Friday, October 12, 2012

The Story of Ceri

The Story of Ceri
                  The Universe works in mysterious ways…for wo/man and animal alike, and the joining thereof.
                  I understand that not everyone is as avid an animal lover as I am, but I know plenty of people who are. And I’m glad I’m this way, because it’s always been an honor to share my home with the dogs I grew up with, and the cats I’ve had since adulthood. I have always had a strong connection to the animals in my life. So, those of you who are like me will really get this story, and I hope the rest of you can resonate with it on some level.
                  About a month ago, I started taking notice of a cat that was frequenting my yard. I honestly think she’s been around on and off since I’ve lived here the past couple of years, but she wasn’t on my radar. All of a sudden – she was! She was friendly and affectionate, and I thought she must live somewhere close by, but then, something deeper inside told me that wasn’t the case. I gave her some food outside, and she acted like she hadn’t eaten in a long time. I started keeping an eye on her. She became a fixture in the yard. I didn’t feel that she had a home, and when I consulted an animal communicator (thank you, Adrienne), that was confirmed. I did try to find someone to claim her, including putting an announcement on the radio, but no one came forward, and I somehow knew no one would. I began thinking about how to find her a home, because after all, I have 3 cats, and that’s my limit!
 “HA”, said the Universe.
I started coming home and being greeted by her – out of the front bushes, or off the porch. I was feeding her, yes I was! I did all the typical of me kinds of things – I made beds and soft places for her all over the front yard. She had a box under the eaves of the house with a towel in it for comfort. There was a beach towel on the ground among the bushes. In the cat pen I have on the porch for one of my “girls”, Tessa, who does enjoy the great outdoors, I built a cozy haven for colder days and rainy days, with a big blanket inside it, and beach towels on top to keep cold and wind out. And, oh yes, I put a cat toy in there for her to cuddle up to for good measure.
More conversation with the animal communicator, who said, “Congratulations on your new kitty! She’s adopted you. She says she sat on your lap in Egypt. And oh, she’d like a goddess name – in fact, she’d like to be called Ceridwyn; Ceri for short (which she answered to right away, I might add – and the name, which is Celtic, means “beautiful poetry.” I LOVE that!).” Oye. I was not in the market for a new cat. In fact, it was the furthest thing from my mind. What would people think if I brought in another cat? What would my current cats think? Shoot – what do I think? But this has clearly not been about me.
I put out feelers for a home for her on the one hand, while actually contemplating how I could make it work, on the other. I thought my cats would disown me…and ok, feeding another one? “Um,  Universe, if this is to be, then the money needs to be there to feed her and get her checked out physically”, as there was no way I was going to risk my current felines’ health and well-being…. Enter PAL (Prevent A Litter). I called them – because I thought she might be pregnant on top of everything else. But luckily, the clipped left ear says she’s been spayed!  I borrowed a friend’s top-load c at carrier, and managed to get her there, and checked out. She was good to go: feline-lukemia free, wormed, they said they could tell by her teeth that she is either 4 or 5 yrs. old, and a free rabies shot – and then I knew I could bring her inside, which is what she “said” she wanted (and certainly tried many an evening to follow me in). More conversation with the animal communicator said my cats understood, but weren’t thrilled. They said they’d do it for me. (Guilt!) They had been sitting and looking at her through the glass door for weeks, so how different would it be to have her in the house?
Again, the Universe said, “HA!”
Last Sunday, on a cold and rainy, yucky afternoon, I decided we were going to try it. She’d been outside 24 hrs. after being wormed (which the vet had said to give her that time still outside), and had run off after the vet visit, because I’m sure she felt she could no longer trust me. I had decided that if, after the vet visit, she ran off and didn’t come back, I had done the right thing, and had the satisfaction of knowing she was well and armed with the rabies vaccine. She had been in and out of the yard since, and up in the woods more than in the past month. I knew she was trying to make a decision, like I was.  Because of the bad weather, she was nearby. When I came back from my Sunday service, I started the preparations – she was going in the bathroom upstairs where she could chill and not be surrounded by the other cats. I remained open to this working or not – went outside, lured her to me with some cat chow, and snatched her up and whisked her inside. When I picked her up, she struggled – when we walked through that door and she realized what was happening, she relaxed. She was inside.
This hasn’t been an easy week, but it’s getting easier. There’s been a whole lot of hissing going on around here, and I have felt terrible that I’ve disrupted everyone’s lives. Within two nights, she was out of the bathroom, and I just decided that they would all have to work it out. The unlikely hero of the story is Mystic, my alpha cat, my “just leave me alone” cat. She has been a constant, calming force in all this, and has been with Ceri a lot, just being in her presence and staying centered about it all. Tessa is coming around – they got nose to nose yesterday evening. Kali, my little goddess of fire and spit, has vacillated between staying under the chair in my bedroom, and trying to be big and bad. She has swiped at Ceri, and consequently, Ceri is spending most of her time in the upstairs bedroom – with the company of Mystic, a good bit of the time. In the 5 days since she’s been inside, she’s shown no desire to go out, and has really only looked outside a few times, and then turned away. Luckily, she is using the litter box (that was a big concern, but does say to me that she’s been inside before)!  She is happy and purring. She has toys and food and (eventual) sisters and shelter. She doesn’t have to forage or hide or be out in the elements. I do believe she’s home. She belongs, or this wouldn’t have happened the way it has. We aren’t out of the woods yet, as a family adjusting, but we’re doing better than expected this quickly.
Love shows up in many different ways and forms. I have manifested – even tho I didn’t do it consciously – the lap cat I don’t have (none of mine are real cuddlers that way), another calico (which I had said if I got another cat EVER, it would be another calico), and an affectionate, lovely being who is supposed to be with us. Who knows what she has come to teach us – and vice versa!
And the Universe is taking that “HA”, and changing it to an “Ahhhhhhhhhh”!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Oh Where, Oh Where, Did My Status Quo Go??

