Monthly Archives: November 2018

Ask Astrid Fridays ~ The Rabbit’s Corner: Upgrades & Overloads of Rebirthing Change


Rebirthing seems to be a theme running through the collective and just today it came through to me through five different streams of experiences and messages from others. One of them being Astrid, as rabbits reflect this symbolism well. She’s been very eager the last couple of days to not only nudge me hard at my ankle, but has bee-lined to me in order to grab a hold of my pant leg with her teeth to get my attention.

Likely she knew of the energy overload I was experiencing and the upgrade about to take place, but it also seems she’s been really keen on my being with her so that we can navigate the unknowns together.

Rabbits are very at home in the labyrinth Netherworld where intricate underground passageways and dark twisting tunnels are the norm and where they feel secure navigating their travels by intuition and inner light alone.

Change is no stranger to them and they are accustomed to making decisions in the face of fear and maintain peaceful focus amidst chaos.

After all, their survival relies on it.

This sense of self and ingenuity is a gift that reflects to us our ability to master the same within us awaiting our reclaiming.

As Lee shared in his December Energy Update yesterday, “We are built to handle change.”

And as the ever-rebirthing rabbit says, “You, too, can get in touch with change and ride the sands of time, as the seasons weave their cycles.”

Astrid knows change very intimately and has braved the new every step of the way. Recently she shared about her own upgrade to a Castle Tower, and while it had mirrored our own shifts up until then, it was also foreshadowing more change upcoming for me.

That hit yesterday, as I’ve added a heap load of new into my life recently (including a wave of new energy painting) and its been a process to integrate a balanced schedule with it all.

I’ve been feeling a build-up of energy in a way I can’t describe and it catapulted me to this suspended point outside of this or that. It released tethers that provided any sense of familiarity and detached me even more.

Astrid says, “This is the Cosmic way, and when you are at home within this unknown, you realize the power of your own inner light above all else.”

It keeps coming at me with the expression of new inspiration and focuses, along with the stripping away of layers, the joy of surrendering things to others ready to own their own level of responsibility and reclaiming, and the deepening gratitude that stretches me to farther reaches of heart generosity that lives for today.

Astrid often sits tall and looks me straight into my heart with piercing wisdom that seems both so far away and so tangibly rich.

She says, “This is because I reflect the heart’s Great Mystery that can only be experienced by way of both loving and letting go more. Then you experience the vastness and beautiful complexity of Cosmic Love.”

She continues sharing “This overload of energy is a liminal space you’ve been experiencing as a compilation of layering new pieces onto pieces you don’t want to forget, while juggling ways to hold them within the still limited version of unrealized potential, rather than relaxing into these things already being who you are. The reminders have already done their work and the memory can now let go into the ease of embodiment. It’s time to create from the impetus of fertile inspiration and allow these to rebirth completely anew.”

And so, yesterday, my mini Notebook (the computer I’ve been using the last 5 years) finally and fully overloaded. I’ve been receiving messages from it over the past few months that there was no space remaining and our attempts to delete things went in vein.

Then my computer said, “No more.”

Just as Astrid said, “Come join me as you already are.”

Ironically and synchronously this took place yesterday directly after I posted Lee’s December Energy Update and right after I received an email from a very special spirit and artisan who after a couple of months since onset of our correspondence, had completed creating “a celestial muse” she was working on in collaboration with me that happens to embody “creation” and not surprisingly, but without me saying anything, wove the song of my heart into being.

It just so happened that I was ready for this, as anything of importance to me – truly only my new novel – is stored on a tiny little chip, and things that might “seem” important, but speak of the old days for me, were surrendered away. I let it all go, including several years of saved emails and work correspondence from days of the past and embraced Dave’s extra, heavy duty computer as my new replacement, which I’ve been using for our shared side business bookkeeping.

The overload caused everything to run in circles, take forever to implement, reverse working at all without hours of dissecting, and simply not listen to or understand commands.

In essence, I would not be moving forward unless I walked into a much more expansive field where pieces are not even present to remind me and only embodiment speaks for itself.

All of the new energy couldn’t keep piling on to things working in the background and using up space in one way or form. A larger playing field within the vortex of my heart had to be opened where things move freely and are simply an intrinsic part of me.

I said goodbye to the memories while closing all access of return and this new and vastly larger platform now provides the space for that “impetus of fertile inspiration” Astrid spoke of.

Better yet, I have no attachment to it and anything on it, which feels extra freeing, as I don’t feel the computer to be mine. It is more of a portal and conduit to bring things through, but to shut away and detach from at end of each day.

And then today, some wonderful and full circle soulful unfoldings took place when the perfect guardian said yes to my passing on three sacred items that speak of what has been some of the greatest importance to me and my lifetimes, which I only recently had also been nudged to surrender over in trust.

Astrid was specifically involved in this, literally getting my attention and moving these pieces into my awareness.

I couldn’t ask for a wiser companion.

I’ve also found myself giving out in bigger ways than ever lately, feeling that vastness and abundance, without need to hold on. There are infinite ways for things to come about. To hold onto something as an idea of insurance was also robbing the good it could do in so many other ways now, including the very way I thought it might one day help.

Astrid has been quite the muse in all of this – amusing and musing!

When I do something from that infinite place she binkies with delight – I call it a Cosmic Binky.

When I’m missing the point or urgency, she grabs hold of my pant leg.

When I’m “getting it” and download her wisdom, she peers deeply through me in her Buddha Bunny- like stance with eyes dark as the Cosmos and a twinkle of starlight at center.

This morning, as we were still prepping Dave’s computer for me I was upstairs at our usual Ask Astrid blog time so Queen Astrid came running upstairs to get me. She waited patiently beneath the graceful towering giraffes – her grounded sentinels of grace and divine purpose.

