Posts Tagged ‘Intention’

“Door” Number 14: Temperance

The fourteenth door in my Divine Doorways Series is actually a “porta-portal.” Someone commissioned me to paint a canvas board in the same style and with the same Runic coding as the larger doors. I wasn’t sure what would manifest, but in the end we both loved the way it turned out. The board allowed me to paint and code both sides, just like an actual door, and I designed the front to look like an archway, so the image maintains an “entrance” or “gateway” feeling.

Temperance by Laura Bruno

The fourteenth card in the Tarot, the Temperance Card, presented itself as the one for this project. This motif usually depicts a woman or angel with one foot in a pond and one foot on land, symbolizing both the subconsious and conscious realities, joined and working together. The woman commissioning this painting really loves Door Number 11, though, so she requested more of a faery feel to Temperance. She looks kind of like a psychedelic rock and roll flower child faery, with orange and black, Celtic butterfly monarch wings (edged in silver) and a yellow heart halo.

Water features heavily in this card, not just in the pond, but also because the woman/angel/faery traditionally pours water from one vessel into another. Ideas of balance, flow, harmony and fulfillment come to mind. The water is all coded with Runes for Flow. and the mountain has an extra UR Rune on it, suggesting the moving of mountains. To the upper right there is a downward pointing triangle and then a Rune, which is associated with Zion. That one just insisted on being there, so I put it in. It’s called Anis and also symbolizes: “Stand Still and Movement, Still Point in Heart, Zen, Zion, Pulsar Star, Falcon, Hummingbird, Parting the Waters, Walking on Water, Pulse, Transistor.”

In addition, I added quotes evoking overflowing cups, and an excerpt from Psalm 23 on the back amplifies this effect:

I got rid of any negative references to enemies or struggles and wrote out this:

“The Lord is my shepherd,
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths…

You prepare a feast for me…
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love
will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
Forever.”

(I also turned the 3 in 23 into an Om.)

Temperance by Laura Bruno

The coding down the sides of the “threshold” says in Runes: “Have you beauty that leads the heart [down the left side, and heart is an actual heart-shape] to the Holy Mountain” [down the right side] … This is extracted from a Kahlil Gibran question, but I’ve written it as a command, and ended it with a Wunjo Rune (which looks like a P), thus anchoring it as a spell. Wunjo is sort of like saying, “So be it.” So the threshold is “commanding” the subconscious to have beauty that leads the heart to the Holy Mountain. Wunjo also stands for fulfillment and joy. I was happy to hear back from the patron that the “door” is already having that effect in her life:

“I wanted to mention that I also have some great, unplanned, spur of the moment pics of the kids admiring your painting. It was so sweet; I was in the kitchen doing dishes and hear them chatting away and I come to peak into my office to see their two cute bottoms facing the picture and touching it gently and discussing what is happening with the woman, etc… SO ADORABLE! I just took some pics of them. Some got posed when they learned I was there but it was so beautiful with them checking it out and the fall leaves and fall scenery in the background. A vision I will always remember…so special!”

I coded the Sun in the card with Runes for passion, spark and heat. The grass has flowers that are Runes for “create a new universe” and “power to move forward.” The grass itself is textured with Runes for “prosperity” and “movable wealth.” I put in stars, which are a repeat of the “create a new universe” Rune, as well as a Cho Ku Rei symbol in the sky and a giant Rainbow. I clothed the faery angel because the patron has young children, and her dress is covered in Runes and hearts. You can’t really see the Runes in the dress, but the subconscious registers and responds to them.

The bottom quote is also by Kahlil Gibran: “And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.” Both quotes are from The Prophet.

Temperance Quote by Kahlil Gibran

I thoroughly enjoyed painting my first porta-portal and recognize this as a way of opening up more opportunities for people to receive customized “doors,” whether I come in person or just customize from afar. In either case, I love using my intuition to find just the right images, Runes, quotes, intentions and symbols to bring forth what the patron most wants and needs and also to offer these gifts as larger intentions for the world. Many thanks to this family for requesting such an unusual project. And Happy Birthday! 11/11 marks a very special birthday for the patron, so this portal arrived just in time for that portal birthday. Namaste!

Temperance by Laura Bruno: Rock On!

Whacking the Piñata

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook: Laura Bruno has been whacking a cosmic piñata for quite some time now and can feel it about to burst. 🙂

Some people got a real kick out of it, but I wasn’t kidding. I really have intended into being this giant piñata of blessings, and I really do spend a huge amount of time and energy whacking away at it. It’s a pretty pinata, swings all over the place when I hit it, and I like to imagine what’s inside. This analogy led to a discussion with a good friend of mine, who likened my determination to their own sense of beating their head against a wall in several areas of life. I decided to share my emailed response because so many people seem to feel the same way. This was a personal correspondence so it’s a little “earthier” than some of my typical posts, but cleaning it up would have sterilized the message:

Given my medical history, I’m sure you understand why I no longer make it a practice to beat my head against a wall. 🙂 Nor do I recommend it to anyone else. A brain injury will give you change, but it also might kill you, it’s completely unpredictable, and even if it does work, there are SO many easier, faster, and less painful ways!

