How did it get to be MARCH and what’s happening right now …

I spotted this sign some years ago
in a small town near Taos, New Mexico

and believe it accurately describes my life of late.
Click to embiggen the image if it’s too small to read.

I’ve been writing, reading, gardening, taking photographs, playing with Molly, hanging out with my sister and a few friends, clearing a bit of clutter when I can, and working with Isabel Parlett to figure out what the heck I really want to do and how to communicate it to others in ways I can be understood. I’ve checked in and shared some at Facebook, but what I haven’t done is publish with any regularity here at Giraffe Journal or on my Labyrinth Journal website ~ something that makes me free sad because I had such good intentions when I started this site in September of 2010 ~ just about 18 months ago.

Like my labyrinth writing, life seems to be a meandering path ~ sometimes of our own choosing and other times not. We encounter benefits and liabilities along the way ~ challenges and opportunities. In my experience, the way in which we respond to whatever comes shapes both the moment at hand and whatever comes next. I’ve always been an optimist at heart, even in times of trouble ~ looking for the rainbow after the storm and the pony in the pile of poop. So it is that I find growing older a blessing in so many ways, and when I encountered this video yesterday on Facebook I had to pass it along on one of my public Facebook pages. Methinks I’ll share it here as well to set the stage for and put into context the labyrinth pieces to follow. Click to look and listen for a few minutes and you’ll get a better sense of what’s happening for me right now.

This morning when I logged on to Facebook to wish my sister and another friend from Taos in 2010 a happy birthday, I noticed another friend had passed along the video on her wall and what she wrote made my mind take flight as my pen moved on the page of my journal as follows:

Click to listen to me read this labyrinth piece.

Click to listen to me read this labyrinth piece.

Click to listen to me read this labyrinth piece.

The next thing I did was type the information in these labyrinth pieces into the ‘Mojo in the Message Forum’ where I’m working currently with Isabel Parlett and a handful of others like myself seeking to clarify ‘message’ to connect with others ~ identifying a ‘sweet spot audience’ after having developed a ‘True Spirit of my Work’ message with her several months ago.

Next I took Molly for a walk, fed my flowering plants, cooked and ate breakfast while scanning the pieces to share, started to publish them on my website but reconsidered and put them here instead ~ sticking my neck out Giraffe style ~ hanging out near the grove of Acacia trees ~ gnoshing without taking unnecessary risks prematurely. So … now that I’ve shared, I’m interested to learn what resonates with readers and hope you’ll let me know either in comments below or in email.

Thought for Today
“Each one of us has to find his peace from within. And peace, to be real, must be unaffected by outer circumstances.”
Gandhi

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Wonderful Opportunity for Creative Folks on Short Notice

Do you know my friend Samantha Bennett from The Organized Artist Company? Because if you don’t, I think you might dig her – she’s really inspiring & funny & cool and has a way of getting you really motivated. And she works especially with smart, creative types.

She has a new & totally free preview webinar/teleclass coming up that I think you’ll love.  It’s all about “Shadow Goals” – you can read more about what she says those are below –

——> Click here to register for free & you’ll get the recording, too.  Sam always offers incredibly practical content on these free calls from the get-go, so you’ll want to arrive on time and listen to the recording after.

The Five Symptoms of the Insidious Shadow Goal

1) Every time you think about this goal you feel kind of…bad
You don’t feel inspired or energized, you feel heavy and overwhelmed. Feels like chaos inside.

2) It’s a “getting-ready-to-get-ready” Goal
“I can’t get my new website up until I get a new photo of myself and I can’t get a new photo of myself until I lose weight and I can’t lose weight until I can afford to join a new gym so…” (sound familiar?)

3) You have vision boards or other inspirational tools that are just making you feel tired when you look at them.
The index cards from the screenplay you’re not writing, the collage that just feels like it’s mocking you, the quote on the bathroom mirror that’s starting to aggravate you are all signs that there’s a Shadow Goal somewhere nearby.

4) When you think about that Goal you get that awful “failure” feeling
That’s the worst – when something you truly want in your life all of a sudden starts to feel like an indication that you are not doing well enough. Like somehow the fact that you want to write a book but haven’t lifted a pencil yet is a commentary on your entire existence.

