During Such Times, What Matters?

Many of my writerly friends and students have contacted me recently discouraged and confused. What does any of “this” matter?, they ask. “Who cares what I write about?” Besides, they claim, “my story is not unique.” Let me respond first with a personal story. I found myself looking in the mirror lately with dismay. I see an old woman.  At the core of me I know a truth: that I am aging, and that I am doing a fine job of it. With the awareness that all judgment involves projection I looked around me. What do I see when I look at others? Do … Continue reading

The Magic of Morning Pages by Susan Eaton Mendenhall

First thing in the morning. Three pages in long hand. Everyday. These are the basic guidelines of a writing practice called Morning Pages developed by Julia Cameron. Years ago I discovered Julia through her book, The Artist’s Way. I felt stuck in my life and her process of writing to break through creative blocks renewed me with hope. Perhaps this practice could give me direction. Morning Pages are not about being brilliant or artful or even making sense. It’s just putting words on paper as they come into consciousness. Julia Cameron makes a case that writing in long hand slows … Continue reading

This Is Your Destiny

Destiny is wasted on those that go in search of it. Our destinies are not something to find but to release. Yes, like an acorn, our greatest capacities and creations are within us from birth. For us writers this means we experience the most resistance in bringing forth the writer in us. At the same time this is also where we will feel the most push (that energy of that acorn wanting to turn into the big oak tree against the hard outer shell). Push Resistance We want to write. We feel contentment in “having written” something. We believe our … Continue reading

The Dangers of Distraction

Whatever we give our attention to in our daily lives is what we cultivate, and as a result, becomes manifest. Whatever we nurture through attention grows; unless what we nurture isn’t “real.” This would be like watering a plastic plant. This plant can appear to take in all the light and water you give it but it will never grow. For me, too much attention to “searching”on the internet, television, to consumption, or other activities that really don’t result in anything, draw energy from that which will bring genuine happiness and fulfillment. Too much clutter is a huge distraction too … Continue reading

Poetic Impulses and Finding Your Intuitive Muse

“Finding what we already possess may seem like a strange goal for a spiritual path. Yet the process of finding may provide us more joy than if the universe delivered all its secrets to us without any effort on our part.”   — Neil Douglas Klotz, the Sufi Book of Life, p. 265  What impulses lie beneath the routines of the day? Hidden from view but there?  A desire to write a poem, make a quilt, contact a friend, start that story, or visit that sacred place arises as a poetic impulse and along with her is your intuitive muse.  Follow … Continue reading

Eight Principles of Vibrant Health and the Four Reminders

We are coming to a close of our five-month journey of spiritual journaling our way to health and weight loss. We have come to find together that a more natural state of physical health is dependent on our state of mind, and our willingness to push through some habitual states. It isn’t really about the weight loss of pounds but that which weighs us down – – negative states, inactivity, habitual behaviors, obsession with our bodies, judgment of our bodies, fear and resistance. It is ultimately pushing through the weight of these that lightens up our mind, soul and body. … Continue reading

In Search of a Greener Truth

 Wisconsin offers a diverse bounty of spiritual and psychological resources for the taking. In one’s search for wholeness and well-being there are many potential pitfalls along with numerous green possibilities.  Many of us go in search of spiritual and psychological services to either awaken our potential or to get personal freedom from what binds us, while others, hope to reach a state of enlightenment or nirvana. Interestingly, a literal translation of  ‘nirvana’ is ‘cessation.’ We reach nirvana when we cease the search for spiritual and psychological wellbeing because we have obtained it. Ultimately our search ends the great illusion that … Continue reading

Come as You Are

Come as you are. Walk the  Thundering Cloud’s wild prairie spiral now in full bloom. Waiting for you, sunrise to dusk. Walk the ancient spiral and visit with the natural world. Open free to the public, 5:30 am to 7:00 pm,  August 8th to August 15th.   “You don’t need tickets To listen to crickets.”  Douglas Florian, children’s author Take your prayers and intentions into the spiral and open up to the wisdom that is everywhere. Or simply come and listen as you move through the wild flowers and grasses.  “Listen to the voice of nature, for it holds treasures for you.”  … Continue reading

Natural Rhythms: Your Personal Timing

All through our lives we have been expected to function according to other people’s timing. You have to show up at work at a scheduled times, are expected to attend college, have children, get married and eat dinner all at given times in one’s life. There seems to be a “right” time for everything-when you should start dating, to when you should retire. Although there is a natural timing for everything in nature, human beings have lost touch with this natural timing. Our culture really interferes with our own natural and personal rhythms – advertisements, popular television shows and movies, … Continue reading

Knowing What You Truly Want Diet

Consider this week an exploration into what makes you truly happy. During the day practice taking a nice deep breath into your belly and asking yourself, “What am I thinking right now?” “What am I feeling right now?” And, “What do I want?” Imagine giving yourself space for these questions. Don’t put effort into answering these questions. Rather, give real breath and space to the questions. You may find an answer comes quickly and naturally. You may notice that what you want is not matching with what you actually give yourself. Just take time to notice whatever comes up for … Continue reading