The Power of Giving Up!

I’ve been working lately on an amaaaaazing sculpture that I’m so psyched about it! It’s a 6 foot needle. What am I going to do with it, you ask? Well…it goes with the very large spool of thread I’m making! Hee. That’s always my answer when people ask me that question. It never gets old.

In order to make my 6 foot needle (which was a whole story of letting go and allowing within itself that I may share at some point), I needed to procure an 8 foot 4x4 post made of Fir wood. Searched high and low for a few weeks and ended up finding a lumber yard in Charlotte that carries them, so after a few mishaps, I set out on a cold, rainy, dreary Wednesday a few weeks ago in our truck to get it. I was finally going to get my needle!

Now this is a TRUE lumber yard, meaning mostly construction people there, not too many little ladies, and I was all gussied up in a pair of my leggings and a nice top to meet some friends later. Keep that in mind for later.

When I drove up to this lumber yard, the parking lot was completely full!!!! I mean…hundreds of cars. I had to park waaaaaay far away from any entrance. Not only that, I didn’t know what entrance to go to! I called the yard to see where I should go and if I could talk to someone to try to expedite the process and the receptionist immediately put me through to someone who worked there and I got…voicemail. Called back and she again put me through to someone else…guess what? Yup. Voicemail. This continued 3 more times. I’d been on the phone earlier that morning with my bank trying to work out some discrepancies and was already frustrated and after this ridiculousness, I was just about in tears. I hung up after that third time and a grizzly guy with a beard down to his belly button had walked up to his truck across from mine and we exchanged a funny glance…I think he was puzzled and probably thinking “what the hickety heck is that little lady doing here?” and mine was a slow realization that I might be able to ask him some questions about how this whole thing works!

I popped my head out of the car and said hi and asked him how it works, he told me where to go and said that he’d been there waiting for 45 minutes for his ticket to get fulfilled! And he said that he had NEVER seen it this crowded before. Well. I had apparently picked the wrong day. And I was just about to POP, I was so frustrated.

So I had a little hissy fit. Right there in the car. Yes, I waited until my grizzly friend left, but man, did I let loose after that. It felt soooooo good. I yelled a little bit and thrashed around a little bit and then I felt better. And then I just yelled to the Universe, “Okay! I give up!!!!” And I did. I gave up completely and left to meet my friends.

***

After lovely hanging out/business meetings with my lovely peeps (I love it when it can be both!), I felt even MORE better (yes, that’s what I said) and had the thought of, “well, the lumber yard is only 10 minutes away, I’ll go and see what it looks like now.”

Parking space - right in front of the entrance. Customer service - guy open with no one in line. Ordered it right away. Then a nice man took me into the warehouse and we chose the PERFECT piece of wood for the needle. It is *gorgeous. Perfect grain, no knots. I wasn’t positive about what I was looking for, but this guy knew what would be best and once he started pointing things out to me about the grain and compression and knots, I got it. He grabbed that perfect one for me, I pulled around and nestled safely in the truck bed. The whole process took about 15 minutes.

I was running HIGH resistance that morning when I tried the first time. The best thing to do WAS to Give Up. It was too hard. There were too many roadblocks. When it’s that difficult, I know that I’m not lined up and that I need to give myself some time and feel it out and try again another time. And it will be easier.

And it was!

Oftentimes we think we need to try to push through things. Most of the time if we just take a step back, hand it over to Universe, and get out of the way, things will line up and go much more smoothly when we come back to them. I run into this over and over again with my artwork, with my music, with my…everything! With any problem that comes up, really. When I soften around it and allow myself to feel the feelings (like I did when I had my little fit in the truck) and then let it all go, inevitably, the answer shows up. Sometimes it might take awhile and that’s okay too.

Give it a shot. I think you’re gonna like it:)

Here’s the first incarnation of the needle. I’ll post the full sculpture (with the spool…going outside right now to work on it!) when it’s done.

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The Power of Imperfect Meditation

A lot of people think that when you meditate you’re not supposed to have any sounds happening around you or any distractions or any thoughts. And that if you do, you’re not doing it “right.” Well…we live in the world, so we’re gonna have distractions and we are HUMAN, so we’re gonna have thoughts. It doesn’t mean you’re not meditating “right.” There is no “right” way to meditate. Personally, I have days where my brain is so nice and quiet and *sighhhhhh*, oh, so serene. And then there are days where my mind is jumping and skipping and diving allllll over the place! Funny enough, on those days, I welcome what would most people would probably call “distractions” because they actually remind me to refocus and just witness the bouncing, running thoughts, rather than chase after them.

Read on for a funny case and point AND a little anecdote to help you remember the point of all meditation AND another fun video.

First, you gotta watch this video, it’s the frickin funniest thing in the world! They are trying SO HARD. The one on the right in front cracks me up about half way through the video. Oh, and the girl on the left who’s dancing the whole time. Well, all of them crack me up!

K-sweet-man and I meditate for 10-15 minutes every morning. This particular morning a few weeks ago was very very very cold (well, at least for down here in SC…in the 30’s) and our heater was running running running. I’d woken up and done my yummy morning routine and was feeling bubbly with laughter. So we sat down to meditate and I was already feeling that bubbling and then the heater turned off and let out a big ole *siiiiiiiiiigghhhhhhh*. If you’ve ever seen the movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Universe, it was exactly like the sigh the doors in the spaceship make when they open and close…it’s a human sound, I swear! I wish I had a recording of it so you could hear it!

Like I said, I was already feeling giggly and bubbly and I just BURST out LAUGHING in the middle of the meditation. And you know what? That meditation is a perfect meditation to me. I’ve promised myself never to hold in laughter. It’s so so SO very good for us and it feels so good. I allowed myself to flow with it. Well, I really couldn’t help it, it just came out, so there’s that too;)

The whole point of meditating is to raise our vibration, to witness ourselves, to gain perspective, etc. I can’t think of a better way to do all of those and more than being tickled to bubbly laughter!

