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.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gratitude and SoulCollage®: ME




I'm back for just a day to share my own post on Gratitude and SoulCollage® and then will be holding off on my own personal posts for a little while, until December 1st. I hope you have enjoyed our Guest Hosts this month, I know I have!!! I’ve learned so much from my friends and teachers. Thank you, thank you dear ones! We have more wonderful guests throughout the end of the month and of course the Second Annual Mega Mobius Quilt to look forward to on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th. I do hope you will continue to visit and that all of these wise teachers will inspire you to look at the aspects of your life that fill you with gratitude each and every day.

In the past few weeks and months, as many of you know I have had a gradual worsening of my MS symptoms, robed in mystery as these changes often are, and that is one of the reasons I thought having guests for this month of gratitude would be a good idea. The irony of course is that it has been more work to gather and post everyone else’s stuff than write and post my own! But I am ever so grateful for this soulful work. It has brought me immeasurable joy during a turbulent time. Recently in the Buddha Chick class I am taking with my friend Janice Lynne Lundy (who will be a guest at the end of the month), we learned about "the big fish." In this lesson Jan taught us about the way riding our emotions can sometimes be likened to riding a slippery, rambunctious fish through the ocean of our emotions.

This is how I understood that particular lesson. Sometimes the fish (and the ocean's undertow) drag us down deep into the sea's scary dark depths and other times we are lifted up for a breath of joy.  And then there are the times during which the ocean is calmer, not necessarily because life is magically easier, but because we have found respite in equanimity (Menuchat haNefesh) a spaciousness within, where we can just ride the fish and the waves without falling off or identifying completely with our emotions (e-motions, energy-in-motion). This is an inner trait, a middah, a soul quality, we are constantly cultivating, growing our souls as we learn to accept our thoughts and feelings for what they are without allowing them to define who we are. We are NOT our thoughts, we are NOT our emotions, they come and go like the tides; filling us, emptying us, teaching us to be present. And yet while our feelings and thoughts do not define us, do not confine us into a particular "shape," they direct us to look toward the many facets of our inner jewel; our own heart. They are the reflective surfaces within, that remind us to view our wholeness with love, respect, kindness and compassion. 

It is also important to remember that there is no "there there." In other words, we don't just arrive at this "enlightened" state and drop permanent anchor expecting all to be peaceful and groovy because we "get it now." Our thoughts and emotions, life and life's constant transitions will ebb and flow, tossing us about now and again.  So while we may choose to drop the anchor of intention to live in equanimity, it is something that we must continually work on. It is a life skill we will no doubt learn over and over again each time something new tips us off balance and plunges us down into the depths. However, the more we are aware of what is happening inside, the more adept we become at figuring out how to swim back to the surface or climb onto the big fish for assistance, so that we may meet the challenges on the outside (and the inside too) with grace and once again, love, respect, kindness and compassion.

I feel tremendous gratitude toward my friend, mentor and teacher Jan, for this lesson that I needed to be reminded of (even though my inner wisdom knew it, and not because I'm so smart...we ALL need reminders, especially during wild times of emotional upheaval...and we ALL know this stuff if we look and listen deeply to our own Divine hearts!)

I loved this teaching, mainly I suppose because it is one I have known consciously for a long time. It resonated as truth. I have visualized the ocean often in dealing with physical pain, emotional distress and anxious thoughts for many years and have shared this imagery with my children, friends and clients when they have gone through times of struggle. But I hadn't thought about the fish, that is to say I didn't THINK about the fish, but it was here swimming inside of me all along. When I read Jan's lesson, "Whoosh!" I realized that I had known about the fish too! My Heart Chakra SoulCollage® card is a big FISH! I made this card four years ago. When I listened to Seena’s guided meditation for discovering what animal totem was dwelling in my heart. For me, a beautiful colorful fish swam into my consciousness. I never understood why a fish was swimming around my heart, but just accepted that this particular animal totem wanted to be there and was. 

