Getting Into It

A bit of a rant: Attention Writers & Artists of all kinds

It seems to me articles and books for aspiring writers (books and articles I read since writing is my chosen art form) often aren’t speaking to that genius part in us- the literary great, which resides within. Instead they, who are usually writers who have already published, write to the part of us that worry we will never be published. The part that wants to be good enough to be published but might not be or if so, has to jump through a hundred hoops, that they now know about, to maybe squeeze in the very tight publishing door, the door somehow they were able to squeeze through- and I am sure it is because they knew somebody who knew somebody who was somebody (or so they say that’s how it really happens).

I just saw an ad for a writing program offered by a well-known person in the writing/self-help world. The program costs thousands of dollars.  Somewhere in this advertisement, had I not skimmed, it probably guarantees success. I’m sure it works too, but I’m not going to buy it. In fact I am not sure I am going to buy any program like that. I may not even read another book or article about getting published or how to build a platform.

Why? Because I’d rather be writing. My days of gathering information, and worrying over why I probably won’t be one of the “lucky” few who have success, are over. I’ve heard author, Elizabeth Gilbert speak a few times about her success from Eat Pray Love, and I’m always annoyed by her response to her success. She speaks of it like some kind of fluke. It’s disheartening. Not encouraging, but that’s her perception. Or at least how she presents it publicly. As an aspiring writer, I want “them” to speak to me that everything is possible and not that I have to just hope my book too will be a fluke. Speak to me as if I am that genius. Stop speaking to me as if you are now the expert who might know better than I…..but just like I never understand why parents are angered when the olympic swimmer smokes pot or any other athlete who does “wrong,” because their children see them as role models, these published writers don’t have to hold up to my ideals either.

There are so many layers to a wish come true; to a desire of the soul. Everything must align for that “perfect storm.” All necessary energies and desires present. Divine timing and readiness of the writer. It’s a lot more than what those books and articles tell you. It’s included. But there’s more. And if this desire is in the soul, and the soul desires to permit the desire, than the being within the soul shall certainly have it, and quite possibly more than ever imagined. Call me naive. Tell me I’ve no clue because I’ve no agent. I’ve no published book…..


There are many telling us what their secrets are and giving advice when we didn’t ask for it, and information was not meant to dictate to us how to live or publish or whatever, but simply add something new or maybe show us what we don’t add, and I dont care what well known expert is dictating it either. We have our own expert available to us, and we can become conscious of it. It is our SOUL.  It knows us and only us. It works for us and only us. We can go there even if we don’t know where there is.

Now I’m going to go get an agent. Why? Because in my soul I know it’s time to find someone other than myself who is  going to believe in my work and work for my work. And until I find that person or if I don’t, that person will continue to be me.

Today’s Soul Tip:

When we are truly into our art, we are into our art. We aren’t reading about what we should do with our art, or how to make our art, or about other people’s opinions about our art. This IS the best place to be- within our art, and where that art takes us, and where that art wants to go, we listen. We watch. We obey. In this way NOTHING is ever a fluke. 


The Soul Reporter

The Loud Sound of Quiet

There’s a quiet, which happens when the end of something comes. I heard it before and while my dog died. I heard it again a few nights ago. For once, the silence was louder than all the noise outside.

Louder than the traffic noise from the highway. Than helicopters buzzing in the skies. Dogs barking. The yellow utility fan blowing cold air inside the house. A week of homeschooling (child in house all day). Chatter in my head about money. All taking a muted back seat to the silence within.

This doesn’t happen very often. Usually I have to escape the noise and find an external quiet spot to get quiet and even then the internal noise is still too loud. But something is shifting, and I’m listening. In the silence of that moment, I heard the soul whisper, It’s over. The time of so much change and so little abundance. The time of so much pressure and so little peace. So much restriciton and so little freedom. The time of squeezing. It’s over. 

You might say (or truer yet, my Sergeant Williamson says), Nikki there is always abundance. There is always peace. There is always freedom. You just have to choose them. I could defend this, but I am going to let it be. No need. We go through what we must. Handle it as we do. And in time come through to another side.

