Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A to Z Challengge: M is for Manifestation

Manifestation.  It's my new favorite word.  As a verb, it means simply to make evident.  I recently just had what I called my first 'manifestcation'!

Manifestation is closely associated the power of intention and the law of attraction.  The guru on the power of intention is Wayne Dyer.  He has authored many books about the topic and speaks all over the world.  His words sound so simple and are yet so powerful.  One of my all time favorite quotes is from him.  "Our intention creates our reality."  He had a show on PBS about the power of intention. You can find it here on YouTube, along with many other videos of his presentations and others like it.

As humans, we often forget we have the power to change our lives.  In fact, we are the only ones who can.  We tend to blame circumstances or other people for the things in our lives we don't like or are not happy with.  We tend to allow ourselves to be a victim.

I believe this is largely because we don't want to accept responsibility for our mistakes and show our 'faults'. We fail to realize life is about growth and change.  Every situation in our lives is an opportunity to grow and change for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.  How we choose to react to that situation is entirely up to us.  We control our own destiny.

Let me say that again.  We control our own destiny.

It's not anyone else's 'fault' if we are unhappy or 'unfortunate'.  It is not anyone else's responsibility to give us the life we desire.  It's our job to manifest it for ourselves.  To surround ourselves with the positive energy to bring about the situation and change we want.  We, and only we, have the power to bring about all we need and want in life.

We don't have to be angry.  We don't have to stay in a job we don't like or a relationship that is detrimental to our well-being.  We don't have to be friends with that negative person who sucks the energy out of you.  We don't need to make everything we say and do or post about the negative in our lives.

Like attracts like.  This means love and kindness attract love and kindness.  Negativity attracts more negativity.  Saying "I'll never find a better job or I'll never make more money" pretty much guarantees you won't.  Likewise, saying "I WILL find my dream job and I will make enough money to provide for my needs and wants" will attract that abundance into your life.  People don't get how powerful this is.

Like so many things in life, it's often easier said than done.  Especially when we're talking about human traits like feelings and financial abundance.  There are so many simple things you can do to manifest what you want in your life.  Start by making a list of what you want.  Write it as "I will..."  Be specific.  Be honest.  Dream big!  I will get x job.  I will meet my soul mate.  I will generate "x" income to meet my needs.  I will lose weight (I will weigh x in x months).  Get it?  It's not that hard.

Once you write it down, focus all of your energy on the positive results you WILL achieve.  Do not allow yourself to think, say or act in ways that would bring that negative energy back into the equation.  It can be a really hard shift for a lot of people.  You will notice how often you chose to frame things in a negative light rather than in a positive one.

Then, take action to manifest your dreams, wants and desires into your reality.  For me, it meant taking some classes, writing more often, including this blog, creating Web sites for the businesses I WILL grow and thrive on, creating marketing collaterals for those businesses, reading about subjects of interest to me, listening to what the Universe was telling me, following my intuition, incorporating aspects of Feng Shui and de-cluttering my home, my life and my mind and embracing my spirituality and 'coming out' with regard to it.

There is always work to be done.  It's a struggle to change habits, behavioral patterns and beliefs you may have had your entire life. The good news is, it's never to late!

I shall close with another quote by Wayne Dyer, "Within you is the divine capacity to manifest and attract all that you need or desire."

A to Z Challenge: L is for...... LOVE!

How easy is this topic?

Love. There are many flavors of love. They are not better or worse or right or wrong.  They are just different. 

There is material love.  The love of things.  People tend to collect things they love.  It might be comic books or porcelain dolls, or maybe it's sports team memorabilia or music.  It can be as simple as loving a certain color or food.  Can you guess what my favorite food is?  Hint:  It's in the title of this blog! 

Love can also be interpersonal.  It can be romantic or lustful.  It can be the unconditional love between parent and child.  It can be the love that close friends and family share.  It can be a bigger, more universal love, like love of your fellow man, your religion or faith or of nature and the animals.

Then, there is universal love.  It is often, that unrecognized realization that we are all one.

Love is heart centered.  When we are truly acting from our heart, selfless and true, we are not only feeling love, we ARE love.  It is such a wonderful feeling to have an open heart.  To interact and be with people who also have open hearts.

While we often love those in our lives, we tend to take their love for granted and assume they just know.  When love is 'new', we tend to verbalize our love with those 3 little words "I love you".  As our relationships progress, grow and settle into a routine once established, we tend to say it less and even demonstrate tokens of affection and love less.  It doesn't necessarily mean we have "fallen" out of love.  It usually just means we are so comfortable now in that relationship, it is simply understood.  Or is it?

While that may be true, the human side of us not only wants to love and be loved, we want to feel loved.  Taking time to stay connected to the things and especially the people who you love is paramount to your health and well-being and to theirs.  So often, relationships end up 'in trouble' or fail because of a lack of communication in general.  Their connection to each other is lost.  The love is thought to be lost.  Maybe it is.  Relationships do grow and change and people do fall in and out of romantic love.  Maybe it is not lost, though.  Maybe it is just victim to stasis and routine.  Maybe you just need to rekindle it.  Maybe, we all need reminders that we are loved.

Hearts can be broken.  Love can grow and change.  The greater the love, the more painful the heartbreak when the love is lost.  Or, more appropriately, when the person and what they meant to you is lost.

Don't wait for relationships to decline and fall apart before recognizing the reasons.  Don't give up on love easily.  Fight for that which you love with honesty and truth.  Don't wait until someone is sick, injured or dying to tell them you love them.  Tell them every day, especially those close to you.

My youngest son is a tremendous teacher of the ways of love.  He is as heart centered as they come, naturally.  He tells me he loves me every day.  Several times.  It's as natural as breathing for him.  He reminds me of that from which we came.  That universal, unconditional heart centered love.

Go forth and love one another.  Be kind.  Be true.  Be love.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

A to Z Challenge: K is for Kindness

Everyone needs more kindness in their lives. 

Today's post is short and simple.  Go forth and commit 5 random acts of kindness.

It's not that hard. Smile at a stranger.  Hold the door for someone.  Pay for the coffee for the person in line behind you at the drive through.  Buy a colleague lunch. Give someone flowers just because.  Tell someone something you admire about them.  Say thank you.  Do something unexpected and nice for someone else.  Surprise your kids with something simple, like a surprise dessert or a random movie night.  Tell the cashier something you like about their outfit.  Double your tip.  Tell your partner how beautiful or handsome they are to you.  Bring home or cook dinner as a surprise, especially if you are not usually the one who does it!  Do something, anything, nice for someone else. 

See, it's not that hard.  There are a gazillion things you can do for your immediate family, friends and co-workers let alone the countless strangers you meet every day.  It will make them have a better day and it will make you feel good about yourself, too. 

Love makes the world go round. 

I'd love to hear what your favorite random act of kindness was. Share what you did!  Post one random act of kindness you committed today and what the person's response was. Perhaps it will inspire us all to do it every day with mindfulness and ease.

Pay it forward.  Share the love.

Have fun! 

And hey, have a day as beautiful as you are!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The A to Z Challenge: J is for Judgment

Are you judgmental?  Answer honestly.  Do you ever judge someone based on how they look, what they say, what they do or how they dress? 

Do you tend to assign labels to people and make certain assumptions about them because of a label or two they might carry?

Do you make assumptions about a person's intelligence based on how they talk or dress, their job or where they went to school? 

Do you fundamentally dislike others simply because something about them or a belief of theirs differs with yours? 

Who has the right to judge any of us? 

Are we wrong to judge ourselves? 

What do we base our personal judgments on?  Usually it's based on our frame of reference.  Our perspective.  Our personal beliefs.  As if we are the epicenter of all that is right and good with the world.  If others disagree with us, we tend to make a judgment about them or their personality as a negative quality for them.  

Why? Why do we feel the need to judge others? 

Answer:  EGO.  In judging another person, we are in essence, making ourselves feel better about who WE are and what WE believe. 

It's a slippery slope.  We rarely take the time or due diligence to discover all the 'evidence' and truths of a situation before making that judgment call. 

