Early Spring Happenings

It was beautiful and in the upper 70’s last week. This week we are back into the 50’s and 30’s at night. That is Spring in Wisconsin for you! Here are some images from the last week around my place (and be sure to read on after the photos):

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This wild bunny has been eating our mindfully discarded pear cores. I think that aids in this display of feeling quite secure around us.

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Brick road

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This is my favorite.

Please take a look around this website and see what I have to offer. I have updated art & prints for sale (my original work) and I have pages for my services in Dream Work Facilitation as well as Editing and Proofreading. I will be adding a few more features in the near future. I am excited about it!  Good things take time…so, I will keep you posted as it develops! Hope your Spring is filled with good energy and that you find a renewal of the kind, passionate fire of purpose in your belly and heart. Despite the cold, that is what I am feeling! Hard work pays off!

Bright Blessings,

Chandra

Messy Abundance: Wild Feminine Wisdom of this Earth

Ash tree debris

Ash tree debris

On a walk with my dog, there is no way to avoid walking on the hackberries and then the debris from the ash tree along the sidewalk by our house. There they are all strewn out in hope and abundance. It is nature’s way, in the spring and the fall, to shower down an abundance of seeds, berries, blooms in order to ensure continuance. A beautiful symbol for us, really. Yet, mixed with that observation I remember the scorn, resentment and sometimes outright neurosis of people who saw or see this aspect of nature interfering with their sense of order, neatness, convenience and other structures of thought that have been built in opposition to what is natural.

Hackberries on the sidewalk.

Hackberries on the sidewalk.

The idea that a tree is messy comes to mind. That was a foreign concept when I first heard it. “I hate that tree. It is so messy! Cut it down!” I had not experienced that attitude in my own family and as an adult it was an abrupt introduction that came with home ownership. What I was hearing was that walnut trees were a nuisance because they get in the way of mowing, mulberries are weed trees because they grow so quickly, stain pavement and allow the birds to poop purple poop on freshly washed cars; that a person would love to have a flowering tree or a tree with berries but they are so messy! I had only ever known that trees are homes for many creatures, they help us breathe cleaner air, provide shade; walnut trees feed the squirrels in the winter, mulberries feed the birds and people. The “messiness” comes and goes in cycles and once was recognized and appreciated as food, fruit, harvest.

I wonder at how creativity and especially creative people living in ways that are different (than the structures set in place by today’s institutions and “traditional” venues as THE way to be and work and live) are seen and treated so much like the critics I thought of who spoke of and treat certain trees that bear fruit, nuts and other debris with such animosity and disrespect.

The idea of the “nuisance” of these fruitful trees is created because of made up constructs that go unquestioned.

“If my cement is stained, I will not be liked or respected. If birds poop on my car it affects the value, the paint, my esteem and causes me to have to wash my car again. If there are walnuts in my yard I will have to do extra work because I need to mow my lawn. I need to have grass and mow my lawn because that is what everyone does. If I have debris from trees all over my yard it has to be cleaned up. I must keep my yard manicured like the aristocracy from England of old so as to denote my status, esteem and untouchableness. I must use pesticides to maintain a “perfect image”. ”

For me personally, if someone judges me or sees my property as less because there are some passing stains from nature on the cement, or clovers and violets growing more than grass, I see them as missing what is really important in life and forgetting the deeper harmony and appreciation for nature and what nature requires. I remember that the artificial constructs are constantly demanding us to be overly self-conscious, to the point of applying poisons to our own land and seeing nature as nuisance and even, sometimes, enemy to be homogenized.

Cement is there to help us to walk and drive more easily. That is all. It is utilitarian. Is it good to take care of what you have on the material level? Of course. And it can become a preoccupation and a distortion too.

Click and Clack from Car Talk (NPR) always suggested it is better to get a used car than a new one. They knew that then a person is less prone to becoming outrageously upset about every scratch, ding or smattering of bird poop and can relax about it. There are more important things in life than getting mad about bird poop on cars because of certain trees.

Some of this is about wanting control and order. Some of it is about stupid norms in our society that ignore and refuse to respect the wisdom and gifts of nature. And it has gotten to the point where this kind of mindset is threatening nature and her creatures in critical and serious ways. And it affects our health. In many ways. Our health and well-being is strengthened and enhanced by connecting with nature and her elements, by feeling a part of the natural world. When we respect and recognize the gifts and power of even the messiest parts of nature, we begin to allow that kind of wild messy abundance that exists within our own being as well.

