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Butterfly Prayer

 

Butterfly Prayer
Susan Heffron Hajec

In a star-filled Virgin Island sky
Souljourner’s voice
sends out a Divine Spark
of love and gentleness
across the calm blue-green waters.

A living prayer of protection
and passion transforms
the holy monk’s confined walls
to golden vibrations
of worldwide peace.

They seek
the cry of the wolf
and sooth the ancestor’s
pleas of long ago.

 

 

 

 

Mystery

 

The Chinese character for mystery, or yugen, is the same character for mountain, which looks like an inverted T with two squiggles on each side of the vertical stem.

“The line is the mountain and the squiggles on either side represent the mist in the valley that invokes a certain anticipation of the hidden.”  (The Zen of Creativity, John Daido Loori)

We often associate mystery with the darker side of life, the unknown. Then in religion and art, mystery is actually light, itself.  I am interested in mystery today because I am attempting to “sort out” and “be with” a great mystery of loss which has befallen my friends, in a sudden and tragic death of a young mother and friend.

Being with this loss is indeed taking up all aspects of mystery — the terrible darkness it brought upon us and the light we must seek to go back to center and live from there.  Peaking around the next corner into the darkness is not my forte.

 

In his writing upon mystery, John Daido Loori,  one of the truly great Zen Masters, says:

“Mystery is the seed of discovery. The term ‘mystical’ means: ‘Having a spiritual meaning that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intellect. It is direct subjective communication that we can’t process intellectually. We can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it, or think it. It is very subtle and slippery, impossible to nail down or explain. Yet we’re somehow aware of its presence, and it has a real impact on us.”

He goes on to explain how we can become aware of its presence.

“In order for us to perceive this subtle quality, three elements must be in place: trust in our spiritual practice, trust in the creative process, and most importantly, trust in ourselves. If any of these are missing, the whole structure collapses and we retreat into certainty. So we trust, even if we can’t explain or justify why we do what we do.” P 194 The Zen of Creativity

I had underlined the first part of this and made notes in the margin when I was first reading this book, probably over fifteen years ago.  After several moves, and still not having my categories together on ever-moving bookcases, I pulled it out today, thinking about Zen, Reiki and Japanese art because I am on the brink of an opportunity to take two workshops in Japanese flower painting and Wabi-Sabi collage next week. Which I am so excited about, I could pee my pants.

Also, because I am filled with grace to have come under Janet Conner’s (Janetconner.com) tutelage since Writing Down Your Soul, Lotus and Lily AND Intersection for Writers on-going instruction modules and books.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE TEACHES …..THERE IS NO WRITING COURSE OUT THERE THAT I KNOW OF THAT INSTRUCTS AND INSISTS ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AS PART AND PARCEL OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

And her process for writing, to those of us listening and learning, goes directly to accessing that special mystical quality and writing from there….and trusting it. That is her belief and her brand. That is the sweet spot and her students are zeroing in on it. What fabulous books are being authored that are going to reside on bookstore shelves across the world and fly from the internet into homes awaiting their special gifts and wisdom.

SHE IS SO RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT. WE ARE  SO BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED.

Just how long did it take to grow the mountains? It’s a mystery, right? So many layers, so many changes, over time…over time. Just like a mystery. It is a mystery to me how my eyes fell upon this section  of the book, after having been out of my sight for so very long. But for me, this is a special seeding time. The field is ripe and the conditions are powerful and potent. I am about my purpose. I have been guided to my guides, here on earth and beyond. I am in good hands. Who’s hands?

Well, that’s a mystery.

Good Morning

 

 

Good Morning! I will believe in Good Morning. My body is still achy, numb, tired, and compassionate for my friends and their families who have suffered a sudden and traumatic and violent loss of their loved one.

 

A mother has lost her beloved daughter. A husband suffers the solitary loss of his soulmate wife who together created a life of good in their home, their work, and their play. Two young adult college age daughters have lost their earthly bond to their mother. Brother and sisters are minus one in their family – minus two, as they lost their father in his passing two years ago. Cousins, young, lively, playful, and filled with family outing memories, like the one they were returning from when disaster on the highway struck, suffer a hole too big to replace in the family fabric.  Friends and companion teachers stand present, yet walled in by the daily absence of Judy’s presence in their lives.  Students, present and past, have lost a friend, mentor and extraordinary woman.

 

I will believe in Good Morning….