From there she was downloading today’s message, as she helped me to connect the dots with all the latest happenings.

Every day a new layer of fine-tuning is integrated.

She reminded me that every time my energy gets an “upgrade,” so do my computers and cell phones.

And we both know that this is true for many of you out there as well.

Our energy shifts affect things around us.

Rabbits are finely attuned to energies and reflect them to the tiniest degree.

My two other rabbits, Nestor and Joy, used to have physical blow-outs because of the expansive energy they would channel and their bodies had to readjust, which isn’t the easiest always for bunnies.

Astrid is much better at managing her energy and wants me to understand those tweaks and fine-tunings that can help with optimizing my own.

This time it wasn’t about forcing a change by crashing my computer and losing things, but more about mindfulness that gave me the option of tweaking realizations and moving forward more effectively and in bigger ways.

As we go through changes, which right now everyone is experiencing in varying degrees of relative intensity, there are ways to tune into those little tweaks so that we can all optimize our energy.

Sometimes they’re easier to see and feel than others, so reflections like these can assist us.

For me, it seems Astrid is sharing that just as she fully chewed down and got rid of her Carrot Cottage so it no longer takes up any space, in order to make space for her Castle Tower, so too did I need to look at the tiny ways space was being held by things I already embody.

I had even saved the top roof of the Carrot Cottage with the idea to create a little house upstairs for her and she was not interested in the least bit.

So I’ve since removed it completely once she said, “I told you we’re done mom. I love the memories it held of my being welcome to my forever home, but our love is now permanent and the cardboard house takes up space our hearts can use to create and anchor new growth in.”

So, in reflection, while I may have given up the work and things of the past, if it still sits there even as storage space on a computer, or as an item tucked away on a shelf, they’re still taking up space I could breathe more freely in and by removing them I brush away the dust of memories and awaken the sparkle of birthing new stars.

Astrid smiles. “Change is like the beautiful birth of a star.”

astrid giraffes.jpg

 

 

December Energy Update with Lee Harris ~ Leveling Up, Deep Connection & Playing the Waiting Game


Continued self-love, nurturing, and gentle kindness toward yourself is important to remember and implement, as the strong energy waves of change keep sweeping through. Ups and downs are not unusual while we ride these currents, but breaking the patterns of how we experience things can be possible.

Emotions continue to rise and we are called to greater ways of working with these feelings both around us and within us.

“We are built to handle change,” Lee shares. We can harness our fear and learn to transmute it.

Listen through to the end for a clip from this month’s MP3 from The Portal.

Whimsical Wednesdays ~ The Artist’s Corner: The Value of Your Inner Artist


Ironically, because I’m in such a creative flow right now with my new paintings, I haven’t been able to channel an original post for today’s Whimsical Wednesday’s series. That said, the theme I did have in mind, when tuning in, is one I have written on before and I was able to find it to reblog for you today. It expounds on the value of creativity and how I feel it to be key to our current collective shifts and intentions we want to manifest.

For this reason, I am very supportive of artisans and small businesses, choosing to purchase all of my gifts and personal items from other creative entrepreneurs from around the world.

I’m hoping that by next Wednesday’s return to The Artist’s Corner, that I will have a snippet of the fun and whimsy I’ve been bringing to life on canvas here. So stay tuned!

For now, here is my take on the intrinsic value of creativity and nurturing the inner artist, which holds true today:

Creativity is love.

It is a magickal and powerful energy vital to exercise and cultivate as a channel of creation itself.

It’s an exciting time for alchemizing our very existence. We are infinitely creative beings here to evoke the remembrance of what lies in our hearts. This is an opportune and timely alignment of energies for really bringing forth the authenticity of your heart and expressing it in its most beautiful light, outward to all from within.

Our creative energy is an expression of the boundless love of All That Is and it is essential in creating new realities of experience. Cultivating the imagination, dreaming, hoping, allowing and supporting vulnerable and passionate expression, utilizing creative visualization… is all vital to manifestation.

The creative and healing arts are rapidly taking more of an essential role, as they once did, in leading the way to a new experience of life.

Once again the arts, integrated with the other essential aspects of wholeness, are and will be recognized as foundations that will create experience as a memory of harmony embodied and we’ll return to the conscious dance as partners with Earth, Nature, the Cosmos at large, and our very existence.

Cultivating the right brain back into balance with the left will help to anchor in new energies. This is why it is vital to support people in the arts and to cultivate those aspects within yourself that have called to you. Valuing the contributions that creativity shares, not only to the individual practicing their own expression of it, but to all who are touched by their creations and services, enriches communities collectively.

I am moved to share about the invaluable ways art enhances my own life and how it has the ability to do the same for others.

I find joy in walking the magickal path, and I channel and express everything in symbolic and creatively loving ways whether on my person, in my personal environment and sacred space, or through my work.

Painting has been my sacred key of life – my personal ankh that opens the door to life aligned with universal will. I didn’t set out to produce art, but like the wings of a butterfly are essential to its flight, I discovered that creating art is the breath of life to my soul.

From the onset, the unconscious, life-giving process of manifesting on canvas, the visions that pervaded my day-time dreams, struck me as magickal. And, over the years, that magickal essence persisted despite deterrence,  yet the unfolding process is now accessed in quantum leaps of conscious experience.

It was a naturally progressive evolution that infiltrated my life with creative passion at every corner, reminding me that who I was, is who I AM. I paint from the inside out, employing naturally innovative and intuitionally guided techniques, as my unconscious is the undisputed light that guides me through the maze of tunnels to the divinely aligned, creative destination.

