Category Archives: Mojo Mondays

Mojo Monday ~ Weaves the Web

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Spider Web 3

Gossamer threads of life hold me,
Perched between Earth and Sky,
Weaving the web, dreaming the dream,
Through the two worlds I will fly.
With you as my muse, Mother,
I create the substance of dreams,
Allowing the artist within me
To fashion my life with esteem.
I mold the clay of experiences
Into a sacred Medicine Bowl,
Capturing the essence of living
As it sings deep in my soul.
Your secrets of creation, Mother,
Have taught me when to destroy
The chains that have bound me,
Limiting the expression of my joy.
You have taught me how to labor,
Giving birth to the visions within,
Setting them free like silver arrows,
Kindling the fire of Creation again.

~ Jamie Sams

On Saturday I traveled up into the mountains to meet with my Vision Quest spirit guide and to gather with some clan sisters. As we talked and shared about the experiences so far this month I realized how fitting it was that an extra burst of creativity had been very much a part of my life.  As part of the Vision Quest spiritual journey we are reading the book The 13 Original Clan Mothers by Jamie Sams.  It just so happens that the month of October is represented by the Clan Mother of the Tenth Moon Cycle, Weaves the Web. “Weaves the Web represents the creative principle within all things.  Her moon cycle falls in the month of October and is connected to the color pink.  Working with the truth is her Cycle of Truth.  She teaches us how to use our hands to create beauty and truth in tangible forms.  Pink is the color of creativity.  Weaves the Web shows us how to use crafts and art to create our ideas and dreams in the physical world.  Through using our hands, we show our willingness to be of service to All Our Relations.”

In addition to the writing I do for blogs and Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine, and the creative process included in my Vision Quest, I have also been participating in the amazing course by Jenafer Owen called Storywalking: Retrieve.  (You can find out more about Jenafer’s on-line courses at Inspired Inquiries.) We have been creating collages the past few weeks and  then this week during a guided meditation the most amazing traveling companion revealed itself to join me on my journey ~ a whale. Below is an artistic rendition of my friend as I envisioned.  The message my whale had for me ~ “We are going to plumb the depths…and swim among the stars.”

Plumb the depths

I also could not resist participating in the course being offered by Brene Brown (and sponsored by Oprah) called The Gifts of Imperfection.  During the first week of class I wrote permission slips for myself, took the pledge and created a courage heart, which included a short list of my most trusted confidants, or as Brene Brown puts it, the list of those who love me because of my imperfections.

Gifts of Imperfection

Permission Slips, The Pledge, Heart of Courage

It was rather interesting that even through I had read the chapter She Who Weaves right at the beginning of the month, I had not fully connected all that had been blossoming creatively in my corner of the world.  Of course October is also the month that includes Halloween, a favored holiday in our home, and there have also been creative opportunities in the creation of costumes.  My twin daughters chose to be a fox and and owl this year and we put together playful , comfortable and simple costumes for them to wear.

Costumes

There is more from the introductory chapter about Weaves the Web that also bears sharing. “Weaves the Web is the Guardian of the Creative Forms in all things.  She helps us express our creativity in a positive manner and use the energy available to us.  The Clan Mother is also the Keeper of Life Force and instructs us to create health, to manifest our dreams, to develop and use our talents, and to access our spiritual potentials.

The Clan Mother of the Tenth Moon Cycle is the Mother of the Creative and Destructive principles; she shows us when to destroy limitations and create anew.  She also teaches us when to nurture our creations, because she is the Keeper of Survival Instinct.  When our physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual survival is at risk, Weaves the Web shows us how to tap into the life force to grow beyond this stagnation.  She is an artist, a creatress, and the muse who beckons and inspires us to create the beauty found in our heart’s desire.  Through making something tangible and filling that creation with beauty, we are shown that the stuff of dreams can be expressed, giving form to our visions.  She is the Clan Mother we turn to when we are afraid of failure or lack self-expression.”

The last sentence above “She is the Clan Mother we turn to when we are afraid of failure or lack self-expression” is one that I had somewhat suppressed this month, but has been ever so present in a deeper and more subconscious way.  On Saturday I also experienced a heart tuning by a beautiful young woman from Costa Rica who practices Reiki and is also a yoga instructor.  After the heart tuning she shared with me that there was one message she was receiving for me which was that “It was okay for me to release the fear.  That the fear was not necessary.”  I nearly teared up at hearing those words for I knew I had been suppressing deep seated fear for a couple of months.  I had been pushing and stuffing it down, in an attempt to make it go away, and here I was being told by a messenger that I could just release the fear.

