Half Way There

I got half way in the (possibly, hopefully) final draft of my debut novel. I set myself up at Barriques in Middleton last night again, where one other writer joined me to write. My manuscript is 400 pages long. So, around 7:45 last night I reached my half way point. Did you feel some shift in your world around that time? No? Me neither. It’s good to mark such places in our writing and life though — feel some sense of accomplishment. Of course, there’s those coming 200 pages I have to rewrite my way through, and make captivating as I do. … Continue reading

What You See Is What You Get

“The way you look at things is the most powerful force in shaping your life. In a vital sense, perception is reality.”  John O’donahue, Anam Cara We writers and spiritual pilgrims are world builders, shape shifters; we make heroes, and, we identify and fight villains. We can be the hero in our own lives and stories. We discover personal truth where ever we are courageous enough to explore; we can consider any possibility. We can risk everything or risk nothing. Over the past few weeks I have heard a certain reference multiple times: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are … Continue reading

The Two Wells

How Everything Has A Place I take my blind dog out under the white and pink blossomed apple tree to brush her. She groans as hair falls from her old body into soft golden piles in the greening spring grass. Just moments before how I worried about where I would be a season from now. Where might I live and who will share my days? She rolls around, such a happy dog Her golden hair remains behind an invitation to the birds now collecting in the trees take me use me to build your nest. I don’t enjoy worrying or obsessing about what … Continue reading

Because I Love You

“To her- Hand in hand we come Christopher Robin and I To lay this book in your lap. Say you’re surprised? Say you like it? Say it’s just what you wanted? Because it’s yours- because we love you.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh   “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”  Neil Gaiman, Coraline   “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”  Neil Gaiman     “Who was the guy who first looked … Continue reading

The In-between Places

A friend recently commented that she envied me: “You’re at such a spiritually rich time.” She was referring to this “in-between place” I am in. I have had other times in my life that I consider spiritually fertile, where uncertainty was abundant.  In truth, I’m glad to be on the other side of those spiritually rich and uncertain times. Like putting down a good book. I enjoyed the suspense and time while reading, then, felt satisfied when done. I will be happy to be on the other side of this time of uncertainty and spiritual fertility as well. But she has a point. The suspense of uncertainty … Continue reading

The Sweet Wisdom of Getting There from Here

I met Angeline a few years back when she attended my class at Write-By-The-Lake. She was working on a collection of her poems and essays, which are now a book, titled Sweet Wisdoms. She is sweet, strong, and full of wisdom. Angeline is today’s guest blogger, enjoy. You Can Get There from Here     by Angeline Haen On life’s map, my point of beginning as a writer wasn’t exactly a red dot with an arrow pointed at it and the words “YOU ARE A WRITER”. It was more like a red wild scribble with the words “FOLLOW ME”. Growing up, cathartic … Continue reading

How To Let the Light In

“I never saw a discontented tree.”  –John Muir There is no solo journey that leads to awakening. Maybe a few thousand years ago sitting solo under the Bodhi Tree was the way to enlightenment. Now, if we want to fulfill our greatest capacity as human beings, here on planet earth, we cannot do it alone. The trek to the mountain’s summit, the scientific discoveries, personal and global awakenings will all take place in conversation, in circles, in gathering together with others. It will happen only as we participate in the collective dance of life. “The Buddha, Shakyamuni, our teacher, predicted that the … Continue reading

Here, Take This Gift

For life to happen we have to receive the first breath. For life to continue we have to receive the abundance of light, nourishment, love and care offered us. If we don’t know how to receive, we will starve. When we are not receptive, we become like Hungry Ghosts. These are the creatures from a Bardo state, where ghosts have small mouths, so little nourishment gets in and the food just falls through their phantom bodies. As a result they are always hungry. Parker J. Palmer refers to this state of chronic hunger as the “Empty Self Syndrome.” We may even win the presidency … Continue reading

How To Explore the Sacred Language of the Universe

How Blue Bear Held On:  An Adapted Myth Borrowed from Various Indigenous Creation Stories When the world was born, it began to fly out into space due to the whirling winds. There wasn’t anything to hold it in place. To prevent the Earth from whirling out of control, the Creator put a Sacred Bear in each direction to help hold it in place. The whirling wind continued, but the Earth stayed put, kept its seat, so to speak, while the Bear in each direction held on to it. And this was good. In the North, the Creator placed the Great … Continue reading

Our Blind Spots

“You Still Have A Few Blind Spots.” “Julie, you still have a few blind spots,” a spiritual teacher reminded me on our last time together. I was leaving Minneapolis to move down to Spring Green, Wisconsin. She didn’t, of course, tell me what these blind spots were; it was just a gentle reminder that I did still have them. I had done a lot of inner work up until that time. So it’s safe to assume that I may have gotten a bit arrogant around my efforts and growth. I could have become like Theseus after his successes with the Minotaur: he thought of himself … Continue reading