May we all take the remaining days of December to recognize and send gratitude for where we are in our lives. There is no need for regret, fear or doubts, but they happen. So, please make time to embrace your feelings and ask if those stories are real any more for you.
Can you adjust or edit the assumed outcomes and trajectory of your life and path by embracing the location of NOW?
If you are still struggling with the where you are, you may want to do something outside of YOU to gain perspective. Many times, it can be challenging to get out of the loop of past mistakes and regret or the stress of what will be in the future.
When this happens, besides breathing intentionally, one of the best things you can do is volunteer or help someone else to help themselves.
As Saint Francis of Assisi said, "For it is in giving, that we also receive."
This belief and practice of Ayni--giving and receiving in order to create balance and harmony in the world in which we live, is a core value of The Soul Source, LLC. We have donated our time, services and the use of our facility and land to assist non-profits, friends and families since we opened in 2010, and we will continue to do this as part of our mission going forward. We love the relationship and community of caring that this practice cultivates, and we hope you do, too.
If you do, please consider joining in our efforts to give back to others in need during this season of giving. In order to be a blessing this holiday, we have created toiletry bags for the Kewaskum Food Pantry. If you would like to create and donate some, too, please assemble Toiletry Bags using the following list and drop them off at The Soul Source between now and the 18th of December.
Consider including the following helpful travel-size items in a large plastic Ziploc Bag:
Please do not include mouthwash, hand sanitizer or shampoo and conditioner or mix food in with the toiletry items.
We will deliver all collected bags to the Kewaskum food pantry on the Tuesday before Christmas so they can be distributed for the holiday, as needed. To thank you for your generosity, you will receive a raffle ticket for every Ziploc Bag you donate. We will be doing a drawing for prizes on the 19th.
We so appreciate you and any efforts you make to participate or to do your own practice of giving in the community. It is so INSPIRING and AMAZING what generosity and loving compassion can create and how it can help change the ending of our own story. Thank you in advance for helping others, the community and yourself to have a "Clean Slate" going forward in the new year.
Blessings and Joy to you and yours!
As a psychic medium, one of the most challenging things to do sometimes, is to bring through loved ones who have committed suicide. As a parent, there are not words or emotions expansive enough to express my sympathy for families who have dealt with the loss of a loved one because of suicide. It is almost impossible to wrap my brain around the grief.
In these situations, people want to know, "Are they OK." From what I have experienced, loved ones in spirit are good, because they are light and energy and not tied to a physical or emotional body of pain and suffering. However, these same spirits usually seem concerned about the loved ones they have left behind and the pain, loss and confusion their decision may have caused.
Another question is often, "Why?" This is harder to answer, for each person is different. For some, it wasn't really intended (they didn't think it would really work or end up the way it did), for others, there didn't seem to be a better solution for ending what was overwhelming to them. Some people like to say, "It isn't a decision, it is a disorder." I don't know if I always understand that statement, BUT I do know the trauma and internal drama are REAL. I remember the pain and noise in my head for a son I brought through. I felt distraught and desperate (again, not in spirit, but their experience from when they were alive), and could not imagine having to deal with that every day.
So, knowing this, and the fact that I cannot change what has already happened, I wanted to write to inspire and comfort those who are still here, but may be struggling RIGHT NOW.
I am not a therapist, but I do know a lot of good ones, :) because I have had my own challenges in the past. My life isn't a fairytale, but in many of my darkest hours, I had the privilege of still intrinsically KNOWING, that I was loved by the creator. That was and continues to be my greatest comfort and floatation device in a sea of uncertainty.
I know I have been CREATED. I have come forth to LIVE and DIE, and both are happening simultaneously.
Isn't that amazing?! I, like every single person alive, am meant to experience all facets and nuances of living and dying. In order to do that, though, I MUST allow myself to be open to ALL the experiences along the way. Challenges and loss and disappointment and questions are landmarks along the road of my life, BUT they are not permanent addresses. I do not need to live in a place of continual suffering. Most times, I can choose to move on or go back, but I could also choose to say, "That is enough. I am done." That is the beauty of my free will.
However, part of having my free will is also knowing when I might need help, AND ASKING for it…through therapy or medication, a ritual, a support group, and/or prayers. Growing up, when my mom would tell me she wished I had never been born, or would blame me for problems she was having, I could easily have chosen to turn to abuse or alcohol. These solutions certainly seemed to be some of the most popular remedies in my household.
