My Wish

While I could have written a post in which I wished all of you here in the United States a happy 4th of July, my wish goes deeper than just that. Today’s national holiday is all about independence, so I find it fitting to wish each and every one of you, no matter where you are, freedom. Freedom to be who you are. Freedom from baggage of the past. Freedom from responsibility which isn’t yours to bear. Freedom to know true joy. Freedom to be accepted as you are by everyone, including and especially yourself. Freedom to experience deep, true love. Freedom to experience inner peace.

My wish for each and every one of is in short, is happiness. Until next time…

 

 

 

Take The Selfish Out of Self Care

If you’re anything like me, you were taught that making self care a priority was a selfish act. At the same time it was likely ingrained in you that you should always bring the best you’ve got in you to the table of life. Let’s take those sentences apart for a moment.

Self care is selfish.

Bring the best you’ve got in you to the table of life.

Notice anything? Those two sentences contradict one another-and not just a little bit. It isn’t possible to bring your best to the table if you’ve been neglecting yourself, and sadly that is what many of us do for not just years, but decades and entire lifetimes. There are a few facets of self care that we’ll focus on for this week’s post.

Self care not only keeps us energized and healthy, it keeps us on track with our purpose. That might seem strange at first glance, but think about it. If you are always on the go and busy, even if you’re doing good things with your time, there’s no time to tend to your own stuff. How are you to know what makes your soul sing if you never take the time to ask it what it wants? It is important to understand that we are of better service to the world and others when we are clear about and within ourselves.

The reason for that is that many of us distract ourselves from the issues that we desperately need to face and clear by staying too busy. Part of self care is the tending of our innermost being. When we do this, we are able to truly know love and compassion because until we experience it for ourselves we cannot completely understand how to help others to find it. Sometimes facing the things that need facing is extremely difficult, but take it from me-they do not go away by trying to ignore them. Not only that, but you find out what it is that you truly wish to be doing with your life, as opposed to what you’ve been told that you should want.

The second facet of self care that is so very important is the joy part. Allowing yourself the opportunity to relax and do things that bring a smile to your face is not a waste of time. It creates a more well rounded foundation from which to fulfill the missions that we set for ourselves. Why? A happy person acts out of a sense of true desire and passion instead of a begrudging feeling of responsibility. Sometimes we need to say no to a request for help from someone in order to take care of one of the facets of our own self care, and that is perfectly okay too. Seriously, do not feel guilty for this.

My own experience has taught me over the course of a few decades that my willingness to always say yes to a request for help wasn’t a positive thing. The first was that I avoided dealing with the issues which were keeping me from growing into my genuine self. The second was that by always saying yes, there were times that I didn’t allow the other person an opportunity to learn how to handle things on their own.

By no means do I advocate a life of complete selfish hedonism. It’s just vital that we all know that self care is not a luxury-it is a necessity, and that we know that not all requests need be granted because at times to do so is a detriment to self and to the other party. Believe it or not, allowing yourself to practice better self care helps you to be able to know the different types of requests and how to deal with them all in the most loving and helpful way possible (even when you deny the request).

So, what I would love to ask of each of you who reads this is that you do yourself a favor this weekend. It can be something big, or something as small as taking a few minutes here and there to simply stop and take a few deep breaths in the most quiet space that you can find. Do something you love. Read, listen to your favorite song while dancing in your bedroom, take a walk around the block or in the woods, dust off your paints and paint a little, write in a journal, meditate, get out your old woodworking tools and fire them up or just go out and gather some materials, watch a funny movie, hell-watch a scary movie (that makes some of us happy)-you get the point. Each of us has varying amounts of time that we can devote to self care. The important part is to start somewhere. As time goes by, you will find that as you make it part of your life, more opportunities will present themselves.

Some of you will say that it’s impossible. For those of you thinking that-I will leave you with an example. There is a woman who lives in my building who is utterly miserable every day and she loves telling anyone who will listen all about it. Just yesterday, I was on my way out to go grocery shopping, and this woman was sitting by the entrance waiting for a pizza delivery.

Her spin on this was that she was ordering pizza because she simply didn’t have the energy to cook that day. She said it with such agony that it was painful to watch. My reply to her was, “Well then, looks like you are listening to your body. Enjoy your treat and the time you’ve made for yourself to relax”.

She did not like this reply at all and said, “If only I were young again I could enjoy my life”.

My response was, “Enjoy yourself today. Get that pizza and go watch your favorite movie”.

