prompt: where does your heart rest?

Mossagateheartbasket

Visualize, create, or repurpose a container that's a suitable resting place for your heart.  You can leave it empty until you need it or keep a representational heart in the container at all times as a visual reminder that hearts are only as secure and vibrant as their resting space.

***

I've been working with a tiny willow basket a friend made me years and years ago - ever since I had a really bad day in which it was clear I was not holding the right energy to post on my main blog.  Since then the basket has been holding a moss agate heart.  I've been keeping it on my chakra-related stonework altar in the corner of my studio coffee table workspace.  It's incorrect to say this prompt is inspired by what sent me so far from center.  It was inspired in a way that feels more accurate to say - it was woven - by a few people who read what I wrote and had a purely heart-based response.  And in my own heart and intuitive sense of energetic wonderland, I felt that weaving happening inside of me as well as externally.

It was an incredible thing.  There were other things connected to a few local people and people who emailed or otherwise contacted me privately.  But that energetically woven basket created by simple words on a screen really knocked me out.  So far, it's my biggest single takeaway from Heart Month. 

WillowbasketinnerAt some point in the fairly recent past I came as close to having my heart hit the ground as I've come in - ever, quite frankly.  It's a different kind of thing - losing Heart throughout your consciousness.  It's nothing, for instance, like clinical depression- or any lesser kind of 'giving up' that I've experienced or observed.  Losing heart is beyond terrible.  It's, more or less, The End.

Sensing my heart dwindle with heaviness and shadows, I caught myself thinking of all the times I've rallied other women having a very hard time finding enough heart to hold all that hearts must.  A lot of times it's been intensely personal, as was/is my situation.  Even more frequently it's more collective.  For instance, the day after the '06 elections, I called a group of a my female friends, one at a time, who are (a) established leaders of some kind  (b) hypersensitive plant geeks and (c) close enough to the NYC area that they already had a rough idea of what was coming at us on a scale (i'm sorry but it has to be said since it's so freakin' true ...) the likes of which nobody had seen before.

During those calls, I shared a quote that's nearly always given Cheyenne attribution.  I only shared the first sentence:  a nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground.  I talked to seven friends that day and I left five quotes on voice mails along with the assertion that we were needed more than ever.  I know this because I wrote about it in a journal entry I do not remember making.

Later, when the voice mail women began to unbend and recuperate enough to respond, I couldn't remember making any of the calls, either. The car accident that dinged my brain had happened.  It took one particularly fiesty NYC-for-lifer INSISTING that i had in fact left her a voice mail before I began to remember doing so as if it all happened in shadows and underwater.

***

When I recently felt my heart cruising about six inches above the ground, I mentioned it on my main blog because I knew I'd need to step away in order to heal somehow.   A couple of people were moved to leave a comment or they sent me an email.  I conceived of this prompt at that time.   My sense of the spontaneous heart-centered energy's pure love was enormously sustaining emotionally and also at a inner-screen visual level.  I saw a nest structure very similar to the tiny basket featured in this post.  But it was big and sturdy enough to hold me.  Inside there were feathers and flowers and sumptuous sprigs of many protective and healing herbs. 

I rested there, as need be, throughout my time of regeneration.

Outebasket

thank you.

it can be done ...


prompt: what is the thing? (plus extra words)

what is the primary booby trap you know to exist and yet you tend to "forget" about it until it once again short circuits your heart center?

give it a form and a name

make friends with it.

figure out what it wants

and re-invent it

so you and your heart

and everything it touches

can be more authentically nourished

and healed

***

This morning when I woke up I knew I'd find this hastily scrawled prompt I thought up two days ago while staring out at the snow and grey sky exactly where I put it - sitting on the studio coffee table waiting for me to post it today.  Timing*, as always, asserts itself as some legit measure of being everything.

After I'd originally concluded this was a good prompt, I found I already knew what I'd choose to articulate and work with -- the heart center's 'means well' reflex that I've seen cause more harm than good and yet it's one of the biggest sand traps I routinely see within myself, think "oh well that doesn't HAVE to be a sand trap now that I've identified that it COULD be" - and then do what humans do so well: consciously and deliberately rationalize their behavior they know to be incorrect.

I rationalize why it's okay to accommodate people all the time:  it's quicker and easier, by far.  But only if you don't pay attention and cast a wide-swath of really not caring to contemplate matters of Repercussion well before they land. More things that work all too well for me:  I tell myself It's what females tend to do as a reflex and that's pretty much why there's any world left standing at all.  So that's the 'somebody has to do it' excuse. Then there's other stuff that's so entirely yellow I'm taking notes for The Trip Back Down.

