When things fall apart

I was just out running another frantic errand trying to solve someone else’s problem and got stuck at a red light behind a Toyota minivan with a creepy cartoon sticker in the window proclaiming Existence is Pain.

It sure the hell is, was my first thought. And I went into a five second pity party about the way life has been coming at me the last few weeks. Then I got pissed. Yes, life is painful, but that’s not all there is. Move on.

It’s been a doozy of a Mercury Retrograde, so I’m calling it out right here to nip it in the bud.  I’m not falling into victim mode and blaming the stars for my recent troubles – stressful miscommunication, DMV paperwork issues, broken tech – just for starters.  Rather, I’m writing to remind myself that these larger energies in play are real.  Given that my power lies in being sensitive to energy, I can’t drop the ball on being diligent as to how I’m impacted by the world, and Universe, around me. I have an obligation to myself and others to pay attention, and use what prevails in a positive, hopeful, or productive way. 

Usually I’m not bothered by Mercury retrograde, but I am affected by people close to me and if they happen to be experiencing the poster child version of a Mercury retrograde nightmare, well, then I kind of go down the tubes too. That is until I wake up and notice what’s actually theirs (emotions, energy, experience) is not mine.  And, I don’t help one bit by joining them in the story that everything is falling apart or going wrong.

Mercury, which is fact my ruling planet as a Gemini, is retrograde until March 10. But, I’m ready for things to turn more positively right NOW despite its trajectory.

Here’s what I’m going to do:  Slow down. Stop RE-acting.  Although it is the time for “re-” words, like review, revise, remember, redecorate, or reconsider, REACTING just digs me deeper into trouble. When things blow up, I’ll give it an hour, a day – then decide a course of action.  Reacting usually comes from a place of anger, fear or some other useless place.  Deep breaths, back to center and a clear mind. That’s my goal.

Humor is good too. Sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh when yet another crazy “bad” thing happens out of the blue.  Swearing is good too. My hubby and I have been doing lots of that lately, because it makes us laugh.

What are you doing to make the most of things falling apart? Have you found some silver linings?

Full Moon Wishes

The first of new intentions complete, with a little help from this magical moon I think!

Several months ago I lost a Barnes and Noble gift card my mom-in-law gave me. I’d found it when we were packing up her house last summer to move her nearer to us, and I checked it to see if it was still “good.”  Lo and behold, it had over $60 credit on it. I was thrilled when she told me to keep it, because who doesn’t love free books?

I tucked it in my wallet to save for leisurely trip to the bookstore. Fortunately, we have a brick and mortar Barnes and Noble not far from our home. I hoped to make it an outing with my daughter or mom to walk lazily down aisles reading titles.

So, when the day came to go shopping, my coveted plastic gift was no where to be found. I searched all my bags, and quizzed my daughter.  “Did I give it to you to use?”  Of course, she hadn’t seen it. 

I was disappointed, and then angry at my carelessness.  Where did it go? How could I lose it?  Though it is not a big deal in the scheme of things, it bothered me and continued to over the months, prompting me to search for it several times.  I just wanted those books!

And, just now I reached into my tote bag to pull out my calendar and with it came the gift card,  sitting right on top as if I put it there yesterday.  It felt like Christmas all over again!

Earlier this week I started my annual planning and intention setting. I wrote a list of goals and intentions both big and small to fill up my year.  One of them that unexpectedly popped out of my pen onto the paper was this:

Funny, now that I turn back to my planner to quote myself I find my intention isn’t there. I distinctly recall writing it. As I look at the bright full moon descending outside my window I can only laugh. I feel the tug of the in between place where reality blurs, the place I revere and strive to stay connected to.

I woke early this morning but stepped into a dream of wishing and receiving. I’m content, filled up as I gaze at black trees silhouetted against a sapphire sky. Luna shines bright and suddenly, as  happens on a powerful moon when I give her my attention, there are three moons out my window. Her beauty refracts and I see a reflection on either side of her. I don’t know why this happens. No matter where I turn my head, or what window I look through, the images don’t disappear. I witness a trinity of lunar power.

I’m grateful for these moments of deep connection and magic. When the unexplained happens, and mystery answers my prayers. It’s welcome as I shift into this new life of more time and space since the girls are so far away at school. The house, and my energy field, feel empty and wide open. I intend to fill it up with things I love almost as much as them so their absence doesn’t pain me.

