Posts Tagged ‘Janet Conner’

full blownPhotography by Christine Whitelaw (c)

I was introduced to the poems of Hafiz by my writing companion/mentor/friend, Janet Conner in Writing Down your Soul, in her books and e courses and her on-fire essence of purpose and intention in your personal life.   http://www.janetconner.com

Christine, too, quoted Hafiz on occation and the poem she selected below gives us a glimpse of her acceptance of the “impermanence of the body”.

She posted these words on March 20, 2014 by dadirri7 — Christine completed her travels of this mysterious existence quite abruptly on July 2, 2014.

She wrote:

“More on life and death from Hafiz: do you like the idea of being simply “a midair flight of golden wine”? 

Deepening the Wonder  by Hafiz

Death is a favor to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.

The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes

Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,
Hafiz would call for drinks

And as the Master poured, I would be reminded
That all I know of life and myself is that

We are just a midair flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His Cup.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,
I would buy freely for everyone in this world

Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.

Death is a favor to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.

The miraculous existence and impermanence of Form
Always makes the illuminated ones
Laugh and Sing.

(from The Subject Tonight Is Love, poems of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)


My last words on Napkinwriter from Christine were posted on June 28, 2014,  five days before she passed in response to my post on our 3 day family vacation on Mackinac Island in early June.

Just for the Family Record, June 28, 2014 archives

what a fabulous holiday Sue, I loved the butterfly house, and the pic of you three in rain gear … truly such fun and love to remember!


We entered into our friendship through words…blogging…..and our hearts met across time and space, her in Australia, me in Michigan;

Through the permanence of words, we now transcend the impermanence of the body.

I remember the fun and love of our friendship.

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Gentle Woman Reiki

Today’s post is a repost of a blog I wrote a couple of years ago. Today, I continue this practice and continue to give Reiki treatments to those who desire them and Reiki attunements to those who wish to add Reiki practice and healing to their lives.

An ongoing update of the blessings of Reiki in my own family life. Many, with medical comments of the belief that Reiki is, in part, and sometimes wholly attributed to the healings experienced. I always treat Tom and he has recovered remarkedly from back pain over the past two years. He had a spinal fusion surgery and a fast recovery as he rehabbed with no further problems and the ability to walk distances with no pain. The previous ten years had been agony.

His skin cancers, especially around his face and scalp, have continued to be challenging, but right along with frequent Reiki treatments, he found excellent care at University of Michigan Cancer Clinic. This past year, he’s had over a half-dozen MOHS surgical procedures and the main doctor on the case said to us, “You are a good healer, in fact, you are the best healer I’ve seen with the amount of recovery you had to do.”  He definitely acknowledged Tom’s role in choosing healthy recovery and encouraged us to  continue the “Raykee” or whatever it was he was doing!



Her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.”

As a Usui Reiki Master, I give and teach a natural healing method you can do for yourself anytime, anywhere. It comes from the Japanese spiritual and holistic healing tradition and has been practiced in Japan and the United States and around the world since the early 1900s.  The tradition, for a long time, was passed on to another verbally and Reiki practitioners receive “attunements” into Level I, II, or Reiki Master & Master Teacher from another Master who comes from the line of Mikeo Usui, the founder of the healing practice.

One can learn much today from books and the internet about Reiki, but the passing on of the Reiki Universal Life Force powers of healing comes from the hand of another Reiki Master.

Beside the universal desire for love, the two other things I’ve wanted in life were good health and personal, all-abiding peace within. In my search for these, I walked many paths, dipped into many wells of knowledge and wisdom and I’ve had a wide variety of experiences that brought either suffering or healing.

And I guess I would add balance to my life-long “wanted” list for happiness. This explains the draw of Reiki into my life. If Reiki is about one thing- it is most certainly about balancing the body/mind/spirit for the highest good. That includes balancing your physiology and this impacts how you experience your life positively.

When I give a Reiki treatment to a person (hands above or gently on a fully-clothed person), two experiences are common and shared by anyone I treat.  First, they experience an intense heat penetrating where ever my hands are placed above or on them; second, they go into a deep relaxation — deeper than shivasana, experienced at the end of a yoga session.

As a Reiki practitioner, I am doing nothing but acting as a vessel for the Universal Life Force to do its healing of the person on whatever level they need it; spiritual, emotional, physical. The person in deep relaxation is actually drawing the Reiki healing power into their being, I am not “sending” it.

When, as a Reiki Master, I give a Level I attunement, to another person, they now have the Reiki Power, to self-treat or treat others in their presence; Level II, is a higher attunement for Distance Healing and like “Prayer Sent” the energy of Reiki can be sent out over the world for the healing of persons or the planet. A person requesting Master Attunement experiences Reiki as a Calling, and wants to bring more Reiki into the world throught treatments and attuning new practitioners.

Like the popular phrase in the Star War Series, “The Force is with you,” you can be sure It truly is — Reiki just plugs it in and lights it up!

Reiki has gone to bat for me in the healing of emotional disturbance, soulful direction and on the physical plane where you can see it: heart surgery and not only the healing but the disappearance of a brain tumor without surgery and about 1/4 of the drugs they originally ordered.

Cats love Reiki! I’ve had them dash out from hiding and come lay under my Reiki table when I am giving another person a treatment. They stretch out long and expose their belly (the cats). If I put my Reiki hands on their furry belly, I’m afraid they are going to break their purring machine!

Reiki helps me stay rooted just in today. It reminds me by its principles to strive for and surrender to kindness and honesty, to let go of stress and worry, and to be mindful of my blessings.

When I am out of balance and not able to relax or respond to others in kindness, I suffer. I don’t like to suffer. When I include a self-treatment of Reiki for myself in my morning spiritual practice, my day goes better me and for others I come in contact with.

