Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Last night...or rather early this morning 12/21/10 was a lunar eclipse.  For months I've been excited about seeing this eclipse...the last time there was a full moon eclipse on the winter solstice was in 1638.  I don't know about you...but I was not here to see it & likely won't be here to see it when it happens again in 2094. 

So last night I went to bed disappointed by the cloud covered skies.  In the middle of the night (I don't have a sense of time as the clock was not set in our room) I awoke and went to a window determined to see the eclipse.  As I looked out, the clouds glowed with the fullness of the moon.  Completely surprised by what I was seeing I woke my husband to join me.  He came the window and looked out.  As the earth passed in front of the sun we saw the moons light begin to be covered.  It was amazing! 

Just as clearly and vibrant as the moon were two orbs...nearly the size of the moon.  They were lighting the sky as the moon became dark.  It was as though they were providing a beacon of light...holding space for the sky to become light again, for the moon to return to its fullness. 

In complete awe of whae we were seeing and experiencing we returned to bed and returned to sleep in the darkness of our room.  As I lay in bed I thought to myself how magnificent it was that the moon, the eclipse, and the orbs were all positioned right out my bedroom window...and even more magnificent how clearly we were able to watch this event...and now as I type I wonder to myself...was it real or was it a dream?  My answer is that I truly do not know.  But I do know that I was fully present for this event and for that I am deeply grateful!

Welcome winter!  Welcome the return of the Sun!  Welcome the beautiful beings of light holding space for our evolution and reawakening to the light!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Keep On Dancing!

When do you feel the most free? … the most in tune with your authentic nature?  For me it’s when I’m dancing. All I need is a little music…a good rhythm and language that makes me smile. My body starts to move, my face lights with a smile, and my soul soars!

As I get lost in the movement, every fear, anxiety, and distraction melts away and I am Free! I'm just moving with me, exploring all of my questions, what if's and then almost without pause I discover exactly what I'm looking for...it's been there all along...and it's Magnificient!

I invite you to open your Heart and & Groove with me...Keep on Dancing!

Listen to Keep on Dancing

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Become the Radiant Warrior

"I do one thing every day that scares me" I recently heard someone say.

"One thing every day, huh?" I arrogantly thought to myself..."that's how I live my life...on the edge of every fear I ever held...always pushing my own boundaries."

Oh yes...and my little inflated ego was feeling really good there for a minute...

But then I began to question myself further with a not so gentle "Really?...do you really?"

Ugh...I hate it when I ask myself that question...but none the less I did...and I realized I wasn't doing things that scare me now.  Yes, they are things that scared me in the past, and yes, I am now living a life that once frightened me...but I wasn't really taking on new risks.

Wow!  That is really exciting!...But that also means that it is time for me to push my boundary a little further.

"Really?  Oh Sh!t" I thought to myself..."There are so many things I still avoid doing because I am scared...and it is TIME to START doing them!"

So I did.  Today, I did something that scared me...& tomorrow I will too...and I know that soon I will be embracing them as a part of who I am.

What is it that scares you?  Make a choice today to take that risk...make the phone call, send the email, say "hi," go for a run (with a crazy hill), go to a coffee shop alone, dance with your children or your husband.  Find your Radiant Warrior...open your heart to her nudges...and Be Fearless!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yoga Journal Conference

Welcomed by an amazing rainbow...we arrived in Estes Park early this morning.  I have to say it's been an amazing trip so far...& when I say amazing I'm referring to a first class upgrade on our direct flight from green bay to denver, a free checked bag, and meeting many wonderful people.

I am just thrilled to be here.  The facility is beautiful and each view is more breathtaking than the one before.  Travel went wonderful thanks to the new display items my dad helped me with (the entire display fit into one suitcase).