As I see it, the difference between me whacking my cosmic piñata of blessings all day and night long and you beating your head against the wall is this:

Beating your head against a wall will very quickly make you unconscious and it stems from frustration and not looking around you. Why are you banging your head against the wall when there’s a whole room behind you? Why don’t you look for the door? And if you can’t find a door, just ask me; I paint them!! I will make you a door … and I’m really not kidding. I make doors for myself all the time, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual … I am always painting and walking through portals. Walls are boring, especially the same wall over and over again. But portals … now those actually lead somewhere. … and you don’t even need ME to paint you one. You can find your own; they pop up in the most surprising places if you’re open to finding them.

Whacking my cosmic piñata, even if I whack it just as many times as you beat your head against the wall, is VERY different. First of all, I’m using an energetic “stick,” which is very large and gives me a lot of leverage. I can hit it much harder than I could w/ my head. Second, I am not damaging myself or anyone else with these hits, so I can continue to whack that thing with massive determination until it explodes all over me. I won’t be in a stupor when it happens, and that’s important, b/c there are good things in that piñata and I don’t want to miss any of them. I put them in there and I intend to savor each one of them with every ounce of consciousness I have on any and all levels. They are REALLY good things. 🙂

But most importantly, the energy of the piñata is completely different. Banging your head against the wall says, “I can’t, Ow, it hurts, I can’t, Ow, it hurts, I can’t, Ow, it hurts,” whereas whacking my pinata yells into the universe: “I want it and I want it bad. Give it to me.” It’s a joyful command with an expectation of fulfillment.

I ALWAYS get what I want. I know this. Even the things in life like my head injury got me what I wanted. I had 4 years off work for spiritual growth. I’ve written 3 books, including a novel. I traveled to all these cool places and lived like a bohemian for 8 years. That’s all I ever wanted from graduate school and I got it w/o having to sit through all those dreadful classes and listen to all those academics over sherry hour.

Granted, the migraines, disability, private detectives, court, etc. really sucked, so now I just paint portals and whack piñatas instead of beating my head against a wall. No more brain injuries. I still WANT. I still intend to get, and I know that I will. But having gone “down the road” a few times, I now only take interesting routes. Walls bore me, but doors and piñatas I like.

There Is a Way

The intellect says: “The six directions are limits: there is no way out.”
Love says: “There is a way. I have traveled it thousands of times.”
The intellect saw a market and started to haggle;
Love saw thousands of markets beyond that market.

–Rumi

🙂 Have a good one … I’m off my soapbox before all the “good” folks track me down and try to make me wash my mouth out w/ it. Time to whack the piñata. OMG, that sounds obscene! I like it. 🙂 And I will like it even more when it spews those blessings all over me. I’m telling you, they’re coming.

Door Number 4: Four of Wands, aka “Karuna”

Happy Easter! I haven’t actually finished Door Number 4, but the front is done, so I thought I’d post before the holiday. This one features a version of the Rider-Waite Tarot card for the Four of Wands.

Four of Wands, aka “Karuna” door front by Laura Bruno

The Sanskrit spells out “Karuna,” which means “compassion” or “the end of all suffering.” My inspiration to include Karuna with this door was two-fold:

I went to a Good Friday service at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel and felt drawn to go to the left side of the lying down Christ figurine. I’d been thinking of the Holy Grail all week, while wearing a moldavite pendant and saw at the service that the Christ was holding a chalice, which I had already planned for the lower panel. The word “Karuna” just popped into my head as a Sanskrit visual for the center of the door. On a personal note, my sister’s family recently got a puppy that they named Karuna. They call her “Rune” for short, though! This door is in part a welcome door for little Rune. 🙂

My Sister’s Dog, Karuna, aka “Rune”

The bottom quote is by Kahlil Gibran: “Trust in dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.” I kept dreaming of “the 30th card in the Tarot” until I finally remembered from Tom’s reading in Schizandra and the Gates of Mu that the 30th card is the Four of Wands. The image worked for me with a few tweaks, as I had also been dreaming of some specific combinations of Runes that came together in the shape of the couple with their arms at those angles. LOL, very active dream life lately!

A note on colors: the Sanskrit and 9999 on top are written in gold. The fish (walleye) eyes are silver, as are the orbs on top of the wands, and the area surrounding the chalice. The flash makes the silver look white. Again, I must apologize for the BlackBerry photo quality. If you have a professional camera setup and live in Chicago, please contact me! 😉

Top Panel of Four of Wands Door by Laura Bruno

Bottom Panel Four of Wands Door by Laura Bruno

And … as a special treat … I have a before picture! This is what I started with. Well, it’s actually a heavily cleaned version of what I started with. Below is the back before priming it, and believe it or not, the front actually looked worse!

Before Photo Four of Wands Door

Perhaps you can see why I consider painting these doors, or portals, as part of an alchemy process. I might not be turning baser metals into gold, but some of these doors arrive in pretty grim shape! I like to think we can transmute ourselves and our reality into whatever beautiful things we can imagine.

Blessed Be.

The Liberation Fund

Living in the Land of Synchronicity, as I so often do, I’ve decided to listen to my daily horoscope from Astrocenter.com, which reads:

Your horoscope for March 5, 2010 If you’re drawn to group activities connected to your spirituality, Laura, this is the day to explore them, as spiritual insights related to group meditations or workshops could well come your way today. Some of them may be a bit nebulous, and others could be totally strange and unexpected, but nonetheless you should write your ideas down or otherwise memorialize them. They could shed light on new revelations that could come later.

