how might your life have been....

How might your life have been different if, 
when you felt time pressing in on you, 
there were a place to go where you were allowed to simply be?  
If, as you sat down silently, there were a sense of the presence of other women breathing in the stillness...waiting quietly with you?
....judith Duerk..

The four of us have gathered at a sister's forever home....
We have come together to celebrate the one year anniversary of our Sacred Circle....
There is a gentle excitement in the air as we arrive, hugging warmly...relaxing into the gladness of seeing each other.  We've brought food to share.  All vegetarian...mostly vegan.

We move together into the room where the altar is laid out and take our seats around it.
The altar is filled with our various totems and things that bring Goddess to mind.  
Flowers and candles.  It's lovely.  
Alicia is our leader today...the four of us rotate guiding the Circle  
We hold hands as she takes us in our opening meditation...
We chant to Ancient Mother...3 times.  
It opens us and brings us fully into this sacred coming together.

Dear, dear Alicia.  
A year and 9 months ago I only knew her as someone who had taken 
my Goddess Doll Workshop.

For almost 4 years I had been reading and rereading the book Sacred Circles...wanting a circle.  This is not to say I didn't have spiritual sisters...I do....but I wanted a regular coming together...I wanted ritual.. 
I had been putting it out there at various times, to various women.  Just a simple, 
"I would love to have a Sacred Circle."  The responses would vary...
but no one said, "I want one too...let's make it happen.'  
And I wanted it to be a shared experience.

Then one day, there in my email box, was a message from a friend, it simply said, 
"Alicia is interested in creating a Circle.  Here is her phone # and email."
Over the next 8 months...we talked, read the book, shared our feelings, got to know each other...and when we had nothing left to do but put out our invitation we held hands and jumped into possibility.

The first gathering was a packed house...more and more women showed up...they were curious.  Alicia and I talked a little bit about our very loose vision...we didn't want it to be ridged.  We didn't even want leadership....we were just laying the groundwork, holding the space...using the book as a guide...
We listened to what had prompted these women to accept our invitation......
some of them had a very clear vision of what they were looking for in a women's circle....and we couldn't promise how it would evolve.  
We only knew that the Circle like any other relationship would grow and change until it fit..we wanted it to be fluid...we wanted it to fit the women who would keep coming back...
We had  a few rules and guidelines about showing up and confidentiality....
about respect and non-judgement....
but the rest we trusted would come together as it should

Soon we had a core of 8 who met every two weeks....we explored ritual that felt right ...worked at gaining trust....most of the women had never met before. Then 4 left..
.time constraints, new jobs, and moving away.  Leaving us just 4.
Yes, we are small but right now it works for us.  
We have reached a place of trust...non-judgement....even love.

Today we draw goddess cards...mine is Flora...a new season of growth. 
 We check in with what is happening in our lives...we move outside to walk my portable labyrinth...with it's flowered path.
in the center we feel and voice our commitment to this our friendships....we are all very different the 4 of us...a magic mix.

We share our meal...
We swim...
We close until next time when I will lead...
What a blessing....

...hope and war

I don't know why, but I was stunned when I saw the timeline above.

Invest in kids not war!

The little graphic sent me to Clovis/Fresno last Friday afternoon to hold a sign with the other caring people who feel strongly that war is not the answer to anything.

I keep hoping that we the people will decide that the cost of war is just to high in the human toll.  That we demand an end to the sacrificing of our young men and women in wars we can't possibly win.  That indeed there is nothing to win. 
That we come to realize the old ideologies just don't work in the world.  

I keep hoping as more and more people wake up to the fact that these wars the USA is engaged in are not about democracy, not about national security, 
not about saving the world from evil,
they will make their voices heard too.  
There are many ways to do so.

 “U.S. War Costs Reach At Least $3.7 Trillion And Counting” 
Is this the cost of our addiction to oil?

I keep hoping that as people look around at the unemployment rate, the lack of job creation, the declining opportunity for education, the closing of schools, the lack of affordable healthcare, the environment, the high cost of food, our countries decaying infrastructure, more of us will be inspired to demand change.

