Welcome to the Hearth

Welcome to the Hearth

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Catching Dreams together

One of the emerging themes for me this past year has been the power of the dream and the dream carrier. Without the dream to move us forward we would forever stay stuck and never grow to our greatest potential. Many times nightmares, one of the many dreams we would rather not look at, tend to be the most powerful dreams for moving us forward. It is what we fear most that shows us our greatest strength, in the end.

To celebrate the power of activating new dreams and visions for ourselves and our world, I was inspired to create dreaming bowls.

Dreams and visioning have long been a way that great ideas and projects have become a reality in our lives. The dream starts as a longing or seed Idea that wants to be born in us and wants to become a reality for a greater good in our world. Some dreams take their time becoming manifest and need a place of incubation within us. Having a place to hold our emerging dream helps make the dream feel more real because it seems to occupy space outside of us. Thus, the dreaming bowl was created. I have found that the very act of creating the dreaming bowl project and making them available to others has sparked more dreams being manifest.

Around the Winter Solstice each year I make a series of luminarias, little lanterns that hold a candle. I have shared about this project in an earlier post. I found myself making some of the luminarias that also have become dreaming bowls. This is a combination of the dreaming bowl and the luminaria. Each dreaming bowl has a different saying on it about carrying the dreams we have. I never know what dream saying will emerge but just let the Spirit inspire me. On one such dreaming bowl/luminaria came the words: "You are here to birth your dreams...Push now!" This is just what I see happening in the lives of those of you who have joined the Hearthtalk circle. Not because you joined this circle but, because now, by your joining, I get to visit your blogs and see how you are pushing to birth your dreams. You are the ones who have "put your feet on the road to greatness." Not the kind of greatness we may hear about on the nightly news, but the quiet way you reach for the stars in your own lives. I am so grateful for the dreams you carry and the way you ignite new dreams and visions in me. It is awesome to sit around this Hearth with you.You may not realize this, but it shapes the next projects I create. Our world is blessed by the dreams unfolding in all of us and the way we are catching dreams together.Thank You for your lives!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Putting it in perspective....

This is just what I needed! A dear friend of mine sent me a bunch of pictures taken from the Hubble Telescope as a way of wishing me a blessed Solstice. I'm sure you can goggle this to get an address for seeing more of these awesome and breath taking visions of the many mind boggling ways the Creator likes to play, dance, shimmer and dazzle us. There is this wonderful quote in one of the Sufi mystical writings, though I don't know the reference for it, that goes something like this: "I was alone and longed to be known and so I created the Universe." Wow! Having a mere glimpse of the bigger reality out beyond my little sphere of influence and concerns always puts it all into perspective for me.

The other day I was listening to a news clip in which some woman from Iowa was being interviewed about her concerns as they related to the many presidential hopefuls making a last ditch effort to persuade voters before the primaries. She said: " I'm just not willing to have any more of my tax dollars going to pay for someone Else's child to have a hot breakfast before school each day..." I could not believe that kind of stingy thinking still goes on in this world. Of course that thought alone ( about the stingy thinking) was a bit judgemental on my part, but while I'm at it, I suppose that same concern would not also extend to the farmers in her state who are getting farm subsidies to grow corn. Then I got into a small snit about how pervasive corn by-products (they call it the cornification of America) are within our way of life. These are the little Ninja thoughts that can pop out of no where and push me off kilter. One sneaky thought can lead into another and before I know it I'm on a roll. So, when I opened up my e-mail and found these wonderful pictures, it was a great way to just let the awesomeness of these photos take my breath away. As I contemplate the wonder of the vastness and glory out beyond the little point of light that is our world, I am grateful there is something beyond my petty little concerns that the Creator is ever tending to. Let this be our response to this moment: Glory be and Be the Glory!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Oh, the stories we tell ourselves......!