I was always an imaginative and creative child, whether singing, dancing, drawing, painting, make-believing, inner-eye journeying, dreaming…and any time I immersed myself in strictly left brain-focusees or jobs over time, it always resulted in imbalance, health breakdowns, unhappiness, diminished light, low energy, and basically like a piece of my soul dying.

I’ve learned the same can be true of only focusing on the right-brained things, which has resulted in fine-tuning a balance. We can’t forget all of our parts.

Whenever I let myself wander the creative paths, supported the integration of creativity into action, and watered the seeds of driven inspiration and passion, my life blossomed in all the ways the latter, on its own, wilted.

And yet, if I didn’t bring along the wisdom of the left brain and put things into action with courage and execution, my creative expressions would never see the light of day, could never be more than a side hobby, I wouldn’t be able to manifest intentions, and the value of what I did would go unseen or embraced.

But like many of us go through, as I grew up those creative parts of myself were not exactly nurtured and the natural me was reconditioned into an unnatural me, that I then had to relearn once again. Left brain took over and I had to relearn my creative nature. At a later point, that creative part out-weighed the other, and once again I needed to step back and retrieve the powerful parts of both to learn alchemy.

Everything evolves in perfection, and while it didn’t have to be that way, without this process, much of the depth, compassion, value, and ability to see with wider perspective would not have been cultivated as it was.

Creativity and painting, in essence, supports what feels most natural to me and supports every aspect of life. If you think about it, creative energy is life, and the life-giving force. So, it makes perfect sense.

I’ve experienced what it was like when I was disconnected from it and what it is like nurturing its expression.

I’ve also realized throughout my evolution and work, and observing the shift of energies, how vital to the collective our value, support, and cultivation of the creative arts is to where we are headed.

The male aspects of ourselves can help lift these parts up, fortify them, and create more effective use and action with their expression.

Creative and healing arts were once solid foundations that pervaded our experience throughout ancient times – times when we understood and realized the importance of being in balance and harmony with nature and the cosmos, which came through our cultivation of these aspects of consciousness.

As things have shifted, many of these aspects that enriched life were forgotten, lost, went more underground, were diffused and scattered, or replaced by new values. There are always cycles to life and the circle has been cycling back in a new way, as we are remembering, reevaluating, and understanding that balance is essential and cultivating natural creative expression is healthy to the state of collective humanity.

All forms of art have the ability to enhance life in amazing ways, not to mention, help us get more in touch with Source. It is an invaluable expression that through support and cultivation, can help us to connect more with our natural essence as creative, loving beings that are individually beautiful expressions of collective diversity.

We are all creative beings that channel creativity in beautifully unique ways. If you have felt nudges, inner callings, are receiving signs, have always wanted to explore your creative side or dabble in the arts, but haven’t fully supported it into the open, have felt insecure about your creative expression, judge it against other’s work, or wondered about what it would be like if you let yourself express yourself freely, now is a great time to harness that energy and let it flow without limiting beliefs.

The more you support these creative impulses, the more you allow yourself to explore things outside-the-box, to start creating and manifesting what you desire, to experience more magick and synchronicity in your life, discover ways to enhance your community and the collective, to create the greatest works of art you have yet to create, and to find greater sense of peace and inner joy.

Creative energy is the source of creation. If you don’t exercise it, you close the door on the endless possibilities you, as a limitless and powerful being, have the ability to tap into.

Creativity is the power of love expressing itself.

The more you support this expression in yourself and in others, the more beautiful life will be.

Here are just some of the values of expressing creativity:

  • helps you be more aware of, and with greater sense of connection to, both the outer landscape of your surroundings and the inner landscape of your experience, visually, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually
  • increases your sense of gratitude as simple things once taken for granted become beautiful
  • opens you up to limitless possibilities and draws in new opportunities
  • greater sense of self and security with who you are and choices you make that reflect you
  • you learn to become more comfortable with your unique creative process and can apply it to anything you do
  • you gain greater understanding of how others perceive visual information and how to communicate in different and broader ways that words may limit – enhancing your intuitive and telepathic abilities
  • you feel more in tune with yourself, your inner voice and intuition
  • you learn more about yourself and the collective, as your art and creative expression will mirror current themes and messages
  • you feel more comfortable with yourself
  • helps you realize there is something more to life out there, beyond the obvious, that you end up finding by journeying within
  • creates more joy, inspiration, and lifts you up when you feel down, unmotivated, blocked
  • gives you greater sense of peace and comfort in solitude
  • increases your knowledge, helps you find more meaning, and expands your horizons, as you explore through art or research themes you are creating
  • cultivates states of bliss and excitement when you align with the universal you
  • builds your self confidence and courage
  • develops your ability to share more of yourself with vulnerable curiosity
  • teaches you about yourself
  • develops patience and flow
  • balances
  • creates wholeness
  • allows you to use your whole brain and by engaging both halves (left and right) this supports great things to happen

Here are just some of the values of art (both in supporting and cultivating as a collective community and in terms of what you receive from owning a piece of art or creating one for yourself):

