Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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What waits, beyond limits

Photo: Liz Turner

The sky is not the limit.

The mind is.

~ Bruce Lipton

Don’t confuse the limits of your mind with the limits of possibility.

~ Davis Icke

The options for finding peace are many. …

How you heal is your choice, but you must consciously decide to rest and process.

~ Chris-Anne Donnelly

It’s hard to grasp that a breakthrough can be about Being when you’re in the midst of the Doing and Having parts of a creation cycle. Solutions look like they must be about more doing and having: If I had different neighbors. If I made more money. If I could get enough healing clients. The ego wants a full-blown strategic plan in ten clearly defined steps to be accomplished in a week.

Without entering the Void, however, we miss the kindness, magic, and miracles in life. Your home frequency will surface as soon as you stop paying attention to what isn’t in alignment with your truest, deepest self. It will surface in silence. It will surface so you can feel it as soon as you turn your thoughts toward soul qualities. It’s waiting for you when you stop. It meets you halfway when you walk toward it.

~ Penney Peirce, Frequency


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The balance creative process offers us

eva-braunSeven years ago, I made a bid on an eBay item that would change my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the time. The portrait of Eva Braun had been drawn by an artist who never gained acclaim for his work, though his infamous name is branded on humanity’s history forever. Eva Braun chose to die with him 70 years ago this spring.

I’d been writing for most of my life but had no awareness of the surprising turn that day was launching for my work. That portrait is at the heart of everything that’s become a part of my novel’s story ever since. Among the many things I didn’t yet know was that the experience of this book would show me that, rather than being something I “do”, writing process is something that acts upon me, strengthening a sense of connection with my own wholeness, and with that of others. My role — my responsibility — is to listen and watch for its revelations, rather than impose ideas or plans of my own on what comes forth as a story — or on anything else.

th1Along the way, I’ve been thankful to discover that this is also a kinder and generally more effective approach to living, and it brings with it an unmistakable cycle of three distinct stages. Writer Penney Peirce offers a helpful model of them in her book, The Intuitive Way. She describes how, moving from a centered place of being, where we can receive what comes to meet us there, we are inspired toward doing, and this takes shape in action that eventually leads to a condition of achieving or having.

We may then begin to notice a tailing off, energetically, which is the reminder that it’s time to do what our very cells know they must: rest, recharge, and be restored again to a state of being that’s ready and inspired for the next cycle of expression and activity. Ready to receive, and then express. Cells do not restore themselves after they expend their energy, but are restored by something beyond themselves. Cells seem to know innately the wisdom of returning to their fullest being through the “re-sourcing” of what truly sustains them.

IWay3rdEdMedShad72So often today, the world and the insistence of its demands can make it very easy to get caught in just one segment of this cycle – stuck on a repeating, depleting loop of constantly attempting to do and to have. I hear of so many creative souls collapsing in a kind of disheartened burnout, and I think a misunderstanding of this cycle may be at the heart of that. If we follow the cycle all the way through, we will naturally realize when it is time for replenishment so that we can again be ready to express, expend, and be effective, with joy.

Creative process is as much a matter of balance — of finding a stable stance — as any other meaningful experience. It arises both from within us and without, and requires the fullest kind of trusting attention (i.e. presence), which, in a way, is a repeated act of surrender. And of faith. I know that, for many people, hurling themselves at creative process can follow patterns similar to the ways in which they might hurl themselves at life by trying to force or control things. But life, and creative process, are each waiting for us to meet them, I believe, just as our feelings await this, so that they can help us know and understand what it is we need, and what might come next.

11009861_10153163174884252_7953194271910406762_nThis is not the rational mind’s style, of course. But I’ve come to feel that the mind serves best when it’s not trying to lead, or force, but to follow, as we pursue the things we feel drawn and called to do. When we honor that reality, the things that sustain and help us arrive in ways that will also unfailingly surprise us, because they are beyond anything that our minds, which are confined only to previous experience, could imagine or predict.

When we open up to meeting the greater possibilities of what we don’t yet know, our minds will be repeatedly astonished by what is disarmingly precise,  unfathomably generous, and remarkably right.


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Following the way to wholeness

Eva_Braun_by_PrinzessinHeinrikeSix years ago today, I experienced an unexpected eruption in my world. I then returned home to discover that a bid I’d made on eBay had won a portrait of an individual whose story I’d wind up following in these subsequent years.

The day brought one of those bittersweet blends of beginnings and endings that life can so often deliver. A relationship was mortally wounded in that eruption, and the portrait, which featured Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun, opened the door to what would become The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War.

I’d been writing for about a quarter of a century and had no awareness of the very definite, very surprising path that day’s turn of events was launching. That new stage was about to reveal that, more than being what I do, writing itself is something that acts upon me, strengthening a sense of connection with my own wholeness, and with that of others.

