Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Slow Down Said the Apparition

Hi Readers, I'm back!  I've done the work to self-promote my book and now I'm releasing my energies to get back to writing (the blog, just once per week, and my next book) and letting God* get to work to have the right people find it.  Thanks for all your support and please enjoy the blog again. Post a response when you feel moved to do so and happy journaling.
--------------------------------------
SLOW DOWN SAID THE APPARITION:  This morning I was having a late breakfast, looking out into my backyard.  Behind a five-foot blue spruce moved a whitish figure that appeared to be doing tai chi.  I was mesmerized and also so excited when I realized it was a great blue heron moving very slowly and deliberately.  I was so grateful to have been sitting there at just the right moment to see it.
This sighting and slow pace fit right in with what is missing in the world for many right now.  I see, read and hear it all around me.  Examples:

  1. People don't have time to read books anymore.  "I'm still reading my summer beach read," one person said to me this week.  It's the third week of October.
  2. The New York Times just published an article about a young thirty-something journalist who died from sleep deprivation and heart issues attributed to the amount of overtime she chose to work (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/world/asia/japan-death-overwork.html). 
  3. In between periods at the pro hockey game yesterday, everyone around me was on their cell and one woman even had an iPad with her.  Sadly, some people were plugged in to their phones the entire game, including children.  In these cases, they were missing out on opportunities to slow down and at the same time, be an active participant in their own lives.

As I type this, I see a hawk alight on a branch up high, two frolicking blue jays and many morning doves.  I sit still as I reflect on what to write. 
I hope I can convince people to stillness.  It's hard because when it comes to specifics, I don't have answers for each individual person, but it's because I don't need to know.  I only know to put my own desires on my heart and be very watchful for things in front of me, including a ghostly-looking great blue heron, to give me hints at the right direction. Fortunately, I can say that it takes very little time which seems to be exactly what people say they have.  But don't ask me, ask God*. 
 -----------------------------------------
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
-----------------------------------------
Reflective questions:
1.  Are you being called to unplug from this blog site or to follow the prompts?

2.  What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling which is simply journaling what's on your heart and mind and then asking God* what else you should know (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Gift of Having Been Lost

Hi Readers, I'm back!  I've done the work to self-promote my book and now I'm releasing my energies to get back to writing (the blog, just once per week, and my next book) and letting God* get to work to have the right people find it.  Thanks for all your support and please enjoy the blog again.  Post a response when you feel moved to do so and happy journaling.
--------------------------------------
THE GIFT OF HAVING BEEN LOST:  What I am finding from my clients is that since having left corporate America in 2009, people have more work responsibilities than ever - ever greater numbers of direct reports, unending emails, routine task management once done by secretaries (scheduling, coordinating, responding to routine tasks).  People are getting lost in carrying through the to-dos.
What God* wants me to know is that getting to the top of the mountain after having been lost is so much sweeter because we can appreciate the struggles.  I wrote this after writing about my meditation experience.  Part of that experience is I teach meditation to people who are seeking peace from their chaotic worlds.  Meditation is a perfect way to help us find ourselves (to recognize our thoughts).  It's a way for us, in the words of Gautama Buddha, to find enlightenment.  Enlightenment, more specifically, is recognizing that we can experience peace and joy even amidst suffering and dissatisfaction and then experiencing the joy amidst the suffering and dissatisfaction.  The first part is simply acknowledgement.  The second part is by putting it into practice.  Meditation is one way to do this.  Spiritual Journaling is another. 
 -----------------------------------------
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
-----------------------------------------
Reflective questions:
1.  What is your definition of joy?

2.  What helps you to feel the joy amidst the dissatisfaction and suffering?

3.  What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling which is simply journaling what's on your heart and mind and then asking God* what else you should know (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Gift of Community

Hi Readers, I'm back!  I've done the work to self-promote my book and now I'm releasing my energies to get back to writing (the blog, just once per week, and my next book) and letting God* get to work to have the right people find my writing.  Thanks for all your support and please enjoy the blog again.  Post a response when you feel moved to do so and happy journaling.
--------------------------------------
THE GIFT OF COMMUNITY:  For city dwellers, not having a car may not be as much of a problem as for suburban dwellers.  For suburbans, given the right dynamics, it is doable, but still sometimes presents a challenge.  For me and my husband, we decided not to buy a fourth car so that each driver in our household could have a car.  We also decided that we'd give each of our children a car for this school year and then evaluate what should happen at the end of these ten months.
This means that my husband and I must communicate our schedules and be flexible because we are sharing a car.  We've done this before - when we first married.  What it means is that we are back to sometimes needing to be dropped off and picked back up, sometimes using our bikes, walking or taking the train, and sometimes we rely on other people.
The beauty of it is that it allows us to be in community with each other and others.  When he and I drop each other off somewhere it gives us time in the car together.  When we ask a friend for a ride, we get extra time with that friend.  When we are in a pickle (spouse goes away for the weekend and the homebody still needs a car), it always works out that someone has a car to lend us.
When I ask God* what else I should know about this, what I hear is that my community is dependable and generous.  For that, I am thankful.
-----------------------------------------
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
-----------------------------------------
Reflective questions:
1.  Are you as dependable as you could be?

