Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How will you celebrate National Love a Tree Day?

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Opening Hearts to Inspire Action


"Earth provides enough for every man's need, but not for every man's greed." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Did you know it’s National Love a Tree Day? You’ve probably seen or even bought a bumper sticker that reads “Hug a tree.”

Seems silly and simple.

Yet there’s scientific proof of the emotional and physical benefits of being a tree hugger. Research shows that it’s the tree’s vibrational properties that heal those closest to them. Trees talk if we are listening. Matthew Silverstone better explains the details in Blinded by Science

Japan has over 62 "forest therapy" sites; the government takes being with and hugging trees very seriously.

Trees can even talk with one another and share information underground!

Consider the work of Dr. Bernie Krause, creator of Wild Sanctuary, who’s studied the soundscapes of many living organisms including plants and trees. He’s recorded these sounds and shares them in places like the American Museum of Natural History-Smithsonian and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Seems the original "tree huggers" date back to 1730 when hundreds of Hindu men and women were slaughtered while clinging to trees to protest their village's deforestation. A maharaja wanted the land cleared to build his palace. This intense love of trees later became a movement called tree satyagraha; it was this passion that caused India’s government to better manage their natural resources.
Even in my Florida backyard, some tree-loving unfolded. 

Can you imagine the 1920's scene in Dunedin, Florida when several women climbed into the arms of a giant, 150-year old live oak tree? They perched themselves on one massive branch to prevent the tree's trip to the sawmill. The city sought the tree's lumber to support its building boom. 

Members of the Dunedin Women's Club thought differently.
Brava, ladies!

It’s no surprise to learn that the women in this charming town, founded by two Scotsmen, would honor their Celtic, ancestral roots and love of the Sacred Oak. 

Happy news: The 150+-year-old Florida live oak tree lives!

Why blog about National Love a Tree Day?
As an author, I use tons of paper. I love the sensory feeling of hearing my pen move across the page. Maybe you do, too. I also now realize as a consumer, I use many paper products--tissues, napkins, paper towels, post its, and toilet paper.

I am now rethinking my use of paper--a gift or unwilling gift--of the trees.
Perhaps I can find paper and journals made from trees that died naturally and weren’t harvested for the sawmill or pulp mill.
I also can find ways to use less paper.

Today I will love a tree.

How about you?

Blessed to see and be in the energy of this 500-year-old oak tree in Safety Harbor, FL.





Wednesday, May 2, 2018

3 Sources for Divine Downloads to Enhance Your Writing

A Blog for SPINNING YOUR GOLD: Words that Open Hearts & Inspire Action

What is a Divine Download
My definition: 
Divine Download (noun)
The spiritual connection to Greatness-- Source, God, Universe, the Creator--that allows inner, inspirational ideas to flow to the outer using you like a hollow quill or channel. These ideas are then used in writing, speaking, or other creative actions.

When this spiritual connection happens, you know. There may even be physical confirmations; you'll feel what I call "angel bumps." (Sounds better than goosebumps don't you think?) This is energy charging in different parts of your body which aren't conscious actions. 

They just happen. 
Be aware when... 
Your heart skips. 
Your breath quickens. 
Your hands tremble.
Your tummy flutters.

And when Divine Downloads aren't flowing, you also know. You might call this writer's block or label yourself as unsure, unworthy, or unmotivated. 

A year ago, Miss Writer's Block visited me like an unannounced house guest. This happened when I sought to meet a deadline for a 1,400-word story in the anthology, Inspiration for a Woman's Soul: Opening to Gratitude & Grace. As the deadline loomed, I realized that perhaps I'd attracted this momentary writing paralysis! Why? I'd just completed writing a 24-page ePublication entitled 5 Journal Adventures to Recharge Your Creativity: Writer's Block Take a Vacay!

