautiful state of caring and I have come to realize how important that message is, especially to someone who is feeling lost or misunderstood.

Is there someone in your life who would love to hear those words from you?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ichabod's Night Life

It was a windy night in Galway, Ireland. I was visiting my daughter Rachel who is on sabbatical there and I was sleeping in her guest bedroom. Rachel’s apartment house is located on a peninsula on Galway Bay. It sits literally in the middle of the harbor and, if you look outside of her window, you can see sailboats of all sizes lined up and moored to the docks.

On this particular evening I was awakened by the sound of someone apparently working on a boat in the middle of the night. There was a persistent clanging, actually two different clangings…and it felt like one was agitating the other. My daughter had told me earlier that she slept with earplugs because of the harbor noises, but I didn’t feel a little background sound would make a difference to me. I was wrong.

That night I tossed restlessly for hours, growing a strong frustration that vibrated every time I heard another sound. I could hardly believe that someone had decided to work on his boat at this hour. The logic was beyond me. I went to the window of the bedroom and parted the curtains. The boats were sitting in the water, magically illuminated by the mooring lights. The scene was breathtakingly beautiful…and there was no one to be seen working in the area. Confused, I looked further and discovered that the wind was willfully whipping the branches of a very tall tree against the night sky.

So, I thought…it’s the wind I have to deal with and decided I would try to use my consciousness to slow it down. (I had read on a couple of occasions that it is possible to move a cloud so I thought I would try changing the wind speed.) I was finally able to slow it down enough so that I could get some sleep but decided I needed a better plan as I am not yet practiced in the art of cloud/wind transport.

We checked the anticipated wind speed for the next night and, sure enough, a very windy evening was in the offing. I decided to see what resources I could call up because I did not want to go the ear plugs route.

Remembering a very important lesson I had learned from a book called Courageous Dreaming by Alberto Villoldo I decided that I had to change my story about the clanging. The first night it had represented a series of constant intrusions into my night of peaceful sleep. Now I decided to call up my imagination and create a new story. In this scenario the clanging actually was coming from a phantom sailor called Ichabod. I was asleep on the lower deck of a boat with several sailors. Every night the phantom Ichabod made an appearance on the top deck and proceeded to adjust the masts and moorings, clanging away as he worked. Everyone on the boat knew Ichabod and held a great affection for him. Ichabod’s appearance each evening signaled that all was right with the world…and with the clanging reminder of his presence, everyone slept soundly. Including me.

The next morning I ecstatically celebrated the beautiful way I had been able to “dream” myself into a peaceful place.

Telling myself a new story has become for me a new way to deal with the challenges that present themselves in my life. And it’s not always easy. And sometimes I forget to do it. But, oh, when I can remember this lesson and make it happen, I am overjoyed with the knowledge that I can change the way I perceive my reality. I was over the moon about Ichabod. Rachel, too. She has even adopted him as a guest in her harbor home.

In creating this story I followed Villoldo’s advice to create my story (or dream) by flying to the level of eagle which is spiritually based. I framed the sound as a peaceful resonance and that is what it became.

If you have a story in your life that is bringing you suffering, I invite and encourage you to call on your power to paint a picture that will soothe and comfort you, delighting your soul and bringing you the peace of Ichabod.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Irish Taxi Drivers

“Hello, luv…good morning to you…and are you here on holiday?” This is the beautiful way I was greeted nearly every time I stepped into a taxi in Galway, Ireland.

I have just returned from a trip abroad to visit my daughter Rachel on sabbatical there and I truly must say that the taxi drivers in Ireland so warmed my heart. I was able to sit up front with them in what we would call the driver’s seat here in the U.S. as the steering wheels there are placed on the right side of the car and so I got the wonderful opportunity to ask a few questions and learn so much about their lives.

