Spring Equinox 2017: Ready, set, grow!

contemplation, Goddess, Gratefulness, Seasonal Greetings, spring equinox

Spring Equinox 2017

Today is the Spring Equinox, when the northern and southern hemispheres are bathed in equal light. It is a day to search for balance within and without. Spring is the transition from the dark womb of winter to the brilliance of summer, and we are at the moment when all the underground growth breaks surface.

I’ve had a bit of a dark womb winter this year, and I feel like a part of myself was either hibernating or hiding. There have been times I have wanted to come out of the cave, to pull back the heavy blankets, but I just wasn’t ready.

But now, I’m ready. The sunflower seed bursting from its shell:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.  Cynthia Occelli

This is where I am today, just beginning to break open through the seed. Its carcass is still on my leaves.

Take a moment today and consider where you are. Let growth take its natural course. Breathe into the beauty, vigor, and newness that is Spring.

Blessed be – Anne

PS: This sunflower seed was planted at the full moon during a wonderful and powerful ritual. I’m ready to shake myself awake!

More about Spring Equinox: Spring Equinox is often called Ostara, or Eostre, named for a goddess of Germanic origin who is the namesake of Easter. For the Northern Hemisphere, Spring Equinox is Mid-Spring, signaling the height of the season, occurring at 1° Aries in Tropical system. History and ritual ideas: http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/spring.html .

Your Intuition Isn’t Broken by Maura McCarley Torkildson

Classes, contemplation, Creativity, Goddess, Intuition, Learning
forest fairy shaman with panflute and crystal, detailed colorful illustration

forest fairy shaman with panflute and crystal, detailed colorful illustration.

When the conversation about intuition comes up, do you find yourself comparing your intuition to other people and come up feeling less than?  I know how disappointing that can be. Let me say first, comparison is rarely helpful. Let me also say, there is also nothing wrong with your intuition. It is not broken. It may be that you have not yet discovered your potential.

There are a number of reasons why your intuition may not be working for you. I want to encourage you to consider the following common issues before you give up on it or determine you are lacking in this area.

You Don’t Understand Your Clair Ability 

You haven’t discovered your intuitive modality. I call these The Clairs – like clairvoyance for instance. Did you know there was more than one?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. For some reason our culture has latched onto clairvoyance (visions) as the psychic skill. Second in line of course is clairaudience (hearing voices). All the others get left in the dust. I happen to be primarily clairsentient (I feel other’s feelings) and claircognizant (knowing). There is also clairgustance(smell). I’ve even coined the term clair-creativity in my upcoming book on intuition, because the first intuitive skills I recognized showed up in my art work.

Your Intuition doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

Your intuition doesn’t look like you expect it to. We all get ideas about intuitive powers from TV and the movies. The problem is that movies tend to over -dramatize – you know, the psychic character gets completely taken over by her vision or it shows up like a technicolor screen across the sky. Well, yes, they have to portray inner visions creatively, it is art after all and special effects make a movie fun to watch. However, this can be misleading, and even though we know its fiction, we still believe it on some level. The truth is it often takes getting quiet to receive messages and we have to understand how they are coming in. That can be difficult when the mental hamster wheel is on overdrive.  And if we are expecting things to show up one way, we often disregard the way they do show up.

It Could Be Your Ego Attachments

I am going to be frank here. Your ego may be in the way. I’ve seen this one occur with a lot of people, myself included. I would say this was my primary block until I worked through it and it can still catch me off guard. When the ego really wants something, it will find ways to confirm what it wants, including using intuition. Then, when things don’t turn out as expected, we learn to distrust our “intuition” (which it wasn’t in the first place). In order intuition to be effective, discernment is a must. If you haven’t done your psychological and emotional work, it makes interpreting your intuition very difficult. We can let fear and ego spin us into denial and the real messages just don’t get through.

