How My Sister-sHero Showed Up!

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

“Sisters are fierce, fragile, and forever.” ~Anon
After seven months of silence from my alma mater and those mentioned in September’s blog post “Abuse, Betrayal, and Mean Girls at 65″I was done
All weekend, information trickled into newsfeeds about my college reunion and my “college sisters,” triggering a tsunami of emotions. 

Today after being unwilling to speak about the lack of any resolution to a trolling, name-calling, and defaming situation in my college alumnae group, I posted this on Facebook: 

“It’s heart-breaking to remove your undergraduate credentials from everywhere; happily I have two Masters’ degrees. Silent abuse isn’t allowed in my house. 

Removing words that tied me to the past and to a college that no longer empowered me, seemed like a proactive ritual that would help me let go and move on…

Natalie Goldberg’s advice inspired today’s post and the previous blog post “Abuse, Betrayal, and Mean Girls at 65.” What’s also been interesting and sad to see (or not see) are the women who I thought were my closest college sisters and their complete silence about my story which is a universal one. Conversely, college sisters who I hadn’t heard from since our 1974 graduation showed up with keen insights and reflections! 

“Split open” with sadness, Facebook friends weighed in about today’s post…and then, this is how my blood sister-sHero unexpectedly appeared:
Giving blood at Inova Hospital, VA.
“Cathy Raymond. Ahem, I’m the only woman who has the right and privilege to call you sister. Calling a group you’ve never met sisters waters that down. 

For perspective, you weren’t betrayed by someone who loves, cares, and has your best interests in mind. 
You were trolled by an anonymous, gutless critic.

Some women don’t address problems directly, but sideways or underhandedly. 
They lack confidence and power.
To correct what she thought was incorrect use of the group page, she could have messaged you directly and contacted the group page administrator. Done.
What she did instead was to try to defame you in front of the group of women you’ve found supportive.

Hard to develop the skill of being truthful and considerate at the same time.
Perhaps you could teach more about writing from your power at the college? 
It’s a poorly written bad review of your website, not your writing which she didn’t address.

Getting a bad review is the price we pay for putting ourselves out there, and the price most women are unwilling to pay…so we keep quiet.

I heard that some authors don’t do their own social media for that reason. Hard to be sensitive enough to write creatively and yet not let meanspirited jabs get to us.

You provide a great transformative service for many women, but not all women it appears. 
Her loss.

I’ve found some Christians get scared by talk of angels, moon signs, and divination. I steer clear of those topics in conversations with them both to respect their boundaries and my unwillingness to open myself to ridicule and scorn or just even having to explain my views. 
Too wearisome.

I applaud that you share your unique perspective about life and living without censoring for “What would a Southern Baptist want to hear?” 
Keep going. 
The women who need your help will find you.

Looks like you’ve graduated from college a second time. 

Maybe it’s not the place that it once was, a place you could express your unique God-given talents regardless of your religion. Alumnae pages are the best places to share your accomplishments. I hope the administration recognizes that. 

It’s not like you are selling shampoo.”

After reading the two Facebook posts, a heart sister suggested, 
Your blood sister is awesome. 
If I were you, I would use her as a role model to compare any other women with whom you are considering letting in close. 
Your true sister is a keeper.” 
Copy that.

I love and thank you, Cathy Sue–my sis, my sHero!
Radiant healer, writer, teacher and wise woman!

Reflections from the Joys of Plans B, C, D, E and…

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” 
~John Lennon, lyrics from”Beautiful Boy”

To coincide with the auspicious celestial events of today–the Spring Equinox and New Moon–the original Plan A meant launching my first book today!

It’s aslo the birthday of William Joseph Lelash aka “Bump Bump,” my maternal grandfather and first spiritual teacher. A frustrated wannabe priest, he enjoyed giving me snippets of sermons about life and happiness.

A lover of roses, he’d be celebrating his 128 turn-around-the-sun. The sight and smell of roses connects me to his presence and inspired teachings that remain lovingly tucked away in my heart.

And “my” Plan A is not happening…yet.

