Posts in The Twelve Holy Nights
The Growing Capacity to Stand Tall and Stand Still ~ The Twelve Holy Nights 2010-2011

9th Holy Night of 2010-2011
with Lynn Jericho
The Growing Capacity to Stand Tall and Stand Still

Tall

I have always wanted to be tall… oh to have long legs and not have to try and stretch my five foot three and a quarter inches to five foot four… to be able to look most people in the eye…

When in Oaxaca, Mexico… I have actually had the literal experience of being taller than almost everyone around me. I loved it. I could stand at the back of a crowd and have no problem at all seeing the parade, heads beyond me… Dear friends there, come to my shoulder. I love having the experience of bending down to hug them. Unless you are below five foot four… you just cannot know what an incredible feeling this is, this being tall …

In feeling tall, there is a sense of power, an ability to see beyond what most can see… vistas are within reach… I feel sure of myself, and know I can take care of myself. In the stillness of this recognition, I feel as if I am the mountain. I am the vista. I am the attainable goal. And it all starts right here, in my being tall in my being, in my soul, in this moment of recognition that extends beyond my physical reality…

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Traditions...

I love when the traditions of this time of the year
overlap and weave together...

one of the eight nights
of the Hannukah candles burning low...

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Creating a "heart~mandala" alter
for our labyrinth dedicated to the "Need for Nature"

for one of Lynn Jericho's
"Twelve Holy Nights of Inner Christmas..."

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Watching for the birth of the Christ consciousness...

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"the sun" returning to earth,
providing us with an opportunity
for the opening of our hearts
to self, family and community, and to the world...

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So our light,
and our gifts to the world can grow and nurture
the joy of the our soul...

becoming sparks of light along this path we walk into life...
even on the darkest night of the new moon...

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Photos: My husband's menorah- with stone from Israel; labyrinth heart mandala; one of my miniature creches, celebrating the birth of Christ; friends gathered round the fire pit at the center of the labyrinth- a recent design and installation at a private residence in Oakland.

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Epiphany ~ of the Twelve Holy Nights 2007-2008

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Lotus blossom blooms...
outside, the rain and wind howl...
one ripple ignites...

Today is Epiphany... the thirteenth day that follows the twelve holy nights... it is a day of reflection, insight, and gratitude ignited by contemplating the preceding days...

I am grateful to Lynn Jericho for creating these exercises for the Twelve Holy Nights of Inner Christmas... and thank you for joining me in these contemplations!

A Closing Note & Epiphany of the Twelve Holy Nights
with Lynn Jericho

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Twelfth Holy Night 2007-2008 ~ Certainty & Doubt

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For this final twelfth night, Lynn invited us to see how we could marry certainty and doubt in our souls…

When I looked, I was surprised to find that Certainty and Doubt had been married for a very long time! And they have many children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren!

Their first born is Self Esteem… the twins followed soon after, Confidence and Laughter… then there was a whole string of dancers, artists, and mathematicians, followed by Comfort, Compassion, Wildness… and the youngest Passion, but she was born almost full grown and ready to meet the world with her first breath!!!

Certainty and Doubt have been retired for a long time now and delight in watching the grandchildren and great grandchildren grow… But every once in awhile, Doubt gets a little cranky and winds up the old tapes (you heard some of them playing yesterday!!!) That’s when Certainty moves her hips in just that special way and before you know it, Certainty and Doubt have changed the cassette player to a well-worn familiar waltz and they dance and dance, until you would never be able to guess their age or prior occupations…

They are well loved... and bring balance and freedom in their union... and they make life a little more easy to navigate, especially around those bends in the road that you don't always know are coming... Theirs was a marriage made in heaven, on earth...

Twelfth Holy Night of Inner Christmas
with Lynn Jericho

 

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Eleventh Holy Night 2007-2008 ~ Passion & Compassion

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Well...

This is one of the twelve polarities that I just could not get under... I get the different meanings of passion and compassion, and I just can not find them as polarities... so that is my dilemma, or polarity of this evening, I can't find the polarity in the prompt! Maybe some of you reading this, might shed light on what you see, different than me!

I did notice that compassion came up for me a lot today... Our power/electricity was out from the middle of last night, and throughout most of the day. I noticed how edgy I was... did I stock up on enough food? Were my parents OK? Do we have enough batteries? What if this goes on longer than 24 hours? What if the freezer food melts? And the icebox, all contents a gonner? Is the river going to flood, with houses destroyed and families displaced? I noticed an old pattern of how hard I am on myself. I also noticed that it had to do with my anxiety... where was my compassion for that anxiety???

