Wednesday, December 25, 2013

what matters

The One Truly Unorganized Church

The Church of Happy Thoughts

A few minutes ago I happened to be at the right place, at the right time, to see the Ecuadorian Feliz Navidad Parade make it's way down 3rd street, at 14th avenue, in  NE Minneapolis.  The total parade was about a block long,  at least 10 people wide, two small magical nativity floats pulled by SUVs, (complete with over- the-top gobs of gold tinsel and beautiful children); there were drums, horns, and cymbals, playing  fabulous marching music that I didn't recognize, and almost everyone was carrying either a red or green balloon.  It was amazing.

My friend who has lived on this street for many years, missed the parade...  it was so short, and she didn't hear me call from the back door.  But, she asked me, did I see the donkey?  Every year the parade is led by Mary on the Donkey.  Nope, didn't see the donkey, I might have been a moment too late for that, but, I can imagine it oh so well.  

What immediately came to mind was this:  It is important to care about what matters to us, the many millions of times in our lives that we learn what that is, who that is, and why that is.

Last week I got to tell a story at a story-telling venue called the Moth.  The topic was Home.  While I've not technically had one for a while. my story ended up being how much I've cared about houses, but, how I came to be a gypsy.  I know a little bit better now what matters about home to me.  My life has taught me, many many houses later, that home is not where we live, but how we live.  And so did this parade.  

It snowed here last night another 6 inches, or so, (Minnesotans always know exactly how much it has snowed), the street was well traveled but not plowed, and it has been about 20 degrees, or so, today. (Most Minnesotans know exactly how cold it is). (I love that about Minnesotans). There was a young woman in the middle of the parade, carrying a small boy, and wearing her sparkly, strappy 3 inch heels.  All I could think was Hallelujah for her, she knows
what matters
to her.

The Hallelujah chorus live from Radio City Music Hall, the Johann Strauss Orchestra and the Harlem Gospel Choir.

This matters to me.  The Hallelujah Chorus.  Because, when I get down about the confusion and pain religion has caused, I tend to remind myself,  aaaahhh,  without it, we wouldn't have the Hallelujah chorus. No matter who we are, where we are, whoever we believe the king, or queen, to be, the music matters. Passion matters. Hallelujah for that.

My family is far far away today, two daughters in NYC, one daughter, a son in law, and beautiful beautiful granddaughter, perfect in every way, in Portland Oregon.  And, at this moment, I'm feeling it a little bit.

But, that's not what matters.
I know what matters. 
To me.

proof. Pots with snow in Minneapolis.

There are many communities here in NE Minneapolis.  In fact, one building is home to both the Polish Church and the Ecuadorian Church.  There you have it.  World Peace.


My last Christmas Tree, a Ficus Tree, 2008  !!
twinkly lights
Hallelujah for that

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Love Wins. Everybody Gets Married!

                                                                      I do weddings
I like to believe that in spite of what we see,
or think we see,
some way,
in this dimension or the next,
certainly in heaven where we live,
Love Wins.
And everything changes.
A lot happened yesterday.  This is a first day that everything has changed. The implications of yesterdays Supreme Court decision are not only a giant leap for humanity, in this country, but also has uplifted the unseen soul of all that is.  Because why?   We are
deeply. eternally. passionately.  happy.
And, of course, isn't it fitting to read, wherever you can today, Nelson Mandela's Inaugural Address:
As he so eloquently says,
"There is no easy road to freedom....
Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves."
Love Wins

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Distinguished Guests, Comrades and Friends: Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world,confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today. To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld. Each time one of us touches the soil of this land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The national mood changes as the seasons change. We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom. That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression. We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil. We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity. We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism,non-racialism and democracy. We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth,business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honourable F.W. de Klerk. We would also like to pay tribute to our security forces, in all their ranks, for the distinguished role they have played in securing our first democratic elections and the transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty forces which still refuse to see the light. The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace. We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country,the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment. We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free. Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward. We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness. We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa! Thank you.



Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Good News

We  Have  Risen

Whatever that means to our own souls, in the world of our own beliefs and experiences, intuitions and truths:

Celebrate it today and be free

(chariots of fire)

and happy.

Brought to you by the Church of Happy Thoughts
the one truly unorganized Church.

I am in Minneapolis.
it was snowing a few minutes ago, and now blue sky puffy white clouds...

ps.  the youtube link above,
       I don't own it.
       it is copyrighted material.
       so please don't send me any money
       for the happiness of listening to it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Gift for You

The Church of Happy Thoughts
the one truly unorganized church
A gift for you from a little boy I know, 4 year old Casey.
Last month Casy's grandmother died. 
He had been told over and over that now, Grandma lives in our hearts.  Here is the question from Casey:
"Is my heart bigger now that Grandma is in it?"
Yes, Casey.   It is.
to happiness,

Thursday, January 31, 2013


The Church of Happy Thoughts
the one truly unorganized church
On 12/12/12 I was walking along west 12th, coincidentally, and as I started to breathe in and out, 123, 4567, to get myself into the moment,
I noticed this this window box with ivy and twinkly lights.
I really liked it.
Which is my favorite thing about intentionally placing myself smack dab in the middle of the moment. The first thing I notice,  birds, ivy, the wind, a balloon in the air, whatever, is usally something I really like;  because, actually, that is my intention.
right next to this box of ivy and twinkly lights I notice the plaque on the wall of the building.  There are tons of these all over new york city..
where Eleanor Roosevelt lived, Aaron Burr's carriage house which is now a FABULOUS restaurant called One if by Land, Two if by Sea...
Oddly, the reference is related to Paul Revere's midnight ride, one lantern on the church signaling the British were coming by land, and two lanterns if by sea..
I don't think Burr or Hamilton, the famous duel some 25 years later, (Burr won), had anything to do with with the lanterns, but, none the less, that's the name of the restaurant.
Here is the plaque:
I can't say this made me "happy" per se,
But, as I am happily a member of the "radical, liberal environmental agenda", I found it at least to be worthy of honor here.
Have we come a long way?
A few days later, I overheard a father in a coffee shop saying this to his daughter:
",,,that's what separates civilization from anarchy."
I think she was about 7.
I'm not sure what he said to her before this,
probably something about rules,
 and it has caused me to think a lot about anarchy and civilization in the last few weeks.
Look up anarchy. and see if you think it is so bad.
It's one of those words that has always had a negative connotation out here in the 3rd dimension,
the world,
where things have to work, like time, and calendars and order.
All good.
is it all there is?
I don't think so.
A topic for another time.
Perhaps many more times.
Until then,
find something this very moment,
seen or unseen,
that you like
be happy.
The wonderful world of Mother Earth.


Monday, January 21, 2013


The Church of Happy Thoughts
the one truly unorganized church

So, today I went out to buy roses in order to vacuum,  so that I could vacuum in order to write,  so that I could write in order to remember who I am. 

Roses on the table are so beautiful, that I often, almost every time, want the rest of the room to match.  The roses make an otherwise acceptably cluttered table or dusty corners almost unbearable.

Sometimes I don't know that the clutter and dust is really making it almost impossible to write anything.. a list of the things I'm not going to do today, (I've found that's a little more productive for me than writing a to-do is easier to check off more things)..let alone  write a Sophia Story or a blog, or a book on  real estate and the meaning of life.

But, really, it's about energy.  I love to write.  I also love to walk around New York city... hhhmmm, there I go again.. do I LOVE to write?  yes, probably.  Do I LOVE to walk around new york city..or do I LIKE to walk around New York City.  I LIKE it because I LOVE that moment when I remember I want to be traveling in this moment, right now, the only one there is, and I do love it when I notice the first thing I LIKE around me.

Last week I was walking down 1st avenue, between east 11th and east 10th, and the moment I started to breathe in 1,2,3 and out, 4,5,6,7...  ALL OF A SUDDEN I HEARD dozens of BIRDS singing/chirping in this leafless tree RIGHT next to me.  Literally, all of a sudden.

