Agreeing with Proust: Having New Eyes


At first glance, a charming thought. But then I realized no one “makes” me happy. I am the charming gardener of my own life, & so I shall send this card to myself!

On Day 1 of the Blogalong, I was “Arguing with Proust,”  a French author who lived quite a long time ago (1871 – 1922) and apparently responsible for this rather innocuous, but to my mind extremely outdated, quote featured on a contemporary thank you card.  After purchasing the card for a friend, I started thinking about the quote and it really annoyed me.  (Isn’t annoyance grrrrr8 inspiration for an energetic blog rant!).

Today, however, when I was cruising through my “Quotes useful for Nature Wisdom Journey” folder looking for inspiration for a blog less subjective than a number of my preceding posts, I found this delightfully relevant quote from Marcel Proust himself:

“The real voyage lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”
~ Marcel Proust

I can get behind this quote!  It speaks of a voyage—a journey of discovery, and of how to get to the desired destination—which is a new way of seeing (or, I might add, thinking).  With new ways of perceiving, we find treasures hidden in unexpected places.  We also notice things that need changing, after tolerating them for such a long time (my clutter comes to mind).  My coach has helped me find—and transform–subconscious beliefs that really hadn’t served me well for a very long time (or perhaps ever!), and I am excited by the prospect of helping others in that way.

To go on a journey to new inner landscapes can be as exciting as a voyage of exploration in the physical world. We can access our subconscious mind via hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming techniques (NLP).  Or we can go on shamanic journeys to access intuitive knowing in wonderfully playful ways.  I call my shamanic world Shamalandia, and each journey is interesting, amazing, playful, insightful in its own unique way.

Another technique to invoke inspiration and find answers and content is to invoke our Muse to access our creativity for art or writing.  I have found that if I write my question for my Muse, then switch the pen to my non-dominant hand I can “download” Her answer.  It often seems that my Muse and my shamanic Guides tell me things I already know, but their choice of what to say is helpful, and they often surprise me, especially if I use divination cards before going into trance.

Complete photo collection as of 23.5.2013 048

Shrine to my Muse, GaiaLunaBrighid

Do you have a Muse?  Do you know her name?  Have you made a portrait or image of her?  How do you invoke her?  (If you haven’t become conscious of, or created, your Muse, would you be interested in doing so?)

Do you travel the shamanic realms with your Guides?  Would you be interested in learning how?

Have you worked on transforming your outdated subconscious beliefs?  Would you be interested in doing so with a guide who is further along that path and eager to extend a helping hand?

As you can see, with today’s questions I am seeking expressions of interest in the programs and courses I am currently developing.  ARTbundance coaching is already available (sign up while it’s still offered by “spirit-guided donation!), and I will take an NLP intensive in the Fall to deepen my coaching skills.

By whatever means you choose, “Goddess speed” on your personal journey!  May you find “new eyes” to discover the magic of your inner realms, where your inner wisdom awaits.

Bon Voyage!


Fearlessly Traveling Light[er]

Tonight is the Dark[est]Moon, and tomorrow morning the New[est]Moon, so tonight is an auspicious time to do ceremony for releasing what no longer serves our highest good, then set intentions for the coming month.  Let’s prepare now for what is coming: the most anticipated Winter Solstice in millenia, 12.21.12, followed by the somewhat anticlimatic but always wildly celebrated Julian New Year, 1.1.13.

Artist Veronica Funk recently shared a personal tradition on her blog of making a list of New year’s resolutions, which she found are easily forgotten, she finds one word that represents her intentions for the year.  She paints that word on the cover of her annual journal, so each day she is reminded of her intentions (and, I imagine, often creates entries based on how that word and the intentions it represents are showing up in her life).

Today I am immersed in DarkMoon introspection and magic.  My weekly coaching call took me on a shamanic healing quest where I heard my WiseWommon advisor tell me to let go of fear in order to regain my health (thus easily and enjoyably launching my work in the world, wahoo!).  The healing image that came to me in this trance was of a huge golden eagle, soaring effortlessly up a thermal.

And so I will consult  both my “intuitive” and Roget’s thesauruses (thesauri–Who knows proper Latin nowadays?) for my YearWord.  Fearless?  Health? Wellness?  Light?  Soar?  Suggestions, anyone?   I have a week to find my word–and to purchase a new journal (I have the acrylics and brushes ready to install the title and “cover art”–yes, stomach butterflies, I am no longer afraid of making imperfect art!  I will use those new paints!

Here I am Traveling Lighter on the Beauty Way last September:

TL--Personal Balance on the Beauty Way

I intend to embody that playful spirit even in winter, when the trees are bare and the flowers frost-killed and my feet squeezed into wooly socks and clogs, even when I’m “building” my website, even when I’m “working” or “organizing” or “decluttering,” as well as after a 4-day Traveling Light Year retreat.  A carefully chosen one-word reminder will definitely be useful.  I’ll post it here when I’ve committed it to paint!

Do you have a word for the transformation or commitment you are resolved to manifest next year?  [Veronica and] I suggest you post or paint it somewhere you will see it every day.  If you find sharing your intentions brings useful accountablity, post your YearWord here, on Veronica’s blog, on my Facebook page (where you can “share” the link to Veronica’s blog w/ your own FB tribe, Tweet it, wherever!

May we all have a magical Solstice and a truly wondrous New Year!

Oasis, Sanctuary, Healing Grove

Today’s Daily Prompt for bloggers from’s idea generating maven michelle w. is OASIS.  Her prompt reads:  “A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.”   I have resisted some great prompts from michelle, saving them in a folder for a rainy day when I might need inspiration for journal or blog, but today I am prompted to write right now!

