Category Archives: connections

A New Year, A New Goal

I’m a pretty average American. I grew up in the Midwest with all the insults and prejudices that everybody else did. Fewer than some, more than others. Pretty average.

Those of you who have followed this blog, know that as a result of an inspirational conversation with my friend Terry Barrett, I’ve adopted her ritual of naming each year as it dawns. 2008 was the year of Hesed, or lovingkindness. 2009 was the year of Tao. All year long, I contemplate those concepts and try to work them into my life.

2010 is my year of Namaste. That isn’t really the correct word, as “Namaste” is more of a greeting, or a salute, but my intention is to see the God that indwells every single person I meet. I no longer want to feel threatened or afraid of those who are different from me, who dress differently, are a different color, who speak a different language or who have a religion with which I’m unfamiliar. I want to get directly to the heart of the matter and see who people are at their core.

Most of us are like scared little children, stepping into a new day every day, a scary day, doing things we’ve never done before. Even if 99% of our day is the same as the day before, there’s still an element of the unknown. And that little itch of fear makes us act out in anger, resentment, impatience, unkindness… you get my drift.

I want to see past all that smokescreen in myself and everyone else this year. I want to encourage the god within me to commune with the god within you. I want our angels to go out to lunch together and share a couple of laughs at our expense. I want to be a better person every day, every day, every day.

And so I name the new year Namaste: I honor the God within you, and I welcome the gifts 2010 will surely bring.

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Filed under Beauty, connections, Goodness, peace, Personalities, Possibilities, relationships, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, Truth, Writing, years

Kick Start Your Novel

In November, I’ll be teaching the four-evening Kick Start Your Novel class in Eugene, Oregon.

This series of four classes is an intensive, hands-on novel-writing workshop designed to get your novel going in the right direction. Classes are structured so you will learn about the internal structure of fiction and the key aspects of writing a novel, then you will work on your book in class.

This workshop is for the writer who has basic writing experience, is highly motivated and has at least a nodding acquaintance with the novel that dwells within. While you may work on a novel-in-progress if you insist, I strongly suggest that instead, you work on something fresh for the purposes of this workshop. Leave your old work at home and let the spirit of the moment move you. Trust the creative process and watch the magic happen. Trust me. I’ve taught this class many times, all over the country. I know what kind of magic we can conjure up. 

Plan to attend all four sessions, and spend non-class hours working intensively on your book as well. Momentum is important.

This class is not for the faint of heart, the weak-willed or those who are afraid of the intense internal examination that novel writing entails. Your level of expertise is not as important as your dedication to the process.

The class will take place over four consecutive evenings, 6pm-9ish November 9, 10, 11, 12. Space is limited to six participants.

Come with your writing materials, an open mind and a willing heart. You will be amazed at what happens.  For more information, or to register, pop me an email.

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Filed under concentration, connections, Discipline, dreams, Learning, Possibilities, Writing

How to Work With Your Guardian Angel

I found this at Starbridge Trust and thought it worthy to pass along:

 1. Remember that angels have a life too. Make appointments when you want to talk to them for special reasons, unless you and your angel hang out together all the time anyway. Keep appointments. Apologize if you forgot your appointment. Angels are always forgiving. They really are.
 
2. Don’t take angels or what they do for us for granted. They have discretion as to what they do and do not do for us. While they would never deliberately cause you grief or take any action that would harm you, they are most willing to let you stew awhile in a difficult situation or let you struggle with it without helping you. It’s your life and you are responsible for it, they aren’t. They are helpers, companions, and protectors, but not your surrogate mom.
 
 3. Thank angels for answered prayers, requests, and even the small gestures of kindness that they give without having to be asked. A verbal “Thanks Guys!” is what I say often – it helps bond our relationship and add respect to our interaction.
 
 4. Make your needs known. While they can read your mind if they estimate that it is necessary, they are very private beings and deeply respectful of your “space” and your personhood. If you have a need, make it known to them. State it aloud, write it down, or just say it mentally but deliberately.
 
5. Be sincere. While angels have an immense sense of humor and love a good time and a good joke, they do not take notice of sarcasm, biting comments, off-colored asides, or personal barbs.
 
 6. Know your intention in all that you do. Angels are deeply guided by your intention. What is your intention for having a conscious, personal, ongoing, co-creative sacred relationship with them.
7. Angels wish us to examine our motives, thoughts, behavior, and actions so that they all eventually flow with the light of the universe: all-loving and purposeful. This does not mean to become self-analytical or subject to every-minute-self-examination. It only means to know why you are thinking what you think, speaking the words you have selected to speak, behave as you do, and know why you take the actions that you do. Don’t be surprised if this takes most of your life to do!

