Your soul wants five things

A lot has happened in the last two weeks. Heck, a lot has happened so far this year. Might have something to do with creating my Intention Mandala on January 1st and naming 2011 “My Big Pot Year.” I had no idea what that meant at the time, but after just 31 days, I’m beginning to see.

The “big” in Big Pot exploded open last Saturday. I intended to get a lot of writing done, but instead I listened to a teleconference. I don’t particularly like the teacher or her emphasis on how to make a million bucks, so why did I give her an hour of my precious time? I have no answer to that question. Something told me to listen, so I did. And OH am I grateful.

The teleconference was about how to create a million dollar coaching program. I do not want to create a coaching program — not even a million dollar one. I’m very clear that I am not your therapist or life coach. When people ask me what they should do about a problem, I say: “I don’t know. But you do. Take your problem to the page. Ask your wise loving Voice.” So what was I doing on a teleconference on how to be a big time coach? Why didn’t I hang up? I don’t know. I felt this urgency to keep listening. So I did. Well, about 3/4 of the way through, an idea jumped through whatever the woman was saying and landed with a giant plop in my heart.

OH! All the courses I teach are part of one integrated whole. Writing Down Your Soul, Plug In, Soul Vows, and The Lotus and The Lily are four aspects of one thing — the one thing everyone wants to know: What does my soul want?

I hung up and grabbed my soul journal. The words tumbled out faster than I could write. I knew instantly that your soul wants four things:

  1. to connect with Source
  2. to commit to values
  3. to express itself
  4. to create a life

And what do my courses teach?

Writing Down Your Soul — how to connect with Source
Soul Vows — how to commit to a values covenant with Spirit
Plug In — how to give your soul full expression
The Lotus and The Lily — how to create a life

At last I understood why I had been given such clear directions last November to teach Soul Vows. Four soul desires, four courses. I went to bed very happy.

But Sunday morning, in that rich theta-drenched, not awake-not asleep state, I heard “serve a purpose.” I knew exactly what that meant. It meant there was a fifth thing our souls want. But I don’t have a separate program for that and I sure didn’t want to take on creating a new course, so I ignored it. (As if heaven would give up and let me win. You can tell how this is going to end, can’t you.) All day Sunday, I fooled around with the four things your souls wants: to connect, to commit, to express, and to create. I played with offering my four courses in that order. I went to bed excited.

Monday morning, I was awakened again with “serve a purpose.” Just in case I missed it, I heard it three times: “Serve a purpose, serve a purpose, serve a purpose.” I sat up. OK! OK! OK! The soul wants FIVE things:

  1. to connect with Source
  2. to commit to values
  3. to serve a purpose
  4. to express itself
  5. to create a life

I sighed. Guess I have one more program to design. “I’ll do it,” I said. “If you want it, I’ll do it.”

On Tuesday morning, the next piece arrived. (I have trained myself to be still in the morning and allow guidance and ideas to come to me. And they do. They always do. If you’ve taken a Writing Down Your Soul course, you know that divine access comes when you’re in the theta brain wave state. One of the spiritual practices I share in Plug In is how to expand that state throughout the day, especially first thing in the morning.)

In my not-yet-awake state, I “saw” a hand. I opened my eyes and looked at my own hand. OH! Your soul wants five things:

to connect–thumb

to commit–first finger

to serve–second finger

to express –ring finger

to create–little finger

I called Cherry Lea, the owner of Dancing Moon in Raleigh, where I’ll be presenting the first ever weekend workshop on The Lotus and The Lily in March. I told her the story about how listening to that teleconference led me to see that my courses are a connected whole. She sighed, “Of course they are.” I told her the big question is “What does my soul want?” She sighed a sigh of recognition. I told her the five things the soul wants. She sighed an ever deeper sigh of agreement. I told her about the hand. I had her wiggle each digit as I repeated the five things her soul wants. She sighed a huge sigh of joy.

Then, Cherry gave me a sweet gift. She said, “Of course, the symbol of what your soul wants would be your hand. It has to be a hand for you.” I said, “Oh really, why is that?” She couldn’t believe I didn’t see it. “Janet,” she said, “look at how you sign every email.”

OH! I cried. Of course. I’ve had this symbol of the hand for three years without understanding its full meaning. I sign every note including these newsletters: the connection is in your hand.

