The other reason for my celebrity obsession

Have you ever suddenly been attracted to someone famous and you just couldn’t figure out why? Maybe you’re not into all this celebrity hype, but then, one day you just feel like you want to know more about that movie actor, musician, author, artist or athlete?

You aren’t alone and it is easier than ever to find news and information on just about anyone. Knowing you can trust that information to be true and accurate is another issue entirely.

I was recently “star struck” by a very well-known movie actor. Not since I was a pre-teen, with posters on my bedroom walls, have I had a real celebrity crush.  Sure, we all have favorite celebrities and I do too, but there wasn’t anyone I felt compelled to find out more about.

Photo credit

My recent crush is Keanu Reeves. It didn’t turn out to be a crush so much, although it definitely felt that way for a while. I was eventually able to view my being drawn to him as my stepping off point to spiritual growth and becoming more self-aware.

The Universe was giving me a mirror to look into. And no, I certainly do not consider myself a female, non-famous version of this man, but we do share some attributes and he definitely exemplifies other characteristics I wish to expand in myself.

And, seriously, this guy is an amazing human being. I must have been living under a rock. Even though The Matrix may be my favorite movie ever, I didn’t know anything about the star beyond his roles in film.

Keanu Reeves has experienced some very deep trauma and pain in his life. Some of what he has endured reflects my own life experience. He has managed to come through the other side of his personal tragedy a better person. I am extremely happy to say that I have too.

There are people who become bitter when exposed to hardship and there are people who decide to numb their pain however they can. I believe exceptional people learn and grow through all life experiences to become more compassionate and empathetic souls.

Keanu Reeves is an exceptional person. He is also known for being kind, thoughtful and incredibly generous. He is an introvert and a loner, two things I can definitely relate to. And although I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, I have a feeling, Reeves’ intellect would blow me away.

Did you know that Reeves is not only an actor but also a published writer. His first book, Ode to Happiness was published in 2011. His second book, Shadows became available in 2016. Both books are a collaboration between Reeves, who wrote the text, and artist Alexandra Grant.

I own and love Shadows, an artsy collectible, with short poems by Reeves paired with photos taken by Grant. Reeves also happens to be the subject of the photography. Definitely a bonus! I missed out on Ode to Happiness, but would graciously accept a gift copy if anyone has one to give up.

Keanu Reeves seems to have a knack for turning his passions into his livelihood. One of his passions is motorcycles and in 2012, he founded Arch Motorcycles with friend Gard Hollinger. In 2017 Reeves, along with Alexandra Grant, Jessica Fleischmann and Florence Grant founded  X Artists Books, a small art book publishing company.

I latched onto him just as I was about to embark on my latest spiritual awakening. Learning about him helped me to achieve a deeper learning of myself and my worth. I was also turned on to other individuals, through him, that helped me continue on my journey.

I have always believed that God, or the Universe if you wish, provides whatever or whomever you need to gently push, or violently shove you down your true path. You know the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This could not be more true.

This is also not the first time I have manifested the appropriate “teachers” into my life. It just happens to be the first time one of them has been a famous actor.

Now that I feel more spiritually aware myself, I can’t help but notice similar awareness in others, literally everywhere. It is like a light has been turned on. I can see the connection in movies, hear it in songs, read it in books.

Celebs, in particular seem to exude spiritual knowledge and abundance. This makes perfect sense to me. Creativity and spirituality have a very obvious connection the way I see it. If you follow what lights you up, the creativity will flow.

Our  favorite celebrities became famous by chasing their joy, living their passion. They have walked through the fear involved with being in the spotlight for doing what they love. We can choose to see them as a shining example of what is possible for each and every one of us.

Thank you Keanu Reeves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear and Childhood Trauma – My Story

No parent intentionally screws up their children’s development. Even so, I have never met a human being without issues to overcome. Of course, not all childhood trauma comes from our parents. It may stem from teachers, peers, other relatives, neighbors or even strangers.

Overall I think the vast majority of us learn our patterns from our parents. Some of those patterns may be positive, but many will be negative. These unhealthy patterns can last a lifetime because most of us don’t realize that they even exist, much less, that the patterns need correcting.

It’s important to remember that each of us is only doing the very best we can at any given moment, that includes our parents while they were raising us. That being said, I picked up some pretty undesirable stuff from both my mom and my dad. I love them with all my heart, but these are things I must face if I truly want to heal.

I guess a bit of background is in order before I really get started. My parents were divorced when I was five years old. My sister and I lived with our mother and spent every other weekend with our father, for the first few years, anyway.

My father remarried almost immediately after the divorce. He and his new family moved to another state when I was about eight years old. I didn’t get to see my dad again for six years.

Not only did my mother not have any skills required for a career, she also suffered from Multiple Sclerosis which prevented her from working full-time. My sister and I were raised on a welfare disability check.

The entire situation created some intensely difficult and conflicting emotions. Emotions I really had no good way to deal with as a child.

My mother had become very ill by the time I was eleven years old. Her disease progressed from that point, taking more and more of her livelihood until we were forced to move her into a nursing home when I was sixteen years old. She was just forty-five at the time.

During those five years preceding the nursing home, my sister and I cared for our mom the best we could. It was a lot of responsibility for two young girls to handle.

We certainly learned many useful skills of household management we otherwise may not have mastered at such an early age. We also rebelled against our situation every chance we got.

Always searching for that opportunity to be free of our responsibility and feel like children again, we both tended to “adopt” our friend’s parents as our own.

I grew up viewing my mother as a saint and my father, well, he bolted and I was very angry. Let’s just say I wasn’t very fond of my dad back then. I wanted to hate him, but I couldn’t. He was my dad and I loved him. So I blamed him instead, for pretty much everything.

No matter how much I admired my mother for what she endured and her determination to raise us, our relationship was upside down and backwards. The parent is supposed to care for the child, not the other way around.

This type of family dynamic can, and in my case did, create some codependency issues. I am a caretaker by the nature of my upbringing. I have always struggled with setting boundaries and taking care of myself. Everyone else’s needs always seemed to come first.

We were also very poor, living below the poverty line. My mom did a fantastic job with what little money we had, but there was never enough. Two undesirable lessons came from this unfortunate situation.

My mom always went without so that my sister and I could have what we needed. So, of course, my sister and I learned this strategy from her and brought it with us into our own adult lives.

The second was the lesson of lack. When a child grows up knowing, or being told, consistently, that there isn’t enough money, safety, food or anything else, that child will learn lack. It is a lesson that is extremely hard to let go of.

Although I am educated, I have a career, and I make a decent wage, it still feels like a struggle to make ends meet. It always feels like there just isn’t enough. I feel lack as an adult because that is what I learned as a child.

My father and I didn’t have much of a relationship when I was young. Between the ages of eight and twenty-three, I spent two weeks with him total and that’s it. We would talk on the phone and occasionally write letters. I always wanted him to be proud of me, even if I was hating on him.

My mother passed away when I was twenty-five and I realized I only had one parent left. I decided I wanted to make the best of that and try to repair my relationship with my dad.

So for the last twenty-five years my dad and I have been okay. We still live in different states, but we see each other more often. He is proud of me and he says so. Yet, I am still fairly uncomfortable around him.

Why? Because he doesn’t really know who I am. He has some strong beliefs and opinions about life and so do I. The problem? Our values don’t match, in fact, they probably couldn’t be farther apart.

I’m fine with his views and who he is, it’s all good, but my childhood fear of being abandoned by my father still exists today. I am afraid to be myself with him for fear he will reject me.

And the cherry on top is I really don’t like that I feel this way. The admission alone took a tremendous amount of effort. And I know, on some unconscious level, that I am beating myself up for not being able to overcome this fear.