But I had to really look to find them.
It was early in the morning, not that bright out yet,  and this is how they all looked.

There was a time when I resisted the old cliche that "Cleanliness was next to Godliness"..somehow it both elevated cleanliness too high, and brought godliness down a couple notches.  Also, it struck a chord of how to be a good wife.. and maybe I was nervous I would fall short..
But, truthfully, I have to say now that there is a certain and distinct energy I get when I vacuum, and put a bunch of south american roses smack dab in the middle of a clean uncluttered table.  It actually makes me pretty happy.  High, happy energy must be somewhat close to Godliness.  And, happily, I am never nervous about falling short, ever.  It is impossible.
About now is when I remember who I am.
A lover of beauty, an infinite being able to spend this moment in the infinite worlds.  And find peace.
Especially when I need it the most.
And, I wasn't a half bad wife either.
(one can also find peace here, on a scaffolding,  12th street between 2nd and 3rd)
This evening my daughter called me and said to go out and look at the Empire State Building.
Every night it is a differnent color.  Bright colored lights shining up the sides and levels of the building.. on July 4th it's red, white and blue, on Gay Pride Parade Day it is rainbow.  Amazing.  It's, true, I do love new york city.  So, tonight, out I went, and found the first place I know I can see it. It's far in the distance, and I can only see the top third, but it is the most magnificent bright violet pink you can imagine. It might be a good idea to go ahead and imagine it, just for the happiness of it.  I've been told it is the God color.. 
This is just a hint how magnificent a color it is..
And, it just about matched my roses.
There it is.
What a gift.
So. if you need some high energy, and making a list doesn't do it for you, or even breathing and suddenly hearing birds, or seeing a window box full of ivy, or a sky full of snow flakes, and you need energy and you need it now.. You might consider getting down on your knees
                                                        and cleaning your baseboards.
After you buy youself a couple roses, it only takes a couple to make the room such a place of beauty..
to happiness next to godliness,







Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I know what I like

The Church of Happy Thoughts
the one truly unorganized church.

Today, seen in the hall at pre-school:
magical 3 year olds.

So much has happened since I wrote here a few days ago!  I've recognized the importance, for my life, of distinguishing between what I Like and what I Love, I've renewed my commitment to beauty, my larger life in the moment, and digestion; and have decided to leave the 3rd dimension, not entirely and not permanently, but regularly, and have begun to embrace the possibility that I am a contemplative mystic.  

It's a lot.

It always helps to remember:  We can change everything.



Saturday, January 5, 2013

always something

The Church of Happy Thoughts

wait a minute.  I should know better than to hit publish before I edit.   I just sent a post saying I was unsubscribing to automatic emails from websites that contribute to my happiness... no no no, I am unsubscribing to emails that do NOT contribute to my happiness.   You probably knew that.

(this is NOT one of them)

Deleting Today

The Church of Happy Thoughts

I am deleting today.  If he knew me, he would be so happy about it.  I am very happy about it.

In honor of the beginning of a new Age, the Age of Happiness, today I am unsubscribing all automatic emails that I have somehow managed to collect over the years, (literally, I think I have emails that have been coming to me for YEARS, that I have NEVER opened), that do not contribute to my happiness.  And I am not just talking about penis enlargement that do, thankfully, go straight to spam. 

To Begin With.. I am unsubscribing any website that has ever sent "Last Chance" in the subject line.  First of all, that is not in alignment with what I believe, what I know to be true, or want to allow into my experience today. Or ever.  That phrase metaphorically makes me break out in a rash.

It actually has something to do with my ever expanding beliefs about God.

In about 1992 my life was in one of its recurring upheavals.  I've always likened it to the image of the "rug being pulled out".  This was a period of multiple rug removals... business failure, (lawsuit with partner), business failure, (I meant to say that twice), the worst real estate story anyone has ever heard, divorce, you know, the usual.