Reiki is one of the wondrous practices that came to me as one of the results of my search for good health, happiness and a support of my spirituality. Reiki is here to be shared.

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Sunflower child Mandala conditions

I have put my 2013 Sunflower Intention Mandala on my computer as a screensaver. Today, I sat down to enter a Peace in Our Hearts and Around the World entry. I gazed at the screensaver with “soft eyes” as I said aloud and breathed into each condition I am practicing in my life this year.

In the middle of this practice, I saw a new image in the sunflower. All the “mandala style” buds at the center of the sunflower became people looking inward toward the center. And just now, I made and corrected a “typo” as I typed the word, funflower, for SUNflower.   The name of my 2013 Intention Mandala IS My Year of Joy and Fun.

We are now into the last two weeks of September and my life is living up to the name of this 2013 Intention Mandala beyond my wildest expectations.

This Intention Mandala comes from the teachings of Janet Conner. Her books, Writing Down Your Soul, My Soul Pages Companion Journal, and the lotus and the lily, and her workshops for mandala instructions have graciously and prosperously guided the way I approach my daily life.

The manifestations of good I list for this year are not in sight on this image because I have rightly focused on the center of the mandala where the conditions are stated. As Janet points out… once I have listed the manifestations I want to see in my life, I can forget about them; they will come about when conditions are sufficiently met.

I have no reason to doubt this, as my larger than life manifestations I’ve listed on my two previous mandalas are all realities in my life today.

Before stating the conditions I am willing to live by, there is an important inner process of looking within and looking back and recognizing the gifts that were present in hard times and with hard lessons learned. That takes a respect for the quiet and a courage to live and let live, and let go and release anything not serving my good today.

The next step is a big one — and requires even more courage — forgiveness.

Forgiveness, the ultimate gift to myself! At any cost, worth the price of admission — admission to a freedom in the present, leading into a worthy future. Forgiveness of anything and everything, anybody and everybody, and most of all forgiveness of self.  Always a work in progress. But I am ever more mindful of the benefits and the quicker release of grudges and resentments. I’ve come to know, it is just not worth it to hold onto them.

Now, I’m ready for those conditions I was reading aloud this morning:

I practice radical self-acceptance.

I allow Truth.

I move in the world.

I love in the spaciousness of my heart.

I sit in silence.

I serve in compassion.

I Am in Joy for I know all my needs are met. My life is filled with Abundance of every kind and it reveals the Awesome Power of God.

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sunflower turning to sun

It seems like all I had to do this year was find my sunflower child. And I did that.

I found her in an image I could not ignore. A sweet child placing her soft face right into the center of a large sunflower.


I put her in the center of my Intention Mandala for 2013. I look at this often and so the presence of this sweet child is with me throughout the days.

But more than that, she keeps appearing in images I come upon in other places. She was on the East Coast with me when I enjoyed my weekend at the Women Writers and Artists gathering. Of course she was! My 2013 Intention Mandala is “The Year of Joy and Fun” and I was certainly joy-filled and having fun with my women companions, enveloped in writing, art and reverence for the larger story of us all.

During one of the workshops, there was my sunflower girl in a pile of images to be chosen for our projects. You know I chose her!


And today, as I begin preparation for the SoulCollage(R) and Daily Word  workshop I will facilitate at Unity of Kalamazoo in September, I found her once again, as an image in the front of the September/October Daily Word. What a blessing and confirmation for the work I desire to do with this. I have read the Daily Word as a subscriber since 1979. It always lights up the next step in my path with Scripture and Affirmation Truths. I trust it with my whole heart and soul.  Perhaps, that is where the desire comes from to play and pray our prayers and affirmations into image through the wondrous process of Seena Frost’s SoulCollage(R)

Sunflower child best

In the accompanying poem, “All I Had to Do”, by Donna Miesbach, a question is asked:
“Why, then, did I Not see You?
How could I have
Missed your Presence
When all I had to do
Was stop and look
Within my heart?”

That is exactly what we will do when our workshop gathers and selects the scriptures and affirmations they want to “see” through their own images selected at random from many magazine visuals I have spent tearing from sources recycled and given to me. The perfect images will be present, just as the sunflower girl has been present to me. The attendees will have an awed sense of “All I Had to Do” was…..put some pictures together to express a heart and soul-felt confidence that “this is the Truth of me.” The Scripture, affirmation and image will continue to live in them in a “best friend forever” sort of Presence.

All I had to do when I first came across my sunflower girl image was imagine her at the center of my mandala. This Intention Mandala is based on the work of Janet Conner and her “Lotus and the Lily.” I’ve been making this type of yearly mandala since 2010.  On these mandalas, we put whatever we can imagine we want the most to manifest in our lives on the outside circumference of our mandala. Then we don’t really think about them anymore.

“When the right conditions are present, there is manifestation.”

She also insists we put “big things” on the mandala, not necessarily things we think “possible” to get, because the manifestation comes without effort from our “making it happen”, if your focus is in the right place.  Some of my “big things” have been: a home I love; check; a large weight loss; check; good health and fitness; check; travel abroad; check; financial supply for workshops and training; check; live and love with Tom; check. These are big! These are manifest.

To get to the right place, we first concentrate on total forgiveness of others and of self. And to stay with that, working on that whenever and wherever needed. I do that.