For several months now I have been working on a quiet but massive manifestation project, which I have affectionately named, “The Liberation Fund.” It began as a lark. LOL, as a Gemini, most of my big ideas do tend to begin that way! I was talking with a client who decided she needed a certain amount of cash in order to feel comfortable taking a leap of faith. In the session, I asked her to imagine what would happen if she already HAD the money.

She couldn’t imagine where it could possibly come from, so for the sake of imagination, I said, “Well, let’s just say it came from me. Let’s just say that somehow, someway I managed to manifest it for you.” She laughed, but because she’s seen me manifest some pretty big things, she could imagine this scenario much more easily than manifesting the money in any other way. We went on with the exercise and she found that she has quite the exciting life intended for herself and others — as she really only needs the cash flow to leverage her into a position of serving others.

After I got off the phone with her, I started daydreaming about how much fun it would be to gift her that windfall of money. Then I started pondering ALL the people I know and love, some clients, some friends, some family members, others just people I admire from afar. As a life coach and intuitive, I have the advantage of receiving people’s expressed wishes as well as the unexpressed “hits” about what resources it would take to manifest their dreams. A surprisingly large number of people I know have worked through nearly all remaining resistance to service and full life path expression, except for having cash on hand to activate those dreams and responsibilities. Loving everyone and wanting to see them succeed, expand and bliss out, my daydream grew from one client to a list of about forty-five charismatic people for whom opening the door would change not only their world, but our entire world.

Big dreams with huge, inconceivably big ripple effects.

And so … I started asking. Or, as Shawn Blackwolf likes to say, “assking” … with fluidic pressure and release. Intensifying those requests, adding pressure, allowing the steam to build, and then releasing it. I really did not intend to announce this little project to the world. Until now, only a handful of people have known of my “crazy” little daydream, but I’m quite serious about it. If I’ve told you I’ve been praying for you, I’m not talking idle prayer. I have been working hard!

Part of the reason I felt led to Hyde Park was because my energy feels much stronger there. Something amplifies it in that particular part of Chicago, and I have spent much time meditating, praying, wandering and wondering by the Lake, in my apartment with my portal doors, and around the community. I’ve also gone to two John of God healing events with his assistant Caterina, as well as a Full Moon sweat lodge last weekend. Some of this has been for my own healing, but I’ve been directing MOST of my energy to the healing of others as well as planetary and cosmic healing. I figure if I’m praying anyway, I might as well pray big.

I’ve also been playing the lottery. I know this sounds strange, but hey, it’s me. I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m (a little) strange. 😉 I had a series of numbers I was playing and I’d come close, except rarely on the date or game I actually played. Still, there’d be enough overlap that I’d keep playing if I felt nudged. And I often did. Little winks from the universe saying, “You’re onto something, Laura. Keep it up.” The other day, though, I said to myself, God and my guides, “You know? I’m getting tired of playing the lottery. This is almost embarrassing. I need some kind of sign if you want me to buy another ticket because really, I’m starting to feel too silly about all of this.”

I did my day of Wandering and Wondering and had a really odd day, synchronicity upon crazy synchronicity. While walking, I saw two lottery tickets lying on the ground, right after seeing all these abundance signs (angel numbers, intuitions, synchronicities about winning unexpectedly, other very personal signs of certain wishes coming true — wishes currently held up only by a lack of funds). I walked by the discarded tickets and got a hit to turn around and pick them up, so I did. All were random quickpicks from March 1. I checked at the store to see if they were winners: no, but having been led to the lottery counter, I bought a Powerball ticket.

Here’s the weird thing: I checked the winning number the following day, and one of those old tickets I found had 3 of the 5 winning numbers from March 3 (3/3/2001, which is a 333 date, a sign of the Ascended Masters). The same ticket was off by only one digit on another number. I checked the other discarded ticket and it listed two quickpicks, random spreads of numbers, but they were almost identical. I combined the repeated numbers of those four random spreads, and three of the numbers overlapped three times and two overlapped twice. Pretty strange, right?

So … I changed my numbers and bought a ticket for tonight. I had contemplated sharing this crazy little Liberation Fund idea in a newsletter and then thought better of it. Why make an announcement about such an odd and private project? If it came to fruition, I would share the story, but why expose myself ahead of time? It is, after all, a bit embarrassing to admit publicly a belief that one may very well win the lottery. Almost as embarrassing as my admission in my interview in Passion Magazine that I believed in Santa Claus until I was fourteen years old! (My younger brother tried to burst my bubble. I say tried because part of me still believes in Good Saint Nicholas. When you hop dimensions as often as I do, hey, some beliefs come along for the ride.) Anyway, I wasn’t going to say anything, but the question was on my mind this morning whether to share the Liberation Fund intention with others. Then my horoscope came through:

March 5, 2010: If you’re drawn to group activities connected to your spirituality, Laura, this is the day to explore them, as spiritual insights related to group meditations or workshops could well come your way today. Some of them may be a bit nebulous, and others could be totally strange and unexpected, but nonetheless you should write your ideas down or otherwise memorialize them. They could shed light on new revelations that could come later.

So there you have it. I’ve written them down and memorialized them. I heard from Ray of Sedona that this is a wonderful weekend for making a wish come true because Jupiter and Mercury align, creating a cosmic union perfect for taking unmanifest wishes and giving them form in the material world. In mythology, Mercury does Jupiter’s dirty work, taking care of all the tiresome, tedious or unpleasant details required to create and maintain order in the universe. Though a trickster, Mercury also rules communication and has a free pass into and out of the underworld. Jupiter marks expansion, and Jupiter also just aligned last weekend with the Sun. Mercury can take Jupiter’s ideas and complete all required details to make it so.

