Friday, April 19, 2013

The Shift


Mystery spontaneously lay in my lap this morning something she seldom does. 

I thought, "Mystery lies before me."  

Isn't that the truth? 

All I need do is be, listen, trust then do.

Sounds so simple, doesn't it? 

I don't know about you, but I find this so hard at times.  

Even in this moment when I know I need to take my car keys and walk out the door.  

I need to proceed to Cheekwood to be with the tulips or what's left of them after last night's pounding rain. 

Why would I not do this thing related to beauty, nature and pleasure? 

Do I need to know why  or who is behind this urge? 

Yes, on some level in order to be in control I need to know why I've this intuitive pull to see tulips. 

This need to know in turn suggests I'm not trusting, listening or following the Mystery, doesn't it? 

So I go.

This is the Shift for now.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse,  19 April 2013

It Is a Miracle - Green Shoot, Open Hands, Winged Heart

In our perfectly imperfect world, green shoots sprouting in my raised beds remind me of open hands willing to give and receive, ideas taking flight opening minds, love taking wing and new life arriving through children as well as over-fifty folks like me. 

It is a miracle that only four days prior I planted this seed that now represents so much.   

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 19 April 2013

Do You Have Your Most Needed Supplies? I Thought I Showed Up Without Mine

I may not paint a thing in the coming six weeks but attending my first acrylics and mixed media class at Cheekwood earlier this week has already been worth the fee I paid.

As someone who has the habit of arriving most places either right on time or a few minutes late, I showed up fifteen minutes early for the first class.  I walked from the parking lot alongside another woman carrying a bag filled with things.  I thought she might be the teacher until she commented she had never taken a painting class. 

That's when I asked, "Are we suppose to have supplies tonight?"

I had missed the email.

I sat surprisingly calm with an old t-shirt in my lap as the teacher and four other students arrived over the course of ten minutes.  Each student had canvases, paints, palettes, brushes and knives.  I had an old t-shirt.

Anticipating art class had stirred memories of wearing my father's worn out over-sized shirt in elementary school as a painting smock.  I made my way to class feeling a sense of fond connection with childhood only to discover I was without supplies which stirred other memories.  Throughout adolescence I felt and feared mortification.  As a result I tried to avoid potentially mortifying situations for much of my young adult life.  The prior me would have been mortified this particular evening. 

I was surprised to find my sense of adventure and anticipation wasn't diminished from lacking supplies.  

Two hours quickly passed.  And it was enough, more than enough, to be in the energy of our teacher, Cindy Birdsong as she shared plans and ideas for our coming weeks together and how we might incorporate beans, plaster, burlap, nuts, photos and various objects in our art work.  It was more than enough to be with my new classmates who offered me canvas and paints which we ultimately didn't need on this first evening.

I could have easily spent class time in my head consumed with what others thought of me and feeling inadequate, awkward and embarrassed. Judgement and self-consciousness would have prevented me from being present.  As a result I would have missed out on the collective energy, enthusiasm and excitement shared by six new women in my Tuesday night tribe.

I showed up without supplies yet I discovered within myself the more important supplies necessary to a rich, engaged life.  I had the supplies I really needed.  An attitude of openness, non-judgement and the capacity to receive what was offered me through experience as well as others generosity were the only supplies I needed.  

There is a beauty and grace in this event evoking both positive and negative memory for I was ultimately reminded of how I came to Earth and who I came here to be.  As children we arrive in physical form with spirits that are open, non-judging, curious and ready to learn.  All too early we learn judgment of others and of self from the adults around us and authorities.  These judgements breed fear and contempt. 

As the week has unfolded, we have witnessed a bombing in Boston, an explosion in West, Texas, gun legislation struck down in D.C. and regressive animal abuse legislation vigorously lobbied for by corporate entities and passed in my home state of Tennessee.

We have been presented with opportunities and challenges to see if we can maintain openness and non-judgment while holding the tension of uncertainty and bearing witness to grief.

In art class terms, can we take the mixed media of what this week has presented us and look for the deeper story?  Can we take the time to see and imagine the possibilities emerging on the canvas of these times? (Personally I am challenged to be aware of how I use my energy, time, mind and heart and how I speak and live my truth.)

If I had arrived Tuesday night with the external supplies suggested, I would have missed discovering the internal supplies most needed. I would have missed the experience of generosity with these women previously strangers to me.

One can say I am naive and art class is easy compared to living in the world at large. I am convinced the supplies I discovered this week, openness and non-judgment, are vital in our world.