Here's a little look at our booth.  We have great natural light & and amazing mountain view :-)  The new displays are so much fun....especially paired with a the Peruvian alter cloth.  Peru has been a wonderful theme this weekend....and I'll add more about that later...but the little tease is stones & amazing woven belts & bags.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Easy Travel Display

In a few short weeks I'm traveling to Estes Park, CO for the Yoga Journal Conference.  I'm thrilled to be sharing Journey Jewels at the this event...to spend a little time in the mountains...and of course do yoga with some amazing yogis.  However, traveling (with jewelry) to this event has brought about some interesting challenges...it's a little further from home & that means flying...and luggage limitations (and some restrictions on what I bring with me for a display).  So I've been dreaming about creative displays and finally had an opportunity to create them with my dad.

My dad can work wonders with a piece of wood...my home is filled with beautiful pieces of furniture demonstrating his talent...and my little displays are far from reflecting these wonders.  Oh...& I forgot to say he likes to keep boards & scrap wood for "just in case" times like this.  Our day began with a trip to the wood loft in search of just the right pieces.  
I think these will work perfect...recycled wood from his old workshop

Cleaning up the rough edges...with all the right tools
Dad looking cute in his headphones
My brother Ted grilling corn for lunch
Dad suggested putting a design on the top...the Journey Jewels logo is what we decided on 
I love the way this necklace stand turned out....poplar wood for the base, a willow branch with cup hooks across the top...and even the Journey Jewels logo is painted on top. 
This earring display also has poplar wood for the base, a placemat with paperclips to hold earring cards...and again the Journey Jewels logo on top. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Intern Rocks...

...Not only is she good with a Power Drill, but she's an organizational genius!  The inventory has been growing...changing...and my cozy studio has begun to feel a bit cluttered and disorganized. 
Unfortunately I didn't take any before pictures...but here are some "in process" pics. 

It's looking great...& I'll keep you posted as it all comes together....ahh....an organized creative space...so exciting!  Thank you Lisa!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mala Creations

The Yoga, Mantra, & Mala class was absolutely wonderful!   Here are some pictures from our creative and inspiring morning.
Selecting the perfect 108 stones...
lots of stringing
Modeling the finished Mala's!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

love, love, loving the huayruro

Huayruros are so much fun!  Not only is huayruro a fun word to say...play with me...y-roo-roo...doesn't that make you giggle?....But they are fun to wear!  Here are a couple pieces I've been playing with.  They will be available online next week....one already is :-)
This one is already available online...check it out!

Each of these pieces will be a part of the Peruvian Inspired line of jewelry.  The seeds and stones used to create these beautiful pieces were purchased on my journey to the Sacred Valley of Peru in June.

The huayruro is one of my favorites!  I absolutely love its vibrant color and the way the seeds polish the more they are worn.  

The Huayruro is a seed used by Native Americans throughout the Amazon basin.  These playful red seeds are considered very sacred and believed to promote health and bring good luck.  The solid red seeds are considered feminine, and the red and black seeds are considered masculine. 

Peru...and in particular the high lands of the sacred valley is one of my absolute favorite places.  Each time I visit, I find myself in a deeper place of oneness with all of creation.  It opens my heart and reminds me how to love fully, wholly and expansively.  With every visit I find myself moved by the simple means in which the people live their lives.  I am moved by the deep connection they have with Mother Earth, Father Sky, the mountains, the rivers, the corn fields, potato fields, and with each other.  

During one of my travels to Peru I spent some time in a community by the name of Maras.  10% of the sales from each piece of Peruvian Inspired jewelry will be donated to an organization in Maras called the Andean Research Institute (ARI).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yoga, Mantra, & Malas!

I just finished creating my first prayer mala!   I've been playing with many new ways of creating...and many new techniques...and I have to say I'm thrilled with how it turned out!  I love natural stones, so that is of course what I used.  This mala is a combination of yellow turquoise, smoky quartz, and carnelian.  

