Getting the Weeds Out

Weeding is an essential gardening chore. When I water in the evenings, I pull a few, in an attempt to keep up with the abundance of over growth. Weeds thrive in the garden as well as the flowers and herbs do.

This time of year is tricky. The hot muggy days make it challenging to spend the time outside that is necessary to keep up with the weeds. And those errant grasses and scrubby plants love the higher temps and humidity. I usually fall behind. This year, the section that got away from me, again, was the entrance into the backyard, just beyond the peace gate. The arrival of a few cooler days spurred me to don my gardening clothes and tackle the overdue task.

As I surveyed the weedy mess, I deliberately pushed away the idea of learning anything as I worked. Couldn't I just zone out? When I encounter resistance, it is my signal that I am leaving the flow. Apparently when I entered the garden, I entered the classroom as well. What was here for me today?

Below are my thoughts, in italics, my lessons as I cleared this area of weeds, accompanied by pics.

A really healthy crop of weeds makes it difficult to see the ground cover and paving stones in this section. I feel a pang of guilt and shame. I should have kept up with this better. Energetically, this area feels choked and cluttered, not the welcoming feeling I desire as people enter the garden.

The first step in removing unwanted "weeds" from my life, is recognizing that they are there. And I must understand that they are what they are. I don't need to berate myself. Instead, I can focus on what I am feeling energetically about these things that have cropped up in my life. Choked? Crowded? Overwhelmed?

Some of the weeds have a beauty of their own, like this wildflower. However, this plant is competing for sunlight, space and nutrients with the creeping jenny plants sharing the same area. I choose to eliminate the wildflowers, so that the ground cover succeeds in flourishing and covering this section.

Not every weed in my life is bad. It is a matter of choice. I can eliminate things that are good, in and of themselves, but that are competing for my time, space and energy with things that serve me better.

If I only focus on the weeds, I miss what lies beneath them. This is why it is essential to carefully remove the grasses that crowd and conceal, so that the plants can reveal their beauty.

I don't want to focus overly much on the weeds in my life. I want to look beyond them to the beauty that is there. I can focus on the weed of impatience, for example, and justify it as a sign that I value my time. But looking beneath, I can discover the beauty of allowing…allowing things to unfold as they will…allowing people to be who they are and trusting that all is well.

Most of the weeds are easily pulled from the ground, as their roots are shallow. These plants truly are interlopers that spring up quickly. When I encountered a tuft of grass that clung more tenaciously to the earth, using a hand trowel helped to loosen its grip.

The interlopers in my life have shallow roots as well, if I become aware of them quickly and remove them. When a stubborn habit or time waster or fear inducing thought wants to cling to my space, or my heart, I have tools that help with removal: chatting with a trusted friend, prayer, meditation, self care, choosing for my highest good, consistency, journaling, walking in nature.

Look at the differencein this area, after methodically removing every weed, clover and clump of grass. The energy feels completely different, and I wasn't the only one who noticed. Butterflies began flitting about and there were none here before I began weeding. And not one, but two dragonflies appeared to check my work out. The space, free from clutter, felt inviting. I returned to it over and over, just to enjoy the beauty of it. I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

I can feel that same energy, that sense of my life opening up, and becoming more inviting and welcoming, when I am diligent about keeping my heart and soul clear. When I am methodical about removing unwanted habits or thoughts that clutter my personal space, that sense of accomplishment feels amazing. More good things are attracted into my life.

This was the most beautiful result from weeding the entrance to the garden. As I tugged the last clump of crabgrass from the ground, I inhaled the earthy scent of sage. Suddenly I realized I was lightly grasping the Russian sage plant to my left. It was as if we were holding hands. I felt a wave of gratitude wash over me and tears filled my eyes. Was the gratitude coming from the sage plant? Did it feel the change in energy that clearing the space brought? It was an interesting idea, since burning dried sage is a way of clearing a room of negative energy. I tenderly held the sage, feeling great joy, and then I kissed it and released the plant. Were the neighbors watching? I didn't care!

Gratitude is such a vital part of my journey. When weeds pop up in my space and my life, they bring opportunities for lessons, and growth. I hope that the gratitude I express as I live in clarity and beauty releases an unmistakable aroma of joy, peace and love.

The garden looks great this evening. I feel delight, and satisfaction and yes, gratitude. How grateful I am that I allowed the garden to instruct me today. What powerful lessons I learned as I pulled weeds and basked in the sun and received love from a sage plant. Every time I walked by that Russian sage plant, after we held hands, its long fragrant stems wrapped around my legs or tangled with my feet. That has not happened before. It was like a child, eagerly expressing love by wrapping her arms around my legs. I love you too, Sage, I whispered.

