Happy Birthday, Dylan

My grandson, Dylan, turned 12 today. Here is a Smilebox of memories when he joined our family and grew into the handsome young man we all love.

Click to play this Smilebox photo album
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Comes the Dawn

Back in the late 70s I was going through a tough emotional time. I was the mother of three children, ages 10, 3 and 1, and dealing with marital issues that ultimately led to a divorce in 1985. I was deeply depressed, sometimes unable to get out of bed. It was during that time that someone gave me the poem, “Comes the Dawn” by Veronica Shoffstall. That poem became my mantra, helped lift me from my depression, and gave me the insight that I needed to “plant my own garden and decorate my own soul.” It also helped shift my consciousness enabling me to actually believe that I was strong and had worth. It helped me “accept my defeats… with the grace of a woman” as I said goodbye to my 20 year marriage. It instilled me with the courage to move from Wisconsin to California to “build my own roads” and a new life for myself and my children. I am deeply grateful to Veronica Shoffstall for writing this poem and to the friend who shared it with me when I needed it most.

Comes the Dawn

by Veronica Shorffstall, 1971

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to understand that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow’s ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in midflight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you can really endure,
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn … and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

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Such a Deal!

As a web and graphic designer I am always on the lookout for good deals on design elements I can use. One of my favorite resources is InkyDeals. Right now they have a deal going on what they are calling “The Mega Graphics Bundle” valued at over $2,700 for only $49. And as an added bonus, if you use MEGA25 promo code with you check out, you can get a 25% discount off the $49 price. The offer is only valid through Oct. 3, so don’t wait to take advantage of it. To learn more about what’s included in this bundle, click on the link: InkyDeals Mega Graphics Bundle.

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For the Love of Quotes

I’ve been collecting quotes for over 30 years. When I started my study of calligraphy I needed material to practice and thought that quotes would be a good way to be inspired as I learned my new skill. Even though my calligraphy skills have become rusty since I discovered computers and the myriad fonts that are available, I have never lost my love of inspirational quotes. So when I started this blog quite a few years ago, I programmed it to display a new quote each day. Today’s quote by Kahlil Gibran I find very meaningful. I hope you do to!

“Love is the only flower that grows and blos­soms with­out the aid of the seasons.”
~Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931)

As many of you know the main focus of my work is centered around personal empowerment and self-love. You can’t achieve personal empowerment without self-love. So i encourage you, if you are reading this post, to do what you need to do to nurture the garden of your soul by giving yourself the love it needs to blossom.

Wild Flowers

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Messy Desk Syndrome

I just read an interesting article exploring why the most creative people have the messiest desks. The takeaway is that “employers shouldn’t overvalue orderliness in a work setting, because disorder might help trigger creative solutions to problems… .” Further, “… emphasis on order and efficiency in work settings can be misplaced. Instead of maximizing efficiency, a rigid focus on routine can force employees to waste time on minutiae.”

I found this argument compelling. I have always had a difficult time keeping a tidy desk. I remember my first “real” job as a 21 year-old working in the employee benefits department at American Motors (AMC). I shared an office with my boss, a man about 10 years older than me. He told me on our interview that it was important to him that his secretary keep her desk orderly. I really didn’t think that would be a problem for me, but I found out that it was much more difficult than I had imagined it would be. One part of my job was to service a constant stream of employees lined outside our office door (usually on their break — so they were in a hurry) wanting to cash in their profit-sharing, or apply for an employee discount on a new car or a Kelvinator appliance. This was before anyone had computers, so for every employee waiting in line, I would need to put in one of several different forms (with 2 carbon copies) into my typewriter, ask the appropriate questions, type in the answers, pull the form and its carbon copies out of the typewriter, have the employee sign the form, separate the carbons, give the employee a copy, place the original in a bin for processing and the other copy in another bin for filing. I found that try as I may, I was having a very difficult time keeping a tidy desk.

My boss, on the other hand, sat at his desk while all these employees were streaming in to be serviced, reading something or other. His desk was ALWAYS immaculate — nothing on it but a fountain pen and whatever report he was perusing. Often when he would leave the office for lunch or to take a break, people would stop by our office, take a look at his desk and ask me, “Dick isn’t in today?” His desk was TOO orderly — it looked like he wasn’t there!  I worked for him for about 6 months when he was notified that his position was being eliminated and he was being let go. I was to stay on and continue servicing employee discounts, but I would be moving to a different office.

