Archive for April, 2011

Loving Mirrors #17

Mid-week, I found myself filling out a questionnaire about my self image. Part of the instruction was to think of someone who has helped me to believe in myself and to tell how important it is to support others by focusing on their true loving nature instead of their false ego identity. As I wrote about a lifelong friend who has supported me in so many ways, my eyes filled with tears of gratitude. This is part of what I wrote about how much her help meant to me: “It is so easy to belittle ourselves that we surely don’t need any outside help. When we are feeling lost and emotionally battered, it’s the people in our life who act as loving mirrors who play an extremely important role in steering us back to the truth. Instead of siding with our smallness, they hold open a space containing the truth about how beautiful we really are until we are ready and able to step into that space and claim the truth for ourselves.”

It occurred to me that, perhaps, those words are a description of what God (or your version of a higher power) really is; a force of pure love that doesn’t recognize smallness but, instead, holds a mirror up to us reflecting the beautiful spirits that we really are, waiting patiently for us to see the truth and come to our senses.

Let your spirit soar!
Artwork: Wisdom, sold

Read Full Post »

Hello dear readers,

Since Spirit Rising and my blog are dedicated to helping us return to joy, I would like to share this link to a speech by Marianne Williamson. Whether or not you align yourself with a particular religion or none at all, I believe her universal message of love and hope transcends any and all differences and cuts to the core of the joyful life we are meant to live. 

The speech is an hour and 6 minutes long but, in my humble opinion, is well worth the time spent.  


Many, many blessings,

Read Full Post »

Last week I made a decision to embark on a course of study that, I believe, will greatly impact both my personal and my professional life. On the day that I was on the cusp of making this big decision, I attended a concert with a friend. All the music was fantastic but it was the very first song that I know I was meant to hear. I’m sure my dad was there with me in spirit, as he so often is, because the message was from a father and the lyrics went like this:

In life as in love, you know I need to remember                                                      
There’s such a thing as trying too hard
You got to sing like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ll never get hurt
You got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work

Sung by Kathy Mattea, Lyrics by Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh

I was very grateful for this reminder. Although there are many things to take into consideration with any major business/life decision; the cost, time, effort, and so on, the most important factor is, “does it make your heart sing?” I know that all the planning and striving in the world won’t be as much of a barometer of my success as my level of passion will.

If I come from my heart, I know it will work.

Let your spirit soar!
(Artwork: Passion, 18×24, acrylic on canvas, $125 )

Read Full Post »

Giddy with Joy (#15)

I used to spend a lot of time visualizing what I wanted to come into my life. Many of you have likely heard of the movie, The Secret, about how to manifest the life you want. And, it is true that we get more of whatever we put our attention on, good or bad. But more and more often I am realizing that I don’t even know what I truly want or what would serve me best. Should I move to a new apartment or not? Should I take that part-time job? Should I concentrate on my painting, writing or speaking? How much do I need to earn to do what I want to do? What DO I want to do???? On and on it goes, and it’s exhausting!  So, I’ve adopted a new approach. Each time my mind starts swirling with these questions, I stop and silently say, Thank you for the perfect home, job and income, etc. for my life’s purpose; whatever that is. I surrender to a higher power that can see the bigger picture and knows exactly what I need to live a joyful, abundant and meaningful life. That same power also knows how to provide what I need, easily and effortlessly. Actually, I’ve come to understand that everything we think we need already exists; we simply have to relax and allow it to come into our lives.

A few weeks ago I told you about my free dinner and concert. What I didn’t tell you was that I unexpectedly got treated to a free dinner a few days before that as well. And after practicing surrendering for just a few weeks, here is how the rest of that week went. I got accepted to present a one day retreat at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in late fall. I also discovered that I have two pensions available to me much earlier than I expected. I began receiving free life coaching from an acquaintance looking to practice his skills and my neighbor gave me a free psychic reading. My son finally got the apartment in an art community that he has been waiting a long time for, which frees up my house for me to sell. My boyfriend shared some money with me from his Keno winnings and I met a wonderful new friend. By the end of the week, I was nearly giddy with joy.

So the next time you are feeling needy, overwhelmed or directionless, say a prayer of thanks for the perfection in your life; know it already exists and that joy is your birthright. Then the only question you need answered is this . . . . .

How much joy can you handle?

