Thursday, August 25, 2016

Excerpt from, Diving into the Deep: A Companion Guide / "We come FROM joy. We BRING joy to others. We ARE joy."

Welcome to the beginning of something, which I hope will be truly special, for fellow seekers and Lightworkers who have been attending my workshop ~ Diving into the Deep: Exploration of the Self Through Creative Writing.

In a series of monthly posts, I will be sharing short, but meaningful, passages from my current book-in-progress, so that those who are unable to attend my workshop, can follow along with us, on the journey to healing and self-discovery.  When my work is done, these thoughts and meditations will become a bound copy for many more individuals to use, as a tool for guidance and deep healing.

This week, I will be sharing a few paragraphs from the opening pages.  I hope that these thoughts help you to "dig deep" in your own life, and to reach out to others with a loving heart, on your life's path here on earth.

Thank you for your presence ...

(photo credit: Cristina Norcross, 2011 / Lake Geneva, WI)

Passage from the INTRODUCTION:

There is an unpolished gem that lives inside of you.  Sometimes we let it breathe and glow.  Sometimes we even let this stone shine!  When we ignore that source of Light, which desperately wants to come out and play, to connect with others, to be the beacon for many ships, our inner gemstone loses its luster.

•How do we connect with our inner Buddha, our shining Light that sings and dances so well, while we are fully engaged in a soul-nourishing activity?

•How do we salvage the True Being inside, whom we may have forgotten along the way, while focusing on becoming responsible adults?  Who has time to play, when we are so busy making a life, buying cars, and building additions on houses?

This disconnect, which so many of us suffer from, can be fused and healed.  We have the inner resources to reach inside the core truth of ourselves and rise up.  By identifying what brings you joy, by creating space in your life every day (or at least every week) for this sacred practice of self-care, by engaging in activities that Light you up, by reaching out to others with your natural gifts, by giving back to the world through acts of kindness and creativity ~ we not only heal ourselves, we raise the overall vibration of the planet itself.  This is when a continuous stream of healing begins.  If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes many, many villages of people working together, towards peace, to actually bring about real change.  Find peace within yourself, first.  Bring it to others like a sparkling jewel.  There is a great, untapped river living inside each of us.  Find your flow.

Passage from CHAPTER 1:

We come FROM joy.  We BRING joy to others.  We ARE joy.

I want you to take your shoes off and feel rooted.  Whether you are outside, feeling the grass on bare feet, or in your living room, feeling soft carpeting, it is important that you are connected to the earth for this exercise.

Read the following meditation out loud, and listen to each word.  Listen to your voice, as you become connected to breath and meaning.

A Joy Meditation

I breathe in calm.
I breathe out joy.

I feel roots, from my feet, reach down to the earth.
I feel a white thread of light reach up from my core
to the top of my head.
It travels through me
and beyond me
to the great connectedness of all beings.

I breathe in connection.
I breathe out peace.

A circle of light,
like a white lasso,
moves up and down.
A funnel of energy –
so bright,
that even the stars can see me smiling.
Contentment radiates from every outline
that is me,
and from every path of light
branching out
from the Tree of Me.

In serenity and in thankfulness,
I whisper this prayer to myself.
I will return to this safe space of golden light
and again.

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Copyright 2016 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Still Life Stories by Cristina M. R. Norcross ~ JUST RELEASED!

Thrilled to announce that my latest chapbook, STILL LIFE STORIES, was just released by Aldrich Press! Thank you to my editor, Karen Kelsay, and Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books) for helping me bring this book into the world.  

Still Life Stories is now available to order on Amazon.  Signed copied will be available at Books & Company (Oconomowoc, WI) by the end of August, and copies will be available at all of my upcoming events this fall.  Visit the EVENTS page of my author website for more info.

Still Life Stories by Cristina M. R. Norcross
(Aldrich Press, 2016)
Cover art by Jennifer S. J. Peña

Still Life Stories (Aldrich Press, 2016) is a poetic antidote of hope and human connection, at a time when the isolation of modern living leaves us with many questions.  Still Life Stories explores the themes of family wisdom, spirit guiding us, finding the stillness within, seeking one’s artistic path and celebrating joy.  Each slice of life and snapshot of solitude offered in this collection allows the reader to pause and consider the inner life of each narrator.  The poems of Still Life Stories help bring us closer to our true nature – our true spirit.

Sample Poem from Still Life Stories

This Is the High Land
(for Jim H.)

It is a brilliant sight –
this letting go.
The free travel willingly.
The absent lose their footing,
and no ledge is wide enough to grip.

The fall is easy –
waiting for air to fill the whiteness of soul.
There is no direction –
only open space.

The mind hears things
late at night.
What happens when all is darkness?

James knew what the sky could tell you.
If you ask him right now
what happened,
I think he would say
that he was just climbing,
trying to get to the top –
or the bottom –
it matters not which.

We sat in a dark, wood carved pub,
the four of us,
thinking of you.
You sat with us
in the empty chair.
We held you in our breath –
in our silences.

Back Cover Blurbs

I live inside layers of color, Cristina Norcross confides in this moving collection, Still Life Stories. The title provides a double meaning – the speaker remains alive, as she contemplates the lives of others who have passed in these arresting still life images. Like the still life paintings of the 17th century Dutch Masters, Norcross’s poems bring us into a carefully examined world where death is understood as a new aspect of life. And living fully, is what Norcross is all about.
~Susan Rich, author of Cloud Pharmacy and The Alchemist's Kitchen

With lush imagery and a tone of celebration, the poems in this collection explore our relationships: with art, with the natural world, with each other. Cristina Norcross has a gift for finding the beauty in all facets of human experience and rendering them with clarity and precision on the page. She reminds us to pay attention. She invites us to feel. Still Life Stories is eminently accessible and full of heart.

~Kim Suhr, author of Maybe I'll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom and Director of Red Oak Writing

Norcross writes with the tenderness of one who knows that beauty is often born of darkness, and there are joys accessible only through sorrow.  In Still Life Stories she offers readers small, polished jewels reclaimed from loved ones who have walked on: a horse remembering its rider; a climbing friend who fell; dances with a ghostly grandfather. Though gone, her loved ones still live.  Still Life Stories also touches readers with the writer’s gentle counsel to herself: surrender; break open; feel everything; begin again. Still Life Stories is a small book of treasures.

~Leslee Goodman, Publisher/editor of The MOON Magazine

• I will be having a double BOOK LAUNCH PARTY at Books & Company on Saturday, October 15, 2016 (6:30-8:30pm) to celebrate the publication of both Still Life Stories and Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016).  There will be an open mic for local poets, after the featured reading, and I will be signing books at the event.  Hope you can join us!

Peace and poetry,
Founding Editor, Blue Heron Review