You Just Don’t Believe It’s Real

You may believe your intuition is “just” your imagination. Do you have weird visions pop up, or your inner voices come up with something totally out of context? We all have been influenced by culture to believe that whatever is going on inside us isn’t quite real because it can’t be proven. It takes a bit of skill to be able to distinguish between making something out of our inner experience (ego) and allowing the observer self to be aware without judgment, but this skill can be developed. Your Innerverse  IS real. It may not be as verifiable as what you can corroborate with others, but that does not make it less that real. Think about it this way, do you experience an inner world? If you experience it, it exists. It may not be tangible, but that does not mean it doesn’t exist. For myself, if my inner experience is meaningful to me (like feeling the presence of my deceased father), that is what matters. I don’t need to prove everything in court.

Ultimately trust is the key to a strong intuition. Like any relationship, trust takes time and experience to grow. Learning to know and trust your inner guidance is a journey, not a destination. On this journey it is also important to realize you will never be 100% accurate in your interpretation. Let go that expectation, no one is ever that accurate, even the best. The following are keys to building relationships, including your relationship with your intuition. Trust grows in relationships when commitment is present and curiosity leads. Commitment  is the will to stick with it even when the going is tough. Commitment cultivates resilience and confidence.  Curiosity is the opposite of judgment. It creates safe ground to explore, to learn and to deepen. It allows you to see what is there and find joy in the unfolding mystery.

Some Tips for Your Journey

If you approach intuition with a fixed mindset (some people are gifted, others are not) you aren’t likely to give yourself a chance to evolve. This is the fallacy of how psychic skills are portrayed in popular culture – some few special people are gifted and others are not. What this myth obscures is the reality that the masters were validated for their skill at some point and worked hard at perfecting them. In my journey, it was only when I risked being wrong and communicated my hunches that I received the validation I needed to hone my skills and begin to trust my intuition.

There is nothing like the need to be right to get in the way. Performance anxiety blocks your intuitive flow. When you need to be right, you will constantly second guess yourself. You allow fear to be the driving factor. Letting go the need to be right opens the channels. Intuition is the gift of your Divine roots (what I call the Inner Tree). It is about connecting to Source. The need to be right is the province of your ego. When a hunch doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean your intuition is broken. It just means you are still learning how to connect. You do have it within your capacity to do that. Lighten up, let go and play with it.

Take up an awareness practice. Tune into your body. Your body is a magical vehicle for acute awareness, but only if we use it.  How often do you pause and really feel your body? Do you notice the entire surface of your feet on the ground? Have you explored the exquisite sensitivity of your fingertips? Do you ever tune into the energetic field around your heart? Do this without expectation. Do it daily, whenever you can remember. Just notice what is present. You will be amazed.

Most importantly, start by dropping the story that yours is broken. That story isn’t serving you. When I let go that same story and began cultivating my inner world, I learned to trust myself, my unique gifts and I continue to grow and expand my intuitive repertoire and use it regularly in service to my clients. I know it is possible for you too if you desire and that is why I support women to trust their inner resources.

Want to learn to trust your intuition? Check out my Inner Tree Courses on www.mysteryschoolofthegoddess.com

Maura McCarley Torkildson is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Author and Priestess of Silence (Sige). She received her MA in Women’s Spirituality from New College of California January 2000.

Her first book The Curious Magic of Buckeye Groves was published in 2014 and her second book The Inner Tree will be available in 2017. After receiving her MA, Maura studied with the Mystic Peter Kingsley for 5 years and then went on to get her coaching certification. She opened her coaching practice in 2014.

She is a life long devotee and student of the Divine Feminine and dreams of empowering all women to trust themselves and their inner wisdom to bring the world back into balance again.

You can find her at Maura Torkildson Coaching.

Goddess Ink is your source for inspiration for the Divine Feminine. Find books, classes and sacred tours to feed your soul.  For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

On Being A Creation Woman by Kimberly Moore and Genevieve Mitchell

contemplation, Creativity, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Gratefulness, Priestess, ritual

creation-woman-womanroots-kimberly-f-moore-shakti-womyn-ysl

What does it mean to be a Creation Woman?  What does it mean to take my creativity, open it up to Divine inspiration, stir in some excitement and adventure….and head in to 2017?  Where can I find my creativity?  When I find it…then what?   I’m pleased, puzzled, grateful and baffled by the opportunities I have to be creative and impactful.  I also pray that I make wise choices.

