What lies beyond the Law of Attraction

 
How does The Lotus and The Lily process work? I know it does. I’ve lived it for two years. This coming January 1, I’ll create my third Intention Mandala and I know today without a doubt, that the result will be a 2012 I will love. And I’m not the only one. Hundreds of people who have gone through The Lotus and The Lily telecourse have shared their own miraculous results.
 
But knowing something works and understanding how it works are two different things.
 
 
 
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve struggled mightly with prosperity and attraction. Like everybody else, I was impacted by the popular literature on changing your thinking and asking for what you want. I listened, learned, and tried. But despite my best efforts, by November of 2009 I was bankrupt. It hurt, but I made an appointment to see a bankruptcy attorney the next February. In the meantime, I picked up a pen and demanded help. I received instructions on what to do during the four weeks of December.
 
There was one creepy caveat: I was to blog every day, letting the whole word peek into my spiritual pain and practice. I didn’t like that part. But I did it. Please understand that I did not clearly know what I was doing. The process did not come from anywhere inside my conscious mind. And I couldn’t find anything like it in the literature. And, I confess, I didn’t have any particular confidence that the whole thing would work. Bankruptcy was looking pretty final. But I couldn’t see any other option, so on December 1, 2009, I wrote my first blog.
 
A month later, after thirty days of often surprising spiritual exploration, I woke on January 1, 2010 ready to call in a new year. I felt truly ready. I had made amazing discoveries in my month of preparation. I had uncovered hidden gifts in my past, become a real friend of ritual and prayer, emptied myself of any vestige of anger or resentment, and become clear on what I wanted next in my life. That morning, I felt a deep sense of peace and knew I was in God’s hands and all was well.
 
But instead of starting my customary Soul Day process, I picked up a library book lying at my feet that was due the next day. Why in the world did I do that? Looking back I can only think it was an angel nudge.
 
Whatever the reason, I am forever grateful. Because buried in Thich Nhat Hanh’s beautiful book, You are Here, was a simple sentence explaining the Buddha’s teaching on the relationship of all things. That sentence changed my life, gave birth to The Lotus and The Lily course, and started a snowball rolling down a hill toward a greatly expanded writing and teaching career. The sentence is: “When conditions are sufficient, there is a manifestion.”
 
I lept out of my chair. My hand shot to my forehead. I raced in circles around the room gushing, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Everything we think we know about the Law of Attraction is 180 degrees off.” Every fiber of my being vibrated in recognition of Truth with a capital T. In the time it takes to read eight words, I knew why I hadn’t been able to create the life I wanted: Because it isn’t about asking for what you want! It’s about creating the fertile conditions that automatically and naturally produce all you want and more. There’s a BIG, BIG difference.
 
A few days later, I went hunting for what Jesus might have said on the same topic. I was pretty sure the two great spiritual masters wouldn’t teach two different things.
 
I was right. In English we read: “Seek first the kingdom, and all else shall be provided.” But in Aramaic, Jesus is so much more eloquent and precise: “When you pursue a right relationship with the Universal One, and allow that relationship to realign your life, you produce a condition of receptivity, in which everything you need to fulfill your purpose in life will be supplied by the universe.” (Neil Douglas-Klotz, Blessings of the Cosmos.)
 
In a word, it’s not about asking for anything; it’s about creating conditions.
 
In the two years since that morning, I have embraced Buddha and Jesus’s teachings on conditions. I’ve taught The Lotus and The Lily five times, and written the book proposal. But there was a part of me that still didn’t really grasp just how profound the differences are between the Law of Attraction and The Lotus and The Lily.
 
