StoneTosser's Blog
watching where the ripples go.....
StoneTosser's Blog

Touched



This was not the average L.A. summer day. It was just hot, not blistering like the usual hot-yuck-smog day. I rarely walked on this particular path at this particular time. I couldn't even remember why I went home between classes. But it didn't matter. I was there, walking by the tennis courts, my thoughts unusually still.

 

Thwack! Rattttttttttle. Tennis balls slammed into the draped green fence trailing alongside me.

 

Thwack! Ratttttttttttle. Tremendous force hurled at me even though I was protected. The UCLA tennis team meant serious business.

 

The sun was bright, but the shade was comfortable. I looked up to see sunlight sparkle-dappling down on me, but I couldn't feel it as the shade slid over my face, keeping pace with my movement.

 

Thwack! Rattttttle.

 

My brain registered the oddity of walking to class from this direction and began sorting out the fastest route. Veer right on through the new parking structure, over the driveway and up the hill. I picked up my pace, falling into rhythm with the tennis team. Was I late? No clue. Just walk. Keep pace.

 

Thwack!

 

Tennis rattles faded behind me as I ventured across the drive, angling to slip through the parking garage, pleased with myself for finding a shade route - complete with concrete coolness.

 

I walked in pace, but my eyes slid to the side, watching the strange way the light sliced across the cars at the edge low-cut wall, revealing and hiding them simultaneously, streaming harshly in search of something hidden in the dark. I was in the dark, and the sun was hunting me. As my foot hit the pavement outside it bathed me, the heat catching in my breath.

 

Time slowed and some other rhythm took over - like a heartbeat, but not mine. My body drew itself into the light, aiming for the small hill of grass between the driveways and my feet placed themselves deliberately as I took the five steps to the other side.

 

Step one. The crown of my head is swirling open to suck up the sun, streaming it into my depths, blinding me until only the faith in my feet on their path keeps me upright.

 

Step two. I am one with the universe, the sunlight reconnecting me to that which gave it birth. I am dizzy. Elated.

 

Step three. "You are chosen" the words shake into my core and my brain can't register even the incongruity of the moment, lost in the splendor of the light and the moment and the deep resonant connection invading the darkness inside me.

 

Step four. I am huge, swelling beyond anything my body has ever been, knowing I am big enough for those words, knowing I can do everything, knowing I am anything I ever want to be, knowing I will make a difference, knowing I will matter. Knowing I'm Jesus. And Buddha. And a billion other people who will save the world. Knowing I won't know how - maybe ever. Knowing it doesn't matter what I know. Knowing.

 

Step five. Exhaling, the light slipping out of me, heart beating. Eyes focusing. Words echoing. Don't lose the words. Keep the words. Don't forget.

 

My feet keep moving - never breaking stride as they carry me up the hill - toting my mind as it whirls all tilty-like.

 

I've been touched by God. I don't even believe in God but it touched me anyway. That must mean something, right? Even I couldn't dream up such fantasy, could I? It was real. The light was so bright. I can see the light, still glowing behind my eyes.

 

Not sure how I got into the hall, but there was Karen, saving my seat in lecture from the 300 other kids who probably wanted it. I flopped along side her, thwacking down the hard wooden seat as I gave in to gravity, resting on my path.

 

"Where were you?" She asked, shuffling papers on her lap. "Everything ok?" 

 

"Yeah. Everything's fine. Just had to run get something I forgot."

 

I got out my paper and pen. Looked straight ahead as the professor came in and began the drone. I never knew what he said. All I knew was the thumping of the heartbeat that was mine. 



Written for writing workshop (Kripalu, April 2011)

A dialog i never had... but wished I'd had...




"I'm here."

 

"Thank you, Dad."

 

"I'm ok."

 

"I'm so glad you brought me here to tell me that."

 

"I love you, Dana."

 

"I know."

 

"It's beautiful here, you know. Someday you'll come here and we'll be together again."

 

"I know."

 

"I'm not dead."

 

"I know."

 

"I'm more alive than ever."

 

"I'm so happy to know that."

 

"It's just.... light here. I never knew."

 

"I know."

 

"So much I never knew. Never told you. But you know it all. You knew it before I did. You always knew."

 

"Dad, do you remember the sail boats?"

 

"Which ones? The whaler or the little sloops?"

 

"All of them, I guess. I can only remember the sloops."

 

"Oh! That's right, you can't see the whaler anymore. But you know. We stood on the bowsprit and were men, dreaming we could fly and that our arms were sails."

 

"And this time you flew."

 

"Yes, I did. I flew everything with wings. Darn near killed me."

