Since the last blog post on Kindness I have had the experience of true kindness in action. This was kindness of a practical and unselfconscious nature. There was nothing sentimental, reluctant or even ‘special’ about how it was expressed. It was simply what is, how it is and part of this household’s living arrangement.

That the average age of these kind, strong and creative people was about 30 added to the delight of it all. Whoever thinks that the 30-somethings of today are self-indulgent, lazy, disinterested or inept have not met enough 30-somethings.

In my book ‘Personal Magic’ I write a little about the digital age:

We live in an age where friends are found and made on the net, and many of our interactions, dialogue and socializing occurs through a medium that precludes direct human touch, sound and visuals. Personal Magic becomes more valuable as well as possibly more elusive.

I visited with Teresa in Santa Fe last week, and stayed in her house shared with other young people. Even though there were computers and a TV, the expression of direct human interaction daily in that environment was visceral, real and natural.

Teresa is a vibrant, beautiful, smart and creative 28 year old woman. She is also quadriplegic, on a remarkable journey of healing. Teresa, like many of her age, shares a house. In this case it is a spacious Santa Fe house with 2 others; Jen who is a long time Yoga instructor and studying massage, and Jafari, a young man returned from service in Iraq studying Somatic Polarity. Regular visits from other young women – most of whom are also practicing or studying in similar areas – allow Teresa to be at home, with people of her age, engaging in meals, discussion and work as well as her therapy and healing.

From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and as if I had landed in some kind of protected space. I had driven many miles up from Arizona, leaving the beaten path to camp in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. It had been a small adventure, deliberately invited, instead of making a straight-line trip. After circuitously arriving at a place I had never been and didn’t know existed, I hiked for an hour in the moonlight, bright enough that no hand-light was needed. Snuggled into my sleeping bag, car-camping in an area of absolute silence, I slept with the moon on my face through the windows.

Waking to incredible cold, the sun rising almost before the moon had left, I had to find my way out before heading on to Santa Fe. It was a long way and I was glad to land in the sunlit house, with its aura of peace and power.

The work that Teresa and I did together was not easy. There is much sadness and struggle when you are finding your way back to wellbeing from such catastrophic injury. We did some guided writing, healing with essential oils and Shamanic Chakra work. We also addressed the needs of the nonprofit organization that Teresa is founding and on whose board I am honored to serve. (Check her site, Our Nerve To Breathe and offer your support.)

Another unique young woman that I know from my theatre days in Oregon had, barely 3 weeks before, moved to Santa Fe. I introduced her to Teresa. Turned out they live less than ½ a mile apart! The spiritual practice and personal journey that Teresa follows offers much to Cecily as she explores and grows her capacity for facilitating healing and her spiritual journey.

We read a short play I had written and needed to hear, sitting around a table, laughing and being ‘actors’. Another shining young woman who is apprenticing to be a midwife and is also a musician, came by. We sat in the sun on the porch, talking about fundraisers using music and writing. Teresa is creating her story as a performance piece with Cecily as her actress until such time as Teresa is ready to perform it herself.

This house, with its wooden floors and cabinets, group artwork canvases waiting to be completed and hung, opens its doors from the front and the rear, with people moving into the space and out again in easy flow. The fridge was thoughtfully stocked with good healthy food, and bursts of sustained kitchen activity – knives chopping, pots boiling and yes, the microwave beeping – brought meals made by hand and offered to whomever was there.  Coffee in the morning, chocolate after dinner and hot tea during the day. The entire place hummed with kindness and energy, independence and solitude, balanced with community and care.

Personal Magic can be expressed in myriad ways. When you bring it to community the power of magic is enhanced and nurtured even as you are giving out. When you offer your hands for lifting and cooking; when you hold someone’s hand and let them cry out their sadness; when you share your laughter and joy in life, then you share the magic together.

I define Personal Magic as:

“… the uniqueness that you, and only you, bring into the world. It is the tangible expression of your connection through your Soul to the Great Spirit, Creator, Higher Power, God, whatever language you wish to use, by which we are all connected. It can be directly accessed through the creative endeavor. Personal Magic both encourages and is encouraged by Awareness of Self, leading to true Empowerment and Freedom, most of all, freedom from fear.”

