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, February 9, 2010


Link“Before the emes….” That is how I heard it. Before the eMeS. Nancy was saying MS, but I heard emes. Emes is the Ashkenazic pronunciation of the word emet, meaning truth in Hebrew. I interrupted her to repeat what I heard. We had been talking about a sensation I had of falling forward, (as opposed to “falling to”), a feeling in my body of rushing, a rapid heart beat and desire to DO after a long autumn and winter of mostly just being. And there it was, the conflict of desire flush up against the truth that I can no longer do ALL of the things I did before. Some, yes, but not all. I simply do not have the energy. It was clear in our session as I sat with my sunlight infused silk tallit wrapped around me like wet butterfly wings, that this is a time of emergence, of small, steps. Actually we narrowed it down to step. Taking a step. Just one. And then after that deciding if I want to take one more...or not…a dance of being and doing. Being while doing would obviously be optimal, but impossible to maintain constantly. We spoke of many things as thoughts, emotions and impressions arose throughout our Spiritual Direction session on Monday. But for me this eMeS message is what really caught my heart. MS is the truth I live with. It is NOT ALL of my truth, what ever that might mean (can one even own a truth? as in MY truth? or have one's life expressed in a single truth? notice I'm using truth not TRUTH...’cause those are even more suspect in my opinion)…but it is a truth that at this moment has a central place in my life. There is no denying that. Every decision, every small step I take has to be considered, weighed in relationship to my physical abilities now that misfiring neurons have changed the amount of energy I have available and how my body functions. Maybe someday there will be a cure, but for now it is just true that I must choose activities with MS shadowing me. How I do wish it was more like Peter Pan’s shadow then I could fold it (or crumple it) up and shove it into a drawer on occasion, so far that hasn’t happened for me.

Here is a quick example of how choosing a step is playing out right now. Last night I chose to go to a book event at our synagogue with my dear friend Barbara. I walked into the talk barely lea
ning on my cane. So happy to be out for an evening after last weeks confinement. I enjoyed the young engaging author Peter Manseau, he is a wonderful story teller. It was a joy to see friends I hadn't seen for a while, to shmooze for a few minutes at the end...but my legs were now heavy and stiff, and weren't moving the way they had when Barbara and I had walked in. I left leaning on both my cane and my friend. 2 hours and I was wiped out. Today, I’m spending the day quietly resting in bed. I made a choice to go out for a few hours. I’m so glad I did. But today there is just being. No doing. This is my eMeS. I took a step. And now I must rest. One step. Who knew when I came up with the tagline for my coaching business a year and a half ago that it would become so literal for me.
Reveal Your Sacred Spark & Realize Your Creative Dreams
...breath by breath...moment by moment...step by step.

I'm sorry if I sound whiny. Talking about this so often, so much. But I am compelled to share my journey here...blogging is part creative expression and part community gathering (or scattering in the event that I am boring you!) Thank you for indulging me yet again as I continue to learn what it means to be ensouled in my body with this still relatively new 23 week old diagnosis (though I have been adjusting to it for much longer than that really). And more to the point, thank you for being the supportive community of friends that you all are. I am sorry too, that I have not been as on top of responding to comments recently as I typically am...Or as attentive to your blogs...Or prompt in replying to private emails to my non-blogging friends. It's been a little rough patch, but that's par for the course, for all of us from time to time.

gentle steps everyone,


  1. HEllo Laura, finding my way here first, through your comment on my blog; then second, the post on 'A Glowing Ember'. And it was you who first mentioned serendipity...

    Here is mine...seeing a friend last night after many years. She, also with emes, telling me how it is her greatest gift in that it brought spirituality into her life. Her home burned in the space since we saw each other last, but her new home is a place of warmth and welcome, she says. That, too, a gift.

    Now, your post - one step at a time - delivered when i am in a tangle of unknowning - when even one step seems too much effort to take because I don't know what direction to move in. But the key, I see now, is we don't have to know...we just have to have the faith to take the first step.

    Thank you.

  2. Never apologize for having the courage to reveal to us your struggles and journey with MS. That you trust us with your heart is an honor to us. I read this and I am saddened by the simple choices you have to make on a daily basis; I read this and I weep with joy at your spirit and how beautiful and grateful it is. I am so blessed to have had the chance to know you thru this community of bloggers. You are one of my favorite bloggers because your words and wisdom and tranquil spirit calms me and gives me hope and teaches me.

    Sending you much positive energy and rest and take care of yourself first and foremost. The rest will always follow.

    Love, Rebecca

  3. Laura,

    Your poignant truth, despite the enormous fact that you have MS, is represented so serenely, with such beauty. As we travel your journey with you all are reminded that it is truly about the journey, not the destination.

    Much love and peace to you,

  4. Your experience with MS is a creative and insightful endeavor. Why shoudn't you write about what is foremost on your mind and teaching your heart to love even those small steps? I feel liek I talk about mindfulness, my child, and my inner journey all the time. It's what I face each day, what I sometimes hate and then learn to accept, what I love and waht I sometimes have a hard time letting go of.