I've been really brooding over this entry, trying to decide if I dare bring up the subject. (I have been told almost from the beginning of my life as a nun:" You're not what we expected, you're not what people outside will be expecting; you're going to blow a few minds...but you are just what we need right now. What a breath of fresh air!") So, I guess it should come as no surprise to some when I say that the whole Christmas story, be it the Santa Clause version or the Away in the Manger version, just doesn't work for me and hasn't for about the last 15 years. Do I believe in Jesus? Yes. Is the Christ the Center of my life? Yes. Am I committed to the Church's mission of encouraging, affirming and working towards the full development of the human person? Yes to all of this. It's the stories we tell ourselves about how it all came about and mostly the way we have woven this elaborate tapestry that is coming unraveled for me. Suffice it to say, many scripture scholars and educated, thinking people of the 21th century would say that the so called virgin birth, wise men, angels and shepherds congregating around a humble stable on December 25th 2000 years ago is probably just a story. Though I firmly believe there is a Santa Clause and have been blessed over the years by the lavishness of this much loved Christmas Spirit, decorating my house for this season or even the shop where I sell my work, in the traditional symbols of a North American Christmas is just plain not working. It's been years since I have had a traditional Christmas tree. The Nativity set has been appropriately parked on one of my library shelves and stays up 365 days of the year. What do I do about this season of the year while the rest of the world goes crazy decorating for Christmas almost seconds after Halloween is over? As you may have noticed, there is a decidedly weighted theme in my blog entries: It's all about the LIGHT.

About this time of the year, approaching the Winter Solstice and darkest time of the year, I spend about a week creating Luminarias: little containers that hold a candle. They often have dancing figures, spirals and stars cut out of them. This is the story I tell myself and others:

Divine Creator knew well in the making of Sun and Moon and the casting of their seasonal waxing and waning, that there would be a period of increasing darkness that would cause the people to lose heart and huddle in fear. Divine Creator sent forth messengers of Light in the guise of strangers, humble and plain, to uplift the people and bring them hope.

It was said that anyone who welcomed such a messenger would be blessed with prosperity and all good gifts. A custom developed among the people to place lanterns and lights in the windows and along the path to the door as a sign of welcome to these great Beings of Light.

This is one such sign of welcome and blessing. May this luminaria honor and inspire the Messenger of Light within and all around you! O shine, shine, shine O radiant Image of The Divine!

It is not that Christmas can't be Christmas. The simple stories we tell ourselves may have been easier to wrap our minds around in years gone by when we were children and our world was a lot simpler. But, once there is an awakening to the More of it, These stories, sweet as they may be, are just not enough. I have asked people not to give me any gifts because I feel I have too much stuff. Each year I look for new ways to express the dawning light within and the gracious hospitality I believe I am especially called to tend to at this time of year. It is certainly a time of hope and a time to unwrap the many surprises life gives me. What I have enjoyed most as I share with people my thoughts and feelings about Christmas, is hearing how others are also weaving the tapestry anew with fresh symbols and ideas and special food recipes that help to extend the warmth and hospitality of celebration of Emmanuel, God with us! I look forward to your insights and inspirations.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Of Moons and Mirrors

One of the gifts of darkness is that it makes us long for the light. The physical darkness is never more a reminder that we are beings of light who merely take time out to rest when darkness falls than when we move into the season of winter. At times on my blog I have shared that I have been able to communicate with a dear friend who passed away some years back. I have faithfully recorded her communications with me and wondered if you’d like to read some thoughts she has shared about the importance of the light.

She says:
This is our quest at this time: Moving the Light forward. It will be more challenging as we move into the time of the year when the physical light is lessening, but it is also increasing within. It’s all about the Light! and you are slowly but surely realizing that Light is the most important of all realities. Not just the Light your eyes can discern, but the hidden light you can sense. There are codes embedded within every sub-atomic particle that show the Light in all the myriad of forms it can be manifest. Those codes of light are in you, too! Once activated through consciousness shifts… that’s right consciousness!... Once activated, you are never the same. Anything that has been activated can never go back...it must go forward. And, if enough of anything becomes conscious, it makes the whole conscious! And you are a part of this light code activation going on. You are an activator. The light, the physical light in your world is a conveyor of information, so when you are exposed to this light, you are “hooked up” to an information stream and you are in constant communication with this main conduit. When the light lessens, at seasonal changes, you can feel the lessening of the flow and almost feel bereft and panicked. Especially at times that you need reassurance. The light is as necessary as oxygen! No wonder the Angels and other sentient beings stop and watch the coming and the going of the light each day. It‘s as if they were peering into the face of God... All union takes place there. In other words, there is a knowing, that all we know and love is contained there in an eternal wholeness. Each and every star in the heavens is an expression of the sacredness, the sacred dimension of the Light and the Source of All Light, the ultimate Source of all that is... I am referring to Creator, here.... All reflections of light, like moons and mirrors are sacred. They are models of who we are. When the light shines on us, we reflect such back and out into our reality. The moon is the great teacher of who we can be and who we are. (This is why Mother Mary and everything feminine is connected with the moon. She was and is such a great mirror of the Divine.) Think of Creator as the sun shining powerfully and brightly and fiercely at times, and we the light catchers, the moon circling endlessly reflecting the glory! That dream you had many years ago, K, of the brilliant Disk of Light over the water and the even more brilliant figure standing within, standing out in high contrast, this was a gift of a glimpse of our reality over here, so you would know what it was like and what you are moving toward. You are being drawn each moment ever nearer, like a moth to the light, K. Stand in this great light and dance there too, Heaven is where you stand, K. What more can I say...C:)

