Friday, December 21, 2012

Birth of the New Earth!

I started to write a post on Friday about 12/12/12, 12/21/12 and what these dates may signify in these times of transformation. Then I heard about the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and all focus went on those 26 angels; the 20 little ones and the six adults, the survivors and the families. The nation and indeed much of the world is united in sending healing, peace and love to them all.

Maybe now, through our tears, it might be a good time to talk about the new reality that is emerging that has the power to soothe our troubled hearts and give us the strength to move forward.

Something is happening on our planet that is unprecedented. Together we are wiping the sleep from our eyes and seeing ourselves, others and the earth with new eyes of reverence, awe and love. We are remembering the sacredness and unity of all life and are awakening to our power and responsibility to create a world that works for every one. Because the peril and the promise before us are so great, many believe we are receiving assistance from the spiritual world.  Some believe a portal to this dimension opened on 12/12/12, others are saying it will happen today, 12/21/12. These dates may be markers, but the evolutionary change upon us is much greater than any one day.

The important thing is that we are reclaiming our ability to create a New Earth where compassion, peace, justice, joy and love reign supreme. It has begun.

I think it is important that we share stories that symbolize this new way of being in the world- that we acknowledge the little miracles, the acts of  kindness, the connections, the healing and the new found love. Here are two I heard recently that I think exemplify the new paradigm we are creating on earth.

I heard the stories in the Global Peace Ambassador training I am taking with about 100 peace-loving souls from around the world. It is being led by James O'Dea, author of "Cultivating Peace", which Jean Houston called "one of the most important and profound books of our time." and Philip Hellmich, author of "God and Conflict" a true story of his time in Sierra Leone during their brutal civil war and his quest for peace within and in that terrible situation. I am honored and thrilled to be learning from them and other stellar teachers in the training and to be a part of this conscious and compassionate community!

Here is the first story in the words of Margaret, a participant in the training,

"I had departed the subway train and had planned to walk the rest of the way to my destination; about 5 blocks. At the transfer bus stop, where I had not planned to take the bus, I came upon a man and woman wearing a famous coffee shop’s work uniforms, who were in a very heated argument about something to do with work. Instead of walking on, my inner voice said I should take the bus.

 I did not listen to the details of their disagreement, but just started sending light, love, peace and healing to whatever was causing their divide. The arguing and cursing went on for about 10 minutes then all of the sudden they stopped, then they looked at each other and burst out laughing, at which point they both agreed it was pointless to argue about something that really didn’t matter on such a beautiful day. They ended up swinging their arms around each others shoulders and all was well… but that is not the end of the story.

We got on the bus, me still not having said a word, only offering a smile. As the woman took her seat she began to express her gratitude to God for the beautiful day and how blessed she was. The man, sitting in another seat, agreed saying he was grateful for all of his blessings too. I was not in the same seat with either of them, but when I got up to leave at my stop, this woman got up and asked me if I would hug her. To the dismay of the other riders, I joyfully hugged her deeply and said “God Bless You” as she was saying it to me. I turned away to depart and as she was sitting back down I heard her say to everyone, “Everybody needs a hug now and then,” which is a favorite mantra of mine! I think we both needed that hug. I think that busload of people felt that universal hug that day. I believe we do mirror each other, and the peace mirror is by far the strongest because it draws from the “big self” and not the little “ego” self."

The second story I heard during our weekly, global conference call. James read a letter he had received from Michaela, a graduate of this training, who is requesting prayers for her continued healing. She has been living in South Africa, working with a NGO on an AIDs project. One night she was assaulted and raped at knife point by four men. This is what she said about it.

"Throughout the experience, I saw them as sacred beings, knowing in my being that I'm strong and clear and praying as this continued. I left my body some of the time, but was very aware of trying to create a field of peace."

Eventually, there was only one man left. She told him she had come from England to help the people of South Africa. Upon hearing this he expressed his sorrow, saying he had done a very bad thing and she would never, never forgive him.

She answered, "It is indeed very bad what you have done. Now you must go and do goodness. I forgive you now."