Here is my Heart Chakra SoulCollage® card. I did this reading just before I began to write the paragraphs above, so if some of what you read below sounds familiar, you will have a sense of just how helpful SoulCollage® can be in discerning what we need to understand, be present to and teach on a given day.
Heart Chakra SoulCollage® Card by Laura Hegfield
Who are you?
I am the one who is full of color and light.
I am the one who is swimming upward towards the surface. 
I am the one able to circle around your heart and dive deep into the dark depths.
I am the one who is able to dwell in peaceful waters, with strength and agility to steer your though difficult times.
I am the one who circles your heart with gratitude for THIS moment, whatever this moment happens to be.
I am the one who guides you to Presence, Source, to being present within yourself.
I am colorful, I am patterned, I am complicated.
I am the wholeness of all that you are and all that you feel.
I reside in your center, and I'm always here to listen, to swim with you, gently.
 
What do you have to give me?
I offer you grace, the grace to swim within the blue-green tumultuous seas of your own heart and mind. The grace to know beauty, the grace to recognize sadness and sorrow. The grace to rise up again to the surface after those long deep dives down into the darkness. The grace to know that you are loved always. Always loved by the greatest love of all; the love of the ONE.

What do you want from me?
I want you to remember your own mantra: ALL IS WELCOME. All these feelings, ALL of these feelings, all of your wild thoughts, all of the calm waters, all is welcome...and you are blessed. 
 
Is there anything else you want to tell me? 
Look at my beauty and realize that your beauty is being reflected in my colorful scales.


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And since we are on the subject of hearts and SoulCollage® I thought this would be a good time to describe a special service I offer. (My updated website will go live HOPEFULLY December 1st, and there will now be paypal buttons for your convenience.) You may remember in the interview with Seena Frost yesterday, she mentioned the importance of having a scribe to write down the words that arise from your card. That and the sense of safety and validation created by having a witness are two of the reasons I am offering Lev b'Lev SoulCollage® Guidance.

What is Lev b’Lev SoulCollage® Guidance?
This is an opportunity to move deeply into the SoulCollage® process one on one. In my experience working this way with SoulCollage® cards is really a form of Spiritual Direction, allowing the images on your cards to be a springboard allowing you to dive directly to the wise well of Spirit within. As a seasoned SoulCollage® facilitator I have been trained to guide you through the process of reading your card(s) using a sequence of specific questions. As your Lev b’Lev (heart to heart) Guide, I will be your witness and scribe, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Although many SoulCollage® practitioners self-witness and scribe, the shift of attention from “stepping” into your card (right brain) to physically writing down what the card has to tell you (left brain) and back again can cause a break in the stream of consciousness. When a trained facilitator scribes for you the urge to self-edit the words that arise from your essential self is released; you are empowered to be fully present to the wisdom that flows from your heart-center. Guidance is done over the phone with an email follow up of your reading. Before our one-hour session you will create a card or two on your own and then scan or digitally photograph your card(s) and send me a jpg file of your image(s) via email. I am offering this service to experienced SoulCollager’s as well as those of you who have yet to dip your toes into the “healing waters” of the process. Please contact me to schedule a time for our heart to heart meeting. If you are new to SoulCollage®, I will forward directions for card making to you once we have agreed on a time. If you have many cards and would like to re-read an old one or read one you made a while ago but have not sat in sacred time with yet, we can look/listen/play with any of these. 

Investment: $35-$60 (*Note about sliding fees: I feel that in order to be available to more individuals, it is important for you decide what is affordable at this time in your life within this $ continuum.)

contact me via email: laura@shinethedivine.com

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Taking a deep breath, I want to share some more joyful news in the midst of this challenging time for me and family. It is with deep gratitude and humility, that I announce to you publicly that I have been blessed by four of my mentors, Rabbi Nancy Flam, Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg,  Rabbi Myriam Klotz, and Janice Lynne Lundy, to "take the seat" of Spiritual Director. This is a calling I have felt for quite some time, and all agree that I'm ready to hold sacred space and mentor others in this way through holy listening. More information about spiritual direction will be available  on my updated site soon. I thank you dear teachers, for all you have shared and taught me, for your generous, continuous support, for seeing me, hearing me, and loving me just as I am. May the service of my heart and my ability to truly be present to others be a vehicle for drawing more blessing  and healing into this world, one beautiful, tender, human connection at a time. 

as always, gentle steps, 
Laura


Don't forget to stop by and visit with my friend Clytie to see some amazing hearts from around the world!