So my shoes have berries pasted to the bottom of them by pine needles with sap and ash tree debris to boot. So my cement is stained for a while and my yard is unruly like a mini forest. So what? Am I less human? Is it less valuable?
I am a creative person who lives in a counter-cultural way. Not because I want to be different, but because that is how I am wired and who I am. I don’t seem to fit in with the Institutional, the highly organized and structured corporations, the mainstream “Traditional” structures….even if I want to, I have ended up feeling like those messy trees when I try. I am regularly told by those who know me how talented I am, how many gifts I have and such a great ability to teach, yet I don’t seem to fit anywhere. I don’t seem to have value in this monetarily centered world. I don’t believe that, but that is the message I have gotten overall from it.

I realize that the only way I am to hope to make a sustainable living is to jump through their hoops, which would be a death to my spirit at this point, OR make my own way, plodding along, throwing my fruit and seeds everywhere I can and further with the help of the wind (Spirit) in hopes of continuance via messy abundance in harmony with nature.

The concrete and the literal can always be symbolic of inner states of being and outer realities. There is always depth and purpose strewn out before us. Sometimes the people we love are messy and inconvenient. And when they are gone, that is often what we miss most. When the children are small the chaos and demand and mess can seem stressful. When they are older it is missed. When the dog destroyed beloved material objects or ripped up the garbage, it was outrageous and bad. When they are gone, that short life, that messiness is missed and thought of with humor and tenderness.

When we realize this, we raise our awareness to a level that embraces the wisdom of nature. Mother Nature, our Earth is ordered chaos, messy abundance, wild wisdom and beauty. As are we, when we free ourselves from the facades and constructs that have alienated our being from simple wisdom and simple truths.

 

 

 

First Day of Spring; Waking Vision: The Keys of a Time Lord? The Horse and Feather; The Squirrel.

Wow, what a day! This day has a lot packed into it. There was a solar eclipse early this morning, it is a new moon and on this side of the world, it is the first day of Spring. I have learned in detail and have begun regularly practicing the wisdom of “sidewalk tarot” as a way of engaging the Universe in dreaming while awake. This activity is lived and taught by example regularly by Robert Moss as evidenced in his many books and at his blog. I spoke in detail about Moss and his great work in the blog post before this one.

So, this is what I came upon today as I was walking my dog on this oomphy day, early this morning, three items caught my attention:

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The keys were hanging on some semi-tall bushes at the corner of a street. My immediate thought was that someone lost them and someone else had found them and put them there hoping the person who lost them would find them more easily. Then, I looked more closely. There is a picture of a clock in between 3 and 4. On the other side, there was simply the number “9”. Directly connected to that picture is a gear that resembles something that would be in a clock. Next picture is of the keys from the other side.

Keys seen from the other side.

Keys seen from the other side.

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I see this horse as kind of spiritual or magical and seems to be holding on to the twig like ready to climb up to somewhere or looking up at someone?

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To the far right of the horse was this feather and a small bit of dried flowers.

My blog post writing was interrupted by a good friend wanting to go for a little walk. While walking we saw some beautiful chalk art and then she spotted this squirrel peering at us from it's home.

My blog post writing was interrupted by a good friend wanting to go for a little walk. While walking we saw some beautiful chalk art and then she spotted this squirrel peering at us from it’s home.

Here is a closer look.

Here is a closer look.

I love the simple-beauty-magic of spotting all of this.

The keys made me think of a Time Lord (yes, I am a Dr. Whovian). A Time Lord would maybe have keys like this. And the number 9 made me think of The Beatles “Revolution Number 9″. Both great things. The keys are intriguing. Like the message is: Here are the keys, not just the key, but the keys and it is time!

The horse, like I said under the photo, seems to be in the motion of going somewhere or looking at something. This horse, if imagined, like a child playing with it, is not bound by the prostate position it is in. But rather, is at another angle in dream reality, climbing up a tree to look at something or to enter another portal. This is a spirit horse. Maybe this horse was peering at the squirrel in the last of these photos?

The feather, near the horse and with dried red flowers by it, always speaks to me of blessing, grace, lifting up one’s intention for the higher heart and the greatest good. The present and presence of a feather brings hope and the energy to rise above situations and energies. With the red dried flower beside it, I feel the added energy of miracle (that is a flower) preserved and honored. This, in particular, speaks to a situation I am dealing with at this time.

And then, as I was posting this, a friend called to have a short walk with me and on the walk she spotted the squirrel peering out gently and intently at us from its lovely Hackberry tree home. The squirrel is adorable with its face perfectly framed by the hole which is the entrance of its home. This squirrel also shows looking out at things from a higher level and from a place of safety and security that is in tune with nature. Squirrel survived the winter and is looking to begin a new level of foraging and activity for the Spring.

