A butterfly in the Garden ~ by Annie Truesdell

What happens when you are just walking through your days, minding your own business and then WHAM . . . Life hits you in a big way. It is time for you the caterpillar to become the butterfly. Perhaps a loved one “dies.” and In the grief and sorrowful days and months afterward you find your loved one starts “talking” and communicating with you in real time, with real things, in real life, answering your questions and making observations from the “unseen” around you? What would you do? What would you believe?

Would you worry you were losing your mind? What would you do if Life told
you that was exactly what you needed to do – let loose your mind – in order to know your soul? That’s the journey the Universe is inviting you to take part in right now by reading A butterfly in the Garden. It is the reason you are interested in this book in the First Place.

Annie currently lives in Indiana and is proud to be first and foremost a mom. Her passion is to help with the Awakening that is taking place on our planet. Annie is a spiritual counselor, intuitive medium, speaker, founder of the Godsign Institute, teacher of Godsign and graphic art designer.

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To read the first chapter click here

The Namaste Garden By Maria Triano

What if all you needed to do was close your eyes; take some peaceful, sweet, slow breaths; and put your focus on your all-knowing heart? Open to the world going on inside of you, one that is guiding you inward to a place you only dreamed was possible. The Namaste Garden opens a doorway for you to experience the inner landscape of unconditional love, where your Spirit lives in a constant state of ease, joy, and peace. It gently invites you to come home to your true self and to learn how our dreams are planted in the fertile soil of creation. It offers a wonderful exploration for children and adults to expand their consciousness and to create a nurturing relationship with their own spirits while cultivating trust and faith that life is happening exactly as planned (“planted”).

The words, colors, illustrations, energy, and intention contained within this book seek to open your inner wisdom and send you straight to place of beauty, where you can clearly see and be present to a whole new way of experiencing life. Plant your dreams and watch them grow. As the author explains, writing this book was about more than her own experiences – her wish was to communicate with the world that people are born ‘whole’ and do not need fixing, as we are so often told.

“Everything thing we need is already within us. Life is happening from the inside out, not from the outside in,” says Triano. “Children grow up learning about life and how it works through mirroring, feeling, witnessing and sharing in the lives of adults, teachers, and people around them. I think all we need to do is give children unconditional love and nurturing guidance. They are born with their dreams inside of their hearts. We need to get out of the way and let them be who they are. It’s that simple, and that profound.”

Continuing: “My book gives people a way to find their way back to who they really are. It invites adults to come back home to themselves and reclaim themselves mind, body, and spirit.”

In the short time since its publication, the book has earned glowing reviews.

11:11 Talk Radio host, author and humanitarian Simran Singh had this to say about ‘The Namaste Garden’: “Maria Triano’s delightful book is to be celebrated as her unique genius and expression, flowering in the massive landscape of collective consciousness. We all encompass a garden within, as she says. And, as her example illustrates, we are each a beautiful radiant blossom here to gift the world its light and brilliance, in a way that is to be seen, inhaled, and honored.

As you do so, your own garden will be nourished and begin to harvest the seeds of unique genius that nourish and blossom in the fields of all those awaiting your magnificence of your Namaste garden. The Namaste Garden, even in its title, is symbolic of how I see life-Namaste, the divine reverence and recognition of all other ‘beings’ as the divine sacred oneness and the self in union, communion, and celebration. We are each a seed of birthing creative capacity in a full garden with other seeds of this full and vibrant potential … and we are that garden in its fullness. As I wrote in Conversations with the Universe, the world is speaking to us, as us, all of the time. Why? To show us who we are … all of who we are.”

Maria Triano is a Lightworker, Reiki Master, Certified Angel Card Reader ™, successful and passionate Dance/Yoga & Movement educator, instructor, choreographer, artist, and mentor who has been sharing her gifts with those she teaches for over 25 years. Maria’s dance studio, PA Dance Network was located in East Stroudsburg for over 16 years where she had a very successful experience, training dance teachers & dancers of all ages, many who have gone on to have professional careers in dance. In the spring of 2012, the next part of her journey began to come to life, which called her to release the retail store space she had her studio in to build her own private movement and healing center with her husband, Mike Abate, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania

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Former Priest Matthew Fox on 21st Century Spirituality By: Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Two decades being expelled as a priest of the Dominican Order, Matthew Fox has continued to challenge the doctrines of the Catholic Church with books including last year’s The Pope’s War, and his teaching of Creation Spirituality. The author of 30 books, Fox has also been an advocate of education reform, working with young people to develop a more holistic approach to learning.

