Category Archives: spirituality

Mystical Filament of the Heart

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This month in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine 
we have all been contemplating and writing 
about the term Community. 


Come read my latest article called Mystical Filament of the Heart

“…the capacity of the mystical filament of heart that if listened to,
will lead us beyond what we know into the
depth of our common humanity,
into that place where none of us are strangers.”
~ Mark Nepo
Red Thread Love by Michelle Fairchild
Red Thread Love by Michelle Fairchild

Mojo Monday ~ Shhhhh….

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Turn down 
the volume of demands
and listen
to the grace of
the small,
the silence,
the whisper.

~ Mary Anne Radmacher


Does the pace of the world ever seem frenetic to you?  

Do you ever find yourself struggling in order to keep up with emails, texts, blog posts, facebook posts, on-line classes, and phone messages?  

Do you ever find yourself filling every moment of your day with the many forms of communicating and social networking that are now possible?

While driving or at stoplights do you talk on the phone, text, check email, or surf the web?  

Do you ever feel inundated by too much information and too much stimulus?  Perhaps too many offers to participate in this or that teleconference or amazing life-changing workshop?

Do you ever take time to just sit?

Do you ever take time to just think?
Do you ever carve out quiet time?


Does the idea of quiet time seem far-fetched, because of the demands of your life?
Is quiet time something you long for or is it something you would dread?

This piece started to percolate in my mind after reading that a favorite author of mine by the name of Brene Brown was struggling with being on all the time.  She was finding herself checking emails or the web at stoplights.  She was filling every moment with communicating in some form or other. 
Just the thought of doing those things sounds crazy making to me.  I wondered, when does she get down time, quiet time, time to just think? It made me wonder how other people balance out being busy, with taking necessary time out for oneself?
Once a week, for work, I have an hour drive out of town and then I turn around and do it again in the afternoon to return home.  While the drive can sometimes get stressful due to driving conditions, for the most part, I use this time to simply listen to music and think thoughts.  I may come up with a new idea for an article.  I may ponder something.  I might imagine a new painting.  I may try to work out a problem in my mind.  The idea of using that time to communicate with others is not at all appealing. This for me is a perfect time to be unreachable.  


Is quiet time at all important?  Are we humans missing out on something if we fill our days with constant stimulation such as pinning pictures, reading status posts of friends and family, texting till our fingers are numb, talking on the phone at all hours, or signing up for every teleconference that hits our in-box?  

In wondering about this very thing I came across this quote by the Dalai Lama:

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, 
we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

Why would the Dalia Lama believe such a thing?  Would a violent free world really be the result of all the children meditating?  Would meditation really change them and our world that much?  

Cynthia Dawn,  a writer, children’s meditation facilitator, raw and vegan food enthusiast enthusiast, and co-creator of The Intention Tree Project, shares this about meditation:

“Meditation is a powerful adeptness for anyone and we are learning (remembering really) that when we have this modeled to us as children the reverberations are profound!
On a physical level, scientific studies have found that meditation:
* increases levels of immunity
* prevents and/or reduces cancer and autoimmune disorders
* improves hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders
* alleviates respiratory disorders and digestive problems
* reduces the severity of asthma and panic attacks
On a mental and emotional level, experts have found that meditation:
* encourages a healthy sense of self
* promotes well-being and self-esteem
* increases focus, concentration and problem solving skills
* fosters awareness and creativity
* instills connection, understanding, and compassion
On a Universal level many believe that meditation is a large part of the solution for world peace. When we are at peace with ourselves and no longer fighting a physical, mental, or emotional war ~ we can be true peacemakers within our world.”
The sentence that really impacted me from above is:
 “When we are at peace with ourselves 
and no longer fighting a physical, mental, or emotional war ~ 

we can be true peacemakers
within our world.”  



I also came across this report about meditation in public schools:

“A University of Michigan study concludes that two, ten-minute meditation sessions per day in a public school setting reduces stress in children and teens and promotes emotional stability.  Participants within the study group were found to exhibit less verbal aggression, anxiety and loneliness.  Based on this study, a growing partnership of Detroit area parents, teachers and physicians are now calling for schools around the country to offer meditation breaks each day.  ‘It wouldn’t be difficult,’ a spokesperson said, ‘and it requires no expensive equipment, no special outfits or footwear.’  Since meditation is not a religion, proponents claim that meditation would be an appropriate stress reliever in the schools.”