So the angels sent Jason Howard. Jason is a member of Your Soul Wants Five Things. We were talking on the phone and he asked what was happening with The Lotus and The Lily.I told him about Larry Dossey’s wonderful endorsement:”The Lotus and the Lily is a healthy corrective for the ego-driven, materialistic interpretation of spirituality that is epidemic in our culture. Spirituality is not about getting your stuff. It is about developing a closer relationship with the Transcendent, however named, as Janet Conner makes clear.””Of course,” Jason said, “The Lotus and The Lily is about  giving, not getting; allowing, not requesting.” In that moment, a whole cascade of differences came pouring down. I had to write them quickly lest I forget. Here are just a few:
 
Law of Attraction                            Lotus and Lily
 
human at the center                     divine at the center
how to ask                                         how to live
things                                                  conditions
effort                                                   effortless
goals                                                    intentions
conscious mind                              higher self/soul
ego                                                      will
manipulate                                      allow
personal desire                              universal service
personal power                              step aside
fill the cup yourself                      “cup runneth over”
 
 
That’s just a taste. The differences are endless. Now, this doesn’t mean the Law of Attraction is wrong. It simply means that we’ve been focused on only a tiny corner of its true power and capacity. Jesus said, “everything you need” will be supplied by the universe. So why ask for this or that when if you put your energy into creating the conditions of your life, the universe will send everything.
 
In these past two years, I can certainly attest to things and people and opportunities coming my way that I didn’t ask for. It appears that a greater consciousness than mine knew I needed them and sent them effortlessly to me. My job, as I see it, is to say thank you and use everything that comes to me to fulfill my purpose.
 
So I say thank you to Jason and the angel that sent him. Thank you to Thich Nhat Hanh and the angel that nudged me to read his book. Thank you to Neil Douglas-Klotz for a lifetime of research into Jesus in Aramaic. And I say thank you to the hundreds who have joined me in this great adventure.
 
If you’ve been wondering what lies BEYOND the Law of Attraction, please come join me on November 21 for the only presentation of The Lotus and The Lily before the book comes out next year.  
 
I cannot wait to stand beside you as you too discover just how rich and delightful life can be beyond the Law of Attraction.
  
 
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Come in out of the panic

People are shell shocked right now. It takes bravery just to read the paper. The heart is broken page after page by stories of yet another disaster, unspeakable violence, and unbearable loss. As for politics, the mind doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. And finances? We all want to run for the covers. Even the weather stories are scary. The movies all sound loud and ugly. The snarky humor in the comic section is no longer funny. Where can we find a bit of shelter? The crossword puzzle perhaps. Or the food section. Surely the food section. Maybe an article in travel will lift us momentarily to a sweeter place. 

 
Fear has come alive. It is an unbidden visitor who rode up in on the news, pushed in the door, and pitched a tent in the living room. We know fear is there, but we’re afraid to acknowledge it. Won’t that mean it wins? So we put on our best face and keep going. We pull out every positive strategy we’ve ever heard. We try being grateful for what we have, while praying for what we don’t. We attempt the high watch of surrender while secretly begging for victory. But the monster is still in the living room. Panic is gurgling all around. What do we do?
 
There is a safe haven. It’s just not where you expect. It isn’t anything or anyone out there. It isn’t in a better leader or a wiser investment. It isn’t in a clever strategy or a more powerful prayer. It’s inside of you. It’s in your hands.
 
If you’ve read my recent newsletters, you know I fell madly in love with Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. I read it three times, underlined and marked it up beyond all recognition. Anam Cara is now a keystone in my courses. It has  seeped into everything I write. But no matter how many times I read it, I wasn’t sated. I wanted more.
 
So this week, I began reading another John O’Donohue book, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace. Much as I loved Anam Cara, I really didn’t expect to have the same mad reaction to Beauty. Given the topic, I thought it would be lovely, and certainly lifting, but I never expected it to invade my heart, grab my bones, and take me for a velvet ride. But I should have known. No one writes about the soul like John O’Donohue. No one. And, bless him, he also has given us the antidote to panic. Listen:
 
“All the contemporary crises can be reduced to a crisis about the nature of beauty.”
 
