Rejuvenating with the April Moon

Seven Tips for bringing more energy (and less clutter!) into your life

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“Our life is frittered away by detail . . . simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau

We are halfway between the First Quarter Moon and the Full Moon, which arrives April 10th at 11:08 PM PDT (April 11th 06:08 UTC). This is the Waxing Gibbous phase. The face of the moon is so much brighter, with a smaller crescent of dark.

As the Moon’s energy increases, our energy is shifting too, from the inward intuitive Yin to the outward action-oriented Yang, from intention to manifesting, from hidden to revealed.

Our theme for this month’s lunar journey is Rejuvenation. Who doesn’t feel young again in the Spring? In the growing energy of LaLuna?

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Father Sun kissing the cherry blossoms of Mama Earth

This month, in the Northern Hemisphere, we have renewed energy after the winter rest. All around us the sap is rising, the trees are budding and flowers are emerging.

Yet the word rejuvenation has other layers, other meanings. It is not just about feeling young again, feeling energized. It also means “to make an organization or system more effective by introducing new methods, ideas, or people” (per the Cambridge Dictionary).

Using the manifesting energy of the Waxing Gibbous Moon, what can you rejuvenate in YOUR life… your home… your office…your work…  your spiritual practice?

Many of us associate this time of year with Spring Cleaning, i.e. rejuvenating our homes. That was something essential for our ancestors: sweeping away the soot from winter hearths, along with the bugs and debris that accumulated in the straw they used in their thatched roofs, bed pallets or on the floor.

And in the Southern Hemisphere, this time marked the start of preparations for winter: preparing the home for the shutting in of the winter months, and likely tipping the balance towards accumulation — storing vegetables, making preserves for the winter, pickling fruits and vegetables, and also packing away tools and clothing associated with the summer, repairing and renewing tools and farm implements, etc.

Rejuvenation is definitely an ongoing theme for me. Out with the Old and in with the New is quickly becoming my mantra! Making space for new ideas, new things while keeping that which still works, that which I love, that which brings me joy (thank you, Marie Kondo, for this concept!), that which is still useful.

Simplicity. Ease. Space.

This allows us to focus on the essential.

Seven Tips for Rejuvenation

  1. Spend some time with Mama Earth . . . a walk in your neighbourhood, a local park, community garden. Breathe!
  2. If you have a garden or balcony, rejuvenate it by clearing out any winter debris and refreshing with new plants.
  3. Do a “Green Clean” in your home. Replace any toxic/chemical cleaners with ones you make yourself or purchase eco-friendly products instead.
  4. Detox your diet. Eliminate junk food and add in more fresh and home-prepared foods.
  5. Check your medicine cabinet (and fridge!) for anything stale-dated and dispose of responsibly. TIP: Your local pharmacy likely has a program for disposing of prescription drugs.
  6. Declutter your space and recycle using the four Ds (Deal, donate, dump, de-own).
    And remember, the question to ask your Self is not “Should I get rid of it?” but “Why should it stay?(More on the Four Ds in this blog post). 
  7. Bring new energy into your life by beginning something NEW — a creative project, a fitness class, a spiritual practice — anything that will raise your awareness to your own energy and renewal.

I’m working through this list one by one. My (ongoing) plan is to declutter and simplify as much as possible, in all areas of my life. Sometimes the balance seems to towards accumulation rather than reduction — especially when it comes to books, craft materials and decks of oracle cards! — but the balance soon restores.

BONUS TIP: Be aware of what one is accumulating. For each new thing you bring in, take something away by donating, gifting or recycling using the Four Ds.

What would you like to simplify and rejunvenate in YOUR life?


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


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Wisdom of the Acorn

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When Nature plants an acorn, it strives to yield its potential — and destiny — as a magnificent oak, its growth tempered only by the amount of sun, rain, and nutrients.

But what of we humans? What other factors may be in play?

Our beliefs — and that of others — can shape who we are, and how we experience the world. Our growth too is tempered by the amount of sun, rain and nutrients we receive… the sun of love and affection, the rain of our confidence and self-worth, the nutrients of healthy relationships.

But when some of those elements are missing, and life become challenging, we still can choose to believe in our Self.

If this happens in your life, choose to believe in your potential, that you are magnificent… empowered…. capable… deserving of love, joy, happiness, success, abundance.

Mahatma Gandhi said it well:

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

So, what do we do with that fear?

This time of the Waning Moon is a very powerful time for releasing what no longer serves us… allowing our authentic empowered self to step up and emerge.

What fears might be at play for you?

What could you gratefully release?

That fear may have once served you, and kept you safe… but maybe now it’s just holding you back and has become a burden.

Question it.

Release it, through a release ritual or with a PSYCH-K balancing session.

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“Fear is your greatest obstacle – so question your fear. If it does not serve your greatest life then do not make it your master.”
– Joy Page

So, be like the Acorn…
fulfill your potential and destiny.


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Celebrating and Honouring All The Stages In Our lives

Diana Nyad completing her 180km swim from Havana to Key West

Several friends and colleagues recently have had milestone birthdays, anywhere from 21 to 70 and everything in-between. Each approached their milestone differently — some with curiosity, some with trepidation, some with celebration… and some by planning their first cosmetic “tweak”!