I didn’t though…and I don’t say this to judge others. I say it to remind myself of the POWER of my choices and my path. I can only decide for me, myself and I. No one else...and that is really hard to swallow--especially, if you have a loved one who is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts or other serious disorders.
YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL YOU.
No matter what I am facing, I always know that I have choices and options. Every single moment is filled with limitless possibilities. Sometimes, though, people can have a disorder and they can be so down or so high, they can’t see past those emotions and thoughts. This can happen, and choice may not seem relevant. I get it. Once again, it may be necessary to get different medication, change your diet, add in more exercise, see a new therapist, etc…
For me, I thank my lucky stars that I was too stubborn to give in. I refused to be anything like my mother, PLUS I had the encouragement and love from my grandparents, and the solace of singing in church, talking to the stars and escaping to safe spaces through reading. All of these things were like beacons of shimmering light in the darkness and they shone their light so I could see a different path and outcome.
I encourage EVERYONE to pause and look around. Please REALLY see your life—not the circumstances, the disorders and disabilities, but the miracle of YOU living and breathing. Know that you are on a path of dying every day so why not savor and taste, swirl the magical goodness of all the flavors LIFE is giving you around in your primordial belly and CHOOSE to live WHILE you are dying.
Do not choose to die faster, because you are THE ONLY YOU walking your path, and wouldn’t it be a shame to never explore and discover the gnarly woods of darkness and light, the pristine lakes of purity and deep depths, and the mountains of stolen breaths and blinking eyes of wonder?
I think this is one of the reasons why I am SO passionate about creating safe spaces for people to do their work and find themselves…places where you can break down and fall apart and know that the sacred mother of this earth will hold you and love the pieces of you back together.
I practice being present and seeing people, thanking them, acknowledging them and accepting them where they are as divinely perfect yet humanly flawed individuals. I don’t always get it right. I can be rude and impatient and short-tempered. I have bad days, but I make amends and apologize, and always seem to come back to this space of gratitude.
I am so grateful for my life, for the lessons, for the people and teachers, for the awe and wonder, and for so many things that seem small and inconsequential—like the plump, purple grapes dangling from twisted branches overhead when I walk on the path to The Soul Source, the small gray and golden feather I found floating in a pool of rain water, the enchanted and excited laughter of my kids playing the new version of “Mindcrap,” and the wobbly smile and wagging tail of my 13 year old baby when she is prancing around under the apple tree or sniffing the compost pile.
These are tiny precious gems from my everyday life that I cherish, and they remind me to CHOOSE to live. To get help, when I need it, to cry when I can’t be strong anymore, to laugh at how long I waited to cry, to sink into a place of just breathing and being when I am done with everything, and then to wait until something changes again. I
I know I am not YOU. However, I do also know that everyone, in one small moment or another will think, “Maybe nobody would care if I was gone. What would it matter if I wasn’t here anymore? What good am I?” I have thought this, and knowing that I had this thought when I was younger, makes me aware that others may have had similar thoughts and/or may still be thinking this. I am not in charge of their thoughts and feelings, but I can offer to help by being a kind and loving human being. I can make time to listen to others, to say hello, to drop someone a note of thanks, to cook a meal or volunteer as a Big Sister. We ALL can help.
I send out so much LOVE, STRENGTH and SUPPORT for anyone who may be having suicidal thoughts or questioning their meaning and existence. I want to tell you, in case someone else hasn’t told you already, “YOU MATTER. You are loved and needed. You are a beautiful soul filled with divine light. Please share yourself with the world.” I hope you can receive this message and take it in and then give it out to someone else who may need to hear the same thing, and if you can, I hope you choose to live.
Blessings and love,
The true dichotomy of life and living well seems to me to be wrapped up in this statement:
"The stronger you become, the more gentle you will be."
I know, I know...At first, this seems like a bunch of woohoo nonsense and stupid talk. I personally want to contradict and argue this statement by pointing out all the historically touted images of "strong" people and leaders.
I mean, come on. Hitler and Stalin built empires of corruption and violence by projecting "strength" to the general public. So did Darth Vader, the Godfather and numerous other "bad guys" in myths and legends, and movies throughout time. For some reason, we are ingrained to swallow the story that "strength" means political power, amassed financial resources and a need to be ruthless and emotionally detached.
