The February Blahs

What is it about this time of year.  Why do we get the February blahs; or any blahs or downers at all for that matter. I believe our ancient forefathers and mothers from a different era would use the winter as a time of song, merriment, community, storytelling, recharging our batteries and perhaps mending our clothing or whatever needed to be done during the seasonal downtime. One of the problems with our modern society is we don’t take downtime at all. We are constantly busy and on the go, we are over worked, under paid and in debt up to our chins. We don’t know how to take a break from the stresses of our daily life, it builds up and hence “the blahs”. I believe in the past our ancestors lived their lives closer to to the seasonal changes and tried to be more in harmony with Mother Nature’s ups and downs, energy highs and lows. During winter (at least in Canada) all the energy has gone inside the Earth, waiting to be awakened by the shift that happens during spring.

Perhaps we should admit to ourselves (for our bodies and moods try to) that no matter how much we try to shelter ourselves from this fact we are indeed affected by the weather and the seasons. No matter how much we reassure ourselves by picking up our cellphones or iPads or logging into our Facebook cave; whether we like it or not Mother Earth reaches out to us and its usually in these subtle deep longings.  Notice no matter how much we connect to these virtual worlds and shield ourselves from the world outside we don’t feel better. In fact sometimes we feel worse.

Mid-winter doldrums can make you feel down and can be a sign that we need community, creativity or nature. Even though the energies are very low at this time there is a subtle majesty about the land covered with freshly fallen snow and the hush of silence that seems to abide the magic of sparkling whiteness.

When I used to live in the Beaches area of Toronto, I would get in the doldrums in February or early March, I used to go for long walks along the boardwalk and look out at the slate grey plateau of Lake Ontario. By the time I got to the end of the walk or too cold to walk any further I would briskly walk to the closest coffee shop on Queen Street and read the paper. Grateful for all the other ruddy faced individuals coming in from the cold and taking a load off. Some how the lake seemed more mystical and special on those days. I would be all alone with the lake, no crowds and felt somehow the lake was mine.

I think its helpful in these stressful modern times to have a place in ourselves and outside of ourselves that inspires us, gives us solace or absorbs us so completely that we forget about our problems. I believe our early ancestors knew how to do this through community, creativity and by allowing nature to heal and restore them.

© Lorraine Hughes 2017

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Animal Perfection as Teachers

raven2img_20140204_091914Hello everyone. I love to write about what I learn from the many people I meet with and work with, also my philosophical musings along the “path” my own path of spirituality and getting closer to Creator, or God as you may call him/her. One of my biggest spiritual teachers have been my pets.

This summer I lost a good friend. It so pains me to write about him and as grief takes it toll it has taken me a few months to write these words, I wanted so much to share with you his story.  I know our beloved pets know us so well, all our concerns and worries because either in my work other’s pets have telepathically communicated with me in sessions or my own pets have talked to me and shared. Even after death.

My cat Raven (pictured left) had been having health issued for about a year. He died on July 8th this past summer. I guess I was in denial about him, but he was in pretty bad shape near the end, even though the vet tried to gently tell me, I didn’t want to hear it. I was at his side constantly administering to his every need. He seemed to perk up bit so I thought I’ll run off to yoga. Just before I left I looked in on him and he seemed very alert. He’s going to rally I thought! In the middle of my yoga class Raven visited me spiritually and he was floating around the ceiling, he was free!!! He told me that he loved me so much and all I could feel was love pouring from his every being, he said he was worried about me and that I needed to lighten up bit, enjoy life more. He also advised me to paint and play my guitar. Then he left. I jumped up and left the room in tears mid-class thinking he had died. He died the next day in my arms.

The reason I share this with you is because I know from the deepest part of my soul that animals, trees, stones, the sky that opens before us, the sun and moon that looks down on us, all of it has a consciousness. It has an awareness of itself and of us.  It knows what we are thinking and those that love us know what we truly need to live in our magnificence. We really are surrounded by a loving embrace even though we might think we are alone. We are not alone.

© Lorraine Hughes 2016

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Rebirth and the Art of Transformation

rebirthroseYou cannot tell a rose when to bloom.

Whether we remember it or not, our birth was a difficult process for us. For before our birth and while we were in our mother’s womb; our consciousness, the ‘us’ we identify with, was safely wrapped up in our ancestral womb, we were ‘home’ with God or Creator, the Universal life force, how ever you see that energy. When we are “birthed” into this dimension we are taken from that nurturing environment, to which someday we will return after our soul’s journey of learning here on this spaceship we call “Earth”.  We came here to learn or heal, I consider these two concepts to be one and the same.

