Cicada Diary

Cicada, Cicada, Crazy Cicada!

Cicada, Cicada, Crazy Cicada!

One can study a caterpillar forever and never be able to predict a butterfly.
Buckminster Fuller

Are you living the life that wants to live through you?
Parker Palmer

It is cicada time here in Middle Tennessee. First cicadas sighted in my yard on May 9. Little creepy crawlies and empty shells. Weirdness. Last time the cicadas were at a minimum when I lived in another part of town that did not have as many of these little critters. Now I'm in the cicada part of town.

The 13-year cicadas began emerging over a week ago, but five days of cooler weather left the little creatures hanging onto branches and plant stems, just waiting for warmer weather to return. Now a warm front is moving in, and the trees are alive with the sound of cicadas mating (the male "sings" to his lady love). 

I like to imagine how it feels for the cicadas to emerge from thirteen years in the dark earth and to be born again into a new world of wings, wind, sun, eyes, and song (and sex!). What would it feel like to enter into a life so different than anything that could be imagined in the old life? While cicadas, with their little red eyes and buggy bodies may not have the elegance of the butterfly, they are still expressions of the Life Force and metamorphosis. I enjoy them as sign of abundance and nature's strange and wonderful generosities. What strange and wonderful metamorphosis have you been going through lately? Can you sense the new life that wants to unfold for you today?

Late May

Cicadas seem dizzy drunk with the heat and the love. Windshield splatters on the freeway. Cicadas! Cicadas! I took a photo of two cicadas mating, back to back, wings spread over each other. 

They’re quiet at night, when it’s stormy and wet, or when it gets too cool for their comfort. Early in the morning the cicada whirring hum begins. It sounds like the aliens are landing as all the trees start coming alive with sound. Later in the day, the full chorus surrounds the house, and like a giant cicada peppergrinder, the sound becomes deafening. 

Yet I find something wonderful in this expression of the Life Force. Happy cicadas mating and flying about, dizzy with love and life. Little eyes boggling at everything, especially a human being coming onto the horizon. 

Bug-eyed with wonder, they don’t attack, they don’t run. The little cicada sits on the petunia plant, just being, just living. Alive in so many ways. I coo, “Cicada, cicada” as I point my camera and take a cicada portrait. Immortalized in digital media, now the little cicada decides it’s time to join its brethren. Wings whirr and the cicada lifts swiftly into the air. Cicadas! Cicadas!

End of May

Lots of little dead cicadas in my driveway, on my steps. (not to mention the splats! on my windshield). Guess they partied their brains out. They came into this world with that "OMG" look and seem to be leaving with the same. The party to end all parties, drunk with life itself. An orgy, not a potluck. What a long strange journey it's been. Thirteen years in the ground as a sap sucking grub. Then the nymphs seek the light, emerging from the dark underground world. Metamorphosis! Suddenly bingo bango: eyes, legs, wings, sun, wind, rain, storms, SEX! Mindblowing cicada sex leaves them reeling on the pavement, wondering what hit them. 

Then a strange urge to dig a hole in some twig on a tree and lay eggs. Party's over. Drop dead with pleasure. Sated. And eventually little white grubs emerge and drop to the ground, going into the earth to spend the next thirteen years in solitary confinement sucking sap, waiting for the next party to begin.

I learned that the male cicadas will chirp (one got in my car). Someone told me that each cicada has its own unique chirp. Some are low, some are high. So what we're hearing is a cicada men's chorus in perfect harmony. I'm getting rather fond of these little critters (as long as they keep good boundaries) and feel as if there is something sacred and healing in the songs they sing. I like the spaceship landing sound they make early in the morning as they are tuning up. Somehow the sound from the distant trees blend so that you could close your eyes and imagine an alien spaceship landing. It is the Life Force expressing. 

I love thinking about "Where were you 13 years ago?" 1998 was the year The Art of Abundance was published by Honor Books. I didn't even start coming to Center for Spiritual Living Nashville till 2003. Daddy and Marcia were still alive thirteen years ago. I was just starting to be weaned from depending too much on a dear friend. I recorded my 5 song Golden Moment demo. It was my best financial year ever--never been topped during the rollercoaster ride of the last decade. Music Row was still intact, not knowing that it would all implode soon. What a long strange journey it has been. 