 

"Dad, the airplane did kill you, don't you remember?"

 

"That? The plane didn't kill me, I left. Just left. I was done. Moving on, you know."

 

"I wish you didn't have to go."

 

"I know."

 

"What will we do next time? Where will we go now that we've flown?"

 

"I don't know."

 

"But we'll be together again, right? You'll wait? Please?"

 

"I don't know."

 

"I want to know."

 

"I don't know. You know that."

 

"I know that. But I want to know. I want us to be musicians and travel the world together. Free like we tried to be this time."

 

"We were free. Remember? Skiing? Flying? Swimming?"

 

"I know."

 

"You want more."

 

"Yeah."

 

"You always want more. That's what I love about you. You never let them take away anything that's yours."

 

"Yeah. Even you."

 

"Even me."

 

"I love you, Dad."

 

"I love you too, Dana. I'll be here."

 

"I know."


Written for writing workshop (Kripalu, April 2011)

Dinner at our house....




Dinner at our house was so very quiet. The dish clatter and questions dad asked - about our opinions on things in the world mostly - muffled into the silence. Mom's mutterings on starving children in India transmuted into sonic signals absorbed into the protective bubble of things unsaid around me.

 

Parsley flakes on the chicken, the fuzzy Japanese red rug swirl under the table, and the mound of spaghetti that appeared on my birthday - they made it into the bubble. Why parsley when it didn’t taste like anything? Why wasn't the dog allowed on the Oriental rug? Did I have to wait another year for a meatball?

 

Mom worked hard to curate the joyless space and fearful feast we spread for dad - since he would have it no other way. Dad did his part by leaving so often - so we could relax and nourish ourselves on chatter and laughter like children might do if they were hungry.

 

Dad’s been gone 35 years now. My childish hunger has been sated. Now I miss him and wonder at what opinions I might share with him today - my bubble gone, my words claimed and my heart found. What might he learn in my silence now?

 

207 words - Written for writing workshop (Kripalu, April 2011)

Loving the Warriors... and the Haters

I remember September 11th like it was yesterday. The first thing I remember is that my kids were in school about three and half miles from the smoking wreckage of the Pentagon. The next thing I remember is that my husband’s office was between the White House and the Capital– where the fourth plane was headed - and that he couldn’t get to the kids because everyone was running, driving and walking out of the city for their lives. The next image that swims into view was me - stuck in Los Angeles for a week away from my family and friends in NY and DC who were suffering so terribly. For the first and last time in years, I was glued to CNN to watch the tragedy unfold. Even LA shut down for three days, the American People were so shocked – and afraid.

But then what I remember was love. The great outpouring of support for the victims and their families - the calls for tolerance and not to continue the cycle of hate. My neighbors and country responded to those calls – for a while.

A Decade of Conflict

I’m very conflicted about the wars that have raged on our taxdollars over the past ten years. While I abhor violence, I’m not foolish enough to think that it doesn’t play a role in keeping our world from falling into chaos. My brother’s an ex-cop. My son wants to be a Marine. I live and work in Washington and I read the paper, struggling to understand the difficult choices my neighbors who run the country have to make on a daily basis. What I know about the policies and practices that try to keep our world safe reminds me that there is no simple solution. And so I wrestle with how I should feel about the fact that some of my taxdollars, which I give freely to the government that does so much for us, are used to drop bombs that birth widows and orphans.

My personal approach is not to engage in conflict. I vote my conscience. I don’t give energy to negative thoughts. I teach my children tolerance, acceptance and love. I contribute to good causes that help those widows. But that doesn’t relieve the conflict around me, or in me.

The Warriors

Nowhere is the conflict more apparent to me than when I think about the warriors themselves. In Arlington, VA where I live you see them on the streets, on the metro, in the coffee shops. They are the ones spending my taxdollars to create death and destruction. And they are the ones upholding my freedom and helping the children helping the children who are homeless because of their violence. Some of them are dear friends. All of them have my love, respect and sympathy.

Recently I worked on a project that took me into the halls of the Pentagon itself. The building has been nicely refurbished with a somber memorial and a more secure entrance that at least kept a crazy gunslinger at bay – instead of letting him run rampant inside - a few months before I took the job. On my first visit there I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know members of the military, but I’d never been in such a concentrated hotbed of them. What would the energy be like? Would it be brewing with anger as they plotted bombing campaigns and funding strategies to get more guns? Or would Defense Secretary Gates’ and Admiral Mullens’ balanced and – in my view – rational energy pervade?

