A Spark of Life

A Spark of Life
Inside Sequoia Girl


Welcome to A Spark Of Life Transformations. I've created this blog to share some of the spiritual insights and effective methods for purposeful transformation that I've gleaned over the years. Also included are some bits and pieces of my own experiences and musings. I want to know about your experiences as well. What worked for you -- and what didn't. Ask a question. Make a statement. Share your heart. I only ask that you be respectful in your posts. I can't wait to get started!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 16, Fire Week -- 28 Day Soul Coaching Program

"I am free to experience joy in every moment... no matter what is happening in my life." -- from the book Soul Coaching by Denise Linn

Today we are challenged to take a risk and step out of our comfort zone so  dug out a flyer I had been holding onto for months and made a phone call. I left a message to enroll in dance lessons! I love to dance and have always wante to take lessons but had always felt too self-conscious to do it. Now I am excited to get started.

Oh yeah, I also finished reassembling my Soul Coaching Collage. It's almost as I first created it in California, but I put it on black poster board. I think it makes it stand out more. What do you think?

Day 15 - The first day of Fire Week, 28 Day Soul Coaching Program

" I am safe." -- from the book Soul Coaching by Denise Linn

The element Fire represents Spirit and this week I will be cleansing my spiritual life. Today we examine the fears and shining the light on them, we lessen their power over us.

Here is a partial list of fears I find lurking beneath the surface:

Being overwhelmed
Being criticized
Being wrong
Being unloveable
Not being enough
Being undesirable

At the moment loneliness seems to be dominating my consciousness. Normally I enjoy spending time alone. I like moving about my house in the morning, making coffee, catching up on my email and listening to the birds sing outside my door. Lately however, I have been overcome with incredible bouts of loneliness, especially this holiday weekend. I have no family nearby and with Father's Day coming up, I've been missing Dad.

So, my challenge is to name this fear and then imagine the worst-case scenario and then list how I would not only survive, but thrive in it. OK, here goes:

My deepest fear is that I will be alone the rest of my life, without a spiritual and romantic partner to share my life with. No one to laugh and sing goofy songs with. No one whose shoulder I can cry on or give me a hug when I feel down or lost or overwhelmed. No one to share my bed with. No one to cook for. No one who will be there, supporting me and encouraging me, both in my successes and challenges.

Whew! That feels so heavy in the pit of my stomach and I feel a tightness in my chest.

Now, how can I survive and even thrive being alone? Well, I certainly know I can survive being alone. I have a very full life and have interests and a list of projects and ideas to work on that will carry me into the next lifetime. I have dear friends and my sisters (and Soul Sisters!) that I can call on when I need support.  I love and enjoy food and art and nature and beauty and I have people who are ready and willing to join me in the experience. The truth is I am without a romantic partner and I am thriving now.

I used to have a sign posted over my computer that read,
"Anxiety is just frozen fun -- so defrost yourself!"
I think I will make another one and post it today.

Today I racked some home made wine (fire water??) that I had started months ago. I love making wine and when I rack the wine, or siphon it off the sediment or "lees" into a new container, I always get a generous taste to see how it's coming along and today it warmed me nicely. If you come to visit me, I'd be happy to share a bottle with you.

With Grace and Gratitude,


Days 14 of Water Week - 28 Day Soul Coaching Program

"Who I am is enough, just as I am." -- from the book Soul Coaching by Denise Linn

Today is the last day of Water Week and it has been an intense emotional week. On this last day we are challenged to look at our "victimhood" thinking and to look at the types of questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis. Questions such as, "Why can't I lose weight?" or "Will I ever find a partner?" When we recognize that we are thinking these self-defeating thoughts, we can change them to what Denise terms a "noble question" such as, "How can I experience more, love, joy, vibrancy... ?"

I was afforded a very vivid look at some of my dark, defeating thoughts. In the past, I've been given to bouts of depression and anxiety and today I saw the deep feelings of fear and unworthiness that was at the core of these thoughts. I had a fairly unstructured day where I napped and played computer games. When thoughts like, "Why are you being so lazy, there's so much to do here?" I made a conscious choice to reframe those thoughts into, "How can I rest and nurture myself today?" I watched a movie and made a delicious dinner with a salad with fresh spring greens, sweet grape tomatoes and goat cheese and ramen noodle soup, a dish I've always associated with comfort food.

