The message on the floor in the airport

Do you get messages? Weird, interesting, unusual messages? Messages that you know in your heart can only come from Spirit? I do.

Mine often come in the form of ospreys flying overhead as I walk in to speak or when I need a reminder that all is well. It seems that whenever I’m fretting about money, an osprey will fly directly over my car carrying a fish. Not just any fish. The size of the fish seems to mirror the size of my fears. Last December, the fish were enormous. To me that’s Spirit reminding me that everyone is fed, including me. I always laugh and feel blessed and sure enough, shortly after my osprey “shows me the money,” the human money arrives.

There’s another message that comes regularly. Pennies. You’ve heard the song, “Pennies from Heaven?” Well, I think, they are literally from heaven. The pennies started coming after my ex-husband died. They came in such abundance and at such odd times that I couldn’t miss the connection.

The wackiest time was the day I was in a furniture store. I’d fallen madly in love with a lime green sofa. I had just received the miracle check from my ex (the miracle story is in Writing Down Your Soul) and thought it would be lovely to have new furniture. But the sofa was shockingly expensive. So, much as I coveted it, I decided I should just buy a lamp. One lamp sitting on a desk looked interesting. I turned it on but nothing happened. So I crawled under the desk to plug it in. There in the middle of the floor under the desk was a shiny penny. I clutched it to my heart. Burst into tears. Whispered “Thank you.” And bought the sofa.

I know I can count on pennies as messages from heaven. They constantly appear on the sidewalk. They show up in my home–which is odd because I’m the only one here. The most amazing ones are the ones that show up in the car. The car that I drive all by myself. Hmmm.

Last August, BodyMindSpirit Expo invited me to speak in Raleigh. Now, the deal I have with God is I say yes. Spirit is in charge of the invitations. My job is to show up and share the joys of deep soul writing. So I say yes to an invitation and additional events always congregate around it and I’m able to make some money or at least break even on the trip. But this trip was different. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get any other invitations. This was a problem. Because BodyMindSpirit didn’t pay an honorarium. Nor did they pay travel expenses. So on my own penny (pun intended) I flew to Raleigh, stayed in a hotel and paid for the cab to the event. Oh boy!

As I got off the plane racked with doubt about my decision to come to Raleigh, I said to Spirit, “You have to give me a sign that I am OK.” The hotel van pulled up. It was immaculate. It must have just been washed and vacuumed. I was the only passenger. I sat down and put my bag on the floor. There at my foot, touching my shoe was a shiny penny. I burst into tears. The driver turned around. “I’m OK,” I said. “I’m very OK.” He had his doubts, but he drove me to the hotel.

Well, Cherry Lea, the owner of Dancing Moon Bookstore in Raleigh came to my talk, fell in love with Writing Down Your Soul and invited me back on Valentine’s weekend for not one but three events. We had a full house for each, including my first workshop on how to create your Intention Mandala.

The Intention Mandala was the last workshop I taught on Sunday afternoon. To convey the power of an Intention Mandala I waved my actual 2006 Mandala in front of the audience over and over again, telling all the magical things that happened that year. In 2006, anything and everything I wanted came to me effortlessly. In 2006 I attracted a national comun for UPI, Conari Press, a contract for Writing Down Your Soul, and even a love relationship. My 2006 Mandala was magical and I loved teaching the process so everyone can have a divinely supported year.

I headed to the airport filled with gratitude for such a luscious weekend and such a loving relationship with such a wonderful store.

I got to the airport early so I decided to treat myself to dinner–something I rarely do. As I paid the bill, I noticed a bright shiny penny on the floor in front of the only empty table. I almost didn’t pick it up. But pennies are always messages, so I pushed aside my embarassment, bent down and picked it up. A woman’s voice said, “Oh, I do that too.” I turned around and said, “Pennies are messages from my husband who passed.”

I smiled, put the penny in my pocket, and went to the ladies room. There, I took it out and really looked at it. And burst into tears. It was dated 2006. The year of the magical mandala I’d been talking about just two hours before. To me this penny was a little pat on the back from heaven saying, “Keep on teaching this. You’re on to something. We’re with you.”
As I dried my hands, I heard sniffling. I turned and the woman who had spoken to me in the restaurant was standing there sobbing. “I’m crying for you,” she said. “It’s so sad. Your husband died and it’s Valentine’s Day.” I gave her a big hug and said, please don’t cry for me. I’m completely happy and all is well. This is just a little message from him. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Yes,” I smiled. I’m sure. I’m absolutely sure.”

It didn’t hit me till I got on the plane that that evening was the first time I’d called my ex-husband my husband. I have long felt that he doesn’t like me calling him my “ex.” I’ve struggled with what to call him because legally of course he is my “ex” but the truth is our divorce was an invitation from Spirit. To go deep. To enter into divine dialogue. To open my soul to the messages stored there. It was an invitation that gave birth to Writing Down Your Soul. I am forever grateful for that invitation. So that means, I am forever grateful for my “ex-husband,” who from now on, I will call my husband. Because he was. And I know that my 2006 penny was a little thank you for acknowledging that.

That 2006 penny is precious to me. It now graces my altar. What’s on your altar? What messages have you received? How does heaven encourage you? Bless you? Comfort you?
I know your messengers are there. I know it. They are always there. We just have to open our eyes to see them, our minds to acknowledge them, our hands to receive them, and our hearts to be forever grateful.