I'm headed out now to give Sage a goodnight hug.

Calling All Dragonflies

I love how today's inspiration unfolded. The cooler weather encouraged me to do two things: go for a walk this morning, and spend time in the garden late this afternoon. Greg accompanied me on a walk at Mercy Park. We found painted rocks, that we hid again. And we were buzzed by an unexpected visitor.

The Missouri Conservation Department just posted an article about this being a banner year for dragonflies. The right combination of water temperature and availability of food has occurred, providing the ideal environment for dragonflies to transform from their water nymph stage to flying dragonflies. Greg and I were discussing that article as we walked around the park, when we spotted the first dragonfly…a black one.

I see all kinds of dragonflies in this area, with blue and green being the most common colors. Black isn't as common but I see them occasionally. They are strikingly beautiful. This one flitted by and was gone. As we rounded a curve on the walking path another dragonfly appeared, hovering before us at eye level. To my amazement, this delicate creature was bright red. I have never seen a red dragonfly before. It flew along in front of us and then darted off. Incredibly, a short time later, my car was buzzed by a yellow dragonfly. It kept pace with the car for a few moments, flying directly over the windshield, before lifting up and away. I have never seen a yellow dragonfly either, before today.

Three unusual dragonflies, in a short time span, seemed significant to me. In fact, I kept thinking about those gorgeous insects and their unique coloring. Late this afternoon, as I prepared to work in the backyard garden, I wondered how I could encourage dragonflies to visit my little paradise. Inspiration appeared, to guide me.

I have had several items stored in my utility room for more than a year, while I figured out what to do with them. The tile covered discs came from Greg's parents' house. Apparently it was a "thing" in the 60s, to cover metal disc harrowing blades with decorative tile. My mom used to have one of these discs. Leta Moore had three of them. As I thought about the dragonflies, the idea came to use the discs in the garden, tucking them into various spots and then filling the shallow containers wth water.

The back of one disc, and the decorative tops of two others.

My intention is to draw dragonflies to the garden by providing the water-filled discs. I have spotted dragonflies hovering near cups of tea on the brickio. I don't have a birdbath, because…well, cats…so I am hoping the dragonflies will be drawn to these little pools of still water. I'll fill the discs each evening when I water flowers in containers.

I placed two of the discs on the ground in the garden. One will receive direct sunlight. The other is tucked into a more shady area. The third disc I placed on the brickio, near lemon balm. I'll see which of the locations the dragonflies prefer.

Because I fully expect dragonflies to appear. As I pulled weeds and watered plants in their assortment of containers, the words from the movie, Field of Dreams, scrolled through my brain. If you build it, they will come. His dream was a baseball diamond. Today, my dream is a dragonfly habitat. Belief is the common thread between the two.

I believe. In 2012, Believe was my word for the year. The dragonfly was my symbol. I learned a great deal that year about belief and intuition and journeying with faith. I also learned that the dragonfly symbolizes walking in two worlds, physical reality and the spirit realm. What a perfect symbol for me. I have walked in both worlds since my childhood.

The appearance of dragonflies, red ones in particular I discovered today, are also symbolic of the presence of a departed loved one, especially around the anniversary of their passing. Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of the death of my father-in-law, Bob. I like to believe that all these events from today are connected together. And Bob was saying hello…and, oh by the way, use the discs in the garden.

I sat in the garden as the sun set, my cat Shy Boy curled on my lap. The beauty of that peaceful space is such a balm to my heart and soul. I inhaled the scents of lemon balm, lavender, basil, mint and thyme, carried to me by a cooling breeze. We watched butterflies and grasshoppers and spiders and crickets in the garden. Shy turned to watch me as I softly called out to the dragonflies, inviting them to come, welcoming them to the garden.

I'll carry my morning juice and smoothie out to the garden tomorrow to check the water in the discs and watch for visitors. The dragonflies will come. I believe.

Heavy Metals Detox Smoothie

I woke up this morning, craving this nutrient rich detox smoothie. After a year of following a plant based lifestyle, one of the many benefits is that I am very aware of my body’s needs. When I crave something, it is because my body needs it. When I am repulsed by something or I feel “off” about a food or drink, it is because my body doesn’t want it or need it.

I follow the Medical Medium health protocols, established by Anthony William. So I am well educated on the problems caused by heavy metals in the body. Most of us, if not all of us, have too many metals in our bodies, and we experience poor health as a result.