This clip makes me laugh too…

Spicy Banana Bread (this is not a recipe...unless you want it to be!;)

I sometimes swish with coconut oil in the mornings (oil pulling), usually for about 20 minutes. Which means I can’t talk. Or sneeze (yikes!). Or, in the case of this morning…laugh.

Making breakfast for my honey, had heated some delicious coconut flour banana bread I made (I’ll share the recipe sometime!). I’d buttered it. Wanted to add some specialness to it, so decided to put some yummy cinnamon on all three pieces. Shaking away (we have those really big spice containers from Sam’s) and had the thought of “huh…the consistency doesn’t look like typical cinnamon powder…” Managed to finish all three pieces before I realized that I’d just put a LARGE AMOUNT of CAYENNE PEPPER on all three pieces.

Now remember…I CAN’T LAUGH because I have a mouthful of coconut oil.

So what do you do when you’ve just poured cayenne all over your honey’s yummy banana bread? Well…you put cinnamon on it, of course! Which is exactly what I did.

Then I wrote him a note to warn him and went and showed it to him, all the while, trying to keep from bursting into laughter, which would have resulted in explosions of coconut oil from nostrils and mouth. That was a feat, guys.

The note says it all.

The note says it all.

I haven’t had a chance to ask him how his breakfast was yet. I’ll let you know.

Update: He is the sweetest. This was his text: “Thank you for the yummy interesting breakfast baby. Good delivery system for healthy nutritious cayenne and cinnamon.” And turns out he didn’t really understand what the note meant until he’d taken a bite of the banana bread and realized there was cayenne on it!

The culprits.

The culprits.

A Special Holiday Story With Fox and Mole and Pup

(you can listen to the recorded version at the end…in William’s voice!)

The Christmas Story
(with Fox, Mole, and Pup)

