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

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Action

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.
And because I enjoy numerology if you add 6+5 (my turns-around-the-sun) =11; eleven is a portal number, reminding me that I am walking through the door to Chapter 3.

Some are serious, and some are just fun, but all have meaning for me.

Please share which “birthday feather” you practice or enjoyed being reminded of.

#1 Love is all there is. Love is all there. Love is all. Love is. LOVE. ~Lore

#2 Explore your relationship with God—or whatever name you choose. Invest in it, nurture it, grow it, express it, and never divorce.

#3 Listen to your inner whispers and follow the promptings; Intuition always has your back.

#4 Expect and give lots of H.U.G.S. >> Happy Unexpected God Surprises.

#5 When the horse is dead, get off!” -Rosita Perez. There’s no need to stay in any relationship that doesn’t bring you joy. Period.

#6 Make gratitude a daily practice; the positive energy will bless you abundantly and over time, become as natural as breathing.
#7 Be a forever student and teacher; read everything and anything; take classes and courses and; give back what you’ve learned.

#8 Make self-care of your body temple vs. a tent a priority with healthy food and thought choices. The greatest wealth you’ll ever have is good health—don’t squander your youthful treasure.

#9 Forgive yourself and others often. Repeat and repeat.

#10 Follow the Jewish proverb, “Plant a tree. Have a child. Write a book.”
#11 To travel far, travel light and be sure to pack your pen, paper, and all your dreams! ~Lore

Some final thoughts:
We are travelers on a cosmic Journey.
Stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity.
Life is eternal.
We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, 
to meet, to love, to share.
This is a precious moment. 
It is a parenthesis in eternity.”
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Happy Birthday to me.

Supporting sister writers & friends. Take a look-see…

Debby Kevin offers up her #1 Amazon bestselling adventure tale

#1 Amazon Bestselling series by Jodi Chapman  & Dan Teck; proud to have contributed to two of the books! 

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting to Write a Book

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

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.

Now halfway through the writing journey, here are six things I wish I knew 
 (and embraced) before starting to write my book 18 months ago:

1. Assemble your team

I thought that I could write this book by myself. Why not? The proof was that as a co-author, my stories appeared in seven books, five of them #1 Amazon International Bestsellers. 

Instead, I plodded along with lackadaisical energy. Stopped. Started. Participated in my online book writing course thinking this was enough. Not even close!

Finally, two months ago when I set the publishing date of March 20, 2019, to coincide with the Spring Equinox, the illusionary fog of writing this book alone lifted. 

Why? The wake-up whack came in August; an email notified me that my panel proposal to host and present the book’s topic was accepted from 17,000 proposals. I was headed to North America’s largest literary event, the Annual Conference of the Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs in Portland, Oregon. 

Yikes! My book must be published by March 26. I needed help and fast.

What started the ball rolling came through a coaching session with Bryna Haynes, a successful author, and creator of Cover to Cover: How to Write Your  World Changing Book in 8 Easy Steps. One of her suggestions included hiring an editor and publisher sooner than later.

Gratefully at the same time, J.S. Devivre, the publisher with E. Gads Hill Press, reached out to say my book received a scholarship from Whimsilcalitea. A “pen to paper to publishing” roadmap then provided dates, tasks, and “waymarks” (deadlines) to move the book forward. She also explained the different kinds of editors to include people who could assist with copy, development, and line changes. A dynamic editor capable of all three skill sets is now hired. 

There’s a timeless truth in John Donne’s wisdom that “No man is an island. No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.” 

This includes book writers.

2. Begin with the end in mind

Start off by setting your book’s intentions and goals. Create each book chapter’s title page with an image and quote. Print them out and include in your book writing binder. The next step is designing and printing a cover to make the book come alive; wrap it around a hardcover book the same size book you’re planning to publish.

Next, choose the person to write the foreword. Dream big! Why not? 

Imagination and visualization become the healthy diet to feed your creative spirit. For the past two months, I often visit in my mind’s eye the date of March 20, 2019. It’s thrilling to imagine friends and writing sisters being launch partners; enjoying the Facebook launch event; opening up boxes of books at my Portland hotel and; holding a copy up at the AWP19 Conference panel presentation. 

I also noodle plans for book signings and speaking events in Oregon, California, and Florida. It’s fun shopping online for items to pop into the book’s swag bags at these events. Creative playtime fuels my writing.

Waves of joy, satisfaction, eagerness, and gratitude always flood my senses.

Beginning with the end in mind this spring: Seeing myself in Portland 2019!
3. Unplug to plug in

You can’t stay in your keyboard head all day. Inspiration isn’t automatic so I’ve learned to take “inspiration commercials.” 

Do something physical.

For me, this translates to cleaning a junk drawer; walking for 18 minutes practicing energy medicine exercises and; cooking. Some days I stroll the sugar sands of the Gulf of Mexico after the morning writing is complete.

Words flow where the energy goes—so physical activities are a positive way to balance head, heart, hands, and body. Then, get ready for splashes of Divine Downloads! 
Walking near any body of water is the perfect way to “unplug to plug in.”
4. Distractions be gone

These “blue meanies” (as my publisher calls them), continue to pop up like mini-energy vampires. Stay vigilant! Make it a daily priority to clear the decks so that your writing time is a “No Interruption Zone.” 