 The less than 48 hours I spent with the household in Sante Fe gave tangible expression to the words above. I wish for you all to experience such simple, straightforward magic in your daily life. Please share your story of this kind of Personal Magic with us!

This is the 2nd is a series of three blogs where I am exploring the opening sentence of my Personal Magic book:

‘You can be someone who is resilient, optimistic and kind while being    realistic in the present world.’

Last Wednesday I offered a look at Resilience and today I recommend Optimism. Unlike the pessimist who can only see the negative, dwells in the difficulty of a situation and expects the worst possible outcome, the Optimist is not a victim and ascribes to the possibility of a better outcome.

A true optimist deals with reality. Sidestepping the facts, avoiding the lived-felt experience or ignoring the challenges means that you are engaging in escapism, lacking responsibility. It is not optimism to say ‘Oh, everything will be fine. I am just going to think positively.’ That is avoidance. Inevitably you will come face to face with reality and you might as well be prepared rather than broadsided.

I write about the difference between Positive Thinking and Positive Being in the Personal Magic book.

I think real positive thinking is truly seeing what is, with clear vision, from an emotionally nonattached place. This requires courage and an open mind. And what is an open mind? It is being open to anything, working with what is, regardless of what you fear or want it to be.

Positive means being in tune with the universe, aware of and open to something that is greater than the ego, inviting in the Spirit and then truly listening to it. It is not a fighting, demanding or fearful energy. That takes from you, is a negative.

Conversely it is not negative to recognize and engage with the events, circumstances and feelings that may ‘feel negative’. In the experiences of loss, fear, sadness and challenge we actually have enormous opportunity to grow. Thus, these are ultimately a vital aspect to Positive Being – in that you are willing and able to recognize this in your life.

Being in a positive state often means experiencing some discomfort. It is not simple or simplistic but does require a lightness of touch, a joy and a delight and love. It is a way of being in the world, that accesses something greater than just how you are treated, what you have lost or are working on getting.

A true optimist does not allow the reality to overwhelm their sense of possibility, because they are able to assume responsibility for their actions and know the potential of their personal empowerment. When you are open to discovering and then nurturing that powerful being, when your Personal Magic shines for yourself and others, you can be both realistic and optimistic.

Exercise POSITIVE BEING

Select something about which you tell your self ‘Think Positive.’

Now, be positive with all the information there is about that event, physical position, whatever, without emotional attachment to outcome.

Jot down the information in any kind of form on the page.

Consider all the possible outcomes, different points of view, and allow them to be what they are – possible, different.  

Make a list of actions you can/will truly take, now.

Make another list of what you cannot change or do right now.

Then sit with what is. See the truth without the emotional baggage. See the present state and accept that picture without undue hope, criticism or fear or anxiety. It just is.

(If you start to feel anxious, take a minute or two and breathe, consciously in and out. Feel the air move from the top of your head, down through the center of your being to  the bottoms of your feet and out to the earth. You will feel grounded and clear.)

Now that is Positive Being. Nothing is hidden, and nothing is pulling at you, and nothing is there that can make you feel inadequate.

When you are in a state of Positive Being then you are almost by accident an optimist.From this powerful state of connectedness to all the possibilities, your Personal Magic, take a moment to look ahead into your year with real Optimism. I’d love to hear about your view and how this worked for you. Share your story in the comments below.

The next post will address Kindness. Click on the Follow button to make sure you get it!

The last week has seen me in the garden every morning, right after coming back from feeding the horses (most mornings), and just after the sun has cleared the hills around where I live. This is not unusual. Ever since I started following the Shamanic way I have incorporated the Morning Water Ritual into my day with very few misses.

A daily ‘quiet connect time’, even when as short a time as this takes, really warms up your Personal Magic. Here is what I have been doing.

