Week of 1/28/18

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From Deborah Blake’s “Everyday Witch” Tarot Deck

 

You are your own worst enemy this week!

A lot of times we make plans, lists, outlines, and figure out exactly how we want things to go and what course we want them to take (and we’re all guilty of doing this). In our heads, we have a definitive idea of the way we want things to happen, when they will happen, and they must go exactly as we have planned… or else! Well I have news for you – this isn’t how life works. Have you ever heard the expression “Man plans, and God laughs?” Well there’s a reason for that expression.

As a society we are shaped into giving in to our ego’s wants and needs and therefore expecting what we want and how we want it. However, there is a higher power working behind the scenes on your life that knows exactly what is best for you and your personal life path. If only you would just let go a little bit with the planning and organizing and let go of how you want the outcome of things to be, you will often find that they will work out in the best possible way for you. I definitely know a few people that plan, plan, plan everything and it must go there way or they get sulky if it doesn’t, even if it’s only one minor thing. I often step back and look at the situation and wonder: how can they be so sad when they have so much to be grateful for? This doesn’t mean I’ve never gotten pissed if I “spill the milk” when I’m already having a tough day. It’s about changing your attitude to look at all of the good things happening.

You are focusing too much on the negative things surrounding you right now. But are they really negative? You may be making a mountain out of a molehill right now. Maybe you didn’t get that job you applied for, aren’t dating the person you wanted to, haven’t started a family yet or are feeling pressured to do what you want RIGHT now. Maybe you planned out your entire party/wedding only to discover that they brought the wrong cake or that the weather ruined it, or your child got sick when you had your big event. Yes, all of these things suck. But there is SO much more to be grateful for, and nothing is truly ever so bad. Maybe there’s a better job/life partner out there for you that you haven’t connected with yet, or maybe you are meant to truly stop and enjoy the loving personality of your partner right now. Maybe the cake wasn’t the best, but having all of your family and friends together in one space was awesome. Maybe your child saved you in disguise from a disastrous event.

This could also mean that there is something new you are looking to undertake (job, relationship, family, etc.) and you are focusing entirely too much on all of the aspects of it that can go wrong. Stop those thoughts now. You won’t know how something will turn out, until you do it. Think of all of the things that could go right while at the same time letting go and taking one day at a time. You can’t and won’t know all of the answers until you experience for yourself.

You have much to appreciate right now and need to start looking at all of the cups in your life that are full and not the ones that are empty. If you keep focusing on the empty cups that have spilled out everywhere, you will never appreciate and enjoy the ones that are full and waiting for you to drink from them. Take what you are given this week from the universe, there is a deeper meaning to all of it. Cry, whine, complain all you want but it won’t change a thing. Count your blessings, and focus your energy on the things that are right and working.

Spell To Cleanse Your Crystals With Elements

If you are the proud owner of any crystals/gems, then it’s important that you take the time to cleanse them! It’s especially important to cleanse them when you first get them – you need to rid them of any prior energies they may have picked up along the way!
Your crystals could be cleansed whenever you feel they need to be also. This requires using your intuition. You will notice if your crystals start to feel a bit stagnant, like they might be “clogged”. If you think of an air filter, it picks up dirt and debris along the way of doing its work – the same goes for your crystals! They are working hard to help you manifest and attune to your wants and needs, and they are picking all of that energy up. They need some extra TLC and cleansing so that they can release all of that clogged up energy and continue helping you.
Last night, I was definitely feeling like my crystals needed a good and thorough cleansing. My absolute favorite way to do this is by using the elements of nature – fire, earth, air and water. This is definitely a bit more time consuming, especially if you have A LOT of crystals like I do. Dedicate at least an hour (sometimes longer, depending on what else you want to add to your ritual) if you really want to do a good deep cleansing.
You will need:
A FIRE ELEMENT – Typically I would say to use a white candle because it helps with cleansing and purity. However, I didn’t have one handy so I opted for the pink since it represents love in all forms. You don’t need to use a white candle. As always, use your intuition to pick which one is best for you. Some other examples of candle colors and meanings can be found here: Candle Magick – Which Colours?
A WATER ELEMENT – The best kind of water to use in your spells and rituals are those that are from nature, such as ocean water, river water, and stream water. The water that I used here is water from a very special stream that my family has gone to since I was little. It holds a magical quality to me and whenever I visit it, I refill my glass bottle to have it on hand. If you live near a body of water (or go on vacation somewhere), you can do the same and buy yourself a glass jar or bottle to hold it in. Of course, not all of us have this quick access, so if you don’t, you also have the option of using rain water or pure water that has been charged by the moonlight. You will need something to pour your water in and I recommend using something of a natural substance – that is the key in all of this – to use the elements. I used my abalone shell. You can also use a mortar and pestle or other clay or naturally made bowl. This water should be discarded after use in your spell as it carries energies that need to be rid of and not consumed.
AN EARTH ELEMENT – Such as fertile soil from a garden or plain uncooked brown rice. Again, you will need something to put it in. This time I opted for a large shell that I found on one of my beach explorations long ago. You should also not reuse the soil, or consume the rice after the ritual as it holds energies that you do not need to put back into your being.
AN AIR ELEMENT – I like to use the smoke from incense. But again, use your intuition on which scent you would like to use. I chose cinnamon for this because it has an overall effect of clearing negative energy. You can check out its many other benefits here: January 2018 – Cinnamon. You could also use a palo santo or smudge stick instead.
AMULETS OF PROTECTION – This could be anything that holds a protective value for you. It could be an object, picture of a guardian or spirit guide, or an herb just to name a few examples. The rosary beads I used were the very ones that my father was holding when we were at this wake. My mother said that he wanted me to have them and they became my treasure and source of protection and guidance from him. I keep them in his glass ashtray. I also chose feathers (my three favorites that I received) because they are my sign from my father that he is present. I also used a cinnamon stick to ward off any negative energy and protect me while doing the ritual. Your amulets can be any number of things that you like and you can pick however many you feel necessary for you and your purpose.
After you  have gathered your essentials, you need to arrange them. Make sure that you have enough space to do so, and clear out any other objects that may be in the way. Each element is designated a direction, and should be placed corresponding to that. Fire is South, Water is West, Earth is North, and Air is East. In the center should be your amulets of protection as this carries the energy of the cleansing and brings extra healing and cleansing benefit to your crystals (and you).

