Archive for March, 2010

Why I am One Lucky Duck!

I had been painting in Evanston for a week and learned that my apartment office held onto a Fed-Ex delivery for me. Thinking it was just my external hard drive from California (not terribly exciting) I didn’t hurry to claim my package until returning from the post office today reminded me to do so.

Well … imagine my delight when I discovered in the elevator that it was a surprise package of goodies from none other than Pure Food & Wine’s Sarma! By the time I reached the ninth floor, the box was halfway open and my grin huge. The man with the baby who opened the door on my floor must have thought I’d just won the lottery! Which I still intend to do, by the way. 😉

I had been debating whether to walk by Lake Michigan on this glorious day or hoof it to the health food store for some raw cookies. Opting for the Lake, I received both. A lesson in manifestation: always claim your gifts!

One Lucky Duck Chocolate Chip Cookies

One Lucky Duck Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Cookies

One Lucky Duck Blonde Macaroons

One Lucky Duck Gingerbread Cookies

They were all utterly scrumptious. (I had to taste test!) But I’d actually say I loved the Gingerbread the best.

Thank you, Sarma! You totally made this Lazy Raw Foodist’s day. 🙂

TBI, Lyme, Spiritual Healing and Gratitude

So many people have been writing me privately to share their personal stories of healing from TBI, Lyme, Fibromyalgia or other “Medical Mysteries” after reading If I Only Had a Brain Injury and The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. A surprising number of readers have even shared how Schizandra and the Gates of Mu inspired their own dreams and spiritual healing. Your stories warm my heart, and I appreciate your journeys more than you know. If you would like to let other people know more about these books, it would help to post a little review on Amazon.com, so that people like you can know how the books might inspire them. The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide is still available in ebook only; however, If I Only Had a Brain Injury and Schizandra and the Gates of Mu are on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk and BarnesandNoble.com. If you feel so inclined to leave a short review, I would feel most grateful!

Continued Blessings and Healing to all of you …

Laura

Door Number 3: “Tree of Life” aka “The Daphne Door”

Some of you know I’ve been in Evanston all week, painting a door rescued by my friends Wendy and Matthew. They left it for me in their laundry room on their way to Peru to swim with the pink dolphins and pirahnas. (I’m really not making this up!) I have a key to their apartment and an open invitation, so I arrived here the day after Spring Equinox to find keys (to the laundry room) and a giant, antique door that possibly weighs more than I do. Wendy’s downstairs neighbor helped me haul it upstairs and I worked on it all week while listening to sacred chants and wearing a moldavite pendant. Lots of energy shifts!

This one looks more like a painting than the other doors, but it is actually even more “coded” with Runes and other symbols. I just worked many of them into the textures and decorative details. The main theme is a “World Tree” or “Tree of Life” with the wood nymph Daphne turned into the Laurel Tree. Apollo loved Daphne and when she became the tree, he created the laurel wreaths/crown of laurels for poets in honor of her. At the top right, is a Celtic Butterfly, and the bottom quote reads, “Wherever you are is the entry point. –Kabir.” Some people will also recognize the Chakana from Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. I had so much fun inserting Runes and other details, but there are too many to tell here, so I’ll just post the photo below.

Please excuse the, um, less than professional look of these photographs! I lost my in-house professional photographer when I got divorced and moved to Chicago, so these are BlackBerry images. I’ll eventually replace them with better quality photos from a wide angle lens, but I wanted to share them now.

Tree of Life

Celtic Butterfly Detail

Daphne Detail

Chakana Tree

Lascaux


Oroboros in the Parted Red Sea--Detail

Viewing doors as portals, I always paint some kind of mantra or Scripture on the back of them. Payuurteel has the Moola Mantra on
The Other Side, and The Alchemy Door now features the Gayatri Mantra. The Tree of Life has a version of Psalm 1:3, along with angels named in the First Pentacle of Jupiter from Solomon’s Keys:

copyright Laura Bruno

Several people have asked if I plan to sell these doors. The short answer is, “No, not these particular ones.” They are very personal for me, and I want them in my home; however, I do intend to create more doors for sale. LOL, I am running out of room in my apartment for all these giant doors!

I’m also available for private commissions if you already have a door you’d like painted and coded for particular intentions or feelings. I especially like the idea of creating different effects for people as they enter or exit rooms. Thresholds are powerful energetic points, and you can literally invite transformation into your daily life by having the door and images coded with subconscious symbols, Sacred Geometry and images that speak to your particular intentions, hopes and dreams. Runes are the building blocks of creation, so including them in an intentional way, operates on the subconscious ability to manifest your heart’s desires. In my experience, this actually works incredibly fast! That’s one reason I don’t wish to part with my first three doors. 😉

Price per door varies, depending on size, desired degree of detail and whether you would like images on both sides. In some cases, I’m willing to travel to you, but that’s on a case-by-case basis, depending on my schedule, available accommodations, number of doors, and your location. If you’re interested, please feel free to email me at brunoleaf at yahoo.com for more details.