Let your spirit soar!
Paula (Artwork: “Ecstasy”, SOLD)

Read Full Post »

An Open Window (#14)

An Open Window   (#14)

  I used to rent an art studio in an old, converted mill building. Each floor was divided into about thirty studios but the dividing walls didn’t go all the way to the ceiling; there was about an eight foot space above them. The windows in the building were huge. One night, before the screens had been installed, a pair of doves flew into the building. When I arrived the following morning, they were frantically flying back and forth the whole length of the building, trying to find a way out. A fellow artist was there with a handful of bread trying to direct the birds towards the big, wide open windows to no avail. I remember saying to her, “It’s so frustrating to watch them. They think they are trapped. The open windows are right there! All they need to do is slightly change their direction and they’d be free.”

I’ve heard that the same thing is true about bees. If you leave them in a jar with holes poked in the lid for long enough, they will get so used to the confinement that, even when you take the lid off, they won’t know enough to fly away!

 I think that we humans are sometimes like the bees and the doves. We are blind to the windows of opportunity that are right in front of us. Are you feeling trapped in a situation right now? Perhaps if you just look at it from a slightly different angle, you might see that the window to your freedom has been open for you all along.

Wishing you many open windows to let your spirit soar!


Read Full Post »

Imagine #13

In reviewing and deleting some of my old computer files, I came across a speech I had given a few years back. With the continuing unrest in the world, I think the message is as pertinent as ever so, even though it’s a lot longer that usual, I would like to share this thought with you today.

World peace. Who doesn’t dream of seeing that in their lifetime? And, who doesn’t wish that they could be part of the solution? When we think of making a difference with our lives, isn’t world peace the unspoken goal that we are all really aspiring to? John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”, touched us so deeply because his vision mirrored our deepest desire.

I used to think that people had to get involved in politics in order to make a difference in the world. Well, that let me out. I’m about the least political person you’ll ever meet! But, even though I have moved far away from that arena, I consider myself to be an ambassador for world peace. You can be, too.

 When Saddam Hussain’s statue fell in Iraq, I remember feeling relieved that such an evil force was being subdued. And, I remember thinking, “I feel a bit safer . . . . . for now.” But I knew in my heart that all we had done was apply a mere band-aid to the wounded face of humanity. Listening to the news as we celebrated our “victory” in Iraq, I came to this realization. True peace will never exist until we cultivate it within ourselves. What we think about expands. Like attracts like. Our thoughts, words and actions create our reality. With my whole being, I now know this to be true: Life isn’t happening to us. It is a reflection of us.

 “Well”, you say, “I would never create war!” Of course you wouldn’t…. not consciously. But we wage little wars in our mind each and every day. They show up in the form of judgment, fear and resistance. Aren’t these the foundation of larger scale wars? “I judge someone or something to be wrong; I fear what I don’t agree with or understand; and I resist allowing it to be that way.” These inner battles can range from seemingly harmless to downright hostile, but they are all forms of resistance that keep us from living peacefully in the present moment.

 Thoughts like:
 What a jerk! How can he say that!
I don’t understand those people. They should all be locked up.
Stupid drivers! I wish they’d all just get off the road.
This job is so boring!
I hate my fat thighs.
Why can’t people be smarter?
Why can’t people be nicer?
Why can’t everyone be perfect like me?!!!

  If we are falling apart, it is from the inside out. And there is nothing “out there” that can put us back together again. Not a new president, or a better plan . . . certainly, not better weapons! Peace has to start from within. When enough of us come to realize that our true nature is pure love and joy, and that we don’t need anyone else to behave in a certain way in order for us to be happy, the Saddam Hussain’s of the world will crumble. In his book, The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne Dyer states, “When you regularly practice kindness, love and receptivity, and when you see beauty and the endless potential of good in others as well as yourself, you counterbalance 90,000 people somewhere on this planet who are living in the low-energy levels of anger, fear and hatred.” Which side of that scale do you want to be on?

 Each time that you practice acceptance and non-judgment; each time you take responsibility for your own happiness, instead of demanding it from others; and each time you respond to fear and hatred with love…..you, too, become an ambassador of world peace.

 Or, there’s the other alternative . . . . .

 As the artist, Thomas Kinkade, states so eloquently in his book With Wings Like Eagles, “As long as people see peace to be the result of having killed all their enemies, wars will go on forever.”

Let your spirit soar!

Read Full Post »