 

Judy was a bright light and she shone brightest in two areas of her life – her family and her middle school classroom.  There is no light switch that can remedy the darkness in these spaces. A dimmer dims the spots she occupied and for now, it looks very dark and it hurts.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…

 

For awhile, our personal and world compass is turned upside down. South is the new North. Each of us must find new paths – paths we never intended or suspected we would have to take. Paths we don’t want to take. We look for an escape route and it is not there. We are stuck with  “what is.”  And we surely don’t like what is.  We are tired, beyond what we know, and each day comes, asking of us to take one step forward.  We don’t want to.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…

 

Husband, daughters, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, mother…..we want to be there for you in our own little daily world. It can look like, after the initial liturgies and visitations are performed, we go about our lives, as usual.  But it is not true.

 

You, dear ones, are the ones most deeply touched by unspeakable grief. But, as your friends on the outside, we too are changed forever. We will never, ever be the same within our families or our world, as we were before this loss befell you. It is in us as well and it will never leave us. Our composition is altered. We will all find new light eventually. We will all suffer the “new life” that will be lived. We will all feel the hole that only faith, hope and love can heal. We will all look at life with “new eyes” – eyes that cannot understand –eyes that want to see differently – eyes that look toward an earthly horizon and into the heart of the beloved one who has gone home.

 

I will believe in Good Morning…with a heart of hurting love.

My Apologies

My apologies as Napkinwriter. I have been experiencing the wild side the joyful side and a deeply entrenched tragic side for friends of mine where you can be present to their pain but not very helpful. So my writings have lagged.

I have been on a lavish 52nd anniversary vacation with Tom on St. Thomas VI and celebrated high school graduation of my grandson, Andrew.

And I am having trouble loading photos to this post, which I will have to get son-in-law Carl to help me with.

I have also been busy with the writing of an actual book which I desire very much to give birth to. Along with that, an intensive course with Janet Conner, Intersection for Writers, and a wondrous JourneyQuest Art course with Cat Caracelo. So I have not been away from my calling. I have just not stopped by for Napkinwriter. That ends now.

My promise today is that Napkinwriter returns on a regular basis.

 

 

I am sharing my enjoyment this morning of two more perspectives  on God, boats and laughter written in the poetry of Hafiz.

“Two Giant Fat People
By Hafiz

God and I have become like two giant fat people living in a tiny boat;

we keep bumping into each other and

l
a
u
g
h
i
n
g
.”

 

“Barely One You Wish To Harm
by Hafiz

There are only so many people you can carry in your small boat before their weight sinks you.

A hundred you can carry whom you love. But barely one you wish to harm.”

 

Poetry from:  A Year With Hafiz Daily Contemplations by Daniel Ladinsky

Photography by Rebecca Emmons Lambert

 

Displaying IMG_20170503_144600425.jpg

I am warming up for my own words, so I will start with a few of the things getting me to them. I did my water color practice this morning and many other students finished up with well-represented fruit images of even impossible things like artichokes, but me, no I am still on apples and bananas. And I will revisit this to play with the smudgy shadow and add other colors into it and lift what I don’t like and a few other things and stay at it.

Two things keep me motivated. The young male instructor lives his passion for art by teaching all the art classes offered at the senior center, including drawing, mosaic, pottery, and more that I don’t know about. And the other thing is he said we are doing nudes in the final class next week.  I’m on board. But I don’t think he was serious.

Also, I am going to write another person’s words here and then just get on with my business of writing.

Writing Advice from Lydia Millet

https://booklife.com/create/writing/0/20/2015

Lydia Millet was a Pulitzer finalist for her book Love in Infant Monkeys, and Publisher’s Weekly called her novel Mermaids in Paradise “a thrilling piece of fabulist fiction.

These tips are aimed at bucking the limits imposed by time as well as mental space.   (I will fill in #5 and just list the others.

  1. Quantity before quality. Today is the day for production.  Put words on paper. Later, clarity can be achieved.

2.  Bore not thyself. That rain of sludge may not be your finest hour. Yes, you need to put words on the page, but to qualify for the page those words must always interest you.  Delete-delete-delete, all the way back to the very line where last you cared.

3. Suffer the fools gladly. And by fools, I just mean other people.

4. Prefer the new.  I try to write the story I wish to read. I am most inspired when I suspect that what precisely I have in mind to make does not already exist and this is the sole reason for the bother of its present creation. Your hand should be a hand that trembles to make the new.

