Love Letter ~ Growth Opportunities

Dear beautiful souls,

Going through challenging or confusing things in our lives is a lot like being caught up in the vortex of a tornado while in the midst of the situation. One of the most important things to remember when we’re in the process of learning a lesson or experiencing a growing pain is to permit ourselves to feel what we feel. Squashing our feelings is so common for many of us, especially those who were taught early on that expression of feelings is a negative thing.

Eventually, most of us learn that feeling is better than squashing. It can just take us a while to trust that part of ourselves.¬† As a dear friend stated just today…feeling our feelings…even the negative ones, is a good thing. She also pointed out that we need¬† to remember to transform it at some point into a positive. Her point was timely and well absorbed. Hence, the lesson is received. Finding the balance between reaction and flowing into the growth can be difficult for most of us. Try not to be too hard on yourself while finding your way.

Not only is it important to take it easy on ourselves, we need to be mindful of the outside influences which we are permitting to impact our journey. When going through periods of transformation, it is natural for the order in our lives to become shaken up for a while. This is another element of the lesson or growth opportunity. Through our largest periods of growth and learning, there are bound to be some emotions lurking beneath the surface, waiting to rear their heads. Relationships may come and go, jobs or careers might change, sometimes even entire belief systems undergo an overhaul.

This is not work for the faint of heart my lovelies, but it is well worth it. Walking the path to wisdom is a lot like trying to tame a horse…there’s going to be a good bit of bucking along the way…both from within and without. Hold on tight and ride, until the stuff which isn’t serving your highest good is left in the dust. All of the madness will eventually lead to ever higher levels of love and understanding. Don’t give up now. Hold on to your heart and dive in. Just don’t forget to infuse a little levity along the way.

Much love,

Tracy

 

Angel Wisdom Wednesday ~ July 13, 2016

The card for this week is from the Angel Therapy oracle deck by Doreen Virtue.

Visualize Success

This week, it will be important to keep a vision of a successful outcome to a situation you’ve been thinking about. We’ve pretty much all heard of the law of attraction by now, as well as manifestation. The importance of the energy that we fill and surround ourselves with cannot be stressed enough. We’ve all seen evidence in our own lives that what we “expect” is often what happens. A big key is in visualizing the basics of what it is that you wish for, and not stressing out about the small details. Make the mental image of your desired result as vivid as you can and give yourself permission to believe. For those of you naysayers out there, I have only one response…

If you choose to scoff at this idea, and take the route of cynicism and negative expectations what do you stand to gain?

Dream big my friends, and take one step at a time.

Smudging Materials

Smudging is a way to purify or cleanse a space or person spiritually using herbs or other materials. This method has traditionally been used by indigenous peoples from all over the world for thousands of years as part of their sacred traditions. In modern times, people in Western society have adopted smudging as part of their spiritual practices as well. The first thing which springs to mind with most people who are at least a little familiar with smudging is sage. Sometimes though, you may feel as though you would like to use something entirely different or add another substance to use in addition to sage, depending on your mood or intent/needs.

In Native American traditions, the three herbs which are used in smudging are sage, sweetgrass, and cedar. First things first, we can start with sage. It is often sold in bundles which you can light at the end and carry it around, or take apart and burn in some sort of heat resistant container. Once you get the sage lit, you will extinguish the flame by blowing on it or fanning it when the sage is glowing in order to wave the smoke around the area or person which you are smudging. If you let the sage burn for too long, the smoke can be a little overpowering. Experiment until you find the amount of smoke which you’re comfortable with.

Sweetgrass is typically sold in braids and can be used in a few different ways. You can either snip off the tips and light the end of the braid and carry it around to smudge, or you can snip some of the braid off and put it into a heat resistant container either alone or with other sacred herbs.

Cedar is sold in a few varieties and it is up to you how you would like to use it. It is sold in chips which can be placed in a heatproof container and either lit enough to smolder or placed in with other herbs which are already lit as a bed for the cedar to rest on. You can also purchase dried, green cedar tips which can be lit and allowed to smolder in a heatproof container either alone or with other herbs.

A few other herbs which come to mind for use in smudging are mugwort, juniper, and lavender which you can easily look up to learn the proper ways to use them and the specific uses for them. In addition to herbs, some people like to use the fragrant wood palo santo which is sold in small pieces and lit to smolder. It goes out relatively fast, but I have found that a little of this goes a long way for me. There are also a few resins which come to mind for smudging purposes. I’ll list the ones I’m most familiar with and leave it to you to look them up to see which ones seem like they’d be a good fit for you.