Many Blessings!

Podcast About the Lazy Raw Food Diet

Nancy of About Harvest just posted this interview with me about how to begin or maintain a successfully lazy raw foodist diet. It’s short but fun. Enjoy!

The Power of Myth

I am a huge fan of myth! Since I was a child, I’ve always felt fascinated by the stories we as individuals and as a culture tell ourselves in order to make sense of our world. I spent most of my high school, college and graduate school years chasing down motifs and integrating Sacred Geometry, Christian mysticism, angels, Art History and Paradise Lost.

Then, my 1998 brain injury catalyzed a far less rational approach to everything I had learned and come to love. Instead of analyzing myth, I began living it, embracing it as my own, day-to-day experience. Unable to read for many years, I took to borrowing books on tape and videos from my parents’ local library. Among these, I found a life-changing series by Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, called “The Power of Myth.” I’ve not seen it in years, but I still recall how I felt while hearing Joseph Campbell talk about the caves at Lascaux and the ancient Shamanic Experience.

Well, yesterday, while doing research for painting my third antique door, I stumbled upon this video and took a stroll down memory lane. It’s an hour well-spent. I hope you enjoy his insights as much as I did:


Joseph Campbell – Arthurian Legends and Western Way (12 of 14)

R-CANE-1 | MySpace Video

If you like Grail stories and myths, you might enjoy Schizandra and the Gates of Mu … a very modern take on an old motif … and if you’d like to explore ways of bringing more mythic awareness into your life and dreams, feel free to contact me here.

Gayatri Mantra

Enjoy!

Inspiration

I collect quotes and gather words, just for fun. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

“Wherever you are is the entry point.”
–Kabir

“I felt in need of a great pilgrimage so I sat still for three days and God came
to me.” –Kabir

“I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one
door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific
will come no matter how dark the present.” –Tagore

“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.” –Tagore

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it
happens.” –Rilke

“For what I possess seems far away and what has disappeared proves real.” –Goethe

“Condemnation does not liberate. It oppresses.” –Carl Jung

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” –Joseph Campbell

“Love is a friendship set to music.” –Joseph Campbell

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” –Joseph Campbell

“If it’s that difficult for a rich man to get into heaven, think how terrible it must be for a poor man to get in. He doesn’t even have a bribe for the gatekeeper.” –Reverend Ike

“The mind is its own place, and in itself/ can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. Awake, arise or be forever fall’n.” –John Milton

I was also listening to Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album and found embedded in the “Sheep” track, the 23rd Psalm:

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

… I’ve always loved the 23rd Psalm, but I was so surprised to find it on Animals! I keep having dreams about the number 37, which corresponds to the King of Cups in the Tarot. My cup runneth over … Wishing each and every one of you an abundant life and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Moving Stories and Tips

You asked, and I’m delivering. Every time I move, I receive so many emails and longing comments during sessions from people who “would love to move” like I do, who “would love to just pick up and go,” and “would love to inject a little more adventure” into their lives.

I’m writing another ebook on these very topics! It will cover everything from moving on a shoestring budget to synchronously finding that perfect spot to utilizing all your resources in all dimensions to make things as easy and fluid as possible. After all, The Lazy Raw Foodist is also a Lazy Mover.

And a Lazy Author! I intend to share all of my own tips, but I’d also love to include some others’ stories of Divinely inspired and managed moves, as well as some of the more mundane matters like packing tips and finding the right realtor in case you want to buy instead of rent. If you’d like to contribute, please email me at brunoleaf (at) yahoo.com to give me a sketch of what you’d like to offer. All chosen contributors will receive a link to your website and a promotional tag line, along with an acknowledgement and repeat contact information in the beginning. There will also be an affiliate program through ClickBank.com if you want to recommend this resource on your own site.

I tend to move fast — in relocations as well as ebooks. I penned The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide in three weeks from start to finish, so contact me soon if you’re interested. I don’t know that it will be THAT fast, but the instant manifestation seems to be continuing.

Many Blessings!
Laura

New Moon Intentions

We’ve got a New Moon in Pisces as of around 3 p.m. this afternoon, depending on your time zone. You don’t need to be an astrology buff or even believe in astrology in order to benefit from lunar cycles. Because of the moon’s effects on large bodies of water and water in general (our bodies are about 80% water), we all feel some kind of tug. Scientific research at University of Miami has even shown that murder rates rose and fell with lunar cycles, peaking at the Full and New Moons, declining during the quarter phases. The terms “lunatic” and “lunacy” really do stem from marked human behavioral changes related to the moon, so if you’re feeling particularly weepy, adrift, meditative, and/or creative right now, join the crowd!

