UMission Person of the Week says: Keep going!

by Angela - on December 3, 2014

Spoiler alert: I am Umission.org’s Person of the Week!! Yes, that was the cheering you’ve been hearing this week. Apologies if it has been distracting. I love this organization, whose mission is for you to have a wonderful life.

Yours Truly is Person of the Week at Umission.org!

In this candid interview, I reveal personal details that have never been shared publicly (including my “worst” and “best” days and how I cope); I offer advice to writers, artists, and creatives; and I note “the beautiful symmetry of Petalwink – I have the promise that these ideas work because I have had to live them.” Check out the whole interview here: umission.org/person-of-the-week/angela-sage-larsen/

“Just telling Petalwink’s message means I have to live it. As strange as it might sound, I look at Petalwink and say, ‘If this were a Petalwink story that I was writing, what would Petalwink do?’ There have been a number of times that I have thought that there’s a lesson in there somewhere and so the Petalwink stories come to mind and I think I too must live that message – forgiveness, believing in yourself, sportsmanship, how to be a good friend. Before or after or during writing these stories I’ve had to actually put those messages into practice in my life….This work has brought my spiritual practice in alignment with my every day life. I do not keep those separate.”

Thanks, UMission.org, for the recognition and for the inspiring work you do!

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Pale Blue Dot in a Universe of Love

by Angela - on November 25, 2014

Love always heals…divine Love, which is powerful, spiritual, ever-present. No element of mortality, limits, opinions from a singular (or dual) point of view. Guns and violence don’t heal and they never will. We watch Ferguson burn and our hearts burn with it; some in anger, some in mourning and anguish, some in acidic disappointment. We justify the verdict, or the rioting, or the tear gas. We react, argue our case, posture for each other (we can do this in the luxury of our homes which are not in Ferguson, you know. Pass the Grey Poupon, darling!). It is all a thin, fragile, crusty (mustardy?) layer of human opinion and if we dive down, we will see and be an ocean of Love. What appears is rarely what is.

Christ Jesus “plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures), wrote the woman Mary Baker Eddy, who understood Jesus’ mission the best by doing the works he did. Our work is not on the surface; it is going deep, deep, as deep as we can, into our own hearts to wrestle to stay in that Love. To let our thoughts flow from it, our motives be determined by it, our words and actions reflect it. There is no other solution. Nothing else brings healing. Yes, the dialogue and the creative solutions, the adjustment of law are progressive; but these bless or function only when the foundation of them is Love.

Christ Jesus raised the dead not because he made some really good points and had some lovely, sound reasoning (he did), but because he lived love and in his presence even death fled. When the men came to unjustly arrest him (to eventually kill him after a mockery of a trial), his self-appointed protector cut off a soldier’s ear. Jesus didn’t cheer Peter, cut off the soldier’s other ear, or condemn Peter, he healed the soldier’s ear. He lived love and even the panic and self-justification of a cut off ear could not remain. It didn’t stop Jesus from being crucified, but it was Love who raised him.

It is Love that raises us all from the death of fear, self-justification, hate, deep-seated racism (white, black, doesn’t matter). All this Love requires of us is the self-control to turn to it and allow ourselves to wallow in it, lavish it on ourselves and others.

Maybe because I saw Interstellar last night, maybe because I had to work through some bitter disappointment last week, maybe because it’s a ginormous poster in my studio and so it’s on my mind all the time anyway, but it seems appropriate to reference my favorite photograph ever taken (and yes, it’s a selfie) –

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of 4 billion miles from Earth, as part of the solar system Family Portrait series of images. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a fraction of a pixel (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of Carl Sagan. The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of 4 billion miles from Earth, as part of the solar system Family Portrait series of images. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a fraction of a pixel (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of Carl Sagan (click on the image to read his powerful words about this image).

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Sometimes Facebook is… a lot.

by Angela - on June 11, 2014

Sometimes Facebook is too much. I probably speak for most Facebook users when I say “I love it!” …and also “I hate it!”