To do that, prep the day’s materials, snacks, and water in advance; never turn on the Internet and; set boundaries with loved ones that you’re not in the office. Consider inviting them to pretend you’re out running errands.

Checking social media is my reward for writing until a CD with Theta Wave music stops. That way, no alarm is needed, only a gentle, silent reminder to take a break.

“Blue meanies” (as my publisher calls them) continue to pop up like mini-energy vampires.
5. Sloppy Copy is essential crapola

Do you edit ad nauseam like me? You might suffer from perfection paralysis. If yes, stop it! Your first draft is supposed to be a non-sensical, ooey-gooey mess. More is better in this case.

My writing is now a pure stream of consciousness while keeping my hand moving, not stopping to think and only to…write, write, write! This is not the time for perfect spelling or Grammarly, the world’s most accurate online grammar checker. This is the time for writing sloppy copy! The result is nothing short of miraculous—the book is getting written.

You can always return and edit or with a team member. And here’s the gift: You can do this as many times as you choose. How cool is that?

My sloppy copies look like this with highlighting! Mine are colorful, ooey-gooey messes.

6. Faith it ’til you make it

No one said it would be easy to write a book. Always the optimist, I thought it would be easy since friends described me as a strong and prolific writer. But then, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. How could I? This is my first book.

To counter the hills and valleys on this writing journey be sure to pack and repack your faith. Believe that the message deserves to be shared; that only you can tell this particular story through your authentic voice and; that your book serves a Higher good.

If you can’t ’faith it until you make it over the publishing finish line, that’s where your team comes in—ask them to express their faith in you and your book. For me, part of my team is the free, private Facebook group, the Writer’s VisionQuest designed to help “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.”

Book is writing me.” – Lore Raymond

Happy birthday to authors:
October 11: Eleanor Roosevelt (1884); Thich Nhat Hanh (1926); October 14e.e. Cummings and me; October 15: Virgil (70 B.C.); P.G. Wodehouse (1881); Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1917): Italo Calvino (1923); Roxane Gay (1974); October 16: Noah Webster (1758); Oscar Wilde (1854); Eugene O’Neill (1888); Günter Grass (1927) and; October 17: Nathanael West (1903); Arthur Miller (1915)
PLUS, today’s the day. SHINE! is now available.

Spotlighting my writing sisters even though I’m not a contributor to SHINE! Congratulations everyone!

Knowing the Difference Between Writing Intentions and Goals Matters

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? 

There’s a difference between writing intentions and goals.

In the world of self-help, planning, and visioning, you frequently read the terms intentions and goals. They are often interchanged or used in the same sentence. 

But there is a profound difference between the two terms so knowing the subtleties might better focus the “how” to implement them and provide greater satisfaction once accomplished.

What are intentions?
An intention becomes a simple, short declarative statement about how you choose “to be” vs. what you choose “to do” in the world. These inspiring, value-based words become touchstones of your life’s journey. Written intentions connect the 18” of space between your head and heart.
You might set an intention that looks like this:
I choose to now accept my creativity when writing!
As an in the moment statement, you can take an immediate, inspired action step to feel successful. Say and write your intention. You will start to feel and enjoy the success right now by accepting your creativity when writing. Yes, that simple. There’s no need to plan or wait to accomplish the intention or feel satisfaction. By embracing acceptance, this intention will inspire and inform how you treat yourself now and forever
Most importantly, your written intentions define and inspire your life, writing, messages, and business. You don’t want to ever say, “That intention is complete. Next…” 

Intentions are often a lifelong practice.

What are goals?

Perhaps you’ve heard the definition of SMART “a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives…The letters S and M usually mean specific and measurable, with letters A for achievable, R for results-focused and T meaning time-bound.”
Goals are different from intentions because they can be completed and taken off the “to do” list. As concrete outcomes, you can take action steps toward achieving them, celebrate your success, and then move on to the next goal. 

By connecting your intentions with your goals, you’ll enjoy a life that’s more joyful and successful. Promise.
For example, using the previous example of the intention to choose to accept your creativity when writing, these goals could be set:
·         find an offline or online community of creatives and writers who are embracing creativity in different ways like my women’s Writer’s VisionQuest group.
·         journal with an 18 minute-daily habit about your feelings

·         read two books or blogs on creativity and writing; write a blog about your creativity and newest writing project!

·         start using new vocabulary words like glow-getter, luxuriate or coruscate

As tangible things, goals become the action steps you want “to do,” and they  complement and reinforce your intentions “to be.”  Once you cross off a similar goal like this from your list, you’ll probably also continue to accept your creativity when writing.

With the subtle distinctions made between an intention and a goal, what intentions will you write on the celestial blackboard of the dark New Moon on October 8? Practice now by sharing one or two in the comments. 

To inspire, here are ideas from friends who fearlessly shared their October intentions–not in alpha order because I’m still letting my book write me! 
Be sure to click on the blue link to visit a page:

Jill Celeste I love the Fall, though sadly, we don’t get much of it here in Florida. I set intentions so I can tell The Universe exactly what I want. I set them through my goal cards, or more recently, through my New Moon letter. This October, my intention is to practice massive self-care.

