As promised, I've updated my manifesto for the eclipse and the months ahead. I'll review it again in about 6 months - either my birthday or the new year. I hope you'll all be inspired to create your own, personal manifesto!
Working with young people in schools and women in the prison system reinforced those lessons. After my first session with a group of seventh grade students, I hurried into the prinicpal's office to thank her for the opportunity to work with them and rave about how talented and delighful they were. "How did you decide who would be in my class," I asked. "They are such a great group of students."
She literally took two steps back. "They are the worst kids in the school." I left her office wondering which of us was more stunned.
The following week I asked the students how they had been chosen to be in my class. They reinforced the principal's statement. One girl seemed amused that I didn't know. She said they let me think the best of them instead of the worst. Treating them with respect and making it clear that I expected the best from them had been a winning situation for me as well as the students. There were no limits based on false expectations, and the young people continued to surprise and delight me with their talents, insights and creative potential.
It was the same in the prison. We didn't ask why the women were incarcerated. The less we knew, the better. Many had been labeled and expected to do poorly all of their lives. The women I met were intelligent, creative, kind and spiritual. Their paths often led them in the wrong direction because of a "go along to get along' attitude. They didn't have enough self esteem to refuse to participate in activities that could get them into trouble. And once incarcerated, their labels, and the labels from others, stuck, whether they were true or not. The white dead nettle, as does everything in nature, has lessons to teach.
Turtles are one of my totems. They have been significant twice in my life, both having to do with homes. When we purchased our 1820s farm house years - decades - ago, we made an offer equal to that of another couple who wanted to purchase the home. The owners accepted our offer because our girls had mentioned how much they loved turtles!
In April of 2011, when my home was flooded, I was planning to rebuild, and in the process waiting to move some place permanently. Dear friends came to the rescue, not just for me but for Zippy, my Puggle, and Rocky, my Main Coon cat. I will be eternally grateful! Rebuilding didn't work out and I eventually moved to Baltimore and lived in an apartment for several years until I purchased a home.
During that time, it seemed that turtles were everywhere - on walks in the woods or by the river, in the park, in cards and designs, on jewelry. They reminded me that I had everything I needed and I should go slowly and not rush into anything.
Today's treasure is an exquisite turtle pottery box from my dear friend Nancy. It reminds me of my journey and helps me remember the things I really need are on my back and in my heart. It also reminds me not to rush. The universe unfolds its miracles at the perfect time, and they are always much more miraculous than I could have imagined! Thank you Nancy!
The advent of autumn simultaneously warms my heart and brings an onset of nostalgia. Throw in a new moon, and the day is ripe with new beginnings and new possibilities, reminiscent of my grandmother's reverence for the cycles of the moon. No, she didn't consult zodiac signs and horoscopes, but she farmed seventy-four acres in Indiana, and sowed, reaped and harvested with the moon in mind.
She taught me to pay attention to the phases of the moon, to honor the cycles of nature and to consider the impact of their power. I am a believer. I've seen the cycles of the moon in action. When I volunteered in the prison, we all took a deep breath and gathered our courage during the full moon. We knew it would bring different behaviors. This is not my imagination. Police departments and hospitals have long documented the increase in crime and emergency room admissions when the moon is full.
The new moon's power is more subtle and often considered less potent, but I'm not convinced. The force it holds for new beginning is a positive power to be revered. Maybe it is simply a matter of the gift of opportunity, of a new beginning.
Each day is a miracle. Today I was reminded of this, as I am almost daily, by a friend reflecting on her weekend filled with concerns about a family member's health problems, and the the death of a dear friend in his seventies. Life is fragile.
My dad died in his early 40s and from that time on, I've been aware of the value of each day. I know life can end as quickly as a star can fall from heaven. For awhile, it seemed I had a reprieve. Very few people in my life died for decades. And then the pendulum swung. The death of loved ones increased, and my appreciation for life increases simultaneously.
Today's treasure is a new moon, the autumn equinox and the arrival of Libra. The air is crisp and cool, the moon is encouraging us to begin new endeavors, thought processes and leaps of faith and Libra brings balance, reflection and celebration.
This is the first day Mabon, the harvest festival, in the northern hemisphere. It is a time to harvest and to reap what we sow. Mabon is a time of rest, reflection and assessment. This is a time to celebrate your successes, consider which projects and endeavors were beneficial, and which can be replaced and set aside. Be gentle with yourself as you review and assess. Nature is here to support and lift you up, encouraging and empowering you to be the very best you can be. There is magic in the air!
Baseball season and summer days remind me of the may fly! There were frequently clouds of mayflies at the Senator's games in Harrisburg. I've been told this is a rather glamorized version of the insect but I call it like I see it!
The may fly lives less than 24 hours as an adult, some for only a few minutes.
Life's short! Sparkle!
Lessons from the Mayfly
Transformation while in Motion
The Mayfly reminds us that life is fleeting and precious
and we should live it to the fullest. Embrace adventures
and new opportunities while you grow and transform!
The dragonfly is from a series of insect paintings -
I've always been fascinated with their iridescent colors and intricate patterns.
Lessons from the Dragonfly
The intense colors of the dragonfly brighten as they mature.
He reminds us to pay attention to our deepest desires,
never stop dreaming and remember that some of the
most wonderful dreams come true later in life.
Remain flexible and be ready to turn and change directions
at a moment’s notice in order to fulfill your dreams.
"To see a world in a grain of sand
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
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