My role — my responsibility — is to listen and watch for these revelations, rather than attempting to impose ideas or plans of my own on what unfolds as a story — or anything else.

Along the way, I’ve been thankful to discover that this is also a kinder and generally more effective approach to living, daily — as in one of them at a time. This has brought a very different relationship with time, one more fluid and expansive.

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“Glacier Falls” by Judy Hughey Wright.

Writers often notice how during generative times in their work, their experience of energy is a flow that can seem almost like dreaming — a soaring over great expanses until suddenly, we’re compelled to stop and rest wings whose strength trails off for a while.

Then a cycle of recharging, refilling, becomes needful. We encounter that juncture of the energetic difference between being inspired to do, until we reach a point of having, and then remembering, often through a kind of fatigue, that within this cycle we need to be “re-sourced” from what it is that reinforces our being.

Writer Penney Peirce offers a helpful model of this inner cycle in her book, The Intuitive Way. She describes how, moving from a centered place of being, and receiving what comes to meet us there, we are inspired toward doing, and this takes shape in action that eventually leads to achieving or having. We may then begin to notice a fading, a weakening of the wings, so to speak, that is the reminder that it’s time to do what our very cells know they must: rest, recharge, and be restored again to a state of being that’s ready for the next cycle. Ready to receive. Cells do not restore themselves after they expend their energy, but are restored by something beyond themselves. Cells seem to know innately the wisdom of returning to their fullest being through the “re-sourcing” of what truly sustains them.

Intuive WaySo often today, the world and its suggestions can make it very easy to get caught in just one segment of this cycle Penney Peirce describes – stuck on a repeating, depleting loop of constantly attempting to do and have. In fact, collective consciousness (which, so often, actually seems more UNconscious)  offers more reinforcement to do this than to comply with the requirements of that cycle of inner wisdom.

However, waiting for me each and every day is a choice point:

I can accommodate the demands and insistence of the world.

Or I can turn toward the more trustworthy and sustaining one — a world without end, referenced so long ago, by Ones who saw it, and invite us toward it.

The fact that writing and creative exploration are so inextricably woven with it — are, in fact, the very path to it — is one of the sweetest graces I’ve yet discovered.


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Resting in the way of winter

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Photos: D. Kirkup Designs / http://www.etsy.com/shop/dkirkupdesigns

Though winter’s not always a season we welcome, it has valuable things to teach about cycles and life. Its revelations can be as subtle and indistinct as the image of this little squirrel through the glass, even though its outer manifestations can be startling and powerful.

In her Divining the Muse newsletter, writer Paula Chaffee Scardamalia suggests that “The Snow Queen” of winter offers us “an awareness of time and impermanence, of struggle and endurance, of ingenuity and insight.” We can benefit, she notes, by appreciating the invitation that winter sends us “to enter the stillness and silence of creative potential”. IMG_4768

Author Linda Leonard writes, “A major obstacle to creativity is wanting to be in the peak season of growth and generation at all times … but if we see the soul’s journey as cyclical, like the seasons … then we can accept the reality that periods of despair or fallowness are like winter – resting time that offers us a period of creative hibernation, purification, and regeneration that prepares us for the births of spring.”

Writer Penney Peirce has shared an interesting perspective on inner cycles in her book, The Intuitive Way, where she describes a three-part process in which we first become centered in our own being, which then enables us to be inspired by forces greater than ourselves toward taking action and doing, which eventually leads us to achieving or having.IMG_4816

Once that tri-part process reaches its final stage in the cycle, we notice a lessening or fading of our energy, which she calls the signal and reminder that it’s time to do what our very cells know they must do: return to that centering in our being again. That’s when it’s time to rest, recharge, and be restored again to a state of being that’s ready for the next cycle of doing. That’s when it’s time to rest, and receive. 

Cells do not restore their own energy after they’ve expended themselves in their task. They are restored by something beyond themselves. Cells seem to know innately the wisdom of returning to their fullest being through the “re-sourcing” of what it is that truly sustains them.

Doesn’t it seem, outwardly and inwardly, that this is what winter is inviting us to? To discover that, as Rumi said, “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”


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The flow was pushed

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Big thanks to Penney Peirce and her Intuition & Energy blog for a gem she treasured in one of her posts recently. (There are many gems at Penney’s blog.)

She was making her way across country in a flow of transition and shared this from writer Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

IMG_1387It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale. …I can hardly believe that this grace never flags, that the pouring from ever-renewable sources is endless, impartial, and free.

Then, Penney notes, Dillard “has a turn of thought and says”:

The damned thing was flowing because it was pushed.

This leaves me gasping. How am I learning how to love, receive, and value this push?

We had a bunch of different sunflowers pop up in the garden before we planted anything - so I moved them to the edges of the garden and we got a bunch of different ones!  (Some from our garden last year and some I think from the compost we boFind Penney Peirce’s blog and more about her work and publications at: http://intuitnow.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-flow-driving-in-it.html