Sunday, July 31, 2011

summer learning adventure

brighter learning

I thought this might be a nice time to let you know how all my summer e-courses have been going. Well, they've all been wonderful! And I've signed up for more, which I'll be sharing with you. But let's start at the beginning...

So, the Fear Cleanse, which is coming to a close this week. I'd signed up for this class mainly because I really liked the women leading it when I listened to their free call about the class. And I still do! Gabrielle Bernstein and Christine Arylo are fun and inspiring women who are willing to share their own struggles and stories. They don't shy away from the truth and have a lot of wisdom to share. This class was especially wonderful for me around really valuing my body. I've shared with you my anxiety around visits to the doctor. Perfect timing! I got to work with one of my biggest fears right in the middle of this class - a routine, annual doctor visit that has the potential to elevate my blood pressure for weeks in advance, in anticipation of the dreaded cuff! So that morning I sat down and really opened up to what my fear was in that moment and realized that the biggest problem around these visits is that I totally abandon my body. I am not my body's advocate at all. I totally dissociate. I'd taken my blood pressure that morning and knew that it was really good. I told my body that I was't going to pay any attention to the numbers we got at the office, that I wasn't going to add that on top of the already existing stress. I felt so much love for my body and the really good job it does for me all the time. I wasn't going to let this dear friend down. I was just going to stay in as much of a loving space as I could and not give into the panic and fear. So, I went to the doctor and the cuff went on. I could feel myself start to panic and come out of that peaceful and accepting place. And then the little mantra we've been given for the class popped into my mind. I could still feel my heart pounding, but I had this supportive statement to say and I just stayed with that. And my numbers were great! So, not to say that will happen everytime, but I'm so grateful for this tool and this insight. Two thumbs up for the Fear Cleanse!

feeling reflective at the doctor's office

To say that my life has been transformed by my Centering Prayer class really would not be an exaggeration. I am in awe of what a perfect journey it has been and continues to be. Let's just say that this has been exactly the right thing at the right time and so many pieces seem to have fallen into place.

love this view

And then there are my wonderful photography classes, the Slice of Life Project and Superhero Photo, which started on the same day and run the same number of weeks. Why two photography classes, you might ask? Well, I'd already signed up for the Slice of Life Project when wonderful Andrea Scher announced her plans for a class and I love her and all of the classes I've taken with her, so this was an easy Yes. And I haven't regretted it at all. Darrah and Andrea have really similar, kind teaching styles and the classes are both about having fun with your camera and seeing the beauty all around you. I can use as much support as I can get in this area, so twice is nice! Here are photos that I took as a result of their encouragement that I wouldn't have taken otherwise:


crepe myrtle carpet

prayer ritual

meeting cancelled

school flowers

So I think that's everything I'd shared with you. Since I last updated you on my classes I've also signed up for a Welcoming Prayer online class, which works in conjunction with Centering Prayer, and is also rocking my world, joined the Goddess Circle and am just starting the Goddess Haven e-course, and am looking forward to the SouLodge beginning on August 8. So much goodness out there, people! And I'm just saying Yes, Yes, Yes! Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

savoring adventure


So enjoying a relaxing weekend off with my sweetie and wanting to share some great stuff:

The amazing August Art Bash at Dandelion Seeds and Dreams.

This movie blew me away this morning!

I loved the spirit of this post from Keri Smith, even if I don't have the technology to use what she's describing. The last part has stuck with me all week, though. May have to become my new motto:)

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend and here's to a beautiful week!

summer feet

Sunday, July 17, 2011

church adventure

Christ Church Cathedral

Who saw this coming? But I will tell you that finding this gorgeous refuge this past week was like gold. It's amazing how our lives flow and I'm reminded of John O'Donohue's poem that I've quoted here before, but must quote again:


I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

It is a huge surprise to find myself seeking out a church and relating to it in this new way. I was longing for a place to do centering prayer at lunchtime and have been led back to my roots. And for now it feels like home. It's delightful to have a new way to relate to an old friend. The coincidences these days are many and it's like I'm catching glimpses of angel wings flying around corners, just out of view. It feels like a summertime ripening of these seeds I planted last winter. Ah, life!

Also wanted to share a project I've been working on with a really dear friend who made it all happen. Hope you enjoy!

Oh, and if you've longed to leave a comment in the past and been stymied by Blogger, give it another try. I've changed to a slightly different comments interface and am hoping that makes it an easier experience. Thanks and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July adventure

joy and gratitude

Continuing to soak up and savor all the goodies that July has been bringing me. I'm also really exploring the feeling of receiving and not pushing so hard. Messages like this one keep arriving at my doorstep:

"Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute."
~ Rumi, from the lovely Poetry Chaikhana website dear Katie turned me on to a while back

And this advice to all of us perfectionist INFJs out here, from the book Prayer and Temperament that my sweet Mom shared with me during a recent visit:

"Try to enjoy whatever happens without worry, anxiety, or hurry."

Okay, so this could be the work of a lifetime for me, but I welcome the encouragement:) Hope you all have a beautiful, restful, soul-filled week!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

relaxing adventure

wise words at crystal cove

farm-fresh slaw in the making

Ah! Hooray for a long weekend and having made it through an intense month. The last program was wonderful and inspiring. Anyone who fearlessly uses the words "love" and "intimacy" when describing landscape architecture is tops in my book.

And so now I'm just relaxing. I declared this "independence from cooking weekend" and loaded up at the local HoneyBaked Ham store yesterday, although I did just make a couple of salads with the delicious veggies we got from our farmers.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the Fear Cleanse and the Centering Prayer class! It's pretty amazing the level of interactivity that's possible in online classes these days. The Fear Cleanse utilizes some kind of great telecom package so we can actively participate in the weekly calls. And I'm a total sucker for the way the Centering Prayer class is set up. Had I received this as a print workbook with DVDs and CDs I can guarantee that the workbook wouldn't have any writing in it, but since I'm used to typing 750 truth-filled words every day all the boxes in Session 1 are filled in. The embedded videos are perfect. So, I'm getting everything out of these classes that I'd hoped for. Definitely looking forward to the photography classes that start on the 11th.

There's also been some great wisdom out there on the blogs I love. Here are some highlights:

"I'm learning how to let go, to do less, to lay down and stare at the ceiling and to sit down and stare out the window. I'm learning how to listen, how to ask and how to receive." ~Jen Lee

"What kind of good can I do in the world today?" ~Susan Piver

"Take your expectations, and throw them in the ocean." ~Leo Babauta

And I just can't get enough of that fabulous Goddess Leonie! Loved all the podcasts she lists in this post. (I had trouble listening right from the posts, but they worked great through iTunes...)

Hope you're all enjoying a fun and safe 4th! Have a wonderful week!