When I felt overwhelmed by my emotions, I remembered the quote we learned at Soul Camp; "It's just stuff, and it's just leaving!"
 I also remembered something I really "got" while sitting at the foot of a giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park, "FOCUS ON THE DESIRED OUTCOME, INSTEAD OF THE PROBLEM." I think I'll print that statement out and hang it on my wall.

Blessings and Grace,

The amazing ocean at Kona, Hawaii.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Days 13 of the 28 Day Soul Coaching Program

Day 13: "My life is blessed and I am so grateful." -- from the book Soul Coaching by Denise Linn

Today's excercise was about developing an attitude of gratitude and I have so many things I am grateful for. Imstead of listing all of them, I thought I would post some pictures of some of the things I have been gratedul for in my life. These pictures are in no particular order or time.
My Parents
My trip to Hawaii last summer when I became an Angel Therapy Practitioner and met so many amazing people.

Meeting Denise Linn at the Tampa I CAN DO IT Conference, November 2009. It's where I signed up for the Soul Coaching course that has changed my life. Yay!

These two tough guys are my grandchildren Harlon and James. The Meade Boys.

My granddaughter Ellie Mae (don't you just love that name?) and her sweet mom, Sarah.

One of my favorite spots to canoe off the Yellow River in Florida.

Some of my landscaping handiwork. I love my job.

My sister Linda who came to visit me this spring and nurtured me through a busy time.

My talented and loving sisters, Rosemary and Linda

My daughter Jessica, Sarah (my DIL) and son Aaron enjoying a 3D movie.

My little house here in Northwest Florida.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Days 11 & 12 of 28 Day Soul Coaching Program

Day 11: "I am loved and I am loveable. " " I love deeply and fully, and I am loved deeply and full." -- from the book Soul Coaching by Denise Linn.

 The exercise for today is to examine our relationship and emotional habits and patterns. My interactions in my relationships has changed  over the years. Today I am more thoughtful about entering into relationships, cautious, and protective of my heart. I have recently divided to think about engaging in a new romantic relationship. No, there are no current prospects, nor am I seeking, just being open to the idea of it. In the process of becoming more open to the idea, I found crusty layers of self-protection formed under the tectonic pressures of my last relationships.

I had been happily preparing my new home and working and engaging with friends and told myself (convincingly) that I was really quite all right not being in relationship for a while. Then I got a reading from a dear intuitive friend. I broke down as she began to speak of the love my heart longed for. Of my desire to be cherished and nurtured and respected for the glorious woman I am. She saw right through my brave front and spoke to my heart. It was freeing just to admit it was what I yearned for.

She gave me an exercise that I found it curious, sometimes challenging and a lot of fun: 'Sing in the shower,' she commanded. 'Sing to your future lover. Sing about all of the amazing qualities he has. Tell him what you need and how you will love him. Tell him all your desires. Sing as if he has been away on a long journey and is now returning home to you, at last. Sing, even if your heart is breaking.' I smiled. I could do that.

So I have been singing. Sometimes in tune, sometimes, not so much. "My man is coming to me," I sing. "He loves me endlessly. He treats me tenderly. He can't stop caressing me..." Sometimes I giggle coming up with words that end in -ly. Sometimes I shed tears as the deep longing washes over me. But I feel comforted in knowing he is coming across lifetimes to me at the right and perfect time for us both.

Day 12: "In the center of my being, there is always stillness and peace." -- from the book Soul Coaching by Denise Linn 

Today is about being still. Sometimes being still is so easy and sometimes excruciating -- usually when I look around and think of all the things I could be doing... Today, the last day of water week I started out feeling anxious and depressed. Two states I am quite familiar with. But, today I decided I had had enough and I cried out to the angels, "I am finished with this! Whatever it is, whatever I need to know about it, you will have to show me." I was tired of living in fear and feeling like I have to shoulder it all alone.

