Shine your Light! 2012 Holiday Giveaway

So many holidays are approaching! And all of them are festivals of light, love and song! Yule/Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas… If I haven’t included something you celebrate, please share!

The prevailing thought this time of year is that even in the darkness of Winter, the sun rises again. And that is the warm fuzzy part of Winter. 🙂

Now for the fun stuff. I’m offering handmade prizes from now through January 6, 2013, and all you have to do is share something!

Tell me your favorite light-filled, spiritual, religious, family-and-friends or solo holiday tradition or ritual… Fave song? Memory? Cookies? Ok I’ll stop now… Share whatever you want about something special to you. You don’t even need to know why you think it’s special. It’s enough that you feel this way!

Also, tell me how you share feelings of love and joy with others. It may be a physical action, a blessing, thought, prayer… And this is not an all-inclusive list! I want to hear, in your own words and feelings, what makes you feel good and how that extends to others.

I’ll be posting prize pics throughout the holiday season, as I create the items. For now, think about your most meaningful, warm and fuzzy Winter (or Summer if you’re down under!) happiness, and share it as a comment on this post.

This is one way I’m spreading the handmade, holiday spirit of light and giving. It’s not really a contest… But as many prizes as I come up with, I’ll choose that many of my favorite comments, the ones I resonate with or however that works, and send you a prize!

Guidelines

1. Comment on this post about something special to you during this season (see above).

2. Include how your feelings reach out to others.

3. Leave an email address with your comment so I can contact you and send your prize! It will not be published.

4. Share as many times as you like! These things have a way of multiplying… 😀

5. Tell your friends! Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, the back of your hand, your blog, wherever you share stuff you like, as allowed by common sense and legal say-so.

Thank you for spreading peace – not just during the “holiday season” – but all year, through your thoughts, words and actions toward yourself and others!

I’m so Tired!: How to Feel Better Fast

Has the fatigue hit you yet? Winter blues maybe? Many people feel down, heavy, tired or listless this time of year, in the Northern hemisphere. And that’s ok!

Yes, I said it’s ok! It’s only “a bad feeling” if you think it is. Now hang in there and let me explain…

First, consider your words. Are you saying, “I am tired?” If so, then start there. Are you truly tired? The truth is that you are not tired. Your being, the Spirit at the center of who you think you are, is never tired. It is, and has, infinite energy! So even though you don’t feel it right now, think about the truth that you are not tired.

If you need to talk about it, which of course adds tired-feeling energy to you (and we all know you want to “be” more tired, right?), then say, “I feel tired.” Put the accent on “feel,” because tired is just a feeling. “Right now I feel tired.” Ok. Fine. You feel tired right now. Accept that. Then stop talking about it and move on.

But move on…to what? To how you want to feel, of course! You want to feel full of energy? Happy? Excited? Pick a feeling you’re familiar with. You know, you felt it long ago, before you felt so tired. Go ahead, pick one!

Maybe you can’t jump right from “I feel tired” to “I feel___.” Guess what? That’s ok too! So choose a feeling just a little bit further in that — direction. The self-talk might go something like this–use your own words though, because it will mean more to you:

“I feel tired.”

“I feel tired right now.”

“I don’t always feel tired…”

“Yes I do, I always feel tired this time of year!”

“But I don’t feel tired —” When? In Spring? Summer? At parties? Remember a time when you don’t feel tired and fill in that blank.

“I don’t feel tired in Spring.”

“I feel invigorated in Spring.”

“I feel full of life.”

“I feel happy.”

“I feel like anything is possible.”

“I feel excited.”

“I feel —” put in the feeling you desire.

See how we moved from “I am tired…” way back there, to “I feel excited right now?”

This is called Socratic Logic. You’ve probably heard of affirmations – positive, present-tense statements of universal truth. But sometimes, when we use affirmations, we’re not in a place where we can actually feel like they’re true. So even though affirmations are great tools, they don’t help us if we can’t feel like they’re true. In fact, they feel so untrue that we have angry feelings instead of positive ones!