Next, we state the conditions we agree to live. These conditions are written out and placed in the center of the mandala. Mine have changed over the years, but they are my guideposts when they appear on my mandala. So for my year of 2013, My year of Joy and Fun, these are the conditions I live by, as witnessed by my sunflower girl:

Sunflower child Mandala - conditions

It seems like this is “all” I have to do to live a balanced and centered life. “All” is always a very small word, but sometimes “all I have to do” is a very large thing to do; other times, it is as easy as floating with the waves. In any case, when I am doing these things, I cannot miss “the Presence” that is always right within my heart.

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“Be kind whenever possible.
Hint: It is always possible.”
                           The Dalai Lama

Today, I was treated unkindly by three people in a business of which I have been a frequent customer. There was a time in the past, that I spent a fair amount of money at this nail salon business (which is a highly competitive business) receiving both pedicures and synthetic finger nail applications, colors and manicures.

Our family income has required the scaling back of this discretionary spending, so I have settled for getting a pedicure once in awhile because I have difficulty caring for my own and they do a good professional job. Then I do my own manicures, keeping my nails short and not requiring the expensive add-on nails from the salon. I occasionally treat myself to a manicure and polish which is not expensive.

Today, I went in for a re-polish of polish that had come off quickly from their service.  It was only a $5 expense for me (but I had spent $40 for toes & fingernails within this past week). Today, this was not enough of a service for them, and two of the employees plus the owner treated me gruffly as if they didn’t want to bother with me. It wasn’t enough of an expense to have them accept my debit card (they have a business charge on use, but they offer the convenience) so I had to pay cash.

Ok, enough on the situation. They were rude and unappreciative  to me for my business. They were unkind.

And I was unkind in manner and response to them. I left, mostly unattended, and knew I would not come back. They lost a customer.

But I lost the opportunity to be kind, in a situation where I could have been truthful… but kind….about how their treatment was affecting me.

I am thinking of this now because I am creating my living intentions (in mandala form) for the coming year of 2013 — my 70th year.

I have been fortunate enough to have studied with Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul and The Lotus and The Lily, the second one being a recently released book, and she is on cross-country tour with it.


I took her first course on-line when it was known as The Lily. It was a fabulous experience that was centered on the scripture, “See ye not the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor spin, yet God……” you know the rest probably….they are adorned in splendor and seem to lack nothing.

That was the promise or “manifestation” I wanted to co-create in my life at the time I took her course. There had been a financial upheaval and a new way required for us to live within some newly set narrow boundaries. Yet, I needed the reality to know, really know……that my life was and could be nothing less than prosperous.

I learned that Truth in so many important ways through Janet’s spiritual and worldly and historical teachings. I carry that learning in me today which is why I am thinking about kindness.

She, rightly, took the focus off our “I wants”, even though we had to name them and put them on the outer reaches of our mandala. What really mattered, it turned out to be, was our “inner conditions”….our list of commitments to how we intend to show up in life…..and then to live those, truly each and every day.

Oh there were a few little things to mind before the co-creations and manifestations of our wants. Like looking back and “seeing the gift” in perhaps the pains we have experienced. And there was that little matter of forgiveness…..the once and for all type of forgiveness, we had to apply to the people and circumstances in our lives, and then finally to….yes, ourselves.

After those little things were tended to, it seemed much more possible and even joyous and purposeful to live our life according to the conditions we set. And as that began to happen, the “I wants” began to suddenly or “at the right time” or even surprisingly appear too.  Just one of mine was financial stability and supply without end over the past two years since I entered this process. I am grateful.

Now, I am thinking about one BIG condition to enter into 2013 with: Being kind whenever possible, knowing that it is ALWAYS possible! Can I live that? Can I hold that as a core value and what wonderful transformations will occur within me when I try to live this path?

I think I am going to go for it. I can settle for a day at a time and then the whole year won’t look so daunting to me. My heart resonates with it, but my flaws are only too willing to take the stage.

In any event, I think I will let the 2013 curtain rise on this newly created play in my life. I know I’ve got the best support cast in the business. I’ll just go out there and take the Lead……in kindness.

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The top shelf holds some of my angels and inspirational pieces and messages. Also my Soul Card Deck and Osho Tarot cards. I get a great “one word focus from my Soul Deck that is really very useful. And playing with the Tarot cards occasionally gives me both great artistic images, and usually something to think about.

My Muse Angel rings her bell whether I’m in the mood to hear it or not and lately she’s been keeping me in this room for longer periods than I wish to spend.  Right in front of her reads, “This is the day the Lord has made.”  And it is.

The branch twig that you can barely see in back with the three ribbons tied on it comes from a Skidmore summer conference of International Women’s Writer’ s Guild,  and is actually a prayer stick; the first I ever made and the ribbons signify a prayer for grandchildren to arrive. I had none at the time. In the 1990’s I put 3 ribbons on that stick, and in 2012, I have three grandchildren.

The first Sacred Intention Mandala I made with author Janet Conner, of Writing Down Your Soul, is on the far right. It was a beautiful telecourse based on the scripture of “See  the lilies of the field, how they neither toil nor spin.”  And it had a lot to do with trusting Divine Provision. We needed that in 2009-2010, newly back from North Carolina, with not much extra in our pockets.   I named my mandala for 2010-2011 “My Year(s) of Free-Falling into Spirit and one of my intentions represented in the small circles on the outer perimeter was “to have a home I loved.”

In December 2011, we moved into the home I love.

At the far right of the shelf is a “mock-up” cover of a book, not yet completed – but one that will be. “Being Faithful to the Quiet – Finding the Silence that Soothes your Soul”, by Susan Heffron Hajec.  I think the cover photo is quite breath-taking. I took the photo of the Zen Bell tower at Weber Retreat Center in Adrian Michigan when I was there for a retreat on Centering Prayer.  The pathway leads past the garden down to the Chartres Labyrinth, quite gorgeous and energetic in the surrounding hills and property.