by Dr. William Rivers
copyright 1995

Foreword by Lorrie

We - my family and I - have gotten together to bring you Fox & Mole's Christmas Story by my father, William Rivers - just for you this holiday season. I believe that the story is written in such a way that it is universal…not just for Christmas, but for Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or really anytime! We hope you enjoy! Also remember you can listen to the recorded version below. And for reference in the story, Ashleigh is my sister (William’s daughter) who found the Squirrel baby (which is its whole other story Dad wrote) and Evan is my brother (William’s son) who found Pup (yet another story Dad wrote).

~~~~

FOREWORD: A few days ago my friend Kristin was at yoga class and called me very excited afterwards to tell me something. At the end of each class, we have a meditating/resting period for 10 or 15 minutes called "Savasana." When her class finished with Savasana on this Tuesday, the instructor told them to get up very quietly and cautiously and to look at the back door...a fox had been watching them during the whole meditation with its nose pressed up against the glass of the door. The fox peeking in made me think of my Father's Christmas story.  

My father always made up stories for my brother, sister and me when we were younger. They featured "Fox and Mole" who were friends and part of a vast and very social animal community that lived on my Mema & Papa's property and in the surrounding woods in Mt. Croghan. Dad created these magical worlds of animals that we all - my brother and sister and I - interacted with in the stories. And we always learned something from them. His Christmas story is one of my favorites and he would tell it to us from memory every Christmas, sometimes embellishing it with new story lines or variations on previous years. 

Because I'd been thinking about the Yoga-loving fox my friend Kristin told me about, I recently revisited the Christmas Story my father wrote. As I was reading it, I got a warm, full feeling inside and this light went on inside me! I'd been hearing people around me talk about how stressed out they were from the holidays and how crazy this time of the year is. This story that my father wrote illustrates so well what these holiday times are REALLY about - they aren't about the shopping or the entertaining or the decorating (though those are fun parts of it if we allow them to be) - the holidays are about Peace and Joy and Fullness and Connecting with those we love. 

Because the story had such an impact on me and helped me to remember where I want my focus to be this season...I wanted to share that with you! So...we have all gotten together to bring you Fox and Mole's Christmas Story and to share with you what we hope is an uplifting and rewarding, warming, loving experience. 

We hope you enjoy and this is our way of saying Happy Holidays to you and your family from all of us! 


The Christmas Story
(with Fox, Mole and Pup)

If you had been watching the road between Mt. Croghan and Thompson Creek on that real cold, windy Christmas Eve several years ago, you would have been blessed with an odd sight. For on that evening, well after dark, you would have seen a little creature all bundled up in a coat, cap, and even little boots walking very quickly in short little steps toward Mt. Croghan. It was Mole. His hands were pushed deep into the pockets of his wool coat. His shoulders were scrunched up so his coat collar would meet his cap, and his chin was tucked way down against his chest. These maneuvers, though they made Mole’s appearance even odder to behold, did help to keep out the cold so that Mole was pretty warm—except when the wind, which was blowing from his back, gusted up. When that happened Mole’s cheeks tingled and he felt cold air coming in around his collar and the bottom of his coat. But Mole did not stop. He just scrunched and tucked and walked a little faster. 

“What a cold Christmas Eve to be out,” muttered Mole to himself as he moved along. “Sure do wish I were back in Fox’s nice warm den drinking hot tea.” Even the memory of Fox’s home and hospitality, now at least a half an hour and a mile behind him, made Mole feel warmer inside despite a fresh and decidedly colder gust of wind. 

Mole did not usually take such long walks alone at night in the winter—especially on Christmas Eve. But there was a good reason for this late night excursion. Way back before Thanksgiving he had agreed to keep all of Squirrel’s Christmas gifts in one of his spare rooms so Squirrel’s very active five children wouldn’t find them. The gifts had been stacked away in his spare bedroom since early December. And to his horror Mole had almost forgotten. He had assured Squirrel that he would be there to help him retrieve the gifts. But since then Fox had invited him to spend Christmas Eve at his house so that Mole could go with them on Pup’s first trip to Antioch. It had been a little over seven months since Fox and Mole had found Pup lying beside Number 9 after being hit by a car and had gotten Evan to help them carry him to Fox’s house so they could set Pup’s broken leg in a cast. Pup still had a bit of a limp, but he could get around just fine and he was quickly catching onto the ways of the “wild” animals. But he hand not yet been to Antioch at Christmas. 

Mole loved going to Antioch at Christmas and he loved the warmth and Christmas smells and cheer he always found at Fox’s. So he went. And it was only in the early evening of Christmas Eve as Mole sat in a deep easy chair beside the fire looking at Fox’s tree with the few, but very carefully wrapped packages underneath that Mole remembered. He was bundled up and out the door almost before Fox could ask what the trouble was. 

Every time he thought of how he almost forgot, Mole scolded himself and felt guilty and cold inside. But when he thought about how happy Squirrel’s children would be—especially the new little orphan squirrel Ashleigh had found and Squirrel and his family had adopted—Mole felt warmer inside. Cold guilt contended with warm satisfaction in Mole’s little breast until the warm won out. “There’s no way I could have completely forgotten,” Mole assured himself. I believe that—don’t you?

Mole was almost there. Just a short stretch of road and he would be in Mt. Croghan. Then a left turn on the north road, a brisk walk up the hill past the church and then down into the next hollow, a right turn on his special little path which crossed the field into the woods at the bottom of the filed and he would be there. As he made his left turn on to the north road, he began to hear sounds like music even over the sound of the wind. Soon he could see that that church was all lit up and the townspeople, at least a good many of them, were at church for a Christmas Eve service. When he got to the church, he paused to listen. The animals who were Mole’s friends had mixed feelings about people. Many of the things people did were not very nice, but a few things they did were quite nice. Mole said to himself, “this is one of the nice things.” Mole had listened before and even peeked in to see just what was going on. Even out in the cold he could easily imagine the warmth and friendship and cheer of the people inside; of the lights on the tree; of the brown paper bags tied with bright ribbon that Grace Gibson had filled with fruit and nuts and candy from her store up Number 9; of how excited and happy the children were as they thought of the goodies the next morning would bring. “They are really quite like us when you get down to the basic things,” Mole thought to himself. He stayed long enough to hear Edit Atkinson at the organ and Mema at the piano start “Silent Night” and then hear the small group bravely begin to sing with Billy Adams’ clear and strong baritone rising above all the other voices. And as they finished with “sleep in heavenly peace” Mole remembered his destination and felt again the cold wind, now in his face. He turned and scurried up the road and on toward his home. 