That evening, I stopped at my neighborhood grocery store. I’ve shopped at this grocery store for 11 years. Nothing mystical has ever happened there. But that evening, as I was pushing my cart across the back of the store, I heard a loud clink. Something had fallen and was rolling all the way across the aisle in front of my cart. I watched as it hit the bottom of the meat counter, rolled back a foot and stopped. I stared at it for a second trying to figure out what it was. I’m used to pennies falling out of the sky, but this was silver. I walked over and picked it up. It was a shiny Canadian nickel. FIVE cents! I laughed out loud and put it in my pocket. My precious five cent piece now graces my creative altar.

So here’s my gift for you: Look at your hand. Now, ask yourself: What does my soul want?


A New Year surprise: We’re pregnant!

I love January 1st. It’s a wildly creative day. I set my intention to receive rich guidance and then settle into my sacred writing chair to extract all the gifts of the past year with my Beloved Voice. Next, we explore all the possibilities of the year to come. Then comes my favorite part: naming the new year. That’s always such a fun revelation. I wrap up my year-starting mini-retreat by creating a vision board with the name of the year across the bottom. But last January. I did two things differently. Those two things set a whole new life in motion.

First, I began the day reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s You are Here and when I stumbled upon “When conditions are sufficient, there is a manifestation,” my mouth flew open and my understanding of the Law of Attraction flipped in that instant on its head.

Second, instead of making a rectangle-shaped vision board, I made a mandala. I drew little pictures of all I want on the periphery and a big yellow lily in the center with the “conditions” that I promise to live written on the six petal. Across the bottom, I wrote 2010’s name on a purple banner: “My Breakthrough Year.”

Did reading Thich Nhat Hanh or making a mandala matter?

Well, let’s just say that 2010 was, to put it mildly, magical. The number of new ideas and events flowing through me were breathtaking. People wanted to know how to create that magic for themselves. So I taught The Lotus and The Lily four times to over 100 people and after each course, my inbox overflowed with screaming emails: THIS WORKS!

So I thought I knew what to do this January 1st. I made a pot of french press coffee (coffee matters), spoke my Soul Vows, set my intention to be open to guidance, and sat down to write. But then, just like last year, instead of writing, I bent down and picked up a book–Thich Nhat Hanh’s Living Buddha Living Christ. I began to read. And, just like last year, I couldn’t put it down. All I can say is, Thich Nhat Hanh did it again!

Listen to this: “The word ‘Buddha’ comes from the root buddh, which means to wake up. A Buddha is someone who is awake.” (I didn’t know that. Did you?) Thich Nhat Hanh goes on to say that the Buddha told his followers to focus not on rules or doctrines or dogmas, but on practice. It is practice that brings our spiritual knowing to life. Or as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, “We are all mothers of the Buddha because we are all pregnant with the potential for awakening.”

I giggled. Oh my God, I’m pregnant! A bit of a surprise at 62, but I know it’s true. I can feel it. I can feel ideas and books and relationships and all manner of things pressing to be born. Of greater importance, I sense a more awakened relationship with Spirit growing inside me.

Are you pregnant, too? I think so. But like all expectant parents, we must care tenderly for our babies. How? Thich Nhat Hanh says we care for our growing baby Buddha by being mindful,
listening for the voice, being attentive to the messages around us in all their forms–even leaves or pebbles or clouds. But the number one thing we do to bring our Awakening Buddha to life is find a spiritual practice and live it. Live it every day.

My pregnant self floated through the rest of New Year’s Day. I made a 2011 mandala. I asked what to name this year. “Big Pot” came the answer. Big Pot? I looked at my mandala. Oh, I get it. If I look at the 12-inch circle of my mandala from an eagle eye view, it does look an awful lot like a huge soup pot. And, you know what? I think the Master Chef is adding some pretty nifty ingredients and doing a lot of simmering. Ever since I read Heat , I’ve been obsessed with learning how to make Ragu Bolognese. Now I see that I’ve been mimicking the master chef cooking up a “Janet Bolognese.”

I did one last thing on Jan 1–something new. I added up the numeric values of the letters in “Big Pot.” The total came to 33. The master number of creativity. Yeowza. If the Master Chef keeps this up, it’s going to be an amazing year.