The message to me was, "Movement!" After finishing coffee out on my back porch and listening to the birds I went in and opened up the quartz crystal root chakra singing bowl I had ordered and started to make it sing. I let it reverberate throughout my body and the house until the sound evaporated into the silence of the morning. I went to get dressed so I could go out and pick dewberries. Dewberries are luscious purple-black berries resembling blackberries in taste and look. They grow wild on vines that trail along the ground. They have a fairly short harvest period and I knew they were ripe and I had been itching to get out and pick some before they were gone. As I was getting ready to go out, three dear friends called and brightened my morning. We made plans to get together soon.

I decided to allot one hour for picking as I haven't been doing so well in the heat this week. I went to an empty lot near where I live and picked about four quarts in an hour. They were sweet and juicy from all the sun, turning my fingers blue as I picked - many of them, 'big as the end of my thumb' as my father was fond of saying. It was actually rather pleasant out as I was shaded by the tall long leaf pines that also grew in the lot. I listened to the birds singing overhead and my mouth watered as I thought about the dewberry pie I would make later.

After I finished picking berries, I decided to surround myself with beauty in all my senses and I picked fresh flowers to make several bouquets. I picked deep pink hydrangeas and heavily scented gardenias along with white yarrow and black-eyed susans. I also cut some grasses that looked a little like miniature bamboo and so bright green fern fronds.

At home I took a lovely cool shower. Feeling clean and much cooler, I made the dewberry pie thinking about how much my dad would have enjoyed a slice with a cup of good, strong coffee. Dad was known to have pie for breakfast. I'd thought of Dad as I was picking berries and later making the pie. Father's Day was next weekend and I still missed him, even after nine years.  

As I waited for the pie to bake, I made a sandwich out of organic salad greens, goat cheese and the first ripe tomatoes of the season. Yum. I even tossed a handful of dewberries into a glass of crisp white muscadine wine I had made from last years' grapes. I took the pie out of the oven and waited impatiently for it to cool. I arranged hydrangeas and gardenias, black-eyed susans and white yarrow went with the orange-red Lucifer's lilies in a bouquet for my bedroom. The ferns looked great all by themselves, so I placed them on the mantle.

As I write this I hear thunder rolling softly and a light rain begins to fall. It is a welcome sight. I think about how different the day had ended up, considering the state I was in earlier. I feet alive and at peace and fully enjoying the beauty and abundance of the earth.

I cut the still-warm pie and savoured the delicious sweet-tartness of the berries and the crunch of the crumb topping. Wish you were here to have a slice with me. I'll probably have a slice for breakfast too, with a cup of good, strong coffee. Here's to you, Dad.

Here's the recipe for my Dewberry Pie. Worth every thorny scratch!

Dewberry Pie with Crumb Topping

1 - 9 inch pie crust, hand made or frozen shell

4 cups fresh dewberries (can substitute blackberries)
2/3 cup unrefined sugar mixed with  2 tab. all purpose flour
1/2 fresh lemon

Pick over berries and place in unbaked pie shell. Mix flour and sugar together and sprinkle over berries. Juice half lemon over all.

Crumb topping:

In small bowl add:

1/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 tab. all purpose unbleached flour
2 tab. butter

Cut butter into sugar and flour with fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie and bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until bubbly. Excellent when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of good, hot coffee. Enjoy!

My Father, Glenn Sharpe

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Days 9 & 10

Water Week continues... The Exercise for Day 9 is about more clearing -- and to sanctify each step of the process. I started this when I began cleaning off my office desk last week and the change was amazing. The whole room felt transformed. Today I will finish my desk.

Day 10 Excercise is about Energy Drainers and Juicers. I had several examples of energy drains and juicers this past week. One thing that drains me is the heat. Temperatures here in north Florida have been in the upper 80s with the heat index near 100. Humidity levels are high and working outdoors in this environment totally drains me. I am spent by the end of the workday. I have worked to minimize this effect by keeping cool and hydrated as much as possible and replacing electrolytes. This definitely helps, but I realize I may need to move into a more managerial role in my landscaping business and save the hands-on work for the cooler months.

Another big drain has been an employee who lacks integrity. I had first thought about keeping them on until I found a replacement, but then I became very clear that it would be better to handle things myself than to let this continue another week so tomorrow will be his last day.