Even before he got half way across the filed, Mole was sure he could hear Squirrel; he almost thought he could see him squirreling quick, quick back and forth (oh, that’s what squirrels do—they don’t pace back and forth, they squirrel quick, quick back and forth) on that large branch up high in the oak tree where Squirrel and his family lived. But it was after dark and even though the stars were shining bright in a clear sky and even with the glasses Mole wears (the ones Little Lorrie found for him soon after they met years ago) he knew that he couldn’t see Squirrel. Mole did hear him though; and Mole knew what he was doing so it was almost like he could see Squirrel. 

Mole figured that Squirrel was worried and fussing. He was right. Squirrel was really beside himself (and Squirrel can move so quickly that he can almost be beside himself when he wants to. At least that’s the way it looks to my slow eyes). Anyway Squirrel was saying (and saying it very quickly indeed so that you have to read his sentences at least three times as fast as normal, that’s why it’s written in smaller, faster type):

“Where is that Mole? He should have been here long ago. Bet he forgot. Forgot about our gifts. Our gifts in his spare bedroom. What are we gonna do? The kids will be so disappointed. Oh me, oh my. If Mole ever shows up around here again, I’ll give him a piece of my mind. I will; I will.” 

When Mole got to the foot of the oak tree, he looked up, cupped his hands around his mouth, and called out: “Squi—rrrrel. It’s Mo—oooooole.”

Mole had to call out several times before Squirrel heard because he was fussing so. When he did hear, Squirrel said:

“Ah! Ah! Ah! There he is. Just wait. Just wait. Am I gonna give him a piece of my mind! Making me wait and worry like this. Just wait. Just wait. Ah! Ah! Ah!”

And he said this all the way down the tree. And he meant it. But when he got to the ground and was close enough to start his harangue, he could see the worried, sorrowful look on Mole’s face and he could not fuss. He could not. 

“Hi, Mole. Merry Christmas! Good night for a walk.” 

“Gee, Squirrel. I’m sorry. Sorry I’m so late. I was at Fox’s and I almost forgot.”

“No problem. No problem. Just in time. Besides a little anticipation is appropriate at Christmas. Right? Right. Now, let’s go get the gifts. Lots to do. Lots to do. Get your key out. You do have your key, right? Your door is locked. I tried it. Just to make sure your things were safe, you know. They are. Very safe. Very secure. Let’s go. Lots to do. Lots to do.”

You’ve seen it before. No one can be really angry at Mole—at least not for long. And even before they had made their way to Mole’s door, Squirrel had quite forgotten his anxiety and anger. Animals are good at not carrying around their angry stuff. We should be so wise. 

When all the gifts were placed at the foot of the oak so that Squirrel could take them up the tree (Mole couldn’t help him with that task. Moles are diggers, not climbers), Mole asked Squirrel if he were going to Antioch. 

“No. No. No. Too many young ones. Maybe next year. If you are going, better get started. A long walk. A cold night.”

“Yes. But at least the wind is dying down. Merry Christmas to you and your family.”

“Merry Christmas to you too, Mole. And thanks again for your help.” (Did you notice? Squirrel actually slowed down to make sure that Mole heard.)

Mole was lucky. The wind had died down so Mole’s walk back to Fox’s was not that bad. It was cold, but still and the sky was moonless and filled with stars. He was walking fast, but stopped a couple of times to catch his breath and look at the stars. Once when he was about half way down the hill to Thompson’s creek and within a half a mile of Fox’s house and thus quite sure that he would make it back in time for Antioch, Mole stopped and looked up for a long time. Then he began to turn slowly so he could take in all the stars and their patterns. The effect was, Mole thought, wonderful. The stars seemed to take on a movement of their own and to spin in patterns that didn’t match his movement. He began to feel that he was still and the starts were moving. Around and around he turned uttering little “ooooohs” and forgetting completely that he was turning until his body told him he was dizzy and he almost fell down. 

Just as Mole started his little circular dance, a rabbit out foraging for last minute tidbits for his Christmas table came to the edge of the road. He stopped and watched the whole thing and didn’t move until Mole had walked a ways down the road. (Though for the first ten or fifteen yards, it was more wobble than walk. Mole was quite dizzy.) The rabbit moved away shaking his head, snickering, and muttering to himself: “I’ve been down a lot of rabbit holes, but I’ve never seen anything quite like that.”

Within fifteen minutes, Mole was down the hole under the big hickory root—the hole that lead to Fox’s place. He opened the door, quickly closing it behind him so not much cold air would spill in. When he turned back toward the room, he saw Fox sitting in his big overstuffed chair reading a book. Pup was standing (a bit impatiently, Mole thought) with his back to the fire—the warm fire Mole had to leave hours ago when he started his journey. 

“Ah, Mole. Welcome back,” said Fox. “Pup here was wondering if you would get back in time to go to Antioch. I told him that you would for sure and that it would take about fifteen minutes longer. And how long ago was that Pup?” 

“Fifteen minutes. Are you always right, Fox?”

“Not often enough, Pup. Not often enough. Warm your hands and face a bit, Mole, and then we’d best be going.”

Pup chimed in with: “and why don’t you have some hot tea. It wouldn’t take a minute to heat the water on the fire.”

“Oh, thank you, Pup. But that would never do. Not right before going to Antioch.” 

“What is it with this Antioch anyway? You two have not let me eat or drink anything but cold water since breakfast. Why? It doesn’t make sense.”

Fox just smiled and said, “You’ll see. You’ll see.” And as soon as Mole had warmed his hands at the fire, Fox banked the coals and they bundled up and headed out into the cold, clear Christmas Eve air. 

They walked to the road, turned right, crossed Thompson Creek, and started climbing the hill. As soon as they were on the road and could walk side by side, Pup started in again: “What is this Antioch? Why are we going there so late on Christmas Eve? Why wouldn’t you let me eat today? I don’t understand. You two are usually such reasonable creatures.”

Fox grew tired of the questions before they were halfway up the hill. He finally responded, using that firm, authoritatiCopyright 2007, William Riversve voice he uses when he grows impatient: “Pup, you will see when we get there. Our tradition is not to talk on the way there or the way back. You will understand it all on your own. Be patient.” And then Fox patted Pup on the shoulder. 

The pat told Pup that Fox still liked him. Fox’s tone told Pup that he should not say anything else. He didn’t. He wanted to, but he didn’t. 

Just before they got to the top of the hill they turned left onto a dirt road that soon took them into a deeply forested area. The trees were close on either side of the road—so close that Pup could see only the stars that were directly overhead. The darkness made him a bit uneasy. He wanted to say something then. But he didn’t. He did walk closer to Fox, though. 

Then they cam to another road and turned right onto it. The woods seemed even deeper and darker. Pup wanted even more to say something. But he didn’t’. He did move even closer to Fox. He noticed that Mole seemed closer to him on the other side. 

As they continued to walk on this road, the darkness grew; the trees almost seemed to meet over their heads. Then after a mile or so on this road Pup could see a bit of a break in the trees on the right. As they got closer he could see that it was a definite opening in the woods and he could see stars closer to the horizon over the tree line. But the extra light enabled Pup to see what was in the clearing. Pup stopped. He did not want to go any further—especially when he felt that Fox and Mole were turning to walk in that direction.