If you're interested in creating your own, I will be facilitating a workshop with MaryKay Marquart at Everybody's Yoga in Green Bay...Yoga, Mantra & Malas...next Wednesday, July 28th.  For more info visit www.ebygb.com 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mother Earth...My Teacher, My Friend

So I´ve been in Peru for a week now and with all that has been experienced...I feel as though I´ve been here so much longer.  Each day is met with an opportunity to open my heart deeper, to create a new relationship with Pachamama, with the mountains, and with all of creation.  I wish I could put this experience into words, but the words are just not there....and what I feel must be left with experience.

In one of Alberto´s talks, he discussed the the known, the unknown, and the unknowable...and it is the unknowable that can be accessed only through experience.  Here in this deeply sacred and connected land, I find the unknowable present in so many ways.  I find my heart expanding in directions and ways I never expected.

Moray, the neusta, the belly of the Mother is an amazing site.  Not only is it visually appealing, but it is a place that so deeply connects me to the rhythms and heartbeat of Mother Earth.  

As I develop a new relationship with the earth, with the mountains and all of creation I am meeting and connecting with so many amazing people...each beautiful mirrors for the perfection of Mother Earth.  It seems that every day presents an opportunity for me to experience life more intimately...it is my desire to recognize that opportunity every day...and to live each moment in the deepest munay!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Journey Jewels photoshoot...check out what we're gushing over today...

I received one of the greatest gifts an artist & creative mind can receive...a cannon dslr camera.  It was a completely unexpected surprise and one that further ignited my love for photography.  Since receiving this gift...I've been looking for and taking advantage of every opportunity to use it.

Today's camera play included my amazing friend Lisa, her dog Baker, a beautiful white crane, and some of the newest Journey Jewels designs...in one of my favorite Green Bay parks, Pamprin Park.

I love this piece...it has me gushing in so many ways.  It's a really fun combination of blue & green kyanite braided with wood rounds, a brass button clasp, and a funky dangle of green kyanite, amber, and citrine.  It wraps around the wrist at least six times and around the neck 2-3 times.

Lisa is adorable, and this picture makes me giggle.  What else is there to do with dandelion puff balls than to blow the seeds and watch them dance in the air?  Such a fun and playful thing to do...one that makes us giggle like we're 10...loving our inner child.  In this pic, Lisa is wearing another one of my favorite bracelets/necklaces.  Again...a very versatile piece...this one is a combination of freshwater pearls and both green and red garnets...it's oh so yummy.

This is Baker...always ready to entertain...and make his territory :-)

One of the stones had a perfect little holder for my lens...

What a great day!  Thank you Lisa, Thank you Baker, Thank you to Mother Earth & Father Sky for the beautiful weather, and thank you Dad for this new and awesome camera!  Truly an amazing gift from an incredible man!  I love you, dad!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Visit to Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY

I love spring....Mother Earth opens up and all of life blooms into it's fullest.  Last week I visited the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY (near the Hudson River).  It is an absolutely beautiful campus and one of my favorite places to visit.  I spent a week here with a class from the Four Winds...many inspiring individuals embarking on their souls journey.  An amazing community of people dreaming into being a world of beauty and fullness.

This time I not only remembered my camera, but I found time in the mornings to wander through campus and become acquainted with my new camera.   Here are some of my favorite pictures:

The path on the right walks through beautifully hilled gardens planted with vegetables....it's a wonderful quiet spot anchored in the center with a tree and a wonderful arbor entryway at the opposite end. 

The entryway below leads to the sanctuary.  The beautiful stone staircase and decorative pond are a wonderful place to sit & meditate. 
The lake is beautiful and looks so different throughout the day.  These pictures were taken early in the morning as the fog was beginning to lift.  I love the stillness here...it brings my whole spirit to that place of stillness.  It opens my heart both offer and receive the love and blessings of Mother Earth.  The goose in the picture below hung out on the shores and called others swimming nearby.  They were active and I loved how their chatter echoed in the silence.  I often spent time here in the evenings playing my flute as the sun set.
There are so many inspiring environments...and even in the ones that appear least inspiring, when we find the stillness within that we experiences at a still lake we can create a place of inspiration.  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

There is Beauty in the World!

