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.


Monday, February 20, 2012

The Same, Only Different: Four Year Blogiversary

layers peal away
reveal what time cannot hide
essence shines on through

"Yeah, its the same, only different." A college friend used to say this and while it was meant as a joke, there is deep wisdom in this quip. Looking back at my very first blog post, I can see how I am the same, how the essence of “me” remains the essence of “me,” yet much has happened in the past four years, a journey I had not an inkling my family and I were about to set out upon when I wrote that first entry. 

What is the same? I still love quiet contemplation, investigating creative possibilities as they bubble up inside of me, a spring eternal. Cuddling with my dog is a favorite pastime that has not changed. I still love to study text allowing it to inspire and guide me. Community is as important as ever but is spread over an even wider expanse. I now feel connected to people all over the globe, not just the United States and Canada; a perfect example of “the same, only different.”

My body is of course not the way it was, so teaching is now done via phone conferencing and in meditation tele-circles. In fact I don’t know if I can really call what I offer now teaching, it is really facilitating safe “space-time” and being present to others as we all learn from our inner teachers, together as an energetic community. Then again my classes with high school students were a lot like that in person too; lots of space-time and silence for inner exploration. Well, “the same, only different.” There were moments of silence with the kids, certainly not as much as with adults, and exploration was often through paints and paper, wire and beads, bodies moving through yoga asanas, and yes lots of discussion and giggling. I would try to interject some silence into each class for them. The world of our teenagers is so full of sound stimulation, it felt important to invite them into the cocoon of blessing that silence can be. Ahh, yes and now I have two teenagers of my own at home, also different.

Blessings too remain “the same only different,” I have always had an awareness of and felt gratitude for the blessings in my life, but now, NOW I see, hear and feel them with an acuity I don’t think I possessed four years ago. Illness, and time have honed my ability to notice and appreciate the tiniest blessings, simple graces I often missed before.

Snow, well not much has fallen since early October this year; that is definitely different! For the first time in years, winter decided to be gentler than usual, just as I have finally learned to love the length and strength of winter in New Hampshire.

I no longer paint, taking out supplies and cleaning them up is too fatiguing for me; this is different. I still think of myself as "a collage artist" however, and that is the same, yet different too, as now my collages are created through an interplay of words and images on my blog, as opposed to a layering of torn, painted papers.  Layers of color, texture, form and line still draw my attention, as evidenced through my many photos of birch bark pealing away to reveal color upon texture embraced in form, shaped by lines, hidden beneath a white surface, instead of resting on top of white of paper. And we are back to essence, where this post began. I see my own essence reflected at the core of each exquisite tree. I see God’s presence dwelling there, and the unity of everything within this God-ness, within the trees, within the essence that in a moment of consciously thinking in terms of duality, I call “me.”

Since it is my blogiversary, with deep gratitude, I would like to honor a handful of some of the earliest bloggers who still pop in to say hello and have shared this adventure with me through the years. Please accept this "Where Beauty Grows" inspiring blog award friends, and spread the love by passing it on to a handful of bloggers who inspire you with the beauty that grows from their hearts and onto their blog pages.

where beauty grows
inspiring blog award
Cheryl (who does not blog quite so much these days, but introduced me to blogging at our SoulCollage®  facilitator's training a zillion years ago, and still remains a good friend)

Jill (one of my coaching partners when we trained together as Kaizen-Muse®  Creativity coaches, we still stay in touch)

Suzi (the first "international" follower of my blog and the very first person to give ME an award, the beautifully designed "I'm An Honest Blogger Award" created by Sue, another early international follower)

Jan (a dear friend, teacher and colleague)

Debra (a true friend and seer of beauty, I've grown to love more and more over these past four years)

(Please just copy and paste this award to post it on your blog for sharing, whether you are one who typically displays awards on your blog not.)

The only one of these lovely ladies I've met in person is Cheryl... but I feel connected to them all. It really makes one think about the words "community" and "friend" doesn't it?

Thank you to everyone who stops by and shines your light into my life with your visits here at Shine the Divine: Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice. 

Linking to:

Smiling Sally


  1. Happy blogsversary to you!

    Out of pain and suffering from illness or other major changes in life, we learned to see, feel, and recognize the tiniest blessing. I have this experience!

    Take care, Laura!