  • Art is a powerful form of expression for both the artist and those who own it, allowing the expression of individuality and can represent their beliefs, feelings, imaginations, convictions or philosophies in socially (and visually) acceptable and redeeming ways
  • Art encourages people to be curious, ask questions, look within and introspect, think about ideas, experience fresh new perspectives and encourages being in the moment and stopping everything to reflect on more than just the mundane daily routines
  • Art improves quality of life, enhances, revives, personalizes, and transforms any living, working, sacred, or place of gathering from lifeless to unique, beautiful, inspiring and engaging environments on an ongoing basis
  • Art inspires and may spark thinking about or visualizing other ways life could be
  • Art stimulates conversation and communication with the interchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas, even among total strangers who might never otherwise meet or engage
  • Art speaks universally and needs no interpretation other than your personal experience of it when viewed
  • Art encourages and cultivates children to dream, imagine, fantasize, be creative, express themselves, have fun with life and gives permission to do so, as well as to ask questions and expand their perceptions of reality
  • Original works of art uplift, reflect, enhance and magnify the personality of the individual who owns it, as well as can stimulate and activate more of the desired elements and aspects that are desired or feel under-developed
  • Art strengthens and enhances community livability, learning, creation, and engagement
  • Supporting, creating and buying art improves the quality of life for everyone and serves much larger purposes than simply decorating a wall. Not only does it enhance things in personal ways, but creates wondrous transformations that revitalize, raise values and draw in new opportunities where ever artists share their artistry. This supplies the world with creative oases that stimulate culture in numerous ways around the world

We all have a creative side, even though many do not believe they are creative. It’s innately who you are as spirit manifest.

The more you embrace and allow the Divine Feminine energy (the right brain) to flow from within, in partnership with, and supported by and brought forth through action of expressing the Divine Male (the left brain), you can live in balanced harmony.

Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner: Creating Time & Commitments


Today’s post is a personal share of my journey with my writing, but more so, about how I’ve had to restructure and sculpt out a new way of being and managing my time. Truth is, I’m still in process of tweaking things and figuring out the most supportive schedule that honors both my needs for flow, but also creates a more a personal commitment to growth, by opening up to how discipline can be fun and efficient if I create a well-balanced bigger picture out of it.

One of the questions I’m asked is how I find time to do all the things I do, but especially where writing is concerned and what a typical day might look like for me. I actually included this on my new FAQ’s page so it is an anchor of reference for others and myself. Here is what I shared about my schedule and how writing has become an integral part of it:

“If you don’t make the time, it won’t happen. Or if you don’t make the time, something may happen to force the time upon you. And believe me, we can find time for what is important to us. At first I did it only when inspiration was flowing, until I fractured my foot hiking and got the message I needed to complete the story and not treat it as a side hobby. I used the two months of healing to do just that. And since, I’ve found that I need to balance inspiration and discipline in order to keep moving forward. So, I actually have recently created a very structured, but balanced schedule that involves at least a 2-3 hour block in the late morning for writing (which these days involves editing/revising) after my morning routine and time I allow for social media and an hour of writing a blog on the days of my blog series, I then have lunch break, a block for my exercise routine at the athletic center that includes time out in nature after class days, 2 hours of painting after that, and relaxing/movie time before getting to bed. Weekends are open to what ever shows up and allows for outdoor and social activities. Of course there are times extra things show up that need taking care of, so I just readjust to the best of my ability for that short duration.”

I have always been an organized person, but over the years I have gone to a more extreme version of flowing to counterbalance the many years before of over-working myself and being highly regimented and rigid (which produced huge amounts of stress, disconnect from my spirituality, and unhealthiness) – this to include my schooling years and years spent in office jobs.

What this ultra-flow resulted in was things piling up on me and then me ending up doing these big last minute pushes where I’d accomplish in-human feats.

So, yes, one extreme to another – years of over-worked, unrealistic demands I placed on myself to perform at an ideal perfection level always, to super flow, but then pulling out crazy accomplishments in the nick-of-time.

Not very healthy, to say the least.

And so I had my work cut out for me in learning how to fine-tune the right balance of each of these that both supports and harnesses my gifts.

In walks this new path I’ve carved out for myself that while is very streamlined in comparison to my previous flowy, multi-faceted days, also asks of me to create a committed and balanced discipline – a new sacred ritual to be my new norm and most natural way that takes the best of my abilities and creates a harmonious dance, rather than one partner taking the lead more.

And I will say, it’s been an interesting challenge that I’m taking my time to anchor.

This weekend I’ve been in reflection and opening to different perspectives of seeing it all in order to make adjustments that are best aligned with all angles taken into account.

While things have been in flux, I’ve been noticing how things feel and how other areas of my life are affected, then seeing if those are ways I’m okay with, or not.

It’s created an in-between-worlds percolating experience, as the shifts form.

If things feel off-balance I want to take a look at that and make sure its reflective of my essence and new, more authentic way of being (perhaps this off right now because it’s different), or if it is leaning too far to one side and neglecting my highest heart.

And so experimentation continues to weed out or embrace, but ultimately to anchor harmony.

This is why I feel my spirit has called in things like my new style of painting, which I haven’t done for several years – to help keep a creative flow going alongside a very disciplined editing time I have ahead.

Also bringing in the athletic center training ensures I don’t get trapped in my chair at my desk all day, helps physically move energy, and ensures physical well-being overall. It’s also hugely impacted my outdoor activities, as I’ve seen a major upgrade in conditioning, strength, and my ability to do things like strenuous climbing with speed and greater ease. Dave calls me “speed racer” and remarks I’m 20% faster….always ahead of him now these days.

And adding in regiments of time for other important aspects of entrepreneurship, joy, and connection with limits, both ensures balance and keeps things in check, as it’s easy to get side-tracked.

While this is the ideal schedule I’ve put together, which I actually have very thoroughly written out on a sheet of paper I keep at hand with time slots and all, I am open to higher versions that may speak through, as well as keep in mind realistic encouragement, without creating high demands on myself while I transition into this schedule.

I’m about 60% there while I’ve had a lot of new thrown at me and a lot of setting things in place that was key to make it all smooth, and I will continue to implement this over the next month to make it my new norm.

I am finding myself much more productive this way and getting used to it all, finding that it does in fact speak to all parts of me and truly is the way I will find myself able to accomplish all that I want in timely and aligned fashion.

