Honoring Earth Day

Scientist James Lovelock was the first in modern times to use the name “Gaia” to describe the dynamic, self-regulating entity. His hypothesis has catalyzed the ecology movement and given people a global vision. Yet there is a further step to be taken in championing our living planet. It involves an acknowledgement of the actual awareness that lives in the plants, creatures, and even the geological structures of our world. Humanity is only one aspect of the vastly aware entity of our planet. The step that takes us into profound connection and communion with Earth involves a recognition that Earth has/is a Spirit.

Gaia, the Spirit of Earth, has been the primary icon and persona that has fueled our art work. The very first collage David and I ever published, called “New Earth Angel,” featured the head of a Tibetan goddess, the wings and torso of Isis, with her lower body being Planet Earth as seen from space. We have refined and re-created this visualization of the Earth as a multi-dimensional, diverse yet coherent presence many times. Below you will find the latest version, “Gaia Ma,” the Living Earth (click on the image to see a larger version).

Gaia Ma Mandala

The mysterious truth of the presence of Gaia is that everywhere on Earth is her place. What we do locally serves globally. Here in our part of the world, we are dealing with a land use challenge that could turn our quiet semi-rural neighborhood into a throughway for apartments and pave over tree-filled, creature-filled wild acreage. So our Earth Day efforts this year are dedicated to protecting this specific zone with the intention of honoring the whole. You undoubtedly have issues you are addressing in your area or in a place on Earth that calls to you. Wherever each of us responds to the needs of the planet and her beings, we are serving the beautiful, complex, interdependent wonder of our world.

What special blessings can we invoke together on this Earth Day of 2012?

Art of Loving Regard

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought today would be the perfect time to add our “So Lotus” image to our gallery pages. So Lotus is a lovers’ image, perfect for celebrating love and union.


This icon has always held a special place in my heart. It features Krishna (on the left and blue) and Radha as Lotus Couple, on a mandala of feathers and mixed petals. This traditional image of the Hindu deities is associated with the third eye and crown chakra and the sweetness of loving regard.


So Lotus Mandala


The gaze of love that these deities share is a potent form of spiritual practice—the art of loving regard. This kind of soulful seeing can be shared in many domains. It is the passionate look between lovers, and the devoted gaze from a worshipper to a deity. It is the soft look we give to our children or to the beauty of Nature’s living display. We have the capacity to receive and give great blessings with our eyes. The recipient, be it person, plant or planet will feel our loving regard.


So on this Valentine’s Day, let us be generous with this invaluable gift that we can give for free.

Why I Read Romance: The Healing Power of a Good Love Story

Romance is my favorite home remedy. Reading about love has been a juicy and effective part of my recovery from serious cancer. Combined with the loving attention of my husband and other wonderful healers, tales of passion have helped make me whole and vital again. Of course you don’t need to be ill to benefit from the uplifting effect of reading romance. Love stories provide an inexpensive, non-pharmaceutical way to lighten your heart and make your senses sing.


My adventures in romance started one day in 2003 at Copperfield’s used bookstore in Sebastopol, California. I was looking in the Sci Fi section (my long-time reading genre) for something to read while getting an infusion treatment at my doctor’s office. I discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. These are time travel stories of a decades-long love relationship. The books are deeply emotional, beautifully written, and consistently exciting. They remain on my list of top romances. As I immersed myself in the Gabaldon stories, I found myself forgetting my concerns and discomfort and having a brighter outlook. A big part of the boost was the pleasure I got from reading the sex scenes. In the midst of the scary reality of cancer, it felt great to escape into a world of passion.


My husband, David, noticing how this cheered me, helped me find more good books. Over time I transited from sci-fi stories into pure historical romance. Now I read contemporary and every other flavor of love story. Luckily, we romance readers are legion, and fine authors abound.


Nine years and many hundreds of stories later, I can testify that love is an amazing tonic. Even reading about romance releases elevating bio-chemicals in our bodies and awakens emotional well-being. A good love story lifts us out of our troubles and nurtures our souls.