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Now it’s time to start your ritual. Before I begin, I like to take a few deep breaths to relax myself and set a good intention for myself and my crystals. Set up a relaxing atmosphere, put some gentle music on, dim or turn off the lights, and try to be somewhere with as little noise as possible.
You can then begin by picking up a crystal and starting with the Earth Element, since it is grounding. Place the crystal in your chosen substance for several seconds while you say aloud the intention for this. I like to say, “with the power of earth, I cleanse you,” or “with the soil of earth, I ground you.” It can be anything you would like, as is the case for the next several elements.

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Working in a clockwise motion, move on to the next element – air. Gently hold your crystal with your thumb and index finger and wave it back and forth through the smoke while repeating another intention such as, “with the power of smoke, I cleanse you,” or “with the smoke of air, I cleanse you.”

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Fire is next – be CAREFUL!! Hold the crystal again with your thumb and index finger. The key to doing this is to move it back and forth through the fire faster then you would with air so that you do not burn yourself. Do not do this slowly as you have a higher chance of burning yourself. Repeat the intention of your desire such as, “with the power of fire, I cleanse you,” or “with the flame of fire, I ignite you.”

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Next is water. I usually don’t soak or dunk the whole crystal in because it could get messy, so I lightly dip it in while stating the intention, “with the power of water I cleanse you,” or “with the stream of water, I purify you.”

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I then bring my crystal into the center of my protective amulets. You don’t need to do this step if you don’t wish to, but I felt it as a way of extra cleansing for my crystals, while at the same time protecting them. You can hold your crystals above the center and seal your intentions by saying something along the lines of, “I cleanse you with the power of my Spirit Guides/Guardians/Angels/Protectors.”

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If you want to seal your ritual, you can run your palo santo or smudge stick over everything and say something along the lines of, “I thank you for releasing any prior energies and for being special to me on my spiritual path, may you continue to guide me and help me attract everything I seek for my highest good.” And that’s it! It’s up to you if you want your ritual to stop there, or if you want to then move on to attuning and charging your crystals. You will feel a new sense of lightness to your crystals and in your life. As with everything, be patient in letting them help you!

Spell For Cleansing Your Crystals With Elements

Week of 1/21/18

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From Colette Baron Reid’s “Wisdom of the House of Night” Oracle Card Deck

 

When you assess your life, it may be comprised of many different parts: your home life, your relationships, your work, your hobbies, your schooling, your community. At times it could feel like they are all split little pieces (fragments) that require attention and it could get stressful dealing with all of them separately. You may be feeling like at least one aspect of your life is a bit out of balance, giving the illusion that there’s too much to juggle, and that nothing is in balance.
While it could be true that something may be out of balance, the key is to remember that you are whole. When you don’t understand something, or are dealing with something difficult in one aspect of your life, it is ok to take a step back from it. Focus on the things right now that are clear to you, that do bring you happiness, and that are in balance. The things that aren’t so clear will somehow come into balance when you stop focusing on them. You have much to be grateful for, and there is so much you are already accomplishing.
This card could also mean that you are only seeing a fragment of the truth about something. Take a step back from the situation, and look at it as a whole. Try to view all sides of the situation from everyone’s point of view and look at the words/actions of everyone involved, or the truth of everything involved. You will gain greater clarity of your inquiry when you view everything as whole and look at everything, instead of only what you want to see/hear.
Though everything may seem separated into small fragments, know and understand that in the grand scheme of things, all things – including you – are whole.

Coping: Grief And The Loss Of A Loved One

Grief is not just about dealing with the actual grieving, it’s also about dealing with life after losing a loved one. Grief and the grieving process are composed of a number of different emotions: shock, sadness, depression, disbelief, anger, rage, guilt, longing. If any of these feelings (and more) sound familiar to you – you are not alone.

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I was 12 years old. Myself, mom, dad and two sisters were on our family vacation at our favorite spot (Ocean City, NJ) that we would go to every year with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins. My dad had been complaining of an “annoying” pain in his side that summer, but thought nothing of it. It was during our family vacation that it became so unbearable he needed to go to the hospital. To make a long story short, he was diagnosed with cancer so severe that at that point there was nothing they could do. Fast forward a few weeks after we got back home, and he had passed away. The death of my father was a shock to my system, as well as to the family. He was the glue that held us all together. The life of the party. He was everything. He was just here and ok, and then he wasn’t.