My hope is that by putting this out into the world I will release some of my fear and begin to heal. Begin the process of forgiveness. Me forgiving my dad, for only being able to do his best at any given time. Me forgiving me and treating myself with kindness when I am not as far along my path as I would like to be.

Peace and love.

 

 

 

 

Why is there a blue spot on my cat’s belly?

What is that mysterious blue spot? I adopted one of my cats from a rescue organization when he was six months old. He has short white fur on his belly and I soon noticed a blue spot. I had no idea what it was but I didn’t feel it was anything to get too worked up about.

Maybe you have noticed that your cat has a blue spot or a blue line on its abdomen and wondered what the heck it is. Well, let me be the one to tell you, your kitty has a tattoo.

The idea behind these tattoos is actually pretty cool and don’t worry, kitty didn’t feel a thing. Some veterinarians are giving their spay and neuter patients small tattoos while still under anesthesia.

The tattoo is a marker that easily shows that the animal has been altered and can no longer reproduce. If for any reason the cat needs to be rehomed, there will be no question about its status.

Why is this such a good idea? Because it isn’t always as easy as we think it is to know for sure if a cat has been fixed when we don’t have its history.

I adopted my other cat from the local humane society when she was seven years old. They didn’t have any veterinary records for her and knew very little about her history. They did not know for sure if she had been spayed because she did not have a tattoo.

They thought they felt a scar when she was examined, but we were sent home with instructions to bring her back if she showed signs of heat. Even if she would have had a prominent scar, that doesn’t positively mean she had been spayed. It would only indicate that some type of surgery took place.

My cat is a pure bred Ragdoll, that was on her shelter paperwork. She could have been a retired breeder, which would have made it more likely that she hadn’t been spayed and there was also the possibility she could have required a caesarean section which would have presented a scar.

Back to my male cat that does have a tattoo. I always thought you could just look under a male cat’s tail and see that he has either been neutered or not. Apparently this is not always the case.

A male cat can have a condition called cryptorchidism where the testicles don’t fall and remain in the abdomen. In this case, it may look like the cat was neutered when quite young, which is common practice in crowded animal shelters.

This condition can cause other complications that can be quite dangerous for the animal. If the tattoo is present, it will let a future veterinarian know that the testicles have indeed been removed.

So now I know what the mysterious blue spot on my cat’s tummy is and I certainly wouldn’t mind if all of my cats had one. It is a simple idea that can really have a positive impact on caring for our pets.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

25 Cat Quotes Worth Sharing

Cat lover or not, it seems everyone has an opinion about cats. I’d like to share with you some thought-provoking quotes about the feline, attributed to equally interesting people.

“The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you’ll live ten times longer than if you have ten cats. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It’s truly ridiculous.”  Charles Bukowski
“I have lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats.”  EckhartTolle
“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, loveable, wise creatures, and cats love authors for the same reasons.”  Robertson Davies
“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.”  Jim Davis
“We have three cats. It’s like having children, but there is no tuition involved.”   Ron Reagan
“My quest these days is to find my inner child, but I’m afraid if I do, I’ll end up with food in my hair and way too in love with the cats.”  Kenny Loggins
“I read that when cats are cuddling and kneading you, and you think it’s cute, they’re really just checking your vitals for weak spots.”  Kandyse McClure
“Time spent with cats is never wasted.”  Sigmund Freud
“There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.”  Tay Hohoff
“A cat is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it.”  Joseph Epstein
“Kittens are angels with whiskers.”  Alexis Flora Hope
“My cat speaks sign language with her tail.”  Robert A. Stern
“The cat seldom interferes with other people’s rights. His intelligence keeps him from doing many of the fool things that complicate life.”  Carl Van Vechten
“There is no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat.”  Wesley Bates
“Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause the most inconvenience.”  Pam Brown
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”  Terry Pratchett
“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.”  Abraham Lincoln
“A cat pours his body on the floor like water.” William Lyon Phelps
“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.”  Bill Dana
“I believe cats to be spirits come to Earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.”  Jules Verne
“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.”  Hippolyte Taine
“I used to love dogs until I discovered cats.”  Nafisa Joseph
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”  Ernest Hemingway
“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”  Charles Dickens
“The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer.”  Paula Poundstone

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!!

Smiles and Hugs!

 

8 Simple questions that reveal glimpses of how you have been guided all along

We are constantly being drawn to the truth about who and what we really are. Of course, the closed, sleeping mind will not realize this. Once you are awake or have opened your heart and mind to why we are here on Earth, life may start to look a bit different to you.

Everything around you may take on new meaning. You may begin to see, on a much deeper level, the impact of the movies you watch, the books you read, and the music you listen to. Your preferences may begin to transform as well, becoming more in line with your true authentic self.

I want to share with you a look back at the very early origins of my own journey. There were always signs, events and preferences drawing me toward my ultimate goal. Even though I only truly awoke to our purpose recently, I can now see how I was consistently being shown the way throughout my life.

Remember to look to your past and your childhood as you answer these questions. That may be where you find the most connection and meaning.

1. What is your all time favorite song?

Music moves us. It is something we connect to very deeply in many cases and what we are attracted to may say something significant about us.

I never have to think about my answer to this question. It is a given for me. I had my favorite song tattooed on my hip when I was twenty years old. The name of the song, not the lyrics! It is the only tattoo I have and I can still cry when I hear the song, some thirty years later. It touches my heart in a very deep way. My song is “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Back in the nineties, before my ex-husband and I were married, we attended a Peter Gabriel concert in Phoenix, Arizona. We had eighth row seats, I believe, and it was amazing! When he sang my song I cried like a baby. My ex wanted to know why I was crying. All I could say was “I always wanted to feel this way (about someone).”

I didn’t know the truth of my why. My sleeping mind believed, as most of us would, that someone external might provide this feeling for me someday. I now know that is unlikely to happen. This depth of emotion can only be found within.

I now believe this song to have a more spiritual meaning that I just couldn’t see back then.

2. What is the best book you have ever read?

I love to read! Reading is knowledge and I want to continue to learn every day of my lifetime. I read non-fiction almost exclusively now, but when I was younger, fiction was definitely my thing.

My favorite book of all time is “The Talisman” by Stephen King and Peter Straub. I first read this book around age nineteen or twenty and have re-read it a few times since.

I now see Jack’s quest to find the talisman as a spiritual transformation journey. A journey experienced in multiple realms, where Jack was required to walk into his fear and face his demons. All the while he was receiving divine guidance and protection.

Wolf is a favorite character in this story. His famous quote is “Wolf! Right here and now!” Could this be a not so subtle message about staying present? Below are quotes I found from each author, just for fun:

 

 

3. What is your favorite movie of all time?

Super easy question for me. The Matrix. Written and directed by the brilliant Lana and Lilly Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves. Released in 1999, the special effects were ahead of their time, but it was the story that captivated me.

The timing of this film was impeccable with the internet really starting to take hold. I felt the story was incredible and yet credible at the same time. One part of my mind (the ego) doesn’t want to believe anything like this is possible, but another part (the soul) knows that is.

And, of course, Neo is on an epic spiritual journey in The Matrix, which seems to be a theme for my favorite things in life. This movie is the ultimate story of spiritual awakening.

I was thirty-two when it was released eighteen years ago and there has not been a film since that has grabbed hold of me like this one.

4. What was your favorite television series ever?

I really had to put some effort into this one. We watch so much TV and there are so many shows to choose from. Although I have a couple of currently running favorites, I took my own advice and looked to my past to find my answer. The X Files. Absolutely.

Again I see the struggle of ego versus soul in this story, but brought out by the individual characters in the series. Scully represents the ego to me. She is the smart, practical, closed mind that has to see it to believe it. Mulder represents the seeking soul here. He instinctually knows things he cannot see with his human eyes. He lives his life based on his intuition.