5) And the number one sign of a Shadow Goal is…
You haven’t done anything about it. You are stuck. Confused. Anxious. Defeated. Overwhelmed.

Well it’s time we chased your Shadow Goals away!

Join Samantha Bennett for The Organized Artist Company’s new live teleclass/webinar:

Shadow Goals
Thursday, Feb. 16th
9:45am – 11am (pacific time)

Click here to register for free & you’ll get the recording, too.

You can:
- dial in via phone
- listen via streaming audio
- watch online
- download a copy after the event

Together we’ll pull back the curtain on YOUR Shadow Goals and replace all that icky feeling with

Clear
Concise
Concrete
Caring

and FUN GOALS

that energize you & help you become your very best self.
You are going to love this. I guarantee.

—–> Click here to register for free now

Remember: The World Needs Your Art.

Thought for Today
“Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.”
~Terri Guillemets

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Of Standing Tall and Speaking Truth …

Sometimes I’m mystified, but I’m always curious and believe asking questions is always a better alternative to making assumptions. I’m a big fan of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  In addition, I’ve discovered laughter to be an excellent way to create a space for understanding to dawn from within. Thus I share this wonderful image I encountered on New Mexico Lightworkers page at Facebook and shared on my own wall there.

Does this marvelous image not make you laugh in turn?

Of course I’m not finished with this post, but since I’ve published it prematurely (and since I’ve advertized my blog on Denise Wakeman’s Blog Squad page at Facebook already … methinks I’ll let it stand while I continue to write about what I intend to share today, fully realizing I may not finish before my sister arrives to spend the day together as we usually do on Fridays. It seems as if I’m more ready to let things flow more naturally all the time … just as I do when I write the labyrinth each day in my journal and see what happens.

If you’re a friend or familiar with my blog already, I’m trusting the wisdom of Dr. Seuss because I know you’ll accept me just as I am … and this post just as you find it:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

If you’re new to my blog, please check out the drop-down widget menu to see what’s here and choose something of interest to begin with … or page down until something catches your eye. The Labyrinth pieces have audio links so you can listen & look.

So … to continue:
It’s a puzzlement to figure out who sees what in the news feeds at Facebook, but it’s obvious no two people ever see the same thing. Lately I’ve been experimenting with ‘tagging’ and some other strategies too, then watching to see what happens while inviting people to comment, responding with an open heart & mind as time permits … writing from an intuitive place in myself with as much authenticity as possible. The results have been intriguing. In case you don’t know me, my Facebook wall is here: https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaEllenson ~ Although, I limit ‘friends’ to folks I actually know (or who feel like kindred spirits), I’ve enabled the ‘Subscribe’ feature and much (but not all) of what I share there is ‘Public’ so it’s visible and you can see what I’m thinking and writing about.

Ooops … there’s my sister so the rest will have to wait until I return (or perhaps tomorrow).

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Check this out: For Fun and a Fantastic WordPress Opportunity

Here’s a little piece of fun for today! (Plus a great free PDF resource)

Christina Hills, the expert on teaching non-techie people how to build their websites with WordPress, has got a new one for you. She likes to combine learning technology with fun! Little Web Riding Hood is on her way to Grandma’s house. But that bad old Wolfie Webmaster, is still out to get her website. And he’s determined to stop Grandma Christina from teaching the Website Creation Workshop!

Will the Wolf get control of Little Web’s Riding Hood’s website?

Will he stop Grandma Christina from teaching the Website Creation
Workshop?

Watch the video now and find out what happens.

And don’t forget to grab your PDF download of “Christina’s Top 10
Favorite Easy Plugins for WordPress”
. Not sure how long she will
have that up.

P.S. Registration opens at 9am Eastern, Tuesday morning, February 7th, for the Website Creation Workshop, IF that Wolfie Webmaster doesn’t stop Grandma Christina by then…

If you’re looking to learn how to set up or ‘tweak’ your WordPress blog or website, I highly recommend Christina’s Website Creation Workshop.