Those are my views of this micro-adventure of the first day of Spring and new moon. So, If these were your visions today, what would they mean to you?

Active Dreaming

Active Dreaming*

Fortune cookie message I received.

Photo Credit: CS Sherin

CS Sherin 03.16.2015

I have had the delight and joy of being in classes led and taught by the prolific and extraordinarily talented Robert Moss, author of Dreaming the Soul Back Home and The Boy Who Died And Came Back, throughout the past year. Robert teaches concepts about dreaming that he created, such as the “lightning dream work” method and the term “active dreamers”. The lightning dream work method has 4-5 easy steps to unwrapping a dream and nearly always contains some kind of action step. Active dreaming is the extra mile that he takes. And Robert lives it and teaches it too. This is not someone just writing or talking about dreams. He is active and thoroughly engaged in the “hard play”, as he puts it, of the active dreamer’s lifestyle. It is his way of life. Dreams are to be acted upon, he teaches. Knowing how and when to act on a dream are nuances that Robert teaches and writes about in-depth and at great length. There are two things that Robert does that really stand out for me as being different and deeply important.

1. Action in life and dreams. It is not enough to dream and understand. One must respond and act in order to affirm, enforce and strengthen the bond of relationship with life, with dream, with the Universe, with ourselves and our subconscious and with the Divine.

2. Robert Moss is living and doing what he teaches every single day. I have rarely witnessed a teacher-leader-writer-dreamer who does this so relentlessly. He is not only teaching all the time, he is keeping a regular and lively blog and Facebook page that note many of his daily experiences living this inspired active dreaming life. And that is what is so good about all of this! He teaches that even if you don’t remember your dreams, you can access dream messages in your daily waking life. He calls it, “Sidewalk Tarot”. And it is the practice of engaging the universe in whatever is going on with you at the moment. If you have a question or if you simply want a daily message from the universe, take a walk or go through your day and look for items, moments, instances that catch your attention…maybe even small things you would normally ignore. Being aware and keeping a look out makes one more open to seeing, I have noticed.

Beginners and anyone new to active dreaming, who are interested in all of this, would probably want to start with Moss’s books: Conscious Dreaming and Active Dreaming.  Though, I could easily say this too: Look at all of his dream books and go to the first one you are most drawn to. That works too. I read Dreaming the Soul Back Home without knowing anything about Robert or all of this and it was the perfect book for me to read at that time. I had many clients who were retrieving child aspects of themselves spontaneously in my reiki sessions with them. Because of that, I had read Sandra Ingerman’s book Soul Retrieval to learn more about it. That led to me somehow finding Robert’s book about soul retrieval, Dreaming the Soul Back Home. I think it was through New World Library’s catalogue. Once I read that book, I thought, “I have never read a more brilliant dream book! Who is this fellow?!” And I looked up his website and found he was having a workshop relatively near me and I went. In person, I found Robert to be more balanced in his masculine and feminine aspects than I have ever seen before; a powerful and powerfully kind and wise leader/teacher/healer. That was my experience. And I have kept going with all the goodness of connecting with a community of dreamers from all over and the way of living he encourages which is to engage our natural magic (through active dreaming and waking dreams lived) in order to bring healing and inspiration to ourselves and others. This is something I have been doing for a long time in my life, but Robert has a wealth of information, wisdom and effective techniques that took me to a new place with it all.

This kind of support and inspiration has been as helpful and nourishing for me as being by the ocean is for a good length of time. And that is saying a lot. I have been a conscious dreamer keeping a dream journal for nearly 30 years. I wasn’t starting out new by any means. And, I can say that suddenly discovering Robert Moss and all of his dream books, workshops and classes last April has been a profound gift and lifesaver! I have often felt isolated from other people who may dream like I do. Connecting with Robert Moss in book form (I have read about 5 so far and have more to go), in person and in tele-classes and with his international family of dreamers has helped me feel, know and interact with my own wisdom and treasures in new ways as well as with my larger soul tribe, the dreamers, or, as Robert has aptly and keenly named it and teaches: the active dreamers….we who not only dream, but act on them.

To illustrate the power of active dreaming, I had a dream such as I have never quite had before a little while ago. I would call the dream,
“Do Something”:
I was in my mother’s basement and saw that the walls were damp and that water was starting to get in. Then I was suddenly across the Mississippi river, seeing that a valve that had held would not hold any longer. I was then back in the basement and felt with great urgency that something had to been done now. I went upstairs and found my mother and told her about the dampness, the wall and the water starting to come in. I told her that it was not going to be ok or get better unless she does something about it. Urgently I pleaded, “I don’t care what you do, but you have to do something now to get it fixed!” She accepted my earnest plead and we walked outside where spring was beginning. She began sharing what I told her with her partner and I walked away, knowing she would do something.