Often when we are growing spiritually or healing our mind, body, emotions or spirit we are surprised how painful it might be or may shy away from the pain. It is our darkest moments when we are healing ourselves the most and very closely interacting with our soul’s purpose, our divinity. Not only to do we grapple with our unconscious material (whatever it may be we have stowed away in our proverbial closet), but we are here to reach great heights and develop our highest potential.

It is for this reason why, if you are here to heal your soul and learn its not going to always be a fun, up or easy time.  Healing is actually the disintegration of the ego and the illusion that we are all separated in our own little compartments.  We are all connected to each other, and that is becoming increasing apparent as time moves us forward. The earth is going through a great cleansing, a great evolution. Since we are all connected to each other, the Earth and all the beings upon it we are going through this cleansing and transformation ourselves. The Earth is re-birthing herself; and birth is a difficult process, its messy, arduous and hard to control.

A wise healer said to me, the road to peace is a difficult one. It gets easier the longer you are on it but its fraught with diversions, monsters and impasses. The funny thing about it is its all coming from inside you so really blaming others when confronted with something that’s not going your way is futile because the finger is pointing right back at you.

Any kind of pursuit of money or accumulation of material wealth at this time will take you further from your own healing process, if you increase, disperse the wealth; and you will always grow! The way ahead will clarify itself and be less foggy and unclear. Healing and growth is a process and as we are all timeless and limitless beings, we are each individually in a different state of development; no one is any greater or less than another. Therefore we should embrace each other as fellow students, no matter how much someone may not understand you or have hurt you with their unconsciousness. Look for the fellow traveler who may be sympathetic to your cause.

Even myself, with all that I know, with all that I see and hear; alas I am full of warts and barnacles just like you. I have my own confusion, quandaries and inner chaos to overcome. Just as many, many people do. That is why I try to practice daily mindfulness; in order to gently take care as much of this as I can. One day at a time.

Transformation is the breaking down of all we hold true here in this material dimension, especially if we are looking for more wealth or for life to get easier.  The only way to peace is to realize God is within us and we are to express God’s love and forgiveness in all ways and toward all life. Even mosquitoes have a purpose here on this spaceship called Earth.

© Lorraine Hughes 2016


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Writers Block and the Creative Process

brendUHello all. Yes I know what your thinking, where has Lorraine been? Well this might sound silly to you but I’m intensely focused on finishing my first book, so much so that whenever I write I feel as though I should be working on my manuscript not on my blog! Here’s the rub, sometimes I am just sitting here stuck in writer’s block hell! Which for me is just a self imposed hellish place. I wish I was one of those people that could just sit down and bang away at the keyboard and get a book out in a month, or two. But alas I am not!

However one thing I do know about the creative process is that if you do hang in through all the blackness, self doubt and self flagellation. Thrust it all aside, barrel through; great things arrive as if from nowhere. A friend and I were on the phone once and I was talking about some paintings I was working on, I believe I referred to my creative process as ‘mudbowling’.

“I’m just rolling around in the mud.” I told my friend David.

“You got to hang in there Lorraine because heaven is on the other side.” He laughed!

I always remember that advice I got from David, especially when I am having a hard time. I also have on a handy shelf just to the right of my writing space a selection of books to cheer me on when the going gets tough and I might pick one up, read a passage and barrel on! Here are a few of my favorites: If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland (cover pictured above), Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Creativity by Osho, On Writing by Stephen King and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

So creatives I leave you with this nugget from Brenda Ueland’s book.

“The creative power and imagination is in everyone and so is the need to express it, i.e. to share it with others. So what happens to it?

It is very tender and sensitive, and is usually drummed out of people early in life by criticism (so called “helpful criticism” is often the worst kind), by teasing, jeering, rules, prissy teachers, critics, and all those unloving people who forget the letter killeth and the spirit give life. Sometimes I think of life as a process where everybody is discouraging and taking everybody else down a peg or two.”

Read her book, its simply a work of art, so inspiring and healing!

© Lorraine Hughes 2016

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The Hermit’s Life

purplefinchHey folks my apologies I haven’t been on here for a while but I am becoming a writing, reading hermit, truly. If I could go off and live on a deserted island just with books and my MacBook I would probably be doing that but alas I am here in rural Ontario feeding my bird friends and looking out the window at the snow on the ground. My mind is definately off visiting distant lands and often I wish my spouse would read more so we could deeply discuss topics and books I am reading and thinking about. Instead he is a news junkie and deep soul who interprets my dreams. Well we can’t have everything can we.