Anthony shares that toxic heavy metals…aluminum, mercury, lead, nickel, cadmium and copper…accumulate in our bodies and settle deep into our organs and tissues. We are exposed to these metals by daily contact with aluminum cans and foil, batteries, metal cooking pans, old paint and the food we eat. Herbicides and pesticides used on fruits and vegetables are a common source of heavy metals. As a result, we carry these toxic substances throughout our lives, and they build up.

It’s the metals we’ve had in our bodies the longest that pose the greatest health risk. Over time, the metals oxidize, damaging surrounding tissue and causing inflammation. Every system and organ in the body can be affected, including the brain and nervous system, the digestive system, and the immune system.

A unique characteristic of the heavy metals is that they form a neurotoxin. This poison is disruptive to the brain and nervous system, causing brain fog, memory loss, fatigue and depression. In the digestive tract, heavy metals create inflammation and serve as a food source for viruses, bacteria, parasites and pathogens, often resulting in a condition called Small Intestine Bacterial Overload, or SIBO. SIBO is characterized by bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation and nutrient deficiencies.

When viruses such as shingles and Epstein Barr feed off of the metals, this can produce symptoms such as tingling, numbness, fatigue, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations and dizziness, as well as knee pain, nerve pain, neck pain, foot pain and headaches in the back of the head.

I have dealt with many of these symptoms. I was tested for heavy metals years ago, and told that I did have them, but I was never told how to clear them from my body. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to pull the metals out of the tissues and organs with this simple to make detox smoothie.

Heavy Metals Detox Smoothie by Anthony William

Hawaiian spirulina draws heavy metals out of the brain and nervous system. Atlantic dulse binds to all of the metals deep in the intestines and doesn’t release them, removing them from the body. Cilantro is great for removing old metals that have been in the body for years. Wild blueberries draw metals from the brain, healing and repairing any damage caused by oxidation. Barley grass juice powder soaks up mercury drawn from the spleen, intestinal tract, pancreas, thyroid and reproductive system.

These products are available at your local health food store, or through Amazon. (Links below). Wild blueberries are in the frozen food section at the grocery store. Make sure the package says Wild Blueberries, as they are more powerful.

The recipe makes 32 ounces of health boosting goodness. I enjoy the taste. If you don’t care for cilantro, it will take getting used to, although the taste of this pungent herb is not overwhelming, combined with everything else. I have felt a huge difference this past year, since adding the foods listed above to my diet. Aches and pains have disappeared. My digestive system has healed.

However, for me to wake up craving this detox smoothie meant my body needed to get rid of more heavy metals.

On the recent long plane flights to and from Italy, I experienced mild restless legs. I used to suffer greatly from this irritating disorder. Restless legs syndrome can be caused by several things, including heavy metals in the body. I have not had problems with it for months, until the long flights.

With another overseas trip coming up in a month, perhaps my body is getting ready by alerting me to what it needs to do well. I am grateful for my built in guidance system and very grateful for Anthony and a way to continue detoxing my body.

For the next 30 days, I’ll be drinking a heavy metals detox smoothie daily. I intend to feel my very best as I head off to explore Ireland, Scotland and England. I owe it to myself to pay attention and practice such diligent self care.

Links below for Anthony’s books and products mentioned in the post:


I am an Amazon Affiliate and may make a commission on purchases made through my links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of these items, or any other items, by using my links. 

Supraliminal Messaging

I came across an interesting article several weeks ago, detailing ways to send messages to your subconscious mind, with the intention of creating the future you want. I was intrigued. But more than that, because there was an exercise included, it seemed playful. I'm all for having fun. And playing with my subconscious sounded like fun to me.

Today that article came back into my awareness. I was intrigued again. And I decided to play.

Supraliminal messaging is different from subliminal, even though both target the subconscious. Subliminal messages are embedded in text or pictures. We don't consciously see or hear the messages but our subconscious receives them. Even without our awareness, we may be influenced by these secret messages. Advertisers are not allowed to use subliminal messaging for that reason.

On the other hand, supraliminal messaging is not hidden. However, we may be mostly unaware of it, perceiving the messages as background noise or unimportant text. According to a study done in a liquor store, when German music played in the background, shoppers purchased more German wines. When French music played, they bought more French wine. That's supraliminal messaging at work.

The article I read, with the accompanying exercise, was written by Vivek Ranjan. To do the exercise, he suggested the following:

1. Write out several simple goals, on white index cards, stating an affirmative action that will move you toward a dream. For example – I am a quick learner. Create at least three cards with goals related to your dream or theme.