I didn’t understand how or why this could happen to me or my family and grew angry and felt a million different emotions rolled into one. This is where my grieving process began. There are a lot of different things that I’ve learned over the years (and still learn) and allowed myself to feel and do in order to cope with this loss as well as the loss of others. In the years since my father’s death, I lost two grandparents, an uncle, a few acquaintances, and also several people who didn’t pass away but have left my life. My point is that loss is an inevitable part of life and while it isn’t easy, there are things you can do to help yourself grieve healthfully. Because the more you put it to the side and don’t deal with it at all, the darker things have the potential to get. These are some of the coping mechanisms I’ve learned and want to share (in no particular order at all):

1. Understanding the Process – Whether newly grieving, or already in the process, understand that this is one that will take some time. No two people necessarily grieve the same. Honor and be true to how your grieving process will take form and how long it will take – you do not need to put a timeline on it. Don’t feel pressured to force it along, or fake certain feelings. You will go through different stages of grief, not just the actual crying and it is all a part of the process. Or maybe you won’t cry at all for the first eight months and all of a sudden it all comes out. LET IT. It could take days, weeks, months, or even years. Even after all this time, in my own life I find that there are still certain things that come to creep up for me like the shock of still not having him here.

2. Cry – There is no shame in crying. Crying is a way for the soul to release and cleanse. Don’t be afraid to cry, and cry, and then cry some more. I remember crying for what felt like days straight, for years straight. If you’re finding it hard to cry or can’t cry, then perhaps you haven’t reached that phase of your process yet. But when you do come to it, don’t suppress it as it needs to be released. Though crying ultimately won’t bring back your loved one, each tear is a prayer of healing and help. Eventually with the passage of time, you may find that you cry less, or not as often or at all. It’s ok to not be crying every second of every day. Your loved one won’t love you any less or look down upon you like “how dare he/she stop crying over me!” They want to see you at your best. There may come instances from time to time – even years after – where you remember certain memories or are reminded of your loved one and find that it still makes you cry. That is completely normal. Every once in awhile, especially if I’m having a rough day and I hear one of me and my dad’s songs on the radio – I break down! And then I smile knowing he always has my back.

3. Let Go of Guilt – None of this is your fault and you need to understand that. It’s easy to go into guilt mode with the loss of someone – “I knew I should have pressed him/her harder to go to the doctor,” “if only I spent more time with him/her maybe this would never have happened,” “if I never had to run out to the store/go on vacation I could have been there to help.” Or you may start thinking of all of the times you may have disappointed this person. End these thoughts immediately. Everyone’s life path is predetermined at birth. Whether or not there was something you could do, it simply was not meant to be the way that you wanted it to. This is probably one of the harshest realities you will need to face within yourself – accepting that what happened, did indeed happen. When you accept what happened, and make peace with it, it loses its control over you. If you fear that your loved one will never know or understand how sorry you are, or you didn’t get to say things you wanted to while they were here – it helps to say it aloud in silence in private. I can assure you, they will still hear you. Healing comes from letting go and forgiving yourself and them.

4. Keep a Positive Support System – This is probably the most difficult time of your life. It’s important to have someone, or several people that you can count on for support and to help uplift you. I’ll never forget my mother saying that the hardest part about losing my father was after the wake and funeral were over and it was back to normal everyday 22601-FX-6-0-13-3-8-0life for everyone. But for her and our family it was not. It’s different when you’re at a funeral and surrounded by so much support. Everyone is offering their condolences, giving you words of encouragement and letting you know if you need anything they will be there. While it’s all kind words, the reality is that once it is over, a lot of those people don’t just check up on you. That’s why it’s important to pick out those select few individuals (or just one) that you know you can rely on for support, to cry to, to vent to, or simply be silent with. Because even though you may cry and grieve alone, sometimes you may want to have a shoulder there for some support if you are feeling weak. Keep in mind that your family/friend/spouse/chosen individual also needs to take care of them self and that they have a life also. They may not always be there for every single thing. Assure them that it’s ok and that you appreciate them being there for you for so much. One day, they may need a shoulder to cry on too. There were some people from my school that were there for everything. To this day, I will never forget those individuals and how special it was to me.

5. Nourish – In this sense, I am talking about nourishing yourself physically. If you have a sick and dying loved one, have just lost a loved one, or are grieving a loved one – and if you’re anything like I was – I had absolutely no appetite and did not want to eat. My mom also lost a lot of weight from not eating. This is not the best solution and in fact, is a dangerous one. Even if you have to force yourself a little bit, make sure that you take the time each day to eat proper healthful meals and drink water. Set aside fifteen minutes to take a break from crying/grieving and gain nourishment. If you’re too wrapped up in grief to be able to cook or go food shopping, see if there is a family member or friend that would be willing to help out. When you lack the proper nutrients, your body will not only suffer, but your mind and soul will grow weaker also. You don’t have to shove a huge steak down your throat if you truly aren’t hungry, but at least give yourself permission to nourish your body with lighter foods like soups, salads, stews, vegetables, fruits and water and tea – food is a necessity to live and thrive (a basic need). If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and find yourself overeating, try to identify what aspect of this process is making you reach for food – is it the sadness part? The anger? Look for other modalities to turn to in order to help release those emotions or begin reaching for healthier options. When your body is getting the nutrients it needs, you are also giving yourself the energy to be able to cope with all of the different emotions you are feeling.