It seems that with meditation or even just the practice of getting quiet regularly, allows you to center yourself.

BJ Gallagher at the Huffington Post wrote a brief post titled Buddha: How to Tame Your Monkey Mind that explains more.


Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention. Fear is an especially loud monkey, sounding the alarm incessantly, pointing out all the things we should be wary of and everything that could go wrong.
Buddha showed his students how to meditate in order to tame the drunken monkeys in their minds. It’s useless to fight with the monkeys or to try to banish them from your mind because, as we all know, that which you resist persists. Instead, Buddha said, if you will spend some time each day in quiet meditation — simply calm your mind by focusing on your breathing or a simple mantra — you can, over time, tame the monkeys. They will grow more peaceful if you lovingly bring them into submission with a consistent practice of meditation.



Do you long for more peace in your heart and mind?

Are there things that feel unsettled for you?

Do you feel content and happy most of the time?

Do you have time in your life to just be, to dream, to imagine, to just breathe?

What would it really take for you to start a meditation practice of your own?

What would it take to simply ensure that you get quiet time regularly?



“If we have not quiet minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.”

~ John Bunyon

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly…spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”

~ Susan L. Taylor




Mojo Monday – Our Stories

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What do we know about the world?  How do we know what we know?  We might respond that we have learned about our world through books and classes we have taken in school.  What it comes down to is that our human world is based on story.   For thousands of years stories were memorized and passed down verbally through the generations.  Once written language came into being stories were recorded in written form.
I have always loved stories and probably because of this I became an avid reader at a very early age.  I also loved learning about the world, different cultures and the history of the people who have inhabited this planet for thousands of years.  My six year old twin daughters just started first grade and we had an option at their school to have them take an early morning enrichment class in which they will learn Spanish and about Latin culture.  One day after picking them up from school they were excited to share with me the new Spanish words they had learned that day.  They asked me “Where do people speak Spanish?” and I explained a bit about Spain and then how the Spaniards had traveled to what is now known as Mexico, and how the language was adopted by this other land.  My daughter Aubrey then asked me from the back seat “Mommy, how do you know all these things?”  It was such a curious question and I responded that I had learned about these things from books and classes and that my love of history led me to take a lot of history classes. 
While I may have a college degree in history I sometimes still wonder “What is history?”  Sure there are some hard facts involved with so-and-so being born on such and such a date, or a war beginning in a particular place on a particular date, but those facts are part of a bigger story, a human story.  While we may think that our history books are based on facts, they are also infused with the perceptions and biases of the historians that wrote them in their current time.  How historians view something in a particular era, century, or even in a particular decade, changes and evolves, because the historians themselves are going to be influenced by their own life story, which has been formed by the time period they grew up, their personal views, opinions, prejudices and personal experiences.   There are also the ones behind the scenes, such as the publisher or the powers behind a publishing house, who may have their own ideas or agendas into what gets published and what doesn’t.  One may try to be impartial and unbiased, but our own stories will and can color how we respond or view things.
One of the papers I wrote for a university history class compiled how the  historical perspectives changed over time regarding Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois and their roles in the civil rights movement.  Both hold a significant place in American history and African American history.  It was fascinating to see how the historical views and opinions regarding these two men shifted and evolved through the years. 
Card from The Voice of Knowledge deck by Don Miguel Ruiz