I was sent a very special friend at that time.  I was pretty convinced I had perhaps committed the unforgivable sin, whatever that is, and that I had run out of chances. I was actually somewhat afraid of God.  That if you break the rules, even unbeknowenstlike, you turn into a pillar of salt.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was ready, really ready, to KNOW what I began to know and know and know again: it is a friendly Universe, that only light streams from the sun, and that THERE IS NO END TO

I remember saying to Jack that I had missed the boat.  He said this to me:  Imagine a  great sea.  Sometimes it is calm, sometimes it is stormy. But every day, no matter what the weather, a man in a little rowboat comes rowing to your shore.  Every day you can choose to get in the boat.  Every day there is a new boat,  no matter what.

That image has saved my life more than a few times.. that and 5 south american roses in my kitchen.  The image of it.  Now, there is always a woman in the boat, too.  And they are having a blast.

Actually, another friend at that same particular time, said this to me:

good advice. very good advice.

(a doodle of a few months ago)
The box says "treasure".

Oddly, many of the sites I am unsubscribing today are "enlightenment" gurus with webinars.  The first one is free, asking provocative questions and it is often fabulous, but, then you need to buy the series for the answers.  Which is fine with me, I love it when we make money with our art, and I never am tempted to buy the series because it is the questions that intrigue me anyway.   Recently I got THIS as a subject line.. " BAD NEWS, Julie."   Then it said something like "last chance. 50% new year discount, ends at midnight."  

But, right NOW, this moment, as I write this,  I find myself breathing in, 1,2,3  and out, 4,5,6,7 pause, breathe in 1,2,3 and out 4,5,6,7... remembering that little boat.  How it felt at the time to hear about  it.  How it feels right now to see it. Today it is a sunny sky, but a choppy harbor, the sun is warm, and the wind is brisk. Invigorating. How I love who is in it now.  The Logos and the Sophia. and me.  We are having a blast.

Happy new moment,



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Never Forget Glinda

The Church of Happy Thoughts
established 1995
member since forever
the one truly unorganized church
 breathers and seekers of beauty
 in the most unexpected places:
in this moment. right now.  this one.
(Just remembering who we are.)
corner, 2nd ave and east 13th street

we are also Fun.

Here's something  fun for the new year..
The Village Voice
Horoscopes for 2013

Free Will Astrology: December 26, 2012 - January 1, 2013

Comments (0) By Rob Brezsny Wednesday, Dec 26 2012

ARIES [March 21–April 19] In the sci-fi film trilogy The Matrix, the heroes are able to instantaneously acquire certain complex skills via software that's downloaded directly into their brains. In this way, the female hacker named Trinity masters the art of piloting a military M-109 helicopter in just a few minutes. If you could choose a few downloads like that, Aries, what would they be? In 2013, I expect that your educational capacity will be exceptional. While you might not be able to add new skills as easily as Trinity, you'll be pretty fast and efficient.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Are you familiar with the fable of the golden goose? The farmer who owned it became impatient because it laid only one gold egg per day. So he killed it, thinking he would thereby get the big chunk of gold that must be inside its body. Alas, there was no chunk. From then on, of course, he no longer got his modest daily treasure. I nominate this fable to be one of your top teaching stories of 2013. As long as you're content with a slow, steady rate of enrichment, you'll be successful.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Here are some of the experiences I hope to help you harvest in the coming year: growing pains that are interesting and invigorating rather than stressful; future shock that feels like a fun joyride rather than a bumpy rumble; two totally new and original ways to get excited; and a fresh supply of Innocent Crazy-Wise Love Truth.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] In her gallery show "Actuality, Reminiscence, and Fabrication," artist Deborah Sullivan includes a piece called "Penance 1962." It consists of a series of handwritten statements that repeats a central theme: "I must not look at boys during prayer." I'm assuming it's based on her memory of being in church or Catholic school when she was a teenager. You probably have an analogous rule lodged somewhere in the depths of your unconscious mind—an outmoded prohibition or taboo that might still be subtly corroding your life energy. The coming year will be an excellent time to banish that ancient nonsense for good.

