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.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gratitude Month Continues with Guest Hosts: Rose Eliff and Cathy Aten

It is still double shot Gratitude weekend and I have two beautiful women to introduce you to.

First Rose Eliff. Rose to me, is a woman who is filled with grace. She appreciates the gift of being alive. Her life is not filled with ease in all moments, yet she always finds the blessings and creates a feeling of peace on her blog no matter what. I love that about her, and stop by her blog frequently to be infused with her positive healing energy. Rose is kind and genuinely compassionate toward all beings. It is a joy to read her blog and to get to know her a little more all the time. (She is also a Buddha Chick!) Thank you so much Rose for being a guest today and sharing your loving energy!!!

You can cozy up to Rose too by stopping by her blog: 

 photo offered by Rose Eliff, (she is not sure of it's origin)

Loving Gratitude

Do you feel it? It’s like a happy, buzzing undercurrent that seems to appear this time every year. Are you smiling somewhere inside? Do you find yourself smiling at others, feeling more lighthearted, more content? Such a wonderful buzz it is! It surrounds us near the end of every November. There are numerous heartwarming articles, news reports, stories, questions from friends and family gathered around the table, self-examination:

What are you grateful for?

Heartwarming is a great description for this buzz. A heart filled with gratitude is warm, warm with the flush of love all a-swirl within; warm with appreciation for every good thing and every good person in this life. And at times, warm with gratitude for those things that test our spirit, our strength and leave us with the discovery of an unexpected inner grace.

In an article about yogi and teacher David Wells, the writer said:

"[Wells is inspired] to respond to his surroundings as though everything is a manifestation of the divine and therefore he journeys throughout his day honoring the divine in everything and everyone."

In this time of giving thanks, our buzzing, grateful hearts respond to our surroundings as though everything is a manifestation of the Divine, of pure Love. Family gatherings, familiar foods, laughter, good feelings, friends, love. A grateful heart sees more purely, more clearly, as though a gauzy curtain has been pulled back and revealed everything fresh and new to our eyes, removing the cloudiness that blurred our vision, and revealing the beauty and joy and clarity—the God—that was obscured before.

What are you grateful for?

Seeing through eyes of divine love—seeing everything as a manifestation of the Divine—we can find ourselves grateful for everything, feeling that all is filled with the Divine: this breath is God, these fingers typing away are God, your eyes reading this are God, our joys are God, our sorrows are God, the little birds splashing in the fountain outside my window are God. I am grateful, so grateful, for all that is infused with Love. In our warm hearts, we honor the divine in everything and everyone.

I am grateful for the pure love that exists all around and within. I am grateful for the presence of the Divine in all creation. I am grateful for the glimpses of heaven that we are privileged to see when the curtain is pulled away and our hearts are abundant with the buzz of gratitude.



Meet Cathy. Like me, Cathy is an artist; an open-hearted and spiritually inclined being, who also lives with the daily indignities and growth opportunities that are afforded to those of us blessed-cursed with Multiple Sclerosis. I visit Cathy's blog for a boost of inspiration, strength, courage, humor and humanity. Cathy sees the world with an artist’s soul. She is also a gifted writer. I highly recommend you stop over for a visit. You'll find wisdom and amazing works of art! Thank you so much for participating today Cathy, and for your encouraging emails as I too learn to negotiate life with MS. You help me feel less lonely on this strange MS journey entwined with every other aspect of our lives. Please welcome Cathy Aten here at Shine the Divine and go ahead and check out her healing don't have to be living with a chronic illness to receive healing wisdom from Cathy!!!

"SPIRAL", 11" x 11" x 4", m/m  by Cathy Aten

Cathy’s Gratitude list:

My dog, Olivia’s belly.

My own tenacity in living a great life.

The soft and kind eyes of strangers having the courage to engage with me even when I walk with a walker.

The flowers on the altar that last twice as long as the ones elsewhere in the house.

The non-static energy of before dawn.

My heart and how it keeps choosing to do what it takes to want to stay here, on the planet and not bail.

The respect my friends show me by allowing me as much space to heal as I need and forgiving me when I frustrate them.

The process of  refining my life so that I now attract only the people/healers/supplements/tools that provide significant results for me and my well-being.

My spiritual teacher and her unflagging support.

My ability to tolerate living in the unknown without complaining about it and modeling for others how to do that.

Not being afraid of or bored with returning time and time again to BEGINNER’S MIND.

The sun on the thin skin of my closed eyelids.

The trust that I will probably get to experience that tomorrow, too.

The knowledge I no longer feel so alone in life but have created my ‘tribe around me.

The fact that I am still curious and entertained by life even in this high-maintenance body.

I also want to share a powerful video about Cathy and her life with an uninvited guest called primary progressive multiple sclerosis. My diagnosis at this point in time is still relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, but I know and accept that my disease process has become more aggressive again in the past few months. There is no way to predict the changes or if a plateau will be reached for a while. Anyway, there are many similarities, between us including both starting out as textile designers and blogging, now being our main forms of artistic expression. More importantly  though, I think it is the way we see this disease with the inner eyes of artists. It is a disease of transitions. LIFE is all about transitions. Look at the seasons, the decay of leaves now, that will nourish the earth readying it for new plants in the spring. Interestingly, some of my favorite photos I've taken in the past couple of years are buildings that are in the process of falling down or pealing...transitioning. I really resonate with Cathy's story. I hope it gives you a little insight into what it can be like to live with this disease...the good, the bad and the reality of it. 

Thank you once again Cathy for your all of your beautiful, honest offerings today.


  1. I sit here in awe of all 3 of your women. I am so touched by the words here today and this video. I look forward to visiting both of their special places here in blogland. What a blessing all of your words are to me in this moment. Thank you for sharing your stories and who you are. Blessings. XX

  2. smiles...these are wonderful...and honestly forcusing on what we do have keeps us from worrying about what we do not...b/c it does not really know...

  3. thank you for these beautiful reminders, and introductions. Quite a powerful one, two punch with these two women voicing their truths.
    I was a bit cranky and tired, till i came over.

    All is Love
    and the video so wonderful, too; the re-inventing self and then editing it all down, too.

    Thanks for teaching me.
    Hope your spirits are shimmering!

  4. Rose, reading your post I wonder if those of us from countries that don't celebrate thanksgiving are missing out on something very special - from afar it appears like a 'holiday' that is not quite as commercialised as all the others. A social event that is inclusive and invites a pause for going inward to examine the good things. Thankyou for altering my perspective of an American tradition.

    Cathy, your gratitude list struck a chord with me. And one of many things that I noticed in your video is the way Olivia was tucked up on the sofa with you - such a bearer of love and light.

    thankyou both for sharing a part of yourself today

  5. Love Rose's highlight of David Well's philosophy. Moving through life treating everybody and everything as divine expression, is sure to be a great way to connect with the world and to make self and others happier!

  6. Wow. I am speechless. Both Rose and Cathy blew me away. I needed this today. Thank you one and all.

  7. Thank you, Rose, and thank you, Cathy. Such beauty of life expressed here - the real essence of what it means to be grateful.

    Laura, again, thank you for a beautiful month. You've made November wonderful.


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