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.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Being Home



without regard
or space


this place


the Place
the Holy Blessed One






This is the awareness that came to me in spiritual direction this week. I am safe. I am a dwelling place for God. I am blessed with this clarity of truth in a felt way, I have never known before.

And when dear Nancy asked me, "Is there something you wish to say to God right now?"

All I could say, the only words I could discern from my heart were so very simple:

"Thank You".

Then I remembered this quote: "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'thank you,' that would suffice." ~Meister Eckhart

And so in Hebrew I say dayenu...for certainly this sensation of being home, a housing for Divinity is enough...more than enough
for me.

Nancy mentioned tiferet (beauty) the sefirah that sits between gevurah (power/strength/boundaries) & chesed (kindness). I took time after our sitting to look at map/tree of the sefirot and was reminded that tiferet sits between hod (majesty) & netzach (endurance) as well. Tiferet is like the heart that must hold these qualities in balance. This is not evident in my body's ability to move or find stability when I walk, yet this is absolutely where MY heart, spirit & mind dwell these days...centered, grounded between the gevurah/boundaries this disease has placed on me…the chesed/kindness I have learned to feel for myself and have received from others…the hod/majesty of the blessings bestowed upon me and all the world (by the Holy Blessed One) no matter how complicated or painful life can be….the netzach/endurance to live a rich life despite being quite ill and God’s enduring Presence throughout every moment of my life. Nancy used the word foundation; as in the foundation of my house is structurally sound and supporting me/my home/God's home, well. And naturally, the sefirah directly below tiferet is yesod (foundation). We sat a while longer, I noticed my breath filling my body with greater ease and then an image came to me behind my closed eyes...a full, rounded heart shaped balloon rising up above the tops of trees. So there was this floating, rising image appearing in my minds eye while at the same time there was clarity around being stable and grounded. I love when there are events/thoughts that at first appear to be contradictions but upon closer inspection are not at odds at all. Of course my heart feels like it is full and soaring. How could it possibly fly if I did not feel safe and content, on solid ground?

Kabalah is not something I have studied in great depth, so my knowledge is limited on the sefirot, but I understand them to be essentially a mystical map of both the Universe and Consciousness (ours and God's)...they are ten attributes that guide our thoughts, emotions, reactions and actions. (Mind you this is how I understand these things...I am not qualified to teach this lofty subject (something that takes many years of ones life to begin to know well enough to even consider teaching), so I hope I am not misrepresenting these beautiful, mystical teachings-if anyone has corrections or better explanations to share, please feel free to enlighten me and my readers in the comments below).

PS. I found this brief explanation of the sefirot at

You know, despite my difficulty with language, I feel sometimes I have more to say now than ever, I think I'm turning into a bit of a blabbermouth! So I have to add a note here about the photo above. It is a tin door plaque that I bought in VT two summers ago when I was at a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training. At that time I was consumed with a desire to move from NH to some place south. I picked up this little tin heart and remarked to my yogini friends, while browsing through a sweet, eclectic gift shop on Main Street, that I wished I had a new door to hang this heart on. It was such a deep longing to move to a new, warmer place after living in the north east, enduring long freezing, endless (to me) winters for, at that time, 8 years. We had even had our house up for sale the year before, just as the housing market was beginning to crash. So as prices fell and it became evident that we would have to take a big hit financially if we really wanted to sell, we decided to stay put, but in my heart I was not sure this was the right choice. My yogini friends encouraged me to buy the little tin heart for that new door; for someday.

I remember too, during that same time period sitting in sessions with Nancy talking about this unsettled feeling, this desire to be somewhere else; a discomfort that I realize now had more to do with living in my own skin than the physical location of our family home. Admittedly I still really dread the long winters here-I like to be warm and I crave the sun's light. Well, we reside in the same house in NH, and yet, everything in my life now "seems new" since this MS diagnosis. And after this awareness in spiritual direction, this palpable knowing that I am indeed a home, a dwelling for God's Presence, (not just words I've been taught to believe but a knowing beyond the reality of my very bones), this tin heart for my new door, for my home (my body) that feels like home was the perfect image to accompany this blog entry. I must say too, that had we moved back then, we would not have the foundation (there's that word again) of support that we have here through our friends and synagogue community.

The tin heart currently sits in a little stone dish garden that I use for lighting incense when I meditate; another road that leads to the door of my own heart/home. The background the tin heart is laying against in the photo is watercolor on paper from a birthday card my daughter Rosie made for me last year. (Paper she painted while still at the hospital and saved as a treasure that she gave to me).

And so my friends, this journey continues for all of us.