Grandmother Spider art by Amethyst Moon Song

Grandmother Spider art by Amethyst Moon Song

Let us return to the final paragraphs about Weaves the Web from The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers.

“When we follow the steps necessary to bring our dreams to life, Weaves the Web shows us how to use the life force found in the four elements of air, earth, water, and fire.  We learn how to mix these elements with the creative essence that is our gift from the Great Mystery.  This creative spark is called the Eternal Flame of Love and live inside our spiritual Essences.  When the desire to create is in place, we are then able to make the decision TO BE.  We then give form our our Spiritual Essences or Orendas through self-expression.

Weaves the Web, life Grandmother Spider who wove the web of the universe, teaches us how to weave the web of our experiences.  She shows us how every circle we create grows to touch the circles created by all other life forms.  The webs we create can trap us, if we do not create them in truth.  We are asked by the Clan Mother to work with and for the truth in order to manifest a world dream that all living things can share.  A web that is created in greed with eventually trap and devour the one who wove it because it was woven too tightly to allow giving, receiving, and sharing.  A web woven too loosely, without care, lacks the craftsmanship that is necessary to make it strong and durable.  A web woven from fear will attract the lessons needed to overcome that fear.  A web woven from the love of creating and desire to share the abundance caught in the web’s silvery fibers is a web that will endure until the dream is fulfilled.

Weaves the Web is the Clan Mother we turn to when we need the skills to make our dreams real.  She shows us how to take the actions necessary to tap our creativity and go with the flow.  Giving birth to our dreams is always accomplished by having the desire to create, deciding to create, and taking the actions necessary by using the flow of life force to give birth to the dream in the tangible world.”

Image by Sandy Stewart

Image by Sandy Stewart

Has creativity been flowing in your corner of the world this month?

Are there dreams that you have been longing to birth?

Are there fears (fear of failure) holding you back?

What would it take to release your fear?

What do you desire to create?

Are you taking actions on your desires?

Consider this quote from the chapter Weaves the Web:

“Weaves the Web taught the children that every painted symbol had meaning to an artist and that every color had a significance when an artist created an object of beauty.”

What symbols resonate with you?

Do certain symbols show up in your dreams, thoughts, art or objects that draw your attention?

What colors are you currently drawn to at this time?

Mojo Monday ~ Releasing the Past

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Removing an arrow/error like believing your past 
was the BEST and your future is less bright, 
is easier said than done, if you know what I mean. 
We get a LOT out of holding onto the the things that harm us, don’t we? 
I know as long as my past is better than my future, 
I cannot call in the future that is mine from a pure heart, 
or as Dr. E puts it: ‘clean, calm, clear heart’.” 

~ Shiloh Sophia McCloud 
Sharing from her experiences at 
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ 
SoulFire Vision Quest in June 2012

The past can be an anchor holding you back.
When I read the words above that Shiloh Sophia McCloud wrote they literally leapt off the page at me. Fairly recently I had found myself in a bit of a funk and during this time frame I also happened to flip through some old photographs.  Some were of my days of living and traveling in Europe.  Others were of me in my college days and with various friends sharing fun experiences.  I found myself wistful of my youth, my courage, my appearance (one that required I work out damn hard to achieve), my freedom and some of my relationships.  The words Shiloh wrote spoke to me deeply though.  At the age of 43 was I really ready to declare the best years of my life were over?  Was I really thinking that nothing fabulous would/could happen that might make those experiences of my twenties and thirties seem small in comparison?  When had I grown so disillusioned, jaded and skeptical?  Was I going to throw in the towel and live my life talking about the good ol’ days and the “remember whens”?  Heck, I had to admit that I was falling into that pattern.  

Recently I also made some observations about we humans.  I saw first hand how easy it is for we humans to hold onto the past in a death grip of remembrances, and not in a good way.  It is fairly common for people to keep track of the hurts and the ways we have been wronged.  I make no judgments of this tendency, because most of us have been there at some point or other, and according to psychological research it is now believed that it is in our human nature that bad events wear off more slowly than good ones.  Here is a quote from an article called Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall by Alina Tugend, “As with many other quirks of the human psyche, there may be an evolutionary basis for this. Those who are ‘more attuned to bad things would have been more likely to survive threats and, consequently, would have increased the probability of passing along their genes,’ the article states. ‘Survival requires urgent attention to possible bad outcomes but less urgent with regard to good ones.'”

