Tuesday, February 12, 2019

11 Ways to Choose Happiness Over Suffering

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
"I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises." ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Isn’t it odd that a martyred Roman Catholic priest who suffered for his faith would now symbolize one of the world’s greatest celebrations of love?! ’Tis a puzzlement why the name of the celibate Saint Valentine--born AD 269, Terni, Italy and died 269 AD, Rome--is synonymous with lovers and the expressions of affection and love. According to the National Retail Federation, these loving expressions will generate $20.7 billion (that's a "b") to the American economy!

Known mostly through legends, this mysterious character's painful death came because he tried to help others escape the cruel life of Roman prisons. Another more romantic story suggests that the-then imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting to a girl, perhaps the jailor’s daughter, after falling in love with her, and signed it, “From your Valentine.”

Yes, the truth remains as dark as any chocolate—but the love story’s appeal of this heroic, romantic man rippled out and landed in the Middle Ages where St. Valentine became a popular saint in England and France. 
The rest is history.



What rings true is that as the Catholic Patron Saint of Lovers, Valentine is associated with the virtue of love--the reason for life with all two and four-footed creatures. It is is through the expression and acceptance of love, that everyone and everything enjoys the delirium of expanded health, wealth, and happiness--including an affair with pizza!

Yes, Carl Sagan, the famous American author and cosmologist, calls us “star stuff’ and we are much more…
We are love.
You are love.
I am love.

We are designed for happiness in all its forms and expressions.

Saint Valentine and Elizabeth Gilbert might both agree with the Sacred Traveler Oracle message that appeared this morning: 
Five Ways to Choose Passion and Pleasure: 
 “Savor your life and find joy in the moment. Live deliciously. Love often and fully. Cherish your friendships. Fill your life with the people, experiences, and places that you give you delight and joy…”

Five More Ways for You, the Hero, to choose happiness:
* Release by remembering, “When the horse is dead, get off!”
* Write yourself a pink permission slip to be happy and; a love letter with 7 things you appreciate about yourself.
* Focus on what’s now splendiferous instead of being caught up in the dance of anger of drama.
* Allow your senses to be satiated and saturated!
Perhaps you heard, “I love you to the moon and back and, I love me to the moon and back!" or these whispers from Elizabeth Gilbert...



And perhaps, one final way to choose happiness...
A SPECIAL INVITATION TO BE BRAVE ENOUGH:
Celebrating Passion and Pleasure!
Michele True, my friend and writing sister, and I are savoring the yet-to-come pleasure to host the Eat, Pray, Write: Women’s Tuscan Writing Retreat from September 13-18. Passionately launched 10 days ago, the retreat is now 76% filled—just three of the 13 sacred spaces remain with two pending possibilities!
Is Italy on your Wish List? Perhaps Arcidosso, our retreat site and ancient hilltop village in Tuscany, will provide you the sacred envelope of time to fulfill this dream, enjoy the moment, live deliciously, and more...
AND

To learn more about starting your new year over, check out my
19-Point Checklist: Create a Personal Book Title & Vision 
for 
Your 2019 Hero's Journey
Download my free gift --no email required!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How the Chinese New Year, Lanterns, and Tuscany Connect

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn) “May wealth flow in.”
Your Chinese Happy New Year Greeting!
February 5 starts the Chinese New Year celebration for millions around the globe. This year’s focus is the zodiac sign of the Year of Pig—or Wild Boar. How wonderful to enjoy a “do over” if 2019 isn’t turning out the way you had hoped. Some historians believe that the Chinese started observing their “new year” sometime in the Shang Dynasty 1766 BC - 1122 BC. 

Legends hold that the Chinese New Year’s origin started with the fight against a mythical beast called the "Year." The "Year" looked like an ox with the head of a lion and was believed to inhabit the sea. On the night of New Year's Eve, the "Year" would come out to harm animals, people, and their properties. Eventually, people discovered that the "Year" feared the color red, fire, and loud sounds. So for self-protection, people began posting red Dui Lian in front of their houses, launching fireworks, and hanging lanterns at year end.

