Enchanted Birthday

Today is my birthday, the 61st anniversary of my birth. Perhaps because it occurs so close to the beginning of the year, my birthday is always an opportunity to reflect. I think on personal accomplishments and areas of growth, and also evaluate how far I traveled on the journey since my last birthday. I’m prone to casting forward as well, dreaming of what may become reality and setting wild intentions free to go before me.

Join me in the highlights of an enchanted birthday.

Enchanted Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me

This day has been full of greetings, texts, messages and social media posts…and included a cup of hot tea with a friend. I’m grateful for each message and I’m thankful for the senders. I know how busy the days are, for everyone. For people to take a few moments to send a Happy Birthday wish warms my heart. It is my custom to take a few moments in return, and personally thank each person. I send out waves of joyful energy, with the thank yous.

Enchanted BirthdayThis clever birthday greeting, from my friend Grace, incorporated my symbol for 2019, the Queen chess piece.

Enchanted BirthdayThe perfect shirt for today, made by MiliLou Styles, features the Queen chess piece and the words, “Queen of My Kingdom”.

Enchanted Birthday

In keeping with my theme for the year, Enchantment, I was very mindful today of the magical qualities in life. Singer Mark Donnelly says,

“The enchanted day is only enchanted if we ourselves believe that anything is possible.”

I believe! Anything IS possible, especially on birthdays, right? I appreciate my friend, Garen, who met me for a birthday tea this morning. He is an amazing listener who encouraged me to dream out loud during our time together, and weave magic. Possibilities are what we talked about and that chat fueled my energy this afternoon as I worked on writing and upgrading my blogs. Momentum is building in that area of my life and I am enjoying the surge of activity and the foundation I am building for future projects.

Enchanted BirthdayGreg surprised me with birthday candles in a Veggie Roll from Han, the Sushi Man!

Aging Versus Growing Older

While I’ve been re-reading The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life, by Thomas Moore, Greg has been reading through another of his books, Ageless Soul. This book is next on my reading list.

A quote that Greg shared recently seems appropriate for today:

“Aging is an activity. It is something you do, not something that happens. When you age…active verb…you are proactive. If you really age, you become a better person. If you simply grow old, passively, you get worse. Chances are, you will be unhappy as you continue the fruitless fight against time.”

Moore goes on to say that aging makes us more of a person, more who we are supposed to be. The soul gets to peek out more and more, as life unfolds and we journey along. if we allow experiences to make us richer, more interesting.

I love the idea of aging, as proactive, rather than resisting the process and becoming old. Aging is beautiful. It is the soul growing and expanding and gathering wisdom. Young people can have aged souls. And adults may not have aged much at all, appearing to be stuck in immaturity. The difference is allowing life lessons to teach us and move us to a higher plane.

I am aging. My soul continues to expand and gather wisdom. On this day, my Enchanted Birthday, my desire is to keep learning and growing and keep trying new experiences. Another birthday, another milestone in aging, helps me to decide what’s important to focus on right now…and what can be let go. There are so many good things in my life to focus on and enjoy.

Happy Enchanted Birthday, Happy Aging, to me.

Enchanted Birthday

You can find Ageless Soul and The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life in my Amazon Storefront.


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Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

This morning a quote I saved five years ago popped up in my memories on Facebook.

Connect with those who remind you who you are. Ralph Smart

The words felt like an important reminder, on several interconnected levels. I saved the quote by taking a photo of it.

What I didn’t realize is that the quote was a nudge in a particular direction, a path that began to unfold. They might even be classified as a command.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

Remember Who You Are

In most of my favorite stories, a key part of the main character’s journey is remembering who he or she is. Often there are struggles, challenges and disappointments that serve to awaken the hero or heroine of the story.

As he or she awakens, another vital character steps forward and asks, “Who are you?” Or a statement may be uttered instead. “Remember who you are.”

I love those transformational stories, where people become who they are created to be. I love even more that our journeys evolve in the same way. Something alarming or achingly beautiful awakens us. As we become fully awake, fully aware, we begin the ongoing journey of remembering who we are.