Would you like to know the numeric vibration of your year’s name or any words? It’s easy. Just select the numeric value of each letter in this chart and add them up.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z

B I G P O T
2 + 9 + 7 + 7 + 6 + 2 = 33

Here’s another example, Jazz Jaeschke of Austin TX in the Lotus and Lily class that just ended named 2011 “Harmony Happens.”

H A R M O N Y
8 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 6 + 5 + 7 = 40

H A P P E N S
8 + 1 + 7 + 7 + 5 + 5 + 1 = 34

Harmony Happens 74 = 7 + 4 = 11

Talk about a power number. 11 is the wisdom channel of the divine. What does the numeric value mean? Well, for that you need a bit of introduction to numerology. Here’s a very simple overview:

1 new beginnings, take action, courage, independence
2 intuitive, receiving, separation, nurturing, forgiving
3 trinity, combining 1 & 2, peacemaking, creativity
4 physical manifestation, structure, form, building step-by-step
5 change, movement, freedom, flexibility, sensual
6 balance, responsibility, commitment, relationships, harmony
7 inner truth and power, trust, deeper answers, mystical
8 abundance, power, material success, inner power, harvest
9 wholeness, oneness, bigger picture, unconditional love

For a richer understanding, I recommend Numerology by Ruth Drayer.

Even if you don’t have a name for your year, we can all tap into the universal numeric vibration for 2011: 2 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 4

Four is the number of organization, structure, foundation. In other words, spiritual practice! (I think the Buddha and Thich Nhat Hanh are smiling on us this year.)

What exactly is Spirit cooking up in my “Big Pot” year? I don’t know. And that’s OK. I don’t have to know the what, when, or how. I leave the details to my Divine Partner. (And, based on my experience, I gotta say the Divine does great work.) I commit to doing my part, the part taught by the Buddha. I’ll show up every day and do my practice.

For me that means speaking my Soul Vows, my Creative Blessing, Lorna Byrne’s angel prayer, the 12 affirmations from UnityNow, and last, standing in front of my “2011 Big Pot” mandala and having a nice chat with the “Master Chef” about the year Spirit is cookin’ up for me! It means engaging in deep soul writing. It means waking in joy and going to bed in gratitude. It means blessing every bite of food. It means calling on the angels for guidance and following the guidance I receive.

None of this is difficult. In fact, it’s really all rather delightful. It’s how I parent my sweet baby Buddha. How about you? What are you doing in this 4 year of foundation and spiritual practice to birth the sweet baby Buddha growing inside of you?

___________________

If you want more help birthing that Buddha and attracting a delightful and holy new year, consider joining me and Margo Mastromarchi for 2011 Intentions with the Angels, learning how to write the most important prayer in your life–your Soul Vows, and learning how to Plug In to the creative force of the universe.


Do you know your theme for 2011

I have been deeply engrossed in how to create a life for quite awhile now. I’ve held a Soul Day and created an Intention Mandala on January 1st for several years. Does it work? Well, let’s see… I’ve “manufactured” a major UPI blog presence, Conari came out of nowhere to ask me to write a book, Writing Down Your Soul is approaching its third printing, the new matching journal, My Soul Page, will be out in May, people around the world have fallen in love with deep soul writing, I averted bankcruptcy last year by diving deeply into my Soul Day process, and that experience created my next book, The Lotus and The Lily.

So, you’d think I know what I’m doing. You’d think my Soul Day process was complete. You’d think I could just show up on January 1st and go through my magical motions and VOILA 2011 would unfold as it should.

You’d be wrong.

It’s always new. It’s always a mystery. Something new somehow always lands in my lap and surprises me. Today it was a poem. By Hafiz.

I love Hafiz. I know Hafiz. I keep Daniel Ladinsky’s books close at hand. So I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised that the first thing I did on January 1st was ask Hafiz to step out of the 14th century and tell me what I need to know about the precious gift of 2011.

I closed my eyes and opened The Gift and read a poem I’ve never read before, despite reading this book every day for 3 1/2 years.