    Emes. How precious truth is when we let it come out in words and laughter and tears, just the way it is.

    Keep sharing.

  5. Deborah,
    It never ceases to amaze me, these interweavings of lives...the common threads of experience among strangers. Step taking, even one step can feel quite daunting. I think it important to remember that standing still and listening for inner guidance before taking that step is every bit as important as moving forward, or backward, or side to side, or what ever direction we need to go in a given moment. And FAITH. Yes, faith gives us courage. AND trusting that if it is not the "perfect" step...we can try again. It doesn't have to be a perfect choice. Just a choice. Thank you so much for stopping by, I look forward to reading your blog often now that I have discovered you.

    Rebecca dear, thank you for all of your kindness. Reading your words of encouragement have brought tears to my eyes as well. Do not be sad. My life really isn't so hard. It really isn't. It is different than it once was, it is frustrating and limiting in someways and free and expansive in ways it could not be if I was required to be out and about all the time. Always a give and take in life. I have to tell you, and I know that you have a wonderful sense of humor...perhaps you intended this? but your last sentence..."the rest will always follow." Somehow that just cracked me up. Whether I like it or not...the REST always must follow :)

    My dear sweet friend for so many years, I can't believe you commented directly on the blog. Wow, that is a courageous step, my friend. You and I have traveled this journey together/apart/now together again for many, many years...all the way across the sea and back again. Yes it is the journey, the steps, not the destination that matters the most. Although I remember walking along the Seine with you, singing in Notre Dame, the shops of Venice, a fondue party in the Alps, among other stops...some pretty lovely destinations, that were ultimately just places of passage leading us to where we are in our lives now. Thank you so much for gracing this blog with your thoughtful comments.

    Thank you for the gentle reassurance that this is what this creative space is for...sharing from our hearts. I know this of course, and it is why I show up and write, trusting all of you with my vulnerability and why I enjoy reading everyone elses stories...this recognition that we all struggle and none of us are alone. We are indeed a community of support and compassion...virtual, shmirtual...loving energy passes through physicality. Clearly.

  6. never apologize, take the time you need and everyone who is supposed to, will understand. xo

  7. It's a challenge adjusting to a chronic condition, isn't it? A chronic condition called Life! We're all adjusting, in one way or another -- blog on!

  8. Right you are Debra, we are indeed all making continuous adjustments, large and small...on and on we go. And so good to know we don't ever have to walk alone :)

  9. Laura, I woke this morning with the image of striped socks and the words "step by step" foremost in my mind. Your insights told with such elegance stay with me. I come here because you write beautifully, share openly, and laugh easily. Thank you.

  10. Thanks Sharon, the same reasons I stop by to visit with you...self doubt slips in every once in a an octopus with powerful tentacles trying to trip me...I think I need to put my honest blogger award higher up on my page just to remind MYSELF...that it is really OK, and actually important that I am honest...good, bad, ugly...that is what keeps this blog grounded and real. xo

  11. You are an inspiration Laura - please don't feel you have to hide any part of yourself from us. Sending you virtual hugs.


  12. Whining is definitely permitted. I sure whine now and then. Just ask my husband!

    Laura, I continue to admire how well you are be-ing with what is here, right now. You inspire me to find joy and peace even in the midst of difficulty. You remind me that all is well, really it is. It may not feel like it in the moment, but even this is only a matter of perspective. Hold the faith and breathe on...

    Sending big love your way...

  13. Hi Rochelle Hi Jan,

    Thanks for permission to just be me...why is it any of us feels we need to apologize for telling our stories? I think I need to explore this more...I know I am not the only one.


  14. Laura, dear heart. There is something that I learned a long time ago and now I am going to share it with you. There are no gold stars for stoicism. Life IS hard. That is the way that God meant for it to be. He did not put us here so that we could skip along, unscathed. It's not the whining or complaining that matters, but what we do with the experiences. Like you, I use my blog as a place to write about the things that come. If I am in pain, whether it be emotionally or physically, I sometimes use my blog to express that pain. And I never know when it is going to come, or how it will come across. I am finding that if I had become better at this, IRL years ago, I might have saved myself some of the pain. I am also finding that it is okay for me to write about it, talk about it and yes, even be very angry about it.

    There are so many things that we can learn from life's difficulties, but we must allow ourselves to acknowledge our own pain in order to do so.

    No apologies, Laura. It is okay for you to express whatever it is that you are dealing with! I, for one, will not go running away if you do.

    Love and hugs,

  15. Saying how you feel/felt isn't whining in my book... unless you have absolutely no intention of working through it & Its done with the sole purpose of gaining sympathy/attention & its pure self-indulgent self-pity... and its got to be all 3 of these, then you could be whining!

    Cos sometimes we need to indulge in a bit of self-pity, to be able to tell ourselves to get a grip... sometimes we feel the need to whinge to get a bit of attention/help/sympathy or whatever just to feel better when we realise it is there or we never needed it anyway... and sometimes we just don't have the energy or capacity at a given time to work something through.

