This year we lost an amazing voice in this world. I’m just so grateful we got to read (and can still read) her beautiful and true poetry. What a gift she has left for us. Here are a few quotes from the fabulous Mary Oliver.
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
(I’m sharing the quotes in gluebook style – I was lucky to be a part of an Instagram gluebook gathering the day she died and together we made pages about her words and shared our love for her. And you can join a gluebook party tonight on Instagram at 8pm Eastern – just search for @the.butterfly.artist, follow her, and then go to #margluebookparty19 – Fun!)
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
With love to you!
Deep Pink Zinnia, by Cheryl
Hello! It’s Goddess Friday again and a new month!
This week I want to share a beginning of the month ritual with you…
I like to choose a guide at the beginning of a new month to help me throughout that month with intuitive nudges and a connection to their energy and aspects. Often that guide is a Goddess! Sometimes I just know who the guide will be – they sort of show up for me. Other times I’ll use an oracle deck to choose a guide. This month the Egyptian Goddess Bast wants to help me remember how to lighten up and enjoy life, but also to be fierce when needed.
Bast is a cat-headed Goddess. In her temple in Lower Egypt were the sacred cats who were considered to be incarnations of the Goddess. They were even embalmed when they died (over 300,000 mummified cats were found in the area of her temple at Bubastis). Bast is known for her playfulness, grace, and affection. She’s the Goddess of pleasure as well – from the enjoyment of music and art, to the pleasures of dance and sex. Especially pleasures of a sensual nature are in her area of influence – enjoying the warm sun on your body, the joy of spending time in nature, good food, and a delicious stretch are all ways to connect with the energy of Bast. She’s also a predator – as all cats are. A hunter and warrior, she rules the moon and is a protective mother. Her statues were kept in homes to protect against thieves.
I invited Bast to help me this month by just asking her nicely. Each day I’ll check in with her, and later I’ll create a collage about what she means for me this month. I also drew some tarot cards asking for her help in answering my questions. Here is the simple spread I used:
- What do I need to know this month?
- Tell me more…
- What is possible for me this month?
You can see my cards below, I used the Housewives’ Tarot deck by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum. The cards tell me that most of my work is done, but a re-evaluation is in order. That will guide me to the fine-tuning I need to do to truly be free. This process may include some grief and loss though. A retreat for rest and recovery is definitely possible, and likely needed, this month. And with Bast along for the ride some pleasure, as well, will be an important part of replenishing myself.
My Tarot Draw for March
Ironically, I already have a break planned! Now I’ll be sure that it includes plenty of rest, solitude, and play! A good ritual offers so much insight and clarity. My mind can be a jittery place and these types of practices help to ground, comfort, and inspire me.
Happy March to you! Do you choose a guide or have a special New Month ritual? I’d love to hear about it! Write to me at email@example.com or set up a free call here. You can also find me on Instagram. And I don’t want to forget to tell you about my offering the Goddess Inspiration Session! I draw an oracle card for you and together we tease out the meanings and messages there for you. (Learn more about this offering right here.)
Sending a Big Hug to you and hoping your Friday is delight-filled!
Maple Leaf Viburnum, by Cheryl
Today we’re knuckling down and clearing out some files….Trust me the pain doesn’t last long and then you feel soooo good!
Here is how I quickly (because some tasks should be quick) clear a file drawer
First I choose one file drawer or area (it could be a bin or box, etc.) – JUST ONE. This is key.
Next I assemble my supplies:
- Music (This is the most important thing on this list – good tunes.)
- A refreshing beverage. (If it’s alcoholic, I’m not judging!)
- A paper shredder
- Recycling bin or bag
- Trash bin or bag
- A pen
- File folder labels to re-label all of those file folders you liberate
- A snack (This supposed to be quick so you shouldn’t really need one, but why not??)
Well, actually, first I like to have a goal for this clearing out session – it helps me when I’m not sure what to do with something. Otherwise, I can get lost in “but what if…” land. My goal today was to clear all of the old papers and files from one file drawer. And by old I mean anything at all that I don’t need anymore. That could be files for companies I no longer work with, health files that no longer have relevance, information I saved but have never looked at again, even old tax returns (if they are past the 7-10 year window). You can find guidelines online for how long to keep certain types of documents (just Google it – here’s one now.)
OK, now we can start!! Go through each file quickly assessing anything that you want to or need to keep. Put the keepers back in the file cabinet. There will be things you don’t need or want to keep, as well – things you no longer need to carry around with you. My test for this is: Do I need it now? Will I need it in the future? Is it important to me? File the papers that don’t pass the test in a “to shred”, “to recycle” or “trash” pile. I shred anything that has my name and address on it (and, of course, any other sensitive information). When you have questions refer back to your goal. Keep going until you’ve gone through the entire drawer, (naturally while taking frequent sips and dancing a bit to “Rockin’ Robin”), Shred the papers in the shred pile (this is my favorite part!) And then STOP and celebrate!! You’re done!