The Seed Cracked Open

It used to be that when I would wake in the morning,
I could with confidence say, “What am ‘I’ going to do?”
That was before the seed cracked open.
Now Hafiz is certain:
There are two of us housed in this body,
doing the shopping together in the market
and tickling each other while fixing the evening’s food.
Now when I awake, all the internal instruments play the same music:
“God, what love-mischief can ‘We’ do for the world today?”

Thank you Hafiz, for my “theme song” for 2011. I printed out the poem, drew a cracked open seed in the corner, and posted it on my Intention Mandala for 2011. Every day for the next 365 days, Hafiz will remind me what my work is REALLY all about: Not me, but We. Not writing, but “love-mischief.

What a sweet blessing. Thank you, Hafiz, for showing me in just a few lines what the new year is REALLY all about.

Now, it’s your turn. Take your favorite mystical poetry book or sacred text or oracle card set, or anything really that speaks to your heart. Bless it, close your eyes, and ask from the deepest part of your being, “What message do you have for me? What do I need to know right now about the life that is right before me?”

Then open the book, let the words find you, and take them in. They are a gift. They are a blessing. They are an insight from your Self to yourself.


You haven’t heard from me because…

I wrote this feature article for my Writing Down Your Soul newsletter on Dec 28. If you’d like to subscribe, click above.

You haven’t heard from me since December 1. Going a month without communicating is a giant no-no in my profession, but I just couldn’t. I set first one and then another and still another deadline to get a newsletter out before Christmas and watched as each one slipped away. I asked about this problem as I was falling asleep on Dec 21 and in the drowsy first moments the next morning the words New and Renew popped into my head.

I picked up my journal. “Dear Voice, what does new and renew mean? Let’s start with new. What’s new?” Well, my hand couldn’t write fast enough. I was stunned to see all the new courses, books, and events I had created in 2010. OK, I wrote, what about renew? “Look up” the Voice wrote. I looked up at my giant wall calendar. July and December were blank. “Oh,” I wrote, “to be able to produce the new, I have to step back and allow myself to be renewed.”

It was no accident that this awareness came on Solstice. The earth, our mother and primary teacher, shows us year in and year out that life is a cycle of birth, growth, death, and in the silence that follows, renewal. And what comes out of this fallow silent period? Why new birth and new growth, of course. Mother earth has been demonstrating this for eons.

But we humans live as if the renewal part of the cycle doesn’t count. Our employers, and indeed ourselves, place our value on our ability to wake every day and produce and produce and produce. Only we can’t. I mean, we can for awhile, for years even, but the day inevitably comes when the call for renewal must be heard. Call it burn out or exhaustion or numbness–a
day comes when we simply do not have the juice to keep going.

So this December, I’ve been following mother earth’s advice. She’s in renewal mode and so am I. I’m quiet. If you could peak in my window, you’d see me in my favorite reading chair surrounded by books and blankets and tea. Or writing in my sacred writing chair. Or devouring Italian cookbooks and experimenting in the kitchen. And you’d see me sleeping. Oh, how you’d see me sleeping. Some mornings, you’d look at your watch and shake your head: Surely she should be up by now!

To be honest I thought the same thing. But then I decided to let go of any judgment of what I should be doing and just be in the place of renewal. I sense this is a rich place. A lot is going on inside, whether I see it or not. And out of this quiet state will come a vibrant 2011 bursting with new ideas, books, and events. To ensure that happens, I’m going to cap my December renewal period with a “Soul Day” on January 1st.

I know from years of experience that the best way to call in a magical new year is to step into abundant quiet for 24 hours on the first day of the year and in that quiet have long chats with Spirit about what is important in the next year. The end result is a short list of crystal-clear intentions.

I am not talking about making New Year resolutions. We all know how long those last. And I’m not talking about setting goals. I played that game in my business life and always found the exercise flat and uninspiring. Sure, my company always met its goals, but I always felt like saying, “So what?”

I’m talking about something more. Something bigger and deeper. I’m talking about articulating your relationship with Spirit. I’m talking about stepping into a commitment to live a life in partnership with the divine. I’m talking about being of service to the spark of creativity that is begging to come to be born.

If this is a new concept, I have news for you: you have no idea just how delicious your life can be–no, will be–when you step away from the limited concept of resolutions and goals and step into the abundant possibilities of living the life you are here to live.