I am quick to have compassion for others, but not for myself... it is quite a stretch for me to be compassionate to myself... Yet, I am aware that I am coming to recognize more frequently how hard I am on myself and to just relax into what is... and treat myself as I would another...

And since I'm on a roll with not exactly following this night's prompt... I don't always find passionate actions to be self centered. Just as I don't find compassion to always be about other... I have been involved in many activities, labyrinth building, art-making, graduate school studies, blogging, lovemaking, to name a few... where passion is a sharing between one or large groups of people, like a fine wine, and all involved contribute to something much bigger than the individuals involved, and it is passion with fire, excitement, and with different hearts beating together as one...

Eleventh Holy Night of Inner Christmas
with Lynn Jericho

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Tenth Holy Night 2007-2008 ~ Leading & Following

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Leading...
then following...
We become each other,
five women dancing,
ocean dancing,
earth and sky dancing,
melting into water…
life giving water,
where we emerge from between time
and start life a~new…

Dance

Tenth Holy Night of Inner Christmas
with Lynn Jericho

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Photo: Painting of five women dancing the labyrinth. Unfinished acrylic, natural rock and gem-stones, and mosaic pieces.

 

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Ninth Holy Night 2007-2008 ~ Order & Chaos

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It's pouring rain today...
the biggest storm of the year, they say,
to hit the West Coast of the Americas...

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And day Nine was yesterday...
Order & Chaos...
So... I've had a bit of time to think about these two...

For quite some time after my first marriage and a very solid way of life ended for me in my late twenties, I clung to order like a person who can't swim out in the middle of a vast ocean holding on to a small plank of wood... I needed structure and order in all areas of my life... the slightest whiff of chaos could send me careening over what seemed to be the ocean turned into Niagara Falls... When I entered my forties, I flipped the other way... structure and order made me crazy, I felt as if I would burst from my skin and could not make a commitment to hardly anything...

As I near being on this planet for fifty years, I am finding a balance between order and chaos, and even question my concept of just what chaos might really be...

This was one of the tasks offered by Lynn...

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She invited us to make a list of 25 verbs, place them on slips of paper, torn or cut (and to notice how we did those slips!) and place them in a bowl/chalice.

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and then pull three and apply them to a routine in our lives... I realized as I did this task that other than sleeping, there are very few routines in my life! So, I changed it a bit. I pulled five verbs (on "torn" pieces of paper!) and will make a poem, right now out of words that seem to have no connection or order at all...

Flap my arms
Float
Turn around
Type
Laugh

This rain pours...
I flap my arms
as if I can fly
when instead I must float
allow myself to turn around
and let this wet,
wet river flowing carry me
even as I type...
and type...
and type as if these words were
a life raft,
I laugh
that I might think I could
hold on to any one of them...

Ninth Holy Night of Inner Christmas
with Lynn Jericho

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Eighth Holy Night 2007-2008 ~ Gathering & Spreading

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This new year,
these new moments
where all possibilities gather
filling the heart
like stars in the sky
spreading forth
into the universe for us to drink
and fill our soul
in the quiet moments
found in opening
to life,
in the space between
breathing in,
and breathing out,
gathering in,
and spreading forth,
this beauty of being,
these new minutes
cherished…

Eighth Holy Night of Inner Christmas
with Lynn Jericho

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Seventh Holy Night 2007 ~ Reflection and Anticipation

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In less than an hour...
2007 will be a year in the past...

I am grateful
for all the journeys I took this past year...

Inward journeys that brought me more here...
outward journeys that connected me with more of the world...

I am more at ease in being human than I ever thought possible...

I see all that happened this past year,
and await the unknown with anticipation of knowing that it will be a discovery,
and wonder where the days to unfold will take me...

I ask that my life get bigger
and at the same time,
more simple...

That open even more to the possibility of joy,
of contentment, and compassion...

I am grateful for all of you that I've met, some only in word, but for the ways you've expanded my world and helped me to see more of the beauty that is so easily found, if we but look...

The last few hours of 2007 were spent feasting with good friends this evening...

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I keep attempting to recreate my Provence experience of Corey's French Husband's mussels... and tonight... I came close...

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a little bubbly...
how I love French Champagne...

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and a Turkish desert, Irmik Helvasi,
made by Emily to sweeten the end of the evening...

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Thank you
for spending this year with me!
I look forward to the new year to come...

Seventh Holy Night of Inner Christmas
with Lynn Jericho

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