A New Moon in Pisces places people in a more spiritual frame of mind and heart and encourages the wrapping up of karma, old ties, discernment about facts or illusions, and gives us all a chance to hone our intentions for a rebirthing process. As the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces does away with traditional boundaries, picks up on others’ emotions and intentions, and brings the long-resisted to the surface for final reckoning. Ruled by Pluto, the forgotten and late-discovered stepchild of our solar system, Pisces helps us tune into those parts of ourselves that have remained hidden or repressed. Does it feel comfortable? Uh-uh. And believe me, I’m hearing this reflected in coaching and intuitive sessions! But in order for the new to arrive, we must clean out our closets to make room for what we really want. If you’ve got skeletons rattling around in there, or dust bunnies, or anything you’ve been nudged to discard, now’s a great time to do that. Take advantage of the natural flow and support of the energies to carry you through those final, weepy tasks.

And while you’re at it, allow yourself to dream. Pisces encourages dreams and visions of all sorts. With the doing away of boundaries, those dreams and visions also have a better chance of manifesting their way into three-dimensional reality. To help get you started, I’ll share some of my own intentions, along with a few photos of recent artwork. Yes, I’m on my third BlackBerry Storm since moving here, and this one appears to take reasonably normal photos!

1 ) Work in closer collaboration with the angels. I’ve worked with them consciously since at least 1994, but recently I’ve felt their presence in a bigger, more tangible way. The above painting appeared in about twenty minutes yesterday and pictures Archangel Michael with his fiery sword of Truth. On my jaunt to the Art Institute last week, I opened a book that had the quote from Goethe and I just couldn’t get it out of my head, so onto the canvas it went: “For what I possess seems far away and what has disappeared proves real.” The top includes Runes spelling out “Trust.” The image just came to me and demanded I stop doing everything else and sit down to paint it.

me with my nephew Owen

2 ) Spend more time with family. Now that I’m within an hour’s train ride of my brother and a short flight to my parents and sister’s family, I really do intend to spend more time with my family, especially my little nephews. The above photo was taken on my visit home in January. My nephew Owen and I share a telepathic connection. For years, whenever I’d call my sister, Owen would have just mentioned my name or said someone reminded him of me. My move to Chicago has already strengthened this intention, as I had dinner with my brother last night and now talk with my sister every day. In fact, Erica feels like she vicariously found my apartment with me because we spent that synchronous morning back and forth on our cell phones and she spoke to me right after I felt led to this perfect spot.

Antahkarana Stardust

3 ) Explore more Ekphrasis. Ekphrasis is the verbal representation of visual representation, or the visual representation of verbal representation. Synchronously, I wrote my Masters Thesis on this topic while studying right here in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago in 1995-96. Amazing how things cycle around! I have always had an interest in Ekphrasis and wrote several English and Art History papers on this topic, primarily related to photography as a motif in literature. I’m now enjoying the flip side: taking words and symbols like Runes and embedding them into artwork. I’m not sure where it will lead, but something about the process appeals to me, so I’ll run with it for awhile.

Mandala Curio

4 ) Paint more doors! The above photo is of a curio cabinet I painted a few weeks ago, but I’ll count it as a mini set of doors. 🙂 Sometime soon I’ll make my way back up to Evanston where a vintage door awaits my brush. I can’t wait to create another portal from a discarded entrance. In my opinion, those are the best kind — forgotten doorways often lead to dreams come true.

5 ) Continue to rest and rejuvenate myself, finding balance in this new climate, new energy and new life. I’m still experimenting with percentages of raw vs. cooked food, types of exercise, and structuring my work day. I may have a new ebook in me, and I would love to start practicing yoga again, now that my body feels a little more grounded. For years, I felt so lightly tethered to my body that yoga “didn’t work” for me anymore. If I raised my vibration even a little bit with exercise I flew off into the ethers. I had hoped that a move back to the Midwest might settle things a bit, and it seems to be so far. Time will tell, as it always does, with all things. I keep drawing the Rune for “Patience.” Hmmm … I wonder what that’s all about? 😉

Anyway, Happy New Moon in Pisces! May your dreams and intentions come to fruition in their own perfect ways and timing.

Alchemy, Energy and Electronics

Reiki students often ask me about this phenomenon, and I’ve been blowing out a lot of things lately, so I thought I’d post on it. Why is it that people who do spiritual work or who channel a lot of spiritual energy have trouble with electronics? Watches break, fly off the wrist, or stop working; laptops fry; lights flicker; and/or phones disconnect. What’s up with that?

