Once upon a time, there was a root vegetable who claimed to be a yam. But not just a yam. A special yam. The best yam. A Christian yam. He looked orange all right, but.. off. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t his personal appearance that bothered the other vegetables and fruits. Live and let live, and beauty is as beauty does. But that was the problem. Though he called himself a Christian yam, he did not follow the teachings about feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, caring for the sick, and above all loving others as himself. Since he didn’t love himself, he didn’t know how to love others either. Sad!
With his actions and his attempts to stir up hate, fear, and division, he showed that he was no Christian yam at all. And was he even that? More and more, the other root vegetables began to see him as he really was. It started with the parsnips and rutabagas. The beets and onions were next. Soon, the peppers woke up. Then, the apples and berries realized they too, had been played. Finally, they all realized he was just a mean white potato with a spray tan.
That was the beginning of the Great Healing. Here and there, conversations started across boundaries. The fruits and vegetables found common ground, literally. They all loved the soil, the sun, and rain. They all loved to see their little ones grow. There was much celebration throughout the land. In their joy, almost everyone forgot about the mean potato.
But a kind old pumpkin invited him to a party. She figured his ego had had enough crunching that he might be ready to come out of his golden vegetable bin and join in the festivities. When he just responded with an angry tweet, she didn’t worry about it. For she knew that all things happen in God’s time and that by whatever name you may call that energy we find it convenient to call God, the mysterious power of Love is always working in every situation. And so, it is. -Kanta Bosniak
Kanta Bosniak Folk Art Gallery Chapel room Art by Kanta Bosmiak
I’m thankful this holiday season for this beautiful space I love so much. My way of engaging with this space and inviting others to engage with it has changed over time, just as with any relationship.
Years ago, I used it as a coaching office and holistic center for classes and workshops. I’ve played with having a small book and print store here but after a few months my writer self put the nix on that, as she works much better without distractions and my retail self was perfectly happy to direct folks to Amazon, which is always open and ready to sell you all my books and guided imagery downloads. My retail self also invites to to shop for my art prints on Etsy. Win/win! My coaching too, is no longer a local business, but is available through phone and Skype. Bottom line, this is an art themed wedding venue, rather than retail store of my art and books. As both an artist and a minister, I’m excited to offer this unique wedding venue, which I sometime hashtag #artchurch on social media.
The room where I used to see coaching clients and hold classes is now a small, boho chic wedding venue. It’s perfect for couples who want a memorable and unique wedding. Couples looking for fun setting for a destination wedding getaway will find a wide array of lodging choices, restaurants, specialty shops, and musical entertainment venues, some within walking distance and some a very short drive away.
I’m delighted to offer an extremely affordable package, which includes my custom ceremony services, the venue itself, which is an art museum of my folk art paintings and prints, basic photography, a folk art marriage certificate, fresh floral bouquet, and 12 wedding announcement postcards. All for $350.00!
I book weddings here year-round. Unlike most venues, if you have booked a winter wedding here and we have winter weather situation, I will happily work with you to reschedule your event. Looking forward to talking with you about booking your elopement or small wedding. Call me at (540) 577-8854
I love comedy and I think besides being one of the elements of life that makes it beautiful and fun, comedy can have a healing element. I don’t just mean that “laughter is the best medicine,” though it can boost the immune system and help us shift our focus in a positive direction. But it can do even more. It can help us heal our spirit by owning our personal and collective shadow.
On the personal level, laughing at our foibles is a healthy by-product of gentle and compassionate self-inventory. You’ll never see a narcissist laughing at himself. His use of “humor” is misuse. He projects his self-loathing onto others with toxic sarcasm.
If there were a non-toxic use of sarcasm what would it be? Satire. The deflation of the puffed-up collective shadow, which is expressed as individuals and organizations who seek to control and disempower. That in our collective mind which fears and so it angers, schemes, hates and harms while pretending moral superiority. In the cognitive dissonance of people who hate in the name of God and attempt to destroy democracy in the name of country lies a treasure trove of comic material. And that same rich source of comedy resides within our own disowned selves.
