Intention to Forgiveness

Last month, January, I worked with the word INTENTION and the process of creating enough detail that I would recognize the answer to my prayers when the Universe responded.  But, sometimes, the appeal to the Divine for an answer needs to be loosely defined and full of emotion (energy in motion).

Now February has brought me another word, FORGIVE, along with a heart and the idea of consciously mending my broken heart.  I think that I had gotten so acclimated to carrying the sorrow around that I never really considered what it might feel like if it were mended.

When I dropped my Divine You heart it snapped into two pieces so cleanly it was as if it had broken there more than once.  I asked myself, “Is it possible my heart has broken more than once as well?”  I am sure, like many others, it has.  This process led me to ask, “Who, What, When, Where, and Why”, because I am ready to actualize FORGIVE.

I recognized that my heart had been broken at least two times in the past fifteen years; once by a betrayal and then abandonment by the closest person to me at that time.  After thirteen years of marriage I discovered that I had been led to believe a lie, a story, about his life that was not true.  Not long after that revelation, one of the few people that I could truly be myself with moved out.  I could understand the moving out, children grow up, but to go from an easy-going, loving, and close relationship to the status of acquaintance? Broken hearted.

Then the fear, that if I pressed too hard I would lose completely this blessed child of my heart, kept me from ever being as open or free around them as well as refraining from asking why or what happened, even “What did I do?”  Now, I gaze on my broken heart with its golden scar tissue and I began to pray simply yet with great emotion that Forgiveness surround us both and provide the space in which to create our relationship anew from where we both are now, but with an understanding of the causes.

I can tell you this, when the Divine answers and you have asked so generally, be ready to accept whatever shows up. I can tell you from recent experience that the truth is very rarely ever what you expect.  Now, with this gift of understanding, given to me by the one other person that I can truly be myself with, I am experiencing what it feels like when your heart mends; full of Love and Joy and Forgiveness.

Troy Ballard
 

Intention in Action - Subscriber Troy B. Shares

    For the past nine months or so I have been on a personal journey of discovery about Who Am I and Why Am I Here, in this life, in this space, at this time.  There are not unfamiliar questions for me as I have been seeking and questioning for most of my life.  I am learning to move with the ebb and flow of the creative journey that I am on as I go with Divine You on our monthly consciousness creating craft.
    A few years ago on a visit to a friend’s home I gave one of my acoustic guitars to her son, an incredibly gifted young musician/artist.  Upon arriving back to my home I believed at that time that I had left my music books with him as well.  I despaired most about the 5X7 spiral bound notebook that held the notations of all the songs I had written before I met my husband.  Before I met him I accompanied myself on guitar and wrote silly love songs simply because I so loved doing it.
    In my desire to let go attachment to things and people in my life I discover that without intention I may as well be sitting in a stagnant pond rather than camped next to the river of creative energy. As I am exploring my path to my own expression of minimalism during this letting go process, the biggest steps for me are going through the packed up boxes in storage.  Tonight I opened a box of books that I had chummed through four or five times over the past four and a half years, this time with the intention of sorting through them and only keeping those that sang in my heart.
    As I was pulling pocket books out I spied near the bottom of the box a familiar name and face; John Denver.  My folk-singing, conservationist, and absolute favorite famous person to sing along with.  I also loved to accompany myself on my guitar while singing his songs.  My eyes lit up and I started moving books into a pile just to get them out of the way.  I lovingly gathered up this John Denver songbook along with another beneath it.  Lifting them out, I was effervescent with delight.  It was only a day or so ago that I questioned whether or not my 30 year old acoustic was still serving me.  My thought just now, “this answers that question.”
    My gaze dropped to the interior of the box and lying where it had been safely sandwiched between songbooks was my little red notebook.  My body became ignited with Joy and Gratitude and I snatched the little book to my breast.  Every cell in my Being was singing with Gratitude for what was lost, now found.
    I stood for eternity and 5 minutes letting my Love go out and accepting the LOVE energy in to suffuse me in Bliss.  I am still trembling in that Joy as I write.  My intention these past few weeks has been to allow Divine Source to show me that my prayers are always being answered even if I do not recognize the form the answer shows up in.  What I have discovered on the conscious crafting creation journey is that my intended desires show up to the level of detail I add to my intention in thought, words, actions, emotions, and Care.  The more detail in the intention, the easier it is to recognize the answer to our prayers when it arrives.
    A little sidenote…..
    Last night during a phone call with my daughter I expressed a desire for 1 or 2 long-sleeved T-shirts to add to my wardrobe to make it more interchangeable.  Tonight, while I was still in my effervescent state, my mother gifted me with my first long-sleeve T-shirt in my favorite color, purple.  How’s that for intention to manifestation?!