Jessica Suzanne Dugas  1. I set an intention each New Moon by saying them, writing them, reading them, and sharing them with others. I set them to hold myself accountable for how I show up energetically for my goals! 2. My main intention this lunar month was to show up wholeheartedly for my health and listen to my body.
Jan Christenson To set my intentions I first try to open my heart and mind and then state the to the universe. My intention for October is to get clarity and get going in my business.

Meghan Humlie My intentions are connected to what I dedicate myself to doing/becoming. My current dedication is to creativity and Responding to her movements in me. I am expecting to be surprised. I, too am a Libra (October 6).

Did you enjoy this blog post? If “yes” please join my free, private women’s Writer’s VisionQuest group. We intend to practice being supportive, self-accepting, creative and worthy. Our goals are to give and receive information and resources to “transform our words into somewhere brilliant. 

Happy birthday to author Anne Rice (October 4); songwriter John Lennon (October 9) and; author Thich Nhat Hanh (October 11).


Spotlighting my writing sisters even though I’m not in SHINE! Congratulations everyone!

How to Use the Full Moon to Write

Your Soul Café: 
Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

“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. 
“La Bella Luna” now impacts when and how I write.

Consider these five ways to engage Moon to help you write in luminescent ways:
Find out Moon’s celestial show schedule. Her energies begin building the day before, peak the day of, and remain present–though not as strong–the day after. Mark your calendar for all three days. Consider buying a 2019 calendar/ planner that includes the official Full Moon dates. (FYI: Coming soon! The Full Hunter’s Moon appears on October 24, 12:45 pm EDT.)
Like the ancients and the Divine Feminine, allow Moon to help you keep track of time, record history, and celebrate birthdays.
Because she’s loved and seen across the globe, Moon is known by many names. Some come from our Native Americans, but the Chinese and other cultures use different names. For eons, her beauty and power to impact the tides and even the birth of children inspired the tender, respectful reverence of millions.
Moon is known by many names.”
Start shifting your thoughts to connect with Moon’s magnetic energy to write. This is one of the most energetic times on the planet! Moon’s generous, powerful LIGHT beams on you and me on average from 238,855 miles away—and at no charge. For a perspective, that would be like walking coast-to-coast 47 times across the USA.

Doesn’t it make common and intuitive sense that with a heightened awareness, you can now tap into this cosmic energy? Do you believe that you might “lasso” all that’s light-filled and positive at least once a month?
Create space, clear and cleanse.
Make a scared appointment with yourself on one of the three calendar days that you circled in Full Moon Writing Ritual #1; trust that it’s a time for you and Moon with pen and paper. Many writers and creatives complain that there’s no time to write. That’s why setting this once-a-month intention becomes a space for you to write dreams, desires, questions, answers, fantasies—except for business projects to start out with.
While writing, reinforce the sacred appointment with sensory experiences. Consider using white sage to cleanse and clear yourself and where you write. Dab on an essential oil associated with Archangel Haniel, the Moon Angel. These oils include bay, carnation, chamomile, grapefruit, lemon, myrrh, orange, rose or sandalwood. Choose one!
Write in a dimly lit room with only white, soy candles.
Why low light? It is through the contrast of darkness with light that subtle surprises unfold. Dust bunnies and distractions disappear. Focus now appears—something writers and creatives often complain about not having. In this setting, your writing enjoys fresh eyes on the topic.
“Your pen is now free to flow with words that will surprise and delight you.”

Divine Downloads.
If you’ve moved through the first three FULL MOON WRITING RITUALS, Intuition is thrilled that you’re now open to hearing that “still small voice.” The quiet space moves your writing into a deeper, unknown dimension. By freeing yourself physically and emotionally, your pen is now free to flow with words that will surprise and delight you.
Trust Intuition—she’s got your back.

Express Emotions.
With complete abandon, allow your words to howl at Moon! There’s no “waymark”–the word my publisher calls a deadline–about how long or how much to write. (Waymarks are so much softer sounding don’t you think?)
With the power of MOON now securely wrapped in your lasso, consider responding to these 5 prompts:
Who or what…
* Needs releasing and letting go?
* Seeks forgiveness?

* Wants love and blessings? 

* Yearns for expression?
* Deserves healing energy?
Include yourself.

Take your answers to “releasing and letting go” and burn them; if you can’t do that, tear up the paper and trash it.
“Full moons stir up our emotions and amplify mystical powers connected to the human spirit. You take joy in watching what was once dark come into the light, your mind plays out scenes of potential chaos in a wild and untamed world while also basking in deep and uninhibited feeling that is impossible to define.” 
-Deborah King
Why not gift yourself with these Full Moon Writing Rituals to write differently by tapping into the ancestral, Divine Feminine energies? Every month, rain or shine, hurricane or forest fire, Moon seeks to shine a light on you and your writing.
P.S. What FULL MOON WRITING RITUAL(s) might you try and why?
Are you a selenophile?