Made of paper with a small, suspended fire, a Chinese lantern (sky lantern) is the world's oldest hot air balloon. Their initial purpose served as military signaling—letting the troops know enemy strength and position. Fast forward to the 18th c with the French expanding the lantern's possibilities; they transformed the small sky lanterns into manned hot air balloons carrying passengers for delight, travel, exploration, and military signaling.


History making continued on “January 15, 1991 when the 'Virgin Pacific Flyer' balloon completed the longest flight in a hot air balloon. Piloting the craft were Per Lindstrand (born in Sweden, but resident in the UK) and Richard Branson of the UK who flew 4,767.10 miles from Japan to Northern Canada,” according to Wikipedia.

The life adventures of Branson, a visionary, world traveler, and billionaire, reinforces the value of the Sacred Traveler Oracle Card that appeared today:

VIEW FROM ABOVE
Get the big picture. Don’t get bogged down in details. Let go of petty concerns. 
Imagine that you’re seeing life from above. Only do what is truly important; everything else is consequential…Make major life decisions based on this strategy.”

Five Things to Consider for You, the Hero:
* Be gentle with yourself. It’s easy to let life’s distractions tangle the lines of your ascending hot air balloon—perhaps it’s a new relationship, book, or project

* Realize that there’s truth in “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

* Remember that all worries, anxieties, and setbacks are as fleeting as the clouds on your balloon ride.

* Look up, not down, and imagine the future using all six senses: intuition, sight, taste, sound, smell, and touch.

* Trust the Life-force energy currents that are uplifting and directing your perfect flight path.

Finally, believe that the View from Above will inspire and motivate you to new and different perspectives!

Did I just hear you say, “Oh, the places I’ll go?!

 SHOUT OUT & SPECIAL INVITATION
Celebrating the View from Above
Michele True, my friend and writing sister, and I are looking up and forward to hosting the Eat, Pray, Write: Women’s Tuscan Writing Retreat from September 13-18, 2019. 
Our dream launched on Saturday, February 2 and is now 69% filled—just four of the 13 sacred spaces remain. 
Curious? Perhaps Arcidosso, our retreat site and ancient hilltop village in Tuscany, will provide you with a view from above and more…
AND

To learn more about starting your new year over, check out my
19-Point Checklist: Create a Personal Book Title & Vision 
for 
Your 2019 Hero's Journey
Download my free gift --no email required!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How Are Horses and the Super Blood Moon Connected?

Your Soul Cafe Blog: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Action
Super Blood Moon, Seattle by Sigma Sreedharan Fine Art Photography

When the horse is dead, get off.” ~Rosita Perez

This weekend’s trifecta of moon magic dazzled millions who saw Moon’s brilliance and also frustrated many who saw only cloud cover. Thanks to social media, the morning after moon glow provided everyone with images that evoked awe and wonder.

Perhaps your Divine Downloads came as subtle or bold messages, energies and shifts.

One message is universally certain: It’s a New Year and time to let go of the old! And the seven most important words that could help you are, "When the horse is dead, get  off!"

But how can you do this--open your heart and take inspired action--to get off a"dead horse?Try using Oracle cards--
they can assist you on your Hero’s Journey in five ways.

As part of my Divine Dialogue Writing System, you are taught to ask, “What do I need to know for and about my best and Highest good today about ____________?” 

Today's topic is getting guidance for letting go of all the people, places, and things that no longer serve you (and me) to move into the New Year.

What next?
Get quiet. Be still and breathe. Shuffle the deck. Place them on your heart. Breathe. Then draw a card with your left hand, as that’s the hand with the veins and arteries that directly connect with your beating, heart.

If you believe in Oneness, then today’s message for you and me is...


Valiant Courage Card Meaning (partial):

“Take action with passion. This isn't the time to be timid or hold back. Gather your inner resources and go foward gallantly with your banner of truth waving in the wind...Take risks. 
It's okay to feel afraid, just don't let it stop you. 
Don't play safe. Opportunities will pass you by otherwise. Speak up for yourself..."


The Sacred Traveler Wants You to Know:

"The sacred traveler sometimes experiences the unexpected on the road...someone withi less-than-pure intentions emerges from the wooeds. Courage doesn't mean you're not afarid. It means in spite of fear and hesitation, you take action. Any journey of the heart needs courage, and you're on such a journey..."



