My Soul Pages has a mysterious OWL on the cover

My Soul Pages, the matching journal for Writing Down Your Soul arrived–with a stunning owl on the cover. This is not an accident. It’s not an accident that it’s an animal or an owl in particular. And it’s no accident that this owl is more than an owl; it’s an icon.
 
This cover is a mystery–a sweet divine mystery. Let me tell you the story, because this owl is not here just for me; he’s here for you, too. And his message is huge.

I first learned about animal messengers in a “Women’s Spiritual Empowerment” workshop with Charlotte Starfire in 1992. She taught us what she learned from Sun Bear, the great Native American teacher: animals have healing
messages or “medicine” for humans. All we have to do is notice the animal and ask for its teaching. After she explained this idea, Charlotte led us on a meditation to a favorite outdoor place. For me that was a forest. Then, Charlotte said, “Look. Your messenger is here.” Instantly a fox came out from behind a tree. Huh? A fox? I’d never seen a fox in my life. 
 
When the meditation ended, Charlotte introduced us to the Medicine Cards and Animal Speak to learn more about our messengers. Fox, it turns out, is a master at protecting her children. Fox became my teacher and her loving guidance helped me protect my son during the divorce. I began to notice foxes everywhere. I saw fox art and fox statues and even real fox tails. And just in case I doubted she was with me, foxes ran across the road in front of me three times. Bless you, fox.
 
I’ve been hyper sensitive to animal messengers ever since. My osprey showed up the day I knew I had to leave my marriage with the critical message “fear not.” Grasshopper–giant leap forward–was my companion last summer. (When Your Soul Wants Five Things came through in January, I finally understood her message.) In Costa Rica, a vulture landed on the ground and walked around me until I told him I understood his message of forgiveness. The moment I said thank you, he flew off. Gwynn Kelley was beside me when it happened and once she got over the shock, she realized vulture had a message for her, too.
 
So it’s no accident that the matching journal for Writing Down Your Soul has an owl on the cover. Of all the animal messengers, owl is the perfect symbol and protector of deep soul writing. Here are a few insights about owl from Medicine Cards and Animal Speak.
  • represents clairvoyance
  • sits in the East, the place of illumination
  • can see in the dark
  • sees into the soul
  • sits on Athena’s shoulder whispering truth
  • symbol of higher wisdom
  • aids in seeing the whole–not half–truths
  • brings messages in dreams
  • helps befriend the darkness within
  • eliminates anything unhealthy
  • has superb vision, detects subtle movement
  • yellow eyes symbolize the light of the sun, shining even in the dark of the night
  • flexible neck aids in becoming more flexible

Our owl is a mythical interpretation of a barred owl. The barred owl is a master vocalist. And what are we doing in deep soul writing? Why, activating the Voice! Here’s the barred owl’s stunning song.

If My Soul Pages had a regular owl on the cover, that would be amazing enough. But our owl is so much more. He is an icon–an icon that came in direct response to a deep soul writing request.

Last June, I was in Portland for several events and stayed with my brother Larry. When he went to work, I poked around his living room for something new to read. I found two books on icons. Larry is deeply attracted to the earliest othodox religions and has lots of icons on his walls. I read two books on icons and learned that icons are instruments of prayer. To help you go deep, the eyes of an icon do not match. One eye looks at you and one gazes inward or upward to draw you to the divine. 

I stared at the examples in the book. Sure enough, the eyes did not match. Here’s a famous one of Christ from the 6th century. Even in the tiny space of this newsletter, you can’t miss the unusual unmatched eyes.

I closed the icon book, picked up a pen and wrote, “Dear God, I want an icon!” (I thought I was asking for an icon for my office wall Luckily, Spirits thinks bigger than I do.) 

Two weeks later, Jan Johnson, the president of Conari Press sent an email with an attachment of My Soul Page’s cover. I said a little prayer that I’d like it, opened it, and saw the owl for the first time. My eyes when right to his eyes. They didn’t match! The cover is an icon! This owl is not only the symbol of wisdom, he is an instrument of Spirit, leading us out of ourselves and into divine dialogue. Could there be a more perfect symbol of writing down your soul? My hands rushed to my heart and I cried.

The first shipment of My Soul Pages arrived last Thursday. The first copy is on my altar, the second went to my son, and then I mailed copies to all the members of Your Soul Wants Five Things. On Sunday, I brought one to yoga to give to Charlotte Starfire to thank her for introducing me to animal messengers so many years ago. As I handed it to her, the women in class stood around exclaiming: “Oh! I saw that the moment I walked in. I felt compelled to look at it, walk up to it, and touch it. What is that!”

If I’d had ten copies with me that night, they’d all be in new homes right now. Our owl radiates so much loving energy from both his wise owl-self and his holy icon-self. He is a double-blessing. I keep him on a stand next to my computer where he gazes at me all day long.

