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June 27, 2010

Lee Ann's backyardI'm finally getting more rest and quiet time outside, bringing some much-needed energetic balance to my action-driven self. This more proportionate engagement of "doing" and "being" really does balance my energetic body so Grace can flow through more directly. What a powerful pulse of divinity I feel when I take time just to "be." This kind of disciplined balance sure takes practice in a world where physical engagements/productivity are valued far more than inner spiritual engagements. In actuality, it is the inner attention that creates and births all else into the physical world, so it behooves us to insist upon regularly noticing and feeling what is presently good as enriched ingredients for our own further creations...


March 5, 2010: How Important is Balance, Anyway?

The theme driving my spiritual development over the past year has been learning more about “balance.” It seems to be paramount for me right now, and maybe I am part of a global theme as well.

So what is balance? We talk about trying to balance our lives between career, family, social engagements, etc. Somewhere in there, we are supposed to find time for ourselves which, for most of us, seems to land last on the list and is viewed as less important or expendable.

In actuality, energetic balance within ourselves is essential and primary before any other lasting balance around us can occur. Let’s start with balancing work and play/relaxation. Some of us need to get up off the couch and get moving, but others of us never seem to be able to stop moving. Both are equally damaging to our spiritual development, as I was shown once in a dream, though the “movers and producers” are more accepted socially as being productive and good. Being still is a hard one for me, which is humorously paradoxical because I have such limited body movement. My body barely moves but my mind never stops. Daily meditation slows down my mind in a good way and has improved my life on all levels as well as heighten my intuition. But there is more to this idea of balance.

Here are some relative opposites to ponder. Where are you on the scale of balance in these areas: mental activity versus creative activity, mental/spiritual pursuits (upper chakras) versus taking care of your body and your emotions (lower chakras), positive thinking versus negative thinking, appreciation versus expectation, giving versus receiving, left brain versus right brain, controlling versus allowing, giving to yourself versus giving to others.

The more I notice and practice balancing areas like these, the better my life flows in all areas regardless of the situation. Synchronicity occurs more frequently and I clearly feel more relaxed and peaceful. For me, more balance seems to better align my fragmented human self into a more steady “vessel” for the heavenly energy of Grace to flow through me and into the physical world. I know when I am needing to balance something -- I feel stressed/agitated. The more consistently I hold peace, the less tension I can tolerate within me when it arises and, more importantly, the sooner I take responsibility for shifting/cleaning up my own energy to regain my peace.

It seems to me that some people are more naturally centered in, or wired for, this balanced state than others, especially the newer generation. They are more sensitive to feeling out of balance, and suffer from society’s old stilted, judgmental, driven ways of being. Children are not taught enough to trust their feelings and to know their strengths, or to accept themselves fully. I believe this is a major factor in the high rate of depression and suicide among younger generations today.

Which leads me to the stellar presentation done by Ken Robinson that I recently saw on TED.com. I don’t ever find myself shouting out to programs on TV or on the computer screen, but this man’s message about the need to value and educate children’s whole being (left brain AND right brain) to meet the needs of the future got me going good!

In my opinion, his comments were right on. He asks us to look differently at how we educate children so they may take us more successfully into a future that we cannot grasp: to view creativity as important as literacy, to finally balance the importance of the arts with traditional, left brain learning, to respect hands-on skills as much as verbal skills, to stop “strip-mining” only certain aspects of the mind that we value as a culture.

I have said for years, as I have watched education change, that we seem to be panicked about the future so we are pushing children into more and more fragmented left brain thinking, as if cramming enough pieces of information will make them more brilliant in the future.

Simply pushing more of the same old way isn’t working. It is creating stressed-out children and stressed-out educators. It is like attempting to train a star pitcher by only focusing and excessively working on his pitching arm and ignoring the rest of his body. The entire body needs to be developed to support that pitching arm, just as the entire brain needs to be stimulated educationally to help bring forth stable, creative adults that will intuitively, confidently, and inherently know how to navigate the future.

Each person brings to Earth their strengths to share with the world for creating a healthy “whole.” We must get over the idea that only certain strengths are valuable. Sir Ken Robinson is correct. All are needed. We can no longer afford to downplay or stigmatize talents and gifts. We need to radically change our view of intelligence to include all forms of it if we are to create balance in the world and more peace. Check out his video on YouTube. It is well worth your 20 minutes.


October 9, 2009: Open to The Flood of Grace!

Time seems to be flying by at record speeds, at least in my corner of the world. In fact, the older I get, the faster time seems to go. With it has recently come an energetic speed that is creating profound, positive changes quickly with less physical effort on my part (a gift, since I have very little physical movement), but which also demands of me a clearer sense of balance, truth, and a continuous remembering to ask for divine guidance in order to allow this massive flow of Grace to flood out into my world.

I have never really understood the importance of balancing the energies of doing and being, giving and receiving, until now. The more my soul presence comes forward, the more I sense a genuine need to enjoy life and purposely slow things down. As I practice balance in life, it is as if the energies of my right and left side even out more (I’ve previously had a propensity to drive life through my dominant right arm) which then creates a straighter, uplifted, more open energetic channel for healing, synchronicity, and peace to flow through me. The feel of this Grace-in-motion life force is solid and not shaken by the events around me. In fact, It reveals the wisdom in all things, its purpose for good, and a deep knowing that life is being cared for all around me, clearing and shifting energies toward a more perfect state of being.