Much journal writing since our heart-time began has led me to understand one of the mechanisms I'm surely capable of discarding as a short-circuiting internalized equation once and for all:  something about being nice/generous/expectation-free doesn't feel right and for whatever combination of inner flutterings I decide I'm going to circumvent that inner knowing because: personal growth. it's everywhere just waiting to happen.

how do i know i actually know what i'm certain i do, y'know?   In my every-day Acey form this is my ongoing mantra to my inner self any time I'm not writing something that proves some specific or at least abstract form of 'knowing'.  In this case, I put the words being nice in scare quotes (and then added them to knowing) because that's where they belong in context.  Here at the heart level we have the compassionate and truly safe house in which to explore the difference between authentically being a thing and being, instead, a creature of reflex and relative social comfort who provides what they believe, perceive, or simply take their level best shot at providing, for somebody with something they need which is, in turn, something we can give.  And in the case of social reflex and comfort, what we intuit they're looking for from us and our individual heart center. 

Our hearts can be confused and confusing place, is what I'm saying.   Or perhaps what I'm really saying is that it can become inappropriately crowded on the bridge.  All the other chakras can - especially in times as extraordinary as our own - instinctively migrate there.   At any given moment we've got all or some of the places that energy's meant to function to full capacity sputtering along at best.  The really liquid and juicy fuel we're possessing is inclined to head for safety and higher ground of bridge territory.  And so they're milling around - on both solo missions and murmuring amongst themselves - utterly certain they know what's best/safest/wisest about the heart's business and have the chops to 'fix' what would otherwise not be wrong at all.

*

 At the heart, on this particular day, I'm trying on compassion as I look within at the same constellation of self-perpetuated over-focus and cut-out zones I usually approach from a far more formidable (and thus inherently hyper-focused/Ajna) perspective.  And it really does shift everything.  To stand on and within the heart's Bridge function and look from a variety of directions. 

What if lasting personal change can begin with a kept commitment to shift one's internalized tone.  Instead of the lower chakra quandry : HOW do I FIX this? Or upper/head-driven impatience:  How do I fix THIS?  I'm looking for the eldering smile of long suffering patience.  The look that's been there and done that enough to ask very tenderly:  how do I fix this?  

if the heart can serve as lung through which to breathe

why can't it also serve as the higher self's sense of self, period?

and what if that self committed to asking it'Self:

what am i capable of  - but only in a soft knowing tone.

This I see as our individual and collective bridge tone as it most wishes to be.  Group Kuan Yin energy.  Timeless and yet ever-eldering at whatever age.

that's going to be my interrogative/upgrade heart work for the rest of the month at a personal level.  I decided as much during lunch yesterday.

the first task, obvi, was to sleep on the question:  what am i capable of upgrading about my current relationship to misguided heart action?

This morning I knew the answer like it was already part of my life.  We'll see how that plays itself out but I'm old so I've the ongoing sense this is my moment to get stuff done, make it count, and avoid as little as possible 'for later'.

I'm going to let no be my teacher and guide

at the first sign - deep in my heart - that something is wrong

with saying yes.

no matter how else it seems like it could/should be instead.

a lot of debris flew out of my heart as I typed the previous four lines.

four takes me back to the points forming the shape of the red root square.

a space of containment

to keep NO sacred

in case of emergency break glass

and let NO be the medicine

of true love

the more I write the easier my heart feels.

I've stopped frowning in concentration and started to smile and look out the window.  There's not much to see since it's still snowing and grey but it's a very large opening that lets in light.

in the past - once I start smiling out the window - that's always meant

i'm doing something right.

if i figure out what it is more cogently

i'll share.

No works best with a 'but what about' to follow.  Franklin and I have agreed:  when he has something to say and would like people to know he exists in a disembodied yet shared continuum I'll put it in a post within a context of my own creation*.  So simple.  maybe everything is or at least can be if heart energy is applied within the two week remaining window of Virgo grace

***

*Last night I revealed a form of accommodation that existed for a 'good' reason within my own mind.  But within helping somebody who would not be at liberty to participate that way otherwise, I didn't help 'the cause' of showcasing impeccability.  Or maybe I did.  I mean, I'd just posted hours before about it in relation to the Virgo full moon - and in a way that inspired the original comment and so forth.  Very coyote.  I bowed down to it immediately.  I mean the timing alone is worth a standing ovation of respect and appreciation.