Nope! She still wasn’t buying it. She said, “It isn’t possible for me to have fun and enjoy my life”.

At this point, I decided that I wasn’t going to continue to feed her negativity and said, “You know what? You’re right! You can’t have any fun at all-because you said so”.

With that, I wished her a good rest and a delicious pizza and went about my day.

The point? What we tell ourselves becomes the truth. Have a wonderful weekend, doing something just for you. I’ll be beginning National Poetry Writing Month tomorrow which is an absolute joy for me. It makes April one of my favorite months of the year. The rest of this weekend will be dedicated to giving my achy muscles a much needed rest, working with some crystals, and curling up with a good book.

Feel free to share your enjoyment with the rest of us! Seeing other people listening to their souls and bodies uplifts us all-well most of us. The remainder are in more need of self care than they probably realize. What pops into your mind as something that you can do for yourself this weekend?

 

 

Make A Wish

When thinking about bringing our dreams to life, a key part of making this happen is the spirit in which we pursue it. Often, what we believe or disbelieve about an outcome is exactly what happens…positive or negative. As a dear friend of mine said the other day…like attracts like.

Yes, it is true that we do not get everything that we ask for. At times, even when we do get what we ask for, it comes about in a different way than we had imagined. Though it might seem hard to believe, when things are difficult, we are still very much loved. Sometimes what love does is help us to make it through our trials with more ease, without taking the trial away. We often think that if someone were listening to our prayers or wishes, that everything we request should be delivered.

Deep in our hearts, we know that having our requests met isn’t the same as being loved. A good example would be to think of a young child who is asking to climb out onto a steep roof to look at the sky. Out of love, we would tell the child no. They may feel as though we are being mean to them or denying them a fair request, when in reality we are saying no because we love them too much to allow them to risk injury or worse.

Sometimes though, we do get what we ask for, and in the past few weeks, I have been seeing real results from practicing more trust in the universe when it comes to manifesting wonderful things. What I’ve been learning is that when I ask for what I need and desire without having concrete expectations of how it is going to look-well, that’s when great things happen. When we simply practice gratitude for the things which we desire coming to us, without thinking about how unlikely it might seem, it really is more likely to come to pass. That voice of doubt that lives in all of us has the power to turn into self fulfilling prophecy. The opposite is also true.

This type of thought change doesn’t happen overnight, and I realize that. Hell, I lived in a place of doubt and fear for a few decades. When I write pieces like this, it isn’t me being preachy or passing judgement on anyone. The reason that I share what I learn and see is to encourage those of you who are going through a difficult time. I’ve been there, and I do what I do because I know how hard it can be to break old patterns. If you do not agree with me, there’s no offense taken. If you don’t believe that the things that I’m writing about can happen to you, there’s no offense taken there either (but it is my wish that someday you will believe that you deserve for good things to happen and that it is possible).

When you read what I write here, please do not feel as though you have to defend your position which may be different than mine. It is your right to feel differently. If it is your belief that I am completely wrong, that’s perfectly okay with me too. My words are meant to encourage you to keep on trying if you are seeking more peace and contentment within yourself and share tips that have worked in my life or in the lives of people that I know. Your ways may be different than mine which is perfect…because if it works for you, that’s the goal. Your experiences with how you’ve created and manifested positive change could inspire others and me too, so please feel free to share them here or on the Facebook page.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Who Do You Think You Are?

While there are any number of answers which you might think of to answer this question, there is in fact, only one. No matter who you are, what you do, where you live, or how you look…you are whoever you think you are. If you’re anything like me, you have had people ask you who you thought you were on more than one occasion.

One thing which is common when it comes to this question, is that no matter how old you are when someone asks it of you, it usually doesn’t feel very good. When people ask this question, it isn’t usually meant in a kind way. They are usually asking it to imply that they feel that the person that they’re asking it of is inferior, not good enough, impractical, or some other derogatory thing. While many of us have been asked to this sort of question, there are those who are subjected to it more than others.

The adults who are asked this question the most are women, people with illnesses, the disabled, and creative people. Those who fire off this question do so for several reasons. They ask it in an attempt to “put someone in their place”, to point out to someone that they aren’t measuring up in some way (in their opinion), to diminish self esteem, to manipulate, or to be critical of another person’s choices. Whether the question is asked directly or implied by making a statement, it has the potential to be damaging.

