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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Much Gratitude

As I write this, Merlin cat is snuggling on my lap and purring. He seems to be feeling much better, and is back to his normal schedule of spending lots of time outdoors, especially during the run of warmer weather we've been having. He does enjoy more snuggles and Reiki than he did prior to his injury, which we're not complaining about at all - cat snuggles are awesome! I'm so very thankful that he's healed and well. I'm thankful for his sweet brother Percy, too.

This led me to wanting to share some of the other things I'm thankful for. I'll just list a few - really, there are so many that it would take me a long time to write them all. I'm so blessed!

- My book contract. Yes indeed, I'm going to be a published author! My book, Starcat's Corner: Essays on Pagan Living will be published this year, most likely by autumn. I'm so thrilled! Being a published author has been a lifelong dream of mine. And it looks like this will be just the first of many books!

- My amazing family and friends. Some of them threw me a "congratulations" bonfire party on Friday night. I had lots of fun! Others have been sending me e-mails and texts and notes on my Facebook page, to congratulate me on my forthcoming book. And even aside from that, I'm grateful for the daily love and support that flows to me from my loved ones. They are so terrific!

- My band. The Dark Follies Rhythm Orchestra has expanded to include some melodic instruments (fiddle and accordion). We've been rehearsing all fall and winter, and we're going to debut our new sound in a couple of weeks. It's so much fun to be part of the band, and the Dark Follies troupe as a whole! We have a bunch of gigs coming up this spring and summer. I'm thankful for the joy, learning, and travel that come from my participation.

- Life Rocks! Beyond the fact that my life does, indeed, rock, I'm also going to a conference of that name next week. The Life Rocks! Radical Unschooling Conference is going to be such an uplifting and fun experience! I'm glad to be part of it, and to be, along with BlackLion, one of the presenters. We'll be doing a session based on empowering your intentions. We're also offering some coaching sessions during the conference, as well as attending a lot of the awesome events. Plus there's a freaking waterpark in the hotel! I'm so grateful to be going this year!

- I'm also thankful for the challenges in my life. I was talking with an old friend on the phone today, and he was describing a different way to use prayer. Instead of praying to the Divine to intervene and help you solve your problems, the method he'd encountered recently was to realize that the challenges you face are there to help you grow. So when you pray, you ask for patience, courage, and strength to face the challenges in your path. It makes sense to me. Those things that I haven't yet figured out encompass some of the biggest opportunities to learn and grow and move forward on my path. My thanks.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, March 23, 2012

In This Moment

What are you doing this very moment? I know, reading a blog on a screen, sort of obvious really. But where are you? How does your body feel? Is your spine aligned? What is the tone of your thoughts? the hue of your emotions? Have you noticed the weather outside?

Stop. I see you there, reading through to get to the point, ready to move on to the next blog, check your Facebook page, get back to your to-do list. Please, just give it 90 seconds. Set a timer if you wish. Only 90 seconds, right now, to pause and just be.

Get comfortable in your seat. Observe the flow of your breath, the motion of the living world around you. If your mind keeps chattering on, simply let it. You can close your eyes if it helps you focus, or leave them open if you prefer. Just sit there. Tap into the part of yourself that notices you are thinking, notices you are alive, notices the subtle nuances of your inner world. Try it, and see how you feel. Try it again in an hour or two. And perhaps tomorrow as well!

This very simple practice of tapping into a brief moment of mindfulness has had such a beautifully profound influence on my life of late. By deliberately being present, and returning to it again and again, I've created the space for more happiness, success, and fulfillment in my life. So I wanted to share it with you on this gorgeous day in the multiverse. Blessings, my friends!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Recent Doings at the Homestead (and Beyond)

I've just noticed that I've had an inadvertent blog vacation, and haven't written anything here for quite a while. Hello there! How have you been?

Let's see, what have we been up to for the last couple of weeks? A whole lot, really! As an update to my last post, I've submitted both my article to Kind Over Matter, and (drum roll please) my book proposal for "Starcat's Corner: Essays on Pagan Living." Yay! I was really pleased to get those things done, despite having a bit of a tough time around Mercury being in retrograde (which seemed to coincide with a particularly difficult, er, time of the month). That convergence might have contributed to my lack of blog posts, now that I think of it.