My mantra for the cicadas: "Cicadas! Cicadas! Crazy cicadas!"

Early June

Now the cicadas are getting quieter and quieter. Last week’s frenzy has mellowed. They are no longer flying into my face or zooming over the roof. I sat under a cicada-filled tree and saw that many were just sitting on the branches. There was a slightly fishy smell, so I moved away from them. I almost felt they were like party animals recovering from a hangover. 

Cicada conversations overheard the other day: “The party’s over…” “Not now dear, I have a headache.” “ She just isn’t interested in sex any more, Harry. Always complaining about what I did to her!” “He still wants sex and all I want to do is dig a hole and lay my eggs. It’s hard to be in the mood when you’re hormonal and pregnant.” 

End of June:

The last of the cicadas are gone. Branch ends litter the lawn, a sign that the eggs have hatched and the larvae are making their way back into the earth for another 13-year cycle. I miss the sound of that life force humming. As temperatures rise the usual summer cicadas will begin singing their love songs in the heat of late July and August. It will be a different song, beautiful in its own way. 

I wonder where I will be when the next cohort of cicadas emerge thirteen years from now?

Abundance and Opening to the New

I will restore to you the years 
which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you. 
And my people shall never again be put to shame. 
Joel 2:25-26 RSV

Take your business as it is, child, and praise Divine Love that there is a strong, wise way out of your dilemma.
Emma Curtis Hopkins

In these turbulent times, it’s easy to identify with the farmer whose crops have been consumed by a horde of hungry locusts. I remember the description by Laura Ingalls Wilder of the aftermath of locusts, how they arrived in a dark cloud and left destruction behind them. Right now people are still sowing the wind, reaping the whirlwind, as they allow irrational anger or fear-based thinking to rule their lives. But the troubles and difficulties of these times do not overwhelm or dismay God. 

There is a peace which passes understanding available, and there is a blessed way through the dark night of the soul. Whether it is a financial issue, a family affair, or a difficult decision that can no longer be postponed, the steadying Presence of God is always there for you, if you will release your frantic thinking and enter into grace. 

Catherine Ponder, in her book Open Your Mind to Prosperity, says that loss means destruction, and pictures of loss held in mind are destructive. But there is a Divine Restoration available, if you are willing to examine your beliefs about loss and recognize that the chaos and pain are part of the process of form changing into new form. She says, “A powerful way to overcome the thought of loss and its consequences, is to remind yourself of this great truth: There is no loss in Spirit. You cannot lose your good. When it seems you have lost your good, it is because your good has changed form! Remember that there can be no loss in any phase of nature. The elements of nature merely change their form. When your good seems to leave you—to fly out the window—let it go. That is good you have outgrown. Then watch for new good to come in the door!”

One way to open to the new good that wants to come into your life is to release your resistance to what is happening in this moment, especially if it is difficult or feels like a painful struggle. This moment is as it is because every choice you’ve made, everything that has been happening to you and around you, is the culmination of all the moments that have come before. The universe is as it is right in this moment, and when you resist this moment, you are resisting the entire universe. Accept people, situations, events, and conditions as they occur. Remember you are reacting not to the situation itself, but to the feelings you have about the situation. 

Drop your defensiveness and cease your struggle. Take a deep breath, accept what is, and then take responsibility for how you feel and how you choose to respond in THIS moment. Let go of your old stories. Get quiet. Open your mind and heart to allow a creative response to the situation to emerge. Every problem contains the seed of opportunity when you are willing to surrender your limited thinking and enter into the spacious potential of the Divine Presence within.

The past cannot be changed, but your perspective on what was happening can be. Mentally and emotionally you can choose to see that you were growing into greater understanding because of the difficulties, and that the wisdom you gained is making it possible for you to experience a greater good. Release all anxiety or condemnation about the past and embrace the fact that every event, situation, or person taught you valuable lessons about who you are and how compassion and forgiveness can create room in your heart for a new season of love, peace, and prosperity. 

Wisdom gained in difficult times can enrich your life forever. Those experiences prepared the way for a larger good to enter your life. Joseph told his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20) Spiritual principle says that the past is not wasted or futile, for God was always there with you in it. And this moment is your opportunity to recognize that God is in this time and place, here for you. This moment holds the seeds of an expansive and wonderful future, if you are willing to be mindful, to believe and to act on that belief. 