The last thing I want to tell about my top shelf is the framed picture of the feminine profile. I use that frequently in my workshops. That is “every-age woman”. We are all those ages at the same time. The young woman has wisdom sparks of the elder. The elder has the playful moments of the child. The middle-age woman has both facets of the young and the elder to come, but they are active in her at mid-life. The wise feminine will draw on all of these diamond facets throughout her life.

The second shelf has the published Soul Pages Journal Janet created to go with her first book. I had already filled several spiral-bound notebooks with soulwriting before this came out. What is particularly lovely is the different quotes that show up on pages, that just magically support what you’re writing from your own space or give a message gratefully received.

The other thing is she asked for suggestions to name the owl on the cover (Janet LOVES owls) and then she takes them to St. Michael the Archangel’s grotto and has the angel guide her hand in selecting. Two pieces of paper stuck together and she decided to use them both, for the names were each a symbol of wisdom — I chose Sophia (which comes from Joyce Rupp’s spiritual books) and someone else chose Solomon — the Biblical source of the wisest king of the Hebrew scriptures.   The owl became Sophia-Sol. And Janet sent an autographed copy of this precious book to each of us. Mine is now completely filled and I’m back in spiral-bound notebooks.

The brightly colored mandala-circle was a creation started at the Centering Prayer retreat at Weber Center in the 1990. In the bookstore, I picked up a copy of “A Sacred Path”, a small black book written by Rev. Lauren Artress. It spoke of the age-old labyrinth laid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. It was considered a healing and meditation tool and was built on the principles of sacred geometry, which I had not hear of.

I never did too well in mathematical geometry in school, but I began drawing a circle and putting squares, circles and triangles within the circle.

I found I couldn’t stop until I had a rough sketch of what wanted to be completed on paper. I didn’t color it yet. Then I brought it home to my engineer-minded husband, and he created the whole idea geometrically correct and colored on the computer. It’s been in my creativity room ever since. I believe it strongly influences my prayer power and requests.

The rest of the books on that shelf are books I am using in my current work and hope to be able to locate when I need them.

And here are a few pictures of the remaining shelves left.

Lots of study time in those binders and oh, of course, the Writer’s Market

Spirituality, Physicality, and Yoga and
there lies “the empty page!”

A closeup of my special section of the top shelf

To everything there is a season verse on the cross
and feminine wisdom

Wondrous life guides

Granddaughter Amy and Baby share time
with me in my creative room.

She is in my prayer chair.  The Chartres Labyrinth
purchased from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco
is above her head and my current 2012 Intention Mandala
with the blazing fire  globe is at work below it.

To the left are my certifications in Reiki I, II & Master
and Cooper Institute  Certification in Nutrition & Kinesiology.

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Artist's Creed by Jan Phillips

I am so stuck, I am sharing from another website I just came across (www.wisewoman.com), responses from many others as to what they do when they get stuck.

I am so stuck, I cannot remember my Twitter password, and I don’t put much on Twitter anyway.

Getting back to Napkinwriter, which I dearly want to do is right now like trying to lift my feet out of the tarpaper that cartoon character was in. But I will — get unstuck.

Normal now revolves around being caregiver to my most beloved person in the world. And that’s fine — that’s on purpose — that’s as it should be.

But my creativity room calls. Today, I have almost completed reading the 11,000+ word manuscript I prepared for an interview I held with creator Jan Phillips, who has been on a wondrous country-wide tour with her marvelous workshops and her teaching at Yale for the IWWG – International Womens Writing Guild. She and I are both excited about this.

Getting unstuck will be seeing the final package completed with query letter and mailed off by next week to our proposed destination for publication.

Getting unstuck will be giving some form and substance to more ideas that will be focused on Jan, as well. I feel so strongly her message and actual physical presence is so needed in our world today; if I can be a connecting bridge in any way, it would be a great honor.

Getting unstuck is falling again into a book on my bookshelf, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Getting unstuck will be signing up for and contributing what I now have in savings to a wondrous nine week tele-class “The Intersection for Writers by a magnaminous and loving giver by the name of Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul.

Getting unstuck will be freeing myself and laughing each day.

Getting unstuck will be lots of my own beloved writing as Napkinwriter.  I’ll be seeing you soon!

 So here are the “When I am stuck….” entries  I promised you from the wisewoman website blog, “Dear Me (thoughts from wherever I am at the moment).

Copied from her website:

“Many of you have known me for quite some time. I am Jessica’s alter ego, muse, imaginary friend, inner critic, sometimes outer critic, and all around help mate when I feel like it.

She has known me for a *very* long time – since she wrote a book about me way back in the 70′s. My name is Dear Me! and I am going to help her out with this personal blog.dearmeartsupplies

“Jill Badonsky is a very cool person. I have never met her, but I just know it.

And the reason I am talking about her today is that she wrote another book, called  The Awe-Manac, A Daily Dose of Wonder, that goes on my list of most inspiring creativity books.

Creative people get stuck. It is just the truth and there is no permanent cure. It will recur and usually without warning.

The way the creative brain works (if you have it tuned-up) is that it sees something or thinks something which triggers something else – maybe related to what it saw or thought, maybe not.

So inspiration is critical. If you are stuck, you must go out and expose yourself to new stimuli. You can go to galleries and look at art, you can read good writing, you can smell the flowers, etc. You get the idea. One or more of those encounters will kick-start your creative idea machine and you will be unstuck and on the move again.

Please share a creative prompt with us in a Comment and we will draw a winner on Monday and send a copy of The Awe-Manac, You can tell us in your comment how you get unstuck, or throw a journal page prompt at us, or tell us whatever you think might start the idea machine. We will all benefit, so let the Comments roll . . .”