What I Want You, the Hero, to Feel:

Comforted.You’re not alone in feeling afraid to get off the dead horse of relationships or projects, especially when they involve family members, long-term friends or even clients.

Inspired. You can bravely gather your inner and outer resources. Seek out a mentor who's demonstrated valiant courage and bravery. 

Mentors can help you:
* See around the corner that you can't see and offer perspectives
* Debunk limited beliefs offered by others or yourself
* Go beyond the dead-end you're now facing because you're not moving forward--the horse is dead!

Finally, confident that the message of Valiant Courage is your positive sign to remember that you've got this. You can now get off the dead horse and ride into a new life chapter on a different horse. 

Did I hear "giddyup"?!

Shout Outs!
Celebrating courageous friends who published their messages...


Brava, Debra Oakland! >> Get it here.



New Release! Brava, Cornelia Merk & writing sister, Janet Nestor! >> Get it here.



Let's stay connected during your Hero's Journey!
Here are four simple ways:

Subscribe to travel along with my blog every week. (See very right, bottom corner)

Visit my two Facebook pages--then if you like what you see, give it a digital "LIKE" >> Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond and LoreRaymond, Author, Speaker, Writing and Creativity Coach

Join my free, women's group, the Writer's VisionQuest: Supporting Your Hero's Journey to Transform Your Words Into Somewhere Brilliant.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Why All the Fuss About January's Full Moon?


Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
"Moonshine  Skyway" over Tampa Bay by James Boone
Where there is a woman, there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share, or not share, her powers…"
~Ntzozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo

Why all the fuss about the moon on Sunday night, January 20? 

There are four rare, celestial reasons to consider including:
1) Moon, as I call her, will celebrate the New Year in her splendiferous fullness for the first time. January’s normal moon name is the Full Wolf Moon which refers to the hungry, howling wolf packs during winter according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

2) There’s more. Moon will experience a rare, total lunar eclipse. This means that an alignment of the Earth’s orbit while passing between Sister Moon and Brother Sun, causes a moon shadow painting her with a reddish hue—thus, the name Blood Moon. This won’t happen again until May 26, 2021.

3) Moon is also called “Super” at this time as her orbit is the closest to our earth, so she’ll be showing off by beaming brighter and larger than usual.

4) Selenophiles--moon lovers and lunatics--will be able to see this magical, moon trifecta!

These lunar energies make it the perfect time to write and create. Be a "woman of magic" who taps into and shares her power.

Sheeesh! It’s a mouthful to say that the 
Full Moon is the Super Wolf Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse.

"Blood Moon over Zakim" (bridge), Boston by Joann Vitali
Where and when is it best to see this rare sky-party?
Here are the times and dates for the rare, total lunar eclipse:

Tampa Bay - January 20, 11:42 pm  (starts)
Los Angeles – January 20, 9:16 pm
New York – January 21, 12:16 am 
London – January 21, 5:16 am
Delhi – January 21, 10:46 am
Sydney – January 21, 4:16 pm

What can you expect in the days ahead?
With Valentine's Day approaching, this unqiue Full Moon, according to Mystical Raven, might bring about some surprising ways that could impact your zodiac sign:

* Aries: Major romantic developments (even an engagement or pregnancy) or a burst of creative genius that could become profitable in 2019
* Taurus: News from a family member or changes at home, from a renovation to a relocation
* Gemini: Major shifts with your friend circle or the launching of a powerful partnership
* Cancer: Money-making opportunities or a well-deserved promotion
* Leo: Catapulting your talents and hard work of the past two years into the public eye.
* Virgo: Helping you forgive a frenemy or gain closure on a painful situation. Bye!
* Libra: Connecting you to your “soul squad,” boosting popularity
* Scorpio: Drawing in high-profile career opportunities and leadership positions at work
* Sagittarius: Bringing a long-distance opportunity or a chance to travel
* Capricorn: Deepening your connection to one special soul—and maybe breaking you away from a toxic relationship elsewhere
* Aquarius: Revealing the right—and wrong partners for you
* Pisces: Kicking wellness resolutions into high gear, taking on more leadership at work.