2. Store the cards next to your bed, along with a flashlight. Set your alarm for 3:00 am. Go to sleep.

3. When the alarm goes off, pick up the index cards and one at a time, shine the flashlight on them, rapidly turning the light on and off a dozen times. Don't try to read the words. Just stare at the cards while clicking the flashlight on and off. Do each card the same way.

4. Turn off the light and go back to sleep. Do this every night for at least a week.

I created four cards, with affirmations centered around my dream of creating multiple streams of income that will allow me to travel more, and have the freedom and ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world. I would love living such a lifestyle.

I have my stack of cards next to my bed, along with a futuristic looking flashlight. And I know. Some would not enjoy being awakened at 3:00 in the morning, while in the midst of good sleep. I wake up anyway about that time most nights. And since adopting a plant based lifestyle, I don't have any problems with getting back to sleep. This exercise is just quirky and interesting enough to me that I look forward to playing along.

Ranjan wrote that participants noted problem solving dreams appeared after 2-3 nights of doing the exercise, that assisted with their goals or influenced their decisions. And within a week, most reported serious movement toward their goals.

There is a scientific reason for that. Feeding information to the subconscious also allows the reticular activating system, located in the brain, to kick in. The purpose of the RAS is to focus in on important information while eliminating nonessential info. It's at work when we think about buying a blue jeep, and then suddenly see blue jeeps everywhere. It's bringing us the information that matches our thoughts, whether they are conscious or subconscious ones.

Sidenote: This is why our thoughts are so important. If we are consistently thinking negative thoughts, such as No one likes me, our RAS goes to work to bring us proof of that thought. We can quite literally change our lives by changing our thoughts. It's not woo-woo stuff…it's science!

Beginning tonight, I will be sending supraliminal messages to my brain that I am ready for multiple streams of income that will allow me to work remotely anywhere in the world. I will be seriously supporting my desire to travel more, while allowing my businesses to fund a life that is perfect for me.

I can already think of several ways streams of income could appear. However, I am not attached to how things unfold. I am more interested in seeing what unfolds. I am open to everything. This creative way of playing is designed to tap into my subconscious and my reticular activating system.

Will this work? Oh, I am quite certain that I will experience marvelous things. I'll let you know what happens!

Creating a Bohemian Inspiration Board

Tonight I enjoyed returning to the process of designing a piece of clothing. I created a second inspiration board, filled with bohemian style clothes that caught my interest. This board now accompanies the classic chic one I created a week or so ago. My own design will most likely fall somewhere in between the two styles.

Although, working on this board tonight, I again realized how much I am drawn to this particular style. Bohemian is defined thus:

The clothes reflect that sense of freedom with garments that flow. Layering is another important element of the boho style along with earthy colors, fringe, tassels and long wraps and scarves. Hippie is another term for boho clothing, or gypsy style.

I used the internet to find images of boho clothes that appealed to me. After printing those pics out I arranged them on a piece of poster board.

I love the art of collage and the process of creating boards. Each new year begins with a fresh vision board containing my new word for the year, my symbol, and images and words that represent the direction I am heading.

These inspiration boards are very specific to one idea, but in the same way, they represent my thoughts and dreams and the direction I am heading.

I discovered years ago that as soon as I put these intentions out there, the Divine immediately begins to rearrange life to meet me where I am on the path, guiding me, bringing opportunities, providing continual inspiration as I journey.

This journey, designing articles of clothing that reflect my wild heart and my classic chic/bohemian lifestyle, is no different. I am casting a vision forward, and taking the action steps as inspiration comes.

I am finding joy in the journey and taking delight in the creation process, and truly that is enough. Almost. I intend to create at least one piece of clothing, or even better, one complete outfit that I can wear as an artistic expression that declares, This is who I am.

I can visualize myself wearing those boho clothes that I have created. I can see them. And that's where the creative process starts. Stay tuned.

One Voice Day

As I moved through my day today, open to where inspiration would lead, the thoughts that kept coming to me centered around using my voice. That is a big area for me, one that I have shifted in. I spent much of my life not using my voice. I often remained silent, even when I had something of value to add to a conversation. I remained silent rather than risk a confrontation or getting into a disagreement with someone. My silence was understood by others to be agreement. It usually wasn't, but I lacked the courage to say otherwise.

I have learned to use my voice more and more the last 10 years. I have discovered that I can speak from my heart and not get into disagreements or confrontations. I've also learned that it is okay if people don't agree with me or I with them. I am not using my voice to berate someone or force them into agreement. I am simply speaking my truth and sharing hope and encouragement where I can. I am still in the process of learning to speak up, rather than choosing to remain silent, when others need a voice to speak for them.

