"The flow of creativity feels like an avalanche of joy and wonder. Being open to that possibility creates connections with everything." - Feline Dreamers

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Healing for Merlin Lovecat

We've been having quite an intense time in the family since I last wrote. Merlin (who can be seen in the picture at the top of this blog) apparently got hit by a car this weekend. He was acting weird on Saturday morning, moving slowly and not eating, but not crying or mewing. That night and on Sunday, he stayed inside and slept a lot and still wasn't eating, and we thought he was sick. We brought him to the vet first thing Monday and discovered that he has a broken jaw and a very bruised up pelvis and liver (and maybe heart)! Monday morning passed like an eternity, while they were doing x-rays and blood work to see if more than his jaw was broken, and if he'd survive the trauma he'd been through.

I felt like such a bad cat Momma for not seeing how messed up he was, and for not knowing he'd been in an accident. He doesn't usually go near the road, since we live rather set back from it. And this cat, by choice, is a very outdoorsy fellow, almost a barn cat. We usually only see him outdoors in the warm weather, unlike his brother Percy, who (again, by choice and temperament) is more of a house cat. Since Merlin is so very independent, how could we have known? Thankfully Quester was in the barn on Saturday morning and disturbed Merlin's nap, and Merlin then came home to rest. Otherwise we may not have known something was wrong for even longer. He apparently also has a rather high pain tolerance. I knew he was a tough kitty, but wow. I guess we'll never know the story of where he was and what happened - he's not talking.

Merlin was very lucky that more wasn't broken, they said at the vet's office, and he has to have "cage rest" (i.e. bed rest) for 4 weeks. It's already become very challenging for this outdoors-loving cat! They said a small room was fine, just no stairs or outdoors, so we have him in ElvenTiger's room. He's eating okay now (very soft wet food) and sleeping well. We're hopeful he'll recover fully, as he's young and healthy. We've been providing lots of snuggles and Reiki (I have him in my bedroom tonight, and he's snuggled up against my leg as I type this on the laptop).

He has to have jaw surgery next Monday, as they wanted to give his liver and heart some time to heal before surgery. Please send some healing energies Merlin's way.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Little Epiphanies

I was having an interesting conversation with Quester this morning. We were talking about how some folks prefer to socialize one-on-one, some like small groups, others enjoy large gatherings, and various combinations of those options. He mentioned a good friend of ours who said she would rather be either with one or two friends, or at a big party where she can focus on just one or two of the other guests at a time. Small or medium sized groups, on the other hand, seem way too chaotic and confusing to her.

This was a new idea to me. I have a couple of introvert friends who prefer to gather one-on-one, and I'm familiar with that concept. But I'd never really thought of the fact that a small group, like a family, could feel intimidating.

Personally, I prefer those small to medium sized groups, like a family setting or an informal gathering of friends, and it's even better when it's in my own home or backyard. While discussing it with Quester, I suddenly realized why. I was thinking of how I like to incorporate my friends into my family life, or gather with a few of them at once. And it came to me that the way I deal with my introverted self, especially as someone who has partners and kids who I live with, is to group my social interactions together. "Geesh," I told him, "if I had to go see each person individually, that's one day for her, and another for her, and another for him, and on and on, and I'd just never have any time to myself!"

This little epiphany made me laugh. And it was cool to realize that, within the labels of "introvert" or "extrovert," there are many varieties of experience and ways to live a balanced life. We continued our conversation, and went off on a bunch of other fascinating tangents about personal preferences and living in community. Not bad for a day when Mercury is in retrograde, eh?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

"I don’t care if you are a hardened cynic, entrepreneur, techie nerd, or froo-froo floaty vegan meditating skateboarder, practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to open up to abundance and prosperity. Gratitude is saying yes. And yes opens us up. It makes us more receptive. We say, 'I already have these gifts.' Then we keep attracting gifts because all of our power is saying yes." - Christine Kane

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let's Talk About the Food

People like to read about, and talk about, food. At least, that's true if my Facebook status updates are a good indicator. I put up a post about having seen tons of ads and mentions of Nutella lately, so many that I felt like I ought to try it, and got a ton of comments. Forget spiritual techniques or what's happening with the kids, bring on the chow! So, let's talk about the food. What better week for it?