We can use Socratic Logic to get to a place where we feel the truth of an affirmation. It may take quite a few steps. (Say it with me…) And that’s ok! The point is to get to a better feeling, and to keep moving forward. In order to move forward, we need to acknowledge where we are right now. And if that’s “I’m tired,” then that’s where we start.

Abraham says it takes only 10 minutes to get to a better-feeling place. All right Abe. Me? Sometimes I’ve counted 10 hours before I truly felt better. But no matter how long in physical, linear time this takes, it’s so worth any effort to finally feel good!

11/28/12 Full Moon Celebration

I created this full moon distance ritual for The Order of the White Moon. I will expand on this soon; for now, realize that I choose to study both metaphysics and Goddess spirituality at the same time. For me they are beautiful companions.

In any case, I share this ritual as a demonstration of openness, acceptance and connection to all people, all beliefs, and all nature. If you resonate with this and wish to participate, perform the ritual yourself on November 28, 2012 – the night of the full moon.

Though OWM is mostly women, like-minded men are welcome in my own practice.

It’s fine if you’re unfamiliar with Pagan, Wiccan or other circle castings and closings! Just intend to create a circle, or create a visible one in your space. When finished, say a blessing and open the circle.

Date: 11/28/2012

Intention: Full moon in Gemini, beaver moon and goddess Ceridwen (Celtic Goddess of rebirth)

Before the ritual, spend some time in nature, ideally at night, in the 3 days preceding the full moon. Even outside on a porch or steps is fine; intention to connect with nature and the moon is the most important here.

As you create this time, think of the Beaver moon. So named because it was traditionally the time to set traps before Winter, it is also a time of incubation. What do you want to gestate or incubate? What is germinating now, to bloom or become tangible or visible in Maiden Springtime?

If you’re in Springtime now, what are you planting and cultivating to harvest/finish in Autumn?

Come to the ritual with these things in mind or written down.

Items

Northern Supplies

warm Autumn drink (apple cider, pumpkin spice-flavored coffee, tea or cocoa, etc, something that tastes like Fall to you)

3 candles (1 orange, 1 black, 1 white)

Southern Supplies

Cool fruit drink, milk, or anything that tastes like Spring to you

Candles as above

Preparation

Prepare drink before ritual. Place on seasonally decorated altar if you have one, along with the candles in holders.

If you like music for meditation, have some on hand.

Ritual

The differences in this ritual between the Northern and Southern hemisphere are subtle and not truly necessary. The main idea is that in the Southern hemisphere, you’ve already started planting what you will harvest, and can see it because you’re cultivating it already.

In the Northern hemisphere, we’re letting our desires grow, unseen, within the Earth until Spring when they will burst forth as buds do. Sometimes through the Fall and Winter, we need reminders to “keep the faith.” This ritual is one reminder.

Cast circle in whatever way you choose.

Invoke/call goddess Ceridwen with these words:
Lady of the resting night
Whom each crossroad brings delight
Welcome in this circle clear
As in time desires appear!

Gently relax into a light state of meditation, with music as you prefer.

Light orange candle, saying:
By the fire that you keep
Through all growth that comes in sleep
Warm desire in my heart
As in faith I do my part!

Light black candle, saying:
If the way seems dark and bare
Or overwhelm feels like despair,
May I know deep down the truth
That as the wheel turns, next is youth!

Light white candle, saying:
I will see the things I ask
I believe they come to pass
Until then I know their truth
Placing them within your womb!
I give you (name the things that are germinating in Ceridwen’s womb for you now)

Meditate on releasing any attachment you feel to these desires, knowing that all is well.

When you feel ready, bring yourself out of meditation and continue:

Thank you for your presence here
Banishing all doubt and fear
Bringing in the darkness safe
Meant to cradle me in faith!

Drink with gratitude.

Open circle and put out candles safely.

Create Rituals to Enjoy

Gathering on Thanksgiving and eating turkey – even though some of us don’t really like it, blowing out birthday candles, celebrating the full moon, attending religious or spiritual services, brushing your teeth… These are all rituals.

Good ole Merriam Webster says ritual is “done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol.” There are religious/ceremonial definitions as well, and my own… “Something we do routinely or out of habit” and the unspoken “without thinking much about its meaning.”