So instead of writing about some spiritual truth I am pondering at the moment I thought I would share some books and ideas here that have inspired me as of late. I am a library nerd girl. There I’ve said it. Always had a library card and usually have up to 10 books on the go piled beside my bed, now that my beloved bought me an e-reader, I have about 8 books I am reading piled up there on my library bookshelf! Uh really?! How can you read so many books you say. Well I go from book to book and there is something reassuring almost security blanket-like if you will about these book piles in actuality and virtually. I am not some weird cat lady who coughs behind a dusty book pile while your visiting, at which you might exclaim oh hey there you are Lorraine I thought I lost you there for a minute!  No these books are constantly being flipped through and referred to.

I’m reading “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Dr. Gabor Mate; a very enlightening and sensitively written book about Dr. Mate’s encounters with addiction, I found fascinating the chapters on brain development and how the addictive brain develops. It was difficult to read of lab testing done on animals. There is great humanity is this book though, I have worked with vulnerable populations and his first hand accounts are very real and he sees these ones with great humanity.

I remember years ago when I started to do sessions and healing with clients it was shared with me by a fellow seer that I would read about something or become fascinated with some topic and clients would magically appear needing that information. Lately sad to say more and more people are suffering from various forms of trouble with the brain. Personally I believe its because of the society we live in, all the electrical devices we own and unnatural energy waves out there milling about affecting our thinking in adverse ways.

On the plus side and unrelated here are some books I have read and enjoyed over the past year; The Orenda by Joseph Boyden; The Reason you Walk by Wab Kinew (loved this book, I cried alot reading this);  I read all the Harry Potter books again (3rd time); Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda (still reading); The Chrysalids by John Windham; So Much Blood and Star Trap by Simon Brett; The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and If you want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This is just to name a few books I have on the go, and have just read recently. Once I get on to a new author I have to read all their books, this is my first Barbara Kingsolver book and am going to read Prodigal Summer next!

So to all you book-loving writerish types out there, I celebrate you! Read, think and express yourself creatively, there is nothing better for the brain.

© Lorraine Hughes 2016

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Tending Your Garden

whiteRoseRecently (over the summer months) I volunteered for a community garden near where I live. I joined in with the group because I wanted to meet and possibly make new friends; learn more about gardening and the cause was something I could get behind (the food was being grown for a local food bank). I love gardening and believe most ardently in growing your own food so when I was asked to write an article for the local community newspaper about my gardening experiences I enthusiastically agreed. That one article led to a regular monthly column in the paper written by yours truly; I’m called “The faithful Gardener” and enjoy writing my monthly contribution to the paper.

Not long after joining this group, something changed in the group’s attitude towards me. I don’t want to get into the details but I ended up leaving the community garden badly hurt and feeling quite down about my experiences, because of these hurt feelings I stopped tending my own vegetable garden at home. I literally stopped doing the weeding and only went in there to pick a few beans and some tomatoes. My garden suffered from the neglect.

I’ve stared out at my garden for the past month knowing at some point I would have to get back in there and put it down for the winter. Its funny too when all this upset was going on in me over the summer stuff happened in my garden, my beets, carrots and potatoes just didn’t grow this year and my squash got a terrible mold and completely died at the height of its growing time. I only got three puny buttercup squash (my favorite) this year.  If I didn’t know better I would say the garden was reflecting that something had gone very wrong in my world!

Once I got in there this week and began working on my garden bit by bit, turning the soil over and taking out all the weeds and the roots of weeds, so they don’t come back. I’ve been apologizing to my garden about my neglect; I FEEL the forgiveness and I am allowed to forgive myself. Then I think about; in the past, whenever I have been deeply hurt I will associate something that is good for me with the hurt and stop doing it because it brings up the memory.  I wonder if I can apply this philosophy to my creative life. I have suffered so much rejection around my creativity that it is difficult for me to go back into it. Weeds of lethargy have grown around my creative garden. I have to be brave and go in there, do the weeding and turn my creative soil over bit by bit and ask for forgiveness and forgive myself. Its hard; its difficult, but its the only way.

Thanks ladies of the community garden, if this unpleasant experience had not happened this summer I might not have had this epiphany of the heart!