September 26th, 2009 | Category: Book Reviews

79 comments to The Awe-Manac: A Wonderful Book

  • 51
    Karen S. says:

    When I’m stuck, I like to take a walk and just observe things – the houses and gardens and people and nature, whatever I see. Then I try to take something (or someone) I’ve seen and write a narrative about it, including a lot of description, but also making up some kind of story. A fresh perspective and fresh material often come together to move my work along.

  • 52
    Debbie L says:

    Ok, this post is utterly brilliant! Can we make a book of all these great ideas?

    I have been so stuck like the very first commenter, Susan, for months now. Taking classes and going on art retreats really help keep my juices flowing during the rest of the year. I have re-started keeping an art journal to help keep the flow going.

    Sometimes I just put on music, pick up whatever paint colors speak to me, my journal and just play. Usually doing something helps.

  • 53

    When I am stuck I will do one of several things. Here’s my list: I pick up my camera, pick a place to visit, and go out on a shoot. Sometimes, just shooting photos is enough to “fill in the blank” and I feel like I have done something creative. I buy artists how to books and mull over techniques and ideas. I look at visual journals or use one. A prompt can be as easy as asking myself a question and then using my visual journal to create from the question. Also, I like to extract fragments of my dreams to create something. Or, I will invite a friend over or get together with other creative souls to stimulate my brain. And lastly, I might even take a workshop. There is always a way to get rid of the creative block if you let your imagination just run wild.

  • 54
    Gayle Warner says:

    I joined a small crafting group at a local library. Just being around these other women working on & enjoying their projects seemed to reignite my own creativity!

  • 55
    Kathy K. says:

    When I get stuck, the worst thing I can do is clean something… that is what usually keeps me from my creative endeavors. I find that scribbling on a blank sheet of paper is a beginning. From there I take my favorite form of color and color in some of my shapes. After I do that I begin to decorate some of the shapes (colored or uncolored) with doodle shapes. Then I take a marker and start to outline groups of shapes, like I am looking in the clouds for animals or ‘pictures’. This activity usually frees up my mind from everyday clutter and allows new ideas in.

  • 56
    Milly G says:

    I know I can’t be the only one who never gets stuck…not stuck for ideas and inspiration anyway. I mostly get stuck for time or energy. I have such a back log of ideas- hundreds of them swirling around in my head like shiny butterflies and dragonflies winking and grinning and laughing. Mostly just getting back to my work tables and getting my head immersed in the creativity and my hands busy sends me back to my conversations and journeys with the divine.

  • 57
    Anne L says:

    I just need to go on to my deck and sit in the peace of the bush, listen to the birds – it regenerates the brain! and there is always something new – light on leaves, breeze, sounds, to keep you visualising.

  • 58
    Carol says:

    It’s wonderful when creativity flows, but when one hits that wall – the frustration is mighty. I get stymied; what color combination(s), should I use this medium or that, be neat or go grunge, be elaborate or not? Sometimes I have so many ideas they become a jumble. To kick start the process I think of friends and ridiculously funny moments.

  • 59

    When I am really stuck in a creative rut the only thing that seems to work for me is to either “let it go for another day’ or to simply begin. Begin something, anything; brush to paper, cloth to quilt, wool to felt anything that concretely connects me to start the flow again. Oddly enough, this usually works for me.

    I off er the prompt of “soul”. What does soul mean to you? DO we all have one? Does it continue on? Is it music or art or something more ‘mystical’ than that?

  • 60
    Andee says:

    When I get stuck I do a couple of things, First of all I have this jar, filled with words on scraps of paper, random words to illustrate (like anger, scream, lost or happy) or phrases/ideas that intrigue/amuse me ( like free spirit, dodo bird, flying fish, evil cat, nude beach, bare-naked ladies, grandma’s underwear or dancing waves). These words and phrases are things I see in the paper, or hear people say…things that make me think at the time, hey that would make a great picture, so I jot it down. When I get home it goes into the jar. On days when nothing inspires me, I reach in, and draw, paint or applique whatever I pull out.

    The other thing I do is rather than taking digital pics of things, I take pictures of textures and fragmented images… stone walls, grates, sidewalk patterns, interesting bark… part of a gear, part of a building…. an extreme closeup of a flower. I recreate these things using paint or colored pencil in my art journal on quite days or late at night…they often inspire what winds up on top of them, and have often sent me off in completely new directions artistically. My thinking is anyone can create from a whole, but creating from a partial imagine leaves more directions open, because you have removed the preconceived ideas that go with whole images. A gear does not have to remain a gear, a sidewalk texture can become anything….

  • 61
    Barbara J. says:

    When I need inspiration I go and swing on my swing set. Somehow the repetive motion and soaring up to the trees gets mind off of the everyday things and into the creative realm.If I shut my eyes it is even better!

  • 62
    Barbara J. says:

    Oops, that was supposed to say “repetitive” motion.

  • 63
    helen sanford says:

    this was very interesting to read over what others wrote–many of us do the same things–I do find that when I am really at a stand still–frequently a nap will do what I need. Sometimes I am just tired–but I also clean, sort, read,veg–all of the other things that others have mentioned–isn’t it amazing to see how different we are but how alike at the same time–so I guess my prompt would be “a 20 minute power nap”

  • 64
    Larraine says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I have all kinds of ideas and still get “stuck.” Part of the problem is that, as a result of having double knee replacement surgery in July, I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s changed now that I can walk ok. I love the idea of visiting a museum for inspiration too. This book sounds so wonderful. I really want it. Please pick me!

