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, October 20, 2010

Waking up to Giggles

I slept so well last night...all the way until 6:40am. And when I awoke, I said modah ani  (my thank you prayer to God for returning my soul) and then I heard the gentle giggles of my two teenage daughters in the bathroom. We have a buddy bath so, I can hear everything in there. And how delightful when my girls are giggling and talking softly and enjoying one another's company. Belin came in to my still darkened room (she somehow sensed I was awake) to report on how extra adorable our white kitty Chaya was being, rolling around on her back with that sweet little innocent face of hers. Chaya, is notoriously the most amiable looking of our two kitties. Nefi, the truly lovey-dovey cat in our clan has an unfortunate scowl-brow appearance equally deceiving as Chaya's adorable heart shaped nose.

However, the second you reach down to stroke Chaya's enticing soft belly, she curls in with claws and teeth at the ready! She never actually hurts anyone, she is very playful, LOVES to be could say she wants us to believe she is a prima donna, but beneath her aloof, look at Me-ness is a genuine, classic "fraidy-cat", country bumpkin, ingenue. She hates to be petted or picked up or cuddled in any way. She wants to be near us, follows us into rooms and will sit some place close, where she can keep an eye on us. But DO NOT TOUCH.  
Except for the dog. She adores our dog Ellie. 
She imprinted on the dog when we brought her home, a feral feline, rescued from the wild with two other surviving litter mates at 3 weeks of age. Her sisters live with my brother's family in PA; very friendly those two. I think we are dealing with separation anxiety and PTSD (their Mama cat and another sibling were attacked and killed by another wild creature in the night) and goodness knows what else, but we love her, even though she simply tolerates us. Mind you I hand nursed Miss Chaya with an eyedropper and kitty formula, but she decided right from the start the Ellie (a 45lb standard poodle) was/is Mama. She drives the poor dog crazy sucking on her paws when she (Ellie) is trying to sleep. The cat, now 5 years old, still "nurses" on the dog's feet!!!!  All she asks is that we love her, exactly the way she is. And we do. Look at that heart shaped nose! How could you not love a kitty with a face like that...even if she attacks us on the steps biting our ankles at every opportunity. Anyway, Chaya's beguiling, deceptive cuteness is what led to the soft laughter that I awoke to this morning.

Chaya is a Hebrew name, it means felt appropriate as her life was spared.
Nefi is short for Nefesh, one of several Hebrew words that means Soul...and she is lovely old soul-actually we suspect she may be an extraterrestrial visiting our planet. She moans with socks in her mouth every night. We believe this to be an attempt to contact the mothership...just sayin'.

And so I feel so grateful for giggles this morning. How sweet it is to wake in this way, knowing deep in my heart that all is well this morning. My girls are happy. My Nana used to say: "Laugh before breakfast, cry before supper," I think because SHE liked to sleep in. She had a lot of sayings, but that one always cracked me up. I believe laughter in the morning sets the tone for the day; a joyful melody that will be remembered and sung over and over as the day carries on.

Part of my easy feeling today is that I went to bed after listening to a fantastic Buddha Chick conference call (oh, really it was a conversation) between Jan and Sue Patton Thoele, author of many books, a classic being The Courage to Be Yourself. Throughout the call my "no-no-no" head (still have that annoying weird tremor/clonus-y thing goin' on) managed a lot of "yes, yes, YES's". Everything Sue said resonated as true for me, EVERYTHING! From her discussion of ego getting a bad rap and really being the structure that holds all the rest of our emotions and thoughts (I know with my crappy short term memory I am totally misquoting, but this is how I'm remembering it). To the way she spoke about being gentle with our "little self".... and the many voices we have inside. SoulCollage® philosophy. It was all just so YES. When we can learn to be gentle with all parts of ourselves....truly cultivating gemilut chasadim/metta/lovingkindess....friendliness to the wholeness of who we are, then we will feel ease. Then we are fully embracing our own Divinity.

      וַיִּבְרָא     אֱלֹהִים     אֶת-הָאָדָם     בְּצַלְמ

And God created human beings in God's own image (Genesis 1:27)

The yucky, grumpy, judgy parts...the sad, lonely, don't feel worthy parts, the loving, compassionate, generous parts, the silly, giggly and even off -the -wall -outrageous parts (that volunteer to color their own daughter's hair manic panic amplified hot-hot pink, if she feels like it, ahem, you know I'm available, whenever-ha, ha...she took me up on it...gotta get a pic as soon as my prince remembers the battery charger). The kitties, the dogs, with their paws, flaws, and desire to be loved just as they are. Same with us. When we learn to love ourSelves completely, loving everyone else is just what we do, because we recognize ourselves in them. We recognize them in us. And God in everyone and everything.

That's not exactly what Sue said...I think I may have embellished a bit...but that's what I HEARD. And even if it's not what she meant... I heard what I needed to hear. Thank you Jan and Sue and all my Buddha Chickadee sisters who participated in the call last night!