Laughing through my ah-ha, I used these three, favorite sources for Divine Downloads--along with taking the advice in my ePublication to meet the story deadline. They included:

1) Colors: Visit the paint department at any large box store.
Peruse the paint color samples and picturesque booklets for visual delight and word imagery. I randomly chose three colors which were Riesling Grape (chartreuse), Peru burgundy) and Arrowhead Lake (blue). Interesting that the later name matches my address of 1932 Arrowhead Drive, I've also led a Vision Quest to Peru and, visited Germany with siblings where we drank lots of Riesling wine. 

The paint names caused memories to flow, and later, words flowed onto the page of my story. If you choose large paint samples, you can use them as is--or decorate as bookmarks with children or grandchildren.

2) Words: Randomly open your favorite book, atlas, or dictionary and read, then copy, the first words, names, or phrases that appear.
Don't edit or judge. Just be a faithful scribe. Read them aloud. Let them percolate like your favorite cup of coffee or tea. They'll find their perfect use and place in your story exactly as is or as a spin-off an idea in your story or creative project.

3) Conversations: Ask: What or who do I need to know now for my best and Highest Good regarding _______? (Name of the issue, story, project)

This is part of Step 2 in my practice of the Divine Dialogue Writing System. I use this question every morning and also teach the practice. In silence, "someone" always shows up. You might call this presence intuition, inner whispers, or even your name for Source. We chat on the page, going back and forth like two BFFs having a heart-to-heart conversation. And always, the issue moves closer to clarity and resolution. 

It's in this process that every name for a major project has emerged for me including Women as Visionaries, Your Soul Cafe (my podcast), Spinning Your Gold (my blog) and; the Divine Dialogue Writing System, my writing practice, women's writing circle, and course.

Colors. Words. Conversations. 

They're all a tiny part of the huge, content-rich and gorgeous world that supports your Divine Downloads--a flow of inner, inspirational ideas.

Lessons learned: There's no need in having Miss Writer's Block to visit or feeling unsure, unworthy, or unmotivated. 

Your job? 
Be open. 
Allow. 
Accept.
I promise that your Divine Downloads are sure to flow to you often, and easily!

Thank-you in advance for commenting if one or more of these ideas reminded or inspired you of how to enhance your spiritual connection for writing.

P.S. Your special invitation awaits you to join my free, private Facebook group, the Writer's VisionQuest just for women. The group's intention is to "take your words somewhere brilliant" by giving and receiving writing and creativity resources.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Sisters are fierce, fragile, and forever!

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Action
Sisters are fierce, fragile, and forever!” - Miss Anon

Part One: My Tribe
While I have one younger biological sister, I am blessed to know dozens of heart-sisters around the globe!

Rewind: One of those precious tribes is my Judson College Sister Tribe pictured above. We’re gathered for a “Step Sing” in Jewett Hall, the main building on campus in Marion, Alabama—Deep South, Y'all.

At the Step Sing each week…
We forgot about school, home, friends, and boyfriend issues.
We lifted our separate voices as one.
We sang silly songs like “Mr. Moon” and emotional songs like Elvis’ “I Can't Help Falling in Love with You.”

For last year's reunion weekend, I was invited back for a book signing and to read Carbonated Holiness, my story in Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Opening to Gratitude and Grace. It’s a story about a spring day my freshman year…driving in the Alabama countryside…daffodils…and feeling included. That afternoon helped me make a life-changing decision: I decided to stay and graduate at this all women’s college founded in 1838.

Now: With mixed emotions, I won't be attending this year's annual reunion of J-Day; business is booming and needs my attention. At the same time, my spirit will be there celebrating my dear roomie, Rhonda Caver Lewis, who's being installed as our alumnae president. 

The J-Day Weekend ends on a somber note; Rhonda, along with hundreds of Judson Sisters, will be attending the memorial services for Dr. David Potts, who recently died. This kind, loyal man faithfully served the college for 30 years in many roles including that of the president. After my reading last year, he surprised me and everyone gathered by presenting me with a single, long-stem red rose saying, "I'm so glad you decided to stay at Judson and to graduate here, Lore." I became a puddle with tears streaming down my face so I don't recall much of what he said after that. I now cherish this memory more than ever.