I’m awake. I’ve remembered who I am. My journey now is about living fully as me. I keep my little mascot Absolem on my writing table. He’s the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, who asks me daily, “Who are you?” Absolem and the framed art piece next to his mushroom are wonderful visuals that remind me, daily, of who I am.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

Thomas Moore

I’ve been re-reading The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore. His charming book is providing a foundation for next year.

Greg is reading another Thomas Moore book, Ageless Soul. As we ate lunch Greg asked if he could read a portion of the book aloud to me. He added that the words reminded him of me.

I often travel to Ireland by myself now, and I know I’m looking for and experiencing something important and quite deep for me. When I’m there, I often just walk the streets of Dublin, taking in all the sights that by now are very familiar to me. I seem to be looking for lost parts of myself, and I wish I had even closer ties to Ireland. I wish my grandparents, instead of my great grandparents, had been born there so I could now be an Irish citizen. What is that wish, except some desire to be more closely connected to that important part of my identity? I’m looking for a past, perhaps a lost sense of myself, which seems essential. Thomas Moore

I so identify with Thomas’ words. The way he feels about Ireland and the city of Dublin is how I feel about Scotland, and Edinburgh. I too just want to walk the streets of my favorite city. I want to know Edinburgh at a deep and intimate level. Which is a way of saying I want to know myself in a deep and intimate way. Something essential about myself waits for me in Scotland. I’ll be back there next summer, to discover more about what it is.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

Connecting With Thomas Moore

I realized that the words Greg read and the quote I saved this morning are both pieces of a larger picture. Thomas Moore, through his books, reminds me who I am. He’s one of my “people”, that I want to stay connected to.

My thoughts from there took a big leap.

Every person…author, actor, speaker…that I’ve felt strongly about meeting, I’ve met. I put the intention out there, and in beautiful and often mysterious ways, the universe rearranges itself and the opportunity is offered. We meet. There are a few dear souls who are already gone from this world that I would love to chat with. I have to content myself with a soul connection that is known on a different plane.

However, Thomas Moore is alive and well and he is a kindred spirit. The nudges and soul taps today have raised my awareness about possibly connecting with this inspiring author, this man who reminds me who I am. The intention to connect…and it does not have to be a face to face meeting…is released now into the world and the universe. I let go of the outcome. Dream Giver…I give this desire to you.

Thomas Moore…let’s connect and talk about enchantment, Ireland and Scotland.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

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Journey 95: An Eclectic Meandering Path

day of reading

Today was Easter Sunday, and a cool, rainy one at that. It was the perfect opportunity for a day of reflecting on Life and Joy, feeling gratitude for the One who defeated death and tore the veil in two, and spending time reading in a wide variety of books. With various cats nestled in my lap throughout the day, and both iced and hot tea at my side, I had a sweet time of rest.

In keeping with the laid back day, I am writing a simple blog tonight, sharing a quote from each of the seven books that I read in today. I am a multiple book reader, preferring to have several books going at the same time. Rather than finding that practice distracting I find that the themes in the books often flow together in unique and amazing ways, often meshing together to highlight a message through repetition or combining to elevate my awareness. I normally grab the book that I feel drawn to in that moment, so it was a special treat to have time to read in seven.  I continued in five books that I had already begun to read, and started two new books today. Five are non-fiction while two are fictional tales.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon Book 2 in the Outlander Series

I’m loving this series set in Scotland and France during the 1700’s. As I read in this book, I begin to speak with a Scottish accent…in my head! In this quote, Claire is explaining to the head of the local hospital why her husband allows her to volunteer. It made me smile.

“’So, you are not only a milady, you are with child, but your husband does not object to you coming here? He must be a most unusual man.

‘Well, he’s Scottish,’ I said, by way of explanation, not wanting to go into the subject of my husband’s objections.’

‘Oh Scottish,’ Mother Hildegarde nodded understandingly. ‘Just so.’”

Trowel & Error: 700 Shortcuts, Tips & Remedies for the Gardener by Sharon Lovejoy

A great find at Cracker Barrel, this book is full of wonderful advice for gardeners and home spun remedies for creating and maintaining a healthy, vibrant garden.

“Go outside today (pajamas permitted) and visit with your plants. Just a few minutes of this quiet time of reflection and inspection can change the way you look at and tend your garden. You will begin to discover not only problems, but also the small miracles (often overlooked) quietly unfurling, blooming and hatching everywhere around you. Cultivate wonder in your garden, and expect the unexpected.”