As the series progressed Mulder and Scully learned to work together and rely on each others strengths. Not at all unlike the process of the awakening soul’s struggle to convince ego of what it refuses to believe and create conditions where soul and ego can learn to work together toward a common goal.

5. How did you express your creativity as a child?

When I was a teenager and young adult, I wrote poetry. A lot of poetry. I was never published, I just wrote to retain my own sanity. I did briefly consider becoming a journalist around the age of thirteen or fourteen, but it faded out.

It seems all of my life I have turned to the written word to get me through the most difficult of life’s challenges. From journaling, to letters, to prayers, yes, I often put my prayers on paper. I write to express my emotions. I write to ask for guidance. I write to release my fear. Writing is my default mode.

Yet, I didn’t consider myself a writer, not until recently anyway.

6. What do you collect?

I think most people collect something. I’m not a pack rat. I have moved so many times in my life, I know how to purge! That said, I do hang onto a few keepsakes due to their sentimental value and I have a few collections as well.

What defines a collection? Let’s say, for the sake of this article, that a collection is a group of five or more items that relate to each other in some identifiable way. As far as clothing is concerned, I would say, overall, it is not a collection, however, if you have a shoe fetish, are crazy about handbags or have twenty cardigan sweaters, that might count.

I have a collection of Austrian leaded crystal animals. 1988-2008

I have a collection of cat statues and figurines. 1988-present

I have books. I purge them, but it is difficult for me, and some always make it back into the collection. I have many waiting to be read and would love to have a small library area to keep them stored and displayed.

I love shoes. I have been purging these lately as well, but still have way more than is necessary.

I have a Pandora type bracelet. I suppose the beads qualify as a collection. 2010-present.

My newest collection is healing crystals. I’m learning more about their energy and properties everyday and I have been using them to enhance my meditation practice. 2017

Obviously I am an animal lover, cats in particular. Cats are Zen masters who share their energy and high vibration with us. I love that cats can physically manifest their vibe by purring. Check out my post 6 things cats know about mindfulness and awareness.

Unknown to me when I started collecting, Austrian crystals are often used to clear energy blockages. I guess those will be coming out of storage!

Shoes, it seems can symbolize both paired-ness and the ability to stand up and walk forward. Books represent, for me, knowledge, wisdom and the longing for continued growth. The bracelet beads, which each represent something “me”, is a subtle presentation of myself to the world. Coming from a very private person, it might be a significant statement.

7. Are you drawn to a certain stone, crystal or gem?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? Not always the case, but if you happen to be captivated by the Diamond, there may be a reason why.

The Diamond is a crystal of Light, a symbol of perfection and illumination. It has been known since antiquity as a “Stone of Invincibility”, bringing victory, superior strength, fortitude and courage to its wearer.

Although I wore Diamonds while I was married, this stone has always seemed to be the sidekick of other gems in my life. The reason may be that I require only a small bit of the Diamonds energies added to the larger energy I require from another crystal or gem.

I believe a certain type of stone may “call to you”, drawing you into its energy field. I also believe that the crystal you require for growth can “find” you or seek you out. This may happen for you when you receive a piece of gemstone jewelry as a gift.

The first crystal to look at in your story is your birthstone. Each birthstone will have specific qualities and attributes that say something about you. crystalvaults.com is a great source for researching this information.

In my post What your Favorite Stones and Gems say about your Journey, I talk more about this subject and share some of the crystals and gems that have influenced my own spiritual journey.

8. Who was your very first spiritual teacher?

Yeah! You’ve made it to the final question. Let me start by saying that a spiritual teacher doesn’t have to be a practitioner of any “woo woo stuff.” Your first spiritual teacher may have been a parent, child, friend, professor or someone you met for only a brief encounter, but who left a very lasting impression on your soul.

My first spiritual teacher was a friend. She was my soul sister and one of the most fascinating human beings I have ever met. We met when I was fifteen years old and she led me on a journey that shaped the person I am today.

We dabbled a bit in the “woo woo stuff”, just enough, perhaps, to provide me a base to come back to later in life. She taught me some of my first lessons in unconditional love. That we can love each other despite our differences. That “family” doesn’t have to mean “blood”. We can create our family to include whomever we wish.

Wherever this amazing woman led, I followed. As I followed, I learned and every turn seems now to have been only in my own best interest. Without question, she directly influenced my career, where I have lived and the people I have met.

Our journey together, here on Earth, lasted seventeen years. And even with her passing from this physical world, she was guiding me to life choices I would not have made otherwise. She continues to visit me in my dreams and I am so very grateful for her continuing presence in my life.

Smiles and Hugs to you!

 

 

 

 

What do your favorite stones and gems say about your journey?

The connection between humans and crystals is as old as time itself. Crystals have been used throughout history for jewelry, armour and other adornments. They have even been found in ancient grave sites, apparently intended to accompany the deceased into the next life.

Stones (crystals) and gems come directly from the Earth and have undergone their own process of transformation. They contain their own energy and vibrations just as we do. Throughout the ages crystals have been believed to have the power to influence our own energies and have been used to promote health and healing, for protection, to attract love and to attain inner wisdom.

There are times you may be drawn to a certain stone or gem and times when the crystal you require finds you, such as when you receive one as a gift.

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite crystals, how they came to be in my life and a brief description of the stone’s qualities. Feel free to click the link on each if you would like to know more.

 Most children like rocks and I was no exception. I remember a rather large piece of Rose Quartz I found as a young girl. I’m sure it wasn’t a naturally occurring substance in my neighborhood. I don’t know where it came from or how it got there, just that it ended up in my hands and I was very fond of it. 

This was quite possibly my very first experience with crystals.  I no longer have this piece, but the memory of it has never left me.

Rose Quartz is considered to be the stone of unconditional love. It carries a soft, feminine energy of compassion and peace. Dissolving emotional wounds, fears and resentments, Rose Quartz allows one the capacity to truly give and receive love from others.

My love affair with the Opal began early in life. It isn’t my birthstone, my birthday is in August so I’m a Peridot. Both my mother and sister have October birthdays, but neither seemed to embrace the Opal as I have.

I had always heard that the Opal was bad luck if it was not your birthstone. I either didn’t believe it or I didn’t care. I wanted an Opal.

My first Opal was a ring gifted to me in my late teen years. The stone was lost when it came loose from the setting and my boyfriend had to replace it. The replacement Opal was even more stunning than the original, but after a short time, the entire ring fell down the sink drain and was not recovered even after removing the pipes to look for it.

I decided that maybe there was more to the bad luck rumors than I thought. Or perhaps my subconscious mind had believed the rumor all along. Either way, I gave up on the Opal, for a very long time.

After my divorce in 2009, my love of the Opal resurfaced. It began with a pair of earrings, I purchased for myself. I was then gifted a beautiful loose Opal by a neighbor, which I later had set in yellow gold with a pink tourmaline and citrine to match the earrings.

The following year I received, as a gift, the most amazing piece of jewelry I own. A bracelet containing seven opals and eight mother of pearl set in Sterling silver.

The Opal inspires love and hope, innocence and purity as well as luck and happiness. Mother of pearl is a stone of protection and it stimulates clarity and intuition. As for my birth stone, the Peridot, it has some very interesting energies I would not have expected.

While some Peridot are born of Earth, others have extraterrestrial origins, found in rare meteorites and comet dust. Peridot promotes responsibility, forgiveness, self-worth and inner-radiance.

Shortly after moving across the country, in my early twenties, my best friend and soul sister gave me a small polished Malachite stone to keep in my pocket.

I still have this blessed gift in my possession. Malachite is a stone of transformation, aiding one with changing situations and personal growth. What an appropriate gift!