6. Scream – This one might sound a little weird to you. But I can assure you that if you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one – particularly someone whom you shared a deep and soulful connection and bond – then you will get pretty damn angry. You will feel a deep rage growing inside you (again, maybe not immediately) at whatever God it is that you believe in, or even for the person who passed. How could they leave you? How could you be left in this circumstance? Why would (insert God) do this to ME? If you’re feeling angry, that anger needs an outlet too, just like your tears do. The mistake that some people make is projecting their anger and frustrations out on others. While it fulfills your immediate need to get it out, in the long run it could potentially hurt the other person involved, especially if they are truly not at fault. You are obviously upset and may still be in victim mode and more vulnerable to letting out your true anger and harsh words without filters. My favorite way to deal with anger is by meditating. Unfortunately, when my father died I had not known about meditation and its benefits at such a young age and instead would lash out on others – not very mature. I would have loved to discover it sooner. That’s why I feel it’s important for me to mention this excellent tool for coping, particularly with anger. When you find yourself in bouts or instances of anger, take a few really deep breaths and count to ten. Remove yourself from the situation if you can, before saying or doing something that could be hurtful. If you have headphones, it helps to put a meditation on in them and sit or lie down in your favorite quiet space. My favorite one is The Honest Guys – Releasing Anger because it helps you to focus on their words, identify what is making you angry, and bring yourself into peace and stillness. You will come out of it feeling more refreshed and able to handle your emotional outbursts. However, if you find you truly can’t meditate right now then try something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Go somewhere very private and quiet (I liked my car best) and scream and get it all out! Shout it out. Everything that you’re angry about, every obscenity, every hurt. Getting it out is SUCH a release. I promise. Maybe none of this is for you – then try another release such as kickboxing, cycling or something of a more physical nature. The action of actually sweating and becoming physical in a healthy way through exercise can help to release anger also.

7. Write – While grieving, you will find that the people you normally count on as a shoulder to cry on may not always be available at your beckon call. As mentioned above, they do have their own lives also. For those times where you may be alone without anyone to talk or vent to and in desperate need of an outlet, writing is a good activity. If you’re also more introverted and have a hard time sharing your feelings at this time, writing may be a good way to express it without having to feel pressured to talk to9253192330_86f71216b2_b someone else. The kind of writing that helped me in this case was simply writing out my feelings or writing poetry. It doesn’t necessarily need to be formatted or make sense, it could just be a compilation of your thoughts and feelings. You could also write a letter to your departed loved one – about how much you miss them, ask them any questions you have, talk about what’s going on for you – it could be anything. I remember writing a letter (and a poem) to my father a couple of years after his passing and remember the sense of relief that came over me knowing that in some way I knew he was going to receive this. You can do whatever you want with the letter – keep it, burn it, leave it by the grave at the cemetery. Since my father was cremated, I wound up keeping the letter for a short while and then destroying it because I knew that the energy of getting it out and releasing was enough for me personally. As for the poetry, I still have that stored away today. Writing letters could be the first step to connecting with your loved one spiritually on the other side. You are giving them the notice that yes, you do want to open yourself up to receiving signs and symbols that they are always with you, and that they are ok.

8. Music – You might be wondering how music could possibly help you with the grieving process when music itself can induce emotional response. Music is therapy. When we hear certain songs or melodies, we are instantly taken back to a certain time, place, activity or person. Music is a way to connect to those memories – especially if it involves the person who passed away. When listening to certain songs, you find you can relate to what it is they are singing about – loss, heartbreak, sadness – and connect. Rather than look at music as too depressing of an activity, think of it as a way to remember your loved one. Then, every time you hear that certain song(s) on the radio (randomly!) you can be assured that they are with you in spirit in that moment and offering comfort to let you know they are there and that all will be well. There are a select few songs that are very special to me with regards to my father and I know that whenever they pop up on the radio or on my music shuffle, it’s a little hello from up above. From time to time it may make you cry, and other times it may make you smile. Either way, it’s a great way to honor and remember your loved one, which is my next coping mechanism.

9. Honor and Remember Your Departed Loved One – I know what you’re thinking – “how can I possibly forget my (insert relation)?! Of course I’ll remember them!” But in this case I’m not just talking about remembering them, I’m talking about honoring them. Honoring their life while they were here with you and who they were as a person and showing how important it was for you. Develop a special ritual or tradition that you can carry out on holiday’s or special anniversary dates to acknowledge that their spirit lives on. Though they may not be here in the flesh, I’m sure our loved ones don’t want to be forgotten when they leave the physical world. It may sound silly, but in actuality some people do try to push whatever memories or traditions they have aside when a person passes away because they can’t stand to face anything that reminds them of the person. They will try to erase everything so that they don’t need to feel. This will suppress your emotions further and I do not recommend it. If you left this world, wouldn’t you want your closest family and friends to honor and remember you and the mark you left on this world? They’ve worked hard to be who they were when they were here and make an impression on your life. Just like you, they want to be remembered fondly. You don’t have to necessarily go creating a shrine for them, but simple things like sharing their stories, accomplishments, or saying a little hello out loud at family gatherings or important events invites their soul in, even though they may not be there physically. My family and I used to let balloons go at the beach on the anniversary of his passing as a remembrance and because we felt like our balloons would reach straight up to heaven and to him. It comforted us in those fleeting moments. Any small thing you can do to honor them will keep them very much alive – and close to your heart.

10. Make Mistakes – When dealing with loss, you will undoubtedly come face to face with many obstacles regarding yourself and your decision-making. After all, your body and soul may be in a state of shock and you may not necessarily be thinking clearly. Don’t be too hard on yourself during this time. EVERYONE. GRIEVES. DIFFERENTLY. For me personally, I was a 13 year old girl who was forced to grow up very quickly. My mother was grieving in her own ways, and I was also. I found myself alone, caught in situations or doing things that I probably shouldn’t have been doing at that age. I made a lot of mistakes, endured more heartache, and often times learned things the hard way. But looking back on it now, I would never change a thing. Every person, every place, every situation has made me grow into the individual I am today. There were many lessons learned that I carry through with me to this day. My point is that even if your loved one were still here, there is still the potential to make mistakes in life. In time, you will get back on your feet. For now, maybe you’re not hanging around people you normally would, or doing things you normally would. Don’t get stuck there, and understand it is just a passing phase as people and situations are sent to us to give us what we need at the present time. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, but have the strength to move on, keep growing and become a better you.