Today I Imagine the Shift, a shift to continued openness, non-judgement and generosity. 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse,  19 April 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Message of the Pink Petal - Thoughts on Sex Trafficking and the Interconnectedness of Healing One's Self

This week while sitting in the cafe of Nashville's Frist Museum, this tiny petal from the cherry trees outside floated through the air as someone opened the door.  I watched as it twirled its way like a single piece of confetti through the door and into the room before literally landing in my lap.

I had arrived at the museum for the 1:00 tour which I learned was actually at 1:30.  With time to spare, I sat down to thumb through my journal.  On the first page were notes from a prior visit to the Frist when I saw the works of the degenerate artists of Germany.  These men and women were labeled by Hitler as degenerates because they were a threat.  Their works in my opinion shone with light, the light not often recognized by the masses.  As painters of light, they were a threat to a man who was dark and to people easily swayed and afraid.

As I scanned the first few pages of notes, I quickly jotted in the front cover of my journal enumerating thoughts about inner light and experience that surfaced as I read.  

     1. What lights your inner light?
         What do I even mean by this?

     2. How do I experience my inner light?

     3. Animals hold light.

     4. Children - girls - the wounded masculine is killing off a generation of the feminine.
         Can the feminine find it in herself to forgive?

     5. How do I listen? Be awake and aware - be inside my body and experience 

I knew #4 was related to sex trafficking.  I didn't know from where the thought came.  It showed up and I (usually) stay true to what crosses my internal radar.

Within seconds of making this list, the door opened and the petal floated in.  

In that moment I was listening (#5). I gently lifted the petal noticing its veins.  It  looked like a tiny wing.  My first thought was of the feminine and young girls when I saw the pink.  I flashed on my pink bedroom from childhood and how in 2009 I began reclaiming pink and the feminine.

Then I thought, 'What was I writing when this petal floated in?'  Immediately I made the connection.  On the open page before me I saw the uncomfortable thought that came to mind. 

"The wounded masculine is killing off a generation of the feminine."

What did I mean by this?  Could this be true?  What is going on here?  What are these men (and women who traffick) doing?  If they were really in their bodies, hearts and minds as they sold our children's bodies and raped girls (and boys) could they live with themselves?  Surely they would recognize their rage against the feminine.  What happened to their inner light causing them to act in such unimaginable ways? Where is their inner light?  How is it these young ones, the feminine, can be viewed as disposable? (The average age at which girls are kidnapped or forced into trafficking is 12-14.)

And "Can the feminine find it in herself to forgive?"  I am not suggesting forgive and act as if these mind numbing, soul killing actions are okay.  But can the feminine forgive and without shaming ask, "What on earth propels you to treat the feminine, our children and even yourselves in this way?!" 

It was time for the tour to begin.  I quickly posted the photo and a brief note about the above on face book ending with a question "Does the winged petal hold an answer or clue?"

Two hours later I walked to my car. I crossed the street and there piled against the curb were more petals.

'Girls,' I thought, 'thrown to the curb.'  Throughout recorded time, hasn't the feminine been thrown to the curb more often than not?  The feeling self has been devalued and still is today even in many men and women who ignore their feelings and see feeling as weak.

Then as I sat down in my car I realized just as the petal floated onto my lap, the answer at least partially to the problems of sex trafficking really does lay in my lap, mine and possibly yours.

What if a piece to the puzzle of sex trafficking and how the feminine is treated is in how I relate (or don't relate) to my body, my vagina, my sexual self and my experience of sex.  How have I thrown my feminine self to the curb?  Do the answers possibly lie in your lap and how you relate to your body and how you experience your sexual self? 

Quantum physics has proven what indigenous people have always known.  We are interconnected.  Long before the Internets world wide web was developed, we were connected through an unseen world wide web.  Thus how I relate to my own body, my vagina, my sexual self is connected in the greater web to how you relate or don't, to how traffickers and rapists relate or don't relate.  Those of us not involved overtly in sex trafficking are connected covertly through the greater web. 

These winged, pink young souls offer their lives.  Will we ignore them or will we recognize the beauty of this time?  Will we stop this maddening violence each in our own way and treasure the lights of these dear children as well as our own lights? Will we stop for once and for all the disowning of the feminine?  Will we stop bullying and labeling vulnerability as weak? Or will we like the masses in Hitler's time close our eyes, not see the light?

Just as the door opened at the cafe this week, a door has opened in this time, a door to healing our sexual selves and the web of shame and trauma over many lives and lifetimes.

Just as I gently lifted the petal, I am challenged to gently lift the story lines of my own life up for healing?  

Does the pink winged petal hold a clue to my healing, to our healing in these times?

