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Archive for December, 2009

This is my last post in response to Gwen Bell’s #best09 blog challenge

I just could not keep up with this challenge of a daily blog post responding to specific prompts. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a great idea and plenty of bloggers have kept the faith. I’ve enjoyed reading what others have written, even if it does at times leave me wondering if I’m just old or don’t have a life anymore!

What can I say? I’m a Gemini. Yeah, that’s it. I’m a Gemini and I am a freedom lover. I don’t blog every day. I don’t stick with plans. Besides, it sounds better to say that than have to answer nearly every one of the prompts with either “I didn’t have such a moment” or “I can’t remember. Let me get out all my journals and look it up.”

Still I have this desire to complete this challenge and so, with apologies for bad meter and iffy rhymes, here is my response to prompts for Dec 12th through Dec 31st. To help your orientation, I’ve used italics to indicate Gwen’s prompts.

Except for the cactus I had in November

I’ve eaten no new foods since way last December.

I keep my meals boring to control my weight

But offer me chocolate, I won’t hesitate.

Changes I’ve made to my home have been

The absolute miracle I keep it clean.

I moved some boxes to the shed

And off to Goodwill others led.

I got a rush each time I spied

A hawk or deer or when I cried

For knowing I am so well loved

By Goddess and the moon above.

Best packaging, I’d have to say

Are new notebooks that came my way.

Punch Studio is one I’ll name

Makes Staples stuff look pretty tame.

Tea of the year I can’t vote for.

I am allergic to all tea, so

I drink hot water, with a dash

Of honey and a lemon splash.

A word or phrase to give the gist

Of 2009 without a list;

A picture, poem or epitaph

I’d have to say it’s Full Moon Path.

Where did I spend my cash this year?

What shop is irresistibly dear?

I spend my cash on staying well

With massages from Jennifer Eisele.

My camper van’s my only car

I love to drive it near and far

The best  of drives is  HWY 1

Until into Big Sur you run.

Hwy 1 Coastal view

CA Hwy 1 (K J Loh)

Pamela, Carol, Julie and Lisa

Lori and Annie, Mom and Alicia

These are some of my newest friends

My mom, because we’ve made new amends.

The project I started this year was my blog

It helps me to write my way out of a fog

Out of the shadows and into the light

Of dancing with love, and freedom and life.

I cannot seem to bring to mind

A new startup business of any kind

That I came across in 2009

Other than what I plan to do with mine.

A web tool I don’t think I can live without?

If they ever make one, I’ll give you a shout.

So far this web thing has only served

To suck up my time and leave me unnerved.

What lesson did I learn this year that changed me?

That I control nothing and that I am free

That Love is the answer as is often said

That my heart knows plenty that’s lost to my head.

The gift that keeps giving that I gave to me

Was to love, love myself unconditionally

The insight or aha! or epiphany

Was that I am the drop and the entire sea.

My social web moments were blissful and fun

But my isolation, it has run its run.

The time of my healing is over and done

I’m about to become a more outgoing one.

I’m not a paper fanatic and so

I can’t vote for stationery although

I do like a slick blank page and a pen

That is purple and flows evenly when

I lay on my back with my journal upended

While the latest adventures of the day are appended.

Three more entries before the  conclusion;

A big laugh, an ad and an old resolution.

I laugh with delight every time that I see

A sign Trickster Universe has sent to me

The giggle zone is where my bro and I went

When an evening of good times and teasing we spent.

Advertizing on TV and in mags make me scream,

All lying and shouting and promising dreams

Underscored with disclaimers that spell it out clearly

Any meds that you take you will pay for quite dearly.

And so here we are at the end of the line

There is one more question before Auld Lang Syne

What did I resolve on last New Year’s Day

That I wish I’d stuck with and had not delayed?

The gift of forgetting is I can’t remember

What I might have promised myself last December!

So this year I decided to give it a rest

And not put myself through this challenging test

Which I know all too well I am bound to fail.

I’ll just pay attention and keep trimming my sail.

copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Newspapers, blogs and newscasts are bursting with images of the past decade and best of 2009 lists. I’ve participated in some of it. I enjoy the retrospection and introspection of it all, but  today, I’m cranky.

I was going to write about the blue moon, the eclipse, everything appearing to go backwards in the sky and how that will impact our resolutions. I was going to write something about creating intentions for the new year, the new decade. I was going to suggest various activities including collages, stories and letters to self. I kept putting it off because, quite frankly, it was boring me; all this coach-speak.

New Year’s  Day is my favorite holiday. It’s a bona-fide do-nothing holiday that one is not required to spend with family. That means, I get it all to myself, at home, in the woods, and that’s usually how I spend it. I plot out what I know about the year ahead, I hike, I put birthdays on the new calendar. I dream into an entire year in one day and then I pop back again to the present. Most often I end up completely disoriented by all the “time travel.”

I pull an angel card and two Spirit Cards (I AM and I WILL) for the year and I will pay attention to how they speak to me all year long. Early in January, I attend a Tarot Pilgrimage with Pamela Eakins and I pull a Tarot of the Spirit card for every month of the year. I divine the year and then I see what unfolds.

I have intentions. I intend to make more money. I intend to find a larger home. I intend to play more music and I intend to fall in love at least long enough to have some fun. None of these intentions are new. I’ve been intending them for many months if not the entire prior year. (OK, my whole life.) I put my spirit, heart and mind into these intentions, but it takes awhile for physical form to catch up. So, while I wait, I try to keep up with the Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Here’s the thing. With all the astro-activity going on, we don’t stand a chance! Mercury is retrograde until January 15th. That means we will over-research things before acting, we will over-think things and our electronics and our communication will be out of whack. Travel generally suffers then as well. Additionally, Mars is retrograde and that leaves us with lower energy. Mars tests us. As astrologist Risa D’Angeles points out:

“When retrogrades occur it means the information and energy we’ve built up since the last retrograde now needs to be assessed and reviewed. The entire world is to go into a contemplative phase. It is a time of retreat and quietude.”

January 1st or not, we are in a portion of the cycle that is not conducive to starting new behaviors and ventures in an active to-do way.

Now, if that’s not enough to deflate one’s resolution balloon, perhaps science will. It seems that will power is handled by the same part of the brain that handles short term memory. The more we are trying to do in any one moment, the less will power we have.  If you want to know about the studies that show this, read the Wall Street Journal article, Blame it on the Brain.  Meanwhile, if you can be like Buddha and sit under the Bodhi tree, you might stand a chance of having enough will power to stop eating sugar, stop smoking, and keep that daily dose of wine to 4 ounces.

Finally, New Year’s Eve sees a blue moon; the second full moon in a month. This is the first one to happen on NY Eve in 20 years and the next time this occurs will be in 2028. We say once-in-a-blue moon because it means something that rarely happens. This blue moon will be partially eclipsed and eclipses mean some things will disappear from our physical reality. This might be a good thing and it might not. It depends upon what it is that disappears from your reality and how attached to it you are.

But wait, there’s more!

Risa explains that the moon goes void-of-course on January 1st and the impact it can have is that our lives and routines may feel disrupted. Perhaps this is good if we want to change habits. Perhaps it is not.

If you are able to follow through on your resolutions from day 1, it will truly be a once-in-a-blue-moon miracle.

footprints in sand

One step at a time (K J Loh)

So here’s what I intend to do about it:

Very little!

Very little steps

Very little effort

Here’s how I intend to be with it:

Very aware

Moving with ease

Gentle with myself

I plan on making every day New Year’s Day, evolving my capacity to bring exquisite awareness to each moment and mindfulness to activities. I plan on making every evening New Year’s Eve by reviewing the day, forgiving myself for failings and celebrating successes. I’ll calibrate and re-connect with my heart for improved navigation.  I’ll regroup and reground, so that whatever winds may blow, I’ll be in touch with that which centers me.

Things change when we place our awareness upon them.  Our once-in-a-blue-moon miracles stand a chance if we cast our intentions from our brilliant imaginations and open hearts and become present enough to be response-able in each moment.

I plan to fail and flail and sail and I intend to have a good time doing it.

After all, it’s not about control. It’s about Love.

Here’s a little Blue Moon song for you, dear readers!

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Today, the day after the Winter Solstice, the sun will be around a tiny bit longer than yesterday.

Today, my seeds of intention are one day new.

Am I any different today than I was yesterday?

Are you?

Yesterday the skies were thickly overcast all day long. This did not bode well for my sunset Solstice ritual at the beach. Still, I was determined to go and I did.

It was blustery at La Jolla Shores in San Diego. The first thing I noticed was how I’d miscalculated. In my town, Santa Cruz, the beaches face south, so we get to see the sun set in the water there. Here, in San Diego, the beaches face west. The sun looked like it might peek out from under the clouds before it hit the water, but it was going to be on the other side of the point.