Instead, Writing Medicine: The Must-Have Guide to Your Hero’s Journey to Inner Healing is waiting for her reveal later this year.

The alphabet of emotions to publicly share the launch date’s change ranged from anger to sadness to feeling like a failure to trusting this is all in Divine Order. Guilt and shame joinded the emotional parade for disappointing family and friends, not to mention my publisher, editors, and Beta readers.

Embracing John Lennon’s wisdom, I can now reflect with gratitude on the past 11 months to see that the beauty of Plan B, and even Plans C, D, and E unfolded perfectly imperfect.

“Book” as I affectionately call her, released a tsunami of positive energy—all while immersed in the daily writing routine often spanning four to eight hours. For awhile, the possibilities of new plans remained unknown to me while sitting hunched over a computer in the same clothes with unwashed hair and a naked face. 

Book sent out her business card, attracting new opportunities that demanded my attention, energy, and action—and she willingly agreed to wait and delay her appearance and, not forever.

Plan B: Instead of finishing Book, a panel proposal for Writing Medicine, was selected from 1,700 submissions; the selection committee BELIEVED in its healing message and notified me of their acceptance by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

Affirming I’d be in Portland, I asked Michele True in April  2018 to take this photo while attending the AWP Conference, Tampa. The Law of Attraction works! 
Plan C: A week from today you’ll find me at AWP’s Annual CONFERENCE and BOOK FAIR in Portland, OR, the City of Roses. This gathering is North America’s largest literary event. Joining me are four writing sisters on the Writing Medicine panel–three of whom I’ve never met. Gratefully, they found me through the virtual ethers. They include Alexis Donkin (CA); Alicia Anabel Santos (NYC); Tawni Waters (NM) and; my writing sister and business partner, Michele True (FL).
The skyline of Portland, “City of Roses,” with Mt. Hood keeping a watchful eye.
Plan D: Who knows what exciting plans might invite DIVINE ORDER in a week with the literary crush of 10,000 writers, authors, agents, publishers, and lovers of all things written?! I’m not planning anything other than serving as the panel’s moderator and a presenter. Just being me is enough to show up as an Ambassador of St. Petersburg and possibilities!

Hilltop view of Arcidosso, Tuscany, the medieval village and site of our retreat and Michele’s ancestral home.

PLAN E: Finally, there’s the EAT, Pray, Write: Women’sTuscan Writing Retreat. In November 2018, Michele announced, “My husband and I are buying a house in Tuscany so I can’t be here next month (December)…and of course, we’ll have to plan a writing retreat…” 

Her thoughts became a dream, became actions, and became real. Yes…
Thoughts are things. Make them good ones.” 
~Mike Dooley
We co-created and launched the writing retreat on February 2. Thrilled, we’re delighted to announce that all 13 sacred spaces are filled with a waitlist. Plans are percolating for more retreats in 2020 to places like Bali, Costa Rica, and of course Italy. Thanks to this new awareness and appreciation, it’s exciting to know and trust that these plans, too, could change for different and better Plans F, G, H and…

Thank goodness for the 26 letters of the alphabet and the joy-full gifts from 
Plans B, C, D & E! 

Let’s all remember…

Ways to Practice the Art of Alchemical Gratitude

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

Thankfulness is modern alchemy; it can yield happiness, grace, and peace beyond imagination.” ~Denise Linn, Sacred TravelerOracle 

An author’s best friend, the Visual Thesaurus, defines alchemy as “interpersonal chemistry; the way two people relate to one another.” This could also mean how you relate to yourself, the shadow and light parts, the yin and yang. And an active, daily practice of gratitude becomes the glue, bridge, and path that does indeed “yield happiness…beyond imagination.”

To guide you on your path, Paulo Coelho, mega-bestselling author of The Alchemist, distills his wisdom into 10 Rules for Success. 

Which ones do you practice in your life?

The art of alchemical gratitude is to be thankful for the times you’re practicing these ten rules and when you are not—that’s the demonstration of your true acceptance of what is instead of what could or should have been. Grace is the other word you are demonstrating.