These thoughts swirled in my mind today. I seemed to be on the correct path for me as confirmation came in from several sources, all about using one's voice. Following an intuitive nudge, I checked today's unique holidays. Today is One Voice Day.

Established in 1997, One Voice Day encourages people around the world to use their voices to speak peace into the world, by reading aloud a Universal Peace Covenant.

What a powerful way to use my voice today. I selected my backyard garden, which is my place of peace, to read the covenant. Using my voice, I read aloud.

Universal Peace Covenant

Peace is the breath of our spirit.

It wells up from within the depths of our being to refresh, to heal, to inspire.

Peace is our birthright.

Its eternal presence exists within us as a memory of where we have come from and as a vision of where we yearn to go.

Our world is in the midst of change.
For millennia, we have contemplated, reasoned, and practiced the idea of peace. Yet the capacity to sustain peace eludes us. To transcend the limits of our own thinking we must acknowledge that peace is more than the cessation of conflict. For peace to move across the face of the earth we must realize, as the great philosophers and leaders before us, that all people desire peace. We hereby acknowledge this truth that is universal. Now humanity must desire those things that make for peace.

We affirm that peace is an idea whose time has come. We call upon humanity to stand united, responding to the need for peace. We call upon each individual to create and foster a personal vision for peace. We call upon each family to generate and nurture peace within the home. We call upon each nation to encourage and support peace among its citizens. We call upon each leader, be they in the private home, house of worship or place of labor, to be a living example of peace for only in this way can we expect peace to move across the face of the earth.

World Peace begins within ourselves. Arising from the spirit peace seeks expression through the mind, heart, and body of each individual. Government and laws cannot heal the heart. We must transcend whatever separates us. Through giving love and respect, dignity and comfort, we come to know peace. We learn to love our neighbors as we love ourselves bringing peace into the world. We hereby commit ourselves to this noble endeavor.

Peace is first a state of mind. Peace affords the greatest opportunity for growth and learning which leads to personal happiness. Self-direction promotes inner peace and therefore leads to outer peace. We vow to heal ourselves through forgiveness, gratitude, and prayer. We commit to causing each and every day to be a fulfillment of our potential, both human and divine.

Peace is active, the motion of silence, of faith, of accord, of service. It is not made in documents but in the minds and hearts of men and women. Peace is built through communication. The open exchange of ideas is necessary for discovery, for well-being, for growth, for progress whether within one person or among many. We vow to speak with sagacity, listen with equanimity, both free of prejudice, thus we will come to know that peace is liberty in tranquility.

Peace is achieved by those who fulfill their part of a greater plan. Peace and security are attained by those societies where the individuals work closely to serve the common good of the whole. Peaceful coexistence between nations is the reflection of man’s inner tranquility magnified. Enlightened service to our fellowman brings peace to the one serving, and to the one receiving. We vow to live in peace by embracing truths that apply to us all.

Living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully.
We stand on the threshold of peace-filled understanding. We come together, all of humanity, young and old of all cultures from all nations. We vow to stand together as citizens of the Earth knowing that every question has an answer, every issue a resolution. As we stand, united in common purpose, we hereby commit ourselves in thought and action so we might know the power of peace in our lifetimes.

Peace be with us all ways. May Peace Prevail On Earth.

I read through the words slowly, and with my heart fully engaged. Tears came to my eyes. I appreciated the truth of the words, that peace begins with me. It moves from my heart, my mind, and my soul, outward. I cannot offer peace to the world if I do not live in peace myself. Before the world can know it, my corner of the world must.

I am grateful for the opportunity that presented itself today, reminding me how importance my voice is. And when my voice joins with the voices of many others, then peace is spoken around the world. I felt so inspired by the covenant that I sent it to my grandson Dayan, who at 18 years of age is already using his voice to bring change into his world and then the world beyond. He too read the words of peace. I knew he would.

Using my voice today, combining it with others using theirs, has inspired deeper thought about ways I can surround myself with peace and offer it to the world. I will do a follow up post soon, with a list of peace inducing activities.

Malala Yousafzai wrote, "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." I am beyond being silent. My voice can make a difference. May I speak peace and hope and love into the world, and may I speak truth.

Collecting Moments

In slightly more than a month, I'll be off on my next adventure, traveling to Ireland, Scotland and England. I'll be accompanied on this trip by my mom, my two sisters and my niece. As I did before the Italy trip, I am starting to cast the vision forward, "seeing" myself having a wonderful time in those countries and I am making preparations at home.

I already know how to pack a carry on for 12 days. I have clothes for the cooler temps that we will experience in the UK. My passport is ready. As I was cleaning the kitchen tonight, the thought came to find out interesting facts about the three cities that will be our home bases as we venture out. I welcomed the tap of inspiration.