On my forty-sixth birthday I received a Blue Sapphire ring, set in white gold. This was my very first Sapphire, of any color.

To the ancient and medieval world, the Blue Sapphire signified the height of celestial hope and faith, believed to bring protection, good fortune and spiritual insight.

Most recently I have been crazy about the Pink Tourmaline. This pink gemstone infuses love and spirituality and  encourages compassion and gentleness during times of changes and growth.

I encourage you to explore the meaning and energies of the crystals and gemstones that have chosen you and influenced your own journey. crystalvaults.com is a great resource for your research and discovery. The website has a wealth of information available on each type of crystal. It’s definitely worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individuality in Nature

I am always delighted to both see and hear a variety of creatures when I walk in nature. Some are repeat visitors and others, well, it can be difficult to tell.

The black squirrel pictured above is one of my favorites. Why do I favor him over the other neighborhood squirrels? Because he is different! I know it is him when I see him. It’s like he is oozing that “over here, look at me, I stand out in the crowd” kind of vibe.

Shouldn’t we all have that vibe? Why try to blend in when we were clearly created to stand out? I am unique. I am the only human being who can be me. You are also unique, one in 7.3 billion (give or take a couple) and the only human being who can be you.

Let’s start celebrating who we are instead of hiding it. Being a little different (or a lot), isn’t a flaw, it’s a blessing. You are the amazing miracle of you. No one else can do that job. It is all yours and always will be.

Smiles and Hugs.

 

Love Yourself Awake

Once upon a time, I was easily wounded by what I perceived as another’s rejection. I was all too willing to take everything personally. The slightest comment, or lack thereof, could be considered a deliberate attack.

My ego was, and still is, capable of creating scenarios completely blown out of proportion and based on events that have not actually taken place. I lived my life from a place of fear.

I was afraid of being abandoned, not being good enough and winding up alone. I was so consumed by my fear that I stopped speaking my mind. I kept my mouth shut, acting as if I had no opinions whatsoever.

I had been avoiding conflict for many years in an effort to keep the peace and be likeable. I had become everyone’s doormat! And no one knew the real me. She was hidden from the world.

On the outside I was strong, smart and capable. On the inside, I was a crumpled mess. That is the story of how ego works. The ego is your self-image, the you that you present to the world, and it is an excuse making machine! Here are some of the things my ego told me:

Strong, confident women don’t wear their emotions on their sleeve.

I am better than they are, so there is no need to argue.

I am patient, tolerant and kind. There is no need to hurt someone’s feelings by expressing what I really think.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion and views. It is not my job to judge.

Now, that might not sound so bad, right? Not if it is your ego doing the talking. The ego tells you what you want to believe to keep you in your place. The ego is afraid of change.

Inside of me was a mountain of repressed emotion that was about to become a volcano of spewing anger, judgement and self-loathing. I had embraced becoming the victim.

It oftentimes seems, that as human beings, we gravitate toward the negative. Rather than take responsibility for our actions, feelings and emotions, we want to blame, complain and stay the same.

I am not the same person I was six months ago. In fact, I am dramatically different. I have discovered the “bigger voice” inside of me. My soul-self is awake and I am allowing her to take charge.

Everyone wants to know what the “one thing” is, the key to happiness, the secret to life. I know that secret. The “one thing” is self-love. There is no stronger force for creating joy than learning to love yourself.

 

You can consciously practice gratitude, forgiveness and self-care with positive results even if you haven’t truly achieved a great level of self-love. My article Soul Growth tells of my journey and some of the tools that got me here.

It’s difficult to explain and I know my old self would have had a difficult time grasping the notion, but with self-love comes clarity. The clarity to see what an amazing creation you are and everything and everyone else is too.

The practice of gratitude and forgiveness takes on a new life as well. It seems to come naturally to me now, without so much effort. There is so much more to be thankful for and so much less that requires my forgiveness.

I now know that strong, confident women are not afraid to show their emotions.

We are all equally perfect in our divine creation regardless of how we express ourselves.

I AM patient, tolerant and kind, but that does not mean I have to keep my mouth shut. My opinions matter. The feelings of someone else are their responsibility and, quite frankly, none of my business.

Just as I believe everyone else has a right to their opinions and views, so do I. It is not my job to judge anyone else on what they believe and it is not their job to judge me. My feelings can only be hurt if I believe what is implied.

 

My journey has been amazing and I look forward to all the future holds for me. A word of caution, however, would be that although I love the changes that have taken place and I am deeply grateful for the awakening, it is not always a comfortable place to be.

You still have to feel your emotions, in fact, possibly on a much deeper level than before. I know, for me, I have good days and bad days, just like before. Now, however, my good days are fabulous and my bad days are, well, not so tragic.

My ego can still get the best of me. My soul-self usually prevails if I use my tools. I always have to keep working. If I let my spiritual practice slide, I will fall back asleep.

So I keep practicing, I keep learning and I keep evolving. With every day I am able to do this, the world becomes a brighter, friendlier place, where we can all be ourselves, we are all connected and we are all enough, just as we are.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

Open your heart to divine guidance

We all have divine guides waiting and willing to help us along our path here on Earth. But how can we open ourselves up to receive this blessed help? And who, exactly, are our guides anyway?

I was struggling with these same questions, so I took a class. Yep, there was a class available, right here in my town, called Hearing your Divine Guidance, taught by psychic medium, Dr. Sandra Monroe. Here is some of what I learned from this class and other research:

Our divine guides can, and probably do include our deceased loved ones, our deceased ancestors from generations past, personal guides that have previously lived their own Earth lives, and Angels. Cool, right?

The first thing to know is you do not have the power to connect to your guides. They must come to you and you have to invite them in. Ask them for guidance.

The next is that spirit needs energy in order to connect. Everything is energy and we are no exception. It is possible to receive guidance from higher or lower vibration guides, so you want your vibration to be as high as possible to receive your best, most divine messages. Check out this great post for more information on this.

There are a few things you can do to clear your energy to help your guides connect with you.

Drink lots of water. This keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins from your system. A cleaner diet can also help with this. Eliminating fast foods, processed foods and anything containing hormones or pesticides is always a good choice.

Physical exercise raises your vibrational energy making connection easier. Practicing gratitude and smiling also raise your vibration.

And finally, my personal favorite, is to meditate. By quieting your mind and slowing your thoughts, you give your guides the opportunity to sneak their message in.

Your receptors are your six psychic senses. Yes, I said six, because your mind is actually your sixth sense, your intuition or inner wisdom, so to speak. Paying attention to what your psychic senses tell you is the key. Let’s explore each of them a little further.

Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance is the most widely known and means clear seeing or clear vision. This is when you receive your guides messages visually.

Clairvoyance is not received through your physical eyes, but through your minds eye. Some refer to this as your third eye. The message may come to you as a vivid, complete picture or it may be very subtle, such as seeing only a number or symbol.

Clairaudience

Clairaudience means clear hearing. This is the inner hearing of things outside the common field of awareness.

This can take the form of spirit voices, which may sound very much like your own voice, music or other sounds. It can be difficult, at times, to distinguish between the guide’s message and your own thoughts. I’m told this becomes easier with practice.

It is possible for clairaudient messages to be external as well. This can happen if your guides really want to get your attention and fast. Try not to shake this off. Follow your guidance. This is likely important.

Clairsentience

Clairsentience is clear feeling. This is not necessarily when you just know something, but when you actually feel it.

Maybe you feel a cool breeze but no windows are open or you feel as if someone has stroked your hair.

It’s possible you may be able to feel the emotion being presented to you as well. This would also be clairsentience.

Clairalience

Not as common as those above, clairalience is clear smelling. It is pretty self-explanatory.