LEO [July 23–August 22] For years, the gravestone of Irish dramatist Oscar Wilde was covered with kiss-shaped lipstick marks that his admirers left. Unfortunately, Wilde's descendants decided to scour away all those blessings and erect a glass wall around the tomb. In my astrological opinion, Leo, you should favor the former style of behavior over the latter in 2013. In other words, don't focus on keeping things neat and clean and well-ordered. Be extravagant and uninhibited in expressing your love for the influences that inspire you.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In 2013, I hope to conspire with you to raise your levels of righteous success. If you're a struggling songwriter, I'll be pushing for you to get your music out to more people without sacrificing your artistic integrity. If you're a kindergarten teacher, I'll prompt you to fine-tune and deepen the benevolent influence you have on your students. If you're a business owner, I'll urge you to ensure that the product you offer is a well-honed gift to those who use it. As I trust you can see, Virgo, I'm implying that impeccable ethics will be crucial to your ascent in the coming year.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] After Libran poet Wallace Stevens won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1955, Harvard University offered him a job as a full professor. But he turned it down. He couldn't bear leaving his day job as the vice-president of an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. I suspect that in the first half of 2013, you will come to a fork in the road that might feel something like Stevens's quandary. Should you stick with what you know or else head off in the direction of unpredictable stimulation? I'm not here to tell you which is the better choice; I simply want to make sure you clearly identify the nature of the decision.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In 2013, I will try to help you retool, reinvent, and reinvigorate yourself in every way that's important to you. I will encourage you to reawaken one of your sleeping aptitudes, recapture a lost treasure, and reanimate a dream you've neglected. If you're smart, Scorpio, you will reallocate resources that got misdirected or wasted. And I hope you will reapply for a privilege or position you were previously denied because I bet you'll win it this time around.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Based on experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, a team of physicists in France and Switzerland announced last July that they had tentatively discovered the Higgs boson, which is colloquially known as the "God particle." What's all the fuss? In her San Francisco Chronicle column, Leah Garchik quoted an expert who sought to explain: "The Higgs boson is the WD-40 and duct tape of the universe, all rolled into one." Is there a metaphorical equivalent of such a thing in your life? If not, I predict you will find it in 2013. If there already is, I expect you will locate and start using its 2.0 version.






Comments (0) By Rob Brezsny Wednesday, Dec 26 2012

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] In 2013, I pledge to help you bring only the highest-quality influences and self-responsible people into your life. Together, we will work to dispel any unconscious attraction you might have to demoralizing chaos or pathological melodrama. We will strive to ensure that as you deepen and fine-tune your self-discipline, it will not be motivated by self-denial. Rather, it will be an act of love that you engage in so as to intensify your ability to express yourself freely and beautifully.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] "Genius is the ability to renew one's emotions in daily experience," said French painter Paul Cezanne. What do you think he meant by that? Here's one interpretation: Many of us replay the same old emotions over and over again—even in response to experiences that are nothing like the past events when we felt those exact feelings. So a genius might be someone who generates a fresh emotion. Here's another possible interpretation: It can be hard to get excited about continually repeating the basic tasks of our regular routines day after day. But a genius might be someone who is good at doing just that. 2013 could be a genius year for you.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] Home is not just the building where you live. It's more than the community that gives you support and the patch of earth that comforts you with its familiarity. Home is any place where you're free to be your authentic self; it's any power spot where you can think your own thoughts and see with your own eyes. I hope and trust that in 2013 you will put yourself in position to experience this state of mind as often as possible.
east 17th street and rutherford place

I'm Sagittarius.
Could this be the year it all comes together?
the Higgs boson, grease and glue,
the one true thing?

Yes it is.
this moment and the next.

read Pisces

Never forget Dorothy

Glinda is following you around in her little bubble and
at the perfect time,
like a rainbow,
she appears and lets you know what to do to get home.

Let's just say she is like our own soul.

our motto.
So. now.  the moment of truth.  I think I just changed the settings so that a comment spot AND a follow by email option should appear below.  (unless I've written too much.. I intended to just send the wreath from this morning!)