I have personally experienced my own propensity to remember the bad, as well as witnessed that of others. I have found it sad to observe once close and treasured friendships crumble because of one or two negative interactions, in spite of years of wonderful times spent together.  I have also witnessed someone complaining and talking about their resentment for events that took place 30+ years ago.  Yet reminding someone that those events are far in the past, cannot be changed and really don’t have to affect them in their current life, isn’t often productive.  You can’t make someone else see through your eyes how they are allowing their old resentments to steal their happiness in their present life.  Again I don’t judge anyone that is stuck in such a place.  There is a time when it might be necessary to delve into the past in order to really get the muck out and heal it.   When Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant teamed up earlier this year Iyanla stated that in order to heal our pain three things to need to happen, we have to feel our pain, we have to deal with it (really deal with it) and then we can heal it.  Feel, Deal, Heal.  She also bluntly told a former addict that while he was no longer using drugs and drinking alcohol that he was now addicted to his story and that he needed to move on because he was the only one standing in the way of his happiness. 

I am also here to share that Cosmic Cowgirls has a secret weapon when it comes to transforming one’s pain and past into glitter and gold.  The remedy is art and writing one’s Legendary Story.  All of our lives offer us up the most wonderful material for a kick-in-the pants, rollicking, roll-in-the-hay read.  That bar fight you had back in 1995, don’t you dare leave it out, and your stories from when you raced wild with a roller derby team called The Angry Beavers will be sure to have your readers staying up all night.  If you danced in a cage or on tables in a bar tell us all about it.  Perhaps you lived in Europe and had several foreign lovers.  Hmm….now we are getting to some good stuff.  Yet, there are the tougher stories, perhaps the boyfriend or husband who cheated and left you for Paris Hilton.  There might even be tragedy, the fiance who died in a car accident or the abusive childhood you survived.   All of these provide you with a champions story and the back story to who you are today.  If you have any doubts about that one pop on over to Effy Wild’s blog called The Glitterhood and begin reading her powerful and moving mini-memoir. 


As we are beginning our Legendary journals over at the Red Key Vision Quest consider what stories you have to tell.


Is there something that you first need to feel, deal and heal?


Do you feel addicted to any of your stories that are causing you pain and keeping you from moving forward in your journey?  (feel free to share or think about privately)


Which stories or experiences of yours first come to mind when you think of the word Legendary?


With love and encouragement to shine, shine, shine!
Michelle


** Mojo Monday was born in May 2010 and has been featured on Cosmic Cowgirls Rodeo of the Soul since that time.  Mojo Monday offers up inspiration, interesting ideas, questions and more to get our week off and running.  We like to gather around the campfire and share  our stories and our experiences with one another.


In 2011 Steph Cowling who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, joined the Mojo Monday team and inspired us all for a year with her incredibly thoughtful writing and her beautiful photography.  Fortunately you can still find her writing in her column Soul In the City in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.


This year the inspirational Trish O’Mally is co-facilitating Mojo Mondays with me.  Her writing carries magic within it and if you attend a Cosmic Cowgirl Conference you may get to experience her gastronomical brilliance as well.