    But, your 'whinges' are constructive, insightful & helpful to us aswell as you (lol, ive just thought- whinges has 'wings it it.... you give us wings, eh!) The act of writing/sharing helps you clarify & progress & gives anyone in a similar position tools to explore & help them... it helps others who havn't gone through something like this an insight & opens the way for compassion & understanding... i could go on but this is only supposed to be a comment not an essay (apologies to anyone who is still reading!)... plus if you didn't we'd have to find somewhere else to go, so carry on telling it how it is for you honey xxx

  16. You never whine. In fact, I am always amazed how you find the strength to face each and every new day and stay positive.

  17. Debbie, Suzi,
    Wise, wise souls, thank you, thank you for your thoughtful, heartful, words. You are right of course. I feel so blessed knowing that my life, my joys, my sorrows, my confusion, my revelations, my silliness, my sometimes raw and bleeding heart is being witnessed through the eyes, ears and years of collected experiences of so many beautiful shining souls. Notice Suzi that I moved the Honest Blogger award back up to the top of the page. I had forgotten (lets' blame it on the swiss cheese brain of mine, why not?) that this award clearly states that I am part of a sisterhood of bloggers who tell it like it is...that I am obliged to uphold this sacred task of honesty in my blogging.


  18. You have a thoughtful and inspiring blog. Thee is a resonance here. -Jayne

  19. Thank you Jayne...I'm glad you find resonance here.

  20. Laura, There is something powerful about telling/sharing your story--it is the meaning-making component that we all share and to hear, to give and to receive. I find that the blogsphere is sometimes one big story feast. A place of healing--joy with the pain, understanding through telling, revelations through sharing. I love how truth for each one of us is grounded in our life's story. Strangely, we all seem to have different plots, but the framework seems so familar. Peace, Nicki

  21. Zuzana,
    Thank you dear one, I do not always feel so positive, but I seek the goodness no matter what and in that way can turn my heart from tears to cheer when I feel complete with the crying.

    I love this "I find that the blogsphere is sometimes one big story feast." I have that same sense of ongoing human story flowing...telling...listening...recognizing our selves reflected in the mirrors of each other's words and images. Truly this ethereal space is a welcoming table, set with an abundant feast; a festival of living for all to share.


  22. Hi Laura,

    You are not whiny at all and you never have to apologize for what you write. MS is a part of your life and is a part of you. It is natural for you to share it with us and to be candid, I love all of your posts. I always learn something new and I value you that so much.

    Just keep being the beautiful soul you are amazing. :)

    With love and blessings,
    Nadia - Happy Lotus

  23. Thanks know the same is true when I read your posts...I guess I need to stop whining about whining that isn't whining...and just continue shining my matter what.

  24. You and how you present your story and your life are an inspiration to me on a daily basis. I think of you and pray for you and your family often. You are definitely loved. That is something to Celebrate!!!

  25. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes Kathleen. I do feel loved and indeed this is worthy of celebration...even simple celebration, like the smile that rose to my face upon reading your comment.

  26. Not whiny, it is what it is. I liked this very much.

    ...emes...That reminds me of sixty-five roses. It wasn't until last year that I found out that this is how the little ones first learn how to pronounce Cystic fibrosis.
    I think it is good that people learn how to talk about illness and it doesn't matter how we get the message out there. Most often it is sad; so it comes as no surprise to anyone when we speak in a shattered whiny voice.
    My heart breaks when I hear that you've had a rough day. I can't imagine it for a moment. But I can walk away and tell my wife I learned something today from Laura.
    I will always look back now and remind myself: baby steps, step by step.

    As always friend, I am thinking of you.

  27. You don't sound whiny at all, to me, just honestly and eloquently sharing your experience...and what more could your devoted readers ask of ya?

  28. The dance of being versus doing --- we all have to learn it, but we manifest it in different ways. By you sharing your story here, you soften my heart, and help me better understand my own dance. Thank you!

    Happy Valentine's Day - one that's full of love and all the steps you may want to take, done effortlessly!

  29. Thank you Beaux, Dr. Jay, Megan...may we all continue to teach and learn, softening each other's hearts and opening one another to deeper compassion.

  30. Dear Laura,
    My heart is always deeply touched by youm and yoour generous sharing of your heart and soul. To say that you inspire me doesn't seem sufficient. HOw do I articulate the immense meaning, compassion and faith I feel when I read your experiences, feelings and insights about this junction in your life? The small steps are indeed big ones on the many levels of our being...sometimes it takes a while to integrate the magnitued of those small steps. I trust that your time of rest is allowing that for you on conscious and subconscious levels; integrating precicely what spirit needs right now. I keep you in my heart and prayers lovely freind of mine. I love you..and miss you. ~Cheryl

  31. Really beautiful writing, Laura. You are an inspiration. I know your words of encouragement and record-keeping of your journey are helping many others... not boring at all!!!

  32. In spite of your MS, or maybe because of it, you definitely shine the divine each time you post. I feel that your sharing how MS affects you is the only way most of us become educated about this condition. blessings and virtual hugs being sent to you now


Bright Sparks: