Thursday, December 30, 2010

Words of Truth

Passing Storm                                                                                           B Upton

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Martin Luther King Jr.


Here are a few quotes I posted on my Waking Planet FB site that I began this past summer. Hope you will join the community there to share global good news and stories that energize and inspire. Check back here soon (better yet subscribe to these posts) for the top 10 Waking Planet stories that give me hope for 2011!

"War is obsolete you know. Of course, the mind could rationalize fighting back, but the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself: the heart and the mind and the war would be inside you." Dalai Lama


"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do."
Neale Donald Walsch


"Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao, counsel him not to
use force to conquer the universe. For
this would only cause resistance. Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed. Lean years follow in the wake of war. Just do what needs to be done. Never take advantage of power...force is followed by loss of strength. This is the way of the Tao. That which goes against the Tao comes to an early end." Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching


‎"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content." Helen Keller

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." John Muir

The Catskills                                                                                               B Upton

"Trust returns. Healing happens. Energy flows. Renaissance arrives. Attitudes change. Peace arises. You emerge. "((Kairos)) Tashi Rana


New Day                                                              B Upton

 "Nothing is impossible, even the word itself says...'I'm possible'" Audrey Hepburn


 “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix 


"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." Eleanor Roosevelt


"In the Mind of God, there is a fully created image of you at your most creative. abundant and joyful. And there is a divine blueprint by which this image would take form in your life. It is not something you can MAKE happen, but it is something you can ALLOW to happen, by making the softening of your heart your primary goal. This is the meaning of spiritual surrender." Marianne Williamson 


Wishing you a peaceful last day of 2010! Let's stoke the power of love in  2011! May you be blessed.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Symbolism of the Waking Planet Flag

New Version of the Waking Planet Flag                                          c. B Upton
As we just experienced a beautiful lunar eclipse, thought I would post a description from my website that describes the symbolism of the sun, earth and moon forming a lunar eclipse in my Waking Planet world flag. By the way, I was just fooling around and inserted a photo of our Earth from space, instead of the symbolic blue disc. I think it is an interesting juxtaposition of the actual with the symbolism of the rainbow figures, sun and moon. Let me know what you think!

"The earth, glowing with vitality, is surrounded by colorful figures representing the beauty that is possible when people of different colors, tongues and beliefs come together in mutual respect and support. The rainbow spectrum also stands for the integrated wholeness at the core of every individual. We access this inner peace by accepting and loving all aspects of our humanness. 
The rising sun symbolizes the new millennium and the unlimited energy we are being given to be our best selves and to live our life’s purpose. The sun also represents our male aspect, which must be balanced with our inner female represented by the moon for inner peace to flourish.

The moon above also reminds us that life is cyclical and that every crisis creates a new opportunity of equal intensity—all the challenges facing us today are providing the catalyst for a massive awakening on our planet. The moon also connects us to our intuitive knowing. It whispers to us to act upon the love and wisdom of our higher selves in this precious lifetime. 

The Waking Planet new world flag represents a lunar eclipse, a cosmological event in time spanning millions of miles! The symbolism of a lunar eclipse—the time when the earth travels between the sun and the moon and casts its shadow on the moon is key. By accepting and even learning to love our own shadow, with all of our human shortcomings, we experience inner peace — the foundation for peace in the world. Lunar eclipses were once feared, but now embraced, as opportunities for tremendous growth, self-awareness and spiritual awakening." From Waking Planet.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holy Night

Pre-Eclipse- Moon with Large Halo    B Upton

It was spectacular watching our Solstice Lunar Eclipse! I bundled up and dragged a rocking chair outdoors to have a ringside seat. From time to time I would pop back in to stand by the wood stove and fortify myself with a little ginger brandy! Once when I went back out I was startled to see all the clouds had parted and there was the beautiful coppery red orange moon nestled in a sea of bright stars. Stunning! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do the sight justice with my little hand held digital camera, but it is forever seared in my memory.

Just Beginning!                                                              B Upton
Almost There!                                 B Upton
At one point as we neared totality there was a sudden howling from coyotes and perhaps a few dogs. Isn't that amazing? They were connecting to what was happening! 

I thought of the fact that this could be seen by 1.5 billion people! How wonderful to think of 100's of millions staring in wonder simultaneously. I kept getting chills up my spine, but it wasn't from the cold. 

