Tag Archives: Laurie Buchanan

Comfortably Numb or a Firework

Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel you commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone you dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to (love) look  for the best in people, and soften your heart – even as you always accept yourself for exactly who  you are with all your so-called imperfections. Rob Brezsny

commitment to beauty

This may become a book report, or maybe just an observation on where my life is today and where I wish it to go? The above quote is from Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia: How the whole world is conspiring to shower you with blessings. This the full title more or less for this amazingly sometimes irreverent but always joyous, passionate language and guide to following your bliss, traveling through the maze of everyday muck into a joyful blissful experience of life. Which something I desire to do and be.

I became aware of Rob Brezeny some years ago when one the men at Easton Mt Retreat center suggested his astrology site to me. Free Will Astrology  I would read the weekly report, and this is not your Mother astrology reading, these are off the wall, sometimes vague, yet always entertaining and informative. (if you’re looking for a new take on your astrology) .

My friend posted  Comfortably Numb  this morning on Facebook, and I resonated with the song immediately for that is what I have been experiencing in my life, now there is a negotiation with shadow, to admit such a state of being! Just going through process but not really feeling one way or another. Sometimes I say to myself, I am just being present. Is being present the lack of emotion or feeling? I always seem to have more questions than answers, one must precede the other, I think?

Light shine through the forrest !

So the admittance of this fact of numbness is a place of surrender, a place of knowledge,  and the reason for Pronoia to show up in my life more fully. I was at Barnes and Noble to meet a friend, I needed some human contact and a person I could communicate with, yet the day was an odd day, one in which I felt shifts of energy, low vibrations in another space, and even with my friend I didn’t feel completely connected as I usually do. So once she left I went to look for Jeff Brown’s Soulshaping which they did not have in stock but I had seen Pronoia on the shelf and if felt that was the sign to purchase and dive into this material. For a few day before I was reading astrology newsletter and had used a quote on my Facebook page which got some notice. “Evil is boring. Cynicism is idiotic. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Joy is fascinating. Love is an act of heroic genius. Pleasure is your birthright. Receptivity is a superpower.”  It was in the energy of those words that I reached out, that I began to search for more, I began to desire to have this language that is positive and wildly blissful be part of my life experience.  So there you have it, in order not to be so darn serious, I have chosen to be heroic to experience pleasure, listen more intently to the message.  No one can change me but my choice to do so, as my friend Laurie,  Holistic practitioner  uses as her motto or guide suggest “Follow your heart”. Wise advise.

sweet fragrance

So I leave you with another song one that I hear in my mind very often. Katy Parry’s Firework: “there is a spark in you, ignite your light … your a firework !

Growth Question: Are you comfortable numb or are you lighting up the sky like a firework?

Not Knowing

Make your own recovery the first priority in your life. Robin Norwood

simple beauty!

My first thoughts was that I could and would write this morning, that the block had opened, the I felt different for the first time in weeks. Had I prayed for this you bet, had I reflected on why I was in the state I was in sure, had I any idea not it real tangible way. I consciously asked before sleep that this darkness pass, the block be undone. The message I received this morning was that the moment was right. To begin walking again. Walking in the light of spirit, with the winds of creativity lifting heart and hands to move beyond where I was. I realized I do not generally get colds or illness, yet I am overcome for weeks at a time with melancholy, depression, lack of interest, lack of trust and fear are my constant companions, and I have to welcome them for what ever reason. Had I made the wrong choices, went down the incorrect path, because all of a sudden the world became dark, and frightening to some degree.

A month or so ago, I was told by a healer, that I had spirits that lingered and that they caused much of the heaviness that I experience at times. That I needed to do ritual every so often to ask them to leave, which of course I had not done. Even writing this I feel some presence pushing, pulling at me, could be just ego rearing its impatience with me.

Ever Green


So when I sat at the computer this morning and it would connect to the internet I was like, Oh sure here we go, I have been lead to write and the path is block, yet it is only blocked by my own ability to see my options. Yes I like the wordpress.com’s ablitiy to word process, for I don’t have word on my computer, I have to use TextEdit whatever the heck that is? But it is a writing tool and usable to create a document in some fashion.  At once I open ITunes to listen to music to set the correct tone, and that format had changed as well, yikes!