On the other side of pressure. Restriction. Lack. Worry- is a space of silence and knowing, which whispers, It’s over. Not the kind of over that mimics former president Bush’s sign, ‘Mission Accomplished’ as he boasted an end of a war that was far from over, but more of an over where spring turns into summer and summer turns into fall and fall into winter. Where once summer occurs, spring can no longer be seen. Sometimes not even remembered, until of course it arrives again.

As we try to concrete our experiences here, we forget our life is cyclical. Our movement rhythmical. The darkest times carrying with them pressure and suffering seem to never want to leave. The brighter days, where are souls are happy and free we think will always last, or at least we want them to. During my dark days, I forgot what it felt like to love. I didn’t realize this until I got a text from my daughter- the same moment I was listening to the silence.

Earlier I was at Target, arriving much too late to look at my favorite designer Missoni, and their new wares. All that was left- a pair of black suede pumps. I don’t even wear pumps, but thought I might charge them. I sent my daughter a text with a picture of them, asking for her opinion. I didn’t buy the shoes and her reply came several hours later.

Unless you love them, I wouldn’t get them. 

When I had money, I was open to finding things I loved because if I loved it I felt I could buy it. Living within my meager means of the past several years, I’ve turned that openness off. Yes, I speak only of materialistic means- shoes, clothes, etc but little did I know I turned off my love valve everywhere else as well. I stopped loving my job as homemaker/parent. I forgot I loved to write. I stopped loving clothes because mine were ripping and sadly out of date. I stopped loving my hair that was falling out. I stopped loving the small things, like curling up with a good book or taking a hot, lavender scented bath. I stopped loving going out and participating. I stopped loving life, and then life sort of stopped. Or ran increasingly stale. This has been the cycle of the past several years.

The whisper says, It’s over…

So what does over look like? At present there isn’t a DJ playing Celebration outside of my window. I have yet to see a fat lady sing, unless I start. There is no amount of cash in my mailbox…yet. But spring usually doesn’t start with hot sunshine and cookouts on the beach either. It starts with the appearance of the first robin. A small sliver of grass. Wet patches of water and ice on the sidewalks, that were once mounds of snow.

Here are my signs: I laugh more. A man at 7-11 with a foreign tongue said to me while using a full circle hand gesture, I appreciate you like this. I am finally dealing with my 11-year old daughter- sitting down with her every weekday morning to help her learn the basics of life and school that she hasn’t received. I remembered I LOVE writing. I bought two Missoni items online that I do love. And I am learning Italian, the language of love. But the truest sign, is the silent sound within my soul, the truest companion I know, whispering to me, It’s over.

To hear the silence on the inside is the gift given when we survive being squeezed from the pressure of our dark days. To have the silence override the surface chaos is what it means to live from the inside out, and to do so in a conscious, direct way. To hear the silence on the inside means we no longer get as twisted and turned about by the winds of change, and S P A C E proceeds again for what we love. We hear the silence. We sense the rhythms. We know when one way ends and another begins. We grieve and we celebrate within the two, and we do it all while saying non mi dispiace (Italian for, I don’t mind).

Off to Big Bear for some (more) peace and quiet- and laughter. I will report again next week.


The Soul Reporter

An Ode (auhhh, maybe not an ode, but I like the title) to the Sigh

My children say I sigh. Usually when I am in the kitchen. They make fun of me. Sigh behind my back and giggle.

What are you giggling about? Auhhh…..they say.

Do I sigh? Really? Do I?

Yes, mom. You sigh.

The kitchen at one time pleased me. This time has passed. Now I sigh (so I am told) as I wash the counter. Marinate a chicken breast. Clean a greasy pan. Make breakfast….again.

The sigh, the sound of the martyr. Auhhh. The sound of poor, distressed me. Universal, I suppose amongst many women. The sigh says, Save me from this. Take me away….I am a victim. And I certainly don’t want to be that person, right……?