“How do you use the Full Moon to write?” I asked my writing sisters on Monday. 
With gratitude, here are their replies:
Suzie Cheel I do release, reflect and reconnect on the Full Moon. Often writing a list of what I am releasing to bring in the new. I might go outside with crystals, a glass of water sometimes I might draw, meditate, drawing the energy of the moon to my heart. Then I light a candle and set fire on a metal bowl the list. Then visualizing the abundance and love, I am calling in 
Genevieve Kohn I write when the mood strikes me, or when I am submitting something to a publication and I have a deadline. I don’t use the moon cycles to determine when I write. How cool that others do that though.
Michelle Lewis I love using the Moon cycles primarily for my personal energy and deep-wisdom check-in; it often brings forward something to write about.
Kathleen Gubitosi I use the moon cycles to write a monthly meditation for myself. I record it and then let my mind wander to the things I want to great and release in the next 30 days. It keeps me focused.
Barb Parcells I write every day but on the Full Harvest Moon, my journaling turns to harvest the lessons and blessings from this past year.

Kerrie Wearing I always sit and connect with the soul of full moon energy, which then inspires me with info which I share in my newsletter for others. Enjoy your harvest moon, here it’s spring so new beginnings are being set.

Related articles

How Words Magically Write You Through Pain

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

Away we go! 
Like Scheherazade, the storyteller and character in the Arabic tale of One Thousand and One Nights, I love reading and researching. She immersed herself in studying and collecting the stories—said to number 1,000—about the myths and legends of Persian Kings.
At the time, her King discovered the unfaithful activities of his wife; in revenge, he vowed to marry a new virgin every day and behead her the next day to avoid future infidelities.
To her family’s upset, the virgin Scheherazade volunteered for the marital assignment. The first night with the King found her weaving a story using her extensive book knowledge. As a bright, quick-witted woman, she stopped telling the story half-way through as the sun rose; this forced the King to keep her around another day.
What happened?
She repeated her masterful “to be continued” storytelling for another 1,001 nights. The King fell in love with her and eventually crowned her queen.
Everyone needs a Genie in a bottle.
One of her stories included Aladdin and His Magic Lamp. Many versions retelling this classic fairy tale exist including the Disney movie Aladdin (1992).
Central to this story, Aladdin discovers and opens a magic lamp and poof! A trapped Genie escapes to gratefully grant him three wishes.
Like Aladdin, I, too, discovered a magic lamp which held a kind, generous, and talented genie. Her name is J.S. Devivre of arts nonprofit Whimsicalitea‘s E. Gads Hill Press who agreed to grant me three wishes: to help me plan, publish, and launch my first book!
Our metaphorical magic carpet ride started on September 17 as she mapped out our path for the months ahead in a detailed spreadsheet. Flying high, the moon blanketed me with ecstatic and ebullient feelings.
The sands of time always change.
This joy lasted 48 hours until I read a social media post that knocked me off the magic carpet. The words felt hurtful and hateful with name-calling and an invitation for others to agree with these judgments.

After picking myself up from the crash, I let words magically start writing me through the pain.  
The book-writing adventure continues.
Today’s Magic Carpet Timeline with what J.S. terms “waymarks” (deadlines) calls for blogging to begin sharing my publishing journey from pen to print. Emotionally zapped from this week, I resisted–that’s when I knew it’s the hour to put pen to paper. When raw emotions flow, so do the right and perfect words.
It’s the Fall Equinox, and the 179-day countdown begins with a celebration on the Spring Equinox, March 20, 2019–the publishing launch date. 

(Don’t you think it’s magical that the two celestial events of the equinoxes act as the bookends to my book adventure?)
So what next?
Here I am…
Bruised and blogging.

Writing and healing.
Processing what’s useful from this week’s experience to add to the book and;
Storytelling about the pearls gained from this week’s painful lessons to serve you—that is if you want to write a book or are somewhere in your own book-writing journey.
Allow yourself to receive.
This is the most precious pearl to share: Whatever happens with book writing—or anything else in life—allow your friends and family to support you because you’re worth it!
Life conspires to support you. Loved ones will remind of this Truth until you can remember. Thank goodness.
By sharing your authentic feelings like I did in my blog post, you allow others to also share their emotions even when painful. You make it safe to be your friend or loved one. Embrace their wisdom and suggestions. Take everything in and then chose what you want to keep or leave on the table.
Like Sheherazade, I choose to now press pause in the story. Let’s hope you want to read more pearls. Please follow me and come back to see what happens next…

Subscribe to my blog, Spinning Your Gold: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions.

Abuse, Betrayal and Mean Girls at 65

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words That Open Hearts and  Inspire Actions

At 65, I thought I would never have to deal with abuse, betrayal, and mean girls again

Not so.

Abuse lives on to touch you at any age. 
If you allow. 
And I did.
Others can collude in a “verbal cancer” that spreads as predominate as breast cancer. 

Rewind to last Sunday night.

Imagine reading this in your newsfeed on your college’s group page. (FYI: The blue screen in the text shows up as it’s an exact copy of the original post which has been deleted from the group page.)

The exact post from an alumna who doesn’t use her real name:

“I too have great Sistahs, many wonderful memories & enjoy supporting other alum. But does anyone else wonder why Lore Raymond feels it’s okay to use JUDSON’S special pages to consistently promote her business interests??