Coyotes


prompt: flip or enhance your script

Heartspread

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday and I mention it every year on my creativity blog. 

If you're with me on that - ignore the prompt-within-the-prompt of the way this one begins and just amp up the experience to some kind of an idealized EVERYBODY loves heart day kind of level.  And note the closest thing the font color options hew towards emerald green below. We are all the way out of the primary zone so I bolded and all-capped for heart-emphasis only.

WITHOUT LINGERING OVER ALL THE REASONS WHY YOU MAY ABSOLUTELY HAAAAAAAATE (or merely ignore/'don't play into' VALENTINES DAY

what would a Day of Heart-Space that met your specific necessary criteria for being a "good" holy-day look like?

bonus question just because I'm curious this way:  How elite is the holy-ness of your personally sanctioned Day of Heart-Space? 

for example - could people with a fondness for Awful Cartoon Shaped Hearts get in

????

what if they were glittery?  and that may or may not be a trick question.  You decide.

asking for a friend, as they say ...

(obviously - Coyote Spirit's still here in ways sacred rules say we're permitted to talk about openly, should we dare.  Winter's not over yet and it was believed that meant the larger medicine spirit was sleeping.  None of the literal dawgs here are sleeping during this particular winter.  They've been up in here howling and running off the foxes throughout the night for a few weeks now.  The foxes  are now over-running the old overgrown orchards where they usually spend their summers. 

WHAT DO THE COYOTES KNOW THAT WE DON'T?

besides everything, i mean ...)

Coyoteexcellence


Prompt: heart bridge

There's a natural bridge, energetically, between the lower primary chakras and the heart center.  A similar bridge exists between the heart and the elevated/head chakras of voice, vision, and inter-personal/galactic/spiritual illumination.  The bridge between survival, polarity, volition, and unencumbered open-heart space/brain/mind is super important.  A lot of people try to fly the distance but it seems wise to build the bridge and then use it in order to stay safe and grounded in these strange and rapidly shifting times.  Or maybe you're lucky enough to discover inner awareness of a pre-existing bridge waiting patiently for your specific use right here and now.

Define your bridge between the primaries and your heart with words or some form of visual expression.  JUST AS IT IS.  If this comes out in a way you can't accept move on to idealization/aspiration.  But go for reality first.  just as you are at the heart level.

How short or long is the bridge?  What kind of condition is it in?  Is it something that was erected hurriedly with whatever's on hand or is this a bridge of substance and style combined?

and then:

articulate, if only internally, what your heartspace looks like from the "far" side of the bridge closest to your solar center.

Walk across the bridge and look back.  Does the bridge  seem shorter or longer than when you first engaged with this prompt?

What else has changed about the bridge itself or your sense of traveling across it?

get it all down somehow, if that's who you are.  Or focus on a single stray feather's equally single word-meaning wafting towards you from the heartspace itself.

this connective energy center corresponds to the element of air.

hence your inner bridge is supported and surrounded by Heart long before we venture into its true - and truly enormous - territory.

what IS that for you

try, just for now, to think of your heart as a single beating organism representing only yourself as singular life form.  What is your heart center about?  Not who or what it connects you to or who or what you connect to it -

what are YOU at the heart level? 

what is however you respond to this part of the prompt about for you?

Is your heartspace the feather or the air it floats through?

how would you like your passport to be stamped now that we've reached this part of our inner exploration

?


the blessing of space & sanctuary

SunnystudioplantsToday this space is sunlit and elevated for the shift that's coming with the Aquarian new moon.  Am thinking about what metaphorical seeds I want to plant then.  Also note the background glimpse of an area in the room that I think of as collage fodder purgatory.  Haven't looked at anything there for four years or so.  Thinking this may change sooner than later but we'll see.

OrangeyellowquestionThroughout the past ten days or so, I've been looking at this page from an orange-yellow-gold color collection journal all the time.  I have it open for ongoing viewing on my desk.   Although I wasn't thinking on any kind of subtextual level, or considering layering meaning as well as color application, in this moment of time it seems inspired to remind myself that all sacral questions seek the resolution of volitionary action.

Leomagicsome days ago I called an official time out on my main blog.  It doesn't work to post there when I'm immersed in something as deep as it is personal.  My internalized/frail ego/vulnerability level in such times can't sustain the entire premise and purpose of that particular sharing space. But this blog doesn't aim (or need) to set either the same standard or tone.   After the time out set root of a productive nature, somebody I mentor came around to that blog's comments section and invoked all kindsa yellow/solar/leo energy he knows to be the crux of my earthly soul's resilience factor.

i thought it was - at best - aspirational on his part.

but it worked.  That's the main thing.

