Let Play Time Commence!

Somewhere along in my 43 years, I totally forgot how to play and also how important and FUN! it is. I have been getting the message for quite some time that play is essential to my further growth. It has been a little bit unnatural for me, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it a little, and I wanted to share my experiences so far, just in case it might help inspire someone else.

Fun Time, Step One:
Last month, I had a Faery reading from my lovely friend, Laura Bruno, in which she relayed that the Faeries wished I would play more, and that it was essential to healing for both me and my husband. In the same reading, they recommended I activate the Faery Referral Network (explained in a couple of Laura’s posts, one of which you can find here.), which I did, not knowing exactly how that would work, but remaining open to the wonder of it all. I began to do small things that I thought the Faeries would like: adding little stone pathways to their set up in my enclosed porch, as well as tiny Christmas trees, playing music more often, and allowing my inner little girl to come out and slide around in her fuzzy socks on our gloriously slippery wood floors.  I also began talking to them in a nonchalant sort of way.

Then, last weekend, in passing, I mentioned to Jason that I would love to have the board game Clue. We had been discussing games and which ones we like, which ones we have, and what other kinds of games we would like to try. We both agreed that we love Clue, and decided to keep an eye out for it, as it often goes on sale around the holidays.  This conversation happened on Sunday, I believe. Monday morning, I came to work, and one of the salesmen here had brought in some things which his wife wanted to find new homes for. Lo and behold! There, sat a game of Clue! Thanks, Faery Referral Network!

Fun Time, Step Two:
For several weeks, a few friends at work had been talking about getting an office pet. We discussed several kinds of pet, but finally decided a fish might be nice. One friend already had several betta fish, and recommended them. Now, I am really not a fish person. I usually like a pet that I can, well, pet. But, first one person brought in a fish, then another person…and I LOVED them! I decided over the weekend to join the club and get a fish of my own. Let me tell you, if you have never really looked at the fish for sale in a large box store, you will want to brace yourself for the experience. I was nearly in tears at how sad and depressed they looked, how tiny their little bowls were, and how dirty they were. It took a moment to gather myself, but when I did, I spotted the lovely little one below.

IMG_0447

Leonardo da Vinci all flared out in his new home.

Let me tell you something: I was absolutely wrong about how much I would love this little fish! The connection was instant and very strong, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I know this little guy is in my life to teach me things, but honestly, I don’t even care what it is! (Soooo deeply unlike me, with my constant, insatiable need to know the hows, whys, and wherefores…) It came to me as I was carrying him out of the store and into his new life that his name should be Leonardo da Vinci. And so it is!

Fun Time, Step Three:
For a few of the last several years, I could not bear the sound of most music. For most of my life, I have loved music. I sang in a choir from the time I was 14 right through high school, often performing as a solo part of the choir and competing in solo competitions. But a few years ago, I realized listening to the radio made me feel irritable, contracted, sometimes even angry. I stopped listening to any music at all. Lately, though, I have missed it and felt the need to add music back to my life. I still find it hard to tolerate music with lyrics, so I started by finding pieces I liked on Pandora, and searching out more by the same artist. One of the artists I ran across was Lindsay Stirling, a brilliant violinist who dances while she plays! She is also appearing right now in Dancing With the Stars, one of my very, very favorite television shows, and one of the only ones I watch. Woohoo! Double score for Fun Time! I have been devouring all the videos of her dancing, playing, anything, really, and I wanted to share one with you:

In this video, Lindsay and Derek Hough (one of my favorite dancers from DWTS) dance a mesmerizing Argentine Tango. The video also has overtones of some of the spiritual concepts I hold most dear and useful. I wonder if you see them when you watch, too 🙂

With so much encouragement from the Universe and my new Faery friends, I am finding it easier and easier to let myself relax into some play time each day.  Here is a last bit of encouragement from another Faery friend, Tania Marie. She just posted a lovely collection of quotes and photos all centered around play.

Have Fun, my friends!

 

 

 

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Unfiltered Thoughts on Creating the Business You Want

Hi, Everybody. Not long ago, I announced that I was re-launching my business under a new name. But, I have a confession to make: I have absolutely no idea what I am doing when it comes to creating a business.