Today is a good day, and it’s just begun.

Careful What You Wish For

In the year since publishing Down and Back, I’ve been pulled to focus on family and the needs of others by facing new and unexpected challenges – illness, death, moves – all of which pulled me further from my own center and my love of writing.

In the midst of taking care of others, I wished for more downtime to follow my urge to write. As autumn arrived, I told myself I must get back to writing, promising myself I would spend time at my desk and listen to the words that had started bubbling up again.

Apparently, I didn’t act fast enough. In October I had a freak accident at home. I dropped a food processor blade on the top of my foot. It hit perfectly between two thick leather straps on my sandal, severing the main tendon.

After a hasty surgery, I was given orders. No walking for six weeks. None. No weight on the foot at all.

Once the initial disbelief wore off, (followed by a mini pity-party) I found my center long enough to ask “What can I learn from this?”

Now at five weeks post-surgery, the lessons have been enormous. The first being the reminder that when my Spirit is prompting me in a direction through my intuition and desire the sooner I listen, the better.  Spirit moves faster than the body, and it can be hard to keep up. But I will unwittingly force myself into situations that urge me in the right direction.  At times it takes a lot to get my attention.

I’ve been called for some time to be still, to listen more closely to what my heart wants, and to get back into my creative flow that is in alignment with consciousness.  Being busy, avoiding my feelings, putting others needs and schedules first is deeply engrained in me. Stopping on my own volition was too slow in coming. My wiser self gave me one option.

Sit down! Put your feet up. Read. Write. Pay attention. Let go of all the unimportant things. Let others take care of themselves.

That blade out of nowhere was a gift. It’s allowed me to go deeper into practicing what I preach and find new levels of awareness about my connection to my Spirit and others.  Readings with clients are deeper and richer. The right people come to me to reflect even more of who I am and what I need now. I’m writing again and finding enthusiasm in making connections that I plan to share with others in a new way.

So, the next time I find myself wishing, I’ll be careful and make it a conscious decision to move toward what I want. No procrastinating. I don’t want Spirit getting too creative on me again to get my attention.

 

You Have the Power to be Happy

What better day to announce that my book will be published next month! Today is the day the veil between worlds is thinnest, and we can access the help and wisdom of Spirit, and the Crone. Though lost to most, today is the day to remember that the dark has something to offer us, and that as the landscape dies and we head into winter we have the promise of light and hope.

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My book offers the same journey – to understand that the darkness that settles around us at times is rich with hope and change. It holds the power of your creative energy, empathy and psychic ability waiting to be channeled in a positive direction for your highest good.

Permission to be lazy…

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The summer solstice arrived in a blast of heat today, forcing me inside toward the darkest parts of my home. My mind wants to check off the to-do list, and be enthusiastic about projects, but my body is not willing. It’s fitting, as the energy of this year has been building to a crescendo and now, more than ever, I’m feeling like I need a rest.  Since writing at the spring equinox, I’ve watched (and endured) a wild ride of ups and downs energetically. Many clients and  all my “sensitive” friends and family have suffered great highs and lows in ways they’ve never experienced before.  If life for you has felt hard, or strange in ways even beyond the political goings-on that rock us daily, know that you are not alone.  If you’re feeling burned out, it’s not just this scorching sun.

Can you feel the lull in yourself?  The need to languish in a cool dark room with an overhead fan mesmerizing you, slowing your heartbeat and mind?  Consider all the things planted at spring just a few short months ago – what have you learned, what are you proud of, what’s calling you forward with curiosity when your momentum returns?  Today the Sun turns on its path toward the south – nature inside and out calls for a shift in our energy as well. Where are you heading?

Fortunately, the New Moon on the 23rd calls for self-care– it will have the soft and nurturing energy we need now for a few weeks. A mini-vacation is in order.  Take time to pat yourself on the back for all you’ve done or weathered the last few months. Take time off mentally and emotionally from the well-worn path in your mind that keeps you busy or worried. Take naps, be quiet; day-dream and dawdle.  When (and if) you feel rejuvenated, pour this nurturing out to others in ways that make your heart sing.  I like to cook healthy, pretty food for me and my family, or buy fresh flowers for my daughters’ bedrooms.  Little things that feed us all.