Yet what had not changed was my ability to write, to read the suggested principles in the Artist’s Way and the Rule of the Road, to set me on the path, along that path, flipping through the book, words and sentance caught me attention, shown light on places in my mind giving it much needed energy to once again breathe, to experience, to be awed by life itself. Not to dwell in the dark, empty world of facebook, and games, TV even though we now get Turner Movie Classic station, they are no subsitutes for “real” life, the roads into it, because I sat there yesterday afternoon watching a film about Our Lady of Fatima experiencing tears of joy and saddness all at the same time. The innocents of these children, their belief and faith inspite of the family and world thinking that had made it all up, the church and government fully against them, yet determined to see the Lady every month, and each month more and more people traveled miles to be in the presence of these childern and the “Lady”.  I sat there as well wondering have we really listened to the “Lady’s” advice, do we still need to honor the “mother” for peace to have its way with us? Yes we do need to continue to honor the Mother, Gaia, the Mother of all Life, the giver of all life, it is in our child like belief to see Mother, in the frost on the ground, hear her voice in the bird that sings from the branch above, feel her caress in as the winds blow across your face, feel her life force in the breath we take each moment, along with the rest of the earth and universe.


A few weeks ago I recieved the next sections of the Life Harmony program “Self-Reflection” I read it, with the consciousness that I had read all of this before, had I? Yes. Yet it did nothing to help my state of mind or spirt only made me more discontent, saying to myself I am no more closers to the practice than I was months ago when I started, that I stopped doing all the suggested practices weeks before.  Yet knowing during the summer I began to get more invovled in my life again, that I felt more energy, that I was eating healthier, I was getting more social, and in some ways more creative. The pages/blog where welcomed practices that informed, enlightented, energized, guided, and shared with my own ego and the world around me what the heck I was doing. It was a record of the path I had taken, the thoughts that I thought, the actions I had taken or the intentions I had to accomplished contiue on my journey to harmony. The path of “self-reflection” is lead by finding the balance in that balance “we enjoy qualities from the constructive side of self. These include feeling connected to our senses of insight, clarity, discernment and fulllillment of personal duty. We are open to unleased, unlimited, potential and possibility.” ( Life Harmony, Laurie Buchanan). Yet at the time I was not feeling these at all, I was completely off balance, I was experiencing negative effects which include, “self-absorption, feeling frustrated, nervous, energtically drained, fear, intolerence, impracticality, and melancholy.” (Life Harmony, L, Buchanan).


I have had to stop to breathe in the music of Joshua Bell, and Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro from his Romance of the Violin! It has to be one of the most beautifull pieces of music I have heard in my life, as the tears stream down my face, and the emotion just wells with its beauty.


So I leave with the statement of what “Self-Relection” is:

I cultivate clarity

I am discerning; I exercise sound judgement

I trust my intuition and insights

I am more aware today thank I was yesterday

I am conscious and mindful

I approach life in a purposeful manner

I inspire others

I utilize positive thinking

I embrace the myseries that I encounter

I am courageous and ask “Why” and “Why Not”?

I am open to new ideas

I am secure with not-knowing

I function from a place of endless possibilities


Express Truth

When the energy of the Heart is allowed to move up through the throat, we are able to express and speak out truth. Truth is a vibration of the universe. To express truth is to be in harmony with the universe. Reiki and the Seven Chakras: Richard Ellis

My truth does not seem to be spoken verbally as of late, my truth is expressed through this space of blog/pages. As much as my ego (doubt) wishes to fight me in not getting these pages written my spirit sings and my creativity flows when I get out of my own way, got out of my head, breathe, and begin to write/type. There is a comfort in this action, this behavior allows be to Be present for myself and for those who read this blog.

on the move

My art speaks my truth as well, the photography has always been about allow nature to speak her voice in painting with light. Nature and I have dance together for the past 7 years, she expressing herself through seasonal evolution, through the expression of joy and or sadness on someone’s face, or the silent action of buildings as the raise and line a street effecting the light and shadow of a city. All expressions of speaking their truth!

Finding ways to speak my truth, cultivate my craft, through exhibits, my own and others. Seeking paths that lead to creative support and exposure is all part of being creative. It is not just doing the work, it is not just placing the art out there, it is understanding what the art does, how it can and may effect the viewer.

Ok this seems to feel forced. Once again I have to ask myself where are you going with this? Do I have to go anywhere with this? The pages are to rest, to dream, to try. So that is what is unfolding.

