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The Language of the Heart

I’ve been in a very active cycle of life, as is evidenced by my lack of written communication – I’ve been too busy doing it to write about it! It’s been a wonderful time of Self ex-pression – bringing into being, in the outer world, things that deeply matter to me – both in the healing arts and the performing arts realms. And, most delightedly, experiencing the overlap and interconnectedness of the two! In the past year or two, I’ve had many wonderful opportunities for artistic expression, growth, and just plain fun in the theatrical world. Most recently, I assistant-directed and played a role in Julio Cho’s The Language Archive. One of its central themes is that, despite our facility with languages, ultimately we can only express what is truly in our heart.  The character I played, Alta, is from a fictitious country whose language, Elloway, is described as the language of the heart. She and her husband, Resten, explain that when they are angry with each other, they argue in English, because their language is too sacred for this kind of angry talk. Later, Alta explains that if you say something in Elloway, you can never take it back. But say something in English, and everyone knows you don’t really mean it. Say it in English, and you can always take it back. (The laughter that these lines elicited every night is a sure indicator that it struck a note of truth in most audience members!) Certainly is food for thought! Each character in this well-crafted play is very well written, and has a great deal of wisdom to share....

On Marriage…and the Google God of Translation!

As I think any married couple would agree, marriage is a Life’s Work. It is a constantly growing and changing spiritual art-form. Your beloved serves as a perfect mirror for you And, like any mirror, sometimes the reflection of yourself that you see is a lot more fun to look at than others! And yet, if we gaze with loving intention, and a desire to see the Truth about ourselves and our partner, this “marriage mirror” provides an unparalleled opportunity for spiritual growth and unfoldment. In the process, though, it’s not always easy. So the ability to maintain a sense of perspective, and a sense of humor, becomes essential! And speaking of a sense of humor, I believe that the Divine Spirit has quite a sense of humor. A perfect example of this occurred recently as I was working on the ceremony for a young couple, Christina and Lazzaro, who are very dear to me. I was to officiate their wedding in a few days, and Christina had sent me the words – in Spanish – of the beautiful prayer that she and Lazzaro were to speak in the bi-lingual ceremony. Given that my understanding of Spanish is minimal, I did what we all do these days if we need to know something: I Googled it. Well, the Google God of Translation definitely has a sense of humor, because the last line of their beautiful prayer was translated thusly: “Help us to see and learn about laundry divine, that exists at all…. and keep alive this truth today and forever.” I laughed. A lot. And I thought, “How perfect –...

Of Time, Tweets and Souls Flying Free

With all the Facebook, Tweets and Twits stuff going on, I sometimes feel like it’s all too much. Just give me a real live human being with whom to converse while sitting in the shade of the redwood tree in my own front yard. No computers, no cell phones, nothing that needs rebooting or recharging! (Except me!) Especially this week, I feel deep appreciation for the simple things in life….and for life itself. ***************** Earlier this week, I spent nearly 72 hours with a dear woman named Jean, a former client. I had the honor of playing the role of spiritual midwife as she transitioned from her body. She’d been valiantly dealing with cancer for several years, and at age 74, it was now time to let go, and move on. After many long hours, during which her body and soul prepared themselves for this transition, I was gifted to be at her side at the moment of release. I was able to witness the look of indescribable joy and awe that shone through her barely opened eyelids in the instant before she left her body. She’d been unconscious for the better part of three days, so for her to return to awareness just enough to reveal that beauty to me – and to her daughter, Sherrie, who was on her other side – was an unspeakably precious gift. I don’t know precisely what Jean experienced in that moment, but I do know she wanted us to know it was beautiful beyond imagining. A single tear rolled down her parched cheek, and then she was gone. Sherrie and I sat wide-eyed, feeling an indescribable awe and Lightness of Being, as we both cried and laughed and hugged across...

What Might You Be Missing?

