Thursday, November 22, 2018
If your life is perfect this year and you have no qualms, you may want to stop reading this right now. I'm not writing this for anyone who is on top of their game. If you are surrounded by loved ones, and no one has died or left you, if you have more than enough food and you are joyfully plotting your black Friday shopping without a worry of how you'll pay for it all, move on to the next post- this one is not for you. However if you are grieving right now, if you feel like you're a mess and you're about to fake smile your way through the holidays, stay. Read on. I have something for YOU.
I've been there. I've held my breath while driving past houses filled with family and craved whatever drama good or bad they had going on just so I wouldn't be alone. I've ducked out of parties feeling overwhelmed by the very crowds people told me to "get out" in. I've shamefully showed up on Christmas morning with a fake smile and a bleeding heart, hoping and praying that my children wouldn't see anything but the facade so that they wouldn't feel neglected. Yes, I've heard the music and cried, ate the food and resented it, and I've been in the thickest part of mourning during a season that flashes bright lights, jolly elves, cheerful feasts and felt the indignity of it all. For so many, the holidays can bring up more stress, memories of suffering and reveal past and current grievances. If that's you, my heart is with you. I get it.
As I sit here writing this on Thanksgiving morning, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I am reminded of something that has helped me through this season during hard times. Simplify. I remember one Thanksgiving my kids were both at other families and I was alone. I made a "Thanksgiving Day Self Care To Do List" filled with ideas from nature walks and painting to giving myself a rose petal salt bath and pedicure. I took one small step of the list at a time and by the end of the day I felt like a million bucks! It actually ended up being the best day I had experienced in a long time. Way better than laying around watching the Hallmark channel feeling sorry for myself.
Because no matter what you are going through, some things will still have the ability to pull the little child from your broken heart and bring a sense of hope again. Even through my own traumas, I've realized that some things never change; I cry every year when Santa shows up at the end of the parade(literally the only man to remain consistent in my life. Without fail I tearfully whisper, "he came.") Regardless of what I've gone through, I find it comforting to allow certain things to move me. I still have to sing along to certain Christmas songs, peppermint hot chocolate will always bring me back into my body, book stores bring comfort, and I will always dreamily lose myself in the magic of a sparkly city street. I've learned that by allowing the simple little things about the season to touch my heart, it can bring my mind out of big negativity.
So if you are grieving, angry, resentful, sad, or just not having a happy holiday season, one thing is certain, you are not alone. More people experience hardship during the holidays than you can imagine. What you are going through right now will help you to recognize others who are also suffering. Let's keep that in mind as we are demanding service from the barista who is battling depression or a store manager who his having to work on a holiday away from his children. With everything that goes on with people, my prayer every year is that compassion reigns the holidays. My heart is holding yours with compassion now and always, my friend. I want you to know that someone is praying for you, lighting a candle for you, and that you are surrounded by angels. As you move through your pain, I have full faith that you too will one day see that no matter how hard things get, there is always something even just one simple little thing you can hold on to and be grateful for. Hold on to what you can. Plant those things like seeds so that they grow. Eventually, the frosty pain gives way to warmer times and those little things will become treasures among the many new and wonderful things that are waiting for you. The good thing about seasons is that they eventually pass. Your life WILL move forward.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Saying no wasn't easy. You had hope, attachment, and disappointment all wrapped up in it. But something within you was inspiring you for more- telling you that you deserve better. And so you put your foot down. You said no, fully expecting something better to fill it's place. And something better will. God and His Universe respond boldly to the bold and faithfully to the faithful. You want Divine intervention? Stop agreeing to things your soul is directing you to say no to.
