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Shades of Green

Ah, the many shades of green. Recent rain has awakened the Earth all around me revealing astonishing hues of green! At first glance it may seem that the land is simply green. Closer inspection led me to discover that the hills, the trees, and even some of the flowers flaunt their distinct color of green. Taken all together they create a symphony of green that is quite marvelous to behold!

They have worked some magic upon me, these subtle tones of green. I find myself observing them and noticing a gentle smile on my face. The muscles in my body seem to ease. I feel a gentleness come over me as I breathe deeply and smoothly surrounded by green. I would go so far as to say, I have fallen in love with the many shades of green.

This green manifestation is present for a brief moment in time, then a deeper green permeates the whole. I encourage you to take some time to lift your head up and look around. See how many varieties of green you find. Let them fill your senses. It may be that you engage their magic too!

Stop Suffering Gain Freedom

For years I was fighting with life. People, circumstances, and my experiences where not continuously the way I wanted them to be. Because I could not at all times accept people, places and things exactly as they are, I struggled and suffered. I see so many times where I was unhappy, angry, frustrated and resentful as a result.

Then one day something happened! I let go of my desire to have it be the way I wanted. I accepted it as it was, including people as they were. I know this is not a new concept. There are many texts, ancient and new, that talk about suffering and its relationship to attachment. I’ve even read a few. I could understand it, nevertheless, a part of me always wondered, “is it possible to achieve non-attachment? Aren’t you attached to reaching the goal of non-attachment in a way?”

I learned that it is different when those esoteric concepts happen to you in real life. Freedom and possibilities were revealed when I stopped fighting for life to be my way all the time. Weight seemed to be lifted from my shoulders, tension left my body and I entered the moment. My perception shifted. “Today is a fabulous day!” I said out loud. I felt peaceful and open. I had a sense of freedom. I can tell you that this is a new way of being for me. I am enjoying being here. I hope to stay!

Right now these may only be words to you or you may understand fully. Either way I encourage you to stop fighting and struggling (if in fact you are) and embrace what is. Priceless treasures await you when you do!

Artwork by: AnimiDawn

A Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering

You are invited to join me on MARCH 1, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for A Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering! The church address is: 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94549. Register via Eventbrite: http://redtentmoonlodge.eventbrite.com

Women of all ages come to rest, renew and remember your sacredness. Join Shelly O’Connell as she shares Traditional Women’s Teachings with you. We will dance, drum and join together on a journey to embrace the true radiance within each woman.

Shelly received the Traditional Women’s Teachings from Native Elders. “These teachings completely changed and enriched my life!” she writes. Come and learn the original teachings regarding women, their “Moontime” and their importance within the tribe or community. Shelly says of the teachings, “Following the Traditional Women’s Teachings centers you and allows you to step into your wisdom.” Are you ready to step in to your own wisdom?

Women ages thirteen and older are invited to attend. Workshop participants will bring one symbol of yourself as a woman to place upon the altar which we will create together. Include a journal for notes and homework. Suggested attire is comfortable clothing; long dresses or skirts, if you like, to remind you of your femininity.

This will be a four hour workshop offered each season, on or around the full moon; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter with teachings related to each season. You may attend one workshop, a few or all, it is up to you. This workshop may be offered each month.

Expectation and Exasperation

I am discovering how expectation and exasperation are joined. It is not the I wasn’t previously aware of the relationship between these two, I was. The difference is now I am noticing how frequently I have expectations. It is happening pretty much ALL the time lately!

William Shakespeare said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” He is not alone in this thought. There are ancient texts from India that tell us, “when our expectations are not met we experience suffering.”

I understood these concepts intellectually; they made sense to me. Now I am living them. I never really get the lesson nor the freedom and healing it brings until I begin to move away from the intellect into living the teaching. My Native American friends call this, “Walking the talk.” In this instance this means if only half of my expectations are met then I have exasperation the other times that they are not met. Believe me, my expectations are not realized even half of the time. That translates to me being in a state of exasperation most of the time! I don’t know about you, but I find that a tense and difficult reality.

What to do? The easy answer is let go of expectations. Be present to what is happening without expecting anything. Sounds completely achievable, right? Why then is it a challenge? Maybe it has to do with living the teaching rather than intellectualizing it. My plan is to surrender fully to the lessons of expectations and exasperation. I have no doubt they will show me the way.

Celebrate

Celebrate life! Embrace all the wonder, joy, challenges and sorrows of being alive. When we are able to do this, I think, life becomes more rich. Our attention is drawn to being fully in the moment when we celebrate life and what is happening right now. Cherish the moments of laughter, the smiles and the tears. It is all a part of our human existence. You would feel cheated with anything less. Gather your loved ones close to celebrate your time together and life! It is a beautiful journey.

Date to Create

If you are like me your life is pretty busy. For several days now I have been longing to paint. My days have been full with other things; putting paint to canvas had to wait.

I decided to make a date to create. Putting it on my calendar may sound counter productive to the creative process and yet I find that I have been looking forward to the appointed day and time. Today is that day!

Consider me unplugged! I have the entire day to myself and my date to create has arrived!!! If you try to contact me through any means you will find me unavailable. My canvas is out, the paints are ready and the brush awaits my hand. I have entered another realm. Here’s wishing you do too!

See you on the flip side. IE: I will return to this world and being in contact tomorrow. Now I must go…the muse calls.