Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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As the days grow shorter and the nights longer it is a joy to continue spreading the light threaded through our Gratitude Quilt 2014

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I Heart Macro 88









As ice melts and refreezes patterns unexpected, create beautiful abstract art. Layered earth colors below blend with sky-blue reflections from above. Temperatures hover at freezing, a typical January thaw. Then the landscape transforms after a clean coat of snow that gessoes the canvas over the weekend, just as ordinary, just as extraordinary. 


lingering oak leaf
rests on freshly fallen snow
waits for the next storm



oh morning glory
through icicles and proud trees 
my eyes behold thee


*********************************

A winter storm is expected to come up the coast Monday night through early Wednesday morning, dumping up to two feet of snow in our area on top of the six or seven inches that fell Saturday. We are prepared for power outages, and simultaneously (I at least am) excited for our first really big snow of the season. I can’t help it. I’m like a child when it comes to sinking boots into the magic of a bright white blanket that comes up past my knees, or walking on top like an astronaut on the surface of the moon with my snowshoes. And if it is too windy and cold, I’m equally content to stay tucked in doors with a good book and a cup of tea. As much as I enjoy the connections to all of you and others via computer, there is also a sense of freedom and calm in not having Internet access during storms like the one predicted. We'll see what happens.


 
Welcome to Week Eighty-Eight
I Heart Macro
"Pure awareness transcends thinking... It allows you to look at the world once again with open eyes. And when you do so, a sense of wonder and quiet contentment begins to reappear in your life."~Mark Williams and Danny Pennman, from Mindfulness An Eight-Week Plan For Finding Peace In A Frantic World

It is time for YOU to share the love up-close with YOUR
I Heart Macro offerings!



Enjoy slowing down with your camera, paying full attention, observing beauty and curiosities many people pass right by. Your generosity of spirit and keen eyes may open the door to miniscule miracles and mirth others would not have access to otherwise. Feel free to include poetry, prose and thoughts your macro photo or series inspire(s) in you. Writing is completely optional for participation. Straight out of the camera (SOC), edited, color, black and white, anything goes as long as you bring the viewer near to whatever it is that drew your heart's attention and "woke you up" to full presence.

Shine the Divine 
Please link back to my blog either by copying and pasting the button provided above on your post, or by linking the words "I Heart Macro" back to my blog with this link:     



Visit each other...

S  p  r  e  a  d  the  LOVE. Thanks :-)
linking to:

The I Heart Macro Linky remains open for you to share your close-up images all week long!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Heart Macro 87




I trust that what once seemed a hard, impenetrable, solid sheath of ice will crack time and time again, displaying the web of connection temporarily hidden. When we allow our defenses to melt away, we find beneath every veneer of fear wearing thin, vulnerability, our true strength is present. The freedom to care tenderly about one another, about our selves becomes the clear choice. And we will forget, time and time again, freezing up when surprised or confused; yet the possibility to remember that our essence is love remains a constant.





fear breeds deception
jagged plates that separate
melt as one come spring




In these difficult times around the world let us remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: 

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”

Thank you everyone for your condolences for my uncle's passing, your kind words and prayers on behalf of my whole family. My mother is healing, feeling a bit better every day. It has been a long week, getting back into my own groove here at home after all that's gone on since mid December. My daughter too is feeling better, learning to manage how much and how often to eat to remain comfortable while her medications have time to start doing what they need to do to put her Crohn's into remission. Such fragile bodies we all have, such tender hearts, why would we ever want to be anything other than kind?


Welcome to Week Eighty-Seven
I Heart Macro
"Pure awareness transcends thinking... It allows you to look at the world once again with open eyes. And when you do so, a sense of wonder and quiet contentment begins to reappear in your life."~Mark Williams and Danny Pennman, from Mindfulness An Eight-Week Plan For Finding Peace In A Frantic World

It is time for YOU to share the love up-close with YOUR

I Heart Macro offerings!