My favorite types of comedy are cerebral, whimsical, and cultural. Sometimes when ideas are taken to their logical extremes, the humor lies in the silliness of extreme. In the case of specious arguments put forth by haters, the humor lies in ridiculousness of the fallacious argument and the utter unreasonableness of the “reasoning.”
Comics of this ilk express archetypes: the Cerebral/Spiritual Healer who heals by pointing out cognitive dissonance, and the Merry Prankster, who essentially does the same thing but in a very different personal style: unpredictable, off center, slightly askew, and a bit outrageous. We can call on these inner archetypes to do to do our spiritual work. Our Cerebral Healer can help us identify limiting beliefs that run counter to love and happiness. And our Merry Prankster can deflate the arrogance of the Inner Judge that enforces those same bad ideas and help us claim the freedom to make better choices.
May we laugh ourselves sane and whole into the light of our wisdom.
May we laugh ourselves silly and wild into our creativity and joy.
May we laugh ourselves kind and caring.
May we find the oneness that we are by sharing laughter.
May we find the sweetness and poignancy of laughter even in times of grief and loss.
May we remember our shadow selves in times of success and allow this to keep us humble and grounded.
May we always be open to cosmic humor and divine paradox in the vast Intelligence we find it convenient to call God.
Research has shown that physical posture connects to emotions both ways. A dejected, drained person will hunch over, cast the eyes down, and walk slowly. A confident, energized person will stand straight, with eyes ahead, and walk at a faster pace. If a person changes his physical posture he will feel better. So just as posture is influenced by attitude, so can it have an influence on attitude.
There is a similar connection with language. If you use tentative (I wish, I hope, I’m trying), passively stated language (this is happening to me) with lots of negatives (this is what I don’t like and don’t want), there is little power in your words. Make a habit of reversing the words to confident grateful decrees and you reverse your habitual thoughts to create a positive flow.
“Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee; and the light shall shine upon thy ways.”-Job 22:28
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful dream fairy who would come close and hover, sparking new perspectives and creative ahas. She would come just so far… and then retreat behind deep pink clouds. Once, a dreamer asked her to show herself and say her name. But she simply spun away, leaving behind only a blessing and a promise to appear again, right around the edges of conscious awareness, where she could be of the most help.
It is in dreams, daydreaming, and meditative states that we get most of our best ideas. So, it’s important to take some time each day to be quiet and at peace. Paradoxically, trying harder is often less productive than relaxing and entering a state of trust and connection with self and Source. We are our most productive when we balance dreaming and inspired action.
I love to collect readings for weddings and I noticed a need for fresh readings to serve as alternative to the ones that are used so often. Several years ago, I began a series of books of love poems (by me) and quotes by a wide range of others in Western and Eastern literature and sacred texts. The books serve as collections for individuals to enjoy and for couples to enjoy together. In addition, they provide a resource of wedding readings for couples who are looking for original modern love poetry as well as compelling and beautiful quotes by authors from various cultures and spiritual traditions. At present, there are four books in the series: Love Poems, Awakened Love, Twin Flames, and Sacred Love, all available on Amazon.
Love and Flowers
When I think of you, beloved,
blossoms caress my skin.
When you kiss me, I breathe pink light,
I taste jasmine.
When you speak, mermaids hum,.
subway drummers and graffiti artists
hold sacred circles and art parties.
Let us invite the stars, beloved
and serve raspberry scones and spiced tea.
Let us sleep and dream of petals
falling softly into the night,
letting go of all that is not real,
leaving only love and flowers.
This is a prayer a couple chose for a wedding reading, along with the more familiar First Corinthians one about what love isn’t and what it is. I thought the juxtaposition was lovely, and so did the guests, most of whom were very traditional Christians. Another example of the open-heartedness of love, which crosses boundaries of religion and culture.
Buddhist Prayer by Sensei Wendy Egyoku Nakao:
“Let us vow to bear witness to the wholeness of life, realizing the completeness of each and every thing. Embracing our differences, I shall know myself as you, and you as myself. May we serve each other for all our days, here, there, and everywhere. Let us vow to open ourselves to the abundance of life. Freely giving and receiving, I shall care for you, for the trees and stars, as treasures of my very own. May we be grateful for all our days, here, there, and everywhere. Let us vow to forgive all hurt, caused by ourselves and others, and to never condone hurtful ways. Being responsible for my actions, I shall free myself and you. Will you free me, too? May we be kind for all our days, here, there, and everywhere. Let us vow to remember that all that appears will disappear. In the midst of uncertainty, I shall sow love. Here! Now! I call to you: Let us together live The Great Peace that we are. May we give no fear for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.”