Easy right? Well, it can be, but also you’re bound to come across things that remind you of times – good and bad. And that can be a bit emotional. The insurance company that treated you badly – yep – you get to shred the heck outta them. Today, I finally got rid of the file with all of the information on the many health problems of my dear kitty friend Mulligan, who died a few years ago. Going through that was a trip through time and while it made me sad, mostly I’m happy we had so much time with him. I shredded old diagnoses that no longer belong to me (yahoo!), and insurance files for houses I no longer live in. All quite cathartic. I now have about 20 “new” file folders too! And a lot more space in my file cabinet – and in my life.
If you have a clear out I’d LOVE to hear about it! Contact me with questions too – just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have custom program called The Makeover that offers lots of help for more in-depth clearing and redesigning projects.
I hope your day is full of space for new adventures as we head into March!!
Love to you,
Sunflowers in the Kitchen, by Cheryl
When you start to write a blog post and spend all morning on it and it turns out to be, like, a book or something, and then you really need to get going because you have your tax appointment today – then you share your beloved Grandma’s Cookie recipe – because seriously – it’s freaking awesome! And also you’re out of time…
This is a simple but delicious treat! I’ve shared it all over the US because it’s always a hit. I often don’t add anything extra – with the browned butter frosting it’s fabulous alone. I love it best with pecans, but walnuts are good too. My sister always adds chocolate chips, and sometimes I add raisons – which is very yummy too!
Grandma Crawford’s Oatmeal Bars with Browned Butter Frosting
- 2 sticks of Butter (1/2 cup each stick)
- 2 cups of Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 cups Flour
- 3 cups Oatmeal
- Extras – Raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips as you desire.
(Note: The original recipe just has the ingredients and says bake in a moderate oven – but this is what I do…)
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. I add vanilla here too. Mix the dried ingredients together and then stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in any extras you want, like nuts. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan and press the mixture in with a buttered spoon or buttered fingers – it’s pretty sticky. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 25 minutes or until done. It’s a bit tricky to tell, but it will be golden brown and not wet looking (I hope that helps…:)). Frost while warm, but not hot.
While the bar cookies bake make the frosting with 5 Tbsp of Butter – browned and cooled a bit, 1-1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar, and 1 tsp of Vanilla. Add milk as needed to make a spreading consistency. You will be frosting the cookies while they’re warm so don’t make it too thin as it will melt some.
These are chewy, comforting deliciousness and a great favorite of our family! I hope you enjoy it too!
From my family to yours –
Lots of Love,
Purple and Orange Pansies, by Cheryl
I love to journal…
To write, and just let the pen and the page accept my thoughts and feelings – it’s a beautiful thing! But there are times when a bit of a nudge will allow me to access insights I don’t get to when I’m free writing. For this I like to use prompts or mini-scripts to help. I’ve answered each of the below prompts in numerous ways, just allowing my intuition to speak out. The results are pretty amazing! Things I didn’t consciously know I wanted to address, or things I really wanted to do but had been ignoring will show up. Or I might discover how I truly, deeply, honestly feel about something, but have been suppressing. Helpful insights that bring new ideas and plenty of “ah-hah’s!”
Here are a few prompts I made up (and especially like) that you might like to try too. Set aside a bit of time, grab a pen, your journal or a sheet of paper, and just write what comes up. Naturally, all answers are correct! Write as much as you want – involve your senses and imagination. Choose just one prompt or several. One word answers are just fine, but won’t give you as much insight as longer ones. I also like to set the scene with a delicious beverage, a cozy chair, and a quiet space.
- I thrill to the sound (scent, touch, sight, taste) of ___________.
- While I was sleeping last night I learned________________.
- Home is where I______________.
- ________________ feels so fresh and delicious to me right now!
- My perfect health is supported by_________________.
- Today I really love__________________and I feel it (how, where, why)_________________________.
- My perfect path for… _________ (you can be specific here if you want) appeared today! It looks like___________. It feels like___________. It tastes like_________. It sounds like_________. It smells like___________.
- I realize it’s time to ____________, because now I know______________, and I can express this desire in my life by ______________.
- I recall that time _________________ (something you want to have happen, written as if it has happened). I was just so scared, but I tried anyway because I ________________. And it was perfect, a dream come true for me because _________________ (why what happened is/was so amazing for you, and how). And now I’m so grateful, and also proud of myself!