11. Get Moving – This is meant in a physical sense. It’s easy to get depressed when you are sad and grieving. You don’t want to eat, sleep or move sometimes. But if you were well, and saw someone you cared about doing this – wouldn’t you try and do what you could to help them and encourage them? The same goes for you. Encourage yourself. Though it might be hard, staying inside or refusing to get up and go anywhere causes a stagnation of your body and mind, not to mention there is little social interaction. Taking a light walk at sunrise is a nice and relaxing way to ease your depression as the rising of the sun is the promise of a new day and a new start. Get showered, get dressed, and take a drive up to the grocery store to do some shopping. You don’t have to run marathons or be out all day. Start small and ease yourself back into every day living. You never know if a stranger’s kind words or bright smile will give you some sort of encouragement. The world still needs you and all you have to offer.

12. Professional Help – I want to stress the fact that there is absolutely no shame in seeking out professional help for something that you may be having a hard time with. It’s great to have friends and family to talk to, but sometimes it helps to hear the opinions and advice of a third party. If you are new to grief and have never experienced (traumatic) loss before, then this could be good guidance for you. After my father’s passing, my mother, 2 young sisters (at the time eight and four) and I sought help from a local psychologist. All of us were experiencing different types of grief due to our ages and relationships with my father. Later on in my life, I wound up going back to her for more support with new feelings I was dealing with. Depending on your circumstance, maybe you find you only need to go for a few sessions, or a longer while or on and off. There are also a lot of support groups that you can look into locally for people who are going through the same or similar things that you are. It helps to connect with like-minded people coping with loss also. Seeking professional help could also pertain to addictive behaviors you may have acquired through grief. It’s a harsh reality that many people choose to numb their pain with things like alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food. Have the strength and courage to break this cycle before it breaks you too.

13. Ask for Help When Needed – When I was younger and more selfish I didn’t realize until I was older everything my mom had to deal with after my father died unexpectedly and it brought me to tears. Raising three young kids, paying a mortgage, making sure there was food on the table, paying bills. I know that we wouldn’t have had what we did and were able to make it through without her asking for help when she needed. It takes an incredible amount of strength and putting your pride to the side to admit when you need help with something. I can say this now, because at the age of 31 I have no doubt had to ask for my own help with some things. Don’t try to do everything on your own. Help is always there and willing to do so if you just ask. There will come a day that you will be able to show and do things for people again to show your appreciation. For now, if you are struggling, seek the help of a close friend or family member to help you figure out a solution or guide you to someone or some source that can help. As I’m frequently reminded (to this day) from my boyfriend with anything – “you never know until you ask.”

14. Don’t Settle For Less – No one will ever take the place of the person you loved so much. While this is true, it does not mean you need to settle for less in life. If you lost a parent, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t appreciate your other parent that is here. Let them know how much you love them and how important their relationship is to you. Don’t forget about them too just because you don’t have the other one around anymore. If you’ve just lost a spouse – maybe you don’t see yourself dating again just yet – but down the line, don’t compromise and settle for less than you deserve just because no one will ever compare with your late wife/husband. This may very well be true but you do still deserve good things. Life is still not over for you and you do deserve to feel happy. If you lost a child, maybe you fear having more so you decide not too. Maybe it’s a personal choice that you don’t want more, but if deep down inside you really do then don’t compromise by settling for less. No matter what loss you’ve faced it is not the end of the road for you. Though it may feel like it, you can still live an abundant life with everything you’ve desired.

15. Go For Check-Ups – Though everyone should do this as a routine procedure, if you’ve lost a loved one to a particular disease or condition, then it’s important for you to go for routine medical check-ups. I remember one of my fears after my father dying was losing my mother also. My sisters and I have always, and still, encourage her to go for check-ups, and all three of us do the same as well. If something is hereditary, then you should take the time to get yourself checked out and do what you can to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself. There are people that love you and want to make sure that the same won’t happen to you. Though I loved my father, he never went to the doctor and I often wondered if he did go for routine check-ups would we be in this same situation. But there’s no use going down the road of what if’s – instead my family used this as a wake up call that we need to take care of ourselves. We want to make sure that we feel well and healthy so that if and when we have families of our own, we can be around for them for as long as we can. Though it’s not the happiest of life lessons, evaluate your loss and how you can use this as a guide for caring for yourself or your family and friends.

16. Be Open To New Opportunities – When you’re grieving, especially in the beginning, the last thing you probably want to do is anything. As in, entertain your family’s questions on how you’re handling everything, having lunch with friends or talking on the phone about how you’re feeling. While it is definitely ok to say no sometimes, do say 565924507_ee4d07a967_zyes also. Getting out of the house here and there helps you stay sane, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee. Even if you really don’t feel like it, do understand that these people are your closest circle and they want to make sure you are ok because they care deeply for you. When you hurt, they hurt. Yes, maybe it’s annoying that this person keeps checking in on you and you don’t feel like talking – but know that it is coming from a place of love. They are trying to be there for you through this hardest time. Don’t shut others out and alienate yourself. Give thanks for having such people in your life. You never know who you can meet, what you can hear or see to help you in your grieving process.