Today’s Sacred Traveler oracle card, Gratitude and Grace reminds you how:

“Through gratitude, joy expands. The secret to expanding joy is to cherish the preciousness of life and everything and everyone around you. It’s simple, easy, and so very powerful. Be grateful for as much as you can.”

Also consider these three gentle reminders:
1) Allow gratitude to flood you at every moment for everything and everyone—it’s easy to appreciate hugs, awards, compliments, and bestselling book statistics. It’s the practice of appreciating the haters, doubters, and naysayers when jealousy and envy seek to creep in and erode your inner peace. Be appreciative you have these contrasting energies in your life!

2) Regardless of where you are,“nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems.” Breathe slowly until the outer circumstances change as they will. Promise. Be thankful for the opportunity.

3) Conflict can be the genesis of change and creativity if you fearlessly walk that path and move beyond. Little whisps of gratitude can become larger, fluffy clouds of appreciation. Be grateful for the details.

As Denise Linn gently reminds, “Your entire life can transform when you take time to fully, deeply, and profoundly allow the grace of gratitude to fill you.”
May you make and take the time.
Shout Outs!
Your success is everyone’s success to be grateful for…

Already climbing the Amazon success charts, enjoy this just-relased treasure by sister writer and author, Lisa Hutchinson.



Michele True, my friend and writing sister, and I are appreciating the joy of hosting the Eat, Pray, Write: Women’s Tuscan Writing Retreat from September 13-18just two of the 13 sacred spaces remain
Is Italy on your Wish List? Perhaps Arcidosso, our retreat site and ancient hilltop village, will provide you the time to fulfill this dream, practice gratitude, and appreciate life in all its detailed splendor!

11 Ways to Choose Happiness Over Suffering

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Isn’t it odd that a martyred Roman Catholic priest who suffered for his faith would now symbolize one of the world’s greatest celebrations of love?! ’Tis a puzzlement why the name of the celibate Saint Valentine–born AD 269, Terni, Italy and died 269 AD, Rome–is synonymous with lovers and the expressions of affection and love. According to the National Retail Federation, these loving expressions will generate $20.7 billion (that’s a “b“) to the American economy!

Known mostly through legends, this mysterious character’s painful death came because he tried to help others escape the cruel life of Roman prisons. Another more romantic story suggests that the-then imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting to a girl, perhaps the jailor’s daughter, after falling in love with her, and signed it, “From your Valentine.”

Yes, the truth remains as dark as any chocolate—but the love story’s appeal of this heroic, romantic man rippled out and landed in the Middle Ages where St. Valentine became a popular saint in England and France. 
The rest is history.

What rings true is that as the Catholic Patron Saint of Lovers, Valentine is associated with the virtue of love–the reason for life with all two and four-footed creatures. It is is through the expression and acceptance of love, that everyone and everything enjoys the delirium of expanded health, wealth, and happiness–including an affair with pizza!

Yes, Carl Sagan, the famous American author and cosmologist, calls us “star stuff’ and we are much more…
We are love.
You are love.
I am love.

We are designed for happiness in all its forms and expressions.

Saint Valentine and Elizabeth Gilbert might both agree with the Sacred Traveler Oracle message that appeared this morning: 
Five Ways to Choose Passion and Pleasure: 
 “Savor your life and find joy in the moment. Live deliciously. Love often and fully. Cherish your friendships. Fill your life with the people, experiences, and places that you give you delight and joy…”
Five More Ways for You, the Hero, to choose happiness:
* Release by remembering, “When the horse is dead, get off!”
* Write yourself a pink permission slip to be happy and; a love letter with 7 things you appreciate about yourself.
* Focus on what’s now splendiferous instead of being caught up in the dance of anger of drama.
* Allow your senses to be satiated and saturated!
Perhaps you heard, “I love you to the moon and back and, I love me to the moon and back!” or these whispers from Elizabeth Gilbert…

And perhaps, one final way to choose happiness…
Celebrating Passion and Pleasure!
Michele True, my friend and writing sister, and I are savoring the yet-to-come pleasure to host the Eat, Pray, Write: Women’s Tuscan Writing Retreat from September 13-18. Passionately launched 10 days ago, the retreat is now 76% filled—just three of the 13 sacred spaces remain with two pending possibilities!
Is Italy on your Wish List? Perhaps Arcidosso, our retreat site and ancient hilltop village in Tuscany, will provide you the sacred envelope of time to fulfill this dream, enjoy the moment, live deliciously, and more…

To learn more about starting your new year over, check out my
19-Point Checklist: Create a Personal Book Title & Vision 
Your 2019 Hero’s Journey
Download my free gift –no email required!