Here are six (the Lover’s number) reasons why I think romance is good for the body and the spirit:

1. Love stories draw us into our senses.

The heroine of a love story always revels in the smell of the lover’s skin, what he looks and tastes like, the textures of his voice. We get to participate in the sensory delights, not to mention the dramatic challenges that our protagonists encounter. While reading, we can drop out of the mental and physical stress of life, and into a colorful, sense-arousing world. Even this vicarious experience of delight can turn on the pleasure chemicals in our bodies. Cells bathed in pleasure-endorphins are happy cells.

2. Romance shows that we can heal against the odds.

The best stories are emotionally rich and authentic. They reveal the lovers grappling with intense limits from their families and cultures. Often there is a physical or emotional wound that seems incurable. Then we are shown how forgiveness and embrace overcome that limit. As I faced an illness that could have been fatal, I was inspired by these stories. Now that my illness is past, a good romance still helps me face the daily challenges of life on this planet.

3. Romance fosters acceptance of others.

No matter where or when a story takes place, we discover love there. No barrier of tribe, religion, or station can separate determined lovers or faithful allies. From the drawing rooms of Regency England to the shores of future worlds, people have hearts that awaken through love. In the face of the divisive visions that come to us via the news, the universality of love is a message that unites us. This openness of heart also spills over into our relationships with animals and Mother Earth. Love one, love all.

4. A good love story feeds our imaginative minds.

For me, great writing is a big part of what makes a story healing. Some authors use words like painters, creating beautiful pictures for the imagination. There is mounting evidence, in the health domain, that our envisioning minds can help us heal. Being drawn into the created worlds of my favorite authors let me exercise my imagination in the midst of physical challenges. I believe this helped me envision a positive outcome for myself.

5. Romance helps us resolve anger and have a good laugh.

Most stories have a villain you can love to hate. Many have elements of danger and intrigue. We human animals all have anger and shadowy emotions that need to be owned if not dramatized. Facing the demons in my own past was part of my recovery. I still find it liberating and enlivening to join in the rousing adventures of my fictional friends. On the flip side is the wicked humor that many authors bring to their stories. I laughed my way through many a cancer treatment by reading a good book.

6. Reading about love helps us embody love.

Traditional wisdom says that we become what we contemplate. Given the state of our world, I say, “Meditate on love”. Read about it and practice it in the flesh. Let it turn you on and make you feel good. As I see it, every minute spent dreaming of love is time well-spent.


So boogie on over to your local library or bookseller and dig into the feast of romance that awaits you. Don’t be embarrassed. Early in my romance reading career, I had to confess to a stern-looking librarian that I was there to pick up a big stack of romances I had requested online. She gave me a long look over her half-glasses. After I fidgeted a bit, she broke into a huge smile, and said, “They’re wonderful, aren’t they?” I couldn’t agree more.



So Lotus Mandala

"So Lotus" Mandala

Blessings for the Occupy Movement

We created this video as a spiritual blessing for the people and places involved in the world-wide Occupy Movement. It guides you through a simple, four-part process of receiving blessing energies from empowered nature art and sending those blessings to any location you choose that is being Occupied.


We feel that the Occupy Movement is an expression of a new consciousness emerging on the planet and a desire for fundamental change at the deepest levels of our collective being. We created this Blessing Video so that you can participate each day in the Occupy Movement wherever you are.


We feel that subtle activism goes hand in hand with street activism. This video is a tangible way for you to lend your energy and intention to the movement. Please watch it often and share it with your friends.

To watch this video in HD and Full Screen, click on the “YouTube” button to watch on YouTube. Select “720 HD” as the size and then click the button with 4 “arrows” to expand to Full Screen viewing.