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Filed under connections, Joy, peace, Possibilities, Prayer, Spirituality

Investing in friendships

I just got home from a long weekend trip to visit friends I don’t often get to see. We had a great time. I enjoyed the break from my work/school routine, the Oregon winter, and got to see sun, thrilling desert and important people.

On the complicated and frustrating way home (travel can be such a pain in the ass), I realized that investing in friends and family is the most rewarding effort possible. Spending time with each other, even if it’s just watching television side by side, lets our spirits commune. A cup of coffee (or ice water, as the case may be) for an hour at the kitchen breakfast bar is more important than a thousand emails.  I mean I know this. I’ve always known this.

But this trip, for some reason, turned my head around. None of us is getting any younger, and some time I’ll go to Arizona and find that I have one fewer friend to visit. That will be a sincerely bad day. But it will be much less horrible because of the trip I just had–the time I just invested–in wonderful friendships.

So I say this: If there’s someone you want to visit, get on with it. Time’s wasting. Your relationship is languishing. Forget the stock market and invest yourself in the most important, lasting, reality in the universe.

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Filed under Aging, connections, family, Friends, girlfriends, Personalities, Possibilities, relationships, Spirituality, time, Travel

Facebook: Okay, now I get it

Well, that didn’t take long.

I searched and found a couple of people I knew, so I invited them to be my “friend.” Soon their friends were my friends. Then my dog has her own page on Dogbook (can you believe this?) and she has her own dog friends. And I’m a member of groups, and they have friends.

It’s the ultimate time suck. And addictive.

Perhaps I’ll be there more often than I imagine.  And I still feel as though I ought to have a professional presence there as well as a personal presence. Hmmm. Maybe the twain will finally meet.

Regardless, I better go check to see what all my “friends” are up to. That will keep me from pining about not having the new updated Kindle.

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Filed under connections, family, Friends, Fun, time

Facebook: I don’t get it.

So I’ve heard lots and lots about Facebook, so I decided to join. I joined MySpace about a year ago as research, but it didn’t impress me. I’ve been there a total of two times. Now, I guess MySpace is so last year and Facebook is very user friendly and absolutely imperative.

Really? What’s the point?

If I make a page using my professional name, then none of the people from my high school(s) would recognize it, and there’s no way to put a second searchable name in there.  So does that mean I need two Facebook pages? Do I want to hear from those people anyway?

So I guess I’m asking…. what’s the point?

I already belong to groups with common interests, like Ravelry for knitting (totally awesome). And I stay on top of news of The Urantia Book through other outlets, although I see that Facebook does have several Urantia book sites.

Mostly, I’m busy with work and school, and don’t have a lot of time to sit online and dawdle. Is that what this site is for? Sucking time?

I can think of better ways to waste time.

So I’m on Facebook, but you’re not likely to see me there very often.

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Filed under connections, Friends, knitting, The Urantia Book, time

The Sublime Tension

Men and Women. Will we ever understand each other?

I say: No.

I believe this tension of difference is the attraction, and also the frustration. 

This male/female tension has been the stuff of literature, movies, sitcoms and countless cups of coffee and tear-stained napkins throughout the centuries.

But what’s the purpose?

Why couldn’t we just have a meeting of the minds, understand each other and be done with it? We could save so much time, just get on with living our lives conflict-free and easy.

Alas. The self/selfless tension is like the animal/spiritual tension. We’re drawn to one, yet grounded in the other. It takes work to move beyond the one and gain the rewards of the other.

But doing so does have its rewards. One is that we’re forced to hone our creativity in communications to minimize misunderstandings. Stimulating creativity is a good thing.

Another is the benefit of a well-rounded banquet of experiences, because without that yin/yang tension, we would fall into complacency. Complacency is a good treat now and then, but not as a steady diet.

Perhaps the most important is because when we commit to someone of the opposite sex, we’re really committing to better ourselves, to learn to rise above the pettiness, to sincerely endeavor to understand rather than to be understood. Relationships are rife with pettiness and misunderstandings. And yet, that tension of attraction endures.

It’s a mystery.

It is, perhaps, THE mystery.

I love a good mystery.

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Filed under connections, family, Marriage, relationships, Spirituality