Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 16.917: Transformations Too

A few years ago, I happened upon this trailer for a documentary about Frank Ferrante's incredible transformation with the help of a gratitude practice, raw food, holistic therapies, and (most importantly, in my humble opinition) supportive friends.  Donations were requested to complete the film and being one who loves to tithe toward good creative works and positive messages in this world, I happily sent a check.  Not only did I receive a "thank you" copy of the finished product (yay!), but my name is in the credits with other contributors.  I am flattered.  I am honored.  And I am so very grateful to have played a very small part in this sweet film with a big heart.  It's making its way around the country.  I do hope that you get the opportunity to see it and maybe even meet Frank!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 16,916: Transformations

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my daughter will graduate from high school in May and, just a few months later, leave for the college she's already chosen.  We drove there yesterday, departing the house an hour before dawn to reach the campus in time for a financial aid meeting.  The long stretch of Appalachian Highway between here and there provides ample time and symbolic landscape to inspire contemplation upon the sweet transformation at hand and to come. The photo above captures the first breath of sunrise and, evidently, a good omen for the day ahead.  This trip literally paid off in a $1000 scholarship ... three were raffled as door prizes and our daughter had one lucky ticket!  The late afternoon westbound drive toward home provided stunning blue skies and bright sunshine, along with wind gusts that dang near blew us off the road.  "Don't get complacent or take your good fortune for granted," it seemed to say.  Message heard loud and clear.  And for all of this, I am so grateful.

Back home again, I am focused on preparing to launch a fundraiser for SARA on February 1st (details coming soon), posting the new pendants to Etsy (love, love, loving the copper wire), and spending more time actually sketching in my sketchbook journal (field trip for such on the horizon).  Big week ahead!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 16,911: Class Announcement

Phoebe and Garrett love to lay beside the fire.  The only thing that they love more is to be on the receiving end of Reiki.  In my humble opinion, of course.  I'm more than a little biased, but over this years there has been a lot of evidence to back up my claim.

I am delighted to announce that I will be teaching my first Reiki I/Reiki for Animals class on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26 (from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day).  This is a very cozy, casual class taught from my home.  There are usually 1-3 students, but space for a maximum of 5.  The one-on-one classes are particularly special, if you are lucky enough to get one.  We begin by learning how to treat ourselves and then how to treat other people.  On the second day we review what we learned the previous day and then focus on how we can treat animals in a variety of settings.  Light refreshments are provided and each day never fails to end on an energetic high note from all of the practice.

If you would like learn more about Reiki, start here:

Or learn more about my Reiki journey (don't miss the video!):

And finally the class announcement:

The registration deadline is Saturday, February 18.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 16,910: Stolen Moments

Today I am so grateful for what can be accomplished in stolen moments. I know I have talked about this before. Probably many times. It never ceases to amaze me what can manifest in a mere 20 minutes. A coffee break with my journal on the small scale or my lunch hour with crystals and wire. Excuses be damned. I can do this. (And so can YOU!)

There may never be the great swaths of time that I have been hoping for or they may come few and far between. So I am learning to make opportunities to make art. The more I get, the more I want. On this day of a million shades of brown and gray, I fed myself with color. Caran D'Ache water-soluable wax pastels and a blank journal page were all I needed. I don't think I could've felt any better with drugs.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 16,907: Showing Up Show and Tell

I did it. I showed up at the workbench again today and wrapped this Brown Stomatolite in Jeweler's Bronze. This stone has been in the queue for wrapping since 2006. Over five long years waiting for a home. The metaphysical properties indicate that it's an oribicular fossil material from Peru and very Lemurian in nature. It is purported to help with issues related to sex, gender and allergies. If it's calling to you, let me know ... otherwise, it will soon appear in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 16,906: Preciousness of Metal

Today I accepted the challenge.
I showed up.
I sat down.
And I wrapped.
After eight years of sterling silver,
I've made the transition to copper.
And I like it.
I think it likes me back.
Let's see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 16,905: What Is and Isn't Working

What is working for me right now ...

Consuming quarts of green smoothies
 Long walks outside, rain or shine
 Going to bed early
 Taking my vitamins
 Showing up in my journal
Reiki treatments for myself and others

What isn't working for me right now ...