Is this good? Well, it isn’t bad. However, if ritual is only done because it’s always been done, or because it’s what we should do, then maybe it’s time to re-think our rituals.

What we do is not nearly as important as why we do it. Why do you have a Thanksgiving feast? Your reasons are none of my business, and I won’t guess what they may be. I will only ask you: Do those reasons feel good?

If so, full steam ahead! If not, you have an opportunity here. Choose not only what you will do on Thanksgiving, but choose your actions from a place of pure intention. Not a place of others’ expectations, or your own past actions, but a new, clear place.

What feeling do you want to evoke on Thanksgiving?

Got one? Ok. Then do something that amps up that feeling. Do you want to feel grateful? Surrounded by love? Connected to family and friends? Feel it first. Then choose actions and activities, places and people that add positive strength to that feeling.

This is not just a Thanksgiving post. Think about other rituals in your life. The teeth brushing… Well, you’ll probably keep doing that. 😀 But how do you feel when you do? If it’s something you believe you just have to do, it most likely doesn’t feel very good, and you’re not so grateful for that toothbrush. However, if it adds positive strength to your physical body, helps your teeth appear the way you like, etc, then you’re changing the feeling behind that ritual.

You may not want to change your religious, spiritual, or family rituals. I ask only that as we approach the holiday season, you attend these rituals consciously. Notice how you truly feel about them. If you have good feelings, enjoy them! If you have negative feelings, now is your opportunity to turn them around. Perhaps changing your feelings will lead to new rituals, spending time with different people, or leaving behind some old traditions that no longer feel good.

Above all, no matter what you choose to do this holiday season, know that you do have a choice. Feel no pressure to do what you’ve always done. And feel no pressure to change! Just observe your feelings. Turn up the good ones and meet the less-than-good ones with compassion and love.

As for me, I’m not doing the turkey thing this year!

Wings of Autumn – Fall Song

I wrote this “poem” last week and thought, “Good. Now this is done, I’m ahead,” and moved on to the next thing. But it wasn’t done. 🙂 When I was choosing an accompaniment, it begged to be a song. SO song it is, and I like it better than the written words alone. Imagine that!

Wings of Autumn – Lyrics

Also published in Seasons of the Moon Volume 13 Issue 1 Samhain 2015

Recording updated 2015
Instrument: Brio – Red Cedar Concert Ukulele

1. On wings of Autumn I take flight
Falling into my best life
Knowing that my path is right
On wings of Autumn I take flight!

2. On wings of prayer I soar in faith
Realizing my strength and grace
Right here is my perfect place
On wings of prayer I soar in faith!

3. On wings of love I float with glee
Feeling good, supported and free
So life brings what is best for me
On wings of love I float with glee!

Repeat 1.

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Handwoven Spirit Reminder Scarf

Spirit Reminder Scarf

By now you’ve noticed my seasonal posts. Some wonderful changes are happening in my life, many of them seasonal. Here are a few brief mentions:

1. Feeling more a part of nature

2. Being more aware of colors and what they mean to me (which may or may not coincide with anyone else’s meaning and that’s ok)

3. Knowing that when I feel unsettled, I can choose a better feeling and/or know this one will pass

4. Looking forward to different eating, sleeping and waking routines

5. Appreciating nature and how my life mirrors it and vice versa

So where does this scarf come in? I’m so glad you asked! 😀

All that I’m noticing boils down to one thing: the awareness of a connection with Spirit and the desire to live in alignment with that Spirit. Call it nature, universe, Goddess, God, inner power, light, life itself, the infinite… I use all these descriptions, and you may have more! It’s that source, the thing that sustains us and that we’re made of, at the same time.

Of course, the inner awareness must manifest as visible things. This scarf is one manifestation.

Called the Spirit Reminder scarf, this is a “sign” of the connection I feel. It’s also a tool for getting back to that connection if I temporarily forget about it.

I bought the white yarn several years ago and the purple at least last year. I loved the feel of these yarns! Both are soft; the white is thin and smooth, and the purple is thick and almost fleece-like or velvety. When I bought them, I didn’t know what they would create. I didn’t care either, just enjoyed touching them.