We can draw on the power of this cosmological event to help us make changes in our own lives. May we more easily release old doubts and fears and strengthen our resolve to live from our hearts with purpose and joy! New beginnings, new hope, a return to the Light...

The Solstice Total Lunar Eclipse 2010                   B Upton

A neat time lapsed video of the eclipse!
Happy Solstice!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Magical Lunar Eclipse on the Solstice!

It has not been seen for centuries- that rare celestial event when we have a total lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice, Dec 21st. The show begins at 1:33am EST and finishes at 5:01am EST. If you want to catch the totality when the moon takes on the coppery glow of all the sunrises and sunsets on Earth tune in at 3:17am EST.

Thanks to

Lunar eclipses were once feared, but now are seen as opportunities for transformation. It is the best time to set an intention of releasing old thoughts, stories and ways of being that no longer serve you. In the first hours of the Solstice you will be able to celebrate the return of the light for our planet and within yourself!

Lunar eclipses are especially dear to me. When I created the Waking Planet world flag to represent the peace available within us and in our world, I realized I had also depicted a cosmological event in time spanning millions of miles, a time when the earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment- a lunar eclipse. Read more here.

Shadow and Substance has some lovely animations. And Mr. Eclipse has good information and pictures too. Enjoy!

Thanks to Mr. Eclipse!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Healing Power of Nature!

Please join us on Facebook too- for good news, inspirational stories and a growing community of people who believe a different world is possible!

here is my latest post there-

The Catskills                                                                                   B Upton

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Seventh Step to Inner Peace- Connect with Your Divinity

"Heart Light 1"                                                                                            B Upton
I have to confess that when I began writing about the Seven Steps to Inner Peace last August, I wasn't sure what they all were!  Something told me to just trust my intuition, write when inspired (hence, the time it has taken!) and to let the words spring from my heart. I have enjoyed doing it and hope the steps and images spark your own inner knowing! 

Here is a review of the first six steps (click on the step for more) with a new anchoring affirmation for each!

Step 1. Connect to the Earth
Bring more awareness to your body and allow the strong, nurturing and healing energies of our beautiful earth to fill you.
Affirmation "I am one with the earth. I am grounded. I am safe. I belong."

Step 2. Connect with Your Breath
As you allow your breath to naturally slow down and deepen, your body and mind will also relax.
Affirmation "I breathe in vitality and exhale tension. I become more peaceful with every breath I take."

Step 3. Connect with Gratitude
Your state of mind creates your reality. When you focus on gratitude you shift your focus to what is right and working in your life. What you focus on increases.
Affirmation "I easily recognize and give thanks for the blessings in my life."

Step 4. Connect with Beauty
Beauty nourishes, heals and restores you at your deepest level. Beauty is a requirement of your soul.
Affirmation "I walk in beauty. Beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty above me, beauty below all around me." (from a Navajo prayer)

Step 5. Connect with Your Shadow
There has never been a better time to declare a truce with yourself! Bring acceptance, light and love to the parts you once rejected in yourself. Remember, feeling "unlovable" is fed by fear and based on an illusion. Bring understanding, compassion and acceptance to all of who you are.
Affirmation "I am healed. I am one. I am whole."

Step 6. Connect with Your Heart
Your natural state is to have an open heart overflowing with warmth, light and love! Forgiveness unlocks the sweetness of your true Self. All love is founded in self-love.
Affirmation "It is safe to give love, receive love and be the love that I am."

Step 7. Connect with Your Divinity
"The divine exists in me, as me. I honor my creator by recognizing the light within me and living from that place of unconditional love."

You find your divinity in the same place as you find your rejected self- in your shadow. Although the shadow is mostly made up of parts you find unacceptable and have denied in yourself, it also contains your unowned brilliance!

"Messages in the Shadows"                          B Upton
I know it is hard for some of us to realize that the traits we find so appealing in others are projections of what we already have in us. We are not encouraged to embrace our talents, or our inner-light! We are taught that is is egotistical to think well of ourselves, but the truth is, if we are at war with ourselves, we will not be much good to anyone else. Don't worry about getting a "big head". You have a lifetime of put downs to counter so that you may arrive at a truer picture of the extraordinary being you are!

And don't stop there! Practice expanding your sense of identity to include others, the earth, the universe and the divine, because at your core, you are one with it all. The Light of the Divine Source lives in your heart. It is not something you need to earn. It is already one with you. This sacred light has the ability to heal others, yourself and the planet and no one has more of it than you do. 