 Making assumptions

(What's working and not working for YOU right now?)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 16,904: Of Caring and Carelessness

I knew it had been a long time. Not weeks, but months. Late this afternoon, I went to the post office with my daughter to help her ship a package to her boyfriend at college.  It crossed my mind that it would be a good idea to check my post office box while I was there. I never get anything at that address other than the renewal notice each May. The last couple of years I considered letting it go, but I'm lousy at giving up on things and calling it quits. I bought it for business purposes and simply can't stop believing that one day I will be really glad that I have it.

When I turned the key, I was surprised to see a key to a bigger box with a package waiting for me. Immediately, I assumed that there had been a mistake. This package must be intended for a different recipient.  A second later, my surprise gave way to panic.  How long had it been here?  When I saw that the package was, in fact, addressed to me from a far-away friend, my panic escalated. When I saw the postmark of October 17th, I was mortified.

This sweet friend had sent me a birthday gift three months ago to the day ... the most beautiful handmade journal with tucked-in treasures. Her caring. My carelessness. Tears.

Of course, I called her immediately with profuse apologies and deepest gratitude. And, of course, being who and how she is, I received nothing but graciousness and understanding in return. We had a lovely and long overdue conversation, which was the bright side of this embarrassing situation. But be assured that I will be checking my box on a regular basis now. My lesson has been learned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16,903: Family Food

Three day weekends are precious to us as a family, especially with the three of us running in separate directions most of the time. Many years ago, we started a tradition of going to Jungle Jim's on Martin Luther King Day. It's a grocery store and so much more, with aisles setup by country. I suspect that it's a blessing to those so far away from their heart homes ... to find the foods they love. It's one of our favorite places in town, but far enough away that we only get there once or twice per year. A second location is being built just a few miles from where we live and we're very excited, but it just won't be the same to visit this new location on an ordinary day, especially with one of us living far away.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 16,899: At Last

It's been the strangest winter here in Cincinnati. At this juncture on the wheel, I'm usually begging for the snow to stop. This year, we've had what seems like day after day of cloudless, blue skies from sunrise to sunset. There've been a few rainy days to keep us from taking the great weather for granted. They've felt like springtime wakeup calls, bringing to life the moss and wee sprouts between the cracks in the sidewalk. Far too soon for growth so tender.

Unless I'm mistaken, we've only had one day of accumulated snow all winter. Maybe half an inch. Enough to make a little bit of a slippery mess for a little while. Then it was gone. So when it started snowing this afternoon ... big, fat flakes that stuck to everything and attracted more ... I grabbed my camera to capture the rare winterfestation. About an hour later, it too was gone.

Word on the street is that the high will be back to 45 degrees by Monday. Surely, the 50s to which we've become accustomed can't be far behind. Strange though it may be, you will hear no complaint from me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 16,897: Happiness is ...

Happiness is a brand new sketchbook journal! The best part, after removing the cellophane wrapper, is sitting down with my matte medium, collage supplies, and shellac to embellish the cover. For the next few months, as I fill this book to bulging with sketches, writing, and the sweet ephemera of my day-to-day life, Pixie Campell's turkey vulture (from a recycled postcard) will accompany me ... reminding me to go with the flow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 16,894: Stories

I'm waking up to the stories that I keep telling myself. I am genetically wired to lament any apparent unraveling. (Story.) It is my nature to clutch and defend what I think I can't afford to lose. (Story.)

But how do I know that the glorious mess of any situation isn't the precursor to the clearing of it? Let's face it, sometimes the worst case scenario is that nothing changes. So why not be open to celebrating (or at least mustering a sense of curiosity) when something shifts and uncertainty comes for a stay?

Right now, my real "job" is to take care of business at hand, which means taking next logical steps. Everything softens when I simply and gently acknowledge that things are in transition. I am now an adventurer ... exploring options and opportunities. And, honestly, it's revealing itself to be an interesting and exciting time.

Every day, we write the book of our lives. Let what needs to come, come. Let what needs to go, go.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 16,893: The Truth is ...

The truth is that most days begin with no idea of what's worthwhile to capture. How many times is too many ... of the dog, the cats, the Christmas cactus? Yet there never fails to be something within what is before me day to day that beckons my attention ... the light, a line, a possibility. I am helpless to resist.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 16,892: Lop-hearted

I try to get out for a walk every week day at lunch time. I don't always want to do it, even on the brightest, bluest days, but I am always better off when I rise to the occasion. I decided to walk today without an iPod. I was mulling over some work-related issues and really wanted to hear myself think.