I enjoy seeing what ALL other alum are doing & not having this closed group monopolized, at times, by her self-serving promotional materials.

Finally, have some of you who “liked” her posts actually looked at her website? I’ve never met her & she’s welcome to pay to promote her divergent ideas elsewhere. But honestly, some of her website gave me the creeps.

My Reply
Lore Raymond I make no money from the book I shared the link to. It’s a story that celebrates *. This post does the same. I wish you well.


My Original Post
The post above was in response to my post on Saturday, September 15, that was from my PERSONAL Facebook page with a lovely meme:

“We often speak of sisters here on this group page. I know that one of the greatest gifts ever unconditionally given to me was my experience with my college sisters, 1971-74.
Who could have ever thought that a “Damn Yankee”–a Freshman from MD and one of only two Roman Catholics in the college–could find lasting friendships in a Southern Baptist college?

I did.
And I write about this journey in my story, “Carbonated Holiness” in the anthology Gratitude and Grace. (amazon.com/author/loreraymond)
My precious friendships continue growing, expanding, and changing to this day, 44 years and counting.
I am grateful, I am.
Just sayin’.
ROLL CALL! Who are the * Sisters that are you grateful for?”
I shared both posts with my alma mater’s alumnae director and the alumnae president.
The college’s email response was…
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Unfortunately, sometimes Facebook posts can get a little out of hand. 
(A little?! Name calling, shaming? A disrespectful, emboldened call to the group to agree with her opinion and contribute more mean, degrading statements?)
Hopefully soon our Facebook page will have guidelines that all members must adhere to. Those guidelines will address issues such as this.  However, it will also address posts that promote other websites, works, etc.  More to come on this later.
With that said, I feel it best to delete the whole post, not just her comment on your post. I hope you understand.”

The email had…
No closing. 
No name. 
No expression of empathy or sympathy.

Hell, no! I don’t understand!
You “feel it best”? 
I’m to be silenced with my original post deleted?
(The posts you read above were deleted this morning despite my request that my post remain.)
Where is the compassion from my alma mater? 
Public apology? 

I am raging that this mean-spirited post showed up on the alumnae group page– along with name calling and an invitation for other alumnae to join her in judgment that my posts are “self-promoting” and even more harming is that my website is “divergent” and “creepy.”

The college “sistah” using a Facebook pseudonym admits she doesn’t know me yet confidently attacks my character, intention, and brand. That’s a true tragedy–a woman attacking another woman.

What’s most hurtful now is how the college is not responding–the evidence of the abuse and the abuser is–in a click– 
now gone with the wind! 
(Forgive me, Margaret Mitchell.)

My dear college roomie, the current alumnae president, replied on Tuesday to my calls. While she offered some comforting words, she also suggested that I be understanding why the college staff was not responsive.

“I am so sorry…”

“We talked. She’s going to call you, and the woman who posted about you. “

“Why hasn’t she called?”

“She’s busy getting ready for the Trustees’ meeting…”
(Research later revealed the meeting was set for October 11–a full month away.)

Unreal, surreal nonsense.
I’ve been attacked. Let me put you on hold. Get back to you later. Sometime…

In this morning’s conversation with my alumnae director, she stated: “I stand by my decision to delete the controversial post.”

Stand by…what?
My post wasn’t controversial. It was loving.
The abuser’s comments were controversial and unacceptable.
So your leadership decision is to delete all of the post? You missed an opportunity to take a stand against bullying and inappropriate behavior.

 I rarely use this word but now I am shouting it out…

A little out of hand.” 
Shame on you. 
Shame, shame on all of you!
Shame on anyone who harms another by being silent.

You disagree with me? Good for you! 
You have a voice.
I applaud you.
There’s a way to disagree: consider a one-to-one “sistah” conversation and not with veiled verbal attacks with a name and face that I can’t connect with.
I am no saint.

I was silent when someone I loved “took” my virginity at 19–now the word would be rape.

I was silent for decades about the congressional administrative aide who sexually harassed me every day–an intern–with his unwelcomed touches, nuzzles, and comments during the summer of Watergate. (Anita Hill’s hearings brought these memories to the surface.)

I was silent as a first-year teacher about colleagues abusing elementary kids who used leather belts and whipped them for infringements.

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. 

Let’s agree to no more silence about any abuse.
Verbal, physical, emotional, or spiritual.

I will publicly tell my story.
You tell your story.
We all need to tell our stories.

I will hold you and me–and everyone who knows and didn’t speak up–accountable.

Silence stops.

Let’s also agree on this, dear sistahs:

P.S. I love this book’s title, RAGE BECOMES HER. Going now to buy it!
Thanks, Carrassa Sands, for the suggestion.

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Great-Grandmother Shows Up!

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors.
 -Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
I woke this morning knowing it was my favorite grandmother’s birthday, Ella Esplin Lelash. 

Born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, she blessed me and our world from 1904 to 1983.

(L-r Sister Cathy, Mamie, me, Bump Bump, and brother Mike;  Huntington Beach, CA)

 “My Mamie” shaped me in ways that I continue to appreciate. This elegant, entrepreneurial and religious woman…

* Blessed me by birthing my precious mom, Clare Ann.