Instinctively we know this is true. The media enshrines the ugly, business despoils the land for profit, and architecture creates spaces that starve our souls. We are surrounded by a multitude of things, but still we are hungry. Hungry for something–anything–that is beautiful.
 
“When we expect and engage the Beautiful…, the heart becomes rekindled and our lives brighten with unexpected courage. It is courage that restores hope to the heart.”
 
Beauty begets courage? I would never have connected those dots. Would you? But oh, what courage can do.
 
“Courage is amazing…it can tap into the heart of fear, taking that frightened energy and turning it toward initative, creativity, action and hope….
Courage is a spark that can become the flame of hope lighting new and exciting pathways in what
seemed to be a dead, dark landscape.”
 
So, what we need is courage. And the way to courage is to allow the flicker of beauty into our lives. But don’t think that that beauty is something external. Yes, if you want to go to a museum, go. If you want to attend a play, read a poem, or listen to a concert, for heaven’s sake, do. But know this: Beauty, real beauty, is alive in a place you can visit anytime you want. It is alive inside of you.
 
Don’t say “Oh, but I’m not an artist.” Because you are. John O’Donohue says it as succinctly as it can be said:
 
“We were created to be creators.”
 
If you are hungry, weary, lonely, tired, afraid, it’s time to come in out of the panic and create. If fear has camped out in the living room, it’s time to create.  It’s time to awaken that gorgeous vibrant beauty that lives inside of you. It is there in the desires of your heart, the dreams of your life, the itch in your hands. Don’t worry about not knowing how. Just put something in your hands. For a moment, be the wide-eyed kindergartener who once was you and play, just play, in the possibilities.
  • Pick up a pen and write
  • A slab of clay and shape 
  • A brush and paint
  • A pencil and draw
  • A scissors and cut
  • A knife and cook
  • A seed and plant
  • A scarf and dance
  • Create a business plan, an outline, a class
  • Design a pillow, plan a trip, make a meal

The tools you can put in your hands are without end. The things you can imagine are without end. The places you can go in your mind are without end. The beauty you can touch is without end. The well is deep and it is full.

Here’s what will happen.

When you re-activate that part of you that has never been wounded, the part of you that knows who you really are, the battle with fear will come to an end. When you step into your creative self, your soul-self, you awaken something huge: trust in your own capacity to live a beautiful life. You will be free. And that uninvited guest will have no choice but to slink out the door.

“At its deepest heart, creativity is meant to serve and evoke beauty. When this desire and capacity
come alive, new wells spring up in parched ground; difficulty becomes invitation and rather than striving against the grain of our nature, we fall into rhythm with its deepest urgency and passion. The time is now ripe for beauty to surprise and liberate us.”

So perhaps all this chaos in the world is an invitation. Perhaps that black thing in the living room is an invitation. Perhaps the parched landscape is an invitation. An invitation to awaken to who we really are: not consumers, creators. When we accept, we stop being consumed by life and start creating life. The invitation is real. It is open. It is on your desk awaiting a reply. Please put something in your hands and accept.

__________________________________

Want more?

Come, let your writer loose at Plug In for Writers, starting August 30

Find your creative expression at Plug In for Expressive Souls Sept 1


I finally found my religion!

I’ve taught thousands how to activate their wise loving Voice. That’s my job. My soul’s purpose. What I love to do. I’ve taught new soul writers in indie bookstores that know every customer and giant chains that don’t. I’ve spoken in tiny churches that meet in hotel rooms and large ones putting up new buildings. I’ve talked with intimate groups in living rooms and crowds at major learning centers.
 
No matter where I am, I tell my story–my wacky, wild, naked story–and answer any question I’m asked. I figure if I’m honest about my situation and how deep soul writing saved my life and transformed my world, then perhaps my listeners can have faith that the Voice is real and ready to help them, too. I know they get the message because they come up to me in corners and bathrooms to thank me for being so open and honest.
 
