Praying Peace… and speaking out


Today many countries observe Remembrance Day, in honour of those who we lost… those who have fallen… in service of others, in service of freedom.

In these troubled times, many of us have loved ones engaged in active conflicts… in warfare… fighting terrorism… and aiding in the humanitarian efforts to support the injured and the displaced.

I thank all of those who made such a great personal sacrifice, and pray for the safe return of those involved in current conflicts.

Today, in honour of Remembrance Day, I am taking a day of solitude… a day of reflection… a day to honour those we have lost… and a day to pray peace… a day to pray that we can find the understanding, common ground, tolerance and love to prevent further bloodshed and start building a world based on respect for humanity, acceptance and celebration of diversity, and love for our planet.

And I will continue to advocate, lobby, stand up and speak out for my beliefs.

Praying Peace…. and speaking out.

🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊

Create your August intentions with coeur-age

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How was your meditation (or journey) on the New Moon in Leo earlier this week? What insights were revealed and planted in your heart and soul? Are you ready to move into the next phase of your new journey… planting and manifesting your intentions?

The dark phase of the New Moon — pure Yin and intensely intuitive — is now complete and we can see the glimmer of light in the waxing crescent. Perhaps you can already feel the rising Yang energy that will support you in manifesting your intentions?

In the dark phase of the New Moon, the seeds of your dreams and intentions were planted firmly in the soil of your soul. And now it is time for those seeds to take root, to be brought into your conscious awareness and nurtured through the monthly lunar journey.

Meditate on your Soul Question insights
Take some time today to meditate on the insights you received from the Soul Questions asked in the New Moon. The New Moon in Leo gave us the theme of heart and coeur-age. How can you turn those insights about the heart into plans or intentions, or to short-term or longer-terms dreams?

Create an affirmation for this month’s journey
The seeds for your affirmation are already there, in the insights you gleaned in the New Moon meditation. Use that affirmation to guide and support you when you need to be reminded of the Soul Wisdom you received at the New Moon.

If you did a Medicine Wheel layout for the month, now is the time to fully meditate on the cards selected for the direction of East, the place of new beginnings, and the qualities associated with Air: creativity, intellect, joy, clarity and perception.

If you are looking for further inspiration, consider modifying one of these affirmations and making it your own:

❤️ Love is the source of everything in my life, and I give and receive love unconditionally and with ease.

❤️ My heart shines with love from the depth of my soul and illuminates my journey through life.

❤️ I live with Coeur-age: I act from my heart, I live from my heart, I speak from my heart.

Set your intention(s) for the month
From the seeds of wisdom from your Soul Question insights, plant an intention for this lunar month, for this journey.

It can be as simple as choosing to move more this month, adding a physical fitness activity to your day, or planning what you need to do to get you and your family ready for a vacation this month or for “back to school” in September.

It can be the start of bigger projects that may take longer, those that will require the time to journey from this New Moon in Leo to the Full Moon in Leo on February 11, 2017.

Your journey starts with a single step.
Take that step with coeur-age, from your heart.


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A Lughnasadh ritual for Abundance and Rebirth

Lughnasadh Blessings

I love this quote from Henry David Thoreau, which – for me at least – perfectly captures my thoughts about Lughnasadh and other harvest festivals… that true abundance is intangible and that we are a speck in the immense cosmos around us, a piece of stardust in the human form.

“The true harvest of my life is intangible –
a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.”

Each year on Lughnasadh, I follow a simple ritual and sometimes change it up a little, such as creating new Lughnasadh Soul Questions for that year. I always ask my Self some Soul Questions as part of the ritual… and usually add a little magick!

Harvest times give us the opportunity to look at a couple of different themes in our life, such as abundance and gratitude,  endings and rebirth or other significant personal themes in our life such as mothering and creativity.

This simple Lughnasadh ritual can be done in Circle with others, or as a solitary practitioner. You can even meet on-line in a group with others, and later this year I will definitely be offering readers of this blog that opportunity.

We are doubly blessed at Lughnasadh this year, as the New Moon in Leo arrives on the day after Lughnasadh, on Tuesday, August 2nd at 20:44 UTC (1:44 PM Pacific Time here in Vancouver). Harvests represent completion and New Moons represent rebirth… such a great combination! Leo is a sign of courage and the heart (“coeur“-age), so be sure to tap into your ❤️Heart chakra for both Lughnasadh and the New Moon ❤️

Preparation

In addition to your altar requirements, you will also need:

  • paper and pen for writing, and for journaling
  • some string or thread
  • a couple of leaves (these can be from a tree or plant in your garden or a nearby green patch
  • a couple of corn husk leaves. No corn? Use a leaf from a vegetable such as lettuce, kale or cabbage.
  • a handful of fresh herbs and/or wheat sheaves (wild grasses would also be a good substitute)