Occasionally you may smell your deceased grandfather’s cologne or the pipe tobacco he smoked. If there is no one else around, my guess is Grandpa wants you to know he’s there for you.

Clairgustance

Also rather uncommon is clairgustance, or clear tasting. This would be tasting something without having actually put anything into your mouth.

Claircognizance

Claircognizance is when you intuitively know something but have no idea how or why you know it. This your sixth sense!

It can be the strong impulse you get to take a different route to work today or when you suddenly know to call your friend because she needs you.

I think we can all relate to this one. I’m sure you all have experienced this at least once.

Okay, so now we know we can clear our energy, pay more attention and try to hone our senses to allow for better connection with our spiritual guides.

One super easy way to ask for guidance from your angels and spiritual guides is to use Oracle cards. You shuffle your deck while concentrating on what you want to know. Ask your angels and guides for help and then pull one, three or five cards.

The deck I use, shown in the photo above, is Angel  Therapy Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. A guidebook for reading the cards is included.

If you want to go a step further. Try getting a reading from a psychic medium. My girlfriend and I attended the Mystic fest in Omaha, Nebraska yesterday. This was a fun event where we experimented with a few different types of readings.

We both received and were impressed with a connecting with your deceased loved ones reading. Dr. Sandra Monroe, mentioned above, was our psychic medium of choice and she was wonderful. I definitely recommend this if you worry about your loved ones and wish to know they are okay. They are!

We both tried a tarot card reading as well. The psychic medium we chose seemed very in tune to our respective personalities and did a great job. I think my friend enjoyed this reading a bit more than I did.

My friend tried a past lives reading. She was not impressed with this one. This was not a regression and no hypnosis was involved. It was a thirty minute reading and unfortunately, she didn’t feel a strong connection with her reader.

I tried Reiki for the first time. This is a life force energy technique used for relaxation, stress reduction and healing. My practitioner also asked that I be sent guidance for my spiritual path.

I enjoyed the treatment and was able to feel some energy flow but not as much as I expected. When the treatment was over, however, she warned me to get up slowly and remain on the table until I recover. 

I’ve heard this from massage therapists after treatment and was expecting a similar experience.

After having only been on the table for ten minutes, I sat up slowly and honestly could not believe how dazed and unsteady I felt. Something definitely happened to me while I lay on that table.

I have yet to receive the guidance my practitioner promised but, then again, something told me I should write this post.

I hope you have fun with this. I did. And a big “Thank You” to my good friend for sharing this with me.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Kiwi “Thank You!”

Last night I said goodbye to a true friend, my precious cat, Kiwi. At almost twenty years old, she was more than ready to be rid of the body that was no longer serving her. I, however, wasn’t quite ready to let her go, but, I guess, I probably never truly would be. I loved her that much.

As a deep thank you to her for sharing my life, I would like to share a poem I wrote on July 21, 2017:

She is my trusted friend,

My confidante,

This little ball of fur.

For nineteen years,

She has shared my life,

True love, I feel for her.

Through ups and downs,

And all the changes,

Our bond has grown so deep.

We have traveled far,

And cuddled close,

My secrets, she swears to keep.

Fine memories we’ve made,

The two of us,

Together all these years.

I have cared for her,

And she for me,

But I know the end is near.

Oh precious one,

Upon my lap,

I don’t want to see her go,

A truer friend,

I could not have asked,

And that, I hope she knows!

For Kiwi, my friend. February 1, 1998 to October 26, 2017. You are free now!

 

Gratitude 2.0 – Going Deeper

Being grateful for the good things in your life is one thing, but have you ever considered expressing gratitude for the things you aren’t so happy about? Let’s explore this concept together.

In my post How to live a happy life – 13 actions you can take today, I invited you to take a thirty-day gratitude challenge, where you would list three different things you are grateful for, each day for thirty days. If we look at our lists I’m guessing we will find mostly pleasant experiences and things that make us feel really good. That’s fabulous, but now, let’s go a little deeper.

What happens when we become grateful for those not so wonderful feeling experiences and people in our lives? Miracles happen!! Trust me, it is pure magic.

So you might be asking, how exactly am I supposed to be thankful for stuff that makes me feel lousy? Well, to start out, you don’t have to actually feel it. Fake it, if you have to. The more you practice, the better you will start to feel about it. Eventually, you will begin to believe it and before you know it, miracles!

My belief is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience here on Earth. We are here to learn, however, that part of us that is human, has allowed us to forget our purpose here and even that we are, at our core, spirit.

Spirit wants to know contrast. Without knowing pain, how could you know comfort? Without first experiencing fear, how could you experience courage? Without the feeling of grief, you would not be able to know delight. Without sadness, there is no happiness. Without blame, there can be no forgiveness. This list goes on and on and on.

In the book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie writes, “One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It’s called gratitude. We learn to say, thank you, for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don’t like this experience, but thank you anyway. Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.”

In the book, Gratitude A Way of Life, Louise Hay writes, “We even want to be grateful for the lessons we have. Don’t run from lessons; they are little packages of treasure that have been given to us. As we learn from them, our lives change for the better. I now rejoice whenever I see another portion of the dark side of myself. I know that it means that I am ready to let go of something that has been hindering my life.”

Life on Earth will know conflict and opposition as long as we are still learning and growing. Cherish all of your moments, good and bad. Every one is required to make you who you are, and you are amazing!

Below is a great quote on opposition. I am not positive of who actually said it. It has been attributed to Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, William Wrigley Jr., and Ezra Pound. I suspect each has said it, in one form or another.

Love yourself, love your brother, love your life. Everyday say Thank You. Thank you God, Thank you Universe, Thank you Life, for everything, all of my experiences, because I know everything is a blessing, even those feelings, thoughts and experiences that don’t look like it at first.

When you are done being grateful, say “Something wonderful is going to happen today.” And it will.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 things cats know about mindfulness and awareness

I have loved and been owned by cats my whole life, starting at age two. I have come to some conclusions after all these years of studying their antics.

I think we humans can learn quite a bit about living life to the fullest from the cats we share our homes with. Cats are truly mystical creatures and seem to have mastered the art of just being.

They seem to know that their presence in the world is enough. Their only responsibility is to exist and share their glory with the rest of us.

So here is my list of six things cats know about mindfulness and awareness that we humans have yet to learn:

1. Cats know how to live in the present moment.

Cats aren’t worrying about their futures or reliving their pasts. They are present, right here, right now, in this precious moment. The only moment that really matters.

Cats eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired and are perfectly content to be still, quiet and simply observe life as it is.

Cats know how to receive love. They are blissfully there, in the now, revelling in the act of receiving your touch. They are not afraid to show you how wonderful it feels for them. What if we could that?

2. Cats know how to forgive.

Cats don’t hold grudges. I have never known a cat to withhold her love from me because I went on vacation that one time and didn’t invite her to go along. Or because I forced him into that little crate and made him go to that place where they poke him with needles. Or because I forgot, that one day, to scoop her litter box.

Cats forgive and forget. They have the ability to move on with enjoying life because their own pleasure is important to them. What if we could do that?

3. Cats always follow their joy.

Cats love to play and amuse themselves and they are capable of creating fun out of nothing at all. They don’t require expensive toys or other beings to enjoy themselves.

A cat will chase a shadow, jump at a flicker of light on the wall or hunt and capture a scrap of paper found hiding behind the chair. They never grow out of this playful nature. Cats love to play throughout their entire lives.

If you have ever spent time watching one of these incredible happiness machines in action, you know they give their all to every playtime they create and they couldn’t be enjoying themselves any more, in that moment. What if we could do that?

4. Cats trust their instincts.

Cats do not spin their mental wheels pondering what their next move should be. They instinctively know and they immediately act on those instincts.