And I thought I was open and honest. That is until a Sunday afternoon in a packed hallway in Raleigh. I had just given the closing speech at the Body Mind Spirit Expo. The crowd and I were headed to the book signing table. Everyone was jabbering about soul writing and theta and the Hafiz poetry I’d read to them. Suddenly, a woman asked in a clear voice, “What religion are you?” 
 
The hallway got quiet. I paused. I did not want to answer that question.
 
Here’s why. Most of my readers are New Thought or Spiritual But Not Religious–the fastest growing sector in publishing. I personally love attending a Unity church and I adore speaking at Unity and Religious Science churches around the country. But deep soul writing is not limited to any religion or belief. If I know anything for certain, it is that everyone has direct and immediate access to the Voice of Spirit within. Everyone. Many of the people who come to my classes are New Thought or SBNR, but they’re also Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Wiccan, Agnostic, and everything else. I was raised Catholic and love Christian and Jewish sacred texts, but I love and honor all the ways humanity worships the divine.
 
I wanted an answer that would somehow honor all that.
 
I thought about how Suzy Maldonado would answer the question. Suzy was in my very first soul writing class. She shared something from her pages. She’d been exploring what she believed with the Voice and wrote: “Ask me if I’m Jewish. I’m Jewish. Ask me if I’m Hindu. I’m Hindu. Ask me if I’m Catholic. I’m Catholic. Ask me if I’m Buddhist. I’m Buddhist….”  I was stunned by the beauty and truth of Suzy’s answer. And I’ve repeated it many times when asked about my personal faith.
 
But in that cramped hallway, that isn’t what I said. I had my mystical poetry books in my hands. Without thinking, I held them up and said, “Mystical Poetry is my religion. The mystics of every religion and century say the same thing: It’s all God. And God is Love.”
When I heard those words come out of my mouth, I thought, Wow, what a great answer! And that’s how I’ve answered the question ever since.
 
That is, until three weeks ago.
 
My friend and facebook buddy, Rev Lauren McLaughlin posted a TED talk by Dr David Eagleman, neuroscientist and author of the new NYT bestseller Incognito. I love TED talks. I’ve included several in these newsletters. She said it was a great talk, so I clicked and listened. She was right. This is a GREAT talk, Dr Eagleman starts out with the Hubble Deep Space experiment and ends up announcing he’s a “Possibilian.”
 
I leapt out of my chair. That’s IT! I’m a Possibilian! I posted the link to the TED talk and told everyone, starting with my philosopher son, that I was now an official Possibilian.
 
That is, until last weekend.
 
I was the guest speaker at Unity of Melbourne on Sunday June 12. On the three hour drive across Florida that Saturday, I kept mulling over something a woman in Costa Rica said at our closing ceremony. We’d just spent ten days nose to nose with the outrageous beauty of mother nature. As we went around the table, each traveler spoke about the gift she received from Costa Rica. When it was Mary Jane’s turn, she said, “A couple months ago, I heard Mary Oliver, the great poet of nature, speak in Dallas. At the end of her talk a woman in the audience asked, What should we do? Mary Oliver said do three things: Number 1 Pay Attention. Number 2 Be Amazed. And Number 3 Tell Someone. The gift I received in Costa Rica is I paid attention and now I am thoroughly amazed.”
 
I grabbed a tiny pad in my purse and wrote the three things down. They’ve been cooking in my head ever since. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Mary Oliver has it all wrapped up. And it’s so simple. To have a rich joy-filled life, all I have to do is pay attention. And then, be amazed.
 