She concluded by saying she was deeply receiving love and light all were sending her and added, "I am a very blessed person."

That Michaela was able to find forgiveness during this violent assault is remarkable. Some people who have suffered abuse never forgive, some take decades and apparently some take moments. Please hold this amazing woman in your heart and ask for healing light and love to surround her. And Margaret's story reminds us that we are all always broadcasting energy- when you consciously choose to radiate peace, you raise the vibration around you and create the space for little miracles to unfold.

These two stories and so many more are clear signs that we are indeed evolving as humans who not only know (Homo Sapiens) but who also feel (Homo Sapiens Sensus). We are reconnecting to our hearts, to ourselves and to one another.

Now I meant to post this a few days ago- and here it is already 12/21/12 (life happened)! I think most realize this day marks a new beginning not the end of the world (the Mayans themselves had other calendars that go well into the 3000s, so no worries there). But I do believe it marks the beginning of an ending- the ending of separation, anxiety, distrust and fear and the birth of greater connection, peace, understanding and love.

It is also the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year, but more importantly the day that marks a turning point- the return of the light, or as the Romans so poetically put it- The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun! It is a perfect day to remember, every moment can be a turning point- a time when you reconnect to the light within and choose love over fear.

Lastly, I personally think the portal to the divine love of the universe has been opened. We are being bathed in it. There has never been a better time to do healing work, within yourself and in the world.

I'll be next sharing a little meditation to help you connect to these loving energies. They are here to help us make the next evolutionary leap! Hold on to your hats it's going to be quite a ride, but our destination is assured. Or perhaps I should say, the never ending journey toward higher consciousness, peace and love is assured- it's our destiny!

All Beautiful Blessings of Love to You! Keep faith!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Flash Mob for Domestic Violence Awareness!

Dear Friends,

I apologize for my absence on this blog for awhile. I have been busy- but miss sharing the sacredness and beauty of our natural world and universe and ways to experience more inner peace and joy in your life!

Hope to be back now- hope some are still with me!

Here is the latest video I did on a topic that is very important and needs more awareness- I hope you'll watch it and share. Thank you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Women's Rights Rally in New Paltz, NY!

We had a fabulous Rally and March on Women's Equality Day on August 26 in New Paltz!
Nearly 300 came out to demand equal rights for over half the population- everything from full reproductive rights to equal pay for equal work to ending violence against women and ending budget cuts that will affect women and children the most. Thanks to Donna Goodman and the Hudson Valley Actvist Newsletter for sponsoring and to all who participated!

A few people asked me to print out my talk, so here it is.

Women, Militarism and War
by Barbara Upton

Welcome! How wonderful it is to see so many women and girls of all ages coming together to defend women's rights and it is great to see so many of our brothers here too standing with us in solidarity.

Let me begin by saying, men are not the problem, a patriarchal system that oppresses women is the problem! Patriarchy is the social power structure and ideology that provides justification for the institutionalized discrimination against women. It is supported by and thrives on war and violence. Patriarchy cannot exist without militarism which promoters a culture of fear, is based on power over others and that believes that the organized use of physical violence is the only way to resolve conflict. Patriarchy and militarism are inextricably linked. But let me tell you something else that is mutually interdependent- women's equality and our ability to create a culture of peace.

The first step is to recognize and educate ourselves and others about the true cost of war.

New Paltz Women in Black "Eyes Wide Open Exhibit" and Altar to Fallen Troops                                               B Upton

Do you know that war is currently being depicted as a game show on NBC? This is the way of militarism. Only 1% actually does the fighting and for the rest of us war is glorified and even made into entertainment. The military sanitizes the horrors of war through language. Civilian deaths are called "collateral damage" and missiles are "peacemakers". Rarely do we see the real ravages of war.

The fact is, war destroys people, the earth and the very fabric of life and no one suffers more in war than women and children.

Although our conception of war, of soldiers fighting on a battlefield has not changed, the reality of modern warfare has
. A UN Peacekeeping General recently said, "It is now more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in conflict."