I believe so.  
-Dawn, The Good News Muse  12 April 2013

* On May 23-25, Nashville will host the "Third Annual Trafficking in American Conference." Click HERE for info. 

** End Slavery TN hosted by Nashville's Trevecca University is increasingly active in TN.  Find out more about them at  and on facebook at End Slavery Tennessee.

*** Purchase the 2011 documentary "Nefarious: Merchants of Soul" at this site for $20. Host a viewing party.

**** Learn more about The "End It" movement can be found here.  End It  and End It.

***** According to the FBI, sex trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world. Here in TN, 78 of our 95 counties have reported sex trafficking.  Hundreds of thousands of American youth are recruited into prostitution through kidnappings, through deceptive agreements between parents and traffickers and pressure in other ways. Once these children become involved in prostitution, they often are forced to travel far from their homes and, as a result, are isolated from their friends and family.  The lifestyle of such youths revolves around violence, forced drug use, and constant threats. Criminal networks transport these children around the United States by a variety of means—cars, buses, vans, trucks, or planes—and often provide them counterfeit identification to use in the event of arrest. The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12 to 14. It is not only the girls on the streets who are affected; boys and transgender youth enter into prostitution between the ages of 11 and 13 on average.   Today, the business of human sex trafficking is much more organized and violent. These women and young girls are sold to traffickers, locked up in rooms or brothels for weeks or months, drugged, terrorized, and raped repeatedly.  These continual abuses make it easier for the traffickers to control their victims. The captives are so afraid and intimidated that they rarely speak out against their traffickers, even when faced with an opportunity to escape.
Traffickers represent every social, ethnic, and racial group. Traffickers are not only men—women run many established rings. 
Traffickers use force, drugs, emotional tactics, and financial methods to control their victims.
In some situations, the youths have become addicted to drugs. The traffickers simply can use their ability to supply them with drugs as a means of control.
Traffickers often take their victims' identity forms, including birth certificates, passports, and drivers' licenses. In these cases, even if youths do leave they would have no ability to support themselves and often will return to the trafficker.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nature Is My Operating Manual

Monday morning tears rolled down my cheeks while I watched two cardinals bring nesting materials to the evergreen by the backdoor.  Bit by bit they brought twigs, straw and leaves.  And bit by bit each gently placed piece fell to the ground beneath them.  At one point the two huddled in the top of the shrub side by side.  I watched them through the window as they seemed to watch me. 

Then together they sat in the Japanese Maple as he fed her sunflower bits from our feeder.  What exquisite examples of tenderness and care.  

My tears came out of nowhere. They were followed by this thought, 'Love, sweet Love.  This is how it's suppose to be.'

It has taken me so long to learn I am love, love sweet love.

And about those tears, I have realized they did come from somewhere.  They came from my heart as the cardinals gave me directions.  Nature is my operating manual, the operating manual for my heart.

What's yours? 
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 10 April 2013

Imagine the Shift - Do You Live or Exist?

I have lived for twenty years in the house where these trees stand. I have lived here but I have not lived here...if you know what I mean.  It has only been in these last few years that I have really begun to live more than exist.

This week before dawn with the stars still overhead and as the birds began to sing, I lay in the grass with these great beings above me.  As I looked up a thought arrived. 

'I have been in the shelter of their arms.  All these years they have watched over me.'  

Some might consider this morning story a mourning story as decades of my life have passed by.  I experience this more like grace, God, the divine watching, waiting patiently, hoping I'll realize what I carry inside.  

I have lived for twenty years in the house where these trees stand.  It has only been in these last few years that I have really begun to live here, in these four walls called home, in this flesh and bones home called Dawn on this soil and soul home of Earth.

Do you live or exist?  It's never too late for morning.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse  10 April 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

If You Love It Enough, Anything Will Talk to You - Even Monsanto, Politicians and Traffickers?

Today is Booker T. Washington's birthday and I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes that comes from him.  

Mr. Washington was talking about Big Love, not I'll-love-you-if  love.

Usually when I hear this I think of traffickers, the men and women who enslave 27 millions girls around the world and sell their bodies in the sex industry. Can I love these soul-less seeming men and women who take young girls lives so horribly?  
Most days I can. I can love these soul stealers because their souls were stolen at some point or they wouldn't do what they do.  (I use Ho'oponopono a Hawaiian shamanic practice that I learned through Jean Houston and Peggy Rubin to energetically hold traffickers in my heart and hands while asking their forgiveness for my negligence, ignorance and all ways that I have contributed to the shadow they carry that is connected to me.)

Yes, it would be different if one of these people actually sat down to talk with me.  Could I hold space for this person, take the time and prove I am trustworthy? I hope so and I don't know. Could I love them without my own agenda and if they continued their ways?

