Monday, December 10, 2018

Finding Light in the Darkness

At this time of year while most of us are celebrating the holidays, a lot of people are dealing with depression from grief and loss. Maybe you've recently lost a loved one, or maybe you're still dealing with one that has never fully healed--either way, the holiday season isn't bright and joyful for everyone. 

There are ways to keep from being overwhelmed by those feelings and handle them. I know, I've been a widow and even though I'm remarried, this season still brings feelings of loss with it for me as well, just not as sharply as it was eleven years ago as a new widow whose family all live over 700 miles away. It was lonely, especially in the deepest hours of the night. 

The silver lining of that loss for me is that I found a new spiritual path and a new life path out of it all. Through doing so I also found ways to cope with the depression of grief and loss, and depression in general, by reading books like "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay and "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. I learned how to allow myself to feel my emotions but not to drown in them, and how to lift myself out of them if I did feel that I was starting to drown.

One method I learned was to practice "an attitude of gratitude" by focusing on my blessings and giving thanks for them. This forced me to shift my focus on the good in my life, the abundance, the love and even the mundane things like sunshine and birdsong. Arwen Lynch practices "3 Daily Joys" by finding at least three things in your life that day for which you're grateful. 

Another thing I learned was to get up and move: put on some music and dance or take a walk on a trail at a local park. If it's not too cold where you live, getting out in nature is a wonderful way to shift your focus and lift your spirits. If for some reason you can't do any of those, or you're just not in the mood, then put on a good comedy movie that makes you laugh. 

I'm not saying not to grieve, for grief is natural after a loss and it can be healthy for processing that loss. I'm just saying that there are ways to shift it so that you're not grieving so deeply or for so long that you're drowning in it. Every so often you have to remember to find the light in the darkness and to feel alive again, and eventually the time comes to find our way back to joy. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Are You Speaking Martian or Venusian?

There's a book that states that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and I totally agree! It shows up most in our communication and you find husbands and wives saying to each other needs to "say what you mean"! The problem isn't that each one hasn't said what they meant. Nope. The problem is that we're both speaking in English but hearing in different languages. 

A prime example happened last night. I had done the laundry and left my stepson's clothes in the laundry basket at the top of the stairs for him to carry down with him after his shower, empty it then return the basket to the laundry room. He works as a nurse on the midnight shift so he sleeps during the day and I don't like waking him up to bring it into his room and empty it. So, he came out of the shower, stopped in the kitchen to grab a drink and a snack and was going to take the huge loaded laundry basket down with one hand, though it's too big to fit through doorways that way. 

So, I said, "Just leave it there for now and come back up to get it." He heard, "Get it whenever you feel like it," when what I actually said was, "Don't risk having that clean laundry I just folded go everywhere, put that other stuff down and come right back up for it." See, he was translating into Martian from English whereas I had translated into English from Venusian. We think we're speaking and listening in the same language but we're not. 

The larger problem comes in because both of us think we're speaking English (or French, Spanish, Russian, etc) when nothing could be further from the truth. Children and teenagers are fluent in both, but tend to listen to men in Venusian and women in Martian no matter what gender the teen actually is--this is because the natural language of children and teens is actually Uranusian and they just tend to get it all confused until somewhere in their early 20s. 

So next time you're tempted to tell someone to say what they mean, understand that they probably did and you're just really speaking two different languages even if you think you're speaking a common one. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What is a Depth Year?

There's a shift that's rippling through a part of the YouTube community, and anything being noticed in that microcosm of the Collective Subconscious is most likely also happening in the macrocosm of the larger Collective Subconscious. 

It happened in a blog post, then another, possibly random and unrelated, but possibly one inspired the other. Then a popular You Tube creatrix spoke about it, and another did a video response (VR) to it. I caught them and it was giving a name to something I'd already felt drawn to do but hadn't thought deeply enough about it to name it. Depth Year. Hmmmm.

I've been both blogging and vlogging about noticing that I have books I've owned for over a decade but have never read, and yet I buy new ones and those sit unread for the most part as well. I get a great deal or a title inspires me that I just have to have on my shelves, and I need it NOW! Consumerism runs rampant in the world and it's just as obvious in the tarot, witchy and spiritual communities as it is everywhere else. 