Those in my The Lotus and The Lily course have spent five weeks preparing to set their intentions on January 1. They have accululated a wealth of insights and resources, but you can have a profound and beautiful Soul Day, too. Here’s how. (More details in Writing Down Your Soul p 230-236)

1. Start by giving yourself the gift of Renewal. Set aside a half or full day to set your intentions for 2011.

2. On the page, in deep soul writing, have a nice long chat with your beloved Voice about last year. Talk about what happened and ask for guidance to extract all the gifts, learnings, and blessings of 2010. You’ll be surprised.

3. Next, write about all the people you cannot forgive for all the rotten things they did to you. Guess what, you can’t call in a magical new year while lugging them around. Let them go. Spirit will help you do it. And don’t forget to release yourself. Trust me, the number one person who needs to be forgiven is YOU.

4. Now, start talking over what you want next year. What matters? What would help you live a life of joy and purpose? Make a list. And don’t forget to talk about what you are you going to do for Spirit in return. This is a two-way street, after all.

5. Now it’s time to do something with your wish list. For years I made a Prayer Sandwich (Writing Down Your Soul p 188-199). Now, I make an Intention Mandala. And add the name my year at the bottom. You and Spirit can work out how to capture what both of you are going to do in 2011.

6. There’s only one thing left to do: Celebrate! You have just engaged in the deepest dialogue of the year. And this dialogue is already working to attract all that you need to live the life you’re here to live. Be grateful. Be happy. Raise your glass in gratitude and joy.

Does a Soul Day make a difference? Oh baby! Every single thing on my Intention Mandalas since 2006 has come to pass. In 2006, I asked for a marketing partner and had UPI five days later. I asked for a publisher and had a contract with Conari Press that November. And it’s not just me. I started teaching The Lotus and The Lily course this year and now have dozens of stories, many of which take my breath away.

If you want more help attracting a delightful and holy new year, consider joining me and Margo Mastromarchi for 2011 Intentions with the Angels, learning how to write the most important prayer in your life–your Soul Vows, and learning how to Plug In to the creative force of the universe.

How are YOU planning on calling in a year filled with all the blessings the universe has in store for you?


From bankrupt to bank-full with the help of a lily

If you were raised in a Christian tradition, you will recognize this sweet saying. If it’s unfamiliar, read it and see if you don’t fall in love with it, too. In this scene, recounted in Luke and Matthew, Jesus is teaching people how to pray. The issue of worrying about having enough money comes up. Jesus says:

“Consider the lilies, they do not toil nor spin, yet I tell you Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of them. Now if that is how God clothes the flowers, which are here today and in the furnace tomorrow, consider what God will do for you…You must not set your hearts on things to eat or things to wear; nor must you worry…. No, set your hearts on the kingdom and these other things will be given you as well.”

It is oddly comforting to me that people two thousand years ago had the same money worries I have. Of course, it’s even more comforting to learn what to do about them. I heard “Consider the lilies” many many times growing up, but until this year, I didn’t understand it. And I certainly didn’t live it. But I do now. And the result is, well — miraculous. In 62 days I went from bankrupt to bank-full. With the help of a lily. Here’s what happened.

2009 was an astonishing year for me–and for so many. Writing Down Your Soul came out January 1. The next 11 months were filled with teaching, speaking, promoting, and traveling. Invitations trickled in at first, but by summer they poured in. I said yes to every one because the deal I have with Spirit is: Spirit sends the invitations; I show up and spread the joy of deep soul writing. It’s been a prolific relationship.

Between January and November last year, I:

  • taught deep soul writing to 1100 people
  • held events at 15 bookstores in 8 states
  • spoke and taught workshops at 14 churches in 9 states
  • addressed 4 organizations for writers, 1 national convention for hypnotists, and 1 holistic health expo
  • taught at 2 art galleries, 3 libraries, 1 community college, and 1 homeless shelter
  • was interviewed for 16 radio shows, 1 TV show and 3 newspaper articles

As I typed this list for a book proposal, I thought no wonder I’m exhausted. But it wasn’t only my body that was depleted. My bank account was empty, too. By the end of last year, it looked like the only solution was bankruptcy.