There is an increasingly high flood of divine light and love pouring to the earth. The flow is so great and so good that anything that does not match it gets shaken out. This can feel chaotic and scary, but not to be resisted. Eventually the dust settles, and something new is born which, in my experience, is always better than what I expected.

Slow down. Look for good. Believed in unlimited possibility. Let go. Appreciate. Be honest. Ask often to be guided by the essence that carries life. Now is the time…


September 25, 2009: Celebrating with CCI

Lee Ann and friends at a CCI eventThis has been a very busy month with the book! I met some wonderful people while presenting to the Los Gatos Rotary Club and the Millbrae Lions Club. The Rotary Club has, as one of its missions, a decree to eradicate polio worldwide. Having lived with polio all these years, I am so pleased and grateful for their efforts! The Lions Club has been a longtime supporter of CCI, so they are an organization close to my heart. One of the Millbrae members is a columnist for the San Mateo Times, and has since written an article about our presentation that should appear Saturday, October 17th. If you live in the area, check it out!

Jeannie and I then did an author talk at the Petaluma Copperfield’s Bookstore as a precursor to the big fundraising event at the CCI Shultz Campus in Santa Rosa. The event was called “Bone Appetit,” and I was the guest graduate speaker. What a fun event! First of all, the people at CCI are always wonderful to be with. They are kind, caring, and professional with a clear focus upon creating and supporting successful graduate teams. Approximately 600-700 people came to enjoy the wine and food gala under the big tents and around the campus. There is something about being around that many dog lovers that is grand. The event ended with a fun, live auction. The whole thing was a blast! My friends and I sold books, enjoyed the event, spent the night in Santa Rosa, and had lots of girl-chat time. It was a much-needed, mini-vacation for me.

Thanks to everyone who drove, set up, and made it physically possible for me to participate in all these events this month. Twenty percent of the net proceeds of the sale of my book are donated directly to CCI. Yay!


June 28, 2009: What a Celebration!

Lee Ann Laraway smiling at her party.What a grand celebration we had on Saturday, June 20th, to celebrate the publishing of the book! I had been talking about this party for over a year, wanting to enjoy the company of my friends and family while celebrating the book’s arrival. The book had been such a divinely beautiful experience to create, and I wanted to share it with everyone. The party so matched the energy of the book!!!

So, how does someone like me pull off such a huge event when I have such little physical movement? A grand amount of organization on my part, tremendous friends and family who gladly jumped in to help, and a palpable flow of Grace!

Once I started planning, things began just falling into place. It was fun to watch the energy of Grace in motion. I had wanted the celebration to align with the summer solstice, with its longest day of light, and it conveniently landed on a weekend. The “Taco Guys,” with their delicious, fresh-grilled soft tacos, became suddenly available when they thought they were already booked. With the food and date in place, it was time to send out invitations. That was no less spectacular! What are the odds of throwing out a date and 150 of your friends and family say “yes”? Once the guest list hit 100, I decided to order tables and chairs, but was concerned where I would put everyone. When I told my next-door neighbor about my dilemma couple of hours later, she graciously offered to add their front yard to the party space. Problem solved!

On the day of the event, everything ran like clockwork. The setup and cleanup was masterful to watch, as if they had all had practiced for just such an occasion, and even the weather could not have been more perfect. Everyone was extremely happy to be together and there were many “mini-reunions” among friends. Jeannie had the company of a CCI puppy in training, a therapy dog, and two of her canine pals, NaNa and Cedar.

We sold books and I got a chance to connect individually with people as they brought their books to be signed. My friend, Taka, did a great job of writing in each book and ceremoniously placing my signature label in each book for me. What a team! An additional $50 in donations was collected from people offering extra change here and there as they bought their books to support CCI. What a fun, unexpected bonus to add to the 20% donation raised from the net sales of the book!

Thanks to all who came, helped, and celebrated with me. I could not have had a better time! Enjoy the pictures from the event…


May 27, 2009 : Jeannie's Treasure

Jeannie looking at a corn cobSo this is usually Lee Ann's blog, but she's letting me borrow it today because this is so exciting! Check out what I found in my backyard a couple of weeks ago! It's a totally petrified, partially eaten corn on the cob -- my absolute favorite food in the whole wide world! Lee Ann says thank goodness she's trained me to bring things in to her if I find something outside to trade for a dog treat instead of eating it. Who knows how long that had been out there and where it came from, but I didn't care. It was very light but perfectly intact. You know how I sing when I'm happy -- I was singing my lungs out for this one, giving my best performance, but no dice -- Lee Ann would not give it to me!! Okay, so it was worth a trade of two dog treats, though, since I was willing to bring it in and forfeit my favorite food. What are the odds that I would find something like this??? I really would have eaten it -- I know the nature fairies left it as a present just for me!! Have they left anything around for you humans? Be on the lookout...

Love, Jeannie