Have you been wondering what the heck happened to the things in life that you thought you could count on? Have you been pondering why you feel disconcerted on the inside when things on the outside no longer look familiar?  Are you tired of the “new day, new rules” feeling every time you turn around? That’s because the sense of any sort of status quo (Webster’s defines it “as the current state of affairs”) is in constant flux. I’ve been feeling this way since January 1, 2001. And now, as we hit these ever higher vibrations, there will be less and less of the familiar to hold onto (with the opportunity to build a new familiar).

    Is there any good news in this? Of course there is! First of all, this is the Time of Authenticity, where if we are not following the path of our soul, we are going to be mighty uncomfortable. What does THAT mean??? It means that we have to go within and listen to the messages we are getting ALL THE TIME (yes, even YOU!), whether we realize it or not. If there is anything that you feel called to do that you haven’t attempted, the good news is also that NOW is the time. The whole work paradigm is changing – where it was really never acceptable to be unhappy in our work life, it is really very unacceptable now, and our souls will not let us be ok with that. In fact, if we aren’t in right placement, we will be moved in some fashion. Just know, there is something MUCH better coming!! The key, as I have discovered, is to stay as positive as you can, even if you aren’t feeling it. Do whatever you need to uplift yourself. For me, it’s music, guided visualizations, reading authors who resonate with me, and spending time in contemplation with my journal.

Secondly, this is the opportunity to define our lives on OUR terms, from the entrepreneur of us, the within of us, that knows our true desires, and what we came to the planet to accomplish. One of the big “aha”s  I’ve had is that these are the times I came here for, and that without me (as is true for you, as well) things will not evolve in the same way on our planet. That’s how important we are! Even in the chaos, there is harmony among the souls here, even if it doesn’t appear to be so. It is our job to define our own status quo, start acting “as if”, and taking a step daily to transform our lives to what is in alignment with who we are, as well as how we fit into the whole planetary scheme. Who we are DOES make a difference!!

    Are you ready to do things differently and redefine your status quo? Are you ready to act “as if”? My nephew, Jason, and I are offering a workshop that can help you get there. Come join us for “All The World’s MY Stage” that combines acting skills and spirituality  - and an opportunity to be video-taped acting “as if”. It will be fun, build confidence in yourself and your desires, and give you a taste of the possibilities that your soul has in store for you! Check out Inner Peace’s website for more information:

    Here’s to yours, mine, and ours new status quo! And So It Is!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What Is Working Well In Your Life?