Thought for Today
“Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.”
~Sudie Back

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My Shero’s Journey continues …

I continue here from yesterday’s post with parts 6 and 7 of the 7 labyrinth pieces created for this series:
6 – The journey led me …
7 – Many are called and waking up …

Click to hear me read this piece (2:18)

Click to hear me read this piece (1:53)

So … the challenge remains. Methinks it’s time for those of us who choose to embark on the Shero’s Journey to:

  • find ways we can nurture ourselves and become more comfortable with NOT knowing, calming our minds to move at the pace of guidance with certainty of purpose while surrendering to surprise (as Christina Baldwin suggests in The Seven Whispers of Wisdom*)
  • explore the unfamiliar territory with courage and tenacity at a sustainable pace … (resting & relaxing needed to keep ourselves healthy & whole)
  • experiment with playful innovative and unexpected ways of bringing feminine energy into our male dominated culture “forcing nothing and holding nothing back’ … individually and collaboratively
  • give ourselves permission to make mistakes without beating ourselves (or others) up, learning & self-correcting as we go
  • lean into that which scares us … surrendering our fears to the Divine energy within and around us to
  • reclaim our power and return to love with a fierceness of a lioness protecting her cubs

This  is, after all, what what’s needed if we want to leave a world for our children that is more nurturing and sustainable than the one we inherited from ours … isn’t it?

*You can read more about these Seven Whispers in this previous post at my Labyrinth Journal website: Writing as Meditation  … I add them here as well:
Christina Baldwin shares what she calls ‘A Spiritual Practice for Times Like These’ in the Seven Whispersthat includes the following:

  • “Maintain peace of mind
  • Move at the pace of guidance
  • Practice certainty of purpose
  • Surrender to surprise
  • Ask for what you need and offer what you can
  • Love the folks in front of you
  • Return to the world”

A closing note I’ve shared before:
For quite some time now, I’ve used the Maitri Meditation daily. It centers me and opens up a wider space of compassionate concern for self, others, and the world. Recently with so many real challenges all over the world, it has become a walking meditation … a prayer for all of us.
May we be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful.
May you live with ease.

I’d love to learn about ways you’ve discovered that help you on your Shero’s Journey and hope you’ll share.

I close with the same Thought for Today as on the past two days
“How might your life have been different, if, deep within, you carried an image of the Great Mother? And when things seemed very, very, bad you could imagine that you were stitting in the lap of the Goddess … held tightly, embraced at last. And that you could hear her saying to you, ‘I love you … I love you and need you to bring forth your self.’”
~Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

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… more about My Shero’s Journey

I continue here from yesterday’s post with parts 4 and 5 of the 7 labyrinth pieces created for this series:
4 – When things fall apart …
5 – Discovering direct contact with the Divine …

Click to hear me read both pieces in this post in a single recording (3:02)

The remaining two pieces to be shared tomorrow begin as follows and continue the thread:
6 – The journey led me …
7 – Many are called and waking up …

I close with the same Thought for Today as yesterday
“How might your life have been different, if, deep within, you carried an image of the Great Mother? And when things seemed very, very, bad you could imagine that you were stitting in the lap of the Goddess … held tightly, embraced at last. And that you could hear her saying to you, ‘I love you … I love you and need you to bring forth your self.’”
~Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

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Groundhog Day and the Shero’s Journey

I’m participating in The Shero’s Journey with Jennifer Louden at The En*theos Academy online … described briefly as follows:

In this 5-week course you will work directly with Jennifer Louden as you learn to claim your power, trust it, and use it to transform the world – while having a blast.

I’ve know Jen since the summer of 2007 when I attended a week-long writers retreat at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico with her and Suzanne Falter Barnes. It was people I met there who encouraged and helped me begin blogging anonymously in October of that year … then supported me for the next three years while I experimented with sharing bits and pieces of myself. I returned to Taos for a second retreat with Jen in the summer of 2010 … after which I created this Giraffe Journal blog first under my real name, then my Labyrinth Journal website. If you’re new here and would like to know more about this you can check out my first post here and my story at my website.

Jen had us do some writing on the call and provided an opportunity to share in ‘break out groups’ using Maestro Conference. She encouraged us to continue to write independently before the next call. What follows are three of seven labyrinth pieces I created in my journal this morning then scanned with the intention to publish them here. I plan to share two more tomorrow and the last two on Saturday.