Love from Heaven by Lorna Byrne

I have had my awareness raised and my eyes opened concerning the presence of angels as God’s messengers of hope and love to mankind, as shared by this precious woman from Ireland. This is the fourth book that I have read of hers and I am touched each time by her messages.

“When we allow ourselves to love life we get energized mentally and physically, and start to see more purpose in our lives. We become happier and healthier people, more able to cope with whatever life throws at us. We become more compassionate and loving, less judgmental.”

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I have read a couple of non-fiction works by Liz. This is my first novel by the author of Eat, Pray, Love. I’m enjoying this story about a young woman who is a botanist. In this passage, 16 year old Alma has been assigned the task of organizing the estate’s library.

“She was also physically strong enough to carry about the heavy crates and boxes. Too the weather was so poor in 1816 that there was little pleasure to be found outdoors, and not much benefit to be gained by working in the garden. Happily, Alma came to consider her library work as a kind of indoor gardening, with all the attendant satisfactions of muscular labor and beautiful unfoldings.”

Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels

I have enjoyed following Melissa’s blog, The Inspired Room, and looked forward to digging into her first book, which just released. It offers simple ways to embrace your style, get organized and delight in where you are.

“Home is right where you are. As for those dreams you have about what a home should look like? They can come alive wherever you are, in any size, shape or style of house, with all its limitations and frustrations, once you embrace who you really are, what you love, and your own authentic style at home.”

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Life-changing Lessons from Heaven by Theresa Caputo

Yes, this is THAT Theresa Caputo, also known as The Long Island Medium. I have attended two of her live events and I am blessed by her ability to share messages from Spirit with those who are grieving or lost in their journeys. This is the second book of hers that I have read. The chapter I read today was titled, Nobody Wins the Blame Game.

“Address a situation and move forward without being defensive or slinging blame. You can make every excuse in the world, but how will you make things better?”

A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World by Thomas Moore

I so appreciated Moore’s book, The Re-Enchantment of Every Day Life, that I moved on to this book of his when I completed it. I am not fond of the word “religion”, preferring the word “spiritual”, however, I like this quote:

“Religion is our creative and concrete response to the mysteries that permeate our lives.

When you are religious in a deep way, you sense the sacred in things, a faint and mysterious pulse. Both in the world and in yourself you catch sight of the numinous, a hint of something more than human. In developing a religion of one’s own, it’s important to cultivate an eye for the numinous, a sacred light within things or an aura around them, the feeling that there is more to the world than what meets the eye.”

What a beautiful and a restorative time of reading. The interwoven themes today centered around being who I am and doing what I love, which includes all things Scottish, gardening and puttering around my home, and letting go of what doesn’t serve me on my journey. Thomas Moore says reading is a spiritual practice. I agree. I had the privilege and joy of practicing much spirituality today.

day of reading with cats

Angel’s turn to curl up with me


Journey 47: Snow Day


Because of sleet and snow overnight, Joplin and the surrounding area had its first snow day of the season. That meant I stayed home, cozy in my “comfy” clothes and warm fuzzy socks.

With blinds on the windows open, I sipped hot Scottish tea and enjoyed watching huge snowflakes float by, spun by blasts of cold air as they drifted toward the ground. So beautiful, nature’s show, especially when I can watch from the comfort of my chair, snuggled beneath a thick blanket. It presented the perfect opportunity to read. I spent time in Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver and The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore. Both books speak deeply to my soul.

And both books inspired me for my afternoon activity, cleaning out my old desk that’s been in my office for years. I am transforming my home office into a writing/reading/meditation room. Stuff has accumulated in there over the years. I am very sensitive to energy and its flow, and yet I’ve let my office get choked with clutter and items I no longer use. There’s even a litter box for the cats in there. What not so subtle message is THAT sending out? I barely even use this space right now. That’s about to change.

