Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Let's Celebrate Kamala Harris, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants


You may recall that at the Vancouver Peace Summit in September 2009, His Holiness the Dalai Lama declared that “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

The fallout and op-eds crashed around even this holiest of holy souls for his ‘feminist’ statement as if being a feminist was terrible.

Well, I’ll take a cue from him and boldly declare that she’s arrived to represent --for this slice of time -- all western and eastern women and to help save the world. Announced yesterday by Joe Biden, presumed Democratic candidate for POTUS, she’s the vice-presidential candidate for the November 3 election in the still greatest country on earth.

Say her name: Kamala Devi Harris.

“My name is pronounced “comma-la,” like the punctuation mark,” Kamala Harris writes in her 2018 autobiography, The Truths We Hold.” It means ‘lotus flower,’ which is the symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flowers rising above the surface while the roots are planted firmly in the river bottom.”

Whatever your politics or opinions, it’s a her-storical moment to be celebrated by every woman, of every age, everywhere, and not dissected or dismissed.

Harris now rises like the lotus flower from the mud and muck of our times to help us see and embrace a new American light.

I agree with Isaac Newton, who believed ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.’ Consider and celebrate the shoulders of Giants that have (and will) help Harris see further:

The giants of politics - Harris is the third woman to run as a vice-presidential candidate for a major U.S. party. It’s unimaginable to believe that only four women have found space and recognition on America’s national ballot after 200 years of elections!

In 1984 Geraldine “Gerry” Ferraro (D-NY) became the first female vice-presidential nominee representing an American major political party.  She joined Walter Mondale (D-MN) for a presidential bid losing to Ronald Regan. Sarah Palin, the Republican governor of Alaska, was second as the running mate of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008. 
“Service is the rent your pay for room on this earth.” -Shirley Chisholm (1924 -2005)
Let’s not forget Shirley Chisholm (D-NY). Her-story shows that ‘In the 1972 United States presidential election, she became the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.’

While pondering the lacking representation of female leadership, contrast it with populations facts: The populationfemale (% of total) in the United States was reported at 50.52 % in 2019, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, according to In 2020 numbers, that translates to 162 million males and 169 females—7 million more women!

As Chisholm encouraged, “If you’re not invited to the table, bring a folding chair.”

Parents of Kamala Harris celebrating her election to California’s Senate. Photo (L-r) Donald Harris, Kamala Harris, and Shyamala Gopalan Harris.

The giants of ancestors - Born in Oakland, CA, she imminently qualifies as a western and eastern woman. The sacred soil of her beginning originated in diverse parents with an Indian-born mother, and a Jamaican-born father.

The giants of suffragettes - With the global pandemic occupying much, if not all, of our personal and media attention, let’s not forget that 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. 

Did you know that on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified into the U.S. Constitution, forever protecting American women’s right to vote? So, it makes sense that August is National Women’s Suffrage Month. (Sadly, African-American women didn’t receive this voting right until 1965, and the unjust struggle remains in many states.)

It wasn’t easy to secure a woman’s right to vote. Hard-fought and often bloody battles led by the-then radical American suffragettes won the war for equality with support from global sister activists and other progressives.

Many women (and men) were imprisoned, beaten, and some died while working on getting the white, male-dominated federal government to allow women to vote. Giants of voting equality included names like Susan Brownell Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Emmeline Pankhurst, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Kean, and Millicent Garrett Fawcett.

Say their names.

For today, I pray that ...

Poets poet,
Writers write,
Musicians sing
And people everywhere, celebrate Kamala Harris standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Say her name.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Celebrate Christmas in July

Spinning Your Gold: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

Merry Christmas in July!

In many parts of the planet, sweltering temps challenge us to stay cool. (My “Florida Oven” in blasting until October arrives!)

Like me, over the past four months, perhaps you’ve been challenged to keep “cool” with COVID-19 and the tsunami of partisan actions and non-actions. Maybe you’ve felt the cool darkness of stepping into the shadow of sadness caused by today’s current events and personal feelings.

As my only grandchild, Blake (5) wisely said, “Too much!” 

He inspired a solution:
Christmas with Blake, 2017.
Turn up the exterior lights while stepping back into the inner Light to remember Christmas—A Holy Season of Light, Love, and Peace.

Why wait for December 25? Why not celebrate Christmas in July, a celebration started in 1933 at a girls’ camp in North Carolina?

Ideas to think and stay cool might include:

1. Calling loved ones and wishing them a very Merry Christmas in July!

2. Decluttering closets and donating summer clothing and toiletries to a homeless or women’s shelter (socks and underwear are always in high demand).

2. Lighting candles followed by praying for our country, leaders, medical and frontline heroes plus anyone quarantined or hospitalized in the USA and around the globe.

4. Decorating or setting up a tree and lights outside.

5. Writing a Gratitude List for the first six months of 2020.

6. Cooking a summer Christmas feast, e.g., fish vs. turkey, s’ mores or Key lime pie vs. pumpkin pie or a watermelon vs. cranberry salad. (You get the idea.)

