Thoughts on Rituals

Ritual. That word was in my mind as I woke up this morning. It got me thinking…

(I even got super brave and did a Facebook Live!! )

I was raised Catholic. I loved the ritual and the ceremony! Little Me was fascinated by the incense, the statues, the stained glass, the choir. There are a lot of things I didn’t like about The Church, but there are things I did like.

When I was growing up, mass was said in Latin. The altar boys would walk up the aisle in their robes, swinging the censers. We knelt and prayed and stood and knelt again. We chanted. There was a sense of mystery and sacredness that I loved.

My mom left the church for awhile in search of her own truth, and took us kids with her. When we came back, everything was different. The incense was gone. The mass was in English. There were guitars!!! WTF?!! The magic was gone. I guess they were trying to appeal to younger people in an effort to get them to stay. But it ruined church for me.

Ritual. I always want to do them but I don’t. Full moon, new moon. Eclipse. Solstice, equinox. Day of the Dead to honor my ancestors. I intend to every year, but I always just let the days go by. Sometimes I forget entirely until the next day. Sometimes I take a minute of stillness to acknowledge the moment.

I was reading recently—Anna, Grandmother of Jesus, and Anna, the Voice of the Magdalenes’ by Claire Heartsong—and they talked a lot about rituals and ceremonies. They spent their last years in Avalon (…that’s a whole post in itself!) Lots of rituals and ceremony.

Part of me yearns for that. We don’t honor much in our culture anymore. Sort of birth, death, marriage, birthdays. But it’s all superficial and consumerized.

What about girls becoming women? Boys becoming men? Women becoming mothers and men fathers? All those threshold we cross into new selves. All these things anchor us and ground us into our human lives. They also allow us to share our common experiences and bond us together. We need that now, more than ever.

I did do one ceremony recently. I left my hourly job to pursue my own business and I did something to honor that transition. I built a fire and consciously listed out and gave thanks for all the things I learned about me, other people, community during that time. All the awareness I gained and all I appreciated about that 6 months I worked at the grocery store.

And then I released it. I placed my uniform—jeans, all my polo shirts, my apron, even my shoes!—into the fire. As they burned, I let that experience go. I felt the sadness of leaving. I even cried! I am going to miss the awesome people I worked with. And the sense of significance, certainty and contribution I got with that job. It was a bucket filling experience <3

Then, as the fire burned down to embers, I called in my next phase of life. What I want my business to be. How I want to BE in it, with it. I stated my intent and vowed to move forward, into the future.

That felt very powerful. And now, when I feel some fear about my future and I catch myself wondering if maybe I should go back to the security of that job, I remember that ceremony. There is no turning back; that bridge was burned! The experience of the ceremony comes back in that moment. And I feel at peace.

So I wonder…how many more places in my life could I benefit from ritual and ceremony?

I realized this morning that the biggest reason I don’t do them is because of what other people will think of me. My family—my husband and kids (excuse me, my adults :) They won’t really be surprised though. They know I’m woowoo! But still. I’m avoiding the eye rolling and the fear of laughter behind my back.

There might be some of that. They’re young still and don’t understand. Although, some of them do and would probably participate with me (My Little Voice just told me.) And if I would have been doing it all along, this would just be what we do.

I can’t let that fear stop me from doing what I am called to do. I won’t. Starting now.

I’m going to make a list of the rituals and ceremonies I want to honor and begin. I’ll let you know next week what I came up with.

In the mean time, I want to hear from you! How do you feel about rituals and ceremonies? What rituals do you do? What do you wish you could do? Will you join me?

In Service to Love!!!


The Possibilities of ME

I am totally going to have to do a Facebook fast for a few days! See, as part of my new plan to Love ME, I am taking this amazing e-course called Bloom True with Flora Bowley! She makes these incredibly awesome paintings. Check out this video of her in action!

Class actually started Monday, but the Facebook group opened last Thursday. Basically I’ve been on Facebook since then, chatting with this beautiful bunch of people from all over the world who are gathered together to bravely, intuitively create.

We’ve been posting pictures of our studios/art rooms/spaces, our supplies, our alters, our hopes and excitement for this course. We’ve been sharing our previous work and the first stages of our new creations. It has been a blast!!

