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Posts tagged ‘New Age’

Dreams Manifested: Short Story Published!

I am beyond excited today! Today is the first time I’ve had the chance to see one of my stories in print! There is no describing the elation I felt when I saw the book cover!

Some time ago I fell head over heels in love with writing fiction that has a message for the reader. This publication represents the dawning of that dream into reality! I know that many other incredible things will follow. Never give up on your dreams! Ever!!!

I am sharing it here so that you may enjoy it too. I had fun writing this short story. It makes me smile!!! I hope it lifts you as well and inspires you to continue to reach for your own dream.

Here is a brief description of the story: “In this whimsical short story a Sea Witch teaches the reader some lessons of the sea and of life. If you are ready to experience some Magic and transformation within your life this book may provide some tools.” It is available as an eBook through this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OGSASKO

Enjoy!

Lessons of Summer, The South

The adventure continues! I had the chance to write another guest blog post for We Are Wildness. Their mission is “to help improve the health of the planet by inspiring people all over the world to reconnect with Nature.” I find this a practical and inspirational approach.

I invite you to visit their site to learn more. My bet is that you will relish the time spent there! Take some time to explore their entire website, I did. The posting that I wrote, “Lessons of Summer, The South”, can be found through this link: http://wearewildness.com/lessons-summer-south/

Enjoy!

RED TENT MOONLODGE GATHERING: AUTUMN IMMERSION

Come and learn Native American Traditional Teachings regarding women, their “Moontime” and their importance within the tribe or community. Discover how you can apply these teachings to enrich your own life.

You are invited to join me on SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for a Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering: Autumn Immersion. The church address is: 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94549. Register via Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church’s link: http://mduuc.org/religious-education-programs/register-for-classes or contact adultprograms@mduuc.org.

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. Autumn Immersion will give each participant the opportunity to put the teachings into practice immediately. Together we will go deeper into the teachings this season.

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.

Shelly received the Traditional Women’s Teachings from Native Elders. “These teachings completely changed and enriched my life!” she writes. 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?

This will be a four hour workshop offered each season; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter with teachings related to each season. You may attend one workshop, a few or all, it is up to you. Suggested donation of $25.

*Painting by, Valoru*

Life’s Little Surprises

Once in a while life will send you little surprises. They take you unaware and by doing so have the potential to transport you. The unexpectedness of these little surprises brings you more fully present, if only for a moment.

We have experienced such occasions here in Northern California. In fact, they have all taken place in less than a week’s time. Nope, it’s not what you might think. The little surprises have been rain! On three separate days it has rained. Granted they all were gentle showers that lasted a few minutes tops. Still it was rain!

For those of you unfamiliar with our climate in this locale, this may not seem a big deal. You may live in a place where you are accustomed to thunder showers taking place almost daily this time of year. Not so where I live.

To put it in context for you, the first year I lived here this happened: I said, “It looks like it might rain.” This brought laughter from a local (see: person who has lived in this area all their life). They promptly put me in my place by informing me (see:  upstart, translation – not local=no idea what she is talking about), “It is Not going to rain. It NEVER rains here in July.” I took them at their word. Living all of your life in one place does give you some insight and authority, at the very least, on the weather that takes place there.

I know this because I too was once a local. I grew up on the East coast. I learned all about the weather and could read the signs in nature with the best of them. Some of the signals that rain was on the way included: observing the sky, an up kick of wind, but also a feeling in the air and the smell of rain on the breeze well before actual rain fell. I’ve been known to say, “It smells like rain.” Now that statement may sound strange to you, but if I ever said it on the East coast it would indeed rain.

Late last week I was in the house when I “smelled rain”. I let the thought pass right out of my mind because the signs for rain are different here and I thought I did not yet know them. Imagine my astonishment when a few minutes later I heard the splatter of raindrops on the balcony. I exclaimed, “Is that rain?” When I rushed outside, sure enough, it was rain!

