No Plot, No Direction, No Way

“Acknowledge your creativity and genius. The qualities of creativity and genius are within you, awaiting your decision to match up with the power of intuition.” Wayne Dyer

Today I hit a speed bump. I had cruised down the mountain on I 70 here in Colorado to set up shop in the local Barnes and Nobel with a whole lot of other writers, bloggers, emailers, and avid readers to plug into the Morphic Field and write. I am a big believer in Rupert Sheldrake’s contribution to understanding energy fields and how we are affected by them.
“There is mounting evidence that as more and more people learn or do something it becomes easier for others to learn or do it. Sheldrake postulates that there is a field of habitual patterns that links all people, which influences and is influenced by the habits of all people. The more people have a habit pattern — whether of knowledge, perception or behavior — the stronger it is in the field, and the more easily it replicates in a new person. In fact, it seems such fields exist for other entities too — for birds, plants, even crystals. Sheldrake named these phenomena morphogenetic fields – fields, which influence the pattern or form of things.


I noticed a long time ago that hunkering down in my office at home, alone, and focused on a writing project did not yield the same inspiration, excitement or focus as when I was in a group of people, all somewhat focused on the same thing. So, Barnes and Nobel became that place that I went to be in a “writing field”. I found that I was faster, clearer and more energized when in a field of energy conducive to writing.


I also found that when I had all the alone time I can tolerate, am surrounded by my cat, my tea, my notes and the best music in the world, all of a sudden a million things break in on the process: The laundry buzzer goes off, the phone rings, I remember I haven’t paid that long overdue bill, and the energy it takes to stave off the urge to get up and fold the laundry or make that call, sucks the life right out of my writing moment.


Well, today I got in the car and here I am at Barnes and Nobel. There are at least 15 other people pounding away on their computers and another hundred focused on “words” in books, on Kindle, and there is a great atmosphere of story permeating this teeming box store. I should have just plunged right into the middle of writing with no effort. But alas! I sit here staring at my screen. The muse is nowhere to be found, the words did not tumble out as they always do, I feel bored and uninspired. Holy Moly! I am not accustomed to this feeling of having, nothing to say.


So, I sat for a while and just watched my surroundings. I got a cup of tea, I walked throughout the stacks and stacks of best sellers, and unfathomablely mediocre books that someone is buying. Nothing clicked. So, I waited. And waited. This was not an acceptable state to be in and my mind was in a huff. “It’s Sunday for Christ Sake, is my muse on vacation or preparing for the Super Bowl…WTF?”


Then, I just relaxed my churned up state and posed an inner question: “What does my intuition say about this?” Intuition? Intuition is the most powerful voice we have as writers, as crazed journalers, as storytellers. Intuition cuts through the bullshit of how we think we should write or how we think the story should go and allows the story to tell itself.


Deep breath.


There is so much anxiety for the writer to tell the story “right”, to do justice to the idea that set us on the course of writing in the first place. Intuition will tell you that there is absolutely no “right” way, when it comes to storytelling.


I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it, and, Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, tells The Huffington Post. “It’s different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis … It’s a knowing without knowing.”


Our intuition is always there waiting for the mind to relax, whether we’re aware of it or not. As HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington puts it in her upcoming book Thrive:


“Even when we’re not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way. But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.” And, as a writer.


So, I switched fields. I pulled my energy up and out of the bookstore field and went deep inside. I found a new field to plant my awareness in. This is the field of openness and allowing a story, a moment, a paragraph or poem to float up from the collective field and root in your psyche. Then the ride begins. You put the pen to paper, you open a new Word Doc and allow this all-pervasive, ever-present energy of creativity to flow through you and take you somewhere unexpected with no map, no direction and no plot.


This surrendering to that which is not the mind will transform you as a writer, a storyteller and as a person.


Stephen King believes in intuition and does not believe in outlines. And he doesn’t much like plot either.

He has this cosmic belief “that stories are like fossils that already exist somewhere, buried deep in the earth, in a lost canyon or maybe in your backyard, and it is the writer’s job to unearth it.” Says Andrea Meyer.