May all beings be blessed with chesed (kindness) rachamim (compassion), refuah (healing), simcha (joy) and shalom (peace).

gentle steps,



  1. Isn't it a good feeling to settle into a place, even one where we so desperately wanted to leave? I too am settling into my little place for the winter and savoring sacred pauses each day. I started posting this month a pause each day on my blog. It is a photo of the day that I hope will encourage my visitors to stop and pause just as I stopped to pause and snap the shot.

    {soul hugs}
    your friend Kathryn

    ps -- May this time of the cold moon shine a light on your winter wishes. Just think the blue moon is right around the corner.

  2. Thanks Kathryn,
    It's funny you say that about the moon...I tried to take some photos of the moon through the trees in my back yard last night...cane in one hand, camera in the battery I haven't gotten to peek at the images yet...I'm doubting they came out the way I wanted, not a great camera...but we'll see when I get new batteries in!

    I love the photo a day to pause idea...I hope my readers will hop over and take at look at your blog!!!

    ps...I'm thinking January is beckoning for SoulCollage at my house!!!!

  3. Laura,
    I learned much from you today. I am fascinated by the beautiful translations you share of Hebrew words. Makes me want to learn Hebrew! I studied Kaballah in college. I loved its all-inclusivity. I have a dear friend and her husband who practice Kabbalah together through their marriage.

    Yes, it seems you have more words to share than ever, a very good thing. I think that when our bodies stay put we are offered unique opportunities to expand our awareness in bold ways. When I was laid out flat nearly two years ago now, for a full month, my mind and heart were blasted wide open. I could do nothing but lay and rest till my heart grew stronger. It did, ironically, on more levels than just the physical. I was changed. As I sense you are being changed, ever deepening, because of what you are going through.

    What a magnificent home you are creating within yourself for the Divine! xo

  4. Jan,
    I know so well this expanding heart feeling. You know, last year I was mostly bed ridden for 5 months with vertigo from Ms (we know this now, but not then). That time, the lesson was patience. This time it is compassion and expansiveness from my heart.

    thank you for your kind words. BTW, I just bought a copy of your book YOUR TRUEST SELF, I have 50 pages left in another book, A PIGEON AND A BOY, and then I will start yours...I'm so looking forward to it!!!!


  5. Isn't it amazing that when so many things are taken away from us, that even more amazing things come in to fill those empty places? Your new "home" is a home for growth and love and learning. I love that your share your Jewish faith here and that your share the visions that you see, too. I love it when I vision; it's such a relaxing and whole place to be, isn't it? So many gifts are already present in our lives; we just need to open our eyes and hearts as you do to see them.


  6. Hi Laura,

    One of the many things that I love about reading your blog is that I always learn so much and for that I am eternally grateful.

    Your love for life and God shines through on here so beautifully. I think it is wonderful that you share all your thoughts with us and it is obvious that although your speech may be effected, your ability to love has been empowered.

    Keep sharing your home with is a wonderful place to be.

  7. Rose and Nadia,
    thank you for being such loving witnesses to this unfolding, shining home that is me...or at least a part of me here on this blog! I feel so blessed that so many people stop by and rest in this ethereal home, leaving messages and wisdom for all of us to read and receive.


  8. Such a beautiful and inspirtional post! Thank you for your generous words of wisdom. I, too, love that quote by Meister Eckhart, and try to live by it daily.

    I hope you are well.

  9. Thanks Angela,
    I've had a couple of pretty good days! My dear friend Viv came to spend yesterday and today with me, helping me around the house, driving me to appointments, to give my husband a break...and just generally hanging out.

    I love having friends to chat with online, truly blogging, email and facebook keep me sane and feeling love...but there's nothing like face to face laughter and tears and heart to heart warm human hugs from a dear friend. Being home bound is lonely at times. This was a lovely treat!


  10. Laura, you stopped by my blog and asked if you could include a link to my blog. Of course, please do. I am happy we have connected.

  11. What a beautiful heart and what an appropriate "door" to place it on. The door to prayer and meditation.

    Hearing Our Master's Enlightenment
    Harts Open, Minds Evolve

    " This is the awareness that came to me in spiritual direction this week. I am safe. I am a dwelling place for God. I am blessed with this clarity of truth in a felt way, I have never known before."

    I do so love your posts. If we live in God, He lives in us. You have opened yourself and invited Him in and He resides in you, with you, through you. Even though the body may fail, the soul still remains. You are truly a Blessing to many. Your words are from a Higher source and fill my heart with Love, Compassion and Joy. I thank you and I thank God for filling you with words to share and enlighten others. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P


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