What does all of this mean in laymen’s terms? Dream big. Make your wishes heard. Knock and it shall be opened. That’s always true, but the current alignment acts like WD40 on a squeaky hinge. Instead of creaking open, that door you’ve been knocking on may very well fly open. Prepare yourself to walk on through.

And wish me luck, please. Somehow, someway, I really would love to see that Liberation Fund start flowing. Cuz some of you have got some really, really amazing projects and intentions in the works! Many, many blessings. 🙂

Wandering and Wondering … Further Along the Labyrinth

So many people are going through massive shifts right now! It seems like every single person I know, whether friend, family, client or remote acquaintance has found their ordinary world collapsing and reorganizing in February and even more so this week. Welcome to the whirlwind! I actually read that the devastating February 27th earthquake in Chile shifted the earth’s axis in such a way that days have sped up. No surprise there. Well, at least not to me … everyone seems frazzled lately, and intensities continue to climb.

On the positive front: those intensities seem to be pointing towards people’s dearest hopes and dreams coming to fruition. I have lost track of the number of people I know who have recently encountered or reencountered their “twin flame.” The implications of so many people finding and generating so much unconditional love at the same time are huge. I find this extremely encouraging for everyone, because energy works kind of like a rocket leaving the gravitational pull of the earth. We just need “enough” to push through the old restraints. The more people pulsing with massive amounts of pure love, the faster we, as a planet, will shift.

I also know so many clients, friends and loved ones poised on the precipice of changes for which they’ve prayed seemingly forever. Many had long ago lost hope of ever seeing these changes come to fruition, and yet, they have suddenly reappeared on the radar. Money seems to be the remaining holdup, but I see that shifting soon for a lot of people, too.

So … what to do during the waiting period? Ah, what to do? Two of my favorite and most productive things to recommend sound least productive:

wander and wonder.

There’s actually a song called, “I Wonder as I Wander,” that used to haunt me as a child. Whatever your religion, though, wondering and wandering under the sky can provide keen insights into all sorts of difficult concerns.

The act of wandering, moving aimlessly, puts you in touch with the world in ways our left brain doesn’t recognize. When a client feels stuck I often suggest they take a walk in the woods. Barring the availability of woods, though, a “wander” through familiar territory can bring similar synchronicities and clarity. The key is to let your legs lead the way. Listen to nudges telling you to turn right or left, and don’t let your mind convince you otherwise. Before I wander, I always say a little prayer that I be led exactly where I need to be in any given moment. And boy, do the synchronicities come!

Wondering makes a fine companion to wandering, but you can also practice them separately. Taken together, they bring the mind into alignment with the body, inviting even greater transformation and insight. The words “I wonder” are themselves very powerful because they present a challenge to the subconscious mind. Saying, “I wonder what would happen if …” and then adding in your dearest hope or dream, sets your subconscious working on how such a thing could come to pass. Your subconscious will work on that conundrum morning, noon and night, constantly running that as a background program until it finds some sort of solution, rational, magical or otherwise. If you really want something, wonder how it would feel to have it! Wonder how it may come to pass! Wonder how glorious and surprising your life can be. 🙂

I spent yesterday wondering and wandering around Hyde Park. I had not ventured onto the University of Chicago campus in almost fourteen years, despite having now lived in Hyde Park for a few weeks. Yesterday felt like the right day to do so. I set out with several questions, a sunny afternoon and an open mind and heart. Holy synchronicities! I always have a lot, but wow. It felt very healing to stroll down memory lane. On a fun note, the U of C presents a fun place to wander, with its Gothic architecture and interconnected, labyrinthian hallways. I don’t know how anyone knows where they’re going, but if you’re not attached to a particular destination, the experience feels enchanting rather than frustrating. Perhaps a good lesson for life.

I’m in a whimsical mood, so I’ll leave you with a few quotes from “It’s a Wonderful Life”:

Jimmy Stewart (George): What do you want, Mary? Do you want the moon? If you want it, I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down for you. Hey! That’s a pretty good idea! I’ll give you the moon, Mary.

Donna Reed (Mary Hatch Bailey): I’ll take it! Then what?

Jimmy Stewart (George): Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve see, and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?

Many blessings through your wanderings and wonderings!

Laura

Mendocino/Fort Bragg Vacation

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything! Last week, my friend Tania Marie and I traveled to the Mendocino Coast for some much needed rest and relaxation. She had just finished the fourth in a series of five major paintings, and I still hadn’t officially celebrated the release of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. I only had a few days for this getaway, so we picked somewhere close and dear to my heart. (Some of you may remember how much fun I had in Fort Bragg/Mendocino on my birthday last year.)

We truly experienced a magical, mind-blowing trip this time, much of which I am still processing. I’ll give you a bit of a recap here, though:

The Food

OK, first and foremost, Tania and I wanted to eat. We had originally planned to go to Santa Cruz, CA, but when we learned that their raw food restaurant had closed, we opted for Fort Bragg, home of the Living Light Culinary Institute. For those of you who’ve never heard of Cherie Soria, the founder, she has trained most of today’s top raw food chefs. You can find an interview of Cherie and her husband Dan here. I’m a bit spoiled in Sonoma County with both Cafe Gratitude and Seed Restaurant in close proximity, and Tania frequently visits L.A. with its enormous raw variety. We wanted to enjoy ourselves this trip and not worry about the food.