“The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible,” he says. “No matter how good you are, no matter how much experience you have, it’s probably impossible to get the entire fossil out of the ground without a few breaks and losses. To get even most of it, the shovel must give way to more delicate tools: air-hose, palm pick, perhaps even a toothbrush. Plot is a far bigger tool, the writer’s jackhammer. You can liberate a fossil from hard ground with a jackhammer, no argument there, but you know as well as I do that the jackhammer is going to break almost as much stuff as it liberates. It’s clumsy, mechanical, anti-creative. Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort and the dullard’s first choice.”, says Stephen King.

So, no matter where you write, what you write, there is the most valuable alliance in the world available all of the time, no matter what your story is: Intuition IS the Muse. Intuition will never ever steer you in a wrong direction but it will most certainly steer you in a direction that may be very unexpected.

Original Art: (Multi-media artwork by Gerri Proulx)








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The Tao of Dog Part One


APR 13, 2013


On Monday I woke up to a new awareness. It was very physical. My body was stiff and hurting.  I had been happily living an inspired life and “working” on taking a vision for my life’s work, for AOMusic and for children who need love and care and grounding it in reality:  The reality of manifesting my passion into a tangible form.  Manifesting my dream in concrete ways like people, money, space, investors and commitments of a substantial kind.  Manifestation somehow had stopped feeling fun and had become my work

So, once I had made my regular cup of Roobios tea, cut strawberries, bananas and oranges and then switched on my computer, the first thing that came up on the screen was my “Notes” program, which is my revolving to-do list.  The list had nearly two hundred items on it.  My eyes got instantly blurry and couldn’t focus.  I thought to myself, “low blood sugar, that’s it!”  Then I made an egg-protein drink and went back to my computer.  Still blurry.  The rest of the room was fine, the view from my window crisp and clear.  It was simply the screen of my computer, more precisely; it was simply my to-do list that I couldn’t get into focus.

It was apparent that I was ‘not seeing something’, literally.  So, off I went to meditate and tune into the metaphor. I posed the question, “What had become blurry for me in my work and what was I not seeing?”

Once I am willing to ask a hard question like this and then be open to an answer, I get the answer, instantly.  The voice I trust with my own life said, “Are you feeling inspired about your to-do list?”  “No, I’m feeling inspired by the vision, the dream and the creativity!” I said.  “So then, is the feeling you have about your inspired vision the same feeling you have when you look at your to-do list?”   Right then and there I knew that something was off since my answer was, “No.”  I was not in alignment within myself.

I had lost ‘sight’ of the miraculous feeling that comes when I am aligned with a vision that perfectly matches my heart, my mind and my purpose.  So, how was I supposed to feel those same feelings when I face a to-do list that needs a staff of twelve to get done in a timely way?  I knew enough about the laws of manifestation to understand that there can be no “vibrational gap” between the excitement and feeling of awe I have when I am living inside my own dream and the feelings I have when I face twenty emails waiting to be answered, or endless research to be done. Closing this gap is my spiritual practice.

I feel the high frequency emotions of love, gratitude, enthusiasm, joy and inspiration the minute I hear an AOMusic song, see the face of one child we work toward helping, talk to a producer about the endless possibilities for film or start seeing money coming into our AO Foundation International.  But, when I pick up the phone, start to plow through the avalanche of emails, Skype for the sixth hour in a row or just try to get the bills paid and then feel exhausted, resentful, stressed, anxious or fearful, well you see what the problem is?  The two energies cancel each other out, they are not in alignment.  Houston, we have a problem.

Who in their right mind finds joy in the mundane steps up to the top of the mountain?  That is not entirely the question.  The question is more of how to in fact do what feels nearly impossible to sustain the joy and creative edge even when facing more no’s in a day than yeses, more hours at the computer than playing outside, more money going out than coming in?

So, I set out to learn how to close the gap in my vibrational reality and start to put things into focus.  I set out to make sure that how I was be-ing and what I was do-ing were entirely congruent.