I have made a couple of attempts. I have read mountains of literature, joined Facebook groups dedicated to Spiritual Entrepreneurs, talked endlessly with my husband and a few select friends about my doubts and misgivings, my hopes, and my ultimate dreams. Written pages and pages about what my ideal work day looks like. Visualized until I fall asleep in a stupor of delight at the images in my head. What I have not been able to do is get clients consistently.  (Should I even be wanting to “get clients”? If you read enough in those Spiritual Entrepreneur groups, you won’t think so. It’s almost as if getting clients is somehow nefarious and beside the point. It’s really difficult to have the time to help people, though, if you also have to work a 40 hour week and the boss gets to control your hours. What I want is to put out as much helpful material as possible and also be able to help one-on-one those women who need something more personal. It’s what I love and what I am good at. It’s what I have spent most of life learning to do.)

Perhaps this is my year. I like to think so. I have been steadily more and more successful at attracting what I want in almost every other aspect of my life, or else I have accepted that I need to leave it alone for now.  Not so with my work life. I feel the perpetual tug toward something beyond my 8-5, working-for-someone-else life. And I feel as though my dream is right around the corner, just waiting for me to notice it.

So, what’s the dream?

 

Ah, now that’s a good question! Here it is: I dream of lighting the way to joy for women who long for a deeper connection to themselves, their loved ones, and Source. I dream of doing that by teaching them everything I know, giving them every tool I have learned to use in my 25 years of reading, studying, practicing, and living.  I long to help them see themselves as beautiful, capable, brilliant, inherently loveable and worthy.  I long to see every woman relax into her own true self and strip away every single thing that does not serve her highest good. 

The other part of the dream is how I do that, which is the same way I stripped off my own depression and reclaim every day my own sense of loveability and worthiness: through finding and using the tools that are most helpful. For me, those are Reiki, working with the chakra system, meditation, journaling, using crystals, working with my Guides, my Higher Self, and other high vibrational Beings, and through talking with like-minded friends and teachers. I believe those same things can help everyone. I believe I can teach anyone to use them.

Where I get lost and bogged down into utter paralysis is the HOW. What do I do first? Am I just making too big a deal out of the How? Gardening is teaching me to start where I am.  Cut down the dead black-eyed susans next to the front door because driving up to my lovely home and seeing their blackened stalks every day makes me sad. So, clip, clip. Harvest tomatoes because they will rot if I don’t. Yummy salsa and tomato topping on beans and rice. Pull out the monster tomato plant because it is shading out my peppers. Out it comes.  My current dilemma stems from figuring out how to translate that to my work. Start where I am….Hence, this long and winding blog post, baring my heart and mind to the wide and wise world (wise was actually what came out when I tried to type wide… message there, I suspect.).

You might also ask what makes me so damn qualified to teach anyone anything? Yep, I have asked myself that one. But I have a great answer: What I teach has worked for me; it has worked for my husband; it has worked for friends; it is working still for all of us. And there is more that I know that you don’t yet know: the first time I tried to kill myself, I was 5 years old. in the kitchen, with a big bread knife that had a little hook on the end. That feeling never went away until 2014, when I was 40 years old. When it did, it was because I finally started actively using what I had spent over 20 years learning about. I started doing the work. And, in 3 years, I went from suicidal to full of joy, actively creating a life I want to LIVE, not die to get away from.

Even in my 8-5 day job, I have brought into my life a position where my co-workers are friends and connection with them feeds my soul in ways I never expected. But the work….the work is not what I am meant to be doing.  And we’ve circled back around to the current issue.

So, what to do? I know what I would recommend to a client.
1. Get Quiet: pull the plug on technological distractions like Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Disconnect from others so you can more clearly hear yourself.

2. Go Within: whatever your favorite form of meditation is, do that. Do it for as long as you can. Get your mind clear. And to that end…

3. Write: get out a notebook. Write at least 3 pages longhand with an actual pen whatever comes into your mind. DO NOT CENSOR! Write as fast as you can, not stopping until all 3 pages have been filled. Stream-of-consciousness writing pulls out all sorts of things you never knew were in your head.