5. Seek to be licked by holy fire. Of course, I use the terms “holy” and “fire” fairly loosely. One man’s holy is another woman’s sublime. If you’re doing creative work, that work should never feel trivial.  If you’re going to do a thing, do it fully, so that no writing you give the world misrepresents you — so that nothing you put out there is like a sad regift you couldn’t throw away and had to find a place for.

(and here’s the part I REALLY like!)

I advise, if you’re stymied by a passage or paragraph or plot point — whether it’s for an assignment from the outside world or one that comes only from within – get up from wherever you’re sitting, walk outdoors, and do nothing but look at the sky for five minutes. Just stare at that thing. Then execute a small bow and go back in.

You’re welcome from Napkinwriter.

By Napkinwriter   April 24, 2017

Do you know me?

Well, I had all kind of picture computer glitches today, so I don’t have some of the photos I want to go along to introduce you to both Janet and me, but here’s what I have.

Welcome to Napkinwriter, a blog that will wet your appetite for the many stories to come. I really do write on napkins and way sooner than this, I should have had a napkin saver container to “bank” and collect my beginning ideas, words and images I penned on them over the past fifty years at least.   I’ve been writing Napkinwriter since December 2010. What will you see here?

Stories about extra -ordinary people who are in the world disguised as ordinary people; stories about the extra-ordinary days that are given to us all in gifts of “the moment” — one at a time. Stories of grace and angels among us that have touched my life in an unforgettable way. Stories of…..the Mystic Muse, who plays in my day and creates scenes in my nights that I must arise and give form and expression to. And I am going to leave that preposition right at the end of that sentence·

I am a writer by soul command, I am a writer in my personal life and in my professional life. I write to inspire and bring forth the beauty of goodness within each of us and all around us. My Personal Essence energy signature is: I Am Truth Seeker, Peace Maker, Love Giver. I am a beloved wife, mother and grandmother and my joy lies within this way of life. I Am a blessing and I Am blessed.

I work to bring the awareness of our spectacular being to all those I meet in my day; I am beginning to focus attention to the elderly, to hold high the vision; to caregivers, to rise above the challenges and be their High Self, and to include this global Shift movement in the healing powers of my Reiki Master Self, who is already operating in global healing around the world.

I’m glad you’re here. I hope we get some discussion going. Now it’s your turn.

It is NOW 2017. My how time flies. We have returned to our early-marriage roots and live in Lexington Kentucky.  I have lived the writing life for a long, long time both personally and professionally. But NOW IS THE TIME to heed a long- heard call to write a book titled “BEING FAITHFUL TO THE QUIET, Finding the Peace that Soothes Your Soul.”

Janet Conner is one in a star galaxy of my writing space who gives me what I need to stay connected to my writing avocation.  As it says in Terma, The Box

What do you hear when all has gone silent and the in spaces between the silence,  there is a call,…..ignore it if you must, but WHY PRETEND it isn’t there?

It is there…..I am not ignoring it…..and I am NOT pretending it isn’t there.

That is the writer’s life.

I was already teaching Write Now! which is similar to Janet’s Soul Writing when I met her on line and stepped into her writing instruction; not only writing but soul connection, as well.  When I met her, I was in no position to sign up for and pay good money for the privilege of learning from her. Here she was telling about her own starting point of near bankruptcy and I was actually still swirling from a bankruptcy.

But not only did pay and enter into her Soul Writing course, I went on to take her first Lilies and Lotus course, being attracted by the scripture “See the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor spin…” (and yet they are provided for)…..and for the last six years, I have done less toiling and spinning and found the riches of provision falling into our lives beyond what I would have ever imagined.  Now I easily imagine how I am loved and cared for, regardless of net worth.

Janet Conner

 

It wasn’t exactly free….this loving provision stuff. I did have to learn  how to forgive, not just once but that old 70×7 stuff.  And I learned from Theresa of Avila, as well. There was lots of other stuff too, but it was all good, especially the AIC degree Janet awards.

And it is amazing how all this  learnin’  dovetails right into what is important in my story of Being Faithful to the Quiet.  What a hoot!

A Note to me from Janet

 

So, I’ve had my time, now it is time to hear from Janet. This is one of my longest Napkinwriter posts ever.

 

A LETTER FROM JANET

exploring the fields of the soul . . . together 

Thinking about the writing life?
There are things to consider.
First, it’s a paradox.
Second, it will change your life.
Oh, and you’ll love it with your whole heart.

Deep soul explorers,

I get lots of emails from people who want to be a writer. They all say they can feel a book inside. They’ve felt the presence of that book for years, decades even. But they don’t know how to bring it to life.