  • 65
    Glory M says:

    When I get stuck I just get quiet for awhile – shut out everything around calling for attention. Then I will pick up one of my favorite books or magazines and begin to leaf through it – something will call to me – then I apply my favorite two words “what if” and I’m off and running. What if I worked in different colors? What if I changed the structure? What if I used a new material I’m not familiar with – “what if” works every time.

  • 66
    Callie E. says:

    The sure-fire-never-fail “unstickme remedy” is…GIVE A PARTY!!! For sure I can find an idea of SOMETHING I would like to PLAY with. ForInst: I would really like a reason to use that Fondue Pot/Chain Saw/Piece of Fruitcake in my Freezer (VOILA, a party theme!)This results in Frenzied mental fireworks: When (what day of the week works for YOU/ME/MY DOGS?), What color is the tablecloth? Ooooo what shall we eat? The distraction of pontificating all of these glorious possibilities inevitably results in a creatively designed invitation which sets the tone for the ENTIRE Event.

    When I embark on this endeavor it frequently really does result in a fabulous soiree but even if I do not actually send out an invitation so many elements of the creative process have come into play I cannot possibly be blocked another second.PARTY!!!

  • 67
    Jane T says:

    When I need a boost to creativity, I can always turn on some music and just loose myself in the melody and that makes ideas spark for me.

    Write about something that you laughed aloud at when you were all alone.

  • 68
    Barbara Lemme says:

    Getting stuck forces me to look at EVERYTHING: magazines, others’ cards, photos, store displays, books, blogs,friends’ work…on and on until something, even just a simple quote or word, jars my brain. And then the fun begins.

  • 69
    Elizabeth D says:

    I browse through my torn out magazine pages stockpile. I also go to my favorite internet sites and take a peek!!( I am there at the moment) I also set up a schedule that devotes time to my pursuits and limits my time wasting behaviors. When I am stuck I seem to find I need to direct some types of other activities–relax and recharge the brain.

  • 70
    Ernie says:

    When I get stuck I often find that it is because my supplies, etc. have gotten so disorganized and chaotic that it overloads my brain. I’m very visual and total visual disorder isn’t good for me. So I simply do a little straightening and organizing of my supplies. Being able to see my workspace and locate my tools makes it easier to relax and get my groove back.

  • 71
    Carole says:

    I love all the ideas that were given to “unstick” ourselves when that happens. My biggest problem is lack of time and, because of that, I get bogged down with too many ideas flying around in my brain at one time. When I finally get the time to work on a project, I have to force myself to relax and let those ideas stop dancing around in my head and let them flow into the project…not always an easy task.

  • 72
    Penny S says:

    I belong to some yahoo groups that help me at times with some ideas. One site I found was Every Day Matters and the yahoo group is kind of fun because there are tons of different exercises you can try. And doesn’t every day matter? I also call my bestest friend and talk to her and that will usually help me out with getting my creativity rolling…got to love best friends!

  • 73
    Aleeda says:

    I have to say I am rarely “stuck”, and it is simply because I have accidentally surrounded myself (online and off) with people who spark my creativity. They are young, old, creative crafters, non-creative philosophers and convereationalists, who give my artistic soul food for thought. Spending time with them pushes me to explore. This group is one of those “people”. Thanks, folks!

  • 74
    Penny S says:

    Drats! I didn’t win! Ok, I went to Amazon and got one for me and my bestest squirrelfriend! (Long story about that one but funny) Amazon had the best prices for the book…can’t wait to get mine! Woo hoo!

  • 75
    Fiona F says:

    My solution to stuckness is to go play in the garden. There’s real therapy in getting your hands dirty, pulling out weeds, watching the birds, raking leaves or bringing flowers inside. It always short circuits negative inner critic babble! Nature awakens me to wonderful sights, sounds and ideas that i don’t normally get sitting at my art table.

  • 76
    susan says:

    I’m always stuck, unless I am in the shower, very tough to write ideas in soap on the shower door. So they wash away, and I’m stuck all over again.
    I definitely need a huge push in the right direction, this book might be
    my soul saver.

  • 77

    1. i meditate for 20 minutes to a half hour…completely re-sets the brain.
    2. i nap
    3. go to museums
    4. walk alone. if i go with a friend, too much talking!
    5. pull out the pens and markers like most of you…

  • 78

    When I’m stuck, I say, “so what” to all of my self talk, and then I say, ‘take one tiny step”. So, if I want to get to my pottery, but haven’t; I give myself permission to throw just one bowl. Or as a writer, to write just for a few minutes, or as a painter, simply get the paints ready. “Just do it” even in small ways is my mantra to get unstuck. Works for me!
    Cheers to Jill Badonsky’s works – Nine Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard and the Awe-Manac!
    And wow to all of you for your insights!

  • 79

    I’m ready to give another Awe-manac away.
    Join the Awe-manac fan page on Facebook to be part of a drawing and then, so I know you’re a Wisdom Woman reader click “like” on the current post which is: Music is the art of thinking with sounds.~Jules Combarie http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Awe-manac-Page/139054194785
    If you already have an Awe-manac, I’ll send it to a friend and you’ll get good karma points.


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I do my work honestly.

At the beginning of this year I made my intention to  2011. It is to be a year of being in grace, accepting abundance and being in alignment with all that is good. Intentions have become powerful spiritual tools for living my life with purpose and meaning. (My intention for 2010 was: Free Falling into Spirit).