We began with a gas stop in Healdsburg. Yes, Tania has a hybrid, so maybe we didn’t really need gas, but we did fill up — both the Highlander and our bellies. Cafe Gratitude in Healdsburg called. We each got a large juice (I Am Worthy and I Am Healthy) and then noshed on our favorite: I Am, I Am — chocolate ice cream inside chocolate cookies. Sufficiently fueled, we hit the road for the two hour drive to our ocean getaway.

We arrived forgetting where we planned to stay, so we stopped at Harvest Market to “use the facilities,” buy some lusciously fresh figs and figure out our next stop. I must note here that Harvest Market is perhaps the friendliest, loveliest place I have ever grocery shopped. The staff literally escorted me to the restrooms, held open the door, and later directed me knowledgeably through the aisles to find water and MSM. Everyone smiled, and the store offered a nice combo of both natural products and reasonably healthy “normal” items, so a family could conceivably do all their shopping in one place. The staff also gave accurate directions to our hotel (we found our reservations but still didn’t know how to get there). Yes, Fort Bragg’s fairly small, but I always appreciate good directions!

Once settled, we headed over to Living Light for a pre-beach-meal. We ended up eating at Living Light’s Cafe at least once per day, guzzling Green Giant Juice and their “tuna” sandwiches. Holy wow, do those taste real. Better than real. I never liked tuna sandwiches until I went raw, but these really hit the spot. Their Taco Salad was yummy, too, but we kept returning to the tuna. And the cacao. Oh, dear me, do they ever have a delicious cacao pecan bar!

On the first night, we ate at a place in Mendocino called Raven’s, because we had heard they offered one raw entree, appetizer and dessert per evening. The food was OK, but the atmosphere exquisite. We felt grateful to have any raw options at such a classy place with a view. From our window seat, we watched hundreds of ravens fly in front of the sun as it set above giant redwoods and the pristine coast. As we continued our dinner (flax crackers with a carrot spread, a delectable gazpacho, sprouted quinoa “enchilladas” and a very satisfying peach cobbler), the staff lit a cozy fire, and tiny white lights outside illuminated the archway leading into Raven’s and the Stanford Inn. It felt like Christmas! We went to our hotel and slept like babies.

The Lodging
We stayed at Shoreline Cottages, on the outskirts of Fort Bragg, closer to Mendocino. Truth is, we got a screamin’ good deal and our little trip only cost us $111 each for two nights’ lodging in a 2-Queen room. A little wink from the universe. We would stay there again. I loved all the eco-toiletries, and natural fabrics. I have never slept in a more comfortable bed!

My only complaint is that the “beach within walking distance” involved some substantial hiking down slippery, semi-flooded out steps near someone’s house. We had perfect weather — seventy degrees and sunny our whole trip — but large pools of water still made the steps a bit difficult to navigate. When we did arrive at the “beach” we found we could see the ocean, but a giant pool of water separated us from the actual coast. It looked like we could possibly walk the long way around, but the area felt isolated for two 100-pound-ish women walking alone. In the distance we noticed two large men drinking and eyeing us, so we promptly flitted up the steps and drove to Mendocino’s headland trails along the coasts.

I had never seen the headlands on a sunny day, and I would just go straight here next time. Absolutely stunning! We walked for hours each day, and often marveled at our “luck” in choosing Shoreline Cottages for their low cost proximity to Mendocino’s amazing views.

The Experience
For all our fun and relaxation, Tania and I both felt some sort of calling to the Mendocino Coast specifically at this time. We had planned to go earlier, and events intervened to make that impossible. We had planned to go later, and intuitions intervened to make that really not seem wise. We planned to go other places, and information came through via email about various restaurant closings. It sounds mundane here, but the number of nudges we received had become so diverse and so frequent that by the time we arrived, we felt an air of expectation. Just what might happen to us on this strangely orchestrated getaway? Tania wanted information for her next painting, and I had reached a point of “stuckness” for Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar (book 2 in the series). I felt like I had too many plots and too many characters and how in the world would all of this integrate into a single novel?

The first night, when we returned from Ravens, my laptop died. I have an odd relationship with my laptop. It’s almost like a “familiar,” responding to my moods, insights and energy. It died when I released my first ebook, first book and second ebook, only to be resurrected by a new Motherboard, a $111 computer repair, and a new power cord. I’ve found that whenever I start to “download” a bunch of potentially overwhelming information into my brain, my laptop goes funky. Well, my laptop died. I suspect I caught a trojan due to the hotel internet system’s lack of a firewall, because I just landed on a website and the laptop froze, then shut off, then on, then off, then on, until I could manually turn it off. Annoying, yes, but I also experienced it as a blessing. Having the laptop offline made me feel more cocooned in the magic of the Mendocino Coast.