Waking from this dream I felt the same pointed urgency that something has to be done now as I felt in the dream. I felt an urgent need for action upon being awake. I felt it at my core. Mid morning the feeling did not let up. The reality is that there is an issue with water in her basement that was remedied but the remedy didn’t work last year and the person who remedied it was no longer responsive. I had this dream at the end of February of this year, just before spring. Around mid-morning I called my mother and relayed the dream and dream feelings to her. She and I both agreed that we needed to find someone who could fix whatever was wrong in the basement. She didn’t have the time or energy, so I agreed to find someone. By the end of the day I had spoken to many people and through one contractor came a person highly recommended on skill and integrity. He is a person who is only found via referrals with the main contractor, so not someone I could find in the yellow pages or even by word of mouth necessarily. I spoke with him and he told me he is not experienced enough with this kind of thing, but that his brother, a fellow contractor, is. So, then I called his brother and his brother confirmed that he is experienced and ready to deal with such things and that he had just had some work pushed back, so he could come by that night to take a look. By the next morning he was working on the basement for my mother. He mentioned that the timing of my call was critical because usually he is “crazy busy” and would not be able to take this job.

A day later, my mother updated me on the progress. She had told the contractor working on the basement about my dream. Part of my dream focused on a specific wall. She had told him about that. After a day or two of work on the basement, the contractor reported back to her that he would have only worked on the beaver system and the sump pump to fix the issues, but because my mother told him my dream, he started thinking about the walls. He decided to inspect the walls, inside and out, especially the one mentioned in the dream. When outside he found the wall I had dreamt about was compromised and in urgent need of care and repair. He got shivers all over his body. He reported to my mother the urgent state of the whole system, and especially how the dream had drawn his attention to an issue with the wall that was critical, that he would have missed otherwise. He was amazed, as were we! And thankful. We are so thankful for that dream, as he mentioned more than once how important the timing was. And I marveled at the way I had called all day and through a person and another person found a fellow with great expertise in this area of work with a rare moment of downtime just when we needed it!  Both he and my mother were quick to point out that if I had not acted on my dream, the results could have been disastrous.

I reflected that I have learned over time, with practice, to trust and respond to my intuition and inner knowing. The work I have done via Robert Moss’s classes and books has only served to strengthen that lesson into a sure, lithe and reliable muscle.

Surely, it is a miracle, surprising, wondrous and inspiring! It is also the ordinary magic we all have access to, if only we would tap into it consistently, play with it and honor it.

*Active Dreaming is a term and method created by Robert Moss.

New Paintings Available!

Chandra S. Sherin 03.11.2015

Currently four of my paintings are for sale. They are: “Purple Lotus”, “Fire Faery”, “Forest Faery”, and “Houston (Soul Flower)”.  Their specs are listed with the image. The Purple Lotus and the Forest Faery are pieces that can be illuminated from behind and that illumination adds a dimension to the piece. However, they are not meant to be illuminated all the time.
Here they are below. Click on them for a bigger view. Price does not include sales tax or shipping (if required). Each one is signed and dated. When purchased, you own a one of a kind original Chandra S Sherin painting, and image rights remain with the artist. 

I also have images that can be ordered as prints. Check them out on this page.

Contact me with your interest, questions, requests.

Illuminated Paintings by Chandra S Sherin

I showed in my last post, with the forest faery, how I create some paintings so they can be illuminated with sunlight (or other light) from behind. It creates another dimension to the piece. I will further illustrate this here. The following photo is of the Purple Lotus painting I finished recently. It is a 12×16 acrylic & ink on canvas.

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And here is the purple lotus with sunlight streaming in behind and through it. Illuminated art, by Chandra:

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The following photos are of the first time I did this. It is a painting I did of my husband and myself and our then unborn baby.
It was created in the early 2000’s.

 

IMG_4284 copyAnd here it is (below) with sunlight streaming in behind it. I keep it in a window and when the sunlight comes around, the womb lights up! A Chandra Sherin Art original!

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Chandra S Sherin ©

Forest Faery

Chandra Sherin Art

Here is the forest faery I have been working on. And this is just the face this powerful forest faery chose to share with me. I got the feeling it is just an interesting mask. There are three photos here. The second is in the sunlight, the third is with the sunlight showing through the canvas from behind. I enjoy letting light shine from behind a canvas to illuminate a new aspect of the work. I will post more about this soon, as I have more examples to share! It is a fun added dimension.
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IMG_4276Yes, this forest faery has purple-ish eyes. :)