 The year is going well and I have felt those intentions actualizing in my day to day life. One of the five Reiki healing principles is: Just for today, I will do my work honestly. Doing my work honestly has necessitated becoming a daily writer, focusing on the project at hand, and listening to the guidance I receive from one project, in particular: the left hand pages of my Writing Down Your Soul journal. I am currently using a hard-cover spiral notebook, (3rd one of a series) I’ve been writing in since I read, studied and believed Janet Conner’s work in her first book, “Writing Down Your Soul”. 
It’s been grace in my life, enhanced my quiet time, which I am drawn to anyway, and pushed my pen into and through many surprises. Now, as you’ve seen in one of my prior posts, I have a brand new “My Soul Pages” notebook, autographed and gifted to me by Janet, to begin as I conclude the pages of my present journal.  I even have the joy of being a co-namer of our icon owl, Sophia-Sol.
Already rave reviews are being written about the companion journal pages to Writing Down Your Soul. But today, I’ve been “back-paging perusing” only the left hand side of my journal, and the words and direction are so authentic and coming from a place within me I seem to have access to only upon “asking”. “Ask….and it shall be given to you.” 
So as Janet directs, ask the questions on the right hand side of the page; Listen….and your hand and pen shall move! So rather than a reviw, I am going to record here some of my left hand pages, without the right hand questions. Just responses I received from taking time aside, being in the quiet, opening to the question, and as Janet says, “Let the conversation begin.” ….
May 6
“Elija was wrong, I AM in the wind you hear outside, but I AM also in the quiet you are forming in your life…you know what you are to do and who you are to be. Be assured you are following your guidance and intuition correctly. Hear the power of the wind pick up at your window. Soon the power of your words will carry the same force and blow out across the waiting world.”
Apr. 5
“When you come to me as your Source, you activate the energy that reconnects you to your purpose; inspiration then shows up right before your eyes, even when you may have stopped thinking about it.”
April 6
“Scripture chosen by you through which I speak, tells you that I do not like delay and procrastination in doing my Will in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is open to you, just like the feast, but you cannot enter it with procrastination, delay, excuses or doubt. Enter and live in my 3rd Kingdom in joy for your time has come. Write your book, prepare and give your workshops, enter into your new home and gather in your abundance and new income.”
April 4
“I want you to meet me here in the silence. You may write down the words you hear from me. I AM within you, your very essence. Trust, trust even the silence. Work on your book. Let it be what it wants to be. Lead into it with the silence. I will be there pushing your pen. Do not be afraid, I AM with you. I will take you by the hand.”
Apr. 3
(God’s words for me spotted in Tami Coyne’s Your Life’s Work, p. 15:)
“A person who is determined to ALIGN herself to the good naturally responds to life with totally different set of emotions than (those who don’t). Spirit is at work every moment of everyday because Spirit is Life itself.  Spirit is your life. “
April 2
“Just for today, I do my work honestly includes ALWAYS doing some work on BFTTQ. Say good-bye to any agenda that does not include moving forward on BFTTQ.”
“April 1 – Star Message:
“Dear Susan, These words ARE mine.You are seeing and hearing them from Science of Mind Magazine. See how they have caught your attention: It is I AM WHO AM speaking to you.  (My personal name for the “Voice, God, Source” that I address on the left hand side of the page is WHO, Whole and Holy One)… and  I, God, have no plan for you except to succeed with whatever agenda you determine. Keep paying attention to BFTTQ. Spend more time in your room alone. The ideas that are specifically aligned with your particular talent flow through your mind. Give them your attention and bring them to fruition. They exist only as potentiality(ies) until matched with your interest and faith. They are opportunities for good awaiting your passion. Love, God. “
Mar. 29
Dear Susan,
“Today, I the Lord, bestow on you: a crown of beauty instead of ashes; the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (inspired by Is. 61:1,3) I was reading it and it wouldn’t let me go until I put in on the left hand side of my journal, so I took it as my personal message that day.
Mar 22
“I AM pure Energy, pulsating, available and I AM ready to give you anything you need. “
Mar 21
“Release the need to determine how things should be. You have to learn how to be at the Source. Relax at the Source and Source will decide and take you to your very potential. Trust and prepare.”
So this is what is happening for me in my quiet time on the left hand side pages of my Writing Down Your Soul Journal. There are huge amounts of fellow-soul writers out there just as excited and inspired about their left-hand pages as I am about mine.
The messages are consistent, on target, supportive, and come with a true sense of all-knowing, so it has been a total experience of trust and belief and a sense of waking up to my own adventure.
Anyway…..why not? Who’s to decide between fact and fiction? Or needs to? It’s all good here and I’m sticking with it.
Dear WHO………   (I just told them about US!) 
Whadoyathink? Now the question’s out there.
Turn the page.

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Welcome Sophia-Sol

Because I am very, very short on time and very, very, very tired and I am committed to taking care of myself, I am going to go to bed shortly. But not before I introduce you to another one of my muses — a very special one, one you may want to get in contact with too.

I met Janet Conner a little more than a year and one-half ago in an introduction story about her in the front of Daily Word published by Unity. The story was about how traumatic and dangerous events of her life had brought her to writing to God!

That’s right. Writing and writing and writing. Lots of complaints. Lots of rants. Lots of demands. She sat alone on the floor of her home, frightened, not knowing what to do to take care of herself and her son, and she continued to write. Soon enough her writing turned into questions — to no one in particular, but being schooled in “the letters” she knew when she wrote a letter form and began with ….Dear_________, she had to fill in the blank.

So she wrote “Dear God,” and continued opening her journal writings that same way. She filled more than one notebook in short time (she had a lot of complaints!), so she just got another…..and another…….and another.

Then something happened. She began to hear “answers”…..to questions she had posed that day, or the day before or the day before that and she started writing them down in her book too. It became such a regular event that she “heard” someone talking to her while she was busy writing that she eventually had to give this someone some of it’s own space in her book.