After a juice and lunch at Living Light, we made our way to the headlands and walked for hours along the cliffs at water’s edge. We sat down and took off our shoes, rooting ourselves into the rocks and earth. Tania did her own meditation/intending, while I sat on the cliff breathing the sea, feeling the wind and engaging in a version of the sa-ta-na-ma meditation. This is an ancient kundalini meditation that works with the roots “Sat” and “Nam,” meaning “I am truth” or “Truth is my true identity.” Divided into the syllables, it roughly translates: “Infinity, Life, Death, Rebirth” — essentially, the creative process itself. I asked that whatever creative block I had reveal itself and disintegrate, so that I could integrate everything coming at me for book 2. I learned later that Tania had asked that she and I receive some sort of sign about our paths and confirmation of the next creative projects coming through us.

When finished, we stood up and hiked back to town among the golden grass, turquois waters and rocky ledges. We began talking about the movie, “The Neverending Story” and the main character, Atreyu. I don’t remember the context of the conversation because I really had to pee! LOL, that was a theme for me this trip. We got back to town and I felt we must, absolutely must get to this one street where I was sure I would find the right spot to go. Since I had to go so bad, Tania pointed out a variety of places along the way, but something made me keep heading in the direction of the street I felt sure we’d find. Sure enough, a public bathroom stood on that corner. Relieved on multiple levels, we turned up the street, wondering what to do with ourselves. For as much as we’d craved a vacation, we felt a bit adrift with nothing at all on the agenda, no creative project to manifest, and no sessions for me to offer. Just us. Just Mendocino. What, we wondered, lay in store for us, since it seemed so very insistent we spend these three days here.

In another “must do” moment, I got the sense we should stop for a Mate Latte. Tania had never had one of these concoctions of Yerba Mate, and Moody’s Coffee Shop on our “special” street just happened to offer Mate Lattes with steamed Oat Milk. We asked the barissta what she thought we should do and discovered that aside from kayaking or driving or eating somewhere else, we had pretty much “done” the highlights. So … we sat down and enjoyed the stunning weather. We again voiced the magical words, “I wonder …” and Tania started staring off into space while I blissed out on my slightly stevia sweetened Mate Latte.

At that moment, a long-white-haired, long-white-bearded man with a cane crossed our path. He walked past us and then spun around, trying to see whatever Tania seemed so intent upon. Finding nothing of startling interest, he asked her and she said, “Oh, I’m just looking at nothing, but now that I see it, I really love your necklace.”

“It’s Atreyu’s necklace,” he said. “Do you know Atreyu? He walks the Middle Way.”

Tania and I glanced at each other and replied together, “We were just talking about The Neverending Story. Where did you get your necklace?”

“I ahsked for it,” he said. “Not ask, but A-S-S-K. Ahsked.”

“We were just doing some asking ourselves,” we giggled.

I happened to be wearing a jeweled bindi sticker over my third eye and an Om necklace, which the man noticed. “Om is older than Sanskrit,” he said.

“I know,” I said and smiled.

He stared at my bindi and said, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word was–”

“Om,” I said. Tania and I looked at each other, having heard me pontificate on such things before. 🙂

Back to the necklace. Tania asked again where he got it, and then noticed some other jewelery on his wrists, for which he had also “ahsked.”

He asked us, “So what are you doing in Mendocino?”

“A-S-S-King,” we said. “We’re on vacation but we wanted to know the next step in our projects.”

“She’s a writer,” explained Tania.

“A writer,” said the man, “do you know about the 22 male runes?”

“I do,” I said.

“And do you know about the female runes and all the corresponding words and numbers?”

“I do not,” I said.

He asked if he could sit down, which we eagerly encouraged him to do. He then proceeded to whip out a hundred-or-so page notebook filled with double columns of runes. Each page looked the same, but with different sets of correspondences. “The Code,” he said, then talked to us for about 2 hours. It was fascinating. Then he had to pee — yes, the theme! — and so he left us. We tossed our drinks and went on another walk at the headlands. On the way back to the car, we ran into him again, “Down the road …” as he liked to say.

Then we headed back to Fort Bragg with the idea of renting a movie. We stopped at Harvest Market Shopping Center wanting to find the nearest Blockbuster. A store called “Music Merchant” caught my eye, but I went into the hardware store instead. I learned that the nearest Blockbuster was in Santa Rosa, two and a half hours away! OK, any other rental spots? Everyone directed me to a place downtown until someone literally ran up to me, interjected himself into the conversation and said, “No, you have to go to Music Merchant. They rent videos now, too.”

I told Tania, and we parked the Highlander and entered the Music Merchant. I bought Led Zeppelin’s “Mothership” and we rented “The Matrix” (thoughts on those some other time). As I put them into my bag, we heard a jolly laugh behind us, followed by, “Third time’s the charm!” Our white-bearded, Atreyu-necklace-wearing friend. Tania and I had just commented how we wished we could have spent more time with him, and (poof!) he appeared. We wound up spending another five hours with him in the atrium of Living Light’s Cafe. Holy download.

Suffice to say, the writer’s block has left. You haven’t seen a blog post in over a week because I’ve been typing and/or reading practically non-stop between sessions since I returned. Tania experienced the same phenonmenon with regard to her next painting. Layers upon layers of encoded meanings and associations. We’re loving it. I have not done justice to the otherworldy feeling of this encounter. I suppose I could have begun, “Two fair maidens met a werewolf on Full Moon’s Eve” or “the shaman and the faeries walked together and down the road” or “a person’s word is bond.”

But I think I’ll just say, “we tiptoed into the Pomegranate Garden, tasted the fruit and smiled.”

Blessed Be.