I reminded myself, play with what is and be willing to be surprised. So I began my walk northward. I called in the elements.  I called in four Arcangels and I asked them to co-create with me. As I invited the angels, I came upon a white feather. This has always been a sign to me that I am not alone.

I picked up four rocks and infused each one, in turn, with what my body, mind, spirit and heart wanted to release. Then, I tossed the rocks, one by one, toward the sea to be reclaimed by the elements. With each toss, I declared my new intentions. I planted the seeds of new energy, new emotion, new thought, new form. Well, maybe they are not so new, but now they will have room to grow. Let’s say, I did some weeding.

All along I was humming whatever came to me; improvising something without words, something new yet deeply familiar, something from my soul. After I tossed the final rock, I turned and headed south. The humming grew more courageous.

There was a tug at my heart as I recalled my youthful summers at this same beach. I chose to remain present and brought myself back by taking in the richness of the cool salt air.

Breathe, simply breathe.

thin layer of sunlight

Feeling disappointed (c) K J Loh

The sky grew grayer and there was a slim line of golden sky at the southern horizon. I tried not to be disappointed. I considered driving to the point in hopes of seeing the sun, but decided I wanted to remain connected to the ritual rather than attached to my original vision of watching the sun set in the water.

I was sitting in my car writing in my journal when I glanced up and saw the most amazing red sky. I gasped. Then I grabbed my camera and walked back down to the water’s edge. People dotted the sand and stood spell bound. Some, like me, took photos. The sky was afire. It was one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever witnessed.

blazing sunset La Jolla Shores

Surprise Surprise (c) K J Loh

Had I been attached to my original vision, I could have been sitting at a traffic signal, fighting commuter traffic to get to the point and missed it all.

(I just noticed what I wrote – “fighting…get to the point…miss it all.” A lovely double-entendre reminder to take the scenic route, to dawdle and enjoy the journey)

Hey beautiful mischievous angels, thanks for the surprise!

Fire, you really strutted your stuff!

In the night, a gentle rain fell washing away the dust in this dry town.

Today a huge wind is up; for many, just an observation of the weather and a potential inconvenience.

For me, it’s an affirmation from the elements I invited to play with me.

If it’s all made up anyway, why not have fun?

So again, am I different today? Has anything changed?

I planted the seed.

I weeded the weeds.

Already today, I’ve had the opportunity to choose not to hold the old way and to invite and embrace the new.

Sometimes form (earth) takes awhile to catch up with energy, thought and emotion.

What appears to be a so-so ho-hum shift just might turn into something really amazing.

We’ll see what unfolds in the months to come.

Meanwhile, I trust.

And I remain willing (and not so secretly eager) to be surprised.

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Winter Solstice is Monday, December 21st. It is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Energetically, it is an excellent opportunity to mindfully and powerfully release old baggage that no longer serves us; habits, ways of thinking, dark and stuck energies. From the 21st December until the Summer Solstice in June, the length of the days, the number of minutes/hours of sunshine increases and we can play with that as expansive energy. That expansiveness can feed the seeds of intention that we plant now.

sun

Solstice (c) Kathy J Loh

There are three parts: preparation, ritual, follow-through. I am sharing my process with you in this post in hopes that it will give you inspiration, ideas and a gentle nudge.

Preparation

This morning, I did a meditation, specifically requesting assistance with my own Winter Solstice ritual, which I will hold on Monday. While the whole of Autumn has been a good time to prepare (as in gathering acorns) for this ritual, now is the time to determine what ritual will work for you and what you will want to do to be ready for it.

In my meditation, after calling in my unseen support team, I created a meeting of Body, Mind, Spirit and Heart. I let the format come to me intuitively. I’ve been working with the imagery of leaving bags on the platform and getting on the train to a chosen new destination with clients. So, it’s no surprise that this is what I worked with today.

Body was the first to speak, followed by Heart, Mind and finally Spirit. While I won’t reveal to you the specifics, I am happy to share the structure.

Create your metaphor or story-scape – set the stage

My stage was a train boarding platform, bags that were to be left behind, trains with destination signs to be filled in as part of the meditation.

Release –  What are you no longer willing to carry? What no longer serves you? What will you leave behind?

I asked:  What bags will you leave behind on the platform?

Intention – With what do I want to fill the energetic space I’m creating for myself? Where do I want to powerfully point myself?

I asked: Where is the train, you are boarding, headed?

Follow-through – What is one action I will take to give energetic support to my intention?

I asked: What is the first powerful action I will take on board that train?

Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit were interviewed one at a time and their responses were both expected and surprising. I love the imagery I got from Mind. Rather than the usual flood of words, I got the intended shift in the form of a symbol that unfolded into a new symbol.