You are not just a drop in the ocean. You are the mighty ocean in the drop ~ Rumi

The one tool I have found most helpful in connecting with this luminous Reality is meditation. I know "meditation" is a word that can strike terror in many people's minds! I used to approach it as a "should" and worried too much about whether I was doing it "right". But then I realized there are as many ways to meditate as there are people. Walking meditation was the answer for me (combining Steps One and Seven). If you currently practice meditating - good for you and keep it up! If you have tried and given up, or this is new for you, I hope you will give it a try (again). The rewards of being in the stillness of the present moment are great. I believe in simplicity and in what works so I will be sharing some tools and  techniques that have helped me in meditating in future blogs.

The Seven Steps only become effective by practicing them, but this is a practice that you can make joyful (I'm a big believer in joy). For instance, to practice Step One, you could give yourself a couple of minutes every morning (hopefully outside) to face east, breathe in the light of the new day and to feel grounded, strengthened and supported by the earth.  You could  tape the affirmations and listen to them as you go to sleep, etc. Come up with practices that sound like fun to you.

With time, I sincerely hope the steps help you experience greater and greater levels of inner peace, self-love, oneness and the joy you deserve!

I can think of no better way to end these steps than by quoting Marianne Williamson who sums it all up beautifully in this famous quote

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
"Heart Light 2"                                                                                         B Upton

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our Universe, Ourselves!

I like how this video shows the grandeur and incomprehensible enormity of our universe! It's mind boggling to know that it takes 100,000 years traveling at the speed of light just to begin to see the shape of our Milky Way (and 5 million light years away our galaxy itself becomes a mere speck of light)! One is humbled, but at the same time exhilarated. We are all a part of this amazing universe and this Sacred Mystery is a part of us.

I believe our ability to see deeply into our cosmos reflects our growing consciousness. For most of human history our vision was limited to what could be seen with the human eye. We assumed all that we saw revolved around us and that we were the center of the universe. Geocentric humans felt they were at the top of the hierarchy and that it was their right to dominate and exploit nature and others. But now we see we are no where near the top or center of anything.  We see we are a mote of dust on a speck of dust spinning through an endless universe. How can our consciousness not be changed by this?

I think a journey to the edge of the cosmos also signals our journey to the deepest and truest parts of who we are. As more of the miraculousness of the universe is revealed, we will be able to more readily grasp the miracle of who we are and the role we have to play on earth.

In 2003, astronomers turned the Hubble telescope on a dark patch in the night sky, the size of a grain of rice held at arm's length. They thought they might just see more black space, but what they saw amazed them. Repeated exposures kept revealing fainter galaxies. Over 11 days, The Ultra Deep Field, called the "most amazing photograph ever taken", revealed over 10,000 galaxies in that very small part of the sky!

Hubble Ultra Deep Field- The Most Amazing Photograph Ever Taken   NASA
Pictures like this can make us feel very, very, very small, yet indescribably large at the same time. 

The universe we live in is one integrated, whole; all is connected, all is sacred. May its splendor continually blow our minds and shatter the illusion of our fear-based egos, so we can see once again that we are whole, good and intimately connected to the one, great web of life.

The Seventh Step to Inner Peace- Connecting to Your Divinity and Purpose is next!

"  When you try to pick out anything by itself, you find it hitched to everything else in the universe."    John Muir 

Flammarion Woodcut- Some say he is peering at the wonders within us!

Wishing you a shower of blessings on this day of giving thanks. 11/25/2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Recent Art Show

Sorry I have been away and not writing here for awhile- but now I am back and want to continue with the steps to inner peace, among other new things. So check back often!

Thought I would share some pictures from the art show Monika Kretschmar and I had recently in New Paltz, NY. Big thanks to Maria at LaBella Bistro who provided the beautiful space as well as some delicious hors d'oeuvres for our opening! 

Visit Fine Art America for more of Monika's fantastic art
and visit her website for more on the Inner Voice Drawing modality she created.

More of my photos and art can be seen at my website-

Thank you to all who purchased art. May you enjoy the pieces for decades to come! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jon Us 10/10/10!

