IT STARTS WITH SELF PRIDE

Excellent, excellent post from Doctor Jonathan over at All About Healthy Choices. You cannot separate the body, mind and spirit. It’s an integrated system.

All About Healthy Choices

motivational-wallpaper-self-esteem-1080x608It starts the same way for all of us. We are born as infants fully reliant on our parents or caregivers to supply our every need. We slowly begin to develop both physically and mentally and begin to integrate our existence with the lives of others. We develop these skills as a result of nurturing or the innate will for instinctive survival.

At some point during this developmental phase we approach a fork in the road. Some follow the fork that leads to new opportunities for growth and personal development; others maintain the only path they have ever known, the path of simple survival.

Build-character

As we traverse these two paths, the experiences we encounter lead to the development of our CHARACTER. This, in essence, is the integration of all our experiences resulting in the principles we follow to live our lives. These experiences shape our morals, and ethics providing…

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Trolling

Looky what I found! A Troll Doll.  Throw Back and good memory.

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For no good reason, Troll dolls popped up in my memory several months ago. I remember them from the 1970’s. You could get pencil topper trolls, and by the end of the fad, they came dressed in various professional garb: Doctors, nurses, etc.

Every once in a while I’d think about Trolls, more from nostalgia, like “oh that was a carefree time wasn’t it?” (Ignoring that I was an insecure teen and scared of most people.)

John and I stopped at an antique shop on Friday. He always finds cool little things. Or big things like the milk container on our front porch. Anyway, I was wandering through this maze of a store, and I found this Troll doll. I was nearing the end of my interest in walking around and looking, and for some reason remembered about Troll dolls. In the next cubby, was a pencil topper troll, and on the other side, four Troll dolls.

Ok, it’s a neat coincidence but why bring it up?

About a month ago, the shaman-study group did some ancestor work. One of the exercises came from Frank MacEowen’s book “The Spiral of Memory and Belonging.”book In the exercise, I stepped back in to four successive generations of my ancestors” my dad, his father, his father’s mother and then her father. The purpose was to feel what those people felt, to learn something about their motivation or their lives, in order to see our own lives a little clearer.

What I learned from this, was there was an overwhelming sense of duty to support the family. I felt my great-grandmother Christine scrubbing clothes on a washboard while her child played in a field. There was a sense of not being able to “look up” from her work. I felt my grandfather walking the street home from a job, burdened with trying to feed eight children during the Depression. The focus on work to sustain the family. I felt my Dad being one of eight, and the need to do better, make sure we were fed and sheltered. There was such a sense of working to ensure survival.

And then there was my great-grandmother’s father. This man’s energy was bright and hopeful. He loved horses, and dreamed of escaping the town for the country.

What does this have to do with finding the Troll? I believe it was a gift from my ancestors to remind me that I don’t have to work to survive. That this legacy of determination has served me well in the care of my dad and mom over the last several years, and in my drive to always have a job, even when my husband was laid off. I can always draw on that.

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Ancestor Barbie says “Hi!”. Someone in the line was a comedian.

But, they are reminding me that it is ok to play and be whimsical now and then.

This is the second time a toy like this has crossed my path. About five years ago, for whatever reason, I found a Kangaroo Beanie Baby at a flea market. I walked past it, and went back because when I was a little kid, I had a kangaroo stuffed animal, just about that size, named Matilda.

You may be getting some nudging too. I’m telling you, these things are really subtle and easily dismissed. It does take tuning into yourself to listen to those quiet thoughts, and that’s a practice. It is totally worth it though.

 

 

Managing Expectations

I have a lot of expectations.

I didn’t think that was true, but when I stopped and thought about it, I realized that almost all my assumptions and decisions are based on a set of expectations.

I expect hot water when I turn on the shower.

I expect the coffee maker to work.

Rephrase it, and it’s more like “I assume I will have hot water. I assume the coffee maker will work. I expect to have coffee in the morning.”

I “assume things” based on past experiences. I think we all do (maybe I am assuming here, too.)

When our expectations aren’t met, you get to choose from a long buffet of emotional reactions that, hopefully, lead to a constructive plan of action. Or not. We’ve all been the witness to some spectacular toddler meltdowns over small issues. Small to us, not to the toddler, obviously. Watching such a meltdown can cause a visceral reaction for any spectator.