UnLove sees “problem” in self and “other.” Love recognizes completeness in self and the “other.” Love is a thousand times a thousand times more powerful.
The Jester represents an inner archetype that in a loving and appreciative person, provides joy and healthy perspective. Laughter is a kind of sacrament that deepens connections with loved ones. It can build bridges across imaginary social boundaries and create ease in formal situations. It helps us get in touch with our humanity and with the sweetness of life. It helps us reduce stress and produces healing chemicals in our bodies. It’s an “abundance trigger”; it lowers our screen of anxiety, so we can better use the Law of Attraction. It links us to the Child Within and all its and creativity and joy.
Real laughter is a kind of surrender to joy, and what could be more healing and beautiful? Real humor comes from compassion. It lovingly acknowledges and celebrates harmless human foibles and inhibits potentially bad behavior by helping us see how stupidly counter-productive it would be to act on our own selfish impulses. Humor can help us to deflate and poke fun at the machinations of our shadow as it attempts to keep us unhappy by affecting ridiculous poses, such as angry and sad victim behavior, over dramatization, attempted manipulation, and abdication of personal responsibility.
It’s important to distinguish the difference between laughing at shadow to heal or to harm. In a bitter, selfish person, “humor” will be used as a weapon to harm another. Unhappy people use sarcasm to devalue others, because they themselves cannot stand for others to feel the happiness that they cannot.
May you build a strong and powerful alliance with your Inner Jester, for it can help you prosper and grow in every area of your life. May you enjoy moments of laughter that bring respite in times of mourning, giggles at your own silly ego, heart-expanding guffaws, funny friends, and ever-increasing joy.
Here’s some free motivational coaching for ya. Imagine that you see pink in a ceramic bowl that should look clearish, if you’re properly hydrating yourself. Oh, the horror. Your life, that is your *future* life and all the things you dearly want to do flash before you. That ______(insert goal here)_________. I should have it done it already! Then, you realize you ate beets at dinner. A reprieve! Whatever it is, do it. You’re welcome.
I laughingly tell my bestie about this little mini-drama. She says, “Everything’s OK, little white cow,” referring to one of my two favorite Rumi poems. Everyone should have a beloved friend who speaks Rumi like code! The first time I saw pink, it wasn’t beets. It was the precursor of a cancer diagnosis. That’s when “The Guest House” was the poem I used as an “abundance trigger.” It helped me surf the experience by staying fully present with it and knowing it would have some gifts for me, if I paid attention. Now, “Little White Cow” works like magic for me when I feel down or scared.
I wish for you reason and humor when things seem bleak, “abundance triggers” that work for you and wonderful friendships with people who speak your language and keep special words in their back pocket written in code that your heart understands!
“Love is the building block of the Universe
But it’s a little out of square.
Sometimes it leans
It stretches to meet the hurting heart.
Sometimes it pulls back into itself,
Giving space to breathe and think.
To be in love is to be in movement,
Marvelous always and always new.”
At 7:37 in this video exhibit walk and interview with Ron Schira, you can see the painting on which I sewed my poem “Love is the Building Block.” It is now in the collection of the Caron Foundation, in Wernersville, PA. I donated the painting to Caron because I think they do such beautiful and important work. At the time I lived in the area, I had some friends who worked there as counselors.
I think it is only through the choice to allow love to work in our lives that we make meaningful positive change. It’s in relationship with the Divine and with those we love that we do most of our soul growth, because we make choices to be our best selves to prioritize those relationships and to prioritize love over all that is not love.
The canvas frame of this mixed media painting is *actually* out of square! I had finished the painting/fiber art piece and given it with two others to the framer. When he returned them the others were square at the corners, but this one leaned a bit to the right. But it was PERFECT. Because, you know, love isn’t about static, frozen states of containment. It’s alive, dynamic, and perfectly imperfect. That’s what inspired me to write the poem on a piece of blank canvas and make it part of the piece.