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Archive for the ‘Intuitive Guidance’ Category

Grist

“I don’t go to church and rarely meditate in a formal way.  I wear ordinary clothes and eat an ordinary diet. I have an aversion to much of the language I hear and read from today’s spiritual sources.  I don’t aim to be whole, I don’t feel a need for special community, I don’t want to live in the present, and I would rather figure out how to be comfortable in life’s complexity and darkness than to find the light.”

So writes Thomas Moore, Psychotherapist and former Monk,  in Spirituality & Health, May/June 2014.  I resonated with much of what he said.  Although, I have worked hard to be ‘present’;  for me, the ‘trick’ to traveling my life path, is finding the way between the opposites. Walking as best I can between piety and impiety.  I don’t want to be too spiritual.  I don’t want to be too mundane.

Moore cites the wisdom of Sioux mystical teacher, Black Elk, that what we need is to see in a sacred manner.  The handiwork of Divine Intelligence is all around us. We need only open our vision to it’s crystal clear presence.

I really identify with Moore when he says, “This isn’t simple piety.  A sacred vision is something you win through deep initiations, painful endurance of illness and setbacks, and a willingness to take life on rather than avoid it.”

Some heady grist for the mind’s mill.  Late Spring is a perfect time to open our eyes to the experience of  sacred seeing.

 

Mother’s Day 2014

Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases ‘Mother’s Day’ and ‘Second Sunday in May’.  And so in 1908, the honoring of individual Mothers with a special day began.   President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day an official Holiday in 1914.

The ensuing commercialization of Mother’s Day was so upsetting to Jarvis that in 1948 she was arrested for disturbing the peace at a public demonstration protesting what she called ‘the Hallmark Holiday’.  Although many believe that without adoption by retailers, especially florists, Mother’s Day might never have survived to become the event we currently enjoy.

Today Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries throughout the world.   Cards, flowers, dining out, family gatherings, and gifting abound.  Church attendance  ranks third, behind Christmas and Easter, and it is the biggest long-distance phone call day of the year.

Last week Earth Day celebrations honored Mother Earth;  tempestuous and tender; forgiving and unforgiving; verdant and arid; sweet and harsh.   Sunday, regardless of how you choose to celebrate, I invite you to honor your Mother.

Crossroads

There are powerful and despairing moments when we find ourselves standing in the crossroads of life, uncertain of which direction to take.

Fraught with  confusion, frustration, uncertainty, fear and the inability to move forward, we struggle with making a decision and/or committing to a path.

When the issue confronting us is big – moving, quitting a job, ending or beginning a relationship, starting our own business, retiring – there is a strong emotional charge.  This emotional quotient makes it very challenging to move past the turmoil of the process.

Beyond rational evaluation and analysis, there are tools we can use to assist our decision making.  First, breathe, relax.  Shut off the chatter-box. Go for a walk, take bath, meditate.  Ask for guidance,  from the Divine Universe, seek  the wise counsel of friends, family and professionals.  Confront your fear around the situation.

Afraid that the decision we make will bind us to a position for the rest of our lives is fallacious reasoning, a trick of the negative mind.  Trust yourself; trust your Higher Self.  Move forward with confidence, knowing that the future if fluid;  nothing is set in stone.

Earth Day

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970.  Now in it’s 44th year, the Earth Day Network estimates that 1 billion people will participate in some activity related to improving our environment.  Officially celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is considered  the largest secular holiday in the world.  Next week is full of Earth Day events around the globe.  And in our agriculturally rich area, there is much to see and celebrate.

Day trips to local nurseries, like Aztec Dahlias in Petaluma, Bamboo Sorcery and California Carnivores both in Sebastopol, Halberg Butterfly Gardens,  Lavender Bee Farm and Deer Meadow Bonsai reflect the remarkable diversity of Sonoma County.

Montgomery Village will celebrate it’s fifth annual ‘Day on the Green’ April 26 from 11am to 4pm.  Activities, music, food, beer and wine can be enjoyed at this free event.  For further information email artep@sonic.net.  In Petaluma on May 4 & 5, the 14th annual Spring Planting Festival will be celebrated at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.  A visit there is a special experience any time of year.

Spring is a time to plant.  Not only the planting of food crops and flowers, gardens and trees,  but also a time for planting our hopes and dreams.  It is time to take advantage of the season, time to get your ideas and plans for the coming year into the ground. Think annuals and perennials, short-term and long-term goals.

Taking inspiration from the blushing beauty of the Earth, pick from the magic of your creative mind. Choose what is most suitable to who you are and where you are in this Spring moment.  Plant those dreams, hopes and ideas.  Nurture, water and feed them.  Enjoy the beauty, relish the bounty, and prepare to reap the rewards of your efforts.

Mother Earth deserves to be loved and honored.  I invite you to celebrate our celestial home.  Happy Earth Day!

 

 

Friendship

Friendship enriches life, and good friends are good for our health.  Many studies show that friendship can increase our pain threshold, stave off cognitive decline, and even enhance the immune system.  For example, the now famous Nurses’ Health Study revealed that women who had ten or more friends were three times as likely to survive breast cancer.

This study also revealed that the more friends women have, the less likely they are to develop physical impairments as they age.  And they are more likely to lead a joyful life.  Women’s friendships may be a significant factor in their longevity.

In a landmark UCLA study, Drs. Klein and Taylor showed that men and women respond differently to stress.  Their work demonstrated that women ‘tend and befriend’ rather than ‘fight or flee’. 

Study after study reveals that social ties reduce our risk of disease, can lower blood pressure, contribute to lowered cholesterol and reduced heart rates.

Maria Paul writes in The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You Are Not A Kid Anymore,”Your friendship menu needs a range of both intimates and acquaintances.” Casual friendships and deeply intimate friendships are both important and valuable  to our overall health and well-being.

