During these unprecedented times, I gravitate to what I refer to as ‘sacred space’. For me, this is a place in my home that I have set up where I can retreat when I need to pray, meditate or just sit in silence reflecting. This period of self-isolation is offering me the time to look within, ask questions and search for meaning.


What is happening in the external world is a reflection of what is happening within and in order to understand the deeper meaning of this virus, I have been asking many questions to try and grasp the full meaning of this planetary event. For I truly believe we are entering unchartered waters and are on a journey into the collective unknown. We are all in this together, experiencing something that is affecting every single one of us everywhere at the same time. We need endurance because we can’t walk away from this experience, we have to go through it together and find strength from the collective even while in isolation.


A few days ago, I felt the inner urge and need to create a sacred space for myself. I knew that I needed to set up my altar which has been in a box since our move to North Carolina two and a half years ago. I knew just the place for the altar, underneath a beautiful silk banner of Long’s Peak, Colorado along one of the walls in my bead room. I found a small table that wasn’t being used and covered it with a towel with the Irish prayer that begins with “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind always be at your back”. As I took each item out of the box, I placed it on the table-top until it was in the order that seemed right to me in the moment. I had forgotten some of the treasures I had collected from distant lands and seeing them again touched me very deeply. When I had finished putting each item in its place, I struck the Tingshas to use sound vibration to help sanctify the altar then smudged everything with sage and lit the candle. Now, when I enter into my bead room, this sacred space instantly brings me to a place of greater calmness, a refuge from the storm. I sit and meditate, focused on my breath, emptying my mind until I find a place of deep inner peace.


If it calls to you, may each of you reading this find a way to create safe sacred space for yourself and use it as a place to find your inner peace.  It will help counteract the fears that we all are feeling during these unsettling times.Altar.jpgBanner.jpg


One of the ways I have found to bring myself into the moment is through the appreciation of beauty, taking what I humorously call a “beauty bath” or bathing in something I perceive to be beautiful. This helps alleviate the stress of feeling worried about the future or depressed about the changes that are happening around me that I can’t control. And it brings me to a place of calmness and gratitude.


I don’t have to look far for examples of beauty. It surrounds me everywhere I look. I am fortunate to live in a rural setting where I can go outside and see the sure signs of Spring happening all around me: early flowers and trees in bloom, honey bees working the flowers, birds singing, grass greening, the sun shining. Today as I write this, it is in the mid 80’s outside and I as I took Max for his long walk this morning, I made sure I took the time to notice what was blooming and flowering: Mother Nature at her best! I returned from my walk happy and full of joy at the beauty all around me today.


I find that I use the word “beautiful” often and in many contexts. A specific piece of music by Chopin or R. Carlos Nakai is beautiful to my ears. A painting by Rembrandt, an opera by Verdi, a poem by Robert Frost, a photograph of the Grand Canyon, a bronze statue of a bucking bronco are all beautiful to me. Watching the birth of my grandson and  listening to his first cries were beautiful. All the hand-crafted objects we have around our home are beautiful. Looking into my sweet husband’s eyes is beautiful. Golden aspen trees are beautiful. The list goes on and on.


Perhaps the challenge is just to stop whatever else we are doing, bring ourselves into the moment and look for something beautiful in the here and now. We all have choices to make in each moment: What do you choose to watch on tv? Can you find a program that will add beauty to your day rather than the news? What kind of music will be beautiful to your ears? Can you take a virtual walk on the beach and listen to the ocean waves if you can’t physically get outside? Where can you find beauty in this moment now?


These are all choices we can make for ourselves in order to give ourselves a “beauty bath”. It doesn’t cost anything and the benefits are undeniable.

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Gratitude Meditation

March 23, 2020


It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since I’ve added to my blog. It’s past time!

I realized in the middle of last night when I could not sleep that I needed to start shining my Light a bit more brightly out into the world because we really need Light Workers to step up right now! There is so much fear and uncertainty because of all the changes that have been coming at us with such intensity that many of us are almost in panic mode. The self-isolation many of us are currently in and the 24/7 media focus on Covid19 have us glued to our tv’s, computers, phones, & radios for the latest news and directives, much of which is fear-based. When we are in a state of fear, our immune system is suppressed and we are easily controlled and manipulated.

A few days ago, a brave reporter asked our president what he would say to people who are scared right now. The fact that our Commander in Chief could not offer one piece of advice for Americans who are scared is abominable but got me thinking about the question of what I might offer to my friends who, like me, are freaking out at the seismic shifts in our reality and in our world which no longer seems safe and secure.

Around 2am this morning as I lay wide awake, a beautiful meditation came to me that I would like to share with you. I will call it the Gratitude Meditation. I began to ask myself: what am I grateful for? I found myself silently making a list: I am grateful for…….the ability to breathe, my health, my body, my husband, my dog, my children, my grandchildren, my siblings, my friends, my community, my home, this beautiful earth we all share, springtime, flowers, rain, sunshine, and on & on. Then I focused on my breathing. I began to consciously breathe in gratitude on each in-breath and breathe out love on the out-breath. This brought me completely into the here and now, focused on gratitude and love, two states of being that can help support our immune system and counteract the effects of fear on our lives.

This is backed up by clinical studies. From a paper by Heather Craig titled “The Research on Gratitude and Its Link with Love and Happiness”, there is the following:

McCullough, Emmons and Tsang (2002) conducted 4 studies looking at psychological domains and gratitude. The three particular psychological domains they studied were emotionality/wellbeing, pro-sociality, and spirituality/religiousness. They found that examination of these three aspects of psychology could differentiate between grateful individuals and those who are less grateful.

The study showed that grateful individuals experience more positive emotions, are more satisfied with life, and experience fewer negative emotions including depression, anxiety and envy. Perhaps not surprisingly, more grateful people also tend to be more pro-socially oriented. They are more likely to be empathic, forgiving, helpful and supportive than those who are less grateful. They are less focused on attaining materialistic goals.

An interesting finding from McCullough et al.’s (2002) study was that those who show more gratefulness also tend to be more spiritually and religiously minded.

Gratitude is consistently showed to be significantly associated with greater happiness (Simon, n.d.). Why? Well, for starters, gratitude increases experiences of positive emotions and it also helps people to take pleasure from positive experiences. Furthermore, gratitude is associated with better physical health which is a contributing factor to happiness (Simon, n.d.). Gratitude also helps people cope with adversity and to develop and maintain strong relationships.

Happiness is associated with being grateful (i.e. satisfied) with what one has, and focusing more on the positives in life. Furthermore, emotions are adaptable so sometimes we may become numb to what makes us happy… a dose of appreciation for our blessings can help us again feel happy.

5 Proven Health Benefits of Gratitude

  1. Gratitude improves sleep.
  2. Gratitude can strengthen your physiological well-being.
  3. Gratitude may lead to a longer life.
  4. Gratitude increases your energy levels.
  5. Gratitude increases the likelihood of physical activity ie exercise

So, have fun with this Gratitude Meditation exercise. During the day, keep adding to your list of “I am grateful for…..”. Then, before you fall asleep or in the middle of the night when you can’t get back to sleep, bring your focus to your breathing. Breathe in the feeling of being grateful on the in-breath and breathe out the feeling of love on the out-breath. If your mind wants to wander, bring your focus back to the breath and begin again. This will help you shift from being in a place of fear to being in a place of gratitude and love. The world need this from us, now!