My personal sanctuary is a physical one, a literal oasis in the desert.  When I parked my old motorhome on private land near Tucson, Arizona, six years ago (never again to fire up that gas-guzzling, noisy and polluting engine!), I backed into the offered campsite so that my door opened directly into the entryway of a little clearing within a circle of mesquite trees.  I knew this shady area would be my outdoor living room and warm-weather bedroom, because for over a decade I had been searching for, discovering, living in beyond legal timelimits, and returning seasonally to public lands campsites with a shade tree (or great view, nice boulder…) under (or next to) which I could live/ create jewelry/ eat/ sleep/ dream….

I soon decided that I would create a Medicine Wheel in this mesquite grove by planting four native shrubs at the Cardinal directions of the grove, with each plant’s flowers the color of its direction.  On my way to Desert Survivors nursery, I was envisioning the Healing Grove where I would sleep the next nine months….No!, where I would hold women’s Dark/New Moon ceremonies and other sacred events and councils!  Several neighbors got involved and the Healing Grove was birthed with a copper spiral energized rose quartz vortex in the center of a Sri Lakshmi yantra, then gifted over time with a statue of Kwan Yin, crystals and stones, and two ancient mesquite-grinding pestles found nearby in this desert valley.

Lovely women gathered for ceremonies I created and led, coming into my power as priestess after many years of despair around not finding a circle or coven to join. I became the creator of the ceremonial life of my dreams….well almost,.for I dream of a circle of peers that co-create and deeply support each member’s life and healing, and doing it mostly “all by myself” in order to have a ceremonial grouplife was taxing.

It got too cold to sit in ceremony in the Grove, and before the next Spring I had descended into a “time out” year in bed, lost once again in the dark cave of depression and pain on both physical and psychological/ spiritual levels, dread-full at the time, but in retrospect a year that was amazingly transformative.  The Grove received no gardening attention other than daily drip irrigation that kept plants alive during the long hot early summer, so plants went feral and the small stones were tossed everywhere by curved bill thrashers.  The colors, crystal/ stone, and herbal energies of the Wheel blended in strange ways, the grapevine wove the trees together, and the wolfberry grew enormous and sprawled into the central circle.  The shamana I had become in the dark cave laughed and declared the Grove’s ceremonial space a spiral  The Grove and I were “rewilded” and “gone feral” in magickal ways.  Many wonder-full meetings were held in spiral the next year.

And then the neighborhood changed, with landowners retreating into relative isolation after burning out on their ventures into community, and temporary campers other than myself moving on. My community and circle shrank, with only occasional council or ceremony with one or two other persons at a time.  And then, this Summer and Autumn, just a circle of one.

I found that a Circle of One is a good thing to be, so long as there is an Oasis to nourish  one’s spirit.  Indeed, it can be a Spiral of One!  A Circle whole unto oneself, a Spiral with movement and evolution….  At first, I found my returned solitude, especially for Moontime ceremony, rather, well, lonesome (shades of the “dark” solitary years!), and not nearly as enjoyable as the group synergy had been.  But easy to go with my own flow without commitment to others at designated times, so stressful when I’m exhausted or in pain….  Over time, especially this year of Personal Discovery and Breakthrough work with lifecoach Scout Wilkins, I have come to deeply enjoy what is, for now, a solitary spiritual oasis.  Whenever I “hit the wall” of depleted adrenals or fibroflare, my recliner awaits  in the Healing Grove to relieve me of the stresses of gravity (physical and mental).  The Grove awaits for any ceremony I wish to create, and is a place to relax and “just be” for a moment or hours of contemplative timelessness (or a nap!).

This year from the Magick Chaise I watched the mesquites leaf out, with noticeably more delicate applegreen leaves each day dancing against the windy Springtime sky, and the golden flower “catkins” singing with bees turning into tiny pods elongating almost as I watched–then falling around and on me as I flew  in the ecstasy of total exhaustion on my magick chaise.  The smallest warbler in the US, Lucy’s Warbler, entertained me for months, and small dark brown Tree Lizards seemed to respond to my loving energy.  The horde of apple-theiving thrashers warned me of the Gila monster’s approach, so I was blessed to see his beaded beauty. The diamondback rattlesnake dreamed peacefully even when I unknowingly sprinkled her while handwatering.  And always the sky was visible  through the branches, calling me as I reclined, and flew.

Now the mesquite leaves are dry and more gray than green, dropping slowly over weeks of what folks in colder climes of North America call Indian Summer. The sky here is a lovely shade of “Autumn blue” which is fading until it will be pale or storm clouded through the dark rough barked branches of Winter.  And then, finally (long after our late winter wildflowers have gone to seed), the new Spring leaves will emerge and the cycle begin anew.  Will my next “Mesquite Year” find me still living at this oasis, or creating a more permanent one on the land I hope to find and purchase?  Will my dream of community bring others to share the Healing Grove, wherever it will be?

I know that the answer will be revealed as the seasons turn.  And I know I will always take “alone” time to watch the birds and lizards, the play of light and dance of clouds through the branches of a beloved tree or grove, in my outdoor livingroom or laying on the ground off-trail in wilder Nature.

And when the weather is too cold/ windy/ rainy or I am “in town,” my sanctuary is still available in my memory.  When stressed or scared, I now have a simple practice to center myself:  I envision entering the spiral path to the center of the Healing Grove.  With my hand on my heart, I speak (or think, if in a public place) my self affirmation “I am amazingly powerful…..”  Three deep breaths, and I am “good to go!”  Even if you don’t have a literal Oasis Healing Grove in your front yard, you can remember a special place where you felt especially in touch with wild Nature and/or your own powerful, wise Self, and go there for a moment–or an hour of “daydreaming” or shamanic journeying.  May you find the renewal you need as I have been so blessed to do!