The most recent incident of something along this vein in my own life wasn’t all that long ago. As most of you know, there are a few things about me which make me a potential target for this type of behavior…I am a woman, I am creative, and I have chronic illnesses. Not too long ago, someone made the statement to me that thinking that writing was going to be a way for me to become more financially stable was impractical. Not only that, but that the odds were stacked against my being successful enough at it to make a difference in my life because so many people want to do it. The person went on to say that it was a nice thing to do in order to give me something to do so that I didn’t get bored.

I’ve also been asked who I thought I was to think that I was qualified to provide intuitive services for others…and wasn’t I worried that others would think that I was weird? In the past someone making statements of this nature and asking me that sort of question bothered me tremendously and made me feel diminished. There were times when I felt so defeated that I quit doing the things that mattered to me because I bought into the implied answer to what this question almost always is. “Who do you think you are?” No one. Not good enough. Foolish. That’s what the desired impact most often is.

If you have had this happen, please don’t be hard on yourself and do not be discouraged. It doesn’t matter who anyone else thinks that we are. What does matter is who we think we are. Even though this is irrelevant, I wish to talk about it anyway…in order to shine a light on it. When a person feels the need to go after someone in this way, it is a reflection on them…a reflection of their own fears and insecurities…or a reflection of work that they need to do on themselves. Think about it…what type of person has a need to do try to tear someone else down?

It isn’t someone who is good with themselves. It isn’t someone with a loving and compassionate heart. It isn’t someone who is fully happy with their own life. Under the circumstances of being good with yourself, having a loving heart, and happiness with your own life…there is no room or proclivity to tear down another. Period. As I said, this doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, because it isn’t your responsibility to understand why someone is the way that they are. And, it certainly isn’t your responsibility to put up with it. The important thing is how you feel about yourself, not as a result of what anyone else says or does…what you and you alone think.

Your gender, your spirituality, your state of health, your ability to work at a ‘normal’ job, your choice of career…none of this makes you inferior or superior. What matters is who you are at your core. All of the other stuff is just stuff, and no one has a right to question or judge any of it. You do not owe anyone an explanation. It is so important to find your own unique brand of happiness, and not measure yourself against anyone else. Follow your passions to the best of your ability and know that it is good enough.

I didn’t go into when children, people who are not of a straight sexual orientation, or racial minorities are asked this type of question in this post, because those issues simply cannot be lumped in with what I’ve discussed here today. While I cannot do all of this justice in this post…I will openly and gladly state that I do not find it acceptable that racial minorities, those of other than straight sexual orientations, and kids are asked this question either. If anyone finds themselves thinking about asking it…the reality is that some self examination would serve them much better.

So…who do you think you are? The only answer and opinion that matters, and that you need to take or not take action on, is your own.

 

 

 

What I Want You To Know…Never Give Up

While the flu is what I am recovering from at the moment, I have a few chronic illnesses and conditions which I’ve talked about from time to time here. Being sick has, of course, exacerbated some of the symptoms of my other conditions. My fatigue and pain levels have been higher than usual while I’ve been ill. For the past two weeks, all I could do each day was remind myself that it would get better and not much more. Thank goodness, my brother in law was kind enough to go to the pharmacy and pick up meds and juice for me…and my sister…yes, she had it too…which sucks. I don’t know what I would have done without him. If you read this post brother…thank you! I’ve still got some recovering to do, but at least I’m seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

For the first time in my life, I have zero guilt over all of the stuff sitting there waiting to be done. This is big for me. Before the fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, immune issues, and degenerative disc disease got to the point that they constantly interfered with my life, I was a total type A personality. Now I’ve reached a certain level of comfort with being where I am at any given moment, instead of agonizing over where I used to be or where I wish to go.

What I want to help you to understand is that we can thrive from right where we are…it just might be different than it used to be or how we envisioned it in the past. For example, I used to work at a corporate job and was constantly on the go. As the years went by, I had to take more time off from work…and then a car accident totally tipped things over the top and the corporate world had to go. While my creative, metaphysical , oddball (happily so) self was never a good match for the corporate world…it paid the bills. Looking back, I wonder how in the world I managed to survive in that environment.

Speaking of environment…when I was younger I used to be very involved in environmental activism…putting together campaigns, doing public speaking, and traveling to conferences. When things really hit the fan with my health, I felt like I was without an identity. Even worse, I felt utterly useless. The reason that I am so candid about this is that I know that there are a lot of people out there who feel similar, for various reasons. I’m here to tell you that it gets better in time, and that there is still so much that you have to offer to the world. Do not let anyone make you feel any differently, including yourself.