Be amazed is the easy part. I am constantly amazed. I’m amazed at how my life has unfolded. I’m amazed at the glorious souls who find my book and me. I’m amazed that I’m a writer. (I’m sure everyone who knew me in my CNN or headhunting days is amazed, too.) I’m amazed each time the Voice shows up on my pages and on yours. I’m amazed by the vibrant presence of angels in my life. I’m amazed at how ideas come to me in the morning. (I teach this, but I’m still surprised.) I’m amazed by my animal friends: the ospreys, grasshoppers, and snakes who come to call. I’m beyond amazed by how heaven sent the Icon Owl for my covers. I’m amazed by my body and how it works. I’m amazed by art. Sometimes I just sit and stare at my favorite painting by Denis Gaston, “The Awakened One.” I’m amazed by the books I love. I’m so amazed by Anam Cara that I know I’ll cry when it ends. I’m amazed by my son’s precious heart and mind. God, how I love him. And considering that my husband and I had zero plans for children, I’m amazed–stunned actually–that I have been so blessed.
 
I am constantly amazed. And I think you are too. If we pay attention, how can we be anything BUT amazed.
 
And then it hit me. Somewhere east of Orlando on FL 528: My religion is the Religion of Amazement. I laughed out loud. YES! I am a devout member of the Religion of Amazement. Now all I have to do is tell someone.
 
When I got to Melbourne, Paulette, my host, was cutting her daughter’s hair. I sat at the counter watching and had a cold glass of water. When her daughter left, Paulette started telling me about the church. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but she said, “I am continually in amazement… I am in a state of amazement all the time….” In two minutes, she used the word amazement five times. I had to stop and tell her about the Religion of Amazement. I felt Spirit had moved her to say that exact word. To me it was a little God-wink.
 
Paulette looked at me. “I don’t know why I said that. I don’t think I’ve ever said “amazement” like that before. But now that I’ve said it outloud, it’s true. I am always amazed at how spiritual principles work.
 
So now I have to tell someone else–YOU.
 
Everyone is welcome in the Religion of Amazement. Temples are on every corner of the world. Services are held around the clock, wherever and whenever you like. Just go outside and look around. Look at a cardinal. Listen to a woodpecker. Smell a gardenia. Stare at the moon. Watch a sunrise. Touch a river, an ocean, a pond. Look in the eyes of someone you love. Play with a baby. Pet your dog or your cat or your goat. Watch a wild bunny on the side of the road. Read a book with your eyes wide open. Say your prayers and watch what happens. Welcome the Voice and let the words pour onto the page. Savor your food. Then move. Notice how your body moves and digests and sees and hears. Pay attention. And be amazed.
 
Now, go tell someone. Because I’m quite certain that YOU are a member of the Religion of Amazement, too.
 
__________________________ 
 
Want to be even more amazed?

You soul has a HOW and a WHY. Guess which comes first?

Have you ever heard or read something so important, it felt like the words were alive and grabbing you? I have this experience all the time. I sit upand take notice because that is my soul recognizing something and nudging me to pay attention.
 
I wasn’t always this aware. For most of my life, I was sleep-walking under a powerful material spell. Lots of great ideas were undoubtedly whizzing past my ears and eyes, but I was so focused on making money that I missed them all.
 
Until one fall evening sitting on the floor in Charlotte Starfire’s living room. It was opening night of her 1992 Women’s Spiritual Empowerment course. I had no idea why I was there. Looking back, I think my soul was so weary of the life we were living that it gave me a hard  crack in the ribs and at long last I responded.
 
Suddenly a sentence flew from Charlotte’s mouth, landing on my chest so hard, I almost fell over. She said: “According to Theilard de Chardin, ‘We are not human beings trying to have a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.'”
 
Now that may not sound all that stunning to you, but to me this was a major revelation. Growing up Catholic, I learned that we are sinful human beings stuck in a “veil of tears,” struggling mightily to have a spiritual life. And if we don’t succeed? Well, the results aren’t going to be pretty.
 
In one sentence, Theilard de Chardin set me free. Free to enjoy life in all its dimensions–physical, spiritual, mental, emotional. No wonder I almost fell over. My soul, I’m sure, was singing hallelujah! She finally heard! She finally got it! Once my soul had my attention, she wouldn’t let go. She wouldn’t go back to silently watching me be miserable.
 