Thoughts are coming about after having been to the Philadelphia Photographic Society meeting on Tues, yes I paid my dues and filled out an application to become a member, simple, wonder why it took me so long? At the meeting beside all the business, there was speaker Ms Strauss, who shared here latest work and projected work with the group. She was not articulate in many ways, she seemed to be unclear of how she expressed her art. She had done a 10 year project, of photography exhibits, one each year displayed on the pillions of highway 95. The exhibit was on 3 hours long, and then was taken down, either by herself, or by viewers who wished to have a photograph. Ms Strauss work is raw, industrial, in that she has capture intercity life, from the margin’s, disenfranchised people would pose for her, with her asking, the realness to these people’s poses, not in the beauty but in the character of who they project to the world they survive in day-to-day, sometimes moment to moment.


It took some to get into the mind-set of Ms Strauss work, in time the light went on. I think the reason for this is that her own inability to place language around what drives her work caused many to wiggle in their seats, there were questions ask to help clarify, yet her art to her was personal and emotional, so for another to get that one would have to spend time with Ms Strauss. What we did get, or I should speak for myself, what I got was a sense of need to expose the world that she sees and experience.  I received an appreciation for a different form of photograph, I would not normally go out of my way to look at. Heart, mind, and spirit had to open to receive and receive it did!

The exposure to the Philly Photographic Society has already informed me of two or more up coming exhibitions I can be part of. One being the society’s own shared exhibit which are a month-long display at Bonte’s Cafe. They actually have two locations, the second one is used for Solo Themed shows, so that is a future exhibit I will explore. Another exhibit takes place at the Sketch club a juried exhibit which accepting submissions this weekend.

city hussle

I have decided to do handmade photographic cards, cardstock with printed photographs attached to the front. Bought myself a portfolio to organize and display photographs to those who I may come in contact with at restaurants and coffees shops that offer space to exhibit. I can trust that a person will go to Redbubble to view my work after I leave a shop and presenting them with my card. So stay turned.

So shifting my vibration through breath, and as of late it seems that I have not been breathing well, I feel like I am holding my breath, consciously I have to tell myself to breathe. Choosing to move into another direction where creative vibration is almost touchable is a great source of inspiration. Just yesterday I had the honor of being presented on Terrill Welsh’s blog Creative Potager , a fabulous, creative being herself, Terrill, inspired me to blog and to use her “sprout” question as an inspiration for my “growth question” which ends our blogs, so that we can engage readers from another level of being present.

Also yesterday evening I was approached by a fellow photograph Susan Arnold, who was a Gaia friend who defected to Facebook, we use to share about our photograph but I had not heard from Susan in a while and there she was popping up on my chat window, inquiring about Redbubble.com! She was seeking inspiration to get out of her slump, and she said I had inspired her in past and she was grateful for me being present. I suggested The Artist’s Way of course and any assistance she may desire in uncovering her creativity !

Now that I have wrote I feel the vibration of the universe much more present, I have danced around my ego spiral to be on the other side. Have I spoken my truth, in fact, it is my truth as I know it. I can not speak another’s truth, I can only speak my truth that comes from my heart, Listen to your heart, Laurie Buchanan signs off on her blog Speaking from the Heart !

Growth Question: Are you telling  your truth?

I am Love, Jeff


I express myself truthfully

I am clear, concise and articulate

I voice my choice

I live creatively

I keep my word to myself and others

I am organized and planful

I am a good listener

I am honest

I give benefit to the doubt

I embrace personal expression

I nurture my inner resources

I function from a place of original thought


I am creativity

I am Self -Expression

These are the opening words and/or affirmations to the next path of self growth and/or awareness within the Life Harmony program, created by Laurie Buchanan at HolEssence . I wrote this because it give it a depth to the action words and affirmation when I write ideas and thoughts that have meaning to me. It allows me to have another relationship with the words, in a sense giving them new life and energy within me or for me. The process of writing causes me to look at the words, read the meaning, add meaning, as well as question whether these are self-expression are true for me.

Am I those expression of self ? Honestly not always but that is why I am in the process to re-discovering myself, my true self. The journey is ever continuing, moving forward and sometimes backward, it is like a waltz, the dance usually gets you back where you started, if you have practiced and allowed yourself to enter the music of life.