At this point in my life, I have embraced my ageing process, the changes it has brought to my face, hair and body. I am grateful for the new parts (my new titanium knees, better than the originals!) and learning how to maintain and sustain my body differently than in my youth.

And I appreciate that this journey has also (hopefully) brought wisdom, an enhanced ability to let go of “stuff”, to connect with my Inner Self much more easily, to focus on what is truly meaningful in my life… and the opportunity to take my place amongst those who choose to share their experience and wisdom with others.

I know I am not alone in embracing this. I continue to meet those you might call Elders — or Crones, or Matriarchs, or Amazons (as Elizabeth Davis describes in her book “The Women’s Wheel of Life”) — who are also coming into their own as they age and are choosing to celebrate who they are NOW rather than just comparing themselves (favourably or unfavourably) to their younger versions, such as:

🌸 the “Ancient Amazons” I swim with at Range of Motion classes (average age 70+) who are vibrant and curious and fearless

🌸 the retired women and men in the Restorative Yoga classes I attend who are much more agile than I am (but I’m getting there with commitment and persistence!)

🌸 the 60-ish woman I met at Kitsilano Pool last week, who competed in several events at the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver (we swapped triathlon stories and tips!)

🌸 the vibrant colleagues, clients and participants with whom I work in Circles, workshops and other events

For me, all of these men and women have something in common… they recognize that as they move through the stages of life that each stage is as important as the one before – or after! — it, and that all those younger versions of the Self are still within them, still accessible…. the carefree spirit of the Maiden or Youth… the creativity of the Mother… the sharing of Wisdom of the Midwife and the Matriarch…

I am reminded of Diana Nyad, who was the first person to complete the 110 mile swim (53 hours) from Havana to Key West, Florida (without a shark cage), at the age of 64. That was in 2013, and it was her fifth attempt.

Upon completion, on the beach, she said:

‘I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.’

How do you feel about Nyad’s message?

As you look at your journey through life, where might you have given up rather than push forward with conviction?

What dreams might you have put aside because you thought you might be too “old”… or even too young…. or because “it’s not the right time”?

And who is on YOUR team? Who gives you support with love or friendship, by holding space for you…. or is part of your team of spiritual allies (your guides and totems of all kinds)?

COMING SOON
In support of helping you create YOUR team of allies, I will soon be announcing two new private groups here on Facebook, and I hope you will join me in one or both.

One will be open to those who are (re)claiming their connection to Mama Earth and Grandmother Moon, aka Seanmháthair Gealach, and the Divine Feminine (and Divine Masculine!) within each of us, and will include Earth- and Moon-based rituals, practices and shamanic work in a private community setting. This group will be open to all, whether this is your first step on the journey or your thousandth.

The second will also be a private group, but for those who identify as a Woman and who feel the Crone wisdom is starting to emerge in their lives, no matter what their age… not exactly a Red Tent group, more of a Silver Tent or Purple Tent! We will connect within the Facebook group for the Full Moons, weekly tips and Soul Questions  and for special rites and celebrations throughout the year honouring our transitions through the Women’s Wheel of Life. We will also meet in a monthly virtual Circle which will likely be via Zoom or UberConference, and/or Facebook Live.

I’d love to hear your comments about these new groups… what interests you, what would support you, etc.

Please comment below.

More info to come over the next couple of weeks!!!!

You can also follow me Facebook now by clicking here.


 

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Shifts in your Seasonal Self

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As we move from Summer to Autumn north of the Equator (and from Winter to Spring in the Southern Hemisphere), Mama Earth’s energy is shifting…. as is ours.

At the Summer Solstice, Father Sun’s Yin energy is at its peak and at the Winter Solstice, it’s at its lowest…. Yang energy takes dominance. At the Spring and Summer equinoxes, those energies are in equal balance.

So it’s important to not just entrain with the natural energy of the Earth’s seasons, but to connect to our own bodies, to our own energies and listen to what they need. Over time, you will notice that your energy and Mama Earth’s energy synchronize in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways❤️

In the words of Robin Rose Bennett (writer, green witch, herbalist, wisewoman):

“Bodies always tell the truth. They give us hints of how to listen for it, and to recognize it when we hear or see it.”

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, our energy is starting to draw down and inward at this time of year … we are moving indoors, into perhaps staler air (keep those windows open as long as you can!) and heated environments. We wear more clothing, bundling up against the cold… perhaps constrained by our wrapped layers.

For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, our energy is rising up and outward… moving away from the shut-in still / stale energy of Winter towards the more vibrant energy of Spring…and shaking off the recirculated air, the cold and flu bugs and more. We start to wear looser and cooler clothing, unconstrained.

So no matter where you are, the equinoxes are a great time for energy cleansing and balancing, and for tuning into your body for what it needs both now and in the coming seasonal shift.

For me, living in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the time I start looking at building my immunity even more, to stave off and avoid winter coughs, colds, bronchial flu, etc… taking more Vitamin C and D, plus herbs that work for my body (astragalus, plus herbal infusions and teas, etc) and cooking up my favourite immunity-boosting soup.

