Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Best Mothering

When I became a stepmom, I really didn't know how incredibly lucky I was. I had inherited two of the most amazing people as my wards. I have truly fallen into a deep, lifelong love with my children of marriage and of birth and find myself richly overflowing in love for all of them.

When people ask me about step parenting, or parenting at all, I can only stress that separation of child from parent to get the perspective that your children are truly their own people, not an extension of you. If you give them the respect of knowing this and encouraging them as you would a beloved friend, you will have that. A child who grows up to be your beloved friend. Or, in my case, two beautiful daughters, to whom I did not give birth but whom I adore with all my heart, who count me as "beloved and cherished friend", no matter what.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Joys of Flirting

I remember reading something about Libras when I was a kid. It said "you are a flirt! You love the boys and they love you!" I had a really hard time believing that. I was incredibly shy.

Something must have snapped in eighth grade though, because from then on out, it's been flirt flirt flirt.

When I say "flirt" I mean brush with intimacy, toy with connection, tease and play in ways that reveal the beauty and worth of another being and have my own luminous self revealed to me as if a mirror is being held up. I love to flirt. I love to look people in the eye and smile. I love to respond when I am addressed. I love to make a human connection. I also love to flirt with animals. Every time I go out for a paddle, I flirt with the white sharks that I hope are present. I invite them to do the dance of intimacy (without getting too close). Being a married woman, I know how to keep a flirtation from becoming a breech in my marital contract, so I ask the sharks to refrain from a physical connection. It excites me to know that they are there. That we share the same waters. That we are both inhabiting the planet in the same space and time.

Flirting is one of the joys of being human. It is a playful attraction, that with women, results in deepening friendship and with men, results in a strengthening of my femininity. The key to ideal flirting, is to respect the tension of polarity and not succumb to the pull of attraction.For the real joy is in the tension, not the connection. It is the mirroring that we all need.

In marriage, we flirt, but we are also so connected to each other that the figurative mirror gets all fogged up.  We can't as easily reveal the best of ourselves to our mates and have that beauty shine back. Therein lies the beauty of the seasoned flirt. She knows how to play with others, so she maintains her femininity, bringing confidence and allure to her relationship. It's fun!

My advice to you is to remember that the fun is in the tension of the spiritual connection, not in the physical connection. Real flirting does not lead to infidelity, it leads to souls being mirrored and love being shared amongst any and all. Even sharks.

General Flirtation

Whitey, my love

Flirting with nature
Flirting with BFF
Flirting with DANGER
 (note sign that says "KEEP OUT")

Marital flirtation

This represents an actual affair I have been having with the Milky Way since
 I was about four.
I'm always wanting to be closer, needing the promise of a
"next time" and
 willing to go to almost any lengths for an encounter.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why I Do It

 Why do I do it? I do it for love. I create because that is what makes my heart sing. When I'm in the shower, often ideas pour into my head. The inspiration lightens me and I am driven to create again.
 And again.
The years go by and my list of creations grows. I don't do it for fame, fortune, acknowledgement. I do it for me. It brings me JOY to create. It brings me JOY to share.

I share with my kids. We create together.

People ask me to create for them. I do. With a joyous heart.

I love to share my joy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dying a Little

I have been picking up information from all different sources like a sponge wiping up a mess of experiments in a lab. I assume it is all for me, from my guides* and I'm absorbing it.

 I have been struggling for a long while now. Holding on to a fractured and failing marriage because I refused to even consider divorce. I will not divorce, I have told myself over and over again. It is too painful for the children. Too painful for the couple. Too painful to admit that the whole thing is just plain broken.