Pink Mandalas, Part Five: Making Mandalas for Your Journey

About a year after I had been declared cancer-free, David and I were invited to do a mandala workshop at the wonderful Healing Journeys free cancer conference in Sacramento, California. Healing Journeys, a non-profit organization, conducts conferences around the country for cancer patients and their caregivers, without charge! The conferences feature inspirational music, presentations, and the invaluable opportunity to feel the love and empathy of a huge group of people who all share the same experience. I hope you will visit Healing Journeys at their website www.healingjourneys.org and support their work.


One purpose of our workshop was to share information about how mandalas express and strengthen inner integrity. As Dr. Carl Jung wrote in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, “The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in man.”


In addition to educating about mandalas, we had materials available so that attendees to the conference could create their own healing images. By the end of the weekend, the room was festooned with dozens of mandalas, each testifying to the spirit of its creator. Repeatedly, people told us how satisfying and comforting it was to make a mandala. Below you will find instructions for engaging in this happy process.

Six steps to creating a mandala for self-healing:

1.Create a field of wholeness:

One of the simplest ways to do this is to take a large sheet of paper and draw a circle in the middle. You can use a pot lid or paper plate that fits onto your page to get a large circle. By working with a circle, you are telling your inner self that wholeness is the message in your artwork.

2.Select a number for dividing up in your circle:

Using a ruler, or simple freehand lines, split your circle into sections. Do you want four quarters, six sections, eight, or twelve? You don’t have to divide the circle, but doing so introduces an element of sacred geometry. Is there a number that is meaningful to you?

3.Fill in the segments, or the entire circle:

If you like to draw or paint, you can work with crayons, pastels, paints etc. If you are more inclined to collage, cut out pictures that speak to you of health and healing and paste them into your sections, or whole circle.

4.Consider the background around the circle:

Do you want to have a simple white background to your circle? Do you want a colored background? Again, using painting tools or collage elements, address the background. You may actually want to cut the circle out, and have a round image.

5.Mount the image on cardboard:

This allows you to hold the image, or stand it up where you can contemplate it.

6.Reflect on the image—what does it say to you?:

Do you get any guidance on self-healing from looking at the image? What do you notice in your body? In your emotions? You may want to journal about what arises when you work with your mandala.


Making and sharing mandalas is a great honor and joy. To end this series on pink mandalas, here is a story (and image) that I included in my article called “Mandala Blessings: Art that Heals and Transforms” :

“An event that reflects the healing power in mandalas took place when David and I showed our work at an art festival in Sausalito, California. We had just completed a series of thirty-five images that we call Healing Mandalas, several of which were displayed on one wall of our booth. Just before closing time, a woman came toward us. She was walking with a cane, and looked very tired. As she came into our space, she first gave a great sigh of relief, and then burst into tears. When she could speak, she told us that she was having radical cancer treatment. She had the urgent intuition that she should go to the festival because there was something there that she really needed to help her recover. Even though it wasn’t easy for her, she walked all around the art fair looking for her medicine piece. When she saw the mandala on our wall (one made from a star-gazer lily, see below], it gave her a tremendous message of hope and blessing. As she walked away with the mandala in her backpack, we were very grateful to have been there.”



Healing Mandala

Healing Mandala #25



As an outgrowth of my own experience with regaining wholeness, I offer Healing Ally consultation services and classes to women who are on the conscious path to wellness. You can read about my offering on our Healing page.

If you or someone in your family or circle of friends is grappling with breast cancer, David and I send you loving wishes for strength and recovery. And we want to give you a way to enjoy and share the Healing Mandala #25 at a special discount for October.


Click here here to go to our online store for prints and use this 6-letter discount code– PRCYZE– to receive a 15% discount on the Healing Mandala #25 during the month of October.


It is our deep desire that these pink mandalas will bring peace and healing joy to all.

Pink Mandalas, Part Four: Occupy Your Body



Series introduction: Since my own recovery from advanced breast cancer eight years ago, I have wanted to share the love and support I received. Part of what kept me going was drawing on the radiant energy in the Nature mandalas I make with my husband, David. No matter how down I felt, my heart and my body could be uplifted by these bright, life-filled images. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I have picked out seven of our pinkest mandalas to share, along with some stories and writings about healing.