Wooded Creature

On Tuesday evening I met with the mens group to get a feel of what that is all about. There were four men two in their 60s, one in his 50’s, one in mid 30’s! I was welcomed even though late, I got lost, but I was a man about it and asked for directions. The process of the meeting was explained to me, the sense of what it is is a heart circle based on native american ritual, as well as non-violent communication processes. These men all had partaken of the Warrior weekend and it was a support system and well as a way for the men to stay connected. The meeting was open so that I could experience and witness some of the effects the warrior training had on their lives. Of course this was sacred space and what was share there stays there.

They would not really discussion what the warrior weekend training was like because they don’t wish to muddy the experience by preconceived ideas or notions of what to expect or not to expect! Understandable.

While we went through the evening and the different pieces of the process of sharing, my thoughts wandered to Easton and our weekly community meeting, if it had been set up in this manner, personalities and ego would not have had the same control, personal issues could and would have had a venue to be worked through in healthy, peaceful manner. I was honored to be part of these mens process, and they sought to make me as much a part of the circle as they could, explaining each step. I think there may have been a bit of a concern with me present, that sharing did not happen completely. I think some held back.

Caught in the Light!

Yesterday evening I went Starting Point to discuss with Vince a space/office to begin my private Reiki practice. I was greeted warmly, yet I left disappointed and looking into how to bring my vision to fruition. Vince explained to me the Reiki was not a big draw, that three or four people already offer the practice as part of their other counseling. The rooms are either rented for the day or depending on need, I would have to have a regular client list to afford the space at this times. So we agreed that I would offer first a discussion on Conversations with God during their meet the counslor evenings, as well as one on Reiki in the next few months. I could begin the CwG study group within the next few weeks, most likely the first of Oct.

So I have to organize and plan my gathering of Reiki clients, set my mind to offering the study group and hopefully create clients from that space as well. The first step in activating the creation of my practice is on the move. It is a positive direction, full of promise and possibilities. I hear my ego saying “we told you this wouldn’t work? ” Not so say I, this is just the beginning of gathering of energy to create and make real my vision.

Tonight I have a meet up gathering of mix-media artist, sort of a Salon to gather artist together to discuss art, support and encourage art and artist ! I am looking forward to this.

I have been attending more social, intellectual, artistic gatherings in the past week then I have in months, I have ventured out of my shell for the first time in a long time. It is good, I knew these opportunities where there and I had made attempts to attend but I had not for whatever reasons, each one an excuse for not showing up, not being present in my life. Not anymore, I will show up, I will be present, I will partake in the gifts and opportunities to create abundance!

Growth Questions:  Do you find your self, self expressing and what does that look and feel like to you?

I am Love, Jeff

Integrating New Distinctions

Integrating new distinctions is often like building a muscle. When we first make the movement with the weight, it is perhaps awkward. Sometimes we get sore as a result of our efforts. However, sooner or later it becomes second nature, we increase our weight load and begin to take on ever more complex moves… Jason D, McClain

Rusty Red

It is within those complex moves that has caused me to become the reluctant bloger once again. The past week has been a week of shifting, a week of returning to old self behavior, behavior that does not serve my Higher Self but my ego. I reached out to comfort myself with food in the form of  sugar, in process food, that tasted good but blurred the edges of self. I also found comfort in hours of numbing TV shows, it is not so much the shows as the endless commercials that blind the senses, dull the mood, which I was seeking to get away from. Each morning I would wake up feeling depression sitting on my chest, overwhelming my mind, I did everything but write about it, I did everything the old behavior said would make me feel good. I did in a manner of speaking but the new muscles struggled with the weight of too much like being healthy, the habits had not become second nature. James McClain’s piece goes on to state

“It is the same with insight and integration. Integration is not an event. Integration is a process. A process worth every sore muscle encountered along the way, as the pay-off is not only fuller liberation, but the ability to contribute to others as an example of a life worth modeling.”

For some reason I began to doubt the process and whether it was worth my time and effort, it became more of a struggle then a way of life integrated within the everyday. Even to set here now became an effort, once I started to write the blog/pages, I had to reset my password, I had to find James McClain’s page to link his work. Than the dogs wanted to go for their second walk, everything felt like it was trying to sabotage getting this done. Writing my pages/blog is part of the creative process, part of the clearing, it is the planning, and accepting, it is the lifting the weights of ego and embracing spirit to dance in rhythm with each other not struggle. These two selfs are not separate by equal, they inform each other of what is and what was.

nut and blots

Laurie Buchanan, my coach,  once again in our mid-week check in suggested or observed that my behavior seems to shift when my Mother presence is present. I have sought to become more conscious of this shift in behavior, yet I have not come to any real conclusions as to why it happens. Not placing blame here, just making observations as well. The mind-set is mine, keeping my boundaries, keeping my sanity, in the energy of Mom.