One of my daughters travels by train to Los Angeles fairly often...on her last trip she noticed an increased number of homeless encampments.  They are easily seen along railroad tracks...She said they were 'upscale'...nice tents and campers...she said the people didn't look like what be like to think homeless people look like...they looked like us.

While we are simultaneously rebuilding and destroying Iraq and Afghanistan, 
America is becoming a third world country.... have you noticed?

....peace please

Why don't we have a department of peace?, om, om, om

I think I told you about my best om experiences ever. 
 My sisters at the Positive Living Center...
placed me in the center of a circle and they omed me.  
It was the most amazing feeling and when they were done and ready to go on with their meeting, and me on with my day, 
I could only sit and weep in my car.  
The love and peace I felt left me so high I couldn't trust myself to drive for almost 20 minutes.

So...when this cd was gifted to me with a heads up that the om track is amazing,
I decided to light my candles and listen before I danced.

Oh my!!!
I so recommend you listen too, if you are into this sort of thing.  
Set aside a little time....Light some candles...relax your body...
sit or stand close to your speakers..
turn the volume up...
Om is about need to feel it.
Om along and see where it takes you....
Spirit up!

....Good morning xoxo

my back yard....

.... violence isn't

Gustav Klimt 

Violence is not merely killing another. 
It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. 
So violence isn't merely organized butchery in the name of God, 
in the name of society or country. 
Violence is 
much more subtle, much deeper.... 

- Jiddu Krishnamurt, it's always a gift

You decide the depth of the love you give, 
but not the circumstances....

...get on the Peace Train

Now I've been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Something good's bound to come..
.Peace Train
this is a beautiful song...sorry to send you to youtube...but I think you'll like it...I do xo

Any troop withdrawal is good, but the president’s proposed withdrawal is WAY TOO SMALL.

I URGE YOU TO JOIN THE PROTEST organized by Progressive Democrats of America and Peace Fresno tomorrow, Friday, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at one of Clovis’ busiest intersections and near local military recruitment offices.  We will stand on the corners of W. Shaw and Willow Ave., in Clovis.

ALL YOU NEED TO DO is be there to support the message.  The organizers will notify the media, bring signs, and be prepared to speak with the media. Numbers matter; your support will make this action a success. 

Show the community that there is support for ending the war in Afghanistan NOW.

Consider this:

In 2008, we had less than 100,000 troops and contractors in Afghanistan; and we were spending $44 billion a year. Now we have over 200,000 troops and contractors in Afghanistan and this year we will be spending $120 billion. Obama has tripled the cost to U. S. tax payers and doubled the number of military personnel in Afghanistan.

We have not done a good job of nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan and we are failing miserably at nation building at home. Withdrawing 33,000 troops, less than 17% of military personnel in Afghanistan means we will continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars for war and occupation instead of taking care of our needs at home.

.....ain't it strange

ain't it strange....
hand of god feel the finger
hand of god I start to whirl
hand of god I don't linger
don't get get dizzy
do not fall lord
I don't get nervous oh I just move in another dimension
come move in another dimension
come move in another dimension 

patti Smith "ain't it strange"

To dance then, is to pray, to meditate, to enter into communion with the larger dance, 
which is the universe. 
-- Jean Houston

It's hot, but I'm cold.
Tired, had an almost sleepless night and weeding the garden near my studio this morning seems to have zapped some energy and it is time to do my nightly meditation dance.
The music has been playing for awhile now but I'm not feeling it...
I'm still sitting.
I feel a little heavy.

I'm waiting for the music to do its stuff and it doesn't seem to be happening.

Toe is tapping a little now.
Maybe it's time to drag my tired butt up and do something good for myself...
and it is good for many reason...the obvious is that movement is good
but of course it's more than that...

