Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lucy: Her Hat and Valiant Voice

This is from one of my sketchbooks/dream journals/2011

Since losing Lucy a year ago this week, I have felt the anguish of loss, anger, all the stages for me come at once, but missing her deeply never changes. I often look again at the picture of us together in the first time Simon took me to Scotland, at the Christmas table. She looked like a Victorian cherub, rosy cheeks and curly long hair.  And I had the special honor of her request to sit by me!

Since last year, I have had Lucy in one mediumship experience (she came through with another young man who is just her age, who also crossed over not long before her, while I was painting a Spirit Painting in honor of the young man. I cannot wait to paint Lucy’s painting).  I’ve also had her  in 2 dreams.  One was only a few days after she passed.  She was an excellent artist and budding fashion designer, a perfectionist and produced exquisite work. In this dream, it made sense that I was told (in a voice-over affect) that Lucy was “in Paris, and she designed a hat”.  The hat was straw and had a lovely pink ribbon around it. I woke up feeling that her soul, her life-force energy and her love and courage was not at all “gone” as people often assume when someone dies, but here, everywhere, anywhere she willed herself to go, in spirit. Her creative energy thrived in the dream, and I knew then and know now, it still does.

The next dream was so very apt. I had an arial view of someone saying some judgmental and unkind things about some children. As this person spoke, a very loud, powerful voice boomed from above, to my left. The voice was dominant beyond question–a force unlike any force, the voice so strong that it left the person who had been negative completely “told”–not another word came out of him. As I pulled away from this scene, I realized that valiant and indomitable voice was Lucy.

They called her a butterfly at her service, and she is a butterfly, but a I see her as a lioness. And ’tis true, Lucy the Lioness does have great, expansive, colorful wings.

 

Switching Thoughts and Empowering Your Mind

I have never used my site, Illuminara.com, for placing commercial ads of any kind, besides reminding everyone about my Spirit Paintings, intuitive readings and Reiki, and now and then featuring another artist/author/musician who may have products to sell.  I have not used ads because I felt inwardly, it would corrupt the serenity I want the site to offer, although that may not be a good business move on my part, it is the better spiritual choice for me.  And how many things could I advertise that I’d really BELIEVE in whole-heartedly?  I decided that if ever there was a product I truly believed in, then that would not compromise my integrity to associate Illuminara.com with it.  Since I really want the site to be a place to turn to for spiritual, visual nurturing and inspiration, I cannot allow what doesn’t feel right.

I found that during many, many readings, I have directed people to use the products of Eldon Taylor, because I so very seriously believe in what he creates to promote wellness.  I use his cds myself and highly recommend his cds and books and programs.  When I tell people about InnerTalk cds, I do not consider it commercial advertising, but rather directing others to something genuinely helpful, like recommending a great doctor or physical therapist. With that, I am SO excited to say that I am now an affiliate of InnerTalk, Eldon Taylor’s Progressive Awareness enterprise that supports the well being of people everywhere.

“Your mind is incredible. The brain has been compared to a computer in a sort of bio-computer analogy. The analogy has power–but it is an understatement. Science has discovered many of the hard wired connections that appear to give the brain/mind so much control over the body (health, wellness, longevity, youthfulness) and our destinies in terms of success, learning, wealth and prosperity.”  (This is one of the quotes from the site where the products are available.)

Sometimes changing our thoughts (you know, the tapes we play over and over in our minds when we can’t move past an issue or beyond a place of suffering?) can be too hard to do.  We try but we just can’t make the shift.  Often these thoughts drag us down and leave us so exhausted that it becomes even harder to get into a different emotional and mental mindset. InnerTalk cds are created by Dr. Taylor to reinforce positive messaging straight to the cerebral cortex, without you having to do anything but listen. This can be while you’re driving the car, working on stuff in the office or home, or even while sleeping.  There is an enormous selection of cds to help us through all kinds of life circumstances and conditions.

Look at the column on the right, and scroll down under the Spirit Painting image where you’ll see the InnerTalk banner and the quote, “When Believing in Yourself Matters”. Click on that and it takes you directly to InnerTalk where you can learn more.  I believe you’ll find a great resource there for your total well-being!

Feeling the Emotion in Each Chakra

From my one of my sketchbooks/ink and colored pencil/2011

When I do intuitive readings, I meditate for at least a half hour prior to each reading and create a “Chakra Chart”. I am writing about this process in my second book on intuition (with Beyond Words/Simon and Schuster) due out in 2014.

One of the most empowering aspects of the process is that of becoming aware of what each chakra center feels like and paying attention to what it is telling us.  There are ways in which we hold energy without really being conscious of it. For example, I had a sore throat for years. I eventually became conscious of the fact that I was holding back a lot of emotion, not speaking “my truth”. I was literally not saying what I desperately wanted to say to people in situations. My body was telling me, but I didn’t get it (thank you Sharon Bauer in the Boston area for helping with this one, so many years ago!).

If I notice what part of my body is speaking to me, it relieves some tension. For example, I might feel a strong activation in the heart chakra, manifesting as a sore upper-middle back, or a literal heavy pang in the heart area. On another day or occasion, it might be my stomach (solar and/or sacral) that aches or feels active in some notable way. I also believe that life events shake us up at certain chakra centers to help us, like when I was thrown from my horse and injured my tail bone (primal root chakra). That event “unseated me” and in the course of healing that energy, I became conscious of needing a major shift in life.

What do you feel today? From Crown to Primal root, what is being activated, what is hurting or getting your attention in some other way, from head-to-toe? Acknowledging the emotional communication manifested in the body is a kind of interesting and fulfilling journey, and  as one thing leads to another, the thrill of it is following the messages to see where it takes you!