I heard about pride in their families, about their wives and children (names, ages and personalities), about how the college aged kids were driving them to the “poor house” and how they had learned to step out of the fray and, thankfully, let their brilliant wives negotiate with their teen aged daughters. I heard about last night’s christening celebration that threatened to turn into a brawl until the taxi driver stepped in and told the offending party to get his priorities straightened out. I heard many comments about the recession and how it had dampened somewhat the spirits of the Irish. (I can hardly imagine what they were like before!) And, when I mentioned that I was visiting my daughter but leaving soon, I heard the comment, “Not to worry for we’ll be keeping an eye on her.”

The sense of living life in the Present Moment and embracing it with such passion are so strong in Ireland it is truly amazing. If I had known what I could find there in the open hearts of the Irish, I would have gotten myself to the Emerald Isle long before this.

Whenever I left the taxi, I always commented to the driver my wish that he have a beautiful day. And I always received a beautiful smile and blessing in return.

Irish eyes sparkle with fun and mischief…and delight in what the day will bring. What a lovely inspiration!

I am now determined to find the “Irish” in everyone I encounter and am set on uncovering this beautiful gift embedded in every human heart!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Girl Who Moved to Italy

One of my favorite things to do is follow my daughter Rachel around as she makes her way in the world.

Rachel has always been adventurous. She first moved to Lansing, Michigan to attend Michigan State University, then trekked to Lafayette, Indiana for an extended stay while she got her master’s and doctoral degrees. After that she relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska to join the Communication Department at Nebraska Wesleyan University. It wasn’t very long after her move to Lincoln that Rachel bought a home there and became very busy in her off-teaching hours painting and refurbishing the place. After a couple of years Rachel was ready to enjoy another new extended travel experience and so, when an opportunity came up for her to experience a sabbatical year, she opted for Florence, Italy.

As her mother, I was excited and intrigued for her but also concerned. The girl did not speak Italian. Not at all. She aspired to learn some Italian before her move but only had the time to pick up a little of the language so I was very concerned that she would find herself in a country where she had no idea what was going on. I tried persistently to interest her in the idea of living somewhere where there was a housemother who spoke both English and Italian but Rachel was having none of it. She wanted a true Italian experience. She wanted to live in an authentic Italian apartment and encounter Italy on her own. Our gently spirited discussions ended in a compromise when she informed me she would be taking out special insurance so that she could be helicoptered to the states should there be a need for emergency help.

And so Rachel’s Italian sabbatical began. She moved to Florence in August and August in Florence is so hot that MOST of the residents leave the city for cooler places. In addition to the heat, there was an infestation at that time of some unique mosquitoes…..a species which apparently found Rachel especially delicious. And, by the way, there was no air conditioning in Rachel’s Italian apartment. She had to sleep (and did so with good humor) under a special netting and, if her toes stuck out by accident, you can bet the mosquitoes would find them.

At this point Rachel decided it was time to really work at learning the language. She enrolled in an intensive course to take on this challenge …however, it turned out the course was taught in Italian. Nearly all of the students in the class were from Europe and already spoke a couple of languages and had decided to take the beginning course for fun. Rachel reported that she felt like a bottom feeder. Good for her soul, she said. By the time the four weeks were up Rachel was able to speak enough Italian to make her way through Italy and she also had made some new acquaintances.

And so there Rachel was…in a foreign country…speaking passable Italian, not really knowing for sure what was always being reported on the news, walking everywhere (Italian style)…on her own, bringing home her food each day from the market.. And she loved it. She loved the solitude and breathing space.

After a while, Rachel felt the need for more human interaction and began to investigate opportunities to make connections. Interestingly enough, she found her best connection to be an Anglican Church where new visitors received the royal treatment. She met wonderful people (from England!) and also some Italians there and became fast friends with the minister and his wife and their children (eventually, becoming a trusted babysitter for the little one). Through these connections, she met even more people, had more conversations, more lunches and coffees, more Italian dinners with engaging discussions that lasted for hours. Her social calendar was very full and with these personal contacts and her forays into the culture and landscape of the city and country and her attendance at cultural events... and the book she was writing, Rachel had a full and rich Italian life.

I was so pleased to learn of her adventures.