In WW I, 5% of the casualties were civilians, in WWII the number of civilian casualties was 55% and today that number is 90%. Women and children are killed, maimed, raped, sickened, displaced,widowed and orphaned by war. Eighty percent of the millions displaced by war and conflict are women and children. Rape is used as a weapon of war. In Rwanda a half million women were raped . In Bosnia Herzegovina 50,000 women from all the ethnic groups were raped and a half million were victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is also important to remember that war does not end when the bombs stop falling. Agent Orange in Vietnam, resulted in hundreds of thousands of babies being born with severe birth defects. In addition, tens of thousands of US soldiers were sickened and disabled and the effects are still being seen in second and third generations. Depleted uranium munitions in Iraq and Afghanistan have left a radioactive legacy that has resulted in a spike in cancer rates and childhood leukemia. Landmines in over 80 countries kill and maim women and children daily as they are the ones tasked with gathering food, water and wood.

As if all this horrific violence were not enough, there is also the structural violence created by a permanent war economy. Sixty percent of our discretionary budget goes to death and destruction. This strips money from health care, education, job creation and vital social programs and because women and children are overrepresented among poor people, again women and children are hurt the most. 

Kingston  Rally for Peace and Justice                                                                                                                  B Upton
Lastly, when violence is seen as the acceptable way to resolve conflict in the international sphere, it affects all aspects of society. It even extends to women in the military. One VA study done after Desert Storm showed that one in three women serving were raped. It is said that women in the military fight on two fronts; on the battlefield and in the barracks. The effects of a militarized society is also seen in community violence with our 30,000 gun deaths every year and in domestic violence which increases during war. VA research shows that veterans with PTSD are two to three times more likely to batter partners and children than veterans without PTSD. Battery is now the number one cause of injury to women in the US.

Our path is clear. We have to end war before war ends us, as John F Kennedy said. We have to make war as unacceptable in the 21st century as slavery was in the 20th century. We have to build a culture of peace from the ground up and inside out. That means we do have to be the peace that we wish to see in the world. We can begin by replacing blame and dwelling on all that is wrong with a focus on creative solutions, stop fueling polarization by listening more deeply, and transform despair with inspired visions and empowered action. Together we can build a culture of peace founded on respect for the dignity and inherent worth of every woman, man and child. Peace is our only true security and I believe it is our collective destiny.

So yes, you will continue to see Women in Black standing for peace in front fo the Elting library every Saturday at 12:30. We have been there every week for almost eleven years and you know what- we are just beginning! We hope you will join us. Thank you.

Join us any Saturday- 12:30-1:30PM In front of Elting Library New Paltz
Contact Barbara, or New Paltz Women in Black at

Friday, August 3, 2012

Best of Facebook, Summer 2012

Compassion: This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Alvaro Munera's career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this otherwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. Even grievously wounded, the bull did not attack Munera. May we all support the welfare of non-human species.
 Thanks to  Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

A very compassionate man and a loving beautiful fox.
Six years ago, Cropper was found in the street after a fight with dogs. Seriously injured and ill (toxoplasmosis), Cropper was nursed back to health by this man's patience, love and determination. Not strong enough to return to the wild, Cropper spends very happy days with his human friend. Thank you Sir! ♥

Oh my goodness- I'm not such a big fan of these types of video- but this one touched my heart. Try watching without crying- I dare ya!

 OK, people. Get out there and break some rules


Carol Weller

Loch Ness Monster!


Don't know who originated this one- but I love it and posted it on the Waking Planet- One World, One People, One Future page on FB- Please join us there!

Another on Waking Planet- One World, One People, One Future


I honor the place in you
which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Clear Stream Media: Doable Solar Energy!

Clear Stream Media: Doable Solar Energy!:   Germany is on its way to being a green energy nation! Their solar power plants produced a world record of 22 gigawatts of electricity d...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Princess of Peace"

Princess of Peace                                                                                                           B Upton

I painted "The Princess of Peace" a few years ago for an art show I was curating called "Exposing War and Exploring Endless Peace". I recently decided to make the princess's hair wavy to match my grand daughter's and gave the painting to her on my recent trip to Arizona. She is not three yet, so the bubble wrap was infinitely more interesting than the art! But I hope as she grows older she'll like it and appreciate its message of peace.

