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Welcome to an oasis on the internet!  This website is about living life from the inside out…from the fire within.  It’s about living life from all of your senses with the depth of passion that keeps you in touch with the gift of Life.  Here you will see beauty in all its forms.  I will post my deepest thoughts and feelings in a way that I hope will inspire you to go deep yourself.  We will laugh, we will cry, we will rejoice, we will appreciate, we will give thanks.  I hope you will share your thoughts and feelings too.

Something you can look forward to is something called the “Weekly Stretch“.  In the weekly stretch, you will be given something to do that will stretch you as a person.  Please be sure to check that out!

Welcome.  Expect miracles!!!

FINDING PEACE IN CHAOS ~ 12-1-17

As we move into the holiday season, once again I’ve decided rather than dread the darkness of winter I will invite it into my life as I would an old friend. While this time of year can feel heavy and dank, I have noticed that it is also embedded with tremendous opportunity. The most wonderous thing about it, especially these weeks leading up to the Solstice, is that the veil between worlds is thin. In my imagination I see it as a beautiful silvery mist that undulates between us and what lies beyond. If I listen deeply I can hear the voices of the ancestors and the spirits of those across the mist, and I’m often given precious guidance and always receive great love during these moments.

I love giving gifts and this season is laden with the opportunity to express love and appreciation in this way. I spend a lot of energy planning gift-giving. Last year I made many of them in the kitchen. It was messy but fun, and I was able to infuse love into each concoction. My gift-giving is always purposeful, so I’ve spent a lot of time making a list and checking it twice – three times – changing it – checking again and so forth.  I’ve loved the whole online shopping thing, though I can see how easily one can become “drunk with power” with a laptop, a keyboard and a credit card!  As a Leo that’s my kind of fun. A little scary, but a tons ‘o fun.

The impulse to slow down, be silent, and go within is probably running even with the gift-giving opportunity. I have a busy life, juggling many different pursuits. And while the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years have been frenetic in the past, I finally realize that I don’t thrive in “frantic” and have adjusted my pace to reflect that truth. As an empath and a highly-sensitive person (HSP) this means that all the noise, lights, and pumped up energy can be detrimental to my sense of well-being. I’ve learned to manage my exposure by making conscious choices, like shopping online rather than hitting the mall with a gazillion shoppers and listening to the same Christmas songs blaring in my ears for hours and hours. (Don’t you feel sorry for the sales people?) I love stillness and the winter months have asked me to be still. So, I get still. I wrap myself in my cozy blanket and sip a warm drink or eat some fresh hearty soup. I may draw or paint, meditate or doze, read or watch a great movie. And maybe I’ll just sit and be still, watching rain or snow, stroking Sophie and allowing my mind to be the wandering fool that it is. Allowing these winter stillness moments gives me energy for my winter days activities.  It also allows me space and time to dream and contemplate. My thoughts often go to the people in my life and the blessings they bring. My primary spiritual practice is gratitude, and in the winter I find that practice enhanced. Perhaps it’s the extra space allotted for stillness.

I am also finding myself awakening earlier and earlier. Perhaps it’s the desire for more light, except I’m often out of bed before the sun. The early morning hours are my favorite. In these hours I feel closest to my parents. In these hours I also hear the heartbeat of the planet and can feel into the essence of what I call God. During this time I find I can open my heart and mind more fully to hear what the Universe wants me to know. And while I feel that every moment of every hour is holy, these hours feel infused with “extra”. I find peace.

As you move through the days ahead my prayer is that you find time to nurture yourself, to go within, to find your way to stillness and peace.

Until next time.

STRETCH:  As you move through the holiday season, consciously schedule time – even if it’s only five minutes or whatever is realistic in your life – to stop, breathe, be still and release. Allow yourself to relax the muscles in your face, the ones that become tense as you focus on all you need to do.  Notice where tension resides in your body and with each breath consciously release it, even if only for these moments. Allow your mouth to curl up into a gentle smile. This gesture relaxes the muscles of the face – and a smile is always better than a frown.  Do this as often as you can.   It will make a difference.

 

JE REVIENS (I Return) ~ 11-23-17

AUTUMN – pastel on paper by Franne Demetrician, 2017

Hello again. It’s been a long time. My last post was back on September first when I shared that I needed to take a sabbatical from my website and blogging. It turns out that was a wise decision since our life has been a whirlwind and the space was needed. But I missed this connection and felt the tug to return.  I’m not sure yet if this will be a weekly post or if I will simply act on impulse to write, but “I’m back, baby”.