My answers might appear completely random at first! But with a little stepping back I can see what it means to me. Some responses may even seem metaphorical instead of an obvious and logical answer. But your intuition can frequently show up in signs and symbols, so that make sense really. Play around a bit with the answers if this occurs and see what is there for you to learn. Other times the insights are as clear as a bell – and just as attention getting! When you’re done you’ll likely have new information about yourself, your wishes, and dreams, and needs; or perhaps you’ll find reinforcement for taking those steps towards something you’ve really been wanting to try.
I often follow this practice up with some type of action. When I answered “My perfect health is supported by rest” I knew that I have been pushing too hard and it’s time to, you know, rest! No matter how many amazing ideas I have for things to create, or ways to help, or cleaning and painting projects I want to tackle right now – my best health is supported by rest at this time. I sincerely hope you find these prompts are of help to you too, and that you discover the insights that are waiting for you.
Love to you!
PS The comments aren’t currently turned on here at the TIG Blog, but you can always contact me at email@example.com , or you can direct message me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!!!
Narcissus Blooms, by Cheryl
As I begin the week I like to take an intuitive “look out”.
I imagine myself on a big hill looking out over the landscape that is my week to come as I see it from here. I often see sparkles, gatherings of images, bright light and shadows. I see life.
Today when I looked it was pretty much just a grey, dim and sad view. Some weeks are like that. This is when I know I need a break! And a shift – of thinking, of timing, of doing. A break will allow the shift to happen and the shift helps me enjoy a break! And all of that will bring light to my week that I can’t see right now for the dimness. When we focus on a day, or an hour, or a week we look at what needs to be started, accomplished, done, etc. We make a list, plan, schedule it, take steps, be diligent. Be responsible. And that’s just fine when we’re feeling rested, enthused, and in charge. But then we aren’t actually here to do JUST “work”, are we?
We’re also here to love ourselves and others, to enjoy our bodies, to play and create, to explore new ideas and pleasures. We are here to LIVE. But often only one part of living makes it onto our to-do list – the part where we “work”. There’s nothing wrong with work, but there is something exhausting and diminishing about a life that’s heavily focused in just one life area. Then instead of responsibility being an honor and delight, it becomes a misery, a shackle, an anchor. So here is what I’m going to try this week – and if you’re feeling a bit mashed and tied down you might want to try it too!
Two Steps to a Better Week:
Step 1: Find the Time to Rest
This may mean setting things aside. And that’s good! When you’re feeling all washed out and grey it’s not the best time to tackle that big project any way. Rest is so important when things look dark. It allows you to feel your emotions and honor them, to let them flow as they’re created to. It allows you to untangle thoughts, gain perspective, let those shoulders drop, set the burdens down. You know – to REST!
How will I rest, you may ask…and I say in any way that works for you. I like a nice nap, or a walk among the trees, or by water. A coffee shop visit with just my favorite magazine to accompany me is always good, or creating a collage. You may like a day on the lake, a nap on the beach, to write, to go to a dance class, to bake, or to play a game of basketball with friends. We may both want to do absolutely nothing at all. (Yea!) Whatever it is – squish it in! You know you can if you see it as a priority. Most of the above can be done in less than an hour. And isn’t this at least as important as cleaning out the fridge, or going to that meeting (the one you know you can move to next week…)? Your health, and outlook, and your very life depend on how you care for them.
Step 2: See Things in a Different Light
Those things you decide to do anyway this week, and those you really cannot put off – can you see them in a different way? I know I make things in my life a burden just by how I see them. Heck! That’s the easy part! But I can also make them a pleasure. It’s all about how I choose to see and approach them.
For example, I have a tax appointment this week. That could be stressful! But I can see it another way too. Honestly, it’s an area where I don’t feel very capable or safe – but what if I am quite capable of being prepared (actually, I am mostly prepared…), or of being prosperous (certainly prosperous enough to pay taxes…); or capable of being joyful, of being safe? What if I have faith in my very capable tax accountant? I can even be happy I’m being so responsible! I really have lots of options.
I can definitely choose stress for each task and project I have on my list this week, or I can choose something else. Thoughts aren’t facts. I’m not even sure facts are facts when we can give each one such a slant. I can see the spaces in my schedule this week instead of focusing on the blocked out areas. Then I can also choose to see the opportunities available to me in each blocked off space. I can see it all as play, and none of it as work. I can let something go and choose not to do it at all. Ever.
We often see ourselves as stuck, but the truth is that the only thing that sticks us in a place is our choices. We may still choose to be “stuck”, but we can also see that we are choosing it – and why. That really makes such a difference!
This week I choose to light up my week with rest, and revitalized tasks, and joyful responsibilities! When I look out over the week now I see lots of sparkles! And that’s how I like it.
To a sparkly week!!
Lots of Love to You,
PS And if you’d like some help with those grey times, in finding time for rest, or in seeing things in a new way I have openings in my schedule for life coaching clients. You can find out more right here. I’d love to help. <3