This past week in Boston has illustrated this quite well.  Assumptions were made about the bombing and the supsects.  Speculation and hearsay was taken as fact or publicized, without first checking to see the validity of the information.  Social media was abuzz once again with people of certain ethnicity being terrorists,  judging an entire region of the world based on a few 'bad apples'.  This was even before we knew who the suspects were and what their heritage was!  Assumptions were made and very heated and angry words against not just the two who did this, but the people who shared their ethnicity and faith. 

People made judgments about their parents.  How dare they say their kids were framed!  Well, none of you are their parents are you?  How do you know what or how they feel?  How do you know what information they had?  Did you tell your parents all the stupid stuff you did in high school and college?!  They are half a world away, and rightfully have their back up because of what so many Americans are saying about their people let alone their own children.  I'm not saying they are right or wrong, I'm just asking you to put yourself in their shoes. 

Look at how many people wanted to deny the suspects their rights as US Citizens regarding being taken to trial?  They are legally and rightfully US citizens.  They are entitled to the same rights we are.  We are all here because someone in our lineage was once an immigrant.  We all belong to the same 'club'. 

I think what we need to collectively do a better job of is being mindful.  We need to stop and think before we speak and before we act.  We need to make sure we have the facts from both sides before we make an assumption. We need to understand why we are saying what we are saying and be aware of who our comments are really about.  

It's fine for us to have our opinions and to express them.  Constructively and with kindness.  There is a difference between and opinion and a judgment.  We can amicably agree to disagree. 
Unless you are a Judge in a court of law, we should not be passing judgment on anyone. 

Like so many things, it's easier said than done.  Remember, when someone rubs you the wrong way, it's not a message about them, it's a message about YOU.  Learn from it.  Grow.  Change.  Be a better you.  Model a better way to relate to others. 

Be the change.  Start by saying no to judgment and yes to informed and respectful choices. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A to Z Challenge: I is for intuition

Intuition.  Do you believe in it?  Do you understand what it is?  Are you intuitive?  Do you know someone who is? 

Intuition is one of those subjects that people have a hard time making sense of.  Our human side, our left-brained logical side, wants to have a concrete explanation for everything.  If it can't be proven scientifically, it can't exist.  Intuition, by definition, is a direct perception, independent of reason or prior knowledge. Thus, when intuition is found to be 'correct', it is often deemed 'coincidence' or 'luck'.  When it is wrong, it's  typically just dismissed as fake or made up. 

The thing is, all of us are intuitive.  We all 'get' information energetically. Some certainly more so than others. We don't all recognize it for what it is. We've all had an experience where we had a thought about something, dismissed it, and then found ourselves thinking, "If only I paid attention when I had that feeling..."

People who have never had or never recognized the experience of being intuitive and having their intuitive 'hit' actually happen, of course, have a difficult time understanding what is intuition and what is wishful thinking.  It can be difficult to discern.  The closer you are to the person or information you are intuitively getting information about, the harder it can be to discern.

For those of us who have experienced intuition and experienced how accurate it can be are often freaked out by it and may ignore it by choice, because sometimes, we don't want to be right!  The information we 'get' isn't always happy or good.  It is rarely specific or in a clear 'premonition'.  It's usually piece meal and more of a fleeting thought or feeling that causes us to pause and listen or feel to try to figure it out.  Plenty of people have intuitive hits about natural disasters, accidents involving loved ones and even large scale world events like 9/11. 

The problem is, those who receive message via intuition, rarely get the specifics or maybe they just don't pay close enough attention.  Some people find their intuition is heightened in their dreams or when meditating.  Really, whenever they are taking their conscious thought, reason and logic out of the equation.

Others may feel unsettled inside for no apparent reason and can't shake it, and that's the way they receive the intuitive message. Once something happens, they often are able to identify that it was that situation that was looming that was trying to tell them something but they didn't listen or confused the message with something else.  Again, it's our human left-brains trying to make sense out of our thoughts, feelings and experiences in a concrete way that also makes sense to us on this earthly plain. Gifted intuitive have learned to leave that side of our human existence out of it and simply listen, feel, see and share.

I have always been intuitive.  Sometimes, I just *know* things.  No, I can't tell you the winning lottery numbers and even if I could, I probably wouldn't get that message if I asked. It just does not work like that for me.  It may for some people, just not for me.  I mostly feel and sometimes 'hear' or see, in my mind's eye, future events.  It's usually more of a feeling than something specific.  Sometimes, it's just that I'm strongly feeling or 'hearing' certain information I need to give someone or something I need to do or not do. It may make no sense to me, but if I tell them, it makes perfect sense to them. If the guidance is for me, and I follow it, I often later get the answers.  I can't always put my finger on it, or be as specific as I'd like to be, which is exceedingly frustrating, but I've had enough experiences to know that a) I'm not making it up and b) I don't have any control over the message I get, only over whether or not I pay attention and listen to it. 

Of course, the most memorable of these intuitive experiences are often associated with negative things.  Accidents, deaths, and injuries.  Probably because the positive ones are usually happy and we don't think about them nearly as much.  

There have been wonderful intuitive hits, though.   Knowing when certain people are supposed to be in your life on a soul and energetic level, despite everything screaming it is wrong from a human standpoint, is a lovely, albeit challenging, gift.  Being able to identify what is worth fighting for and what it is time to walk away from with gratitude is certainly another gift.  Knowing that it's OK to speak up about an intuitive thought or feeling because we all have the power to change outcomes by changing our actions right this very minute is an important tenet of life.

It's as much about listening to the message as it is about receiving it.

It's not always possible to identify the information or situation with enough precision to make sense of it, but sometimes a simple intuitive, "Drive carefully today" is enough.  If you think it, say it or do it.  It may not make sense to you, but you had that thought for a reason.  Even if you don't understand that reason right now, the information could be important.  Don't judge.  Don't decide for that person whether or not they need to hear the message, just deliver it.  Leave your ego out of it. 

We can develop our intuition as we can any of our psychic gifts through conscious awareness, mindfulness and meditation.  Write down your 'hunches' for a few days or weeks.  Pay attention to those seemingly random thoughts and feelings.  Pay attention to what your kids say!  They are wise beyond their years and open to message.  Kids will often ask about random relatives, particularly deceased ones.  Pay attention! They have a message for you!

Write down everything from "Huh, I'm thinking about an old friend from high school today" and then lo and behold, without any action on your part, they call or send you a message or you hear something about them from someone else.  Or maybe you suddenly think of a relative you haven't seen in forever out of the blue, only to find out later that day or week they have died or another significant event in their lives has happened.  It could even be as simple as telling your child to bring an extra snack when you normally do not do that, only to find out someone else forgot theirs and needed one.  While seemingly small and unimportant, these can all be examples of intuitive guidance.  After a few days, go back and look at your hunches.  How many of them make sense in retrospect?  

There are more powerful intuitive messages.  Some of the ones I've experienced were knowing without a doubt when I met my current husband, we were meant to be together despite our vast differences and the work we would both have to do in order to make that a reality.  I *knew* it was supposed to happen.  I knew I had to let it happen and get out of my head and follow my gut, my heart and my intuitive guidance.

As a doula, I love my intuitive gift of almost always knowing when my clients will go into labor.  I typically get a sense within 24 hours of when they call me.  If it's night time, I always wake up and look at my phone wondering why they didn't call, only to have them call a short time later.  It works better if I have established an energetic connection and relationship with them prenatally, but it always amazes me how accurate it is!  