This thought-provoking story made its way into my email inbox for the sixth or seventh time the other day. I re-read it, and it really struck a chord (‘scuse the pun!) with me, during this particularly busy time. In fact, I wanted to learn a little more about the background of the story, so I googled it. The time I’d alotted for a quick blog entry turned into a fascinating hour and a half of reading, writing and reflecting. (Actually rather apros pos, considering the story’s content!) I’d highly encourage you to check out the original Washington Post article….fascintating stuff. I offer the condensed story here, as a teaser: *** Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six classical pieces for about forty-five minutes. During that time, over a thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. At 3 minutes, after sixty-three people had already passed obliviously by, a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on. At 4 minutes: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in his open case without stopping, as she walked past. At 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and continued on his way. At 10 minutes: A three-year-old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as he stood there looking at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception,...

Remembering Who You Really Are

Does anyone else feel like things are really “heating up”? And while, yes, the days are indeed getting sunnier and warmer here in the Pacific Northwest, I’m of course speaking more in a metaphorical sense. This is really quite a time we’re living through. I’m finding it necessary to spend more time alone, just to be with the immense amount of energy that’s brewing these days. Days like today, digging in the garden, experiencing the beauty of Nature, and the grounding of Mother Earth, are, for me, hugely important to maintain balance and centeredness in the midst of some pretty crazy stuff. Individually and collectively, it seems that whatever has been unresolved is now presenting itself, one way or another, for healing. In my personal experience, the entire gamut of the emotional spectrum is getting more intense, as the Divine Presence orchestrates the deep healing work I continue to invite. When “clear me, heal me, use me” becomes a daily prayer/mantra, it gets to be quite a ride sometimes! (Know what I mean? I’ll bet many of you do!) Yet, as I say in several of my more recent CDs, in order to experience true healing, we must “become large enough to embrace it all.” We must have the courage to go to those darkest, scariest, loneliest places; we must also have the courage to recognize, “own, and act from the tremendous power of Love that is the true essence of who we are. Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  -Marianne Williamson So why is opening to Love,...

Inauguration Day…Be the Change

On this auspicious Inauguration Day, this day of renewed hope and Vision in our country and in our world, I feel moved to share with you a link to a simple movement to help bring it home… a way to bring these inspired ideals into action in our own lives, right now…to do our part to help keep this inspired Energy moving! I encourage you to take just a moment to check it out. https://www.bethechangeaction.org/pledge/sign (2014 Update: This link no longer works.) Here’s the pledge I typed in: To hold the HIgher Vision steadfastly; to take responsibility (even when it’s easier not to) to do whatever it takes to raise my individual consciousness level, so that I might best help manifest this collective Vision of peace, harmony and abundance for all… in short, to BE the change I seek. Signed, Nancy Hopps I also pledged their suggested commitment of: At least 50 hours annually as a volunteer with local service organizations, non-profits, hospitals, schools, faith-based institutions or other places of need or through an enterprise or initiative I create. Won’t you take a moment, breathe in the pervasive sense of Possibility, and commit to what role you are willing to play? As important as it is to Relax into Healing, we also must take action for the healing so sorely needed on the planet at this time. We are, indeed, all in this together. Thank-you, and blessings to all. Namaste....

Yielding to Yes

This holiday season, I have been given a most profound gift. In these past few weeks, I’ve had the unspeakable privilege of acting as a spiritual midwife for a beloved friend, Lisa, as she made her transition from this plane. Words cannot begin to describe the beauty, the Grace, the joy and the sorrow of these past weeks. So I turn to Lisa’s own words to most elegantly convey the essence of her beautiful Being. Lisa was, among other things, an accomplished poet. The following poem is read by Lisa herself on a compilation CD she’d recorded a few years ago. I played it as I was preparing dinner tonight.This particular poem stopped me in my tracks. I had to listen again. And again. Then I offered a prayer of thanks, and came into my office to share these incredible words with you. May they touch your soul as deeply as they did mine. (NOTE: Having only a verbal version, the line breaks, punctuation, etc., are mine. I will amend, if I’m able to, at a later date…) When I Lie Down and When I Rise Hold me tight, like a chrysalis. Something with wings is preparing to wake inside. When I close my eyes, I can feel everything changing, Yielding to yes, Uncovering an old intimacy with Light. More than rose leaves ready to be green And buds holding what we forgot in the cold, It’s a ripening of words my ancestors gave me. And any minute now, I’m going to rise, Remembering I’m part of a whole – One cell among billions that people God’s heart. By Lisa Rosen, (Copyright 2008)...

