Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Mari and her grandchildren, Tanner, Jinny and Jeremy

Hello and Happy Holidays to you all. I have found that it is so easy to get lost in all the rush and preparations of the season especially being task oriented as I am. I have just stopped “doing” for a few minutes to breathe and bring myself back to a sense of stillness. In this space I also am feeling so much gratitude. I started to think of all the people who have remained in my life, but also the people who have come into and yes, even out of my life this year. With this are the gifts each has brought to me of themselves. When I have allowed myself to experience their unique qualities and accept them as they are then the door has also been open for them to experience me. We have met in the center … in the heart where love, acceptance and respect are. All these powerful relationships have certainly been instrumental for my personal growth. Thank you all for continuing to grace my life.

The special prayer on the card above was given to me by my friend Janet Cohen, it was her grandmother’s favorite prayer. I have been using it as a mantra. It is very deep and meaningful. I love the rhythm of the prayer as I work with my beads.

I pray these things never end
The sand and the sea
The rush of the waters
The crash of the heavens
The prayer of man.

Speaking of mantra beads those of you who have asked, YES I do special orders for the mantra beads. I also make them as a bracelet or necklace. Just write to me about what you would like. To view the pieces go to http://www.mantrabeads.com/ and enter the store.

I thought I would also take this moment to send you two articles that have been published in OM. I hope it will be thought provoking especially at this time of the year.

I will be sending out the meditations for the Usui retreat starting the 21st of December. I invite you to join with us. For more information about the retreat go to http://www.wisechoices.com/usui.asp

Love and Blessings,


Peeling Away the Layers

Trees Shedding Their Bark

Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don't allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can't expand to our full potential. Trees need their protective bark to enable the delicate process of growth and renewal to unfold without threat. Likewise, we need our boundaries and defenses so that the more vulnerable parts of ourselves can safely heal and unfold. But our growth also depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need. It is often the case in life that structures we put in place to help us grow eventually become constricting. Unlike a tree, we must consciously decide when it's time to shed our bark and expand our boundaries, so we can move into our next ring of growth. Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don't disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self-the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just "me." Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defenses. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth.

Power of Union

Entering Into Partnership

The purpose of partnership is to create something greater than we can create alone. Not because of any deficiency or incompleteness in us, but because each of us is unique, with our own talents and abilities, and in partnership we increase the efforts and talents available for creating something meaningful together. All partnerships, whether romantic, creative, or professionally-based, can be powerful relationships for personal growth. In partnership we harness the power of union. It is important to choose our partnerships consciously. Sometimes forged quickly during times of need, we may find ourselves rushing into unions with perhaps not the clearest intentions. Partnerships created from those starting point might serve our immediate needs, but the repercussions of a union so quickly fostered without much thought can be difficult to recover from. Granted, there is something to learn from every relationship, but looking to another to fix or complete us can turn a partnership into a dependent bond. If we can stay clear about what we want and what we need in a partnership, while staying grounded and remembering that we are our own source of happiness and fulfillment, we can create partnerships that support and enhance the best of who we are. Everyone in our lives is a mirror reflecting back the parts we love and dislike about ourselves. If we have the courage to recognize our reflections in each other, we can grow through our partnerships. A partnership that offers both acceptance of who we are and an opportunity for personal transformation can be fertile ground for growing a healthy, lasting union. When we find this kind of partnership, we are more likely to want to keep it, invest in it, and nurture it. Life is a collaborative effort. Much of what we do can be enhanced through partnership. Together we are stronger because our personal power is multiplied by two. Through partnership we experience the joys of working, living, and loving together.

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