Another example if my intuition happened while I was waiting to get on a plane to go to a wedding for my then fiance's family, whom I had never met, one beautiful summer day.  I was highly emotional and on edge for no reason. I had a sense of dread and overwhelming sadness.  I had a terrible time choosing a dress to wear when packing and felt it wasn't 'right'.  I tried to blame it on fatigue and the smallish plane (I'm not a fan of little planes).  The flight was fine.  While his step-mom (grandmother of the bride) was at the rehearsal, we went out for dinner with his father.  While out, his father's phone rang.  I immediately knew something horrible had happened as soon as the phone rang, before he said a word. It had.  Several members of the wedding party were in a horrible accident.  The wedding was postponed.  They were all at the hospital all night, praying that all those injured would survive.  Later that night, I had an energetic 'conversation' with the most severely injured, the mother of the bride.  At the moment that phone rang earlier that evening, I knew why I was so antsy and emotional.  I knew my purpose in being there was not to go to that wedding, it was to support the family with my other gifts.  I gave more Reiki that weekend than I think I ever have collectively before.  I held the space.  I listened.  My intuition gave me the message, I just didn't know exactly what it was at the time.

The most profound and worst intuitive experience I ever had was the vision of a little girl's funeral or wake.  It was in November of 2004 while I was driving to Maine for a girls weekend away.  It was completely out of the blue.  The only other thing I remember was Celene Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" song was playing on the radio at the time.  I saw it in my mind's eye, while driving, clear as day.  A white casket. Pink and White flowers.  I was a bit baffled.  I was conflicted and melancholy that weekend as well, despite the fact it was a weekend away for fun, which I never got and had been looking forward to for a long time!  My niece was having heart surgery later that week and I thought it was a message about her.  I was worried she was going to die.  She didn't.  And I promptly forgot about it. 

Until I walked into my daughter's wake almost a month later.  IT WAS EXACTLY THE SAME.  I damn near fainted for a multitude of reasons, but that slammed me.  Hard.  I had a premonition.  I saw it.  I didn't get it at the time.  I thought it was something else and it wasn't that.  WTF?!  Of course the shock of the entire experience meant I felt the energetic kick in my solar plexus and heart but had to be present for the wake and forgot about it, again, until I heard that same song weeks later.  Only then, did it all come together for me and was I able to process it all and piece it together.  I'm still working on that...

For a real time example, before I got married last fall, on my grandmother's 86th birthday, I had a sense something was wrong with her.  I wasn't sure she was going to live long enough to make it.  She did.  She had a blast and we loved having her there.  She was, however, recently and unexpectedly and incidentally diagnosed with lung cancer.  She did not want further testing or treatment. She is now in hospice care.  Initially, I was looking forward to seeing her in June when we travel to Florida for a family vacation.  About 10 days ago, out of nowhere, I got the message intuitively I needed to go see her ASAP.  This did not come from any of my family members or myself really.  It came from my higher self, a higher place.  She was doing fine at the time, I even spoke to her on the phone, but the message was insistent.

So I booked a flight for next week.  What I don't know is why I am going.  I just know I need to go.  I'd like to be going to spend some quality time with her while she is lucid and able to 'play'.  I'm not sure that's actually why I am going.  Maybe I'm going because energetically, we need to have this last interaction.  Maybe I'm going to simply lend support to my mother and aunt.  Maybe I'm going because she won't be there in June (highly likely that this is at least part of the reason, even though she thinks she'll still be around in June) and maybe I'm going so I can be there when she transitions.  Maybe I'm going there because she will transition before I get there and my presence is needed for that.  I'm not sure yet why.  It doesn't matter really.  I got the message I need to go.  The Universe made it happen.  I got the message when I need to go. It's happening.  The why matters less than the fact I listened.  I will find out why when I get there.  It is what it is.

I listened.  I followed the guidance.  The rest will play out how it is supposed to.

It's about trust.  Trusting your inner wisdom.  Believing in something you can't see or explain.  It's about knowing.

So, are you intuitive?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A to Z Challenge: H is for Honor

The further  along I get in the alphabet of my metaphysical A to Z challenge, the more I realize it's difficult to choose one word for each letter.  There are often so many that fit and are worthy of  their own dedicated blog post.  Today's was particularly challenging.  Several "H" words quickly came to mind.  Heaven, holy, holistic,  happiness, health, Haniel and hope to name a few.

The word that really wanted to have it's chance to be thoughtfully considered is honor.  It in fact, deserves to be honored for what it is and what it stands for.  There are many definitions and uses for the word honor.  It boils down to respect.

Why did I choose honor over any of the other fine "H' words?  Because I think we need more honor in the world, in every sense of the word.  I think we need to get back to this core value.  For ourselves.  For our children.  For the world.  I don't think we can truly achieve a peaceful existence and a peaceful world until we truly are able to honor ourselves and that which is in others.  There are many facets to honor in our lives.  At a minimum we should honor:

Each other
Our heritage (parents, grandparents/elders)
Our children
Our faith, whatever it may be
Our truth
The gift of life
The gifts of Mother earth
Spirit - whatever that is to you

We don't have to agree with something to honor it.  We are simply acknowledging it for what it is, without judgement.  Without ego. It's about being respectful of ourselves, each other and our differences.

If you have ever taken a yoga class or indulged in any Eastern spiritual pursuits, a common greeting or parting word is Namaste.  It means 'I bow to you' and is often combined with hands in prayer position at the heart center, in effect saying that the Divine in me honors the Divine in you.  Sometimes the hands come together at the forehead or third eye chakra and are brought down to the heart with the bow, an especially deep sign of respect.  The word is not needed, but tends to be spoken in Western cultures or written when the people cannot see the other. Essentially, we are eliminating our ego and saying we are equal, and I respect you for who you are and where you are on your journey.

Our differences matter not, for we are but one and the same when it comes right down to it from a holistic and spiritual standpoint.  We are all wherever we need to be on our path.  Our paths have crossed for a reason. I honor where you are on yours.  I hope you can do the same for me.


Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z Challenge: G is for God

What is God?

What a Pandora's Box of a question!  There are probably as many answers as there are religious and spiritual beliefs and then some.

This post is not to start a debate.  It's a rhetorical question, really.

We don't often question why we believe what we do.  Sometimes it's just easier to go along with what we've always known.  Especially if we have no need or reason to question it.  If it resonates with us, so it goes.

I didn't really think about it or question it until faced with a crisis.  I was raised Catholic.  God to me was some guy in a white robe with a white beard that was simultaneously loving and yet to be feared.  We sang songs about him.  I liked the songs.  I liked most of the stories.  I enjoyed the faith community and our pretty  little church.  God somehow knew everything and when we died, we'd meet him.  He somehow created everything but no one seemed to explain sufficiently to me where the heck HE actually came from.  I wondered, if he's so good, why does he let all the bad stuff happen in the world?  Seemed kinda fishy...

Other people of course have differing beliefs about their higher power(s) and what, if anything, happens when we die.  He, She, they or 'it' is referred to by many names.  It's always boggled my mind why, if so many people agree on some kind of higher power or being, why there is so much fighting about whose 'God' is better or right.  I mean, seriously.  Why does "God" want us to hurt one another or disagree so we can get glory?  That never made sense to me, either.

All of my children were baptized Catholic.  When my daughter died, she was given a Catholic burial mass.  My eldest son received his First Communion the spring after she died.  For almost a full year after she died, I threw myself into my religion and the faith I was raised with with more attention and devotion than I ever had.  For the first time, I really paid attention to the words and stories.  I re-learned with my son as he prepare for First Communion.  I was looking for answers.

And then, one day, I was sitting at Mass and although I truly felt the presence of a loving energy, I literally stopped mid-recitation of the Profession of Faith and realized I didn't 'buy' what I was saying.  It was like the proverbial light bulb going off in my head.  It was always the same.  Every single time, we said the same thing.  Why? It never made complete sense to me.  I was not speaking MY truth.  I was regurgitating someone else's truth. I realized I didn't fundamentally agree with everything the Catholic church stood for or wanted me to subscribe to.  I literally couldn't speak the words anymore.  It wasn't my truth. For me, the doctrine had too many disparities with my own personal beliefs.  For a supposedly loving and accepting place, they disapproved of who I was and the choices I'd made.  If I didn't conform to their ideals, I was denied being able to truly participate in the tenets of the faith I did enjoy and believe in. Yet somehow, if I asked forgiveness, on my death bed, I'd still be allowed 'in'.  WTF?  I walked away.  From Catholicism and from the Catholic church, because I could not lie to myself or to them about who I was.  I did not denounce everything.  I just knew it wasn't the right fit for me any longer.

