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30 December 2009

GUEST BLOG: Reflection for a Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!


This guest blog--a teaching from the 11:11 Progress Group--pertains to spirituality in the old year and the coming new year, the new decade. Happy 2010!
Keep an eye out for the Blue Moon on New Year's Eve.

Photo by Colleen Smith
Computer enhanced detail from bas relief
at Art Institute of Chicago

“The message for today is about reflection on the past and planning for the future. As the closing of one calendar year approaches, it is helpful to evaluate one’s spiritual progress by self-reflection on positive changes in attitude and accomplishments in self-mastery, which were wholly absent only one year previously. Become aware and make note of these changes, and give thanks for the help you received from your guides, guardians, and teachers that led you to the place you are now. Have you become more tolerant, more loving, more patient, more giving? Have you embraced spiritual knowledge and teaching that has helped you to become aware of these more noble attributes of the growing soul? Take inventory of these things now, my beloveds, and bathe in the light of these accomplishments with tempered humility....
“Let us also become aware of the imperfections in our personalities and our attitudes towards others. Acknowledge the areas we still need to work on, and with great honesty. Hold them up in front of the ego, and declare that these areas shall be transformed, and will no longer serve as a hindrance to us, nor will they prevent us from attaining the spiritual freedom we so deeply desire.
“Let us go boldly into the future with great confidence, knowing all will be for the good of the soul and no ‘real’ harm can befall us. Allow more time for introspection as you face the challenges of life and let go of needless worries. Become increasingly aware of the spiritual guidance all around you and use this ‘spirit team’ to help you accomplish your goals and desires. And most importantly, be aware of your duty to serve others."

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THE ARTS: Cynthia Madden Leitner & Museum of Outdoor Arts


I just happened across this article I wrote for Denver Woman News. This profile of Cynthia Madden Leitner explains why she founded the Museum of Outdoor Arts, why art needs to be part of everyday life, and why women between 50 and 65 rock.

Photo by Colleen Smith
Detail from a painting in Art Institute of Chicago

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29 December 2009

THE ARTS: Meet My Auntie Artist


Meet my great-aunt Mary: an artist, a woman well ahead of her times, and one of my mentors. Mary was a fine artist, and she published a little chapbook of poetry that made a huge impression upon me when I was a girl. Learn more about her on the Friday Jones Publishing webpage.

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24 December 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS: From my hearth to yours

"...may your days be merry
and bright."

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23 December 2009

WELL BEING: Material VS Spiritual


I came upon this teaching today and wanted to post it for more people to consider as we enter another Christmas:

“Today’s message is about letting go of the material and commercial aspects of your religious traditions, and embracing a new and more spiritual way to worship and remember God’s visitations and promises to perfect humanity, and to bring peace and brotherhood to this confused and strife torn world. It is the Father’s will that love be the focus of all celebrations and in the joy of fellowship with your brethren, you come together in unity and project your intentions for a better future. To answer the Father’s call to perfection, we must continue to change and evolve our thinking, and put into practice those high ideals we have when caught up in the moment of celebration and ceremony.
“For thousands of years man has capitalized on the traditions and celebrations of religious holidays to turn profits by exploitation of man’s good nature and worshipful attitude to honor God. This exploitation has become so intense that the very meaning and spiritual inclinations of the celebration have been supplanted by clever commercial campaigns aimed at appealing to the vanity of the ego to fill the spiritual longings of oneness with God with material gratifications. This serves the money changers well, but leaves the soul and the pocketbook empty.
“Man has become a slave to this perpetuation of materialism in connection with his celebrations and religious festivals, and this leads to anxiety and depression in many, because they feel they have lost control and must conform to peer pressure to perform in opposition to the longings of the soul for sincere relationships, and worshipful unity.
“Let us focus on the ‘good will.’ What is the ‘good will?’ The ‘good will’ is God’s will, and His will for us is to enjoy life; to love Him; and to love one another. When anxieties and ill will enter into our traditions and festivals, we must change our way of approach. It is not my place to tell you how to live, but it is my desire that you become aware of that which you have become, and to hold your intentions to the light, and see if they embrace truth, beauty, and goodness. Begin a new tradition this year, one that is focused on love and relationship and less on material gratification. In the worlds to come, relationship is the gift of celebration, for material things are left behind with the flesh. Let us learn these lessons of love now, my beloved friends, and enjoy this precious time you have on the earth.
“Peace on earth, and good will toward all mankind."

For more information, Google the 11:11 group. Share/Save/Bookmark

22 December 2009

"At Christmas play and make good cheer..."

I hope you'll drop by my digital garden,
that is, my Examiner.com page on flowers and gardens,
where you'll find lots of entries on the history and lore of holiday plants like holly and mistletoe, delightful happenings in winter gardens, and more

Or drop by my new webpage for Friday Jones Publishing,
where you'll find details about my newest entrepreneurial endeavor.

Or strike up a friendship with me on Facebook.

Meanwhile, "At Christmas play and make good cheer for Christmas comes but once a year."
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21 December 2009

GOOD YULE, Y'ALL!

Happy Winter Solstice!

I plan to join fellow yogis for a candlelight practice of 108 sun salutations tonight--my yogic salute to the season. Welcome, Old Man Winter!

Photo at right is a sculpture in Museum of Outdoor Arts' permanent collection. At Winter Solstice, he points to the sun at a certain hour.

For more about the history, mystery and science of Winter Solstice, please check out my 2-part series posted today on my Examiner.com page on flowers and gardens.

You'll also find seasonal entries on the following:
• The nature of holly,
• A Christmas carol--"The Holly and the Ivy"--sung by a boy's choir,
• Winter garden holiday light shows around Denver,
• Tips for winter houseplants,
• How-to guidelines for forcing paperwhite narcissus bulbs indoors,
• Great garden books, and more.

Please drop by my digital garden. Leave a comment, if you care to, or just wander around the page and enjoy the beautiful photography and inspirational quotes. Good Yule!

Mercury photo courtesy Museum of Outdoor Arts
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13 December 2009

THE WRITTEN WORD: "One of the few havens remaining"

Old books hold court in the old built-in bookcases in my old Craftsman bungalow. My grandmother gave me many of these beautiful volumes, but that handsome burgundy copy of "English Romantic Writers" is one of my favorites from my years as an English major at Iowa State University and University of Iowa. I still love the British Romantics.

Photo by Quincy Benton

“BOOKS: A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few sources of information left that is served up without the silent black noise of a headline, the doomy hullabaloo of a commercial. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.”

-- Edward P. Morgan

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09 December 2009

FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE RENAISSANCE: Thankful for Computer Miracles















Pass it on!

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