Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

A few of many...

A few of many…

Some of us are old enough to remember sock hops… but that’s going back a long, long ways. That’s the first thing I thought of when I heard the words blog hop. On the very day that I resurrected my blog by writing my Reviving Ariadne post, my friend and fellow blogger Karin Schluter Lonegren wrote to tell me about blog hopping, and asked my permission to feature me, in essence tagging me to join in this social dance of words and images. How could I refuse? It felt like a delightful sign that the universe was applauding my return to blogging! I so love a good flash of synchronicity!

So first, here’s Karin Schluter Lonegren to tell you about herself:

KarinGlamourShot I was born in The Netherlands in 1954. I moved to Glastonbury in 1997. I have five fabulous children, six grandchildren, and a beautiful husband. And a cat. I knit. I find inspiration in nature and I recharge myself by walking, yoga and meditation, and inner work. “I give healing/coaching sessions. I offer on-line and “in real life” trainings in Deepening Consciousness, retreats for women, and workshops. Over 900 clients have found their way to these healing sessions and workshops on personal/spiritual growth. I teach spiritual healing in the UK, The Netherlands, and in the USA. I live in Glastonbury, UK, and in The Netherlands. It’s a curious exercise, living in two countries! This is my website, with a link to my blog: www.karinschluter.nl.”

Thank you for gifting me with this invitation to talk about my writing, Karin! I always enjoy talking about my writing process because for me writing is far more process and practice than product. Nevertheless, I am delighted to have my writing recognized and enjoyed.

What am I working on/writing? I have just launched a new long-term project that weaves together my fascination with the ageing process and my sense that I really want to leave an organized legacy from my time on this planet. I have been blessed with incredible good fortune and opportunity, and I somehow want to say thank you for that by taking time to look over my life while I am still young and vital enough to birth something new out of the retrospective. It all started by digging out my stacks (and stacks) of old journals and personal writings. In typical Give-a-Mouse-a-Cookie style, that led to spring cleaning my desk, then our office, and finally to a sort-out of my collection of old jewelry en route to an actual writing session. My way in to the project has been a nostalgic look at the charm necklace that has grown (and aged) along with me over the decades. The stories of those charms has introduced both my eras and my interests.

How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre? My writing is deeply personal and intensely conversational.  I write as if I were sitting with my reader, speaking heart to heart about what matters in that moment. It is a very spontaneous style that seems to come from somewhere beyond me. My writing secret is that I don’t always recognize what I have written because it has come from someplace so much deeper than my own headspace!

Why do I write what I do? I write to make sense of my world. Writing is my spiritual practice, letting me know what I really think of the world and my place in it; I need to read what my pen has to say.

How does my writing process work? I warm up to most days by sitting in bed with coffee, pen, and notebook in hand. I write in longhand, relaxing into the rhythm and freedom of my pen scrawling across the page. Those pages are my safe place, the place where I am most completely and freely myself. By the end of three pages, what matters most has surfaced, and I ground it with either a prayer or a haiku (is there a difference?).  I am a list-maker; while I scrawl, I also make lists, and the lists I generate in the margins of morning then inform and shape the day ahead.

Some days I make it to my desk, others find me detouring into what I call my kitchen alchemy, stirring my creative process by cooking. Or I knit. On my writing days, I circle into myself, dropping deeper into some quiet space inside myself where I can weave my words. It is a tender place, and fickle. Once there, I am easily called away by outside noises and distractions, so I wear headphones but rarely turn on any music, instead whispering into the vacuum as if reading to my invisible audience, knowing that my words must land both audibly and visually in my reader’s consciousness.

Today’s social media fascinates me; its potential for community-building is without precedent. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, and from there connect to the various pages I administrate for community, craft, and labyrinth. You can also connect to me via the Labyrinthos website.

Enough about me. Blog hopping now allows me to introduce you to a couple of my favorite bloggers and invites me to ask them the same questions I’ve just answered. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to two passionate women who blog about their work, their lives, and their interests. I hope you’ll hop on over to their sites….

Robin Bradley HanselRobin Bradley Hansel spends her days “rooted and grounded in a love of words.” Through her company, Green Treehouse Media, LLC, she designs personalized writing projects for small business owners, non-profit organizations and large corporations. Clients trust her to manage their social media accounts, blogs and newsletters on a daily basis. She’s passionate about ocean and environmental conservation and often lends her unique voice to “green” causes in her South Florida community and beyond.

