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.

 

 

Posted in gratitude posts, Know Thyself, Memoirs, Reiki, Spiritual Tools, Thoughts in Progress, Uncategorized, Unfiltered Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Meditation for Troubled Times ;)

Sometimes, when things just don’t seem to be going the way you want them to, the only thing you can do is laugh. That’s why I was overjoyed to see this meditation going around on Facebook again. As a meditation, it is good. As a humor break, it is wonderful.

**Please be aware that there is A LOT of adult language in this video meditation. **

Find a quiet space, get comfy, and let this guided meditation help you release all your cares. 😉

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Shared from Seth Godin, “It’s Not My Problem”

I get Seth Godin’s daily blog post in my email each morning. This morning’s piece wanted to be shared around. 

 

“It’s not my problem”

But what if it was?

What if the apparently intractable cultural issues that you take for granted were instead seen as problems on your desk, things you could influence?

What if the rules others take for granted are seen by you and your team as standards you can change?

What if we take the responsibility instead of waiting for it to be offered?

 

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/05/its-not-my-problem.html

 

Made me think.

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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!

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The woods are lovely, dark and deep

This post from Dr. Sharon Blackie of The Art of Enchantment blog is so lyrical and lovely, I just had to share. As I posted in the comments, it makes me feel homesick for a place I know only in my dreams of other lives. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Art of Enchantment

It would be easy to say that I should never have left. It would be easy to tell myself that I should have known better, twenty years ago, than to leave. When a land claims you from the first moment you set foot upon it; when it is the only place you ever felt that your feet were in the right place, that you have ever felt that anything and maybe even everything in this crazy, fucked-up world we have created for ourselves might make sense, what sense can it ever make to go?

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The Importance of Art, Part II

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The Importance of Art

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ George Santayana

notebook and coffee

 

About a year ago, maybe a bit longer, I started to hear my intuition say, “Write that story”.

I have always (rather secretly) considered myself a writer. I daydreamed…so very quietly, way back in the hinterlands of my imagination…of seeing my name in print. The dream was so big, so bright, that I couldn’t look directly at it. It seemed so far out of reach, and it seemed like I should be doing something so much more important with my mind, my energy than writing stories and poetry. I believed the faded voices of my teachers and other adults who told me I needed to use my intellect to BE something…doctor, lawyer, activist, teacher…something big that would change the world and move it closer to the ideal I knew it could be.  But I couldn’t choose a path (because I didn’t want any of those paths, and they were not for me). And I beat myself endlessly for it. Until a few years ago when I gradually started to adjust to the idea that I could be, do, and have what   I   wanted. Full stop.

It hasn’t been an easy adjustment. I keep noticing that, while I love and admire and completely understand the value of other artists’ and creatives’ work in the world, I have not been able to accept that my own work is valuable and necessary in the same way.  I had an epiphany this weekend, though.

It was born of a discussion with my husband, as so many of my most valuable insights are. We were talking about how when one country invades another, one of the first things they often do is burn or destroy the art and culture of the invaded land. As we talked about why, it started to really sink in that the art and culture of a people is how they remember their emotions. And not just one country, but the world… the whole world does this.

As humans, we can only hold so much emotion in one lifetime. It would be too overwhelming, too paralyzing to hold all that in our consciousness. I see people all the time who are burnt out or desensitized by trying to feel compassion for all the things in this world that deserve compassion and trying to care about all the things that need to be cared about. They can’t help but compartmentalize…”This isn’t happening to me, so I can’t look at that right now.” It’s human nature; it’s a necessary survival instinct, especially in our current culture.  We all feel the need to distance ourselves from the pain, and even the joy of others because it is just so overwhelming to feel it all.  But there is a risk inherent in doing this: we become unable to empathize with others who have different experiences than our own.

Why is that a risk? Because in a world of almost 9 billion people, those with vastly different lives from ours are everywhere, and humans are well known to develop profound fears of what they don’t know and don’t understand. And fear of the unknown and different is one of the underlying causes of almost every major social ill known to mankind.

So, what does this have to do with the importance of artists? The answer lies, for me, in a definition I once heard of Art: Art is anything that evokes a strong emotional reaction. Art reminds us of emotions we have forgotten. It allows us to step into the shoes of another for a moment, to feel their pain or joy or giddiness or sorrow. It plunges us into empathy. We begin to connect with each other again. And do you know what happens when we do that? Of course you do. We begin to treat each other with greater compassion and understanding. And do you know what happens when we do that? We raise the vibration of the entire planet.