I guess my takeaway from that experience and what may have been planted in my subconscious was that a messy desk at least shows that you are doing something! Now after reading this article I feel elated that my messy desk also shows that I am more creative than someone who keeps a really tidy desk. That makes me smile :).

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The Color of Reiki Love

About 20 years ago a new tree was planted in my front yard by the Home Owners Association where I live. While the other trees planted that year started to leaf-out, my spindly, 5-foot-long, stick-in-the-ground did nothing. After watching it for a few weeks show no signs of life, I decided that it needed some love — that it needed to know it was a welcome addition to my yard. So I put my hands around this sad-looking stick and infused it with Reiki energy all the while talking to it, telling it how much I loved it.

Within two days of my Reiki treatment the tree began to sprout one little leaf at a time, until it had caught up with the other newly planted trees. It grew into a big, beautiful tree that graces my yard, but what it does at this time of the year is truly spectacular! The tree grows outside my meditation room window and every autumn it blesses me with the color of Reiki love. As I walk into my meditation room this is the scene that greets me!


Raising the blinds I am blessed with this amazing sight.

AutumnColors2-MeditationRoomThe blessings continue for about a month as the tree continues to change colors every day. Below is a photo I took of my tree in December last year.


This radiant tree is the most beautiful tree in the neighborhood and stands as my everyday reminder of the power (and color) of Reiki love!

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7/11 My Day of Gratitude

It was 20 years ago on this date that Victor and I officially became a couple when he moved in to share my home with me. Then, one year later on this date, he was by my side as I underwent emergency open heart surgery for removal of a tennis-ball sized tumor from inside my heart.

I am in deep gratitude to Dr. Len Saputo for orchestrating the skilled team of surgeons at John Muir hospital who performed that 5 hour surgery, to the amazing nursing staff who kept watch over me, to Victor who, after the doctors told him that I had little chance of surviving, kept whispering in my ear for five hours following the surgery telling me that it was not time for me to leave, to my daughter Kris who stood vigil at the hospital during those tense hours and who made so many phone calls to my friends and relatives keeping them updated. To my many friends around the country who formed prayer trees that enveloped me within a healing sphere of energy. Thank you all.

It was 15 years ago on this date that Victor and I were married in a private ceremony performed by Unity ministers and dear friends, Revs. Pres and Candy Preston, at their beautiful home on the Kings River. Indeed, July 11 will always be my day of gratitude. C&V-Warholized

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The Importance of Clearing Energy in Your Home

Victor and I meditate together every morning. We have a small bedroom in our home that we converted into a meditation room in 1995. Each morning we go to that room, light our candles, smudge each other with a sage smudge wand to clear our energy fields, say an opening prayer together and then drop into silence. After the silence we take time read from a spiritual book and/or discuss different topics that have recently come up for us and how we might approach any challenges we are having in a spiritual way.

A couple of days ago our discussion revolved around the fact that we both had been feeling a lack of energy and focus. Being aware that we can personally take on energy that is not compatible with our own, part of our daily meditation process during our silent time is to clear ourselves using the Rainbow Clearing process. Simply doing this personal clearing process usually rejuvenates us almost instantly. Lately, however, it didn’t seem to be having its usual positive effect on either of us. It occurred to me that perhaps our home — in effect an extension of ourselves — needed a clearing. This idea resonated with both of us. So we interrupted our usual meditation routine and decided to smudge our home right away.

SmudgeWandWe lit the tip of our smudge wand with one of our meditation candles and began walking through our home waving the smoke from the wand into every room and into every corner of every room. We made sure we didn’t neglect smudging the closets also. As we smudged we held the intention of removing any stagnant or negative energy from our home.

Afterward we continued our meditation. We both felt a lightness that we had not felt prior to the clearing ritual. We ended our meditation and continue with our day. I had a phone call from a dear friend later in the morning. We were discussing a book project we are working on together. Within two minutes after we hung up, she called me back and said, “Carol, I just wanted to say that I feel something different in your energy — you seem lighter somehow. I just felt I should mention it.”