This is Midsummer – let yourself dream…

How to Find What’s Missing

It’s been a long winter for some, dampening dispositions along with our usually sunny California skies. Perhaps weathering life lately has been a challenge, and despite the clouds lifting all around, your mood isn’t.   You’re not depressed exactly, but certainly not pumped. You’re busy in the daily routine, going through the motions. and not looking forward to anything. Perhaps you’re bored, wondering is this all there is? You sense that something is missing but you don’t know what it is.

The thing that’s missing is you– your sense of self, well-being, meaning, and purpose. It’s an easy trap to fall into. It means you’re not connected. This is living life on the surface, skimming along unaware and missing out on the deeper, richer parts of life. Here are a few tips to shake off the flatlined feeling of disconnection and plug into your life in a way that actually feels alive.

Connect with your Body

Most of us live in our heads, mulling over the do’s and don’ts of the day, planning work and family schedules weeks out, dreaming about vacation, stewing over the past. Did you know that well over 50% of our thoughts are the same ones we think every day?  Rarely are we in the present moment, tuned into ourselves and our environment.

Living in your head keeps you out of your body and out of your emotions. Instead, slow down long enough to ask lovingly yourself “how’re you doing?” You might be surprised at what you hear. Do you have any idea why you’re angry, lonely, or feeling down in the dumps? Have you even put a name to how your feeling to it to begin with? With no connection to your body you’re a balloon on a string, floating through life at the whim of the wind, only adding to the belief that life is out of your control.

Throughout the day, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Check in with your body by asking these three simple questions: Am I tired? Am I hungry? Am I thirsty?   Respond by giving to yourself in a healthy way. If you need a nap, take it. A 15- minute power nap is far better than slamming down a mocha frappuccino to get you through the rest of the day.

Connect with your Soul

The beat of our hearts directs the rhythm of our bodies, but it’s our heart in the bigger sense orchestrating what has meaning and value to us. What do you love? What tugs at your heartstrings, makes your heart sing? This is the language of your soul – the unique spiritual aspect that makes you purely you.

When you feel like something is missing it’s your soul trying to get your attention. Have you given up your quirkiness to conform? Is your personality reflected in your home, your clothes, or the work you do? Do you cater to your whims, your fancies and your needs? Doing so connects you back up to your original self, and when you do, a life force energy comes with it that feeds your motivation, creativity and contentment.

The ways to connect with your soul are as diverse as humanity– but there are universal things that feed us all, like beauty, quiet, laughter, music, and color.

What’s good for your soul? It could be watching your dog romp in the grass, tracking a hawk sailing across the sky, or pedaling a mountain bike up a steep hill. Or maybe it’s fresh flowers on the table every week, taking in a live performance in the City, or screaming your lungs out at a Warrior game. Whatever it is, make it a priority to do it.

Connect with the World

We all know what it’s like to feel alone in a crowd. When you interact with people daily without genuine connection, life can be lonely and stale.

When did you last spend quality time with someone just talking, laughing, and doing something fun? When you felt heard and seen, and not responsible for taking care of someone’s expectations? Find those people to spend genuine, heartfelt moments with. They are the ones who reflect the best of you, and you them. Consider ways to connect with the people you live and work with in a more meaningful way. When you begin from a present awareness of your genuine self, your experience of others shifts dramatically.

You can seek soulful connection with people intellectually. Attend a lecture , conference or a compelling performance. Listen to an author speak, see a great movie. Connect your mind to like minds in a way that is dynamic, creative, and inquisitive – in a way that sparks possibility in you apart from everyday life.

Being in a group stimulates and satisfies the primal part of your brain wired to belong to a tribe – it means safety and security on a deep, unconscious level. Even the most introverted of us needs to belong among people, even for a while. Where do you feel like you belong? Look for opportunities in church, school or create a tribe of your own grounded in something you love.

The best way to slow down, center yourself, get in touch with your feelings and check out what has really been running your mind is to get in nature. We all know intuitively we feel better in nature, and science backs it up. We are happier in nature because we are nature too. Tapping back into the pulse of the Earth’s electromagnetic field, to the wind around us, the bustle of birds and bugs, the peace of deer grazing on a hill, a show of light and sound as water tumbles over rocks calms the nervous system, reduces stress, and clears the mind. Spending time outdoors repeatedly in positive ways can actually create new neural pathways in the brain– in other words – nature changes how you think and how you feel.