7. Watching the 1940 movie, “Christmas in July,” starring Dick Powell and Ellen Drew.

8. Making plans to attend the “2021 Christmas in July Festival” in West Jefferson, NC, or at one of these other top ten places:

Whatever you do, find your “Christmas in July” ways to turn up and step back into the Light, Love, and Peace that the season of Christmas is sure to remind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What's Your Favorite Flavor of Ice Cream?

Spinning Your Gold: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions 
 “You should not be replacing more than one meal a day with ice cream. We do not consider a pint or tub of ice cream to be a single serving.” 
–Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s

Did you know that July is called the Ice Cream Month? And today, July 1 is National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day?

There’s a good reason as this 2,000-year-old treat can always cool and soothe the hot summer blues, body, and creative soul. Marco Polo returned to Italy from his Far East expeditions with a recipe for sherbert. Seems Catherine de Medici of Italy later enjoyed her “cream ice” in 1553. And it didn’t take long before everyone could buy a scoop starting in 1660!

Did you also know that your favorite ice cream flavor speaks volumes about your personality?

To verify this, there’s research conducted by neurologist Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. “Seems Hirsch uses various standardized psychiatric test results to make statistical correlations, explaining that the same part of the brain (the limbic lobe) is responsible for both personality traits and food preference.”

Hirsch says the taste for your favorite ice cream is set during childhood and tends to remain constant throughout your life.

As an author, this invites me to consider myself and story characters –not to mention family and friends- in this new, sensory light. Hmmm…I wonder what ice cream my 3x Great Uncle Liberty Raymond killed at the Battle of Fort Wagner in the Civil War enjoyed as a child on his New Hampshire apple orchard?

It’s fun to wonder what other sheroes enjoyed like Ann Hasseltine Judson, Julia Tarrant Barron, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Golda Meir, and Mother Teresa. I’m also curious about the favorite ice cream flavors of writers like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Rumi, Isaak Dinesen, Hafiz, or Peace Pilgrim. 

As I now write while juggling a somewhat melting cone…

Descriptive adjectives flow.
Plot twists sweeten.
Vocabulary gets sprinkled with multi-syllabic words.
Creative insights gather.
Memories of happy moments drip ... drip ... drip.

For fun, here are my assigned ice cream flavors from Hirsch’s research to seven well-known people with birthdays in July:

* The Dalai Lama, July 6 - Vanilla
* Sylvester Stallone, July 6 – Rocky Roads
* Tom Hanks, July 9 – Chocolate
* Malala Yousafzai, July 12- Vanilla
* Ernest Hemingway, July 21 – Coffee
* Robin Williams, July 21 –Butter Pecan
* J.K. Rowlings, July 31 – Chocolate Chip

So what’s your favorite ice cream for cooling down this July? What do you think about the ice cream matches above?

P.S. Your special invitation awaits you to join me and other sister writers in my free, private women's Facebook group, the Writer’s VisionQuest. Our intention is sharing and giving resources to “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.”

P.P.S. Visit my Amazon Author Page to learn about upcoming workshops and events, and books to enjoy for your summer reading.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2020. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used, or copied to another website without prior written permission from the author.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

5 Prayerful Ways to Call for Peace, Protest Injustice

Spinning Your Gold: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” -Soren Kierkegaard

After months of COVID-19 self-quarantine and days of civil unrest, do you find that:

Your body is drained.
Your heart is aching.
Your mind is blown.
Your spirit is swirling.

What can you do to be a part of today’s solution and be changed?

How can you, as Mohandas Gandhi suggests, “Be the change you  wish to see?”

Like many, you might not be able to march in the streets to protest. Yet, your heart seeks to walk for justice, peace, and the healing of racism.

With Number Five representing a change in numerology, here are five inspired steps you can now take to shift the negative energy to positive energy:

1. Join a mindful prayer community- You’re invited to my online Facebook event, WAVE-Praying Together Matters, to pause and pray each day from June 4 to July 4—Independence Day in the USA.

2. Pray- In this month-long “event,” you’re called to set the alarm to different times each day and pray, however, and to whomever. What’s essential is that you enter your private, sacred, and silent space. 
That simple. That powerful. 
RSVP now to WAVE-Praying Together Matters. (Women as Visionaries Everywhere & Friends)

3. Write a prayer- Even if you don’t think you’re a writer, your thoughts are things. They can become a prayer. Put them on paper. Share that positivity for a brighter future.

4. Post a prayer-full memeRemember Meister Eckhart Tolle’s wisdom, “If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough.” On social media, share gratitude (or peace) memes and quotes for how you see the world; this is expressing robust advance appreciation and gratitude. You don’t have to wait for the good to appear. See it happening now. Use the hashtag #PrayingTogetherMatters.

5. Be the prayer. Be the light. - As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fiercely and non-violently demonstrated in his life, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Together, we can do this, let us pray.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

30 Creativity Quotes to Inspire Your Writer's & Artist's Heart & Soul

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words to Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
Did you know that May 30 is National Creativity Day?
For inspiration, enjoy these 30 quotes designed to tap into 
your writer’s and artist’s heart and soul.