Most of us who are into tarot are also avid readers, love things like herbs and essential oils, will subscribe to things like boxes of goodies that deliver witchy or spiritual tools on our doorstop every month, bullet journalists, and also love crystals--and bracelets, pendants, statuary--you get the idea. But apparently lately enough is becoming enough and we're awakening to our gluttony. 

Being a caretaker, or steward, of the Earth means that rather than drive the production of things shiny and new, we find ways to refurbish or repurpose things that are old, better if we already own them. One need only look to the Tiny House Movement to see that this is happening throughout humanity. Not every single one of us, but many. 

Is it coming from within humans ourselves? From Gaia? From God? The Ananaki? Who knows. What I do know is that I think it's a good thing to slow it all down, to go deeper with what we already have, to read those books that sit unread, and thereby unloved, on our shelves or play with those decks that have been sitting around untouched since they first arrived in their boxes, all shiny and new. So a Depth Year means choosing a focus or two and then going deeper into it. 

For me that means going deeper in my spiritual path, focusing on a course of study I'm starting in shamanism, and perhaps reading other books I own related to it. I have a whole section on my shelves dedicated to shamanism and it's time I start reading some of those. I've chosen a few of my tarot decks to work with more deeply that I feel will enhance that study, and there are others I may reach for occasionally that will do so too, but those are more familiar to me--I want to delve deeper into a couple that are newer but haven't been used a lot yet. 

Maybe for you it means working more with herbs and going deeper into herbalism, using a particular painting technique more or getting better at French cooking. If you collect something, maybe it means deepening your main collection rather than collecting a whole bunch of different things. For my husband it has meant buying more Ocean Jasper rather than a variety of crystals. 

If you're feeling called to take a break from buying more stuff and work with what you have, or even to pare down and minimalize, then you're feeling the effects of going deeper in some way rather than wider by buying more stuff, waking up from the surreal dream and becoming real again. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

What Is Success?

What does it mean to be successful? Many describe success as having wealth, a fancy car, perhaps fame as well as fortune. But is that the only definition of success? 

I don't think it is because to me, and to a growing number of people who are joining the Tiny House movement, going off grid or just getting off of social media, success is defined as being happy and feeling free. 

So many of us today are walking away from the trappings of society's definition of success to find our own version of it, even if it means that not only society in general, but also our families and friends think we're crazy. 

I'm in that process myself, of finding out how I can feel that I'm successful and happy. I'm finding my way to make a living doing what I love, helping others at the same time through my skills and training, and having enough income to feel comfortable and enough freedom to feel happy.

This is part of why I've closed my social media accounts outside of G+ and YouTube, why I've returned to my studies and am deepening my spiritual practice, and also why I want to move home to New Hampshire and find a place that might need work but has some land and allows us to have the lifestyle we want to live. 

It's fine if you want to have all of those other things and feel that's what makes you feel successful and happy, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm saying that it's not the only way that success can be defined and one doesn't have to feel they're not successful if they're doing what makes them happy and living a lifestyle that feels like success to them. 

I think the best definition of success is finding what makes you feel free and happy, and like you wouldn't want your life to be any other way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Life Is So Short

At this time of year the veil between worlds thins and we start thinking about honoring our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on at Samhain. For me it will always be especially bittersweet as it's also the time of year that my previous husband died from chemo just two days before his 53rd birthday. I did a very private ritual that year saying goodbye to him.

The year that I turned 53 I went from feeling old because I was in my 50s to realizing just how young I still am because I had just outlived him and so many others that I know who have died way too young of chemo (note that I never say they died of cancer, I'll be doing blog posts and videos about that subject another day). 

This year it's again a bittersweet time for me because my current husband and I are preparing this house to sell in the spring. I have so many memories here as my late husband was living here with his father when we met and married, then he inherited it and then I did all within a very short span of time. Gene and I only had a total of two years and eight months together from the moment we started dating until the day he died. 

My best friend and I hung out here every Saturday night and she helped me to decorate it. Then Steve and I started dating here, he moved in, we married and this house became ours. I've lived here longer than in any other house, even those I lived in with my parents. I made this house my own after I inherited it, truly making it over to fit my personality and to become my healing refuge--which then became a healing space for so many others. 