My exhibit came down last weekend, I was a good run. I did not sell anything other than the one piece that sold during the reception. So I am looking into new space, new opportunities to exhibit, explore and challenge my art, my creativity.  In a few weeks, I will be joining the Philadelphia Photographic Society in which I will have more access to exhibits and artist. As well as my friend Lou sister Kathleen, started a meetup.com group for mixed-media artist, sort a salon, to share about what is going, place to connect . I have also begun to attend a group I joined a year ago, and had not returned to since, a spiriting sharing and healing group in which we can share about our process and experience different forms of healing in a safe energetic space.

I heard from Vince at The Starting Point in Westmont NJ, we have a meeting set for Wednesday evening to discuss my plans for office space to begin my Reiki practice, and a few groups. I am truly looking forward to this expression of myself and my gifts.

I have also begun to be more involved with my Redbubble site, I have not done much there in the past few weeks or longer. I am not sure why, I was thinking though that this blog takes a bit of an effort to get together and spending time on the redbubble site got push aside, except for me commitment to co-host Candid Photography Group, which in some ways has suffered as well. It has been joyful to connect with my work again, and the work of so many wonderful artist. These are the places my well is filled, where inspiration is an energy that you can feel and take in.

Hinged II
There is much more going on than what is written above and in the next few days more will be revealed. As I truly begin to integrate life and spirit skills in spite of egos desire to hold on tight to the old, when the new is so much more enriching and joyful.
There is much more going on than what is written above and in the next few days more will be revealed. As I truly begin to integrate life and spirit skills in spite of egos desire to hold on tight to the old, when the new is so much more enriching and joyful.

Growth Question: Do your integration muscles get sore and you mind get numb from to much outside influence?

I am Love, Jeff

PS: Yes I know I have comments to respond to. Thank you everyone who has read and commented in the past week or so that I have yet to respond too. Your responses are part of the integration process.

Divinity in Action

“Love, of course, being the source of the energy that informs and offers infinite possibilities to continuously dance around the spiral of life.” Jeff Stroud


I use this quote to start with today because as Laurie commented on yesterday’s blog she was going to use my blog for our Mid-week check for Life Harmony program work. Laurie would like to know why I choose the word spiral instead of another descriptor?  Because I have come to understand that we are never in the same place even through we may sometimes feel like we are. Our experiences of a situation or thing will be different due to our knowledge of time spend going around. I first came upon the word spiral when reading and working on Co-dependent issues through Melody Beattie’s work . Later when working with Barbara Marx Hubbard with the Gateway to Consciousness she uses the work of  spiral patterns to express how we shift as we evolve that we are never in the same space twice. That we are always moving up or back to the center, even if we feel we have fallen back. Yet we will not say there as long in the sameness, we will have learned how to use new tools, speak a new language, express ourselves from a Higher Vibration.

Divinity in action

Another question based on my writing yesterday is ” I realize that my sadness or sense of depression is the letting go of old parts of me …”
Will you please tell me what these parts are? Those parts are my comfortableness with sadness, another part is allowing myself to experience what I know, use my knowledge and wisdom on a more purposeful scale. In light of that I stop yesterday at Starting Point, the 12 Step Center I used to work at to ask about an office to do my Reiki practice, offer Conversations with God study group and maybe even The Artist’s Way group.  I had been to unsure of myself and what my gifts meant. When I was gifted with my first Reiki attunement my teachers gave this to me for free and said to me “use this gift to heal and to inspire the world around”.  I had not fully taken that gift to its full potential, I am ready know. I am meeting with Jodi, the Reiki master/healer I met last week, this afternoon to chat, to be in her wisdom. Bringing the abundance to another level. I had know about Jodi for over a year yet I had not been able to get myself to a share or even to meet her. For a few reason and they are excuses, I did not want to travel that far, not sure how far it is but about 20 minuet ride, plus that fact that she was a woman. My intention was to do work with Gay men, not that my experience of gay men healers has been all that rewarding, but I desired to be in that energy if I could find it and hold it. I have not. Not yet…

The next question for the Mid-week check is: You said, “… giving us permission to move beyond who we were, to who we truly are, Divinity in action.”
How close to, or far away from, do you think/feel you are from who you were? I am not sure if I can answer this clearly. But heck I will give it ago. There are times that I have felt very close to the divine in action, yet many times it was confused with my spiritual superiority, my ego, my wanting to fix everyone. Now the clarity is more in the sense of being an example which I thought I was, yet my anger and frustration placed a block in being and example of anything positive.

