Friday, April 25, 2014

Honored to Write

Honored to Write

Your creativity is a gift from God;
your use of your creativity is your gift back to God 
–Julia Cameron, Letters to a Young Artist 

A rainy quiet Friday, it’s a day of the calm after a hectic few weeks of traveling, school and Gala preparations.  Today, I am feeling an intense pull inward.  In my house, in my inner self, and by myself, I write.  Honoring the need for silence and quiet I find myself wanting to venture inward not outward.  My foundation work is complete, the time has come to relax and enjoy the experience whatever it brings.   

This week I read a book by Julia Cameron, a writer.  The book formatted around the idea of letters to a young artist.  Her advice, to rid yourself of the illusion of writing and writers, such has finding time to write, needing inspiration to write or being an interesting writer.  She offered practical tools to assist any and all artists, whether your craft is writing, painting, or perhaps music. 

Her ideas included: 

  • writing daily for at least 15 minutes(no exceptions)
  • walking to clear your mind
  •  giving up reading for a week to become in touch with your own thoughts
  • traveling on small daily adventures to observe life
  •  writing authentic 

Write your life.  Write to write for your own needs of expression and ultimately for personal healing.  In your authenticity others will find interest.

Today is a day of honoring.  We spend a lifetime honoring others, honoring our country, our church, our family, our friends, our job and especially the needs of our children and spouse.  Honoring my need to be by myself and not attend my daughter’s field trip.  By honoring myself, I honor God.  By serving myself, I serve God.  This is not a selfish endeavor, on the contrary.  God made each of us unique.  We need to honor what makes us unique. 

“When you place your creative nature first, you are placing God within you first” -Julia Cameron, Letters to a Young Artist

For me I require a balance between doing and being.  Sensitive to the imbalance life often brings recalibration is in order.  In the honoring of my soul, honor comes to those in my life.  On her field trip, the needs of my daughter today are self-reliance and independence, which I am gifting her at the same time.  We are all connected.  By listening to and respecting your requirements, you sometimes unknowingly mirror those same qualities to those around you.     

Love, “with a heart of peace”,

Susan J. McFarland

April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Treasure Inside

The Treasure Inside

In less than a week I leave for vacation, out of the country, to Costa Rica.  Costa Rica translates as the land of the rich coast.  Within the country I am hoping to encounter treasures of sunshine, warm temperatures, rainforests, waterfalls and a variety of wildlife not found in Michigan.  While it possible to find beautiful and bountiful treasures outside let us not neglect the treasure that lay within our own walls.

Before leaving I gather our belongings, imagining and planning for the every need of a family of four.  At the same time I am compelled to continue my spring cleaning efforts.  
My focus continues to be on my office.  Here is a place where “head” and “heart” need to merge.  In the past it was solely a “head” place.

After moving my desk into the power position, facing the door and creating an altar on a shelf I set my intentions on my book shelves, two sets of eight shelves side by side, a built in structure.  I love books.  My collection consists of books on: nutrition, herbal medicine, angels, yoga, Buddhism and Native America, to name of few of the categories.  I also had old folders from classes long since passed.  There was a selection of mementos and some outdated pictures.  It was muddled at best disordered at worse.  It was time for an energy shift.

As I began to maneuver through each book and artifact I began a spiritual journey.  The books represented different times in my life where I was working on a particular issue.  It was healing and comforting to hold each book and decide whether it was time to “let go” of it or keep it in the collection.  As I moved through the shelves and made stacks by genre I felt an openness and freshness.  The chi was moving. Among the treasures, I found items long forgotten, such as a travel journal and Spanish CD’s, which I actually needed at the moment.   

There was a time in my life where I had to read every book, take every class or workshop, and buy spiritual icons   My overfilled book shelves pay the price.  Today, I no longer feel the need to search out the latest spiritual idea buy the most beautiful angel or even attend all classes.  I now know that all the treasures I could ever want I already have.  I no longer need to search, struggle or strive to find the key to my spirituality.  It is within me, right where it’s always been. 

Here’s to finding your treasures.

Love, “with a heart of peace”,

Susan J. McFarland
April 2014  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Birthing Genius from Chaos

Birthing Genius from Chaos

“All genius is a conquering of chaos and mystery”, states Otto Weininger

Last weekend, my youngest daughter (third grader) and her team competed in an international competition called Odyssey of the Mind (OM).  The challenge consists of selecting from a group of “problems” to create an eight minute performance that is then judged on various criteria depending on the chosen option.  The process begins in the fall and ends around spring time.  The children on their own have to develop the story line, the script, the backdrops, the props, the costumes and ultimately perform in front of a group of individuals at the regional competition site without the assistance of any adult.  The day of the contest is filled with excitement and anticipation throughout the halls of the school.  Even in this supposedly chaotic environment genius erupts.          

This year, I coached the long-term problem with help from other parents.  If you can imagine the scene, a group of seven third graders, all friends working through this project after a long school day.  They are excited to see each other they are excited to “play” which means move.  Attempting to corral them together to focus on one idea and this huge goal can be quite testing.  Yet, in the end, after six long months and crazy chaotic practices it all comes to gather almost poetically.     

Life is about birthing genius from chaos.  Admittedly I do not like chaos it’s unsettling at best and terrifying at worst.  Perhaps this is why after a long hard winter of home and school responsibilities, volunteer efforts and OM practices I wanted some order in my life.  Once again, I called on Minnie Kansman at from Eco-Balance to come to the rescue.  Minnie is trained in the art of Feng Shui. 

Feng Shui is about bringing balance and harmony into your working and living environments.  Minnie arrived after reviewing my house plans and meditating on the outside and inside of my home.  She connected with a pine tree spirit that resides behind my house and guards my property.  Inside, Quan Yin, the Buddhist compassionate mother of all watches over our family and residence.  With Minnie’s assistance we reviewed all areas of my home especially my office and my back hall way where I felt the energy was congested and confined albeit chaotic.  She made various recommendations throughout each room which included moving my office to face the door, a stronger more powerful location.            

After following through on her suggestions, followed by intensive spring cleaning in my basement and garage area I feel the chaotic energies subsiding allowing room and space for new ideas and fresh thinking to enter. 
With the change of seasons, it’s time to transmute the chaos in your life, whether it’s actual stuff, busy mental thoughts or relationship drama into the genius that can be found underneath it all.  

Rearrange, reorganize and release to uncover your true genius. 

Love, “with a heart of peace”,
Susan J. McFarland
March  2014