This makes me feel sad and a little hopeless at times. I wonder how we can ever have peace and contentment when so many world "leaders" continually promote and condone their individual political and religious agendas? How will the attention and movement of the masses ever be swayed to focus on the good of all when our cultures instead glorify the having and getting of more "goods?"
When I go down this mind spiral of negative what ifs, it can be really overwhelming. So, I pull myself back and say, "I can only manage MY THOUGHTS, MY ACTIONS and MY LIFE." Whew! That is a cold splash of wake-up water to me. It helps me to get out of my "stinking thinking" and back into the land of now. I turn off the TV, shut down the computer, (I don't have a cell phone) and stretch and breathe. Ahhhhhhhh. I feel more calm and able to chew on the deeper meaning of this lesson:
"The stronger I become, the more gentle I will be."
The best way I can help make this world and my present moment and place more peaceful and loving is to become a paradigm of these characteristics. I can remind others of the less celebrated meanings of strength--those of character--through my own actions, thoughts, words and beliefs. I can focus on the act of being morally strong and dedicated to the tenets of kindness, patience, compassion, forgiveness, joy, happiness and acceptance.
When I am truly strong in character and spirit, I understand and embody the need for gentleness and I encourage and honor the choices of others. I don't need to force anyone else to think or believe the way I do. I just need to be the BEST ME. I have to do MY work, release my regrets and anger, forgive my "trespassers," and build my spiritual strength of faith and intuition. This is A LOT! No wonder lots of people want to focus their attention on others. It is easier to do.
Life IS an infinite space of directions and possibilities. The act of being kind and respectful becomes the anchor for the vessel of my strength so I may remain rooted yet flexible and resilient in the face of challenges and difficulties. Sometimes I find this challenging and notice I am becoming hardened in my heart and opinions. When this happens, I also feel more stiff and inflexible physically and emotionally sharp and splintered. Things don't flow and I seem to look for and attract conflict and obstacles. Has this happened to you?
Lately, this is when I practice pausing and reflecting and I ask myself:
1) What trigger from the past that makes me feel anxious and afraid is coming up right now and why? Are the people and circumstances similar somehow? In what specific way?
2) I then wonder why I am attracting a situation like this past circumstance into my life at this moment and time? What am I ready to learn, and how can I respond differently than in the past because I am a DIFFERENT person?
3) How can I appropriately comfort (I am very honest with myself at this point and try to think of healthier ways to provide solace than food, romance novels and lashing out at others) and reassure myself AND the younger person I was in the past? Do I need to forgive or just listen and extend compassion? I also remind myself of all the loving ways in which I take care of someone else who is asking for my assistance in this type of matter and see if I could treat myself the same way.
4) Do you want to cry or scream or run away? Can I give myself these releases in a way that honors? Is there some type of ritual that will help me process and surrender my feelings? Sometimes, I write in a journal or call a safe friend. Many times I walk outside, sit with my dog, go someplace quiet or just get in the car and drive for a while with some gentle music in the background.
There are other things and thoughts that come up, but this is where I usually start, and ALL of these practices remind me of how I am being more gentle and loving with myself. As a result, I am able to set some things from the past free to float back into the infinite source of all and brush out new spaces for more strength and peace. After all, the more I am able to face my own fears, demons and regrets, the more personal power and courage I gain to go deeper and further into myself. The more I do this, the more I am able to do the same for others, and the stronger I become.
I am becoming stronger all the time...not in the "evil" empire way, but in a way that mirrors paradigms of personal strength and accountability. Teachers who inspire me by recognizing their flawed human nature and deciding to embrace it and use it to create love, plant seeds of hope, and engender gentleness in one small space at a time. I am choosing this path and I am learning as I go:
"The stronger I become, the more gentle I will be."
Each morning and moment I am presented with the opportunity to choose who and what I am feeding in my life.
I think everyone I know has heard the tale of the two wolves--the good and the bad and how it matters to whom you are giving emotional sustenance. Am I waking up with anger and frustration? Chances are, if I am, I will probably attract and look for more things about which to find fault and complain throughout the day. I feed THOSE feelings of inadequacy, comparison, emotional neglect and disgruntlement, and within this heartspace of hurt, I can birth and strengthen a wolf of fear and anger.
However, if I awake and consciously choose to look for the beauty, the love, the miracles and joy, then I manifest and feed the wolf within who protects and honors the same things in life. It is a beautiful and powerful story of creation and personal responsibility. No one else is responsible for what I am creating in my life. Even when challenges happen or disappointment comes to my doorstep, I can decide the story I am going to tell and which main character I will emulate--the "hero" or the "villain."