Just when I realized I had some quantum ‘waking up’ to do, I was invited to house sit for a friend going to Bali.  She had a house that screams Tuscany overlooking the water here in the Pacific Northwest.  The spacious rural bungalow is also the home of three amazing dogs: Logan, Rex and Angel Baby, a white Pit Bull.  I said yes, and for one week had the sanctuary and quiet I needed to sink into these questions.

Then I did dog therapy (or more accurately, the dogs did me), which in fact became the source of my coming to the answers I needed.  In short, a dog lives in the moment and there is not one incongruity, just being present fully, joyfully, expectantly present, with no expectations except that when you throw the ball, they get to retrieve it.  They do not toil to fill their dog bowl but they know with all certainty that the bowl will be filled right at 4pm.  They never doubt it for a second.

The other blessing being here in the Washington, which made my time unbelievably rich and clear, was that it rained every single day when I was on my Tuscan retreat.  I could not distract myself from the question of ‘alignment’ at hand.  And, at the end of five days of inquiry, there was one remarkable answer to the question of how to align my deepest most soulful vision with the mundane work that I believed I needed to do to manifest it.  The surprising answer was: Be Lazy.

Lazy is a word that carries terrible connotations with it.  And mostly because we are a culture that prizes productivity and over-responsibility as we are constantly comparing one person to another on those standards.  Being a ‘slacker’ is how most people regard being lazy.  Yet, the heart of being lazy is simply not to be inclined to work or exert energy.  Bingo.  Exerting energy was what I was all about when I approached my responsibilities and endless tasks that I had deemed necessary for achieving success.  And of course if I did not “exert” myself how would they get done and where would my dream be then?

Exertion and work are the opposite of allowing and flow.  My dream of helping children around the world who need love and care at the most fundamental level and creating new vehicles for AOMusic to touch the hearts of people is never anything but flow for me.  Allowing the dream to unfold like a flower should be easy.  You would never put energy into forcing a flower to bloom at any other speed than its own natural rhythm and flow.

It was clear that when I approached my list of mundane tasks I was not allowing for the same energy to permeate the process and bring both joy and excitement to every phone call.  I was not allowing the process of “Do-ing” to become “Be-ing in the flow with each task”.  Allowing the task to present a fun aspect, an unexpected outcome and a great satisfaction, even if I did not accomplish my goal that day.

I watched my three canine companions make no effort at all in a day except to simply be happy and in their own true nature.  They slept when they felt like it and if they were needed for something they brought their own happy selves to the project.  They knew the nature of being happy, they rested in between exercise, they greeted me every morning as if it was the happiest moment of their lives and the very first time they had seen my face or watched the sun come up.  I had something to learn watching them and Be-ing with them.

I learned that it is essential to take care of myself first and foremost.  That if I deeply care about the wellbeing of others or mass consciousness I must tend to the wellbeing of my “self” in order to advocate for anyone else.  You cannot assist anything you are not already feeling in yourself.  If you want to be advantage to others you need to be an advantage to yourself.  I am never an advantage to myself or anyone else when I allow the feelings of over work, stress, anxiety or fear to be part of any moment.

So, being lazy means to relax and feel into my life at that moment, create a process of pleasure with my “work” and to not exert energy to make any one thing happen.  Exertion suggests that I believe that I am the only one to do what is needed.  Now that flies in the face of our American work ethic doesn’t it?  Especially when we have such a flawed premise in our society which says “the more you DO the more you are WORTH.”  What this new perspective says is “the better you feel, the more you allow” and the more you allow the better the outcome.  This is a powerful and clear intent:  Allowing instead of efforting.

Being lazy means to give myself permission to allow the law of manifestation to fill in the grid of my dream and vision with all the things that my over-efforting can squeeze out, like coincidence, serendipity, spirit, destiny, new people wanting to help, opportunities and simply, the unknown.  Then to make room for the Universal truth of manifestation to take root.  To have a high vibrational frequency that, like a magnet, will attract what you desire.

So, here is what I learned and I am passing it on with delight.  I call these the Six Steps to Being Lazy.  You might do these every day, to start your day or end your day before you go to sleep or better yet, both.