One summer we had a terrible drought in Tennessee. Everything was hot and dry and miserable. The trees were hit by a double whammy that year, for there was an early spring blooming cut off by such a deep freeze it destroyed the first wave of leaves and the trees had to expend double their energy to create a second growth of green. It was strange to walk at Lake Radnor with the silence of dead leaves and the scent of dead vegetation instead of the usual flowering fragrance of spring. Then insult was added to injury when the second growth of leaves faced a dry summer with record-breaking heat. I wondered if the trees and plants would survive. Summer ended late, then winter finally brought rains, and the rains fell more plentifully than usual. 

The following spring there was a fierce and abandoned blooming, as if all the trees and plants were making up for lost time and flaunting their flowers in perfect abundance. I had never seen such lush blossoming on the black locust trees, which smell so sweet in spring. It was a good year for the dogwood, too. I may never see a spring so alive and amazing as the one that followed that terrible drought. 

Remember that a dry and scorched season in your life will not last forever, that spring will come once again in all its lush glory. Not the same as before, but a renewal of beauty in a new season. Nature teaches us about our own nature, our own potential for growth and evolution through the seasons. Catherine Ponder concludes, “Stop dwelling on apparent losses in your life, and start looking for the growth and gain that came through them. For every loss there has been a gain, so drop the loss and take the gain!” 

Know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise. Choose to stay alert and transform this moment to greater benefit. Remember that God is your partner, and as you connect to the peace and potential within, something new and beautiful can unfold, restoring the years the locust has eaten.

Quotes: 

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

It is certain that you cannot believe in abundance while identifying yourself with lack. Forget the lack and think only of abundance. Control your mental reactions so that they automatically become affirmative.
Ernest Holmes

Your attention has result-getting power, so be careful what you give your attention to. Your attention is your faith.
Catherine Ponder

The courage to face the trials and bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed. 
Joseph Campbell

Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.
Napoleon (at the end of his life)

Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick. The sage is not sick but is sick of sickness; this is the secret of health.
Tao Te Ching

Goodness needeth not to enter the soul, for it is there already, only it is unperceived. 
Theologica Germanica

Within me is the unborn possibility of limitless living; mine is the privilege of giving birth to it.
Eric Butterworth

God is hiding in the world and our task is to let the divine emerge from our deeds.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

No matter how qualified or deserving you are, you will never reach a better life until you can imagine it for yourself and allow yourself to have it. 
Richard Bach 

The basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems become the very place to discover wisdom and love.
Jack Kornfield

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

Honor thy error as a hidden intention.
Brian Eno

Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.
Ben Okri

The basis of all healing is a change in belief.
Thomas Merton

The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences.
D. H. Lawrence

Every desire you have for betterment in life is some echo from that deep within which forevermore proclaims, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Ernest Holmes

It is our duty—as men and women—to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are co-creators of the Universe.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

That was the moment when the change began. It had to begin inside before it could show on the outside, and the miracle that she’d dreamed of had taken place, not in an instant, but with a slow yet steady progress, like a seed germinating in the warm spring earth.
Elisabeth Ogilvie

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. 
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!
Fra Giovanni

With love, even the rocks will open. 
Hazrat Inayat Khan 

Affirmative prayer

I am one with the Creative Life Force that makes all things new. This is my season of Divine Restoration and I claim my good now. This is the beginning of my wonderful new life. The old life is now morphing into something fresh and new, exciting and prosperous, and a lot more fun! Debt and money issues are totally resolved and dissolved. I have more than enough finances, resources, time, and energy—to spare and to share. I enjoy vibrant health. I live in perfect peace and divine timing, and I have plenty of time, energy, and abundance. I am totally supported by the Universe and miracles are happening right now. The Universe delivers more than I could ever dream or imagine. Thank you, God, for these blessings and abundant manifestations. I am so happy that they are a reality in my life. 
And so it is. 