Amazon Reader Reviews of Schizandra

Schizandra’s getting some really interesting reviews on Amazon. Test readers noticed more vivid dreams, too. I’ve also been hearing from clients who bought the novel but haven’t finished it yet that their dreams and thought patterns are becoming noticeably more creative and fluid.

Cool! I edited the heck out of this book to help people feel and experience a sense of oneness and movement in and through different realities on the edge of their current consciousness. With my soul readings and medical intuitive work, “dimension hopping” as Shazzie calls it, comes naturally to me. Moving in and out of ancient memories forms an everyday occurence. I’m happy to see from these initial reviews that Schizandra and the Gates of Mu has begun to weave its magic in others’ lives.

Here’s a HUGE thank you to everyone who has ever had a soul reading, intuitive life path assessment, animal communication session, Reiki class/session, or medical intuitive reading from me. I didn’t know it at the time, but providing those services was honing my brain to write a book about conscious expansion into freedom and bliss. Much love!

Laura Bruno

www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

Finding Time to Write

I coach a fair amount of writers and would-be writers, and lately many have asked me how I found the time to write Schizandra and the Gates of Mu while running a busy coaching practice, blogging and creating The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. I thought I’d share some of my secrets here and also invite any aspiring writers to join me and some of my clients on a special challenge we created yesterday.

1 ) Find Your Most Productive Writing Time in the Day. For me and a lot of other people, that happens to be first thing in the morning. If I turn on the computer, open up Word, and leave my email off, I can write some good quality stuff at a faster pace than later in the day when distractions have begun to mount. It also helps me to have that connection with dream time, since I often dream of my characters or plot solutions. As the day wears on, those details lose their freshness, but first thing in the morning, they come out strong.

Some people just aren’t morning people, though. My husband writes best between 1 and 4 a.m., and I’ve had a number of clients who “thought” they should write in the morning because they read that some famous novelist got up really early to complete his draft. Unfortunately, for these clients, writing in the morning created more frustration than inspired writing. They needed massive amounts of coffee or cacao just to open their eyelids, and the words simply did not flow. Some of them had given up on writing altogether by the time they contacted me. When we discovered their most productive writing time, though, their writing began to flourish — even if that meant eating dinner an hour later or spending two hours on the computer before bed.

It doesn’t matter what other people do. If you’re trying to squeeze in writing time, then doesn’t it make sense to maximize that time as the most productive possible?

2 ) Decide What You Want to Write. No, you don’t need to know exactly how things will turn out. Few, if any, authors truly know that when they begin a project. But it definitely helps to have some idea of what you’d like to create, along with your most deeply desired timeline.

I got the idea for Schizandra and the Gates of Mu in October 2001. At the time, I thought it would be a short story, because I still couldn’t read after my 1998 brain injury. The story percolated in my mind as the brain damage healed.

By 2003, I realized it would be a novel, but I still hadn’t started it. In 2004, my husband and I spent two months in Sedona, and that’s when I really began writing Schizandra because I suddenly knew the story’s setting.

It was my dream to write a novel (OK, many novels), but from a goal standpoint, I sensed that was much further away. I decided to finish my non-fiction book If I Only Had a Brain Injury and just let Schizandra continue percolating. Because I felt clear on my writing priorities — finish the brain injury book, write some helpful articles, then work on the novel — I felt satisfied and fulfilled by the writing I produced.

Yesterday I spoke with two aspiring writers. Really, they are already writers; they’re just aspiring to finish and make something of their projects. Both struggle with finding time and discipline to write. We took some time in sessions to discover what would feel like an accomplishment in terms of weekly, monthly and seasonal writing. One wants to write a short story by summer’s end. The other wants to finish a book review, write an article and then get started on her own novel, which she would like completed by April 2010. By vocalizing those goals, both were able to step back from an amorphous “I need to write more” and see what they actually need to do.

When Stephen and I moved to Petaluma, CA in May 2008, we did so with the goal of me finishing Schizandra during our 13-month lease. I vocalized this goal every time someone asked me, “Why Petaluma? Why now? You really seem to love Sedona.” (We moved to Sedona again in October 2007 for my research.)

Why yes, I did love Sedona and still do, but I did not even open the Schizandra file the entire second time we lived there! In Petaluma, I couldn’t walk to two raw food restaurants, two juice bars, two natural food stores and three crystal shops/metaphysical bookstores. Nor do I drive, so I was pretty much stuck in our little condo with no excuses or distractions. My tummy was not the happiest camper, but, boy did I write! I figured I had 13 months to finish, and I uploaded the final draft to the printer literally the day before we left Petaluma!

3 ) Create Some Supportive Accountability. This can be from someone who totally believes in your writing gifts, a friend who thinks you’re a fantastic manifestor who gets everything you desire, a life coach, or a writing group/partner.

Having others know my novel goal helped keep me on track. I took a two month total break from Schizandra after I wrote The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. I figured I had earned this break and I might have just rested on my laurels a whole lot longer. I had a blog; I’d written two books. Come on, wasn’t I pushing myself a little too hard with this whole novel in a year thing?

I really owe Cecilia of http://www.rawglow.com for her big kick in the butt! We were walking one day and in the nicest way possible she mentioned how it amazing it was that I had made peace with not finishing Schizandra before our lease ended. “When do you think you’ll finish it? Two years? Three years from now? Isn’t it a series? How will that work with the 2012 theme?” I admit, I got a bit defensive — at least inside (Cecilia claims not to have noticed my reaction) — but her comments really got me thinking. The next day, I hauled myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and started writing. With the exception of Christmas week, I think I spent about 6-10 hours per day at least five days a week writing or editing Schizandra and the Gates of Mu until we moved.