I have so many good memories here. It's not easy to leave it, but I want to return to my home state to live out my remaining years and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is too short and we need to live it fully and follow our dreams. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Why I Left Facebook and Instagram

If you've been following me for a while, then you know that I've really been struggling with social media this year. I've deleted my YouTube channel, then I restarted. I purged over 200 "friends" on Facebook, some of whom I deleted in order to actually remain friends. I've been on and off Instagram twice this year alone, finally leaving it for my fourth and final time. Why?

First, I'm a Clairempath, this means that I'm greatly impacted by the energy of others. I feel you through the internet. Social media connected me in too strongly with everyone, and especially to the negativity in today's world. I feel like I live in a world gone mad and it was in my face daily.

Second, it was taking up way too much of my time. I've always been an avid reader who can't put a book down once I start it, and since joining social media networks, especially Facebook, that's become so difficult for me that I haven't been able to read two consecutive sentences without reaching for my phone to look at what's going on, see if anyone has messaged me, liked my stuff, etc. That's NOT what I want my life to be focused upon and I've tried things like deleting the apps from my phone only to put them back on, only operating from my Page but not my personal account, which is difficult because your newsfeed is what it opens to intentionally, etc. However, I just found myself Jonesing for it, my fingers and hands tingling to reach for that phone and my entire focus every few seconds going to that distracting thought and energy. 

So, I've been mulling this over for months, even saying that the only reason that I stayed was to keep in touch with friends and family who are distant and to build my business. However, I'm not really staying in touch with anyone this way and what connection we have is shallow. Sharing and commenting on each others' memes is not being in touch. 

Then I started reading The Desire Map, one of those books that has sat untouched on my bookshelf for a few years, and started thinking about how I want to FEEL on a daily basis. I realized that my addiction to social media was making me feel things I didn't want to feel and keeping me from being able to feel and do what I did want. 

Finally, my husband Steve and I had a conversation where I told him how I was feeling and that I was thinking about seriously leaving these two social media sites, and we talked about how we want to feel when we move up to NH, why we're moving there, and part of that is to escape the rat race. We want to live a quiet, peaceful life away from the type of environment we're in now. Ah, yes, the key words: away from. That was the final piece that told me that this was the right move for me. 

Yes, it's counterintuitive today to building a business, but that's not the way I want to build mine. I want true connections, deeper connections, through things like emails, phone calls and video chats instead of the shallowness of FB and IG. So I'm keeping this blog and my YouTube channel as the ways I share my voice with the world and make connections. You can also see all of my posts and videos on my G+ along with photos of my daily draws and other things going on in my world if you wish for the lighter side, the outer side, of my inner world. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Being Different

I've always walked to the beat of my own drum. I learned at a very early age not to worry about fitting in, that people would either like me or not like me and to just stick with those who like me. I was about eight when I learned that lesson the hard way. 

In high school that meant that I wasn't part of the popular crowd--and then in my early 20s I learned that part of why they didn't invite me to parties and such was because they did like me and wanted me to stay clean and good. I went to Catholic school in the late 70s and these were kids with a huge disposable income for that age so drugs were rampant. I remember kids eating LSD in the form of buttons that looked like candy out in the smoking area (yes, we had one of those then), and they were keeping me out of that kind of trouble. It gave me a different perspective on them to be told this.

When I moved from NH to PA shortly after this revelation, my father hooked me up with the daughter of a co-worker of his (as friends, not romantically) and I hung out with her and her gang of friends for a while. However, I was firmly entrenched by then in being "me" and not worrying about fitting in, and they kept telling me that I needed to change and fit in with them, so it didn't last long and in over 30 years of living here I still have few friends because this whole area is that way. 

One of the guys we hung out with told me to just keep being myself because I was pretty awesome, and that was right before my affiliation with that group ended. Years later I ran into one of the gals only to have her come up and apologize for how they treated me. She'd moved to a different state, up to New England, for a while and discovered just how awkward and lonely it can be to move to a new area and to feel like suddenly you don't fit in. 

So, with all of the talk about "authenticity" lately on YouTube, I want to put this message out there: don't worry about fitting in, don't worry about who's judging you, just be you and don't be afraid to be different. At the end of the day you go home to you and you have to feel happy about who you're with then. Honestly, no matter who you are and what you do people are going to gossip, judge and hate on you so you just can't worry about those people. Find your tribe even if it's a small one. 

Finding Light in the Darkness

At this time of year while most of us are celebrating the holidays, a lot of people are dealing with depression from grief and loss. May...