How the Chinese New Year, Lanterns, and Tuscany Connect

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn) “May wealth flow in.”
Your Chinese Happy New Year Greeting!
February 5 starts the Chinese New Year celebration for millions around the globe. This year’s focus is the zodiac sign of the Year of Pig—or Wild Boar. How wonderful to enjoy a “do over” if 2019 isn’t turning out the way you had hoped. Some historians believe that the Chinese started observing their “new year” sometime in the Shang Dynasty 1766 BC – 1122 BC. 

Legends hold that the Chinese New Year’s origin started with the fight against a mythical beast called the “Year.” The “Year” looked like an ox with the head of a lion and was believed to inhabit the sea. On the night of New Year’s Eve, the “Year” would come out to harm animals, people, and their properties. Eventually, people discovered that the “Year” feared the color red, fire, and loud sounds. So for self-protection, people began posting red Dui Lian in front of their houses, launching fireworks, and hanging lanterns at year end.

Made of paper with a small, suspended fire, a Chinese lantern (sky lantern) is the world’s oldest hot air balloon. Their initial purpose served as military signaling—letting the troops know enemy strength and position. Fast forward to the 18th c with the French expanding the lantern’s possibilities; they transformed the small sky lanterns into manned hot air balloons carrying passengers for delight, travel, exploration, and military signaling.

History making continued on “January 15, 1991 when the ‘Virgin Pacific Flyer’ balloon completed the longest flight in a hot air balloon. Piloting the craft were Per Lindstrand (born in Sweden, but resident in the UK) and Richard Branson of the UK who flew 4,767.10 miles from Japan to Northern Canada,” according to Wikipedia.

The life adventures of Branson, a visionary, world traveler, and billionaire, reinforces the value of the Sacred Traveler Oracle Card that appeared today:

Get the big picture. Don’t get bogged down in details. Let go of petty concerns. 
Imagine that you’re seeing life from above. Only do what is truly important; everything else is consequential…Make major life decisions based on this strategy.”
Five Things to Consider for You, the Hero:
* Be gentle with yourself. It’s easy to let life’s distractions tangle the lines of your ascending hot air balloon—perhaps it’s a new relationship, book, or project
* Realize that there’s truth in “don’t sweat the small stuff.”
* Remember that all worries, anxieties, and setbacks are as fleeting as the clouds on your balloon ride.
* Look up, not down, and imagine the future using all six senses: intuition, sight, taste, sound, smell, and touch.
* Trust the Life-force energy currents that are uplifting and directing your perfect flight path.
Finally, believe that the View from Above will inspire and motivate you to new and different perspectives!
Did I just hear you say, “Oh, the places I’ll go?!

Celebrating the View from Above
Michele True, my friend and writing sister, and I are looking up and forward to hosting the Eat, Pray, Write: Women’s Tuscan Writing Retreat from September 13-18, 2019. 
Our dream launched on Saturday, February 2 and is now 69% filled—just four of the 13 sacred spaces remain. 
Curious? Perhaps Arcidosso, our retreat site and ancient hilltop village in Tuscany, will provide you with a view from above and more…

To learn more about starting your new year over, check out my
19-Point Checklist: Create a Personal Book Title & Vision 
Your 2019 Hero’s Journey
Download my free gift –no email required!

How Are Horses and the Super Blood Moon Connected?

Your Soul Cafe Blog: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Action
Super Blood Moon, Seattle by Sigma Sreedharan Fine Art Photography

When the horse is dead, get off.” ~Rosita Perez
This weekend’s trifecta of moon magic dazzled millions who saw Moon’s brilliance and also frustrated many who saw only cloud cover. Thanks to social media, the morning after moon glow provided everyone with images that evoked awe and wonder.