As I walked the halls, had the meetings, joked with my friends over lunch, I made an effort to see them all with my magical eyes, and what I saw were people driven by a purpose, a belief, that what they did was noble, important and necessary. Many were weary. All were respectful. I liked that I could make them relax by seeing them with love, even though that wasn’t my job there.

But as I left the building I had another uncomfortable thought. The people we fight. The haters – both inside and outside our borders, inside and outside our institutions – they are also driven by purpose and a belief that what they do is important. They are also warriors in this fight. Are they worthy of my love and respect?

Loving the Haters

I do not love or respect hatred. The ends do not justify the means and hatred is a means. Even if pursuing a worthy goal, hatred brings consequences that tarnish the achievement, leave more heartache and breed more violence – if not to the body then to the soul. There are warriors on both sides that are noble and warriors who are haters. I choose not to respect or support the haters, no matter who they fight for. But I must love the haters themselves, for otherwise I am no better than they.

I must tell you that this hurts me. Opening myself up to hatred is painful. It reminds me that I am capable of hate myself. But that’s not the point. The only way I can combat the haters is to love them. I do not condone their actions; I support those that fight them in the flesh; I would be happy to see them behind bars. But I do not hate them. Selfishly, and to protect myself from becoming a hater, I send them my love.

My Prayer

On this day of remembrance, I muster my heartforce to send out streams of love to all those who have suffered at the hands of hate, and to those who have wielded the instruments of suffering. I don’t do this for noble reasons and I don’t do it easily. I do it because it is the only way I know how to fight.

Tell me, how has this decade of conflict affected you, your neighbors and your world? How do you cope? How do you fight? Share your stories, please.

Cross-posted on OwningPink.com OwningPink.com

Coming Back to Me

The last six months have been amazing. Among other things, I've started blogging at Owning Pink, and I think I'm on the brink of discovering my true voice there, a blend of business and heart. I've also started working with The Clearing, a management consultancy that helps government and corporate leaders through major change initiatives. So in addition to my own little platform, I now have other places to stand on to get my message and my energy out into the world.

But each time I align with someone else, I have to write a bio, and this causes me to rejigger how I frame myself and present myself to different audiences. Being a marketer, this seems totally appropriate and necessary. But it's still tiring.

I think I finally got bio fatigue when I went back to update my LinkedIn and look at my poor, neglected Twitter accounts. I've pretty much stopped tweeting  as I morphed in rapid time over the last year from strategic marketing/social media expert to strategic planning/leadership support consultant, to now... what? All that and more. 

Facing my twitter account - with a following of social media types and the name of my strategic planning business, but wanting to tweet for Owning Pink, I wondered what I could call myself that would encompass all that.

Duh. I finally figured it out. @DanaTheus . Me.

Why was that so hard?

I wasn't trying to hide, I was just trying to be appropriate to each audience as I discovered that part of myself. But what I also realized is that my self discovery was out of sync and that in some places I had a better bead on who I was than in others, which made me less confident in some places than others, and more willing to hide behind a company name until I figured things out.

I still don't have it all figured out. But I am figured out enough to consolidate me. So here are all the places you'll find me. Come through the door that's most comfortable for you.

PS-Still doing stones but they've taken a back seat while I contribute more on the volunteer front again. I've taken up postitions on the board of the Distict Alliance for Safe Housing and the Arlington Economic Development Commission. Hope to get back to StoneTossing this fall!


Owning Creation: Giving Birth for a Living

Posted yesterday on Owning Pink. (no need to comment here if you commented there!) 

A while back, a conversation Lissa Rankin and I had about being a mom and an entrepreneur struck a chord in both of us and produced her wonderful post on birthing what wants to be born. That post produced a moving discussion about the choices we make about where our amazing, female creative energy goes – into babies, projects, passions and work. As I sat with this and let the words of Pinkie wisdom seep into me, a wondrous thing happened I want to share with you. I felt some of the tangle of my personal confusion on this subject begin to unravel. When I told Lissa and Joy they encouraged me to untangle and reweave in public in the hopes that it might be useful to others. And so here I share some of my tapestry-in-progress with you. Blessings to you in your personal struggles and choices as you release your own amazing creative powers. ~Dana

******

The need to create

We women are just bursting with the ability, talent and NEED to create. Not just procreate – though that’s obviously a biggie hormonally and otherwise – I mean: CREATE. I wasn’t completely aware of this myself until recently, which is ironic because in addition to co-creating two children, I’ve spent my whole professional career trying to create stuff. This has been frustrating because I wasn’t an artist or a welder or a software developer, I was a marketer. (Marketers don’t make stuff, sadly; we make stuff up.) So, unconscious of the fact I really wanted to create things, I aligned myself with people who did and made a career out of launching new products into the market and advising organizations on how to take advantage of new technology to create new businesses. Somewhere along the line I stopped owning the failure of not being happy in all my jobs and started owning success by realizing I was a creative spirit and that creating stuff fuels me and brings me joy. Seeing it come to fruition in one form or another makes me ecstatic! I loved making kids! I love parenting kids – now teenagers whom I adore. I have – count them – four businesses! And I love them all! It’s all just the creative energy in me visioning something wonderful in the world and then setting my energy to bring it into being.