As I was coming up the butt-kicking hill on State Road, this wee rock caught my eye. Lop-hearted. Yeah, that's me today. I walked a bit further and the sound of cooing caught my attention. Dove lovin', I assumed. I looked around and couldn't see a thing. I looked up and above me was an enormous V-formation of at least two dozen long-necked, wide-winged, spindly-legged birds. At first glance similar to the Canadian geese that frequently fly these skies, but these birds were white, at a higher altitude, and making this strange cooing sound.

I stood there on the sidewalk, staring upward, grinning from ear to ear and undoubtedly perplexing (if not amusing) the passing traffic. Heron? Cranes? I have absolutely no idea. I've never seen anything like them in my life, but whatever they were, they were flying south. A good omen. The sight of them felt like getting really good news. I'm grateful that I was alert, aware and open enough to receive it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 16,891: Ambivalent Emergence

The week after a week's vacation ain't for sissies. When I sat down at my computer yesterday, the first day back after 10 days off, I could not, for the life of me, remember how to log onto my employer's server. The panicked convo of me with me went something like this:

"Is my user name really just my user name or my full e-mail address?"
"Did I change my password before I went on vacation?"
"Is the passcode that four-letter thingy with the six-digit whatchamacallit?"
"Does the token code go first or last?"

All of my questions were met with the sound of crickets chirping in my head. Nobody home. Does not compute. It was eerily reminiscent of my maternity leave when I was journaling and couldn't remember how to spell "should." I could say the word. I knew full well what it meant. But the part of my brain responsible for retrieving the how-to of it was still on leave and would take its sweet ol' time returning.

I spent at least 20 minutes yesterday morning trying to crack those log-in codes. All the while, I would glance longingly at this stack of books and ball of yarn. There was no mistaking what I'd much rather be doing. It's Wednesday and that sentiment still lingers. I suspect it will all week. Maybe beyond.

"Should" is a word well worth forgetting.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 16,890: The Art of Avoidance

This is my workshop/studio/treatment room. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in nourishing light. The previous homeowner used it as a nursery for their youngest son many years ago. Knowing that a new being was once nurtured in this space gives me comfort.

It's been months since I've spent more than a few minutes in here. Three months, to be exact. I've periodically turned circles in front of my workbench, for what seemed like good measure, but have been unable to sit and make anything since.

I realize now that the idea for 60-in-60 was borne of my desperation to distract myself from the unmistakable presence of death, pacing the perimeter and biding its time. Caring for the dying and preparing to let them go is hard work. I guess I thought that more time with the stones would be healing and helpful to me as I created tools of them to go forth, heal and help others. I had just forgotten that grief has its own pace and demands, which didn't include room or concern for my previous promises and plans.

I am reacquainting myself with this space, outwardly and inward. I did some dusting ... some rearranging ... some smudging. I cracked a window and invited a fresh perspective inside along with the fresh air. I opened the Reiki table that, for so many months, had been folded away. And, in kind, I felt myself begin to open and unfold.

For today, this was enough. Our demonstrations of graceful, grateful willingness are always more than enough.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 16,889: 18 Years, 4 Months

Family gatherings have a way of unearthing photos long forgotten. These are my parents. Look at those smiles. They had logged about two months of marriage when this photo was taken in July, 1964. My mother would have been 18 years and four months old. Exactly the same age as my daughter right now. Mom would go on to have three children in the span of the next seven years. (The first among them, me.) Daughter will proceed to graduate from high school and start college in this new year. I love that, at 18, the future felt and feels bright to them both, despite their very different paths. I am grateful that there are opportunities and options available to my daughter that may not have been available to my mom at that age. And I celebrate that my parents, still together after all of these years, get to enjoy this view with me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 16,888: Anew

Since Fred's passing in September, Garrett has been given increased freedom to roam the house. This is the first winter in his six with us that he's had open access to the fireplace. In fact, last night was the first night. He took to it immediately. Splayed on his back in warm rapture, he would look up at me as if to say, "How is it that I didn't know about this sooner?"

I am not prone to making resolutions. I avoid choosing a word or (since the dreaded "Benefit of the Doubt" debacle of '08) phrase to represent the year ahead. But, like Garrett, I hope that the bowl of 2012 has its crunchberries of rapturous discoveries and opportunities that literally and figuratively leave me splayed on the floor in breathless wonder as to why I didn't know about them sooner.