Griefpage1the deeper purpose of recent soul growth-work is making more than adequate space for itself.  Within that space I've begun to articulate the overwhelming season of loss I experienced - beginning around this point in the years calendar - that was due in large part to Covid.

Griefricksomething simple, imperfectly elegant, inadvertently messed-up/air bubbles and contextually Everything for the unCovid mic drop of my incomparable friend, rick.

DowhatsrightnotNear the beginning of solar month I discovered the resin smudged note while tidying up.  It's from years ago.  In the process of awaiting something 'worthy' I turned some kind of intentional corner so that I simply wanted to find it a comfortable home.

Grieftwostoriesa story of deep grief transcending itself.

SunstampYesterday evening I found a piece of fabric stamped many times with a representation of sun magic & medicine.

InthosedaysOne of the stampings was placed to headline a snippet of narrative.  I held this cloth in my hand and read the words in my handwriting seven or eight times.  I have no idea wtf this refers to.  Not just what but whom.  My twenty first year was quixotic and relatively untethered.  It spanned (this sounds way more glamorous and noteworthy in its episodic qualities than it actually was, by far ...) 3 continents  and 7 countries within the first five calendar months.  I knew - in the walking around sense - any number of men who routinely betrayed themselves.  After squeezing my mind on the subject, I can think of three who semi-routinely fell on their sword for me.  The four of us were yoked to a highly disorganized, recreationally unpleasant, and insufferably narcissistic boss.  Nuff sed.

Samplerwhole am both baffled and intriqued by the personal mystery factory.  have resolved to steam refresh, then press smooth.  Hand sew stay stitching at the edges.  Hoop it up and backstitch my words into place.  Keep going from there. 

i like the idea of this showing up somewhere that won't matter to me with somebody i won't know saying 'i wonder what THIS was all about.' 

and.

i would not be able to tell them even if I could magically be there to speak in human language once more.

 cartersfacingthedoorspeaking of words - this is what two-pass working draft quality now looks like as I wend my way through the previously procrastinated,  emotionally and mechanically difficult corridors of my novel-writing project.  Think it's obvious I keep doing this Thing on a primarily daily basis.  In the past while there have been a few days in a row when I didn't write.  The self-mother in me would not allow it.  In that time the sun didn't shine in the literal sense.  I sat on the couch and let myself be held in the love of friends as well as my personal faith in the larger universe of healing and happenstance.  This one's going to take awhile to situate and explore with the necessary level of fearlessness.  Otherwise there's no point.  I'm not a healing-lite kind of person.

note:  the two children in this snippet are 4 and half years old.  Cici is unwanted by her family (although deeply treasured and loved by Carter's people) and is thus passed around from relative to relative.  Dominic's her oldest cousin, who was similarly treated in his youth, and has thus risen to the considerable personal challenge (he and Jessie have a past that I cried for three days straight back in Sacral month to draft-out...shhhhh...) of coming back into town in order to be the steady guardian influence she needs. 

DominicrealizesasmuchIn the same eight days of keeping my own counsel, there was a three or four day window in which I didn't have a working power cord for my laptop.  J was kind (and kind of INSISTENT) enough to let me have his personal machine during his working hours.  The first day I managed to record (as opposed to write) three and a half paragraphs.  That's how much I struggled to get back in synch with a mouse and also the fact that the keyboard doesn't work very well and J thus has a second keyboard he uses precariously balanced against the first.  The second day I did better.  The third day I pretty much typed at will/ability level given the over-arching life circumstances.  My sense of accomplishment was calibrated against the fact I was aware, even as I was writing, that I wasn't actually working so much as taking myself along a compulsive jug handle of irrelevant happenstance and dialogue serving neither expository nor inter-layering purpose.  I guess it was a comfort to me.  To know most of these characters so well that I could spend a day doing that and thus coming closer to mooring myself in ways that support coming both farther and closer, perceptually, in a further "way" of some sort that's pragmatically as well as creatively driven.  And in direct relation to knowing what is true for and about me.

Whatportrait

A 2 hours old selfie.  In the present tense I'm squinting with a bowed head  because the strong sunlight's shining right in my eyes.  It feels great.

Also:  huge upgrade in the pragmatic sense.  During yesterday's snowstorm J. installed a second hand railing in the studio stairwell.  I can now walk up and down holding on with both hands.  This is a HUGE blessing given ongoing neuro-unreliability that's largely weather driven in terms of severity and duration.