I found that one of the scariest parts of having cancer was finding that my medical choices relative to my own body were apparently limited. Suddenly, my treatment options were regulated by state and federal laws over which I had no control. At the same time that I was—and am–very grateful for the help I was receiving, I had to really step into a proactive role of advocating my needs within the options I had. In addition to working on internal and spiritual levels to self-heal, part of my healing was a process of reclamation. I had to take back ownership of my body while also welcoming the help that could come to me from the medical world.

In order to take a stand, like the activists occupying Wall Street, I had to “occupy my body” on a level that I never had before. I searched out holistic and alternative caregivers (see Part Two of this blog for more on that work), and I also deeply acknowledged the parts of me that had long felt powerless and despairing. I let myself feel and mourn and weep for these lost aspects inside me. As I cherished and reclaimed these dark and tender parts of self, I grew stronger in my being. This empowered my physical recovery.

The healing mandala I want to share in this blog is called Giving Heart. It is made from Rhodocrosite, malachite, and stilbite crystals, and is part of our “Gemstone Visions” series.


Giving Heart mandala

Giving Heart


I chose this mandala because it addresses a paradox of the modern medical system. Many doctors have a genuinely giving heart. They desire to help others, but are as caught in the web of legalities and liabilities as patients are. I found that the best way to cut through the limits was to speak from my heart, acknowledging the goodness in the caregiver while also not letting myself be defined by their definitions or expectations. One day, for instance, one of my doctors casually said to me that even after my cancer went away, it would probably come back within 5 years. I was shocked. Why would a practitioner who was there to help me become cancer-free use language in this way? Did he not understand the power of expectation or the value of affirming wellness?

When I went home, I deeply pondered my response. I knew the doctor was a good person, who undoubtedly had to face a lot of loss in his work with cancer patients. But his attitude was not acceptable to me. So I wrote him a message on a beautiful card. I told him that it was critical for me to work with practitioners who saw a positive outcome for me, and that while I respected and liked him, I would not be able to work with him unless he could hold that picture of complete and lasting wellness with me.

This doctor was able to respond positively to my message, and I was able to continue to work with him. But I had to speak up and confront the status quo. I would not consent to be a statistic in the game of life. To paraphrase a pop song from the 60’s, I said, “It’s my body, and I’ll heal like I want to.”

I align the process of healing to the worldwide Occupy Movement. There is a huge machine of big Pharm and profit-driven health care that can overwhelm the multi-dimensional and always unique path to wellness that each of us walks. We need to occupy our bodies and take a stand for everyone’s right to heal as he or she can. We need to join hands in gratitude with the courageous beings that serve us as doctors and health workers and move forward together toward a new paradigm of healing.


5 Ways to Occupy Your Body

1. Claim Authority—when it comes to knowing your body, you are the 99%. No one knows more clearly what feels good and what feels right than you do. You can use that intimate knowledge to inform those who serve your wellness.


2. Live in Your Greater Self—while tenderly feeling the parts of yourself that may be ailing, you can stay in touch with the greater whole that includes your spirit and subtle bodies as well as your physical body.


3. Bless Your Body—it’s easy to feel betrayed by your body when it falls ill. If you can, from the vantage of your whole being, bless your body, it thrives. You begin to occupy it in way that empowers wellness.


4. Feel Free to Make Changes— you have the right to seek second opinions if we aren’t completely secure in what one doctor says. And if you don’t feel comfortable with one of your practitioners, you are free to find another. The healers have training, but they work for you.


5. Find the Growth Potential—healing can be a powerful gateway to personal growth, even for those who pass on. No matter what it looks like on the outside, you can use the challenge of illness to change, heal and become new.

As an outgrowth of my own experience with regaining wholeness, I offer Healing Ally consultation services and classes to women who are on the conscious path to wellness. You can read about my offering on our Healing page.