We just made the final (we're pretty sure) batch of salsa using fresh tomatoes from this season. Our local farm store has had salsa tomatoes for far longer than I recall from past years. We have a friend who works there, and she kept letting us know when more tomatoes became available. So this is the third "final batch," and it's really very tasty. We may be getting just a teensy bit sick of Mexican food around here, though.

Not to worry, though, it's just in time for Thanksgiving, with its own particular recipes. Last week we attended the Maine Wholeschoolers' Thanksgiving, and our contributions were wild rice & mushroom-stuffed squash (both butternut and acorn), vegetarian gravy, and a pumpkin pie. The gravy was surprisingly well received by the other families, who all eat meat, but some of whom chose our gravy over the turkey one. And then the pumpkin pie was gobbled up, too, though I don't think anyone knew it was vegan. To the one Mom who asked me about what was in it, I leaned over and whispered "tofu!" She just grinned and kept eating, not letting on to the kids.

For our own feast this Thursday, which we host each year, we'll be making seitan (a vegan meat substitute), the veggie gravy again, and some non-meat-touched stuffing. BlackLion's Mom will contribute the traditional turkey version of all these. Then the rest of the clan (including us) will help provide the mashed potatoes and squash, peas, pearl onions, rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, and my family's traditional "pink salad" (much yummier than it sounds). And of course there will be pies! My vegan (shh!) pumpkin one, Mom's yummy low-sugar apple pie, and Aunt Peg's delicious chocolate cream.

Hungry yet? Don't worry, just three more days to wait. May your celebration be blessed!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Balanced-Rock Equilibrium

Last night, for some reason, I was feeling sort of down and discouraged. I'm not sure where it came from, but I was feeling disappointed about things in general. I convinced myself that I was going right into a downward spiral, and that this morning I wouldn't even want to get out of bed.

It wasn't true. I woke up to a lovely sunny day, feeling hopeful and pretty much like my usual self. When I did my daily journal writing, I did a bit of exploration of what the feelings were, and what they were about, just in a curious sort of way. Sometimes I find that my emotions can be a mystery. This being human thing is so complex and unfathomable.

I want to share a couple of passages from my journal entry with you: "I am a balanced rock, teetering a bit between discouragement and empowerment. Last night I wondered, 'What if the Universe really doesn't want me to do this?' - this being my calling, our Feline Dreamers stuff, the life of the imagination. And how would I tell?" Followed by, after more exploration, "Now that I've been writing it out I feel better, but in a strange sort of way, like I am in that balanced-rock equilibrium, and it feels somehow right. I like it. It's weird. What an odd creature I am." When I drew my Tarot cards for the day, sure enough, one of them was the Equilibrium card. I wasn't surprised.

I decided to give myself the day off. I've gotten really caught up lately in getting the word out about Feline Dreamers, trying to make it successful, and as they say, when you own your own business you don't (necessarily) have days off. Today has been a day of playing games (Skip-Bo, Set, and a SuDoku board game), having a lovely lunch with BlackLion's Mom, doing cut-out cards, making salsa, and watching a couple episodes of Glee, which I'd never seen before. Quiet family time is a delight. I'm resting my soul, and it's all part of the balancing act.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life is Creeping In

I thought November was supposed to be a time for rest, reflection, and renewal. Now I'm feeling busy again, and wondering what on earth happened! I knew we'd have a lot to do for Feline Dreamers this month, as we had our big CBK launch and all. But it seems that lots of other things are clamoring for attention, too.

The challenge is, all of these things are fun and interesting, like drum rehearsals, social gatherings, and soccer banquets (okay, those aren't so interesting, but they're for the kids). This week we're attending a homeschoolers' Thanksgiving feast, and hosting the monthly family potluck at our home. Both things are fun, but require a lot of extra grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning.