She decided that she would write Dear God on the right hand page of her notebook and just to humor herself or “it”, she would leave the left hand page of the notebook for ………….GOD.

The rest of that story is in her published book, “Writing Down Your Soul.” But it is only the beginning of many other stories, which is why I am introducing Janet to you. She is genuine, sweet, honest, unafraid to tell you the most “unbelievable and suspect” things about how we are connected to this Universal Source Being through our hand and pen.

At the time I met her, I was not new to journaling; I was well practiced in that type of writing and many others; I had experienced “automatic writing” in many ways in my professional writing and my personal writing. I taught workshops, “Write Now!”and weekend retreats where women’s writing flowed from their heart, down their arm, through their hand and out their pen, and they stared in amazement at what resulted on their papers.

But I met Janet at a time when old possiblities and desired dreams had not succeeded and I was closed off from them. Outer appearances would say I had lost a lot, financially and personally, and on one level this was true. But here comes Janet into my life at a critical time when I needed to keep on believing in the good, the true and the beautiful. That there was a plan for me and that plan held good and she could help me show me the way if I would let her.

I did. She is a wayshower Muse. I kept it pretty quiet, but I read and studied her book and there were many truths in there I was immediately comfortable with. I signed up for her first “Lilies and the Lotus” class about provision and vision because I definitely needed to keep on believing in provision and abundance, regardless of appearances. Like the lilies, I needed to neither “toil nor spin.”  In her class I created my 2010-2011 Mandela of “Free-Falling into Spirit”.  All of its abundant promises have come true in my life within the last twelve months.

I still write in many different venues, but I do continue my Writing Down Your Soul daily journal. I, too, have a page on the right hand side, and WHO (Whole & Holy One, revealed to me) has the left-hand page.

One of my demands the other day that I wrote down in my journal was that more of the angelic realm get involved with me and I wrote, “including you, Archangel Michael, get down here right now”.  Now I’m not really sure where angels come from but Archangel Michael is very special to Janet, and shortly after I wrote that in my journal, she was heading out to his Shrine in Tarpon Springs, Florida to help her pick the winner of the “Name Her Owl” contest for the Icon that is on the cover of her book and her newly published Writing Down Your Soul Journal pages.

Her Newsletter just released two winner’s names: This is what Janet wrote:

But it wasn’t my choice. It was Michael’s. This is how I give out all the scholarships for my courses. I write the name of everyone who asks for a scholarship on a little slip of paper, bless each one, and take a little bucket of names to St Michael’s Shrine in Tarpon Springs. That’s what I did today.

Before I drew a name, I had a chat on the page with the Voice. I asked, “What are the gifts of the owl?” Here they are:

  • presence–the owl is completely and fully present
  • welcome–the owl always welcomes us with this greeting: “Beloved, I am here for you.”
  • listen–the owl listens with ears we cannot see
  • absorb–the owl takes our story so we can be free of it
  • cleanses and clears–as the owl absorbs our story, a new clean fresh space opens up inside us for something new
  • transmute–the owl transmutes our understanding and our experiences to a new level
  • asks–the owl asks us to remember and see who we truly are
  • respond–the owl always responds, we are never alone
  • lift–the owls lifts us and moves us toward our wholeness
  • sees–the owl sees the way, sees the story, sees the boulders, sees the light within the boulders, the owl sees it all; the owl sees us as the angels see us: whole and holy divine sparks of life

These gifts poured quickly onto the page. As they were ending, a “letter” arrived. I think it’s for you:

“Dear One, dear Beloved Writer,

A name is a fun thing, a place to put your mind for a moment, but my true name is One, is All, is Love Eternal.
I am the eye into the light, a way, a path, a knowing.
I am a symbol of Who you are becoming.

You come to me. You call me and I am here.
Your witness. Your ear. You listen with one ear.
I listen with another. I hear God.

With one eye I see out and with one eye I see in.
Both are necessary.
You are here in this place, this space, this beautiful earth.
You are living your story. You came with a story.
You are walking your story, and you will someday
relinquish this story.

In between, come and share it with me.
I hear you and I hear goodness, I hear beauty, I hear joy.
I see you and I see limitless potential.
I see you as Michael sees you, as Spirit sees you–
so you can recognize yourself,
if will only look through my eyes.

Come see. Come see who you really are.”

Well, by the time that flowed onto the page, I was a little pool of jello. Anything I was worried about before I entered Michael’s was gone, gone, gone, and I was ready to reach in my little metal bucket and pull a name. Yes, the Owl had said his name was One, All, Love Eternal, but I’d promised to pick a name…

But life with Michael is always a hoot. (Pun intended.) I reached in and pulled out TWO strips of paper entwined in each other so tightly, I had to work to separate them.

When I got them open, I laughed. There were two names;

Sophia–the name for the feminine face of divine wisdom and
Sol-Solomon–revered as the wisest man who ever lived.

Our owl has a sense of humor! He/She wants us to know that it is indeed all things, a complete whole, and it really is a vehicle to wisdom.

Several people suggested these names, but the names on the two slips that came out of the bucket are:

Sophia–Susan Heffron Hajec in Michigan
Sol–Karen Loucks inIndiana

From Napkinwriter again:  So Archangel St. Michael, to my way of thinking, has appeared at the side of Susan Heffron Hajec, the Napkinwriter.

To get your own copy of My Soul Pages with Sophia/Sol on the cover, either visit The Store or click here for Amazon. The journal will be in your favorite store any day. Call and ask them to order it for you.

Writing Down Your Soul   is in itsTHIRD PRINTING with a new cover to match the stunning cover of My Soul Pages, the companion journal


Janet has so many things continuing on you may be interested in. Look her up on her website.

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