It’s the last week of 2016….what a year, personally, professionally, politically and providentially.  As as Creation Women, women and men with the power to create the world in which we want to live, it’s time to honor that creative capacity.  Creativity is the powerful flow from the universe, it’s the energetic force infusing our lives.  This creative flow, comes from Source, and manifests as Divinity in all manner of our creations.  Our own creative potential is evidence to me that God/Goddess/Source exist…because we manifest that creativity in the mystery of living and in the creation of art, music, dance, ideas….the building of amazing building, the collaborative efforts to solve world problems, the creation of new technology….

Creativity is everywhere!  Let us celebrate it, honor it, and use it, to create a world where there is respect and honor for the Earth, humanity and all our relations to the seventh generations. So how can we use ourselves as Temples of Creativity?  Kimberly Moore from MotherHouse of the Goddess and Mystery School of the Goddess, shares some profound and very timely observations.   Thank you Kimberly!

 

“Breathe Me, Woman, into your head, your thoughts, your intentions.

Breathe Me, as I breathe you into Creation.

Breathe Me deep, Woman, into your womb, your throne. Lay me bare on

your heart, your altar. 

Let us embrace as Sisters on our thrones of Creation.

Give Me your seeds and let us laugh over them, pour tears into them, hold silence unto them.

Let us set them gently onto our thrones, adorn them, infuse them.

Let us clasp our hands on our bellies and feel them growing, kicking, burgeoning.

And when the time is ripe and our thrones are bursting,

Let us crouch and moan and rock.

Let us birth these seeds grown strong with intention, with our beauty, with our secret Selves.

Give me your Creation – I am your Midwife.  I am your throne.  I am the receiving Earth.

Breathe Me, Woman.  Breathe Us into Creation.

Creation Woman calls upon us to claim our thrones. Unite with our divine soul seeds, to unveil our life mission, fight for our heart’s desire, to “bleed” with purpose. She is not to be ignored and if done, can result in pathologies such as depression, anxiety, and even more serious illnesses. 

This month, part of your sacred living work is to work on your Temple, your throne. Notice where it needs work. Adorn it. Breathe into it daily, mindfully, powerfully. In this, you are creating your reality, making healthy and vibrant the place that allows you to CREATE. “

~ Kimberly Moore

Kimberly F. Moore is a Creative Catalyst and Mentor for Women; Shakti-Powered Entrepreneur; Goddess Priestess; Blissful Revolutionary; Hungry Goddess (food writer); Writer; and Photographer. She offers coaching and online courses to promote the Everyday Sacred in women’s lives for personally and professionally.

Kimberly is offering her Year of Sacred Living http://mysteryschoolofthegoddess.net/2016/10/17/a-year-of-sacred-living-with-kimberly-f-moore-open/ where she shares a year of Living Deeply with the Sacred.  The poem above is from her course.

She is the Founder of the MotherHouse of the Goddess and Mystery School of the Goddess. Kimberly has been a Goddess Priestess for more than 20 yearsHer areas of research, practice, and teaching are focused on Goddess Spirituality, Comparative Mythology, Archetypal Psychology, and Ritual Practice. She has a special connection to the Goddesses from the Greek, Hindu and Yoruban traditions, but has worked with many other Goddesses through the years.  She is also an Aborisha in the Lukumi tradition and a Daughter of Oshun. Kimberly lives in Delaware with her son, two kitties, surrounded by Goddess altars everywhere.

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

Goddess Ink is your source for inspiration for the Divine Feminine. Find books, classes and sacred tours to feed your soul.  For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credits:  Top Photo by Kimberly Moore, bottom photo by Shutterstock.

What Now? Reflections on Moving Forward by Sidni Lamb and Genevieve Mitchell

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Learning, Loss and Grief, ritual

2014-1-tamaya-big-sky“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” –Julian of Norwich

In the bigger spiritual picture, “all shall be well” and we are indeed, okay.  The Divine, however we define It, Her or Him, is SO much bigger than us, our community, our nation or our earth.  The Divine is unknowable to us…., knowing that, yes, we are okay.