1.  Remember the vibrational alignment you want to achieve between your dream and your daily work. If you are clear that joy, love, adventure or being on your creative edge is what your dream is truly about then be clear that these are the experiences and ultimately the feelings and emotions you desire and deserve in the work you do toward achieving your vision

2.  Meditate at least 15 minutes a day to empty your busy mind and invite these feelings of joy and love to fill you.  Meditation opens the door to allowing.

3.  Go outside no matter the weather, pay attention and find things to acknowledge with gratitude.  AND do this out loud.  On your walk, in your garden or as the wind is howling and rain is on it’s way, notice what is all around you and acknowledge everything that touches you:  “You are my favorite flower, you are the most beautiful bird, you are the most exciting sky, and you are my favorite tree, my most treasured vegetable in the garden, the most beautiful chicken, frog, dragonfly or next door neighbor.”  If you are walking your dog, speak with him or her about how you love and appreciate them, their beauty and their sacrifice in life to love you and only you.  As you speak this gratitude and appreciation out loud you are completely rebooting your energy and raising both the vibrational frequency of you and everything around you.  You are making your own heart-music in the world.

4.  Buy a notebook for your “Positive Attributes”.  Make five different subjects and write all the positive aspects of them:  Relationships, my dream, my children, my body, my friends, my love life, my talents and gifts.  Find five themes or subjects in your life that are very meaningful to you and then list all the positive attributesyou can think of to say about your love life, your body or your talents.  Fill the page.  And then re-read and add to it daily.  This Self-Appreciation and Self Love will completely rewire your cells.

5.  Look upward and outward.  Go outside or stand at a window and acknowledge that there are “universal forces” that are focused right at you.  Consciously acknowledge that you are the object of their positive attention.  Say out loud:   “I am grateful and I will be in conscious awareness that you too are right here with me, assisting, inspiring, guiding, having fun with me, supporting me, helping me, loving me, showing me, caring for me, surprising me and say it over and over again.  Get into an endless loop of this Universal acknowledgement.

6.  Hug the world.  A friend of mine pointed out that it is important to hug for thirty seconds or more, with eight or more people every day.  Now this is a challenge in our touch phobic society.  But, the heart as the largest electromagnetic field in the body can entrain with another heart when hugging, which then can create greater health, a more vibrant immune system, the feelings of love and the feeling of safety  and belonging.

What we forget in our lives, on this one planet, is that all that we want for others and for ourselves already exists.  The only thing we truly have to DO is allow for it all to manifest and to relax all of our efforting, our reactivity, our fear and our contraction and simply let all our desires flow to us, at a rate that will astonish you.  So let’s all get really, really lazy.   Woof!

And stay tune for part two on the Tao of Dog.



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Who is your Neighbor?


NOV 23, 2012

heart world

I was rushing to a meeting with a new strategic planner and felt a little unprepared.  I’m a bit of a stickler for getting places on time.  I threw my briefcase into the car with some bottled water and tried to stay under the speed limit, since here in Point Roberts, Washington there is one policeman, known as Officer Slick, who has little to do but give tickets for tiny offenses.  He is Point Roberts onlypoliceman.

I pulled up to the four-way and turned onto Gulf Road, making sure I came to my full stops at every stop sign, one of Officer Slick’s pet peeves. It was raining cats and dogs as it frequently does here in the Pacific Northwest.  I glanced at the clock.  I was just going to make it to my meeting.

Suddenly there he was.  Al, a very old man in a green wool sweater shuffling down the road.  He seemed to barely move and was soaked by the driving rain.  “Should I stop?”  I glanced at the clock and kept driving, seeing that it was straight up 11am.  But, there was that feeling in my heart that I have often, making it impossible for me to continue.  I spun around doing an illegal U-Turn, hoping that officer Slick was nowhere in sight.  I pulled up next the man who had not even made it three feet since I past him.  I rolled down the window and asked if I could take him somewhere.  He was disoriented.  Maybe he couldn’t hear me correctly or maybe he was not used to being helped.  I pushed open the door and asked him to get in out of the rain.