I, too, felt a book bubbling up from inside. I, too, wanted nothing more than to write my book and become a professional writer. And I did. I wrote Writing Down Your Soul and I am a professional writer.

But I have a confession. The writing life is nothing like I expected.

It has turned out to be a bunch of big fat paradoxes tumbling over one another, leaving me surprised, startled, and often laughing.

So, if you have one of those books inside you, let me give you a wee taste of the writing life. My hope is that by time you reach the bottom of this letter, you, too, will be ready to say yes to the writing life.

First and foremost, you must understand that creativity is an act of surrender.

And surrender, as I’m sure you know, is a spiritual practice—perhaps the ultimate spiritual practice. Surrender plays out in the two biggest paradoxes of the writing life:

Paradox #1:
You are not the author of your book.

My publisher captured this paradox perfectly when I was behind schedule and she said, “Write the book that wants to be written.” (Oh, you can write the book that YOU want to write, lots of people do; but it won’t set the world on fire, and it won’t change anyone’s life, least of all your own.)

Which brings me to Paradox #2:
Your book writes you.

This is the mystical magic of creativity.

MC Richards, the world class ceramicist, described it this way: “The greatest thing the potter produces is not the pot, but the potter.”

Translated into the writing life: “The greatest thing the writer writes is not the book, but the writer.” In short, writing will change you and change you at depth.

What will change?

  • The rhythm of your days. The flow of your days will shift until you find the natural rhythm that feeds your writer’s soul. It’s one of the most important things you will learn in Plug In for Writers.
  • Your reading. As your reverence for the written word grows, you will no longer tolerate junk writing, junk ideas, or junk media. Discernment arrives.
  • Guides and Guidance. You will realize you are surrounded by angels, messengers, and writing guides. Everyone and everything is your teacher.
  • Connections. As you follow the dots between disparate ideas, paths will open that you didn’t know existed. That’s how you write something fresh, new, and exciting–and the publishers only want “fresh, new, exciting.”
  • Synchronicities. The more you notice, the more they arrive, until life is flush with magical connections.
  • Priorities. Time is sacred. You’ll find yourself stepping away from anything that feels like a sieve.
  • Relationship with time. Kairos time will become your new best friend.
  • Your writing guides are helping you all the time. I saw everything in Find Your Soul’s Purpose in my dreams.
  • Access to theta. Once you know how to open The Intersection in the theta brain wave state, you will discover how to slip into the imaginal realm anywhere, anytime.
  • Solitude and silence. You cannot write in chaos and noise. You will crave quiet. Most writers are born or become introverts.
  • New Relationships. Friends who cannot see you as a creative writer will fade away. At first it will hurt, but new relationships will arrive.

The biggest surprise of all is that the writing life is a mystical life. Writing is a mystical practice.

I had a delightful confirmation this week in an angel consultation with Margo Mastromarchi. I was seeking guidance on something that has been revealing itself since the New Moon. (I’ve been hinting at this in previous letters, but it’s still unfolding. I promise to explain as soon as I get my own hands around it.)

In the consultation, I asked who was helping me and the answer surprised me: Mother Mary. I asked how she wanted me to connect with her. And Mary answered, “in your writing.”

Her words makes these typing hands feel even more sacred and blessed.

In the end, the writing life is about love.

Love of the message you are blessed to share.

Love of the readers you are blessed to serve.

Love of the written word.

Love of books themselves.

Love of your books.

Love of your writing angels and guides.

Love of your writing and publishing village.

Love of the life you have been given.

If you are called to live and love the Writing Life, please join me in my once-a-year LIVE global telecourse Plug In for Writers. It is unlike any other writing workshop or seminar or retreat.

Come visit the course page and see for yourself. We open Saturday April 29.

Plug In for Writers 2017

When you register by Friday, April 28, you will receive 23 sessions and access to my entire Publishing Village for $30 per session–even less for returning members. That’s $15/hour! That’s crazy, I know, but I sense there are many feeling the call to the mystical life of the writer. And nothing makes me happier than to teach someone how to open The Intersection and step through that door into The Writing Life!

To living and loving the Writing Life,

Janet

To find out more about Janet’s courses and magnificent books, and  with her new one on Soul Purpose, and her radio show on Unity on-line go to her website:    http://www.janetconner.com

More on the Plug In for Writers 2017, go to:

http://janetconner.com/successful-writer-entrepreneur/radio show on Unity on-line