What Pup saw disturbed him. On the right side of that opening in the woods, he saw a dark old building—an old church. Even in the dim starlight, Pup could see that the church was deserted and had broken windows and missing boards. The boards were all dark and didn’t seem to have ever been painted. All that dark wood almost made the church blend in with the darkness of the woods. But the structure was large enough and visible enough that it loomed in the night’s darkness, its high and pointed roofline clearly visible against the sky making what seemed an unnatural and forbidding statement in the dark, but natural landscape. And behind the church and to the left, Pup could see tombstones in a cemetery, their irregular shapes in stone and marble slightly more visible in the starlight. 

No, no. Pup did not want to go any further. Then Pup felt Fox’s paw on his right side and Mole’s on his left and felt them, without words, urge him on. His trust of Fox and Mole was stronger than his fear and he moved with them. But he stayed very, very close. 

They walked to the right front of the church past the front door and its missing front steps to a place on the side of the church where missing and broken boards offered an opening. Fox climbed through the hole into the church; Pup and Mole followed. 

Once they were inside the church it took even Pup’s sharp animal eyes a moment to adjust to the darkness. But when they did he was amazed. For what he saw was that the church was filled with animals—animals of all kinds. Animals who at other times during the years were enemies were right there standing side by side without fear or worry. He saw mice and raccoons and opossums and porcupines and skunks and rabbits and a couple of beavers and squirrels and several other foxes and moles. He saw animals he had never seen before, but could guess from their shapes and sizes and equipment whether they were diggers or stalkers or foragers. He saw tow large cat-like creatures that he guessed were bobcats, animals he had only hear, screaming in the night. On the exposed rafters overhead he saw all kinds of birds: cardinals, sparrows, wrens, jays, but also, on the same perches, larger birds of prey—owls and hawks. And as he was looking up, he saw a very large bird, one he took to be an eagle, fly in through an opening at the end of the church and alight on a rafter next to several doves who moved over, not out of fear, but to make more room. On other lower perches he even saw game chickens and a few wild turkeys. And as he looked about the large room, Pup saw several deer thrust their heads through broken windows. 

Pup was surprised because though he was still cold, he felt no fear. He did wonder mightily at what he was seeing. They all waited, quietly, in stillness for a while, and then, just at twelve, just at the end of Christmas Even and the beginning of Christmas Day, Pup noticed that the church seemed to fill with a soft glow. And then he began to feel around him a special warmth and within him a sweet fullness – a warmth and sweetness that he had never felt before. He glanced up and all the other animals had bowed their heads. He did too. 

Then, after a few minutes, the glow faded and the animals quietly and slowly began to move out of the church to return to their nests and burrows. As they left, they greeted each other silently with nods and smiles. 

Fox, Mole, and Pup returned to Fox’s home in silence, the warmth and fullness still with them. They did not feel the cold. They slept warm and snug all that night and all Christmas Day they did not eat and did not feel hunger because of the sweet and peaceful fullness that lasted. Pup now knew about Antioch, but he also knew that it was not just something that happened at Antioch. That special thing happened wherever the animals gathered on Christmas Eve and sought communion and peace. 

Early in the morning on the day after Christmas Day Fox, Mole and Pup started preparing the meal they enjoyed that evening. They had corn and beans and sweet potatoes fixed in a souffle and several casseroles made with squash and cheese and onions and all kinds of breads and sweet muffins and hot apple juice spiced with cinnamon and, man, I get hungry just thinking about it all. After they had eaten (and cleaned up, they are neat creatures), they exchanged gifts. Mole got a muffler (one that he wished he had had on Christmas Eve) and a case for his glasses so they wouldn’t get scratched while he wasn’t wearing them (like when he was digging). Pup got a cap and a hot water bottle to put on his leg when it ached because of changes in the weather. Pup and Mole went together to get Fox a book he had long wanted for his collection –a history of Baroque and Classical music. For the next several days they ate and talked and enjoyed each other’s company (though Fox did spend a lot of time reading and humming over his new book, as we knew he would). 

Several days later Mole left to return to his house. Fox and Pup tried to convince him to stay, but Mole had other things on his mind: “I really enjoy being with you, especially at Christmas. Our times together make me stronger all through the year, especially when I am alone. But now it is time for me to return home to my place and my work. I really need to start a new tunnel tomorrow.” 

Fox worried at this because he knew that new tunnels were often dangerous and he knew that Mole had experienced several close calls in the bast. But he only admonished Mole to be careful. Danger, he knew, was a part of life for the animals. 

So they parted happily and Mole walked back to his snug home near Mt. Croghan. He thought of his friends as he fell asleep and dreamed that night of digging a long, wonderfully successful tunnel. 

And despite a few big rocks that he had to work around, the digging went well for Mole the next day—and for many days after that. 

THE END



(scroll down for recorded versions)

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Your November Guided Healing Code with Lorrie

Join me for your Guided Healing Code for November.  We'll do it together, just follow along! Choose a subject you’d like more freedom around, rate the main FEELING you have around it and jump in.

Remember that Healing Codes are more powerful and effective when they are customized to you personally.  You can find out how to get personal sessions with Lorrie.  

I’ll also be offering a complimentary Holiday GROUP GUIDED HEALING CODES session on Dec 18th. If you’re interested, please email me and I’ll get you on the list.

Make sure to check out all the latest blog entries, too…soooo much good stuff in those!

December LEGGINGS GIVEAWAY!!

I promised a giveaway and Here. It. Is. I’m so excited I’m gonna ‘splode! Enter to win a beautiful pair of Original SITBB leggings ($68 value). Woot woot!

Anjali Leggings

Anjali Leggings

The results are in. Everyone (including me) is IN LOVE with our Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast Leggings. They are super comfy and nice and thick for this time of year. I really love the high waist and they keep it ALL IN and TIGHT (which means your butt looks AWESOME).

B’lime Me Leggings

B’lime Me Leggings

You can choose from so many beauuuuuuutiful prints (see them all here). There’s ANJALI (the first picture above, so beautiful), PLANK (love them!), THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG (which makes me laugh every time I see them), my current faves, EARTH (everyone is going crazy over these and they’re so perfect for fall/winter), and sooooo many others.

While you’re here, make sure to check out all of my Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast Creations…these are all great for Christmas gifts! Or Treat YoSelf (we’ve been binging Parks and Rec for a few months;).

The Power of Having a Morning Ritual

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Ooooohhhh, it’s getting cold here! We’re well below freezing tonight and tomorrow night. I’ve tucked all the plants in and told them their bedtime stories, covering them lovingly with light blankets to protect them from the frost.