September was indeed a jam-packed month. I attended two reunions, one of which was my fiftieth (really?) high school reunion. It was surreal to say the least. I approached it with some trepidation, as I think many of us would for some obvious and some deeply personal reasons. High school wasn’t my favorite time of life.  I felt awkward, unworthy, and very much “less-than” in those years. I certainly didn’t want to re-live those feelings, but I wanted to see some old friends again – so I went. It was wonderful, and I had the joy of reconnecting with three very dear people who have remained deeply embedded in my heart all these years. That was a gift!

The reunion with our seminary family was also joyful and Bob and I had the great honor of being keynote speakers for the very first of these events. It was a first for us in many ways. For me, I finally hit my stride as a speaker and felt at ease speaking from the podium. Of course, the fact that most of the audience had been one of our students at some time or other helped greatly, but I feel that once and for all I have cracked the code on my relationship with public speaking. Was I nervous? Yes? Was I freaking out nervous? No! I feel liberated from the mind-numbing fear that almost kept me from attending seminary 15 years ago. That’s big.

So much more, and I won’t bore you with details, but life has made all of its usual twists and turns.  A most significant turn for me is that my artwork has now become a major focus of my time an energy. As with most things I have been known to doubt myself (Duh? Really? Never heard of such a thing!) and my artistic ability was high on that list.  But a few years ago, I decided to jump back in and see what I had going, if anything. I was surprised to find that not only did I still have something going, but it was – is good. I’ve had the blessing of being taught by a master, mentored by another master/mirror-sister, and supported by the most generous family and friends anyone could want or need. My work is evolving and growing and the artist in me is emerging as the full-on being that has always been there and kept under wraps.

What I’ve learned and will soon be helping others learn, is that I’ve reached an age that allows me to explore myself more deeply and more fully than ever before.  Things I’ve kept hidden or untapped in are being given their due.  Reaching this time of life is like coming from a slightly overcast day into a bright sunny one. Things that were shaded and cloudy are now brightly illuminated and visible. Many of my fears and apprehensions have fallen by the wayside because – well – they were in my way. And frankly, I just don’t have time to look at them anymore because I have stuff to do! That’s not to say I don’t have fears or apprehensions. I just don’t have time to hang with them for too long. I have decided to move through them so that I can keep doing what I love.

Recently my family lost a giant of a man. He was one of our revered elders, the father of my sister-in-law and someone we all hold very dear in our lives. He was a wisdom keeper, a scholar, a “do-er”, a change-maker, a highly respected man in the community and in the state. He was a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather and a friend. He kept going and doing until his 93 years came to an end. He inspired and will continue to inspire me to do what is mine to do until the fates decide it’s time for me to stop. I thank you, Ernie Reock, for being the gift you’ve always been in my life. I miss you already, but I know you are soaring on the other side with all those you love, watching over us and continuing to inspire. I love you.

More will be revealed in coming posts about what is next for me and what I and my collaborators will be offering others. Take a look at our new website www.intimatepossibilities.com, see what we’re up to and like us on Facebook at InTimate Possibilities – Discovering The Golden Triangle.

So happy to be back again and invite you to share if you are so moved.

STRETCH:  Think about the obstacles holding you back from realizing your deepest desires. Imagine taking steps around one of those obstacles, moving closer to your desire, or even reaching it. Baby steps work.

How Can You Help & See You Soon

September 1!! Holy smokes, how did the summer go so quickly? I ask this question every year. It was a wonderful summer and I’m so grateful for each day. I’m not ready to let it go quite yet and plan to squeeze in a few more beach days if I can.

But it IS September and my month is jammin’. Bob and I have the honor of being the keynote speakers for One Spirit Seminary’s first Global Reunion Retreat and we will also be attending my own high school reunion a week later. My classes have already begun and the Jewish High Holidays are soon upon us. We’re jumping in with both feet and everything else. I will be taking a break from regular posting and will write when time permits.