Well, the short answer is that everything is made of energy, including us, so when our energy fields expand, become disrupted, or imbalanced, we can inadvertantly send extra energy currents to things like computers, cars and streetlamps. Although it can happen any time to anyone, it seems to occur most often when someone activates or enhances a new aspect of his or her energy field. For example, Reiki students frequently report that streetlights turn on or off when they walk underneath them. It doesn’t happen forever, but seems to last as long as it takes for them to integrate the attunement that opens the energy channels in their hands and crown chakra.

In my own life, I know my laptops tend to die immediately before I publish a new book or receive some kind of major “download” of information. This happened when I moved to Santa Fe in October 2002 and when I started teaching Reiki on my own without Stephen in 2006. Then, on a different laptop it happened with my first ebook in 2008, and then again when I published If I Only Had a Brain Injury in paperback. In that case, I ended up getting a free new Motherboard from HP because my laptop had apparently been recalled. It just happened to short out right at the moment of publication both times.

When I released The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide, the same, resurrected laptop caught a trojan and died again, only to be re-resurrected by a computer guru. When I went to Mendocino last September, my laptop finally died for good (at least for me) the night before I discovered the Runes and language coding. I felt grateful in that case because I sensed that the laptop took the hit for me, instead of another brain injury or some other sort of mind warp that often accompanies a major shift in perspective.

I knew that I would never get that laptop working for me again. It was like my old laptop represented my old brain, and that brain was gone for good. No longer compatible with that Pavilion. So I replaced it. I did save it, though, feeling it might possibly work for someone else. Sure enough, I met someone in Evanston who needed a laptop and in the same hour I went through a major healing of some old things with my sister last week, that person managed to turn on my laptop for the first time in six months.

Since moving to Chicago, I’ve been blowing out a lot of things again. It seems like every week my energy expands, and the electronics around me are struggling a bit. So far so good on my new laptop. I have been very, very careful with it! But I’ve gone through two modems and a router from Comcast, plus three unexplained switch-off’s of my phone service, and two replacements of my BlackBerry Storm, just in the past three weeks. I will say this: Comcast and Verizon have been wonderful! I am now on very friendly terms with everyone in the Verizon store downtown, which just happens to be situated next to a great art supply store.

Isn’t all of this annoying and why can’t I control my energy??? Yes, I suppose some people would find it annoying. Maybe I should. But I don’t. I just know it means my energy’s expanding and that good things are on the way. That’s what always happens. Plus, I enjoy my trips downtown. Today, for example, I got an intuitive hit to go downtown, but I resisted, thinking I should stay home and blog and that I had no real reason for going downtown. Within moments, my BlackBerry completely died again. OK, I thought, I’ll go fix it tomorrow, but then I noticed I had no home phone service either. The double whammy always gets me to a Verizon store!

I ended up having a lovely day. I got off near the Art Institute and felt a little nudge that it was free on Tuesdays. That thought got me into the door. Well, it USED to be free on Tuesdays way back when, but the bookstore is always free, so I headed in there to explore. Museums tend to overwhelm me anyway. The bookstore was more my speed. While there, I found some great inspiration for a few new paintings and a super sale priced book on Alchemy and Mysticism. Feeling complete on that leg of the journey, I headed to Verizon where I received yet another free BlackBerry Storm, plus instructions on how to text message and how to take non-upside-down photos (I hope!) with my new BB. Then I found some great sale canvases and paints at the art supply store. Annoying? Not really. I’ve learned to embrace my failing electronics as nudges to focus my energy somewhere else.

Back to the other question: can’t I control it? And can others? That one’s a little trickier. In theory, yes, we can control our energy. The problem is that when it’s expanding or opening in new ways, we may not yet know how. Personally, I prefer to let the unfolding take place in as natural and unobstructed a manner as possible. I used to try to keep my energy folded in upon itself, but I found that only made the short circuiting worse, and it would take much longer to complete the process. I’ve noticed similar things with other people. If they resist or get frustrated with electronic mayhem, then it only increases their energy. Anger/frustration amps up your frenetic, uncontrolled energy!

If at all possible, I recommend people take a break from whatever’s going haywire. You may be trying to tell yourself you need seclusion (i.e. no phone communication or fewer emails), or perhaps a walk in nature. Rest assured, your new levels of energy will eventually rebalance themselves. And if not, there’s a message in that as well. Maybe you’re not meant to work a computer oriented job. Maybe your watch keeps breaking because you’ve become a slave to linear time. When energetic blips persist beyond a short transition, they usually portend a more permanent shift in the works. I know it’s hard to imagine in this world of iPods, iPhones, BlackBerries, tweetdecks and Droids, but there really is life beyond electronics. Embracing that life will help you to transmute your excess energy into something worthwhile.

As my friend Toni says, “use your power for good.” And I would add, “use it or lose it.” When you start blowing out electronics, recognize that as a sign of shift and enhancement. Then claim what’s yours and make the most of it!

Many blessings