I'm still longing for some "me time," and looking for ways to integrate it into my days more often and more smoothly. I want to revitalize my yoga practice, and spend some time on some personal writing projects, and daydream. I want to take walks before the snow pushes its way in for the season. I want to sit by the fire and gaze at the flames. I'm doing well with my daily spiritual practices, and I'm feeling pretty good overall, but at this time of year, I'm drawn to more. More introspection, more relaxation, more unstructured time. And to magick - our Full Moon ritual last week was so restorative for me!

Luckily (knock on wood) my calendar toward the end of the month isn't quite as full as this week's and next week's. Thanksgiving weekend is pretty wide open. I'm going to keep it that way, I hereby resolve. And I'm going to add "my stuff" to the big to-do list in my notebook. So be it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Big Day!

Today I have realized one of my long-held goals: we released the 30-Day Core Belief Kit! And while I slept, we sold our first Kit to a woman in Germany who I know from an e-mail list (thank you R!). So it was fun waking up to such delightful news.

Now we're focused on getting the word out about the Kit, and on moving on with our next set of projects. A lot of my energy has been freed up, just by the powerful act of finishing the Kit and releasing it into the world to share. And I'm inspired to use that energy creatively, focusing on projects like our next e-book and our coaching services. I've already started the e-book, which is about developing and sustaining a daily spiritual practice.

I feel excited and thrilled about where things are and the direction I'm headed. I'm thankful to all the folks who will purchase the Kit, and excited to see where it will take them! I want to work with people for mutual benefit. If you're interested in the Kit, please visit the website and check it out, and share the link with your friends. If you'd like to review the Kit on your website or other media, get in touch with me. And if you're inspired by the notion of personal spirituality coaching, stay tuned! Have a joyful day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Audio and Video

BlackLion is putting the finishing touches on the guided meditations for the 30-Day Core Belief Kit. They sound so awesome, especially now that he's added the music! I'm pleased with how professional they sound. Our little home-studio in the basement is working out quite well for us. It's actually Quester's band space, but he's between bands right now, so we're making good use of it for our Feline Dreamers stuff. I wonder if we should put up one of the meditations as a sample...

We're also getting ready to do our second video. Ocean, who studied videography in college and worked in the field for a while, is going to help us with our video projects, on an ongoing basis. A friend of ours gave us a hand-held camcorder, and we just need to find a way to get it to talk to the laptop (we suspect the cord needs to be replaced). We want to be able to do regular videos, as lots of folks enjoy that medium. I don't normally watch videos that much, though there are some exceptions, but lots of folks love YouTube and sharing things they find there.

This afternoon, along with making a fresh batch of salsa, our plans include a final listening session of all the guided meditations. I bet I'll be really relaxed after that! Great for a Saturday afternoon. Purrrrr....

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Bounty of Gratitude

I thought of several things I wanted to post about this week, but never quite got around to sitting down in front of the keyboard. So I thought, instead, that I'd share them in the form of a gratitude list. These are the things I'm thankful for as this week ends.
  • I'm thankful for a new skill I've learned recently, which is using html code to format a web page. Mind you, I'm not yet at the level of creating pages or sites. But I'm very thankful to take some web maintenance off BlackLion's list by not only writing the copy, but formatting and posting it as well.
  • I'm so very grateful that we are releasing the 30-Day Core Belief Kit. This has been a journey of creation over the past four years, and we've poured our hearts and souls into it. I'm really pleased with how it came out, and so excited to share it!
  • I'm thankful that my kids and their friends like to hang out at our house. We took Dryst and four of his buddies to the midnight release of a video game called Skyrim that they were all so excited about. Three of them came back home with us and played most of the night, and this morning (well, closer to noon) we made them brunch before they headed home. When I posted about this on Facebook, one of my brother's friends asked if it reminded me of how the crowd hung out at my parents' house. I guess I'm carrying on a tradition!
  • I'm grateful for my feline friends. Merlin is sweet and beautiful and always smells good. Percy is loving and purrful and slept on my lap today. Purr!
  • I'm so thankful for my wonderful Full Moon circle. We had such a beautiful evening. Every time we celebrate together I learn more about myself and about life. I'm so blessed to have these wonderful folks to do magick with. I feel whole and holy.
  • I'm thankful for my parents. They have both been sick lately, and I wish them continued healing. They are amazing and awesome! Aunt Peg is, too. Aren't I lucky?!
  • I give thanks for all the many blessings in my life. Happy 11/11/11!
I'm also thankful for you, my readers. Thanks for being here!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Our First Feline Dreamers Video!