Lissa and I laughed because of course, she has given birth to one beautiful child and many businesses too – a medical practicean artist’s body of gorgeous work, two books, and a blossoming creation in Owning Pink she’s inviting us all to co-create with her. But of course, we’ve both created children and sometimes the demands and desires of motherhood and entrepreneurship get a little tangled up and confused.

Confusion

For myself, this tangle is definitely confusing; and I’m not just talking about the energy management of it here (though that is often beyond confusing!). I mean something deeper. Something so deep that it’s tangled up with roots that go so far down into my spirit and my being I can’t even see where they end. This bonked me on the head when Lissa and I were chatting on IM about this. We were talking about how fun it is to start up a business (and how exhausting) and about the parallels with having a kid. At first we were focused on the similarities:

  • neither a baby nor a startup business can exist without you;
  • both cry a lot and need constant care and feeding, sucking at your very being; and
  • you LOVE them both to the point that it can make you wonder where you start and they stop.

After a bit we were all confused. Birthing anything new is an act of creation and so in many ways they feel so much alike, is there really no difference? Could you just start a business and never have a kid (or visa versa) and have the same experience? Well, no… there are significant differences too:

  • a child is an independent soul with its own intrinsic purpose on this earth, while a business’s purpose is to further the growth and development of all the independent souls it touches (employees, owners, customers, investors etc.);
  • a child should be nurtured until it can function completely independently, while an organization always needs leadership; and
  • your love for a child should be a personal connection, while your love for a business (which is also “owned” by others, either financially or otherwise) should be a little more distant for your own health and well-being.

They’re one in the same

And then it hit me. In addition to being a mom, I’m also an entrepreneur, a professional risk taker. A serial Pleaper (i.e., Pink Leap of Faither). And in this conversation I’m just now realizing why those two aspects of my identity are SO important and SO related. What I realized today is: My JOB is giving birth and it’s also my LIFE. There’s no separating them out!

So now I realize I’m on the same adventure many of us find ourselves exploring, how to blend my creative energies in my professional, creative and family lives. When I think of it this way, I feel like a success as a creator; and by viewing all these adventures as creative efforts I find I’m having a lot more fun. Because the act of creation assumes a little mystery about what the end result will be and when I think of them as creative efforts I have less attachment to exactly how they come out in the end. I also realize they are creative collaborations with the people in my life – my husband, my kids, my partners, my clients – and where we share creative visions so much more is possible.

So what about you? Where are your lives rich with creative energy? What are your strategies for blending them? How do you infuse creative excitement into facets of your life? How do you manage the creative tensions that inevitably arise?

Love, light, and creation,
Dana

Writer's Lament

Broken bits of phrase

scatter carelessly about me.

Only in stillness
does a whim, an inspiration

breath them into life -
to laugh, to yearn, to be reborn.

Then, the call to task - 
and they fall before its looming.

Once again, lifeless,
into the dark.



(c) 2006 StoneTosser

No Place Like Home

Just like we discover our true family once we leave home, we also discover our true home.


My family moved around when I was little - our first move out of my Northern Californian birthplace when I was three - and when it finally came time for me to strike out on my own, I moved far away from my native California and settled into the DC environs to make a home. Arlington, Virginia has been my home for the last twenty four years and it has been a good home for my family and my business. My spirit? Not so much. I have found and devoted my energy to a church there, ensured it was a comfortable space for my children and community to find comfort in, but my own spiritual journey has continued on its own path, looking for home.


Many times over the years, I've had urges and desires to move back to the San Francisco area. They intensified when my husband and kids fell in love with the Pacific shores and traveled with me along the jagged, lush shores of California's northern beaches, crawling around looking for rocks and stepping around surging surf to spot tidepool treasures. But the time has never been right and the list of "why nots" always far outweighs the "whys" for calling Northern California “home”.