 Last week, during the most tumultuous full moon I have ever in memory experienced, I was brought to a place where I could finally see that divorce might be the better option. The "d" word only came up after hearing a beautiful talk from an artist who's name I can't remember. He said something to the effect that we are faced with "little deaths" all the time in our lives. Death of any kind scares us (in our society). We look at it as such a negative, something to avoid at all costs, something to run the other way from. We also loathe deaths in the form of job loss, economic uncertainty, any possible shake up of our fragile ways of life. But this wise person reminded me in his talk that it is the struggle to avoid the little deaths that holds the suffering. When we let go of the struggle, surrender and trust, we are released from pain and we float with ease into the next phase of life. If we die physically, we know that indescribable feeling of love and serenity that so many NDE-ers have described. If we surrender in trust when our job or home or loved ones are lost, we find that we are taken care of, in ways we could not imagine. We just had to surrender to get there. From the little death always comes a re-birth. Always.

I took all this in. I thought of my struggle to not let my marriage die. Then I surrendered.  When my husband came home, I opened up to him like I had nothing left to lose. I told him everything I wanted in a husband. I told him I wanted a soul mate. I joked about his next (trophy) wife and how I felt sorry for her because she would have my daughter as a step child. He said there would be no new wife. He said he wanted me. I told him he would have to show me, words weren't doing it for me any more. Actions. Be my mate. Be my friend. Be my partner. Confide in me. Love my soul that inhabits this ever-changing body. I surrendered. I was willing to let the marriage die, but it has been reborn. From the stagnant ashes, it feels new and alive. Even if it didn't, I believe the surrender freed me.  Whatever  is dying for you, I hope this helps you to release the struggle and surrender to the little death. The rebirth will undoubtedly be amazing.

* Your guides are a team of etheric entities who travel with you, in support of you, at all times. They have know you for lifetimes, eons even. They are always with you, providing support and love as well as information. One need only ask, and be open to receive. Try it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Looks vs. Life

What's more important to you, how you look or how you live?

 It seems like a constant struggle, but my answer is definitely, "how you live".

 I find it challenging to be gentle with myself 100% of the time. It is so easy to fall into a pattern of self examination that includes comparison of myself to others, or myself from another time. I find my compassion for others to be much greater than that I have for my own beautiful vessel, which has served me so well. I should hold nothing but gratitude for all the adventures it has permitted me to experience and all the sensations I have been able to feel. I am so lucky! I have been forced to look at my vessel from other people's viewpoints and defend it vehemently, for it is the witness to my struggle. It bears the marks of my journey, which I would never trade.

My gibbous moon. Is it waxing or waning? I'm not sure.
Does it matter?

I believe that our bodies have the ability to wax and wane, lighten and fade, show smooth spots and pockmarks, much like the moon. Any moment you take a good look at your body, it is just a phase; a day, out of a month, in a year, traveling through the galaxy, and never really in the same place twice. We should gratefully notice this physical partner to our journey in this lifetime.

My sweet 16 year-old crescent. I thought I was fat because of the strength and mass of my thighs.  This  is the only picture I have of me in a bathing suit without a towel wrapped around my waist.

My full moon, shining brightly, in all her glory,  with all the light of the sun on her body.  Living!

Friday, July 15, 2011


The Moon yesterday pulled my skin off and left me looking at what was underneath. You know the experience of not seeing something no matter how hard you try, then, finally, it becomes visible to you and you can never return to the "not seeing it" stage? That's what happened.

I saw a lot of underneath stuff. Of myself and my relationships, especially my marriage. I can never go back to not seeing. I have been changed. We have been changed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Joys of YES

Saying "yes" to things you otherwise or in the past would have declined for various reasons is very very empowering and can be quite fun. I, for example, said yes to a party last week that began at nine PM on Thursday night. A SCHOOL NIGHT. I am not a night person. I am typically asleep at nine PM. I don't really like staying up late on school nights when I have multitudes of commitments scheduled for the following day. I was, however, enticed by the aspect of fun promised in this unique get together, organized by my friend, Lisa.

A few years ago, Lisa had a chest x-ray that revealed a tumor in her lung. I had the pleasure of being close to her during her surgery to remove a lobe of her lung and then during the many times her collapsed lung needed to be re-inflated. I was close by during chemotherapy sessions that insured that any secret cancer cells that had migrated from the lung would be obliterated. I used every trick in my book of magic; crystals, reiki, gentle head stroking, laughter, love, compassion and a listening ear, to help in any way I could to move Lisa through this time of illness.  It was truly a pleasure for me to be there for her.