He could barely close the front door behind him and sat slumped in the passenger seat.  His wool sweater smelled of a dog or maybe a wet horse. “Where are you going on a day like this?” I said, smiling.  He took a moment to look over my car and then answered, “Food for Isabella?”  Was she his wife?  His friend, I wondered.  He was shivering as I pulled back into the street.  “Are you going to the Marketplace?”  “Yep, she woke me up this morning and said she was hungry”.  How could that be? I thought.  “Is Isabella you wife?”  Al turned and smiled.  “No, miss, she’s my cat.”

This man looked in his late eighties or early nineties, worn out by a life I knew nothing about.  He then started to talk about what a friend she was to him and the best cat he had ever had. I pulled up to the Marketplace and said I would wait for him and then take him home.  I called my strategic planner and said I would be…quite late.  So much for strategically planning my day down to the hour.

Twenty minutes later there was no Al I sight.  I got out and dashed into the store only to find that he was lost somewhere between the cat food and the Skippy peanut butter.  I helped him find the last item on his list:  Gator Aid.  Checkout took forever since in this man’s life everything moves at a snails pace.  I taped into my deep reservoir of patience and finally got him in the car with packages and all.

He talked of his cat and then tried to remember what street he lived on.  We had to backtrack a little and then he pointed to his house.  The classic home of a recluse, a person who barely subsists, even though when you look at the house you know it used to be something special at one time.  There was a broken down truck in the driveway since they took away his drivers license he said.  An old skiff for fishing in the front yard that looked like it had been there since I was born.  All the drapes were pulled tight and held in place at the windowsill with pieces of firewood.  I worried that he heated with wood.

We got him out of the car with my umbrella, packages almost too heavy for him, yet he insisted on carrying them himself.  Then a thank you.  Then a sideways smile.  Then he disappeared to the back of the house and was gone.

I sat in my car for a moment nearly having forgotten I had an agenda.  All I could think of was Al.  His life.  His devotion to walking in the rain for cat food and his love of his dear Isabella.  All I could think of was his living alone and in dire need of what most of us take for granted.  I was no longer in a hurry.

This past year I have aligned my life with a cause to help children in crisis situations who have no parent, no food, and no shelter. Children who have lived through the unthinkable like the earthquake in Haiti or the Tsunami in Japan.  I left thirty years as a psychologist to pursue a larger passion.  It is very important to me to be living from the center of what I believe I was called here to do.  Helping children have their basic needs met and helping others open their hearts to people they may not know is now my work.  And, yet, Al lives right down the street and he is in dire need too.  Al needs food and help.  Al needs love.  All is my neighbor.

I don’t need to go to Haiti or Osaka to look right outside my window to see loneliness or need.  In fact I wonder if the nightly news of chronic devastation, war and poverty desensitizes us to recognizing who lives on our own street when we watch nightly crisis and dramas around the globe?  How many houses do we pass with overgrown yards, drapes pulled and old people shuffling out to try to bend down to pick up a newspaper?  How many homeless people could have a square meal and tell me their story, if I were to simply stop ‘strategically planning’ my day and take the time to take them for a lunch?

If I woke up every day expecting to witness something around me, some person, some animal, some situation that could use my attention, my dollar, my car, my excess and be better for it…I would be better for it. Our world would be better for it is we each committed to this action of love.  Millions of people would be helped in a single day.   My question to every human and to myself is this:  Why don’t we all live like this all the time?  What will it take for all of us to start?  Who is the Al in your life?

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Death is in the Details

I  have been living in my mother’s home, her world and her rhythm for nine months.  My life is on hold.  Instead of getting a cup of coffee with a girlfriend, or cleaning my house, seeing patients or weeding the garden, I hold my mother’s hand most of the time, since she can fall over like a feather.  Her tiny steps, one after the other, amount to a few feet in a long walk from the car to the store, from the bed to the bathroom, from the kitchen to her bed.  Time is slowing to a crawl.  I match her steps that are like a shuffle really.  We glide now, together, from one moment to the next.  Smiling.  Her eyes glowing with relief to not be alone on this, her last journey.  Her dying time. A time so undetermined, so much a mystery, yet it hangs in the air, waiting.