Living an Intuitive Life in Westport

Detail from my painting about Anne Boleyn/oil and acrylic on paper/1996

Years ago, a parent of a child I taught in Boston, read my palm. She was part of the old Boston Brahmin class like my mother’s family line, but she had the ability to read palms, and discreetly, she shared that with me. She told me that my life as I got older would not be conventional, “not a straight line” as in–changes and moves atypical of a conventional life.  It seems to be true because as I go forward raising my children, we’ve had all kinds of adventures that have been not-so-practical, not very conventional. When we owned a house that was very conventional, that lasted only 2 years before we sold it and moved on. If we had not left that house, we’d have had it paid for by now.  But we answered an inner call to get our young boys on a farm, or in the rural life. It was such a rich blessing and now, forever, within me (us), at the heart chakra, is an ideal place with a roaring brook (how we named Simon’s imprint, Roaring Brook Press), seven acres of land with open space and forest, a tobacco barn, black rich soil and a house built in 1750. We never thought we’d leave that place, but eventually I began having “suburban dreams”–waking up in sheer panic, the last thing I ever wanted was to leave that place and end up in suburbs. But as our lives were shaped through time, we did need to move, Roaring Brook Press and First:Second got sold to MacMillan, and we had to move closer to New York City. It was a sudden release when it happened. It seems crazy, but it was the best choice we could have made at the time, and my life has opened up ten-fold for the better since we had that move to Westport.

You can never know how your purpose will be fulfilled, but following the intuitive call within (as without) has been a great teacher for me. It is not the way of the world, always, not practical, not monetarily sound perhaps, not smart or logical, even. And yet, I cannot imagine fighting the flow and holding on to what the Universe seemed to say was a phase gone by, urging us into a new phase. There have been hard lessons in this change, but what my sons recently told me, when I asked them if they’d finally like us to buy a house of our own again, truly made me grateful.  Walking with my twelve year old son, he said, “Home is US, not where we are, but who we are together.”  My older son the next day told me that he thought that the saying is true, “Home is where the heart is.”

The 23rd Psalm teaches that the Lord is our shepherd and there is “nothing I shall want”. I like this state of being–it is a state of trusting the flow and not being taken over by desires that maneuver us to manipulate situations or people in order to have our will and  desire fulfilled. Within reason, I ask for the basics and try not to yearn for things, but rather to be in an intuitive calm, no matter what. It is not always easy.

If the flow is not there, I generally get the point eventually and allow myself to be moved by the powerful tide that will only save me if I do not resist. Fighting this enormous power of nature and life will only exhaust me and kill me in the end.  When caught in a fierce tide of life, my only hope is to go limp and see what fate brings.

We are in the midst of a local move now, and the flow seems very choppy and the process has not been very happy, in part because of drastic misunderstandings and actions taken out of our control. This is a travesty, but if I truly live an intuitive life, I have to allow for a healthy balance of rational thought mixed with open and fluent intuitive flow. I am trusting and asking for guidance, and as nutty and unconventional as it all seems, I only feel well when I stop resisting. It is not at all logical.  It is pure intuitive, spiritual release of control. We’re living in the mystery at this moment, waiting to see where the shepherd will lead us.  Maybe all this prepares us for the coming changes ahead, makes us loose and light-footed. While packing our things for temporary storage (again), I feel sentimental about each family photograph and treasure, knowing though, that these are just things. My heart cannot be much too much into those things, it needs to be warmly enriched by WHO we are as a family, not where we are or by what we have in our possession. I am grateful for this moment, even though I cannot fully understand all it means.  Just like Jane Eyre on the moors–she has long been a heroine of mine. I note that we seem to know what archetypes we need, the ones that will shape us and prepare us for our days ahead.  Only we’re like the suburban version of Jane, crawling across the congested roads of Westport (yes, of course–being run over several times by every Mercedes SUV in town, but we’re still alive and determined to live!), clinging to the curb, crossing Winslow Park on our stomachs, eating gravel and grabbing at tree roots to pull ourselves along.  I know it is silly to be so dramatic, but why not have fun with the drama while I pack?

Looking down at the palm of my hands, I see the map that person read so long ago. (I remember that Jane, too, had her palm read by Rochester when he was a gypsy in disguise.) These lines of mine I’ve read many times myself, and what I see is life with all the signs of experience and potential, and I know that it is true, I have not lead a very conventional life in many ways, partly because of listening to my inner voice. There is such a lightness that comes with that, even in the heavy times.

Best Friend, Cavalier King Charles Plantagenet

Plantagenet Sleeping/ink and color pencil/2012

I don’t know what I’d do without my best friend, Plantagenet. His full name is Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium and Peppermint, otherwise known as “Planty Pals”.  The first part of his name, all but the “Peppermint” part, which my sons insisted upon, comes from an Anthony Trollope novel, The Pallisers. The novel is all about sexual politics in Victorian England. The Duke of Omnium character in this novel is the absolute definition of a gentleman, so much so that when his wife causes a scandal, he takes the heat himself, never exposing her as the one at fault.  It is very different from the way we bear our humiliation or disappointment these days, I’d say. When has anyone recently kept their mouth shut while preserving someone else’s good name through an unpleasant social episode not of their making?  Anyway, our very own Planty Pals has the same kind of heart and mind. He’s the most loving dog imaginable and as he ages, I watch him sleeping, thinking that he must be one of the best gifts of our lives. I don’t want to imagine the days ahead without him, so I try not to think of that. He has a sister now, Miss Georgia Sweet Tea, the pug puppy, who keeps him younger, I think. Or ages him with her pugnacious tendencies? I think she’s the perfect duchess for him, and he probably takes the heat for her all the time!