Troy Ballard

 

Subscribers Share

We have been so blessed in this new year.  Several of you have shared your creations, your thoughts and your miracles with us.  We had noped to create a community with Divine You, and we see it happening.  We love it, we love you and we love where it is going.

From Troy B.

I just read your Divine You message - how amazing that yesterday I spent the day with myself with the December box and the January box and then to find out that in February we will be "mending a broken heart" - the combination of this crafting process, along with my own personal clearing processes has intensified both for me.

It seems that my life has moved further down my path then it could have had I not chosen to participate with Divine You.

Thank you so much!

From Ann U.

Preparations and then the holidays had kidnapped most of my time. Now I can catch up with things that I put aside. 

I loved the Treasures kit. In doing the worksheet I realized that aside from my family it is memories that I treasured most. I started to write the memories down and quickly realized that a single word would bring a memory to mind. So, in my treasure box I have words that contain my memories. In another box I have blank pieces of paper for new memories or when a forgotten occasion or person comes to mind. I like to think that someday I would take out my Treasure box and share my memories with my family and grandchild when they arrive. I also think about a time when I'm not here and someone comes across the box, they will think about their own memories as they pull a word. 

Thanks for providing a place for my treasures.

Love and Light,
Ann

PS: One of Ann's boxes is the photo for this post. :-)

Intending to Forgive

Although we are engaged in the concept of intention during the month of January, I find myself drifting already towards February, and a project all about forgiveness. I find myself feeling a profound desire, an intention to forgive fully, let go completely, and heal my spirit once and for all. Is it possible to achieve that? I don’t know, but I feel it’s time to break free of shackles and free myself as best as I can. 

At just four years old I was held down at knifepoint and brutally molested by a trusted family member, whose care I had been placed in for the day. This event remained buried inside only to come bursting forth as a release of muscle memory during a massage in my thirties, hurting and recovering from a car accident. A lot of things about me, my life, choices, and relationships became clear in that instant. This incident, and its effect on my physical, mental and spiritual health is up again now, and I am intending to let it go for good.

There is nothing I can do to take away the fact that it happened. There is no way for me to confront him because he has passed on. All I can do is reach to the other side in unconditional love. I do this not just for him, but also to set myself free, and to set the wounded little girl inside free. Reclaiming my soul, whole and strong, I intend that this event will no longer hurt me.

A couple of weeks ago we did our practice pieces for the February Mending a Broken Heart Kit. I used this incident in the process, and found it to be very helpful. We hope it will help you as well in the process of healing a past hurt and celebrating rather than hiding the scars that have made you stronger. If you are not a subscriber yet, there is still time to get in on this one.

With unconditional love,

Ann

Aging as a Work of Art

I have to admit I have been feeling a bit apprehensive about the fact that I turned 60 this year. Clearly, I have lived more years on this earth than I have left to spend, and that gives me a bit of an anxious feeling.  

So, I was excited to run across this article by Cecilia Dintino on The Huffington Post recently.

It gave me an entirely new way to frame this phase of life.  I would challenge all of you at every age to adopt this approach, as it is so much more useful, interesting, and uplifting than the ones we usually apply to a process no one gets out of alive.

Here's the start of her article.  Please follow the link to read the rest. You will be glad you did.

Happy New Life!

Karen

How to Age: Become a Work of Art

Cecilia Dintino/Dec 21, 2016

    What would you say if I asked you to consider yourself a work of art? Could you have fun with this notion? Can you get your creative juices flowing around the possibility? Or have I already lost you?

    I don't know when I decided to consider myself a work of art. Perhaps it was after years caught up in my shortcomings and flaws. Or maybe it was after years of personal therapy, and a lot of time spent recognizing my habitual thinking patterns.