"If you love it enough, anything will talk to you."

Can I love politicians enough and imagine them talking with me?  I'm not talking about 30 second sound bites on tv or slightly longer interviews on FOX or MSNBC. I don't want to see any more come-to-Jesus, God-forgave-me pop culture interviews in which these individuals say they've changed then it's back to business as usual.  

Imagine them really talking to us, with us, coming clean, sharing their motivation for getting into politics to begin with then selling out to greed, power, the machine.  Can we make time, hold space for discussions of this Nature?  Wall Street and the powers that be might cry, "No! Time is up.  There are votes to cast, sides to take, deals to do, money to make."

If we don't have time to really look at how we be, mankind's time may be nearing "up." 

"If you love it enough, anything will talk to you."

Do I have time for MonsantoCan I love this business with its hands all over our food, trying to control seed and thus us and our health?  Can I love this business that hides behind a mask of saying they're for the American farmer?  That's a big one and yet just last week I used Ho'oponopono in relation to Monsanto.  I have ignored for most of my life how my food is grown. My ignorance is connected in the greater web to Monsanto's ignoring on a deeper level the long term ramifications of their money-making endeavors using genetic modification, toxic chemicals and such.  

What might Booker T. Washington, a planter, scientist, inventor and artist himself, say to us about Monsanto?  I imagine his encouraging us to hold these entities lovingly as this peanut farmer does his plant in the Colquitt, Georgia mural "Spirit Farmer" by Winnipeg artist Charlie Johnston.

I imagine him saying, "If you love it enough, anything will talk to you."

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 5 April 2013

1. There are many sites regarding the shamanic prayer/healing/forgiveness practice of Ho'oponopono. Please check them out as I've linked the story above to only one.

2. And learn more about Monsanto here

3.  Here's more also on Colquitt's amazing murals.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Scarred, Scared and Sacred - Imagine the Shift to Care

Here it is April 4th and this morning I was flipping through my journal when four words circled on the backside of a page caught my eye. 

I turned the page back to find March 4, 2013 one month prior at the top of the page.

Today I see these words and a quick thought follows: "We are all scarred, scared and sacred." 

Our scars are sacred gifts connecting us to one another, revealing who we really are. Our scare is sacred for it too connects us with others and with ourselves. I suspect everyone experiences some aspect of fear even those who don't know it.  To be alive is to feel fear.  Often those most scarred and scared are the ones most adamant they aren't. 

Our scare potentially connects us with our truer self if we listen and lean into it rather than run, hide, ignore, suppress, divert, medicate and mediate it away.  Yes, even meditation can at times be used to ignore fear rather than gently listen and care.

It is with this fourth word, Care, whose letters are embedded somewhere in each of the others that we learn to hear, see, sense, feel and find the sacred in the scarred and scared. 

We are all scared, scarred and sacred and it is through care for ourselves and one another that we find our connections, healing, whole-ing,

Imagine the Shift to care. 
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 4 April 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Teeming/Teaming Shift ..... for just one day

I've read all the leaves on a tree unfurl on the same day.  

Imagine hearts unfurling around the world on the same day.......just once.  

What might that look like? 

Imagine the moving, living, breathing, giving, loving, teeming/teaming Shift that would bring.

If just for one day....things would never be the same. 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  1 April 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Signs of the Shift - Get It. Love It. Live it!

"Get it. Love it. Live it!" the billboard on West End reads.

I saw the billboard and thought,  "Got it. Love it. Live it." 

Then I immediately began to react (and thus judge) to what I consider our capitalistic society. Of course, this may stir your reaction to me yet I'm not against capitalism. I buy things. I sell a service and I envision selling my stories.  I just don't like how we're told to buy at every corner in every moment it often seems.
I saw the billboard and thought I've already "got it."  I've got Earth love - flowers, trees, animals, birds, air, water, food.  I have flesh and blood beings, friends, family, a partner, children, pets, someone(s) who love me. And I suspect you've the above too.  

Got it. Love it. 

Ah, then I realize there's the "living it" part.  That is the challenge at least for me. The throwing myself wide open into the living of this thing called Life, this thing I've already got, that came with me 53 years ago, that I loved then and have learned here in mid-life to love most days now.

The I get it.  The sign is more right than I realize.

Get it! Not as in buy it but 'get it' - stop living with all levels of fear, resistance and control. 

Each moment evidences whether I've "got it."

Get it?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 1 April 2013

Shifts & Shoots

  Light calls Life.   
Life calls Light. 

These shoots shift me. 

What calls and shifts you? 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  1 April 2013