I leave in the barely opening dark to feed the horses, returning about 30 minute later. Collecting a glass of water I walk out to the side garden and stand the with cactus, mesquite and rose bushes, my feet (even in their shoes) firmly and consciously on the earth. My face is turned toward where the sun is finding its way through the parting darkness. (This was a challenge on the Oregon coast where I often had to imagine the path of the sun through fog and rain.)

This time of day, before any food or liquid enters my body, when I connect with myself through the earth, air, sun and water has become a ritual that anchors and lifts me into the activities to come.

It goes like this.
• First, lift the glass of water toward the sun, ideally in a direct shaft of light, and focus attention on the four basic elements that make up life. Feel through the solid earth below you to the depth beneath; note the touch of early morning air cold on your face with the warmth of the sun brushing over it, and really look at the water clear in the glass. Give thanks for all that surrounds you and these four elements.

• Next, still holding the glass up in the light, acknowledge where you need assistance, place your Attention on Intention. Try and be specific. You may also simply ask for help and leave it at that.

• Now move your awareness to friends and family and even those outside your immediate world, whom you know need assistance. Ask Spirit/Creator/God (however you name it) to bring empowerment to those people in the way that best helps.

• Lastly, pour some of the water into the earth (or if inside onto a potted plant), offering power back to the earth.Then drink some of the water, with thanks and intention clearly in your mind. Pour the rest of the water to the earth (or plant) with those others in mind.

In the summer, the cold of the morning before the heat increases is a promise that things renew. In the winter, this morning sun is a reminder that the warmth is coming. I love to be still and totally in the present standing there. It feels like camping, when you are exposed to the natural air without the filter of indoors. It feels huge, as if all is possible. I am in the space between the resonance of past mornings and the promise of those to come.

On these cold mornings I am grateful to head back inside, hold the hot coffee mug in my hands and stand in front of the wood fire. However, that ‘connect’ I bring in with me from the Morning Water Ritual will sustain me through the day regardless of challenges and darkness. My Personal Magic is percolating steadily and underlies whatever the next 24 hours brings me.

In the Personal Magic book I address the value of daily warm-ups for good health and nurturing your Personal Magic. I write:

The trio that serves your needs (body-mind-spirit) responds well to a daily workout or at least regular recognition. Like athletes or old friends, they are then more able to be there when you really need them! The following is a sampling of some simple ways to stay in touch with the trio. You will add your own as you go through these and as you further uncover what it is that YOU need.

 Daily Rituals

Morning

Begin with acknowledging you are awake and alive, even if you feel rotten or have a really hard day ahead. That moment that you first come to consciousness can set the tone for what is ahead.

Greet the day – consciously and with attention to the sun, sky, air and where you are standing/seated.

Stretch and breathe – honor your Body.

 During the day
Drink lottsa real water.

Evening
Stretch and breathe – honor your Body.

Oils – lavender in the room.

These and others can be found in the Personal Magic book and I encourage you to find and develop your own Personal Magic warm-ups. I invite you to post one of your favorites here and we can all  add them to our Personal Magic tool kit.

This week between the 25th with whatever celebrations one participates in (or not) and the 31st is always to me sort of limbo-Time-Between.

Staying in touch with yourself includes both looking back in honor of choices made, failures, successes and simply what it was to live the last year, as well as visioning into your New Year.

I don’t make New Year resolutions. They seem to be fraught with a great deal of judgment, way too much possibility for failure and are often based on outside ideas of what a resolution should be!

I also don’t feel dizzily relieved that the new year has arrived and Oh thank goodness I can rush into it and get out of the old.

When my daughter was young we had a candle lighting ritual, which I sort of still do but it is much quieter with only myself rather than with 3 or 4 little-middle school girls. About 10 minutes before midnight we ‘d light as many candles as we could muster – (a few years we even had candle making parties in advance!) – and place them all on a small table, light them, turn off the electric lights, and then stand hand in hand in a circle around the glow. Each of us would quietly recall the past year and the dreams for the future.

Then we’d blow them out, have a beat or two in the dark, then the 2nd New Year Celebration would ensue with age appropriate kafuffle!!