I feel our owl needs a name. I named my osprey guardian, Gabriel and love talking to Gabriel by name. But I don’t feel I should be the one to name our owl. He’s here for all of us.

So, I welcome you to sit with the owl, stare at his eyes, read about him in Animal Speak and Medicine Cards and other resources. Deep soul write about him. (I say “him,” but you may feel feminine energy.) Ask the owl what message it has for you.

And if you hear a name, please send it to me. I’ll put all the names in my little metal bucket and take them to Michael’s shrine next Wednesday, May 11, and ask Archangel Michael to pick our owl’s name. The person who submits Michael’s choice will receive a signed copy of My Soul Pages and the Seven Steps to Get Into Theta video.

What did the Owl tell you?


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.


December Plan Day 17: Want to forgive? Call in the vultures.

I thought I understood what I was going to say about forgiveness this week. After all, I’ve been there. Done that. Had about the most profound experience of forgiveness you can have. Even got the miracle to show for it. (Details in “How I discovered the Voice or how the Voice discovered me,” in Writing Down Your Soul.

I know forgiveness is key. The key, even. The key to moving on, breaking through, and experiencing miracles. So when the December Plan began to form, I knew forgiveness would be important. So important, it would have its own week. What I didn’t know is that it would have a life all its own. A life I was not in charge of.

This morning, I was sitting outside in the December Florida sun having my soul writing chat with “DG” about forgiveness when a shadow flitted across my journal. I looked up. A vulture was soaring directly over me. So close I could see her lighter brown underfeathers. I smiled and said hello. Then her friends started to show up. Within seconds, there were thirteen majestic turkey vultures circling over my teeny townhouse yard.

I’m used to birds blessing me with their presence, but usually my messengers are ospreys. I could hear my osprey buddies calling in the distance, but for the moment I was drenched in vulture grace.

Hmm, vultures, I wondered. Turning back to the page I asked, “DG, what do vultures have to do with forgiveness?” I knew it was no accident that I’m planning a week of forgiveness and 13 vultures show up. But I wasn’t sure what they were trying to say. So I went inside to get Ted Andrew’s Animal Speak.

Like most people, I have a simple and not particularly pretty image of vultures: they eat dead things. Well, yes. They do. But put in the context of forgiveness, maybe eating “dead things” is a beautiful thing.

The vulture, according to Ted Andrews, is symbolic of purification. “Its medicine would restore harmony that had been broken.” From a biological standpoint, the vulture purifies the area by eating what’s dead, and with it all the decay and bacteria that could potentially harm other animals or people. Well now, let’s think like a vulture for a moment. How does forgiveness purify us and our immediate area?

The opposite — non-forgiveness — is toxic. You know this. You see it every day in people who can not let go of their anger toward someone. Perhaps they’re endlessly obsessing about a scurrilous boss, an abusive ex-spouse, a faithless lover, or a soul-crushing parent. Everyone has someone in their history who has caused them harm. You do, don’t you? Quick. Fill in the sentence:

“I have not forgiven __________ for ___________.”

So what are you going to do? You’ve got a rather simple choice. Hold on to that anger till it makes you sick or call in the vultures to help you. And make no mistake, obsessive anger will make you sick. We know this instinctively, but there’s plenty of research connecting the dots between long-standing anger and illness. Just this morning there was an article in the St Petersburg Times about a study demonstrating that men who didn’t express their anger were “twice as likely to have had a heart attack or died of heart disease as men who openly expressed their anger. Risk was highest for those who walked away.” The article doesn’t say exactly what happens inside your body when you swallow your feelings and walk away, but we all know from personal experience that the fury, hurt, and shame don’t dissolve on their own. They stay alive inside our guts, our hearts, and our minds. And the more we dwell on them, the bigger and stronger they get until we can’t “walk away” because they show up unbidden in our thoughts and our dreams — sometimes every day.

Here’s what I learned on the page with the guidance of the vultures swirling above me.

Step One: If you want to “kill” your anger stop feeding it. Stop talking about it. Stop obsessing about it. Picture your thoughts as “blood” that feeds your anger. Stop feeding it. If you’re not ready to do that it may be because you’ve never really told your story. Not fully. Not consciously. If that’s the case, sit down with your divine Voice and tell your story one last time, pouring out all the gory details and your deepest thoughts and feelings about what happened. In the loving, gentle presence of the Voice, dig underneath the story to find the story beneath the story, the emotions behind the emotions, the deeper meaning of this story in your life. When you’ve done that — and it may take some time — state unequivocably:

“Thank you for listening. I am finished now. I have no need to tell that story again.”

Step Two: Name the gift in the unforgiveable. And yes, there’s a gift in there somewhere. If nothing else, it has brought you to the edge of Forgiveness Gap and freedom lies on the other side. If Nelson Mandela can forgive after 27 years of imprisonment, you can forgive. If the gift still isn’t clear to you, keep writing down your soul until you find it.