Yes, my tribe invited me back to tell a story.
Members of my Judson Sister Tribe scooped me up from the airport.
My roomie from 46 years ago and I shared a hotel room, memories, and created new ones. In college they called us the “Odd Couple”—she was Felix and I was Oscar! And yes, there was a Step Sing to wrap up the weekend’s reunion activities. While I sang, I gave thanks for the four decades of friendship from this Judson Sister Tribe who are indeed…fierce, fragile, and forever!

Part Two: Your Tribe
The Future: You might say, “Nice story. This isn’t my experience.” Well, it can be. You can create your tribe or join a tribe.
With social media, there’s no shortage of groups to join.
Check them out.

If it isn’t a heart-match, keep dating!

You’re invited to join the Writer’s VisionQuest, my free, private Facebook group. It's a women's writing tribe where we give and receive resource support to "take our writing somewhere brilliant."

As a result, check out what can happen in two years with sister support! You’re invited to visit my Amazon Author’s page.

P.S. Enjoy the song, We Are Family--I've got all my sisters with me--by Sister Sledge (1979). 
After your comments, please add a link to your group with its intention.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What's Your New Spring Mantle?

SPINNING YOUR GOLD BLOG: Words to Open Hearts & Inspire Actions
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, 
and has time enough.
~ Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize in Literature 1913
What new Spring mantle do you seek to unfurl and share with the world?

On this official first day of spring, beginnings and second chances are sure to be a buzzin' in your mind. The signs are everywhere. The butterfly metaphor appears in posts, poetry, memes, and Tweets. Sheesh, the Dollar Stores displayed spring items the day after Valentine's Day!

Perhaps you can recall your science class in elementary school. Do you remember learning the four stages of the butterfly as an egg, larva, pupa, and adult?

As a butterfly in the making, who or what do you seek to be after your long winter's nap? 

And what if you're not prepared to...
show up,
unfurl your wings and,
emerge to proclaim a new title despite all the outer urgings to celebrate Sister Spring?!

What if you're just not ready despite months of cocooning?
Then stay there. Be still. Know your peace. It's perfect.You're perfect.

Perhaps you're' still in Stage Two, the caterpillar-butterfly phase.

Yes, you could be "going caterpillar." 
You're still cocooning.
Perhaps you're still devouring the leaf you were "born" on. You're reading, reflecting, researching, and then responding in words. 

Perhaps you're growing, expanding, and then molting.
This means you are okay with being in the dark.
This means you are where you are supposed to be.
This means you are "faithing" it until you make it.

Eventually, you will evolve to Stage Three: The Chrysalis Butterfly.

What butterfly stage are you in? 
You'll know the moment to announce your new spring mantle.
Remember what Rabindranath said, "The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

P.S. Join me for the Master eCourse, Create and Write Your Personal Vision Book in 7 Sacred Steps because you're ready to soar and share your messages!  Of course, you've got 18 minutes a day for just 33 days to create a new story, a new "tell-a-vision" of your desired life. Register now for the early bird price before April 10.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

7 Stars in Stephen Hawking’s Constellation of Words

SPINNING YOUR GOLD BLOG: Words to Open Hearts & Inspire Actions

"A star just went out in the cosmos. We have lost an amazing human being." ~Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist, and cosmologist

For today's National Write Down Your Story Day, let us celebrate Stephen William Hawking— the life and legacy of an amazing human being and scientist who was also a prolific writer and gifted storyteller. Professor Hawking uniquely told his story, intricately woven into his story of the cosmos, by authoring numerous published and unpublished works; each book and essay touched millions of readers around the globe! He keenly defines the title “international bestselling author.”