Very often, we tend to focus on what is not working well in our lives. There may be one “bad” comment that comes our way, or one “wrong” thing that happens, and we let it define our day, instead of the perhaps hundreds of things that have gone right all day! Why do we do that to ourselves??
The counselor part of me says that it’s old conditioning or past patterns that no longer even exist (except that we believe they do!) that keep us in victim mode, or in our own personal self-sabotage. Just yesterday, someone who is very close to me responded to an e-mail I’d sent her brooding about something in my life with, “just sheep-dip that old crap thinking off!” It is so easy to forget Who We Are in any given moment, and thank goodness for those in our lives who remind us and are mirrors for us! So, I invite you to try the sheep-dip (bring your favorite cracker! LOL!)
 Mary Morrisey, author of Your Field of Dreams, invites us to treat each day as if it’s a “brand new baby day” and start anew. The good news is that we don’t have to wait until tomorrow to have a fresh start, we can begin right here, right now, in THIS moment. The choice is always ours! I love using affirmations, and have several favorites, but among them is Louise Hay’s, “I Love and Approve of myself exactly as I Am!” Not when this or that happens, but seeing the perfection of where we are right now! Saying this to ourselves in the mirror is especially empowering. And remembering what Power-FULL beings we are can change any circumstance, as well. Ernest Holmes reminds us that “I Am A Center in Divine Mind.” Isn’t this better than focusing on our mis-alligned self-perceptions?
I believe gratitude is THE KEY to recognizing what IS working in our lives. If we get into the mass consciousness, which is riddled with fear and anxiety provoking attitudes and beliefs, it’s hard to see the proverbial forest for the trees. It doesn’t have to be our experience! Take this moment and think of just one thing you are grateful for – and not as a passing thought – but as a prevailing thought that you wish to savor. Now get into the feeling behind that thought, and wallow in it (because there’s something worth wallowing in!)!. Isn’t that much better than anything seemingly negative “out there” that we tend to focus our attention and energy on?
Go somewhere that puts you in a gratitude space! When I walk the labyrinth, it is with the gratitude of being in that sacred space. When I am among the petals there in the center of the labyrinth, I take the time to focus on what the petals mean to me: I am grateful for the faith to know that all is well. I surrender to this faith (because sometimes, that’s what it takes!). I am an abundant being, in service to the gift of being on the planet at this time, and the mission I came for. I forgive all circumstances and people that I have allowed to cause me pain, and myself most of all, for indulging in that pain. I have truly overcome so much through my faith in the process of life. And then, when I step into the middle, where love resides, I am reminded that all of this takes place through the over-riding prevalence of love in my life and affairs. Because wherever I am putting my focus of attention – good, bad, or indifferent – I am loving in my life. So choosing to love what is working, and giving gratitude for those things, will fuel their continuation in a very positive way – and more, and better! It is so cleansing and healing and uplifting and encouraging and soul gratifying! How can you then NOT see what is working in your life??
Stay centered in what is working – stay centered in the miracles that occur daily in our lives. Expect them, invite them, recognize them – they ARE there, all around! And then, be grateful for them! Be open to the form the miracle takes – it may not be what you think you want, but it WILL be absolutely perfect! It will bring you more to be grateful for!
Please feel free to respond to this blog, and share what is working in YOUR life! It will uplift us all!
And So It Is!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nourishing the Soul - by Laurel Herman

As many of you know,  my involvement with cooking and organics is my mission. Healing through nourishment. I have an enormous schedule to live up to. It is filled to the brim with work and classes.
But lets look for a moment for the primary foods that nourish us most. There are the people and places that provide the sacred space in which we can grow, find peace in a busy world and connect.

Can you carve out an hour or two to fill that sacred space?  How about filling it with the energy of those who support you on your journey.  Better yet, to  just be in the presence of others that know and understand what it is like to stretch ourselves,  get out of our comfort zones and expand our hearts.

There is a little space with big heart, and soul that provides that very menu of comfort and support.
Inner Peace has two services a month.. and lots of really enriching programs, classes, and events. In the very sense of the word service......for your, mind, body and soul....make time to enjoy the richness
of the meal offered...Namaste. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Greatest Love of All

While I can’t say I was a huge Whitney Houston fan, I must say she’s been on my mind a lot since her “untimely” death. My first thought in hearing that term used is, “Is any death untimely”? And the answer to 
that, in my mind, is no. Our soul knows when it is our time to exit.