Enjoy slowing down with your camera, paying full attention, observing beauty and curiosities many people pass right by. Your generosity of spirit and keen eyes may open the door to miniscule miracles and mirth others would not have access to otherwise. Feel free to include poetry, prose and thoughts your macro photo or series inspire(s) in you. Writing is completely optional for participation. Straight out of the camera (SOC), edited, color, black and white; anything goes as long as you bring the viewer near to whatever it is that drew your heart's attention and "woke you up" to full presence.

 Shine the Divine
Please link back to my blog either by copying and pasting the button provided above on your post, or by linking the words "I Heart Macro" back to my blog with this link: shinethedivinecreativityisaspiritualpractice.com

By sharing the link, visitors to your blog will learn about this meme and have a chance to participate as well if they so choose. 

Visit each other...


S  p  r  e  a  d  the  LOVE. Thanks :-)
linking to:
haiku my heart

I Heart Macro remains open for you to share your close-up images all week long!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I Heart Macro 86



our soft wrinkled hands
clasp each other lovingly
life's tender moments

mother two sisters
giggle in hospital room
time evaporates




I just returned an hour ago from Pennsylvania after traveling down there for my uncle's funeral, last Sunday. The morning of the funeral (Monday) my mother was taken to the emergency room by my sister, while my Dad and the rest of us attended the funeral and shiva then proceeded to the hospital. My Mom had acute pancreatitis and was only released from the hospital yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. The service was beautiful, including eulogies from both my cousin Joe, son of Norm and Jerry, Norman's daughter Sharon's husband. There were tears and smiles mixed with anxiety as the immediate family knew my mother was at the ER and we did not yet know what was happening with my Mother. Sally Siegel, (my mom) tried to convince my father first thing in the morning that she wanted to go to the funeral to pay her respects to Norm and be with Sallie, her cousin/sister. Of course Dad said no way. (He is a physician and had already examined her and my sister Amy who is also a doctor took her to the ER) Meanwhile Sallie was worried about Sally throughout the day at her own husband's funeral.

Walking through the cemetery following my Uncle Norman's burial, my brother and placed rocks on the grave markers of our grandparents, several great aunts and uncles and cousins. I was quite teary as I placed my hands on their cold stones, remembering each person who'd been an important part of our upbringing and family life.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions and deep blessings as you can imagine this week. Yet in the center of everything sad and worrisome, love was a bright and binding force. 

All week long my father and I spent time with my mother, my nieces and nephew who live nearby, my brother, sister in law, sister and brother in law visited with Mom. My sister who lives in GA called and texted, the grandkids who live afar texted and some called, as did my mother's friends and cousins. I'm so grateful to be part of a family that is so caring. It is the way we were raised. Because I live in NH, I am not often able to be with my parents when either one is ill. I am so sorry my Mom had to go through this, but thankful that I was able to be with her and Dad all week. Over the years they have often come up here to help us when my MS flares, especially when the girls were younger and Gordon needed help driving them places. 

The first photo of hands are my mother's and mine and the second set my mother, sister and me the day before Mom was released. The quote is one of my favorites, a photo of a magnet on my parent's fridge. Perhaps Norman and all of our ancestors were looking out for my Mother, making sure she was in PA where her primary specialists were available to care for her instead of in FL That is where my parents spend the winter. They had flown up to attend the funeral. Things happen when they do and where they do for mysterious reasons. I want to believe that our loved ones beyond this life look out for us in this life.
Welcome to Week Eighty-Six

I Heart Macro
"Pure awareness transcends thinking... It allows you to look at the world once again with open eyes. And when you do so, a sense of wonder and quiet contentment begins to reappear in your life."~Mark Williams and Danny Pennman, from Mindfulness An Eight-Week Plan For Finding Peace In A Frantic World

It is time for YOU to share the love up-close with YOUR

I Heart Macro offerings!


The last withering gaillardia, before the snow arrived.