When my younger son started asking about God and church, we read the Children's Bible together.  I sought out books that helped me to explain the different beliefs out there and that no one belief was any better than another.  We were all different and thus we are all entitled to our opinions and beliefs.  It is my hope that when he is old enough and decides what, if any, religion he wants to subscribe to, he can fully learn and participate as he chooses.

I found a wonderful book for him and it not only resonated with me, but also with him.  It is called, What is God?  I think it should be required reading for everyone on this planet.

It is a wonderfully simple explanation of the different major religions and their beliefs.  The ultimate message being there are commonalities and differences and we get to choose which one is best for us.

To me, "God" is not a person, it is not judgmental, it is an energy vortex of sorts.  It is love and peace.  God is not a person, place or thing.  God is love.  It is that from which we came and that to which we return.  The law of energy conservation pure and simple.  The 'dust to dust' part is stardust... Maybe that's why I sparkle :-)

To you, God may be something else.  In the end, it doesn't matter.  I do hope whatever you believe in, that is brings you peace and feels right in every way for you. I honor the Divine in you, as I hope you do in me.

It doesn't really matter what God is or is not.  All that matters is what God is to you.

God is love.


A to Z Challenge: F is for Forgiveness

Talk about an "F" word.  No, not that one.  The metaphysical F word is forgiveness. 

To start, I am forgiving myself for forgetting to publish this post in proper order. :-)  I thought I did.  Apparently, I did not.  I trust there is a reason for that...

Forgiveness is one of those things that sounds so simple and easy, and yet is so hard for so many.  It holds so many people hostage, by their own choosing.  It's very, very difficult to move forward in your life and certainly on your spiritual journey without truly practicing the art of forgiveness. 

This is often easier said than done.  To say "I forgive you" is one thing.  To actually let go of the emotional baggage associated with those words is often much harder.  We tend to harbor resentment, anger, frustration, and conflict in our hearts.  It manifests emotionally, verbally and energetically, especially when in direct contact with the person whom you need to truly forgive. 

Often times it is someone who has hurt us deeply, intentionally or not.  It might be an ex-lover, a friend, a co-worker or boss or even someone you hardly know yet they did or said something that set you off.  Sometimes, it's not someone else, but ourselves, who we need to forgive.  We often feel guilty about something we said or did, or didn't say or didn't do.  We carry it around with us and in our energy fields forever, until we truly let it go. We hound ourselves with thoughts of  "I can't believe I did/said that" or "If only I...".  Whether we realize it or not, it impacts us.  It negatively impacts our self-esteem, our clarity of thought and can literally drain our energy, making us feel tired, irritable.  Physical symptoms like headaches or body aches can actually be manifestations of emotions that are held in our bodies that need to be released.

I have an intimate relationship with forgiveness.  I know it's something I have to work on.  We all do.  I think we all have someone or something in our lives that we need to forgive.  I can think of several and one particularly significant and difficult for me.  It may be something small or it may be huge.  There may be many things you need to let go of and forgive. The size of the issue or number of issues matter far less than the act of forgiveness for it/them. 

Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to condone their actions or choices. It just means you are letting go of the cords that bind you to it energetically so you can move on.  If you don't, you end up stuck in a pattern and an energy that weighs you down.  

If you can't say "I forgive you" to them directly, do it indirectly.  The release of the resentment is what is important.  Some ways you can do this are:

 ~ Write down each person or thing you need to forgive.  Be specific.  Write the reasons you harbor resentment. Why you felt the way you did.  Then write the words "I forgive you for..." and be specific about what you are forgiving. Thank the person or situation for the lessons you received.

~  Call them or talk to them in person, doing the same thing recommended above.  Or write them a letter if you don't feel you can do it 'live'.  They may have no idea you needed to forgive them!  

~ If you write it down, you can then place it in a 'forgiveness box', burn it, shred it or otherwise energetically transmute it.  

~  Meditate on it.  Visualize the person/situation, visualize your act of forgiveness, send white light and love to all involved, feel the healing energy as you literally cut all cords and attachments to the negative feelings and feel them replaced with universal love

~  Realize sometimes, because buttons get pushed and triggers can re-occur, you may need to practice the act of forgiveness more than once

Don't wait for the 'right time'.  That time is now.  Far too many people wait for the right time.  Far too many more wait until they are literally on their death bed to ask for and grant forgiveness.  

Know that only once you can actively forgive and bring forth positive energy will the Universe respond in kind.  It's the law of attraction.  Love begets love.  Resentment and fear beget resentment and fear.  Forgiveness begets forgiveness.  

The two most powerful phrases in our language are "I forgive you" and "I love you".  Use them.  Often.  You will be happier and healthier for it. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

A to Z Challenge: E is for Enlightenment

Ah, the ultimate goal of any spiritual student is to attain enlightenment   To finally awaken to their truth, all truth.  To attain inner peace.  True peace. To transcend the physical and unite with the spiritual as one.

Whenever I think of enlightenment  I am brought back to a high school honors English class focused on Existentialism.  We read, among other books, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.  It was a turning point in my life, although I didn't realize it at the time.  I LOVED that book.  I still have the copy our teacher gave us. She thought we needed it, apparently.  It's beat up, written in and the binding is held together with masking tape.  I was not the first to posses that copy, and perhaps not the last, but I love it like a child.

I think part of my spiritual awakening happened that year, although I was unaware of it at the time.  It was why the book resonated so strongly with me.  I devoured it again and again. I am feeling called to read it again, now. I did not fully comprehend it's message at the time, but it catalyzed a journey.  As I remember the people in that class, I am still good friends with several of my classmates.  It was a small class. Maybe 10 or 12 of us all told.  We've been on our own journey since then, together and apart.  In and out of each other's lives. In retrospect, it's an interesting study of a spiritual journey within a life journey.  As at least 3 of them have been a significant part of my life and helped contribute to who I am today.

When I throw down a reading with my Ascended Masters oracle cards for myself, guess who comes up a lot for me.  Yep.  Good ole Sidd as I like to refer to him.  He's like an old friend.

Siddhartha was on a spiritual journey.  He tried the route of fasting, homelessness and renounced materialistic possessions to seek enlightenment. He met Buddha, but did not join his 'tribe', instead choosing to continue to seek his own truth.  He then fell prey to materialism and romance, indulging in wealth, beauty and the lovely Kamala. Only to realize this was not the life he wanted, there was no enlightenment there. He returned to being a wandering seeker of truth and enlightenment.  He later had to allow his own son to also find his own path, just like he did.

One of the most memorable messages from the book for me was that the truth was in the river. We all see the river differently.  We all experience it differently.  It has messages for us, but we must listen.  It's about learning our 'lessons' in life.  So many of us just plow on through, giving no thought to the experiences we have, yet there are so many messages every day for us to discover about ourselves and our world.

All of our experiences collectively help us to discover our truth.  Life is our river. Once we discover our truth, we must then choose to speak and live it.  Every experience we have brings us closer to our truth.  It helps us to understand who we are and who we are supposed to be.  The path is different for all of us. Until we can own our choices and understand our river, enlightenment is elusive.  The moment we find that inner peace, that universal understanding, when we can stand proud in our own truth, that we can truly love unconditionally and without judgment, we become enlightened.

It's not easy.  If it were, we'd all be there.  It's work.  It's a paradigm shift for many of us.  Some of us need life jackets for our rivers!  Others, an inner tube to drift on.  Some, like Siddhartha, need to sit by the river and listen.  Listen to our hearts.  Our inner wisdom.  Start small.  Be aware of your choices and the emotion and motive behind them.  Baby steps.

The truth is in the river.  Find your river!


As I sit here this morning, I read my Facebook feed.  It is filled with hatred, anger and fear.  The negativity is palpable.  It makes me sad.

My immediate reaction.  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and simply prayed.  I sent love and light to the law enforcement involved, those impacted by the events of this week and most immediately last night and today and to those perpetuating the fear and hatred. I didn't need to know the details.  People are in harms way, they need our love and light.  I have it.  I offer it. Simple and done.