As I walked the labyrinth the other day, which was the day of Whitney’s “home-going” service (I actually love that term!), I carried her with me through my walk, and thought about her struggles with substances, which mainly had to do with her struggles with herself. It also struck me that this has happened in the month of February, the month of Love, and how ironic it is that she was known for a song that she 
mirrored through her shadow side:

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed At least I'll live as I believe No matter what they take from me They can't take away my dignity Because the greatest love of all Is happening to me I found the greatest love of all Inside of me The greatest love of all Is easy to achieve Learning to love yourself It is the greatest love of all.”
Honestly, truer words were never sung. But NOT always so easy to achieve, as I believe many of us can attest to. My own life has been a determination to get to the “heart” of me, to love me. Sometimes I’m better at that than at other times – but I daresay that’s true for most of us.
I am coming to more and more deeply understand about love for myself. I’m not sure I can adequately express it, but the feeling of it is so centering and rings to the core of me. It’s like a heart opening that carries a vibration unlike any other. It’s the vibration of “rightness”, of all things being balanced in my world: my world being me, my “me-ness”, if you will – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  And part of why that is so important to me is due to my medicine name, which is Crystal Heart Delight. This name, as my mentor and friend, Kathryn, likes to say, has “worked me and learned me.” I’ve had the self-realization that the word “delight” is actually opening to de-light (the light) inside me, inside my own heart.
My Science of Mind class has just begun reading the wonderful Gerald Jampolsky book, Love Is Letting Go of Fear.  This book is based on teachings from A Course in Miracles, the first one being “All That I Give Is Given to Myself”. So, it is truly about giving away what we would like to experience in our lives – Love, in all its forms. Gerald says, “The law of love is that you are Love, and that as you give Love to others you teach yourself what you are.” This speaks to the fact that we are all students and teachers, that we teach/give what it is we most need to learn. And that thing is Love.
It’s 2012. It is a return to the heart and living through the heart, less from the intellect. Often, loving self is nothing more than getting out of our own way, letting ourselves just Be, realizing the gifts we are to the world – otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Not a one of us is a mistake. Just by virtue of being present on the planet, we are worthy and deserving of all the best this planet has to offer. Do loving things for yourself, speak loving words about yourself, and you will be more loving all the way around. After all, “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all”!

And So It Is!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Special Workshop Information: Art Journaling for the Soul

Art Journaling for the Soul Workshop
Come experience the excitement of Art Journaling for the Soul 2-day workshop with sisters Donna Hollowell and Tracy Whichard.  With their guidance, you will explore your own "inner layers" through the combination of your written words and creative "play" using mixed media (paint, images, stamps, glitter, pens, etc).  No artistic ability necessary!

February 11 & 12, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Crossroads Arts Center
2016 Staples Mill Road
Richmond, VA

Cost: $225.00 (Journal, materials, and supplies included)
Advanced registration is required.  Space is limited.
Contact Donna at, or (252)-202-4669

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Amidst the Petals

I am very fortunate in this life to have a best friend, Laura, who is more like a sister to me. We have known each other since we were 7 years old. Her dad used to refer to us as the Bobsey Twins ( most of you are probably too young to know who they were – but they were book characters), and many people do look at us and think we’re sisters. In our hearts, we definitely are. She is my biggest fan, no matter what I choose to do. And vice versa.

            Today, I invited Laura to walk the labyrinth with me, her “virgin” journey. This has been an unusually warm, beautiful, January day – and so we also walked the track for a while following our experience in the labyrinth. Laura took it seriously – walked meditatively along with me – and deemed it “interesting”, which is how Laura processes things. In particular, she was intrigued with the petals and their meanings.

When we got to the middle, and stood in the petals, I explained to Laura where she was standing (abundance) and where I was standing (forgiveness). I told her that I like to contemplate why I find myself standing where I am, and what that means for me, and that I will then go from petal to petal and stand in its energy – and then in the center of Love – before I do the return walk.  So, we did that. As I walked from petal to petal, I heard a phrase for each one, and I share that here:

                        I stand in faith – and I trust myself.
                        I stand in surrender – and I love myself.
                        I stand in abundance – and I know myself.
                        I stand in service – and I grace myself.
                        I stand in forgiveness – and I release myself.
                        I stand in overcoming – and I honor myself.
            And then, I moved to the middle, Love, and heard:
                        I stand in Love – and I recognize myself.

            I can tell you that I floated through the return walk. The sun shone brighter, the air felt sweeter, my energy was lighter, and I was happy. Every time I go in the labyrinth, I get another layer of understanding, and it is bringing me more and more in balance.

            Again, I make the sincere offer that I would love to walk with anyone who is interested in having the experience of walking the labyrinth, or who would like to walk it again…. As an aside, I also walked the labyrinth this week at Richmond Hill – a beautiful stone labyrinth in the heart of Richmond, in the setting of what used to be a home for nuns, but now houses those clergy praying for Richmond (and that’s a very cursory explanation) – which feels very “old” and very sacred. We are so fortunate to have these meditative tools in our midst!

            And So It Is!