17. Be Happy – I know what you’re thinking – “how can I possibly be happy right now? Are you crazy?” I know what you’re going through. That pain that just won’t go away. But you still deserve happiness. Maybe not right now. Maybe this is just the beginning of your grief. If there’s anything you may have learned from losing, it is that life truly is too short. We are given this life to live and must make the best of it while we are here. I’m not asking you to walk around with a fake smile plastered on your face. What I’m trying to say is that in time, you will find happiness again. And when it comes, let it. When you’re happy, your heart is open, and when your heart is open you are more likely to be open to receiving… signs from above.

18. Signs From Above – When we are born, our souls are pure and innocent. We have no learned behaviors yet and the ego hasn’t taken over. In this pure form, we are most open to Spirit. It is often said that children and animals can see and hear Spirit because both are not conditioned to stop believing or seeing with the third eye. Spirit wants to connect with us, but so many of us lose touch as we grow and learn because of how society shapes us as individuals. Make that conscious choice to reconnect. You can balance out your Crown Chakra or simply make the decision to be open to signs and messages from your loved one. Signs can be anything you want them to be – a song, an object, an animal, a number, a quote. If you’re unsure of what sign your loved one may be sending you, try sitting quietly somewhere and asking them – either to yourself or out loud. Whatever the first answer that comes up for you is will be it. If you’re still having trouble, be on the lookout for things that pop out at you more. Your intuition is picking out and paying attention to that particular sign for a reason. When you choose to open up to receiving signs, it makes it easier to listen to guidance from above. All of my hopes, fears, beliefs, confidence, drive has come from listening to my father’s advice from the other side. The key is to be open to receiving it.

19. Let Love In – When I was brainstorming all of the things I wanted to write for this blog there were a million different things I knew I wanted to write. I began to jot them all down as little notes and I felt my father’s spirit strongly with me as I did all of this. I knew I wanted to ask for his advice as I’ve done so many times, as much of my inspiration and ideas have come from his guidance. I asked him what part of all of this was missing if anything and I immediately heard “let love in.” Suddenly, it all made sense. Whether your loved one is here or whether they have passed on, the most important part of all of this is letting love in. When you let love in to others while they are physically here, you are allowing your souls to combine and to connect on a deep level. You get to personally know and form a bond with each other. When you let love in after your loved one passes on you are allowing the love of that person to carry on within you, around you and through you. This means that no matter what happens, your souls are forever entwined, and that person will always be a part of you. And that is the most beautiful part of all.

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I’ll be honest… writing this blog definitely made me emotional. It brought back a lot of memories and the grief and pain that I’ve struggled with as a young adult into most of my early adulthood. But I survived, and you can too. I look back on my journey and feel proud of he woman I am today, just as you are or will over time. The pain of losing someone will never go away. That little emptiness will always be there but it doesn’t mean that you won’t live, smile, laugh or be happy again. Life can and really does go on – whether you agree to it or not. Maybe you don’t see it now, and this is only the beginning for you. But know and understand that with the passage of time things will get better. You are not alone, and you will get through this.

 

 

This blog is dedicated to my father, Michael John Lyons. A funny, good-spirited, loving family man who I am proud to call my dad. Time goes by, but my love and memories of him do not cease. Our bond is still as strong today as it was when he was here on Earth.

Love you dad.

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Week of 1/14/18

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From Denise Linn’s “Gateway Oracle Cards” Oracle Deck
Sometimes in life, it’s hard to comes to grips with the reality we are currently faced with. Maybe right now you don’t have the things you want, or your life isn’t what you imagined it to be at this time. ACCEPT that right now, everything that is happening is all a part of the grand scheme of things. Even the small unimportant encounters or things that seem like they hold no value do indeed hold a special reason for why they transpired. There are sources working behind the scenes helping to make all of your dreams comes true, but in the meantime you must accept your life as it is right now in order to move forward.
This doesn’t mean that if you are unhappy you need to live with it forever. It only means that it is temporary and right now – though you may not understand it – there is a reason for the cards being dealt to you. Everything has a season. You will be aligned with certain people, places and opportunities when the time is right. But for right now, acknowledge that maybe you don’t have what you need or are not where you want to be on your path. The sooner that you say this aloud or acknowledge it to yourself with meaning, the less it will stress you and have a hold on you. It will also give you an understanding that there is a plan for your life, that it is guided and ultimately you will connect with those things that are for your highest good. Surrender to the Spirits that be, and the unseen forces and let them handle all of the hard work. Your job right now is to accept things as they are. That’s it! Even if you don’t necessarily accept and agree with something currently happening, affirming out loud that you don’t accept it is a truth in and of itself. Speaking your inner truth brings you closer to that which is meant for you.
This card could also mean that you’re having a hard time accepting yourself as an individual. Are you struggling or obsessing over your weight? Your looks? What others think of you? Your personality quirks? Understand that you are unique and beautiful in your own way. There is only one you, and nobody can do you like you can! It’s time for you to accept yourself in all of your glory, love and individuality. The idea of looking or being perfect is an illusion – everyone has different views on what perfect is. The harder you try to achieve it, the further you will be – because it doesn’t exist! Instead, drop the need to be someone or something that you aren’t. Accept yourself, be true to who you are inside (and out) and you will find that the closer you are to your authentic self, the more you shine for others and attract the things that you seek. Accept what is, and let go of what isn’t.