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From your lips to God’s ear–really

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I experienced a big shift January 1st when I sat down to create my Intention Mandala for 2010. I shifted 180 degrees from focusing on what I want to focusing on creating the conditions that make all that possible. Many of you are making the same shift.

So, I thought you might enjoy hearing what has happened in the first five weeks of 2010. Think of this as The December Plan–January Report

I have stuck faithfully to my plan. Every morning before I get up,
I turn my face to imaginary sunlight, feel it on my cheeks, and commit once more to love my work and do it in joy. This new morning habit is now, well, a habit. A really nice habit. And it’s working. I wake up happy. Big happy. Smile-on-my-face happy. Leap-out-of-bed-excited-to-work happy.

Then, before I touch my computer, I stand in front of my Intention Mandala and look–really look–at the image at the center. I speak the six ways I create the conditions to become who I want to be out loud. That’s important, I think. I say my prayers out loud.

Then, I write down my soul and get to work. On the surface, nothing appears to really be all that different. I spend my days in my writing office at the computer just like I always did. But something is different.

And I have proof that it’s working. Here are two examples.

Two weeks ago, I sent Daniel Ladinsky, the incredible Hafiz translator, an email asking if he’d like to join me for a Hafiz Love Fest teleclass. I thought it would be such fun to just read Hafiz poems to one another. And I was confident that a hundred people would join us. But Daniel said no. Turns out he doesn’t like the phone. And he says his vocal renderings of Hafiz are, let’s just say, idiosyncratic. For lots of reasons, Daniel said no. Hmmph, I thought. So much for that great idea.

But you know that sweet saying, “From your lips to God’s ears?” Have you heard that? I think of it as a Jewish saying. Not quite sure why. But I do. If you haven’t heard the saying before, the idea is, “May God hear what you are saying and make it so.”

Well, the day after Daniel said no, Cherry Lea, owner of Dancing Moon Bookstore in Raleigh called. She was responding to an email I’d sent about my schedule. When I went online to make reservations for my trip, the Sunday afternoon flight I wanted disappeared off Southwest’s screen. I mean that.
It just disappeared and suddenly the only option was 7:30PM. So I sent Cherry an email saying she was kinda stuck with me on Sunday and I’d be happy to come to the store and sign books or whatever she wanted.

Cherry said they’d be delighted to have me come to the store on Sunday. I could certainly sign books, she said, “But you know what we’d really love you to do? It’s Valentine’s Day and we’d really love you to read Hafiz poetry while we serve tea and pastries.”

And that’s how the first ever Mystical Poetry Love Fest came to be. Straight “from my lips, to God’s ears.” In 48 hours, no less.

Want another example?

I sent an email to Sharon Jebbens, manager of Wings Bookstore in St Petersburg on Saturday telling her I’d be delighted to pop into Wings and sign the March Daily Word. (I wrote the feature article on deep soul writing.)

One minute later, I got an email from the new events coordinator at Wings inviting me to teach an all-day workshop. I thought, wow, that was fast! But when Andi called to talk about details, she knew nothing about my email to Sharon. She said she emailed me simply because so many people had come into the store talking about the book and asking when I’d teach again.

From my lips to God’s ear. In record speed.

I cannot predict everything that will happen in 2010. But five weeks into the year, here’s what I see:

  • I am happy–deliciously happy
  • Invitations to speak, teach, and be interviewed are flying in the door
  • I ask for what I want and receive it (sometimes instantly!)
  • January has been the most prosperous month of my entire writing life

Are all these things happening because I begin my day with my face to the Light? Because I commit to a day of love and joy? Because I keep my focus on creating the conditions that generate the life I want rather than on the things themselves?

I think so. I think this whole “December Plan’ idea that began on December 1 has been a divine adventure. And the best is yet to come.

What about you? What is happening since you set your Intention for the year? What words have emanated from your lips and landed on God’s ears? Tell me, I’d love to know.


It’s Paul Auster’s Birthday

Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac shows up in my email every day with a fat smile on its face, a provocative poem, and news of the writing world. News, as in birthdays and deathdays of the writers and thinkers of the world. Today, I am happy to report, is my all-time favorite writer’s birthday. And without Writer’s Almanac, I would not know this. And neither would you. So if your soul longs to know when momentous events like Chekhov’s birthday are upon us, get thee to Writer’s Almanac and subscribe.

But for now, let us celebrate Paul Auster, who said:

“Becoming a writer is not a ‘career decision’ like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.”

And

“I don’t know why I do what I do. If I did know, I probably wouldn’t feel the need to do it. … Surely it is an odd way to spend your life — sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist — except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.”

I think he’s trying to get us NOT to want to be writers, but his words just inspire me to sit down and write. And write. And write some more.

Although my craft at its highest will not, can not, touch the wizardry of City of Glass. No matter how many times I read it, I am at a loss for how words on the page create a world and then a world within that world, and then, well, no one really knows what else. Because at the end of the book you realize that you know NOTHING. Not who the character is, not where he is, or what he is, or if he is. Oh my. If you haven’t read City of Glass, horray for you. A great adventure awaits. Want a little champagne to go with that? Get the unbelievable graphic novel by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli. It was the first graphic novel I ever read and no graphic novel has touched it since. The two together are perfection in word and image.

All right, all you writers. And writer wanna-bes. A toast is in order to the master. Happy Birthday, Paul.