I have not even turned on the news, nor do I intend to.  I don't have to.  It's all right there on Facebook and Twitter.  My ping4alerts went off this morning with news of the lockdown in Boston and manhunt underway.  Speculation and repetitive pictures of crime scenes serve no one.

I, like many other people, know of people directly impacted by the bombing on Monday, who were there, at that time or just missed it by minutes.  Who were supposed to be there, and by one reason or another, were not. I have friends, right now, many of them, in the area of the lockdown and manhunt.  We all know someone impacted directly by this right now.  It has hit close to home.  Our home.  I get it.  I really do.

I do not fear for them.  I do not fear for myself or my family.  Not just because I live in the suburbs of the suburbs.   Not just because I don't work in the city.  Why then, you ask?

I don't do fear.  Maybe it's my own life's experiences that give me perspective.  Living in fear serves no one.  It's ok to feel fear, it's a human emotion and we are human, after all.  We can't let that fear win.  We can't let it make us panic.  We can't let it stop us from living our lives.  What we have to be careful of is not to let it overtake us.

Fear is useful in that it can cause us to be more pro-active about our own safety.  We become more alert, more vigilant, more observant.  People are scared right now because they feel they have no control.  It's the fear of the unknown.  It's no different than taking a big test, preparing for labor and birth for the first time or getting a cancer diagnosis or even just being old and knowing the end of your life is closer than the beginning.  It's something we do not know the ultimate outcome of.  We can, at best, prepare for it and do our best to manifest the best outcome possible, but also the safest one.  The difference is those things affect but a small group, something like what's happening in Boston affects large groups of people. Panic begets panic.  Fear begets fear.

I am also not scared because I know those who are in law enforcement right now have trained their entire careers for this exact sort of thing.  They know the risks, their families know the risks, they choose to do this for the greater good.  They are our heroes and we support them.  Of course their loved ones are worried.  I get that.  But what they need is not your worry and fear, they need a bubble of love and protection around them.  So they can do their jobs without worrying about your worry!  You can do that for them!

Another thing concerns me.  In the attempts of law enforcement to keep us safe, they order certain things we are not used to.  We only see it on TV or hear about it elsewhere.  It contributes to our fear.  The lack of information they are giving, the lockdown and closing of businesses, streets and transportation is to keep people safe and to minimize avenues for the suspect to get away.  It's a protective policy.  It's about our safety.  Let's not compromise it!

Now all of you posting pictures of what you see outside your windows could be compromising that very safety!  Stay away from the windows, stop broadcasting where the police are and where the suspect may be so they can do their jobs!

Shame on the media, for all their speculation and unchecked 'facts'.  Get the hell out of the way and let law enforcement do their jobs!  Ratings be damned.  We are dealing with real people here.  Real lives.  I, for one, don't trust what I hear from the media at this point.  I don't much care what someone who knows someone has to say.  I don't care where they are from.  I care that they get the right people with the least amount of collateral damage.  Realize that law enforcement witholds details for our protection and so they can actually get their guy!

Social media is great, but it adds a significant complication to situations like this.  Think before you post!  When they ask for your pictures, send them.  It's part of what led to this day.  That's fantastic. When they don't ask for them, don't publicly post them.  Keep them to yourself, at least until it's over.

What can you do?  Turn off the TV and the radio.  Inventory your house and car and do a safety check.  How many of you don't have that disaster kit ready yet?  How many of you wish you did?  How many of you have one, but have not checked on it in more than a year to be sure what you have is not expired and still appropriate for all members of the family? We often don't see the need for knowing how to 'shelter in place' or be prepared for a 'disaster' when we don't live in a severe weather or war zone.  The events of this week are exactly why being prepared is so important.  Being prepared can alleviate fear.  If you want to get that disaster kit ready, here's a great link to Ready.gov.  Make a list of what you need.  Go shopping.  There is a great scavenger hunt game for kids on the ready.gov site to get them involved.

We now live in Colombine, Aurora, Newtown, NYC and all of those other small town or big cities that have been victim to an act of terrorism.  We are not special.  We are no different.  We will recover.  Better.  Stronger.  Safer.  Still, we will never be 100% safe.  Ever.  Life itself involves risk.  There will always be the unknown.  The best we can do is prepare for it.

In the meantime, join me in sending love and light to all those involved in the events of last night and today.  May we together, find peace.  May love win.  May we emerge safer and stronger individually and as a community at large.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A to Z Challenge: D is for divination

People are funny.

Depending on the person or group I am with, if I mention the word divination or that I am now an Angel Card reader, or some other metaphysical mumbo jumbo, I either get a nod of understanding and an offer to share insights and message or a shocked look disbelief.  Divination?!  Are you a witch?  You think you can predict the future?  Get answers about the past?  You think you can talk to GOD?!  The angels?!  The departed!?  How can you possibly know when "x" will die?!   I thought you were normal...

Hmmmm.  Did I say I was any of those things?  Oh, wait.  Sometimes I do get message from *someone* and *somewhere*.  I have had encounters with deceased loved ones, both mine and other people's.  I can't tell you how many deceased loved ones I've been introduced to and asked not to sit on by my patients who were near death. I don't see them with my eyes, but I feel their presence and I know when they are there.  I don't really want to see or talk to them, so I kindly ask them to move along.  I'm not afraid, it's just not time for me to do that yet.

Did you think I was 'normal' before you knew I dabbled in divination, metaphysical pursuits and the new age spiritual realm?  Did you decide I was a 'cooler' person because of my spiritual side?  Regardless, what, if anything changed?  Why?

Am I crazy now?  All of a sudden?  Just like that?

I often find myself thinking.  Wait.  Do you pray?  Isn't that talking to God?  Most everyone accepts that as 'normal' even if they don't do it.

How many of you sent wishes for peace and healing to the families of Newtown, the Boston bombing earlier this week or those impacted by 9/11?  Is that not communicating with a higher power somehow?  Isn't that a form of intended energy healing?

Do you hug your children and kiss their boo-boos better?  Isn't that a form of energy healing?

When our ancestors are depicted casting lots with rocks and sticks, using runes, looking to the skies for guidance and relying on medicine men and women to be the healers of the tribe do you think they were crazy?

What IS divination?

To me, it's simply a way of connecting with spirit. A gift of intuition and perception.  An awareness that maybe, we really are spirit beings having a human experience, not the other way around.  It's a way to connect with whatever higher power(s) you happen to believe in.

It's also a beautiful tool to help you connect to yourself.  Your higher self, your intuition,  that inner wisdom we all have.  It allows you to venture inside of yourself and far outside of yourself to seek your own personal truth and find what resonates with you.  It's tuning into our own soul's compass.  It's a way to inner peace, resolution of conflict, forgiveness, understanding and processing of emotion.  A way to be grounded to this earth and yet connected to spirit, universal love.  Who cares how we get there, as long as we do?

By definition, and in my opinion, why it gets a bad rap, divination is associated with fortune telling and prophecy.  It's roots are in 'divine will of God'.  It's associated with the occult and 'witches'.  It is perceived to go against traditional religious teachings and thus rejected by many as false or outright lies.

Who are you to judge someone else's personal beliefs or experiences? 

It's my belief that whenever someone is un-accepting of another persons's beliefs, it's because of their own fear or misunderstandings.  What's right for me may not be right for you.  Whether I'm choosing a salad dressing, a shirt or a spiritual divination tool. What's the difference?  Why does it matter to you?

Some divination tools people use are:

oracle and tarot cards
reading tea leaves
and the list goes on...

The thing is, it is what it is to YOU and only you.  If it doesn't resonate with you, then you don't have to participate in it.  If you don't believe in God, you don't pray to him.  If you don't believe in angels, why would you ask them for messages using oracle cards?  If you don't believe in past lives, why would you engage in a past life regression?