Many times on our trips I've sat alone on the ocean's edge and wept - not out of sadness but out of joy for the sheer, raw energy of the land that my body, mind and soul knows is where I belong. I've wept because I feel so connected to mother earth and God when I sit at the ocean’s edge that I can't contain the intensity of my love of this land where the water and air and coastline come together in roughly gorgeous harmony for all the senses to enjoy. "Someday," I say to myself, "if I’m incredibly lucky, I’ll find a way to live some of my life here again." And then I get back on a plane and fly “home.”


And all this seems odd because until the last couple of years, I’ve hardly known a soul in California. My family all left decades ago and the majority of my close friends moved also. I thought I was drawn to the land for its beauty and energy.


A few times, usually in the sticky heat of a Washington summer, I've questioned why I've had to live so long away from the place that gives me such joy be simply being there and breathing the air. I don't feel "punished," because our life in DC is really pretty fantastic, and the seasons are nice, and the schools are good, and my career has thrived. But I have still succumbed to wondering about my wandering so far from “home”.


This weekend I came to San Francisco on a business/pleasure trip and found the answer to what calls me back. And it turned out that it had very little to do with the land at all, and everything to do with my inner landscape and the spiritual journey I've been on. This weekend I spent a few days with the driving forces behind Owning Pink. Lissa Rankin extended her lovely home in Muir Beach to me and invited many others she has found community with. Some were new to me, some had already become old friends in spirit (thank you, Internet!). We came together over food and friendship and began to talk about our dreams – for ourselves, for each other, for the world. We shared what each of us hoped for Owning Pink, what we had to offer it, what it gave us. And in the sharing something amazing began to take shape.


We began to speak of Owning Pink as a business that will serve Divine Purpose and uplift our community as it uplifts us. We spoke of “Pink” as Divine Love and women as the gateway for the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine to walk through into co-creating a more beautiful world. We spoke of helping each other along on our personal journeys, of helping people heal them simply by “seeing” them as the beautiful souls we all are. We all accepted responsibility for our part in making this happen and vowed to support each other in the effort. It was the most unusual business meeting I’ve ever attended and it was also the most important.


I realized as we talked of business and dreams, that others “saw” me and allowed me to “see” them absent cynicism and negativity and all the “why nots”. We gave ourselves permission to imagine our success and see it in what is already taking shape. My spirit lifted as we talked and I saw that we each brought special gifts and perspectives to this conversation as the business issues and the higher goals wove themselves together in our discussion. But the most precious moment was when I saw how my own personal gifts and skills – business knowledge and spiritual awareness – fit into this lovely mosaic of building intention like a hand slips into a soft, supple glove.


And suddenly I understood that I was truly home. On the land, in my heart and in my spiritual tribe, I had come home from the dessert to be welcomed with open arms; the gifts I had collected without knowing who they would be given to were graciously accepted; and I wept yet again.

Now there is no doubt in my mind that Northern California and Owning Pink are my home in truth. The logistics of locating my body and career here are likely to work their way out but even if they don’t, I know where home is and carry it with me always and forever (thank you, Internet, again!). This has been a fantastic year for me so far, finding both my purpose and my home. I can't wait to see what's next.


Thank you Lissa, for following your own true path where it has led you, and for including me in your journey. Thank you for calling me home.


The Story of My Unmasking


My friend Lissa Rankin and I were talking recently about what it means to be your ‘authentic’ self. "It means taking your masks away," she said, referring to the roles we play of employee, professional, mom, friend, daughter, PTA parent etc. She has observed (and built a thriving blog around the idea) that many of us get to a point in life where these masks threaten to define us as fractured beings. Perhaps it is in defense - or desperation - that we yearn to break free of the masks and just be ourselves, the "me" that exists underneath all the roles and masks.


The Need to Unmask

When we allow ourselves space to journey into what lies beneath the “selves” we've spent so much energy building our lives around, most of us find that there are hidden and long squashed talents lying in wait to captivate our imagination and attention. I've lost count of the people I know (myself included) who've discovered artistic, entrepreneurial and creative outlets in later life when they took the time to allow buried parts of themselves to break through to the surface. Sometimes there are scary things hiding underneath those masks too, feelings and desires so long repressed that they threaten to undo us unless they can be explored in a safe space surrounded by people who are supportive and at least as interested in our self-discovery as in their own agendas.

I think this is the evolution of the midlife crisis for us older folk. I am happy to report, however, that I know many young folk who aren't waiting until midlife to explore and share their authentic selves.