* Gifted me by renaming me “Lore” instead of Lorraine–a name too large she thought for such a wee lass weighing in at 6 pounds.

* Taught me how colors could be worn.

* Inspired decades of baking Scot’s Shortbread enjoyed by dozens.

* Infused me with her devotion to God, the angels, family, and the sea.

Baby–grandmother–Mamie with my great-grandmother, Magdalene Jane Watt Esplin.

Out of curiosity, I scrolled the web for information about Mamie and came across a site my dear brother has kept updated. Reading the information about her and then, my great-grandmother, hit me like a lightning strike! 

What I didn’t know until this morning was that Magdalene, my great-grandmother, arrived into the world on October 13 in 1881.

After 65 years, how could I have missed that my great grandmother and I shared back-to-back birthdays?!

My birthday is October 14; I arrived 13 hours “late” at 1:00 pm.

Seems some of Magdalene’s and Mamie’s Scottish independence transferred to me. I celebrate knowing that I come from a lineage of great women.

What my research also uncovered was Arbroath’s location; in my ignorance, l imagined all these years that it was an inland city–not so! As you can see from the map above, it’s a coastal town on the North Sea and one of Scotland’s largest fishing ports. Now I better understand my Mamie’s love of the sea.

These research revelations were all early, unwrapped birthday pressies for me. Thank you, Google.

Indeed, I am a fairy tale that’s still being told. I pray that they’re proudly reading my story.

Do you really know your ancestry? 
Perhaps it’s time to check it out.

Where were you on 9-11?

Spinning Your Gold Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

On 9-11-18, what appears to be the One World Trade Center, pokes into the sunrise.
The plane’s engine takes up the foreground.

Where were you the morning of 9-11?

Me? The coastal city of La Ceiba, Honduras.
Seventeen years ago I was teaching an 8th-grade science class at the International School of Mazapan.

A breathless student bolted into the classroom announcing, “One of the towers has been hit!”
“What tower?!” I exclaimed.
“The Twin Towers!” he gasped while dashing out of the classroom.

On this day 17 years ago–and despite being surrounded by 27 hormonally-charged teens–I felt the most alone sensations that I had ever experienced then, or now. Scary territory.

I put a student in charge and ran to the administration office!

The emotional hurricane that made landfall on my heart literally hurt.

I did see in real-time the plane hit the second tower.

I did watch in horror– all of it–live on TV with colleagues huddled around a 17″ TV screen in the Teacher’s Lounge.

I did decide that day to return to the states after finishing my year of teaching. My plans to leave Honduras and teach at the Guatemala International School went up in smoke like Manhattan’s clouds of grey ash!

I did yearn to close my eyes and imagine that I was watching a movie. And if that wasn’t possible, I wanted to close my eyes and wake up in St. Petersburg, FL.

It never happened.

And I did return home a year later to a country forever changed.

What decisions did you make that day?

Daily inspirational color palettes can be found on Design Seeds.

As I walked back to the classroom, I felt like the unmanned skiff above, floating away from the “Known Island” on the horizon.

I felt like a cork bobbing on the ocean…small, powerless and out of control.

I felt like a Benedict Arnold for not being in my country.

My aching to be back in America shifted to full throttle.

How did you feel?

Here are four, forever expatriate takeaways from 9-11:

* I learned that feeling “safe” is an illusion. 

* I realized that if someone intends harm, it will most likely happen. No sense in trying to prevent anything. That worry energy attracts what you don’t seek.

* I refueled my patriotic love and pride of being an American.

* I remembered that the family is everything

Be near and just love them because…

P.S. My prayers for healing continue streaming to all those who lost loved ones that day and for our collective loss of feeling secure and safe. Prayers also continue for all those who would harm anyone in this way.

P.P.S. You’re invited to join my Writer’s VisionQuest--a women’s free, private Facebook group.  Our intention is to “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.” 

9 Ways to Sing September’s Songs

Spinning Your Gold  Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

September’s song is a two-part harmony, 
as summer’s lighthearted serenade ends and a deeper melody begins. 

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

The art of celebrating September enjoys ancient roots. Summer ended and farmers gratefully gained extra time in the fields to work by the light of the harvest moon–also known as the Corn Moon, Barley Moon, Singing Moon, and Hazel Moon.

You may also be ending months of writing, creating, planning and hopefully playing and vacationing. It is now a time to assess your crops, gather your friends and family, and celebrate!
Enjoy these nine ways to sing September’s songs:

1. Write 300 words on “What I Did and Didn’t Do this Summer”
This is a spin on the typical, first back-to-school day assignment from a teacher. Your essay has two parts: writing a Summer Gratitude List and; writing an Always Advance Appreciation List for what can still unfoldTuck your essay into a place where you’ll find it in May 2019 to remind you of that summer’s goals. Invite your family to do the same.

2. Plan a Summer Gratitude Picnic

With your Summer Gratitude List and perhaps your family’s lists, plan a farewell Summer Gratitude Picnic. Serve everyone’s favorite summer drinks and finger foods with a simple setup in the backyard or on the living room floor–no chairs or utensils allowed! The focus of shared conversation and celebration: Let each person read their Summer Gratitude List. What songs might you sing together?