As my life is shifting, I desire to create a fresh space that inspires and invigorates me. I started today by clearing the surface and emptying three drawers in my big desk. A trash bag filled as I threw away scraps of paper, broken calculators and useless ink pens. I found 27 keys in a drawer and hundreds of paper clips! I saved files with genealogy papers, drawings from my kids and mementos from a family vacation. I’ll replace the desk with a beautiful writing table that I purchased. The table feels more open and sparks my creativity.

From the desk I’ll move clockwise around the room, sorting items into three piles: DISCARD (junk, broken items, old files, things too worn to benefit another) DONATE (items that no longer inspire me, draw me, or serve me) and KEEP (anything that still inspires me or brings me joy…or that I need for real estate or writing). I’m going to be ruthless here. If I haven’t opened a book in years, it’s getting donated. If I’m not sure what lurks in a drawer, it all gets pulled out and sorted into the above mentioned piles. I know from experience that once my space is decluttered and cleared of old energy, new energy flows through the room, and my creativity flows with it. It is vital to me that my environment supports me and becomes an extension of me. I’m excited to clear away the cobwebs, both literally and energetically, and enjoy the beautiful new space I am creating.

Thomas Moore writes, “Home is an emotional state, a place in the imagination where feelings of security, belonging, placement, family, protection, memory and personal history abide.” This room, and indeed, my whole house, is shifting to reflect my state of being. And by letting go of what I don’t need or use, I’m creating space to welcome in new things, allowing what I do need to arrive. In the last chapter that I read this morning, in Outrageous Openness, Tosha Silver wrote about this very thing…cleaning out the home, cars, even purses and wallets so that spiritual work can deeply penetrate once the clutter is gone. She says, “You don’t have to release anything you use, love or need. Just the rest of it. Your intuition will show you.”

I am letting the Divine and my intuition nudge me and guide me. The last file I pulled out of the bottom drawer of the desk contained stories I had written, back in 1992. Rather than toss them, I read through one, slowly and thoughtfully, with an eye toward criticism. And you know what? It is well written. Very well written. I placed the file into the KEEP box, feeling encouraged. I am returning to an earlier love. It is time. And my space is shifting to support me.


Day 362: Soul Care Sunday

soul care quote

It is with wonderment and amazement that I recognized today that my year of firsts ends in three days. On day 365 I’ll recap the year and share more about what this year has opened up for me and what I have learned. Today, I spent time thinking about 2015 and how that year is shaping up. As I was thinking about a new vision board, new word and theme, a symbol and a song, I decided to make a list of the things that I hope to incorporate into my life next year, for my first today, and share it.

Here’s my list:

  1. Engage life at a soul level, discovering and embracing that which deeply stirs my soul and brings soulfulness to me.

That’s it. That one sentence, I realized, includes it all. In my relationships, work, interactions, hobbies, home, family, fun times, meditations, solitude and creativity, I desire soulfulness. If my soul is being stirred, that’s my signal that I’m on the right path.

Thomas Moore defines soul as “not a thing but a quality or a dimension of experiencing life and ourselves. It has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart and personal substance.” My journey these past few years has allowed me to go inward and become acquainted with my soul, chipping away the fears and the limiting beliefs and the false selves that molded themselves around other people’s expectations. Those things that choked my soul loosened and fell away and the real me began to emerge, shining brighter, expanding beyond the confining space of playing small. There is a depth there yet to explore, an expansiveness that I occasionally get glimpses of.

My desire is that next year, as I journey, my soul will be my guide….that spiritual, connected, intuitive self that knows and understands beyond what my mind can comprehend. And so, with a few days left in this year, I am shining the light of soulfulness on all areas of my life. It is time to release some things, give away stuff, rearrange, simplify, and allow. My home office is the first room in my house that will undergo transformation, even as the area of my life that it represents is shifting. I am excited!

I declared today Soul Care Sunday. What a perfect day for reflection, rest, and connecting and for feeding my soul. I had no time schedule, no need to do anything beyond what the moment and my soul offered. I enjoyed awaking slowly, reading, making plans around an event in January, visiting my mom and having a very soulful conversation with Greg. I sun gazed. This is a practice of closing my eyes and lifting my face to the sun as it streams rays of golden light through my window and across my chair. For 10 minutes or so, I relaxed  the muscles in my face and my body and enjoyed the warmth and the light. Red, orange and yellow colors swirled behind my eyelids and for a few moments, I meditated and breathed and was still. And then the sunbeams moved on and so did I. In the past 10 days I have only enjoyed sun gazing twice, due to heavily overcast days. This afternoon, it was a real treat and very soulful.