Well, so what if you are that person in a moment (or several). So what if you are acting as The Sighing Martyr in your one-act play. Hating her moment. Resisting her work. Despising her routine. Bored and frustrated by her life. So what. I never wanted to be The Sighing Martyr. I hate people like that, right? Well I did. But of course me hating that part of them is also me hating that part of me- and hating something doesn’t clear the way. Loving might not either (if you force it), but laughing at it might.

I hear myself sighing now- and before my sigh’s hhh’s hit the air, I laugh. I think of my girls making fun of me, Auhhh-ing around the house (thinking, yeah- you just wait). I think of my inner martyr and how tortured she thinks she is, and how she wants to make everything a dramatic event. It’s funny. And it eases her.

What are you doing right now…………………………..? (Duh, your are reading this…Okay, before this….?)

Before I wrote this most inspired sentence, I was procrastinating. Trying to find a way out of my writing. Help me. Save me. (The martyr is quite adaptable. She can put on an apron and pick up a pen- in this case throw the pen) I watched me act her out, as together we have procrastinated many times. I usually judge myself/her/we for this. This time I didn’t. I loved myself/her/we for it (and I didn’t force it).

I love you for all that you do (and don’t do)– can you say this to yourself? If not, can you at least laugh at yourself?

When we can laugh and love, we take the u out of auhhh and it becomes ahhhh. The u is what gets offended. The u is who carries a story of what you u think u are. What u think u should do. Of what u hate and hope u are not. You are more than what u think/fear/believe.



The Soul Reporter

Investigating (with slight irritation) Certain Spiritual Teachings

Teaching up for investigation: “It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.” ~A Course in Miracles

Upfront disclaimer: If you hear a charge in this post, you are right on. I’m irritated with certain spiritual teachings (I’ll get through it, but right now I am learning in a slightly painful way). I think some teachings are only useful in keeping us away from the real work, which in the long term is not useful. This one (above) for example has those markings. So, let’s investigate- if I believe in this teaching, that would mean I have no possibility of insight into my lessons. There is some being somewhere in charge of what I need to learn. It would also mean that I have a choice whether I learn through joy or through pain. I would agree, we have choice- and if I am using my strong will, I can will myself to choose to learn through joy, instead of pain. I mean who the hell really wants to learn through pain…..?

But, can we be honest? I can’t be the only one who has learned a lot of my lessons through intense amounts of pain. Pain, I was so immersed in I didn’t have the will power to choose joy, to even think that was an option. Does this then make me weak? Insufficient because I chose to suffer instead of jump to those lessons with glee?

To learn in joy is a certain kind of mastery I don’t believe I could even talk much about (I don’t like to talk about ideas without having personal experience). I’m not there. I think it’s possible for those who have worked diligently and intently on their path, and gone through lots of pain, but for most of us common folk, still ignorant to our True nature, this type of spiritual teaching might not be helpful. It keeps us in the superficial layer of our spiritual growth, where we think we can control how we feel by will alone. And where some of us who have gone a bit deeper than the superficial layers might feel bad because we aren’t choosing our lessons through joy. There were many times, as much as I was inspired by Wayne Dyer’s teachings, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t all happy, happy, joy, joy and maintaing my spiritual perspective through my shit, my hand on the trolley strap, so to speak.

To go back to this teaching that it is not up to us what we learn- this makes me feel disempowered. I know there is a soul, and I know contained within this soul are my lessons. I believe these lessons are universal, and we will all learn them as we are ready, which means we are the ones who choose to receive those lessons or to put them off. I also know we are given the extraordinary gift of insight, which can be used to look within and have knowledge into our lessons. I also trust, as we evolve into this soul, we will be able facilitate and consciously prepare and participate in those lessons. We may not know how those lessons will come to us, but we can know they are coming and will remain open and ready to receive. This may be the point in which there is joy- a sort of anticipatory joy, like YAY! Today I am going to be stretched and I can’t wait because I want to grow. But so many of us are unaware of this going on inside of us so how can we consciously participate, let alone joyously (therefore not knowing might be a more comfortable belief for those wanting to stay safe on the shore). This means the lessons that do come are probably going to hurt like hell because we don’t know what is going on or why and we are resisting them all the way.