4. If some kind of clarity is still not coming through by this point, you can either start over, talk to a trusted friend, or let it rest. Any of those options is perfectly ok. It can take more than once through this process to clear out enough of the built up junk in your brain – the clutter of to-dos, “news”, work and family obligations, and other detritus- for the good stuff to have room to come to the top.

So, here is my action plan, folks. Many, many deep bows and sincere thanks for letting me get that out there into the Ethers.  Lots of thank-you hugs and Reiki blessings for following along on my journey.

 

 

Update and Marie Forleo’s Interview with Brene’ Brown

Happy Almost-Equinox, Everyone!
Life here in Goshen continues to settle down for Jason and I as we adjust to the much higher vibrational level of our new home, Jason makes his way back to work after an extended time off due to an injury, and I find my center once again amid all the changes. I am blogging a little less and my efforts at building my business are stalled because my laptop has undergone an injury of its own (a cracked screen with spiderwebs of dark blue bleeding out from the site of the injury). In spite of all the change and some challenges, our lives feel more gorgeous than ever. Working in the garden revives and restores me in a way I had only glimpsed before living here, and the house itself feels like both a fortress and a sanctuary. So many small shifts in our consciousness are happening on a daily basis just from living in this home. But that’s a different post.

 

In order to help restore myself and protect my energy, I have begun listening to music and videos on my phone while at work. Yesterday, I had a newsletter from Marie Forleo featuring her interview with Brene’ Brown, who has a new book out called Braving the Wilderness. For those of you unfamiliar with Brene’s work, here is an excerpt from the home page of her website, brenebrown.com:

The official line: I’m a research professor at the University of Houston where I hold the Huffington Endowed Chair. I’ve spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. I’m the author of four books: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness.

The bottom line: I believe that vulnerability – the willingness to be “all in” even when you know it can mean failing and hurting – is brave. I do NOT believe that cussing and praying are mutually exclusive. And, I absolutely believe that the passing lane is for passing only.

 

This interview really moved me and reminded me of my little-girl self, who campaigned bravely for kindness and believed it her moral duty to protect those who could not protect themselves, never name-call, and always try to see the best in others.  My grown-up self is a little more cynical and a little more hands-off, but I feel myself returning to that open vulnerability and it both frightens and excites me. I feel like it is the best of me coming back to the fore. That’s why I so dearly love people like Brene’ and Marie Forleo, and I follow their work more closely than others’. I hope you find as much value in this interview as I did. There are some vital insights here that are crucial for the times we find ourselves in now.

Home and Business Transitions

It has been 6 weeks since we moved into our new home, and I still have not processed enough to create a really coherent post on the subject. At some point, I want to share all the synchronicities and happy accidents that surrounded our move, all the energetic uplevelling that took place (and is still taking place!) for me and my husband, and the impact of a couple of significant losses.

I also began working with The Morrigan just before we moved, and she has made it clear to me that one of the things I am required to do under her tutelage is stop hiding and treat my business like the significant entity it is.  I have spent enough time dipping my toe in and backing back out of the business world. It’s time to follow my own advice and uncover my light. So, there will be an official announcement soon regarding the name of the business and my offerings.

Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for reading and for supporting me along my journey. My intention for every post is to share my own experiences so that others who are experiencing something similar will know they are not alone.  I hope to offer encouragement, and maybe even some guidance, but at the very least, some reassurance that there is light in the dark, and that some sense of order may be found even in chaos.

 

I will leave you today with this photo from our moving day. It was taken in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, where I had gone to get some necessities for our first night in our beautiful new home. It had rained really hard as I went in, and when I came out, there was this:

double rainbow on moving day

…and I knew everything was, is, and always will be just right.

 

Planting Paradise

Sharing this beautiful post from my friend, Laura. Thanks in large part to her and her awesome husband, as well as several other friends, Jason and I will be making this place our home at the end of this month!
To say that this place is a dream come true for us just doesn’t do justice to our journey. I will write more about that once we get settled in to the new place, but for now, I leave you with Laura’s gorgeous photos.

