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.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lech lecha


Lech lecha
Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to a place that I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)

What could be more direct than the Torah portion for this week? Go, leave what you have known/have been/ go to a place I will show you. Go to your self.
Well, I am.

In this body, the one I was born into but feels more and more like a strange land with each passing day. I am
Monday afternoon I heard the call. Gordon was out getting Rosie from a day of apple picking and apple crisp baking for the CROP Walk...Belin was up in her "teen cave" (aka bedroom doing whatever it is 16 year olds do in the privacy of their own sacred space). My friend Mitch had just been by for a long and lovely visit (an old friend-he's not old-we've known each other since we were 5 and grew up in the same community near Philadelphia)...he was passing through and well, I was just in such a happy mood.
I looked out the sliding glass doors to the tree that has been captivating me for two weeks now from my bedroom window. (wait did I mention I was downstairs for the visit? Second time down in two days...Barbara came the day before with Muncie...such a great weekend!) So I'm down stairs, slid on my bottom, but got there and with a pillow behind my head on the couch and armed with Klonopin I could sit without my head trying to detach and speak with a quite understandable Latina accent. Tuesday was spent in bed. Again. Seriously, sipping Darjeeling with my old imaginary gal pal Patience. And Wednesday the same...although my friend Karen said I sounded Polish on the phone to her (she called me from Canada!!!)
I digress
It was quiet. One of my favorite times of day, an hour or so before sunset, the light was magical and low. Illuminating the crimson branches that had been beckoning for so long...and inside my heart I could hear it:
Lech l'cha....go...go

So me and my wobbly legs, me and my joy-filled being, picked up my camera, opened the door.
Ellie bounded out ahead of me, thrilled to be sharing the great outdoors with her human momma.

I forgot to put on my shoes. Kinda biblical really...walking, teetering on holy ground, my socks barely separating my soles from the soft earth, pebbles, acorn shells....brambles and branches catching my jeans...I moved forward....through the gate...

into the woods...straight to the base of that tree. I was so tired...that short distance really winded me so I laid down on the old fallen tree that had been there since long before we moved here...decaying and teaming with life. 
Soft, rough and nubbly all at once. I was feeling, noticing everything. I caught my breath and rested a moment. Closed my eyes. I inhaled with intention, filling my lungs, my nose with the fragrance of the forest...(ooh do you see it tucked in the word? for-rest!)
I exhaled, relieved for having walked that far, feeling both relaxed and energized because I was surrounded by beauty and I did it...I walked there on my own two unsteady legs. Exhaling even more...releasing the last of my breath; gratitude and love back to God, to ALL there is/was/will be...

I looked up again with more focus to see exactly where God had led me.
and so I am listening more than ever now.
and this is what I keep hearing:
look out
look up
look in
write, share, tell your story with images, with words, infuse all you do with your inner light.
I'm listening.
I'm listening.
I'm getting clearer.

I'm doing and being what I have been called to do and be.
My dear friend Jan shared a sweet sacred practice with me recently...basically she asked the question (and I'm paraphrasing) Who are you? Who are you dis-robed, dis-roled? Who are YOU? Not what do you do...who are you?

and so I started a list. it changes everyday, as I do. here's today's version:
I am beauty
I am song
I am wind
I am light
I am a leaf
                        floating to earth
I am expressive expression
I am passionate passion
I am words
I am vision
I am love
I am peace
I am God's sweet instrument
I am honesty
I am blessing
I am blessed
I am
I am
I simply

for exquisite views of the skies around the world
(I hope the bits of sky through the leaves were enough to satisfy my sky gazing friends)

Skywatch Friday

 and imperfect prose that perfectly reflect whole hearts


  1. Thank you for sharing. Lovely images in words and photos. A friend recently suggested that perhaps fall colors are so captivating because they are disrobed of their green showing their true colors . . . Blessings and Peace to you xo

  2. Dearest Laura,
    What beauty, what soul, what an experience you walked me through with your words and photos! Oh, the warmth in my heart, the love that passed through—and the knowing, deep KNOWING, that you are living your experience and the truth of who you are in this moment—fully!

    And, ok, I cried. I often do when I read your words. But this may be the most moving post yet...because (as the scripture says) you listened and went forth. I bow that you are doing this and I cried with thanks because I know that I am too - finally! How long it takes us sometimes to wander in the wilderness like the people of old? How long does it take us before we finally embrace the path of our calling and walk it with conviction, fealessness, and joy?

    You are there, as am I, and don't you just want to invite everyone along and say, "Please come? Come home to your truest self in God?" Don't be afraid. Just slide on your behind, or stumble, or crawl, however you can—just come! A new world awaits.

    With thanks. Loving you, Laura, and all that is. Ruach...breath of God.

  3. So beautiful and profound, Laura! I especially love your realization about the word forest! :-)

    Your walk reminds me of one of my favorite young adult books. It's by Laura Resau, called What The Moon Saw. It's about a young girl going through self discovery, which leads her to spend the summer with her grandmother, who is a healer, in Mexico. The girl enjoys nature much in the same way you described here.

  4. smiles. beautiful shots up the tree...for-rest...i often go there for the same....breathing in creation...sorry it was such a hard time for you though...

  5. Stunning photos of the turning tree! I hope your journey didn't wear you out too much.

  6. You are all those things and so much more, Laura. I'm so in awe of you getting yourself downstairs! How is that for strength of spirit?

    There is something profound in being in nature.