Mind you, I still got up the next morning and dragged myself to a job I did not love but felt I had to do. I still went through the motions. But the relentless drive to meet goals and post profits no longer felt important or necessary. Sales contests felt ugly. And when someone in the office told a creepy joke or made fun of someone, my heart hurt. I think it was my soul weeping, “Dear, this is not how we want to live.”
 
It took me a long time and a wrenching divorce to finally stop serving the wrong master and begin to create the life my soul and I want to live. It began with long daily rants wtih the Voice on the page. There, I found guidance and comfort. I discovered that I could ask for anything and receive it, sometimes within moments of placing the request. At first, I asked for money and protection. But once those core needs were met, my soul started pushing for something more.
 
It would not let me rest until I had a  moral code, a way of living, a personal creed. With my seven soul values etched in my heart and on my wall, life began to move rapidly
 
UPI gave me a column. Conari asked me to write Writing Down Your Soul. Invitations to speak poured in. One telecourse begot more telecourses, culminating in Your Soul Wants Five Things.  (You can read my Soul Vows on page 22 in Writing Down Your Soul. or on the Soul Vows page on my site.)
 
Having personal values completely changed my life. As it will yours. Having a personal honor code is like giving your soul bones. With those bones, your soul has a way to walk in this world, upright, firm, eyes forward, knowing exactly how it wants to live.
 
But where is it going? What is it walking toward? Isn’t that the great question everyone wants to know: Why am I here? What’s my purpose?
 
Margo Mastromarchi, the lovely angel guidance reader who provides angel readings for members of Soul Vows, says the first thing people want to ask the angels is, “What’s my purpose?” Lauralyn Bunn, the magnificent Akashic Record reader, reports the same thing. It’s the number one question burning in people’s minds. We know the materialistic spell doesn’t satisfy. We sense there must be something more, but what it is?
 
If your Soul Vows are your how, your soul’s purpose is your why.
 
We’ll explore your why in the new telecourse, Check the Box: how to discover and live your soul’s purpose. But if the number one question everyone wants to ask heaven is “What’s my purpose?” wouldn’t you think that your soul would want to clarifty the WHY before it selects its HOW? I would have.
 
That is, until I experienced how lost a why is without the fertile strength of the how. Let me explain.
 
I was given my soul’s purpose statement way back in 1996. At the time, I was focused on building a career as a human resource consultant. So when my purpose statement, “I use words to connect people to the light,” came through, I just stared at it. Huh! What does THAT mean? It made no sense to me, so I put it away. I didn’t have the “soul bones” to walk my purpose.
 
But when I declared my Soul Vows four years later, and started to really live my personal values, my soul bones got big and strong. I had grown the how for my why. I had the skeleton to walk upright into my soul’s divine purpose. And today what do I do? Why I use words to connect people to the light! And love every minute of it.  
 
So even though you are humanly itching to know your soul’s purpose, my hope for you is that you first find your how. And then, standing upright with powerful soul bones, you will walk firmly and clearly into your soul’s purpose–your why–and bring it to life!
 
Isn’t the adventure of being a spiritual being having a human experience amazing!
  

6 tips to feed your soul

Yesterday I was interviewed on the Change Thrivers radio show with Afsaneh Noori. We talked about how deep soul writing can be a loving helpful tool for anyone experiencing change. (In other words, everyone!)

At the end, Afsaneh asked me to share a few tips for listeners. Here they are. I thought they might be helpful for everyone, not just the Change Thriver audience.  Because we all experience change. Change is life. And we all want to and deserve to not just survive change, but find the music of our souls within it.