Mojo Monday ~ The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart

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In the Fall of 2009 Daphne Rose Kingma was on a walk with a dear friend who had come to visit her from Europe.  He had lost his job.  His wife had left him.  His financial portfolio had dwindled to less than a third of its original size.  He had also had to move and on top of it all he’d been diagnosed with a slow-moving degenerative disease that would, ultimately, be fatal.   She describes how he was in need of deep comfort as well as distraction from his anguish during his visit.   The walked and hiked, had picnic lunches, attended a concert, an art gallery opening and went to a Buddhist temple to pray.  On one particular afternoon while out walking he asked her to make him a list of the ten things he needed to get through his crisis.
Daphne, who was already the author of a number of books, including Coming Apart, 365 Days of Love, Loving Yourself and The Men We Never Knew, thought to herself when he posed the question, that it was a lot to ask, and that it was practically like asking her to write a book.   Yet, when they returned home from their walk and she sat down to contemplate his question, she found that within minutes she had created a list for her friend.   Her list would become the basis for her latest book called The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart.
In the Introduction Daphne shares “When hardship hits, especially when a bunch of things pile on all at once, we can be shaken to the core, and life feels completely out of control.”
“When life throws us a curveball, our first response is shock, denial, and disbelief.  We can’t believe that this — or all of this — is actually happening. Once we digest the fact that it really is happening and that it won’t go away, we begin to bargain, to try to manage the unwieldy monster.  Maybe it’ll change tomorrow.  Maybe my wife was just threatening –she’ll be back.  Maybe the bank miscalculated the dividends.  Maybe the hospital got the X-rays mixed up.  In this deeply painful emotional state, we’re torn between facing the truth of what has occurred and still hoping against hope that somehow the nightmare will be repealed.”
“But when bargaining no longer works, then what?  How do you mend your heart after loss?  How do you carry on or begin again?  What can you do when your wife walks out?  Your child dies?  Your husband takes you to custody court and “buys” the right to move your children six states away?  How can you keep on reaching when your dreams when your efforts keep coming to naught?  When you come back shattered from war?  When every cent you squirreled away has vanished in WallStreetspeak and cybersmoke, and at age sixty-four with a PhD you find yourself weirdly, working as a paint consultant at a hardware store?”
The following chapters outlines the 10 things one can do to find emotional and spiritual balance in the midst of crisis. Here is a small taste of each chapter.
1.If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Cry Your Heart Out.
“He who sits in the house of grief will eventually sit in the garden.” – Hafiz
“Hard times, more tha any others, reveal to us the truth that the signature of our humanity is our emotional nature.  What differentiates us from stone and butterflies is the degree to which what happens to us affects us on an emotional level.  We don’t just experience things – get a divorce, lose our house, watch our dog die from eating poison –we have feelings about these events.  It is the depth and nuance of our feelings – of our joy, sorrow, anger, and fear –that give texture to our humanity.”
2. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Face Your Defaults.
“Awareness in itself is curative.” – Fritz Perls
“Your defaults are whatever you do when you don’t know how to cope or what to do next…Defaults are habitual behaviors, and they’re not always the best way to cope.  New –and especially, difficult — circumstances howl out for new solutions: improvisation, imagination, ingenuity.  But when we’re intimidated, scared, and overwhelmed, most of us resort to our default behaviors because, well, we always have, and there they are.”
3. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Do Something Different.
“We all like to stay on the little crutches that are familiar.” Jules Zimmer
“Different circumstances call on us to be different.  To grow or die.  To expand or contract.  To fly or get lost in the rubble.  As our world changes, we must change.  When our circumstances are altered, we must alter our response to them.”
4. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Let Go.
“Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” – Michael Peake
“When your life is falling apart, there’s always the impulse to hold on: to him, to her, to it; to the way it was, to how you wanted it to be, to how you want it now.  But in order to get through a crisis, you will have to let go of whatever is standing in your way or causing the problem; these are the handcuffs around your ankles, the tin cans tied to your tail.  You will have to let go of whatever isn’t serving you, whatever you no longer need, whatever keeps you from moving forward, whatever you’re so attached to that you can’t see where you’re going.”
5. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Remember Who You’ve Always Been.
“He knows not his own strength that has not met adversity.”  Cesare Pavese
“When the tectonic plates of the world are shifting beneath your feet, it is hard to remember that there’s a continuous thread of genius, of power, of responsiveness that runs through your life, that, since the beginning, you’ve had certain qualities to bring to the task at hand – no matter how fraught it may be with challenge and frustration.  Who you are now is who you’ve always been.  You didn’t wake up today as somebody else.  You are a single, talented, rare, unrepeatable human being.  There is something at your core that’s unique to you, that always has been and always will be.”
6. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Persist.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Wolfgang von Goethe
“Persistence is the spiritual grace that allows you to continue to act with optimism even when you feel trapped in the pit of hell.  It is the steadfast, continual, simple – and at times excruciatingly difficult – practice of trudging forward until the difficult present you’re scared will go on forever is replaced by a future that ha a new color scheme.”
7. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Integrate Your Loss.
“Enlightenment doesn’t occur from sitting around visualizing images of light, but from integrating the darker aspects of the self into the conscious personality.” – Carl Jung
“In order to get through the crisis you’re in, you will have to accept what has happened and then integrate it into the fabric of your life.  Your integration of the content and the meaning of the crisis will be the sign, the hallmark, that you are moving through this challenge.”
8. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Live Simply.
“Do what you can.  Where you are.  With what you have.”  – Theodore Roosevelt
“Living simply is paring away — stuff, obligations, expectations, people.  It’s removing all the glut and rubble from your life, making space in your house, your heart, your brain, and your life for exactly and only what you need.  It’s getting down to the core of things and returning to a way of living that most of us can only vaguely remember: pleasures that don’t cost piles of money, rewards you don’t have to buy in stores, amusements that don’t require a screen or scrabbling with hundreds of other people to get to.”
9. If you want to get through this crisis you will have to Go Where the Love Is.
“In times of crisis, love must prevail.” ~ Linda Laurie
“In the end, love really is the only thing that matters.  We’ve heard that forever, and to some degree we believe it.  Be do we really live it?  Apart from romantic love – which, for a lot of us, consumes a great deal of our time and attention as we look everywhere for “the one” – we’re not generally whiling away our afternoons just loving each other to pieces.  Why does it take a nightmare to wake us up to our need for love?  Why is compassion the last thing on our agenda, after the ball game and a trip to Target, after we’ve answered our email and voicemail, checked Facebook and Twitter?  We have gotten so terribly far away from our gaping beautiful need for love because, somehow along the way, we have become immersed in all our distractions.  Our actions often seem to indicate that we believe that things, not relationships, will nourish us; that noise, not silence, will give us peace; that electronic stimulation, not morning sunlight, will fill our souls with excitement.  We have gotten so far away from the truth of our need for love that it’s almost as if the cosmos itself has had to bust our chops so we would wake up and remember.  Love is relationship.  It is the energy that passes between people when they are in close enough proximity – emotional, physical, spiritual – for that energy to pass between hem.  It is the energy too that passes between people and creatures, people and natures, people and the mystery.”
10. If you want this crisis to transform you, you will choose to Live In the Light of the Spirit.
“On many occasions when I was dancing I have felt touched by something sacred.  In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and I became one with everything that exists.  I became the stars and the moon.  I became the lover and the beloved.  I became the victor and the vanquished…the singer and the song…the knower and the known.” ~ Michael Jackson
“Spiritual life gives us a shimmering new awareness that this life is not the whole of things.  As we move through the paces of our spiritual practice, we begin to hear the whispers deep inside us.  Gradually we come to know, to remember, that there is something deeper and more ancient in us, something forever-ish at our core, something that was and will always be, something whose scope is vast and whose breath is eternal, something that we call god or spirit or soul.”
Each Chapter ends with some questions.  Here are some to contemplate from each section:
Cry Your Heart Out ~ What’s the old ache in your heart that you’ve never wept over? 
Face Your Defaults ~ What are your most prominent default behaviors?
Do Something Different ~ As far as you can tell, what is this crisis asking you to do differently?
Let Go ~ What are you holding on to that is impeding your freedom as you endeavor to move through this crisis?  Debilitating friendships? Unproductive work relationships?  A lousy marriage?  Hopelessness?  Despair?  A standard of living you can’t afford?
Remembering Who You’ve Always Been ~ What, if you think about it quickly right now, is your signature strength?  If it doesn’t come immediately to mind, ask yourself what you liked to do when you were a child of six or seven.
Persist ~ The area of your life in which you are most discouraged and to which you really need to bring the practice of persistence is ______________.
Integrate Your Loss ~ What is the crisis, the difficult experience, the loss or change of status that you are trying to integrate right now?
Live Simply ~ What are ten things you could get rid of immediately?
Go Where the Love Is ~ What’s the kind of love you still need?  How would you like that to show up for you now?  What is the offering of love that you would like to give? 
Life in the Light of the Spirit ~ What experience or experiences have you had that connected you to your own transcendent and eternal nature?