In the meantime I thought I’d send some links to sites we’ve found to help our brothers and sisters in Texas as they recover from Hurricane Harvey. We are so heartened to see how people have galvanized to surround those in need with the knowledge that they are not alone and we are all ONE people. Our Common Ground Community has sent our accumulated annual donation to “Best Friends Animal Society”, a great organization, originally based in Utah, that works nationwide in outreach programs. They are doing great work on the ground in Houston, where they have taken over an empty furniture store to stage their rescues for medical care, reuniting with their families, or adoption. https://bestfriends.org/.

Also, Brene Brown posted that there is a desperate need for socks. She gave a link to buy them online via Amazon which will deliver them directly. You can go to her Facebook page or you can click one of the links below which is text from her post:

Here are three ways to give NEW (still in package) underwear. Please keep in mind that we need a variety of sizes for men, women, boys, and girls, including XXL.
1. https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2O89ZX93OGCSU/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1
2. Collect new, packaged underwear and mail it to the address below. It’s our local Hillel and they are collecting for us. This is a really great neighborhood or school project. If you’re purchasing, we recommend Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. UFE doesn’t process or give out anything but underwear!
Undies for Everyone
1700 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
3. Give cash and Undies for Everyone will purchase wholesale: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/uFpr61ITEItxPeN4Lo9zpA
——————————————————————
I went to the Amazon link last night and placed an order for socks for children and adult men. It was easy.

And locally there is a trucking company that will be driving a huge trailer of accumulated goods to Texas. We have local drop-off points here that will bring all donations to the Hermann Trucking Company in North Brunswick, NJ. There are probably many such efforts in communities all over the country. I’ll be shopping for goods tomorrow to bring to our nearby drop off point.
We are all so blessed to have this holiday weekend to be with our families celebrating in homes or on vacation. So many people who would have been doing the same are wondering if they will ever see their home again, if their families are safe, dry and warm, or even alive. We can all help in some way.

Have a safe Labor Day weekend and I will see you all soon.
More to come.

The Lights Are On & Someone’s Home ~ 8-25-17


photo by Franne Demetrician

Feeling the refreshing cool hint of fall in the air this morning and it feels good. Planning to hold summer as close as possible but ready to welcome the sensual pleasures of autumn.

I spent some time in the last few days talking about and reflecting on authenticity. I had written a post for this week that somehow didn’t work for me and even after asking for some valued input from trusted confidants, I didn’t feel good about posting it. So, it sat in my file for the last few days waiting for me to “post or get off the pot”. I decided to get off the pot and start over. Here is why.

The intention of this website is to be a place of safety and respite for anyone who chooses to stop by and read my blog. My hope is that what I share here is helpful to my readers; that together we come to feel and know that none of us are alone in our human experience. My previous post was more of a “cranky pants” rant than the fulfillment of my intention. I’m considering that post a private journal entry that just needed to be written, and leave it at that.

I had the good fortune of receiving a tremendously healing session from my friend and colleague, Michele Granberg. She is a gifted shaman and healer. I was holding the question about my cranky blog post in my heart when I arrived. My intention for the session was quite simply to find my center, to affirm integrity and authenticity, and to remember my connection to Oneness. As always, the session was amazing, but this one seemed to have an even deeper and higher quality to it and soon I was in an altered state hovering just outside of my body in total bliss. I’ve had some inspired moments during sessions with Michele, and this one was restorative and refreshing, which is exactly what was needed.

Toward the end of the session Michele began to whisper some affirmations to me, and as she did I started to see faces – faces of people in my life who love me. It started with my Dad’s face and I felt his energy as if he were standing right next to Michele at the side of the table. I felt the tears and said a silent “Hi” to Dad, but then I saw more faces – faces of people in my life who I love and who love me – and felt more energy and was immediately surrounded by what can only be identified as unconditional love from every one of them. It was sudden and filled me completely. I almost felt myself lifted off the table by the rush of energy I felt from the light of all their love. Then she said something like, “feel yourself so connected that the face of God is but a hair’s breadth away”. That was profound, and what I saw was me “cheek to cheek” with the face of God. It wasn’t so much a visual image, but it was what I experienced. Me and God – cheek to cheek. It was pure, it was innocence, it was transcendent.