Speaking of drums, we also have a bunch of gigs scheduled for this spring and summer, as part of the Dark Follies Rhythm Orchestra. In fact, we'll be attending the Steampunk World's Fair in New Jersey in May! Our drum rehearsals with Dark Follies have been going well, and we'll be showcasing our new tunes in early April.

We're also gearing up for the Life Rocks! Radical Unschooling conference, happening in just over two weeks. ElvenTiger has been counting down the days, and starting to gather up things we want to bring (art supplies for the door decorating contest, materials for the faerie house building workshop, and the like). Which reminds me, I need to order my new swimsuit.

We've been very busy with the homeschool co-op we belong to. I've been helping get the class schedule all set for the fourth session; one of my new friends and I have been working on it together. Dryst will be teaching a soccer class, and already has his full complement of twenty students signed up (well, twenty-one, actually). He's also working on his performance for the upcoming prize-speaking contest. BlackLion and I are getting our international vegetarian cooking class ready for the new session.

Dryst and I have an ongoing Scrabble game set up on the kitchen table, and we just got him signed up for lacrosse, which starts in about a week. I'm reading the first book of The Hunger Games aloud to ElvenTiger and BlackLion, and we're all really enjoying it. We've had a bake sale, a jewelry party, and ElvenTiger's swim classes, along with our regular homeschool group gatherings and get-togethers with our extended family. Busy busy!

At the homestead, spring's approach has brought us a renewed focus on health. We're enjoying lots of smoothies, salads, and steamed veggies. We got a mortar and pestle, and I'm going to make some new Indian spice blends, like garam masala. I've already been making a yummy curry powder blend, and I want to expand my repertoire. The weather has been warmer this week, so I've been hanging out laundry again, and really enjoying the fresh smell of the clothes.

I'm thankful for the spring weather, my delightful family and friends, and for feeling creative again. I'm sure I'll post more soon. I hope your early spring is going well!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Enjoying the Creative Life

I feel like things are really on a roll here at Starcat's Study. I've been calling myself a writer for a long time, and have blogged and published articles in small newsletters. Recently we've completed some big projects at Feline Dreamers, too, and that's been excellent.

But it's only within the past few weeks that I've felt like I'm really getting some wider readership of my creative work. And it feels great! The best part so far has been the messages I've received about how my story has touched various individuals, and had a positive impact on their path. I love that! It's not why I write, I write because I'm called to, but connecting with others through my chosen art form is high up there on the list of benefits.

So I thought I'd share some links with you, give you some uplifting reading for the weekend, and update you on some projects that are in the works. Please feel free to pass them along to those who might be interested!

My article "Surrounded by Love: Our Alternative Family" was just published in the March edition of Rethinking Everything, an online magazine. This was a tough one to write and share, but I'm so glad I did. It's been resonating with folks in a way that makes me feel warmth in my heart. You can find the issue here (click on the words "read it" - and you may then need to download it as a .pdf file). Please do sign up for the magazine, too - a subscription is free and each issue is thought-provoking and high-quality.

I also write for another online publication called Miss Millennia Magazine. This month's issue is all about women entrepreneurs, and my piece is on the front page. It's called "Entrepreneurs Offer New Age of Spiritual Growth."

BlackLion and I have been sharing some of our co-written articles on a website called Spiritual Now. Our most popular one so far is "7 Principles of a Purpose-Based Life," which you can find here (you might recognize the person in the picture we included!).

As far as "in the works" projects, I have a book proposal that's in process with a publisher (squeeeee!!), for my "Starcat's Corner: Essays on Pagan Living" collection. BlackLion and I are recording brand-new guided meditations for a CD we're creating. I have several shorter articles in the works, at least one of which I plan to submit as a guest post to one of my new favorite spirituality blogs. And of course, although it's been on the back burner a bit lately, I'm still slowly working on the e-book on developing a daily spiritual practice.

Life is full and joyful and busy. I hope you're enjoying your weekend. Happy reading!