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, February 11, 2012

Look and Listen

 The tree looked upon me with wisdom and kindness.

He listened as I poured out my heart...

 ... and I saw his open wider.

I’ve found comfort in the woods since I was a young child. I learned to listen to my own heart amongst the trees, to truly see myself with wisdom and kindness.

I don't have to enter the forest to feel my heart open wider. It happens any moment I am fully paying attention and soften into life with love. Intuitively, every child seems to know this. Then we grow up and sometimes we forget.

Something about the trees really does help. Perhaps it carries me back to the days when I would sit in them, cradled for hours. I am deeply grateful for this time of remission in the cycle of living with MS, for the ability to take short walks amongst the trees again, even if it means I must spend the rest of the day in bed restoring my strength and nervous system. Of course I don't know how long this will last; I do know that change is continuous. So I try my best to appreciate what is happening now, NOW. Sometimes I fail at this, I lose focus, but continuous transition means I can return again to grateful awareness, and expand my heart a little bit more.

To be clear, remission for me does not mean all of my symptoms have disappeared, they come back when I am fatigued, but then become subdued again as I rest. This is not the case when in relapse; no amount of rest helps then. I still need my wheelchair now, when in large or noisy spaces. Too much external input or exertion, and my nervous system goes haywire. My last relapse was ongoing for three years. I didn’t think it was ever going to remit. It did. Every day, EVERY DAY, no matter what, is a blessing. I may be repeating myself here, sorry if I am. My kids say I do that a lot.

It has been a full and busy week preparing for, guiding, recording and editing the meditation circles. I feel very good about how things are unfolding, and once again deeply grateful to the Holy One and my doctors, to have the strength to offer these services of the heart, to all the beautiful people who have joined the circles and sit supporting one another from our homes near and far. What an amazing time this is to be alive.

(Wrote what's above this this evening my legs are cement and painfully tingly...hands too. Such a strange disease, it does just as it pleases...still, I am grateful. I had a relaxed day with my family:-)

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  1. This is an amazing time indeed. Your post makes me year for a forest. I must take a trip soon, to visit the tree people, who listen so solemnly to me.

    So glad you squeeze the juice out of every moment of your remission.

  2. Dear Laura,
    From my heart I wish and I hope that your recovery will be every day better and better.
    Beautiful textures in your photos and excellent choice for black and white.

    Warm greetings and best wishes

  3. Wonderful news regarding the remission. And I too feel the same way regarding tress, they have such strength and timeless wisdom.

  4. Sounds like you do a good job of staying open. K.

  5. Very uplifting post and wonderful shots of the tree bark. I love wood and trees too.

  6. I'm so glad to hear that you are still feeling well :o)

  7. Laura, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful, inspiring post. Over my (many) years of nursing, I've been so touched by the courage of those living with MS. I'm sure you are an inspiraton for many. Love the photos as well.

  8. I love the peacefulness of the woods and I love the textures in your photos.

  9. The tree looks old, the bark like rough skin on an old person. Yet, the wisdom of the tree descends upon like the more experienced person does as well. Get beyond the externals and learn from experience...

    The MS is brutal: a remission, even with reduced symptoms, is a blessing. A lessening of side effects is most welcome.

    I would prefer my MD to disappear, but despite any hope it will not. Yet, I hope that what ails me can be a blessing to others. I hope...yet you inspire with the bad effects. Please take heart, your writing far transcends the bad things in life for us, You do inspire!

  10. "I don't have to enter the forest to feel my heart open wider. It happens any moment I am fully paying attention and soften into life with love. Intuitively, every child seems to know this. Then we grow up and sometimes we forget."

    When I was a little girl I loved to go in the woodlands near my Aunt Martha Jane's in Ocala. I love the feeling of being al alone, sitting stick still, listening and taking in the scents of fallen leaves and hanging moss. Memories make a way to go back in time.

    Thank you for sharing and taking me back to my childhood.

  11. Wonderful B & W, I like the texture and the light given off by these bark, lovely.

  12. Yes, riding the same wave, tonight.

    Blessings, glory, honor and praise, to the One, to the One.

    You remain.......

  13. So beautiful. Wishing you much healing.

  14. What a moving post, thankyou for sharing your experiences and of course your bark shots which I love. I have called by from my photography blog to thankyou for your recent follow which is much appreciated. I look forward to getting to know you via your blog as I am following back. It is good to meet you.

  15. Forests have a magic about them. I'm wondering how comfortable it would be for you to lie in a hammock amongst the trees when the weather is right.

  16. Fascinating texture on the tree. Captured well. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I have 2 friends with MS. It is a terrible disease, but they live each day with hope and joy. They say it is their relationship with God that empowers them to do so. I pray you will have many good days ahead.

  17. Having a chronic disease can be so difficult, but it does make you so much aware of the moment that you are in, and that is truly a gift. Trees are so amazing!

  18. I wish you healing and strength. The tree pictures are lovely. We have an old carob bean tree in the garden and I can sit with it for hours finding the faces of the tree spirits in the bark.

  19. Trees are so restorative. I'm so glad you are able to visit them a little, and to bring such wonderful images to share with us.

  20. Trees are always amazing.
    Wish you much healing as well.

  21. un superbe travail, les photos sont superbes et le choix du b&w les mets bien en valeur

    Publicity ;o) Every Friday (and the Weekend), The Challenge "Walk In The Street Photography"

  22. I understand a little how you feel about trees--it is why I am so thankful to live in a forested place. Your eye for detail is amazing: the eye, the ear, the heart, each in the bark of a tree!

  23. It's so nice to have a story to read here again. You help me remember that this moment is all I have, and that the blessings of each moment are enough. I'm so glad you've been able to be outside walking - I know how powerful that time is. Blessings to you, my friend.

  24. may you have the grace to rest in and embrace each moment. may you know the peace and presence of God with every breath. may your life be a revelation of the One who made you and holds you and loves you.

  25. I share your thoughts.
    One reason I located
    back surrounded by woods.
    Moment by moment
    day by day
    The gifts of what you are
    experiencing gives hope.
    Thank you for your sharing....

  26. What a beautiful post - I love how you capture the texture of the bark with your photography and the words are so inspiring. I wish you all the best in your recovery.


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