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your heart and soul will thank you.

My website is undergoing some changes (like me, ha, ha, ha) I no longer do play-shops outside of my home, BUT, I offer Lev b'Lev SoulCollage® Guidance (heart to heart over the send me a jpg of your image and  as a trained and highly experienced facilitator, I will witness and scribe for me for details about how to make your cards, if you've never done it before and all the other little details...YOU will LOVE the process!!'s a lot like Spiritual Direction but with SoulCollage® cards as tool to dive deeper. This is a service I offer to experienced SoulCollager's too. I'd love to hear from you and do one on one guidance with you SoulCollage®-sisters so let me know if you want that sacred one on one time with me!)  


  1. Cats and dogs bring so much joy into our lives! Every little personality quirk is so delightful (unless it involves peeing in your shoes or something).

  2. I have so enjoyed this post from first word to last...
    And so, like you, (with your Buddha Chick call) I quote:

    It was all just so YES

  3. I really love those feline attitudes! 'Laugh before breakfast...' what a lovely sentiment! Nothing better than waking up to those giggles!

  4. nice. our cat is very similar in that she does not like to be dog so no one to but she wants to be near us...

    sounds like a cool call as well...

  5. Oh, how I loved that post, Laura! Everything from reading about the giggles, your wonderful animal friends, your phone call last night and your insight about loving all of us. That has been exactly what's been on my mind - living not just a creative life, but a fully integrated one. It's such a challenge, but also so rewarding... Thank you for the inspiration!! Love, Silke

  6. It made me smile to read about your pets. I'm glad you have them - they can be such a comfort and a source of happiness, especially when you're sick.

    I LOVE Ellie's expression in that photo : )

  7. Ah kitties...I do love their eccentricities, even they make me a little crazy. A cat that loves (or at the bare minimum tolerates) cuddles is a must for me. I couldn't resist stopping to give Chaya a squeeze when I went by. I suppose I'd have to invest in some armor. Your cats' antics crack me up. BTW, I'll have an update on our own personal Tabby Torturer tomorrow.

    So glad you had a good session with Jan & all your Buddha Chicksters. I can't imagine it going any other way.


  8. Cats are the most fascinating creatures! I find that they are the animals that most closely imitate the variety of personalities that we humans have. You will never, ever come across two cats who have the same personality.

  9. You have a beautiful animal family, Laura.

    Waking to sound of laughter of your children's laughter has to be one of the best ways of all to start a day.

  10. now that is just the best possible way to wake up... love your kitty names btw

  11. I enjoyed your post a lot. and the dog is just adorable. and the heart-nose cat. so sweet.

    have a sunny Thursday!

  12. Pets do bring so much joy into our lives...beautiful animals and post Laura! :-)

  13. What a wonderful little animal family you have! I wish you many giggles, today and always.

    My father used to say something similar, about if you laugh in the morning, you'll be crying by evening. These days, I make sure that's not true anymore.

    Hugs, giggles and love,

  14. What a good day, full of gentle gifts and normal treasures. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  15. What happiness here - something our furry loves bring to our lives in abundance. What cat is possibly the cutest thing ever! So glad you're in this space today.

  16. Pets become part of the family, and I don't know who has more influence:) In our house Leo the cat is king.

    With my kids it was their quiet talks late at night that brought me joy ~ muffled conversations from another part of the house that lulled me to sleep.

    I have set aside time later today to listen to the conference call with Sue. I am looking forward to it!

  17. laura... how lovely, to wake to the sound of laughter... to know your children are joy-filled. and how your heart overfills... i know the peace after a long night's rest, and it really does revive the soul. how you encourage me, sister. you don't know how you do... stay strong, and of good faith and cheer. i'm praying and loving you, friend. e.

  18. What a lovely post, start to finish!

  19. Both are getting along so well. Pets are a treasure. I have two kitties but one has the A personality.

    Take care.

  20. I loved this story! lol Cats are people, you know--and that heart shaped nose is darling.

    Happy Guest Heart Thursday!

  21. Ah Laura. You made me smile and nod my head 'yes, yes, yes'! with this wonderful post. Your gentle and loving soul simply shines through your words and how you see your world.

    To have a wonderful feline with a heart-shaped nose ... perfect for Guest Heart Thursday! I thank you for sharing!

  22. Is that a silver poodle I see? Our last dog was a silver poodle and was my faithful companion for the first three years I was sick. It felt like she cried with me in those early days when we didn't know what was going on with my body. Now I have a hound dog. I love him for his utter dogness. He makes my life more interesting. But I still miss my kind and gentle poodle: Winnie (for Winnie the Poodle).

  23. Wonderful post... how fortunate Chaya has a family like yours.

    Giggles always bring a smile!

  24. have enjoyed reading this Laura..tis heartwaming...xx

  25. Beautiful animals, and I love that heart-shaped nose :)

  26. Wow... I love the name Chaya, by the way!

    And your view of life, holistic, joy, deep, resonates so much for me.


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