I told her that Victor and I had smudged our house that morning and that I actually felt lighter.  I was surprised that she had picked up on that over the phone. Now a few days since our smudging ritual, Victor and I both feel a definite shift in our energy. We’ve been more focused, able to get more work done and do not feel the tiredness we had been feeling. We decided that it would be good for us to smudge our home at least once a month.

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Rainbow Clearing Process

This two-step process can be used to clear yourself of energy that is not yours. I use it after a session with a client so that I am clear for my next client. I use it whenever I’ve been in a large gathering, whenever I feel an emotion that seems to come “out of the blue” or whenever I feel tired for no apparent reason.

The purpose of the process is to get yourself back into your own energy. Anyone who works with the public (i.e., a bartender, a hair stylist, a receptionist, a teacher, a banker, a retail clerk, a cashier, a nurse, a doctor, a therapist, a healer, etc.) naturally takes on energy from others. It is, therefore, important to have an easy and effective way to clear out energy that is not your own. This is a very simple process that takes just seconds to do.

Step 1: Close your eyes and visualize a rainbow-colored shaft of light coming out of the sky into the top of your head. Now, in your mind’s eye, see that rainbow light spreading throughout your body, filling every cell with rainbow light. Feel it filling your head and moving down through your neck and shoulders, down your arms and out your finger tips. Feel it filling your chest, stomach and abdomen and all your internal organs. Feel it moving down into your hips, legs and feet until rainbow light is coming out of your toes. Your whole body is now radiating rainbow light. See it! Feel it! (This may take a minute or two in the beginning to visualize, but as your body gets acquainted with the process, soon it will take only a few seconds to fill yourself with rainbow light.)

Step 2: Choose for yourself a symbol of safety and protection – a safety shield – and surround yourself with it. Your shield can be anything – a powerful animal, an angel, a geometrical shape such as a pyramid or a sphere – any symbol that represents to you safety and protection.

See yourself inside your symbol – it is all around you. With your shield in place, you are now protected from taking on energy that is not yours.

(excerpted from Simple Healing Tools)

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Sharing Love’s Frequency: A Dolphin Story

In 2003 my husband, Victor, and I drove down to Southern California to visit my daughter, Kris, and her family in Dana Point. We offered to take them on a dolphin safari we had heard about. We met at the harbor at the appointed time and were guided onto a catamaran. We were joined by another couple and their two grandchildren, ages 10 and 11, who had gone out the day before but had not seen any dolphins. It was the captain’s policy to give you another excursion free of charge if you didn’t see any dolphins. The children had been very disappointed by the previous day’s outing and were really anxious to see dolphins on this trip.

We headed out of the harbor. What a glorious day! The temperature was in the 70s, the sun was bright, the sky was blue and the ocean was pristine, like a shimmering blue crystal. I was thoroughly enjoying myself just sitting back and soaking up the energy of the experience. I watched the two children standing at the front of the boat straining to see any sign of dolphins. We were about five miles out and still no sign of dolphins. The children were becoming discouraged.

Kris taking photos of Dolphins

Kris taking photos of Dolphins

The captain said, “Well, even if we don’t see any dolphins, it really can’t get much better than this.” I had to admit it was peaceful and beautiful. But we had come to see dolphins, so I decided to try an experiment. Closing my eyes, I went into a quiet meditation consciously sending ripples of love radiating out from my heart as if I were dropping a stone into a pond.

With my eyes closed, I kept sending this love for about five minutes when I heard the captain exclaim, “There, look out there — there they are!”

Within minutes we were surrounded by literally hundreds of dolphins as far as the eye could see and some so close you felt you could reach out and touch them. They put on a great show, jumping and cavorting. It was simply amazing, and we all watched in a state of awe. The captain estimated that we were seeing about 500 dolphins and that there were probably twice that number below the surface that we weren’t seeing. His astonishment was obvious as he shared with us that he had never seen so many dolphins on one of these outings. “We are experiencing a rare treat, indeed,” he emphasized.


Dolphins as far as the eye can see!

The dolphins stayed with us for about 45 minutes and as the boat turned to head back for shore, they also turned and led us back for about a mile before dispersing.

I felt truly blessed by their presence and the energy of the experience stayed with me for the rest of the day. This dolphin outing also helped me understand how we can attract truly magical experiences for ourselves and others by consciously sharing our love.

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