************************************
In case you missed them, here are interviews with Seena from my friends Anne Marie and Cheryl as well as her interview with me from yesterday.
November 8 -     Kaleidosoul - Anne Marie Bennett
Seena's next blog stops are listed below! 
November 22 -   Listening for the Whisperings - Catherine Anderson 

17 comments:

  1. I hope you are still managing to get proper rest, Laura.

    I like the fish analogy. It's a great visual.

    I couldn't imagine a more caring and beautiful soul than you to be Spiritual Director. Congratulations, Laura.

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  2. Your soul collage card is really beautiful. Did you paint the fish? I love it. And of course you and I have talked about the "seas of difficulty." So many scriptures speak of oceans, of deep waters, in relation to life's trials. I appreciate the truth that we are always learning to navigate these seas, that the journey is not stagnant (although sometimes I'd like to put down anchor in those times of quiet waters), that ultimately God is the one who gives us the grace to rise again to the surface, as we trust in Him...

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  3. As much as I love reading the writings of the amazing women (and man) you've brought into your circle, I was so happy to find your words here today. I find I miss your wisdom and your kind and gentle spirit. Thank you for the light you brought into my life today.

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  4. I am sorry to hear that you do not feel too well, I hope this will improve soon...
    And it is indeed wonderful to read a post from you again.;)
    xoxo

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  5. Dear Laurah, thank you for your special words this day. I am new to you - but in my heart you have always had that title.
    Healing and blessings sent your way this very hour. Rest...

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  6. Thank you everyone for all of your kind comments. I'm sorry it took so long to respond. I was out all day at a special MS clinic thing where I talked with many different people...a full team of ms specialist from physiatrists and physical therapists to a nutritionist, a speech pathologist and my two neuorologists had a conference call...so a very LONG day. We left at 7am and got home around 2:30pm. Some very helpful info and small suggestions...and some changes in my treatment plan. Anyway...Thank you everyone for your well wishes. We have a long road ahead...hoping my walking will improve with time, but for now it is mostly very short distances with my walker and my wheelchair.

    sending love and blessings to everyone.

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  7. What a thoughtful and insightful blog entry. I love the way you write. Your heart, dear one, is so lovely.

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  8. Oh Laura...
    Big hugs and blessings to you. thank you for sharing your heart, soul, wisdom and insight with us. Reading your offerings is like experiencing a compassionate breeze through my heart. And, bravo to you on "taking the seat" as Spiritual Director - this is wonderful! Congratulations.. and, looking forward to seeing your new website.
    Blessings to you today, and always... Cheryl

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  9. My dear friend, when I come to your blog to read what you have written ... what your friends have written ... I find myself in a place of love and peace. You are, as always, an inspiration to my soul.

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  10. Gasho, my dear friend and anamcara, I bow....And the fish, what a powerful metaphor for all that you continue to ride with equanimity, gratitude, humility, and even joy. YOU are our teacher, Laura, in so many ways. I am thrilled you are taking your seat as Spiritual Director. I know many will benefit from your loving support and wise guidance. Metta....

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  11. Laura, this is such wonderful news in a time of uncertainty for you, as you continue to ride the tide of life with grace. Your love and caring shine through. We all benefit from knowing you, my friend.

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  12. Isn't it funny how our inner knowing presents us with images that continue to resurface, like your fish, throughout our lives? I've had the experience of receiving an animal in the chakra mediation that at first made little sense (large bull with horns!), but with time and reflection makes perfect, recurrent sense.

    I am so happy that you've been given the divinely green light on becoming a spiritual Director. May your path be one of ease and delight!

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  13. you have such a beautiful heart, laura. i so appreciate you. thank you for linking. xo

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  14. Lovely words, yours & the reading. We all need a little grace & a gentle reminder. Congratulations on your achievement.

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  15. Laura, you write to inspire everyone. Your artwork is beautiful!

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  16. and I feel tremendous gratitude towards you.

    THANK you, dear hearty friend.

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  17. I have an affinity for ocean and water themes, too, so the fish analogy truly resonates with me. Thank you for that perspective, sweet Laura. Happy, happy congratulations on taking your seat as Spiritual Director. Your inner perception and your training will serve you well as you support others in their journeys.

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