"Blood Moon" by Mike Oria
…A woman with moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the Spirits.
~Ntzozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo

Related readings:
* 6 Ways to Celebrate the Full Thunder Moon (Several release activities, helpful to use at this time.)
 * How to Use the Full Moon to Write
SHOUT OUT!
Celebrating the success of Sister Writers Debra Reble and others (me included) in today's launch of...
Be sure to grab your copy of Soul-Hearted Living today!


Friday, January 4, 2019

Why and How to Use Oracle Cards to Inspire and Clarify

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions



Drawing an oracle card every day can provide you with a word waymark to direct thoughts and writing—maybe even guidance for your goals and intentions. It’s a simple, intuitive practice…one that I wrote about on January 1 to discover your sacred word(s) for a New Year’s resolution, title, affirmation, or mantra.

For 2019, please join me on my pilgrimage using the Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards for the first time; they’re created by Denise Linn, a bestselling author of 18 books and translated into 29 languages. They complement and reinforce the new 2019 theme on my Facebook pages and the first book now underway, Writing Medicine: The Must-Have Guide to Your Hero’s Journey to Inner Healing.


How can oracle cards assist you on your Hero’s Journey? They can help:

* Give clarity to concerns and issues
* Offer problem-solving perspectives
* Interpret signs and dreams, especially repeating ones
* Inspire writing and creative projects
* Become more present to the now moment

As part of my Divine Dialogue Writing System, you are taught to ask, “What do I need to know for and about my best and Highest good today?” (You can be more specific if you choose.)

Get quiet. Be still and breathe. Shuffle the deck. Place them on your heart. Breathe. Then draw a card with your left hand, as that’s the hand with the veins and arteries that directly connect with your beating, heart.

If you believe in Oneness, then today’s message for you and me is...



Notice your first reaction when seeing the oracle card. You might not be pleased with what appears. And after eight years of this practice almost every morning, I’ve learned to trust what shows up--comfortable or uncomfortable, it is all good.

Read the guidebook. 
Reflect. 
Write and interact with the word waymarks
Allow the information to sit with you.

Be open to how the message's confirmation unfolds during the day. Indeed, you might be surprised how on point the information was!

 Distant Thunder Card meaning (partial):
Clear the air. Dramatic purification, renewal, and healing are occurring on many levels. Don’t be concerned if there is chaos in your life; in this instance it is good. It is shaking things up, so you don’t become stagnant. If your auric field or your personal space is cluttered, it’s difficult for new experiences and opportunities to come into your life. It’s time to clear out the clutter…"

The Sacred Traveler Wants You to Know:
"On the distant horizon, a storm is brewing. Great shards of lightning are thunder-bolting to the earth from the heavens. It can feel chaotic, but it heralds a time of renewal. Thunderstorms clear the dust out of the air and, reenergizes the earth. Be open to change…”

What I Want You, the Hero, to Feel:
You’re not alone in this chaotic chaos. I know because Tampa Bay, Florida, the "Lightning Capital of the World," is my home.

Be inspired to declutter your inner and outer life. Try the popcorn method. Set a timer for 18 minutes a day. There's scientific proof explaining why this works as explained in 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman. 

Some people, places and things will naturally fall away, like the "dust" that rains ash away, renewing the earth (and you) with fresh sights and senses. Other decluttering will take intention and goal setting practices

Finally, believe that the “distant thunderstorm” is a positive sign because they produce lightning, a transformative symbol connecting heaven and earth for you. Your best and Highest good is about to rain down on you! Renewal and recharging are on the way. 

Meanwhile, remember...



What "distant thunderstorm" do you hear and see in your life? Thank you in advance for sharing in the comments.


Want to stay connected during this pilgrimage?
Here are four simple ways:

Subscribe to travel along with my blog every week. (See very right, bottom corner)

Visit my two Facebook pages--then if you like what you see, give it a digital "LIKE" >> Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond and LoreRaymond, Author, Speaker, Writing and Creativity Coach

Join my free, women's group, the Writer's VisionQuest: Supporting Your Hero's Journey to Transform Your Words Into Somewhere Brilliant.