I am so excited about the retreat I’m hosting this weekend I’m literally bouncing in my seat.  It’s Wednesday, I leave for it Friday…and it’s like it only just hit me.  I guess I’ve been so overwhelmed with playing catch up after nearly three decades of procrastination and perfectionism, I forgot to celebrate all my dreams coming true one by one!

click this image to see the registration page 🙂

Ever since I first read about writer’s retreats, probably ten years ago, I’ve wanted to go on one.  After creating my tarot weekend last year, I thought, why not create my own?  So I did!  And it’s exactly what I always dreamed it would be!

I’m setting up a gaming station with Scrabble, Wildcraft, and any other games anyone thinks to bring; an Inspirational Library area with my favorite SARK books and books on writing and publishing plus what anyone else thinks to bring; Inspirational Movie Nights with What The Bleep Do We Know Anyway and more.  We’re going to have a sweatlodge Saturday night, and tons of workshops:

  • making sugar scrubs
  • giving neck and foot rubs
  • using writing as a healing tool
  • meditation with the Crystal Singing Bowls
  • connecting with our muses
  • Sense-immersion
  • Re-Vision Strategies
  • Creative Ways to Break the Block

and that’s just the workshops I’m putting on!

We’re having a meet and greet Friday night, a morning social Sunday, and loads of time to relax and write or just brainstorm and open the creative floodgates.

I’m already planning the next one – hopefully for this Fall.

I love my life!


Saturday morning, I had an epiphany in the shower.

Epiphanies are awesome.

For months, I’d been planning to start a weekly newsletter, but I’d been resisting the idea because I was afraid to add another commitment to my overfull plate.  But while I was in the shower, I remembered a story my mother told me before she died about how she’d chosen my name.

She chose Ashley because she thought it was beautiful.  The first time she held me in her arms, early that May morning, a ray of sunshine fell across the bed, illuminating the both of us.  Thus, she named me Ashley Rae.

In the shower I heard the perfect name, and focus, for my newsletter in my head — Your Weekly Rae of Sunshine

I was so excited about my epiphany, I decided to create the newsletter that very night and send the very first one off Sunday morning.

I got up at 8:30 Sunday morning to finish up the newsletter and send it off, despite having been up most of the night working on it.  I was hoping to get it done before my toddler awoke.

15 minutes later, the power supply for my laptop made crackling and popping noises, scaring the bejeesus out of me and inspiring me to rip the plug from the wall and throw it across the room, lest it explode.

It sounded like faeries were frying mushrooms inside the little black box. RUN AWAY!

Then my laptop ran out of power, the battery completely drained.


“Well, poop…” I said.  And my toddler, who had also been up most of the night, who should have slept for at least two more hours, woke up, and thus had to come with me on my quest for a new laptop power supply.

***grr Mercury Retrograde grr***

FOUR frustrating to the point of tears HOURS later, I returned home triumphant…only to discover my new “universal” power adapter did not include a tip that fit my laptop.

***insert much cussing, moaning, complaining, etc here***

It was at least half an hour more before I noticed the bracelet on my wrist and remember that life is too precious to waste on BS.   “Time for a mood-reboot,” the bracelet, or perhaps Sunny, said to me.

I packed my reluctant toddler back into the car, gave the keys to my boyfriend, and wrote this blog post while he drove us to one of my favorite places in the world, All World Acres, to attend the last few hours of the Sustainable Living Conference.

The windows were down, letting the air blow the storm clouds from my brow.  The sun was shining, the sky looking like Andy’s wallpaper from the Toy Story movies.  It was a gorgeous day, and I knew it was going to be an awesome night.

And it was. ❤

Remembering Susans

A friend of mine died nearly three weeks ago.

She was young, beautiful, vibrant, a mother, a wife, and the kind of person who felt like a best friend even if you just met, or rarely saw each other.  Her name was Susan, and her nickname was Sunny.

Susan and her 2 year old, Andrew

Hundreds of people were devastated by her unexpected death.  We’ve already come together and raised thousands for her son and widow.  I helped by donating a few half hour readings by phone or skype to the silent auctions.  I’m also helping by donating 10% of the proceeds from my forthcoming memoir to her son’s college fund.  I wish I could do more.

My mother’s name was Susan, and she was also 32 when she died.  Both Susans were from Virginia.  Susan had her son a year and a day after I had mine, and there are several other crazy little synchronicities I don’t feel up to sharing.  It gives me a link to her even though I didn’t get to know her as well in life as I wanted too.  Most of our interactions happened on Facebook and through our yahoo group for “crunchy-ish” mamas.

In the prologue of my book, which I wrote a year ago, I ask “What if I died young and my children grew up never knowing how much I loved them?”  I wrote my book for my son, in case that happened.  But dear Andrew, sweet Andrew…he’s going to grow up hearing how much his mother loved him instead of remembering it.  He’s going to ache for his loss, having to piece his mother together from the memories of others, even more so than I did.  I feel a kinship with his future self, and a deep maternal love for this baby I’ve only met twice.

