To be honest, I haven't always been good about entering my schedule in a daily planner. I'll go a few weeks or a few months, and make those entries, and then stop. I just don't feel inspired. I find that my imagination needs tickling, and traditional daily planners are too linear. I don't feel they give me permission to contemplate as much as to keep on doing for doings sake.
I eventually realized that what I needed was something more like a journal. But I'm afraid of those silk covered journals. I've had one before, and I'm more tempted to put a beautiful poem in there than my extraneous thoughts. Thoughts can be beautiful, but they can also be full of mud, so I prefer a journal that's functional to one that's overly pretty.
If I don't have time to think about what's going on in my life, I feel lost. I want to follow the movements of the moon, collect inspirational quotes, do some pencil drawings, and ponder. I need to contemplate not so much what needs to be done but what has transpired, and how can I learn from it.
It wasn't until I found a journal that would accommodate my spiritual self that I started to be more consistent in my journal writing. I've written in a journal now for almost five years. I'll record symbols, spiritual insights, life events, and many other life treasures. The journal that has inspired me and helped me maintain a regular journal writing practice is:
The Sacred Journey: Daily Journal for Your Soul
created by Cheryl Thiele
Timing is cyclic, ever moving and changing, redirecting us from moment to moment. I'm not so concerned with keeping time as letting time coax me into new ways of being.
P.S. I do have a daily planner on my computer that I use, but it's not as cozy and artsy as the one I write in by hand.
Books that call for a metamorphosis
Spiritual Politics: Changing The World From The Inside Out
By Corinne Mclaughlin
This is one of the symbol books in my collection that stands on its own. It's the first book I've run across to take on the admirable task of examining political events truthfully from what it reveals about the human condition and our spiritual trajectory. Dream books examine our internal world on an individual level. This book looks at national and global events as a cultural mythology that's playing out. Several chapters that are particularly thought provoking are “The Symbolism and Significance of World Events” and “The World Is Our Mirror: The Emotional and Etheric Causes of World Events.” The bigger the event, the more it has a global message. I wonder what the authors would say about the Tsumanis in Asia and the Hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast? Are our internal motivations as a global family and underlying emotional states infested with hatred and greed, thus the waters (emotions) of the world are stirred up and violent, and may be mirroring habits of aggression?
The Still Point Dhammapada: Living The Buddha's Essential Teachings
By Geri Larkin
Geri Larkin has a great sense of humor. I had read a few of her other books, Stumbling Towards Enlightenment and Tap Dancing in Zen before I picked this one up. She is the Guiding Teacher at the Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple in Detroit. She has written her own contemporary version of the Dhammapada, a sacred Buddhist text. Each section of the Dhammapada is accompanied by real life stories about the people in the Still Point sangha. They are human stories with a touch of humor that illustrate each verse of this text. A quote from her version of the Dhammapada:
"Even as rain penetrates a poorly roofed house
so does lust
for things, people, and experiences
penetrate an untrained mind.
But rain cannot penetrate
a well-roofed house,
and desire cannot penetrate
a well-trained mind."
Each verse is a guide for internal equilibrium, an inner sanctity that gives peace, quietude and inner balance. Rain can suggest the running waters of our mind, emotions gone amuck, that can exert an insatiable control over us. Tame these waters by centering the mind, and you'll have a calm sea within that isn't vulnerable to external distractions. This book guides me ever so sweetly, and sometimes firmly, holding a special place on my altar.