Michele said a few more things, brought me back to Earth and my body, and the session ended. I felt revitalized to be sure. And I gained insights from some of what Michele intuited from the session that clarified some of my present questions and challenges. I hugged her and thanked her, then floated out to my car. My habit is to get the music going before I do anything, which is what I did. I pressed the button that would start my iTunes library and put the car in reverse. The next thing I heard was the most beautiful saxophone interpretation of “God Bless The Child”, by of all people Stanley Turrentine. Y’all, I didn’t even know I HAD that piece in my library. Hello! I stopped the car and just stared at the readout on the dashboard that said, “God Bless The Child”. The message was complete – cheek to cheek with God, “God Bless The Child”, and unconditional love from all the angels in my life. It was all there and the lightbulb blazed as bright as the sun. Ding, Ding, Ding! I knew what I needed to know.

Whatever the eclipse on Monday left behind – the “eclipse hangover”- that I was feeling this past week I have surrendered to it and welcome the opportunities it has afforded me. My session with Michele was integral in moving me forward and I am exceedingly grateful to her for her kindness, her compassion and her skill. I heard the message loud and clear, the lightbulb continues to burn bright, and I’m ready for what is next.

No stretch this week. Just hugs and love from me to you.

FINDING HOPE ON THE BEACH ~ 8-14-17


Bradley Beach, NJ 8-12-17

We are probably all a little freaked out with the hype about the eclipses, moon cycle, and Mercury going retrograde all at the same time. I know I am. And while I do believe that astrological events can and do influence how things play out in our lives, I sometimes wonder how much of these occurrences are actually the result of these energies at play, or my projections and fears about their power. Regardless, energy IS moving around that I think may be related to the action going on “out there”; and it’s gotten my attention.

I pay heed to the advice of astrologers, especially my friend Lisa Zimmerman, who is a gifted one. I’ve learned so much from her about how aspects of astrological circumstances surrounding my birth influence how I express myself in this lifetime and am often comforted by her advice as she helps me understand what’s going on with planets and stars in relation to how life is unfolding. The eclipse energy portends upheaval, endings, beginnings, release and a variety of other possibilities. I am noticing how that is showing in various forms and while I see it in my personal life, what is most important right now is what is occurring in a more global way.

The most dramatic way it has shown up this weekend has been the horrific event taking place in Charlottesville, VA, and the tragic and needless death of a young woman, two policemen, and injury of 19 others. It is impossible to continue this posting without expressing my own feelings of shock and disgust that my country finds itself immersed yet again in the calamity and crime of racism and intolerance. I feel like I’ve been in a time machine that moved me in reverse and landed me in 1966 America, when firehoses and vicious dogs were fixed on peaceful demonstrators asking to be treated equally as men and women. And as a person of Jewish descent, the sight of nazi flags carried by a gang of angry white men was chilling and sickening to say the least. I keep shaking my head periodically to force those images away from my mind. Thus far, they are not leaving me.

The images from Charlottesville brought back some of the most unsettling memories of my youth, a time when change was rapidly taking place and hope sprang eternal despite the extreme turmoil of the times. Today I admit that my vision of my country has been badly damaged and I feel estranged from hope right now. But, I cannot and I will not allow fear and grief to derail my fundamental belief that we as a people are kind and good and that fairness and equanimity are the birthright of all people. What we are perceiving as darkness will be once again illuminated by the light of Truth and we will once again be proud of the legacy of the Great Experiment that is The United States of America. People of conscience must stand up over and over against the “normalization” of darkness and continue to be the bearers of light and love. Thankfully, there has been a lot of that in the last twenty-four hours. Hope.

Yesterday Bob and I spent our day on a crowded beach. I commented to him that we were here with probably thousands of people as far as the eye could see, gathered to enjoy the bounty of nature, focused on the ocean and a collective experience of breathing fresh sea air, the refreshment of the ocean’s waters, the gift of sunshine – all of us together. No politics, no suffering, no anger or violence. Just a colorful sea of humanity enjoying a day at the beach. This is my America. Did the thousands of people on the beach have different opinions about this or that? Probably. But we were together in one place, with one thing in common that allowed us to be there in peace. To me, this was the epitome of “possibility”. It was a helpful balm to soothe my broken spirit and helped to begin to restore my sense of hope for all of us.

The eclipse energy and the various astronomical influences notwithstanding, we are the masters of our thoughts and our responses. We are empowered to offset these influences with consciousness and intention. We can reach out to each other for support and counsel to manage our emotions and impulses. We can navigate these troubled waters with our own focus and awareness along with skillful guidance from those who know. We are fully responsible for the choices we make and now is the time to make the best ones possible. Love is the foundation of life. Nothing and no one can alter that reality.