Looking for the positive:

What this spiritual lesson does do is bring awareness that there are lessons we will learn and are learning. That is essential to know. It gives perspective. It also brings awareness to choice of joy or pain, but it doesn’t go deep or wide or guide enough to where many of us are right now in our evolution- not where we can choose joy in a pure authentic way while we grow (but we can pretend :-). Having only read bits and pieces of ACIM, maybe it does do this throughout the book. What I did read, the words inspired higher aspects, but it wasn’t very grounding for me. I am not content only with ideals. I want to be those ideals, and that is quite a process of unraveling and discovering. It’s work. Often painful- just being honest.

Lesson: The most helpful teaching/teacher for me inspires my true nature, while also holding the space of where I am with insight, guidance and compassion. 

>Reviewing the "New Literature" of Children’s Books


I dedicate this book to the rising young “seeker” who asks, “Who am I?”

When I discovered author, Alexandra Folz and her mission to encourage the journey of self-awareness and exploration in children, I knew I had to support her.  Immediately we bonded, and have become “virtual” friends, but more than this- soul sisters.  Perhaps it is our inner Indigo, who bonds us.
Indigo is a young, resourceful, animal loving, conscious creating, girl with fiery red locks. She struggles with her identity, agreeing with what some of the kids at school call her, “crazy lion hair girl.”But then her mom, who is definitely a conscious, loving parent, gives her a bracelet.  
“When I was your age and started to worry about what other people thought of me, my mom gave me this bracelet. When I put it on, magical things started to happen, so listen carefully.”  
Through the course of six chapters, laid out in a simple structure of magical gifts she receives, we become a part of Indigo’s mystical, yet realistic journey. Like any young girl becoming aware of herself, she gets frustrated as she tries to do the right thing. Also, she is angry with her father who is frequently absent from her life. And because of wearing the bracelet, she isn’t quite sure about some of the magical experiences that happen to her, and where they come from.  For instance, she hears a whisper, a voice which speaks softly and gently to her, saying words like, “Believe the love you feel inside, not words of fear that make you hide.” 
I read a chapter a night with my little Indigo girl, Lilli, who is 10. On night one, she said, “I like this book. Especially the imagination. It’s like my life.”  Another theme in the book Lilli liked, was Indigo’s relationship with her bracelet.  She liked how it gave her guidance, “like a teacher,” she said.  I sense Lilli wants her own bracelet, and because of this book, we can easily dialogue about the teacher inside of her that never disappoints and always guides with her best interest in mind.
A turning point for Indigo is in the final chapter. When she hears the whisper, and instead of wondering where it came from, she answers, “Oh, hi,” as if noticing an old friend who has been there all the time. The whisper says, “Indigo, I am you and you are me, and together we are the whisper and the wisdom.”
When we finished the book, I asked Lilli what she learned from Indigo.  She said Indigo is like me. I asked her how so.  She replied, “She’s spiritual, nice and you have the same hair, except yours isn’t red.”  If only I had this story growing up, I wouldn’t have felt so weird and out of place. Little, spirited Indigo would have let me know I wasn’t alone.  Fortunately, when we do feel weird and isolate ourselves, we can come to know the Voice Inside, and now thanks to the receptivity of Alexandra’s whisper, we have a girl named Indigo who is an example of strength and wisdom for the new little girls and boys.  
This book appears to be a preview of our “new literature.” Our children are more aware and spiritually awake and evolved than at any other time.  Adults, as Alexandra notes on her website, Indigo’s Books, are increasingly pursuing enlightenment.  As adults, this journey is of the utmost importance. We must be self-aware to facilitate the evolution of our children. Indigo’s Bracelet is a wonderful door-opener to this inner process, and I can’t think of a better way to spend time with your children, than curling up together, and reading about the inner journey of young girl.  
I honor the effort and openness of Alexandra, who worked on this book for 10 years.  She is the conscious, loving mother of two small children, who I imagine are a lot like Indigo.  Oh, the places you all, and this book will go….
To buy Indigo’s Bracelet and to learn more of this magical series, and its author go to:
To stay updated on Alexandra and the Indigo series, follow on Twitter
and become a fan on Facebook

>More Insights From the Guru


Jean Houston says in this video, “You contain within you many different personalities.”  How right she is.  Those of you who follow my posts, know I sometimes process through, what Jean Houston is calling “personalities.”  I often call them parts, as many of us do without really knowing what we are saying. For instance, have you not said, “Well, I have this part that does like this, but I also have this part that doesn’t.”  Very recently, I called one of my parts, Sergeant Williamson.

