Sending love on Valentine’s day

Today is Valentine’s day and my wish for you is that you know how loved you truly are.

It doesn’t matter if you are married, divorced, single, in a relationship or alone, today is a day to celebrate how special you are.

If there isn’t someone in your life to treat you great today, treat yourself well. Give yourself something wonderful. You deserve love.

I think you are…

Amazing, just the way you are.

Beautiful, inside and out.

Creative, in all that you do.

Divine, you are love and light.

Enough, more than enough!

Fabulous, fun and full of life.

Generous, to all who know you.

Happy, just being you.

Intuitive, to your immense gifts.

Joyous, in the life you create.

Kind, to yourself and others.

Loved, yes, you are so loved.

Magnificent, a true miracle.

Non-resistant, willing to grow.

Opulent, truly abundant.

Passionate, you know what lights you up.

Quintessential, simply perfect.

Radiant, I think you are glowing.

Spirit, infinite wisdom is in you.

Tremendous, you are absolutely extraordinary.

Unique, because there is only one you.

Valuable, you are more important than you know.

Whole, because God makes no mistakes.

XOXO, hugs and kisses for you.

You, this is the one job no one else can do.

Zestful, and loving every moment.

Have a fantastic Valentine’s day overflowing with love and kindness!!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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.