2.  Who do you depend upon?

3. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo and artwork by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Friday, September 1, 2017

Called

This morning I wrote one paragraph in my journal and thought, "Is this is all I have to write today? What am I going to do with this extra space?" After all, it's only 5am and I don't need to leave for chair massage until 8:15.  

I guess I just don't have a lot to write today. Maybe it's because I wrote a total of 10 pages in my journal between yesterday and the day before. Usually it's about two to three pages per day.

I've never done this before, but I feel called to give you an example of one of my journal entries. It makes sense to be called today because it's so short:

I'm still doing lots of book stuff/marketing  Next week is a short week with the holiday and New York (for a day) so the week of September 11 is the week I get back to writing my novel.  I don't have much else to tell You today.  

God,* what else should I know?  Use your book today to get a message from one of your poems and use the extra time to stretch.

So I opened to to a page in the back of the book and rested on page 146, the last two stanzas of Coming and Going.  The last stanza speaks to me and so I write in my journal:

This is the creation story, isn't it?  The beauty of ...delights and struggles - the comings and goings. Do a blog post today.  

It's now 5:15am.  Time to stretch!
-----------------------------------------
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
-----------------------------------------
Reflective questions:
1.  How do you utilize your extra space?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Monday, August 21, 2017

Why No Recent Posts from CardinalTouch.blogspot.com?


Dear Reader, thank you so much for visiting my blog site!  Right now I'm on hiatus from blogging in order to create space to speak at events and spread the word about spiritual journaling, which includes book promotion.  Events include poetry readings, book signings, speaking as part of a book panel, spiritual journaling workshops and other similar activities. These things are already happening and will continue to be scheduled.  You may find them on the events page of www.CardinalTouch.net.

I am also asking God* to lead me to a paid position as a column writer about holistic topics.  If anyone has any suggestions or leads, please let me know.

God* wants me to know that I am now sharing my completed idea and therefore am transforming myself, my career (this is an add-on) and my relationships.  What this means to me is that I still need to make time for stillness because it is in this space that I develop a more personal relationship with God*.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo of Book by Marie Higgins:  Sprouting Spiritual Growth, a Memoir and a Guide is available in print or as an e-book at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Journaling Brings Possibilities (from the Looking Back Series 1/10/17)

When I look back in my journals so many outcomes result.  It's one of the many blessings of spiritual journaling.

Sometimes I am reminded of a practice and I restart it.  Examples include setting intentions for the day of how I want to feel when I go to sleep at night or restarting the practice of writing gratitude lists.  Sometimes when I look back I am inspired to write a poem.  Right now I am writing a poem whenever I look back and come across an overnight dream I had written about.

Here's a new poem from this dream series called PUSHED.

PUSHED

I know the truth.
My baby fell in the deep end, but,
my arms paralyzed,
I did not reach for him.

I coddled and nourished them,
as was necessary, 
but did I tie their shoes for too long,
or, not long enough?

Their eyes grew big, and 
bigger still, 
as they came to rest
on the bottom.

It is the lifeguard 
who rescued them.

Turns out,
my child is fine.
They had learned to breathe
under water.

When I asked, "God*, what else do I need to know about this?" God wants me to know that I find answers in the stillness.  That's another blessing of spiritual journaling.
-----------------------------------------
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
-----------------------------------------
Reflective questions:
1.  What ideas come to you when you look back in your journals?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH, OC NJ 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Just Keep Trying (from the Looking Back Series 1/6/2017)

I make the same mistakes over and over and over again.  Thankfully, in many instances, I recognize them more quickly or they are far and fewer in between, but I still make them.  They are good reminders of the need to just keep trying.

Here's an example.  When my kids were little, it often happened at the start of my day, that I didn't like how my day began.  It might have been that, in my mind, my children weren't moving quickly enough and I kept pushing and rushing them, even yelling at them.  The circumstances were either that I needed to drop them off at daycare before work or I was behind in my work which was making me grumpy or agitated.  On days when I recognized that this was not how I wanted the day to begin for us, I would ask my kids for a do-over.  They always said "yes" which thankfully gave me the opportunity to begin again.

Now, even though my children are young adults, I sometimes lose myself to to-do items and I snap at them when I'm in the middle of something.  A recent example is that I was working at my computer at the kitchen table when one of my children came out for lunch and wanted to converse.  Instead I kept working.  After the third interruption, I said "what?", with that sarcastic tone that says "what now?"  I immediately regretted it.  It was enough to remind me of what's really important.  I took time to converse.

When I asked, "God*, what else do I need to know about this?" I was compelled to open the Bible to a psalm.  This day, it's Psalm 80, which is very repetitive with words beginning with "re" such as restore, revive, return.  This prefix means to do again.  Restoration, specifically, is about fixing or mending things to their original wholeness.  For me, this includes restoration of relationships, which is exactly what God is asking me to do.
-----------------------------------------
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
-----------------------------------------
Reflective questions:
1.  Is there a segment of your day, yesterday or today even, or a specific segment of every day in which you'd like a do-over?

2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH, Hanging Lake 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling (read more at CardinalTouch.net).