If you're looking for an example of just how cool nature can be, look no further than picture jasper. This piece is actually called Biggs blue picture jasper, and it comes from Biggs Junction, OR on the Deschutes River. The jasper is no longer mined.
Jasper is a form of microcrystalline quartz, and the images formed in the rocks and slabs are dendritic crystal formations and fossilized mud flow. Nature, it seems, is a fabulous artist, as it naturally painted this "tree" and left it for millions of years to be discovered, slabbed, and polished.
Some indigenous populations believed the images in picture jasper were messages from the Earth coming from an ancient past, and they used it as a stone to lead them on shamanic journeys.
Metaphysically, picture jasper is used for grounding and as a stone of protection and courage. It's also a good meditation stone as it connects the meditator with Earth energies.
Eight years ago today, my first book was released. When I wrote it, I was riddled with insecurity about putting my work out there. It felt deeply personal. It felt like being naked in front of a crowd. It was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying, yet I put it out there as a suggestion to the universe that this is what I wanted my path to be. I was compelled to write it by forces that felt bigger than me. It was like the universe was directing me, setting me on an inevitable path I'd been meant to walk since the day I was born.
The book, Avalanche of Spirits, enjoyed modest success. With many more books under my belt since then (13 cookbooks where I am the named author plus many more that I've ghost written and 10 paranormal/metaphysical/energy healing titles with two more currently in the works with different publishers), I remain grateful this place I wrote so passionately about in Avalanche of Spirits (Wellington, WA) showed me I could do something that, up until that book released, I didn't realize I had the courage to do.
As I wrote about in Avalanche, the book came about originally after the heartbreaking crash of a documentary. At the time I was angry, hurt, and sorrowful. I'd felt like someone had taken my creation and stomped all over it. But from the ashes of that event, my lost documentary I spent so much time and care making, arose the book. And that book changed my life.
I didn't release my second book, Dancing with the Afterlife, until 2013, nearly three years after writing my first. It was the follow up to Avalanche of Spirits, another book about Wellington, and I started to worry I was a one-trick pony who could only write full length books about this one place that so captured my imagination. However, a little over a year later, another book arrived, and I was off to the races.
Since then, I have been passionately writing books about topics I love. It is my life, my passion, and the way I make my living, and I couldn't be happier that it is. It is my escape, and it is my obsession. I've experienced much joy as an author and a few heartbreaking disappointments, as well. But as I did when the loss of my documentary served as the impetus for launching my career as an author, I've gone on to bigger and better things as a result of the disappointments. The heartbreak led me away from projects I cared about to others that were far more meaningful.
Writing is my purpose and as my life focus has shifted, so has the focus of my books. Now, I write primarily about metaphysical and energy healing topics, and I teach classes in these subjects, as well. I believe this is what I am meant to do; I believe my life's work is to empower others to find their own highest vibration that serves their greatest and highest good.
I am grateful. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it. Being able to make a living writing is a great blessing, and I'm thankful for my publishers, my editors, my project managers, my family, my friends, my dogs who do everything they can to take me out of my writing process, and most of all you, my readers and people who take my classes. Because you read my books and take my classes, you are allowing me to spread joy, love, and tools for creating positive energy in the world. I feel that together we are all part of a movement to take this planet to a higher vibration and make it a kinder, more compassionate place to live.
Here's to 8 years of writing books. Eight years and one day ago, I had no idea this would be my life, but I hoped somewhere deep in my heart it would. Now it is, and I am humbled for the opportunity.
In this month's newsletter: aquamarines, wrens as a dream symbol, visitation dreams, and upcoming events/classes.