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.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Honoring Our Inner Seasons

Beneath the dense clouds and blanket of snow life is beginning anew. It is impossible to see what is happening below, and so one must have faith that this is not the way things will always be, that change is continuous, growth and healing inevitable.

I’ve been in a bit of a grieving space this week, despite the fact that the girls have been home with me. I’m not sure why, and in a way the why doesn’t matter nearly as much as being fully present to my uncomfortable feelings with tenderness. In our book group at Dharma Sisters Circle we are reading Sylvia Boorstein’s wonderful book Happiness is an Inside Job. I've had this book, and loved it for almost three years. My copy is underlined, double underlined and highlighted throughout. This week these words of Sylvia's have really held me, “--in addition to the recognition of pain—is not to be mad at it, or at myself for falling into it….it isn’t my fault that my mind  is embittered, that something has upset it, that I’m in pain…No one purposely suffers.”

Grieving comes in unpredictable cycles, but like the seasons of the earth, it does cycle. The heavy clouds and dense snow that is weighing down my heart is temporary, I know this. I have complete faith that this is so, as I’ve been here so many times before. So while I am feeling the weight of a sorrow I don’t completely understand, I do know that this inner season will change, that I am indeed growing deeper roots, and new shoots will push through the surface soon enough. I am doing my very best to honor this inner grieving while it lasts, to be aware of unkind words I say to myself, and to rebuke old voices in my head with gentleness and compassion, so that I can see the truth of the moment. I feel sad, I feel angry, I feel frustrated and lonely...but none of those feelings are my fault, this disease is not my fault...and all of this offers me an opportunity to practice compassion toward my own aching body, mind, heart and soul. The kinder I can be to me, the kinder I can be to others. So, once again, a blessing in disguise has appeared as an uninvited, but welcomed guest in my life. Actually, writing it out has lightened my spirits, a little.

I thank you for entering my online sanctuary. This blog is very much a place where healing occurs for me in the process of pouring out my authentic self through images and words. I know from beautiful comments I've received that healing happens for some of you too when you stop by, and this brings me tremendous joy.

I am grateful for all of you who come here to connect, and share your loving thoughts. I am quite backed up in responding to comments right now. It seems there are new readers of this blog every week, so welcome to all of you who I've not been by to visit yet. Between the girls being on vacation and me being in a bit of a funk, I’ve really just not been online as much as I usually am. Perhaps next week I’ll feel more social, and if not, then very soon I'm sure, because everything changes.

Gentle steps,

Skywatch Friday


  1. My dear Laura,
    I am grateful you are grateful and that this blog helps you heal somehow. <it's true it's nobody's fault. Yesterday I fell down and twisted my ankle, now i am lying on my sofa, not being able to go anywhere for I must use crutchers and I need some practice... and i also hated myself for not being careful enough, for my bad luck... all that needed to be done, won't be done because of a stupid accident, and i said to myself what if I hadn't gone down those stairs. But 'what ifs' do not exist, all there is is this we have now.
    Your post has helped me remember that and I really hope you keep remembering it all through this day.
    It's great you are reading good literature, just the one you need. Isn't it amzing?
    Life is a miracle if we look at it with loving eyes.

    Hugs and peace


  2. and this too will pass...........:)

  3. Dearest Laura,
    You are so very wise, these things do come in cycles and seasons. I like to think of them as actual seasons of our soul life. For whatever reason, these feelings do surface and I am glad you are honoring yours, but keeping a wise perspective on all of this. Who knows why these seasons emerge when they do? But you are right, there is something wonderful growing beneath the surface. I often sense that a season of grieving in my own life is a Letting Go so that space can be made for something new....

    Sending crocus of love to you today for an early dawning....xo

  4. Funks are allowed. Because even in your funk you speak inspiration to us.

  5. dearest Laura, I so appreciate the deep honesty and wisdom of your words. It seems very timely - I believe it will resonate with a whole lot of folks right now. Let's just say that this winter season has provided a great deal of opportunity for personal growth!! and you have presented guidance through the self stuff we can do to ourselves, when tenderness and acceptance is most needed. Your inner knowing and caring is inspiring to me.
    I'm a huge fan of Sylvia Boorstein too :)
    hugs and love, K

  6. Yes I cannot wait to see the new life begin! It is starting in GA, so is my life to a degree....

  7. Laura, I know how much you enjoy having your girls around you so you'll take joy in that part of your week. And I always remind myself that the down times are part of living a full life and they help us to honor and appreciate the up times.

