my friend, moriah, sent me this amazing quote by Marianne Williamson. it was quoted by Nelson Mandela during an inauguration speech.

“…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others…”

i find so much truth in those words. i love the way that wisdom is raining down right now; compare these words with the quote from january 16 by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. it’s fascinating to me that we are so afraid of our own light. that we do so much to avoid shining as brightly as we can…

reading our maps!

there are so many rich conversations taking place at the integral discussion forum, i can’t keep up! i’ve been pondering the road maps that we use as structure to help us grow. throughout our journey, each person seems to collect tools and techniques that are useful to him or her in pushing the growing edge and maneuvering through that place of expanding into something new. for me yoga and awareness of my body have been influential. noticing when i feel uncomfortable and when self-doubt arises. paying attention to the natural world around me is a huge part of my structure. i recently learned of the amazing structure laid out in jewish law, halacha ,for seemingly just this purpose.

at the forum, we are also talking about being dazzled by reality as it unfolds. as i open wider and wider, become more and more vulnerable, begin to listen with every receptor that this body has blessed me with… the more awarenss that i have. current ponderings of mine that i think may illustrate our road map and help illuminate our private guide(s) include these questions:

through what mean(s) do you receive best? (i.e. audial, visual, sensual, etc.)

through what mean(s) is it easiest for you to commune with Spirit?

what makes you lose time (and here i don’t mean losing track of time, but actually losing time itself) (this question was adapted from Jack Ricchiuto )?

soul shining

anne stadler posted this inspiring quote to the OSLIST.

“We have been in training for a dark time such as this… We have a history of being gutted, and yet remember this especially–we have also, of necessity, perfected the knack of resurrection. Over and over again we have been the living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or foundered can be restored to life again.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, and causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these is to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves

…what a fun wave to ride, a golden current of illuminated souls…. ahhhhhh!

p.s. this is a great book…if you haven’t read it, you can peek at some exert by going here

small pleasures

i am a big fan of the outdoor shower. there is something about bathing, washing away the layers of a day (couple of days, week, etc!!) in the fresh air of the outdoors. i like some sort of enclosing that allows the hot steam to stay close to me while also enough of an opening to keep the outdoors inside my shower! i must also admit to you one of my biggest addictions: i LOVE hot showers. i’ll skip a shower sometimes just so that i’ll feel justified in taking a longer one the next day (that’s is a partial truth!).

are you getting the picture…me in heaven while enjoying a steamy hot shower with a cool forest breeze enticing the air.

i’ve never lived some place where i had access to this paradise i’ve described. but i’ve found the next best solution. a small window in the shower. i am fortunate to have such a treasure in my current home. this morning i was enchanted by the union at the window of the hot steam from the shower and the cold january air. they tugged and pulled at one another, the steamy cloud blowing out into the morning day. as i dreamily peered out the window, the hot water rushed down my back while the cold crisp air dried my face. for a moment i drifted with the steam…hanging in that union of cold and hot, the binding space where extremities meet.

anyone else got a small pleasure to share?

lighting the candles…

photograph by blue505

a candle to god

it is said that

the soul of man

is like a candle to god.

and so we light our inner flames,

letting them shine bright

with the light of god.

and the peace within


shining with the light of

the source of all life.

the light of the candles

illuminates the home —

filling it with peace

within the family

and within the soul.

oh-so thankful, we invite.

we breathe in this light of peace–

drawing it deep down into our souls.

and as we exhale,

the light travels out.

it recognizes, harmonizes and unifies

with scattered sparks of holiness

all around the world.

and so in this sacred


our hearts are united,

glowing with the light of god.

photograph by david sheyn

~ f l o w ~

thank you chris weaver for sharing your friend claudia’s story, Looking for Shabbat (if you go there, click on touchstones). it’s beautiful. i love it!

here’s a piece that moved me:

“For 24 hours, one could live as if the world was perfect, taking time to renew and celebrate relationships with God, family and self. I was enthralled by this possibility, and a bit skeptical of it. With so much work left to be done, how could we justify such a lengthy, structured and regular break? Of course, a saner person than I might ask: How can we not?”

it makes me curious…

*what are some practices that other (religions, cultures, individuals, … ) use to renew and celebrate relationships with God, family and self?

*and why do we work so hard to make sure we don’t get those kind of breaks in our lives?

these questions are similar to some asked by my friend, chris corrigan.

he wrote (go here to read the whole thing):

“I think we all have practices that take us to flow states. For some it might be meditation or music or sports. Others might find it in art, writing, reading, walking, cooking…whatever. We all have those practices. It isn’t complicated, rather it is as simple as sitting by the river with beer and music and friends and family. If we are lucky, our practices mesh with our lives in a way that our work and time is spent in flow. Most of us I bet don’t have that luxury, so we go to work in a bank and then play football after hours.

These practices and flow states are really important, because I believe that being in flow is important for really initiating big change and important work. So I’ve recently started asking people what their practices are.”

i wrote chris asking him if he used any other words to describe flow states? i like claudia’s words.

so…anyone want to share some practices used to celebrate relationships with God, family and self?

…or anything else that comes to mind!!