Craft a simple altar for your ritual, preferably outdoors but indoors is fine, adding:

  • a candle to represent the Celtic god Lugh and the Divine Masculine (gold or yellow) and a candle to represent the Earth Mother goddess and the Divine Feminine (white or green)
  • a chalice (or glass) for your beverage, also representing the Mother goddess energy
  • something for eating and drinking. Traditionally that would be a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine but change it up for your preferences. For instance, instead of bread, you could eat fresh vegetables, a piece of cake, caramel corn, a quick bread using fruits or vegetables such as zucchini, banana or corn, or a gluten-free item . Instead of wine, you could have apple cider, beer, mead, herbal tea or fruit juice… or just plain water.
  • Optional:
    • As in our previous post about Lughnasadh celebrations, add items to represent the harvest, your craft work or iron (for the god Lugh)
      • I will be adding two corn husk dolls to mine, one representing the Earth Mother and the other representing Lugh.
    • Some folks like to use an altar cloth in harvest colours of reds, oranges and yellow, or a simple white or gold to represent Mother Moon (and the Earth Mother) and Father Sun (Lugh)
    • Crystals, talismans or amulets that are special and sacred to you.

The Lughnasadh Ritual

Start by cleansing the space around your altar (and your Self) with a smudge, your Lughnasadh incense or by waving an evergreen or other greenery through the area. Be sure to ethically harvest the greenery: ask and obtain permission first and leave an offering of thanks.

If you have a ritual for creating Sacred Space, such as Calling in the Directions, do that now.

Light your altar candles and your incense, if you haven’t yet done so.

Call on your guides, allies and ancestors for support in your ritual.

Centre yourself by getting comfortable, sitting or laying on the ground, and breathing deeply and slowly until you feel any tensions of the day ebb away. Drop into your Heart chakra as you continue to breathe deeply and slowly, and feel that connection to your own Inner Fire, your Inner Soulstice.

Your Lughnasadh Soul Questions: Harvest time gives us the opportunity to look at a couple of different themes in our life, one being abundance and gratitude (which we celebrate at harvest) and the other endings and rebirth (as the harvest signifies the time of reaping but also starting a new period of fallow and rest followed rebirth and regrowth).

Create your own Soul Questions for your meditation or use these.

ABUNDANCE: Contemplate on the abundance in your life, from both the light side (gratitude, abundance, harvest, completion, prosperity, readiness for the long winter ahead, contentment) and the shadow side (greed, scarcity, drought, lack of completion, lack of resources, lack of planning for the long winter ahead, envy). Where are you blessed with abundance? Where, when and how have you shared your abundance? Where do you most keenly feel scarcity, want or need? Why? What can you do to shift any imbalances between the light and the shadow of abundance? Ponder what changes you might need to make in order to live a life of gratitude and abundance, or to continue to do so, in alignment with your inner Self and your values.

REBIRTH: Contemplate on what in your life is coming to a close, and what is awaiting the energies of rebirth. What lessons did you learn along the way? What resources helped you on your path? What new opportunities excite you and ignite your inner flame, your Inner Soulstice?

Optional: Take this deeper than a meditation by journeying with your guide(s), asking for their insight in what you might need to change, for their insights into what you may not be able to see. Thank them for their support.

Once your meditation or journey is complete, note your thoughts into your journal. On a separate piece of paper, write what you are inviting into your life in the next year in terms of abundance and/or rebirth. On another piece of paper, create a simple blessing for the three harvests in the Wheel of Life – Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain – for continued abundance and rebirth.

You may eat or drink your altar food and drink offerings during your meditation, or celebrate with them afterwards.

Create a small bundle (corn husks on the outside) with your papers, herbs, leaves, wheat or grasses. As you tie up the bundle with string or thread, use your inner voice to repeat your Lughnasadh abundance blessing or the one pictured in this post:

Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, all that dies shall be reborn.
Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain, all that falls shall rise again.

Find a place to return your bundle to Mother Earth, preferably near your altar or home. That could be as simple as burying in your garden, a window box or a local wild green patch. Optional: If you prefer working with the Fire element, you could burn the bundle. As you bury your bundle, give thanks to the Earth Mother and the god Lugh for their abundance.

TIP: If you have to leave the altar area to bury your bundle,
be sure to extinguish your candles first.

Complete the ritual by thanking your guides, allies, and ancestors for their support and protection, and safely extinguishing  your candles (if you haven’t already done so. Close your sacred space with gratitude.

Blessed Be!


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Happiness: Looking for the Spiritual pony in Life’s manure

Let’s talk about happiness…

What does it mean to you? Are you happy?