Because the pieces are nearly impossible to read on the screen, I’ve recorded them with AudioAcrobat so you can listen … or, if you wish, you’re welcome to print them out to read on your own … turning the page round and round as I do. You can make them slightly larger and still listen to me read if you right click to open them in a new window leaving this one open.

Click to hear me read this piece (3:02)

Click to hear me read this piece (2:19)

Click to hear me read this piece (1:54)

The remaining pieces to be shared over the next two days begin as follows and continue the thread:
4 – When things fall apart …
5 – Discovering direct contact with the Divine …
6 – The journey led me …
7 – Many are called and waking up …

Thought for Today
“How might your life have been different, if, deep within, you carried an image of the Great Mother? And when things seemed very, very, bad you could imagine that you were stitting in the lap of the Goddess … held tightly, embraced at last. And that you could hear her saying to you, ‘I love you … I love you and need you to bring forth your self.’”
~Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

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Why You Need 5 Websites for 1 Business

When you are getting your business online, obviously you need a website, but as you introduce products & services you discover quickly that you want as many as 5 websites to run and promote your business.

1 – Opt in Site
2 – Sales Letter Site
3 – Main Site with a Blog
4 – Affiliate Site
5 – Membership Site

Christina Hills (The WordPress Expert) teaches non-techie people how to build their websites without a webmaster.

Watch her short 5 min video now and let her show you why…

Instead of paying out a small 5-figure sum to a webmaster for all this (and then and waiting days, weeks or months even) … you can do this easily for yourself in matter of a few hours when you know how.

Watch this video today

P.S. You’ll also get another mini video and a mindmap PDF download
when you ‘opt in’ here.

If you’re looking to learn how to set up or ‘tweak’ your WordPress blog or website, I highly recommend Christina’s Website Creation Workshop.

Thought for Today
“Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.”
~Sudie Back

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Beware of Wolfie Webmasters out in the Woods

Christina Hills has done it again!
Here is the 2nd in her 3 part video series on using WordPress as your website.

Little Web Riding Hood went off into the woods. Her mother warned her to be careful out there … because there are Wolfie Webmasters out in those woods! Will Little Web Riding Hood get to Grandma’s house safely?

Watch this video now and see what happens to Little Web

Enjoy … and after you view the video, please take a moment to let me know what you think by leaving a comment and/or feel free to ask a question!

P.S. After you ‘opt in’  you will get a “7 Step Content Creation Planning Worksheet” PDF you can download to your computer. This will help you organize and plan out your website before you build it!

If you’re looking to learn how to set up or ‘tweak’ your WordPress blog or website, I highly recommend Christina’s Website Creation Workshop.

Thought for Today
“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.”
~Chinese Proverb

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Learn EASY WordPress Website Design & Layout

Are you frustrated with working with Web people who take too long to build your website? Do you want to create your own beautifully designed website yourself, without a webmaster?

Christina Hills (The WordPress Expert), teaches non-techie people how to build their websites without a webmaster. Listen in as she demonstrates WordPress Website Design and Layout in a simple non-techie way!

Go here to ‘opt in’ for the free Audio Download and PDF

Christina has taught hundreds of non-techie people how to easily build their websites themselves in the Website Creation Workshop. You can build virtually any kind of website you want with WordPress. In this 90 minute call Christina Hills will show you how how the design and layout works with WordPress, and how you can use WordPress to make beautiful sites that grow your business.

Here’s What she’ll cover:

- The Word Press “Theme”: Design and Finding a Theme for Your Website

- How to use WordPress to publish your Newsletter, instead of using the “Blog”

- The Difference Between Using “Pages” vs. “Posts” in WordPress

- Add to the “Sidebars” (a.k.a. Widgets)

- The Difference Between a “Theme” and a “Template”

- The Your “Header Graphic” vs. “An Image in the Page/Post” vs. An “Image in the Sidebar

This call will have a visual PDF handout with lots of pictures for you to follow along during the call. You get that by going here and entering your name and email:

It’s definitely worth opting in, so check it out today.
Hugs and blessings,
Virginia

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