If you or someone in your family or circle of friends is grappling with breast cancer, David and I send you loving wishes for strength and recovery. And we want to give you a way to enjoy and share the Giving Heart Mandala at a special discount for October.


Click here here to go to our online store for prints and use this 6-letter discount code– PRCYZE– to receive a 15% discount on the Giving Heart Mandala during the month of October.


It is our deep desire that these pink mandalas will bring peace and healing joy to all.

Pink Mandalas, Part Three: Allies of the Heart

Series introduction: Since my own recovery from advanced breast cancer eight years ago, I have wanted to share the love and support I received. Part of what kept me going was drawing on the radiant energy in the Nature mandalas I make with my husband, David. No matter how down I felt, my heart and my body could be uplifted by these bright, life-filled images. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I have picked out seven of our pinkest mandalas to share, along with some stories and writings about healing.

Some of our healing mandalas, including the one featured here, called Bright Ally, include a central figure as well as Nature elements. In this image, the figure is a White Tara, a Tibetan Buddhist goddess associated with healing and long life. While I was deeply ill, I found great comfort in connecting with this feminine deity, whose very purpose is to come to the help of those who are in distress, or suffering from disease. White Tara is the very embodiment of compassion in female form.


Bright Ally Mandala

I am not a Buddhist, though I greatly respect both the practices and artistic creations of that venerable faith. As I mentioned in Part Two of this blog series, I got a big boost in my healing by creating mandalas that included photos of goddess statues from many religions. In making and then meditating on these sacred figures, I was able to connect with the universal essence of loving Mother-energy. Since breast cancer affects an aspect of a woman’s body that is designed to nurture, connecting with images that embody the nurturing Mother are uniquely restorative.


The 12-pointed circle behind the goddess is made from rose quartz, a crystal associated with the heart and the energies of love and compassion. Around her head is a halo made from the photograph of a rainbow, since Tara is can be associated with the “rainbow body” of light. The soft background behind the rose quartz is made from the feathers of a dove, symbol of peace and spiritual awakening. The thin inner border is made from a lily pad with water droplets on it. The rich purple outer border is from passionflowers.


I go into detail in describing these elements because each part of the image adds its own vibration of restorative color, energy, and patterning into the mandala. Together, they form a many-layered vision of radiant life and healing grace. Beyond the visual message, the image conveys a feeling of positiveness and gentle power. I easily found a name for this image—Bright Ally. Not just goddess Tara, but the crystal, bird, plant and flowers combined to form this spirit-matter ally. When I would go to receive treatments, I would ask that this multi-dimensional presence go with me. Facing the challenges of recovery was made easier by knowing in my heart that the Bright Ally and other subtle allies were there to support me, along with my wonderful husband, family and friends.


I am moved to share a second of my goddess allies as an ending to this piece. The image is called Flora Madre, and is centered on a statue of the Tonantzin-Guadalupe Virgin (courtesy of SacredSource.com). The church in Mexico associated with this Mother figure is most visited pilgrimage site in the Americas. Like Tara, the Virgin of Guadalupe embodies unconditional compassion and help. The miracle that led her to be embraced by the Catholic Church involved her manifesting blooming roses in the middle of a snowy winter. The elements in her mandala include roses, San Pedro Cactus, and blue sky. I hope that these goddess allies and our other mandalas support you in connecting with the limitless love that comes to us from the dimensions of Heaven and Earth.


Flore Madre Mandala

You can see and get copies of these and other goddess allies at our Collage Icon gallery.


As an outgrowth of my own experience with regaining health, I offer Healing Ally consultation services and classes to women who are on the conscious path to wellness. You can read about my offering on our Healing page.

Pink Mandalas, Part Two: Regaining Wholeness

Series introduction: Since my own recovery from advanced breast cancer eight years ago, I have wanted to share the love and support I received. Part of what kept me going was drawing on the radiant energy in the Nature mandalas I make with my husband, David. No matter how down I felt, my heart and my body could be uplifted by these bright, life-filled images. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I have picked out seven of our pinkest mandalas to share, along with some stories and writings about healing.