At the memorial, most of us were given bracelets in sunset colors with “Mamma Bear” and little bears on it.  I haven’t taken mine off.  I don’t plan to any time soon.  It serves a powerful reminder to me every time I notice it.

It reminds me to be present in every moment, especially moments shared with my son.

It reminds me that life is a gift, to be celebrated, too brief to waste on bullshit.  (Bullshit is herein defined as anything that makes me unhappy, irritated, scared, or distracts me from the people and activities that I love most.)

It reminds me to inspire people with illumination, love, and laughter at every opportunity.

It inspires me to be genuine in my affection, and to have integrity in every thing I do.  I hug with a full heart now.  People at Om Gaia, where I give readings during the week, rave about my hugs and come back for thirds. 🙂

It inspires me to live my dreams now.

Our very first guest blog, by Sofie!  She submitted her Halo Series to the Heal Your Heart Contest, and her art and story are both so moving and inspirational, I asked if I could feature her as my first guest blogger, and she graciously accepted.  Hooray!

So, without further ado…


“The ‘Halo series’ are a series of photographs that are very important for me.
For me they represent my urgency and power to develop myself, and are an example of what you can achieve if you feel a strong desire to be free, to live the life of an artist, even though your surroundings in the beginning are 100% unsupportive.

I grew up in a family that couldn’t support me emotionally nor creatively. Looking back on my childhood I mainly get a feeling of self sufficiency at an age way too young. I raised myself, using my strong determination and powerful, strong-willed mind and soul.

I had to apply for therapy all by myself when I was 16. From that moment I was devoted to work myself up out of the misery I was feeling and design a whole new life for myself.

As years went by, I started to feel that I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to paint, draw, photograph. I found back my expressive nature.

I had hit rock bottom when I had to quit my literature studies in order to apply for full-time group therapy. I felt like such a failure and at the same time a sense of determination came over me; I had literally nothing to lose, so I might as well start painting and drawing and see what would come out of me.

I was talented. In the years that followed I was shaken to the bone, but I was determined to do courses until I was ready to apply for art school.

This was the big dream that I had designed for myself.

And I succeeded; I got accepted to both art schools I applied for, and I started to feel a little proud of myself.

Art school was my big dream and the biggest dream I had to let go. I got good grades all the way through, but I once again had the feeling I couldn’t be free. I felt forced into a way of life, a way to go, and I slowly I lost contact with myself, and my work, and after two years I knew I had to quit.

I was completely stuck creatively after that, and it took me 1.5 years to reinvent myself and my creativity.

And then it happened. While I was frustrated at yet another blocked painting process, a drop of water from my brush fell on my example picture and made its colours flow. It looked so beautiful and immediately I realized I could use this on faces, too. I got home all excited and started searching for pictures I took years ago, before even knowing what I was “supposed to” do. And I made the first work, that a year later would result in my beloved ‘Halo Series’, that would become the center of my  existence and the start of my own business.

A business as the artist I was born to be.

My own work once again was my healer.

The water I used to manipulate my pictures didn’t take any direction and just flowed in its own way. Just like I did when I discovered my creative talent and power for the first time.

The more I let go of the process, the more beautiful my pictures would become. The less I judged my work, the more it would grow and evolve in its own time.

The more I got rid of all my creative scruples and hesitations, the more meaningful my art would become.

This is a beautiful metaphor for the way I am supposed to lead my life in order to be happy and to let my creative veins flow with excitement to discover yet another way to express what’s inside me.

I use my photography to express the way I feel inside, to portray my spiritual view on the world and the people around me, to get across the importance of meditation and looking inside yourself for answers instead of pointing your guns at your environment. The big journey starts within and once you’re on that path it provides you with the biggest gems and jewels you can possibly find in a lifetime.

I think I have found myself a mission, in reminding people to look within for their own personal truth, and internal personal jewellery ;), as well as their pain, to slowly and in their own individual way to learn to cope and heal themselves.

A larger version of this story can be found here.
Check out the ‘Art for sale’ section to get prints!”

…and you can be compassionate even if you have a penis…

…just so you know.

(and you can be judgmental even if you have a vagina, to be fair.)

I just couldn’t resist the rhyme when it popped into my head. 😀

ANYHOO, my point is this:

Judgment means “an opinion.” We all form them.  Frequently.  And that’s okay…as long as it’s not getting in our way, interfering with our relationships, our work, our lives.

Compassion literally means “with love.”  It’s what happens when we try to see through the eyes of another being.  It is powerful, beautiful, and difficult to overuse.

Judgment labels, separates, assigns blame or responsibility.  Compassion accepts, embraces, and expands understanding.

What judgment hurts, compassion can heal.

I woke in a lovely mood today, and on my long commute I noticed a lot more traffic on the road than usual, and a lot more horns going off all around me.

It’s President’s Day, which some people celebrate by driving in a state of irritation and attemping to spread their mood with the use of obnoxious loud noises.