When do you carve out your time for writing?

Do you have ways to make all the things you want to do, work into your life?

How might you shift your schedule and commit to implementing it?

Aren’t your desires and dreams worth it?

Ask Astrid Fridays ~ The Rabbit’s Corner: Navigating the Illusion of Loss


Last night while we headed out for our second wind of the night’s outings, just as we turned the bend at the tip of the forest, a raccoon caught my eye to the left. It was no more than a day or two ago that we were having a conversation with friends where Dave mentioned not ever seeing a raccoon, opossum, porcupine, etc. and I told him – “Oh they’re out there, they just don’t show up when you want, plus you’re usually asleep when they’re exploring about. They slip through the veils when needed.” And then she did.

When asking Astrid to think about what she wanted to share for today’s message of her blog, she told me to go ahead and go out first to enjoy the snow and more snow shoeing, while she thought about it and would send me her ideas while out in the forest. And, of course she did.

While out in the forest I received two messages from her. One, was the image of the raccoon and the second was some sadness – my own – and some words “illusion of loss.” I continued snow shoeing, wondering about the tie-in and why she wanted me to go out, but it then hit me while the snow was coming down all around us and all of the forest was deep in blankets of white.

Everything around me had changed pretty much overnight since the eve of Thanksgiving, going from Fall’s warm colors and brittle leaves, to a slumber where signs of life are dormant and the purity of snow infuses its own cleansing alchemy.

It might appear like life is no where to be found, but in fact it is never gone and is in process of deep renewal – the kind you believe in, but won’t answer to your hopes until you’ve all but forgotten your dreams.

Astrid reminds me that the holidays can be very beautiful and warm times because of the love in our hearts the magick kindles, but they are also full of nostalgia, memories, and in many cases – a sense of loss, emptiness, and loneliness.

These are times people reflect on dear ones who are no longer physically with us and Astrid knows that lately we’ve heard of many souls moving on, which makes it challenging for those of us left behind with our feelings that are magnified now.

She reminds me that I, too, am one of those souls who deeply misses my dear ones and she brings this up for me to impart a message from her she knows won’t immediately take away the pains any of us feel, but assures us can be the alchemy we desire.

She prompts me to share what I’ve learned through my “losses,” while she helps channel her message through my processing. And by “loss” she means, having experienced my dearest friends that resided on Earth in animal bodies with me, returning to the stars.

So I reflected on the snow, bitter wind, and the blankets of white draped over the once colorful landscape and the feelings that flow through watery tears and sometimes cast a frozen burn upon my heart. They are one and the same….an illusion of something we think we can’t see or touch anymore in the same way, but underneath it all, remains and is ever-renewing, expanding, and preparing to blossom again and again.

She reminds me how much I LOVE the snow and its magick, even though it can be harsh and even take lives away from the creatures of Earth when her presence is thick with icy illusion.

Yet, I have not thought of snow and Winter as wrong or hurtful. It simply is another form of beauty that transforms and kindles a spark of inspiration in my heart and brings me closer to pure grace of being.

The same is how I’ve experienced physical death – when I allow myself to go through the flow of icy tears and memories, I’ve arrived at the magick of pure and simple love that suddenly drops into the true experience of eternal spirit that inhabits the vortex of my heart.

The loss is no longer truth because the gain is far more permeable and returns me to essence.

Winter. Death. They are both passing cycles and they are both ironically beautiful. Inherent in the state of each, is a remarkable alchemy that draws forth the depths of our hearts to feel things we normally want to run from or put a coat over to keep the chill out. But if we run our fingers over an icicle, we can begin to feel the burn.

This is the flame of life – the fire that raises the ashes – the burn of Cosmic love – the inferno of eternity.

Astrid knows I go through this burning continuum every time waves of memories and winds of spirit flash through me of my loved ones gone. They are a merging of then, now, and beyond, and once I move through the reminders of then, inherent is the presence of now.

The bridge becomes the heart and we become One.

I am seeing eternity through the eyes of loss and death. Just as I am seeing promise and inspiration through the eyes of Winter’s veil.

And so, raccoon reveals herself.

No longer to be hidden away in the dark, striking behind the shadows.

I/we come face-to-face with the truth.

Raccoons are known as great shapeshifters and tricksters.

Some may even refer to them as thieves, stealing away or hiding things from you in the dark of night.

Caroline Myss has written about the thief archetype saying that he, “sheds light on the potential wealth within you that can never be stolen.”

Our dear ones, our dreams, the things we think we have lost and can’t touch or experience the way we used to love, were never truly taken from us.

The only thing we ever lost was our understanding of real love.

Love that truly sees.

Love that truly feels.

Love that truly is eternal.

Love that bridges all illusions and boundaries.

Love that knows the inherent beauty in all things.

Love that brings everything into the now.

Love that expands and renews, over and over again.

Astrid reminds us that we have the strength and courage, just like fearless raccoon, to see through any difficult situation with ingenuity, flexibility, and possibility.

Like Spring inevitably comes after Winter, it is also inherent in Winter’s embrace.

They aren’t a one-after-the-other experience, but part of each other right now.

You experience things as beautiful because inherently your spirit recognizes the totality of something even if your ego and conscious mind only sees one thing.

Just as Nature recognizes our true nature and hopes to remind and reflect back to us the totality of who we are at any given moment – every cycle, every experience, every emotion, and thought are all of who we are now.

Our loved ones are all of who we are now.

They are eternally here behind the veils we erect.

And when you catch those glimpses of their spirit moving through the wind, when you feel their breath send the hairs on your arm and back of your neck to stand on end, when you see a shadow and spark out of the corner of your eye, or simply when your heart swells with enormous floods of love…you’ve pulled down the veils, removed the masks of slumber and judgment, you’ve turned on the light in the dark, and opened a locked door.