Where I am leading with this is to a much more personal level.   We all have stories.  Our lives are stories, series of happenings, events, activities, doings, and while some fade into the mists of the past and out of our memories, others stay with us.  Some of them are certainly, and hopefully, positive, and bring forth feelings of nostalgia and can even have the power to conjure up feelings of contentment and happiness even in the present moment.  Yet our human nature also gives us a tendency to remember and hold on to events that were painful, and if we give our stories power and hold to them tightly, these stories can affect us deeply.   We can even give them the power to create very real psychic wounds.  The painful stories, if held onto too tightly, and believed in strongly enough, can unfortunately lead us to negative spaces and dark places. 
Just like any other person walking this earth I have my own collection of stories. Stories about my childhood, my family, events that took place, traditions carried on, my young adulthood, my relationships and on and on and on.  Some of the stories were sweet, others comical, some were painful, and I even allowed a few to take me to dark wounded places.  Some life events came into alignment though that led me to delve deeper into my stories, sometimes so painfully, that I went through what I describe as a dark night of the soul, and yet the healing that took place on the journey has been most remarkable.  These life events include: choosing a life partner, moving, marrying, becoming a mother to twins, struggling in my marriage, shutting down, gaining 100 lbs, retreating from relationships, experiencing shifts in friendships, questioning my life purpose, developing cracks in my rose-colored glasses, entering into therapy, learning to accept, then like and love myself, forgiving both myself and others, finding a tribe and community (Cosmic Cowgirls) that nurtures me, gaining courage, taking chances, entering into marriage counseling and therapy one more time, claiming to be an artist and writer, writing, painting, learning, teaching, loving and grasping the true meaning of grace.
I have been contemplating and wondering about how we hold onto and process our pain and wounds.  What I realize from own experiences it that it took doing a few key things that culminated in me seeing my stories with new eyes.   The first was the talk therapy that helped to purge all the really old stuff that had been crammed into my soul for way too long.  Yet, I know that talk therapy would not have been quite enough to help move me through my process.  What also deserves a great deal of credit for the personal growth and healing that took place is the work I have done with Cosmic Cowgirls.  I entered into the tribe via attending the Bountiful conference in October 2008.  The work that Cosmic Cowgirls is doing is revolutionary.  There is a reason that women from all walks of life, artists, writers, therapists, healers, poets, dancers, singers, spiritual leaders and creatives of all types, are being drawn to the courses and workshops being offered.   While some women may be initially drawn to the painting portion of the classes, or others to the writing part of the classes, it is how everything is blended together spiritually, that leads one through a process unlike any other.  
What is it that Cosmic Cowgirls offers that promotes healing and personal growth? As an example I will share my most recent experience at the Cosmic Cowgirls Feast of Frida Story Weaving workshop.  Our Cosmic Cowgirls always begin with us gathering in circle.  The space is safe and sacred.   During our circle time we share in the Red Thread Ceremony where a long red thread is passed from woman to woman as we share our names and usually some word or sentence that gives insight into where we are at or what we wish to gain from our experience with one another.  The Red Thread Ceremony always concludes with each woman getting to keep a piece of the red thread as it represents how we are all connected to one another. 
In this particular workshop we were focused on artist Frida Kahlo and yet we also took it to a very personal level by reflecting on our own stories.  We created paper altars over the course of the two days and they came into being from prompts, by quiet reflection, journaling, sketching, some one-on-one sharing, and then turning the stories into art with drawings and paintings. 
This particular process had us pick one particular story from our past.  In the first corner of the panel of the altar one was to share a story about something that had happened.  An example given was of a woman who was told her art wasn’t any good while the art instructor tore up her picture.    In this particular version the person was then to depict what she decided about herself based on that one experience or story.  In this particular situation the woman decided or came to believe that she had no artistic abilities.  The next panel or part of the story was to share how this experienced had informed who she was now.  In our example this woman feels sad and feels creatively stuck.  In processing this story she is asked if this story is true.  Does this one experience really mean she is not an artist?  Does the opinion of this art instructor really mean anything?   The woman was then asked to claim a new belief about herself, in essence to create a new story for herself.  In her new story this woman gets to claim herself an artist and free her creative spirit. 
Card from The Voice of Knowledge deck by Don Miguel Ruiz

What I found refreshing for me during this experience is that most of my old stories had lost their charge.  I knew what the old story was and I could write about it and talk about it, but I no longer felt that emotional tug when I thought about it.  It was an aha moment of realizing how far I had come in healing old wounds.  Writer and inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant states that “When you can tell the story and it doesn’t bring up any pain and tears, then you are healed.”   I found that when it came to creating my own personal altar I was much more focused on my image that represented me today and on what I was claiming for me now and in the future.  Most importantly I really believed what I was claiming, rather than it being wishful thinking or about where I wanted to get to at some point in the future.
Creating new stories for oneself may take some time.  It may also take time to release old stories.  Some questions to ask yourself as you consider your own stories are “How does this story serve me and my life?”  Is it helpful?  Does it make me feel good or bad about myself?  Is it healing or hurtful?  If it protected me in the past, do I still need protecting now? 
You can also consider viewing your own stories through a more neutral and objective lens.  If you have ever felt that you are not enough.  Take a step back and ask yourself “Is that true?”   
Author Kris King who wrote a beautifully thoughtful book called My Heart Has Wings: 52 Empowering Reflections on Living, Learning, and Loving wrote this about telling stories, “If you want your future to be a repeat of your past, keep telling your story.  If you want your future to be a bold and daring adventure, start dreaming. The choice is yours!” 
At Cosmic Cowgirls we believe that you get to write your story, paint your story, dance your story, dream your story, sing your story, create your story and most certainly, even turn your story into poetry.  