As I’ve connected with the inner and outer seasons of life, I knew these yarns would interweave for the Spirit Reminder Scarf.

The warp (vertical yarn) is white, for pure potential. The weft (horizontal yarn) is purple, for the visible spirit and beauty of everything. Sometimes we don’t see that beauty. In fact, we may perceive the opposite. But when we shift our thoughts and feelings – then we can see something beautiful, connected and right.

Choose to see beauty in each season of your life. It feels so much better that way!

Autumn Transitions

According to Google and dictionary.com, transition is:

noun /tranˈziSHən/  /-ˈsiSHən/ 
* The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another
* A passage in a piece of writing that smoothly connects two topics or sections to each other
* A change of an atom, nucleus, electron, etc., from one quantum state to another, with emission or absorption of radiation

And just for the record, transition is also a stage of labor – one when mothers are often just about ready to throw in the towel and refuse to take any more… “This baby either comes out, or it stays in, but I’m not having any part in it!” Often accompanied by, uh, shall we say, strong words.

We may not use strong words to describe our transitions, so we think that’s good. The thing is, we still have strong thoughts. When something is changing, we can feel unsettled, uncomfortable, disconnected. We may feel like we’re floundering, or in limbo. All these feelings are fine, worthy of acknowledgment, and – here it comes – normal.

As nature transitions from Autumn to Winter in the northern hemisphere where I live, I’m realizing how I, and you, can use this transitional time to our advantage.

Transition is “The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” That means it will pass. If you feel unsettled or uncomfortable, like you don’t know what’s coming next, remember that it’s just a phase.

This could comfort you, or bring up anger. If transition makes you angry, that’s ok. Anger is not wrong; it’s a valid feeling and should never be suppressed. Acknowledge to yourself, “I feel angry!” And let yourself feel that way. You may consider using ZPoint or another meditation or breathing technique to help you find a better feeling when you’re ready.

The key is to feel better when you’re truly ready: not when you think you should, and especially not when anyone else thinks you should! This is your time.

Transition is “A passage in a piece of writing that smoothly connects two topics or sections to each other.” Do you feel smoothly connected? Probably not – but you can.

Think of how nature moves in cycles. The wheel turns through each season, each year. The moon goes from new to full and back again. The sun rises and sets.

Yet, no matter what we see, there’s always another side. When we see the dark moon, someone else sees the light face. When the sun has set for you, it’s rising for someone else. When it’s Winter in your environment, somewhere else it is Summer.

Consider that we are all connected, as much as all nature is connected. If you’re looking for the smooth connection that transition claims in writing, try to look on the smooth side. Even if you can’t see smoothness in your own life right now, entertaining the possibility that smoothness exists will help. Somewhere, someone feels smoothly connected through a transition. If you can believe that, you can more easily accept that smoothness for yourself.

The third definition is the most interesting. Transition is “* A change of an atom, nucleus, electron, etc., from one quantum state to another, with emission or absorption of radiation.” I won’t speak to the radiation aspect, but there is spiritual truth here.

Let’s say transition is the change of something from one quantum state to another. Quantum particles are tiny and can’t be seen by human eyes alone. So maybe the result of a transition in your life can’t be seen either. It could be an emotional transition, where you become stronger, more confident, more ready to receive love, etc. It could be spiritual, as you realize your inner power. Transitions can be mental as well. Though eventually they reep physical results, initially the change is within, on a seemingly quantum or tiny level.

Quantum particles must change in order to change the big picture. In order to see a different color chair, quantum particles must be in different orders than they were when we saw a blue chair, for instance. In the same way, as we change inwardly, as our spiritual particles re-align, the outward picture changes.

Transition is natural; change is inevitable. To ride the wave of transition smoothly, it’s important to consciously re-connect with our roots. Connect with nature; spend time in meditation or prayer. Talk and listen to God, or God-within. Everything you need to navigate this transition is already there. Ask for it, even if you don’t know what exactly you need.

Use affirmations: I ask for and receive all I need for a smooth transition. I ride the wave of transition, knowing the tide of life works for my good.