My Story

For me , it has been a real challenge to explore my authentic self while maintaining and evolving all the myriad of relationships I've built in my various social roles. In the years leading up to my unmasking, I’ve let go of many of the friendships that no longer serve either of us and I’ve brought closer to me those relationships from which we both benefit. But I still haven’t shared all of me with all of my friends. In becoming a more authentic version of me, I’m not trying to fool my friends by not explaining every detail of my journey, I’m trying to protect them from the discomfiting oddity of seeing me take off some masks only to find others beneath and watch me keep digging deeper. I’ve learned in the past that when I do this too haphazardly people become confused, because sometimes even when I know amazing things are happening beneath the surface, it’s better to “wait and become,” more quietly until I’m ready to tell the story of my growth. While I want to grow friendships as I evolve I don’t wan to toss them into upheaval just so I can be free of worrying about other people's feelings; I value their feelings, and I value the life I’ve built with their friendship.

Unmasking Safely

Recently it struck me that the solution to my “how to unmask safely” dilemma lay in storytelling. Not necessarily the fictitious kind (though that can be helpful, too) but in telling my own story so that others could understand the context within which I’m unmasking. For my unmasking to make sense to people around me, the story can’t be about the aspects of me that are being discarded, but about what lies beneath. Over the last six months I have been working very hard to understand how to tell the story of what lies beneath. I could feel it. I could be it. I could even show it to people, but to communicate it has been another matter entirely. And so for a while I flailed. I even drafted this post over two months ago and promptly trashed it because upon reread it was just one big flail.

It became even more important to me to find a way to tell the story when I decided to split my business in two, moving my marketing practice into a partnership I’ve been developing over the last several years and concentrating my own business on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I can’t really have a business without a web site because I’m a writer first and the web site helps me tell my story. So I set out to retool Magus Consulting. I flailed a bit at that too, at first, but what saved me was a series of exercises given to me by a friend to help me uncover and articulate my purpose in life.

My Purpose

Not really to my surprise, when I took the time to think it through, I discovered I’d been living my purpose for at least twenty years – ever since I met my husband and began to unfold all the happiness our family has brought me in my personal life. But I hadn’t applied it to my work life, the place in which I spend an enormous amount of energy, the place where I arguably have the greatest impact on the world, the place that I thrive and shine most brightly. Once I had my purpose statement in hand the flailing stopped; it all became clear and I wrote my web site in a weekend and had it up within the month.

Tarot Card - MagicianMy purpose statement:

My purpose is to tap into the energy of creation to guide people I value into new, exciting territory and to help them discover their own unique talents and opportunities to change their worlds. When I work together with these amazing people, the world will become a better place.

I am Magic

When I look back on that moment when I first named my company “Magus” Consulting exactly eight years ago - calling my professional magician archetype by its true name - I realize now that it was my purpose guiding me even then; I just didn’t recognize it at the time. All along I’ve been living my purpose personally by using my magical eyes to see the love and the power inside my friends and family, labeling it and recognizing so they can see themselves more clearly and more gently. And I’ve also been living my purpose to some extent with my marketing clients, guiding them through “the next new technology” and giving them plans and strategies to achieve their business goals in these new lands (i.e., the internet, social media, etc.).
    
But now that I’m clear, I’m going to step it up, past just technology marketing and past being a good friend. I’m going to integrate my skills built over a twenty-five year career with the wisdom gained through a forty-seven year lifetime. I’m going to claim my own talent and opportunity to change my world.

Business with heart
The new Magus Consulting will help leaders transform their organizations to change their worlds. I will continue my work with businesses and nonprofits, helping them tap into the power of the vision and energy of their organizations to turn their aspirations from vision to reality. Through strategic planning services and coaching, I will help leaders lead from both their hearts and their heads so that they thrive financially by helping all their stakeholders succeed as well. And if even a fraction of the organizations, entrepreneurs and leaders I work with change their world for the better, than the world will be a brighter place and I will have changed my world too.

I’m so excited I could just pop.

Please visit my new Magus Consulting web site and share it with any leaders you know seeking to change their world through their business.

Thank you for being with me on this journey, thank you for loving me, thank you for bearing witness to my unmasking. I cannot be my authentic self without all of you to love.


~Dana Theus

Photocredit: The Buffy-the-Vampire Tarot deck was actually never released by Dark Horse, much to many fans' dismay. I, personally, have never watched Buffy, but I love this modern-classic re-rendition of the traditional Tarot Magician card and so I claim it as the visualization of my archetype.

Emily and Esmeralda

I wrote this story based on imagery and emotion that came to me during many meditations over the last few years. It is a story of a soul's growth and reunion and many of my friends have helped birth it. The final inspiration came when a very special friend and I discovered we have magical eyes. In that sense, it's based on a true story. Love, Light and Blessings to all who read this. ~Dana


Emily

There once was a girl named Emily. Emily was magical. She knew things. She saw things. But she lived in a box with a huge glass wall that looked out on a world full of shadow people and rain. Her box was cozy and in it she was safe. There were no mirrors in her box. Well, there was one, but it lay broken in a dusty corner where she'd thrown it years before.