That time and each time it has rained over the weekend and today, I have stood outside with my face upturned soaking it in and offering gratitude. I am saying thank you for the rain, which is well needed here. Honestly though, I am wickedly delighted to have received and interpreted the signs of rain in this place correctly! To me that means though I may not be a local, nonetheless, I am someone able to commune with nature in this area. It means I am more solidly a part of the whole in this home. I once again belong.

These little surprises of life have brought me great celebration and joy! The rain made me fully present while restoring a vital piece of my being. The gift was being connected to nature in a way that I took for granted when I was a local. The rain showed me that life still holds surprises no matter where we happen to be.

Wishing you the blessings contained within life’s little surprises!

Summer Solstice: the Seat of the Fire

Welcome Summer! Summer is many things and there are vast teachings about this season. Today I wish to honor the fire. Fire burns but it is also brings transformation and renewal. Fire represents Spirit and the elemental spark within all of life. Fire helps us to remember the intensity and passion present in life.

Take a moment to light a small flame or a large one if your location and responsible behavior allow it. Take whatever you wish to release or transform to the fire. It will be forever changed when you give it to the flames. Know that new life is coming, rejuvenation is on the way.

Let the fire teach you of passion and of life-force unleashed. Fire is a complex teacher. You will learn respect in working with it. This is important because it is powerful and it is sacred. Just as you are, my friend. Fire will help you to learn this truth.

Fire is the beacon that gathers the people back to living fully and honestly. Through its teachings we walk a Sacred Road. I offer my gratitude to the Spirit of Fire. Aho.

 

 

Finding Time…

I don’t own a watch mostly because I never wear them. Even still, I do attend to the demands of time. Time to wake up, eat, work, be with family & friends, pay the bills, on and on it goes. These are the small details that make up life.

At some point humans constructed the idea of time. Breaking it into segments, whittling it down into tiny increments simply to be measured. That morphed into scheduling as much as possible into every second of the day. We’ve somehow bought into the idea that we must continually be in motion or pack time to the hilt. Even this is not enough. How often do we say or hear another person say, “If I can find the time”? It implies that we are so busy we have to create more hours in the day.

Consider the possibility that time is simply a construct of our own making. Digging a little deeper we might ask, “A construct for what?” I would say it is a design to pull our attention away from our true self. We have trouble embracing our radiance. There is no need to find the time or more time. You’ve done enough.

If you see yourself reflected in today’s writing on time, consider that you may believe that you have to do more in order to: ______________. Fill in the blank. Be happy, feel important, feel good, be successful, etc. In reality you don’t have to do anything to have all of those things; you are those things. We’ve forgotten this truth. If you notice that you are trying to find time, pull your attention back to remembering your brilliance. Time has no need to be found but we do.

 

 

Free Yourself from Whatever is Weighing You Down

First thing this morning I observed a large flock of pelicans in flight. They were flying over the Briones, which are the hills near my home. It was a large flock, much larger than I have seen in the past. When nature or creatures in nature catch my notice I pay attention. I call upon the wisdom of Native American teachings to glean a deeper understanding of what is being shown to me. In this case I consulted, “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews. He speaks of pelicans as a “symbol of freeing yourself from the emotions or things weighing you down.” That information began a reflection for me.

I began to assess if there was anything weighing me down and if so what did they entail? It is a good practice to check in with the self to notice what is there. Determine if it is serving you or causing a heaviness that is keeping you grounded.

In our culture most of us are so busy that we can’t readily determine if we are being weighed down. Here are a few clues that this may be the case. If you are feeling heavy in your mind, emotions or spirit there could be a weight. Perhaps you are fatigued, scattered or unfocused. Maybe you feel put upon or taken advantage of by a person or people in your life. There could be a host of symptoms that show up for you. Slow down and take a few moments to see what presents itself to you.