To have good friends, you need to be a good friend.  Good friends have meaning to each other.  Our BFF’s are the ones we can bare our souls with, cry and laugh together, support and mirror, give honest feedback to, and, be open to receiving the same in kind.  They are people we trust with our secrets, our lives and our hearts.  This does not happen by fiat.

Cultivating a gorgeous garden of friendship requires being willing to stick our neck out; to take risks. Weed out what is not working, and allow the seeds and plants of good friendship to grow strong, healthy and beautiful.

I invite you this week to give thanks for your circle of acquaintances and friends.  And continue cultivating your Friendship Garden.

 

Worthy

‘Having value’ is a good definition of worthy.  In ‘10 Telltale Signs of Low Self-Esteem’ (Spirituality & Health, November 2013) author Anneli Rufus shares habits indicative of low self-esteem.  The habits outlined below show a self-loathing attitude; a personal unworthiness.

1. We’re indecisive.  We believe we can’t possibly make a decision that will not have negative consequences.

2. We fake it.  We hide behind masks, fearful of revealing our true selves.

3. We deflect praise.  We actively deny praise; it can’t possibly be true (we are not worthy).

4. We’re hypervigilant.  Words, body-language and gestures become a powerful body of evidence that we are unlikable failures.

5. We have great difficulty inhabiting the present moment.  Regret and fear, favorite ploys of the Chatterbox,  keep us roaming between the past and the future.

6. We give up easily.  We give in.  We assume the attitude that we are always wrong.

7. We plead.  Our lack of selfworth  “…turn even the simplest requests into desperate, self-abasing pleas.”

8. We aim low.  Confident in our probability of failing, we keep the bar low.

9. We are chronic comparers.  This habit reinforces our self-loathing.

10. We puncture our own fun.  “Believing we deserve no happiness, we flood with dread at the first spark of joy….”

Ms. Rufus maintains that the first step toward changing these negatives to positives is compassion.

The Original Angel Cards Book states that ‘Compassion’ is a “Heartfelt understanding of the human condition that encompasses the pain in oneself and others, dissolves judgment, and opens the way for acceptance.  Sincere desire to alleviate suffering.”

Strive to alleviate your suffering and open yourself to acceptance.  You are worthy.

 

 

Peeps 2014

It is Peep Season again.  My previous Peeps post tells the story of Peeps and their popularity, including, to my absolute amazement, that people actually eat them.  I also shared how my partner and I Peep.

Our new home is smaller and the layout much different from our previous abode.  This presented a real challenge.   Although we have a few Peeps still nesting in their box, we are meeting the challenge.

In addition to the usual Peep placement (see earlier Blog) we have added peeking Peeps, medicine Peeps (open the medicine cabinet and behold a hot pink Peep), and flower Peeps (especially hard to find; yellow Peep in a yellow Lily).

Peep Season is well underway here and we are looking forward to ‘placing’ the new colored and flavored Peeps born into the marketplace this year.

Wishing you a wonderful Spring and happy Peeping!!

 

 

 

Happiness

Happiness was the topic on a recent Dr. Oz  show.  More specifically, “The Five Signs of Happiness,” aired on March 11, 2014.   The boiled down results of a substantial poll revealed these five indicators that create unhappiness.  For each there is an action to take that can counter the negative response.

1.  Don’t compare yourself to others on social media.   I was quite surprised by this one; but surely it is relevant.  The positive action, is to refrain from social media for one day a week.  Take a day off.

2.  Don’t talk negatively about others.  Counter action:  Do or say something positive for/about another.  Find something to compliment.

3.  Give gratitude.  This simple (and free) action can cut your stress by 30%.  Action: Send yourself an email once everyday, stating something you are grateful for; create a file.  When you are down in the dumps, open the file and read your gratitudes.

4.  Learn to say “No.”  Hard to do, but so important to our health and happiness.  Action: Take time for yourself at least two times a week.

5.  Learn to say “I’m sorry.”  Don’t let bitterness take root in your psyche.  Action: Review your relationships, and, if appropriate, tell someone you are sorry.

Mark Twain said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Happiness is an attitude, a state of mind, a choice.  Be happy!

Spring 2014

Last Saturday at midnight, time changed in an artificial, man-made way.  On  March 20, time shifts in the natural world.  Thursday is the vernal equinox, heralding the arrival of Spring.

Rebirth, rejuvenation, re-invigoration and revival; time to make way for the rising of the light.   Coming out of Winter,  Spring is the moment when we overcome great difficulties;  when we meet the challenges of renewal head on; it is  the time for birthing new life.

This Holy Season, I invite you to conceive your future, to plant for the harvest that will come in Autumn.  Tend the garden of your dreams.  Feed and nourish it with love and dedication; looking forward to reaping abundant yields at harvest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daylight

As in Daylight Saving Time.  Did you wake up this morning feeling less rested?  Perhaps a little cranky and off-center?

Saturday at midnight was the time to “spring forward,”  setting our clocks ahead one hour.  For all practical purposes, we have moved an hour of light from the beginning of the day to the end of the day.  Light is the principal time cue for regulating our circadian rhythm.  So we are effectively, out-of-sync.

How well we adjust to the effects of this time change depends on our personal health, sleep habits and lifestyle.  The good news is that there are some things we can do to help with the adjustment.

According to WebMD, get as much light exposure as possible during the day.  Use a mask and/or earplugs to help you go to sleep.  Reduce or eliminate alcohol and caffeine near bedtime.  exercise several hours before bedtime.  Relax with a hot bath.  Meditation and soft music can also be beneficial.

All things considered, your circadian rhythms should adjust within a couple of days, preparing you to enjoy the light of evening.