For the most part, Emily was content to look out at the world beyond her glass window. She wrote poems and stories about what she saw there. She loved the moonlight and darkness and drew close to the window when darkness came so she could watch the night creatures in the souls of those who walked by. She dreamed and pointed her finger at things Outside, and sometimes she could make things happen there. It was great fun when it worked. Unfortunately, it didn't always work, but since it was a game, she didn't really care and simply stayed Inside where her world was her own.

Over time - gradually - she began to be curious about what lie Outside. Of course, she "knew" what was Outside because she saw it go by her window every day. But she didn't really "know" it. She didn't know what it felt like, or tasted like, or smelled like.

Then she began to hear voices and realized they were from the people outside her box. Overjoyed, she listened and even tried to use her magic to talk back. A few people Outside stopped as though listening. They came to her window and looked in. Just a very few had eyes magical enough to see her shadow moving inside, but even though she drew back, away from their eyes, they smiled. They said kind things. They invited her Outside to walk with them.

Emily was afraid. She'd never thought about why she was Inside, but as she felt the glass wall begin to thin, fear filled her heart and so she stayed In. But the people Outside were so nice; they kept talking to her. They didn't make her feel bad for living in a box. As time went on she realized she wanted to go Outside to be with them. She walked around inside her box and started - for the first time ever - looking for a door. She looked behind lovely paintings she'd placed on the walls; she pulled up big cushy pillows looking for hidden trap doors; she even went over to her dreaded dark corner where the mirror lay. Finding no door, she knelt down to pick up the broken silver glass with the jagged edge. Looking at the fractured smash of her face in it, twisted, wounded and framed by limp black hair, she remembered why she'd thrown it so hard. Dropping it once more, she went back to the window, dejected and sad.

"I guess I'm just supposed to stay here forever," she whispered to no one.


Esmeralda

Somewhere completely different, Esmeralda played. She lived on the top of a hill wooded with tall trees widely spaced and scattered around a lovely little pool of clear blue water at the center of which a lotus flower floated. Down the hill spilled a lovely green valley and in the distance was a mountain. Her world was graced by both the sun and the moon, which hung above her as she played in her little hilltop forest. She adored them both as they filled her magical forest with silver and golden light. Often she would sit by the pool as it reflected light all around her and play with it, swirling it just for fun.

Though she didn't know why, Esmeralda knew her pool was magical and she looked in it often. The water gave her a perfect reflection of herself and the lovely sky overhead dotted with little puffs of cloud weaving in between the branches of her trees, their leaves waving softly in the breeze. She loved the look of her sparkling face and full blond-white hair. Sometimes when she twisted just so, she could catch site of her little butterfly wings and quiver them with delight. When she did this, they floated her up off the ground and she flitted around her pool, laughing.

Esmeralda had two familiars, beautiful little doves that sometimes transformed into butterflies to make her happy. The white one was her constant companion, flitting and flying through the trees around her, never far from her. She loved it because it was so peaceful and lovely and when it was near her she was content and strong. But the soft gray dove seemed sick. It flew around sometimes but more often it would sit quietly on a little twig while the other two played. It seemed lonely.

One day, Esmeralda coaxed the little gray dove down to sit in her lap while the white one perched on her shoulder. She stroked the sad little bird's silky wings and coo'd with it, asking what it needed to be happy. The little gray dove had no answer and so, on an inspiration, Esmeralda took it over to the magical pool so they could look in it together.

As usual, Esmeralda's face was shining with heath and happiness but the pretty image of the little dove in her hand flickered. Esmeralda blinked, surprised as the still water of the pool rippled and broke apart the little bird's features. The image of the little dove wavered in an out between the picture of its soft little body cuddled in her palms and a black-boned thing with skeleton wings, wobbling unsteadily. She knew without knowing how; this poor hobbling little creature was how the little gray dove saw itself in the mirror of the water.

And so she coo'd to it gently and looked at it harder with her magical eyes until she brought the image of her beautiful bird back into the water's shimmering surface. She could tell the little bird was confused when it's image shifted; it couldn't understand how she had made it so pretty just by looking at it. Esmeralda didn't notice its confusion and laughed happily, concentrating on the beauty she saw while she stroked its feathers. As she petting it tenderly, the bird glowed in her palm, dissapearing into a ball of light until it finally resolved back into he perfect little creature it had always been. The little bird released its confusion, fluttering its wings in happiness and gratitude. Esmeralda's heart swelled full of love when the little bird flew up to fly with her little white dove. She started to stand, hoping to dance beneath them as they played in the shimmering light air, but something caught her eye in the pool and she leaned over to stare into the crystalline depths once more.