Laura Bruno's Blog

The first summer we lived here — 2013 — this median facing an ugly view required a date with two batteries worth of weed whackers at least three times per week. We’re talking fast growing, out of control weeds on a strip of land with giant holes and rock hard, uneven soil, and an often flooded driveway. It crushed my soul to see this median as we approached our house.

I can barely believe the difference four years makes! This same strip is now a rain garden, bird and butterfly paradise, with serviceberry trees, Robinhood roses, sunflowers, lilies, milkweed, bachelor’s buttons, love in a mist, cosmos, and more. The fragrance alone is worth the trip. Last year, those roses bloomed from late May through the end of November with barely any care. Birds ate the hips this winter and spring.

Don’t ever doubt that you can change the world, one…

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Goodbye to the Old Me

After yesterday’s post and the outpouring of love and support sent my way since I posted it, I have felt a profound shift inside myself. This song came into my head as I was thinking back over the last two years, and especially the last week. So, I wanted to take a moment and honor the woman I have been, the woman who carried my deepest soul so carefully to this new place.

Healing my Memories of Home

old brown trailer

Old trailer like many of those I lived in as a child

I bet many of you lived in a place like this, and you will be able to relate to what I am about to say. My family lived in several places like this; some in trailer parks, some not. But they all shared a smell, especially in the South: cockroach spray. All the places we lived in reeked of the stuff. I can still smell it in my mind. By the time we lived in them in the mid-80s, these places had seen way better days. They often had soft floors around places where water might accumulate, like the toilet, the shower, and the kitchen and bathroom sinks.  In one trailer, we had to be careful not to stand too close to the front of the shower because the floor under it was so weak, a 90 pound 11-year-old might go crashing, naked, through the floor on to the ground below.  In another place we lived, that actually did happen to my mother, and she had the scars on her right calf to prove it until the day she died.

We didn’t always live in trailers. A few times, we lived in apartments, but those proved to be no better. Another place we lived, an upstairs apartment, had one bedroom that was completely unusable because the previous tenant had had dogs who were kept enclosed in it and there was so much calcified dog poop on the floor that you couldn’t walk anywhere in the room without stepping on it. I got the thankless job of ripping it up out of the bright blue carpet and scrubbing the spots with a bucket of hot, soapy water. It never was a room we could use for anything but storage.

In that same apartment, we could not afford to have the hot water turned on. Bath water was heated on the stove in a large roasting pan and poured into the bathtub. I washed my waist-length hair in icy water from the tap in the kitchen.

Why am I telling you this? So you will understand the week I have had.

My husband and I have gradually improved on my experience of home, but I have never felt that I left it entirely behind.  In all the spiritual work I have done, particularly in the last two years, I have moved leaps and bounds beyond the idea that I somehow deserved to be hidden away in unhealthy, ugly places, but my belief has still been put to the test this week.

The home of a very dear friend is coming open for rent in just over a month, and I have loved it from the moment I stepped inside it. There is a magnificent garden attached that she has lovingly, painstakingly restored from a desolate, weed-choked wasteland to an oasis of peace and beauty. I long with everything inside me to take up Guardianship of this place that feels sacred to me. But, I have struggled with finding enough faith in myself  – and in the Universe- to seize the opportunity in front of me.

As I went back and forth this week, breaking myself down and remaking myself into a true believer in my own worthiness, all my old memories of home resurfaced, and I have faced them with as much bravery as I could muster.

I wanted to share these thoughts of home with you today because it feels important to me to acknowledge my struggle, for maybe you have struggled with similar growth along your journey, or are struggling now. We can be the support we need for each other.

As I work my way through this period of intense growth, I also feel within me a rising of something I cannot even name yet. I think it may be an entirely new version of myself. I see her as more fully embodied, able to bring the visions in her head down into the Earth to be made manifest in this 3D realm. I see a woman who feels at home in a place that has firm floors, hot water, sacred spaces, and healthy boundaries.  I see a woman coming fully into her power.