What I loved about Lisa both before and after her experience with cancer was her ferocious Joie de Vivre. She planned and executed vacations to exotic locales like Viet Nam and Thailand, Rome and Tel Av iv, New York and London. Lisa's family vacations were like ours. All family, all adventure to anywhere she felt the desire to visit. What spirit! I could identify.  So when her invite came," By Royal Command of her majesty the Queen" to stay up all night and view the royal wedding of Prince William and Katherine Middleton, while wearing your wedding gown, bridesmaid's dress or penoir set, I only hesitated for a few minutes to think about it. When you have faced mortality, it's amazing how you respect the time you have to play.

I had a fantastic time at Lisa's party. Slept only a couple of hours but was not wrecked the next day. I actually gave a full reiki session at nine, served as back stage crew for my daughter's play performance at noon, and then say the play again from the audience that night. It was brilliant! Saying "yes" was a green card to fun! I advise you to not limit yourself based on your old patterns and what you think you need. The universe will stretch and bend all around you to accommodate your needs if your vibration is joy and you ask for the extra help.

Lisa wore her wedding dress for the first half of the party then changed into this gorgeous gown later. She put her veil on for me though, since I missed the photo -op of her in her full bridal regalia.

The kids were fantastic in their play! I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Kieran was a brilliant "Dana" in Sideways Stories From Wayside School

I just happened to have this gown in my closet.
I love a great gown and most opportunity to wear it!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Love Me

I want you to love me not because I need your love, but because I want you to feel that uncontrolled, unabashed love for someone, pouring from you so that it spills everywhere you look, touching everyone you encounter; the sky, the wild grasses growing in the vacant lot, the mother sitting at the bus stop with her child in her lap.

 I want you to love me, not for me but for you. The feeling of love for another (being) is much more powerful than the receiving of love. I know it. I have felt it so many times.

 I feel it for my children, my parents, my husband, you. I feel it on the playground, in the classroom, when I look at the ocean and see a seal swimming cautiously towards me, nostrils flaring open and closed. I feel it when I look up at the sky at 5am and the stars shine brilliantly , sometimes shooting or winking in waves of love returned.  I feel it when you make jokes , when you drip the milk out of your mouth, when you draw. I am in love with you, with all of you; rocks, soil, air, trees; kids, playgrounds, compost bins and classrooms, paintbrushes, pin backs, purring sounds and fur.

Love me, so you can gush like I do, wanting to give and give and give with no desire to recover "losses", for the love is payment with interest, and I am RICH beyond measure.

Yesterday, as I was driving out of my neighborhood, I approached a kid on a bike. As I got ahead of him, I saw that it was Christian, a sixth grader at Hope, where I work three days a week as a noon aide. At the beginning of the year, Christian had a chip on his shoulder. He would depart the lunch tables without being excused, leaving pieces of tinfoil and plastic in his wake. He would do it over and over again. He is not the only one.  Recently, Christian was throwing a football with his friend Issac on the blacktop after lunch. I approached Issac, asked for the ball and threw it to Cristian. My spiral was a wobble. I caught Cristian's perfect pass then asked Isaac if I could make one more throw. Still wobbly. Christian started calling me "bad thrower" when I would greet his table at lunch. He lives in my neighborhood and last week he and another sixth grade boy, Daniel, asked if they could play basketball in our driveway. I said yes, as long as they protect my garden, which is nearby.  Daniel, who was very shy last year with me, rarely making eye contact, now goes out of his way to say,"hi Shelley." he adds regularly, "you are a good neighbor."