Her smiling face was there as before but a shadow passed beneath the surface and Esmeralda gasped to see her own image flicker now, the picture of another girl with dark hair and sad eyes glimmering up from within the pool as she pressed her hand against the surface of the water from below. Puzzled, Esmeralda reached out to touch Emily's hand.

Emily and Esmeralda


Emily started and jerked her hand away as she felt the soft little poke of Esmeralda's finger touching her palm. Blinking, she focused on the pretty little girl's face on the other side of her glass wall.

"She sees me," Emily whispered to her herself, and then staring at her palm she murmured, "and she feels me." Her heart pounding to think someone had actually reached into her box, Emily ran away from the glass to cower in the corner, shivering. At her feet was the cracked and broken mirror. Morbidly curious about how ugly she was now and what the little girl with the fluffy blond hair had seen, she lifted the cracked glass up to look at her own twisted features. Shocked, she saw only the glowing, radiant face of the blond-haired girl again, on the other side of her mirror.

Still by the pool, Esmeralda knit her brows, wondering who this sad girl was living in her pool. As the two magical beings looked at each other, Emily's face began to morph and become sallow and twisted, her teeth yellowing.

"She's can't see herself," Esmeralda whispered softly. "Like my little dove." Smiling at this new game, Esmeralda concentrated on seeing the lovely and gentle heart she knew beat inside the other. Within moments, Emily's sallow skin began to grow pink and her black stringy hair filled out to frame her face. Emily's eyes were wide, able to see her image change now as it formed alongside Esmeralda's in the mirror. She had never seen herself this way, the way Esmeralda saw her - exquisite and stunningly beautiful. Emily's lips turns up in a tiny smile as she watched Esmeralda clap her hands at the power of her magical eyes. Knowing she had made a friend, Esmeralda put her hand to the water once more, this time to touch Emily's face.

Instinctively, Emily took Esmeralda's hand and before she understood what had happened, she had stepped up through the shimmering water and stood in Esmeralda's paradise.

Esmeralda danced around her like a little fairy, for now she could see that Emily was a woman - elegant, tall and willowy - dressed in a glimmery silken blue dress the color of the predawn sky. Esmeralda was as a child next to her, but her little butterfly wings could flitter her up by Emily's shoulders for a moment or two as she hopped about, scattering magical sparkles in the sunlight air all around them. Emily stared at the wonderful display of light and delight that was Esmeralda until finally she laughed. And then they danced together. When Emily giggled, a rosy blush flushed over her cheeks and her full lips parted to frame pretty white teeth.

Slowing her dance to take Emily's hand in hers, Esmeralda alighted on the soft green grass and then skipped ahead, taking her new friend on a tour of her beaucolic land. Together they explored the hilltop and pointed at the moon and the sun, the paths and fields down below and finally the tall evenly spaced trees in the forest of light all around them. Emily periodically held her arms out, amazed at the warmth of sunlight on her skin. Closing her eyes, she smiled up at the sky and let the golden light bathe her, overjoyed to be Outside.

After a bit, Esmeralda led her new friend back to a little wooden seat near the pool and they sat, Esmeralda hopping in Emily's lap and handing her a little mirror, shining inside a diamond rim. Afraid, Emily tried to push it away but Esmeralda looked at her with loving eyes and held the mirror up again. Emily gasped, shocked to see the lovely woman in the reflection, soft dark hair spilling down past high cheekbones and smoky blue eyes set in milky soft skin. She blinked to see if the image of loveliness would go away, but it didn't.

Tears glistened in her lashes and Emily let them fall as she thanked Esmeralda for her magical eyes, her heart spilling over in gratitude. Esmeralda smiled as she traced the tears and thanked Emily just as sincerely for filling a tiny little emptiness only her gray dove had known how to find.

They sat like that all afternoon, Emily holding Esmeralda like a child in her lap and Esmeralda happily laughing and gazing lovingly up into her eyes.

Above them circled the little white dove and the soft gray dove, playing in the sparkling sunmoonlight.

Never had there been a happier day in heaven, on earth or in the magical realms than this.


(c) 2010 StoneTosser


Photocredits:

Blue woman @ Glass
Blue Woman with Tears by Mik Godley
Scary Mirror
I don't know where the fairies came from. If you know, please tell me.
Sunlight woman was purchased from iStockphoto.com



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