Perhaps you’ve read the New York Times bestseller A Brief History of Time which sold 10,000,000 copies in 40 languages. 

According to Amazon.com, it was “a landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?"

Hawking’s brilliant mind “roamed the cosmos” while writing other books that covered a range of topics including astrology, cosmology, quantum physics, and children’s science fiction physics.

Here are seven stars in Hawking’s constellation of words to remember:

1.“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

2. “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it’s the illusion of knowledge.”

3. “I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”

4. "One day, we might receive a signal from a planet like this, (referring to the potentially habitable alien planet Gliese 832c) but we should be wary of answering back. Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn't turn out so well."

5. "The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had the survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all."

6. "We are close to the tipping point, where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees [Celsius], and raining sulfuric acid.”

7. “Shouldn’t we be content to be cosmic sloths, enjoying the universe from the comfort of the earth? No. The earth is under threat from so many areas that are difficult for me to be positive.”

Which "star" above did you connect with?
Let us hope that others --here and in the celestial realm--are now attentively listening to Hawking’s messages to save our Blue Marble. As writers and creative messengers, let’s use our words and artistic expressions to share his inspirational messages!

Thank you, Professor Hawking. Thank you.

P.S. Do you seek to tell your story and write your book? A special invitation awaits you for the Master eCourse, Create and Write Your Personal Vision Book in 7 Sacred Steps, April 18-May 21. 

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

7 Steps to Writing Your Reading Autobiography

SPINNING YOUR GOLD: Words to Open Hearts & Inspire Actions
I am a part of everything that I have read.” 
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President, USA

It's hard to believe that my 1st-grade teacher in Kansas wrote this on my final report card which I still have: 
Dear Mrs. Raymond,
Lore is very shy. 
To help her, I suggest that she reads many books during her summer vacation. 

Sincerely, 
Miss Linda

My mom embraced Miss Linda's summer reading advice. Weekly library trips became a summer routine for all three of her kidlets. Gleefully, I lugged home an arm's length of books after every visit. Why? I was inspired to compete in the Willy the Bookworm Reading Contest. For every book read, you colored one segment of Mr. Willy's caterpillar body--all done on an honor system. Once completed, you gave the librarian the completed and colored form of Willy for a prize. While I can't recall what the prize was...

I do remember that this was the summer of falling in love with reading!
Fast forward five decades and I’m a self-professed bookaholic who doesn’t want to be in recovery. 
I love the word.
I love books. 
I love writing. 
And writing loves me!

To illustrate I helped gift thousands of books and textbooks to Honduran schools while teaching there for five years. The Goodwill Outlet Store became my personal Barnes & Noble. The books were bought for a $1.17 a pound thanks to family and friends' kind donations and efforts. (Check out local stores.There's a difference between Goodwill Retail and Goodwill Outlet stores.) 

Finally, a long-held dream came true last year: I became a #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of five books. No, it's not a #1 NY Times bestselling author title, and I am both content and thrilled!

Where did your love of books and reading come from?
Curious to answer this question myself, I crafted a Readers' Autobiography—something all of my students are assigned in the Divine Dialogue Writing Course. It could also become a reflection exercise for a book club, writing circle, or a rainy day family project. 

Daughter Nazlie (10) & me on the front steps
My all-time favorite book? 
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, a #1 NY Times bestselling author.
Anyone who knows me owns a copy. Three books now rest on my "to gift bookshelf." Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, Sarah: my copies of Simple Abundance now come from Goodwill since I give away so many. Whoever donates them, well, it's their loss and my treasure.

Published in 2009 and gifted to me by my mom, Simple Abundance sustained me as a Caribbean expatriate and new, single, 45-year old mom with a 10-year old daughter.There was no phone, snail mail, or internet services on the Isla de Roatan, Honduras, where we lived. My lifeline to sanity and civility became the daily reading of "Sarah"--it's what the book was called in our bungalow on the Caribbean Sea.

