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, March 10, 2011

Contiuous Shifts


Continuous shifts in our hearts, minds and bodies, add intrigue to our lives. Who among us doesn't appreciate an intricate story? And yet it is noticing that everything is changing, without getting wrapped up in the drama that allows us to rest in simple awareness. I know this. You probably know this too, but our brilliant creative minds are in constant motion, our expansive hearts feel intensely, our bodies are in a cycle of dying and renewing from the moment we are born until the day we breathe our last breath. Our souls, however, remain steadfast. When we remember this (in between the many times each day we will surely forget) the ups and downs, darks and lights of our experiences can be brought back to a place of equanimity, centered peace, if only for a single breath at a time.


No matter how many ways I have practiced mindfulness over the years, through yoga, walking or seated meditation, prayer, artistic expression, I still get tipped off balance, I still forget…and then remember, “Oh yes, this breath, this one. I am safe. I am loved.” And I come home the God’s presence within. One of my favorite words for soul in Hebrew is neshama. It shares the same root as the word neshima, breath. Returning to my breath is a return to my soul, a return to the One who fills me, life to all of Creation. 


I will receive my second of 3 steroid infusions today, an intermediary step between coming off the Tysabri and going onto the next mystery medication to slow down the formation of new lesions in my brain.  Although I have tried to stay focused on each day as it comes since we stopped the Ty, I cannot completely dismiss the concerns for “What next?” that enter my mind and start the “What if?” stories that surround risks, benefits, side effects, health insurance approval, and what really IS the best drug to go on next considering my drug sensitivities? In all honesty, along with my appreciation for the beauty of this magnificent winter, I cannot help but want to stay here in my bud, even though uncertainty is shining a light on my petals, beckoning them to release their tight hold; spring is approaching, another important decision needs to be made in May. I'm scared. It will not be a perfect decision. I know that, there is no perfect choice for treating MS. But it will be the best decision I can make with the information that is available. Even in writing this, I must stop…close my eyes…take a few breaths…return to right now and leave the spinning scenarios behind…a few moments of peace.


My sister and sister-in-law are kidnapping me for the weekend. Just a short drive to a nearby city, a hotel room, some books, and in-house movies to watch, restaurants and take-out if I’m not up to leaving the room after the infusion. Still, it will be good to get away, to be with two women I love, who love me back. Sometimes a change on the outside, spending a few days in a different location can help us/me observe inner shifts with a little more clarity, kindness, wisdom and ease.


Speaking of kindness...
 
 I accept this award with deep gratitude from a new blogger I discovered this week:


I'm sharing the love with 8 (ok 10, because it is so hard to choose and I had a rare burst of energy) other bloggers I have discovered recently in honor of their lovely blogs, I hope you will each accept this award and pass it on to 8 of your favorite newly discovered  bloggers as well:

Please visit these bloggers. This is a great way to make some new friends and see the world through another person's eyes; one of the best ways I know to grow in compassion and lovingkindness.

ps...Turned out to be a 3 poke day before the iv cath finally decided to go into my vein properly (poor little kevlar veins)...sleepy and resting now.

Linking to:

Skywatch Friday

73 comments:

  1. I am honored and thank you! Your strength of spirit I really admire and I thank you for sharing a very difficult time in such a beautiful way.

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  2. Hello Laura,
    As always, a thought provoking, beautiful post. I wish you the best of luck with your infusion, and hope that you have a splendid weekend away.
    Cheers

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  3. Absolutely beautiful! I will continue sending loving prayers.

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  4. Love to you, Laura, and I will hold you in heart, thought, and prayer that all goes well today. Your reminder to always return to the safety and comfort of the Breath is so perfect. It never fails to speak to me, reminding me to come back if I have wandered into the brambles. I hope you have beautiful, restful and fun weekend with your soul sisters. :-)

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  5. hello lovely, sending big squidey {{{hugs}}} will be thinking of you today. hope you have a wonderful girly weekend .

    love..xx

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  6. i hope that you have a great weekend being kidnapped...and prayers for you today getting the shots...thanks for the gentle reminder of those moments of peace...

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  7. Today's story really touched my heart, you express yourself so beautifully....artfully, no matter the subject. I am so touched by your support of my blog. To me, you are a superstar blogger. To thank you seems quite inadequate. You should however know that over here in purple land, I am doing a "happy dance"....which involves a lot of moving and shaking, arms in the air and a huge woooohoooo. Yes, I am a tad excited to see my blog listed on yours. I have already visited everyone else. I am humbled to be in the company of such amazing blogs!!! xo

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  8. Oh my gosh! My heart swells and my eyes well... Thank you for gifting me!!! I'm honored. Truly.

