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.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Double Shot Grattitude Weekend!!! Deb and Nina P

Deb and I have been corresponding via blog and email for about two years. While we live with different chronic medical conditions, we both suffer, we both know what it is to feel tremendous joy and gratitude for life, for our families for the wholeness of what it is to be human. Deb has been a support to me through some tough times in the past two years and I am ever grateful for my friend who lives by the sea on the other side of the country. 

Please welcome Deb whose lovely and truly inspiring blog you may visit @ 

photo of the pacific ocean by Deb

As I sit here above the unfamiliar setting of the city of San Francisco, I am awed by the feeling of not having to try to control anything.  Below the waves of passing city traffic faintly reminds me of the familiar rhythm of my beloved Pacific ocean, the place where I am most at peace.  The place where I seem most able to relinquish control.  But as I sit here and breathe, I am reminded that no matter where I am, I am okay.  I will always be okay.  You see, as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, I carry the responsibility of so many titles.  And yet, underneath it all, I am a child of God.  And although surroundings change, people change, life changes, I am always at home.  The essence of who I am, of what I am, that is a constant.  And there is a comfort in that knowing.

photo of the pacific ocean by Deb

Laura and I came to know one another on two different levels.  On the first level, she was a spiritual SoulCollage® facilitator, something that I found interesting when I discovered her blog almost two years ago.  She was is Jewish, which I am too, and that drew me into a kind of familial friendship with her.  Then I discovered that Laura's beliefs were very similar to mine in that we are also both students of Buddhism (and Judaism in Laura's case) while still remaining Jewish. Another interesting commonality.  The fact that we both have only daughters sort of sealed the interest and bound us together as sisters.  We passed by one another leaving sporadic notes of encouragement, but not really stopping to get to know the person behind the blog.  When Laura was diagnosed with MS in September of 2009, she began reaching out to me in a more personal way.  I felt that she needed something from me and in response, I realized that I, too, needed something from her.  It was as if her reaching out was brought about by a Higher Power.  I began to see how the sequence of seemingly insignificant coincidental similarities, fit together to build more than just an informal friendship.  We were brought together for a purpose.  Gotta love the modern age of the Internet!  I am not exactly sure how these important connections would have been made before it, but who am I to ask?

So, as I sit here listening to the rhythm of the city, I am reminded that I am truly not in control.  I am reminded that we are taken care of and that even though we are free to journey through this life as we choose, there are signposts placed in our paths.  Sometimes the signposts contain the interesting names of the blogs which we are somehow attracted to, and sometimes, they are more.  What I have come to understand, is that life is a series of connections which can lead us in the direction of a more intimate knowledge of our own essence.  That if we learn to breathe in the freeness of not always having to be in control (control is an illusion, anyway), we can find some comfort in just knowing.  Knowing that we will be okay, knowing that all is well, knowing that each of us is connected to the other.

May this holiday season bring you peaceful moments spent both alone, and together with friends and family.  May you honor your connections while knowing that each one has special purpose and meaning.  May you breathe in the knowledge of your own essence, of who you are...Of who you will always be.

photo of the pacific ocean by Deb
Our second guest host today is yet another blogging friend I've met and enjoyed along my travels on this winding electronic road of gentle spirits. Nina is a poet filled with gratitude, a truly light-infused being. Please join me in welcoming poet Nina Pauline Ploetz to Shine the Divine: 

Say Thank You and Thank You and Thank You again

photo by nina pauline ploetz

An attitude of Gratitude comes from the heart

Regardless of how hard it is, to sometimes start

Most days I'm filled with all kinds of Bliss

I name things around me and try not to miss

The trees, the birds, the sun and the sky

horses and rabbits, even insects that fly

With the excitement of a child my list can go on

On the  days filled with Joy it is gratitude I don

Yet when my heart's filled with sorrow and pain

It's hard to feel grateful with inward disdain

A teacher just told me as recent as  today

Repeat the words Thank You  come what may

Saying  the words Thank You again and again

Repetition wins over and soon comes the Zen

For regardless the pain there are lessons to learn

It's hard to be thankful when for them, it's your turn

But Thankful I'll be as the words I repeat

For one day the lessons will just fall at my feet

Today let me start when  I open my eyes

Saying Thank You for giving me this day to rise

And may I remember all during the day

To be grateful for everything that comes my way

For people I meet and the lessons I learn

Even in darkness it's to the Light I will  turn

Say Thank You and Thank You and Thank You again

For my life is full of the now, not the when

And when it comes time to lay down my head

It's thoughts  of my Blessings as I crawl into bed

For the people I've met who touched my heart

And for the abundance I do have in my life's cart

For it's all how you look at it, that's just how it goes

When everything's a Blessing;  the highs and the lows

Your Life will seem Lighter I promise this when

You say Thank You and Thank You and Thank You again

written with a Grateful Heart with Love and Light,

Nina Pauline Ploetz

For more beautiful poetry and photos from the heart visit Nina @


  1. I've enjoyed reading the offerings of each of these Light-filled women this morning. Thank you for sharing them Laura.

    Deb, I don't live on the ocean but I do live overlooking an enormous Bay that leads to the great inner ocean (Lake Michigan). It is the place, like you, where I experience the greatest inner freedom, vastness, and a constant invitation to let go. Blessings of healing to you.

    I've always admired your poetry. It never fails to get to the soul of the matter. Blessings of creativity to you!

  2. Yesterday, just as I was going to dig my hands into a big task, I got called away to go be with a friend that is dying. Seeing her suffer and her family that is watching this, makes me wish I could do so much more than just sit with them. Sharing the last moments of someones life is a blessing in disguise. I have learned much in these days as much as it breaks my heart. I am grateful for the relationships I have with this woman and her family and for getting to be a part of her life but the ending of it as well.

    Thank you once again for the blessing of reading this today...I needed these words for my sould today...thank you for sharing these wonderful women and their messages. I enjoyed Deb's thoughts on control...and I do believe that our journeys take us where we are supppose to go, to learn what we need to learn or to teach what we need to teach...we all have something that needs to be shared.

    I love Nina's words of gratitude...of saying thank you...I find it so important to say these words often...not just to God and the universe or to what is around but to the people that cross my path and those I spend my days with. What a perfect poem about being thankful for all of it.

    Bless you Deb, Nina and Laura...I am very thankful for your words and how they have encouraged me today. XX

  3. I confess, I don't always have the time to read every post. But I think there are no coincidences, and today I chose to read this one. I am so glad. I connect so well with both of your guests today. Thank you Laura. I connect so well with you too.

  4. Two lovely guest posts and Deb's photos are stunning!

  5. What a wonderful blog and lovely pictures! It's delightful and heart-warming to read.

  6. Deb

    I live around a lake in Sweden but in Brazil I live in front to Atlantic Oceand and I love it

    nice day
    Grace Olsson

  7. Thank you, Deb and Nina for your wisdom and for sharing your gratitude.

    Laura, it's been beautiful reading this month of gratitude...

  8. Beautiful post of connections and gratitude!


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