Mojo Monday ~ Redvolutionary

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What is a Redvolutionary you might ask?  Well this is how author Sera Beak describes it for us: 


“A Redvolutionary is someone who does not play by the social, religious, cultural, sexual, or political rules.  She affects change by daring to be herself, forging a unique path, and serving her planet authentically through “ecstatic activism.”  She’s a kind of ‘spiritual superheroine,’ rebelling against dogma and ideology in order to experience a direct and intimate relationship with the divine.  She has a fearless commitment to truth and freedom, healing and empowerment, hot love, red wine and gold body glitter…for all.”




A few years ago I read a book by author Sera Beak called The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark.  Out of the blue I recently began receiving newsletter updates from author Sera Beak about upcoming workshops here in California.  What seems like eons ago, I had signed up on her web site to receive updates from her, and my twin mommy brain vaguely recalls getting something a long time ago, but then nothing.  So, to start receiving new emails from this fascinating young author made me take notice.  I pulled the well-read and dog-eared book from my shelf and began refreshing myself with the delights inside.  I also re-visited her new web site and learned that over 3 years ago Sera stepped back from the path she was on at the time.  She said goodbye to a publishing deal for her second book and the production of a film. In her own words she puts the experience this way:  “Over 3 years ago, the Universe ripped me a new one, a new Red Heart that is, and a lot has changed.”  She goes into more detail in a keynote speech she gave in Spring 2012.  (You can watch the video on her web page by clicking here.)

Sera Beak

Sera Beak is a world traveled, Harvard-trained scholar of comparative religion, a spiritual cowgirl, and a redvolutionary.  She has whirled with Sufi dervishes, had a private meeting with the Dalai Lama on her 21st birthday, took the host from a Croatian Catholic mystic who had the stigmata and has experienced life-altering visions with shamans (and everything in between.)  Her book also received rave reviews from the likes of Sark, Neale Donald Walsch and Rob Brezny.  


Here is the preface, called Prelude to A Kiss:


“Do you ever get that funny feeling, slightly surreal and disorienting, maybe late at night or early in the morning, maybe right before lunchtime or perhaps when your friends are chatting, a lover is changing, a job is droning, or a TV is flickering, a feeling that there’s something more than all of this?  That you are more than all of this?  That perhaps life is more purposeful and magical than you give it credit for, and never mind all your unpaid parking tickets and bad work days that seem to prove otherwise?


You do?  Me, too.  As does your best friend, your boss, and your weird neighbor.  As do Russian rocket scientists, Belgian sheep farmers, and the Dalai Lama.  The feeling is, in fact, universal.


So, what is this funny feeling?  Sure, you could explain it away as some Freudian childhood glitch or planetary retrograde or even some of last night’s margaritas coming up for an encore.  But more likely, it’s something a bit more profound.  Chances are it’s a coy catcall from the universe, disguised as existential angst.  It’s the divine ringing your inner doorbell.  It’s your higher self, stealing the spotlight.  It’s your potential, aching to be realized, and your spirit, itching to be scratched.  So then the question becomes, what are you going to do about it?  Are you going to explore this feeling?  Are you willing to open the door?  Are you willing to refocus your lens?”

Author Sera Beak ~ Ignite Your Divine Spark

Chapter 1, called Light the Match: Set Your Intentions Free, begins off like this:


“So how the hell do you start igniting your divine spark?  Well, first and foremost, start by setting your intention.  Your intention is the energy, the electric charge, the awareness you bring to every aspect of your life.  It’s the force that  lies behind everything you do, the fuel for your fire.  Your intention helps create the pathway for your experience; therefore, setting it ain’t no trifling, careless thing, but a responsibility, one not to be taken lightly…


Setting your intention is a bit like offering up an invocation to the universe.  You place your desire out in the world, as an energized thought, a pregnant idea, an open prayer.  You envision how you would like to be, to feel, to progress…


You can state your intentions every morning before you get out of bed; it’s like applying an all-day moisturizer for your spirit: ‘I intend to be divinely aware and connected today, no matter what.’  You can sing them in the shower: ‘ I intend to follow my gut on this business deal and make it soar.’  You can let your intention move through your body during  a yoga class: ‘ I intend from now on to be healthier with my eating and exercise habits, and to love my strong, sexy body.’  Or set it when you take  stroll in the park: ‘ I intend to genuinely smile at every thing and every body I come across.’  You can set an intention for the coming day, week, year, or lifetime, or just for the moment you are in right now.  It’s really that simple.  If you don’t have a specific intention to set, just sit still, check in with your heart, and start sensing how you would ideally want to feel in your job, in your personal relationships, in your body, in your life, in your relationship with the divine.  Hold these feelings strongly for a moment in your mind and heart, and then release them, breathe them out into the world.”