The part of me that is already the woman I see in my mind’s eye believes that I will be living in this beautiful place that feels like home by the middle of July. The part of me that is still hiding, seeking a place that is clean and bright and whole, is terrified that things won’t come together in time, and I will be forever trapped in places like the ones I grew up in.  I hold that child-me in my arms and rock her, whispering that she is safe, she is safe, she is safe.

And as I do, her tears dry, her smile blossoms, and she gets up and runs outside to play in the garden of her dreams.

 

 

Everyday Magick Tips: 15 Ideas For Bringing the Sacred to Your Daily Life

We could all use a little more whimsy, enchantment, and connection in our daily lives. Here are some things I have done and used to do just that:

  1. Create one or more altars.
    An altar is just a sacred, special space set aside for a particular purpose. You can set the intention for anything you like: greater abundance, healing, and a closer connection to the Divine are all popular altar themes. Once you know what your altar is in honor of, then you can choose items that are meaningful to you that reinforce what you want to focus on. For example, a healing altar might have crystals that promote healing, a photo of something that makes you think of being healthy and healed, a letter you write to your body, or anything that has meaning to you and pertains to the theme of the altar. You can also set up a general household altar that has a more all-purpose meaning. It really is up to you!  Try setting up multiple altars around your home. Any flat surface will do – even vertical ones – and you can add anything that is meaningful to you and relates to the theme you’ve chosen.

  2. Meditate
    Meditation gets a bad rap, sometimes. People think it’s hard or you have to spend a lot of time at it, neither of which is true. Meditation simply means to focus on the space between thoughts. That can happen during a lot of activities: washing dishes, an art project, swinging on the front porch swing, or lying in your bed on the verge of sleep. The idea is to create an empty, still space for new intuitions to emerge and to allow your mind to relax.

    An easy way to begin is to focus on your breath and focus on what it feels like to inhale, and then exhale. Notice each tiny sensation. Before long, your body and mind begin to relax, and lo, and behold! You are meditating!

    If you would like more guidance on how to meditate, there are countless videos on youtube.com that will help you relax and find that space between your thoughts in no time. I especially like the ones with binaural beats or brain entrainment elements.

  3. Be Aware
    Pay attention to your surroundings! Engage all five senses while mentally naming each sensation. Does the air smell like grass? Like oil and car exhaust? Like food? What is the air temperature like…too hot? Too cold? Just right? What about sounds? What do you see? It doesn’t take a lot of time, but paying attention to what’s around you and taking a moment to name those sights, sounds, smells, textures, and even emotions can tune you in to the magic of the moment, adding an element of joy and pleasure to your day.
  4. Buy yourself some flowers
    I very often see grocery store bouquets for $5 or less. You can break them up into smaller arrangements and scatter them all around your home or office to bring some life and color and the special joy that flowers bring.  Flowers also invite faeries to visit!
  5. Play with a pet
    Your pets miss you while you’re away, and playing with them even for just a few minutes can soothe you both and help you reconnect.
  6. Make your last 5 minutes before sleep count
    What you think about in your last 5 minutes before sleep is what your brain ruminates on all night. Make it something that will help you, rather than hurt. For example, if you go to bed thinking about how awful your life is, your mind spends all night reinforcing that thought with dreams, hormones, repeating thoughts, and you wake up in the morning feeling as though the day is already a disaster! Try a week where, before you go to sleep, you think about all the things you are grateful for. Make them up if you have to, but do not resort to sarcasm. Feel grateful as best you can. After a week, you will see a difference in how your days go! (For more tips on making your sleep a spiritual practice, read my blog post here.)

  7. Write wish lists
    The Universe cannot bring us things it does not know we want.  Often, we don’t know what we want, ourselves. Take some time to write down all the big and little things you want from your life and your day. From very small things like a cup of that Chai Latte, to very large things like the home of your dreams, WRITE IT DOWN. The act of writing it imbues the wish with emotion and energy, making it more likely to find its way to you.
  8. Place meaningful objects around your home
    Frame the photos on your phone, bring in the beautiful dead tree branch from your yard, get the old desk out of the garage that was your grandfather’s that you just love. Our homes are a reflection of what means the most to us. But…..
  9. Get serious – and brutal – about what you keep in your home
    There is a famous quote about not keeping anything in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.  Clutter can quickly take the shine off of being at home, making it feel overwhelming, stressful, and unhappy. Start small or go big, but get rid of anything you no longer love or use.