So, why don’t we feel okay?  Many of us have feelings of pain, distress, heartache, sadness, fear and shock about recent political events in the nation.  There’s grief and a sense of loss that makes us feel wounded and anguished, for our nation and for ourselves.  Both during and as a result of the election, it has become painfully obvious that many of us have not felt heard or acknowledged.  So, how do we move on in this very challenging climate?

What now?

  • Deepen Your Spiritual Practice– Take time to find the core of your spiritual practice.  It could be meditation, ritual, praying, chanting, sitting in circle, celebrating in community. Find and attend to something that connects you to the Divine, to your sacred center.
  • Be In Nature–  The Japanese call it forest bathing.  Connect with the natural world, a tree, a park, go to the mountains, watch a rainstorm, be with the larger, deeper force of nature, the spirit of our holy Mother Earth.
    • “You should sit in nature 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour”– Old Zen Saying
  • Connect to Kindness– Offer or exchange a smile, offer a small act of kindness, ask or give a hug, call a friend.  This is our opportunity to be of service to a world in need of kindness and compassion.
  • Feel Your Emotions–  Be aware of what you are feeling, allow those feelings, honor them, exactly as they show up.  In the same way, allow others to be where they are with their feelings, even if you don’t agree with them. Everyone processes in a different way.
  • Practice Good Self Care– It is time to take very good care of yourself.  Eat well, get plenty of rest, care for your physical and emotional needs. When we have filled ourselves, when we are compassionate and caring of ourselves, we can respond more compassionately to others.
  • Take a News or  Social Media Retreat–  Turn off the news, turn off the radio, take a vacation from Facebook.  Allow time for silence.  Give time to others face to face, instead of digitally.  Allow yourself rest from the outside media influences, allow yourself time to heal.
  • Find Something To Do Right Now–  For some, it will be to write letters, sign petitions, participate in protests.  For others, sitting still, helps us with our creative juices and finding direction for the “what now”.

Taking a purposeful pause to deepen our practice, take care of ourselves and to be kind allows us to get grounded for the hard work ahead.

Sidni Lamb is the founder, visionary and motor behind Mindful New Mexico and the New Mexico Leaders in Mindfulness Conferences.

Sidni’s work and passion focuses on connecting people to their communities and building bridges for collaborative relationships across all sectors and disciplines through mindfulness-based capacity building training, curating conversations for meaningful connections and teaching peace studies courses.

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credit: “New Mexico Sky” Genevieve Mitchell

We are the Image of the Divine by Genevieve Mitchell

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Goddess, Priestess, ritual

shutterstock_84743155We as women are images of the Divine.  We, young, middle aged, old, of all colors, shapes, sizes, inclinations and temperaments.   When you look in the mirror, I hope you see that you are a manifestation of Goddess, of Light, of Divinity.  Notice the faces in your circles, in your home, at work.  What if we could each see the divinity within each of those faces?  I love the word “Namaste”- loosely translated from Sanskrit to mean “the spirit in me honors the spirit in you”.

How can we honor that spirit in each other?  Take a deep breath, and ask, when do I image the Divine, when do I look like the Goddess?

….When I offer support and compassion to someone who is lonely, needing support or has suffered a sorrow.

….When I spend time in nature and honor “all my relations”, the plants, the flowers, the trees, the birds, the fish, the insects, the animals, the earth, the water, the air and the sun.

….When I choose to do what is right and holy, not necessarily what is easy or acceptable.

….When I work for environmental sustainability or social justice, when I do my part to make the world a better place for my children’s children’s children.

…..When I  look in the mirror and see myself as a manifestation of the Divine.

In these challenging times, I honor you, in your role as priestess, as prophet, as teacher, as leader.  I also honor your role as servant, helper, pray-er, as community member.  I also honor you as one who is weary, sorrowful, scorned, or unrecognized for the gift that you are.  I honor you as a manifestation of Divine Light in the world.

“May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Goddess bless you, and bless you kindly.”

Scottish Blessing (adapted)

Namaste, Genevieve

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credits:  Stock Photos

 

Memorial Day Reflections on Grief

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Loss and Grief, Memorial Day, Priestess

Today is Memorial Day, a day we pay tribute to the fallen soldiers, our veterans, and those who served our country and died in war.  (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day).