10/10/10 is a special day! There will be meditations for peace and Power of One calls the day Humanity's Date with Destiny. If you live in the Hudson Valley come share your positive intention for a more peaceful and sustainable world at the opening of the art show "Offerings of Beauty" at La Bella Bistro, 5-7PM at 194 Main St in New Paltz. Refreshments will be served. Thank you to Maria of La Bella!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Connect with Your Heart

Crescent Earth                                                                                     NASA

If you spend a lot of time in your mind, I am asking that for this sixth step to inner peace that you drop down into your heart. Just as a change in perspective reveals a beautiful crescent earth, new possibilities will be revealed to you.

When we connect with our hearts, we are connecting with our feelings, our infinite capacity for compassion and to our true essence, which has been and always will be love. When our hearts are wide open (their natural state) we are in a place of oneness with the earth, all life, our deepest selves and our divine source. We are home. 

All of us are on the path to a soft and open heart, but if you are like most, you have erected walls, even fortresses around yours. I think it is important to first simply acknowledge if this is true for you. Can you see your defenses without judging them, without making yourself wrong? You must have had a good reason to build those walls of protection!

But now those walls are blocking out the light and diminishing your ability to love and to be loved. They are causing more trouble than they are worth! The good news is there is a better way.

In Sanskrit the name for heart is anahata which means unstruck or unhurt. What this is saying is that underneath all the drama and the stories of victimhood you tell yourself, there is a part of you that can never be harmed- your eternal, vast and beautiful self! You are already safe.

You can access that sacred self by choosing moment to moment  to live from your love-filled soul, rather than your fear-driven ego. The best (and only) place to start is with your relationship with yourself. That's why the shadow work in step five is so important. When you look at yourself with more compassionate eyes you see the world in a more loving way. When you declare an inner truce you project a more harmonious vibration into our world. When you are able to see without the distorting lens of fear, the other becomes your brother-your sister, the earth becomes your sacred home and you are one with All That Is.

Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the sweetness of your true heart. Ah, forgiveness! Nothing keeps us stuck in our hard and closed hearts more than holding a grudge. Yet, I know how hard it is to let it go! Forgiving can't be forced, but is always an option available to you. I think it helps to begin by reframing forgiveness- it is not about condoning hurtful behavior- it is about setting yourself free! You do this by recognizing your humanness and forgiving yourself for sometimes "missing the mark", which was the original meaning of the word "sin". Then you can extend forgiveness to others, knowing that they too have been wounded and were only doing the best they could, even if it fell very short of your expectations.

"The Spiral Goddess Says Embrace Yourself!"  B Upton
In any moment you can justify your anger, resentment and fear, or choose to walk through them. The nature of emotions is to flow. You feel them, to release them. The pain is in the resistance. 

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It can release you from the past and allow you to step into the magnificence of your true self; vibrant, healthy, joyful, loving and free! Just saying that your intention is to begin the work of forgiveness, will set up powerful forces for change that will bring you more naturally into your heart- into your true essence. 

In the dream below I heard that the message for humanity at this time was to "seek your heart". I send you blessings and strength on your quest to live from that divine place within you.

"  Close your eyes and put both hands over your heart. Picture a stream of brilliant white light entering your heart. Focus on the vision of light and say out loud: "  I am willing to let the love in." Feel the energy flowing into your heart." - Louise L. Hay

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Dream

"Evolving"                                                                                       B Upton      
About 20 years ago I had a dream that I will never forget.

While I was dreaming I suddenly felt that I was going to be gifted with a message of great import. I heard that it was a message most needed by humanity during these times. Well, that got my attention! I remember feeling very alert and excited .

Then there were letters- hundreds of them- all swirling before me. "Oh, no" I thought, "how will I ever make sense of  this?" But I was so sure that a secret would be revealed that would help us all, I willed myself to concentrate harder. The letters swirled faster and faster then came to an abrupt stop and this is what they said:

"Seek Your Own Heart."

I was baffled at first and thought- that's it? And what does it mean anyway? Well, my understanding has evolved overtime. Today, I see that it provides a key to help us to connect to the divine, everlasting and beautiful souls that we are. 

It is all about the sixth step to inner peace- connecting with your heart- that I'll be writing about soon. But for now, you might like to review the first five steps I've written about below. They are briefly: grounding, conscious breathing, giving thanks, appreciating beauty and meeting, accepting and eventually loving your shadow- every part of who you are. They prepare us and Step 6 will propel us on our journey of awakening! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Artwork

I will be posting the last two steps to inner peace soon (they are easier and more fun than step five!) but for now here is some of my artwork. More can be seen at Waking Planet.