I also started the New Year Box with my daughter when she was about 3. Ideally we did it the last day of the year or the very first of the new. Now it seems to be any time in the first week after the 1st. But as I am in this Time-Between week going into 2012 I am going to be diligent about sitting quietly with the box and the writing piece within the magic passage of ‘limbo time’.

(See below this post for the details of the New Year Box if you wish to incorporate it into your rituals and self-empowerment care.)

I love the New Year Box. It holds the stories and gifts of the past year, the dreams and wisdom brought forward to the future. After you have made the deposit, close it and put it carefully away. It doesn’t come out again until next year.

How does this help your Personal Magic? It gives you a place that is private, arises from contemplative time, lays out a wise and calm story in which you are the hero/ine. Over time you will build a relationship and awareness of and through your deeper wiser Self. You will see yourself like the earth that lays down the layers of herself with the leaves, water and soil, creating a rich tapestry and depth that can be tilled and revisited year after year. Each visit feeds the new growth to come.

Embrace your Personal Magic, from both the perspective of where you have come and the vision into where you are headed. Wrap up the present of the past, lay out your intention and then, remarkably, let go of outcome. 2012 will become the new present and you will be perfectly placed to make the most of it with all the joys, challenges, delights and surprises.

I wish you a healthy, balanced 2012, with growth, rest, curiosity, and wonder in rich diversity. May your Personal Magic shine its light on all whom you meet, and open you to your great power and joy in the world.

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CREATING THE NEW YEAR BOX

1. Look over the appointment books, journals, letters written and saved, received – any way that you have in somehow documented your year.

Simple read it as if exploring a wonderful old trunk of treasure. No judgments, or should haves. It just is.

2. Summarize the story in a letter to yourself. This is the letter of dear friend –unconditional, nonjudgmental, but truthful and clear. It is a succinct and unemotional look at the past 12 months and begins something like this:

Dear (Kate), Well, it has been quite a year. Look at all you have done. (list them)
I know that there have been some disappointments and some real challenges as well.(list those)

And that is the first part of this letter to yourself.

3. Then pull out the letters from of previous years. (I have 20 of them now.)

These begin with the ‘what happened in the year just wrapping up’ as you have just done for this year. Reading these, I see patterns, the slow tides of success, the ribbons of repeated struggles and get the wonderful Aha!s.

(Notice that? The year that is closing is like a present you are putting away to open another time.)

4. (This maybe your Step 3 if this year is the first time you are doing a New Year Box) Vision the next – 2012. This arises out of the immediate year past (2011) and the previous letters that  both looked back and forward. With that wisdom, I can vision the future. These are not resolutions. There are hopes, reminders, compassionate warnings, and big dreams.

Write this part of the story to yourself. It might go something like this:

Looking into 2012, I intend to make a trip back to Australia to see the family. I will overcome my anxiety and allow myself to develop and make available Personal Magic workshops. I will challenge myself to step out of the current inertia and run a half marathon. I will pay attention to my relationship with money.

 This the 2nd part of the letter to yourself.

5. Now, place into the box the letter and anything special from the year. This is usually – if I have done it – the Christmas/New Year letter I create with text/pictures to send out. Over the last few years, as my daughter has left home and we now live in different houses and States even, the import of getting out a chatty Christmas letter with its news and photos has diminished. Instead I am drawn to a more reflective letter that goes out in the limbo-Time-Between.

After you make the deposit, close the box and keep it in a safe place until you open it again next year.

A Word about the Box

This is most powerful if it is something that you have had had a hand in making.

Use a cardboard box that has a lid of some kind – not too small. (You know what will be going into it and hopefully it will last 20 years – mine has!)

Decorate it – colored paper, tissue, glue, scissors, stickers, glitter, ribbon, whatever to make it yours.

If this is your first New Year Box, take an evening or afternoon to make it before hand. That way, when you write your first letter to yourself, you have the perfect treasure chest ready on hand.