3. Clean out summer
Through the fresh, fall eyes of September, declutter your bookshelves and pantry. Tackle closets of summer clothes; this includes indoor and outdoor spaces from summer’s shopping trips, sightseeing, and unfinished projects. Gather three bags or boxes and label them to gift, thrift, or toss. Now there’s room to bring out your woolies, flannels, sweaters, boots, and socks. You might want to repeat the same gift, thrift, or toss process before putting them away. Consider the Hurricane Harvey relief programs.

September, the harvest month…Summer is over, and autumn has arrived. 
~ Cynthia Wickham

4. Go back to school
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood! Now’s the time to take an online course or join a Meetup to learn something just for fun. Consider volunteering or teaching something you love! 
5. Gather supplies and share
For whatever back-to-school adventure you choose, treat yourself to a Dollar Store visit. Set a budget of  $18.00 and see how many interesting things you can buy.  You can even find my favorite pen there, though not the bold ink pens–that’s the Pilot G-2 10. Not only does it write forever, but it’s manufactured in Jacksonville, Florida, my home state.

Keep $9.00 of the supplies for yourself, and then gift the other $9.00 to a teacher, church, or woman’s shelter in the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

As a former elementary school teacher in Selma, AL and then 20 years later in Roatan, Honduras, a surprise gift like this would send me over the moon! I recall one summer while visiting the states from Honduras, my friends Annie S. and Ann S. helped me purchase $50-$100 of school supplies. This included basic items and best of all, the FUN STUFF! It was always thrilling to share these gifts with my students who went crazy seeing them unpacked. 

6. Visit places of harvest and share

Schedule Adventure Field trips to a farmer’s market, arts & crafts show or museum. Fly solo or invite besties to join you. Take a walk in a park you’ve never visited. 

Again, in a spirit of generosity and gratitude, take some of the fresh produce to a food pantry. My experience, as both a giver and a recipient, is that fresh produce is always a very welcomed donation.

I’m passing the idea forward because of my parent’s big hearts. On weekend trips heading back home from a grandparent’s visit, they would always stop at a roadside stand to buy six flats of strawberries. The next stop was the convent at St. Francis de Sales Church and School in Riverside, California. The Dominican sisters happily received the sweet, red treats.
We kept one flat. (Do you think that’s why I always got good grades?)

7. Take Yourself to Market
Take inventory of business materials, i.e., stationary, business cards and brochures; consider something new like pens, bookmarks or postcards to send to clients. It’s your harvest time to share all that’s been created by planting seed thoughts in the spring and weeding and watering them all summer.

8. Celebrate the Full Harvest Moon, September 24
Go outside and walk. Consider walking in silence. Some would call this process a “walking meditation.” Soak up the light as you reflect with gratitude on your harvest of many blessings. Talk with Moon. She’s sure to answer you back. It is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox.

9. Host a Fall Equinox Feast, September 22 
Make a list of favorite fall foods and drinks. Might some of your favorites be caramel apples; different popcorn flavors; pumpkin spice latte; anything roasted and slow-cooked or; mac and cheese? Plan your menu.

Enjoy creating a fall tablescape with mums, small veggies, soy candles, and vintage linens. Go outside and bring some back inside with leaves, twigs, and rocks. Be sure to ask Mother Nature–the Pachamama- if it’s okay to take these items. Cue up moon songs for a sing-along! Most importantly, write a grace to bless your feast.

 Live In or Near Tampa Bay? 
Please Stay Connected with Me 
at these September Events:

September 9 > Register >> http://bit.ly/2wp727S

September 22 >The Art of Decluttering: Feng Shui Your Desk! >> http://bit.ly/2PZpsFc

Join the Writer’s VisionQuest, a free & private FB Group >http://bit.ly/2z85OSE 

Plus…A Cornucopia of Favorite Links…Just for You

* Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Full Corn Moon.”
* Rachel Kieffer, Health Nut Girl, Holistic Health Coach
* Tarah Abram, Juicy Living by Design for holistic health and lifestyle design for busy moms on the go
* Fall Tablescape Ideas
* The Best Songs with Moon in the Title

5 Letting Go Rituals for Women in Transition

Spinning Your Gold  Blog: Words that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

It’s never too late in life to edit or revise.” -Nancy Thayer

It seems that many women believe this if you witness the explosive growth of solo-preneurs, coaches, and authors! My hometown area of Tampa Bay, Florida, boasts the largest number of women entrepreneurs in the state which is one of the most entrepreneurial states in the nation. The new, bright red cover on my school calendar echoes Nancy’s belief with this quote:

It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot

All this is to confirm that if you are not feeling blessed and blissed out with your life then, please…Edit. Revise. Change!

Are any of these a part of your life with: 

* New projects or efforts that disappoint?
* Vampire relationships that drain?
* Expectations that exhaust? 
* Schedules that overwhelm? 
* Work that demeans?
* Unmet dreams that depress?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there is a solution.

Here are the seven most important words you may ever hear:

When the horse is dead, get off!