    Maybe I decided to consider myself a work of art when I realized I was aging. At first, the aging process upset me. It filled me with despair and humiliation. I began to disparage myself and close off my options.

    But then I got creative. I decided to let something else emerge and, to my surprise and wonder, the creative process of aging, like any creative process, turned out to be both exhilarating and challenging.

    The problem with aging is that we get caught up in old, over-used narratives. We write scripts about our identities and potential, and then we let the scripts guide the course of our lives. We think we have life figured out, so we continuously look for the patterns that confirm the old scripts, passing by anything that may take us on a new or divergent path.

    In other words, we age without creating.

    Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir would call this "bad faith." Bad faith is when we play a role in a script without variation, without freedom. We stick so close to the script that nothing new or different can happen.

    READ ON IN THE HUFFINGTON POST

    Why Crafting is Good for Mental Health

    As we consider this time of year and all we have to do, we find we are thinking more and more about the gifts which art and craft provide to us.  We ALWAYS feel better when we make at least a little time to do something artsy or crafty.  

    Recently a friend send this article over, and we thought it would be perfect to share.  We couldn't day it any better ourselves.  Here's the article by Robin Shreeves of 

    Why Crafting is Good for Mental Health
    by Robin Shreeves

    Our senior year of college, my roommate Gayle and I waited tables until closing time at a local restaurant. We’d get back to our dorm late, physically tired but mentally wired. Our conservative school didn’t allow televisions in our dorms, so we couldn’t plop ourselves in front of one to quiet our brains.

    Instead, we took up counted cross stitching to relax. We’d sit there with needle, thread and canvas, methodically following patterns, sometimes chatting but more often in silence. Eventually our minds let go of the racing thoughts that goes with the quick turnover of tables on a weekend night, and we would be able to go to sleep.

    So, it’s not surprising to me that recent studies are finding that complex crafting is good for mental health. The repetitive mindfulness of knitting, for example, has been likened to meditation. When 3,545 knitters were surveyed online by Betsan Corkhill, a knitting therapist, more than half of those who responded said they felt “very happy” after knitting. Many of them did it specifically for relaxation and stress relief. Those who knitted more frequently reported more mental and emotional relief than those who did it less frequently.

    Is it just working with needle and thread that has these effects? No. Neuroscientists are studying other forms of creativity and finding that activities like cooking, drawing, cake decorating, photography, art, music and even doing crossword puzzles are beneficial, according to Time magazine.

    Why? One thought is that when we’re being creative, our brains release dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. Creativity that takes concentration is a non-medicinal way of getting a feel-good high.

    READ the rest on Mother Nature Network

     

    A Mindfulness Practice

    A few months ago I started taking close up pictures of plants, and posting them daily on our Instagram feed as ‘daily dose of green’.  Along the way, I started also taking pictures of flowers of all colors, fall leaves, and plants in all sorts of gorgeous hues. At first it seemed like a good way to add to our Instagram feed, but after a while I realized how much the practice meant to me- for it was becoming a practice, a way for me to be mindful, attentive, and respectful of the beauty all around me all the time.

    I don’t consider myself a very good photographer, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is the curiosity, the thought process, the wondering of just what angle will create a whimsical shot of this beautiful, twirly vine or that amazing purple flower. It makes me feel like a child again- looking with fresh eyes at things I might easily have taken for granted or walked right past. If I didn’t think to myself, “I need to shoot some pictures for January,” I might not take the time to do it. Deadlines work for me, even if they are utterly self imposed. 

    Mindfulness is a noun, and can be defined as:

    1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. 
    2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

    Creating a mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be this big thing. Find something that you love, that gives you joy, and approach it with fresh focus. Cook a meal, write a letter, draw a picture, walk and feel the breeze on your face… it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters how you do it.

    I wish you a conscious, mindful holiday season, and the gift of many beautiful moments to cherish.

    Mindfully yours,
    Ann

    ESPECIALLY When We Don't Feel Like It

    Sitting down to write when I don’t feel like it is a lot like sitting down to craft when I just don’t want to, or I don’t feel like I have the time, or the energy, or the ‘right’ mood, or whatever else my linear left brain might try to throw up as a road block to my creative expression. I have learned that every time I resist the urge to give in to apathy, or my busy life, or the martyrdom verging on sainthood I sometimes feel about taking care of everyone all the time, and commit to consciously creating even when, ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel like it, magic happens, my mood is lifted, life looks more optimistic, and I face the scary world a little more relaxed and renewed.