The mind of a cat is not cluttered with thoughts of “I should” or “what will the other cats think about me if I do that?” A cat knows what he wants, in that moment, and he goes for it.

A cat has no ego, she can only be her truest, most authentic self, by instinct. And so it is.

5. Cats know the benefits of spending time in nature.

Many pet cats these days are “indoor only”, meaning they live exclusively indoors and are not allowed to go outside. There are many reasons for this, including keeping them safe from motor vehicles, if you live in the city, keeping them safe from predators, if you live in the country or keeping birds and other wildlife safe from them, which has become a concern for some.

My cats do spend most of their time indoors, however, I find it important for them to have time outside as well, sometimes to the dismay of my neighbors.

Cats are considered to be domesticated, but I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that cats are their best natural selves when outside enjoying all that nature can offer, just as we are.

My cats are not allowed to roam whenever they want and I am diligent about having them inside after dark, but they know that even a short spell outside can contribute to their overall happiness. And they are not shy about asking for it.

6. Cats embody the concept of self-love.

Cats know their worth and demand that the world take notice. You will not find a cat with self-esteem issues.

The one-eyed cat acknowledges his beauty is equal to that pure bred Persian down the street. The three-legged cat knows his power to be equal to the four-legged felines next door. And the stray, homeless kitty knows she is just as worthy of love as the pampered pet inside your home.

Oh what we can learn from our feline friends. I hope you enjoyed this post.

Smiles and hugs.

Gratitude Journal week of 10-15-2017

Sunday 10-15-2017.

Today I am grateful for the quiet and solitude of early morning walks at the lake. For the cottonwood trees that sing to me when I walk. And for the inspiration of nature.

Today I send love and blessings to my ego.

 

Monday  10-16-2017.

Today I am grateful for my son’s inner wisdom and moral compass, which seems well beyond his eleven years. For a clear bright day filled with sunshine. And for Vala’s pumpkin patch, a fall tradition for us. This year I will be sharing this adventure with three pre-teen boys!

Today I send love and blessings to my inner critic.

 

Tuesday  10-17-2017.

Today I am happy and grateful for my back patio garden. For the blue jays outside my window. And for mirror work.

Today I send love and blessings to loud neighbors.

 

Wednesday  10-18-2017.

Today I am grateful for time alone. For new experiences. And for Pinterest.

Today I send love and blessings to President Donald Trump. I know that his presidency has a purpose for our planet, but I just have a difficult time wrapping my head around it.

 

Thursday  10-19-2017.

Today I am grateful for falling leaves. For Rebecca Campbell, her book, Light is the new black, and her playlist!

Today I send love and blessings to my cell phone service. It doesn’t work in my kitchen! Ugh!!

 

Friday  10-20-2017.

Today I am grateful for the my journey. For my vision board. And for the fresh flowers on my table.

Today I send love and blessings to middle school kids who agitate and tease.

 

Saturday  10-21-2017.

Today I am grateful for quiet neighbors. For the support of the universe. And for my JotterPad app.

Today I send love and blessings to all of the haters .

 

Last weeks gratitude journal can be seen here.

 

 

 

Soulwork – find peace inside of you

Have you ever just looked around at your life and wondered “How did I get here?” I think most of us probably have at one time or another. This question hit me hard about six months ago. And it wasn’t the first time for me.

I was humming along just fine, happy and grateful for all of the blessings in my life, when something inside me shifted. The outer forces that may have contributed to my shift were that my fiftieth birthday was fast approaching and I had been laid off from the job I love due to lack of work coming in.

My transformation had begun. Who am I? Who do I really want to be? Is this the life I was meant to live? Who do I show to the world? What do I hide and why? Do I have a deeper purpose? I started using Google search like a magic eight ball. Every question that popped into my head, I threw at the search bar.

I couldn’t get enough information. I suddenly wanted to learn and know everything there is to know. I buried myself in a huge pile of books. I started journaling again. Why did I stop? Writing has always gotten me through life’s biggest challenges.

I started meditating and I was completely and pleasantly surprised at how great I started to feel shortly after beginning. I started remembering my dreams, so I now keep a dream journal on the night stand, next to my bed. I began taking nature walks that provide me with a powerful connection to life on this planet.

The answers started coming. I was led to books and people and blogs that could help me on my way. I would find one awesome resource that would lead to another, and that one to another after that.

I started listening to my intuition and taking actions I had previously feared. I ended a long-term relationship that wasn’t serving either of us, willing and longing to be alone so that I could truly discover the real me that lay under the layers of guilt, insecurity and repression.

We walk around blindfolded, unable to see our true reality. Everyone is searching for something. Everyone is trying to fill some hole inside of themselves. But when we are willing to look, very deep inside of ourselves, we will find the answers. The answers that can open our hearts and free our minds.

We are more than what we think we are!

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. All of the answers to all of the questions can be found within ourselves, if we are willing to search the depths of our soul. You have the power to be more!

The ego, or who you perceive yourself to be, is a master at blocking your soulwork and discovery of your authentic self. It will make excuses, fill you with fear and stop you from moving forward. The ego needs to be understood so that it can work for you, rather than against you.

Everything started moving in the right direction for me when I realized, without a doubt, that the only way I would truly be able to love others unconditionally was to somehow learn to love myself in that very way. Being able to accomplish this one task was the key difference between this journey and past self discovery missions.

When you can embrace EVERYTHING that you are, miracles happen. I realized, with great clarity, that we are all interconnected by the fabric of life. There is no separation between you and me. We are one. We are the same. When I look at you, I am looking in a mirror. If I see anything I don’t like, it is simply a reflection of myself. Something I must work on to improve.

When you love yourself, you love life, all of life, everything and everyone in it. You stop seeking to find happiness from external sources. Life loves you back. You will begin to attract the things that are required for you to shine your light on the world.

There is no one else quite like you. The world wants you just as you are. Fly your freak flag high in the air. Celebrate your weird, embrace your inner nerd, give your cat lady self a little kiss. You are already perfect.

Smile and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Split Yourself Open…Letter To An Old Friend

True self-love is all about forgiveness. The first and most important person to forgive is yourself. It’s important to open yourself wide and look deep inside to the shadows of your soul. Accepting and even embracing the parts of yourself that you would rather hide from the world. These parts are your true blessings. Your flaws and fumbles are what make you human and they also make you, you. This is a letter I wrote a couple of months ago.

Dear Old Friend,

I saw you in my dreams last night and today I am inspired to write this letter to confess and confide in you some truths about our past. You may never read this because I may never send it, but it must be written while I have the courage and motivation to do so.

You have always held a very special place in my heart and I believe you always will. I am so grateful to have had both the pleasure and the pain of sharing a little bit of life with you, as your friend and otherwise. I want to tell you two things. This is difficult for me to admit, even today.

Maybe you remember coming to me one night when we were in our early twenties. I was in a relationship with Russell (name has been changed), our mutual friend at the time. You were hoping for an intimate connection and I turned you away. It wasn’t because I was in love with Russell and it wasn’t because I didn’t love you. I had a secret.

I had contracted the genital Herpes virus from Russell. Of course, I wanted to protect you from that, but I was also protecting myself. This was not something I wanted to share about myself, it would have been too painful. So I chose to hide my truth. Forgive me.

Believe it or not, my next confession was even harder for me to accept. Very deep breath. I lied to you once before and it was a much bigger lie. A HUGE lie. I am so sorry. I have managed to forgive myself and hope, that in time, you can too.

There was no baby. There was no miscarriage. I am tearing up even now as I write this. I made the whole thing up. I recited this lie so many times and for so many years that I may have actually believed it myself.

The first time I admitted to fabricating this story was in therapy about eight years ago. My therapist helped me understand that I was trying to cope with how messed up my family life was at the time. My Mom was put in a nursing home at the age of forty-five and I was being shipped off to another state to live with a father I barely knew.