Today, I want to honor those who have passed.  I also want to honor those who grieve.  I want to honor those who have lost someone to war, who had to go on living after that loss.  For mothers and fathers, who sent their daughters and sons to the military, and lost them to war.  For kids who grew up without a parent, because of war.  For sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends and neighbors, who have grieved because of war. I also pray that the Infinite Source of Light and Wisdom will surround us as we grieve our loss.

Blessings- I send you each a flower with Blessing and Light, to honor your loss and to honor your grief on this Memorial Day 2016.

pink and green

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credits:  All photos by Genevieve Mitchell.

Finding Time For Ritual In A Busy Life by Genevieve Mitchell

contemplation, Divine, Goddess, Priestess, ritual

shutterstock_93132085

Do you need more ritual in your life?  How do you put more ritual in your life?

The world in which we live is a world needs new voices, new rituals, new rites and new ways to celebrate and empower women to recognize the Divine Feminine, the Feminine Face of God, the Goddess.  How can we do this?

It feels to me that we need rituals for creating community, honoring the rites of passage, mourning our losses,  celebrating the seasons.  We are busy people, but our connection to the divine is the primary place to get fed spiritually.

For me, I want more ritual in my life.  More ritual of all kind, daily ritual, family ritual, ritual before meetings, seasonal ritual.  For work, my partner Anne Key, Chief Editor, CEO and I start our work time with some type of ritual.  Usually it’s a candle, an invocation, a chant or a meditation.  Sometimes we get a little more elaborate, smudging, incense, divination.  I also have a weekly women’s group called Spirit Women.  It’s a mixture of a mastermind and a weekly ritual.  We have a priestess of the day who plans a ritual to celebrate us, our work and our world. I love having ritual in my life.

How does one create a ritual?  As Nan Brooks says in The Circle of Theatre and Ritual in Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses, published by Goddess Ink, “Intention is the foundation upon which ritual is built and will flow”.  What do you want to create with your ritual?  How do you prepare?  How will you create the sacred space?  What needs to be prepared in advance?  In the end, just the intention to focus on  your connection to the Divine, to the powerful universal force of Spirit can lead you into the awe and wonder of grace.

How do you create ritual?  What is your favorite ritual?  What resources are helpful for you when you are putting together ritual.  I invite you to share your thoughts!

Genevieve Mitchell is Partner at Goddess Ink Publishing.  For More information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/

WAKING UP TO THE CYCLE OF LIFE, KWAN YIN’S GIFT TO ME by SANDY BOUCHER

contemplation, Divine, Goddess, ritual

Kwan Yin by Sandy Boucher photo 1

When I walk in the woods on the ridge above Oakland, Kwan Yin is always there. She shines in the sunlight slanting down among the Sequoias; she’s present in the muddy puddles marked by dog feet and bike tires and the waffled soles of hiking boots; she’s everywhere in the silence when I stand still to breathe. And sometimes she stops me cold with the kind of lesson that can only come from the natural environment.

Today as I walked I came upon a downed tree, smack across the trail in front of me. Steep precipice down on the left, steep hill up on my right: no way around. I stood contemplating the obstacle. Although a few dusty leaves still dangled, the tree was clearly dead, its bark grayish and marked with fluorescent green mold, its upended roots crumbling.

Some limbs had broken off in the fall, showing jagged inner bark; others poked out to touch the ground. Bugs had set up residence in the grooves of the bark. If left to itself here across the trail, the tree would gradually surrender to insects, weather and time, until it fell apart in dry hollow chunks. It would be received by the ground beneath it, in which its sustenance would lie awaiting the next seeds or animals or marauding weeds and grass.

Standing looking at the ruined tree, I found it beautiful, its fate profoundly moving and somehow joyful, and I knew that Kwan Yin had prepared this sight for me.

I had been worrying about my own aging—foreseeing disease, disability and finally the inevitable blinking out of the light. But here across the trail before me I saw the whole cycle of life, and how the disintegration of one being benefits the awakening and integration of others. Kwan Yin held me still and invited me to look, breathe, realize that I too will fall and crumble and come apart, fulfilling my destiny. I may be beautiful or not as I sink back into the universe that brought me forward.