And after writing all that, I found the perfect poem to cap it off, and the perfect article to introduce you to Daniel Ladinsky, the poet/translator. Here is the link to his December 9, 2009 blog entry on Huffington Post (Maybe the Best Lay in Town Is a Poem): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-ladinsky/maybe-the-best-lay-in-tow_b_373872.html 

In this post he says, “Nature and art are sacred breasts we can feed on to grow. They are vital to our evolution. They offer a jailbreak or leave from the madness and demands we can get caught in. Of course love does that, too. Love dissolves boundaries and ultimately removes any contour that is not luminous.” That is the work I am aiming toward myself, for I am poet and singer and songwriter as well as writer of prose. Let this poem translated and transmuted from the words of Saint Catherine of Siena resonate in you like a bell. It is quoted from Ladinsky’s book (page 193), Love Poems from God:

THIS PLACE OF ABUNDANCE

We know nothing until we know everything.

I have no object to defend
for all is of equal value
to me.

I cannot lose anything in this
place of abundance
I found.

If something my heart cherishes
is taken away,

I just say, “Lord, what
happened?”

And a hundred more appear.



More inspiration online:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter Drucker

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a model that makes the existing model obsolete.
Buckminster Fuller

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

You must become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.
Nietzsche

I have been involved in the publishing industry in one form or another most of my adult life. Now the form is changing in these transformational times. I spent the last twenty years writing marketing materials and creating special projects for book publishers, as well as building my career as an author (and songwriter/artist/singer). The bottom fell out of my copywriting business a year and a half ago. The bottom fell out of my author career last June. I have floundered and flailed over the last year, trying to find my way in this changed landscape. In the process, I discovered that the paradigm has shifted in publishing. The financial meltdown accelerated the change, but it’s been building for a long time. Because I went so deeply into debt and because the old model dropped me down hard, I was forced by sheer necessity to be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and possibilities I had never imagined. Now the dust is clearing, and I’m happy to share some of what I’ve discovered with you. 

In my search for the new model, I found heroes and role models who have led the way into this brave new world of digital publishing and online connection. I have already mentioned Chris Guillebeau many times. I so firmly believe in his work that I have signed up to be an affiliate (hence the link in my quick links section). I was part of the first group of his $100 Business Forum, and it has helped me tremendously. His partner in this venture was Pam Slim. She was so wonderful that I added her website to my bookmark bar (top of the top, an exclusive place on my computer) and I just bought her new Escape from Cubicle Nation in a Box at http://escapeworkshopinabox.com/
This is what she covers in this package:
• How to clearly define a life plan that looks and feels like a well-fitting shoe.
• How to choose a sticky business idea.
• How to find your people, who are interested in your product or service and have the money to pay you.
• How to identify a successful business model.
• How to choose which business to start.
This is what you’ll learn: 
• You will have a framework, structure and plan to make serious progress on your business.
• You will have a concrete, pragmatic way to work with your fears so you don’t feel overwhelmed or filled with anxiety.
• You will realize you are not alone, and will be inspired to finally take action on your dreams
• You will have greater confidence in your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
• You will know how to expand your circle of peers, mentors and teachers.
• You will have access to great resources and people to help you figure out exactly what you need along the way.
Pam’s inspiring website: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/

And here are a few more resources especially for those who are trying to understand evolving new models for publishing.

Here is a must-watch video of Seth Godin on the permission marketing paradigm and how he “marketed” his books: 
http://toc.oreilly.com/2009/10/video-seth-godin-on-new-media.html 
This is why I released The Heart of Abundance as a free e-book. 

I’m a Facebook fan of Len Edgerly’s blog, who also writes The Kindle Chronicles blog
http://www.lenedgerly.com/ 
Check out his The Reading Edge podcasts, especially Len’s recent interview with Seth Godin. Marvelous resource reporting on the e-book revolution from many angles:
http://thereadingedge.com/ 

Another great website for publishing and the digital future
http://toc.oreilly.com/

Check out Smashwords.com (you can follow the quick link to The Heart of Abundance and it will take you there) and read Mark Coker’s blog. He also posts regularly on Huffington Post. He’s a true visionary, and that’s why I’m so happy to publish my e-books with his company. I’m also thrilled that Smashwords now offers ISBN numbers (publishing geeks will know what this means) and that Smashwords has not only set up strategic partnerships with retailers like Barnes & Noble, but will also be Apple iPad ready. If you’re considering publishing an e-book, check out Smashwords and learn about their services. Because I publish my text-only e-books with them, you can download my e-books in any format of your choice. Way cool.

