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.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Slow Down!

Heart shaped stones we found walking along the Ashtabula River.

SLOW DOWN! scream my neurons. And what choice do my limbs, my voice really have? None. My mind has a choice to make however; be miserable and angry because this is NOT how I want my body to be or sit, listen, breathe, observe, appreciate, accept the gift of this moment just as it is.

We are back from our last bit of traveling for the summer. In my opinion, Northeast Ohio is the epitome of slow living.
Rosie driving great-grandpa's 'ol Case tractor with Gordon's guidance

Lily Pond @ my brother-in-law's house

Gazing at the Ashtabula river from one of many covered bridges in Ashtabula County, OH

Friendly clipeared/hornless goat at the County Fair, Jefferson, OH.

So it was sort of ok that my MS decided to kick it up a notch and say "hello, ummm, you know you still have a chronic illness, right?" before we left last week and on and off throughout our visit.

On our way home we stopped at Niagara Falls and enjoyed the majesty of the rushing water.
Gazing at the falls is a timeless experience.

Yet another reminder that sometimes it's best to slow down and witness the beauty we miss when we are rushing.

Driving home from Ohio through New York and Massachusetts gave me plenty of time to appreciate the country side and the skies (it's a 12hour trip, we brake up into two days.)

To view spectacular SkyWatch posts around the world please click the button below

Skywatch Friday

Of course I wish that now that we are home again my MS symptoms would kindly knock it off already!

And with this thought I must gently remind myself about my choices: be miserable and angry because this is NOT how I want my body to be
or sit, listen, breathe, observe, appreciate, accept the gift of this moment just as it is.

Sitting peacefully seems like a pretty good idea.
I'm feeling deep gratitude as I write this, because truth be told, I am still getting out a bit with a commitment to rest in between. (Haircut yesterday and shiva call for a friend.) Mostly I tell people I'm feeling well when they ask, because who wants to hear "Well actually I feel like crap, but here I am anyway:)" and honestly, overall, I DO feel well much of the time...So I don't think this is another exacerbation in progress, or maybe just really minor one? Because despite the difficulty with speech and walking on and off (can't access words, or make my mouth form them and release them, plus the accent is back and shaky legs that don't want to support me or lift up and move and then just as mysteriously my neurons "come back online" again) Most likely just MS being MS with surprising ups and downs. I know my doctor says this is NOT supposed to happen on Tysabri, except for heat or exertion creating pseudo exacerbations, but I dunno, I've been doing my best to stay cool in our air conditioned bedroom and except for one day when I walked 2 miles a few weeks ago (that was amazing!), I don't think I'm exerting myself. Unless of course hanging out with my teenage daughters, visiting relatives, being pushed in my wheelchair when it's too hot to walk and sitting in a car for hours on end counts as exertion? Maybe. I'm trying hard to figure out the balance of rest and moving through my life. So we'll see. I have an MRI scheduled for Friday evening. (Needed one anyway because of being on Tysabri, so the timing is good).

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments, prayers and well wishes. Although I've been horrid about responding, know that I read everything you write and feel immense gratitude for your support.

gentle steps,


  1. beautiful post and thank you for this gift... I will appreciate more... grazie! xox

  2. first of all , Laura ~ Niagara Falls ! I am in Burlington not far from there. Such a small world . I almost hugged you.

    I am sure your body is reacting to the trip... rest .

  3. hello Laura great post.. you always put words together so wondefully. i keep having to remind myself to slow down lately..mentally more than physically, i think my racing brain has been using up so much energy it wore me out :-/
    glad you enjoyed your trip.. fantasic pics.. love the rainbow, trees, and clouds..xx

  4. Your travels make me smile. Ohio holds memories of long-ago Augusts, when we had family reunions at my great-grandmother's house in Toledo. When I first saw Niagara Falls, as an adult with my own family, I was amazed at the power of the rushing water and could have stayed for hours...just watching.

    Laura, your life has been full this summer with your daughter's bat mitzvah, your trip south, and now your trip to Ohio. It has all been wonderful and exciting, and it has also been months of change in routine. The balance will return. And you have all those summer memories to cherish as it does.

    May you be well ~

  5. I have been reading you but not responding. I, too, am afflicted with fibromyalgia(autoimmune disease), chronic fatigue, depression and thyroid cancer. I'm having to learn to SLOW DOWN and make sure I get 24 hours out of every day. I look forward to catching up with your blog.