While research credits “Anonymous” with this quote, I first heard it years ago from Rosita Perez, a talented professional speaker. Sadly, she’s left her “earthly suit” though her inspiration remains.

So with an open heart, make a conscious assessment of what dead horses you’re trying to still ride and be willing to take inspired actions–all key to your spiritual and emotional growth. 

You can’t start a new journey if you’re carrying heavy baggage or dragging garbage along.  In fact, you can be downright stinky after riding that dead horse—and the possible reason why abundance, happiness, and health are avoiding you!

Once you’re off that dead horse, what next? The first step is to engage in letting go rituals. 

Why are rituals important? Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton in Scientific American explained, “While anthropologists have documented rituals across cultures, this earlier research has been primarily observational. Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Here are 5 Letting Go Rituals for Women in Transition:

1) Alphabet List
This is a good starting place to identify the “names” of the dead horses you’re riding. Find a quiet place free of noises and distractions. Bring your journal and a pen. Then ask yourself, “WHAT who do I need to let go of that no longer serves me?

Allow the answers to come. Go through the alphabet. Keep your hand moving. Don’t judge what you are writing. If you get stuck on one alphabet letter and can’t think of anything, move on. Then, return to it.

Then repeat, only this time ask, “WHO do I need let go of that no longer serves me?

You may want to repeat this writing process; it’s guaranteed to identify existing and new information. You can then use your Alphabet List with the…

2) Pencil Drop

This is a simple, active practice that Judy McNutt, a visionary writing sister, and healer, used in our coaching session. She invited me to think of the thought I wanted to drop. 

Then she asked me to hold that specific thought in my mind while breathing and holding a pencil in one hand. 

Her next instruction was, “Just drop the pencil! Let it go. Let the thought go.” Repeat as necessary. 

This might be a daily ritual while online and reading negative information–or as thoughts of larger issues with your transition surface. If letting go still remains challenging, then consider the…

Facing Machu Picchu, “Old Mountain”, 2008 -Not behind me!

3) Peruvian with Love, with Release Ritual

Before taking any rock or shell, I follow a sacred ritual, asking the Pachamama or Mother Earth if it is “okay” for me to take the rock or shell with me. Several times the answer was a clear “NO.”

This ritual process of first asking was taught to me by Don Jorge Luis Delgado, my shaman co-leader in 2008. He shared that the Andean people believed that we are one with the earth and everything is sacred: the rocks, rivers, animals, birds, plants, trees, and especially the mountains. 

To take something from the earth without thoughtful reflection would have been inappropriate. Happily, the Pachamama said “yes” to a small handful of rocks that did make their way home to Florida for ceremonial use.

Rocks are used for releasing what Don Jorge calls “dark, heavy energies.” Try breathing into a special rock three times, saying, “I release all feelings of _____ (name of an emotion) about_____ (name of a person, thing, and event).” Then move or toss the rock to another place. You’re encouraged to do this near a body of water.  

Be conscious of your actions. Never underestimate the power of natural treasures you may find and always ask, “Dear Pachamama (Mother Earth), is this rock, shell or leaf okay for me to take?”

4) Monkey Trap Jar
Do you know how they trap a monkey in the forest? I learned about this method while living in Honduras where many small monkeys are trapped and sold as pets. Trappers place a favorite food in a small-necked glass jar on the ground. 

When the monkey tries to pull its hand out, it is stuck! The now clenched fist around the treat makes the withdrawal through the opening impossible.

Rarely does the monkey let go. Sadly, it becomes a prisoner; the monkey is stuck on the ground unable to climb the tree to escape the trapper.

To make a Monkey Trap Jar, find a glass jar with a small neck. (Thrift stores are great places to find one for pennies.) Keep it near your computer or on the kitchen counter. Then on sticky notes or slips of paper, write all the things that you feel are “sweet treats” in your life as possible entrapments. 

This could include the expectations of appreciation, awards, and rewards that you are holding onto with a tight, clenched fist—a fist that won’t allow you to let go! It could be a lack of self-care and self-nurturing actions. It also might be a  habit that no longer serves your best and Highest good.

Consider adding to your jar once a day as part of your daily letting go ritual. At the close of a week or month, remove all the sticky notes and burn them with sage. You could do this privately or at a group…

5) Letting Go Celebration!  

Gather friends in person.  Light a white candle after saging the circle area. Maybe it’s a dining room table. Allow each friend to write and share what or who they are letting go of and why. 

When everyone has spoken, go to another person until everyone has spoken all of their letting go statements. There might be several rounds. You’ll know that everyone is complete when there is silence. (You might want to burn the contents of the Monkey Trap Jar.)

To wrap up, listen to the Ho’Oponopono Prayer. Blow out the white candle.

If you are a woman in transition and feel called to take inspired actions, consider making time to embrace these five letting go rituals over the next 18 days. 

These five rituals will better help you remember what Rosita Perez suggested,“When the horse is dead, get off!”

P.S. Do you live in Tampa Bay? If “yes,” your special invitations await you to my monthly writing and creativity classes and Day Trips! Visit Lore Raymond – Author I Speaker I Writing & Creativity Coach or my Author Amazon Author Page for details; gratefully, classes and trips are often sold out weeks in advance!

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018.  No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.