To me, it's sort of like any game of chance.  You roll the dice.  You choose a card.  You are betting on an outcome.  The unknown.  You may be able to somehow predict the likelihood of that outcome based on past experience, the current cards on the table or your own expectations.  Wait.  Isn't that divination of sorts.  Past, present and future.  Determined by which card you choose or what combination shows up on the dice?    Oh, my D+D friends will be so excited!  The choices they make now impact the outcome of the game. Just.  Like.  In.  Real.  Life.  They use cards to help determine the outcome.  Hey, so do I!

I've tried different divination tools along my journey. Some really resonate with me, others do not.  Some only for a while.  They are merely tools.  They activate something deep within us.  They activate thought, feeling and contemplation of life purpose.  They help us question and find answers.  They are not really magic.  They are just a way to raise your awareness about your own experience of life.

Last night I was part of a beautiful Reiki and healer share.  We gathered to send love, light and healing to Boston.  We used meditation  crystals and visualization.  We asked angels and ascended masters to join us. We even asked the Unicorns, the symbol of the Boston Marathon, to join us.  There is no harm in calling in reinforcements!  We beamed healing energy to the city, the 'crime scene', to all those injured, their families and friends, the volunteers, to all the first responders and hospital staff.  We went into meditation together, we, by force of will and determination opened our hearts and beamed love and light to anyone and everyone who needed it.  We reached out to those who needed to cross over and to their families energetically to help them heal.  We literally sent healing to the earth at the epicenter of it all, the streets of Boston, the buildings.  Everything and everyone.  I swear you could have seen it.

Were we all out of our trees for a) gathering for such a purpose, b) engaging in a group meditation with a specific healing purpose and c) for thinking it could actually help?  Well, I can tell you we are not.  We are all professionals.  We have real jobs.  We have families.  We are all well-respected members of our communities.  We are largely a group of people that had you never known of our interest in spiritual pursuits, you'd never have in a million years guessed we'd have been there last night.  We are not alone.  The United Nations does this every week!   We have a depth of compassion and caring for people and places we have no direct connection with, we just know they need our positive energy and so we share it.  How can that be wrong?

It's not the destination, it's the journey.  It's the hope that at the end of our journey we find peace.  For ourselves and for others.  It doesn't matter how we get there.  It only matters that we get there.  Divination is but one way to guide us down our path and bring us to peace.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A to Z Challenge: C is for chakra

There are so many "C"  words to choose from in the realm of new age topics.  Compassion and crystals being favorites of mine.  

The one "C" word that captures the essence of a metaphysical C is chakra.  The chakras are to energetic anatomy as important as the skeleton is to the physical body.  Any student of spirit must first understand their energetic anatomy and how it relates to their physical anatomy before they can truly make sense of and understand the essence of their BE-ing. 

So what's a chakra?  The chakras are the energy centers of our being.  There are 7 major ones and many secondary ones.  For the purposes of today's post, I shall only address the 7 main chakras, and briefly at that.  The 7 major chakras are located along the midline of our body.  Chakra is from the Sanskrit word meaning 'wheel'.  Energy is believed to flow through the chakras, spinning them like a wheel,  helping to keep us energetically in balance and thus healthy in all of our bodies; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Each is believed to represent a spiritual or life lesson or challenge that leads us to greater consciousness.  The goal is to achieve a balance.  

Each chakra resonates to a different frequency and corresponds to the colors pictured below. There are many other associations with the chakras that can be used for treatment of dis-ease and for energy balancing.  They include yoga poses, mantras, crystals, music, aromatherapy, astrology and more.

This is one example of how they may be pictured:

They are, in order from head to toe:

Crown Chakra - located at the top and center above the head and is associated with the Divine/connection to spirit.  Associated with the colors white/gold, the musical note 'B', and Quartz crystals and amethyst.  The mantra is "I am" and  "I know".

Third Eye Chakra -  Located in the center of the forehead, between the eyes.  Associated with the recognition of your intuition, surrendering your will to Divine will, understanding.  Other associations are the color purple, the musical note 'A', and crystals such as lapis, sodalite, sapphire, moonstone and quartz.  The mantra is "I see".

Throat Chakra -  Located between the collarbones at the center of the throat.  Associated with  sound, speaking your truth/communication.  Other associations include the color blue, the musical note 'G', and crystals of chalcedony, blue lace agate, aquamarine or turquoise.  The mantra is "I speak" and "I am heard".

Heart Chakra - Located at your heart center in the center of your chest.  Associated with the ability to love without fear, peace, understanding.  Other associations include the color green or pink, the musical note 'F', or crystals such as emerald, rose quartz, rhodocrosite, jade or pink tourmaline.  The mantra is "I love" and "I am loved".

Solar Plexus Chakra - Located just above the belly button it is the center of personal will/truth, personality and feelings.  Associated with the color yellow and the musical note 'E'.  Also associated with tiger eye, yellow topaz, agate and yellow jasper.  The mantra is "I act".

Sacral Chakra - Located in the lower abdomen, above the genitals but below the belly button.  Associated with sexuality/relationships, creativity, pure emotion and love of self.  Other associations include the color orange, the musical note 'D' and crystals moonstone, carnelian, tourmaline and hematite. The mantra is "I feel". 

Root Chakra - Located at the base of the spine and it is where physical and emotional stability exist.  Associated with family, the concept of the tribe, connection with the earth and survival, self-esteem and material things in life.  Also associated with t he color red, the musical note 'C' and crystals of agate, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, smoky quartz, red jasper or tiger eye.  The mantra is "I am here" 

Any of our chakras can be out of balance, either with relation to that energy center itself or it's relationship to the other chakras.  Imbalance is usually a sign of a blockage or 'leak' of your energy.  It is often tied to an emotional stress or conflict in your life.  A literal block of the flow of positive and healthy energy.  Imbalance often manifests physically for us in the form of dis-ease.  It could be as seemingly minor as a headache, a bad mood or sore muscles and fatigue to much more serious ailments.  Those who are energy sensitive may be able to identify for themselves or for others when there is an imbalance of the chakras or energy centers.  Our physical and emotional bodies often give us clues as well, thus it does not require a PhD in metaphysics to know your energetic anatomy is off kilter! 

What the average person is often lacking is an awareness of their inner-self and of their own energetic anatomy.  They are unaware of not only how imbalances can occur and manifest in the physical but also of how they have the power to change their energetic anatomy and thus, their physical and emotional experiences as a result.  Bringing your energy into balance can help to heal dis-ease and bring about well-being, health and happiness.

There are some simple things you can do to raise your spiritual, emotional and physical energy and to fend off dis-ease.  Here are some suggestions:
  • Eat well.  Avoid processed foods, artificial colors and genetically modified foods of any kind.  Eat whole foods and organic when you can.  Wash all produce well.  Limit or avoid sugar and caffeine. 
  • Employ color balancing. Wear the color of the chakra(s) you want to bring into balance.  It can be anywhere!  Your socks, your underwear, a top or even jewelry!  The more out of balance, the more items of that color you should use or wear or surround yourself in!
  • Wear or carry a crystal associated with the chakra you wish to work on.  I could write copious amounts on crystal therapy, but for a quick reference check out Best Crystals
  • Meditate.  Visualize your chakras spinning freely, vibrant in their colors, working perfectly together.  Feel the light of love and spirit travel from the Universe to just above your head, through you and all your chakras, right through your feet and into the earth.  Feel grounded to earth and connected to spirit while being fully present in your own body and your experience of that very moment.  It doesn't take long.  A few minutes a day.  A great way to being each morning and prepare for sleep each night.  And anytime in between! 
  • Use a guided imagery, visualization or affirmation.  There are chakra specific ones available on-line and there are many to choose from.  Or create your own to listen to or simply recite out loud or to yourself.  Utilize the affirmations associated with each chakra noted above.  One of my favorite chakra guided meditations can be found here on an album called Crystal Voices.
  • Receive Reiki.  Reiki is great for identifying and balancing your chakras and helping you to let go and heal whatever it is that needs to be healed.  It's such a gift to both give and receive.  At the very least, it's relaxing and YOU time.  Chances are, you will get so much more out of it than you ever imagined for your greater good and health. 
  • Utilize music.  You can listen or sing and chant. There are many CD's out there made specifically for chakra balancing.  My favorites involve crystal singing bowls.  Two of my favorites are Chakra Suite and Crystal Bowl Healing, both by Steven Halpern.