Sergeant Williamson has taught me a valuable lesson about all of my “parts.” They like to keep me close.
What’s interesting is I would never ever thrive with a man who held me too close. Who hovered. Who treated me as a possession. And yet, those little villains I create do this of me all the time. It is of course by my design.

I used to say to my husband, “You give me too much rope. Lucky I am who I am, or I would hang myself with it.”  I thought the same of my father.  Both of these very important men in my life do not hover. Do not even ask a lot of questions. They give me space. They are there when I need them. They offer a compassionate ear for listening and hold a mirror to see myself.  There was a time, though their long rope made me feel abandoned.  As a young girl who turned into a young woman, I wanted to know there was a strong man holding the end of that rope so I wouldn’t fall.

In my abandoned state, I cast different personalities. Their direction from me is the same: Keep me close. Keep me safe. Keep me hidden away. But, to continue to give such direction will force my fall. Therefore,  I do declare: I no longer want to be kept close (oooh, a little scary to say). I no longer want to be kept safe I no longer want to be hidden away.  I want to be let go.

The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground. ~Trungpa Rinpoche

Yes, there is no ground. I cannot fall.  Only space. And I thrive in lots of space.  I don’t need the rope. Never had the rope.  Only imagined the rope. Therefore the fear no one was on the other end, was an illusion. The expectation and belief I needed that- a lie.  I am cutting myself loose.  To be free.  To be whole. To be more of who I am meant to be.  
Today’s Soul Tip:

Inside you, is a festival of personalities. For some, this may sound like crazy talk, but I advise the exploration into the festivities. The goal: cooperation and congruency so you may come to experience your higher state of clarity and fluidity.   These parts already know how to work together. What’s needed is conscious investigation, participation, facilitation and direction from us. 

In a few weeks, I will be launching a site, inviting and detailing this conscious exploration in more depth.


>Give Anyway

>What do you do when you have a gift that is under-appreciated and valued? (I was going to say that no one appreciates and values, but that wouldn’t be fair to my current subscribers and readers- and I thank you).