Perhaps your Divine Downloads came as subtle or bold messages, energies and shifts.
One message is universally certain: It’s a New Year and time to let go of the old! And the seven most important words that could help you are, “When the horse is dead, get  off!”

But how can you do this--open your heart and take inspired action–to get off a”dead horse?Try using Oracle cards–
they can assist you on your Hero’s Journey in five ways.
As part of my Divine Dialogue Writing System, you are taught to ask, “What do I need to know for and about my best and Highest good today about ____________?” 

Today’s topic is getting guidance for letting go of all the people, places, and things that no longer serve you (and me) to move into the New Year.

What next?
Get quiet. Be still and breathe. Shuffle the deck. Place them on your heart. Breathe. Then draw a card with your left hand, as that’s the hand with the veins and arteries that directly connect with your beating, heart.

If you believe in Oneness, then today’s message for you and me is…

Valiant Courage Card Meaning (partial):

“Take action with passion. This isn’t the time to be timid or hold back. Gather your inner resources and go foward gallantly with your banner of truth waving in the wind…Take risks. 
It’s okay to feel afraid, just don’t let it stop you. 
Don’t play safe. Opportunities will pass you by otherwise. Speak up for yourself…”

The Sacred Traveler Wants You to Know:

“The sacred traveler sometimes experiences the unexpected on the road…someone withi less-than-pure intentions emerges from the wooeds. Courage doesn’t mean you’re not afarid. It means in spite of fear and hesitation, you take action. Any journey of the heart needs courage, and you’re on such a journey…”

What I Want You, the Hero, to Feel:

Comforted.You’re not alone in feeling afraid to get off the dead horse of relationships or projects, especially when they involve family members, long-term friends or even clients.
Inspired. You can bravely gather your inner and outer resources. Seek out a mentor who’s demonstrated valiant courage and bravery. 
Mentors can help you:
* See around the corner that you can’t see and offer perspectives
* Debunk limited beliefs offered by others or yourself
* Go beyond the dead-end you’re now facing because you’re not moving forward–the horse is dead!

Finally, confident that the message of Valiant Courage is your positive sign to remember that you’ve got this. You can now get off the dead horse and ride into a new life chapter on a different horse. 

Did I hear “giddyup”?!

Shout Outs!
Celebrating courageous friends who published their messages…

Brava, Debra Oakland! >> Get it here.

New Release! Brava, Cornelia Merk & writing sister, Janet Nestor! >> Get it here.

Let’s stay connected during your Hero’s Journey!
Here are four simple ways:

Subscribe to travel along with my blog every week. (See very right, bottom corner)
Visit my two Facebook pages–then if you like what you see, give it a digital “LIKE” >> Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond and LoreRaymond, Author, Speaker, Writing and Creativity Coach
Join my free, women’s group, the Writer’s VisionQuest: Supporting Your Hero’s Journey to Transform Your Words Into Somewhere Brilliant.

Why All the Fuss About January’s Full Moon?

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
“Moonshine  Skyway” over Tampa Bay by James Boone

Where there is a woman, there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share, or not share, her powers…”
~Ntzozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo

Why all the fuss about the moon on Sunday night, January 20? 

There are four rare, celestial reasons to consider including:
1) Moon, as I call her, will celebrate the New Year in her splendiferous fullness for the first time. January’s normal moon name is the Full Wolf Moon which refers to the hungry, howling wolf packs during winter according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

2) There’s more. Moon will experience a rare, total lunar eclipse. This means that an alignment of the Earth’s orbit while passing between Sister Moon and Brother Sun, causes a moon shadow painting her with a reddish hue—thus, the name Blood Moon. This won’t happen again until May 26, 2021.

3) Moon is also called “Super” at this time as her orbit is the closest to our earth, so she’ll be showing off by beaming brighter and larger than usual.

4) Selenophiles–moon lovers and lunatics–will be able to see this magical, moon trifecta!