A lot of times we are carrying or holding on to stuff that will lift us if we simply let it go. I know it is not always easy to do so but being lighter sure feels better. The pelican reminds you that you can free yourself from all that is weighing you down. We all can. Just like the pelicans we can bob on the water and glide effortlessly in the sky. We can rise above it when we release the weight. Happy flying!

Offering Thanks Restores You to Beauty

A Native American Elder once told me, “If we would remember to say thank you, we would never need another ceremony.” I’ll never forget him telling me this because it was also an instruction. I knew that at the time. We were sitting inside the tepee before the prayer ceremony began. It was just the two of us. He looked across from me and offered his statement about saying thank you.

I pondered this for some time. Over the years there were many traditional ceremonies that I was fortunate to attend. Actually, that is not accurate. Those teachings and ceremonies changed my life and that of my family deeply. We were all enriched. This reality was part of what prompted me to look hard at what I had been told by this Elder. There were people from all walks of life who came to the ceremonies. They prayed about themselves, their family, the tribe & they prayed for peace in the world.

Did this mean that people’s lives, including mine were a mess because we forgot to say thank you, I wondered? Was the lack of peace in the world and within ourselves related to our ineptitude in offering thanks? Could the answer be this simple, I wondered?

He undoubtedly sensed my struggle to understand because he went on to say, “In the beginning the people, the Native people, looked around. All they saw was beauty. Everywhere they looked they encountered beauty. They thought about how to express to Creator what they thought and felt about being gifted with beauty everywhere. After much thought and discussion they decided that all the could say that was, thank you.”

I thanked him for sharing this with me. I’m sure he knew that I would continue to work with the concept of saying thank you and the critical value it has on keeping life in balance. I looked long and hard at prayers and ceremonies. I saw the people requesting them or participating in them and their suffering. It opened me to compassion for them and myself. I have a practice of offering thanks many times throughout each day. Doing so has me discovering or rediscovering some of the beauty that those original people knew was imbued in all of life. I still have the opportunity to attend ceremonies and pray. When I get to do this I remember to say thank you, for the teachings, for the love, for the well-being of all the children of life yet to come.

The practice and remembrance of saying thank you may seem small but I have found it to be powerful. Offer thanks from your heart, from the wholeness of your being, from your Divine internal spark, as I imagine those Native ancestors did. Maybe one day we will gather only to offer thanks because all we see, feel and experience is beauty everywhere. Never underestimate the value of saying thank you. Let it restore you to beauty. Aho!

1000 Years

The majesty of Redwood Forests in California never fails to impress me. It is what lingers long after my visit that has me pondering the feeling they impart. If you had occasion to walk among these ancient ones it may be that you felt it too. There is a gentleness that is combined with strength or solidness that permeates not only me but the entire forest in which they dwell.

I am finding difficult to express in words something that can only be experienced. Here among trees, that have lived for longer than we can imagine, a serenity fills the air. Some of these giants have been here for 1000 years or more. The sensation of their presence and their lifespan has me reflecting on the relatively short lifespan of humans. It seems that we are continually busy, nearly always reactive and wound up in swirling emotions.

If you stand in one place for a 1000 years maybe something happens that gives life to what I feel when I am with these old trees. For sure some things fall away. Striving toward some goal, even the light, is a moot point when you’ve been in the heavens for so long. The push and pull of life, the reactions and emotions, give way to being. Maybe that’s what I feel with the Redwoods. A deep presence of being. They seem to just be and in that being I wonder if they are connected to all life, past, present and maybe even future. Oh sure, there are teachings throughout the world that instructs us that we are all connected in this way. The difference I think is that the ancient Redwoods know it and live it. Does it take 1000 years to learn to be? I plan to spend more time with these sacred beings to discover all I can.

RED TENT MOONLODGE GATHERING: SUMMER TEACHINGS

You are invited to join me on MAY 31, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering: Summer Teachings! 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. Suggested donation of $25.