    Today I just don’t feel like writing, but I’m doing it anyway because I said so, and guess what- it’s making me feel better, more optimistic, more productive and positive.

    The election last week was really rough for a lot of us. We had a Conscious Craft Night scheduled for Thursday. A couple people couldn’t be there for various reasons, but for those of us who made a conscious effort and choice to come together, it was magical. The table soon became a chaotic sea of paper, glue, jewels, snacks and wine glasses as we began to create our treasure tins. At times the room was silent, each of us deep in our own creative process. There maybe wasn’t as much laughter and revelry at this particular gathering, but what we got was what we needed- a break from the relentlessly bad news. We left feeling better than we did when we arrived, and we had created amazing creations to take with us.

    I encourage you to make a commitment to your creative self. Set aside time daily, weekly, or even monthly and do it regardless of how you feel. Use whatever feelings you have and channel them into the piece you are working on! Maybe the most important piece of the puzzle is finding support. Find a friend or group of friends to craft with regularly. Subscribe together. Make a commitment to meet and craft on a regular basis, and then do it. We are starting programs to facilitate just that. Take a look at the ‘Host a Crafting Event’ page in our website. Special packages will be available soon in our online shop that will go along with that.

    In commitment to your creative practice,

    And love,

    Ann

    Special Treasures

    I went to sleep last night ruminating on the word treasure, and awoke with vivid memories of the “special treasures” that my now teenage daughter collected when she was little. My little naturalist was in love with our very natural yard, and spent many afternoons with the “ladybug friends” she would find on her late brother Jake’s memorial rose bush, chasing hummingbirds, hanging out with our two desert tortoises Rocky and Olivia, running around with our dog Honey, and collecting things.

    My girl has had a pretty good life, with comforts and possessions, but her most precious treasures have always included the rocks, shells, leaves, petals, nests, feathers and other objects that she found in our yard, or on one of our many family adventures. The act of collecting these treasures helped to connect her to those events, and she will always remember them. What are some of the treasures that connect you to your memories, loved ones and adventures? How do you tend to and honor them? Maybe take some time this week to touch them, to reconnect to them and to the memories they evoke.

    If you haven’t yet subscribed and missed our November kit, you can purchase it and other individual kits for yourself or as gifts for the holidays. Our November and December kits in particular will help you to create special mementos for treasuring and remembering the things you hold dear.

    Wishing you a holiday season full of love, light and many wonderful new memories.
    With love,
    Ann

     

     

    Treasuring Memories

    The following is a poem I wrote for my eldest son when he was two years old:

    Streaks of golden light
    Shine in hair and eyes
    A vision of butterflies
    Runs in from the sun upon sweet grass

    Child of golden light
    Shines like sun at noon
    Dreams of stars and moon
    Child of night
         Not of me and all of me
    Sleep tight
         And dream of all and none

    He is a wonderful 33 years old man now, and I have no idea where the years have flown to. I still have vivid memories about that moment; his laughter and joy, running in the morning sun as I push my infant daughter in her stroller on the way to Jazzercize class (say yay for the 80’s!)

    The word for the month of November is treasure, and I find myself immersed in the question, “What do I treasure?”  The answer always come back to my family, particularly my beautiful children and grandchildren, and the time we spend together. I am happy that I have raised kids who would prefer to have a fun family outing to receiving a new possession as holiday gifts: at trip to Disneyland, a play at the Pantages, a concert, dinner and a movie, or simply a wonderful game night with my legendary Velvet Butter Chicken.

    Conversely, I am finding that I treasure my alone time more every day. I am enjoying my own company, and even allowing myself to have adventures on my own. I was a young mom, and like many of you I have devoted my life to taking care of others. I treasure moments of independence, free to move at my own pace, unencumbered. 

    As I get older I find that creating fantastic memories becomes ever more important. For me at this point, memory is everything. I try to let go and enjoy the moment fully, knowing how much I will cherish and treasure those memories forever.


    Wishing you memories to treasure,
    With love,
    Ann