Enjoy slowing down with your camera, paying full attention, observing beauty and curiosities many people pass right by. Your generosity of spirit and keen eyes may open the door to miniscule miracles and mirth others would not have access to otherwise. Feel free to include poetry, prose and thoughts your macro photo or series inspire(s) in you. Writing is completely optional for participation. Straight out of the camera (SOC), edited, color, black and white; anything goes as long as you bring the viewer near to whatever it is that drew your heart's attention and "woke you up" to full presence.

 Shine the Divine
Please link back to my blog either by copying and pasting the button provided above on your post, or by linking the words "I Heart Macro" back to my blog with this link: shinethedivinecreativityisaspiritualpractice.com

By sharing the link, visitors to your blog will learn about this meme and have a chance to participate as well if they so choose. 

Visit each other...


S  p  r  e  a  d  the  LOVE. Thanks :-)
linking to:

I Heart Macro remains open for you to share your close-up images all week long!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

No I Heart Macro This Week



My Uncle Norman passed away New Year's Day. 
 I will be observing shiva with my family and not blogging this week.

Pictured below, left to right:
my Father Bill
my Mother Sally
my Uncle Norm
my Aunt Sallie
This was a combined 80th birthday party for my 
Mom and Dad this past summer.
Mom's birthday is in August and Dad's in September. 
It is so hard to believe this was just five months ago.  
We were all so happy. 

Technically "Uncle" Norman was not my uncle, he'd always remind me of this. But I would in turn insist that he was/is/will always be. Because he "felt" like my uncle and I loved him as such. Aunt Sallie, his wife and my mother are first cousins. My grandfather died when my mother was a very little girl, so the aunts and uncles of their generation along with my grandmother Reggie helped to raise my mom. Sally and Sallie are six months apart, they spent so much time in each other's homes growing up, in many ways they were like sisters. As teens and adults the Siegel's (my parents) and Olson's (my "aunt" and "uncle") remained dear friends. In turn, my cousin's Joe and Sharon were very close to me and my three siblings. Sharon is a year older than me, closest in age of all of my cousins and siblings. Our families gathered together for nearly every holiday religious and secular even into adulthood with our own children! Sharon's husband Jerry and my husband Gordon became fast and lasting friends when we were all dating! Like our parents we were also fairly young when we married. Both our guys are musicians and computer experts. Gordon and Norm had a special relationship in that they were both fascinated by technology, and would talk for hours at family events. Norman was also a gifted photographer, among other talents and achievements. Sometimes, over the past ten years when we saw each other, he and I would talk about my work as a SoulCollage facilitator, meditation teacher, and photographer and how all of these practices were/are interwoven as ways to explore the human heart/psyche/spirit. He was curious about what I was learning/doing/teaching. I am grateful for this connection, and the conversations we had.

I will always remember how when I was a little kid (because I was especially small, I suppose) he called me "peanut." And when he didn't call me "peanut" he called me by my full name, Laura Rose. Never just Laura. He made me feel special. I think all the kids felt that way about him, each of us special to him in some way. Perhaps it was the twinkle in his eyes, ready smile and infections laughter that told us so. I'm so grateful that this kind and generous man was and will always remain part of my life, held in my heart with love and tenderness.

Zichrono livracha, may your memory be for blessing dear Uncle Norman.


ps. Today, Sunday, January 4th, 
my daughter Belin is 21. 
We celebrated last night because her dad and I will be traveling to Philadelphia for the funeral on Monday, today.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful, bright and precious
eldest daughter. 
Love you Bigger than the Sky.


Age one, all dressed up and playing with fistfuls of dirt.




My daughter, wasn't she glamorous? This was from her prom, one of my favorite photos. I think she looks like a movie star.

I'll share more photos next week from our perfect intimate birthday gathering, just Gordon, Rosie, Belin and Ethan, (her darling boyfriend for a little over two years now!)


Ironically there was an ice storm Saturday evening, the same as the night before she was born all those years ago. Time  is so strange the way it weaves in and out, never a straight line, more a wavy spiral. And I am every grateful for the expansiveness of the human heart, able to hold joy and sorrow and so much more simultaneously.

See you here for I Heart Macro 86 next Sunday.

Gentle steps,
              Laura