I am delighted to introduce you to my third guest blogger, Jason Bourne. with whom I connected through the magic of the Twitter and intersection of writers. His story and ongoing blog, including many guest posts through his generous outreach to so many other bloggers, exemplifies the power of Personal Magic. Jason embraces his personal power, is responsible for his life, and articulates much of that through the arts such as writing and photography. The ultimate empowerment, as I write in the Personal Magic book, is to be a gift giver. Jason does this through his work, writing and photography, bringing his unique magic as a gift and inspiration to many.

I am honored to be in such illustrious company on his Guest Blogger list and welcome him in meeting those of you who read my blog posts.
(Be sure to click on the links to the utubes at the end!)

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The Lord is MY Shepherd

The last week, and the past few years, have been really tough on our family, and if you’ve been following the blog, you probably know what I’m talking about. My grandfather has Alzheimers, and it’s really hit me hard personally especially since I saw him on Thanksgiving, and I just wanted to share with all of you what’s been on my heart lately…

We had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ (mom’s parents) house this year, like we normally do, and I had a great time seeing my aunts, uncles, granny and grandpa, but I noticed that my grandpa wasn’t acting right when we got ready to eat because he said he wasn’t hungry. It turns out that he wasn’t feeling good, and after everything he has been through the past few years I really can’t blame him. When we got ready to leave later Thursday evening, I went over to where grandpa was relaxing in his recliner and just held him for a few minutes. I sat there talking to him and told him how much I loved him, and if he needed anything to call us. While I was sitting there holding him and talking to him, the emotions just took over, and I started crying my eyes out and told my grandfather I loved him and didn’t want him to die. He said he didn’t want to say goodbye or have to make “a call.”

When he told me that, I started crying even more because I knew exactly what he meant. He doesn’t want to leave his family behind and have to say a final “goodbye” or have my grandmother make the most horrible phone call I think she ever will have to make. I thought about my grandfather all the way home and all that night. The next morning, I was talking to mom and I started crying AGAIN because I was telling her what my grandfather said. Then later Friday, or it might’ve been Saturday, my sisters were talking about Christmas and asked me when I was going to go shopping with them. Then I just broke down and lost all control…

I forget exactly what I said, but I remember I said something like, “Can’t we just skip shopping this year? Can’t we just go over and spend some time with grandpa and enjoy this Christmas? Doesn’t ANYBODY care about what I want???” Keep in mind I was frustrated and fighting back tears while saying this because I was and still AM heartbroken that my grandfather is slowly dying, and I’m having to just sit on the sidelines and watch.

Before I go any further, I want to back track and mention that I have always believed in God, and He has always, and I do mean ALWAYS, been there for me through a lot of sad times and a lot of great times. God has really lifted my family up the past few years, especially my mom’s family, having to deal with my granny’s diabetes and my grandpa’s Alzheimer’s, but lately I think my faith has been lacking in God’s ability to shelter us from Satan’s blows and attacks.

You see, sometimes I really have no idea what to pray for, or for that matter HOW to pray, and I just do not want to seem foolish or stupid to God. But yesterday morning, thanks to my very best friend and a dear co-worker, I now know I am never foolish in God’s eyes because He created me and He knew me before I was even born. I know my grandpa is going to heaven one sweet day to live side-by-side with our Heavenly Father, but lately I’ve been so caught up in my grandpa slowly dying that that’s all I can think about… Maybe I’m being selfish because I don’t want my grandpa to die and leave ME and his family, but I need to shift my focus to what waits for my grandpa on the other side. I know God already has a place for him in the middle of a beautiful meadow overlooking a valley or lake, with a new house where he will never be in any pain, won’t have to face the horrors and torment of a cruel world and can live forever rejoicing that he can remember who he is and who his family is. As I close, I am reminded of what Charles and Caroline Ingalls said when they found out their newborn son had just passed away….

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

And Vince Gill’s moving tribute to his brother, which is a great reminder to all of us who’ve lost a loved one that they have gone to heaven “a-shouting, love for the Father and the Son.”

Or Brooks and Dunn’s amazing reminder that “There’s more to life than just what I can see.”