Do you feel the same deep-sea gratitude for an author and book?

Rediscovering your reading roots might uncover buried treasure!
Here’s a 7-step roadmap to writing your reading autobiography:

1. Get started
Find a quiet place. Sip on a favorite childhood drink like lemonade, Kool-aid or anything with Fizzies. If not at home, head to the children's section of your library. 
Pull up a little chair or a piece of carpet.

2. Rewind
For childhood research, look at the Newbery Medal and Honor Books. Does any book on the list ring a bell? Your adult reading years might be easier to research. Think about high school or college reading assignments. Finally, peruse your bookshelf, which if you're like me, will take some time given my bookaholic nature. 

3. Record
Make a list of books and authors--three for every decade of your life that made a difference.

4. Reflect
Nothing more to say here.
(L-r)Grandparents Mamie & Bump Bump with siblings Cathy, me & Mikey
5. Remember
Who taught you how to read? Who read your stories? Write them a thank you note. If you don't recall the person's name or if they're no longer alive, write the letter anyway. They'll get it via Spirit-mail. I'll be writing my grandparents and Miss Linda, my 1st-grade teacher.

6. Write
Put pen to paper. Write your reader's autobiography. Write what you enjoyed and learned from each book. Celebrate and document your life through the books that you've become a part of. It's like an old-fashioned book report; perhaps they now call them "Kindle Reports."

7. Read
Once you've finished writing, savor your reader's autobiography while sipping a childhood beverage...ah, enjoy meandering down the memory lane of this unwrapped gift to yourself.

P.S. Do you seek to write YOUR BOOK? Your special invitation awaits you at the Master eCourse, Create and Write Your Personal Vision Book in 7 Sacred Steps, April 20-May 20. 

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Moonlit Ideas for the Full Sleeping Moon & World Compliments Day

SPINNING YOUR GOLD: WORDS THAT OPEN HEARTS & INSPIRE ACTIONS

Never underestimate the power of good morning texts, apologies, and random compliments." ~Unknown

Did you know that today is the Full Sleeping Moon and World Compliments Day? The two go hand in hand. At 7:51 pm ET she'll be shining brightly over our world. Like moonlight, your compliments can also bring verbal moonlight to brighten someone's day.

Who might that be? Who needs your kind, compassionate words? A verbal hug?

For fun, consider writing an alphabet list of friends and family. Then set the intention to text or write them a compliment today and watch the magic unfold.


And if you're noticing different energies right now you're not a LUNAtic--you're normal.

Studies about sleep habits and the full moon show:

·        “Sleep is the “third leg” in your health regimen; it has the same importance as nutrition and exercise
·        Even in a completely dark room, your body appears to be affected by the phases of the moon, getting less-quality sleep during the night and lower levels of melatonin
·        Melatonin is important to your sleep hygiene and also your overall health, playing a role in the prevention of certain cancers”
With this information,you might also now consider these moonlit ideas and get ready to explore the magical energy of March! 

You just might:

·       feel extremely guided. The ebb and flow energy of the tides might be calling you to shift—to pull away or to push ahead.
·       want to be more mindful of what’s unfolding around you. Rise like Moon and take a higher perspective to collect the moonbeams of insights to gain greater clarity on foggy issues
·       make more practical decisions with these higher perspectives to move ahead with expanded self-confidence and less self-doubt.
·       ponder Moon’s Virgo energy that rules over the digestive system and the integration of ideas; consider the changes you need to better absorb and digest life!
·       review your New Year’s Vision, Mission and Mantra to see what’s serving you—or not. Be open and full, like this Sleeping Moon, to new ideas to easily move forward and shine your moonlight.
·       consider restarting your writing or journal practice along with meditation to tap into these powerful celestial energies. Remember, it only takes 18 minutes a day to develop a forever habit!
Whatever you choose to do, know that the Universe is conspiring to support your best and Highest Good. 
So is Moon.
And me, too!
P.S. Do you seek to create more magic, balance, and clarity in your life? If yes, please join me for my month-long Master eCourse, Create and Write Your Personal Vision Book in 7 Sacred Steps. Moon is sure to be guiding us as a friendly and helpful co-creator!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