Friday, November 9, 2018
This is the season of the last harvest. Long ago, our ancestors would be cutting through the last of their crops and preparing large celebratory feasts with what they had all harvested. In the spirit of gratitude they would be appreciating the fruits of everyone's hard labor. There might have been a feeling of relief that the hardest part of their work was over and they could finally reap what they had sown. However, their work was never truly finished, there would also be talking and much planning for the darker colder months ahead. I am constantly in awe of the cycles in nature and how those cycles mirror themselves still in our own modern lives. It may not be crops you are tending to, perhaps it's a dream, goal, or something of a different nature. Still, some things never change. The lessons our ancestors had to learn in order to survive are the same in today's world. You can't expect your life to flourish without your hands getting dirty, so here are the stages of our life's cycles illustrated in a garden analogy. As you read through the different stages of growth, abundance, death, and rebirth, see if you can try to find out where you are in your own life cycle. This might give you clues as to why you may be stuck, and what your next steps might be.
The First Stage: Clearing
In order to have a flourishing garden, you must make the time and effort to clear the land and till the soil. This can be the most difficult part of your journey because it means that you have to be willing to let go of what has died, what no longer works, and what might get in the way of new growth. This includes letting go of things like unhealthy relationships, negative thinking and pessimism, constricting obligations and bad habits. This first step is the most crucial to a healthy cycle. You must let things die if you want things to be reborn.
The Second Stage: Seeds
Once you have cleared away anything that will not promote your absolute success, it is time to plant seeds. Dream big! Begin to put your desired outcomes down onto paper or a vision board. Do research, and talk to the right people about what you want to see bloom in your life. It is a time to imagine, create, and think positive affirming thoughts. The beginning phase is always exciting, new, and fresh. You have a support system, you have your tools, you have what it takes! Plant it!
The Third Stage: Tending
This is the part of the cycle where you can start to narrow down a step by step process and track your progress. It involves checks and balances. You may need to prioritize and make adjustments and changes as you figure out what strategies work. You learn the power of consistency, dedication, and flexibility. It feels good to feed and nourish the things in your life that are truly important to you.
The Fourth Stage: Patience
Every life cycle goes through a stage where you are working really hard and it seems like there are no results. This is the most common place the gardener (you) will either quit or go digging, (this is the equivalent to a gardener digging up his seeds to make sure they are growing, only to prematurely pull them from the ground, killing his crops.) Stage four is not pretty, and honestly most people don't make it past this point. There is a restlessness that overcomes most people when they don't receive instant gratification for their work. We can start feeling resentful and jealous of those who’s gardens are in later stages. Impatience causes frustration and self doubt. We may start pointing fingers and blaming those around us for our perceived failure. I have come to learn that patience is the hardest of all virtues, especially when it comes to our dreams. We start out with such high expectations and we want nature to bend to our will “right now!” However just like a garden, there is a time to all growth. You cannot expect to be harvesting in stage four. No, in order to pass this point, you must master patience and continue doing the work and tending to your dreams. Stage four is where faith is built, it's where heroes are made.
The Fifth Stage: Breaking Ground
Nothing in this world compares to finally seeing results from all of your hard work and patience. You know you’ve broken ground when you can finally start to relax. Things may not be in full bloom yet, however there is a feeling of relief that replaces the anxiety when you can finally see how the garden is going to look. You are confidant, your systems are all working in sync. Your consistency has paid off, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. You have security in what you see coming.
The Sixth Stage: Tending
Yes, it’s back to tending and being patient again. However, your mentality will have matured now that you've mastered what it takes to reap results. As your dreams and goals start to blossom, your strategies may need reevaluations. Your perspectives will change due to your growing experience and wisdom. You may have new and different people in your life that you relate to who also made it past stage four. You know what works and what doesn’t work, and you may have developed a different way of tending than when you did at stage three.