One of the things I have always told Rachel is that I do not worry about her because wherever she goes, she makes a beautiful life for herself.

And that very point, I believe, is one of Rachel’s gifts to the world. Her openness to new experiences, her thirst for new knowledge, her appreciation of diversity, her wonderful communication skills, her confidence in herself and her ability to deal with life and appreciate all that it has to offer, her compassion for others and her joy in experiencing their company.

And when I ask myself, what is the MESSAGE of Rachel’s experience for all of us, I think it is this:

the opportunity to make a beautiful life for ourselves wherever we choose to go, wherever we are planted...for we are the gardeners who determine whether the flower of our lives smiles into the sun, gently accepts the soft breezes and gusty winds alike, sends out vibrations of love to those who encounter us and rests when the metaphorical sun goes down.

Perhaps one of life’s greatest challenges is to recognize the glorious opportunities surrounding us, to see the potential we have to bring into our consciousness all that we want to experience and MAKE THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE FOR OURSELVES WHEREVER WE ARE!


This year finds Rachel on another sabbatical…this time in Galway, Ireland and, as usual, I will be there (for the next two weeks or so) to experience the beauty she has already discovered!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Incoming Message!

Incoming message!!! Red alert. All hands on deck. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Keep the channel open…no stray thoughts or monkey mind. We are on course here. Yes!!!!!!

How’s that for a Good Morning Message? This was my welcome as I drifted into wakefulness today. I lay in a haze for a little while when suddenly I realized the meaning of that dynamic scene.

Finally, it seems I have solved a problem that’s been plaguing me for forever (excuse the drama…it’s how my emotions like to make themselves known).

The issue is: What does my Higher Self look like and feel like? And now I realize that I have been imagining the stereotype version of this heavenly entity…serene, serious, quiet, awesome and peaceful. Today, I am getting that this is not the complete picture of my Higher Self. At least, it‘s not the picture I am meant to have. All of those qualities are there, undoubtedly, but my Higher Self which has been waiting to be discovered is also full of …I can’t even think of the right words for it…let me try…it’s full of color and I mean COLOR and FUN and CREATIVITY and SILLINESSSUPREME SILLINESS and this feels right to me. Like it’s something I’ve been waiting to recognize.

Here’s what I think brought this on.

I fell off a chair a week ago.

I’m not even going to tell you how or why I did it because I don’t know how or why. Not that I didn’t try to figure it out. Oh, yes, I gave it my best shot. But it remains a mystery. Something I have to embrace, apparently.

So I have been struggling this week, trying to do all of the right things…bringing in my Higher Self to help with the healing. But it’s been hard to do that. When I am experiencing pain, I find it tremendously challenging to go to a place of serenity. However, thankfully, this morning when I awoke I was treated to a delightful vision of my cells having a conversation. They were hard at work puffing up something (I'm not sure what) so that my body would not experience the trauma of the fall. And they were talking about me. They were so happy I had finally found them. They were filled with love for me…unconditional love and compassion for my struggles. They were 100% rooting for me, no…1000% rooting for me (remember, I am a drama queen both in the 3rd dimension and in my Higher Self). And they knew that a message was coming in that I needed to receive and record.

This picture felt right. It felt consoling. It made me happy. My Higher Self is a riot! It took me a long time to figure this out. And now that I have, I am filled with joy and welcoming and relief and gratitude.

Everything is working for me. All is well. Regardless of what has occurred, my Higher Self (in this case, expressed as the cells in my body) is there for me…waiting for direction, delighted to help, wanting to help. And...now... it's no effort to call in this image…I’m sure it will appear in my consciousness all by itself as needed.

I am filled with a new energy by this exciting picture. My Higher Self gave me what I needed to get up and let this message express itself through my writing. Thank you is my response. Thank you…and I’ll have more. This article started writing itself while I was still in bed and I could hardly get to the computer quickly enough to get it down. I am not composing this. I am sending it on to you from a GLORIOUS SOURCE. It’s your present…I've already received mine!