Some energy juicers have been time spent in the woods and at the beach. The trees are my friends and the cool salt water seemed to drain all the tension out of my body. I also had a great session with my acupuncturist, Rebecca Freeman. Her office is in Shalimar, Florida and she has a remarkable intuitive and healing talent. She said she saw some very sticky energy around me and I recalled a couple of people I had been working with a few days previous and had felt a real energy drain while around them. I had done some cleansing after, but obviously not enough. After our treatment I felt so much better.

Other juicers are: Seeing what's new and blooming in my garden. Writing. Listinening to good music and watching a good movie. (check out Georgia O'keefe and Up In the Air)

Another big juicer for me was getting my hair cut this week. With work and the heat, I don't have time nor the inclination to fuss with it, so I had it cut short yesterday. What do you think?

What are your Juicers?

Blessings and Grace,


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 8 - Starting Water Week

We are starting the second week of the 28-day Soul Coaching program today and the focus is Water and the emotions. It seems from my last post (see Day 6 & 7) that I have already started this cleanse! I went to the beautiful Gulf of Mexico at Navarre Beach, only 10 minutes from my home and spent about 45 minutes playing in the warm emerald green water. It was so healing and I felt the last of the emotional heaviness I was feeling yesterday leave my body as I dried off in the sun. Here is a picture of my bracelet against the beautiful waters of the Gulf.

Last night I was feeling a bit low so I decided to self-medicate with food. (Hey, it could be something worse!) Instead of the buffalo wings and beer I was tempted to pick up, I decided to make a nice pasta dish with sauteed fresh veggies and a white wine reduction sauce with a bit of creamy goat cheese and fresh lemon juice squeezed over the top accompanied by a spring green salad with home made croutons. It was yummy and did make me feel better. They don't call it comfort food for nothing. Meadow Linn has inspired me to cook gourmet meals for myself, and not just for others. Thanks Meadow! You can see her excellent blog with fabulous recipes at http://www.savortheday.blogspot.com/

Blessings to all, Melody

Day 6 & 7 - Soul Coaching 28 day program

Two nights ago I had a vivid dream. My most recent significant other (SO) and my sister were both in it. In the dream, and not too unlike their current situations, they were each going on a long trip that would take them far away from me. In the dream I was helping them pack and crying at the thought of how much I would miss them both. I awoke with a start and realized this was connected to the deep loneliness I had been feeling.

So, I continued in my intention to be The Observer in this.  I decided to go spend the night with my sister, who lives about an hour away. While our relationship has had it's up and downs, she has been the family member I have remained the closest to in my adult life. She was having a porch sale to lighten her load of material possessions and to help raise money for her move to south Florida. I brought my computer and showed her the pictures from my trip to California and my experiences at Summerhill and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and she showed me her pictures of her adventure sailing around the peninsula of Florida from Destin ending in Jacksonville where she had an accident on the boat and dislocated her shoulder. She had remained unable to work for the last two months. We had a great dinner, some home brewed beer and shared a few laughs.
In the morning I helped her with her porch sale for a while and bought a number of things for myself. I noticed that, while previously I might have felt sad for her, and she might have felt sorry for herself, and victimized by life's circumstances, neither of those things were happening. She seemed genuinely at peace with her decisions and ready to move into the next phase of her life, as uncertain as that might be. It was really good to see her in such a good frame of mind as she has struggled for years, carrying the weights and worries of life heavily upon her shoulder. I left her to finish with her sale, good-naturedly bargaining with prospective customers with the objects she had surrounded herself with in her life. On the drive home I felt grateful to have spent that time with her and reconnected in a way that perhaps was deeper and more pure than before.

At home, I still felt this nagging heaviness that I had attributed to the loneliness and started to cry as I unpacked some of the things I had purchased from my sister. Realizing that I had entered a grieving process for the two most significant relationships I'd had in the past 10 years. My inclination was to crawl into the cocoon of my home and isolate myself there until it passed, or I had to go to work. But, since decluttering your life is the theme for the 28-day process, I decided to honor a commitment I made at Summerhill and go out into nature at least once a week.