Blue Angel
Avocados in Winter
Spring Blooms

May you walk in beauty. Beauty before you. Beauty behind you. Beauty above you. Beauty below you. Beauty all around you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Fifth Step to Inner Peace- Connect to Your Shadow

Saturn's shadow                                      Cassini Probe-NASA
I hope you have had a chance to try out the first four steps to inner peace below. They can provide a loving and strong foundation for the fifth step- connecting with your shadow. Oh dear, I can hear the groans now! This is a step most of us would rather skip, but paradoxically by entering the darkness we can find our brightest treasure; the gift of our shadow.

I remember asking a woman once if she would talk to others the way she talked to herself. "Oh, no", she said, "that would be rude!" We had to laugh, but the truth is most of us spend too much time and energy beating ourselves up, regretting, fretting and making ourselves miserable for falling short of some ideal of who we think we should be. We banish our little, orphaned "unacceptable" parts to the basement, where they lurk as our shadow.

Everybody does this. We all suffer the pain of self-rejection, but we also have a choice. We do not have to feel guilty for our "bad" feelings, or for pretending we never have them. We can begin instead with forgiving ourselves for our humanness. We can declare a truce with ourselves and to begin seeing ourselves with kinder and more compassionate eyes. When we befriend all of who we are, we are able to experience the joy of being our authentic, whole, joyful and lovable selves. Repressing or denying parts of ourselves only cuts us off from that wholeness. The way out is in!

Saturn Back Lit by the Sun                                     Cassini Probe
Astrologically, it is said you cannot enter the more advanced levels of consciousness represented by Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, until you have gone through the rings of Saturn- the limitations, fears and obstacles of this life. Saturn tests us, but it also gives us an opportunity to confront challenges with awareness instead of blame and with love instead of fear. When we are no longer at war with ourselves life flows with more grace. We can listen to the messages of our shadow instead of being at the mercy of its impulses. And perhaps most importantly, we no longer have to project our hated and denied parts onto others and make them the enemy. When we are healed, our world is healed too.

If you are having trouble pinpointing your rejected parts simply look at who and what triggers you in life. Traits we deplore in ourselves are so much easier to see in someone else! 

Debbie Ford had an exercise in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers for meeting your various selves that I found intriguing. A sense of humor will come in handy for this one! You simply imagine a bus coming and that each of the passengers on it is a part of yourself you may not have acknowledged in awhile, maybe for decades. As you board the bus, you can expect to see a whole cast of characters - all looks, sizes, and temperaments. Sit down with one and start a dialogue. He or she may be a little cranky for having been ignored or unaccepted for so long. Let the part know you are sorry and are really ready to listen to him or her now. Listen without judgment. See how this part of you has been hurt and how past thoughts, feelings and behaviors (no matter how unwise, or ineffective) were chosen to ultimately make this part feel more secure and more loved. Have compassion for this part of yourself. Together find a new role for this part that honors both of you.

I was surprised when I did this exercise recently to find one of the passengers was me, at the age of twelve looking just like my seventh grade photo. Barbie was wearing an orange plaid, wool jumper and bright, pink lipstick (that she had smuggled into school).  Her hair was short, but she had draped part of it over her right eye for dramatic effect. (I remember when I first saw that photo I thought I was the ugliest girl in the world.) So there she was feeling too tall, lonely and totally unlovable. Barbie turned away when I sat down. Slowly, she opened up and told me she felt like she was from a different planet and would never fit in. I felt her pain and it made me feel tender and protective of her. It felt good to invite this vulnerable and rejected part of myself back into my heart and I knew it would have an impact on how I viewed insecurities in my life today. Before I left the bus she was smiling and I was feeling more whole and content.

This may seem a little strange, but if exercises like this (or finding a good therapist, or confiding in a trusted friend) can help us on our journey to greater self-acceptance and self-love, it is worth it. In fact, I think confronting our "unloved" parts is one of the noblest, most courageous and worthy projects we can take on in this life. 

If you are still having a hard time imagining connecting with your shadow- maybe you can think of it as the ultimate service to humanity. World peace evolves from inner peace. It begins with each of us bringing light and love to our wounded selves. Then we can receive the gift of our shadow - the remembrance of who we really are- undamaged, whole, compassionate and loving souls -  here to make a difference.