Right now I’m loving the cold weather. It means I get to start my ritual of hot hot morning baths, which is sooooooo yummy! I get up super early (around 5), turn on the heater in the bathroom, grab my Intentions/Appreciation journal and my favorite pen (very important), light some candles, turn on some soothing music, and draw my bath with the warmest water I can tolerate. Add in some epsom salts, baking soda, vitamin C powder, and essential oils (usually lavender…just can’t go wrong with lavender). And while the bathtub is filling with this delicious soothingness, I sit and write. I do this almost every morning. And if I don’t do the bath, I try to *always write down my intentions for the day and lots of things I appreciate.

Then, my sweetie and I meditate, do a short powerful workout and some yoga and…we’re off!

There is so much power in this simple practice. I’d gotten out of the habit of doing it for awhile and I can definitely tell a difference. We’ve talked about inertia before and this is the perfect example of how inertia can be our friend or our foe.

Have you noticed that if you wake up and immediately start looking at emails or are immediately bombarded with problems that the rest of the day tends to feel out of control and like you’re putting out fires all day?

Conversely…when you take the time…even just 15-20 minutes…to center and think about delicious things, your day will go much much more easily.

Since I’ve been doing my morning ritual again, my days have been absolutely PHENOMENAL!! All in all, it takes me about an hour and a half, but again, you don’t have to spend that long. I’m just finding that I’m having so much fun and reveling in the yummy yummy of it so much that I want to keep on with it! So sometimes I do.

If you don’t have a morning ritual yet, start simple. Meditate for 15-20 minutes and then write down 5 things you really love and enjoy.

If you’d like something that’s a little more substantial, here’s what I do just about every morning:

  1. Write down my intentions for the day. These are BROAD intentions. Things like: “Today I intend to have fun.” “Today I intend to love and adore myself unconditionally as much as possible.” “Today I intend to focus on what it is I want.” “Today I intend to play.”

  2. Spend 10 minutes writing down things I love and appreciate. These can be as simple as running water or oranges. Or it can be a person. Anyone! Maybe the lovely checkout lady at your grocery store. If you can, write down a few reasons you love and/or appreciate it/them.

  3. I lurvs my hot baths, so when it’s chilly out I take one filled with the goodness outlined above.

  4. Meditate for 15-20 minutes. This can be guided or not. You can listen to music if you’d like to…or not. I like to mix it up.

  5. Do some exercise. I love doing my High Intensity Interval Training followed by a little yoga (some days I’ll do a full yoga class as well, but that’s a lot;).

There! Now…you are ready to start your day. Fully and completely. I know not everyone has the time to do that much, so take what you’d like from my morning ritual and create your own. It is SO very worth it.

Your October Guided Code with Lorrie

Join me for your Guided Healing Code for October.  We'll do it together, just follow along!

Remember that Healing Codes are more powerful and effective when they are customized to you personally.  You can find out how to get personal sessions with Lorrie.  

Make sure to check out all the latest blog entries, too…soooo much good stuff in those!

The Power of Non-Habitual Movement

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We went to a friend’s concert a few weeks ago (they’re awesome, btw, you should check them out…Chatham County Line). It was outside at a local Greenway, lots of families, lots of kids running around, we had a great time. One of the best things about it was watching the kids dance!! They were movin around, jumping up and down, running this way and that, takin off their clothes (love that about little kids!) and just having a BLAST moving to the sound of the music! And they didn’t care what it looked like (especially the younger ones). They were just moving for the joy of it.

Moving our bodies is so important. Not just to develop muscles and keep in shape (which is good too;), but because it gets us out of our head! And when we try new movements and just LET GO of trying to do it “right”, we actually create new neural pathways. It does even more than that…it loosens up the energy in the body and mind, it allows new possibilities in, it gets you used to letting go of set patterns. It really SHAKES IT ALL LOOSE!!!

This is a great example of non-habitual movement. The Omelette Dance! We love Modern Family…

When I was younger, my brother and I did a morning dance every morning (well, we weren’t THAT young…it was not too long ago!). We just got silly and danced around in weird ways. It felt so good! These days, my honey and I have a dance party every morning for 5 minutes. I put on different kinds of music each day and we just mooooove to it. We have so much fun!!! I purposely do things sometimes that look goofy or weird or uncoordinated.

I like doing it in the morning because it gets me energized and excited for the day. It has a way of cranking up a childlike enthusiasm that makes me ready to go and jump into life.

Try it out! Put on some music and just run around, jump up and down, crawl, make faces, act like a monkey, try out some sweet dance moves…whatever gets you moving. And if you’re tired or have a physical disability, do some facial ballet. Or finger dancing. Whatever works, just get that energy going!

Oh yeah, when I was looking for Luke’s Omelette Dance, I ran across these guys who made up their OWN Omelette Dance years before the Modern Family episode…awesomeness!!

What does YOUR omelette dance look like?

Hurricane Florence, The Power of Grieving

As Ready for Florence as we can be…

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I’ve spoken to several friends over the past few days who have called, concerned about us here in North and South Carolina. And the best way I’ve known to describe the experience is that it feels like one of those darkly comic scenes of a man standing in the middle of a road yelling “nooooooo!!!!!” with a steam roller coming towards him at 1 mph. There’s a big part of me that’s just like “hit us already!!!”

Anyway, here south of Charlotte, we’ve already had lots of wind and rain and it’s only the beginning. And while there are certainly a lot of hardships for a lot of people, there’s also a part of me that weirdly enjoys the excitement and opportunities this kind of thing creates to become a closer-knit community. I’ve lived in the south off and on my whole life, so hurricanes are not a new thing. And there has always been that feeling for me. You find yourself talking to strangers in the grocery store, at the gas station, and communicating with people online whom you wouldn’t have spoken to otherwise.

Of course, I don’t want to ignore the fact that a lot of people are going to experience what we think of as loss. And I’ve actually been thinking about grieving a lot lately. Some dear dear friends of mine just experienced what we all think of as a devastating loss recently. Their son transitioned at his own hands.

When we experience loss as spiritually aware people, we know on the one hand that it’s not really a loss. We know that that person is still very much present and available to us. And that they are Pure Positive Energy now. At the same time, it really doesn’t help to try to JUMP to living in that place right away or to try to push down all those feelings.

We talk a lot here at Living From Inspiration about FEEEEEELING your feelings. Grief is one of the feelings we can sometimes resist the most even though allowing yourself to fully feel it is one of the most healing things you can do. The key is to ALLOW yourself to feel that grief. Not to resist it. Put on a brave face if you need to around other people (or don’t), but make sure you give yourself the time to really feel those feelings. And you know what? It takes as long as it takes! My mother transitioned unexpectedly several years ago and I can say with complete understanding that it took me a good 3 years to move through it. Now…at that point I wasn’t really allowing myself to FEEEEEEEL the grief, so it could possibly have taken less time than that, but that’s not the point. It takes as long as it takes and that’s okay.