Those we love are with us and in everything around us.

We’re ready to experience the multi-dimensionality of life and open to new potentials and great change.

Astrid walks between worlds…between being grounded and on Earth and far-off in the Cosmos and although she understands the challenge we have of grasping these concepts, it is her desire to help open the portals to our hearts so we can walk with her into the realms of possibility. When we see only half the story, we are choosing to keep our lives compartmentalized.

We are choosing to remain small and separate.

We are choosing to keep those we love away from us, rather than with us.

Creatures of the night, like raccoon, can help reveal the truth of the heart and bring us the gifts they’ve been hiding away – into the light.

And what was lost can now be found.

Those that left, we’ll discover just tucked themselves away in our hearts, revealing the greatest magick trick there is – the power of love to unlock everything.

Astrid sends her love to everyone and hopes the seeds within her words take root.

Pure Gratitude: A White Thanksgiving


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I wake with extra gratitude this morning for a wish come true and heart full of gratitude! We woke to a white Thanksgiving this morning and magick blanketed all around. We were out late last night, which is highly unusual for us early-to-bed kids, but we had friends in town visiting, which put us outside witnessing the first falling snow and snowflakes sprinkling our hair, as we dashed in and out of destinations. It also created quite a contrast that found us sharing a very deep discussion into the wee hours of the night about the meaning of life, what’s really important, and having gratitude for those things with an extra layer of new tenderness while sitting up on the 18th floor of a casino in a bar overlooking the falling snow. I, of course, was only drinking a sparkling water splashed with fruity fun that looked like a tropical drink that could whisk you away on a beach somewhere.

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The point is, no matter what I’m doing, even if it seems out-of-character, I always find some nugget of a gift to be grateful for and the contrasts usually help to highlight things even more.

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Nature helps with that too, and the more time spent outside, the more you experience the richness of life that is always walking beside you, despite your sometimes not being able to see and embrace it.

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I shared a post of gratitude on my Instagram to all of my friends and connections there this past week, which was prompted by a big hike out in nature that had me reflecting on all of the things to be grateful for.

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And I now want to extend that same message here to those of you who have been with me through all of my creative evolutions, challenges, and celebrations and who have shared your own journeys and experiences of inspiration and growth.

I’m grateful for all that you contribute to the collective in all the myriad of expressions and experiences that create this colorful tapestry of life as we know it and unfolding magick within the Great Mystery.

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Together, we move mountains and paint masterpieces.

Thank you for sharing your love, support, gifts, and incredibly unique sparks of beauty with me and the world. There is so much to be grateful for and today is a reminder to make that a regular practice, just like infusing fun into your life is fundamentally important, as they both are life-changers.

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I just wanted to share a little message of thanks, as we’re heading off here for some snow-shoeing out into the Winter Wonderland that awaits us before celebrating this day with friends at a giant vegan potluck Thanksgiving, bringing together a collective community here beaming out joyful wishes to all.

I will be holding thoughts of love, gratitude, and hope with every step I plunge into the pure white snow.

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Astrid and the kitty babies send their good wishes of wonder and joy too!

 

 

Whimsical Wednesdays ~ The Artist’s Corner: Having Fun is Serious Business


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Do you take yourself too seriously? Have you forgotten how to have fun, let go, and be silly? Chances are if you feel stuck, uninspired, blocked, up against a wall, or like everything is just hard work and routine, you might have forgotten the spark of passion and joy you once had and the reason you started creating in the first place. Whether you’re a painter, writer, musician, sculptor, architect, chef, or even a stay-at-home mom or dad, entrepreneur, business exec, student, or in the service industry, you may experience those moments or long periods of drain and monotony because you somehow lost that spark.

How can you get it back?

By allowing yourself to be ridiculous sometimes.

Why is it that we’ve embraced the idea that masterpieces and success are born of suffering and torment alone?

It’s true that these emotional journeys take us to the darkest depths that create a rich overlay to our work by reaching into the shadows and bringing them to light.

But it’s overlooked how key having fun is to our process and that by inviting more uninhibited behaviors into our life, we will not only enjoy it more, but find our work igniting a new layer of imagination and possibility that will spark the same in others we touch through our work and interactions.

AND, we’ll look forward to it more each day, enjoy the journey, and find inspiration comes far easier to us.

Somewhere along the lines you were taught to believe that if you didn’t take everything seriously – including yourself – then you were wasting your time.

This begins to make everything, including the things you love, become a chore, you might have a hard time starting, and you find yourself pushing things off as much as you can.

What you love, you begin to avoid.

But what if you decided that you were going to be serious about having fun?

Meaning, fun was mandatory and needs to be woven into your day and process.

The less you worry and tighten your thoughts and feelings around how to create the perfect thing or be the perfect person at what you do, the more the perfect expression unfolds.

And we can invite this in more by engaging fun!

Whether you skip on your walk, sing in the shower, laugh at yourself, make up stories, entertain the ridiculous, allow yourself to be goofy, giggle at the little things, dance when the music moves you, throw some paint on a blank canvas you designate the “free zone,” play, take a day off, make up a story while you go through your process, and reconnect with why you started creating in the first place – what it means to you and how it makes you feel, you will find yourself opening up more to flow again, rediscovering your passion, and experiencing more sparkle in your life and work.

Going through the motions isn’t going to be sustainable and definitely is NOT why you were born here.

It may eventually, even, cut you off from doing the very thing you love because you lose the connection with your heart’s joy and trusting it.

Having fun is serious business.

It’s what creativity is all about and how you’ll discover infinite layers of imagination that will enrich all aspects of your life and work.