I then asked them the same group of questions as an aligned whole. Again I got an image that showed how unaligned they’ve been and a symbol of what their new alignment would look like.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Ritual

Before closing this meeting of Body, Mind, Spirit and Heart, I asked for guidance in creating my ritual. Knowing I will be away and unable to enjoy the complete privacy of my own woods, I wanted it to be “portable.”

Again, I am sharing this with you to prompt your own creativity. You know best what will work for you.

Create the space

  • Make the space on your calendar
  • Give yourself the amount of privacy or community you want
  • Ground yourself and become present, align Body, Mind, Spirit, Heart
  • Call in whatever unseen help you like through invocation and invitation
  • Perhaps honor the Four Directions or Elements of Air, Water, Earth, Fire

Carry out the ritual

Release:

  • Do something that symbolically transmutes that which you are releasing (I am collecting rocks to represent the bags to be left behind and placing in them those things that BMSH told me they are releasing)
  • Let your body feel the heaviness or stuck-ness you are about to let go
  • Let your mind feel the constriction of holding on to the old thoughts associated with what you are now releasing.
  • Let your heart feel the gratitude for what this meant to you in the past and the sadness or joy of goodbye
  • Let your spirit feel the how trapped it has felt and the new expansiveness about to become available to it
  • Align into the whole of you and offer up these things you are letting go for transmutation. (I am going to listen to the rocks and let them tell me what to do. I’m not sure yet if I will be in the canyon or at the beach. If I’m at the beach, I will probably place them where the water can tug at the energies I left in the rocks and dissolve them into the great ocean.)
  • Know that you are not releasing negativity into the world if you ask the Divine and Nature to transmute them

Intention:

  • Take a moment to breathe and reground
  • In some way, demonstrate your commitment to your intentions: declare them out loud to your surroundings or to your circle, create a line you will step over, write them and put them in a jar on your altar, whatever comes to you. Perhaps you will get a melody to hum or your body will want to dance, walk, jump, skip.  (I plan to watch the sun set in the water)
  • Save room for being surprised by what shows up in the moment, a bit of improvisation and play

Closing:

  • Take a breath and reground
  • Let yourself be infused with the energy of the planting of this new seed of your powerful intention and know, have full faith that it will be.
  • Suggestion: say “This or something better, with harm to none. Let it be and so it is.”
  • Connect with your circle if you have friends with you
  • Thank the unseen friends/Divine/guides you called in at the beginning of your ritual

Follow-through

  • Remember to take the simple action steps that you set for yourself in your meditation/preparation
  • It might be helpful for you to create reminder notes and to ask friends for support
  • Don’t be surprised if some things in your physical reality, emotional, mental or spiritual health shift as a result of this
  • Keep a journal to track your follow-through and what shows up along the way

I made this up. It’s a synthesis of other rituals of which I’ve been a part. You can make up whatever you want. You might enjoy creating a collage, using a fire to burn the old, writing a letter about your intentions and putting it where you’ll find it in June or next December.

The point is the power of consciously and intentionally letting things go and making new choices, taking new actions that serve the life you want to be living. Doing so at any time is empowering. Doing so on Winter Solstice aligns you with the cycles of nature which brings a powerful boost to the process.

Co-Creating with the Universe

Pay attention and watch for signs. I have had repeatedly seen, read about, and come across red and white roses. I will make sure to have at least one of each with me on Dec 21st.

Resource

A great resource for solstice rituals and working with nature is Nature-Speak by Ted Andrews. It contains a wonderful visualization as well. I highly recommend it. (While searching for the link, I discovered that Ted passed away October 24th of this year. What a bounty of gifts he left in his wake!)

Many blessings to you, dear readers.  May you walk in Beauty.

There are so many things to celebrate in a year and one of the main ones is YOU. When you hire me as your personal coach, you can design the goal of the coaching to uniquely suit you. I have a number of clients who use our coaching to help them develop their spiritual practices, awaken in a way that transforms their lives and harness the wisdom of their own hearts. We invite soul and earth to assist us. Are you ready? Email me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com and we can have a conversation about how I might serve you and your beautiful life.

 Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Dear beautiful wonderful readers:

Here’s a little something that I hope casts golden sunshine your way!

We are all drops in the same ocean; uniquely exquisitely gifted drops sparkling in the sunlight, dancing in the moonlight, and we are all beautiful.

May this song, its sentiment, its dancing pulse and celebration wash over you and free you from any dark little hyper critical thoughts to which you may have been giving way too much air time.