Six Soul-Feeding Tips

  1. Give yourself the gift of STOP. The one gift we can all give ourselves is the gift of time. It can be just a few minutes, but for those five or ten minutes, get off the go-go train we ride all day and just be still. Deep soul write or meditate or just sit and breathe. Allow. Allow your inner knowing, that wise loving Voice, to speak to you. In the silence, you will find your way.
  2. Pick up a pen. Don’t wait until you’ve finished reading Writing Down Your Soul. Take a breath, set your intention, address the Voice by name and begin. (The seven steps to get into theta are at the front of My Soul Pages, the companion journal to Writing Down Your Soul.) It’s a life-long conversation. You can start it today whether you know all the ins and outs or not. Release any expectations of what it “ought” to be like. Just begin. You’ll find the Voice is a loving, gentle presence and is oh so happy you’ve come to talk. (You can find lots of tools to help you build a deep soul writing practice at my website, including the Thirty-Day Guide to Writing Down Your Souland a 45 minute teaching video on the Seven Steps to Get Into Theta and more)
  3. Ask for guidance. Ask for guidance on the page in your deep soul writing, in your mind, in your prayers, as you’re falling asleep. All day and night long, ask for help. Help will come. It may come in forms you didn’t expect, but it will come.
  4. Pay attention. Everyone has innate spiritual intelligence, we just don’t use it. By starting to become aware of your spiritual intelligence, you strengthen and expand it, just like a muscle used in exercise. How do you exercise your spiritual intelligence? Pay attention to your intuition, your gut feelings, your emotions, synchronicities, books and messages that come your way, invitations, dreams…. There is no end to the ways guidance works with us once we begin to pay attention.
  5. Maximize your natural time in theta. As we awaken from sleep each and every one of us moves through the theta brain wave state—the only state in which we have access to break through thinking and true creativity. So use it. In the morning, lie perfectly still, don’t open your eyes. Just lie there and allow information and ideas to flow to you. Train yourself to lie still for longer and longer periods of time. Any question can be solved just resting in theta.
  6. Go on a media diet. Especially if you are in a fearful state right now or prone to pick up other people’s fear. The media and our political systems are designed to keep us afraid so we’ll turn to them to tell us how to stay safe. Fear is the absolute worst thing for your soul. Your soul is not naturally fearful. It is not afraid of life; it chose life. So help yourself by stepping away from the waves of things to be afraid of coming over the TV and internet and radio. If you can’t limit all TV, at least don’t watch any news before bed. (And keep in mind this is from someone who worked for and loved CNN!)
  7. Eat lots of “soul food.” In place of your media diet, feed your soul with lots of rich spiritual books and practices. Listen to loving uplifting messages. Read mystical poetry. Write down your soul. Pray. Sit in nature. Be still and know that you are loved.

There are undoubtedly more things you can do to feed your soul, but these will get you started.  Please share your favorite “soul foods.”


Writing Down Your Soul’s mythical owl icon gets a name

The Owl’s name is….
 
Last week, I invited you to submit names for the sweet, mysterious owl who graces the cover of the brand new companion journal to Writing Down Your Soul–My Soul Pages.
 
 
 
Soul writers have waited two years for this special journal to hold their conversations with their divine Voice. I imagine most of us would have been content with any image, but when this mythical owl landed on My Soul Pages, he transformed what was just a cover to a mystical experience with a deeply meaningful icon.
 
 
If you missed the story of the owl and the icon, I created a “Meet the Owl” page on the website.
 
 
jpeg
 
Within ten minutes of sending that newsletter, my inbox was bubbling over. Forty of you looked deeply into the owl’s eyes and sent me the name you found there.
 
Sometimes you gave me a meaning, sometimes you just sent what you heard. Here are a few to give you a sense of the diversity.
 