  8. it's really okay to take the space offline to "be." if not, the posts and the comments would just be forced, and that just wouldn't be you.

    as for your thoughts on grief and suffering, you know i've been in and out of this place too... may you know God's presence as you walk through the dark valley...

  9. while
    pouring out ourselves through images and words, healing appears..i can underline this..writing away the fear, the desperation, the gried, the loneliness.. i'm thankful for honest people like you who share a part of their life and help others to see more clearly

  10. Great skywatch Laura!

    May He hide you under the shadow of His wings.

  11. A lovely SkyWatch post - a beautiful snowy world.

  12. Lovely snowy world and beautiful capture! Continue to hold good thoughts for you, Laura! May you have a wonderful weekend!


  13. What a lovely, peaceful image. Thank you so much for sharing. Spring will arrive soon. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  14. What a beautiful, peaceful winter capture! Spring will be arriving soon. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  15. Dear Laura, I hope you feel better soon. Feeling down does always happen at surprising times. We feel sad when we feel we shouldn't and then we feel frustrated at ourselves for feeling that way when she shouldn't. Whenever I feel down I struggle with myself constantly thinking 'But I should be happy! I should be smiling!' even though I know that thinking that way will only make it worse. Only when I accept my feelings do I get better and then usually after I've had a good cry.

  16. Sometimes I envy you for your ability to understand yourself...or to admit that you have these feelings. This is a gift.

  17. blessed are those who listen to themselves and acknowledge the feelings deep inside. i have to envy you for that as well, for understanding your inner self.

    Skywatch here

  18. Laura,

    gentle steps? right...

    be as easy and elegant and compassionate with your own beautiful soul as you are with ours....

    and no obligations... love is unconditional.


  19. I am so grateful for you too, Laura. You are one of the most beautiful people I've ever met. Well, "never" met, in person, or course. :) But hearts meet alike in these words and feelings.

    I could feel your spirits rising as you wrote this, Laura. Sometime just to share the sadness of our hearts, and know our words are falling on loving ears eases our load.

    I shall delight in writing your hand-written letter this weekend, when I shall pull away from computers for possibly a whole 24 (or more!) hours!! It will be letter paper with a real pressed flower in -- dipping into my very best stuff for such a special recipient!!


  20. and my friend, fear not for He is with you

    I know you will be well


  21. Hugs is on your way! Happy weekend!

  22. the only way I've gotten through some of the challenges of my life was to repeatedly tell myself that all things change, that realities are temporary, like everything else in life. all things pass. thanks for sharing the wisdom. Have a beautiful weekend Laura!

  23. Oh how to say it- during yoga today you came to mind in the middle of class. I try to get there early - I only have managed that 3 or 4 times in the past four years. Today it really upset me. I then proceeded to have a terrible time on the mat. My body was leaden and confused. Sadness swept in and a tear slipped out. I was ready to just leave - but you came to mind - and I stayed. I stretched and plodded through and dosed off in savasana - Finding peace within sadness just for a moment.

  24. You post today really hit home with me. The recent snows affected me unexpectedly where I didn't even want to post. But life is beginning anew under the white blanket and with the thaw this week, so too does my funky mood. Thanks for sharing this. Have a good weekend!

  25. laura... do you feel my hug?

    i want to thank you for giving all of us permission to grieve, through your grieving, friend... i've rarely read such a compassionate, open piece...

    i love you. praying. e.

  26. I just ordered "Happiness Is An Inside Job" and look forward to reading it. Today a friend showed me the tiny pansy plants she has grown from seed in her kitchen, a good metaphor for the seed thoughts we can plant in time for spring. May you bask in the light of the lengthening days ~

  27. "It's not your fault."

    Have you ever seen Goodwill Hunting? One of my favorite scenes is when Robin Williams says this line overe and over again to Matt Damon until Matt is crying.