Connecting helps you find what’s missing – your bigger Self – through the language of your Soul, in nature, and interactions with others. Connecting creates the shift that lets you experience life as happening through you, not to you. As you connect with what’s missing, the power to choose more of the life you want becomes clear.

Creativity is Intuition in Action

White Flower Almond Tree NatureThe first white flower popped open on the plum tree outside my kitchen window today. Yesterday, there was nothing but stark gray-brown branches. By days’ end, it will explode with life. There’s no holding back this creative force. It runs deeply in each one of us. It is Nature, and thus our nature, to grow and expand – to let life come through. It is instinct to survive.

Neglecting our “selves” cuts off this life force, and when we do, it can turn on us and morph into something unrecognizable – anger, depression, disconnection.  What was once the high energy of creative consciousness pools and stagnates, lowering the vibration of our feelings and experience, and eventually, our bodies. Our health suffers. We suffer.

As you wake from the slumber of Winter, ask yourself: “What part of me is longing to express itself?”

Do you have an “art” you let go of, or always wanted to try? Whether you color with your children or rebuild an engine, bake a cake or mud pies, paint a mural or paint your fingernails – creativity wants to move through everyone. How did you love to play as a kid? What you’ve neglected is still there. Think back. Let yourself day dream – don’t edit yourself, allow.

As a child, I loved to dance. I begged my mom to put records on the stereo, and then shimmied and shook my way across the living room in wild abandon. It occurred to me recently how rarely I even listen to music when alone. I’ve become too content with silence. As Spring unfolds, I’ll make time for my Dancer self. I’ll dance with my daughters in my grown-up living room, or bravely go to that conscious movement class I just heard about.

How can you let your neglected expression appear? Start with your body – slow down, turn your attention inward. Breathe.  Ask what wants to come through. The more you tune into your body, the more your creative instincts will rise up. Pay attention, be spontaneous.

The more you allow creative life force to express through you, the more your intuition – that direct knowing without knowing how you know – pours through to solve problems, inspire, and reveal who you are and “what matters” to you. There are answers to things the logical mind can’t resolve that flow easily through creativity.

As the season shifts with the Spring Equinox, make a date with your Self to create with abandon. It just takes one small step toward opening – one bloom, and a bit of sunlight – and suddenly the whole tree is alive with color.

Three Ways to Lift Your Spirit Today

rainy-day-window-6922Is the gloom and cold of winter getting to you? Feeling bored, unmotivated, lethargic? Yep – me too. Here’s a few quick ways to realign with your Spirit and tap back into inspiration, clarity, and meaning.

 

  1. Rev up your energy field. The energy field made up by the chakras and aura is the template of your physical form and affects you on all levels. If you shift your energy, your emotions, thoughts, and physical experience will shift too. Try this: Stand without shoes, feet in a wide stance (think Sumo wrestler) and squat low to the floor. Inhale deeply as you reach down with your hands and imagine scooping up lush red energy from the earth, pulling it up through your feet and legs as you slowly stand. Bring your hands together at the heart and keep pulling the energy up through your midline to the top of your hands. With your hands directly above your head, exhale and pull down violet energy from the heavens as you sweep your hands out and back down to your side. (Kind of like doing a standing breast stroke through the cosmos.) Repeat 3-9 times, inhaling and exhaling slowly.
  2. Go outside for 2-5 minutes and notice LIFE. Admire the tenacity of the grass poking through cold concrete, enjoy the grace of a hummingbird flitting around a pink flower, study the clouds shape and patterns, appreciate luminescent moss on a waterlogged tree. Everything is surviving, thriving, enduring, growing. So are you.
  3. Call, text or email one or more people you know – friends, clients, teachers – anyone. Surprise them. Tell them you’re thinking of them. Connect with the intention of letting someone else know they are valued.

3 Ways to End 2016 on Purpose

 

The next two weeks are a powerful time to tap into universal energies now in play that can connect you to your Soul’s intuitive voice. Are you ready for clarity to live your best life, whatever it may be?  The close of 2016 marks the end of a larger energetic 9-year cycle. Life on many levels is completing and new possibilities are opening up for the next nine years.   Mercury goes Retrograde on the 19th, demanding that we slow down, and the Solstice on Dec. 21 brings the longest night and a new season.  Why fight the Universe? Here are three suggestions for going with the flow and making the most of the rest of your year:

1.       Finish up old emotional business – let go of feelings you know are keeping you stuck by admitting them to yourself or another out loud or in writing. Release and resolve it in a healthy way.