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In a Facebook group, a question was posed recently that ignited a dialogue about happiness and what it meant to me and others:

“What are you doing right now to get closer to your true self and feel happier?”

WOW! Great question! The first aha moment for me was the implicit assumption in the question — in my mind at least — that being closer to one’s True Self equates to a greater degree of happiness.

But is that true? If I am totally aligned with my True Self will I be completely happy? If I am out of alignment with my True Self can I be happy at all?

For me, being happy is not necessarily an outcome of being closer to my True Self. Happiness is a choice for me, a way of experiencing the world. I can be happy even when I don’t know exactly what’s happening in my life or what’s coming next. I can find joy in life’s possibilities.

I’m happy because I’m committed to creating an authentic life and seeing the world through the filter of happiness and joy.

And no, I’m not happy all the time… I experience pain, sadness, frustration, loss, anger and grief like all of you. But my underlying state is happiness and I choose to interact with the world from that place.

Is being happy as simple as the difference between optimism and pessimism?

I recall a story told in an undergraduate psychology class years ago, likely apocryphal in nature. It concerned a psychologist who was studying optimism and pessimism variants in twin pairs of children, and whether one’s fundamental nature or outlook on life could be modified through experience.

The pessimistic twin was placed in a room full of brightly wrapped gifts, yet sat there glumly leaving the parcels unopened. When asked why the youngster replied,

“I probably won’t like any of them and they’ll probably get broken anyway.”

The optimistic twin was placed in a room full of organic fertilizer and a shovel. S/he gleefully started digging into the pile. When asked why the child replied,

“With all this manure, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere.”

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What makes you happy?

I have posed these questions to friends and clients to see if optimism or pessimism makes a difference, and to see how others felt about finding or creating happiness:

  • When are you happy?
  • If you’re not happy now, when will you be happy?
  • What stops you from being happy?
  • What are you doing to feel happy?

The answers are as different and varied as the people I was speaking with. Many saw happiness as cause-and-effect:

🌞 I will be happy when I meet my life partner

🌞 I will be happy when I lose (gain) 20 pounds

🌞 I will be happy when I finish my degree

🌞 I will be happy when I have enough money to retire / buy…

🌞 I will be happy when poverty is eradicated

🌞 I will be happy when I find a new job / leave this job

🌞 I will be happy when I truly know my life purpose

🌞 I will be happy when I am free of pain

All of these may be true. We can certainly be happy — and proud, excited, joyous, satisfied, etc — when we make positive change or manifest a goal… or just because life is pleasant and satisfying. But many of these states of happiness people described are predicated on some external event or criteria that may or may not be within their control. I was certainly very happy when knee replacement allowed me to be mobile and once again free of pain… but I certainly had a happy life even with those conditions.

Does not meeting the criteria mean one cannot achieve happiness?

Does meeting the criteria guarantee happiness?

If one meets a goal of losing/gaining 20 pounds, there are definitely positive outcomes such as potentially better health and more. But if that person has underlying issues with self-confidence or body image, will that change how s/he feels about the Self? One possible outcome is that s/he continues to be a self-doubter who also weighs more or less than before. But they may not be happy. The work —and happiness —is on the inside.

How many folks complain that too many hours at work robs them of their health, their personal time and relationships? Perhaps you are one of them? They complain that they literally do not have enough time in the day to do a good job AND find balance in life. They frequently complain that every job has the same problem and that by finding a new job the problem will disappear… yet the same thing happens in the next new job. And once again, happiness eludes them. For “job”, substitute “relationship” or “health” or any  other goal. The external conditions may change…. but the internal landscape remains the same. The work —and happiness —is on the inside.

In many cases, the tendency to create a happiness dependent on future criteria allows us to mask our inability to deal with our underlying self-limiting beliefs or challenges in the Now. We may not know HOW to nurture our Self. We may not know HOW to create a healthy relationship. We may not know HOW to manifest our dreams or passions. For instance, by choosing to overwork,  we can blame the job, our manager, our finances for our failure. But by doing so, we are avoiding our deeper issues and challenges, and robbing ourselves of the chance to explore other ways of being. Again, the work — and happiness — is on the inside.

Creating Happiness

I believe it all starts with how one defines happiness: Joy? Contentment? Elation? An outcome? Satisfaction at completing a goal? All of the above?

Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book The How of Happiness defines happiness as:

“the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being,

combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”

WOW! And for me, that is the key… the sense that happiness is an internal spiritual process — a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile — and can be felt and achieved in the absence of external conditions and criteria. We can be happy if we choose to be happy.

Happiness is a spiritual choice.

The following quote, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln (but not until 50 years after his passing, so likely not his words!) says it all for me:

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Make up your mind today. CHOOSE to be happy. CHOOSE to let the happiness bubble up from within even if you don’t have the new job… the new outfit… the life partner… CHOOSE to be happy because you deserve to be happy.