I loved and admired your family very much. I desperately wanted to be a part of that. So my sixteen year old mind created a family of my very own. A child that didn’t actually exist, except in my mind. A child that gave me a connection to you and to your family. Something for me to cling to when my world got turned upside down.

It was never my intention to cause you pain. I have only ever felt a very deep love for you, your siblings and your folks. I miss you all and think of you often. Finally, at age fifty, I am finding ways to heal my old wounds and get peace. I wish the same for you.

With love, your old friend,

Trish

 

 

Lift each other up!

One of the things I love about my nature walks is the row of cottonwood trees along the gravel path. The slightest breeze makes their leaves sing. The first time I experienced the sound, I thought it was running water, but the creek is in the other direction. It took a minute for me to discover it was the trees themselves producing this glorious noise. Now whenever there a breeze, I look forward to hearing those trees sing to me on my walk.

One of the trees lost its footing in a recent storm. It surely would have fallen to the ground if not for a neighboring tree that caught it and is now providing support for the injured tree.

I couldn’t help but think about all that nature can teach us. As human beings we can learn to lift each other up, support each other when we fall and sing our songs for strangers.

Smiles and hugs!

Gratitude Journal week of 10-8-2017

Sunday 10-8-2017.

Today I am grateful for the volunteers who run the Saturday night program at Hyde Observatory. Amazing time last night. Thank you! For my son’s great taste in friends. Outstanding kids. And for finally getting this blog live.

Today I send love and blessings to Christina (name has been changed).

 

Monday  10-9-2017.

Today I am grateful for Louise Hay and Hay House Publishing. For phenomenal friends who always stick with me. And for warm throw blankets. Brrr.

Today I send love and blessings to…. honestly, I don’t have anything. What a problem to have! I guess today I will be grateful for not having anyone or anything that is bothering me. So thrilled!

 

Tuesday  10-10-2017.

Today I am grateful for my comfortable bed. For cat fur in my coffee. And for audio books.

Today I send love and blessings to my Veterinary office. My kitty is sick and they couldn’t get us in until tomorrow. ☹️

 

Wednesday  10-11-2017.

Today and everyday, I am grateful to the Universe for loving me. For my black socks. Seriously, today while getting dressed, I thought to myself “I love my black socks”, so they made the list. And for the shimmer of the frost in the early morning sun.

Today I send love and blessings to myself for not always being able to practice what I preach.

 

Thursday  10-12-2017.

Today I am grateful for any and all opportunities presented to me on this day. For the chatter of the birds as the sun rises. And for fall blooming mums.

Today I send love and blessings to whoever thought bubble gum was a good flavor for feline pain medication. Hmmm.

 

Friday  10-13-2017.

Today I am grateful for the hail storm that damaged the car I had purchased just eighteen months earlier. The damage was only cosmetic and the insurance money allowed me to pay off my car loan twenty months early. Today I am eternally grateful for my sick kitty finally eating a decent meal. I hope this means we will have a bit more time together. Thank you. And for a job that allows me flexibility with my hours.

Today I send love and blessings to that roofer again. He is right on the edge of breaking our legal agreement.

 

Saturday  10-14-2017.

Today I am grateful for the colors of autumn. For the smell of autumn. And for cool breezes.

Today I send love and blessings to my former boss.

 

Last weeks gratitude journal can be seen here.

 

 

 

A cat lovers guide to Loving without condition

My son and I share our lives and home with three furry felines. We consider them to be part of our family, therefore they are very spoiled and highly loved. Each cat was adopted and has a very distinct and different personality. Just like most of the people I know, their individual traits have been shaped by both their genes and their environments. And just as I believe that every human is equally worthy and deserving of love, so too are these felines.

Unlike dogs, cats cannot be trained to be a good companion. When you adopt a cat it can be difficult to know exactly what you are going to get as far as personality goes. As with anything in life, it must be entered into with an open heart. I love and respect each of these animals for exactly what they are. Each is a divine and unique creature, as we all are, deserving of comfort and care.

The oldest is a fluffy calico female. She is all sunshine and light, has been her entire nineteen years of life. This one loves humans, other cats and dogs. She was very close to a dog I used to have and they would lay around together and groom each other.

She does not growl, hiss or bite. She purrs loud and pretty much whenever there is another life close to her. She is unaffected by the attitudes or behaviors of her housemates. She allows one cat to hiss and growl at her every time she walks by without a second glance. The other cat is allowed to obsessively play with her tail, without retribution. He has been doing this for over three years. She is not critical of my son for handling her too much or of me for shooing her away because I do not wish to be groomed.

This cat is inherently happy regardless of those around her. I have been blessed to have her as my companion for all these years. What an inspiration for the rest of us!

The middle fur child and also the most recently adopted is a gorgeous purebred Ragdoll with stunning blue eyes. I found this beauty at our local humane society. She is much more dark and shadow than sunshine and light. Simply saying she has an attitude would be completely understating her personality. This cat is vocal, demanding and stand-offish. Sometimes she is downright mean.

Her demeanor has improved greatly in the three years she has been with us. She will now occasionally seek out attention and she allows unsolicited petting as long as it is brief. She will always give a warning before she lashes out. It wasn’t always this way. I bled many times before earning her trust. She has come to know that we will not hurt and we will show her love and kindness that does not require any specific behavior on her part.

The other cats have accepted her as well. We adopted her at seven years old and no information about her life before she joined our family. We are just very thankful that she is with us now and receiving the love she deserves.

My youngest kitty is a black and white male. His coloring exquisitely depicts his disposition. This cat is the absolute perfect balance of light and dark tendencies. He is by far the sweetest cat I have ever known, yet he is also joyfully naughty. He is energetic, curious, intelligent and playful. Hmmm. I might need more human men like this in my life.

This cat is my lap warmer and the source of most of my daily hugs. I like to press him to my ear to listen to and feel his purr. My son can handle him as much and in any way he chooses.

True to his nature, however, this cat does what he pleases, which includes walking on tables and counters, running through house as if he is on fire and trying to “pet” the fish. He will cheerfully antagonize the other cats by showing his perceived dominance, and in the next moment submit by rolling over to expose his belly or cuddling up for a nap.

The day we adopted this precious feline, we had gone to foster home to see his sister. My son plopped down on the floor after we arrived and this cat immediately crawled into his lap and got comfortable. He chose us to be his family. It was meant to be. And I can’t imagine life without him now.

So what do you think? Could you love each of these fur balls unconditionally despite their very unique nature? Do their purrsonalities remind you of any humans you know? Do you or can you love these humans even if they don’t follow your path, knowing that they have been shaped their own genes and experiences which certainly differ from your own?

It’s all about perception. How do you view the people in your life? Choose love.

 

 

How to live a happy life – 13 actions you can take today

I originally intended for this article to be a list of fifteen actions you can take today to live a happier life, but with today being Friday the thirteenth, I thought a list of thirteen might be more appropriate. Enjoy.

1.  Practice Gratitude

It is so easy to take the beauty in life for granted. It seems sometimes that we are built for negativity. Practicing gratitude can be a powerful way to realize how wonderful your life already is. It’s not always easy to feel authentically grateful, especially if things aren’t going your way. The good news is that gratitude can be learned. You can fake it until you make it.

I challenge you to practice gratitude for thirty days. Start a gratitude journal and each morning, for thirty days, list three new things in life that you are thankful for. It can be something huge like divine guidance or something small like warm socks or anything in between. If you would like to see my gratitude journal, it will be posted weekly, for a limited time, on this blog. At the end of your challenge, I would love to know if this practice improved your life and how.

2. Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness will set you free. Holding a grudge only hurts the person choosing to hold it. Why spend your precious energy all worked up over something you can’t change. The past is done, there is no undoing it. You can’t change the fact that you have been hurt and you can’t force anyone else to change their mind or behavior. What you do have some control over is your own thoughts and actions. Rather than wallowing in your own hostility, why not change the way you think about the situation. Wish your adversary love. Pray for them.

The most important person for you to forgive, is you, and this is often the most difficult task to accomplish. If you can forgive and love yourself, you will find it much easier to forgive others in your life as well.

One good way to get started is to send love and blessings to one person or thing that is irritating you each day. This can be yourself, someone else or not even a person at all. I list mine right after the three things I am grateful for in my journal. Repetition is encouraged on this practice as it may take some time to truly forgive the hurt that runs deep. You will be training your brain by doing this practice daily and it does work.

3. Write your stories.

Start a journal. Writing can be a very powerful tool for healing. Spill your emotions and fears onto the pages in whatever way feels therapeutic to you.  Write poems, write stories, write letters you will never send. Try writing a letter to God, the Universe or your higher self. If you can’t take the chance of someone finding your written words, feel free to burn the page when you are done. What is important is that you release what is bottled inside of you.

4. Learn to say no and yes.

It is time to start saying no to people, events and things that drain you of your life force. It is not your responsibility to deal with other peoples issues. Take care of yourself first. Ask yourself “Am I doing this out of love or out of fear?” For example, are you doing someone a favor because you love them and are happy to help or are doing it because you are afraid the person will think less of you if you don’t? Choose love.

It is time to say yes to your life. Yes to contining to learn everyday. Yes to new experiences. Yes to change. Yes to the things you love. Yes to your intuition and yes to the power of believing in you!

5. Meditate

Start a daily meditation practice. I cannot tell you how much this has helped me to be present, see clearly and remain calm. We spend most of our time either dwelling on the past or looking to the future. The past is over. The future doesn’t exist yet. Now is all that matters. Meditation can teach you to focus on now. A large commitment of time is not required. You can experience the benefits in as little as ten minutes a day. There are many phone apps available for guided meditation. Play around and find something that fits your style. Give it a try.

6. Get out in nature

Go for a walk, or a run or maybe just sit under a tree. Feel the force that connects everything on this planet. Look with wonder at all that you see. Get grounded by walking barefoot on the sand or the grass. Get your toes, or your hands, wet in the stream or the lake. Listen to the wind, the birds, the gravel beneath your feet. Drink it all in. Unplug for just a little while each day. It will be worth it.

7. Do nice things for yourself

Make your happiness a priority. It isn’t selfish to take care of you for a change. In fact, I think it’s necessary if you want to stay healthy. Take the time you need to do the things on this list. You are worth it. Treat yourself to a massage or a little gift, something you’ve had your eye on. Take a class or go out with friends. Indulge in a bit of self-love.

8. Give

It is better to give than to receive. It has been proven that people tend to feel better about themselves if they give to others in need. I personally believe that the more you give, the more you get. The time is always now, even if you feel like you don’t have enough to spead around. No matter what my situation is, I am generous with what I have, there is always someone else who needs more than I do. So donate your money, your time or your stuff. Feel those good vibrations!

9. Spend some time alone

This is never a problem for me. I love my time by myself. Some of you may feel the same way. There is a trick to this, though. You need to be alone without distraction. Yep, that means no television, no texting, no social media. Most people will find it extremely difficult to just be still and quiet with themselves. The reason we are uncomfortable with this is because we will be forced to listen to our own thoughts. When you engage in this practice, be kind to yourself. Remember to practice forgiveness as you do this as well.

There is no better way to become aware of your thoughts and what is truly important to you than being alone without anyone else to influence what is on your mind. If you want to expand on this experience, take a trip by yourself. Go away for a couple of days and only do what you want to do. If this scares you, you may want to ask yourself why.

10. Trust your instincts

Many of us are not willing to act on our instincts or intuition.  We don’t trust ourselves. We may be afraid of failing or of what other people might think of what we are doing. Your intuition is what your soul wants, what your heart desires, it is your higher self giving you inspiration. When you ignore your intuition, you turn your back on your authentic self. Don’t feed your fears. Trust your intuition.

11. Embrace your demons

Have you hugged your demons today? We all have a dark side. If you have taken some of the actions listed above, you may be seeing some of yours by now. This is key to learning self-love. There are parts of ourselves that may be difficult to love, like, or even admit to.  The first step here is awareness. What are you ashamed of? What makes you angry or sad? What are afraid to talk about openly? It may be uncomfortable to acknowledge at first, but it will become easier with time.

The next step is acceptance. No one is perfect. We all have flaws. These perceived imperfections are necessary to the human experience. They are something we all share. Without our darkness, our light would not shine. To experience wholeness you must accept all of yourself.

Finally, it’s time to embrace. Release your shame, your anger, sadness and jealousy by gently trying to see it’s source. Where does it come from? Do not judge yourself. Treat your demons with compassion and understanding.

12. Chase your joy

One of my definitions of joy is watching my son grow, learn and develop in his own way. Another is being curled up with a great book, hot coffee, a blanket and a vibrating cat on my lap. I feel calm, at peace, like everything is right in the world.

What brings you joy? Once you define what that is, start using your energy to chase your joy. My home is rarely as clean as it used to be. Cleaning does not bring me joy. My time is better spent on things that do.

13. Walk into your fear

Whatever you are most afraid of, is what you should be paying the most attention to. Our conscious mind will always choose fear to block us from true awareness. Your authentic gifts can be revealed by facing what scares you. Walk into your fear. Walk into your greatness!

Happy Friday the thirteenth to you!!

Gratitude Journal week of 10-1-2017

Sunday  10-1-2017.

Today I am grateful for the friendship I have with my ex-husband. For the knowledge that eleven year old boys tend to pull away from their moms somewhat and gravitate toward the male role models in their lives and this is normal. And the calico cat that has been my companion for nineteen years.

Today I send love and blessings to the company that sold my refurbished laptop. It may not be human but it definitely has some issues of its own.

 

Monday  10-2-2017.

Today I am grateful for the love fest that happened between my son and our Ragdoll act this morning. The price of admission was running ten minutes behind schedule and totally worth it. For thunderstorms. And for books. I love books!

Today I send love and blessings to the architectural team who created the drawings I am trying to work with at my day job. Smiling through gritted teeth.

 

Tuesday  10-3-2017.

Today I am grateful for my beautiful sister. For occasional playtime with my son, who grows more independent with each day. And for awesome co-workers.

Today I send love and blessings to the father of my fabulous niece.

 

Wednesday  10-4-2017.

Today I am grateful for free on-line classes and lectures. For being able to see the sun rising above the dam when leaving for work. And for great neighbors.

Today I send love and blessings to the driver who was so impatient at the red light that he felt it necessary to blast his horn right outside my open car window.

 

Thursday  10-5-2017.

Today I am grateful for my black and white cat who is always ready for a snuggle right after my alarm goes off in the morning. For umbrellas. And for my cell phone.

Today I send love and blessings to that roofer, again, as I prepare the letter reminding him that his payment is late, again.

 

Friday  10-6-2017.

Today I am so happy and grateful that my roof is not leaking with all this rain. That my thirty year old garage door opener still works. And for the smell of early morning rain.

Today I send love and blessings to anyone who thinks suing someone over contracting a STI to get revenge or monetary gain is acceptable.

 

Saturday  10-7-2017.

Today I am grateful for mornings that don’t require an alarm. For homemade banana muffins. And for the pure bred Ragdoll cat that we were able to adopt at our local humane society.

Today I send love and blessings to my tendency to procrastinate.

 

Please check out last weeks gratitude journal here.