While there is much I could and would love to write about balancing chakras, perhaps that is for another time and place.  If you are interested in learning more, feel free to message me.  I'd be happy to hold a class locally, write a more in depth piece or simply provide you with some resources for your own research.  


The wonderful thing about triggers

How many of you are now singing "The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things..."?  It's OK, I did, too.  :-)

Typically, when I speak of triggers, it's not a wonderful thing.  Triggers are usually expected or even worse, unexpected things, that cause a sudden remembrance of Meghan's death or simply of the fact I once had a little girl earth side and now I don't.  For example, the day she died is always a trigger.  Her birthday, holidays, the first day of school, these are all triggers and they come every year.  I expect them.  I can plan for them. 

There are also unexpected ones.  These are usually more challenging because they blindside you. Seeing a little girl who resembles her or says or does something just like she used to.  Seeing an adorable outfit in the girls section of the store and STILL, 8 years later, reflexively reaching for it thinking she would love it, only to realize of course, I can't buy it for her. Those are the kids of triggers that can take a happy and ordinary day and turn it upside down.  At least for a short time.  It drains the energy right out of me.  I miss her. 

Another trigger for me is twins.  Meghan was a twin.  I was SO PSYCHED to be blessed with twins.  The challenge of growing them, birthing them and mothering them.  Despite all the challenges, I looked forward to  watching their twin-ship grow.  I looked forward to the joys of double blessings.  I had so many hopes and dreams for myself and my twins.  And then, one was gone.  I forever see one where two should be.  It hurts.  A lot.

I struggle with this at times.  Am I no longer the mother of twins?  Do I have any right to give advice as a mother of twins to expectant and new parents of twins?  Despite the fact I am a childbirth educator who specializes in multiple birth, I am careful to focus specifically on birth to 3 with friends and clients/students, since that is the only practical experience I will ever have mothering twins.  

To be honest, to even ponder what could have been beyond that moves me to tears, even now.  I  mourn the loss of what could have been almost as much as the death itself at times.  I know only parents of twins can understand that sentiment, if they could even imagine losing one of their own, to have a glimpse into what I feel like sometimes. I am still angry I was robbed of my chance to be a twin mommy.  To see them grow and learn together and individually.  It's.  So.  Not.  Fair. 

Despite my love of teaching childbirth classes, especially to parents expecting twins, it's always a teensy trigger for me.  I cope with it.  They are none the wiser. I have several friends in my circles now that either have or are pregnant with twins.  While I'm thrilled for them, seeing them and their posts is always difficult on some level.  One I don't always acknowledge consciously, but it's there.  I'm no longer part of the club.  I want to be.  I wish I was.  I'm mad as hell about the fact I'm not.  I'm probably a wee bit envious and hate to admit it.  Maybe they can tell, maybe they can't.  Of course if they are reading this, now they know.  Still, it's not their fault I have issues and I'm really, really happy for them and want to do what I can to help them along their journey. 

Today, I experienced yet another unexpected trigger.  I was asked several months ago if I'd write an article on childproofing for a twin-centric magazine called Multiplicity.  The offer was born out of my blog post about the day Meghan died, which found it's way to one of the editors, who of course, has twins.  I was thrilled at the offer, what aspiring writer wouldn't be?  Then, I doubted myself.  Not only with regard to my ability to write an article that would be of interest, but to write one for the twin community.  The one I am no longer a part of because of the very subject matter I was writing about.  I didn't think about it again, I wrote the article and submitted it.  It fell off my radar. 

The article was published today.  You can read it here on pg 24-25 of the Spring Issue of Multiplicity Magazine.  The publisher sent a link to me this morning.  I clicked on it.  Two little blonde girls.  Twins, of course, are on the cover.  One wearing a very Meggie-esque pink flower headband.  I felt a little jolt.  I read the article.  It was a bit surreal.  My words.  My bio.  In a twin publication.  I cried.  Probably not for the reason you think.

I had once dreamed of writing not just an article in a twin magazine about pregnancy, birth or doula-ing for twins, but an entire book about being pregnant with and birthing twins.  I had an outline.  I had a proposal.  I had done copious research.  I had the professional credentials and the street cred, I had twins!  I had a few chapters written and many others started.  They are still on my computer to this day, although now out of date.  I was researching agents.  Then Meghan died.  Literally the same week I was finally feeling like I had my head above water with this parenting twins thing, I was planning to pick up the phone and start trying to find someone to take me on as a writer. My book died, right along with Meghan.  I couldn't bring myself to continue after that.  My life changed so deeply, drastically and dramatically that the book was no longer anywhere near my conscious awareness.  Even if it were, I didn't feel worthy.

Today, I realized that dream did manifest.  Just in a different way.  Being a momma of twins has helped me to help other moms of twins.  Just not in the way I once imagined.  I once imagined writing for a magazine.  I can now say I've successfully done that.   Maybe, I will realize the dream of writing that book, too.  It won't be the one I originally thought I'd write, but I am confident it will be the one I am supposed to write.  It is still all because of my beloved twins.  I am still a mom to twins.  It's just that one is on earth and the other is no longer of this earth.  They are forever twins and that twin-ship cannot be broken.  Just ask her brother.  :-)  

What I thought was just a trigger, was really something so much more.  It is a treasure.  It's not just about what was lost, but what was found and what has always been.  

Thanks, Meggie and Ry.  Mommy loves you.  BIG kiss, hug and snuggles!  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

B is for blessings...for Boston and beyond

Day 2 of the A to Z blog.  The letter B.

Two B words that come quickly to mind today are of course Boston and bombing.  Boston is a beautiful word, a beautiful city and 'my' city if I were to ever call one my own.  Boston was the target of a bombing yesterday, on the city's most 'holy' of days, Marathon Monday.  While I could choose to write about those B words, instead, I choose to write about blessings.  I shall do so with inspiration from the events of yesterday.

A blessing is generally thought of as a wish or hope for happiness, goodness or something positive.  Some see it as a favor from God or a higher power.  Those who are blessed are thought to be worthy of deep reverence or respect or of bringing happiness or good fortune.

Boston is blessed. While the events at the finish line were horrible and tragic, there were abundant blessings in the timing of it all.  There was news media everywhere, and instead of running away, they captured it.  Yes some of the images are upsetting, but they may have captured important evidence and they certainly captured the amazing goodness of people in the aftermath.

There were people, and thus, witnesses, everywhere.  They were also helpers.  They helped those who were injured, lost, new to our city and had no idea where to go or what to do.  They offered food, shelter, clothing, directions and support to complete strangers.  They were beautiful, good-hearted and helpful people.

There were first responders everywhere and literally able to respond immediately.  They trained for this, they knew exactly what to do to keep everyone as safe as possible in the aftermath and to tend to the injured. They did so with precision, calm and authority.  They were able to stop the race and direct runners who had not yet finished to a safe gathering place and direct spectators waiting for their runners to meet them there.

There was a medical tent in close proximity, staffed with trained medical personnel, all volunteers.  There were ambulances on stand by, already there.  They went into action, ready to help whomever needed it.  The spirit of cooperation was stunning.  Stories of spectators and even runners, who had just run 26.2 miles, went immediately to that tent or to the injured to help THEM, instead of seeking attention for their own needs or running away in fear.  It was also change of shift at the local hospitals, who were, at that very moment, essentially double staffed with nurses.  Physicians and other staff not working or on call heard the news and immediately reported to their hospitals, ready to do their jobs.  Because that's what they do.  

Blessed are all those who helped.  Especially our first responders and health care personnel, who dedicate their lives to helping others and saving lives.  Who plan for and drill for circumstances just like this one. They don't think twice about running IN to harm's way to keep the rest of us safe and to help those who are injured.  No doubt, the number of those injured and especially those who lost their lives would have been greater had there not been the people there who were.  Right people.  Right place.  Right timing.