Some mornings, it can be a challenge to get up out of bed and see the sun shining, the food in the cupboards and the gift of those I love resting peacefully nearby. I am human and have an ego. These are the days when I get back to the basics of being still, building body awareness and breathing. They are powerful tools to find your way back to the pack of gratitude.
First, I sit someplace peaceful and quiet. If I can, I go outside near the earth. Being still to me, means no distractions of computer, TV, radio, children, etc...AND it may only be for a few minutes of time.
Next, I internally scan my body to notice HOW I am feeling. Is there pain anywhere, do I feel emotional or restless, and is my mind chattering away and WHOSE voice and words are really speaking? I practice observation and non-judgment during this time and I MEAN PRACTICE. There is no perfect way when I practice. There is only the doing over and over until it becomes more ingrained in my psyche.
Finally, I take deep, slow breaths. I like to inhale through my nose, pause and hold my breath for a moment and then open my mouth and exhale deeply--sighing like the wind blowing through the trees. I do this for a few moments, envisioning my feet growing roots and settling further into the earth and myself. I feel better and am able to lovingly feed the gentle, playful and compassionate she-wolf within.
I invite you to practice these same techniques and see who you wind up wanting to feed inside of you.
There is something comforting and soothing to me about peeling soft, yellow skins from apples in winding spirals and plunking the cut up chunks of antique ivory sweetness into the large stainless steel pot on the stove in the exact space where my grandmother did the same thing.
It brings me continuity and reminds me that life, no matter how often you take care and plan and prune and use natural remedies (like salt rings, vinegar and prayers) to rid yourself of pests, is often like the bruised and twirling remnants of the apples...worm-hole ridden, mushy-messy, chaotic piles of compost.
This doesn't mean you should throw everything away or leave the golden fruit of your life to rot where it has fallen. On the contrary...take a moment, find some gloves and get in there. Brush things off, wash and soak, and then lovingly cut and peel away the parts that have served you, but you no longer want to ingest.
Sometimes, you may feeI the need to gouge and dig away mercilessly until only the smallest perfect layer remains. I, on the other hand, meticulously cut as little as possible--I tend to forgive and make due by adding honey and spice (literally to my applesauce, but also figuratively to my relationships) to the collection in the pot.
We are all different and on our own journey of creating sustenance and joy in our lives, so the final recipe we use may be different.
However, what remains the same for all is the need to face our issues (friends and family who suck away at your goodness like worms, wallowing where you have landed in the damp earth of regret like the apples tossed from the tree during a storm, or withering away from lack of resources or holding yourself too far up and away from others who want to help) sooner than later so we can create a meal that will feed us and our unique lives...one sweet and sour bite at a time.
Don't waste time--enjoy the harvest when it comes where you are.
I have. I get it occasionally, and not just with others, but also with myself.
Sometimes, when I am afraid or feeling vulnerable, I like to tell stories or make excuses, and they are usually the same ones. They sound like this in my mind, "I'm too busy to do that. I don't have the time or money to go there. I will fail and people will think less of me. I'll be disappointed so why bother." Do you do this? Do you repeat these crappy lines of doubt and plant seeds of defeat inside of your mind so you don't feel too badly when you don't do something? I do.
The funny thing is, the universe and creator, don't "like" these stories or feelings because they know ME. They see and feel the true and authentic energy of my soul, and they want me to know that self and to BE IT and LIVE IT. (Please note, I don't think the universe or creator "like" or "dislike," anything. I believe they just know and want to support my highest and greatest self.) So...they keep helping me create situations, over and over, which force me to choose. To decide between what is known but contracting and what is unknown and expanding. I have to consciously say, "I am ready. I no longer want to repeat this experience, and am willing to take a risk and do something differently because I BELIEVE it will shift my energy and path."
That's why I like this saying. It makes me laugh at the situation and opens me to the deeper motives of my heart.
Once I recognize the fabrication, I remind myself to pause and reflect on what is really happening. Why is the situation playing over in my life, head or heart and what can I DO about it?
Sometimes, I am not ready to do anything, so I honor that place. I hold myself and my fear until it unclenches and I can feel the tension in my shoulders and belly dissolving. Other days, I am more than ready to wing those feelings off on the breath of the wind so they can settle into a supple fold of the earth and be recycled.