Many of us believe we are here to anchor Love into Mother Earth at this time, to raise Her vibration to a level that is more harmonious, closer to Love, for the good of Her and all Her inhabitants. Just like with any cause or organization, there are lots of roles to fill. There are the Activists, who go out and march and write letters and make phone calls. They remind us we have to take action, to implement what we believe and make it a fact of life for all of us, not just those who can speak. There are the Healers and Teachers. They ensure that we are able to return to the field again and again. They remind Body and Soul and Mind of what needs to be done and how to do it. There are the Organizers and the Farmers and the Nurturers.

And I wanted to help, but I could not find my place among them, until I realized that Artists are as vital to the cause of Anchoring Love as any other role…of course we are…because Artists remind us of what history felt like.

So, gradually, I am settling into my place as a Keeper of Memory, a Guardian of Emotion. This is my role in the changing world, my specific lightworker job. It is my honor, and my duty. It’s what I came here to be and do. And do it, I will.

 

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Gregg Braden Hosts Missing Links

My husband and I recently watched most of this series on Gaia.com, and we found it utterly fascinating.  I just found episode 1 on youtube, as well.

If you love keeping up with the new edge where science and spirituality intersect, this is a must-watch!

 

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Staying in Your Own Lane, and Kari Samuels’ May Energy Forecast

Have you ever noticed that when you’re driving, if you look in any direction other than straight ahead, you start to veer in that direction?

The same holds true in your daily life. I’ve noticed that when I start to watch more news, read more articles or blogs or whatever about how awful the world is, and how everyone in it is doomed! doomed! doomed!, the more I start to actually feel that that’s true.  On the other hand, if I filter my Facebook newsfeed to only include positive stories, uplifting stories, I begin to feel that the world is a miraculous and wonderful place, and that good things are waiting around every corner for me. And, since I WANT to feel that good things are raining from the sky just for me, and I have almost total control over what I see, read, and watch, I can feel good about life most of the time.

Staying in one’s own lane means focusing on what’s in front of you and not being distracted by things that are not relevant to your life or beliefs.  It doesn’t mean there isn’t any other traffic, only that for your own safety and well-being, eyes front is the way to go.  It also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to make things better, only that the way to do that is to come back to the micro level – your own life – in order to effect the most profound change.

For example, I saw on the news a few days ago a story about a 15-year-old black boy who was shot leaving a party by a police office, for no apparent reason. The first thing I felt was a sense of total hopelessness and anger. How in the world could we ever change how that particular storyline is going?

I was thinking too big, though, and not staying in my lane! In my lane, I treat every person kindly, regardless of their skin color, sex, age, or any other external factor over which that person has no control. Staying in my lane means that I smile at the white grocery store cashier and at the black girl stocking shelves in the back of the store, at the little girl carrying some flowers she just bought with her own money and at her harried-looking mother who stubbornly refuses to smile back. THIS is how we effect change on a large scale…all of us deciding to stay in our lane and make decisions on how to treat ourselves and the other people in our day-to-day lives.  No law or policy change is going to accomplish what we can do individually to immediately change our lives and those around us.

 

On another note, after April’s turbulent energy, it was refreshing to watch Kari Samuels’ forecast for May.  I am a huge fan of numerology, and Kari makes it fun and easy, combining numerology and astrology for a well-rounded, uplifting message every month.

So, watch Kari, and remember to stay in your lane!

 

 

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In Case You Wondered … Yes, the Energies Have Been Intense!

There is lots of fluctuation in the Force, friends! Laura Bruno has wisdom to share, as usual. Stay calm, focused, and open, and you can follow the thread through to the other side!

Laura Bruno's Blog

I keep getting emails, questions in sessions, and private texts from clients, friends and family asking me what the heck is up with the recent energies. Yes, they have been VERY intense! Some people have been using these energies as rocket fuel for positive changes. Others have felt overwhelmed by sudden health crises, major relationship flare-ups, mandatory evacuations, and “out of the blue” switcheroo’s.

I personally am doing very well, with lots of super synchronous opportunities appearing and requiring openness and readiness for change. I know many people have had their worlds rocked in the past two weeks, though, because I’ve heard about it in sessions. I coach a number of therapists, and they also noted a major uptick in crises, emotional outbursts and addictive relapses, especially since Easter. It feels like a big cleanse, in which the old gunk temporarily recirculates before its full release. It also feels like…

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