I chose to celebrate today by fantasizing about being interviewed on The Ellen Degeneres Show about my book after it comes out, and having her reveal to me that I’d reached number one on the New York Time’s Best Sellers list.

If I'm going to dream, I'm going to dream big!

Consequently, I felt happy and peaceful.  Every light was green, and every place I needed to turn left had a considerate driver holding space for me so I didn’t have to wait for the next red light.

When I dropped my three-year-old son off at his in-home daycare, the other half dozen toddlers shouted his name and ran up to him, each hugging and kissing him in turn, and he hugged and kissed each back before allowing one of his friends to lead him by the hand to the back yard, the other toddlers surrounding him like an escort.  I wish I’d had my camera for that moment!

Then, at Publix I got some watermelon and my favorite salsa and organic blue corn chips to snack on today, and I spotaneously decided to get treat myself with PureAlmond Dark Chocolate 8 oz beverages, which said buy 3 get 1 free.  When I got to the register, they didn’t ring up at the correct price, so the cashier gave me 2 for free!


Today, I was in Flow, a state of compassion, being filled with love…and love reflected all around me.

I’m still there.

I just wanted to share, so you can join me. ❤

You Are Worth It

How far do you have to fall before you decide that you are worth saving?




Do you really have to hit rock bottom before you start picking yourself up?

If you hit rock bottom, it will hurt you more than it hurts it.


Why wait for someone else to take care of you when you are more than capable of taking care of yourself?


My favorite piece of trivia at the moment is this:

There are 1440 minutes in each day.

That’s a lot of minutes.

LOTS of minutes...

If you get eight hours of sleep, you still have 960 minutes left in your day.

If it’s a work day and you work 8 hours, you still have 480 minutes.

Even if you are on the road for an hour each way to and from work, you still have 360 minutes!  Plus your lunch break!

So out of those 360 minutes, how many can you dedicate to taking care of yourself?

30 minutes to break a sweat and get your blood pumping?

What does your happy dance look like?

15 minutes to spend some quiet time with your journal or JUST BE?

30 minutes to cook a nutritious, delicious dinner (with leftovers perfect for tomorrow’s lunch?)

10 minutes to speed clean a room, declutter, or otherwise organize something that’s been driving you nuts?

This is just a fabulous course for ideas about how to turn your living space into a sanctuary. ❤

How about 30 minutes to read a book or watch a video that teaches you something you’ve been wanting to learn?

If you did all of those things every day after work, you would still have 245 minutes to:

  • have dinner
  • catch up on facebook and email
  • take a shower
  • talk to a loved one
  • clean what needs cleaning
  • put away what needs putting away
  • AND relax before bed.




How much of your time are you devoting to YOU?

You are.

Since I took the name Spirit Healer, and even before, when I started using my intuitive and healing gifts, I have received hundreds if not thousands of requests from people all over the world, begging me to heal them.

Please heal me...

While I am always happy and honored to send healing energy & love, and to offer help in whatever way I can, I have a confession…

I can’t heal you.

That’s right: Spirit Healer cannot heal you.

So why did I choose the name Spirit Healer?

Because I can heal my own spirit.  And I can help you figure out how to heal your own spirit.

I can help you, but I can’t do the work for you.

And guess what?


Yes, you can.

Only you can.


You are your own savior.

Just like the only person you can change is yourself, the only person that can heal you is you.

Doctors, psychologists, therapists, self-help gurus, spiritual counselors, psychics, energy healers…we can all help you.  We can all teach you, provide you with tools, inspiration, and direction.  That’s what we are here for.  That’s our job.

You can accept our help, or decline it.  You can follow a well-tread path to healing, or forge your own.

What does your path look like?

I’ve just created a new path by combining three other paths I’ve read about.

I call it The No Excuses/Yes I Can/Screw It Path.  It works like this:

Every time you catch an inner voice making excuses about why you can’t eat healthier food/get more sleep/ break a sweat for thirty minutes/ try a new healing technique for more than thirty seconds/learn  something you always wanted to/etc., you firmly tell that voice “NO EXCUSES!” And you DO IT ANYWAY.

Every time a voice in your head says, “I can’t,” you shout, “YES I CAN,” and you DO.

Every time you find yourself slipping back into old bad habits, negative thinking, or any other behavior that gets in the way of the positive changes you are trying to make for yourself, just say, “SCREW IT!” and go on your merry way making your changes.

On this path, you take all that energy that you used to put into procrastinating, venting, making excuses, distracting yourself from your goals, and treating yourself badly, and you turn it all around.

Turn anger into passion which fuels you on your path to health and joy.

This is a path to healing based on willpower, motivation, and dedication.  If you find yourself angry often, this could be a great path for you, because you can use your anger to fuel those three qualities in yourself.  Instead of being angry at another person, or the world, or yourself, you can see that anger as a sense of injustice and let it fuel your fight for better self-treatment and total self-love.

Would this path work for you?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

But I guarantee there is a path that will work for you: YOUR path.

And if you’ve already figured it out in whole or in part, I’d love to hear about it!