Balance is the key to life and while there is a time to be serious, there’s also a time for serious fun.

I’ve seen this shift my own experience with things. I mentioned this before, but I’ll expand a bit as it demonstrates the journey.

For example, my art has gone through a huge metamorphosis because of my “letting go.”

I used to create very VERY detailed, tight paintings and drawings that felt more like a soul pattern I was unconsciously falling under a spell with. They took me months sometimes to create and while it triggered remembrance of work I used to do in other lifetimes that felt good on one level, it also felt so grueling and was more like becoming numb to the idea of suffering through the process.

It took me a while to break the spell and wake up to the joy of painting again and having fun with it.

That I could actually paint what I wanted to and not what someone else told me to or that I thought I “should.”

That I could evoke feeling by pure expression, rather than meticulously thought-out and researched weaving of symbolism.

That I could simply paint what I saw in my heart and visions and not worry about being scrutinized for my technique.

In fact, I haven’t painted for several years, except for the Magick Stones I created on our Magick Bus RV adventure – yes Nature brought me back to the nature within.

And the creatures of the forest here keep reiterating this message to me daily, as I watch the squirrels and chipmunks – especially – outside my office door reflecting that perfect balance of work and play to create serious fun!

Little by little, my work evolved and will continue I’m sure.

And I find myself truly enjoying painting in all ways now, for the very first time.

Why?

Because I’ve allowed myself to have fun.

Pure, uninhibited fun with it.

And to paint what I love, alone, without any plan or mission.

I can’t tell you how quickly the ideas and implementation of bringing them about is going.

All because I remembered my “why” and surrendered to dancing in the fun of what it means to me to create – to be a child of the universe experiencing everything with wonder and sharing that wonder with you.

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Traditionally publishing? Yes, you still need to do marketing


Today’s Monday Musings ~ The Writer’s Corner comes to us from author, Ari Meghlen. Ari has a wonderful blog with great info for writers at all stages of the journey. This particular blog I felt was an important one to share, especially for writers just beginning to think big about getting their work out there for more to enjoy.

Of course the first key is to write and weave the best work that you can challenge yourself to rise to.

And yes, there’s a lot to do about alignment and timing, but there’s also a writer’s platform and brand that is pivotal to be thinking about and establishing even well before you actually publish your book.

Ari shares about marketing and its importance whether you are self-publishing or traditional publishing.

It’s a myth to think that you don’t have to do any of this if you get a traditional publisher.

I think you’ll find both her blog post and the comments by readers, after, to have some nuggets of wisdom and food for thought. You’ll get a little insight on the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing.

Besides some great writers’ blogs, there are also a lot of books out there about the industry and that have great advice for writers and share about the literary life.

Thanks to Ari for highlighting this. And as she says, ” The truth is YOU are ultimately responsible for your writing career.”

This post has been churning in my head for a while.  I’ve had a number of writers tell me openly that they want to go traditionally published so they “don’t have to do marketing”.

There are many good reasons to go the traditionally published route, unfortunately, this is not one of them.  Gone are the days when a traditionally published author would get to sit back and let the publishing house sort all the marketing.

Traditionally publishing?  Yes, you still need to do marketing.  Image: Books on a shelf

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Ask Astrid Fridays ~ The Rabbit’s Corner: Building Strong Foundations for the New


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Last weekend Astrid received a new, wood castle tower to replace her toppling over, cardboard carrot cottage. I got her the cottage when she first came home to live with us and she immediately went at renovating it by chewing open the carrot windows and widening doorways to let in more light, create clearer vision, and have easier in-and-out access. Eventually, she started chewing the backside wall almost completely where the second story sat above the first, and the whole house became the Leaning Tower of Pisa – or like a friend said, “the Leaning Tower of Carrot.”

And this is where today’s blog inspiration comes from, as Astrid points out, “There is nothing random about this, mom. Reflect back for a moment and you’ll see what I mean.”

She’s right. When I first gave her the carrot cottage we were living in our condo – the tree house in the sky above Lake Tahoe – and were in a bit of flux with our living situation and decisions on what we wanted to create from there, what home looked like to us, new ideas around business ventures and long-term planning, and even what I wanted to do with my current inspirations of writing and so forth.

Hence, a bio-degradable, non-permanent, and easily mobile carrot cottage for Astrid – my reflective counterpart.

But just as we outgrew our tree house and decided upon a forest-side dream home that we, too, wanted to renovate, Astrid let out her energy larger and larger and I began to create a room of similar dream-home quality for her.

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This all coincided with us rapidly moving many parts of our life at once, and setting into place brand new foundations that were strongly anchored, but also much more integrated and balanced. We continued to fine-tune our lives, cleared out the old, listened to what our hearts had to say, and worked on getting greater clarity of focus and efficiency while building and recreating.

Astrid continued to mirror this and more and more shifts to her little Wonderland realm began to happen while I listened to her needs and saw her for who she is. So, even what she started off with when first moving into this home, transformed. Much like it did for me.

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All but that cardboard carrot cottage, which every morning she would chew away on more and more.

She tells me that she was doing this for three-fold reason.

One, she was moving energy through that chewing, as rabbits do, and this in reflection and addition to changes she processes and supports beyond even herself.

Two, she was trying to get my attention that this house just won’t do anymore. “I want a better lookout place to oversee things in the forest and to see into the Cosmos when the stars come out. I want a stronger fortress to create boundaries when I need them from the energies abound, so I can do my work more easily. I prefer my feet feeling grounded and supported with a strong foundation, rather than walking on flimsy, moving cardboard. I prefer castles over cottages because it’s who I am and deserve it – thank you for seeing that. I want to go bigger.”