The Princess of Peace is one with all life, rooted to the earth, yet also at home with the starry night. She is a harmonious blend of soft and strong, head and heart, and the physical and the spiritual.

Her compassionate gaze tells us that we are perfect in all of our imperfections-that we should not be so hard on ourselves-that at our core we are divine and worthy of all the joy this world has to offer. She also reminds us that each of us has tremendous power to create a more just, sane and loving earth and that power begins when we love and honor the totality of who we are!

That is what I hope my darling grand daughter will see when she looks at her!

I have been standing for peace every Saturday for over ten years with a wonderful group of dedicated peace and justice activists called New Paltz Women in Black. We are part of an international movement of women taking to the streets to say no to war, militarism and violence in all its forms. We wear black for we are mourning all the senseless deaths of war and as a symbol of resistance. Women in Black has been called the largest mobilization for peace in the world! Here is a video I did last summer - "Women in Black in the Hudson Valley and Beyond."

"When we see God in each other, we will be able to live in peace." Mother Theresa

Wishing you a day of peace, love and joy.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baby Robins Outside My Window!

What a joy it was to return from AZ to find a robin family had set up camp right outside my window! The intimate perspective was really quite thrilling! The babies- adorable like all babies are- and the parents- tirelessly working, feeding, cleaning, warming and loving the little ones. They also had a graceful choreography that was beautiful to watch. They worked as one.

For best viewing click the icon on the lower right to watch full screen. I hope you'll enjoy and share with others!

Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Science Love

Sorry to have not posted for awhile. I have been in the company of my darling grandchildren  (an almost 3 year old girl, 7 and 9 year old boys) and have been very busy playing Sorry, Twister and scrabble, making pasta, swinging on swings, going through hoops of water in my clothes, dancing, reading, listening, singing, coloring, buying endless Leggos, and tickling and hugging a lot. I'm a lucky woman!

I have also enjoyed time with my two sons. One is in transition and like many Americans is having a tough time finding work- I send him blessings and hope things will turn around soon! The other, the dad of the three, is studying physics and chemistry and runs a scientific (and happy) household. The periodic table graces the living room and my granddaughter points and says Einsteinium, Fermium, Mendelevium, Nobelium, Lawrencium, Hydrogen, Gold, Tin, Mercury, Polonium and one she named "candy candium" (because of its shape!). Bedtime "stories" on the computer (no TV in this house) are documentaries often featuring Carl Sagan. There is an electron microscope on a table and all are encouraged to view whatever interests them. There is also an oscilloscope the little one likes playing with to see the dot move. My son is on a tight budget- he received these instruments from an ad he put in Craig's List- "my kids and I love science if you have any old equipment you are not using we would sure appreciate it." People are kind.

So in the interest of continuing the scientific theme I offer these little gems I found on FB today on a page called "I Fucking Love Science". I don't usually swear on this blog- but hey that's their name!

As we are all made of star dust!

 Just to be clear, although I love, love, love Carl Sagan, I don't agree with him that your being here at this time is an accident! But I do agree it is a critical moment and that you can't sit it out. 
You're needed. 
Have a happy day being the star you are!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Goddess Altar

How do you like my little Goddess Altar? It came about after the yard had to be excavated and I ended up with many, many stones. I thought I'd put them to use by making this bird bath a focal point. Must say- I never really noticed this old tree stump much before!

Once again I had a visitor. Last time, it was a contented looking robin and this time a teeny tiny frog (not much bigger than the tip of my thumb) stopped by. He was so perfectly camouflaged that for a time I thought maybe I was wasting my time photographing a leaf- but then "the leaf" hopped!

Do you see the silhouette of a woman? The Goddess herself showed up!