These lunar energies make it the perfect time to write and create. Be a “woman of magic” who taps into and shares her power.

Sheeesh! It’s a mouthful to say that the 
Full Moon is the Super Wolf Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse.

“Blood Moon over Zakim” (bridge), Boston by Joann Vitali
Where and when is it best to see this rare sky-party?
Here are the times and dates for the rare, total lunar eclipse:

Tampa Bay – January 20, 11:42 pm  (starts)
Los Angeles – January 20, 9:16 pm
New York – January 21, 12:16 am 
London – January 21, 5:16 am
Delhi – January 21, 10:46 am
Sydney – January 21, 4:16 pm
What can you expect in the days ahead?
With Valentine’s Day approaching, this unqiue Full Moon, according to Mystical Raven, might bring about some surprising ways that could impact your zodiac sign:

* Aries: Major romantic developments (even an engagement or pregnancy) or a burst of creative genius that could become profitable in 2019
* Taurus: News from a family member or changes at home, from a renovation to a relocation
* Gemini: Major shifts with your friend circle or the launching of a powerful partnership
* Cancer: Money-making opportunities or a well-deserved promotion
* Leo: Catapulting your talents and hard work of the past two years into the public eye.
* Virgo: Helping you forgive a frenemy or gain closure on a painful situation. Bye!
* Libra: Connecting you to your “soul squad,” boosting popularity
* Scorpio: Drawing in high-profile career opportunities and leadership positions at work
* Sagittarius: Bringing a long-distance opportunity or a chance to travel
* Capricorn: Deepening your connection to one special soul—and maybe breaking you away from a toxic relationship elsewhere
* Aquarius: Revealing the right—and wrong partners for you
* Pisces: Kicking wellness resolutions into high gear, taking on more leadership at work.

“Blood Moon” by Mike Oria
…A woman with moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the Spirits.
~Ntzozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo
Related readings:
* 6 Ways to Celebrate the Full Thunder Moon (Several release activities, helpful to use at this time.)
 * How to Use the Full Moon to Write

Celebrating the success of Sister Writers Debra Reble and others (me included) in today’s launch of…
Be sure to grab your copy of Soul-Hearted Living today!

Why and How to Use Oracle Cards to Inspire and Clarify

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

Drawing an oracle card every day can provide you with a word waymark to direct thoughts and writing—maybe even guidance for your goals and intentions. It’s a simple, intuitive practice…one that I wrote about on January 1 to discover your sacred word(s) for a New Year’s resolution, title, affirmation, or mantra.

For 2019, please join me on my pilgrimage using the Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards for the first time; they’re created by Denise Linn, a bestselling author of 18 books and translated into 29 languages. They complement and reinforce the new 2019 theme on my Facebook pages and the first book now underway, Writing Medicine: The Must-Have Guide to Your Hero’s Journey to Inner Healing.

How can oracle cards assist you on your Hero’s Journey? They can help:

* Give clarity to concerns and issues
* Offer problem-solving perspectives
* Interpret signs and dreams, especially repeating ones
* Inspire writing and creative projects
* Become more present to the now moment

As part of my Divine Dialogue Writing System, you are taught to ask, “What do I need to know for and about my best and Highest good today?” (You can be more specific if you choose.)

Get quiet. Be still and breathe. Shuffle the deck. Place them on your heart. Breathe. Then draw a card with your left hand, as that’s the hand with the veins and arteries that directly connect with your beating, heart.

If you believe in Oneness, then today’s message for you and me is…

Notice your first reaction when seeing the oracle card. You might not be pleased with what appears. And after eight years of this practice almost every morning, I’ve learned to trust what shows up–comfortable or uncomfortable, it is all good.

Read the guidebook. 
Write and interact with the word waymarks
Allow the information to sit with you.