In the years since I had to leave my traditional workplace, I have dived into my spirituality and creativity…worked on rebuilding my life. I’m not going to tell you that it has been easy, but I will tell you that has been worth every last bit of the time and effort. What I have found is that I am more truly in line with myself now than I have ever been.Trust me, there is a big learning curve. There will be times when it feels too daunting, and these are the times which teach us more than we could imagine. So what can you do when you can’t do what you used to do? Your answers will be different, but here’s what I’m up to.

I’ve just finished writing a novel which is in the editing process now, have had several articles published in an online magazine, the bare bones of a non-fiction book I started in November is sitting there waiting for me, I am perfecting a few forms of art which I have found an affinity for, and I also do spiritual work in the form of readings, energy clearing, and mentoring.  The financial part will come, I just know it. The most important part is to keep moving forward. I’ve gotten frustrated more than once…and have almost thrown in the towel. Each time though, I come back stronger, and with more knowledge of how things work best for me. Most recently, I discovered that I needed to put better boundaries in place, and I’m so glad that I saw the real problem. I almost walked away from everything I’ve worked so hard on in the past few years with my spiritual practice. Not gonna happen.

As for the environmental activism I have found some great online sites which circulate petitions (which make a real difference). I’ve also written letters to or called elected officials about key environmental issues. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be having a good enough day that I was able to get out and walk in the March against Monsanto. That felt great!

Granted there are times in which I am too sick to get much of anything accomplished for weeks, times in which I can only do one small task before needing to take a break…and I’m telling you this because it is important to understand that it isn’t always easy. The point is that each of us has things inside of us which we can still contribute…no matter how small it might seem…and it all matters. We all have our own set of passions, abilities, and gifts…and it is up to each of us to find what those are and find ways to put them to use. It might take longer…you might have to be more creative…there will be down times…but the rewards are great.

In the future, I’ll be putting together more articles about thriving from where you are. They won’t all be quite this wordy (but some of them will…I can get chatty). I used to write more about topics like this in the past and wish to bring some of that back. Why? Because helping others to regain a sense of purpose and dignity means a lot to me. I’ve got years of experience in doing this for myself and I want to share what I’ve learned. Most importantly, I wish to share with you my sense of hope. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Have a great weekend. See you next time.

The Flu & A Change Of Pace

Hi everyone. It has been pretty quiet around here for a little while, other than the faces. I thought I’d come by and share what is going on with me right now. The first thing, which is the main reason it has been so quiet, is that I’ve had the flu for a week and it’s still got its grip on me. Right before that, I had a stomach virus. So, the month of February has been a rough one.

Right before I came down with this nasty bug, I had decided to suspend the tarot cards, at least for a while…maybe permanently. I’ve also removed the readings page from the site…also indefinitely. In addition, I deleted the Facebook group which I had been running for a while. It isn’t that I’m through with using my talents and abilities to help others…I just feel that it’s time to change the direction a bit. Before I had a chance to define the changes, even for myself, this flu hit me. I’m aware that this might be a good thing, because I’ve been forced to wait, as opposed to just jumping right into things without much thought as has been my not so successful habit.

While I’ve been too sick to give things a whole lot of thought, I do know one thing. Many years ago I had a blog (which no longer exists). That blog was very uplifting, positive, and honestly…more fun than this one has been in a long time…maybe ever. I have missed this side of myself. While making my statement without reservation…that I can read tarot, that I have a finely honed intuition, that I have the ability to make connections with those who have passed…was important, the time has come to reclaim that other part of me.

You see, for most of my life, I kept those parts of me tucked away. There were several reasons why I did that. The main reasons were the early disapproval and rejection by religion and family. There were many years which I lived in a state of shame and insecurity…and more than a little self loathing. While there were times during which I had worked with these things, there were always people from whom I kept it all a secret because of the fear of rejection. Then, something happened when I hit 40.

After all of those years of ups and downs, I claimed that part of myself in a big way. It became more important to me that I squashed the shame than it was to risk having people, mainly in my family, turn their backs on me. So, for the past three years, I’ve been wide out in the open…and until recently, it felt really good. Recently, I found myself thinking that it’s great that I have been open about that part of myself and am finally without shame. At the same time, I feel that it’s time to blend all of my parts together. To gain some balance.

It isn’t that I’ll never do readings again. I probably will…and it will happen when it is meant to…without me being out there every day, trying to convince people that they need a reading from me. This has never felt good. It isn’t that I’ll never post tarot cards again. I might…and if so, that’s fine…just not now. So, what am I going to be doing?