Anyway, I normally handle things pretty evenly, and I say this, based on the assumption that I have: A) gotten enough sleep regularly, B) eaten normally i.e., regular meals of real food and C) am maintaining some kind of exercise for my body and relaxation for my mind.Shout out to All About Healthy Choices

Losing out on any of those components will throw off my perspective and cause me to mentally make a mountain out of a molehill. And while my meltdowns are not as spectacular as a two-year old’s , they are still damaging to me because I am internalizing a wicked dialogue accompanied by strong emotions. So, I might as well be drinking acid.expections

Case in point: My sister is coming home

My sister lives 400 miles away, and visits twice a year, for approximately 36 hours. This has gone on for several years, encompassing the time my dad was ill and dying. She has traveled world-wide, both alone and with her family, and is not tied down by a job or her teenage sons.

I told her mom really needed more company, and that I was overwhelmed with the many post-hospital appointments that I had to miss work for. Awwww….she felt bad she couldn’t be here to help. I received two Mala bracelets blessed by the Buddhist monastery, and a renewal of the Health and Happiness Candle she lit for me.

Were my expectations met: Yes, my sister lived down to my expectations.

Is this a passive-aggressive post: Yes, I am not above that, Sorry.

Am I having a wicked internal dialogue and choking on my acid reflux: No, because I have done A, B and C above.

Now my buffet of choices is simple: do I carve time out of my day to see my sister, knowing I am making a choice to do so, and to not be an asshole to her? Or do I not worry about this choice because no one else is.

best choiceThe smartest thing someone told me recently was, it was not my responsibility to fix every thing for everyone. So we’ll see. I am not stressing about it.

 

 

 

Ho’onoponopono – Forgiveness and Gratitude

 

My friend turned me on to this practice. It is a Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and gratitude. This is the wording and it is like a mantra:

  • I am sorry.
  • Please forgive me.
  • I love you.
  • Thank you.

On the surface, this seems like a pretty simple practice. It is. But is has profound results. (read more about ho’onoponopono here.)

Gratitude is a practice, which means there will be ups and downs. Same thing with forgiveness. It’s when you’re “down” that you – meaning me – need it the most.

This is also a forgiveness practice, something that is really hard for me, since when I feel aggrieved, the last thing I want to do, is forgive someone. I want them to suffer terribly. But so far, the only person suffering has been me. This reminds me that other people think about me, much less than I think about them. Fodder for another post.

So, back to the Ho’onoponopono. The idea here is to picture the person you’re mad at, or who is mad at you, and say out loud or silently, the mantra. Super. Hard.

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The first time I tried this, I actually thought blood would run from my eyes, so I modified it, saying the words to the Universe in general. Eventually, I was able to visualize the person, and say the words. This is what I mean by a practice. Modify something until it works for you, then take it where you need it to go. Don’t be a sheep, take control.

I modified the Hail Mary because I like the rosary my dad gave me – there’s some science behind the tactile action of passing a bead though your fingers, and chanting. I just felt I worded things better, for me.

Yes, I am a control freak, but it works for me.

Back to Ho’onoponopono. I took mom to the ER Sunday and while we were there, there was plenty of time to repeat the words. Like, four hours of time, which is actually pretty good considering our usual stay is upward of six hours. WIN! It kept my mind occupied and in a place of compassion and patience, both for my mom and for the staff. Mostly it stopped me from returning to the “rut-thinking” that gets mad at my siblings for not caring about our mom.

So here’s another benefit, when you feel yourself returning to the broken record – “no one helps” “why me” – try this forgiveness practice. Eventually you will rewire your thinking and it will not be automatic that you return to the broken record thought process.

Finally, whenever I can, I offer this practice to myself. In the end, we tend to most hard and condemning of ourselves, and often we are projecting our own wounds onto others. In this light, I offer myself forgiveness and gratitude. After all, so far I’ve survived 100% of my worst and crappiest days.

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Liebster Award!

Thank you, Pujjya, from  STAY-HEALTHY&HAPPY, Love Yourself, The Most, for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, and I love your posts.