Today was an absolutely amazing day! ... and it is my desire to be able to whole heartedly say that about every day. 

It's simple though...there is so much to celebrate about life!  Today I celebrated a wonderful Earth Day with my dad.  We had planned a day in the woods retrieving branches for an arbor we planned to create....but instead he surprised me with a visit to begin construction using the materials we had already collected.
About 2 weeks ago we spent a day just clearing downed cedar tree tops.  A full day of work and this is all we brought back...but it's enough to build the basic frame.

What a great day together, and what better way to spend Earth Day than digging into the earth and working with tree tops to beautify our yard.  So far it looks great...but lots more to do...I'll keep you posted!

Til then, enjoy listening to one of my favorite songs....a little Macy Gray

There is Beauty in the World!

Monday, April 12, 2010

So since I made my last post..."too often we are scared"... I have found my own subtle fears presenting themselves...the ones that whisper in ways I often dismiss as "logic, reason, or just being practical." I would typically cower to these fears in ways I didn't even recognize...with my own rationalization "it's just not time, or I need to wait." But this time, I found comfort in looking further, in diving right in & going for it! With a little guidance & support from Spirit that is :-)

I love the tarot...as a child, teenager, and college student, it weirded me out.   For tonight, I'll blame it on my Catholic upbringing...& the fact that what can be more frightening (if not properly understood) than the death card?  But over the past couple years I've explored oracle cards...you know, angels, then fairies, the medicine woman tarot, and then the actual Raider Waite Tarot!   What I've discovered is that the Tarot is simply a reflection of our life's journey...our epic journey!  It is simply a story, our story told as a myth...and when we look at it that way, it's hard not to let go of the details.  

Not only do we have the opportunity to live and experience each card throughout our life, but we have an opportunity to cycle through many deaths & rebirths!   A cycle I have become quite familiar with over the past 3 years.

Death & destruction are not only a natural parts of our lives, but necessary parts.   They allow us to release and let go of that which no longer serves us...& when done with honor and intention, it is liberating!

So, back to where I was initially headed with tonight's entry...
Today, as my fear jumped in with "logic," I took a couple deep breathes and consulted the Medicine Woman Tarot by Carol Bridges (my favorite).  This is the message I received...absolutely perfect:  "Your vision has brought a portion of your dream to you.  But not all forces are yet aligned with your dream.  ...  In any case, you must use your personal talents to guide the dearly desired to you.  Your fears will rise up.  It is time to go with your gifts, pull out your talents and use them, however meager you may think them to be.  This is what the universe is asking of you now."

And if I had any...any doubt, that doubt was eased when my cell phone marked a missed call at 5:55, and my facebook friend count rolled over to 555....and with that number I found the message "Hold the vision until you land on the new shore."  

So message is taken, and the vision is being held.  It's beautiful, it's full, and my spirit is filled with love and gratitude....soaring with vision!  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Too often we are scared.

Too often we are scared.
Scared of what we might not be able to do.
Scared of what people might think if we tried.
We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes.
We say no when we want to say yes.
We sit quietly when we want to scream.
And we shout with the others, when we should keep our mouths shut.
After all, we do only go around once.
There’s really no time to be afraid.
So stop.
Try something you’ve never tried.  Risk it....
Try anything...
You have nothing to lose 

and Everything, Everything, Everything to gain.
- Barry Sanders

This quote ran as a Nike ad campaign in the late 90's.  And it is a quote I kept posted on my dorm room wall through my entire college experience.  It ignited a fire in my soul...one that said all is possible...one that gave me permission to aspire beyond what I perceived as ordinary!