Walking A Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool
By Dr. Lauren Artress
I walked the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in the 90s and at the St. John's Episcopal Church on the outskirts of Keokea, Maui a few years ago. This book gave me an orientation on what to expect from this mystical walk. Going on a pilgrimage to a spiritual destination used to involve a long journey, sometimes of many months, a journey by foot. Now you can go to your local church for a labyrinth walk -- an urban pilgrimage. Many churches have added labyrinths to their grounds. There is a sacred geometry in labyrinths that facilitates a shift in awareness and consciousness. Labyrinths are womb-like; you walk to the center - unfolding, removing layer upon layer -- and you come out reborn. We can read sacred scripture and listen to a sermon, but we really crave a mystical experience, a feeling of union with the Divine. Walking the Labyrinth is going on a walk with your Divine Mother - the scriptures are not read to you, the scriptures move through you. Dr. Artress introduces you to the process of walking the labyrinth, a transformation tool, and she bathes you with her words of wisdom. I found myself underlining and highlighting many of the lines in her book when I read it.
Thought for the day
"I have realized that spiritual hunger has three major facets: We need healing. We long to be co-creators with Divine forces. We seek self-knowledge."
- Dr. Lauren Artress
Forum Announcement: From Bulletin board to Yahoo Group
Would you like the opportunity to discuss spiritual topics with other like-minded people? Check out the New Vision Forum. I invite you to join us. Recent topics have been about dreams, reading omens, and eclipses.
The New Vision Forum that I announced in the last newsletter was introduced in a bulletin board format. That format encourages individual posts that are stored for a long time. It's like reading a post on an actual bulletin board, a relaying of an announcement. As I've been experimenting with it further, I realize that the bulletin board format is not as conversational and interactive as I'd like.
I really wanted the discussions and conversations on the intuition, spirituality, and personal growth to be more free-flowing, however. For that reason, I've decided to change it from a bulletin board to an email discussion forum through Yahoo groups. This will allow for more fluid conversation.
To join the New Vision Intuition yahoo group go to:
If you don't already have a yahoo group user account, all you need to do is register with a user name and password. If you have any problems with registration, just send me an email (email@example.com), and I'll help you get started.
Develop your intuitive skills more deeply.
Intuition Training Program with Michele Anderson
Intuition Exercise: Journal Writing
When you work with your intuition, you are beginning a relationship with your inner self. Like any relationship, you are familiarizing yourself with dialogue, in this case, inner dialogue. The intuition asks us to listen first and foremost. How can we listen when a million conversations are going on inside us? Journaling filters through extra thought processes, so we can find the intuition in our inner voice.
1. Journals help you stay awake
It's easy to fall asleep while you are awake. How many times have you had a “senior moment” when you've forgotten what you were just doing or where you were going? A life isn't just to be lived, it's worth remembering how you are living it. Did you find that your journal talked endlessly about your work endeavors, so much so that you realized you haven't spent any time with your family for a whole year! You may realize you had disconnected from your family life. Journals don't lie. They reveal patterns in your life, which is food for the intuition.
2. Journals are in-house psychologists
You can't run from yourself if you've written in your journal that you've been in a foul mood for a few days, no a whole week. Yes, I even record my moods. I often find some interesting parallels between changes in my mood and other aspects of my life. My journal counsels and alerts me to internal shifts. Your intuition works for you when you can count on your own inner guidance.
3. Journals are alchemical, turning life's challenges into gold
Journal writing is a community-held revival meeting with all your inner selves. If you're going through a divorce and changing your career at the same time, all these aspects of yourself can meet in the pages of your journal. They can discuss, plan, argue, inform, chant, rant, and rave. They can vote, hope, adopt new regulations. Your journal is a prime meeting and resting place for life's many struggles. By writing it down, you access the ability to rewrite life situations injecting hope where there was none, empowerment where there was disillusionment, and action where there was just reaction.
4. Journals allow; you don't have to explain yourself, just be yourself
We learn self ridicule from many facets of our life: our institutions, our government, and our family life. Journaling peels off that encrusted skin, that outer shell, leaving room for a tender underside that's open and pliable. You can stick out in your own journal: your anger, your foolishness, your weird fixations are welcome there. The outside world will not condone our wild nature, but our journal will take it all in stride. To receive the guidance of the intuition, the first rule is a generous amount of self-acceptance.
Needing inspiration and life direction?
Call me and I'd be happy to set up a reading with you.