5 Ways of Writing to Express Love with Gratitude

SPINNING YOUR GOLD BLOG: WORDS THAT OPEN HEARTS & INSPIRE ACTION

How are you feeling on this Love Day?
As with any holiday, you may have high expectations of how this day "should" unfold. You may not feel the loving energies intended for expression and celebration today. And who hasn't been on the receiving end of feeling unloved, unwelcomed, and unappreciated? I've rented space in these unhappy places.

Flashback: On Valentine's Day at Judson, an all women's college, I painfully recall looking out the 2nd-floor window dozens of times all day. Every chance I could, I tried to spot a florist delivering roses at my Julia Barron Dorm. 

"Could that be for ME?" "Oh, those MUST be for me." The monkey mind chatter increased with every passing hour that he didn't remember me. The call, card, and flowers never arrived. Emotionally exhausted, I went to sleep feeling angry, jealous, upset, and unloved.

The next day he called to say he'd been very sick and apologized for not sending flowers; it had been his intention and I believed him.

I then resolved NEVER to expect expressions of love from an outside source. I released the illusion of rejection. This intention has since guided me through life-- though I do slip up with expectations on occasion!

If you find yourself “down in the valley” of emotions on this Love Day (or any holiday), how do you shift your energies for regaining equilibrium-- or even increase your vibration to a happier state of mind?
You’re invited to write your way up into a higher, happier vibration and...
 1)  Write an Alphabet Gratitude List
Using the alphabet, make a list of all the people who have ever liked or loved you. It's sure to fill your heart and cause some tears to flow. Be sure to include people who haven’t liked or loved you yet gifted you with lessons learned. Once your G-List is completed, it won't matter anymore if cards, calls or roses arrived -or didn't yesterday; at least, it might matter less.

2)   Write 5 Thank-You Notes
Using your Alphabet Gratitude List, choose five people to write an old-fashioned thank you note to. If they are no longer in the physical world or you don’t have an address, write them anyway! Make a copy of each one.

3)   Write a Calendar Love Letter
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Include everything you love or like about yourself. Be sure to add the many differences you’ve made in your successful turns-around-the-sun. Start with February and close with December. No act or thought is too small to be included. Then self-address an envelope and give it to a friend or family member to surprise you by mailing it to you whenever they choose.
4)   Write an Always in Advance Appreciation List—An AAA List
Mentally walk through your day. Visualize how you see it unfolding: peaceful, successful, easily, happily, etc. Capture your positive emotions with AAA statements like the ones I wrote this morning:
I am always giving advance appreciation for the…
·       Engaging phone call with my new client
·       Lots of  H.U.G.S. > Happy Unexpected God Surprises
·       Divine Downloads for the outline of my new book
·       Perfect writing sisters now joining me in my Master eCourse
·       Happy, inspiring mother-daughter date with the Florida Orchestra

  5)   Write your “I am Love, Loved, Loving & Loveable Autobiography”
Fueled and inspired by the writing activities above, write this autobiography to coalesce and condense the hopefully happy emotions they produced in your body, mind and creative soul.

Keep everything you’ve written including:
the Alphabet Gratitude List; copies of the five thank you notes; Calendar Love Letter; Always in Advance Appreciation List and; your I Am Love Autobiography –all handy to re-read often or whenever you find yourself  “down in the valley” before or after the next Love Day or holiday.

Thank you in advance for liking and commenting. What idea opened your heart to take inspired action and why?

P.S. Why not give yourself the gift of self-love? Consider joining me for the Master eCourse, Create & Write Your Personal Vision Book in 7 Sacred Steps, March 20--the first day of spring--to April 20.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.