In what ways do you inspire/conspire to be Redvolutionary?


What Sparks are you feeling/experiencing right now in your life?  


If Sparks are lacking, what might you dare to do to ignite some?


Have you set any intentions for yourself?  

**One great way to get inspiration for your intentions is to participate in !Spark!, a Cosmic Cowgirl University offering, that inspires and supports you for thirty days in achieving your intentions.  The next session starts September 1st and you can learn more here.





There is much about Sera Beak that hollers Cosmic Cowgirl, in addition to her self-proclaimed Spiritual Cowgirl identity, Spark, Divinity, Red, Intentions, Revolutionary,  Daring, Glitter… and Oh, the list goes on and on.   She had been working on a book called The Red Book of Chakras three years ago, until her life took an unexpected detour.  She offers this particular book for sale on her web site.  She shares this about it: This was the book I started to write three years ago before my ass got kicked by the universe.  While my writing style and focus has changed since then, this book still packs a power-full punch of She-force and that’s way I’m sharing it with you all now.  Enjoy!


She is now working on her official second book called Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story and she still has intentions to complete and release the film called Redvolution: Dare to Disturb the Universe.


Sera is offering some amazing workshops in California, along with other opportunities to work with her, and you can learn more about that here.


Mojo Monday ~ Lissa Rankin on The Shocking Truth About Your Health

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“Promoting health without encouraging others to seek wholeness is an exercise in futility.  Not until we realize that our bodies are mirrors of our interpersonal, spiritual, professional, sexual, creative, financial, environmental, mental, and emotional health will we truly heal.”

– Lissa Rankin
I received an email from writer and artist Sark in which she excitedly shared the following:
So often what comes out of scientific studies can be confusing, conflicting, or downright scary.  Well, today I heard something FABULOUS – straight from science!

My dear friend, Dr. Lissa Rankin of OwningPink.com – a brilliant, creative and succulent Medical Doctor – has found scientific evidence to prove that creative health is every bit as important to your body as good nutrition, daily exercise, and regular check-ups.

It supports what I’ve taught for YEARS – expressing yourSELF creatively isn’t just some fun luxury pastime. It’s vital to living a healthy and joyful life!

Sark then went on to encourage other to watch Lissa Rankin present at a TED talk.  I had heard of Lissa Rankin and I think I had even visited her web site, but watching her talk on health was really powerful.  I also happened to love that she encourages people to live “authentic lives full of mojo.”  Gotta love that mojo!
Here is an introduction to Lissa Rankin as seen on the TED Talk web site ~ “Lissa Rankin, MD is an OB/GYN physician, author, keynote speaker, consultant to health care visionaries, professional artist, and founder of the women’s health and wellness community OwningPink.com. Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, she left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at OwningPink.com and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).

She teaches both patients and health care professionals how to make the body ripe for miracles by healing the mind and being healthy in all aspects of life, not just by promoting healthy behaviors like good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep, but by encouraging health and authenticity in relationships, work, creative expression, spirituality, sexuality, finances, and living environment. She is leading a revolution to feminize how health care is received and delivered by encouraging collaboration, fostering self-healing, reconnecting health care and spirituality, empowering patients to tap into the mind’s power to heal the body, and encouraging women not to settle for being merely well, but to strive for living vital, joyful, authentic lives full of “mojo.”

When not spreading the word, she chills out, paints, does yoga, and hikes in Marin County, CA with her husband and daughter.”

Learn more about Lissa Rankin on her web site called Owning Pink and without a doubt watch her Ted talk below regarding The Shocking Truth About Your Health.
“I believe that true healing lies in changing your beliefs and tapping into your inner healer.  I also believes that you can’t hand your power over to a doctor, therapist, coach, or other practitioner in order to live a truly vital life. As a patient, you are an equal partner in the seat of honor at the healing round table, where your voice must be heard.”  -Lissa Rankin, MD

Once you watch the video share your thoughts.