  10. Look for signs
    There are signs everywhere that God/The Universe/ Spirit/Big Momma is watching over you, loves you, and wants you to be happy. Sure, you could say they are coincidence, but which is more fun- thinking that nobody “up there” cares, or that you are the beloved child of something greater than yourself? If you choose the latter, there will be evidence for you to find… repeating numbers, happy “accidents”, information that comes to you at just the right time, even people appearing in your life just when you need them! (Psst…I don’t believe in coincidence…to read more about that, click here)

  11. Write Morning Pages
    The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron describes Morning Pages like this: 3 pages, long-hand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning before your brain has a chance to wake that cranky old Editor who lives in there and inhibits you.  Try it for 30 days and see what you think.
  12. Edit your input
    Every single thing that goes into your brain stays there forever. Facebook is a prime garbage dump to pick up stuff that doesn’t serve you: Do you really need your cousin’s rant about her neighbors rattling around in your mind? What about the racist jokes your friend from high school posts that just make you mad?  TV is another medium that offers more harmful content than good, in my opinion: Do you really need another gory image of a dead body in your head along with the story line from Criminal Minds? I don’t. I am happier without them. Be careful what you put into your mind. Books, movies, conversations, all contribute to the climate of your emotional landscape. And you can control that—so, DO!

  13. Smile at strangers
    Just do it and see what happens.  🙂
  14. Do something fun or silly
    Why should silliness stop at age 10? Who says fun has to be reserved for weekend nights? Make faces at yourself in the mirror, record a video of yourself on Snapchat, play a game with your spouse or kids, dress up in a silly outfit and just wear it around the house…whatever strikes your fancy.
  15. Sleep in
    Don’t set an alarm, make sure your bed is cozy, comfy, and clean, and sleep until you wake up naturally.

 

We are not here to simply pay bills and die (that’s a whole other post…). We are here to feel joy in its many, many forms. Adding joy and magick to your everyday is not difficult or time-consuming and can really enhance your life. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!

Joyfullness

It’s feeling like a joyful day! In that spirit, I’d like to share some photos from my Pinterest board, Joyfulness. These are images that make me feel light, uplifted, and filled with a sense of wonder. You can find the entire board here.

yellow-ranunculus

This is a ranunculus, or Persian Buttercup.  Ranunculus (ranunculi??) are one of my favorite kinds of flowers for their delicate, feathery leaves and sweet, layered buds. And they come in some of the loveliest colors in Nature.

 

 

group-of-dandelions

I love to see the first bursts of bright yellow dandelions in the spring. They are the first sign of color and cheer after what are often very dark and grey winter days here in northern Indiana. Dandelions get a bad rap, but they are so useful! I love dandelion root tea because it tastes good, but it also helps improve liver function. Here is some more about the health benefits of dandelions.

 

 

quiet-reverie

Just look at this one for a moment and breathe in that smell….  Now, sit down in that log, soak in the sun, and examine those delicate little flowers. Find a piece of moss and let your imagination out for a run.

 

moss-706391_1920

Speaking of moss, tell me you don’t want to sit down there and pet that stuff 🙂 Mosses are interesting plants. If you haven’t read Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things, I encourage you to do so. It is a novel about the daughter of a wealthy 19th century businessman who makes a lifelong study of mosses.  For a little non-fiction information, this site has a nice little overview.

 

fibonacci-fern

This little fern frond was the inspiration for my choice of Unfurled as one of my first core desired feelings, a concept introduced by Danielle LaPorte in her book, The Desire Map, which has been deeply influential in the last two years of my life.

 

I leave you on this Monday with the delicate and luscious (another core desired feeling) peony.

Have a joyful week!