I keep checking my page and “liking” and “friending” and commenting on everything!!  I literally sat here at my computer from 2:00pm until 8:00 today. I think I’m getting carpal tunnel and I’m tired of sitting :)

Here are some pics of my canvases after my first lesson.

Splatter and Spray

Splatter and Spray

This is canvas #1-paint splattered on it while listening to Philip Philips Home.

I sprayed it with water and made it run, which was really cool! I kinda wish I would have stopped at this point, but the blobs of paint bothered me, so I kept squirting them and they kept running until eventually all the paint ran off the canvas and I was left with this....

Lovely Sunset Background

Lovely Sunset Background

My new mantra of F#@% Perfection should have kicked in before I got crazy with the water bottle, but I remember now, come to the conclusion that at least I learned how to create a beautiful sunset background. Pat myself on the back for coming up with such a positive interpretation of this experience ('cause that wasn't what almost came out of my mouth when I told my husband about it.)

Canvas #2, was finger painting!!! I put on Touch the Sky, from the soundtrack of the Disney movie Braveand a BLINDFOLD!—and allowed myself to totally let go and dance to the music, smearing paint as I went. My Inner-Child was having a delirious time doing this!!! Here is how it came out...

(Finger) Paint Dancing

(Finger) Paint Dancing

One of my classmates pointed out to me that it looks like a big red happy faced rabbit. My husband said the red handprint on the left reminded him of Wilson, from Castaway

With those things in mind, I sat back to see what I could see...and I Saw something. I'm not gonna tell you what yet. That would ruin the surprise :)

Being in this painting class, along with the other two classes I’m taking—Marked by the Muse, with Cosmic Cowgirls; and Book of Days, art journaling with Effy Wild—I am working alongside some amazing women!

Artists, poets, painters…they all seem to be so much more talented than me (I fear.) Their spreads are gorgeous. Their poems are deep and insightful. They paintings are vibrant and alive with color!

I went through a very dark period at the end of last week where I was seriously doubting my abilities. Like, “boo hoo woe-is-me, will I ever be able to do that?!” doubting.

Have you ever done that? Just wondered if you would ever be good enough?? Brave enough?? Pinched yourself up small and tight?

And then, there was this moment…I was watching a video blog done by a new friend in one of my classes, Wild Bella Rouge, and suddenly it hit me—and I do mean HIT! It felt like a cosmic smack in the head, lol.

These women are showing me WHAT IS POSSIBLE. They aren’t doing what they do to make me see my faults, lack of ability, lack of talent, cowardice—I’m doing that to myself!! I had this major shift happen, right in the center of my solar plexus, and my heart opened wide and I Saw that

they are showing me what I can do, if I would only do what I can do.

They are an inspiration!! That is a subtle, but powerful mind-shift. I’m saying I want to be a painter, an art journalist, a writer…and the universe is showing me all the fabulous examples of women doing just that! Being creative, being intuitive, being brave. The Universe is trying to tell me,

YES! You can do this!! Look, See, she did it! You can too!!

Instead of being small and feeling sorry for myself, I should look at what these other women are doing and REJOYCE!!!

And say, “Me, too!, Me, too!!! What do I need to know to do that, too?!!!!” And then follow the trail that appears….

Shining brightly!!!!!


Baby Steps

It’s a good thing I decided to f#@% perfection, ‘cause making a blog is harder than I thought it would be!

It isn’t, but it is. It’s one of those paradox things :) I don’t think writing will be a problem for me; I like to write, I like to talk, I like to give grand speeches. But all the details, like linking other pages for things I want to share, adding photographs or videos…I’ve been researching for most of the day and I still haven’t figured it all out!

That’s ok. I’m an infinite being, so I have as long as it takes. And patience is a virtue.

I do acknowledge that all this research is distracting me from the fact that its been eight days and I still haven’t written a second post.

I think of all kinds of things to write about when I’m busy doing something else, far away from a pen or my computer or too involved to stop and write. When I’m giving a massage or doing energy work on someone, my mind starts to wander-and compose-and I have to really bring myself present and stay focused on what I’m doing. Then I can't remember the brilliant post I wrote in my mind.