On the heels of that question, how close to, or far away from, you think/feel you are from Divinity in Action? I am a breath away from Divinity in Action. Joel S. Goldsmith once wrote that “God is closer than Breathing.” One of the most powerful expression I have ever read or felt! I am Divinity in Action. Yet sometimes I forget.

just a breath

I know there is not “right” or “wrong” answers to these questions yet ego wants to know it did well while spirit just allows the thoughts to evolve into words to try to explain something that is sometimes unexplainable because Being in the action of the Divine, just is.

Growth Question: Is our growth really measurable after a certain point?

I am Love, Jeff

Joy of an authentic self

Joy is internal, one of the best way to start cultivating it is by getting to know yourself; to know, accept and embrace your authentic self in all areas of your life. Laurie Buchanan

Rowand Pond

The more I take time to write the blog/morning pages the more I see the growth of my Authentic self. The purpose in writing is to reflect back to myself, who I am, who I think I am and who I am showing up as, to shine light on the shadows, gift the self with warm embraces, to allow joy to shine all over the place. I am grateful each day when I get to wake up, I greet the dogs and we go for our walk, each sensation is almost like new, the breeze on the skin, the fragrance of the air, which this morning is green, because it has cooled off, before that the fragrance was earthy, grass, burnt, dry grass, that was crisp to the walk.  The moment now is hearing the sparrows chirping, zipping to and fro across my line of vision, the breeze blowing the corners of the paper I was reading.

I did not write yesterday even through I had the full intention to do so, first the source of my writing was not present, and I had to request a back up, second because of the weather, it was stormy, low gray sky, my out-door wi-fi connection would not stay on. Once back in side, the energy was shifted and the moment was gone. I responded to blogs, I connected to people on Facebook, I ended up going to my room to read and fell asleep for a good hour or so. Which was refreshing but disconcerting too. I did think of writing about the unexpected visit to local ponds and lakes, one of which was once land owned by my paternal Grandmothers Grandparents, the Rowands, who once own a good part of a town which is now Clementon NJ. Opps getting distracted trying to find info on the Rowands. Found nothing this far other than on the link to Clementon NJ and John R. Rowand Mill House. Have to search another time.

Water lily pads

In my Mid-week check in with Laurie concerning the Life Harmony Program I was ask some question based on a blog that I had written on Monday or Tuesday. So here are my answers…

“… Allowing the gift of confusion, pain, to inform me of where the work is that I may need to do, to evolve into the Being I wish to be.”

I very much appreciate that you understand EVERYthing including confusion and pain can be used to inform us of what action steps we need to take to continue evolving. My questions for you here are:

Please share one example of confusion you’ve experienced and how it ended up being a gift for growth. While I lived at Easton Mt Retreat center confusion reigned, there was a sense of spirit and healing but when you got underneath that, the men where being men with all their unclear boundaries and unexpressed rules and behaviors. That confusion lead to my relationship with Nature, with my camera, the healing practice of Reiki.

When I was three years sober in order to stay sober I left a seven-year relationship which was to be the relationship of my life time. ( I thought). The pain of leaving was unimaginable yet to stay sane and sober leaving seem to be the only answer. The pain was raw and rich which offered me a look into who I need to be to survive and I did not belong in a relationship survival.

“The only safety is in the realization of our divine nature, a condition of complete simplicity that cost us not less the everything.”

Please share with me what you feel is the best part of your divine nature. The best part of Divine nature is my ability to Love, Love is divine nature in action.

Please share with me what you consider to be the most simple aspect of you. In spite of the risk and changes that occur in my life, in spite of the moments when I felt depressed and sad, lonely even the simple choice of having Divine Love in my life allowed for me to find the path again. Is Love simple? Yes, when it is truly unconditional!

