A Prayer

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God, Goddess, Spirit that be,
I pray this night watch over me.

Hold me in the arms of angels,
Safely from all harm and danger.

Bless all those I deeply love,
And tend their needs from up above.

Thanks to you for the gift of life,
Courage and patience to journey through strife.

My gratitude from deep within,
Please open my heart with your love, Amen.

*I wrote this prayer in 2007 and came across it in one of my old journals yesterday. It always surprises me when my writing has more profound, personal meaning, years later. The photo is a retablo of Our Lady of Guadalupe by New Mexico artist Lynn Garlick.

Vulnerability

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First, inspiration

A consuming fire

Relentless and tangled

 

Then, writing

A tentative rain

Of keyboard clicks

Slowly intensifying

 

Fire and rain argue

Until sparks turn to steam

And soften into grace

 

To find inspiration

And write from source

Feels easy, free and pure

 

Baring my soul

Not knowing

To whom I am opening

Showing petals and thorns

 

Is the artist’s way, I suppose

Until inspiration

Ignites again

Love letter from the past

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I attended a winter yoga retreat in Lake Geneva with the fabulous Dorie Silverman a few weeks ago. During the retreat, we were guided to write a love letter to ourselves, self address an envelope, and hand it in to be mailed at a later, unknown date. I received my letter in the mail a few days ago. I won’t share all the details, after all it’s my personal love letter, but here is a line that I am drawing a lot of inspiration from: “Magic is created in the woodlands, but it can survive in the city if nurtured by the sun and water and your dreams.”

There’s something really special about receiving words of love and wisdom from your past self. If you’ve never tried it before, I highly recommend taking the time to write yourself a love letter. You don’t even have to send it, just set it aside and mark your calendar for a random day a few weeks or months from now. There is even a website, http://www.futureme.org, where you can send yourself an email at a set, later date.

Even if you have a regular journaling or reflection practice, it’s amazing how sometimes, turning inward and writing a letter of love to your future self can bring the encouragement and support you need, right when you need it most.

Edgar Degas

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I spent the morning visiting an old acquaintance

Saw his familiar expressions and heard his stories

Captured in the madness and mastery of brushstroke

 

Peeking behind the wings at the ballet

I saw nervous dancers feet beneath tulle skirts

Rehearsing with anticipation moments before the curtain

 

Listened to a café singer in Paris while

Sipping an espresso from a dimly lit corner

Her melodies floating over the smoky room with ease

 

Caught a glimpse of a woman bathing

In a symphony of limbs and abandonment

From an oval-shaped tub and the illusion of water

 

Yet, the mystery of art lies not with technique

But the reminder that when it encounters faith

Ghosts from the past become remarkably opaque

Grandma Jean

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Grandmothers are special people. My Grandma Jean was a wise friend, reliable confidant, engaging storyteller, vocal cheerleader, expert baker, tradition keeper, hard worker, savvy shopper, warm hugger, fierce protector, and more. I am grateful to have been her granddaughter and for her friendship and love.

Since her passing, I’ve been thinking a lot about our time together and the small, thoughtful ways she made everyday special. A crystal donkey dish filled with Hershey Kisses set out for me and my sisters, warm grandmother hugs and favorite story books, getting tucked in at night with kisses and the scent of fresh laundry, shopping for shoes, and long talks while baking oatmeal raisin cookies and burning a few, on purpose, for grandpa. I never want to forget those memories, or her.

“You won’t. I know a little about that. When you lose someone they take a bigger place in your heart, not a smaller one. Every day it grows because you don’t stop loving them” (The Shoemaker’s Wife, Adriana Trigiani, page 78).

2012 Reflections

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Two thousand and twelve, the year the world ended. Okay, not really. However, the past year has been full of life changes, joy, loss, adventure, uncertainty, fear, accomplishment and love. A cross-country move with my husband and kitty cat, making new friends, completing yoga teacher training, job and soul-searching, personal reflection, writing, starting a blog, art-making, volunteer work and the passing of my dear Grandma Jean are a few personal milestones from 2012. And in a way, the world has ended for me since 2013 is the birth of new dreams.

I don’t typically set New Year’s resolutions. However, in yoga teacher training, we read  The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron. Her writing is bursting with insight, but there was one passage in particular that I found inspiring and am re-reading as my resolution and meditation for 2013.

“The Navajo teach their children that every morning when the sun comes up, it’s a brand new sun. It’s born each morning, it lives for the duration of one day, and in the evening it passes on, never to return again. As soon as the children are old enough to understand, the adults take them out at dawn and they say, ‘The sun has only one day. You must live this day in a good way, so that the sun won’t have wasted precious time.’ Acknowledging the preciousness of each day is a good way to live, a good way to reconnect with our basic joy” ( p. 33).

Do you set resolutions? What are you meditating upon as we end 2012 and move into the New Year? As always, with love and gratitude to you for reading.