More announcements about partners and online goodies will be coming soon. The Internet elves are busily working in computerland to bring you all special gifts of joy and love. And don’t forget to download your free copy of The Heart of Abundance now! 

Comments

  1. March 27, 2012 9:34 PM CDT

    Hi Candi,
    I stumbled onto your e book, The Heart of Abundance, by
    accident. My son got me a kindle for Christmas and I have been
    addicted ever since reading digital books and I am the last person
    who you would ever think could adapt to the digital world! I love
    what you write and feel I have found a kindred spirit in you.
    Keep writing!

    - Marsha Goff

     

When You Don't Know Which Way to Go, Go Within

Take your business as it is, child, and praise Divine Love that there is a strong wise way out of your dilemma. 
Emma Curtis Hopkins

I received an email from a friend who is considering a move. She is not happy where she is living and is looking for a new start. This reminded me of what has been going on in my own life recently, including having fantasies of moving away to find the “perfect” life. There may be no such thing as a perfect life, but fantasy can paint a pretty convincing picture of the wonderful life and perfect people and no problems that could be “if only.” Of course, if I know how to live my life well, I can have a wonderful life without having to pack everything up and move to the other side of the country. Having felt as if all the pieces of my life have been tossed into the air in the last year, I am seeing a few pieces beginning to land and create a new pattern for my life right here in Nashville. While I had fantasies of moving away and starting a pristine new life during these months of feeling disconnected from my old life (especially when facing the heat and humidity of a Nashville summer), I have come to realize it is not what is around me that makes the difference, it is what is inside me. 

Remember the saying “Wherever you go, there you are?” If I am only moving "away from" I'll be recreating the same problems in the new place. What I am goes with me. New faces and situations can just become new variations on an old mindset. If I’m giving my power away by blaming others or telling old stories of defeat and anger, I will find a way to recreate those negatives in a new location. If I’m always creating drama and chaos, I will do the same no matter where I move. Moving is not going to change my life—it is changing my thoughts and beliefs about what life can or cannot be that makes the real difference. 

There is a story told of a wise man sitting upon a hill next to a busy road. A traveler came by and asked the wise man about the people in the next town--what were they like? Was it a good place to live? The wise man asked the traveler, “What were the people like in the town you left?” "Oh, they were quarrelsome and difficult, hard to get along with, and not worth my time." The wise man answered, "They are the same in the town that you are going to." Later in the day another traveler stopped to talk to the wise man and asked him about the people in the next town. "What kind of people will I find there?" he asked. The wise man asked him, "What kind of people did you find in the town you came from?" "Oh, they were friendly and helpful. Everyone was so wonderful. Such beautiful people and I was sad to leave them behind." The wise man then said, "You will find the same kind of people in the town you are going to." 

That said, moving can be a powerful catalyst for breaking old thought patterns and negative habits—if you are already committed to doing your inner work right now, right where you are. Your commitment to the life you already have will help you make the right move at the right time for the right reasons. Here or there, your inner work, your choices, your thoughts, will create a life you love or a life that reflects your negativity. 

I moved to Nashville in 1993 to fulfill my songwriting dreams. It was country music boomtown at the time, with Garth Brooks at the top of the charts and an amazing community of like-minded dreamers who had moved from all parts of the country to pursue the same dream. Ninety-five percent of the people who come to town for the music leave in two years. They come excited to conquer the music industry, and leave after discovering that the music machine rolled over them. Nashville can be a tough town, and dreams can sour. Those who stay and become ten to fifteen year “overnight successes” usually find that it is the community that keeps them in town, not the career. 