The Waking Planet Flag                                                              Barbara Upton

Monday, August 9, 2010

The First Four Steps to Inner Peace

"Bliss"                                                  B Upton
In her book Conscious Evolution, Barbara Marx Hubbard talks about how we are poised to birth a universal humanity and compares what we are experiencing to the metamorphosis of a butterfly. 

As soon as the caterpillar starts weaving its cocoon, imaginal disks appear that hold the blueprint of the butterfly to come. The immune system of the caterpillar does not recognize them and attacks them, but they only continue to grow. When there are enough of them and they link up- the disks turn to cells and the butterfly is created from the old. Hubbard says that each of us who believes a different world is possible is an imaginal cell in the new global culture! Our numbers also continue to grow and technology is allowing us to "link up" like never before. Everyday, we grow in strength and in our ability to co-create a more conscious and loving world.

But for us to be most effective in creating the blueprint for an awakened humanity, we first have to make sure we are awake and compassionate to ourselves! 

Don't fret if this makes you a tad bit uncomfortable- we are conditioned to think of loving ourselves as being egotistical and selfish - when in fact, egocentricity and selfishness arise from lack of self-love. If you want love, you first have to give it to yourself. You cannot give to, or receive from another, what you will not give to yourself. Putting an end to self betrayal and embracing our essence as pure love is the work before us.

I will be sharing seven steps to help you experience more inner peace and self-love in your life. I offer the first four here. They might sound too simple, obvious, weird, etc. to work- but I hope you will give them a try because the world needs you to be in your power right now and I'd love to see you be in your joy more too!

1. Connect to the Earth
Spend some time everyday in nature. Enjoy a few quiet moments as you feel the earth beneath you. You might want to imagine that you have "roots" extending from the bottom of your feet and spine sinking deep down into the earth. Feel yourself growing calmer as you go deeper...then on a big inhale, draw the earth's healing and nourishing energy into your body- into your every cell. Exhale tension and all your worries down into the earth and inhale peace and strength. Give thanks. It's beautiful way to begin the day.

2. Connect with Your Breath
Breathing- we do it about 20,000 times of day, but how often are we conscious of the nature of our breathing? Check yours right now. Is it smooth, effortless and deep? Or does it feel shallow and tense? Unfortunately, for most of us it is the latter. Our breath is reflecting the incessant chatter of our minds! We are seldom without thoughts that keep us anxious and in a decidedly non-peaceful state. But when you begin to simply observe the breath, not trying to change it, just watching it and being aware of every sensation - a funny thing happens. Your breathing naturally slows down and the ties of your ego/mind begin to loosen. As the breath deepens naturally you may find it easier to dive down past surface thoughts, letting them go like the ripples on a pond. As you allow the breath to more completely fill your lungs, let your tummy relax...your mind will follow. In many languages the word for breath and spirit is the same- get acquainted with yours!

3. Connect with Gratitude
You will find that as you connect more with the earth and your breath that there will be a natural bubbling up of feelings of gratitude for life's blessings. You may start noticing little things that were under your radar before- a stranger's smile, a cool breeze, or the scent of  flowers on your path. Some like to hone their ability of appreciation by keeping a Gratitude Journal (and it can be a nice thing to leaf through when you are feeling down.) Remember nothing is too small to note! A positive side effect of this is that it is impossible to be in a blaming, judging mind when you are connected to gratitude- over time you literally begin seeing the world in a new way!

"The Irresistible Flowers of the Butterfly Bush"              B Upton

4. Connect with Beauty 
I think beauty is a requirement of the soul and without it something in us withers. Beauty comes in many different packages- from a pink and gold sunrise to music that stirs our soul- from leaping dolphins to a poem that delights. The beauty and the bounty of our natural world awakens our most loving and protective instincts to be responsible stewards of this jewel of a planet. When we look into the eyes of someone we love and see the light of their soul shining back, it triggers our respect and compassion for all humanity. I hope with time you will come to appreciate your own beauty- the beauty that comes when you align yourself with your highest, most loving and most authentic self!

No matter where you are on your spiritual journey I hope you will treat yourself generously and compassionately, realize that your pace is just right, that you are perfect in your imperfections and that there has never been a better time to do the work and to come into the power and magnificence of your true self.

The next three steps to inner peace will be coming soon. For now I hope these four will help bring more awareness, peace and acceptance of where you are in life now. 