We speak now more in hushed tones since she is finally resigned to wearing her new hearing aids at 92.  We talk of what is on TV that I have no personal interest in, of the guacamole I just made that she thinks is so yummy, and then we count the coupons she has taken hours to cut out of the flyers from the store, with scissors that dwarf  her bony fingers and her shaking simply makes into an ordeal.  But, those pennies saved at the Dollar Store are true joy to her.  Now I find the joy in it with her.  I am slowing down into a pace of life that is dream like. Deep heavy breathing to get my mind to calm down and my heart to be present.  I float through the day with her, taking hours to get dressed, to fix breakfast, to watch the Today Show and then do small amounts of dishes.  It is now after noon.  The day has just begun.   I breath in and out, deeper than usual, noticing the slur in her words which is new today, watching her cling to daily routines that she has executed for nearly 70 years with precision.  Yet she is now unable to button her coat by herself, to put her shoes on and lace them without saying “Oh, this is so much harder than it used to be, what’s happening to me?”.

She falls asleep  in front of ‘CSI Miami’ or is it New York or maybe ‘Without a Trace’?  I go to gently wake her as she has slumped over to the side, barely tucked up onto the bed, she is a shadow of herself, adrift in a protesting body.  We turn off the light.  I leave my door open to be vigilant like I was with my children, making sure I could hear if they had a nightmare or if they turned sick in the night.  Now my ears are open to her shallow breathing and her talking in her sleep and  I wonder what she dreams. My dream life has come to a halt.  I sleep in shifts.  My life is tuned to her.

I slip into my nightgown noticing even my body is older, my tin skin is showing my ribs and my eyes have new lines and dark circles, or maybe I am just noticing them, feeling my age for the first time, seeing how I look like my mother in every way.  My eyes are weary from the hardships of living life on my own, of holding up the ones I love, of knowing what is ahead for my mother and me.  I have left a thriving practice filled with wonderful clients behind.  I have put all I own, save my cats, into indefinite storage.  My life is now on cruise control as I shuffle toward an ending between my mother and me.  We are arm in arm on this one.  Clipping coupons in silence while looking deeply into one another’s eyes saying, “I am so happy you are here with me”.

And in the midst of dying we are laughing.  It is amazing how much we giggle.  Silly things like my mother getting stuck while trying to pull her sweater over her head without disturbing her helmet hair.  Hair I so carefully rearrange every morning and now stands on end, making her look like a 90 pound victim of electrocution.  I find myself a beginner in life, learning that the sadness in the details of dying in inextricably tied to childlike humor and sweetness.

We have changed places she and I.  And now I am the mother and she the uncertain child. But our laughter is entwined with the loss lurking around the corners of our days together.  Some mix that creates a wonderful, poignant and deep feeling of the heart.  I think I am now calling this…Joy.  For joy in the past has only been about happy feelings and awe in the nature around me. But now I am experiencing Joy as the heartache and laughter cocktail that is simply the most powerful feeling I have ever had.

Death is the last frontier in life and in our culture.  Death is the subject we run from, dress up, mask and try to avoid talking about or living with.  It is time we find out the vast landscape of death is really a destination we will all arrive at personally with loved ones and with ourselves that is no different from birth.  It is time to allow the experience of dying to teach up what only death can teach and be brave enough to walk with our own fears as we full accompany others in this journey.

Only in allowing Death to be part of life will we truly embrace what life offers us.  Only in sitting with death will we find our way to love and forgiveness.  These are the gifts my mother’s dying has given me and I am still learning how much I don’t know about life, even as I clip coupons and stand in line at Wendy’s to get her a Chocolate Frosty that she will never finish.

So today we are going through photo albums, cleaning drawers that she feels is essential, defrosting the refrigerator and dusting off the chandelier. Tomorrow we will do exactly the same thing.  Together.

 This piece was written in 2011 just prior to my mother leaving life at the age of 92.

A great compilation of stories on Mothers and Motherhood from the award-winning NPR Program This I Believe.  Please read my new chapter entitled, “Visitor at the Table”.  You can find it on

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History Starts Now

What kind world do you want? 

Think anything!

Lets start at the start, 

Build a masterpiece.