And three, she wanted to remind me about the concept of building the new, which you can’t do upon an old foundation because the new structure will simply fall down. In order to build the new, you must work from the ground up, clear out all of the old that lies deep under the surfaces as well – the hidden stuff – and then rebuild and recreate from a whole new vision. This will create something lasting.

She’s so right.

Astrid would like me to break the latter one down further into digestible pieces of understanding.  So, here we go.

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Many times we try to build the new, but we don’t take time to look under the demolished building to see what it was standing on in the first place.

You can’t simply just put on new clothes, change location, get plastic surgery, or buy a new car.

Whatever you carried with you from before will still be there emanating and magnetizing things regardless of what the outside looks like.

But, if you do some psychic surgery, excavate into the emotional caverns of your heart, explore the inner realms and dig up the roots of your beliefs and patterns, you can then integrate and transmute, clear, and move beyond.

Then, the new you create has the ability to firmly root in clear fresh soil, without any of the old plants fighting for nourishment and energy.

Your new won’t come toppling down surprisingly one day when these old roots start surfacing again.

Astrid knows of these things because she and her rabbit family are so connected to Mother Earth.

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They hear her vibrations and understand the inner workings that support vibrant and renewing ecosystems.

They hear the vibrational frequencies emanating beneath the surface and can see beyond what we present to them.

They see things for how they really are.

And so Astrid compels us to take a deeper look.

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If we want to stand firm with our new visions, then we need to be willing to tear down, chew up, and process that stuff we don’t want to experience anymore, find their gifts, and transmute them into a brand new reality.

Don’t forget your parts along the way.

If your carrot cottage no longer suits the essence of you, then build yourself a strong castle tower where you can see more clearly from.

Yet, don’t forget those roots!

Astrid thinks everyone would do well with having some rabbit teeth for those nasty little buggers.

Chew, grind, and chew again, until they’re broken down and easily digestible.

Doing so will provide the nourishment needed to create new realities based on wisdom of the past and vision of the future, integrated right here and now.

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Have a question for Astrid? She welcomes you to share them and we both send a lot of love to everyone processing the old and working on creating and building the new.

Whimsical Wednesdays ~ The Artist’s Corner: The Creative Evolution


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Reinvention is a way of life for me and, in general, I feel that as innately creative spirits there is a constant propulsion to continually evolve. Creative energy is just that, it’s energy that has a momentum of finding ever-new ways to express itself. And as we do so, this is the natural evolution of creative love unfolding.

If you are an artist – be it of painting, illustration, music, wood work, jewelry, writing, gardening, flower arranging, building, dreaming….this would be the artist’s journey. However, as I’m known to say, this is also a way of life….life as art.

There’s no end to creativity and even if you revisit some of your older ways of doing things, you revisit it with a new perspective and infuse a spark of growth and understanding to it that will take your work and expressions to another level.

Creativity is a process without an end result. Every moment is mad genius and something to savor.

And this constant reinvention is a necessary part of life and being. It is the alchemy of transformation. Nature reflects this so powerfully to us and shares how creativity is both necessary and beautiful in every phase of the process.

The boundless quality of creative energy mirrors the eternal spirit and so it is through creativity that we learn about the mysteries of the Cosmos and the journey becomes a wondrous adventure of both personal evolution and collective unfolding.

For me, painting is a way I enjoy this exploration of deeper inner journeying as a way to know both myself more and the world around me.

I never felt drawn to taking classes outside of the ones we either had to, or had as electives, through elementary, middle, and high school. For some reason I felt inclined to keep this part of my life raw in its nature and didn’t want to feel controlled by rights and wrongs. I wanted simply to bring forth my visions without boundaries. Having everything else in life feeling so controlled, this let me have one little sacred piece to myself where anything goes.

A way for me to creatively evolve as a natural process and feel where the energy was guiding me to travel as an artist and as a pilgrim of the Cosmos.

At times that may be to bring forth feelings and experiences I’m going through, convey messages of the heart, bring through visions from other worlds I dip into, capture a frequency that acts as a key for unlocking something within the viewer, or simply is a reflection of the beauty I both see around me and imagine.

My own artistic evolution has gone through more than one metamorphosis over the course of my life.

When I was a child I would simply draw the things I loved, which was mostly animals and nature and there wasn’t any technique about it except to bring forth that love. This was a reflection of me feeling free and most naturally myself.

Then I was all about the detail and it would take me hours to work on just a few inches of canvas at a time. Interestingly, this was during the deepest work I was doing, research, and dissection of myself, and trying to define or understand things.

I then found joy in a looser and more flowing way of painting and bringing forth energy like an aurora borealis exploding in blended harmony. This came as I let go more and more and was relaxing into being.

My art evolved into expressing a very ethereal and surreal quality.

And although the love of painting animals, nature, and Otherworldly mysticism still remain my favorite, I currently am drawn to fantasy and a whimsical, Faery tale way of telling a story or imparting an energetic imprint in your heart through my latest work.

There’s a return to my origins – that child within – taking place with the evolution of my painting and creative journey.

A spiral effect that infuses something new to something remembered.

My style of painting and even personal style of clothing, as well as my life and the work I feel drawn to, keeps evolving and I imagine will continue, as I change.

Creativity asks of us to leap into the unknown and explore and experiment with variety.

It’s like a musical composition you get to compose from the improvisation of your heart.

With every vulnerable stretch you discover a little more of the Great Mystery within and without.

And you’ll experience the vitality of its force that never stands still.

It’s through creative evolution that we forge new realities and create more of the experiences we dream of.

How has your creative journey evolved? Be it, through the expression of your artistry or your life as art?

Do you notice any tie-ins between things you’ve gone through with personal growth and how your artistic expression and life reflect this?

 

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