“Help me find the gift in this experience. I still have hurt feelings, anger, frustration. I still feel a need for revenge. But I want to let go. So help me find the truth, the big T truth, in this experience. What did I learn? How did my soul evolve through it? What good is there in this?”

Step Three: Make a conscious decision to forgive. State twice — out loud and in writing on the page — that you want to forgive, are ready to forgive, and are calling on Spirit, your guides, your saints and your angels to come to your aid to help you do it.

“Dear Spirit, I am ready to forgive ________. I want to forgive __________. I want to be free.”

Step Four: Open your fist and let your anger go. You can visualize that or, if you want to do it physically, write “I forgive ________ now and for all time” on a small piece of paper. Hold the paper tight in your fist feeling the tension and anger of your history with that person move through your arm and hand and out of your body onto the paper. Then open your hand and let the paper float to the ground.

Step Five: Call in the vultures. Visualize them consuming the paper and with it all the “bad” bacteria of non-forgiveness, vengeance, anger, pain.

Step Six: Thank the vultures for purifying your body, your spirit, your soul and your space. And step into your true home, Freedom.

How does the freedom of forgiveness feel? Perhaps you have become so light, you can soar with the vultures.


Even bugs are messengers

cockroach In Follow Up, the fourth step in Writing Down Your Soul, I talk about several ways to confirm or clarify your guidance. One of my favorites is to pay attention to the messages that come through animals. (p 183-185)

I was raised strict Catholic. Trust me, no nun or priest ever mentioned animals as vehicles for divine guidance. But in 1992, I took a Women’s Spiritual Empowerment class from Charlotte Starfire and my eyes were forever opened to the constant stream of messages in the air and on the land coming to me (and to everyone) in the form of animals.

Charlotte learned about the medicine, or healing messages, of animals from Sun Bear, the great Native American shaman and teacher. Since Charlotte’s class, I’ve kept my Medicine Cards close at hand and turned to them often to understand why a snake crossed my path or an osprey died a few feet from my door. I love my beautiful animal messengers and I welcome their messages.

But last night at 5:00 AM I got a new messenger and I didn’t love it at all. I was awakened by a cockroach crawling across my forehead. Instinctively, I threw it across the room and sat up in horror. I turned on the lights and pursued that thing for thirty minutes. I simply could not fall back asleep with a cockroach somewhere in my bedroom. This is Florida, and I know roaches are everywhere, but thanks to my pest control company, there’s never been a moving one in my bedroom before.

Well, this morning, when I did my deep soul writing, I asked, “What’s with the bug? If I perceive your divine messages in other more delightful animals, don’t I have to recognize the message this creature delivered, too?” It took me a few pages of writing to get the message. The bug had been on my forehead, my third eye, the seat of my knowing. So it was letting me know that I had bugs in my thinking, bugs in my programming.

And of course, it was right. I’ve been wracked with fear lately, fear about finances and fear about my son’s well-being. I desparately need to debug my programming.

“How do I do that?” I wrote. And the answer instantly appeared: “Ask the cards.” But this time, instead of going to the Medicine Cards, I went to a new deck my publicist, Jennifer Hill Robenalt, gave me when I met her in Austin: The Answer is Simple by Sonia Choquette. I love these cards. And they are, as the name implies, incredibly easy to use.
The Answer Is Simple cards
So I took a deep breath and prayerfully asked my question: “How do I debug my programming? How do I get the fear out?”

I drew three cards and laughed at the answer — and yes, it’s simple, clear and simple:

1. Say Thank You.
Suspend your fears long enough to recognize and appreciate those who are helping you. I recognized immediately that I’d been taking the small army of people who love me and my book for granted.

2. Reclaim Your Art
I didn’t even have to read this to know the answer: get back to my creativity, my writing, my love, my joy.

3. Say Yes
“The ego gets fearful…it waits until it’s absolutely sure that it will be safe before it acts. The trouble with this approach to life is the ego never feels safe, so it never acts, it reacts…. Don’t allow the ego to hold you back from the gorgeous opportunities in front of you. Take a chance and trust life as it unfolds.”

The cards perfectly diagnosed the fear “bugs” in my programming and showed me three simple steps to take to get de-bugged. I’m on it right now: I am grateful, I am writing, and I joyfully say YES! to my life’s purpose.

And so, I have to say once more to all my messengers, from the majestic birds to the creepy bugs, thank you for your words and your wisdom, your guidance and your grace. I see you. I hear you. And I learn from you. I am so blessed. And thank you to Sonia Choquette for her fabulous cards.

I am not special or unique. The animals are talking to all of us all the time. Consider this: What animal is delivering a message to you right now? What’s the animal? What’s the message? And what are you going to do with your message?