    But you always give me a gift with your lovely, soulful, sprititual, human posts... :) Thank you.

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  9. Laura,

    I am humbled by your recent comments on my blog, to know that you are taking the time to read my words as I do yours. I am so glad to have found your blog, it is truly an inspiration for me and this post is no different.

    I agree about getting away, a change of scenery refreshes the soul, does it not? I hope you have a lovely trip that renews your spirit if even for a moment because as you said, it is the moments that count, only in the moment or in each breath can we experience true peace. If only it was as easy to do as it is to know it...that ever maddening disconnect between the mind and the heart! The mind KNOWS yet the HEART experiences.

    God bless you and thank you for the award today which I humbly accept as a sign of our new blogger friendship :)

    peace and love,
    Sheila

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  10. My mother always says, "A change is as good as a rest." And I think it's very true.

    It must be nearly impossible to stop running scenarios in your mind, Laura, and I applaud you for taking those deep breaths and putting yourself in the moment and letting the scenarios fade away - even if only temporarily.

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  11. Beautiful. With every word, each vibration, I felt your first two paragraphs to my very core...like we were One in their expression of living. Wonderful, eloquent honesty. Blessings, Laura!

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  12. I understand. And sorry about the three needle pokes :(

    How lovely that your sister and sister-in-law are "kidnapping" you for this second treatment, and making something "fun" out of it.

    Keep breathing...

    "and then remember, “Oh yes, this breath, this one. I am safe. I am loved.”"

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  13. Your words go straight to my heart Laura. Thank you for your deep spirituality that serves as a teaching for me each time I read your posts.

    My prayers are with you. Have fun this weekend.

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  14. Greetings from Finland. This blog is fun to explore, through other countries, people, culture and nature. Come take a look Teuvo pictures blog. Also tell all your friends why he must visit Teuvo pictures blog. Therefore, to obtain your country's flag rise higher Teuvo images to your blog flag collection. Have a wonderful weekend Teuvo Vehkalahti Finland

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  15. Lovely shots. I'll be thinking of you over the weekend.

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  16. This chronic illness is such a teacher for you, and through Spirit you enrich our own lives with such wisdom.

    I was listening to this talk:

    http://www.tarabrach.com/audioarchives2011.html

    called 'Healing into Life and Death'. Your reflections echo Tara's teachings on self-blame, fear, denial, and our need to control our bodies when we are ill. You certainly have your own poetic way of expressing the healing journey, and I am so glad to know you.

    May this trip with your beloved women be cherished and celebrated.

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  17. Laura,
    have a fantabulous weekend my friend.

    You are amazing. You are.

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  18. Dearest Laura - all has been said.
    So much better then I could probably express. Know I send you - love and prayers..Thank you for your friendship.

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  19. I really reasonated with two things you shared about here... first, how can you possibly take on such a big decision?! It seems like something I would really just want someone else to decide for me. God be with you through that!... second, the weekend away sounds absolutely divine. I want to do that :)

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  20. beautifully and so tenderly expressed... as we both walk toward May (an important month for me as well), i'll keep remembering us both with gentle steps...

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  21. I do so admire your strength and courage in such difficult times! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Laura!

    Sylvia

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  22. Thank you for sharing the concept of neshama with us. Good luck with your plans and hope they go well for you. Have a fabulous time on your weekend get away, it sounds like a fun break.

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  23. Laura, we can create so much of our reality from our soul being and our thoughts. The worry thoughts serve us not at all and since they are your own, you cannot push them out of your head. Whenever you catch yourself drifting into them, do not try to resist but instead, REPLACE them by counting your blessings. Start with the essentials first, ' I am alive, I breathe, I see, I hear' etc. then move ever further from your centre, ' I have food to eat and a roof over my head, the light of day with all possibilities to explore, the dark silent night with a twinkling star or not, filled with peace and the nearness of God', move on to all the things you still can do and the simple beauty found in nature. You will find the list growing day by day until worry thoughts have no place in the brain.

    I am starting on Lethicin tablets to retain and even recover brain function loss with age. They helped a Reiki friend of mine when her mind was getting fuddled and she was writing a history book. I have to keep my brain well honed as my husband has Alzheimer's and I have to manage not only our lives but the rather complex farm and personal tax returns.