As I waved at Christian from the driver's seat of my car, as I do to all the kids I know by name from Hope School, my heat gushes with love for him (and them). I got this flash that I want the same for them, to feel that gushing of love, that just makes you love everyone and everything.  I asked myself, "do I throw the football, kick the soccer ball, shoot hoops, paint with water colors, make and pass out pins at school because I want them to like me? No. The answer came. I want them to LOVE me. NOT FOR ME, but FOR THEM.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


I love presents. I love the way they come wrapped so you don't even know the extent of the gift until you carefully (or voraciously) remove the ribbon and paper, open the box which is full of possibility. I especially love surprise gifts like the one I received last week from Kate and Cortis Loukes who asked if I knew anyone who could help them create blessing candles for their upcoming baby shower to give as gifts to their loved ones.  The joy in my heart swelled as I knew how much I wanted to make these candles. The gift was evident right then. I held it in my hands, but it was still wrapped and pretty much a secret to me.

I thought about the gemstone infusion. I only had enough of one particular stone, black tourmaline. The candle is to be lit when Kate enters labor and to help her loved ones hold vigil both for her and their baby as he passes safely from his warm womb to the physical world. Here is how black tourmaline is the perfect stone for this.

Black tourmaline grounds energy and increases physical vitality, dispensing tension and stress. It encourages a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances. In healing, it draws off negative energy, defending against disease, strengthening the immune system, providing pain relief. Protects against electromagnetic smog and negative energies of all kinds.- Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible.

I had purchased 50 pounds of soy wax and new bottles of essential oils a couple of weeks back. On Sunday, I went to OSH and purchased the 4 oz jars I would use to make the candles and the small match boxes for the matches.

you have to heat the jars first.

The wicks are in place

pure soy wax. When it is molten, liquid or just soft, it makes an excellent moisturizer, especially when it is infused with therapeutic grade essential oils.

I chose lemongrass for joy

bergamot for lust-for-life vitality

and lavender for healing and soothing. It's like the maternal oil because it's greatest desire is to soothe and comfort. It heals, protects, disinfects, helps regenerate, helps with insomnia, stress... you get the picture.

I made Kate and Cortis their own special candle. This is my invitation to their baby Boy to come into this world with all of his potential and power intact. I infused the candle with a dual-terminated Tibetan crystal quartz for ancient wisdom and overall energetic healing, citrine for joy and vitality, aquamarine for love of the water, black tourmaline for grounding and connection to all the other blessing candles, carnelian for creativity and a lust for life, and labradorite for complete protection. 

It was a blissful experience for me to make these candles but especially this one.

I added the oils, gemstones and wax

I made exactly 50 candles.

after the wax cooled, I trimmed the wicks.

While the candles were cooling I created the label.

Serendipitiously, Jill had painted this whale but after taking this picture of it, continued painting over it, and in her eyes, ruined it. I asked her if I could use her painting in my work. She said, "thank you for saving him". It was perfect.

I am creating a new website and identity for myself. It's called Terra Celeste Productions,, which debuts on these candles. This site will allow me to create in any realm, posting for sale any passion that evolves in me from here on out. So far it will have gemstone jewelry, candles, chakra salt scrubs, my books, cards and the books I am publishing for other authors (the first two are my daughter Kieran's books). This site will be up by the next full moon (April 18).

The next step in candle making is the match boxes.
First I create labels. Kate asked me to put a blessing on them. It is one she says to her baby every day and to the kids she works with. It is beautiful.

"May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you guide your way on."

It did all of this for me. 

Painting the match box edges.

This project was a gift from start to finish. I still need to make the cards that go with them, printing the blessing again, but this job is pretty much done.

I was in pure bliss the entire time I worked. Is that possible? Blissful work? I want this.

Thank you Kate.
Thank you Cortis.
Thank you Baby. 
Thank you Jill.

Love, Shelley

P.S. Blessing candles will now be available on my site for purchase. I can and will make them for any meaningful occasion. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I am redefining, expanding and evolving. There are no limits to what I might do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I've been forgetful lately. Appointments and promises slipping from my mind. Is it the onset of the dreaded hormonal changes or am I getting my priorities straight? I'm not sure, and I haven't had much to say lately. I've been too busy paddling every spare moment, frolicking in the green water.
I did get an inspiration to create another short film. It's going to be great.
I'll let you know how it goes.