Does that surprise you? Here’s the economic reality of being an author, especially a new one. That old image of a writer on a “book tour” is a fantasy. Unless you’re a celebrity or show up regularly on bestseller lists, your “book tour” consists of you begging friends to let you visit. Then, you research the area. You get yourself invited to speak. You cover your travel. You create the flyers. You market the event. With each appearance, I built a larger and larger community for Writing Down Your Soul, but I also dug a deeper and deeper hole in my finances. In December, I faced facts and with the help of my friend and real estate genius, Jane Mak, I made an appointment to see a bankruptcy attorney in February.

If you were reading this blog last December, you know I created a “December Plan” to call in a magical new year. Now you know why. I did it for you, yes, but the first person who needed it was me! Hundreds of you stepped in and played, too. Then, on January 1, I created my Intention Mandala following Thich Nhat Hanh’s profound teaching, “When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.”

On the periphery of my Intention Mandala, I drew images of what I want. But at the center, I drew a lily to remind myself to do the six things that will create the conditions that will manifest all that I want. Or, to use Jesus’ words, how I will “set my heart on the kingdom” — the vibrant living presence of Spirit. Looking at the lily every day reminds me to focus not on what I want, but on how I choose to live to express and fulfill my soul’s divine purpose.

It’s a paradox, I know. By not focusing on what I want, I get what I want. Have you noticed hat the universe loves paradox? It would be nice if someone told us in advance that profound spiritual truths always come in a box marked, “Warning! Paradox Inside.” But I guess we all get to discover that for ourselves.

Since January 1st, I’ve been living my “Lily Life.” I wake every morning whispering “I am a lily” and like a flower, turn my face to the Light. Feeling the kiss of Spirit on my cheeks, I bound out of bed with a grin on my face, delighted to embrace my day. Then I scoot into my office, say my prayers, and get to work. If you snapped a picture of me working in my office today and compared it to a picture of me working in my office last year, you wouldn’t see anything different — unless you noticed me smiling at the lily on my Intention Mandala several times a day.

On February 4, I met the bankruptcy attorney as scheduled. He looked at my debt and income and said I definitely qualify. He explained the process and asked if I had any questions. “Yes,” I said, “I made $10,000 in January. Is that a problem?”

He looked at me for a long moment. “Yeah,” he said, “that’s a problem. You can only have a thousand dollars in your account. Call me when you only have a thousand dollars.”

Driving home, I had a little chat with my beloved Voice. “Thank you for that appointment,” I said. “Turns out I’m not bankrupt after all. I am bank-full. And you know what, I love this feeling. I am thankful to be bank-full.” I giggled. “I am thankful to be bank-full!” I sang my new mantra all the way home.

Now, whenever I receive or spend money, I say, “I am thankful to be bank-full!” For the first time in my life, I laugh as I pay bills.

Several women at a recent event took me aside to tell me they love my book and my workshops because I’m so “real.” I laughed. Yup, that’s me. I feel like the spiritual Mikey. Remember the kid in the commercial who ate the Life cereal first? Well, I do seem to eat some interesting “cereals of life” first:

  • I have the atrocious divorce, discover deep soul writing, and pass it on to you.
  • I forgive my husband, experience an eye-popping miracle, and start teaching forgiveness.
  • I discover how to write a book by plugging into “The Intersection” and now teach creatives how to Plug In!
  • I discover the joy of mystical poetry and now everywhere I go, people fall in love with Hafiz, the great Sufi poet.

So, I guess it makes sense that I had to step into the pain and panic of feeling bankrupt in order to be willing to explore the spiritual paradox of getting what I want by focusing on creating the conditions that lead to the delightful state of being bank-full.

And please understand, when I say bank-full, I am not talking just about money. Money is delightful, but prosperity is so much more. It’s friendship, growth, freedom. It is loving relationships, a peaceful home, and joyful work. It is in a word — love. Love of life, love of others, love of Spirit, love of who you are and why you’re here. The feeling of being bank-full is the feeling of love overflowing onto your hands, your heart, and yes, your bank account.

Well, the deal I have with Spirit, don’t forget, is I say yes. Yes to having the experience, yes to plunging into the paradox, and yes to sharing what I learn in the process. So, now it’s time say yes to sharing the profound adventure of “considering the lilies” and creating a magical, joyful, abundant life.

Would you like to join me? I created the “You are a Lily” telecourse to share this magical co-creative process with 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.


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.