    Hugs and Blessings . . . Arija

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  24. i so hope that you will have a wonderful weekend with those two woman. I'm always humbled when i read your words - such a lot of tender courage..thanks also for the lesson in neshama/neshima - didn't know this and i think it's wonderful

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  25. What an honor to happen upon your blog, to encounter such a brave and joyful spirit! Have a wonderful weekend and good luck with all that lies ahead.

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  26. Very beautiful photos!Thank you for sharing and have a nice weekend!

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  27. Hi Laura. I am deeply touched by your post. I've never met anyone with MS, and I'm glad I have this opportunity to discover what's inside the mind of someone who has this illness. It must be really difficult having this illness, but I see it as a blessing at the same time because you are able to touch other people's hearts. Your pictures are also lovely. :-)

    Thank you so much for the award, I feel so honored! You are very sweet. :-)

    God bless, Laura, and may you continue to be an inspiration to others. :-)

    Irene

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  28. A beautiful post.

    I will take some deep breaths this weekend ~ and think of you ~ and pray that all is going well.

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  29. lovely post. happy skywatching.

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  30. thank you for reminding me of the steadfastness of soul, dear laura. i'm so glad you get to get away. praying for you. love e.

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  31. Hi Laura! Your post is absolutely beautiful (as always when I visit). And thanks for your nice comment! It's so nice to "see" you!

    I hope your weekend will be a good one .... all the best from Irene

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  32. I love your photos and thoughts. Yes I hope you enjoy your kidnapping:) after the IV's
    kim

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  33. Laura,
    Your post is so inspiring for me.
    Your own words echo my own feelings. The meds the thoughts and all the what ifs. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Katelen

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  34. Oooo, sounds like a great kidnapping. How lovely.

    And at first I thought you had made a typo of staying in your "bed" instead of the bud you had written. Silly me, interrupting such a beautiful poem-thought such as that.

    Love and peaceful blessings.
    xoxo

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  35. Great post. Breath deep and tread well. I wish you a sail full of healing wind in the direction of your heart's deepest desires.

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  36. beautiful series of photos. have an enjoyable weekend.

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  37. Thanks for your comment :-)
    The sky is a non-stop diasshow. And you show beautiful dias.

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  38. Very nice words and a touching one that is. I am also in constant struggle with my mindfulness practice, i guess that it's meant to be so when we stray away from the practice then we get mindful again...a cycle. Anyway, goodluck on your trip and with the treatment. Have a nice weekend! Great photos btw.

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  39. I always wait to read your blog until I have time to pause and think about what you have written. Your thoughtful words cannot be absorbed in a hurry. You help remind me of what is important.

    Shalom

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  40. Lovely shots, Laura. I really love that last one.

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  41. Sorry about the 3 pokes! Lovely trees and skies and sharing of your thoughts and blogging friends. I hope your weekend turns out be wonderful. :)

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  42. Thank you for sharing this post with Skywatchers! A beautiful meditation. Those moments of awareness are always welcomed bliss.

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  43. Beautiful photos. I wish you the best of luck with your MS.

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  44. Mindfulness is one of the hardest things to live, I think. It's all too easy to respond instinctively and immediately - centuries of evolution at work.

    Dealing with the health care system must be one of the most challenging life events. When you least feel like fight, you most have to make one. Until encountering it first hand, most people don't realize how much uncertainty there is not just in our health but our health care. Where's Marcus Welby when we need him?

    Enjoy your escape weekend, and take a breath from the sky to sustain you through the tough times.

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  45. I hope your weekend is filled with many wonderful 'one breath at a time' moments!

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  46. The photos that accompany these posts are just as lovely as the post itself. Thank yous o much for this wonderful read :o) I hope your infusion goes well and that you enjoy your weekend away! Lucky you, I would love to have a weekend away with my cousins...since I don't have a sister!

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  47. Beautiful shots and thoughts.

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  48. Beautiful text and photos! I love the sky in the second one, it almost looks painted.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend away. I hope you will feel well enough to fully enjoy it!
    Hugs :-)
    And congratulations on receiving the award! :-)

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  49. Each one of us has a unique journey but few of us are able to share the experience in a way so others will understand. And then there is you, Laura, a gifted writer with a heart as big as the sky who makes life feel possible no matter what.

    Have a wonderful weekend ~

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  50. Dearest Laura,

    This journey that you are on requires and elicits the best in you and in those who love you. You are all rising to the occasion in ways that help illuminate the paths the rest of us are on. I don’t pretend to know what you are feeling, the depth of the fears that run through you. One thing is clear, though, your beautiful spirit is intact. Thank you for blessing us with your gentleness and grace.