 

Week of 1/7/18

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From Doreen Virtue’s “Ascended Masters” Oracle Deck

 

The message is loud and clear this week. Stay focused upon your OWN goals and ambitions. If you have been seeing or receiving signs of 333 then this message is especially for you as 333 is the sign for the Ascended Masters. When 333 appears then you can assure that one of the Ascended Masters is trying to reach you with a message or lesson you need to inhabit in order to move forward on your path. This week Kuthumi makes his appearance with a vital message.
Kuthumi (pronounced Koot-Hoomi) is considered one of the Masters of Ancient Wisdom who helps human beings on planet Earth to ascend to higher levels of consciousness. It is said that after his death, he sent messages and guided Helen Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott to found the Theosophical Society. Some also say that he was St. Francis of Assisi and Pythagoras in prior lifetimes. His presence lets you know that in order to move through your life living for your divine purpose you must focus on your path and what your soul calls you to do.
Focusing on your own path means that you have to say no to other people’s dramas, stories, and needs right now. If you have a friend or family member that is going through a lot right now, and constantly keeps reaching out to you, politely tell her/him that at this time you have some things you need to tend to. Reassure them that you are understanding that he/she may be going through a tough time right now and that ultimately you will do anything to help if something emergent happens. You can’t allow yourself to be sucked in to other people’s situations and dramas, as it ultimately holds no place on your path. You are then focusing all of your attention on them, forgetting about yourself and your path, and then their problems become yours. Just like you, they must learn to focus on their own path and heal and cope on their own some of the time. This doesn’t mean you need to shut everyone out, it means you need to get your priorities straight.
You should also dedicate time each day to focus upon what your beliefs, dreams and goals are. In order to do this, you may need to turn down plans with others and say no more often. It may feel uncomfortable for you, especially if you are not used to saying no, but when you start to dedicate at least a little bit of  your time each day towards achieving your goals you will start to see them progress more quickly. Be polite, but assertive if people don’t take no for an answer. “I apologize, that sounds like a lot of fun but I have some things I need to do and unfortunately can’t put them on the back burner right now, maybe next time!” Stay focused upon your dreams, imagine that you have already manifested and achieved what it is you want, or received what it is that you want. The more positive you keep your mind set, the more driven and apt you are to making them happen.
This could also be saying that you are trying to accomplish too much at once and focusing on more than one thing at a time. Take this time to focus on one project or task right now that you feel is of utmost importance. Or, chip away at the smaller tasks one at a time and then put your focus on the big one.
Lastly, in order to keep focused upon your dreams and intentions, do your best to keep your mind, body and soul healthy and uncluttered so your visions become clearer. Drink plenty of water, eliminate alcohol, sugary and processed foods from your diet and incorporate more fresh whole and organic foods. Carry clear quartz with you to help cleanse your mind and focus,  balance your Crown Chakra, turn off electronics if necessary. Take steps this week to start to turn your dreams into reality. You don’t have to accomplish everything at once, do one thing at a time and you will start to see results.

January 2018 – Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is an herb that doesn’t get nearly enough credit as it should. Always regarded as that extra ingredient in most baked goods, it’s so much more than that. Over this past year, I’ve managed to incorporate cinnamon into more than just my baking routine – sprinkling it on my oatmeal or warm almond milk, using it in rituals. It adds more flavor to food that is true, but it also has other medicinal and spiritual properties. These are some of my favorite:
1. Common Cold – In Chinese Medicine, cinnamon (specifically cinnamon twig) is a warming herb that is used in cases of cold in the body. In order to be diagnosed with cold in the body, it is best to see your local acupuncturist to determine what pathogenic pattern you have/are. However, it’s simple enough to identify signs of the common cold – runny nose, fever and chills with chills predominant, sneezing, little to no sweating. The purpose of warming herbs such as this is to warm the body, induce sweating and expel the pathogen. At the first signs of a cold coming on, drink a warm cup of cinnamon tea, or do as I love to do and sprinkle some on your oatmeal or favorite hot cereal. Bundle up, get warm, and sweat it out.
2. Warms Muscles – Since cinnamon is warming to the body it makes sense that it is also warming to your muscles and joints. When you’re cold, you are also shivering and most times we’re all shrugging our shoulders up to keep warm. A relaxing bath with cinnamon (you can add epsom salts as well) or a salve made with cinnamon will help to soothe aching and sore muscles. If you are a massage therapist, consider using cinnamon oil for patients that may have symptoms of cold.
3. Weight Loss – Cinnamon slows the process down of moving food into your stomach, which means you feel fuller for longer. It also helps curb cravings of sugar and sweets (which is also an added weight loss bonus). A tea made with a teaspoon of honey and a half a teaspoon of cinnamon in boiled water is said to aid in weight loss. My favorite new way of using cinnamon is a recipe my boyfriend and I came up with: sautee kale with olive oil, cinnamon and other warming herbs like allspice, clove, ginger and nutmeg. This bone warming side dish is a perfect addition to a meal (not to mention it’s healthy!). Cinnamon also aids in weight loss because it lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and controls blood sugars which makes it a great addition for…
4. Diabetes Management – Cinnamon helps to reduce blood sugars and control insulin levels which is crucial for diabetics. It’s best to sprinkle cinnamon on top of foods with a low glycemic index such as: oatmeal, whole wheat bread, barley, bulgar, carrots, sweet potatoes. These foods combined with cinnamon also keep carbohydrates under control further adding to the benefit. As mentioned above for weight loss – cinnamon also helps the craving of sugar and sweets since it has a naturally sweet flavor.
5. Stimulate Circulation – Cold constricts while warmth circulates. Those with poor circulation are most likely suffering from some sort of stagnation that requires some movement. Since cinnamon is considered a warming herb, adding cinnamon to your diet can help for better circulation throughout your system. As an alternative, or in addition, you can also9200397795_910f23cf2f make a homemade body scrub using cinnamon and sugar (or coffee) to help stimulate some movement while also exfoliating your skin. For added benefit, invest in a dry brush to improve blood circulation and stimulate lymph drainage.
6. Antimicrobial Properties – In this case it’s particularly cinnamon essential oil that has the antimicrobial properties. It has been used for centuries dating back to the 16th century for warding off infection and is still used today for the same reason. It’s often blended with other essential oils (such as Thieves essential oil) to help fight infection such as colds, flu, mouth sores and more serious infections such as E. coli, salmonella and staph infection. Diffuse this oil in your favorite diffuser, or dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to your skin or select pressure points.
7. Rituals or Spells – Cinnamon is regarded as a great herb to add for protection in rituals and spells. Hanging a cinnamon stick above your doorway helps to protect your home and space from any negative energy that others (or even yourself) may bring inside. It leaves it at the door! For added benefit, use or carry Black Tourmaline with you also (see my blog on the benefits of Black Tourmaline here – January 2018 – Black Tourmaline. You can also throw a few sticks into the fire or burn cinnamon incense to purify the air and energy of your home – it also creates a heavenly and heart warming smell. Cinnamon is also often used in love spells since it has a warming and sensual scent.