Be open to how the message’s confirmation unfolds during the day. Indeed, you might be surprised how on point the information was!
 Distant Thunder Card meaning (partial):
Clear the air. Dramatic purification, renewal, and healing are occurring on many levels. Don’t be concerned if there is chaos in your life; in this instance it is good. It is shaking things up, so you don’t become stagnant. If your auric field or your personal space is cluttered, it’s difficult for new experiences and opportunities to come into your life. It’s time to clear out the clutter…”

The Sacred Traveler Wants You to Know:
“On the distant horizon, a storm is brewing. Great shards of lightning are thunder-bolting to the earth from the heavens. It can feel chaotic, but it heralds a time of renewal. Thunderstorms clear the dust out of the air and, reenergizes the earth. Be open to change…”

What I Want You, the Hero, to Feel:
You’re not alone in this chaotic chaos. I know because Tampa Bay, Florida, the “Lightning Capital of the World,” is my home.

Be inspired to declutter your inner and outer life. Try the popcorn method. Set a timer for 18 minutes a day. There’s scientific proof explaining why this works as explained in 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman. 

Some people, places and things will naturally fall away, like the “dust” that rains ash away, renewing the earth (and you) with fresh sights and senses. Other decluttering will take intention and goal setting practices

Finally, believe that the “distant thunderstorm” is a positive sign because they produce lightning, a transformative symbol connecting heaven and earth for you. Your best and Highest good is about to rain down on you! Renewal and recharging are on the way. 

Meanwhile, remember…

What “distant thunderstorm” do you hear and see in your life? Thank you in advance for sharing in the comments.

Want to stay connected during this pilgrimage?
Here are four simple ways:

Subscribe to travel along with my blog every week. (See very right, bottom corner)
Visit my two Facebook pages–then if you like what you see, give it a digital “LIKE” >> Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond and LoreRaymond, Author, Speaker, Writing and Creativity Coach
Join my free, women’s group, the Writer’s VisionQuest: Supporting Your Hero’s Journey to Transform Your Words Into Somewhere Brilliant.

Why and How to Find Your 2019 Fountain of Youth Words

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of others.”
 ~ Sophia Loren

To tap into your “fountain of youth,” consider this simple and powerful practice; it’s one that I’ve enjoyed every January 1 to start my Soul Spa Day and taught in Vision Mapping workshops for a decade.


Words are waymarks, a “symbol or signpost marking the route of a footpath.” On this auspicious day, these are sacred words that now find you–or that you chose–to guide your thoughts, words, and deeds in the new year. (Thanks to, Joy Siren, for introducing me to this word!)

The goal is now diving deep to discover words that will inspire and inform “the route of your footpath.”

Here’s how. Try these simple five steps:
1) Get quiet and be still. 
2) Breathe until your breathing slows…
3) Then place an oracle deck of cards on your heart; other options could be using a favorite book or dictionary.
4) When ready, ask the question: 
What do I need to know for and about my best and Highest good in 2019?
5) Take your time…Let your left hand be guided to choose one card, or cut the deck 19 times for the new year; if using a book, open to any page, or flip 19 pages and scan it for words that POP! (The left hand’s veins and arteries are directly connected to your heart.)

The perfect “fountain of youth” word or words will appear. They will find you. That simple. 

Later, combine this sacred word(s) into:
* affirmations
* mantras
* goal and intention setting practices
* vision and mission statements
* a one-word New Year’s resolution!

 As “symbols and signposts,” they’ll mark your path of creativity and writing in the months ahead. 

Celebrate your word waymarks by making a color copy and keeping them in a journal or on the desktop as a screen saver.
The Fountain of Youth legend lives on in Florida, from the Spanish “florido, full of flowers.”

My 2019 Word: Regenerator
Angel Tarot Card, Doreen Virtue
Emotional, Romantic, Enthusiastic, Contemplative. The need to balance emotions. An invitation to a social event.

Voyager Tarot Card, Dr. James Wanless, Ph.D.
As a regenerator and revitalizer, you are emotionally creative. Like the life-giving rain, you can transform a barren situation into a garden of emotional delight and abundance.

Your inner fountain of youth creates new emotional life and vitality.

You are a healer. Like bubbly, playful water, you can bring happiness and joy through the restorative power of laughter and good feeling.

Your energy is a medicinal spring that heals the physically sick and troubled heart.