Of course for those who were in harm's way and were injured or killed by the blast, they were not in the right place, at least not in the conventional human sense.  May the families and friends of those who were killed, injured or simply witnessed the events as they happened and are suffering emotionally, find peace.  They too, are blessed.  Blessed to have been given the gift of their loved ones in their lives.  Blessed to have been surrounded by the best of the best in a city that is a medical mecca.  In a city where people are passionate, generous and resilient, and where love is abundant and hearts are good.  While their loss is certainly tremendous, to know they have the prayers and good thoughts of so many across the nation sending them love, light and wishes for peace and healing is a gift.  May they feel the abundant love being sent their way. May it help them heal.

Blessed are we, as a city, state and nation, that we collectively agree fear and terror will not win.  We will not change our ways.  No doubt MORE people will be at next year's Boston Marathon, not fewer.  Blessed are we that tragedies like this serve not to tear us apart, but bring us together.  While unfortunate that it had to happen, and unfortunate that it seems it's the 'bad' that often leads us to the 'good', we emerge stronger as a whole.

Please join me in focused attention for a moment.

Focus not on the negative, not on the fear, not on the hatred.  Do not blame.  Do not fall victim.  Do not hate. Do not wish ill upon others.  Focus instead on the positive, the good, the love.  Speak no evil.  Hear no evil.  See no evil.  Believe  there is no evil.  There is no evil.

Speak love.  Hear love.  See love.  Feel love.  Send love.  BE LOVE.  Always.  Shine your light, right from your heart, on everyone.  Love will win.  It must.  It always does.

Blessed be.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A is for Angels

A.  I must resist the urge to recite from one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, "Big A, little A, what begins with A?" Come on, admit it, you did the same thing, right?

Today's inaugural post in the A to Z metaphysical challenge is about angels.  What better "A" word could their be in the realm of spirit?

Interestingly, the concept of angels seems to evoke a range of emotion and belief.  There are those that simply don't believe in angels at all.  There are others who believe they exist but on a plane that we cannot access.  Some believe they are beautiful, loving and good.  Some see them and talk to them.  Some receive and give message from them.  Some believe our deceased loved ones become angels.  Others believe if you claim to 'talk' to them, hear or see them, you are lying, crazy or delusional or perhaps even evil.

Angel comes from the Greek word aggelos, which means messenger.  There are many mentions of angels in the Bible and of their creation. To attempt to engage in a comprehensive discussion would result in a novel of my own.  Thus, I offer a definition and a tidbit of personal experience as food for thought.

By definition, according to dictionary.com


one of a class of spiritual beings; a celestial attendant of God. In medieval angelologyangels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, ordominions, virtues, powers, principalities or princedoms, archangels, and angels).
a conventional representation of such a being, in human form, with wings, usually in white robes.
a messenger, especially of God.
a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God: an angel of mercy.
a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty, purity, or kindliness.
a person whose actions and thoughts are consistently virtuous.
an attendant or guardian spirit.
a deceased person whose soul is regarded as having been accepted into heaven.
a person who provides financial backing for some undertaking, as a play, political campaign, orbusiness venture: A group of angels entered the mix, providing George the leverage he needed to take thestartup company in a new direction. Angels seek deals that they can exit in less than a decade.
an English gold coin issued from 1470 to 1634, varying in value from 6s. 8d. to 10s. and bearing on itsobverse a figure of the archangel Michael killing a dragon.
Slang. an image on a radar screen caused by a low-flying objectas a bird.

What is your concept of an angel?  Have you ever had an experience with one?  Do you fall into the group of people who believe or people who do not? Maybe you just are not sure?  It doesn't matter really, you believe what you believe and that's OK, because it resonates with you.

I have had personal experience with angels.  Probably many times without acknowledging it, especially as a child.  My most profound experience was the day Meghan died.  It was not an experience I asked for, was looking for or even ever wanted, even when in the middle of it.  It was vivid, real and powerful.  Even a bit frightening, though not in a scary sense, just in a "holy s*it, did that really just happen!?" sense.

Are you skeptical of that?  If I hadn't experienced it myself, I wouldn't have believed me, either!  There was absolutely no mistake I had a conversation with two energetic beings, while outside of my physical body myself, that exuded love and light.  It was a telepathic and energetic conversation, not a verbal one.  I *knew* them yet I couldn't tell you who they were.  They were familiar.  I knew why they were there.  I received information, I reacted with human emotion but I *understood* on a soul level what was being said to me, what was happening and why.  I *had* to listen, even though the human part of me wanted to get back in my body and convince myself it was all a crazy dream.  It wasn't.  I know for a fact it wasn't.  It was a powerful experience that left me with both a sense of peace and understanding as much as it left me feeling confused, angry on some level and doubting the entire experience.  It sent me on a spiritual journey of growth and self-discovery that has led me to this moment in time.

My personal belief is that there are angels in the spirit realm.  They are not 'people'.  They are not our deceased loved ones.  Any reference I make to Meghan being an angel is not a literal one.  It is more an appealing to conventional beliefs one.  She is not a true angel.  She is simply a spirit being now.

Angels exude an energy of purity, love and light.  That doesn't mean they always have 'good' news for you.  It just means their purpose is to guide you toward your greatest good, your life's purpose.  To remind you why you are living this earthly life and what your lessons are or could be. You must ask for their guidance, they don't  force things upon you.  You must listen for and to the answer.  You can choose to ignore it, follow the guidance or something in between.  They are not judgmental.  They are messengers of spirit.  Guides along the path of enlightenment.  They encourage you to reject ego and listen to your inner wisdom, your higher self, your soul.  To do that which is right action.  The choice, is yours.

Do they have a negative counterpart?  Sure.  There is balance to everything.  I'm sure there exist 'fallen angels' or those whose energy is lower, darker and lead us to listen to our ego rather than our higher selves and our heart.  Some would say the 'devil' energy. Satan.  You know, those folks who say it's Heaven or Hell.

We always have free will.  We can ask and choose what guidance we want, what we choose to receive and how we choose to use it or not.  We can choose to listen to the negative energy, to bring it into our lives and to put it out to the Universe.  It's not ideal or healthy, but it's a valid choice and many people choose it. Or we can choose love, light, positive energy and focus on the greater good.  Ah, being human has so many perks...

After being interested in understanding the angels and archangels for quite some time, I've been strongly guided that now is the time to follow that calling. I don't know why now is the time, but it is. I've been nurturing my relationship with spirit and the angelic realm.  I am called to using oracle cards as a divination tool.  Both to learn about the angels and to ask for their guidance in my journey in this life.  I've dabbled in playing with the angel cards for years.  I suddenly and quite unexpectedly found myself taking two courses in Angel Oracle and Angel Tarot card reading in the past few weeks.  Completely spontaneously and with great passion.  It was time.  It literally just happened.  I was guided to do it and I did.  Without hesitation.  It feels like the right thing to do.  It didn't  before.  It absolutely does now.  It always fascinates me when that happens.  It's meant to be a tool to share with others.  A way to advance my life's purpose. To be my best self.

I am still learning about the angels and all they have to offer us through their lessons and messages.  I am growing confidence. I am guided to leave this post with a reading.  I ask, what do the angels want my readers to know?

I chose Doreen Virtues Angel Therapy Deck.  The card I drew is called "God Box".

This comes up often.  I think it is something everyone can and should do regardless of personal spiritual or religious belief.  It is a lesson in awareness.  Of letting go.  Of recognizing that which is not serving you for your greater good.

The message is to put your worries and fears in a safe place and let them go.  Ask for help from God or whatever higher power you believe in.  Write them down, make a list and then place it in a special box, burn the list, bury it, place it in  the freezer or otherwise symbolically dissolve those worries and fears away.

Replace them instead with positive affirmations.  What you do want to bring into your life?  What or whom are your prayers for? Focus on manifesting what you want, not what you are afraid of or do not want.  Let go and let love.