The main three resins which I’ve used in smudging are dragon’s blood, frankincense, and myrrh. Copal is another one which is pretty popular, but I haven’t used it. Resins are used differently than herbs or woods. A common way to use resin is to get some charcoal discs which are sold where you can buy incense. Place the charcoal disc on a heat safe plate, light it and let it burn until it starts to glow. Blow out the flame and fan the disc so that it glows well, then drop a few pieces of your resin into the center of the disc.

With all of the materials for smudging, you will want to be sure that you use something that you can safely carry around to allow the smoke to reach all of the areas which you wish to purify or cleanse and never leave burning materials unattended. Keep in mind that unlike incense which most of us in the Western world use for their scent, smudging materials aren’t always the most pleasing aromas. It is because they are being used for spiritual purposes rather than aesthetic reasons. Many of these substances smell very nice, but it is always good to know that it isn’t going to be the same as going to your local incense shop and picking up perfumy sticks which smell like flowers, musk, or fruit.

Happy smudging!

 

Just How Cheeky Are You?

Before getting into the subject, I wish you all of you a lovely full moon and Summer solstice. On this longest day of the year and brightly illuminated night, which are perfect energetic times for love, knowledge, protection and illumination; a post about what love is and the wisdom of knowing our responsibilities seemed fitting.

The other night, there was a discussion with someone about the process of learning what it means to step into your power lovingly and strongly. We talked about the concepts of forgiveness, love and responsibility. This conversation was about people who feel a calling to be of service to others in one form or another, and both learning and practicing discernment. To finally learn the difference between loving people and carrying loads which aren’t yours to bear, as well as what true forgiveness is, brings such profound freedom.

You see, caring and service oriented individuals are often taught either by others, or their own egos, that they are responsible for the outcome of the decisions of others. They are also under the impression that forgiveness means allowing themselves to be mistreated or neglected time and time again. Even worse is that they are led to believe that this is what the journey to enlightenment looks like. Most of you have heard the old adage, from the Bible, of turning the other cheek when you are wronged.

There is a big difference between sticking around for more and not retaliating. So many have taken the old saying a bit too literally, in my opinion. Sooner or later a person runs out of cheeks to turn and a choice has to be made, because eventually the damage from an imbalanced relationship will sink in to a person’s psyche and inflict harm. No one is responsible for enduring betrayals, maltreatment, or abuse in the name of turning the other cheek. The simple act of walking away is the high road. It frees you, and allows the other party to have space and time to rethink their actions. The important thing is that the responsibility for that rethinking lies strictly with them.

Being of service to others can take on many forms. The one thing that you can be certain of is that taking on responsibilities which aren’t yours is not necessary. Many times, we will take the stance that we should continue to endure relationships which aren’t healthy because it’s the “right thing to do”. At the end of the day, that voice is usually the voice of fear talking. Fear of losing the relationship with the other person. Fear of disapproval of others who have little understanding of the situation. Fear of failing to help someone enough.

If we look at those fear statements, we can easily see that service and love are nowhere in them. Remember this when, not if, you reach a point where you have run out of cheeks to turn. Sometimes, the kindest and wisest thing to do is to part ways with the sincere wish in your heart that the other person’s life leads them to what is in their highest good as you seek out that which is in your own. No need for revenge or holding onto toxic anger. A simple desire for the highest good of everyone involved truly is an act of love.

 

 

Angel Wisdom Wednesday ~ June 1, 2016

Today’s card is from the Guardian Angel Cards by Toni Carmine Salerno.

Creativity

Creativity ~ We, your angelic messengers are here to help unleash the endless creative potential that you possess. Listen to the whispers of love inside your heart as we communicate with you through feeling and emotion. Let go of fear and apprehension, and express the endless source of creativity you possess. Have fun and allow the inner child within you to express your true essence. All is valid.

Creativity is so much more than the simple act of putting words on paper, color on canvas, playing music through an instrument or any other countless forms of expression. The act of creativity is the means through which we are able to process and express that which is within us into the outside world. One of the reasons why the arts have been popular as far back as recorded history is the sheer power it has to impact the world. Not only do we heal ourselves when he express our creativity, we have the potential to help heal others-either through their identification with what we’ve done, or by inspiring them to express themselves creatively. There is no need to feel fear around creativity. First, you are under no obligation to share what you’ve done with another soul. However, if you do choose to share, the point is not to gain the approval of others-it is the external expression of what is in your heart that makes the act of creation so powerful and beautiful.