    Judy

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  51. Glad you are resting after playing pin cushion. I'm a hard stick, too. I'm asking God to soak you in His love, enwrap you in His peace and whisper the words of wisdom you need.

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  52. Laura, I love your posts--they are just so inspirational and beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you enter a new phase of treatment. Have a wonderful "get-away" weekend--it will be such fun, I'm sure. I love the last photo of the blue sky and branches coming across --so serene looking. And yes, the house did wait and is STILL waiting and may be waiting until tomorrow too. Amazing what Picnik can do with one's photos. Mickie

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  53. Very dramatic and beautiful photos.

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  54. LauraX, I admire your strength.

    Thanks for sharing lovely photos and dropping by. Have a wonderful weekend...

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  55. I went by and read all your words. I'm feeling what you're saying. We can only make the best decisions we can make for ourselves at any given time. I pray you make the right ones for you and what your body needs. I'm thankful you have people who care and will keep you company through this difficult time. I'm sending you cyber hugs and warm wishes. xx

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  56. A very nice set of photos. Beautiful and well captured.
    Have a nice weekend.

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  57. Dear Laura, as always, your positive attitude and such an optimistic mind and your kind heart and beuatiful words lift my spirits.
    You are always such an inspiration to the rest of us, who complain about petty things.
    Enjoy your weekend getaway - you are truly so blessed with kind and great family.
    I wish my sister lived closer, as I need a getaway of my own...
    xoxo

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  58. Changing... that fortunately unavoidable fact is what keeps us alive- as simple as day after night, and special as springafter winter.
    Loved your words dear LAura!
    :-)
    Hugs

    Dulce

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  59. Laura,
    Beautiful clouds above the pine trees,
    take care and rest well.

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  60. your photos are amazing. I sit here and ooh and ahh over them and then go back to read your words. this experience is very similar to one I shared with one of my best friends ever. he had peripheral neuropathy, a condition much like MS and the only treatment that improved his condition was a steroid drug which I cannot now recall the name. but I used to care for him when my best friend, his wife, had to leave town, and it required administering the drug through the port in his chest. Caring for him stocked my life tool box with some of my most precious and treasured tools, that now I could not live without. I wish I had some words of wisdom to share with you, because our blogging friendship seems to be almost a one-way street - you teach me so much, just as he did. When the seas get rough and the boat begins to rock, breathe. And know that in the end, everything is going to be alright. And if it isn't, then it isn't the end.
    I hope you have a beautiful weekend Laura!

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  61. i am honoured to be included in your list :) thank you.

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  62. Wonderful photos. I wish you the best to go through this difficult time in your life. Have a nice weekend.

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  63. Howdy Laura
    We got our computer back today and well I had to drop in and catch up with you . I am so glad you are going to allow yourself to be taken away for the weeknd !
    You are such an inspiration may your week end be filled with fresh rest ,surprise moments of peace and deep deep joy. The kind of joy,love and peace that makes the world and all your porblems fade into the background .May this be yours today and all through your weekend .
    Blessings of healing are prayed for you too , may those pesky little (ouch)pokes from the injections heal quickly and the memory pass far away allowing you to enjoy the moment called today.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing gift for words with us .
    Gentle hugs with love coming to you from Texas.
    until next time
    Happy Trails

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  64. very nice...great to be here. Hope you can check out my Skywatch entry as well. Thanks!

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  65. As a newcomer to your blog, I didn't know you were experiencing these challenges with your body. Thank you for the calming post in the midst of it all. I hope the kidnapping goes well and is a restorative experience. How sweet to be loved.

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  66. Laura,

    I'm sending positive thoughts your way and I'm glad you are with people you love and who love you. It is understandable to be scared of the unknown that lies ahead but I'm glad that you are so very wonderful at centering yourself and focusing on the present moment.

    Take care,

    Jeanne

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  67. Great photos.

    I've been on Copaxone for over a year now, and I'm tired of the whole darned thing, but it seems to be working for me.

    Hang in there ...

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  68. HI, Laura!

    Beautiful images. Wonderfully captured

    Have a great weekend.

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  69. The first photo was quite mysterious. Lovely shots all of them. I was too late for Skywatch Friday but I love viewing photos shared by everyone when I blog hop. It helps me focus. Sending you positive energies through this little post in whatever I can.

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  70. Hope you had a fabulous weekend!!!

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