When I selected this pink mandala called “Inspiration” for my second blog, I thought that I would be writing about how important it is to find sources of inspiration when you are healing. And that is certainly true, but as I sat in stillness, I got the message that I was really to write about the elements in the Inspiration mandala, and what healing energies it shares.


Inspiration Mandala

Inspiration Mandala




The Sanskrit word “mandala” can be translated as “sacred circle”. One of the most powerful aspects of the Inspiration mandala is its circularity. The radial pattern of petals and the bands of color lead us to see circles within circles, shining from a radiant core. The fact that the image is made from a single element, Peruvian lily petals, gives it a gentle simplicity that also highlights the circular geometry.


I can tell you that one of the most alarming things about getting cancer is that all order in your life is blown away by the necessary chaos of appointments, decisions, treatments, and regimens; not to mention the anguish and emotional depths you and your loved ones plunge into. When I lived in that chaos, I was steadied by the vision of what was ordered, whole in shape, and filled with Nature’s vibrantly colorful life. Through my eyes, I received a multi-dimensional patterning message that helped me feel I could rebuild my own wholeness.


It would be accurate to say that regaining wholeness was the theme of my entire healing. And indeed the words whole, heal, and holy all have the same root. For me, the journey to wholeness began in my core being. My identity as a soulful woman had sustained some wounds that needed profound healing. It was only when I felt my innermost circle of self was reconstructing that I could go on to find the most holistic medical support available.


I was very lucky to connect with Dr. Isaac Eliaz, an M.D. Acupuncturist and creator of regenerative supplements. Dr. Eliaz is a pioneer in the integrative treatment of cancer, and a wonderful person. Integrative medicine is based on treating the whole being. Working with Dr. Eliaz, his whole staff, being with the other patients, being in a clinic filled with sacred art—this greatly boosted my wholeness quotient. You can connect with Dr. Eliaz at www.dreliaz.org and at the end of this blog you can see the TV show made on my healing, including my work with Dr. Eliaz.


Even though my cancer is gone, building wholeness is a lifetime activity. This is one reason why I feel so grateful to be working with our Nature-based arts. I have the opportunity every day to meditate on wholeness in the form of mandalas like Inspiration. These images deliver vibrational doses of wholly restorative energy. I used to refer to such visual healing energy “beauty-medicine”, and it is more potent than you would imagine. Just as gazing at a vase of flowers someone brought us because we were ill or sad lifts our spirits, simply gazing at a pink petal image like Inspiration helps us feel good, and subtly imprints us with holy, healing wholeness


As an outgrowth of my own experience with regaining wholeness, I offer Healing Ally consultation services and classes to women who are on the conscious path to wellness. You can read about my offering on our Healing page.



If you or someone in your family or circle of friends is grappling with breast cancer, David and I send you loving wishes for strength and recovery. And we want to give you two ways to enjoy and share the Inspiration Mandala and our Healing Mandala Notecards, both at a special discount for October.


1. A fine art print of the Inspiration Mandala in any size. Click here to go to our online store for prints and use this 6-letter discount code– PRCYZE– to receive a 15% discount for the month of October.


2. A set of six Healing Mandala Notecards, also on sale for October. Click here to see our selection of Healing Mandala Notecards.


It is our deep desire that these pink mandalas will bring peace and healing joy to all.



To watch this video in Full Screen, click on the “YouTube” button to watch on YouTube. Then click the button with 4 “arrows” to expand to Full Screen viewing.



This is Part 1 of an episode of the TV program, The Incurables, that was produced about Bonnie’s dramatic healing from breast cancer.
To watch this video in Full Screen, click on the “YouTube” button to watch on YouTube. Then click the button with 4 “arrows” to expand to Full Screen viewing.








This is Part 2 of an episode of the TV program, The Incurables, that was produced about Bonnie’s dramatic healing from breast cancer.