To me, goddess energy represents all that is true and beautiful and loving in our world. An altar is a place where we reconnect with the divine and for me that happens best in nature! 

Interestingly, I was placing stones to blend with the roots and contour of the land when I suddenly noticed I had (almost) spelled out a word. All it needed were a couple of more stones to define it and there it was- the word- "Shalom"- the Hebrew word for peace! You can see the first part of it in the first photo above. 

May you connect to your inner goddess today (and men this is for you too!) She is that part of you that is intuitive, loveable, loving, bold, fearless, authentic, beautiful, compassionate and sacred.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom

Friday, April 27, 2012

Connect to Mother Earth...

The Catskills                                                                                                                                                               B Upton

Connect to mother earth 

to breathe more deeply

Breathe more deeply

to connect with beauty

Connect to beauty

to open to gratitude

Open to gratitude

to focus on what is working

Focus on what is working

to draw more of it to you

Draw more of it to you

to follow your heart 

Follow your heart 

to live your soul's purpose

Live you soul's purpose

to be you. 

A synopsis of the Seven Steps to Inner Peace

Wishing you a day of ease, deep breathing, gratitude and love!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Dandelion                                                                                                                                                                   B Upton
Viola 1                                                                                                                                                                           B Upton

I enjoy finding delight and wonder in the very small, the often overlooked and sometimes even in the maligned.- like the "lowly" dandelion photographed above. I find that when I look closely- at  anything in nature, I see divine handiwork of the most delicate and inspiring beauty. For instance, in the dandelion, I see a flower radiating like a sun, bursting with tendrils of golden light, like little solar flares looping into space...I notice their curved tips and how they mimic the curve of the insect's the tiny viola, I see dark blue, bare branched "trees" with the hint of a rising sun...I see the harbinger of spring- a contented looking robin paying a visit to the goddess altar I am assembling with stone, pansies and bird bath. The robin laid there for about a half hour as though blessing the space. I will post pictures of my little goddess altar soon. I discovered the stones spell out a word- one I did not consciously create.

Today is Earth Day and it has NEVER been so important for all people of good will to come forward to pledge to be the guardians and protectors our beautiful earth so needs- to honor, cherish and love her and for all of our words and deeds be expressions of that love. I hope my little observations rekindle your awe and reverence for our one jewel of a home and may they always remind you that the sacredness that is all around you, is also in you and is you.

On this Earth Day, I hope you can reconnect to the limitless reservoir of vast healing and nurturing energy that is always at your disposal. It is the very ground beneath your feet! Even though our planet is facing environmental perils, it still contains amazingly powerful energy. Most of us have cut ourselves off from this life force energy and then we wonder why we feel sick and tired. But the good news is, we can tap into this renewing energy anytime. It is available to each of us in the same abundant and nourishing way!

Robin 1                                                                    B Up

Mini Earth Meditation

Take a few deep, slow breaths- inhaling peace and exhaling tension, allowing your body and mind to relax and slow down.

Bring your attention to the earth- to its beauty, power and sacredness. Imagine you have "roots" extending down from the base of your spine, or the bottom of your feet and going deep down into the nourishing, dark soil of mother earth. Now imagine your roots branching out laterally and connecting with the roots of the plants and trees nearest to you. See your roots and theirs intertwining and together sinking deeper into the earth. With time, you can extend your roots to connect with all the rooted ones on the earth (it can happen in an instant!) and together you can journey to the center of the earth- to the place of transformative healing.

As you inhale imagine a beautiful golden light entering your roots and the roots of all you have connected to- bringing healing, calm and strength.  As you go deeper you will be able to feel more and more relaxed and a pleasant warmth may flow through you. It can feel like you are nearing a healing fire and it may even have a sensuous quality to it as your roots go deeper and grow warmer. Each time you inhale, the golden light grows brighter and fills you and all you have connected with- bringing vitality to every cell of your body and to all of the grasses, bushes, flowers and trees.