When I could stand there no longer, I climbed and picked my way over the trunk among the jumbled branches, feeling the rough bark under my hands and knees, until I broke through into the open trail. Kwan Yin’s warm breath touched my face, as if she whispered to me. Thank you, I answered, and my stride was loose and lively with the sense of the rightness of it all.

Sandy Boucher is Author and Editor of She Appears:  Kwan Yin,  Goddess of Compassion published by Goddess Ink.  You can contact Sandy sandyboucher9@gmail.com. Photo Credit:  Sandy Boucher.

Goddess Ink Publishing, www.goddess-ink.com, offers books, classes and resources on feminine spirituality, goddess studies and the Divine Feminine. Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.

 

Searching for the Divine by Genevieve Mitchell

contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Priestess, ritual

It seems to me that my entire adult life was a search for meaning, for connection with the Divine and for a path for manifesting the Universal Grace that seems to be omnipresent in my life.  Now, I don’t get me wrong, I made plenty of mistakes, relied heavily on social norms for decision making and have more than a few regrets about decisions I made along the way.

But always, the entire road, I was searching.  I come from a Catholic background.  Mary was a powerful influence.  But the religious norm was He, Him, King, Father God….male domination, male influence and not a female face on the altar, except to clean…. not the stuff that inspires one to be engaged as a strong woman in the Catholic Church.

The wonderful part was I did meet amazing women along the way, powerful women, spiritual women, articulate women, nuns, lay women, political women, creative women who challenged the cultural norms and who spoke their truth even in the face of societal objections.

I hope now that some how, the work I do and the woman I am in my life can inspire others to see the Divine in themselves, in the work they do, in the world in which they live and in the path they walk.

Along the way, I recommend finding companions, groups, friends and colleagues that can support you.  Reading great books is always inspirational to me.  You might find just what you need in our list of Goddess Ink publications.  Or sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.  What are you waiting for?

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.  Additionally You can find Goddess Ink on Facebook.

Photo Credits:  All photos above are by Genevieve Mitchell.

 

EXPRESSIONS OF KWAN YIN BODHISATTVA’S COMPASSIONATE ENERGY By SANDY BOUCHER

bodhisattva, Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Kwan Yin, Priestess, ritual

Kwan Yin by Sandy photo 3There’s a woman in Africa whose life brings me to tears because she so perfectly embodies Kwan Yin, the Goddess of compassion. It might seem unlikely that this unassuming South African nurse would manifest as the Chinese goddess, but of course we know that Kwan Yin is no respecter of national boundaries. Her true domain is the human heart.

This woman, named Sister Abegail Ntleko, grew up in a mud hut. When she was a small child, her mother died and her father became an alcoholic so dysfunctional that Abegail was forced to raise herself. In conditions of extreme poverty and neglect, she managed to go to school and become a nurse. She chose nursing because at an early age she knew she wanted to be of use in the world, to do something about the physical and mental pain she saw all around her. This sounds just like Kwan Yin, a “bodhisattva” who seeks healing and enlightenment for all beings.

Abegail, now in her eighties,  adopted and raised numerous unwanted children while working in the medical and social service fields. She has taken in dozens of children orphaned by AIDs and lovingly raised them to be educated and empowered people. She has been  honored by African and international institutions, praised by such exemplars as the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Tutu said of her, “Sister Abegail exemplifies the true heart of South Africa—a heart that overcame apartheid, that sees the best within all people, and that has never closed in the face of suffering.”

A heart that never closes in the face of suffering: isn’t that the precise description of the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion Kwan Yin?

In this month of remembering Kwan Yin, I find so many embodiments of compassion around me—in my family, in my neighborhood, from as far away as Africa.  All shining pilgrims on the bodhisattva path with me.

May you also open your eyes and heart and recognize the everyday acts of kindness, the people who stay responsive to the world, and see in their faces the loving features of the Goddess of Compassion.

Sandy Boucher is Author and Editor of She Appears:  Kwan Yin,  Goddess of Compassion published by Goddess Ink.  You can contact Sandy sandyboucher9@gmail.com. Photo Credit:  Sandy Boucher.