    This monkey mind is not your fault. This dis-ease is not your fault. This sorrow, this anger, etc etc is not your fault.

    Of course you are feeling what you are. And I, too am learning to hold the suffering till I see the joyful rainbow after the storm.

    May a rainbow shine through your heart always.

  28. Loved your last post on the barn too.

    Happy Sky Watch Friday, this is a beautiful post, skies and concerns all have their seasons don't they. Thank you for your inspirational posts.

  29. The season you describe, has emerged in my life many times. I understand
    It will pass....
    At the moment I seem to be in a season of joy. Maybe it is seeing the evidence of Spring in my new country garden. Maybe because life becomes more precious in these last years.
    Sending you healing wishes, a smile and hug this early morning.
    Sending you wishes of joy to flood your spirit.

  30. I hope that Spring will come soon in reality and your mind, too. Having a book you really like is a tremendous asset in your life!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  31. I love the beautiful winter scene you captured with your camera. I think it's important to allow ourselves to grieve and be angry just as we allow ourselves to be happy and joyful. I'm glad blogging helps you.

  32. When I was first introduced to the notion of allowing myself to 'feel it completely' I struggled with the allowing if it. It didn't seem right, somehow, to spend time in those places where grief and sorrow reside. Yet, with practice I was able to relax into it and found that in so doing, I honoured myself.


  33. If you are in seasonal bliss have you ever considered the winter a time of rest for nature and many of us. Spring awakens in the next 16 days.

  34. I agree with Paige...:) great shot though.

    Glad to be here. Hope you can check out my ENTRY too!

  35. First of all I love the photo. It is so serene and looks like a page from a storybook. :)
    My first thoughts were "just remember in the winter
    far beneath the bitter snows
    lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose."
    We all must take it one day at a time and exactly as you closed, with 'gentle steps'.
    Wishing you brighter days.

  36. Dear Laura, thank you for revealing to me that profound changes in life can cause grieving, every bit as much as death can, and for showing me that that kind of grieving is OK. I needed that.

    I hope your cycle moves on fast so you will feel better soon. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I wish you a wonderful weekend. Hugs :-)

  37. A very beautiful, impressive and peaceful winter scene! Great shot!

  38. A beautiful wintry scene, Laura! I hope you find peace and heal.

  39. Laura,

    I can relate to your thoughts and feelings so much. My first instinct is to get angry at the pain or at myself for having it which only increases the pain. In accepting it as a part of me but not all of me I find it more bearable. Thank you for is good to know there are others out there like me because it gives me hope.

    also, there is an award for you on my blog at

    hope you have a good weekend.

    many blessings,

  40. Thank you for sharing your skies and your sanctuary with us. Both are lovely.

  41. Laura, take care about yourself and your talents. Your photo is wonderful. And I went one more time through your previous post-cool photos! Have a good weekend :)

  42. I know these phases and cycles. You have dealt with it so well... an inspiration for me. Take care.

  43. Look at all of the love that is expressed here. This, you created, your illness, you did not.

    Like you, I am waiting for the clearing. My heart is so heavy with the weight of Jack's disease, your disease, my disease, having to show up in court yet again just so I can try to see my nieces, this week. When do we get to come up for air when none of it is our fault?

    Hanging in and hanging on with you, dear friend.

    Big gentle hugs,

  44. I relate so strongly to this post, and honor you for being willing to allow the pain with gentle awareness, and for being brave enough to share your vulnerability with such candor and clarity. I'm thinking it's no accident that these feelings came through while you had the physical presence of your daughters - loving support, and not alone as you so often are.

  45. This is where I am at as well. I am grieving something so deeply personal that I can count the number of people who know the details on one hand. I have had to mourn other things in my life, but I am trying to experience this differently. I am trying to allow my feelings and thoughts to just be. To be gentle and kind to myself. Recognizing that I don't have to hang out and engage with each feeling or thought but they have my permission to exist. I even tell them "thank you for sharing". I have support. And I am allowing God to carry me, to worship Him, to rely on Him in new ways, trusting that He will heal me. That this time of tears will end. But I am not trying to end it by stuffing. This season will change when it is time.


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