    Have a phenomenal day and BELIEVE



  6. Sounds like a lovely vacation! Niagara Falls is great, isn't it? Now it's time to ease into the Fall!

  7. It looks like you had a fantastic vacation; those pictures are gorgeous! I'm glad you had such a good time with your family. I think traveling in itself is exertion; I know i always feel exhausted after a trip. Maybe resting and getting back to a normal routine will help! xox

  8. This was a beautiful sequence of photographs. I'm glad you got to see so many lovely sights during your vacation. I'm sorry the MS kicked up a notch and hope that you will get a respite from it soon. Good luck with your MRI.

    During an MRI of the brain I had, I thought I was going to scream if the exam didn't finish. Right about the time I'd really had it, Bob Marley's voice started singing "no woman no cry". I almost burst out laughing. I had been given choices for music while in the MRI and I picked reggae. I managed to finish up the MRI without screaming or laughing while Bob Marley sang to me.

    Kind of ironic because I get scans and MRIs because I had melanoma which spread to the lymph nodes (I am disease free and hope to stay that way). The ironic part is Bob Marley died of melanoma so having him break the tension in the MRI when I was losing it was a little like I had my own personal reggae angel looking out for me.

  9. Thank you for sharing such delightful highlights of your vacation. I appreciated the not-so-delightful ones too as a reminder of reality ... and also as a reminder of your amazing spirit.

  10. those stone hearts are wonderful. Great post.

  11. A beautiful time in beautiful places, Laura. This sequence is just amazing. I just love that rainbow shot. Each image conveys peace and is very lovely. Thanks.

  12. Ah lady, you need to know how much I admire you ... your courage ... your loving spirit ...

    I love the river hearts - of course! They are so beautiful, set off by the reflections of the trees in the water.

    Thank you so much for sharing these hearts(and YOUR heart as well) on Guest Heart Thursday.
    You are in my prayers tonight.

  13. The heart-shaped stones are so nice. Very pretty! Love and peace to you! ♥

  14. Beautiful post with lovely photos capturing those quiet moments that deserve the time to savor.

  15. Great photos and I love the heart shape stones.

    Have a great weekend.

  16. Very nice photos, I love the stones and the rainbow.

  17. Wonderful shots, Laura, and thank you for telling us how you are. I'm so glad you got away for awhile...that's usually a good thing and seems to have been for you.

    Thank you for reminding us to slow down. I know you HAVE to...but really ALL of us should.

  18. The stone hearts are beautiful; what great finds. I really enjoyed all the pics of your time away. Family, slow living, calm, peace, the ease of summer, making memories for a lifetime.

    The accent is back? Since when? I'm praying this is just a momentary flare-up and that your neurons come back online, as you said. Praying for a peace-filled body for you, for calmer neurons, and a reduction of symptoms. I hope the MRI provides good news for you, Laura.

  19. 如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。............................. ...................................

  20. it looks like your family saw wonderful things, sharing in unique experiences. It must be so hard to not feel well, wishing you peace.

  21. sweet family, happy trip.
    those heart stones...i met a friend from far away that i haven't seen in years for breakfast this week, and she presented me with the 'heart stones' book as a gift, not knowing i've been wrapping stones. good strong connections that grow stronger.
    take you say: gentle steps.

  22. That picture of the rainbow and the flowers is absolutely beautiful.
    I have been wondering how you have been doing. Niagara Falls sounds fun. One of these days I hope to make it up that way.
    I am always thinking of you and sending out good thoughts. Thanks for visiting Reflections. The picture thing has really brought me comfort.
    I am praying for comfort and less pain in your life. Be well my friend.

  23. wow, I love that rainbow photo!

    that sucks about the MS kicking ya around, but the grace with which you accept the kick is inspiring

  24. ^^ 謝謝你的分享,祝你生活永遠多彩多姿!............................................................

  25. When I was diagnosed with a rare heart condition that greatly affected my energy and stamina, I remember that after I had finished crying and feeling pity for myself, I woke up and decided I had two choices: live or die. One does not need to die physically in order to die, there is a death of spirit as well that can become even more debilitating than your actual disability. When I finally woke, a deep gratitude about my life overflowed. All of a sudden it was as I were seeing life for the first time with virgin eyes. The fact that I was close to dying knocked my senses and I appreciated life so much more: everything became wondrous and special to me; I forgave easier and loved deeper; I let go of anger and decided my heart would only know joy; I never complained (and still don't) on how I feel but just perservere. The mind is a powerful thing. If we befriend it and learn to get along with it, the body and mind can become lifelong, wonderful friends that can experience many beautiful things.

    Your post brought all of that back. The gratitude, the pleasure of living. I know exactly how you feel Laura. And, yes, despite disabilities, we are still very much blessed.



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