Dublin will be our first stop on the trip. None of us have visited Ireland before. Here are fun things I didn't know about Dublin:

1. Dublin natives, or Dubliners, speak Dublinese, a mix of slang and curse words. An example is "I'm on the lash." which means "I'm out drinking."

2. Dublin is an old Irish Gaelic phrase, Dubh Linn, which means Black Pool.

3. Dublin covers 44.5 square miles. We are staying in the heart of the city.

4. Dublin has the youngest population in all of Europe. Approximately 50% of the population is under the age of 25.

5. Ireland's national treasure is The Book of Kells. This beautiful gold book, containing the four gospels, was created by Celtic monks in 800 AD. The book is located in the Trinity College Library.

Edinburgh is the next major city we will stay in, using it as our base as we explore Scotland. I found out these five things about Edinburgh.

1. Edinburgh's nickname, Auld Reekie (Old Smokey) doesn't refer to a smelly city but to the coal and wood smoke that used to billow from buildings and homes.

2. The majestic Arthur's Seat at the edge of the city is actually an extinct volcano that last erupted 350 million years ago.

3. The Fringe Festival, held in August, is not the original as the International Festive began first. When it originated, poorer acts had to set up on the "fringes" to be able to afford to perform, and hence the name of the festival.

4. Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire brigade.

5. Edinburgh Castle is ranked the 33rd most popular spot in the world for taking a selfie.

And London, England is our final stop on the UK trip. Here are five things about London that I didn't know.

1. The London Stone is protected by an elegant iron barrier, on Cannon Street. It has been noted on maps and in historical accounts for more than 1,000 years. And yet it has no inscription, sign or apparent use. No one knows who put it there or why!

2. The London Bridge was destroyed during a storm in 1091. Made of wood then, it was taken out by a large tornado, along with 600 houses. The bridge was rebuilt, with stone.

3. George Washington's statue, in Trafalgar Square, actually stands on American soil. Dirt was brought in from Virginia and placed under the statue's pedestal.

4. There are more that 1,000 bodies buried under Aldgate Station. Why? It was a plague burial pit, during the Black Plague.

5. London has 21 lost rivers. The reason they are hard to find is because these subterranean rivers flow through man made culverts and the city has been built on top of them.

Reading these little known facts about Dublin, Edinburgh and London has sharpened my desire to explore these places. I am excited to make new discoveries, experience different cultures and form bonds of friendships with people who have fresh perspectives.

I love the quote that says, Collect moments, not things. I'm off on a girls' trip soon, to do that very thing.

A Lavender Night

I have had the movie, Ladies in Lavender, on my Amazon Prime Watch List for a while. It is an older film, released in 2004, starring two of my favorite actresses, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. When I came across the DVD for rent at the library, I checked it out.

I didn’t intend to write a review for this charming film, due to the age of it. However, always open to possibilities, I found myself inspired by it, nonetheless. An idea came to me as I watered the garden late this afternoon. The delicate scent of lavender tickled my nose as I brushed against the plants in my apothecary garden. The movie seemed to suggest a lavender theme as the perfect setting for immersing myself in the story.

After a light dinner, I brewed a cup of tea, made from a sprig of lavender freshly plucked from my garden. As the tea steeped, filling my kitchen with its tantalizing aroma, I made banana and wild blueberry nice dream. This simple treat is perfect for these hot muggy nights. And it is so easy to make.

I purchased ripe bananas on sale at the market, cut them up yesterday, and froze them in bags containing four of the sliced fruits each. Tonight I combined a bag of frozen bananas with two cups of frozen wild blueberries in the food processor. In a few minutes I had cold and creamy banana blueberry nice dream. I added a small amount of lavender infused water to my cold treat, giving it just a hint of additional flavor.

With my tea, my treat, the movie and Young Living lavender essential oil in my diffuser, my lavender themed evening was underway.

And what a wonderful evening it was.

The film was an enchanting period piece, highlighting the beauty of love at any age. Two spinster sisters, played by Dench and Smith, rescue a young man who is washed overboard off of a ship during a storm. As Andrea, played by Daniel Brühl, recovers from his injuries, the sisters discover that he is a gifted violinist who was on his way to America for a chance to hone his musical ability.

The older women save Andrea…and the young man reawakens their hearts, reminding them…and me as I watched the story unfold…that true love gives itself away, and always offers freedom to others.

What a hauntingly poignant film, that redefines the meaning of a happy ending. I was teary eyed by the end, and wanted to applaud. I smiled instead and vowed to carry the deeper truths with me for a while.