If you are struggling with a repeating pattern or problem in your life, I encourage you to sink into an emotional lull...to rock and sway and feel your breath steadying and slowing until you are more calm and collected. Then, take time to explore the story of your Deja Moo.
I send you blessings and energy for the courage to be YOU.
I am so grateful for the slowly and sweetly unfolding day I had today. It brought numerous messengers of hope and healing for my heart so I could honor the lingering pockets of feeling crappy instead of happy.
As I soothed and stroked my wounded ego, I felt so much gratitude for a plethora of things and people. My daughter and her sage soul and insight. She is so amazing, and I am her mother so I have to have some wonderful wisdom inside of me, also. Friends dropped me messages or called to check in and sent me cyber hugs and love. My dad even asked if I wanted to talk about the situation and what he could do. This outpouring humbled me and sent echoes of knowing through me.
The knowing comes in the format that I am very blessed. I love and honor people and it is such a joy. I have integrity and am constantly gifted with honesty and authenticity in the words and actions of my family and friends. I share my gifts, my connections and so much of what I have and it comes back in incredibly beautiful ways...kindness, abundance, laughter, rich relationships, health and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Sometimes, like lots of people I know, when I get in this mindset of questioning my worth and value, I slide quickly down that slippery slope of self pity and regret--almost like Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life--and I dubiously speculate the difference or contributions I have made. Then magically, evidence comes forth, one after the other, and I bow down in reverence to the universe and the support it is sharing. I love and am living a life that matters. That is the greatest thanks I could ever send to those who have given to me, so that is what I am continuing to do.
I hope you can do the same.
I feel like running outside and singing today--the landscape around the farm is wearing all of its summer splendor and finery. The grass is lush and dewy from the rain and there are bees and small yellow and white butterflies fluttering in the air and quietly landing on pink petunias, white phlox and purple sea lavender in the gardens. The air is warm and softly murmuring a comforting song to hush my need to go and do.
I LOVE the land and trees that are starting to spruce up again after drinking deeply from what the earth received this weekend in thirst-quenching water. Everything seems to be perking up and you can feel the shift in energy around and underfoot. There is an anticipation, a silent preparation and push to embrace all the wonder and beauty of these sunny, glorious mornings.
I took this picture alongside the road with the cattails brown and blurry in the background and the sunny yellow faces in front because I liked the visual reminder of balance between Earth (brown) and Sun (yellow). Its juxtaposing image encourages me to be rooted first in who I am so I can reach toward the heavens and manifest and embrace my dreams. WHO I am doesn't really change--it is solid and comforting in the background of all time--but my dreams and experiences continue to evolve and ebb and flow with the movement and passing of my life.
The seasonal clock is also moving and turning and reminding us to NOW--in this moment and time--see ALL LIFE (not just the parts we love and to which we are drawn and can relate) through a lens of miraculousness. When I do this, I can feel the energy inside of me shifting, too. I understand I am like the land...living, waiting, appreciating, growing, being and dying in cycles of NOW. I know in these moments I am filled with divine grace and I choose to see it in all things and beings around me.
I hope you can use your lens of miraculousness and feel your heart of gratitude beating strongly today.
I LOVE watching and listening to honey and bumble bees. Their gentle hum is soothing and reminds me that the impossible is possible with great dedication, passion and an appreciation for the sweetness in life.
I also enjoy waiting for them to be where I am so I can get a close-up shot like this one. I stood and watched bees and bugs swarming around thistle plants at Yahr Park and took a few closeups of this beautiful creature cultivating sweetness and color and pollinating hope for future generations.
Bees are such wonderful teachers of doing our "work" with purpose and joy. When a bee comes into your life, pause and ask yourself if you are making work harder than it needs to be...Perhaps you need to make time to "stop and smell the flowers?" Also, listen to the hum and buzz--it is like listening to the "Ohm" in yoga class. Some cultures believe, if a bee comes to you and you listen, you will hear the voice of your loved ones in spirit and receive a message from them. I like this belief and find it makes it even more special to wait and listen to their humming songs.
Wendy Skovo wrote these beautiful lyrics for the honey song in The Secret Life of Bees. Remember them when you remember your loved ones and remember to use love and care in all your relations.:
"Place a beehive on my grave
and let the honey soak through.
When I'm dead and gone,
that's what I want from you.
The streets of heaven are gold and sunny,
but I'll stick with my plot & a pot of honey.
Place a beehive on my grave
and let the honey soak through."
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.