2.       Give yourself credit for all the positive things you learned or changed this year. Take them forward to build on in the new year.

3.       Spend time alone reflecting, remembering, and renewing. Just be quiet and breathe. What is beginning in you?

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Cutting out the Crap

There’s a great line from the movie The Shawshank Redemption when the character Red, after being released after decades in prison to live alone and afraid in a dumpy apartment, declares he “better get busy livin’ or get busy dyin.’”  Even having freedom didn’t mean he was really free.

I’ve been thinking a lot about living and dying this week as I honor my sister Terri’s death 10 years ago today.

She had a choice to fight her cancer again or die, and she chose death. And it wasn’t until she made that choice that she really started to live.

On a visit not long after her prognosis, I found her on hands and knees in the doorway of what was once her oldest son’s room.  She’d been chopping out the ugly shag carpet by hand with a scissors, cutting five inch squares until her hand blistered and bled.

“What are doing sis?” I said trying to not sound like a smart ass.

“I always hated this crap,” she said.  She looked at the floor without another word.

She’d revealed enough to see that underneath the crap was beautiful hardwood. She decided, with a little prompting, that she would redecorate and make it a place just for her. With a little help she started emptying the room bit by bit.

Once she let go of what she hated, she had some room for what she liked.  It was overwhelming to her. How did she make something just for her from scratch?

Start with a picture, I suggested. Since she didn’t have one in her mind, it came from artwork we found in Target during another visit.  It was a painting of a narrow street through what looked like a Mediterranean village. It was warm and bright with ochre, reds and greens. It looked like a place she’d like to visit, she said.

That was the start. From there it was the wall color – Bakelite Gold.  Then a brass headboard and nightstand from her hubby. A trunk at the foot of the bed. New curtains.

We shopped for new things as she got sicker, her lungs closing with tumors from the breast cancer that never really went away. By fall her room was complete – beautiful, cozy and warm. It was all her, and just for her, but she never spent any time there.

“Why don’t you use it,” I asked.

“I don’t want to mess it up,” she said.

She made the trip late that year to take me back to the Wichita airport with our sister, and we stopped as always at the Hobby Lobby on Ridge Road.  Instead of buying things for her room we now shopped for her funeral.  She wanted it to be nice, though she didn’t think anyone would show up. But at least it would be the way she wanted it to be.

We stood in the candle aisle picking out what would go at the front of the funeral home chapel with the flower arrangements. She was drawn to the burgundy, deep green, and gold ones – the same colors that filled her special room.  She picked them up, set them down.

“Will they look too fall-ish?” she worried.

“Do you like them?” our sister asked.  Terri nodded slightly, still staring at the candles.

“I wish I’d known,” she whispered.

She wished she’d known who she was. She wished she’d known what she liked or loved and how to choose it. She wished she’d known that she could ask for what she wanted, that she could demand it even, and actually get it for herself or be open to the generosity of others. She wished she’d known that she mattered. She wished she didn’t have to be so close to death to figure it out who she was.

She taught me more than I realized about living and dying and how it is just as easy to fear one as the other. In fact, I think now they go hand in hand.  How easy it was to avoid all the little kinds of deaths from failure and disappointment. How often had I been afraid to live?

So I decided to honor her and my own grief in a place that makes me feel more alive. I’m leaving early this morning for Wilbur Hot Springs to bathe in healing waters and memories, to shed tears and even my clothes if I wish – and connect to Nature that I love. When I do, I connect to all the other things that I love in me and my life.

I’m meeting a friend for deep conversation. I giving myself solitude and freedom from the constant pull of motherhood and work.  And, I agreed to plans with a new friend when I get back to learn how to paddle board. I’m afraid of making a fool of myself, of not being strong enough, agile enough – hell, even willing enough to do it. But I must.  What my soul calls for is water. I’ve dreamed for years of gliding effortlessly over the surface of water – to canoe, kayak, to sail.  I must do it, because I know I love it, I know I need it and it will make me feel alive.

Like it or not we are dying every day. It is the way of nature. We have no choice. But we do have a choice to live more fully, even if it is simply appreciating each breath we take.

I’m dying.

There, I’ve said it.

Excuse me now as I get busy living.