Or Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill’s powerful, heart-warming proclamation: “My God, How GREAT Thou Art.”

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Jason is 29 years old and has been disabled since birth. Diagnosed with spina bifida, he has no feeling below the waist and can’t feel his legs. He graduated in Dec. 2006 from Kennesaw State University, about 20 minutes north of Atlanta, with a B.S. degree in communications. He works with the city of Marietta, Ga.’s, public information office, writing press releases and taking pictures for the city’s website, mariettaga.gov. He loves reading, writing and taking pictures in his spare time.

Follow his Blog
and Twitter

This time last week I was freshly basking in the aftermath of the extraordinary TwentyFour Hour event. The last blog post explains what that is and the process by which we got to the moment of presenting 5 brand new plays (literally barely more than 12 hours old) to a paying public!

The night unfolded beautifully. 15 actors embodied their characters created under the watchful, creative, problem-solving eyes of 5 directors. Together, through the entire day from 7.30 til 7.30pm, they had labored to bring the scripts to life. Now, as I sat there with 4 other playwrights, they appeared before our amazed eyes. The stories filled our delighted ears and grateful hearts – stories of which we had not heard a whisper until now.

The audience shared the delight and wonder although I know that, because they had not been one of the creators, to some extent they could not have felt all that we felt. That is perhaps the real power of creativity. It is in the furnace of creation, that we gain the greatest gift.

Why do we, the One Day Play lunatics, do it? Even if we have done it before, the discoveries each event are the same. We are most alive when we are challenged, most supported when working in community. Because in pushing to the boundaries of our capacity we find anew a strength and power we didn’t know or had forgotten.

The list of findings include: Letting others assist us, lending what we can to others. Placing our focus on the gift we are creating to give away that evening. Honoring each aspect of the creation from the writer to the director, the technical crew, the actors and the producer. Knowing that each cell in that glorious organism, the show that opens up that night and then blooms in full, depends on each of us to do our personal best.

In the Personal Magic Book I write about the things that can stop you from engaging in the arts and creative expression, and ultimately from truly stepping into your Personal Magic place of unique strength and power. One of them is waiting until it is perfect before offering the gift. The TwentyFour Hour Play experience certainly blows that option out of the water!!

I also write:

“What else stops you? Fear – fear of being wrong, looking stupid, being  surprised,  disappointed, or worst of all, hurt. Perhaps also it is a fear of being free and  finding yourself flying. When you are flying, not buried in the mud, hidden in a  cave or clinging to a rock in the crashing surf, then what? You are, in short, Empowered – to follow your personal and unique path, create your life, your  story. That is Big!”

At the final curtain call last Saturday, I shared the applause on stage with the community with whom I created the gift, before an enthusiastic and amazed audience, and felt the warmth between all of us. I had that Flying sensation. And looking around at the energized (if tired) faces with shining eyes, loose relaxed limbs, hearing the excited, joyous voices and Feeling the palpable energy of Power, I knew that all of us were empowered in the best sense of the word.

Empowerment means being able to stand up, loud and tall even when you are afraid. It means offering your gift, yourself your work, with a confidence that says ‘Here is my best.’ It means allowing yourself the imperfections, and celebrating the wonder of courage. For most, it is only after the actual moment of fear on stage that the true magnitude of the Power can be felt. Without that effort, would that joy be possible?

For the audience too there is definitely an experience of being bathed in a light and radiance emanating from the Personal Magic each of the creators whose work you have witnessed. Somehow in the expression of courage, joy, (and yes relief!) of the LIVE people before you, the audience is, as the Greeks knew so well, empowered too.

True the TwentyFour Hour play event is a rare microcosm of a life experience. It is not everyday that we are given such a clear-cut and concise, precise, time-framed opportunity to practice empowerment! Very often the opportunities are quieter, more mundane and even routine. The steps are the same. Focus on the task at hand, allow and offer assistance, share what you can and celebrate the gift.