So, Eleven Facts About Me:

  • Catholic education: K-College
  • Ditched religion in favor of finding spirituality/truth/Giant Spaghetti Monster on my own.
  • Love to read
  • Spoil my dog
  • Spoil my husband
  • Not afraid of death
  • Working on a cleaner diet, one meal at a time
  • Love my job
  • Not a big social media person
  • Drove stick shift cars until 2014
  • Redhead

And here are my answers to Pujjya’s questions:

  • Is life short or long??
    1. Life is what you make it. Time is irrelevant
  • Why do you think the color pink is thought to be girly??
    1. I keep thinking of a blush rose, one between white of purity and the red of passion
  • Which is better mountain or sea???
    1. I love mountains, but I like seashores too…
  • Who is your favorite person??
    1. My dad
  • If asked to sing a song what will it be??
    1. Somewhere, beyond the sea ( but I would sing it poorly, so click the link and listen to Frank
  • Do you believe in ghosts?? If so then why??
    1. Yes, doesn’t everyone?
  • What is your favorite drink??
    1. Coffee in the morning, when the aroma is filling the kitchen and the day is new.
  • Who do you think to be a better contestant for USA ? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump..
    1. Headdesk…..
  • How far you can go for your love??
    1. To the moon and back
  • What is your favorite blog post till date and Why?
    1. Working with the Ancestors, Part I , because right now, that’s what I’m focused on.
  • Why did you start blogging?Just to have a place to write out my thoughts. It’s different from the journal I keep, a little broader focused perhaps.

I totally apologies for the short list of nominees that follows, and you can blame me that it takes me forever to figure out how to post stuff, and I am only starting to follow more and more blogs. Sorry!!! There are a million awesome blogs out there, many with less than 200 followers and these are just a few of the wonderful people who inspire me.

Tippy Tales

The Cuteness is Real

Spirit Evolution

In the Autumn of Mu Life

Maia Over Matter

The Heretic and the Holy Man

 

Eleven questions from me:

  1. What are you doing, right now?
  2. Where do you want to be one year from now?
  3. Pets?
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. What thrills you?
  6. What is your superpower?
  7. You can change one thing in the world. What is it?
  8. Morning person or night owl?
  9. Red or white wine?
  10. Guilty pleasure?
  11. What is your dream job?

 

 

Summer Solstice Grid

Today is Summer Solstice and a full moon. My annual practice is to gather all my stones and crystals and put them outside, near my garden, to recharge them. And to give them a rest from me.

Last year I made an error of judgement by putting my himalayan salt wand in with the group. The dew disintegrated most of it onto the other stones, and to the chain of a pendant.  Lesson learned!

Some of my stones were already involved in a new grid, and I left the grid intact. Many of these stones carry the property of not needing a cleansing, particularly the kyanite and the selenite, and the rest have not been used for a specific purpose that would require cleansing. I just like to give them the break to be outside, in the sun and moon, and honor them.

So, back to the grid.image

I don’t do a lot of grids, but later this summer, the RNC is coming to Cleveland,

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Shout out to Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Champions

not all that far from my home. As with any large gathering of people, there is going to be a lot of energy coming from the city, and I want my home and area to stay calm and peaceful, so I constructed a grid designed for this purpose.

If you aren’t a crystal enthusiast, you may wonder what the heck I mean. They’re rocks right?  Well, there’s a couple things going on here. All matter vibrates. Crystals and stones also carry vibrations. My main source is Melody’s “Love is the Earth” book, (Melody is a geologist who conducted tests on the rocks/crystals) but she is one of many reliable resources for gems, stones and crystals. Buying a crystal, alone, won’t change much, but working with them, with intention, will bring results. ( I know, is it the stone or your intention? HA Chicken or egg? )

So, since I am have historically been very bad about setting boundaries, I wanted to set a boundary for any crappiness that oozed away from the convention. Do I worry that an errant supporter will come to my house? No, I have a fence for that. I am talking about the kind of energy that makes people less aware of their surroundings, and results in fender-benders and careless accidents. That, I don’t want to infiltrate.

Now about my grid. It’s placed on a mandala I made from – ta da – my favorite childhood toy, Spirograph        61sZ7FLlbnL._AC_UL115_.