I enjoyed my lavender evening. Feeling curious about the benefits of lavender, I looked it up and discovered that it has a soothing, calming effect on the body. Lavender improves sleep, lessens anxiety, slows the aging process and is a great healer of the skin.

The Latin word lavender literally means wash and may refer to the infusions made with the plant in early times, or to the aroma that washes over the senses.

Going deeper still, I learned that the purple color of the flowers are associated with the crown chakra, which is the energy center located at the top of the head. The crown chakra is associated with higher purpose and spiritual connectivity. The vibration of the crown is the highest vibration in the body. Lavender is thought to heal and raise our vibration to the highest possible level. This aromatic herb, therefore, strengthens my connection to the Divine.

And that, I now believe, was the purpose of my lavender evening. My day began with heightened energy around my crown chakra and a powerful connection to the Divine. That was unintentional on my part but a very deliberate invitation, apparently. And inspiration led me full circle, ending my day with lavender…and a heart overflowing with love and a body humming with high vibrational energy.

I am grateful.

To create your own lavender evening, try out these products, and message me if you would like to purchase Young Living Essential Lavender oil.

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Fashion Design Studio

It has been a very busy week. What a joy to have some quiet time late this afternoon, to dream and create and play. I returned to the creative activity I selected a couple of days ago:

Design and sketch a piece of clothing.

I am resisting the temptation to rush ahead and draw an outfit or an article of clothing. Instead, I am taking the time to learn the process of fashion design. Oh, it is simplified, compared to the classes one would take in a college course. However, I am learning from an excellent book geared toward teenage girls or young adults. It is perfect for me and part of a very enjoyable journey. I love that these words are printed on the cover of the book:

Creative girls draw.

Yes they do!

My creative studio this evening is my bedroom. My diffuser has Young Living peppermint essential oil in it, which seems to be a great mental stimulant. The setting sun is filtering through the blinds. I am barefoot and bare legged, wearing cool and comfy clothes, in deference to the heat outside. My bed with its lightweight summer linens and fluffy pillows is serving as my desk and my chair.

In such pleasant surrounding, my imagination is free to expand and take flight.

I have started at the beginning, which is always a great place to get underway, becoming comfortable with drawing fashion figures. Before I can draw a skirt or a top or a flowing wrap, I need a form to put it on. I appreciate that this book takes the time to introduce the human body as a series of shapes and connecting lines.

I have had fun tonight, sketching these simple basic figures. I learned about proportion as I drew, and how the body is divided into segments. As I practice different poses, I see how the bones give structure to the human form, how the shoulders and hips tilt in opposite directions, and how truly wonderfully we are made.

It has been very good to spend time this evening familiarizing myself with these basics. The act of drawing is searing these important details about form into my brain. My next lesson will be to flesh out the stick figures, giving them shape through the curve of muscles.

Then I will be ready to study aspects of clothing and style and design a piece.

Did you realize that the shoulders and hips don’t tilt at the same angle, ever? I had to stand up and strike some poses to see!

My next lesson…fleshing out the basic form.

I don’t know, exactly, where this journey will lead me. I hope to a finished article of clothing, that I designed, that I can wear. Beyond that, who knows? Fashion design has long been an interest of mine. I am excited to be taking action steps instead of just dreaming about it.

The Divine has noted my dreams and my actions. The morning after my post about designing a piece of clothing, one of my Facebook notifications was about a new frame I could select for my profile picture. I laughed when I saw what it was. And then tears filled my eyes. The frame makes my profile pic look like the cover of a fashion magazine.

How amazing is that? Yes, it means Facebook is tracking my posts. But more than that, it is a wink from the Divine. It is an invitation to keep playing in this creative area. It is a Divine promise to meet me on this path, if I will keep walking, and show me how far my intentions can take me.

I am willing to keep going. How could I refuse such a playful invitation? That fashion magazine cover looks good to me. I am inspired to make it a reality.

Have fun designing your own fashions with this cool book:


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I am a huge fan of the long running British television series, Doctor Who. This show, spanning decades, is so much more than a sci-fi or fantasy series. Doctor Who stretches my mind, touches my heart, engages my imagination and broadens my beliefs while delivering consistently good episodes about humanity.

At the heart of this show is an alien from the planet Gallifrey known simply as The Doctor. He serves as a protector and defender of peoples from across the universe, although he has a particular fondness for humans. What has made the longevity of this series possible is a unique characteristic of The Doctor. Rather than dying, he regenerates, taking on a new appearance and personality when he does so. This cleverness has allowed various actors to play The Doctor over a span of more than 50 years.