© Lorraine Hughes 2015

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Spend time Listening to Mother Earth

toadMany of us on the planet at this time (I include myself in this post) did not get mothered or get our safety and nurturance needs met when we were children. Especially those of us that are very sensitive and creative. We might find it very difficult to be in the world today. A world that still does not truly value or understand a woman’s sensibility. Perhaps this too is why our mother’s could often not be there for us when we were little in the way we needed. Perhaps she abused us, neglected us or abused her authority by invading our space and sense of self. So we never got to understand who we are, alone; to ourselves; and often we are very, very angry about this.

My respite and healing balm has been to listen to the heartbeat of mother Earth. I go to the rivers and lakes for healing and I listen to the wind; trees and birds to heal my ears so I may hear others or hear myself.  An elder I heard teach years ago; he always taught the same thing.  About healing your hearing; I thought, what is he on about. It took me many, many years to understand that the woods would heal me. In my soul were those howls from a baby who never got heard or consoled.  Those baby cries that never got answered, so I cried myself to sleep on many a night; the years took a toll. Its very hard to heal that. The forest and Earth energies will wrap you in her bosom (just as its been for me) and rock that crying baby to sleep in her arms.

When I talk about healing to my sister’s who do the work, they often talk about women who have lost their babies. Who do they cry out for in the heat of healing, their mothers. Just before my sister died of cancer we were having an argument, she was staying at my house. She looked right into me, her grey expressive eyes unyielding; “Don’t you know I am in pain here?” I wrapped my arms around her and rocked her while she howled and cried. That was the most sacred moment I remember having with my sibling. By helping her I healed many things in myself.

During my forest walks I listen to the wind whispering through the pines. Listen, listen, listen and my ears get a little more clear. So I can reacquaint myself with my original nature, who I came into this life to be!

Lorraine Hughes ©2015

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Respect the Woman for She is Sacred

fullmoonSome years ago I was deeply moved by a film called, “The Goddess Remembered” created by Donna Reid and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Here is the link if you wish to view it; It was released in 1989 a few short years before the prolific Studio D (women’s documentary film department of the NFB) lost a good deal of their funding. I think many people still think of this film as obscure, but the message is important and relevant in these times because we are witnessing the return of the feminine on our Mother Earth.

Recently I received spiritual messages that many men and women do not respect the sacred feminine and so do not respect themselves; for even a man has part of the feminine within him just as women have a male side to themselves.  In the dream I was shown men who may in public be presenting themselves to be respectful of women and girls but behind closed doors beat, maim or sexually abuse women.  Abuse has many forms and if a man is not taught by the women in his family what is correct behavior then its up to society to help these men. This cannot and will not be tolerated, I was shown in the dream that many of these men are healers, teachers and spiritual guides. During this time of Earth cleansing, this behavior will be cleansed as well. We must look to our own short comings, our own faults we have branded, help each other; and help our sisters.

The maligning of women-hood and the sacred image of the feminine must be reviewed; for when a man or a woman holds the image of the desecrated feminine within they work against themselves. We must learn to implement a new message, a blessed image of her power and governance over the void that lives within her womb. This place is sacred for it is the source of all life and every woman holds this space within her. I had many dreams in the past week about the pain and suffering of women and messages that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the spirit-world going forward; very strong spiritual messages about this.

To help themselves women are to cleanse themselves in water and as much as possible drink pure water, ask the water to heal and purify you.  I was shown as well that we are to swim in lakes and rivers, somehow our energy will help the healing of the water. We will be shown again, in dreams and visions, the images we need to heal ourselves and make ourselves whole again.

I often pray by the water and offer my prayers to the animals, trees, birds, plants and nature spirits, and of course the water. The water is the governed by the feminine principle and is alive as I have seen on so many many occasions since I have moved outside the city and into rural Ontario.

Be well be strong and be proud of your womanhood!

© Lorraine Hughes 2015

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The Call of the Wild

forest1aThere is a wave of energy happening on Earth and it is called the return to the mother, or return to the feminine. Unfortunately there is a big mess to deal with while this is going on and we all must roll up our sleeves and get involved before this is all done. We as a species won’t make it if we do not learn to align ourselves with the wisdom and intelligence of our connection to the universal mother, who is inherently part of us. The feminine represents our intuition, creativity and understanding the sacredness of all life.

When I see garbage strewn along the highway, another turtle smashed into the pavement and stories of illegal fishing I wonder, whats it going to take for us to treat the Earth with respect, to listen to her cries of anguish for the disappearing animals, plants and shorelines washed with fossil fuels.

Do you know why scientist’s have had to create genetically modified seeds? We have depleted the soil, because the demand for food on our planet is too great a burden on the poor conditions of our arable land.