So, I packed up a small back pack and started off on a trail my SO and I had made that started at the back of his property and led to the Eglin Air Force Base reservation. Eglin owns the better part of three counties here in the Florida panhandle and has allowed people to camp, hike, hunt and fish on many areas, with the proper permits, of course. Most of the reservation is wilderness area, criss-crossed with forest roads, a few primitive campsites, numerous wildlife trails and the Florida Trail, part of the National Scenic trail, and a maintained hiking trail that starts at Big Cypress in south Florida and travels north, nearly to Jacksonville and then west to Pensacola. It come to within 10 miles of where we live and we have spent countless enjoyable hours hiking and camping along it's length.

While I love being outdoors and in nature, I am not a big fan of going out alone, but I made all the necessary preparations and pushed myself out the door in the very warm noon day sun. While in Yosemite and Sequoia, I had visited often by crows. It seemed no matter where I went, within a few minutes a crow or two would come and circle over my head then fly away. I looked up Crow in the Animal Totem book when I got home and crows represent change and are symbolic of the Shapeshifter, an archetype I identify strongly with. And there certainly has been a lot of change in my life in the past year, or twenty.

I thought of this change as I made my way through the narrow trail. We had considered this trail to be "our" trail as we had painstakingly cut it through and around long leaf pines, titi trees, sensitive ferns and hypericum that all grow wild in this area. Several downed titi trees hung low over the path and I noted that they would have to cleared. I tried to think now in terms of not "our" trail, but "the" trail, but the idea seemed foreign and awkward. The plan was to walk back to the East Bay river that runs about a mile and a half in and sit by the bank and journal.

I soon broke out of the titi thicket and into a more open pine woods area. I realized why I had been reluctant to make this trek. Every thing, every plant, every turn in the trail reminded me of our relationship and the happy hours we had spent together in nature. I walked past the still green woolly huckleberries we were fond of picking in the late summer when they turned black. Past the the Carolina Meadow Beauty, whose buds were beginning to form into what would be blossoms so shocking a pink that never failed to delight me. Past the fresh, lemony-scented false rosemary that I had used to season our Thanksgiving turkey and had a beautiful violet bloom in early spring that never failed to inspire a photo. Past the twisty blades of the yellow-eyed grass and through a carpet of dwarf live oak, whose plant stand barely a foot high, but whose underground root system is hundreds of years old.

I cut through to the wildlife trail that ran along the front side of a thicket, picking my way through the clumps of wiregrass and sweet gallberry that was now in bloom. Past the yaupon holly, ilex vomitoria name for it's purgative qualities. The native indians would use a tea made from the leaves, "white drink", as a cleanse before a big hunt, but the early settlers learned to toast the leaves to make "black drink" which contains caffeine. Their brilliant orange-red berries will often brighten my day in the drab winter months.

I came to the forest road that runs past an collection of AFB buildings, encircled by a tall chain link fence. The equipment it housed emitting a electrical hum that could be heard from my house on a quiet night. Past the spot where we had come upon a beautiful florida black bear in the morning mist that had stared at us for a brief moment before running into the woods. Past the tracks of coyote and raccoon and what looked to be a yearling bear cub embedded in the sand of the road. Tracks we had studied and identified countless times.

Past dewberries, whose juicy black berries grew on vines that run along the ground and a taste that rivals blackberries, in my opinion. Berries that we had picked to make jellies and cobblers and pies and to add to home made wines. Past redbay and wax mrytle and sweet bay magnolias, whose leaves we had crushed on countless walks to release their amazing scents.

I began to cry for all the things our relationship was and is and could not be. I wanted to be with him and to move on. I wanted to say, "Let's try again. There is so much good in what we had." but realized the differences, though few, represented places we could not go together. Places I must now go. I walked past the place where he spotted a bear, deep within a thicket, thrashing about, and took a short movie of it that he showed me at home later. Past the dozens of tire track we had become more dismayed to find on these roads which had been all but abandoned when we first started walking here years ago. We lamented about the destruction of the habitat and discarded trash we would find.

