Bless the Past

Detail from a painting I did based on Queen Anne Boleyne and King Henry the VIII

Did you know you can visualize the past and change it? It’s the past, it’s come and gone, and yet so many things which no longer exist in reality, thrive in our minds and hearts as though no time has passed at all. We can’t let go. The emotional energy around a situation remains alive, as though the event happened moments ago, or is still happening. One way to heal over painful emotions of traumatic experiences, or even just bad ones, is to envision the past, see yourself there in the circumstance that created the trauma or sad/bad feelings. See clearly, in full color, all the players in the drama. (I did this years ago to finally get over being traumatized by a temper-tantrum-throwing math teacher in 4th grade who terrified me in math class, knocking over my chair and jilting my desk). See all of it, and then see your NOW-self come in and stand there quietly, taking your past self by the hand. Perhaps your now-self talks to you and explains how things are okay, and going to get better. Maybe your now-self tells the others what they need to be told; your truth. Or, maybe you picture the entire scenario differently altogether. You bless it all by creating it so that all the wrong things didn’t happen, and only the right things did. See it clearly and feel it with everything you’ve got. Make it more real than the shadows of the past. (When I did this meditation to erase the bad teacher scenario, I had her give me a gift. I did not know what the gift would be. I opened the gift, and there inside was a sparkling, white-light globe. I was surprised! My own meditation took on a life of it’s own. The globe was to remind me that all things in the world are gifts to us, even the hardship lessons.)

Sketchbook Journal, Playful Friend

I have so many sketchbook entries that even decades later, create a sense of joy in me. If you keep a journal, it’s a place for you to not only pour out your soul and your fears, your thoughts and emotions, but a place to feel the joy of life (and to play with how truly silly it all is sometimes). Life can be absurd in ways that seem just incredible, so why not play with it? A sketchbook helps release inhibitions as you draw for the fun of drawing, without judging every mark you make. With journals and diaries, the same freedom should apply; don’t worry about spelling and whether you used good syntax. Just write automatically, let the words roll out!

Lincoln and Washington’s Premonition Dreams

This is a page from a novel-told-in-poems I illustrated, GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING by April Halprin Wayland

I love Abraham Lincoln and from an early age had a strange sense of connectedness with him. I remember when I was very young, being on a car trip with my entire family and we were talking about places we’d been, and I said, “Remember when we went to Abraham Lincoln’s house?” And my dad said, “We never went there!” I kept saying, “Yes we did!” I saw and remembered well, the wrought iron fence outside, the longness of the house, the narrow hallway which lead to a small, butter-yellow room where we had tea. I remembered it with deep fondness. Why did everyone say we had not been there?

There were many other fascinating connections to Lincoln that playfully cropped up and still do. I believe he was very much into the mysterious aspects of life, of course having seen his own funeral in a dream before he died. George Washington had some powerful dreams, also, some written and connected to his will. One is a very keenly eerie premonition of America. Click here to read about Washington’s dream.

My Dancing Lion Dog Dream

This is my design of Au Wing Manchu, my old dog from years ago. I named him after the main character in Wing Man, one of my favorite books for kids.

The dog I had years ago was a spiritual gift to me. I had no intention of getting a dog, but one night had a dream that I walked into a place and my childhood dog, Tres, a beautiful collie, was there. I went over and hugged Tres, I so missed him. Gradually, he turned into a lion. I was surprised, lions are not safe to hug, but it was okay. The dream shifted a bit and then this lion turned into a small Chinese dragon kind of dog, and did the cutest dance. Sometime within that year, I passed by a pet store with my then-boyfriend, and we saw a cute puppy. I picked him up and (of course), that was it, he was going to be mine. I had no idea what kind of dog it was, but the shop lady told me it was a Shi Tzu. I bought a little book all about Shi Tzus.  When I read it, my dream came back to me–the book said that Shi Tzus were little Chinese lion dogs and it had a picture of a Chinese New Year celebration, showing the way they dance under a big lion-dragon-costume! I love how dreams connect with life, and how truly dream-filled life can be.

Develop Your Intuition Class with Rev. Robert Stempson

My watercolor of a gorgeous tree 9/2010

Several months ago, author and spiritual/psychic/teacher/Harvard grad Robert Stempson invited me to join his group, CT Psychics, and I am happy about it because when I read with his group, I am lucky to be surrounded by many insightful and gifted, caring intuitive readers. Robert has taught people how to use their intuition for 20-30 years. He is now offering classes again at Smoking Gun Research Agency founded by Jon Nowinski (one of the wonderful and gifted people I met via CT Psychics). Rev. Robert Stempson will be teaching a course this Sat. Feb.19 from 7-9 pm. If you long to increase your psychic awareness, you will find that Robert will guide you with care and depth, experience and knowledge. Learn more about it here.

Spiritual Tornados

My drawing from 1988 sketchbook (ink and ink wash with white contè)

I began to learn about tornadoes early in life, recalling my brother David (while running to a cellar for shelter) telling me to “Look up and see the ice-cream cone in the sky”. Later, while my dad was a practicing psychiatrist at Menninger’s in Topeka, Kansas, I was the one who watched out for tornadoes because we were too far out in a rural area to hear the warning sirens. I’ve seen some eerie clouds in my skywatching days, double tornadoes and deep gray-black, mysterious, rolling masses of something ominous, and felt the strangeness of how still it gets just before a tornado strikes.

My Cherokee mentor gave me the name “Twisting Winds” because of the tornadoes I watched and learned from in life. In my dream last night, there was a dire storm moving up one single highway. We had to escape for shelter, driving through a forest of thin, twisting, dark tornadoes along the highway. This was a major and dangerous storm. I woke up intrigued by this dream because when I was ill with lyme disease, I’d see visions of what looked just like a tornado. It was as if it cleared and cleaned, from a spiritual place, the sickness of earth and of individual people. I realized that a tornado is a vortex of energy that clears and renews, and there are “spiritual tornadoes” as well as real earth-life tornadoes. In fact, everything we experience in nature on earth has a spiritual counterpart. The Spiritual Tornadoes are energy cleaners, and that’s good because we need help renewing our energy and clearing our chakras, our surroundings, our thoughts, our dynamics with self and with others.

Spring Queening

I found something of how I feel on this not-yet-spring day in this sketch from the 1980’s.

This morning when I walked outside, the air was so new, the sun so brilliant, I sensed the presence of the monarchs of spring, those Nature Spirits who are severely focused on beauty and life, decorum and color. Soon seeds will sprout and buds will peek out from leafless twigs. But the work has begun, angels of nature are preparing the robes of spring, and when you go outside, you can feel it underway.

Tower of London Valentine

This is a page from my second book for children, THE YEOMAN’S DARING DAUGHTER AND THE PRINCES IN THE TOWER (Crown Books for Young Readers)

The power in a letter! In this book, I imagined a yeoman’s daughter sending letters to the two princes in the Tower of London (her father was educating her like Sir Thomas Moore educated his daughter, I imagined). A raven delivered the messages, of course.  The story was about how caring and writing letters might have had the power to change the fate of the two princes.  I felt it was a mystery worth solving on my own since nobody agrees on exactly what did become of the two heirs to the throne of England.

I think giving and receiving letters is one of the most potentially transformative acts ever.  I have always loved the romance of the legend of Saint Valentine. He was locked away in a tower (like the two young princes) and someone sent him letters. I wonder who should receive letters today… soldiers, prisoners, people who are ill or elderly and alone much of the time. And anyone we love.