  7. What glorious photos - especially the last two. Nature is the art of God.

  8. Laura, you are ceaselessly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your light.

  9. " a place that I will show you." Such a perfect, perfect scripture for this journey that you, I, and so many others are traveling.

    Your words are filled with joy, hope, and love. Your photos of the sky through the tree - they don't even look like photos. They look like paintings. Such beauty. I think your camera captured the essence of your joy in that tree.

    hineni - here I am. I love that. Me, too.

  10. Laura,

    your post both stills me
    and calls me to life.

    you are an inspiration .

    hope you had help getting back inside. you're going to over do it :)

  11. Spending time in nature soothes my soul, restores my strength, and allows me the time to reflect on myself.

    I applaud your courage and determination for answering the the call and making your journey.


  12. so incredibly beautiful, laura. i love that image of those red leaves up high in the tree, and all the peace and joy that oozes from this post. i know ms; i'm a pt. i know how long and hard that journey to the out of doors was for you. i'm so glad you made it. (but next time, take your cell in case you get stuck-just saying!) :)

  13. Yay, You! I can picture you there, resting against the solid comfort of the tree trunk, drinking in all God's beauty. The photo looking up at the sky through the brilliantly coloured fall leaves of the tree is gorgeous.

    The I AM statement carries real, tangible power.

    Hugs to you!

  14. What a gift to be able to follow you as you walk this path, to read your words and see what you see.

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  15. What a perfect Skywatch post, so touching and your photos of the tree are breathtaking, I don't think I've ever seen one so red!

  16. I am so glad that I silenced the voice of the "super busy creativity coach, mom, wife, business owner, aunt, daughter" who whispered - "but you don't have time to read Laura's post" with my wise, intuitive, joyful, creative spirit who answered - "you just hush and let Jill enjoy the next few minutes with her friend Laura" - and so I did...and so came the tears...of what? I'm not sure...gratitude, love, inspiration - for simply being alive and for the good fortune to know someone like you who consistently reminds me to really "be, here, now" in this life - in whatever state of place or grace that may be at any given moment. Thank you for this gift. I am here now too. With so much love and light - Jill

  17. i had so much to say, and was interrupted twice, now i feel silenced by all that has overflowed.

    words won't carry, can't carry the all of what you are under this flesh self; that cup runneth over and over and over in such profound moment by moments that i think its the whole life, all of it that names it, and tries to experience it, and yet, and yet... i smile at the thought cause its boundless

    words shaved down to
    I am
    so we turn to the world, to images, poetry music breath love if we are so blessed; silence.

    i love the shot of your red tree
    and the outside in socks, feeling through the weave into the earth.

  18. OMG! Look at the bright colors! The reds with the blue sky in the background. Simply gorgeous!

  19. i enjoyed both your journey and the pictures, especially those of the tree. crimson trees catch the breath in my throat. such bright stunning beauty!

  20. Laura, I read what you shared. I read the comments and I cry. You bless me more then I can say.
    I find healing in my woods and fo-rest. It is so strange because after having several very trying days - I asked myself yesterday.
    "Who am I" - I also asked God "Who am I" "Who am I really"
    Your images are beautiful and remind me of my woods/forest. You have truly been given a gift for speaking to people's heart, spirit and soul. God Bless You!!

  21. I like the autumn red colors Laura!!
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Have a nice weekend!

  22. Laura, you are indeed an inspiration to us all! And this is such a lovely post with such beautiful and delightful photos! Love all the fall colors! Thanks for sharing the beauty with us! Hoping you have a beautiful weekend!


  23. Laura, I love this torah potion because it beckons me to the unknown--or what appears to be the unknown. Your journey to the forest, to the tree of red leaves was so beautiful and inspiring because it helps me to know that at the end of whatever journey we go out on, what we meet will be underneath it all, very familiar.

  24. Wonderfully uplifting post. I love the colorful leaves with the blue in the sky shots and also good ground level shots too.

  25. autumn arrives in a rainbow of color

  26. oh Laura...

    how i love your faith. your walk of obedience. your finding yourself amongst the red leaves, in your sock-less feet, on your unsteady feet... and he met you there, on that holy ground, and he showed you what is good and pleasing: you. and he showed you who you are, apart from everything. how this spoke to me. how i love you, friend. xo

  27. Beautiful photos, - brave and courageous words, Laura. My prayers are with you.

  28. What beauty looking through your eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Spacious is the word that comes to mind ~ no limits to the sky seen through the bright red leaves, no end to the joy you feel and share so freely. You are all the things on your list, beautiful Laura. You are.

  30. Beautiful shots of blue sky through the lovely colorful autumn trees.

  31. looking at the series of photos soothes me. love the rich colours! :)

  32. oh my, what delightful colors surround you! the photos are captivating.

  33. oh, the view skywards through that magnificent autumnal tree was breathtaking, literally for you, metaphorically for me


  34. fabulous photos and worlds to mark the change of seasons, hope you are having a good weekend

  35. Great autumn colors and soul refreshing words! Have a wonderful weekend dear Laura! Ciao! :-)

  36. Beautiful Autumn colours against the blue sky. You took good pictures, Laura and I love all your photos.


  37. The tremendous strength of that tree, reaching upwards. And your own strength, to do what you did. So very impressive.
    And I can smell the autumnal forest scent, all the layers of scent and sweetness.

  38. I'm glad you were called to look up; such a beautiful shot of the tree against the sky. Open, filled with color, trusting, asking for nothing, expecting nothing, just living, breathing, perfect beauty. You.


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