And in a way, each of us lives a 24hour play every 24 hours. May you bring your Personal Magic to each of your 24 hours. May others sometimes get to bathe in that radiance, and may there be times when you bathe in the light of anothers’ Personal Magic.

Less than 10 minutes ago I sent the Personal Magic manuscript to Yoly, my publisher. I am not sure if I feel wonderful or slightly sick… My friend and author Ellae calls it ‘time enforced abandonment’. Yes I know it might never be ready but it does have to go out into the world eventually.

Of all the pages of writing – the ideas, activities, stories – the writing that most held me as I wrote and then almost brought me to tears when I read it over, was the acknowledgments page. To realize where this began was profound, to observe how many people and life events have been the tapestry from which this book emerged is deeply moving. Somehow it has brought together my life in a way not expected. A mystery cake that came out of the oven after so many years of mixing ingredients into it.

If the actual writing was the baking period, and if the ‘out of the oven’ moment was sending it to Yoly, then this cake continued to have ingredients added right up to the moment it came out of the oven! Life didn’t stop because I was writing the book. Quite the opposite in fact. The book and life strode along hand in hand, each urging the other on.

Sometimes the book was pulling life along and sometimes life dragged the book out into the open. This continued right through writing the acknowledgments. Maybe that is why we resist a book ending. We can go ahead and catch the odd commas and missed tenses etc until all are accounted for, but the rhythm of life itself will go on without the companionable encouragement of the book.

I wonder if this is the same for all books? Or is it because this one is so integrated with life and how we live it, with relationships and how we nurture them, with the body-mind-spirit connections at each individual’s level.

I have learned much by writing the Personal Magic book. It provided the means by which to pull my history together and to articulate my philosophy and passions beyond scattered thoughts and experiences.  Each time I got stuck or the writing felt rote, LIFE would take the work  in hand and say, “Ok, and what about this?” There is nothing in this book that I can’t own!

Now that it is done, even more than when I began, I know how deeply powerful the process of writing can be. If you are looking for the meaning of life, well, there is no better place to begin than writing your story. The meaning becomes clear and connects the dots of the mosaic of experience.

So I am proud of this book. I know that it will facilitate others on their journey as it leads each reader/participant through their personal story and thus to finding the unique meaning of their life.

Most of all though, it is in the acknowledgments that I feel whole and an immense gratitude. The power of gratitude is that it takes you outside of inner workings and into the vast universe of ONENESS. So when I write the acknowledgments, when I take that moment, in the small space given, to recognize all who gave me so much on the journey that became this book, I am expanded. When I write the dedication, I see the meaning.

This last insight isn’t in the book – that will have to be next one. You see what I mean?! The book and Life are used to progressing along together, so here is life offering an excellent ‘Aha!’ and the book is gone!

No matter. Life does go on and the story/book comes after each beat of the heart. The story arises out of the living and is not the heart itself but a close companion on the journey. I give this book to the world, and know I will continue exploring, evolving and sharing my Personal Magic. That is the delight that is being alive! I get to keep doing it – finding the commas, the odd grammar, misplaced tenses – tweaking, fixing, adding. Unlike a book, which does have to be abandoned, my life is forever.

Today’s blog is done but I share with you the acknowledgments and dedication as I sent them to the publisher this morning. You will have to get the book to see if they were re-worked before really going out into the world. There is still that one last opportunity to hold on – if it too long for the format…

Acknowledgments

This book has taken my entire life to come to fruition and there are many to recognize as teachers (often just through shared experiences) and supporters on that journey. Here is a partial list: the students over many years teaching at Linfield College and other workshops and schools; actors, directors, writers and producers in the live theatre world; the writers in the Performing Wellness Workshops; fellow teachers and passionate advocates for the arts; Bonnie Ross, Nurmi Hussa, Colleen Hawkes; and the horses, desert, hot-springs and mountains that sustain me beyond the words and thinking.

Dedication

This book is dedicated to Alexa who from the moment she arrived in my life has been a gift, a treasure, a challenge and a joy. The honor and responsibility of being her Mother impelled me to embrace my personal magic even before I knew that is what I was doing. Thank you.