Nourishment for women and men, Raspberry Relief is home to interviews, meditations and unconventional insight that makes your soul say aaaah.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Visions

"Somewhere beyond all ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field.  I will meet you there." Rumi                           
I close my eyes and focus on wrapping Earth in a rainbow.  Each color receives special attention: Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.  With my mind, I carry each ribbon of the spectrum across the surface of our spinning planet, cradling it first in one direction and then in the other until it looks snug—like a  dearly decorated Christmas gift or an infant in a sling.  Light radiates from the rainbow Earth, and, as it spins, the light pushes back the rainbow ribbons.  On its surface, some people’s souls glow brighter with the shimmering of the rainbows.  Others dim and fall away with silent grace and drift out into the universe like snowflakes sinking softly to the ground.  I think of a light glowing within my throat and the following words come to mind: Speak truth.  Be peace.
The next day, the rainbows have been replaced by candle flames showering the Earth in a warm-orange glow.  I see a crystal around my heart begin to shatter, and my mind draws rainbows around my husband and me, simultaneously warming us and cooling us down.  Flames burn out from people’s mouths as their thoughts catch fire around the world.  Then silence descends, candle light returns, and the soft glow comes from me. 
On our third day of meditation, my husband and I sat alone.  Instead of closing my eyes, I consulted my oracle cards to guide my mind through the chaos of its thoughts.  These urged me to stop pushing rivers and allow life to flow, recognize appreciation when shared and find a way to express myself with strength, grace and sincerity. 
Yesterday, I took my meditation in the park, nowhere near 11:11, as I strolled my infant son.  At home, my husband built a pretend world with my stepson after posting to Facebook his thoughts on God’s existence independent of religion, and my daughter napped deeply in the safe embrace of her room as I rounded a weatherworn track at the local park.  The vision that unfolded happened in real-time as I watched the birds ascend from the ice-speckled ground.  First, I saw a small memorial built to honor men who fell in war and, just beyond that, a steeple rising up through the snow.  Then, after the signs of politics and religion, was an empty expanse of sun-sparkling snow, spreading out alongside the railroad tracks, reminding me of Rumi’s field which exists somewhere beyond all ideas of right-doing and wrong. The thought, “May this be the future,” lit quickly in my brain.  Resting in his carriage, facing toward me, my sleeping son smiled, and we headed home.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 1: Gratitude & "One Love"

On Day 1 of his Ignite! Challenge, Alex asked us particpants to compile a list of 10 things for which we're greatful.  He also asked us to beign a new practice of taking 3 cleansing breaths and of identifying and embracing a theme song for each new day. 

My gratitude list

1. My husband.  There is no one else like him, but he is always spreading the awareness that all are one.  I’m thankful to spend my life with someone I love, and I’m thankful that the one I love loves me in return.
2. Our daughter Kyra Lena.  The care with which she treats her baby dolls and makes me imaginary tea and snarls as though she’s a little monster who likes to sing with abandon, give kisses and terrorize her brothers (who are at once her adversaries and her dearest friends) embodies the idea of balance in the most beautiful way imaginable and gives me faith in myself and everything. I’m thankful that I was able to have her naturally and that, after nearly 40 hours of uncertainty, she emerged healthy and strong into my arms.
3. Our son, Valor.  At 4 months, he radiates the purest love I have seen.  His smiles, his laughter, his determination and joy remind everyone he meets why it’s good to be human.  I’m thankful that I embraced my unexpected pregnancy with him and delivered him naturally as well, in less time and with less fear, than I did his big sis’.
4. My stepson, Aldan.  Aldan has a dream in which he consciously chooses to live and a flying pig tells him that he’s going to “rock on.” I’m thankful that, upon meeting the child on his first birthday, I watched him kick one baby-fat leg toward me and knew immediately that I accepted him as my child forever even though he did not enter this world through my body.
5. My house.  In a time when foreclosure is high and society is in flux, the flexibility of my freelancing lifestyle allows us to find a way to stay in the warm and protective walls of the beautiful home my husband built 2 years ago.  I’m also thankful that I live in a place where I can easily walk all the way across town, to a park and the store all the while watching the oddly captivating beauty of passing trains.
6. Warm running water.  Somehow, we always find a way to afford this luxury.  With warm running water, everything will become clean eventually, and the knowledge of this brings me peace.  Throughout my life, nothing has been quite as conducive to peaceful, healing meditations as a deep soak in our claw foot tub or a powerful shower that stays hot.  I have warm running water to thank for that.
7.  Food.  Somehow, we always have enough, and most of it is very tasty and increasingly healthy, largely due to my husband’s desire to help our family evolve our consumption practices .
8. Internet.  Sounds weird, but I’m thankful for this web of connections that allows people to share information, increase awareness, practice free speech and instantly chat with friends new and old.  It also allows me to work as a teacher, writer and entrepreneur and is available at my home and, lately, in hotspots all around the world.  Were it not for this technology, I would not know about Alex Obed’s Ignite Challenge, and I would not be able to share my progress with you.
9. Payment plans.  Like National Parks, just knowing they exist brings me peace.  Not everything must be done at once.  When we’re proactive, we can take things one step at a time and look forward to the release that will come when all debt is resolved.
10. Art—as it exists in all its form, natural and man-made.  Art—a word that, by defying definition, reminds me that not all good things must be so easily defined.  Art—the ultimate form of creative expression which brings us back to ourselves and reminds us we are more powerful than we believe.
One. Two. Three.  Breathe.
CLICK HERE TO ENJOY MY SONG--A melody heard 'round the world

Saturday, January 15, 2011


On January 11, 2011, I began participating in an 11-day challenge called Ignite.  The idea is to spend 11 minutes daily focused on maximizing time spent with oneself and radiating positive energy throughout the world.  An Atlanta-based life coach named Alex Obed created the challenge and posts daily videos to give the participants ideas about how to spend their 11 minutes.  In my blog this week, I’m posting my responses to his challenge.  As per usual for me, my timing is a bit off, but I’m not letting that small detail deter me from following through with my plans.   After all, Einstein said “the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one." So, let’s be realistic: timing is over-rated anyway. :-)

In addition to following Alex's guidelines, my husband and I have also begun a practice of meditating for 11 minutes each day at 11:11 (either AM or PM, depending on the children's sleeping schedules).  I'll be posting some of the visions and insights that have come to me during these as well.

For more info. about Ignite and Alex Obed, please CLICK HERE.