The things we find (well, really that find us) on the other side of grief are so beneficial and really just…beautiful. Peace. Understanding. Such an incredible love for the other person. For the situation. And for ourselves.

And many times once all those emotions have moved through and the energy has shifted, we actually end up freeing up parts of ourselves that may have been “stuck” before. It’s quite interesting that way!

So if you’re experiencing or have experienced something you would consider to be a “loss,” please soften around yourself and your feelings. Give yourself permission to feel everything you’re feeling. Be so so very kind to yourself. And know that you are being taken care of and soothed by Source/Universe/God.

Always.

I’ll let you know how it’s going here…we’re having some nice big wind gusts right now and I can still hear the cooing of a dove. Oh! And we have these crazy yellow butterflies that fly around our yard in wild patterns when there are no storms (we call them “drunk butterflies”) and yesterday those crazy suckers were trying to fly around in all the wind we had yesterday!

Quick, Easy, HEALTHY Dark Chocolate Recipe

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My honey and a friend of his are heading to Harleyfest in Milwaukee today (yes indeed, we like to ride motorcycles!  Well...right now he drives...I ride;).  The drive is 14 hours from here in SC/NC, so I made m'Honey and his friend some meals and snacks to take on their drive up and back.  I always so appreciate having nutritious food on the road instead of eating stuff that makes me feel crappy.  So I go super easy for the meals.  Boiled eggs, crispy bacon, pimento cheese (I'll share this recipe at some point) on coconut flour bread (will also share that recipe) with some romaine lettuce, bagged spinach and pre-cooked snausages (wow, I had to *un* autocorrect that one five times!).  

One of the snacks...I've been promising several of you this specific delicious and nutritious snack recipe for awhile now...I'm sorry it's taken awhile!  

Guess what it is???  

CHOCOLATE!!

Awww, nuts.  You probably already guessed that from the caption.  It's worth it!  As far as sweetener, I leave that up to you.  We all have different tastes.  I like my chocolate super bitter without a whole lot of sweetener, m'Honey likes it with...you guessed it...a l'il bit of Honey;)  Test it out for you.  I've tried using sugar alcohols (xylitol, erythritol, etc), stevia, monk fruit, and my body just doesn't like any of them.  So we stick with very small amounts of natural sweeteners.  You do what works for you!  You can also play around with the coconut oil-to-cacao (or cocoa) ratio to find what works for you.  

Easy Dark Chocolate Recipe

Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/8 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (I like more...again...up to you)
  • Maple Syrup or Honey or stevia or erythritol or xylitol or whatever...your choice.  And your choice how much.  We use very little.  
  • 1 pinch Salt

Process

  1. Mix the melted coconut oil into the cocoa powder in a small bowl 1 Tablespoon at a time. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically to make sure it all gets incorporated.
  2. Stir in the vanilla, sweetener and salt.
  3. The way we like to do it...pour into a reused, cleaned gallon sized ziplock baggie and flatten out.  You can, of course, also get fancy and put the mixture into chocolate forms.  I've tried a many times and I still like the simplicity and aesthetics of the ziplock!
  4. Put into the fridge to set completely.  If it's in a baggie, make sure it's on its side so it can flatten out.  Leave in fridge for at least 3 hours.  
  5. You can also put in the freezer if it's in the baggie and you're in a hurry;)  In that case, wait for an hour and then either go to step 6 or put it in the fridge.  
  6. Take it out, have the visceral satisfaction of breaking it up while it's in the baggie, pour the shards onto a plate...and enjoy!  
  7. Store in the fridge.  Coconut oil is super healthy but the melting point is very low, so it will be a runny mess otherwise.  

Notes

I love to add a dash of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  You can also experiment with lavender, banana, coconut extract, nuts...lots of options!  

How did it go for you?  What are your preferences? Let us know!  

The Power of Creating

I love creating.  Love everything about it.  I've been spending more time welding fantabulous creatures and very VERY large metal flowers, and playing in junkyards.  (You can take a look at some of them here).  I also love everything about the process of finding the parts and pieces.  I've never really known anything about how cars work, but now that I've been taking them apart to use the parts (actually if I'm lucky, they've already been taken apart for me;), I just can't believe how intricate and incredible they are!  It's one of those (many) things we take for granted.  And once you look under the hood, wow.  Just boggles my mind that all these moving parts work together in perfect harmony to create motion and safety and functionality.  From the engine to the moving windows to the brakes and wheels.  

One of the other many many things that I love about the process is the people.  It's so much fun to share what I'm doing with car mechanics, junkyard managers, etc. and to see the interest and excitement in their eyes as well.  They are eager to help me find the best pieces, the most interesting things, and to describe what the pieces are and how they work in the machine.  It's become a beautiful collaboration.  

So...LFI theme for August is to get out there and do something totally new, even if it's just...going to a junkyard and looking at all the interesting pieces.  Or go take one Aerial Yoga class.  Or take a welding class.  And do it with the openness of a child.  It's all about the experience.  

Big love,

Lorrie

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Your August Guided Code with Lorrie

We have so very many fun things going on here!  Including the launch of the new site.  I'm having fun learning new things every day, especially about how to bring you more and more inspiration.  New meditations, new courses, and new products!  For this month, I suggest trying something new...just for the fun of it.  See what happens:)

Big love,

Lorrie

One Minute Resistance Buster

So many fun things to write about to you!  But limited time!  So...right now...I give you a quickie;)

One Minute Resistance Buster.  Do you perhaps have a task or two that you just really don't want to do??  I never do.  Ha!  Totally not true.  

Flash back to grade school, inertia is  "a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line."  If it's in rest...it's going to be more likely to stay its state of rest. If it's moving...it's gonna be more likely to keep moving.  Surprise, surprise, this applies to actions as well.  If you've been putting something off, there's gonna be a lot of resistance around it and it's going to make it harder to actually DO it.  Good news is there is a fun, easy experiment you can do to possibly overcome that inertia and send it in the direction you want!  

Are you ready to have your mind blown?!?  Here it is.  

Set a timer for ONE MINUTE and do whatever it is you've been having resistance to.  For one minute.  Many times, you'll find that once you've started the action, it's easier to keep going with it.  You might even want to continue!  Whaaaat??  Yeah.  Super easy!  

And remember...even if you are putting off a task or project, or...whatever...that's okay!  It's always perfect timing. Be kind to yourself and let it be okay.  

Yummy Love Your Body Meditation

*If you want to get right down to it, scroll to the bottom of the post for the recordings*

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So much of our experience here in this realm is related to our BODIES.  At the same time, so many spiritual teachings neglect the body.  Dating to waaaaay back, there are many teachings that the body, the physical, should be ignored or even rejected.  