I wouldn’t trade anything for the experiences I’ve had in Nashville and the music I made. But the elusive songwriting deal never manifested, and other hopes and dreams faded in the reality of making ends meet. There are signs that the Internet infrastructure is finally beginning to help artists find markets and support themselves with their creative work. But most of my songs are still sitting on the shelf, and even my book career has been a roller coaster ride instead of the steady climb I had hoped. I still hope. I’m working to make my creative dreams a reality and to live a fulfilling life using my best gifts and talents. And I adore the songs I wrote with incredible co-writers. I am thankful for the wonderful people I’ve met, and friends who have stayed and friends who moved away. I am glad I moved to Nashville when I did so I could experience that magic time. It was like falling in love. It was also, at times, like being in a bad relationship. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I found a community of like-minded people when I moved to Nashville, but as the years went by the community changed and so did I. I have enjoyed lasting friendships, but I have also seen a lot of people come and go. The music industry not only went into a bust cycle (it's always been boom and bust) but imploded, and most of the people I know, even ones who were getting deals in the early 90s and making hits, are struggling to survive. Many gifted and deserving people who are great performers and writers, people who should be on radio and TV, are relieved right now just to have a day job (if they have one). There's a standing joke in town: How do you get a songwriter off your porch? Pay him for the pizza. (I still remember one hit songwriter and producer telling the story of hearing his first song on the radio after a particularly dismal pizza delivery in the rain, with no tip from a very tiresome customer. He climbed into his truck, turned the radio on, heard his song being played for the first time, and laid his head down on the steering wheel and cried. He went on to a stellar career and his pizza delivery days were over. Love those Cinderella/triumph over the odds stories.).

I enjoy being part of a wonderful and diverse community here in Nashville. Some of my friends are songwriters, but many have little or nothing to do with the music business. My community is more varied now, a product of my years here and my involvement with activities and organizations and ongoing friendships. Though I was willing to move away (or get a day job, or do whatever Spirit might be guiding me to do) and open to making big changes in my life, I’m discovering that small incremental choices are leading me to the new life I crave. Little roots are being re-established in this town. If I’m supposed to leave Nashville, it’s not at this time.

Now my window of “not knowing” is beginning to close. I’m doing less anxiety reading and more focusing of my energy into creating the life I want to live. I’m currently in a “build it and they will come” mode as I embrace taking ideas out of airy nothingness and bringing them into manifest reality. An e-book, building my website and Internet presence, and settling into a new routine are all the focus of my days now.

I am choosing to stop looking for outside answers to my question of “What do I do now?” As all of my clients of almost 20 years have melted away due to the financial meltdown and changes in the publishing industry, I had been looking everywhere for new sources of revenue. Recently I realized that I was beginning to feel like a crazed gerbil trying to find its way out of a Byzantine maze. Let me tell you that panicked gerbil thinking will get you nowhere fast. When the old answers don’t work (and believe me, they don’t work any more at this moment in my life) it is time to approach things with a different mindset. 

I recently decided to spend some concentrated time in prayer, re-centering my energies, and getting quiet inside so I could hear the still small voice of God. Since what I had been doing was ineffective anyway (if they’re not hiring, they’re not hiring) I decided to look inward, concentrating on my inner light and on God as my Source. Knowing that all other doors closing could be the guidance I’ve been asking for, I took time to think about what I really want. While financial solutions are important (and essential) I could see that they might be found in doing what I love to do instead of forcing myself to fit into some preconceived notion of what I should do. I have given my best effort to finding conventional work and nothing has worked. Maybe those closed doors are a sign that I should follow my heart and trust the process, even if everything still feels amorphous and ambiguous. 

As I choose this path with heart, I realize I have everything to gain and nothing to lose in following my heart and doing what I love to do. So here I am again, writing my blog. I’m working on my first e-book and plan to get it out as soon as I learn how to do all the things you need to do to publish and prepare for market. “Build it and they will come.” I’m building. I have also been learning the ropes on social marketing. I’m on Facebook now, just beginning to build my public page. I’m not quite ready for Twitter, but as I build my infrastructure I’m sure I’ll eventually be tweeting with the best of them. I’m looking at ways to offer some of my best and most beautiful photos to the marketplace. I’m reading what others are saying about this brave new world of finding your tribe on the Internet. I’m learning new skills, opening my mind to new ideas, meeting new people. 

As well as doing an intense amount of work, I’m also disciplining myself to take time out and to give myself some breathing space for creative renewal. Taking long walks after hours at the computer has yielded fresh ideas and larger perspectives. Being with friends has become an essential, not an option. I may not know how this will unfold, but I’m building a creative space and believing that my tribe will find me. 

