I just totally inspired myself!  I just realized with a shock that what inspired me just now was not some external event or person – that’s what usually does inspire me – but just now, I saw that what I created was the source of my inspiration!  That recognition caught me of guard and surprised me and that inspired me all the more and one surprise inspiration led to another and it caught on like wildfire!

It started in a really mundane way. I was looking for an extension cord because I needed to plug my laptop in because it was almost out of charge. The plug that I used to use was no longer available because now there is a little altar in front of that socket so I can’t easily get it without disturbing the altar. That’s logical, right?!  The altar/giving it to G-d/guidance/goodness trumps recharging my computer.  IE, soul recharge trumps laptop recharge. A girl has to have her priorities!

So I go upstairs to look for the cord, and on the way, I get distracted by the altar(s) in the entryway of our home. For the first time in a long time, I actually stop and meditate on everything that’s there.  I’m not on autopilot. I’m fully present to what is.

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This first pic shows all three altars. The big piece on the wall was made by a local artist named Charlotte Zink, commissioned by my sister. It’s a representation of my husband, the divine masculine, earthy, spacious, grounded man, who is rooted and flowering at the same time, who holds boundaries and spaciousness at the same time; me, the divine feminine, intertwined with my beloved, leaning into him, and who is also free-flowing, wild, naked, joyful, extending into space, and my dog, whom we are also both touching, our little, lovely, soft child.  Now I’ll walk you through tier by tier all the things that inspire on the altar, which today I took in with fresh eyes and fresh appreciation and love.

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On this tier, there’s a glass sculpture from New Zealand, given to me by my mother. It reminds me that everything is fluid and unfolding all the time. The stone Shona carving in the back is about love, being in a dance with the beloved, and the heart rock I found in Moab on a hike with my beloved.  The bottle of Abundance speaks for itself. It’s always there, whether I need it or not. Plus it smells great every time I walk by.  The Cave Canem tile is from Bath, England. It means “Beware of the Dog.” Most of the time I am a protective, loving, companion. I’m good-natured, obedient, playful and forgiving. But sometimes – especially at that time of the moon – I turn into a growly, snappy dog, the kind you on rare occasion meet at the dog park who does not play nice, but instead, approaches with fur in a mohawk and his tail as stiff and straight-up-standing as a flagpole. This sweet little tile reminds me that I have the potential to be all of kinds of dog. We always have a choice what kind of dog we want to be.

On this level, there’s more dogs. I love dogs.  There’s a black poodle in the middle made of lava from Pompeii, and a little silver dog by the skirt of the open hearted girl with the birds on her arms.  She is a music box. When you wind her up, she spins in joy and makes music.  That’s how I am on my best days. The kitty in the picture is actually jumping up and down with joy, too. that card is a hologram, and somehow, I managed to get both aspects of the cat in the photo! The hand on the wall (with a bird singing in the middle) is a Jewish symbol for protection and for blessing the home.  The red and gold painting underneath is the Chinese symbol for love. The white stone sculpture on the left is a wedding knot. The two loops in this sculpture stand for how marriage joins couples and leaves space for them to retain their individuality. It is a Kenyan tradition to give couples this sculpture on their wedding day accompanied by a blessing for the union to last as long as the stone from which this sculpture was carved. I gave this to my husband on an anniversary.  The sand dollar came from Hawaii, the heart rock from…I don’t remember. I see heart rocks everywhere!

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In this tier are the chakras, a reminder of all the places energy can flow when we let it, as well as all the places it can get blocked, when we let it.  That “Gone to Yoga” stone was a present from my dad, who never did a day of yoga in his life, but loved me enough to recognize that yoga is my life.  In retrospect, this looks like a little tombstone, and it would be a fitting epitaph for me.  Above is a hard-carved elephant made by some Thai boy who rescued an elephant from abuse. The lavender is from my garden, the blue jay and great horned owl feathers were dropped by my avian friends, the wolf – yep, another dog!  I’m part dog, but I think I have already shared that!  Two Ganeshes – more ellies!  They remind me that we are all animal and human, wild and domesticated, slain and recreated anew.  Ganesh is a powerful totem for removing obstacles and getting clarity so I like to have his energy around. He’s stepping on a bodhi leaf, and has a heart rock that’s made from shell under paw.  The cards contain wisdom from Abraham. The giant pine cone, encircled by a jade and carnelian mala, is from a redwood in Big Sur. The big blue eye is from Egypt and it wards away evil.

Animal, vegetable, mineral, love, life, death, hope, family and friends are all here, inspiring me, motivating me to be my best self, radiating love.  My tribe is my altar.  My altar is my tribe. What inspires you?