Lady in red

Another part that Laurie shared with me is this:

“For without taking care of ourselves first, finding our own space, to write, to create, to pray, meditate, learning to love ourselves service is a tool for resentment, it is a block to creativity and block of our spirit to infuse ourselves to be fully present in the world.”

I don’t have any questions about this piece, I simply wanted to make the observation that I’m very impressed with your heart/head process here. It’s like you’ve discovered the internal intersection of head/heart — which is the location that I refer to as the seat of wisdom.

I am most grateful of the feedback and the affirmation that I am on the right path! Thank you, Thank you!
Another piece Laurie ask about was:
Now, all of that aside … any more thoughts on the experienced server position at the restaurant you mentioned the other day? Any more thoughts on creating personal living space in the garage –if yes, wouldn’t it be freezing cold in the winter? Or is it a “finished” garage? Any more thoughts on potentially going on a brief getaway to your neighbor’s place in Maryland?

The answer is that those are still in thought stage, No the garage is not finished, there is electric, besides cleaning out all the years of accumulation, construction work would have to happen to make it livable.

I have not seen the neighbors as of yet to ask again yet it is on my list. I may take a day trip to DC to visit Sherrileen from Gaia and try to see Barbara K too. Yet the “gateway” space would be good.

As for the servers position, I have a big block in venturing back into the restaurant business.

That is where all of that is at the moment.

Growth Question: Did you experience joy in your life?

I am Love, Jeff

For more photos go to http://www.redbubble.com/people/jeffstroud


Here in this body are the sacred rivers: here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places… I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body. Saraha

inside on the outside

My day came crashing after writing yesterday,  illness washed over me as I sat later in the day to check email, do some work on www.redbubble.com . I physically felt a wave of dizziness, shifting my mind/body/spirit whence it had come I know not. I had not eat anything, I had not normally would have eaten, the weather was nice, I was feeling good until that moment. From then on I began to be tried, sleepy and even went for a nap. It was 3:00 pm! I usually begin to get things ready for dinner by than yet standing in the kitchen even after my nap was not going to happen. I try to set with whatever was happening and let in inform me but nothing seemed to change. I went back to my room to read and rest, yes read, I did not want to sleep for than I would be up all night.

This morning I am feeling better but that energy shift knocked me for a loop! My thoughts it may have been the carpet freshener I used after I vacuumed the day before. It Fabreeze in it and I should have left the house for a while after, yet this was 24 hours later?  Or maybe it was the Solar eruptions shifted energy and my state of being.

Once again I am outside the air is humid, yet the breeze keeps the humidity at bay to a degree. Earlier the cicada’s where screeching to high heaven to announcement of the heat, yet the sky as gradually gotten darker instead of lighter, a storm maybe brewing. The rain is welcome.

Laurie has ask some thought-provoking mid-week check in questions, her observations from her point of perspective, mostly distance, yet I think she has a more intimate intuitive view than most people who are in my physical realm, is that I am having a more difficult time with this self, Self-acceptance, “this self validates our sense of worth and provides emotional empowerment… This self is concerned with unconditional love, generosity and self-esteem… often translating into forgiveness , letting go and compassion. Self-acceptance in balance we enjoy qualities from the constructive side of self, Harmony, understanding, self – esteem, compassion and Love.

Out of balance self-acceptance we can experience attributes from the negative side; self-rejection. These include feeling dishonest, possessive, jealous, reckless, greed and cruelty.” (Buchanan, L. Life Harmony program)

on the surface

Well I don’t feel any of the above attributes, I just may not be expressing my in balance attributes in a more enlightened way. I may have been out of balance last week after mom left, yet since I have walked with that experience I seem to see and feel it has taken a turn to a new perspective. I got myself out side to write, I took care of chores and met with my friend, gearing up for new photo opportunities, I have candid photo shot for a friends fund-raiser later in the month and asked to borrow a flash defuser, for shooting in side will be a bit difficult without the proper tools.

I have begun writing my blog/pages again which when doing is a joy, and very enlightening to view myself from a different perspective. Getting out side to read meditative literature, surrounded by nature, eating my breakfast, being present to vive up my mind/spirit is all self-acceptance in balance or more balancing.

a moment in time

Other questions from the mid-week check-in:

What do you think will be different about you this time next year?  I think that I will have better perspective on how and why I do what I do, how I think and or react and or respond to life in a more positive direction.