PS Enjoy this little video that I call Butterfly Love- sorry it is a little blurry and they get lost a bit in the grass, but then again, they deserved a little privacy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The New Path

Peace Soul Card by B. Upton
We are undergoing a renaissance of spirit that will  forever change the way we view the earth, others and ourselves. We are leaving behind the old- based on separation, scarcity, exploitation and fear and ushering in the new that is founded on connection, abundance, reverence and love.

Evolutionary leaps in consciousness are birthed out of difficult times like these. We are now being presented with two clear paths. There is the path of the old that mistrusts, sees "the other" as the enemy and fouls and destroys our earth. In our nuclear/technological age, this path will eventually lead to our co-annihilation- by war, global changes or both. Many are understandably distraught by this. For the first time in the history of humankind we are not guaranteed a future. No wonder the use of antidepressants is through the roof! It can feel bleak, until we see that there is another path shining before us.

It is the New Path of remembering that not only are we are not alone, but we are also loved just as we are. This epiphany helps us to remember that just as we have worth and inherent dignity, so do all the people of the world, our human family. We connect to the sacredness and unity of all life and passionately take on our roles as stewards of our beautiful earth. We connect to our true essence which is unconditional and everlasting love. From this place of radical self-acceptance and healing self-love we are free to joyfully co-create the heaven our earth was meant to be.

If this sounds too lofty or unreachable- then this is the place for you! Because we will be sharing what has helped people to find more inner peace, joy and love in their lives. If you already feel a deep connection to your deepest and most loving self then this is also the place for you! Please share what has helped you to remember who you really are!

I'll be talking about the first Four Steps to Inner Peace tomorrow! Let's help one another to wake up, be kind, give our gifts and live our magnificent selves!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Shift Happens!"

In this case having "shift happen" is good news. I am talking about the evolutionary shift we are now undergoing- the collective awakening to a new way of seeing and being in this world. I believe we are moving from a fear-based world of aggression, greed and destruction to one founded on love that values cooperation, respect and compassion. For the sake of future generations it is not coming a moment to soon!

As the old world disintegrates there is dislocation and confusion- but through the cracks a new light is shining!  As millions awaken to their true and beautiful natures that light will only grow in brilliance and power. The solutions that will come from a connected humanity that is in alignment with the earth are almost beyond imagining!

On this blog I will be sharing tools for our awakening- what has helped me and others to access that core of deep inner peace that is the first step in creating a saner, more peaceful and light-filled world!

You are here for a reason. The world need the gifts that only you can give. Share what has helped you to remember your sacredness and oneness with all and come back often to learn about new inner technologies that can help ground you in the vaster and eternally safe reality of who you really are!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Waking Planet Greeting Cards Are Here!

Pleased to report that 8 images from owls and artwork to the Waking Planet Flag are now available as 5x7 greeting cards. PDQ in New Paltz, NY did a wonderful job bringing out the rich vivid colors and they are printed on a lovely, satin-finish, quality card stock. Each comes blank for your greeting* and with a matching envelope. Check them out!

Each card also has a small picture on the back (often a detail from the front image) and a little story or description. Here is the back of the Waking Planet Flag greeting card.

*I love writing affirmations- positive statements that reflect a deeper truth about us that we may have forgotten. I often print them out on slips of paper- rolling them like little roses and passing them out at workshops and gatherings. I uncannily often seem to bring just the right number and I always feel that a person receives the message made for them. (I cannot tell you how many times people have confirmed this- sometimes with a shriek of surprise!) So I will be posting a few here from time to time. If they resonate, feel free to add them as messages in your cards!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Owl Babies!

Ahhh, the  baby owls- they have to be among the cutest of all baby anythings. They are visiting often and as you can see they don't seem intimidated by people at all- quite the contrary they seem to even seek us out.

I love the fact that barred owls mate for life and care for their young for four months- much longer than other owls. They lay almost perfectly round white eggs in April that hatch in about four weeks. When the babies are too big for the nest but not yet ready to fly they do their version of crawling using their beaks and talons and sit on branches for 4 or 5 weeks before they fledge. At that stage they are called appropriately enough "branchers".  If they do fall they can even "crawl" back up the tree!

As a friend said the majesty of the owl reminds us of the magnificence of our natural world and the role we all have to help protect the earth and all life. Yes, yes!