Robin enjoys freelance writing on a wide variety of topics. She brings over twenty years of focused professional experience to her health, fitness and Pilates magazine articles as a licensed physical therapist.  Additionally, she takes personal wellness to a deeper level by facilitating meditational walks and retreats for a variety of individuals and groups through her other company, Labyrinth Wellness, LLC.

As a Louisville native, she still can’t hear “Run for the Roses” in May without getting a little teary-eyed. Married longer than she was alive before they met (but who’s counting?), Robin and her husband learn on a daily basis – with help from their teenage son – how little they know about anything. If her coffee cup is empty and the WiFi’s off, you’ll find her searching for sea glass with their yellow Lab, Lily.

Connect with Robin on TwitterFacebookWordPressLinkedInPinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

head shot 1Laura Diana Lopez is passionate about choosing a nourishing life. Her deep commitment to Integrative Wellness is evidenced by both her education and her personal story. Certifications in Intuitive Energy Medicine, Conscious Bodywork, Reiki, Yin Yoga and Holistic Health Coaching, and advanced degrees in psychology give her a multi-faceted approach to transformation.  Her twenty-five years of front-line professional experience in corporate cultures bring every-day practicality to making enduring change.

Laura mentors her clients in daily living in alignment with their best self, through implementing choices today that create a lifetime of balance in their tomorrows. She can help you reach your health goals in areas such as releasing extra weight, reducing food cravings, managing stress, and maximizing energy. Her clients say they are motivated by working with a coach who has firsthand experience of shifting to a healthier lifestyle.

Laura blogs at Mia Pancia: It’s All About the Belly. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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KnoSnkGds400I write to make sense of my world, to know my own truth.

It’s been nearly a year since I last published a blog post. I’ve written any number of posts, but haven’t published them, not feeling sure how to best shape my online presence. I travel in different circles, each of which represents a different aspect of my many involvements, and the truth is that I want Ariadne’s Thread to reflect my personal eclecticism and evolving interests. I am a pilgrim who knits, cooks, walks labyrinths, writes and philosophizes. The tapestry of my life is too complex for me to happily or successfully tease out and separate the individual threads that have been woven together to form the bigger picture of my life.

Moreover, I am now 59 years old and I am absolutely fascinated by the process of my ageing and the prospects of celebrating my next milestone birthday with a joyous and inclusive heart. I want to shout from the mountaintops that I love where my Path has brought me and that I treasure the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

If you’re reading this post, I congratulate you on your patience and tenacity, and thank you for all the kind notes that have encouraged me to return to my blogging. I’m back at my desk, baring my soul, and spinning my thread!

(And yes, I know the Snake Goddess of Knossos isn’t Ariadne, but to me, she belongs on this page, and I welcome her wisdom…)

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Meandering paths
crisscross the planet, always
leading home to Self.

One of the deepest gifts we can give in this world is our attention — our full, open-hearted attention. And yet, it can be a hard thing to do in our busy lives when society often insists on judging us by our ability to multi-task with ease and grace. In reality, however, ease and grace come from an altogether different source, an inner place where we can take the time to listen to ourselves, to Spirit, and to those who matter to our hearts.

Because we travel so much, I’ve learned that I like to pay attention to Place and Person, which means I don’t like answering the phone and responding to emails when I’m spending time with a friend, and that I need to retreat into Quiet in order to take in the sights and sounds of Place when I am exploring new terrain or making pilgrimage to sacred sites. What works for me is to write on a daily basis, no matter where I am, because it is my writing that helps me to make sense of my surroundings and recogize my community. But then I wait until I get home to distill meaning and polish my writing. So it is only now that I have returned to the routine of my daily life that I am ready to write here about the travel delights that we’ve just experienced. I so appreciate the immediacy of posts from people who can process and publish more quickly, but I am also coming to an understanding that I, personally, work more slowly. Thus, I apologize for the time delay, but hope that what I say here will reflect my deepening understanding of the Path. I will be sharing the stories of our recent journeys gradually over the coming days, both here and on our Labyrinthos blog… I hope you’ll join me!

Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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Restating what I said in my last post, I have some catching up to do here. Despite my good intentions to blog regularly, the busy-ness of May threw an interesting conflict onto my Path. I wanted to blog, but I also felt committed to being fully present with our houseguests and the things we were experiencing together, internally and externally. While I love my extended online community, I know that it can also serve as a distraction. So, for the past few weeks, I participated in the gift of unplugging and attending. Not only have I enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m also enjoying my return to the regular rhythm and routine of my life, feeling renewed and recommitted. More posts, photos and poetry are on their way…

Before I launch into my travelogue, however,  I want to share the unexpected delight of a First Date. No, I’m not stepping out on Jeff, but rather I’m reaching into a long-neglected part of my own soul. As a California-trained psychologist, I have long admired Julia Cameron’s work, and have adopted bits and pieces of her Artist’s Way program into my life. I value my practice of writing Morning Pages, but I have always resisted the whole idea of Artist Dates, especially since moving to England where I’ve struggled to maintain my independence. I had promised myself that I would make a serious commitment to the practice as my houseguests departed and my life settled down a bit. And on Monday, it happened. I hugged my friend goodbye in the Green Park tube station and headed towards the British Library. I had seen an advertisement for a Writing Britain exhibit at the British Library, and my newly empowered Inner Writer suddenly felt an irresistible urge to spend time with her Tribe. Bemused, I went along for the ride.

The exhibit was amazing and, for me, transformative. An ambitious visual display of Britain’s literature through the centuries, it was organized by Setting and Place, rather than the usual structuring by chronology and genre, and therein lay its brilliance. Having travelled from one end of Britain to the other these past 13 years, I can understand this structuring, can feel it in my body as well as see it in my mind’s eye. Stepping through the portal, I was swept into British landscape, from its Magical Realms to the Dark Satanic Mills to the Wild Places, Waterlands, and Cockney Visions, meeting new faces and familiar authors, on their own terrain with their friends and characters.  JK Rowling was there, her handwritten manuscript looking plain, ordinary, and infinitely accessible as well as magical. Chaucer, Dickens, Austen, Burns, Woolf, du Maurier and a host of others made appearances and contributions, each drawing on their visions of the landscapes around them. Their greatness, I realized, lay in their willingness to put pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) in order to tell their stories. Just that, combined (of course) with amazing talent and perseverance.

Two things happened for me… first, I felt these authors take on a new realness, encouraging me to follow their lead in writing for writing’s sake, in writing to give expression to my own vision and voice, without holding back. Second, I felt welcomed into some invisible Literary Circle, invited to step beyond the curtain of mystique that I had previously experienced as impenetrable and forbidding. I could hardly wait to sit down with my Kindle and my keyboard. I left feeling in love and on fire.

I am reading. I am writing. I am home.

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Hand to Heart

Damien Hirst was interviewed on British television a few nights ago… I was already familiar with his work and the controversy surrounding it, but I’d never really heard him talk about his own art. His words were touching:

Anything done well is art.
All art is magic. 

As I visit other poets and artists in blogland, I receive imaginal food for my soul which provides me with a sweet nurturing of my own creative nature. This, then, is a love letter to all those who kindly and courageously bare their souls and bring magic to life by offering their work into the world:

I savor your work;
your images flow through me,
transforming my heart. 

˜ ˜ ˜

Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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It’s too beautiful outside to be serious inside. If Mother Nature can be giddy with her spring bulbs, earthy smells and tumultuous bridsong, why shouldn’t I giggle with my poetry? Despite the morning’s gorgeousness, my energy is low and I can’t spare any of it for taking myself too seriously at the moment.

I am healing well, have already traded my clinical white cast for Darth Vader’s sturdy boot; I clunk awkwardly on my forays into the spring garden, one foot wearing a summer sandal, the other strapped with foam, velcro and rigid struts.  I’m sure my awkward attire and gait are giving those aforementioned birds something to titter about, and they, in turn, delight me with their tittering songs… a blessed circle!

As for my writing… I’ve treated myself to the bright red fountain pen I’ve been coveting, and am finding it to be an opinionated and responsive companion. Here she is swinging in the trees:

holding hands with my
red opinionated pen…
best friends forever!

Please visit the Friday rendezvous of the
haiku my heart community at recuerda mi corazon

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I am tenderly exploring my writing life, finally and joyfully accepting that I have a poetic and writerly soul. It’s Friday, so, as promised, I’m continuing my quest to invite poetry and friendship into my life by sharing an experience from my week, in haiku and image, and linking to the lovely and creative haiku my heart community.

In my resolve to take my writing to a new level, I’m considering new forms of expression, feeling alternately excited and terrified. I dreamt the other night of admiring the work of a lovely and creative woman, even wishing that I had created what she had. I asked her how she did it…

Just write the first line,
the second follows always…
advice from the muse.

Please join the haiku my heart community
Friday rendezvous at recuerda mi corazon

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