If you find that happiness is still eluding you, it’s time to gift and honour your Self by exploring what beliefs are getting in your way. Do what work’s best for you:

  • Take a shamanic journey
  • Meditate
  • Delve into shadow work, on your own or with a healer/therapist
  • Explore your self-limiting beliefs through a PSYCH-K balancing session

You CAN choose to move forward in a positive way and manifest the happiness that we as humans are entitled to.

And ask your Self this :

What would it be like to have happiness as a starting point rather than a result? How might that rock your world? 

You can find the Spiritual pony in Life’s manure!

Remember…

You ARE good.

Your life IS meaningful.

You ARE worthwhile.

You CAN choose Happiness.


 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Happiness. Please share in the comments area.


 

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Take one small step… for your Self

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Take a risk… Take a chance… Live fiercely! Live authentically!

Some of us are hesitant to be our true Selves because of fear… Fear of ridicule, of hatred, of disapproval, of not fitting in, of being disliked, of being discriminated against…. or even of the opposite – being praised, lauded, or recognized.

This post is not meant to minimize the very real risks of being oneself in cultures and countries where being one’s true Self could have very real and serious implications.

But it is calling to those who have created a very safe and tiny comfort zone of existence in their lives. Start to stretch. Lean in to it. Take a deep breath and then take small steps or actions that reveal your wishes and desires…  try something new… get more comfortable taking a risk… recognize that you CAN feel safe revealing your inner thoughts and Self… that you CAN celebrate how special and unique you are.

TIP OF THE DAY

Take ONE small step today to start living more authentically, to start following your dream… and journal your experience. 

Take another small step tomorrow… What do you notice? Is it getting easier? Is it at all possible that the reward outweighs the risk? You won’t know until you try. 

✨✨✨Start shining Starchild✨✨✨

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.”
~ Paulo Coelho

Celebrating the Divine Feminine on International Women’s Day

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On Tuesday, March 8th, please join me in celebrating International Women’s Day on the New Moon – so powerful – by sending out a beautiful personalized affirmation for Women around the world.

I like to think that we can celebrate and honour the Divine Feminine (and Divine Masculine) within us each and every day, but there are very real reasons that “this day has been dedicated to women around the world and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.” (per www.internationalwomensday.com)

This year’s theme is ‪#‎PledgeForParity‬. Why? Women around the world receive less education, have fewer civil rights, are denied health care, are violated by rape and violence, and are consistently compensated below the male averages.

Consider where you can raise your voice and take purposeful action in support of Women and in support of Parity for all regardless of gender, sexual identification or culture.

In many cultures – including the ancient Celtic ways – the day begins not at sunrise but at sunset the evening before.

As we enter the the new day at sunset tonight, or at any time during International Women’s Day, please take some time – either on your own or in community with family and friends – to send out a strong intention and affirmation for women around the world: for the Maidens, Mothers and Crones; for our Sisters in all cultures, all countries.

🌎 Celebrate Women

🌎 Embrace our Power

🌎 Honour Our Selves

🌎 Honour the Goddess within

🌎 Support our Sisters

#PledgeForParity


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Grow the seed of your Soul with love

One of the first steps in any healing work that I facilitate with clients is bringing awareness to their relationship with their Self. Is it a loving relationship, or is it broken and in need of nurturing?

As with Nature, the seed planted in nourishing soil with sufficient water and sunlight will grow up healthy and strong. It will thrive and bloom.

Our emotional landscape is that soil. Our being, our Soul, is that seed. Love for Self is our nourishment. Being in relationship with friends, family and community is our water and sunlight.

imageWe teach others how to treat us by how we treat our Self. If we constantly criticize ourselves, see the world through the victim filter, accept nothing less than perfection, hate our Self, our body or how we look, can that seed grow and thrive? Can we expect unconditional love from others when we cannot unconditionally love our Self?

Honour the Divine within you. Start by bringing awareness to your “self-chatter”. Do you honour your Self? Do you accept that you are constantly growing and learning…. or do you constantly find fault? Do you speak to your Self with the love you give to others?

If you were to heed this advice from Brené Brown — to talk to your Self with love — what would you change now? What could you do to support your Self, to show it some love? What could you STOP doing?

If you struggle with this, consider working with a healer who can facilitate your journey back to self Love.

If you choose to work with me, we would co-create a path that works for you with modalities such as PSYCH-K  or PER-K balancing, chakra and energy work, and/or shamanic journeys.

Whatever you choose moving forward in your healing, ALWAYS choose to:
❤️ love your Self
❤️ care for your Self
❤️ honour your Self


 

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