Creativity is:
“Creativity is an act of defiance.” -Twyla Tharp

“Creativity is a wild mild and a disciplined eye.” -Dorothy Parker

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” -Albert Einstein

“Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made by you.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Creativity is one of the highest transmissions of love.”-Suzy Kassem

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” -Albert Einstein

“Creativity is just connecting things.” -Steve Jobs

How creativity manifests:

“To be creative is to look madness in the eye and challenge it to a spitting contest.” -River Fairchild

“Create with the heart, build with the mind.” -Criss Jami

 “Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.” -Dee Hock

“When people ask me how did I get so creative, I tell them it’s because I ate paste as a child.” -Anon

“That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.” -Ray Bradbury

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” -George Bernard Shaw

To create a work of art is to create the world.” -Wassily Kandinsky

What erodes creativity?

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” –Sylvia Plath

“There is no innovation or creativity without failure. Period.” –Brene Brown

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” -Pablo Picasso

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.” -Ray Bradbury

“Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” -David Lynch

“Never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill

Why create?

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” -Maya Angelou

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” -John W. Gardner

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” -Pablo Picasso

“The creative adult is the child who survived.” -Ursula K. LeGuin

 “What if the very reason you were created was to be creative?” -Michelle Dennis Evans

“Writing reawakens my childhood fantasy more than anything, opening up creative worlds.” -Leo Tolstoy

“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.” -Virginia Woolf

“Art, freedom, and creativity will change society faster than politics.” -Victor Pinchuk

Hopefully, these 30 creativity quotes inspired your writer's and artist’s heart and soul. 

Which ones did you like the most and why? Please share other personal favorites in the comment section. 

Express your creativity!

P.S. Let's connect and express creativity together! Are you a woman who writes? An author or messenger? 

Please join me in my women’s free, private group, the Writer’s VisionQuest. By giving and receiving resources, our intention is to “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.

P.P.S. If curious, visit my Amazon Author’s page to better know me through my stories and messages.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Soul Comfort for Cat & Dog Lovers

“A piece of my heart is at the Rainbow Bridge.” ~Anon
Do you honor and celebrate the Rainbow Bridge Anniversary of your furry ones? 
I do.
Sasha Kitty, my precious muse, left her fursuit five years ago today.
Today’s shrine to celebrate Sasha Kitty. (L-r) Memory box with cremated remains; ceramic votive with her favorite cat food, a Love candle, Angel Kitty, and photo of us.
Through a kind and gentle demeanor, she inspired early morning writing that landed in half a dozen books. After she died in 2015 and still grieving, I wrote a story that appeared in 365 Moments of Grace, a collaborative work that became a #1 Amazon International Bestseller. (Published July 27, 2016, by DandiLove Unlimited.)
Divine Dialogue With Sasha Kitty

Mom and I left the vet’s office that night drowning in a sea of grief. The decision was made to end Sasha Kitty’s suffering. While struggling to drive home through torrential tears, I heard, “I left something for you.” It was Sasha Kitty. She repeated herself two more times.
The next morning, still grieving, and still wondering what the “something” was that she had left for me, my soul craved comforting. I started my spiritual practice of Divine Dialogue Writing. As I had done for years, I invoked the angels, asking: “What do I need to know for my best and highest good now regarding Sasha Kitty?”

After shuffling the Doreen Virtue Angel Cards, I pulled the All Is Well card with this message from Archangel Jeremiel: “Everything is happening exactly as it is supposed to be with hidden blessings you will soon understand.” At that moment, Mom walked into my bedroom. She wondered what angel message I’d received. So I showed her, and she exclaimed that she’d got the exact same angel oracle card that night!

Repeating the same question as before, I drew another card, and got Hello from Heaven! with Archangel Azrael. His message: “Your loved ones in Heaven are doing fine. Let go of worries and embrace their loving blessings.” A quiet whisper followed: “Sasha wants to work with your guardian angels to help you be peaceful, so watch for other signs from Heaven.”

Two weeks later, I pulled the All is Well card again. “You’re too funny, Sasha Kitty,” I mused. “The All is Well card was just returned to the deck; I’ve had it sitting on my desk since you left. Now it shows up again! Did you know it’s the two-week anniversary of your new cat adventure?”

“I know,” I heard her whisper.
“I miss you.”
“I know,” she said.
“Hope all is well.”
“It is. Chirp.” (Her sweet acknowledgment sound.)
 So, what was the “something” Sasha Kitty left for me? It was the unwrapped gift of knowing that life continues after death. She’s just in another room--for where there’s love, communication continues…even with the furry, four-footed ones!

P.S. Today’s card, Rainbow Blessings offered this timely message: “Blessings are showering your life.” It comes from the Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards by Denise Linn.
I think not. 
How about Divine synchronicity?
From the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, Sasha Kitty continues to bless me with happy memories as we connect through Divine Dialogue Writing. 

Her presence inspires me to remember, reflect, and write something new.
“Let’s write something together like we used to do. What do you say?”
“I hope you like this blog. I pray you crossed over the Rainbow Bridge five years ago, knowing that you were deeply loved.”
How I now imagine Sasha Kitty--still musing while dreaming of seagulls, or maybe angels?
Photo Art by Christine Ellger Tutt.

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