And I say...*back up!*  Reassess.  Not only are these bodies assets, they are to be enjoyed (more yumminess on that in other posts).  They are to be...well...emBODY-ed.  That means developing a loving, feeling, symbiotic relationship with your body.  And I can tell you from serious experience that until you really accept and get into your body, you're going limit your expansion.  On all levels.  You and your spirit...essence...soul...higher self...source...god..."Big 'S' Self" (a friend of mine and I made that one up and it makes us laugh every time)...whatever you want to call it...are not separate from your body.  Source is flowing through your body at all times.  Your body IS source.  Which is not only a really beautiful thing, but also a really good thing.  Because that means you don't have to remind your heart to beat.  Or remind yourself to inhale and exhale.  You don't have to prod your liver to work.  You don't have to remind your stomach to digest.  

Now...you may have had some...not-so-good-feeling experiences with your body.  Anyone, anyone?  I say this in jest, cuz, well, yeah...we all have!  I'm happy to share my own experience, many of you are familiar with it (you can take a look at it here).  And I find that lots of times when we experience negative feelings we can disassociate from our bodies.  Whether those feelings are physical or emotional...well, we want OUT.  Which is totally understandable!  We just...disconnect.

We set up this experience perfectly before we came here.  We wanted to have bodies.  We wanted to be deeply connected with them.  Because we wanted to have a way to *know* how we feel about things.  We wanted a way to know when we are on track with our truth, with our desires, with our knowing...and when we're off track.  Other reasons too and we'll get into those at another time;)  

When you can FEEL your body...when you can FEEL your feelings in your body...you are so much more able to shift those feelings (physical and emotional) and to let them move through.  In fact, they will move on their own when you allow yourself to be with them!  If you try to ignore them or change them right away, you're doing yourself a disservice.  Because those feelings are there for a reason.  

Before we get down to it, I'll give you some backstory about this particular Living From Inspiration Meditation.  It's a super duper sweet story and one of my favorites, because it involves my gorgeous nieces.  

A few years ago, I was staying with my brother and his family in Albuquerque, NM.  They have this beauuuutiful big house with a casita in the back.  Every morning, I wake up and do my meditation, workout and then go to the main house and have breakfast with the family and always sit next to, you guessed it, my lovely niece, "A".  She's about 3 or 4 at this point (I'm so bad with ages, but I'm pretty sure).  So sweet, so beautiful.  I sit down on a bar stool/breakfast stool and help her up to the bar stool/breakfast stool next to me.  And she puts her sweet hand on my arm and says...

"Auntie Lala...I love your eyes...and I love your face...and I love your arms...and I love your legs...and I love your shoulders...and I love your hair...and I love your shirt...and I love your nose...and I love your fingers.........."

And she keeps going on.  And on.  And on.  For about 3 minutes straight.  Which is a looooong time for a 3-4 year old.  Just loving, loving, loving everything about me.  And oh!  I try to interrupt!  And say "I love your face...and your arms...and your legs..." She will have none of it.  She just keeps going...and going.  My only choice is to sit...and let it all in.  Which I finally do.  

It was so sweet.  So much love.  And I have never forgotten it.  *That* is how we can feel at all times.  Because Source is always flowing all that love to every single part of us.  

This meditation will help you get connected to your body and establish a loving relationship with it.  The first recording goes through instructions.  The second recording is the actual meditation.

In the instructions, you'll learn that as you're going through the meditation, if when you get to a certain body part you notice any pain, tightness, or resistance of any kind, pause the recording and take some time to just BE with the sensation.  Without trying to figure it out, without judging...just be with it.  Embrace it.  And when you're ready, start the recording again and keep going.  

So get comfortable, close your eyes, and melt into this. 

What is the Little Golden Thread? — Living From Inspiration

I've been studying this path - practicing it, really - for many years now.  And I love it.  I love every single moment of it (well, I do *now*;).  And now I don't even really think of it as a path.  It's a way of being.  It's like breathing.  It's who I am.  Which makes it effortless, for the most part.  

One of the most valuable things I learned about fairly early on is what I call the "Little Golden Thread."  

Let me tell you how I discovered it.  

For a long long time in my life, I was a PUSHER.  Oh, lawdy, me, boy was I good at pushing.  I always felt like I had to make things happen.  That I had to really work to achieve and to become who I wanted to be.  Yet I always knew and hoped that there was an easier, more elegant, flowing way of being.  A different answer.  

As I began spending more time meditating, more time letting go of old paradigms and creating my own life, more time playing and looking for the ways in which everything is being taken care of for us...and mainly, as I got quieter...I started to notice something.  

It wasn't there all the time. But when I was...

quiet...

gently appreciating...

resonating with something or someone...

I found there was a gentle tugging.  So gentle, so quiet, I may have missed it if I hadn't been quiet myself.  Before in my life I would have disregarded it or not been able to hear or feel it.  I realized it was a call.  And it was beautiful.  Shimmery, golden...my Little Golden Thread.  

So I started to follow that gentle tugging.  And what I found was that it lead me to the most wonderful experiences, people and things!  Oftentimes in roundabout ways that now make me laugh.  

There have been times in my life where I have experienced blow-your-socks-off miracles and creations I can directly relate to my intentions, almost to the letter and within a matter of hours or even minutes (I'll tell you about those sometime too!).  But what I've found is that this Little Golden Thread leads me in a way that is gentle and loving and I anticipate the path with easy joy.  It really feels like I'm being led by the hand by the most loving force in the world.  Towards delight.

These days, it's so integrated for me that it's just what I do most of the time.  The direction I go in.  I don't even have to feel the tug.  It's my built-in default compass and inspirer (yes, I make up words) to often-effortless action and joyful expansion in my material and spiritual life.  

You can connect with your Little Golden Thread, dear one.  It doesn't have to take hours of meditation or study.  Start simply, by appreciating the things in your life and focusing on what you love.  Feel the feeling of love.  Open your heart.  Take in all the colors and sounds and feelings and movements and people and tastes and smells as if they are your lover.  Commune with the Divine on a moment-by-moment basis.  Which simply means talking to your Great Love.  Simply.  Conversationally.  And if you find yourself out of sorts or grumpy or sad, be okay with that too.  Love those feelings as if they are small children - embrace them and be with them.  Let go of any stories or thoughts around those feelings.  Listen to or watch some of our free audios and videos to line up with your Connected Self.  Sign up for an Online Retreat or Sessions with Lorrie, those are very powerful ways to open up and get quiet and connected.  

When you do these things, you will begin to feel the gentle, playful, loving tug of the Little Golden Thread.