Kneescaband my knee is almost healed ...


shibori girl yellow, etc.

YellowglennisunopenedYesterday I went through a box in which I pre-sorted a lot of yellow treasures years ago.  I virtually never look in it because I know what's there except, by now, I really don't   since I never look.  Had forgotten the above treasure and find it a perfect meditative visual aid as I continue to vacillate between, as Pam Gregory puts it, clarity and silt.  Gotta say this fantabulous grey is the most gorgeous silt I've ever contemplated!
Yellowshiborigirlopenhuh.  as usual I was scattershot and doing a few things at once.  I thought surely the words on the other side of the white paper background wouldn't show up in these pictures even though I could clearly see them with my eyes.  Also you can see I was digging in pots and plant roots today...

YellowtreasuresFirst thing this morning (3 degrees.  snowing.)  I livened up my consciousness by steam pressing a lot of the treasures I re-connected with from the unexamined box.  More Glennis beauties and a lot of stuff I messed around with on my own, plus some Artemis ribbons, a sheet of wool felt, and a piece of linen it looks like I painted with watered down yellow ochre acrylic paint.  I perceive a lot of destinies but have got to stop thinking like a 30 year old.  A lot of the things I reconnected have the feel of what I had in mind for my braid.

interest was expressed concerning the example braid so here's what that was about:

Rolledscrollin the mid aughts I was part of an international collaborative fiber arts journal project.  A modest group of us worked on Anthologies in which we each picked our own theme and then everyone in the group made a page to fit.   This particular page was for an anthology entitled Blue.  I figured somebody else would riff on Joni Mitchell so I thought about how Blue is everywhere in my home environment because J is blue to the bone and it's soothing up to a point from a mental health point of view.  But am not myself an all-blue person.  Fortunately I happened upon a Van Gogh quote that solved my dilemma:

Thereisnoblue

The unrolled scroll reveals my inspiration.   Part of the request was that we hide a quote in a secret pocket.

ScrollpocketI created a lined pocket partway across the page so it was a little less obvious of a hide.

Blueandorangefrontwoven and embroidered front of page with light beading.  Each person chose the page dimensions.  I added a cloth 'gutter' (orange strip to right) to facilitate a variety of attachment/binding options. 

Backofscrollback of scroll designed as a nod towards Van Gogh's Night Sky Over The Rhone
Secretpocketused water soluble crayons to color the indigo batik.
Orangeandyellowback


thank you for your patience

BraidingtogetherHere's a concrete prompt.  As we had it planned - I was going to begin introducing them on what turned out to crazytrain incited mob day because if I keep learning one thing over and over again it's that timing is everything.  The original prompts didn't allow for what I or anyone else was likely to feel like after such an event being what it actually was, and all.

***

Find three braid-able threads, cloth, or paper - or something else entirely.  Make the three elements you select relatively comparable at the organic working level.  One of the elements - or all of them - is obviously going to be yellow.

the picture I'm using as illustration of the prompt isn't whatever I'll make in response to it.  It's from a series of pictures I was editing hoping something would strike me somehow, beyond editing images for posts in the future tense

  So I'll share my own effort when I make/complete it.

If you use all yellow:  think about integrating different aspects of the solar center's receptivity and projection that have been most meaningful and of use over the past 3 weeks.

Consider your completed braid of personal experience with the various ways you've related to your third chakra in its personal volition context.  How have you felt yourself trading energies with compatible energy centers/yellow energy more abstractly?  Think about:  moments of joy, self-determination, manifested creativity, humor, volition/leadership in the wake of solar's shadow of rage.

In terms of your own anger as you feel it needs to be interwoven or as you may have joined with others to form a crucible in which that emotion is elevated to action-orientation - Think about the sacred shadow principle and RADIANT rage.

manifest elevation as a visual cue.

If braiding large amounts of yellow feels overwhelming and/or too de-hydrating, try adding a little (or a lot...) of deep purple to balance and restore your energetic sense of Self.

another idea is to braid-up ways the madness has caused you to not recognize your own thoughts or actions.   In my case I'm thinking of this in terms of the inability have hold and maintain either component of expressive sentience. So I'm considering a mini-braid within a braid.  And some of the yellow - the thing that switched the flick, as on of the dive captains likes to put it - being as close to the yellow of Amanda Gorman's coat as I have on hand.

Here's a long-planned yellow listen only version of Sly and the Family Stone wanna take you higher to move you along through stuff  and take it ALL higher as you braid.