I haven’t yet gotten into a habit of just sitting down and writing each day. I’m trying to carve out space in my schedule. I’ve noticed that as soon as I do, it seems to get filled in by other “really important stuff”, like posting classes, or checking in with long lost relatives and friends. Or cleaning out the refrigerator or sorting junk in the basement…you get the idea.

But that’s all part of this process of learning to love myself, isn’t it. Learning to laugh at my self, when I catch me doing these things. Laugh and gently re-mind my self what it is I wanted to be doing. I’ll get there. Eventually. And I''m sitting here writing now, right? So YAY ME!!!!!

I took another big step for ME today. I signed up to be a Self-Love Ambassador with Christine Arylo. I’m vowing to write about my self-love adventure in my (brand new!!) blog and share on Facebook throughout the year.

It was actually kinda scary to do that, make that commitment.

Now I’m going to be constantly reminded that I said I was going to do it. Yep, re-minded. (We’ve already established that I need that :)

I know I’m not the only woman who has trouble with the concept of loving herself. And women are not the only people that have trouble grasping it-humans in general seem to stumble over this.

The only ones who are relatively free from this judgement of self are small children who don’t give a dang yet what anyone thinks of them. They just enjoy life (and themselves and their bodies!) I want to get to that place again, where I just enjoy life. En-joy it!!!

This is from the welcome letter I received: “Welcome to TEAM LOVE, where we are all about using the power of love to inspire, guide and encourage people to love themselves unconditionally and with full permission. And as a result... have so much more love to share with the people they love, and ultimately the world.”

Sounds good to me!

Shining brightly,


Welcome 2013

We made it!!! There was much speculation about what was going to “happen” on December 21, 2012….Thankfully, none of the crazy bad things that were predicted happened. I think what we did was make that quantum leap to the next level (you know, like the electrons circling the nucleus pop up to the next ring.) I know I feel like I did!

Ever since that day I’ve felt this incredible sense of expansion and possibility. And determination. 2013 is the year I’m going to do things differently. ‘Cause it damn sure hasn’t been working the way I’ve been doing things.

Every year I make a list of New Year’s resolutions. I’m sure it looks like everyone else’s:  stop eating junk food, lose 20 (or 30 :) pounds, save money, clean out my basement and attic, grow a garden and actually eat everything in it, be nicer to my family, make my marriage stronger…The funny (or not so funny) thing is, as I look back through my journals, I make the exact same resolutions every year. Apparently I’m not very good at resolving things :)

This year, though, I feel like doing something different. I feel like FEELING, instead.  Rather than make a list of actions I want to take, I’m choosing to expand a feeling. I think I'll start with LOVE. The thing we all are. There seems to be a wave of it moving through humanity, and it’s time I felt my share.

I’ll begin by expanding my love for my self.  I’m done being so hard on ME. I’m done being mean to ME. I’m done criticizing ME. I’m ready to explore self love. What a concept?!

LOVE is a verb. Practice it on yourself.

Love my self? Now that's a concept. This isn’t the first time I’ve decided that I was going to practice loving myself. But it is the first time that I’ve really, truly felt it possible. And it’s definitely the first time I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution. 

One of my favorite authors, Christine Arylo, has just written a book called Madly In Love with ME. I bought it for myself for Christmas and it will be my starting point for this year. I’m going to fall madly in love with ME. Ohhhhhhh, that sounds nice! I get kinda tingly when I say that.

Why, you may ask, is this the first time I’ve truly felt it was possible to love my self? Perhaps it’s because of my second resolution (which, I 'spose, actually came first :)

Put simply: F#@%  Perfection.

Yep. Perfection sucks. Not gonna do it any more. It keeps me sitting around, waiting, accomplishing nothing and fearing what everyone else is gonna say/do/think about everything I want to say/do/think. Forget that. I’m going to LOVE ME and do what I know to do. Whether it’s perfect or not.

Besides, who decides if something’s perfect??  It’s my life, my world, my creation! If I’m happy with it, that’s the most important thing. And because I love me, and I love you, and you love me, I bet you’ll be happy with it, too.

Shining brightly!!!!