Be careful what you wish for,

History starts now

John Ondrasik, Five for Fighting

A new young Blogger is making her history now and introduced me to this wonderful song on her blog,  She reaches out with her heart, her inspired photos and sensibilities.  Visit her and give her some feedback and now treat yourself to the song that should have all of us acting now from our inspired selves.  Enjoy and thanks to Alex Harris for her inspiration!

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Life Question #1

Life Question # 1  “What is my Purpose in Life?”   

Answer:  “To live fully the truest expression of your Spirit without hesitation or fear.”

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Happiness: A Unique Message

This is a wonderful and unique message on Happiness.  Enjoy and please pass it along as well as visit the website you will find in the blogRoll to your right.  Blessings, Maya

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God Says Yes to Me

May we all listen to this young woman shout out what each of us need to hear from our own Divine Heart.  Say Yes to your passion, to your creativity, to your anger, to your free thinking, to whatever will move you toward yourself.    Maya

God Says Yes To Me  by Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

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Bolivia Passes First Law to Honor Mother Earth as an Equal

Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth

Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation.   Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”

The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.

But the abstract new laws are not expected to stop industry in its tracks. While it is not clear yet what actual protection the new rights will give in court to bugs, insects and ecosystems, the government is expected to establish a ministry of mother earth and to appoint an ombudsman. It is also committed to giving communities new legal powers to monitor and control polluting industries.

Bolivia has long suffered from serious environmental problems from themining of tin, silver, gold and other raw materials. “Existing laws are not strong enough,” said Undarico Pinto, leader of the 3.5m-strong Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, the biggest social movement, who helped draft the law. “It will make industry more transparent. It will allow people to regulate industry at national, regional and local levels.”

Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Bolivia’s traditional indigenous respect for the Pachamama was vital to prevent climate change. “Our grandparents taught us that we belong to a big family of plants and animals. We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We indigenous people can contribute to solving the energy, climate, food and financial crises with our values,” he said.

Little opposition is expected to the law being passed because President Evo Morales’s ruling party, the Movement Towards Socialism, enjoys a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament.

However, the government must tread a fine line between increased regulation of companies and giving way to the powerful social movements who have pressed for the law. Bolivia earns $500m (£305m) a year from mining companies which provides nearly one third of the country’s foreign currency.

In the indigenous philosophy, the Pachamama is a living being.

The draft of the new law states: “She is sacred, fertile and the source of life that feeds and cares for all living beings in her womb. She is in permanent balance, harmony and communication with the cosmos. She is comprised of all ecosystems and living beings, and their self-organisation.”

Ecuador, which also has powerful indigenous groups, has changed its constitution to give nature “the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution”. However, the abstract rights have not led to new laws or stopped oil companies from destroying some of the most biologically rich areas of the Amazon.

Coping with climate change

Bolivia is struggling to cope with rising temperatures, melting glaciers and more extreme weather events including more frequent floods, droughts, frosts and mudslides.

Research by glaciologist Edson Ramirez of San Andres University in the capital city, La Paz, suggests temperatures have been rising steadily for 60 years and started to accelerate in 1979. They are now on course to rise a further 3.5-4C over the next 100 years. This would turn much of Bolivia into a desert.

Most glaciers below 5,000m are expected to disappear completely within 20 years, leaving Bolivia with a much smaller ice cap. Scientists say this will lead to a crisis in farming and water shortages in cities such as La Paz and El Alto.

Evo Morales, Latin America’s first indigenous president, has become an outspoken critic in the UN of industrialised countries which are not prepared to hold temperatures to a 1C rise.

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Poem by Andrea Cohen







Truth in Advertising

by Andrea Cohen

If we’d moved her,
she’d still have ’em,

the ad for Acme
Moving says, with a photo

of Venus de Milo.
But who, intact,

would Venus be?
Some standard-issue

ingénue. Give me
a woman who’s lived

a little, who’s wrapped
her arms around the ages

and come up lacking: that’s
the stone that can move me.

“Truth in Advertising” by Andrea Cohen, from Kentucky Derby. © Salmon Poetry, 2011. Reprinted with permission


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