Fear is amazingly powerful...and at the root of so many obstacles we perceive and experience lives a fear.  What are you going to choose in the face of that fear?  Will you let it stop you, hold you back from diving in and living your dream?  Will you allow it to create worry, shame, sadness, anger, resentment, or sorrow?  Or will you find the strength that also lives in your fear & embrace it as you soar with the beauty, grace, and ease you were born to do?

Friday, April 2, 2010

We're sitting on our blessed Mother Earth 
from which we get our strength and determination, 
love and humility - 
all the beautiful attributes that we've been given.  
So turn to one another; love one another; 
respect one another; respect Mother Earth; 
respect the waters - because that's life itself!  
-Phil Lane, Sr.

I just received the May edition of Yoga Journal...and as always I was excited to read it.   I found myself drawn to an article titled "Sustainable Spirit."  The concept of sustainability is readily in my mind as I am always looking for opportunities to lessen my footprint on this beautiful planet I am blessed to inhabit.

But this article took the word "sustainability" in a direction I had never gone before.  The author married sustainability with another aspect of life that is remarkably important to me...the beauty of honoring the spirit of Mother Earth.  It went beyond the concept of preserving planet so our children, and our childrens' children will be able to live healthy lives and experience the beautiful, rich, and majestic scenery.  And instead, author Swami Veda Bharati, brought to awareness that our desire to preserve nature is best served when we recognize & honor our unity with all of nature!

Such an amazing & simple concept...yet for some reason one I've neglected to bring into my own awareness....until now that is!  When we bring this awareness into our hearts, we begin to preserve because we hold sacred the spirit that resides within each living thing.  We preserve because we recognize the spirit that resides in a tree, in a mountain, in the water, in the air, in the flower, in the bird, in the deer is the same spirit that resides within ourselves.

We recognize the spirit living in everyone and everything is Great Spirit, Great Mystery, God, the One who is known by a thousand names yet is the unnameable One...and even more, we recognize that everyone and everything is Great Spirit.  So "to cut a tree down is to cut yourself down."  To offer a tree love is to offer yourself love.  To offer it admiration is to admire yourself.  To celebrate the growth of its new canopy of leaves in the spring is to celebrate your own growth & expansion!

Mother Earth, has so much to teach us, so much to share.  When we open our hearts & recognize that we share the same spirit we begin to honor not only our wholeness, perfection, & Divinity, but the same qualities in nature.  And we begin to fully recognize our beautiful image in nature's reflection!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who is Lola?

"So many dreams at first 
seem impossible.
And then they seem improbable.
And then when we summon the will,
they soon become inevitable."
-Christopher Reeve 

Many of you know me Lori, and identifying myself as "Lola" may leave you wondering if you found the right blog :-)  So, who is Lola....perhaps an alter ego...or perhaps the playful, sassy, dreamer, & free spirited aspect of myself that comes alive every time I leave home.  I never truly thought I'd say that, but the reality is that just the idea of a journey (even if it is only 15 minutes out of town)  brings my spirit to life!  It is as though my wings expand with just the thought of hopping in the car or soaring with a plane from one destination to the next.  Every sense comes alive, awakened by the opportunity to see a new landscape, to see nature in a new way...it is as though I'm looking within and finding a part of myself thrilled to be celebrated. 

While Lola has been a free-spirited aspect of me, it is the name Lori that I was given at birth.  Lori is the name that has walked with me through all the areas of my life that reflect responsibility, organization, and structure.  Each equally wonderful attributes credited with many accomplishments, and ones that I fully honor and acknowledge for they have empowered me to finish both undergrad and grad school (+ internships) in five crazy and super-focused years, to get the "perfect" job upon completion of school, and to maintain focus in many new endeavors and transitions since.

But it is Lola who dared me to dream of a different life.  It is Lola who dared to dream what at first seemed impossible.  It is Lola who dared to awaken the artist, the traveler, the dancer, and the sassy, free-spirited wanderer!  

And it is Lola who dares to spend a summer afternoon braiding daisies in the prairie! 

What is your "impossible" dream? 
I invite you to live that dream!!!