Instead of moving somewhere else, I reinventing my life right where I live, here and now. Instead of looking for the permission of others, I’m giving myself permission. And instead of expecting instant answers, I’m taking this one small step at a time, believing that I am guided as one thing leads to another. I’m asking myself “How can I contribute to the greater good? How can I create value? How can I use my best gifts and talents to create something heartfelt and authentic that will encourage others and remind them of the good, the true, and the beautiful?” 

I’m listening and present in the Presence, asking for God’s help and guidance. When you don’t know which way to go, go within. You’ll find solutions, help, and unexpected resources appearing in your life. And maybe, just maybe, some of the answers will find you, drawn by the law of attraction and your willingness to believe in and invest in your best dreams. 

Quotes

People aren’t reading books so much. They text and Twitter and Google a lot—anxiety reading—but they’re too jumpy for books.
George Dawes Green (novelist quoted in Publishers Weekly interview 7/13/09)

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a model that makes the existing model obsolete.
Buckminster Fuller

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter Drucker

Within me is the unborn possibility of limitless living; mine is the privilege of giving birth to it.
Eric Butterworth

Sooner or later, you must put God first in your life, that is to say, your own true spiritual development must become the only thing that really matters. You will find that you will do a great deal less running about after things that do not matter, when once you do.
Emmet Fox

There is a state of awareness possible in the mind which rises above all confusion, apprehension, fear, or doubt, and, looking over the obstructions, can dissipate them by the divinity of its own God-like glance.
Ernest Holmes

When your inner spirit is in harmony with Nature, it can adapt readily to all events and possibilities.
Marcus Aurelius

True magic, divine magic, consists in using all one’s faculties, all one’s knowledge, to bring about the kingdom of God in oneself and in others.
Omraam Mickhael Aivanahov

With our inventive powers, we can be passionately for each other and for the whole living world around us.
Ben Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander

God does not ask anything else except that you let yourself go and let God be God in you.
Meister Eckhart

I have spent my time stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.
Rumi

When we create from the unity of body, mind, and spirit, we are one with our muse, and our work is always original, always powerful.
Jeanne Carbonetti 

Find your own quiet centre of life and write from that to the world. 
Sarah Orne Jewett

Affirmative prayer

I love this beautiful affirmation by John Donne reminding us that God’s answers are not bound by times and seasons, but always fresh and available, always ripe and ready in God’s Perfect Time. 

All Times Are His Seasons

We ask our daily bread, and God never says, You should have come yesterday. He never says, You must come again tomorrow. But “today if you will hear His voice,” today He will hear you. If some king of the earth have so large an extent of dominion in north and south as that he hath winter and summer together in his dominions, so large an extent of east and west as that he hath day and night together in his dominions, much more hath God mercy and judgement together. He brought light out of darkness, not out of a lesser light. He can bring thy summer out of winter though thou have no spring. Though in the ways of fortune, or misunderstanding, or conscience, thou have been benighted till now, wintered and frozen, clouded and eclipsed, damp and benumbed, smothered and stupefied till now, now God comes to thee, not as in the dawning of the day, not as in the bud of the spring, but as the sun at noon, to banish all shadows; as the sheaves in harvest, to fill all penuries. All occasions invite His mercies, and all times are His seasons.
God made the sun and moon to distinguish seasons, and day and night; and we cannot have the fruits of earth but in their seasons. But God hath made no decrees to distinguish the seasons of His mercies. In Paradise the fruits were ripe the first minute, and in Heaven it is always autumn, His mercies are ever in their maturity.
— John Donne

Inspiring friends 

Right now I’m making new choices to pursue new opportunities and new ways of doing business. I just downloaded this e-book package http://artmoneyguide.com/ (Picasso version) and I’m gobbling the information up. I have been following Chris Guillebeau at http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/ for guidance and inspiration on building my Internet business. His free PDF 279 Days to Overnight Success http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/overnight-success/ has been a model for me. I found his site on Seth Godin's blog (courtesy of a tip from a fellow musician) and have been learning and linking ever since (see my May blog for more details).

I took my first trip to Santa Fe in early June. I met some wonderful people and saw some inspiring places. Look for more later as I share photos, encounters, and more fabulous folks with you. 