During this year of dance I've learned that freeing my body of tension often leads to an opening up of  my heart...
opening up to my emotions.
When my heart is closed life becomes difficult...nothing flows...Emotions dull...the good ones and the bad ones...
About the same time I began to dance I wrote to a friend that I want to experience all emotion.  As I write that here I feel a little trepidation that I would ask for such a thing.
Why would I want to experience all of them?
I don't...
But the truth is I will.
Burying them, denying these unpleasant sensations does not make them go away
Buried and denied emotion manifest themselves in illness, disease, insomnia, eating disorders, addictions and on, and on, and on.

I think if I am to be fully alive I can't hide from the things that bubble up.  What I know too, is that love cannot function in a heart that is half closed or 
in the grip of  unexamined emotion...

So for me the question is, what to do with them?

When I dance into the chaos, when I'm in my body, tension goes, and very often as I come into the stillness the dominate emotion of the day comes gently with me into the night....
and sometimes not so gently.

And at this moment, as I write this, I realize that my best interest is not served by denying them, but by transforming how I feel about them...

How can I truly experience love or joy or peace with a sheltered heart?

....lies of omission and other fun stuff

No one can lie, no one can hide anything, 
when he looks directly into someone's eyes.
Paulo Coelho

I was thinking about the reasons people lie....
It seems there are as many different kinds of lies as there are people 
who tell them....
I think we all do it....lie. 

There are the little white lies of course...
 most of those probably go out into the Universe with little or no impact...unnoticed...I think you know the kind...
How are you? Fine....
I was just going to call you...
I fell asleep
You look great!

And there are the lies that get told when
 when someone wants to avoid an issue or calm a situation.,,,or crate one
Lies are told to protect others...these are often considered noble....
we tell lies to protect ourselves from the possible consequences of the truth...
and of course from punishment...
or to hold on to something or gain something.

 we agree to tell each other lies 
to hold on to the status quo...
group lies can be a comforting way to avoid truth.

People lie to improve their image....
humans tend to exaggerate and bluff, to impress or mislead. 
Lies get told to gain control of a situation 
or to control another human..
Corporations and Spin Drs. do it all the time....
to control us.

Lies of omission...this are nasty things, lies of silence...
withholding of information
 thus leaving a false impression, 
allowing a false belief....
these lies can be most damaging
People who spin the truth for governments often leave out important bits of information in their desire to control how people might behave
 if they had the full truth....
Corporate news does it all the time..omits important information...
Omission is a suppression of the truth...
 Some say a lie of omission is not a lie at all, but that's a lie.

Among other common lies, we have the silent lie...the deception which one conveys by simply keeping still and concealing the truth.   Many obstinate truth-mongers indulge in this dissipation, imagining that if they speak no lie, they lie not at all.
Mark Twain

Then there are people who lie for no reason...
they lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.  
And they will continue the lie even when the truth is evident....
these kinds of lies make me me feel out of balance.  
I call it being gaslighted.
Most likely when someone says they will never lie to's a lie..

I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
Friedrich Nietzche

And of course there are the lies we tell ourselves....sigh..
but that's another whole issue...

...a little magic please

"That's the thing  with magic...
You've got to know it's still here, all around us,
or is just stays invisible for you."
Charles de Lint

I believe in magic....
There I've said it.  
I love the abracadabra kind of magic but that's not what I'm thinking about here.  

Life itself is a pilgrimage. Every day is different, every day can have a magic moment.
Paulo Coelho 

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, 
one more start,
 with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.
j.B. Priestley

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will? 
jon Bon jovi

.....Ancient Mother...I hear you calling

A Robert Gass chant

I have experienced to joy and peace of chanting this in Circle... 
but we don't need a Circle to become peaceful...
We can feel the love of Mother anywhere...she is all around us...

Our Mother Earth is calling us...
wondering if we know what we do to her?  
And ultimately ourselves...
The Goddesses 
Ishtar, Cerridwen, Hecate, Inanna,
Isis, Artemis, Astarte, Sophia, Athena,
Coatilicue, Aphrodite, Mieliki, 
Gaia, Saraswati, Kali
Pele, Paso we, Demeter, Parvati,
Hera, Akahewa, Diana, Nidaba,
Chicomecoatl, Lilith, Shekinah, Morgana,
Maya, Izanami, Shakti.

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