As I came to the clearing where the road ended at the edge of the river, I was disappointed to find a pickup parked there. Probably destroying some white top pitcher plants or any number of endangered plants that grew in abundance in this particular section, I thought with contempt. I'm not too tolerant of the needless destruction of wildlife, as you can see. I approached the river cautiously, stopping frequently to listen for talking or anything that would indicate another's presence. I heard nothing and stopped momentarily to wet the back of my neck. It would have been nice to take off my boots and wade int the cool water before sitting down to journal for a bit, but I did not want to be interrupted or even seen, for that matter so I made my way back along the road and cut across the the place where my SO had witnessed the bear.

He had taken me over to it last year and we were delighted to discover three different varieties of wild pink orchids growing around the perimeter of the area. I picked my way through the snarls of smilax vines, who we had affectionately referred to as "thorny flesh-eating vines". We'd borne many a scratches due to these vigorous and prolific vines, but had also learned that their tender tips tasted remarkably like fresh wild asparagus and were a favorite of deer. Now they were blooming, their tiny, nondescript green flowers exuding the sweetest perfume.

Past huge swatches of the carnivorous white topped pitcher plants, mouths open to catch unsuspecting insects, their blooms have an other-worldly look.

Last year was the first time in all of my hiking in north Florida that I had actually seen wild orchids. It had been an exciting find. This year, however, I found only two small orchids and wondered if I was too early or too late, or perhaps this just wasn't a good year for them.  I moved on and cut cross-country, heading south and a little east where I would join up with another series of forest roads that would take me to a large patch of blueberries, nestled amongst the long leaf pines that we had discovered on a hike one day. The sun was hot and my arms glistened with sweat that had mingled with sunscreen and insect repellent. I came to a place in the road that filled with water and formed a small temporary pond when it was wet. Last year, we had seen millions of tiny tadpoles wiggling about and surprised a water moccasin sunning himself at the edge of the warm water.

I crossed a narrow spot in the water and continued along the road past blooming green eyes and the pretty white flowers of the stinging nettled that would leave ferociously itchy welts that would last for hours, if accidentally brushed against your skin. Past more animal tracks around the corner to join yet another road and past another small pool of water. Suddenly a white feather laying in the road caught my eye. I picked it up amazed. We didn't have many white birds in this area, maybe on occasional egret, but I'd never seen one back here. I remembered reading in my Soul Coaching book to look for signs from the universe and that Denise talked about a white feather  while we were at Summerhill. I made a mental note to look up it's significance when I got home.

 and then into a dense, brushy road that looked like it had been cleared out recently by people who like to ride their four-wheelers back along the trails. We hadn't been too happy about this development as we liked to think of the blueberry patch as our little secret. But, perhaps they'd be too busy whizzing past on their machines to notice the deep blue-black gems that tasted like all the sweetness of sun and the rain had pressed itself against your taste buds.
The brush opened up after a short while to the pine woods and I saw that there would be an abundance of berries for picking later in the summer. Last year we had only picked a few berries as Eglin AFB had done a prescribed burn in this area the previous winter, much to our dismay, but the blueberries had come back, as full as ever. I sat for a moment on a log that had fallen across the road and enjoyed the sounds of the dozens of birds that would eat a large share of these berries, when ripe. We'd also be competing with the bears who were fond of sitting down on the middle of the bushes and eating to their heart's content.

When I had first hiked in this area, I had yet to come to appreciate the beauty and abundance of wildlife that inhabited the thickets and swamps. However, each time we had hiked here, we had discovered something new and beautiful and came to have a deep love for this unique habitat. I got up to go, giving thanks to the Creator for such a wonderful symbol of abundance and made my way back along the forest roads. Past the young live oak where we had stopped to rest and cool off after a long day of picking blueberries. I was so tired I forgot to apply a fresh layer of insect repellent and afterward spent some long days furiously scratching chigger bites. Past the small ponds again and another small live oak where we had once crawled into the shade to rest on a blistering hot day. We had gotten up to leave after a few minutes, but Dallas, our border collie had refused to leave the cool shade and stared at us with a look that said, "crazy humans". She came trotting home later, when the day was cooler, like any sensible animal would.

I came upon some prickly pear cactus in full bloom. I never failed to marvel how their brilliant and delicate yellow blooms contrasted with their thorny pads and how they withstood the harshest of conditions. We had braved their tiny bristles that would become embedded in our fingers as we harvested the brilliant deep pink fruits.