We made a video this morning to promote our upcoming release of the 30-Day Core Belief Kit (also known as CBK). I'm so excited!

We'll have more details up on the website very soon. The release is next Monday, November 14th.

Last night we watched some Christine Kane videos to get inspired. I dreamed of the CBK all night, and got up this morning and wrote a bunch of copy for the website and other places. When BlackLion suggested making a video, I was ready!

If you want to help us publicize the CBK, let me know. Also, if you'd like to review it on your blog or website, we can probably arrange for that. Did I mention I'm rather excited?! This is our biggest and most powerful project so far!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Family at Rest

We've been enjoying a quiet weekend at home, and I'm thankful. After our busy October, we've needed to be here and reclaim the house, de-clutter, and do some extra cleaning. We've also made enchiladas, and more sourdough bread, and I'm about to put on some spaghetti sauce for tonight's dinner. There's laundry in process.

We've been listening to music, including this week's wonderful bluegrassy episode of A Prairie Home Companion. We've played Skip-Bo and Rummikub, and Quester has been cleaning up the yard a bit, with help from ElvenTiger. I've gotten some work done for Feline Dreamers, as well as some further food planning for the next family potluck. Dryst and I are planning the next round of academic work he wants to do. There's definitely been some sleeping in, as well, and some reading, and X-Box playing, and watching movies on Netflix.

BlackLion and I have a drum rehearsal this evening with the rest of the Dark Follies Orchestra. Other than that, we're all just taking it easy this weekend, a family at rest.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Diving In

Wow. I guess I'm diving in deep to the dark of the year. I set my intention to turn inward, and boy did I! I'm not complaining, but things that are part of my normal routine have been seeming very intense this week.

I hung out with my friends at homeschool group last night, and while I did have fun, I came away feeling sort of psychically bruised, just from all the different energies and opinions and views. Today our homeschool co-op, which I also love, was particularly overwhelming. 65 families with over 150 kids can do that to anyone, but I guess usually I'm better prepared. Simple errands and household tasks seem a bit over the top, too.

I think I dropped the filters I'd been using during my Freaking Busy time. Or maybe it's that it's day three of my giving up sugar. I haven't been craving it at all (which is different), but it might still be affecting my emotions somehow.

The really good thing is that I've been able to easily re-center myself when I notice I'm frazzled or stressed. A few deep breaths, a bit of time writing in my journal, and just a reminder of inner relaxation ("let go of the clenching" "all is well") have done the trick. And these feelings of being overwhelmed aren't the whole story, either. I've also felt more inspired to be creative, and have been having a blast focusing on various projects. It must be almost time to start the cutout cards!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Something Cool I Found Today

A few years ago I went to the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and since then (well, before then, too, I guess) I've been on their mailing list. Today in my e-mail inbox was their November e-newsletter. I don't always read it, but the title caught my attention: "Beginning Your Not So Big Life." It refers to the title of a book by author Sarah Susanka, who also wrote the newsletter article. I'm not sure why it was so intriguing, but I read the related article, which led me to visit the author's website. The article had said to click on the Chapter 11 tab when I got there.

The first thing I saw when I got to that sub-page was a poem by Rumi. I recognized it immediately as the poem that had been made into a chant by the teacher of the Iron Pentacle workshop I took last November. With the music playing in my head ("don't go back to sleep, don't go back to sleep") and a buoyant feeling in my heart, I downloaded the .pdf file, figuring if there was ever a positive sign from the Universe, this was it! I mean, Iron Pentacle was such an amazing experience, as was my trip to Kripalu. They both contributed greatly to my spiritual growth, and brought me a lot of joy in the process.

I love these chains of synchronicity that lead to cool new tools! I haven't tried this one yet, but it sounds like it'll be right up my alley. And it's just the kind of thing I was looking for, to use for this quieter, more reflective time of year. Thanks, Universe! I love you!