With each exhalation you can give mother earth all your worries, all your fears, all of your heartache- she can recycle it all into nourishing energy. With every in-breath, fill with peaceful, golden light and feel your wholeness and oneness with the earth and all life on it. Radiate love, honor and protection to the earth and imagine it glowing brighter from your loving connection.

Know that every time you do this little exercise, you are grounding and strengthening yourself, the earth and all its life! Reconnect to the earth to be your highest, healthiest and happiest self.

Happy Earth Day, Happy Spring....over the next few days, may beauty reveal itself to you serendipitously when you least expect it! May you feel your very real connection to the earth and be strengthened and renewed by it.

May everyday be Earth Day!

Robin on the Goddess Altar                                                                 B Upton

Robin 2                                    B Upton

The world is full of magic things,
patiently waiting
for our senses to grow sharper.
~W.B. Yeats

Viola 2                                                                        B Upton

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Clear Stream Media: Tax the 1% Rally, Kingston NY Video!

Clear Stream Media: Tax the 1% Rally, Kingston NY Video!: As you can see, the Tax the 1% Rally held at the Kingston PO was a lively affair. Thank you to all who came, who shared their stories, ble...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 99% Spring

Unmanipulated Sunset                                                                                                                                                    B Upton

Sunset 2                                                                                              B Upton
Took these coming home from a training I co-hosted with a few others on non-violent direct action as part of the 99% Spring. Our group of about 100 was part of a nationwide movement of over 100,000. We came together in community centers, churches, campuses and public places to say "enough is enough". Time for the 1% to pay their share. Time for corporations with record profits in the billions to pay taxes, rather than get refunds! The percent of revenue from the 1% is at its lowest in decades. We are all sacrificing- why aren't they even doing their fair share? Read more here.

Time to rise up!
We Are Struggling with...                                                                                                B Upton
If you are local - join us tomorrow on the steps of the Kingston Post Office- 90 Cornell St, Kingston, NY- 12 to 1PM- for a Tax the 1% Rally! We will be (literally) blowing the whistle on the system rigged to benefit the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Goddess Power!

    Trinity of Self - The Mother, the Daughter and the Holy Spirit                                                 watercolors by B Upton                          

I painted these little goddesses for a show I curated in 2001 called, "The Magical Feminine: Celebrating Woman, Her Bliss and Her Erotic Healing Power"! Here is what I wrote then and samples of the many affirmations I wrote for each goddess. The affirmations were wound up like little red roses in three gold boxes that hung under each painting and people were invited to see what the goddess wanted to tell them. Perhaps one of them below, is what you need to hear today too!

The Trinity of Self: The Mother, The Daughter and 

The Holy Spirit

The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost; what impact has this pantheon of maleness had on the developing female psyche? What has been the result of living in a world that has failed to honor the sacredness of the earth, women and female sexuality?  We have been taught a spiritual language that is not our native tongue and which has little resonance with the deepest parts of our feminine selves.

It is my intention that The Trinity of Self: the Mother, The Daughter and the Holy Spirit will speak to your soul. May the silent messages of these Goddesses echo through your days; “Embrace yourself more compassionately. Honor your body and sexuality more lovingly. Trust yourself more completely.”

The Trinity of Self: The Mother
Erotic fire and the power of creation burn at your core. Give life to your most passionate self and to your beloved dreams. Discover your vast starry essence through physical ecstasy. 

I am a strong, whole and worthy woman. I value my strengths and accept and learn from my weaknesses.
My love and nurturing ways make this world a better place.

 The Trinity of Self: The Daughter
Nature is our loving teacher. Surrender to the earth and connect  with your strong, instinctual self and natural goodness. 
I rest in the natural world and know I belong. Nature revitalizes and strengthens me.
I respect, protect and revere the earth. 

The Trinity of Self: The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit weds heaven and earth and the spiritual and the sexual into one blissful whole. Allow it to enter you and make peace with your body, mind and emotions. It is time to be the  unedited, uninhibited, natural force of healing for self and others you were meant to be!
I have awakened to my female power, unique voice and creative life force energy.
I can now forgive the past and be open to the ecstatic moment.