A Random Act of Kindness

I am in awe of Divine Synchronicity. This morning, I had the joy of singing a couple of duets – both beautiful, inspiring songs – at our local Unity Church. My daughter, Mieka, and Peggy, a dear friend of mine, were both at the service, and afterward, the three of us left the church sort of floating….high on the feeling of Love generated by the heart-opening music, the minister’s powerful message, and the magic that happens “where two or more are gathered.” We went out to lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant, where we ran into a couple of old friends we’d not seen in years, so there were hugs all around, much lively conversation, and general merriment going on.  Besides our two parties, the only other customer in the restaurant was a single man, probably sixty or so, who happened to be seated so he was looking directly at our two back-to-back booths. He couldn’t help but watch all the shenanigans, which seemed to be genuinely amusing him. Our friends were leaving soon for Japan for her son’s wedding, so she wanted to take photos of us to show to him, since we’d not seen him, either, for a number of years.  At one point in the photo shoot, as we were laughing and shuffling around into different configurations, I looked over at the solo gentleman, and said, “You didn’t know you were gonna get live entertainment this morning, did you?” He smiled and said he was thoroughly enjoying it. to which I replied, “You know, you’re welcome to join us if you like, if you’re here alone.”...

And the Phoenix Shall Rise From the Ashes

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” FDR’s infamous words, spoken during the Great Depression, are ringing loud and clear today. It’s really pretty amazing to be living in these times of such accelerated change. Our political and economic arenas are exploding with unprecedented happenings, with what may appear to be chaos and doom. But viewed through another lens, this “chaos” is incredibly exciting and, potentially, earthshakingly transformative. I believe we are living in a time in which we are creating a shift of such magnitude that it’s nearly incomprehensible. Sometimes, tuning into the outer drama that’s unfolding, my human self feels more than a bit shaken. (”Omigod, half my retirement account just went up in smoke.”). And yet, something deeper…much deeper….knows it’s all okay. In fact, it feels electrifyingly necessary and good. As Einstein said, “A problem cannot be solved from the same consciousness level in which it was created.” What a great example of this principle we’re seeing all around us:  the contentious war in Iraq, the grand-scale economic melt-down, the flailing health-care system…to name but a few…ALL of these outer circumstances were created from a mass consciousness level that no longer exists!! And so the outer form MUST break down to make way for the new. The phoenix will rise from its ashes. What a historic moment we witnessed yesterday in Congress: both parties uniting to vote down the 700 billion dollar bail-out bill (a desperate attempt to keep the rapidly crumbling economic structures in place. Our representatives in Congress just said “NO!”. *(see P.S., below) They…..we!!……..drew a line in the sand, and said, “Thus...

Nautilus Book Awards Winner!!

Spring, literally and figuratively, represents a time of fertility, growth, blossoming…. and boy, is that apros pos for me these days!  Semi-dormant seeds of creativity from my subconscious mind have begun wriggling their way up into the light of consciousness.  Ideas and projects that have been on the middle burner for months and years now seem to be demanding to be placed front and center. I’ve been curtailing outer activity levels, to afford time for writing, reflecting, researching, as well as for clearing the decks (again, literally and figuratively) for the next chapter.  It’s an exciting time. And speaking of exciting…..I was recently informed that my Relax Into Healing Series collection, comprised of my six most recent titles (Healing Affirmations & Harp; Pain: Softening the Sensations; Surgery: Mindful Mending; Cancer: Embracing the Healing Journey; Chemotherapy: A Healing Solution; andRadiation: Removing the Dross), was named aSilver Award Winner in the prestigious Nautilus Book Awards. Nautilus’ slogan is Changing the world, one book at a time.   The category my titles placed in is World-changing Audio Books.  Wow. This is a big deal on many levels. To begin with, it is very gratifying to be in the esteemed company of the other award winners, who include the likes of Deepak Chopra, Krishna Das, Lynn McTaggart, Julia Cameron, Barbara Kingsolver, Norman Shealy, Dawson Church, Gregg Braden, Gary Zukav, Thich Nhat Hanh…to name but a few. (Pardon me for name dropping, but to be in this kind of company is pretty humbling, and pretty darn cool…!) Also, from a marketing standpoint, it is very helpful to be able to use the coveted award-winning adjective to describe my work. This kind of commendation will help tremendously to get this...