This evening, as I blog, candles are lit throughout the house, 81 of them in total. This Sunday evening ritual, during the Christmas season, brings peace and quiet joy to me, the light of each flame calling to the light within me. It is such a gentle and beautiful way to close the day and conclude the weekend. I believe I will continue the lighting of the candles, even after the Christmas decorations are packed away, using whatever candles and holders are on display.

Reading today in Thomas Moore’s book, titled The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, my soul responded to the call of creating spaces of enchantment and beauty, sanctuary and peace. These will be vital elements of my journey in 2015 and it was confirmed to me once again that “journey” is, indeed, my word for the new year. Moore says, “The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thoughts.” I can so easily substitute the word journeys for excursions. The daily journeys into soulfulness, into enchantment, into curiosity, promise to be so sustaining to my soul. Let the new adventure begin….

Scotland Trip 011e

“The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.”   Thomas Moore

(picture is my own, of the Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow, Scotland 2014)

Day 214: Open to Receive Day

I-am-open-to-recieve e

This morning, as I sat in the garden, I considered what I might do for my first today. I had several options. As I enjoyed the sights and scents around me, an idea came to me. A simple idea. Stay open all day to receiving. I turned the idea over in my mind and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I didn’t ask for anything or expect any particular gift. I decided to stay in the attitude of openness and be aware of all the blessings that I received.

Once that decision was made, my awareness shifted immediately. The first gift I received was the beauty of my surroundings. I rose from my chair and slowly walked along the pathway that winds through my garden. I stopped to touch several plants, and admire how they give so freely of who they are. Their fragrances wafted about me. They didn’t give to me because I asked anything from them. In their being, they offered, and in my state of being receptive, I accepted.

The cats joined me in the garden and I was the recipient of their love and affection. I laughed as they wound around my legs, vying for my attention and purring as I scratched behind their ears. Back in the house, as I prepared to head to the office, I drew a random card from my homemade deck of affirmations. I draw a card every morning, from the 100 quotes and sayings I’ve written down. This morning I drew the card that reads, “I am willing to surrender”. How appropriate for today. In allowing myself to be open to receive, without expectation, I could surrender the need to know how I would be blessed this day. I surrendered worry that I wouldn’t receive anything. How could that happen? So many good things had shown up already. I surrendered planning out how the day could go so that I might receive more easily. I simply surrendered….and fully opened to allowing.

The day was lovely. A few of the blessings I received today included a large yellow and black butterfly that fluttered around me as I walked to daughter Adriel’s house, her loan of a very nice camera for my trip, visitors to my garden who got to view it for the first time, and offers on properties. I engaged in great conversations today and learned from watching author and speaker Thomas Moore on YouTube as he spoke of art and dreams. He shared about the healing properties of the color blue, which is my favorite color, and I smiled as I looked down at my long blue T-shirt dress that I wear around the house.

Via email I received an invitation to write articles about my trip to Scotland to include in the Clan Maitland publication. I was also given information about visiting the burial site of many of my Scottish ancestors and was told how to “open doors” on my journey. A friend blessed me with her email also, and the amazing energy from her words could not be contained as it flowed over me. I will carry her well wishes with me as I travel. Another friend surprised and inspired me with a text full of pictures from her own lovely flower gardens.

This evening I received greetings and kisses from my grandchildren Aubrey, Oliver and Joey and warm hugs from Nate and Megan. For a couple of hours I was blessed with seeing the world anew through the eyes of those precious children as we walked to the cul-de-sac, or rather they outpaced me on their scooters while I trailed behind. Holding their small hands and hearing their stories blessed me so much.

Songs on shuffle on my iPhone touched me, grace surrounded me and total strangers gave me the gift of their smiles and kind words. Abundance comes in many forms, and today, I was on the receiving end of joy, beauty, kindness, love, family, friends, great clients, affection, opportunity and well wishes. I am grateful for my “Open to Receive” Day and all that flowed to me. I am blessed, indeed.

Cindy is open and ready to receive e