The center stone is a selenite wand to hold the space of highest vibration. Surrounding it are stones for several intentions. Black stones are grounding, so there are four in a circle to ground any errant energy that come flying near us. There’s a kyanite and several hematite in this grid, plus one is a snowflake obsidian.The pink stone is rhodochrosite, for healing and love, the blue is lapis lazuli, for righteous speech, the orange is carnelian, for the highest level of creativty.  They are connected by clear quartz points, who act as amplifiers to that energy. There is one smokey quartz wand in there – this is also a stone that alleviates negative energy.
My point here is to stress that what you set as an intention, does matter. Will these stones, alone, prevent something weird from occuring? No. But by having a visual reminder of my intention-right speech, compassion, creativity and safety- I am setting myself up for a successful experience. Ps. You can just pick up a fine looking rock, and have a great experience working with it.

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RAOK

So… tragic week in U.S. again. Still.

This isn’t going to bring anyone back, and it surely won’t change any laws-gun or LGBT protection – but it usually brings a spark of light into a pretty dismal world. Today, practice a Random Act of Kindness.

Smile at the checkout clerk, pet a dog, pickup some trash, give a couple bucks to the sad-looking teen or oldster who’s sitting by themselves. Offer them a smile too. When you’re heart is breaking, offer a piece to the person next to you.

Last week I was missing my dad. A lot. And out of no where, someone gifted me with a hand-made Hamsa (shaman’s hand, healing hand).Kitchen 2

Several weeks ago, she had heard me say that I collect them, thought of me, and brought it to a meeting. I was really overwhelmed, not just by her kindness, but by the fact that I know my dad was hearing me miss him, and this was his way of hearing me.

So last Friday, a friend posted that it would have been her brother’s birthday, the first birthday since he had died this winter. She had some plans for her mom, because it was going to be a really tough day for her. Her mom, Mary, is my neighbor, and this loss…well, burying a child…there are no words.

Anyway, for some reason I remembered this bracelet I had purchased last fall that had angel wings, hearts and green stones. It was intended as a gift, but never made it out of the house at Christmas. I stuck it in my pocket when we walked Miss Penny, and thought I’d give it to Mary if I saw her out walking. Well, I didn’t see her and had some errands to run, so we we drove over to a small town for some produce. And there was Mary buying apples.

Coincidence? I don’t thinks so. After a hug, I tucked it in her hand. I think we both knew it was from Joe, her son. But we didn’t need to say that. So, my day got 100% brighter, and maybe her grief lifted 1%, but that’s ok.

Here’s my challenge: go RAOK like mad this week. It won’t make up for what’s happened to the Orlando families, but it will make you feel at least 1% better.

 

One Lovely Blog Award

screen-shot-2016-05-22-at-2-36-55-pmThank you to Saving Without Scrimping for nominating Hart of the Forest for  the “One Lovely Blog Award”!  I have learned sooo much from her – you can budget and keep the joy and excitement in your life. Plus, great tips, great recipes and just a fun, fun person.

Guidelines for the “One Lovely Blog Award”:
•Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
•Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog.
•Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
•Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

7 Random Things:

  1. I have a parrot tattoo on my shoulder a la Jimmy Buffet and the random desire to be pirate. Arrgh!
  2. My favorite book is The Three Musketeers and I had a crush on Athos and Cardinal Richelieu.
  3. I love reading mysteries and creep my husband out when I point out “how -to” methods from my latest read.
  4. Hate to travel.
  5. Love to lay on the grass and watch the clouds.
  6. Believe there is good all around us, but we shouldn’t be naive.
  7. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood

I nominate these blogs and enjoy their posts, please give them a look too:

Butterfly Sand

In the Autumn of My Life

Nelly Cherry

Fireside Witch

All About Healthy Choices

Maia Over Matter

Straight Woo

Pushtii Shiv Shakti

Olive These Words

Healthy People Have Healthy Pets

Tippy Tales

Chronicles of Cammy

 

 

 

More gratitude

Let go of the banana

Still on stay-cation but sharing another gratitude article. Side note: I love the planetary alignment of Basketball playoffs (go Cavs) Baseball (go Tribe) and the sacred Stanley Cup playoffs (go Penguins).

And a special prayer to the sports gods, please PLEASE help the Cavs bring home a championship for Cleveland.