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January 2018 – Black Tourmaline

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There’s no better crystal to start your New Year off with and carry throughout the year than Black Tourmaline!
This crystal is a must in your collection, especially if you are in the healing arts, or spiritual and psychic work/mediumship. Black tourmaline is a powerful protection stone to guard against psychic attack. This means that it can guard against other individuals or evil spirits attempting to manipulate your thoughts or beliefs while you are engaging in psychic activity, meditation or other worldly exploration. It’s essential to protect yourself during these times because you don’t know what other energy will be present during  your journeys. 
It is also powerful for protection against negative energy or thought patterns in general every day living. You know the feeling when someone walks into a room and your gut starts to sink a little and you can feel the bad energy radiating from them? Black Tourmaline can protect you from absorbing that other person’s energy and keep your aura safe from invasion. It protects you from the classic energy vampire – those who seek to drain you and use your energy. It will also help you to send loving thoughts instead of spiteful and retaliating ones (if faced in a situation like that). This can be particularly useful in the workplace, especially if you work among a large group of people. With a lot of people comes a lot of different personalities, energies, beliefs and opinions. Black Tourmaline is a crystal I personally carry with me every day while at work for this particular reason. It helps to keep harmony in the workplace and I value its protection because I have worked hard to feel happy and at peace with myself spiritually and emotionally. You should too! 
As mentioned above, it’s also great for helping with negative thought patterns. If you find that you’re having continuous negative or pessimistic thoughts – “I’ll never find true love,” “I feel like the whole world is against me this week,” “So and so doesn’t deserve that new car, she doesn’t even work hard enough for it” – then it may be a sign that it’s time to reach for some Black Tourmaline. These thought patterns are not limited to just your own life but having negative thoughts of others as well. The thoughts you send out to the universe find their way back to you. Take the the time out to recharge and ask yourself why you are having these feelings. Are you just stressed? Do you need to make some changes? Meditate upon these questions as you hold your Black Tourmaline to guide you and clear the negative thoughts so that there is only room for good ones or to help find solutions to the “bad” ones. I quote the word bad because nothing is ever really bad, it’s more or less likely a change that we have to face that may make us uncomfortable, or a test, challenge or lesson to be learned. Things shake us to awake us. 
Black Tourmaline is associated with the Root Chakra so it also functions to help with grounding. If you’re feeling stressed, erratic or all over the place mentally and physically, it helps you to re-balance and bring you back down to Earth Center. If you know ahead of time that you could be faced with a difficult task or situation that may be somewhat stressful, carry it with you to help ease the anxiousness. 
With today’s never ending use of cell phones, iPads, laptops and electronics there is a lot of electromagnetic energy and radiation given off by them that makes its way into our auras, homes, and spaces. This stone is excellent for cleansing of this technology smog and keeping the radioactive waves away so that we can function better, concentrate better, and sleep better. 
Physically, Black Tourmaline can help to strengthen the body’s immune system and adrenal glands. Since it is associated with the Root Chakra it aids in helping pain, numbness or tingling of the legs, feet, ankles, hips, or lower spine. It can also help to relieve toxic metals in the body and purify the blood and qi. 
Since this stone is very efficient at protecting from harsh energy, make sure you charge and cleanse it often to keep it functioning at its best. Also, if you do carry it on you every day and notice that it seems to “not work” then it may be time for a cleanse and charge! For extra benefit, add some smudging (burning sage) to the process and while you’re at it feel free to also smudge yourself and your home/space. You’ll feel an almost immediate lift of spirit and a newfound sense of positivity. 
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Associated Chakra: Root 
Suggestions For Use: Carry it in your pocket * To clear electromagnetic energy keep it near your home or work office computer or next to your bed at night (don’t leave electronics next to your bed as it disrupts sleeping patterns) * Keep it on your desk at work * Mediate holding it in your hands while breathing in white light (healing) and releasing the black or darkness (negative, hurt) on the exhale. 
Mantra: “I am protected,” “I will not allow anyone or anything to take over my thoughts, beliefs or way of life as they are my own,” “I release all of my negative thoughts as there is no room for anything but love,” “I can safely journey into other realms and worlds as I know that my guides and spirit are protecting me,” “I am balanced, focused, and centered.”