Time for a bit of the truth!

I met the songwriter, Mark Shepard, on Twitter. That’s how I discovered this song, which I am now declaring one of my Best 2009 song finds. My heart is voting.

It’s a simple song, yes. And isn’t it all really that simple while deeply complex? Complicating things with drama just might be over-rated.

Thank you Mark!

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you might like to read my earlier post You are so Beautiful)

Copyright © Dec 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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In conversation with a redwood tree

Redwood Tree

(c) K J Loh

Walking to the river on a misty morning

trail inthe mist

(c) K J Loh

In or on water

toes in water

(c) K J Loh

Coolin’ my heels in the river at Big Sur River Inn

sitting at the River Inn in the river

(c) Rick Loh

An uncrowded beach

Footprints on beach

(c) K J Loh

On a road trip in my van

Van at campground

(c) K J Loh

There’s one favorite place that I’m unable to photograph, so I will attempt to describe it.

This place is an intersection of the outer and inner worlds, somewhere near the third-eye and not really.

It is a spark, an essence, the smallest point of a point and yet it’s as deep and expansive as the universe.

The stillpoint perhaps?

I’ve been there a few times.

Once was during a shamanic journey when I found myself on some distant star.

Other times during meditation.

It is a peaceful, quiet place. A place of no time (and hence no urgency) and no judgment.

The only word I have for this place is home.

It is a place where the I that is my ego, my identity in this lifetime, discovers a new me which doesn’t know separation from all the other me’s.

It is a place of unconditional love.

Not so much a love I feel.

More a love that I am.

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (including images)

This post is in response to Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 blog challenge for the month of December

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Today’s Best 2009 prompt is: Album of the year

Oh gosh, never ask a musician to make such a choice. How much time do you have? Which genre? For the lyrics, the music, the voices?

I decided to share two of my favorites with you today.

The first one is a re-discovery. I still play CDs in my car. Whenever I hit the road for more than local errands, I grab a stack of CDs from my collection and on this last trip, I listened to James Taylor’s Hourglass. I’d forgotten how much I love that CD. Every song on it is exquisite, provocative and  the entire CD is true to Taylor’s mix of loving kindness, consciousness, musicianship and mischievous humor.

The lyrics of the song “Gaia” move me as much today as they did in 1997. I especially love when he sings:

As if you were your own creation

As if you were the chosen nation

And the world around you just a rude and

Dangerous invasion

As per Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary , Gaia is the hypothesis that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system.

Lyrics

The sky was light and the land all dark
The sun rose up over central park
I was walking home from work
Gaia

The petal sky and the rosy dawn
The world turning on the burning sun
Sacred wet green one we live on
Gaia

Run run run run said the automobile and we ran
Run for your life take to your heels
Foolish school of fish on wheels
Gaia

Turn away from your animal kind
Try to leave your body just to live in your mind
Leave your cold cruel mother earth behind
Gaia

As if you were your own creation
As if you were the chosen nation
And the world around you just a rude and
Dangerous invasion
Gaia

Someone’s got to stop us now
Save us from us gaia
No one’s gonna stop us now

We thought we ought to walk awhile
So we left that town in a single file
Up and up and up mile after mile after mile

We reached the tree line and I dropped my pack
Sat down on my haunches and I looked back down
Over the mountain
Helpless and speechless and breathless

Gaia

Pray for the forest pray to the tree
Pray for the fish in the deep blue sea
Pray for yourself and for god’s sake
Say one for me
Poor wretched unbeliever

Someone’s got to stop us now
Save us from us gaia
No one’s gonna stop us now

The second CD  I want to share with you is Reiki Whale Song by Kamal Engels. I listen to this CD or Reiki Whale Dreaming every night while I do Reiki and then drift off to sleep. I think it is one of my secrets for a good night’s rest. I love to immerse myself in the sounds of water and whales.

I’ve listened to this watching the stars out the window of the back of my VW Camper in campgrounds all over the west. I’ ve listened to it with the light of the full moon on my face. I’ve listened to it in good times and bad, through smiles and tears, at home and in strange bedrooms when I was tossing about deciding where to live after my divorce. I’m listening to it now as I write and it brings me immense peace. It is music of the heart. Whatever your heart feels will be brought to the surface and released to the ocean breezes.  Now that’s music.

Here is “Whale Dreaming” from the CD Reiki Whale Song

Please share with me your favorites. I love to discover new music.

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved
(the lyrics and music are copyrighted by the artists)

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