  2. Happy 4th Blogoversary, Laura! Thank you for letting us tag along on your journey! Blog on, my friend, blog on.

    1. Hi Laura!
      Congratulations on your Blogoversary too! This is a wonderful accomplishment, and all in the midst of health challenges too. You are a woman to be admired! And thank you for the kudo and lovely badge. I am deeply honored. As Debra says, may you blog on with joy and divine blessings!

  3. Happy Anniversary. I am grateful to know You.

  4. Happy blogoversy!

    Pieces of life - beautiful!!

  5. I love those blues!

    Happy blogiversary and Happy Blue Monday, Laura. Be sure to check out my book giveaway.

  6. happy 4th blogiversary! like you, i feel blessed to share this universe with so many great souls. :)

  7. Congratulations on your 4th Blog Anniversary. Apologies for not calling by to comment very often, time just seems to get swallowed up by real life!

  8. happy four year blog anniversary! so glad to have met you, here.

  9. Congratulations on four years of blogging and growth.

  10. Happy Anniversary and I'm glad I discovered you later rather than Never! It's the same- only different! Wonderful tribute and Happy Blogiversary!


  11. Happy Blogiversary my friend. Beautiful shots and haiku!

  12. Happy 4th Blogoversary, Laura!
    I wish you many, many more posts on your wonderful blog and celebrations.

    Warm greetings and best wishes

  13. What a beautiful post this is Laura, and I truly enjoyed reading it (and your first post!!)
    CONGRATULATIONS on 4 years, and I am so glad to have met you here.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us today at The Creative Exchange.

    Have a wonderful evening!


  14. What a lovely way to celebrate an anniversary. I would have to say that all your changes have been significant growth. You've been through so much since the birth of your blog, yet your words and your heart grow stronger with each entry. Love to you.

  15. Congratulations on your blogaversary. I, too, am the same, only different. :)

  16. Congratulations on your Blogoversary Laura!
    It's always such a pleasure to visit your beautiful blog!
    Looking forward to see more and more your great posts:)
    Hugs and best wishes:)

  17. Happy four year anniversary and I wish you many many more! It's been great to connect with you here !

  18. Congratulations on four years of blogging!

  19. Beautiful post for a blogversary! Congratulations!

    Blue Sky

  20. Gorgeous!

    Please come by when you get a chance and see my BLUE, have a great week.

  21. I congratulate you Laura. Your blog is a blessing for all of us. I'm so glad I discovered you, though several years after your blog-beginning. I visit here and your light does shine in my soul. I'm grateful for that. May you continue to shine an enlighten many, many more.

  22. Wonderful details and textures in these photos.

    Happy MM

  23. I am speechless for the moment to be honored in such a lovely way by someone whom I admire and respect so much. I love you, my dear Laura. You do my soul so much good. Happy, happy blogiversary. I will return with more thoughts after I allow the beauty of this honor to linger for a bit, but until then, you are never far from my thoughts and always so close to my heart. Thank you...

    Big hugs and so much love, always.

  24. Congratulations on completing four years of blogging! Keep writing. It’s indeed an achievement:)

  25. Happy B! Wish you more collages, in any form!

  26. Happy anniversary Laura and so very well done on your journey. Through life changing difficulty, which in its own way has led to a deeper perception which you share so beautifully with us all. Thank you.

  27. Laura, Happy Anniversary! Big hugs and lots of love.

  28. I love these beautiful pics...It is funny how we stay the same yet change...Happy 4 years!

  29. Great photoes! Love to see how it changes thou the year :) Hope you understand ;)

    Have a nice day!

  30. This is beautiful. You've spent a lot of time reflecting on where you've been and where you are now. Lovely shot of the layers. It illustrates your point very nicely.

  31. Hello.
    Congratulations on your 4th Blogoversary! Wishing you many more.
    Nice set of photos too.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this reflective post.
    Thanks for sharing.

    A Cheerful Glance

  32. Dearest Laura...
    What a delightful and thoughtful gift. I am so touched by your ever expanding generosity. Oh dear sister... I love you so much and appreciate the joy, the wisdom, the insight...and beauty that you impart to us here. You are a living Inspiration and Teacher. I learn so much from you, by simply thinking of you...and reflecting on the luminous Light that you are. You are indeed spirit and creativity...and LOVE! Thank you -- and I thank God for you. Love you always... Cheryl

  33. Mmm... i'm coming up to 3 years & think i found you soon after! I just looked back at your first year.... only a couple of posts a month... short posts! lol, how things change. It has been a constant privilege to know you dear laura xoxo


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