My 2019 Writing & Creativity Words: Blocks Lifted
Archangel Gabriel Oracle Card, Doreen Virtue 
For the third year in a row, the exact same one arrived early this morning…Blocks Lifted! Now, what are the statistical chances of that?
Previous obstacles came from fear, and they are now lifted away.

What “fountain of youth” words found you today? Thank you in advance for sharing in the comments below.

Shout Out! Sharing Free Inspiration!
For all selenophiles (moon lovers like me), here’s a free January Lunar Calendar to follow from Sara at Bella Luna.

I feel over the Almost-New Moon for contributing two of my original inspirational quotes to Debra’s new book, Soul-Hearted Living: A Year of Sacred Reflections and Affirmations for Women, being released on January 16. 
Register for VIP NOTICE today and, as a thank-you, receive 2 FREE guided meditations.

Lore’s 7 Most Empowering Articles fom 2018

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

“I am a part of everything that I have read.”
~Theodore Roosevelt, American author, explorer, soldier, naturalist and
26th President of the United States, 1901-1909

What does staying out of Facebook Jail, writing a book, setting intentions and goals and; writing with the Moon share in common? They’re what you, the reader, found to be most empowering and meaningful in this year’s blog of Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions. Seems that the fall was your favorite month of choices! Also, it’s interesting that there are two blogs about my undergraduate college experience that are in stark contrast–one’s focus is the joy of sisterhood and the other great sorrow that comes from betrayal.

First, thank you for taking the time to read and then comment on the blogs. It can get lonely as a writer so hearing from you is a treasure. I cherish every word. Writing is one of my great love affairs. It’s my New Year hope that what you read from me becomes a part of you.

If you’d like to suggest a blog post idea or if you’d like a guest blogger, I would welcome your suggestions and invitations. Just message me on Facebook.

A big thank you hug, Jill Celeste, for this blog post idea. You inspired me last years by brilliantly summarizing the year with your “Top 6 Marketing Articles from 2017.”

Rewinding, here’s what readers found most empowering and meaningful in calendar order:

With 2.07 billion monthly Facebook users, you can’t ignore the rules of the biggest social media game on the globe.” 
~Lore Raymond

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”
 ~George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life
Do you want the moon?! I do. A love affair with Moon (my affectionate name for both the Full Moon and New Moon) began five years ago when my current publisher, J.S. Devivre, of E. Gads Hill Press, invited me to write a full moon ritual for her online magazine. Seems she detected a love of rituals cultivated from my Catholic spiritual roots.

I will not stay silent this time.
Verbal assault is different from physical assault.
Of course.
There is still pain and healing to move through any assault on one’s tender body, mind, and soul. 

Here’s the thing: The book that will most change your life is the book you write.” 

~Seth Godin

I’m up to my arse in alligators writing my first book, a non-fiction tale of how writing heals. It’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces meets Sacred Contracts, with a dash of Big Magic and Artist’s Way mixed in. No, I haven’t joined the club of authors who’ve written their first book or novel–not yet. Chapter 7 is complete—only six more to go.

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” ~Bill Meyer

For millennia, farmers around the globe have followed the schedule of the New Moon to plant successful harvests. It is an ancient and energetic time inviting you to reflect, visualize and write. With the New Moon approaching on Monday, October  8–also Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day–what “seed thoughts” will you plant during this cycle? What intentions will you write on the celestial blackboard of the dark New Moon? 

October: 11 Pieces of Advice I Would Include in a Letter to My Younger Self

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wings of time.
 ~Jean Paul

I just celebrated 65 successful-turns-around-the-sun. Yes, trite to say, but where did time fly to? 
As my birthday wound down, I paused to time travel over the past six decades, I thought it would be fun to list 65 things I would put in a letter to my younger self. In this case, it would be “Little Lorraine Monique” when she was 10 years young and making straight A’s as a fifth grader at St. Francis de Sales School in Riverside, CA– and to my only grandson Blake, now age 3 ½.

Then a breezy thought blew by, “Who wants to read 65 pieces of advice from you–or anyone for that matter?!” 

Not me.