Eli = my God
Majiah
Serena
Metamorphosis
Horace = keeper of the hours
Lucia = light
Nichodemus
Winston
Balthazar = one of the 3 wise men
Ora = pray (in latin)
Veritas = truth
 
Most names were singletons. Except for these three, which were mentioned 3 or 4 times each:
 
Whoo
Sophia = divine wisdom
Sol or Solomon
 
I didn’t enter the contest, but the very first time I picked up a pen to say thank you for this owl, Whoo came out. It seemed to me that the owl’s role is to constantly ask us whoo are you, whoo are you becoming, whoo are you afraid of, whoo are you at the soul level…, so I felt a little partial to Whoo.
 
But it wasn’t my choice. It was Michael’s. This is how I give out all the scholarships for my courses. I write the name of everyone who asks for a scholarship on a little slip of paper, bless each one, and take a little bucket of names to St Michael’s Shrine in Tarpon Springs. That’s what I did today.
 
Before I drew a name, I had a chat on the page with the Voice. I asked, “What are the gifts of the owl?” Here they are:
  • presence–the owl is completely and fully present
  • welcome–the owl always welcomes us with this greeting: “Beloved, I am here for you.”
  • listen–the owl listens with ears we cannot see
  • absorb–the owl takes our story so we can be free of it
  • cleanses and clears–as the owl absorbs our story, a new clean fresh space opens up inside us for something new
  • transmute–the owl transmutes our understanding and our experiences to a new level
  • asks–the owl asks us to remember and see who we truly are
  • respond–the owl always responds, we are never alone
  • lift–the owls lifts us and moves us toward our wholeness
  • sees–the owl sees the way, sees the story, sees the boulders, sees the light within the boulders, the owl sees it all; the ows sees us as the angels see us: whole and holy divine sparks of life

These gifts poured quickly onto the page. As they were ending, a “letter” arrived. I think it’s for you:

“Dear One, dear Beloved Writer,

A name is a fun thing, a place to put your mind for a moment, but my name is One, is All, is Love Eternal.
I am the eye into the light, a way, a path, a knowing.
I am a symbol of Who you are becoming.

You come to me. You call me and I am here.
Your witness. Your ear. You listen with one ear.
I listen with another. I hear God.

With one eye I see out and with one eye I see in.
Both are necessary.
You are here in this place, this space, this beautiful earth.
You are living your story. You came with a story.
You are walking your story, and you will someday
relinquish this story.

In between, come and share it with me.
I hear you and I hear goodness, I hear beauty, I hear joy.
I see you and I see limitless potential.
I see you as Michael sees you, as Spirit sees you–
so you can recognize yourself,
if will only look through my eyes.

Come see. Come see who you really are.”
 

Well, by the time that flowed onto the page, I was a little pool of jello. Anything I was worried about before I entered Michael’s was gone, gone, gone, and I was ready to reach in my little metal bucket and pull a name. Yes, the Owl had said his name was One, All, Love Eternal, but I’d promised to pick a name…

But life with Michael is always a hoot. (Pun intended.) I reached in and pulled out TWO strips of paper entwined in each other so tightly, I had to work to separate them.

When I got them open, I laughed. There were two names;

Sophia–the name for the feminine face of divine wisdom and
Sol-Solomon–revered as the wisest man who ever lived.

Our owl has a sense of humor! He/She wants us to know that it is indeed all things, a complete whole, and it really is a vehicle to wisdom.

Several people suggested these names, but the names on the two slips that came out of the bucket are:

Sophia–Susan Heffron Hajec in Michigan 
Sol–Karen Loucks in Indiana

Would you please both send me your physical addresses and I’ll send you a signed copy of My Soul Pages. I’ll also send you the 50-minute teaching video, Seven Steps to Get Into Theta.

If that weren’t enough mystical joy for one day, we’re opening the Sacred Circle for Your Soul Wants Five Things in a few hours! Whew!

To get your own copy of My Soul Pages with Sophia/Sol on the cover, either visit The Store or click here for Amazon. The journal will be in your favorite store any day. Call and ask them to order it for you.

Then, let us all know what the owl has to say to you!


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?