The Seventh Stage: The Harvest/The Sharing
You are now receiving the full benefit of all your hard work! Abundance is yours! There is much to celebrate as you fully reap what you have sown and in the spirit of gratitude and prosperity, you begin to share and take care of those around you. You become a way shower for those stuck in previous stages. You are in a place to speak from experience, wisdom, and a deep understanding of what it takes to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
The Eighth Stage: Reviewing & Planning
If you think you have arrived at the promised land at stage seven, you are very wrong. Your garden, aka goals, dreams, projects, and desires, can die at anytime so it's imperative that you to plan your next course of action. You must review what you have learned and who/what you can count on to be a continuing part of your blossoming garden. Most of all, you will recognize that as your garden blooms, so do you. All of your results are a direct reflection of how you do life internally. If you get stuck at any previous stage, it will be an opportunity to look within and recognize limitations that need healing. We all want to believe that our lives are compartmentalized - that one part of our lives wouldn’t affect the others. However, just like in a garden, if you allow weeds to grow in one part, they can easily take over other areas. How this relates to your life is the saying, "how you do one thing, is how you do everything." If you neglect your health and get sick, this will affect your ability to work. If you are unhappy in your relationship, this will drain your energy and life will become heavy, making it harder to accomplish anything. By the time you are at this stage, you are VERY aware of this fact. Perhaps with this wisdom, you will begin to understand why the gardener needs just as much attention as the garden. Each cycle you complete takes you deeper and deeper into your own blossoming.
Think of it this way: The gardener must do what few people are willing to do in order to have the garden that few people can even dream of. In other words, if you want the life you dream of in stage one, you must be willing to become someone who will make it to stage nine. (Develop habits, work ethic, and the necessary mentality.)
The Ninth Stage: Clearing
In ancient numerology the number nine represents the end because every number after nine is a combination of the first nine. And so, since this is a cycle, we must end where we once began and where we will begin again. Just like the seasons, while the cycle never ends, your dynamics will. You will clear different things at each passing of this point in the cycle. As you become a seasoned gardener, your garden will excel at flourishing and from this point, new seeds will sprout in your mind and heart. Our ancestors would most likely be burning down their crops at this stage in an effort to get rid of anything that would stand in the way of next seasons new seeds. New ideas and a fresh outlook on life will cause your cycle to come full circle and then you will be ready to begin again!
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
From October 31 to November 2, the veil between the world of the living, and the world of those who have passed on is very thin. Many traditions and cultures recognize these days as a time to honor their ancestors and deceased loved ones. If you are going to enter the world of mysticism. it is inevitable that you will also enter the unseen worlds. At some point in your spiritual journey, you will run into your family and ancestral issues. This is because you are here to heal them and to break cycles.
As we pass through this very sacred time, it is best to remember something I learned as I went through my own ancestor healing. Your families hold many many stories. Some of them are stories of hardship and struggle. But many stories are of their victories and accomplishments. There are some stories that are passed down by mouth or by DNA but it is up to you to decide which stories you want to honor and carry on. At the end of the day, I think it is important to acknowledge that regardless of the stories, you are the result of thousands of years of love. You must remember that your life comes from an endless stream of love stories. Whether your ancestors fell in love with each other, or their countries, or their life's purpose- you can tap into the lines of love streaming to you down throughout the ages and feel an immense amount of joy from your bloodlines. You can liberate your ancestors by believing in their best stories that manifest in your own life. If you really want to know who your ancestors are, look in the mirror. You are the result of their tenacity and will to live. Doesn't that make you feel grateful?
This morning I set up my Dia de Muertos alter. I think that this has become one of my most favorite celebrations. As many of you know, my children's father died and beyond celebrating his birthday, November 1 has become a beautiful day of honoring him, grandparents, friends, and others who have passed on. I decorated the alter with crystals, wine, tea, fruit, bread, flowers, pictures, and a lovely candle that will burn through the night. I also added a list of names of my great grandparents for as far back as I can remember. Throughout today, anyone can come to the alter and write a name on the list, or place a photo of a deceased loved one upon it and take a moment to give thanks for that persons life. We can also ask our ancestors to help us heal family issues like addictions, drama, or cycles of poverty and hate. Each time I pass the alter today, my heart feels full. My home feels blessed with the sweet memories and sacred presence of my ancient to recent ancestors and a promise I make to them each year; To make them proud, to help them to see that they did not live in vain. To show them that the struggles and hardships they endured to give me the life I have today were victorious still. And more than anything to allow the love throughout the ages to fill my heart, my soul, and my own life with the silent stories of my past.