So, just that little bit inspires me to think about all the ways that I can acknowledge the importance of light and the Source of Light in my world and in myself. Instead of falling into the same pattern of getting all the Christmas things out and putting up the tree, in lock step with the rest of America because that’s what I’m supposed to do at this time of year, I am making a conscious choice of what symbols speak to me. I like the idea of mirrors and moons as sacred. I think I’ll do something more with using a mirror or a moon symbol when I decorate this year. (I may have to pay a special visit to my favorite moon blog and her candle store.)

This being the feast of the Immaculate Conception will be a good time to connect with something more powerful about Mother Mary... not so much the image the Church would like us to focus on, which for many of us nuns makes us want to distance ourselves from the unreal woman on the pedestal. This thought about the moon connection and the mirror, one who shines back to the beholder, the Divine Beloved. Do you realize the implications for all of us looking into that mirror? (Okay, material for yet another blog entry in the future, I'm sure.)

This whole thing about the sun makes me more committed to do a bit more sun bathing this next summer. Not so much for the tan but for the light activation that is going on I never thought about before. And, then there is moon bathing and gazing more at the moon. Maybe looking directly at the moon is the way we can connect with the information being “downloaded” from the sun by making eye contact with the light through reflection. Hmmm there’ll be more, later so stay tuned.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How to survive the storms of life.

Wow! What a ride! I don’t mean to make light of one of the most serious storms in the last 11 years, possibly for some, the last 30 years, but, now that the power is back on and I am connected again with the rest of the world, I realize just how bad it was. For the last 4 days I have stayed huddled next to the woodstove and my greyhound Toby, riding out a doozie of a storm. I live on the edge of the Pacific Ocean near a place called Cape Foulweather. Winds were fierce here, clocked at 100 + MPH. I understand the weather station in Astoria simply just blew away! I was prepared with oil lamps, a wind-up radio and a cell phone, (though I can’t ever get reception in or around my house. I’d have to go down on the road below me to make a call.) Afterwards, most of the neighborhood got its power back except for about 3 of us connected to the old Otter Crest Loop Rd. During the storm, which lasted for 2 long, dark days, all I could really do is pray and watch the world blow by. Many evergreen trees surround my house. What I noticed is that not a one of them faltered, though, they took the brunt of the wind. Their secret to survival through, I’m sure, many such storm, has been the way they interlocked their branches and held each other, like a chorus line of dancing women. I felt myself, at times, join and become one with the swaying, as if to gain some courage and strength in the face of the awesome power the wind served up relentlessly for 2 full days. By the third day of having no electricity, the food in the refrigerator was getting “blinky” and I had to toss it. Thankfully, the neighbors who had lights helped me rig up an extension chord from their house, up the hill to mine so I could, at least save the food in the freezer. As I sat for a 4th dark night next to my wood stove I found the gratitude flowing for all the ways I was cared for. I had spent some of the day out and about and saw all the ways that people, like those faithful trees, had arms interlocked supporting one another to recover from the nightmare. When I was actually able to see the scope of the storm when electricity and cable were restored, it made me realize how good the world really is. Despite the chaos our species can serve up, most of us don’t loose it and go on a shooting rampage, we reach out and connect. We lock arms and move forward into the light. This seems to be a theme that continues to engage me. I see all around me the will and the hope to go forward and to “put our feet on the road to greatness during this great time of Grace.” Often when I visit other blog sites that you, my visitors to this blog have also created, I read about the storms in your lives and the miracle moments you all help to bring about by the simple choosing to not be defeated. I can see clearly why, (even though some of the Angels scratch their heads wondering what the Creator sees in us human,) God is so very fond of us.