And I start making my winter herbal medicines — foraging, harvesting and drying local herbs; prepping tinctures and bitters; making herbal cough syrups and honeys (just in case!) and making salves for winter dry skin.

Herbalist Susun Weed recommends these Fall Herbal Infusion Tonics to help you ward off winter ailments: nettle, oat straw, red clover, comfrey leaf, linden flower or violet leaf.

🌿 Choose ONE herb from the list and weigh out one full ounce (approx. 28 grams) by weight
🌿 Add to a one-quart (one-litre) mason jar
🌿 Fill jar with boiling water, and screw the lid on tightly
🌿 Steep overnight, or for a minimum of four hours

Strain and drink the infusion throughout the day. Some like their infusions cold, and others like them gently warmed up… And some even add a little lemon or honey🌞

The same article also includes a recipe for an immunity-boosting soup, plus some anti-viral herbs. Click here to  read in full.


 

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Hold space and step into YOUR best way of being

13346508_10153893325041645_3478602027368466649_nLet’s practise a little unconditional love today!

When I first read the pictured quote from Goethe, I got caught up in the “ought to be” part… My mind started to wonder if this was being judgmental. Who decides what “ought to be” for someone else?

Unless we ask someone what they ought to be, then our behaviour is based on our subjective belief of what another is capable of being or “should” be.

Or is it? Is that always true?

We can see, feel and hear when a person is not acting from their own highest good. We can see, feel and hear when someone is fully immersed in negativity, anger, fear, self-loathing, victimization, pain or blaming.

When someone experiencing the world from that dark place, they are disconnected from their Wise Inner Self. They are acting from the part of the brain that manages the fight-or-flight response, from fear, from a sense of impending danger or loss.  In “coach-speak”, they are not fully accessing the inner resources available to them.

We can recognize that they are in that dark place without judging them, and can simply acknowledge it rather than reacting to it.

I began to see that this quote isn’t just about the other person and who they ought (or ought not) to be… It’s fundamentally about our Self and how we choose to react — or respond — to someone else’s behaviour, and whether or not we can hold space for someone to step into their best way of being…. by stepping into our best way of being.

And how do we do that? By:

💞 choosing to not react to their negative state with one of our own — judgment, criticism, anger — but, instead, choosing to respond to the highest and best part of them with the highest and best part of us.

💞 responding with thoughtfulness rather than reacting in a knee-jerk tit-for-tat way…

💞 trusting and respecting their journey…

💞 supporting them without enabling them… allowing them to own their own solutions

💞 holding space for them, and for our Self. When we hold space, it means just that: with our love and acceptance we hold a container of safe space for another to fully experience their own journey, their own processes, and come to their own decisions and actions.

💞 being the Isumataq — the person who creates the atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself.

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
– Goethe

 


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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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Renew your inspiration with a Spring Vision Board

We’re almost two months into the new calendar year. Many of us created resolutions for January 1st… and some of us actually followed through with them!

How about you? What was on your list of resolutions and what are you still actively pursuing?

If your commitment has dropped off a little, don’t despair. Just like with Mother Nature, in Winter our energy is still under the surface and hasn’t started to break through the soil. The sap is quiet in Winter and hasn’t yet started to run.

But Spring is closing in… less than a month away. It’s time to harness that rising Spring energy, to renew your connection to your dreams and plans.

I can fall into over-analysis at times, get stuck in my head, so just thinking about what to do next can be a painful process! But true inspiration comes from within, from connecting to our heart and soul, to the Wise Inner Self within us all.

One simple and effective way to make that connection is through creating a Vision Board using basic items such as an old magazine, a glue stick, a pair of scissors and something to mount your pictures on such as a canvas board, bristol board or even a piece of photocopy paper. You could even create a digital Vision Board using an app on your mobile device or tablet!

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Creating your Vision Board can be even more fun and inspiring
if done with a circle of friends!

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Before you start the exercise, take a moment to get grounded and centered. If it resonates with you, ask your Guides for support and wisdom as you create your Vision Board.

🌞 Leaf through an old magazine and literally tear out – or cut out – the first image (or text phrase) that resonates with you. DO NOT THINK!

🌞 If working in a group, pass your magazine to the right after tearing out your image.

🌞 Repeat this until everyone has at least a dozen or more images.

🌞 Take some time to tidy up the images, cutting out just what you want with your scissors.

🌞 Using your glue stick, place your images on your board, letting your heart and soul guide you. Spend no more than a few minutes doing this.

Now, take a look at your Vision Board:
🌿What theme has emerged?
🌿What direction has your Inner Wise Self shown to you?
🌿What powerful images and destiny visions resonate most clearly to you?

If in a group, look at the other boards. Perhaps you can get even more inspiration from them… and share your inspiration with your fellow Visioners!


The image above is a Vision Board I created on my own. It wasn’t until I placed all the images on my board that I realized I had pulled together pictures and text that represented the Four Elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth), and the peace of the Garden.

This is definitely giving me ideas and inspiration for my work over the next few months, which involves created new programs and workshops, AND – in my personal life – collaborating with neighbours on a community permaculture garden.


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