I love it, of course, because I’ve connected with friends across the country (from my childhood especially: LeeAnn and Marta!) that I relish being in contact with and may not have found them otherwise. I’ve even made some amazing business connections, rare, but it’s happened. I’m grateful for that good stuff. I’m grateful for the memes that crack me up. I’m grateful for the pics of my friends’ kids (although there’s that whole “why are you posting pics of your kid to the internet??” debate. Which brings me to…)

I “hate” it because of the endless debates, the conspiracy theories and the just plain bad news. I despise the premise on which Facebook was started: comparing women to each other …and to farm animals and comparing sexual conquests. *Neat* she says with an eye roll (I feel like a hypocrite every time I enjoy something on Facebook; there’s this nagging voice reminding me of how this all got started. And yes, I know there are other platforms. But my friends aren’t on them!). I don’t like that Facebook has taken the “free market” aspect of my fan pages and made them commercial. I could go on complaining about Facebook, but we all know the downsides. Instead, here’s what I’m learning.

I just took a four-day break from Facebook. Whenever a friend (I mean, you know, in *real person*) said, “Did you see…?” My answer was no. And I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. But because of my life’s work (and who I am in general), I can’t just disconnect totally (but it’s nice to know I can take breaks).

So here’s what helped me think through this today. “…thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:1, 2)

The word that stood out most was “when.” My effort should not be to avoid untoward circumstances (Jesus said “resist not evil,” after all), but to not be alarmed when those circumstances are dropped right in my path. I thought, no matter what the world presents me, Love is with me, I am Love’s and loved. 100% of the time when I’m leaning on that Love, I love. My Facebook experience has got to be about me loving. So instead of signing in and hoping for the best (or rather, hoping to avoid the worst), I can know that even when I “pass through the waters,” deep issues that demand attention; or through “rivers”–currents of thought that have the potential to overflow me and drag me under and sweep me away; or even those threads, comments, or posts that would incense me for their lack of decency, basic humanity or empathy; even in the midst of any of those circumstances, I am Love’s. And trusting in that, I see that everyone is Love’s and loved. Facebook (and the whole internet) becomes an interaction with the world for the purpose of discovering what is needed and then giving it, not jumping on the “get wagon” that is veering into a deep ditch. Facebook (and all social media) is one more opportunity to love my neighbor–anyone in my neighborhood of thought. I’ve learned that “to love” means to identify an object with their source and it is the fulfilling of the universal law of unconditional good and progress. I am rich in opportunities to love and Facebook has made me a gazillionaire!

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I’m in *that* place

May 30, 2014

I was relieved when my brother called me the next day. “How’d it go?” He asked on Tuesday about the Petalwink: The Musical Song and Dance Showcase held on Monday. I used all the superlatives he expected (so rarely does he get an answer about how anything in my life experience is mediocre: “It was [...]

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How many Petalwinkers does it take…?

May 21, 2014

I’m a proud mama. The cast for our upcoming Petalwink: The Musical Song and Dance Showcase (Memorial Day, if you’re wondering and want to get tickets …and believe me, you do) has been working night and day to show you something really special. They are being stretched out of their comfort zones by about 100 miles. Singing, dancing, character development…and that’s onstage. Offstage, they are stagehands, lighting techies, costume assistants, gophers, and…set painters. They never complain, grumble, or argue about being asked to work even harder than they already are. They’ll tell you it’s because they love Petalwink and her message…but I’ll tell you the truth. It’s’cause they’re awesome. Please come see the fruit of their hard work!

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Dear Mom

May 8, 2014

Dear Mom, Sometimes I really miss you, but mostly I’m just really grateful for you. I’m sure you know about, in general–and are confident in–the good in my life, but I wanted to write you and let you in on a few details. I wish you’d met my husband, I know you’d love him. I [...]

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Interview by Heather Vogel Frederick

November 26, 2013

When someone who is your inspiration and mentor offers to interview you, you do not pass go or collect $200, stop to think about it, or take a nap first; you say, “Heck, yeah, thanks!!” I’m so glad that’s what I said to Heather Vogel Frederick, author of the fabulous Mother-Daughter Book Club series. Her [...]

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No More Excuses: Breaking through “Writer’s Block” part 1

September 13, 2013

I was honored when my publisher asked me to do a blog series for aspiring writers. There were so many topics to choose from, but I decided on one of my favorites: so-called “writer’s block.” Yes, so-called. Writer’s block is a fancy term for excuse (see my whole blog post here). Goes along nicely with [...]

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Advice to a Budding Author

September 10, 2013

I’m happy that a new school year has started which means I’m teaching adult and continuing ed classes again. Last night was our first class of the semester. I love my students and love reviewing the creative process through their eyes and remembering the path I took to publication. It’s true that a book is [...]

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