Does everyone need to do that? Nope, but I really wanted that novel done in Petaluma.

4 ) Commit to Something. It need not be as ambitious or demanding as finishing a novel by 2010. Maybe you want to journal three times a week. Maybe you want to write five articles. Maybe you want a short story to show for your efforts.

Take that goal and break it down into tiny bites. What does it ultimately take to write? Um, some time spent writing. 🙂 So, commit to that. I’ve found for myself and coaching clients that it’s more effective to commit to something small and keep it than to commit to something huge and feel like a big loser for not meeting your obligation.

5 ) Don’t Edit While you Write. You will have a hard time flowing from your right brain if your left brain won’t stop criticizing your grammar, style and concepts. Leave the editing for an editing time and the writing for writing. They are vastly different processes, both important, but both better off kept apart, especially in the beginning. Especially if you have a history of writer’s block or getting discouraged with your early drafts.

Let the drafts come out. If you want to compromise, you can read books on writing in your free time so that your first drafts come out better and better. I particularly like Elements of Style and The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. If you know how to create good writing from the beginning, you’ll feel happier with your drafts.

Seriously, though, don’t edit while you’re inspired to get things onto paper or into the computer. The muse can be fickle. Honor her and celebrate when she graces you with her presence. She will visit more often!

6 ) Create Some Community. Writing can be lonely work, especially if it means 4 a.m. dates with the computer before heading to the gym or out to work. The idea that other people — somewhere — are also committing to their craft can help you feel a sense of community and joy. That’s one reason National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has become so popular. Thousands of people set themselves the “impossible” task of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Does everyone finish? No way! But they have fun doing it, and they get a heckuva lot more writing done than they would have on their own. The insanity of the quest creates bonds that last beyond the month, and many people participate year after year.

7 ) Get Creative. At least two of my clients and I have decided to apply the above principles in our own lives. We have each committed that on five days per week we will begin our days with thirty minutes of writing. One of those five thirty-minute periods can be for editing, but the other four must be straight writing. We can write for longer than thirty minutes, but we must commit to at least thirty minutes per day, five days per week, starting today. In our cases, that writing will occur first thing in the morning.

I meditate before I write and consider that part of my process, but today I hopped on the computer right afterwards and began this post. My personal goal is to finish the first draft of Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar by January. There, it’s public. Oh, Lordy, that will be quite the feat, but with the commitment I feel towards my clients and my readers and myself, I know it’s etched in my brain now as an intention.

So … are you an aspiring writer? Do you wish you had more time to write? Always wanted to release a cookbook? A novel? A memoir? Start a blog? You’re welcome to join us. At least three of us will be writing first thing in the morning for at least thirty minutes for five days per week. Whether you tell us your goals or not, we’ll be holding that space for you!

Cheers and Blessings,
Laura Bruno
http://www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

“Synchronicity, Intuition and Intention”: Laura Bruno on YouTube

On April 3, 2009, I spoke at the Petaluma Raw Food Potluck. I’ve included the videos of the talk below. In addition to the topics indicated by the title, this one covers raw food and increased spiritual awareness, how to get out of your own way, overcoming fear, how the body works to support the soul’s path, connections to the Alaskan wilderness, finding abundance in today’s economy, the heart chakra and where we’re headed as a species. I also talk a little bit about 11:11, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide,  and If I Only Had a Brain Injury. I hope you enjoy the talk!

If you liked this talk, you might also like “Maximize Your Brain Function.”
www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

Upcoming Events and Classes with Laura Bruno

Laura Bruno is an Intuitive Life Coach, Medical Intuitive, Reiki Master Teacher and author of  the award-winning “If I Only Had a Brain Injury” and “The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide,” recommended by Steve Pavlina as the best raw food book for beginners. Residents and visitors to Northern California have several opportunities to meet Laura Bruno at talks, book signings and workshops this spring:

Free Talks

Monday, March 9, 2009, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at Cafe Gratitude in Healdsburg, California.

“The Strangest and Most Common Things Seen by a Medical Intuitive.”

Laura’s talk is part of the ongoing Monday Night Live! Come early to order some terrific tasting raw vegan or vegan vittles. Cafe Gratitude consistently wins “best of ” awards, and it’s certainly one of Laura’s favorites. This evening’s talk will be tailored to the audience, so bring your curiosity and questions.

Friday, April 3, 2009, Petaluma Raw Food Potluck, Azure Apartments Clubhouse, Petaluma, CA. 7:00-9:00 ((Food before the talk; please bring a raw vegan dish large enough to serve 10 people; for more details, click here.)

“Awakening to Synchronicity, Signs and Intuition”

This will probably be Laura’s last talk at the Petaluma Raw Food Potluck. In her October 2008 talk at this packed venue, many people asked for exercises and techniques to increase their own awareness. Tonight’s talk will build upon those questions and include much more information about the increased synchronicities and clarity so many people experience on a raw diet and/or spiritual path.  

Upcoming Reiki Certification Classes

Tuesday, March 3 OR Saturday, March 21, 2009, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Accelerated Reiki 1 and 2 Certification Class.

Please click here for details.