That is a question which I do not entirely have an answer to yet. I know that I’ll be doing more work in encouraging people to thrive from where they are, and getting the message out there that every life has value. As a person with chronic illnesses, it has taken me a long time to understand that I still have a lot to offer to the world. That old blog that I was telling you about was one which focused a lot on posts, stories, and activities which encouraged people to see the value in themselves. In addition to that, it was always my hope that I might put something out there which would cause those without chronic illnesses or other obstacles to be more compassionate and less dismissive. I also made a lot of silly, just for the fun of it posts on that old blog too, and I’d like to do some of those again because while most of you wouldn’t know it from the previous tone of this site…I am a goofball from way back.

So, those are the worlds which I am in the process of blending together. The pieces will fall together in due time. Until they do I’ll finish editing my novel, make some posts of the old variety, write posts on nature and the environment, make some more videos about various things, and keep making art. Who knows how it will all come together. I surely do not, and for the first time ever…I’m okay with that. I’ve settled into a space of being still and going with the flow of things…of observing and listening to the voice within. You know the one…the one that comes from inside the heart…the one that lights up and brightly says, “yes, that!”, when you are truly inspired to do something which just feels right.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m looking forward to putting some stuff together…as soon as I’m done healing from this flu. Sure hope that many of you will stick around. Not to worry…there will still be posts and videos on crystals and energy work because this is still very much a part of me. It always will be. As soon as I’m better…the whole me will be taking the wheel. Now that my open statement about the long rejected part of me has been out there for a while, I’m ready for there to be no more fragments. Time to climb out of my self imposed box and open up to life more.

The Universe Speaks

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly which direction to take myself in when it comes to the work that I do. Nope, I still don’t have it exactly figured out and know that it will change over and over as time goes by. That’s the nature of life. Just this past few weeks, I was seriously thinking about stepping in as organizer for one of the local meetup groups in which the leader stepped down. For about a month I’ve been thinking of starting a group next year at some point, and that is still in the back of my mind as a possibility.

There was something about this group which was already in existence which kept me coming back to it again and again. I even sent an email to meetup to ask them what taking over this group would entail. At the same time I found my mind racing around practical questions such as if stepping into this type of role feels right, whether or not I would be physically reliable to take something like this on, if I even truly felt called to do something like this no matter whether now or next year, and whether the added financial expense was something that I wanted to assume right now. Of course there were more things that I thought about, but those were the main ones.

One of the things that keeps coming back to me is that writing has always been my number one passion, and that I would like to have the time and energy to devote to my art practice as well. Then, there is the matter of doing readings and energy work when they come up, not to mention the fact that while I love being social at times that I am primarily an introvert. It is not social anxiety…I have learned what the difference is over the years. Finally learning that difference has enabled me to finally let go of one of the things that I used to be questioned about both by others and by myself.

Well, I was supposed to go to a meetup group just this past Sunday on a topic which interested me very much. I did not get to go because I woke up on Sunday morning with a raging migraine and a cold. Yes, I know that people get migraines and colds every day. I also know that not everything has a deep meaning. However, I have been asking each night before I go to sleep for guidance about which direction my work needs to go in and one of those concerns was the meetup group. When I woke up that sick on Sunday, I took it as a message and immediately took the idea of taking over the meetup group which is available now off the table. Now is not the time, and if it never is that’s fine. I can do workshops for groups already in existence if I feel called to do so.

The way that I’m looking at it is that if something like that is in my future, it will happen. Then, a magical thing happened. For the first time in years, I had an inspiration flood in for a children’s story. I probably won’t be getting to it anytime this month because of NaNoWriMo. When I was in my twenties, I was into writing for kids…big time. Now that I’ve taken up art, the story idea came to me in both concept and in illustration. I’m going to start playing with the illustrations on weekends and evenings to see if I can get it worked out. No matter what I do, writing keeps coming back.

While no firm decisions about anything are being made on my part right now, my mind is staying open to the messages that are coming through…some as whispers…others more like a yell. Yes indeed, my word for the year is proving to be perfect. What feels good is keeping awareness around hearing without feeling the need to take immediate action. This is going to take me some time, because admittedly I have a tendency to dive right into things before thinking them through. So far so good!

Are you good at taking subtle cues and slowing down enough to truly receive them? Or are you more like I have been for most of my life and keep charging ahead until you have no choice but to stop and listen?