I continued along the roads this time, instead of cutting through the wildlife trail and along the firebreak. A large swath of vegetation that had been cut to the ground and ran behind the homes at the edge of the AFB boundary. Past the masses of wild fox grape wines that we had spent hours and hours picking for eating, making jellies and including in some of our favorite wines. Past the beginning of wildflowers; swamp sunflowers, rayless sunflowers, liatrus, polygonella and dozens of others that would begin blooming in June and go through late October.

Back through the short trail that led into the back yard of the property that I used to live on and care for. The property that is now only occupied by my former SO, now dear friend. The two and a half hour journey had been a sort of wonderful funeral of sorts. I felt much clearer, but spent and eager to take a long, cool shower and rest. My heart will always treasure these experiences, even as it moves toward a new creation. There is much to be thankful for.

Blessings, Melody

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 5

Here I am sitting on Beetle Rock in Sequoia National Park. This is what it feels like when I declutter - like I can breathe freely.

In Day 5 of the 28-day Soul Coaching program we are challenged to look at decluttering our lives and specifically our homes. I went through the check list on Day 5 and found some good news, and some bad news: The good news is that I moved not that long ago and have already purged a lot of unwanted, old things or items that held sad memories. I realized it was hard to let go of some of the letters cards and journaling I had done because I had put so much of myself into them. I had really struggled to express the deep emotions I was feeling back then, but it was time to let them go. So, I built a bonfire outside, poured myself a nice, strong drink and, one by one, tossed them into the fire and watched their glowing ashes float up into the night heavens. It was actually quite freeing and not sad at all.

Now for the bad news; even though I have moved and took care to put things in my home that are meaningful to me, I still have some pockets of clutter and two big ones are my office and my garage. For some reason, they have been daunting to me. I especially need to clear my office as I need to use that space nearly every day and get frustrated at not being able to find things. The garage holds things that need something done to them before I can bring them into the house; sanding, a new coat of paint or varnish, cleaning up in some way. Some stuff I am just going to give away.

Today, I am going to start on the desk in my office and get that cleaned off and usable and will let you know what exciting things happen as a result. Onward!

Blessings, M
PS: It seems as though in preparation for this process I have been decluttering my relationships as well. Anyone else find that to be true? It is also freeing, but a little scary and it brings up loneliness. I have decided to be with this loneiless today and see what it has to tell me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good Morning All!

I am on Day 4 of Denise Linn's 28-day Soul Coaching Program. Earlier this month I completed the Certification for becoming a Soul Coach and had such an amazing transformative experience while at her Summerhill Ranch in Paso Robles, CA. (More about that later.) Today's lesson is on becoming The Observer in your life. What does that mean? Think of The Observer as an objective bystander that simply notices what is happening without judgement. I have done this process many times and it can be extremely enlightening. I actually started this process yesterday when I noticed that I had hired someone that had some of the same qualities as the last employee I had to let go: Lack of attention to detail. Unwillingness to follow instruction, etc. What I noticed about myself in all of this was that I had allowed my emotions to influence my decisions instead of relying on my knowing that there was something not quite right when I hired this person. Everything checked out in their references, etc. But there was one statement he made that caught my attention. But, my mind rationalized, I will give him an opportunity -- I will help him start over, (because I know what that is like) and he will be grateful and be a wonderful, hard-working employee!

I made a decision based on my emotions and then used my mind to rationalize my decision. The truth was, that this person could work hard and was knowledgeable, but lacked integrity and honesty. I had been judging myself rather harshly and my failure to read my own clues, but then I was able to simply release that judgement. And, I wasn't getting any clear insights with all the heavy guilt and resentment, anyway. I also noticed something else; I no longer felt anger and resentment toward him. I am now learning to trust my instincts and inner guidance. My next employee will be the BEST EVER!

What about you? What has your Observer taught you?

Have a deeply meaningful day,


For more information about Soul Coaching and Denise Linn go to : http://www.deniselinn.com/

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This was the amazing sight I woke up to the last morning I spent in Yosemite Valley. Even with two inches of snow in May, it was breathtaking.