I was liberated yesterday, while on my walk I realized what my gift is. I gave a loud chuckle to the “man upstairs” (even though I know it is also my soul’s doing), and said thanks for bestowing upon me such a gift.
What is the gift, you ask? Awareness. I bring awareness- to the self. Some people bring awareness on dressing up a recipe. Some bring awareness on dressing up a cause to raise money. Some bring awareness on dressing up your style, or your home. I bring awareness- on how we dress up or dress down the self, and that is rarely a “hot” topic. Because of this I have been suppressing this gift. Sure, it gets air thanks to this blog, and when a few people listen to me, but mostly it doesn’t. Except in my own life.
Socrates said, an unexamined life is not worth living, and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how not to live an examined life. But, living to give this gift- a little trickier.
Example- a woman said to me, “We should get together soon. I am so honest when I am with you.” Do you think we ever got together?
My daughter, when asking me what to wear, and I give her an insightful answer. She rolls her eyes and says, “Mom not everything has a spiritual/personal lesson attached to it.”
“Oh yes, it does dear. Yes, it does.” I suppose a reason why self-awareness isn’t such a “hot” trend, is because it seems intrusive, and totally unattractive- How can I have fun or look cute if I am reflecting on my thoughts, feelings and behaviors? Or it sounds exhausting- Why would I want to be aware of my thoughts, behaviors and feelings when I have so many other things to keep track of, like my job, my house, my family? Or because we don’t know what it means to be self-reflective, we blow it off- Self-awareness, shmelf-awareness.
At the garage sale, a woman picked up a book by Melody Beattie, called, Stop Being Mean to Yourself. Do you think this woman’s soul/unconscious mind was trying to tell her something? Do you think she bought the book? It wasn’t but a few seconds after picking it up that she put it right back, and walked away from the bookshelf.
I witnessed several people like her- for all I own are self-help and spiritual books. For a moment there’s a small whisper to go beyond limitations, but then because of the unknown, because of fear, that opportunity goes by the wayside- at least for that moment.
I do, however, believe souls are stirring, so there is hope to broaden my gift. The other day on my walk in the suburban neighborhood- a small hand-made buddhist prayer flag hangs in the window. At the sale, a little girl pulling her mom to the yoga mat for sale, and her mom saying, “She is really into yoga, and is taking classes at the Y.” And the woman in a bobby pinned bun buying the yoga tapes saying, “I have heard a lot about yoga, but I have never tried it.”
Now am I saying having self-help books, buddhist prayer flags and yoga mats means you are a self-aware person? Well, sort of because these books and practices can’t help but bring awareness. But, the question is, are we assimilating the self-awareness these tools bring to create lasting, and significant change through self-reflection? We can do all the yoga poses we want until our limbs are like jelly, and read every self-help book, have them highlighted and dog-eared, and spitting out “new age” cliches, but if we truly don’t live an examined life, it all becomes like superficial clutter upon a table that gets purchased but never used. We must assmiliate self awareness or it matters not what we have come to know about ourself. However, after that little rant, what I am saying about having self-help books, buddhist prayer flags and yoga mats is- it is a beginning, and a small sign of a new, (which is actually a very old) door opening.
As this door opens, I ask myself, how can I teach awareness? When you have something that is second nature to you, it is easy to take it for granted, and assume everyone does it. But I have noticed with self-awareness this just isn’t the case. At the state fair yesterday, at the pronto pup stand (and yes I let go of all gluten-free living yesterday) Chuck asked if we should share the foot long or get our own smaller one. I said, “Well it isn’t really a fair deal to share with you.” And he was like, “Why?” And Alyssa and I both said at the same time, “Because you take really big bites.” He just laughed, and I laughed because he laughed (It’s a rare thing, Chuck sorry). But I also thought to myself, how was he not aware of this? It is so obvious.

We all have areas where we are completely unaware. I have an area like that, and it is in my relationship. One night, while I cried about it at my dad’s house he called it my “blind spot.” I got that, and when I got it, I was even more motivated to shed more light on that blind spot. Because for me self-awareness isn’t exhausting, (okay maybe a little), and I don’t worry about being attractive, especially when I am crying at my dad’s house. And I don’t find it intrusive because the opportunity self-awareness brings for real and lasting transformation- well there’s nothing like it. It is like looking at a space, once full of clutter and chatter, and seeing it clear and free of all unnecessary things for the very first time. And as far as fear of the unknown- that is what makes it exciting, and humbling. To know we have all these little blind spots just waiting for us to examine them, and breathe life into them so they can transform themselves into tiny white butterflies, and flutter away- or perhaps join into the space, that is now free of the clutter.
I still don’t really know how to teach awareness. But I do now know it is my gift. And as Chuck said when I asked him what we do when we have a gift that is under appreciated, “Give anyway.” And I am. It’s what I do. It’s why I’m here. The way in which the gift is given may change. I can write books and bring it. I can ask questions to a friend or foe and give it. I can speak to a room full of moms and give it. I can make movies or music or poetry and give it. It does not matter because the intention is the same- planting the seed of self-awareness and reflection.
Like I said, I just realized this is my gift. It has been in my shadow, and would not have been found if I weren’t willing to look within.
The lesson for me is: once we own our gift, we can begin to use it- consciously, and joyously, which is what happened when I let loose my inner chuckle, and looked up, and within. Thanks God. Thanks Soul that Knows for giving me such a gift.
What’s your gift? I bet it comes so second-nature to you, you might be overlooking it?
One of the next posts: how we dress up and dress down the self (in case you have questions about that).
The Soul Reporter