What do you hope will be different this time next  year? I hope the above statement is true in not only how I think but how I am being.

What do you think will be the same about you this time next year? I think I will be the same in my ability  in continued self discovery. Ever evolving !

What do you hope will be the same about you this time next your!  That I have the ability to evolve emotionally, spiritually, holistically.

What is your all time favorite characteristic about yourself? The ability to be characteristic! Ha ha. I think my humor.

What is your all time least favorite characteristic about yourself? Do I have any of those? Oh yeah right, Self-doubt!

Is anyone in your sphere of influence making inroads as it relates to your heart? No, not that I am aware of.

Are you trying to make inroads into the heart of someone within your sphere of influence? No.

When was the last time your heart went pitty-pat at the advance of someone else?  It has been sometime. 5-7 years.

When was the last time you made someone’s heart go pitty-pat? That I can not answer at all, I am not aware that I have caused anyones heart go pitty-pat in some time.

Now that was a trip into self-acceptance and self-awareness. Easier than I thought it would be when I first read the question. Yet being honest and authentic is what this trip is about is about, this time around the spiral is to walk through doors I may have looked at but not journeyed through. The path of self-acceptance is to know from where you came from, to where you are now, to where you wish to be in the near/present future.

Tiny Power

Laurie, thank you shinning the light!  Offering the safe space to delve into self and to experience new selfs. !

Growth Question: What selfs of  you are showing up?

I am Love, Jeff


… one spirit child can lead a hundred of the physical children out of the woods. Therefore, give freely of our ideas, our poetry, out art-in other words, our spirit children. In this way we reach out to all kinds of people, we speak in many different dimensions. We bring the world to the village.” Harry Hay

pale yellow/green

The quote above resonated with me as I read it yesterday and I did not have the time to give to writing blog/pages yet it called to me this morning once again even though I was drawn to another quote which may show here as well.

Harry Hay was and his partner John Burnside are the founding fathers of the Radical Faeries as well as Harry Hay’s continued work on redefining gender and the rights of GLBT people. Is influence is all over the modern-day gay moment, even though many are unaware of his contributions to our freedom and expression of spirituality and sexuality in a more conscious way.

I bring this forth as I begin to re-define who I am, in what defines me as a person. In Self-Definition section of the Life Harmony course Laurie Buchanan ask us to examine or make a list of the Shades of color and contrast of canvas that is our life. Which gives it depth and captures our attention, drawing us in to experience who we are from a deeper level of self, in other words from outside in, yet giving the inside the opportunity to shine the light that illuminates out being. The questions are Who are your favorite teachers and authors? Who are  your heros? What are your favorite things?

A few years ago while in workshop, I think, Body Electric a ten-day intensive erotic awareness workshop, we where ask to claim our ancestors, in two minutes, I said immediately my gay ancestors, the men and women who came before me so that I could now stand there among other gay man claiming my sexuality in wholeness and healthiness. I had a the time some knowledge of the GLBT community who came before me, but not as rich as it became later or is still unfolding. One of the reasons I went to Easton Mt Retreat center was to claim my space among those people. To learn, to hear their wisdom, to gain knowledge  about who I was as a gay man from a different perspective then bars, bath houses, back-rooms, and unconscious sexual behavior. To reach out beyond the surface to polish the gems, to open the gifts in awareness to define me as a whole being. Those who where unheard of heros, ordinary men an women who made life for the GLBT community that much more open an honest.

Rusty Swan

My favorite teachers are Fr Joe Orsini, Father Jack, Sister Barbara, later in community collage there where a hand full of men and women who ran the Behavioral Health and Human Services department who influenced my learning greatly.

Authors: Neale Donald Walsch, Wayne Dryer, Mark Thompson, Caroline Myss, Dan Millman, Anne Rice, Michael Connelly, Eckhart Toole, Andrew Harvey. And so many more…

These author and teacher and heros all define different groups I identify with as well. Spiritual community, wellness, wholeness communities, GLBT community.

Of course the photography community as well as the arts which is a newer more powerful identification than it had been before. Inspiration is all around me in all forms of life, interest expand and wane as the shifting moods. Being creative has opened new doors, new vistas of ever evolving consciousness.

Got to stop now none of this is making and sense the flow seems to have pooled somewhere.

Thank you! I Love you!

Growth Question: What colors and contrast you canvas of Life?

I am Love, Jeff