When we first bought our house out here in rural Ontario we were told, when they extend highway 407 the house prices in our area will skyrocket. Now that I am learning to live inter-dependantly with the land I think of this event with horror.  More roads = more people = stress on the environment; what about the trees, butterflies, bees, turtles, deer, wildflowers, martens, indigo buntings, wide open sky, clean air; believe it or not, these beings are my friends and an important part of my environment. I am an important part of my own environment because I hold this all to be sacred. It really means something personal to me, its not just a lifestyle choice. Its political.

It is a call to action. Please educate yourselves people, don’t just sit there and go tut tut, that’s really too bad, there goes the African black rhino ‘extinct’, oh well. Oh its not my problem; its those darn poachers! Get involved, grow your own food, volunteer, make a difference, help the youth for they are the leaders of tomorrow, scream from the tops of the mountain, because its worth it. Even if you make a fool of yourself! Its worth it, its your planet, and its the only home we’ve got, for future generations. Every little bit helps.

When I plant my garden organically, I use good seeds, I plant indigenous herbs and flowers to encourage bees and beneficial insects to inhabit my garden, I welcome everyone in my garden birds, bees and even rabbits. Guess what! I always have a bountiful harvest because I feed the other animals and create a safe haven for them. I wasn’t always this way, I thought I was but living here has taught me and it has humbled me with its austere beauty. I wish this for everyone!

Today Jerry and I were out for a walk, we were talking amongst ourselves throwing a stick for Bear our dog so he would jump in the water to swim and cool off. Suddenly like a grey ghost rising up from the opposite shore the long deliberate flaps of a blue heron silenced us as we watched its prehistoric shape against the sky. “Did you see that?” I said. “He was huge!” Jerry whispered reverently.

I think this is worth preserving for our children don’t you?

I do not believe science is going to save us, I believe that people getting organized at a grass roots level, healing the soil and ourselves; growing our own food and really having respect for (and fighting to keep) what is all around us is whats going to save the day for the generations to come.

Lorraine Hughes © 2015


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The Rebirth of Mother Earth

bloodrootWe women are coming alive all over the world at a very important time. During a time when great waves of healing female energy is available for all of us, in the far reaches of our Mother Earth. Women and men are standing up and out everywhere to defend and preserve our Mother Earth and her creatures; our way of life as well as our ability to grow nutritious food.  I read about places where women have been systematically oppressed getting organized and fighting for their rights.  We have to fight for and defend the rights of our animals and plant co-habitants as well. Just because a being does not serve an economic or scientifically proved ideal, does not mean its not an important member of our community. Unfortunately too often, economic concerns and scientific agenda creates a gulf between us and the rest of Earth’s planetary beings who might not be human.

Recently my friend had a spell of vertigo and learned how to adapt to this new energy wave by simple exercises (given to her by her chiropractor) using her vision. The most impressive part of her story to me is that her doctor reported that cases of unexplained vertigo were on the rise and that a high number were reported from menopausal women. This follows my thoughts that menopausal or women going through heightened hormonal experiences (like pregnancy and birth) are on the forefront to absorbing and integrating these new energies that dance and sway on our Mother Earth.

This new energy absorption and integration can be uncomfortable and emotional I have found. If we spend quiet time on a regular basis through meditation, contemplation, prayer and creativity we find that we get closer to the heartbeat of mother Earth, her throbbing pulsing rhythms which activate and inspire us. The earth is changing, she is in peril in a way as she gives birth to herself. During times of deep transformation a being or a system is most vulnerable to predators; this is the way of nature, and some of the preying can come from the other side. The best way to be on this transformational ride is to go inward, be your own guru and develop a solid relationship with God or Creator. You know yourself and your relationship with creator best.

I have been shown that when we embrace our changes, especially our hormonal changes we will be led to where we need to be. If you are going through some emotional, hormonal changes embrace them, dance with them, don’t be so quick to silence the wisdom of the body. Learn to deeply listen to yourselves. This new energy especially engages the non-rational brain, that is why we can have vertigo; feelings of being spaced out or forgetful, sudden flashes of understanding, precognition, profound dreaming, hunches, or sudden emotional outpourings from the deep self. So take care of yourself, make time to go inward and try to integrate your changes. Deep breathing is a wonderful way to engage the energy and become more aware and conscious of your body changes.

So hug a tree, spend time in nature, love your friends and paint a picture. Mother Earth is a wonderful and wondrous place to be right now, and we are all here together riding along on this spaceship called Earth.

© Lorraine Hughes 2015

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