Concluding message from the author:
Peace Be With You
May the depth of your crisis remind you of who you really are.  May your pain bring you into the light of awareness.  May your journey through it give you hope.  And when you have made it through the storm, may you feel great peace and joy.

 

Lastly here is a video of the author being interviewed on Santa Barbara TV.
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The Creative Community: Daphne Rose Kingma from The Santa Barbara Channels on Vimeo.

Mojo Monday ~ I Promise Myself

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Patricia Lynn Reilly, theologian, women’s empowerment pioneer, and author of Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself, contends that a woman’s relationship with herself is the source of all personal power and relational success. In I Promise Myself: Making a Commitment to Yourself and Your Dreams, she offers step-by-step support to make a vow of faithfulness to yourself and your dreams – the first essential step to achieving meaningful and reciprocal relationships with others. Author SARK, describes the book as “A profound and deeply illuminating guide to magnifying self-love.” And adds that “Patricia’s work is wise and resonant.”
The introduction to I Promise Myself begins like this:
An Invitation to Be True to Yourself

Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her life and capacities.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.
Imagine yourself as this woman.

For more than a decade, I have invited women to journey with me from self-loathing to self-love, from self-criticism to self-celebration. Along the way it has been necessary for us to dismantle the disempowering questions, “What’s wrong with me?” and “Who will save me?” As these questions are ousted from our lives, we return home to ourselves, reclaiming our natural resources and capacities; we author our own lives, participating fully in life’s gifts and challenges; and we remain loyal to ourselves even in the face of challenge and opposition. The journey transforms our inner landscapes and reframes our relationships to the world around us. To deepen these fundamental shifts in self-understanding within women’s hearts, minds and bodies, I have refashioned the wedding vow and wedding ceremony into transformational resources for making a lifelong commitment to ourselves. Each woman’s journey culminates in the composition of a “vow of faithfulness” to herself, which is then witnessed at a commitment ceremony…

Women of all ages, from all walks of life, are vowing faithfulness to their own lives. As a result, they are refusing to ask the questions “What’s wrong with me?” and “Who will save me?” Instead, they make powerful statements with every thought they share, every feeling they express, and every action they take on their own behalf. They use their personal and communal resources to give birth to woman-affirming rites of passage and ceremonies of transformation for their daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and for themselves. They are women ~ full of themselves!

…Pause for a moment and imagine growing in knowledge and love of yourself, vowing faithfulness to your own life and capacities, and remaining loyal to yourself ~ regardless. Imagine a life in which you deepen your relationship to your natural vitality, resilience, and sense of self. Imagine a ceremony of commitment to yourself, culminating with these words of self-blessing: “This is it. This is my life. Nothing to wait for. Nowhere else to go. No one to make it all different. What a relief to have finally landed here….now. Blessed be my life!
Did reading these excerpts from Patricia Lynn Reilly’s book conjure up any particular thoughts or feelings?

Is there something in particular you want to promise yourself?

Consider writing a ceremonial vow for yourself this week.

If you feel inclined to share, come back to the discussion and post your promises and/or vows of commitment to yourself.

Mojo Monday ~ Women’s Right to Vote

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This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.
Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.
The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’
(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars over her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
Thus unfolded the ‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.
 (Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)
(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )
(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)
Conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at National Woman’s Party headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington , D.C.. L-R: Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon–standing
(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn.)
Helena served a three day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner that read Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The film Iron Jawed Angels is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that we could pull the curtain at the polling booth.
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.
We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Remember to Vote on November 2nd.

Consider the fact that women in some other countries will go to vote even when they fear for their lives. Or consider that women in some countries can still not vote. They still do not have any say in decisions that affect their way of life.

Let us not take for granted our hard won right to vote.

What are your thoughts about women’s rights and about voting?

Have you ever spoken to your mom, grandmothers or great-grandmothers about their thoughts on what it meant or means to them to vote?
** The majority of the text and all the photographs come from an email I received several years ago. I received it this year too as it is still circulating around the internet. I do not know who the original writer is so I cannot give credit to that person.

Mojo Monday ~ At the Movies

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A new show opened up at our local Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It is called Out of this World: Extraordinary Costumes from Television and Film. My family and I checked it out this morning and I had fun taking the photos you see featured in the collage. There are more not shown such as the Riddler costume that Jim Carrey wore in the film Batman Forever. The costumes were all featured in these rather fancy lighted display cases and each costume would include information about the actor who wore it and the film.

It was interesting to get a more real feel for the size of the actors who wore these costumes. There were plenty of Star Trek and Star Wars costumes, as well as the infamous leather jackets of Indian Jones and the Terminator. One some of the walls giant screens showed scenes from various science fiction, super hero and action films.
This made me think that having a Mojo Monday post about movies would be a lot of fun and perhaps provides us all with some new titles to add to the old Netflix movie queue. 
So let’s start sharing some titles of our favorite films. Can you list 10? How about 5?
My husband can easily rattle off lines from the Princess Bride and Airplane. Are there any films that you can recite the lines from? 
Are there any movies in which you just love a particular scene?