At the encouragement of my grandson Dayan, I began watching the episodes dubbed as "New Who", featuring the 9th Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston). I have faithfully followed along through the regenerations of three doctors, which is tough on me! I came to love Doctors 10, 11 and 12, as portrayed by different actors. Each brought fresh perspectives and charm to the character. I was sad when each one stepped away from the show so that another could fill the role…and yet I quickly came to appreciate the new actor and the new Doctor.

It is time for the 12th Doctor, played by the wonderful Peter Capaldi, to regenerate into Doctor 13. The Christmas special in December will be Twelve's last appearance as he becomes Thirteen. During the last few months there has been a great deal of secrecy and speculation about who the new Doctor will be.

Doctors 9, 10, 11 & 12.

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor.

During the rampant speculations about Capaldi's successor, the rumors began that the next doctor could be female. This would be a first, as all the other incarnations have been male. Some felt it was time for a woman to play the lead role, rather than that of the Doctor's traveling companion. And some felt changing the Doctor's gender, even though other Time Lords have been shown to do so, should not be done. It has been a hotly debated topic.

Honestly, I had mixed feelings. I like the male actors who have played the heroic Time Lord. I was especially fond of Scottish actor David Tennant, who played the 10th Doctor. And I have grown quite fond of Capaldi's older, sassier version. I wasn't sure if a female actor could capture the essence of The Doctor as well as these fine male actors.

As the time for the reveal approached, scheduled for last Sunday afternoon, I was sure I didn't want 13 to be female. The BBC planned to release which actor was assuming the role by way of a brief video shown during Wimbledon. I found myself fervently thinking, Don't be a woman…please don't be a woman.

Actress Jodie Whittaker was selected as the 13th Doctor, amid a furor of reactions. She is a fine actress, best known for her current role in BBC's crime drama, Broadchurch. I like that series. I like Jodie. I embrace change in my own life. So why my strong reaction to this change?

I have thought about that question all week. I am still sorting through my feelings about it. This is my concise answer to a complicated assortment of realizations.

I discovered that I have an appreciation, and perhaps even a need, for a powerful male lead as a father figure. As a child of divorced parents and the resulting consequence of seeing my dad on weekends and then less and less frequently as I grew up, I have longed for that strong male presence in my life. I have been drawn to characters such as Captain Kirk in Star Trek and a whole hosts of super heroes such as Ironman and Batman for that reason. The Doctor, who comes across as very fatherly with his wisdom and deeper understanding of the universe, satisfies that need as well.

But my goodness…I am no longer a child. I stepped up into my identity years ago. I learned to fill in any self perceived gaps in the parenting I had, by becoming the mother and the father to my inner child that I wished I had had. I have understood this week that I no longer need to look outside of myself for anything that seems lacking.

And with those thoughts, my attitude about the new Doctor, about 13, completely shifted. I am excited to see what Jodie brings to the role. I am a loyal Whovian. And I accept this change, just as I ultimately have which each previous regeneration. Yeah, it is just a television show. I know that. And yeah, it is more than that as it helps me to grow and expand my awareness and see life in bigger ways.

If I needed any other persuasion on embracing the first female Doctor, I received it yesterday. I asked my granddaughter Aubrey, who is a Doctor Who fan as well, if she had heard about who the new Doctor was going to be. She had not. Aubrey's favorite Doctor is David Tennant as well, as Ten. I was curious to see her reaction to Thirteen.

Holding her on my lap, I pulled up the video on my phone that the BBC used for the reveal. I watched Aubrey, as she watched the short clip. As the 13th Doctor's eye and forehead were shown, Aubrey turned wide blue eyes to me and whispered, "Is it a girl?!" I just smiled. As Jodie removed the hood covering her head and her face was fully revealed, my granddaughter squealed with delight and yelled, "It IS a girl! The Doctor is a GIRL! She just became my new favorite Doctor."

I still tear up when I think about Aubrey's response. It means so much to her that the Doctor is at last a woman. What a strong role model Jodie is going to be, for girls and for boys…and for me. I can imagine how many little girls will be wielding sonic screw drivers and dressing as The Doctor for Halloween in the years to come. Aubrey could be among those pretending to be a Time Lady. I hope so.

Throughout the day, yesterday, Aubrey would turn shining eyes toward me and ask, "The new Doctor really is a girl?" I was proud to answer that she was. And touched to my core by Aubrey's happy grin.

Welcome to the Whoniverse, Jodie Whittaker. I am so glad you are here. Take us all to new places, in the show…and in time and space…and within our hearts.

Watch the reveal video HERE.