S&H columnist Rabbi Rami Shapiro spoke with Fox about his work.

Rabbi Rami: I know you have a deep interest in the Divine Feminine and the women mystics of the Church, and have just finished a new book on Hildegard of Bingen, an amazing German Catholic abbess of the 12th century. Tell us a bit about that.

The book is called Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times, Unleashing her Power in the 21st Century , View Here and it’s my third book on her, actually. This fall, the Church will declare her a saint and Doctor of the Church—only the fourth woman to hold that title—and I felt it was important to celebrate her life and thought and not leave all the “spin” up to the present-day Vatican, for whom she can be quite a challenge.

How so?

Hildegard is committed to the Divine Feminine. She calls for circles over ladder-like hierarchies, for loving Mother Earth, for delighting in the glory and grace of nature. She explicitly criticizes emperors, popes, abbots, and bishops for their “ignoring lady justice,” and being surrounded by evil men who “scare even themselves cackling in the middle of the night.” She was a first-class musician and composer, a scientist, a healer, a painter, a mystic who rendered her visions into “illuminations” or drawings, a prophet who denounced the patriarchal guardians of society, and the author of 10 books.

And yet the Church is making her a saint.

She was fierce, and I really question whether the present papacy, despite that they are canonizing her, has a clue to what she really stood for and especially in the area of the Divine Feminine. There is no question that she felt her authority came from a source beyond ecclesiastical hierarchies. That’s why she had the courage to speak truth to power. She refuses to say that the pope is head of the Church; rather the “cosmic Christ” is, and that very much democratizes the Church since we all can experience the cosmic Christ through our mystical or intuitive psyches.

How does this tie in with your foundational ideas of the cosmic Christ and Original Blessing, which teaches that the creation of humanity is defined not by sin but by God’s blessing of life and purpose?

Obviously a theology of Original Blessing and of the cosmic Christ is more horizontal than a theology of top-down magisterial or “trickle-down” grace. Blessing and grace and the Christ consciousness are available for all.

How do you envision spirituality for the 21st century?

An integral part of any 21st century spirituality is what I call “deep ecumenism” or others call “interfaith” and “interspirituality.” Spirit works and has worked through all cultures and all religions—Vatican II supported this reality—and today humans cannot afford tribalism and hiding in their denominational boxes throwing stones or, what’s worse, missiles at one another. We have to dig up our deepest wisdom from all our wisdom traditions, and most of that wisdom we share in common, as I have laid out in my book One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths. The survival issues we face, such as dealing with global climate change, the depleting oceans and forests and soil and animals and seeds and plants—these are not restricted to any faith tradition. They are about the survival and sustainability of the planet as we know it and therefore of our species as we know it. Science too can and should join as part of the wisdom tradition.

A few years ago, we were together at your offices in San Francisco. You were working with kids and creating a spiritual path geared to them. How is that work progressing?

We ran a two-year program for inner-city teenagers attempting to reinvent education from the inner city out. It was very successful and is now going strong with a new name in Chicago. The key was bringing creativity alive in the learning experience of high school.

Today I am working with Adam Bucko of The Reciprocity Foundation in New York City, which is dedicated to assisting street youth. We are working on a book we call The Generation and the Quest for Spiritual Democracy . We’ve been surveying and conducting film interviews with 21- to 34-year-olds around the country involved in new forms of education, economics, politics, community, and religion/spirituality. These people are going to change everything as they get older, and the need for a new relationship between young and old is imperative. What we need is an “inter-generational wisdom” that will share wisdom from young and old alike.

Can you give us an example of inter-generational wisdom?

The issue of eco-justice is one. Also the need to balance contemplation with action. The need to honor our bodies and feed them well and exercise them accordingly. The issues of rendering education alive and creative, as opposed to boring and dull—and [making it] affordable. Learning as a spiritual experience, a sacred experience. Awakening the creativity in young people as this generation is being called upon to reinvent just about everything from religion to economics to politics and more. We need what Howard Thurman said: to put the God of life ahead of the God of religion. — S&H

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