Check out this totally inspiring presentation: Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it -- and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. Watch his wonderful talk on music and passion on the TED website: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passion.html
Or go to his website at http://benjaminzander.com/
 

Comments

  1. December 27, 2009 5:55 PM CST

    Candy, I want you to know....I grew when I read this and I am feeling peaceful, hopeful, secure and excited about living my life! Thank you for knowing just what I needed to read today.

    - Sharon Kasserman

Creative Responses in Chaotic Times

You must become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.
Friedrich Nietzsche

If you are like me, you may be seeing old life patterns fall apart and fall away. Sometimes the loss feels overwhelming. But lately I’ve begun to see that the chaos is actually a birthing process. These birth pangs are painful and can feel frightening. I choose to believe they are part of a new life I’ve been gestating for a long time. 

There is a divine wisdom and timing at work in all of our lives. Today’s crisis can be an opportunity for great healing and rebuilding in our lives. It is a chance to take another look at our limited thinking and toxic choices. It is also a season for preparing the space for something new and better to enter our lives. It is up to us to decide if we will choose to view our troubles and losses from a higher perspective. 

Human troubles cannot trump spiritual realities. We all carry within us inner greatness and potential. It is our birthright as human beings in God’s complex creation. We are called to be co-creators with God. There is a deep wisdom and flow of energy working in, through, and for us as grace unfolding. Times of stress and crisis can be great catalysts for growth, forcing us to make needed changes. 

The older I get the more I realize that all things must change and there is no holding back the tides of change. I can either resist change or allow the change to transform my life in positive ways. It is my choice. When I resist change I lose the fight every time. Change comes whether I want it to or not. It is easier for God to move me into healing and hope when I am flexible and open. I can move with the flow of change and see where it leads. 

These times of crisis and turmoil can feel overwhelming. But a choice to see this from a higher perspective opens the door to new and better ways of approaching our lives. Sometimes it takes a shake-up to wake us up. We can be willing to release that which no longer serves us and open our minds to new ideas. We can learn to see our troubles less as problems to be solved and more as challenges calling us to grow and evolve. 

It is amazing how a even a tragedy or “fall from grace” can be the door to something wonderful that could never have been if our hearts had not been opened by loss. It is the nature of the Universe to be for us, not against us. Sometimes this is difficult to see in troubled times. One of the strange paradoxes Jesus talked about was that you would have to “lose your life to save it.” We’ve all been losing our lives lately, but the demolition and chaos are the beginnings of the birth of stars, “saving” us in ways that have the potential to create greater joy and healing and abundance for the whole earth.

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
Henry Miller

Like water, the sage should wait for the moment to ripen and be right; water, you know, never fights. It flows around.
Tao Te Ching


Affirmation: As I open to change I see all the pieces of my life move into new and happier and more prosperous patterns of grace. I trust that these crises I am experiencing are actually the birth pangs of the new life, creating abundance and joy in unexpected and wonderful ways.

I was thrilled to hear from Diana Wimber, a friend who has walked through deep waters in the past year. She and her husband are celebrating a special anniversary. She says, "Today is Paul’s one-year anniversary since his surgery. In all the CT scans and endoscopies since his surgery they’ve not found any evidence of disease. We are so thankful to God, because though Paul had great doctors, we know WHO is preserving his life." May they celebrate many more years of health, happiness, and prosperity together!
 

Comments

  1. March 23, 2009 10:58 PM CDT Edit

    I am so grateful to Candy that the wisdom she has gained is shared with others. While going through a personal "crisis" aka opportunity to embrace change I happened upon The Art of Encouragement. I was inspired to buy it. For the following 30 days it became a life-line. Candy gave me a most-needed hug although she is a thousand miles away. I recently lent The Art of Encouragement to a friend who was in need of it. When I handed to her I knew I would purchase another copy. That is what I was doing tonight--looking where I could buy it. And I found this blog--it is manna from heaven. I am ready and excited to utilize the affirmation recommended here. May the healing continue. Thanks for blessing me (and now my friend) Candy.

    - FeelingResurrected

  2. March 28, 2009 11:46 AM CDT

    Candy, this is beautiful. Thank you. I am blessed by your words. Reading them I feel as if I'm in your presence and I feel such Grace. Namaste

    - www.LeisaHammett.Com