I thought I’d hop on briefly after being away from blogging the last ten days, just to share some of the beauty, special moments, and reflections I’ve experienced during this time. Maybe you’ve felt similar things or this little burst of nature’s inspiration may be exactly the breath of fresh air for you right now. In any event, I hope that you had a beautiful Summer Solstice, however you chose to welcome it in.
I’m still spending most of my time within the inner landscapes, but that is reflected in an increased deepening with nature and immersing even more in her realm.
This mirrors the time we lived in the Magick Bus exploring nature and National Parks for nearly a year and a half when life called me in a new direction. It’s only now that I’m getting what it all meant and where the embodiment of that change was leading.
It’s almost been like getting my feet wet again in body, from what was a resurrection of sorts from the waters of life – actually most literally. I have needed the last couple of years to reacquaint myself with things from a new perspective, which has had me dipping in and out of some things from before, tried out in the now.
Some clothes just haven’t fit, either feeling too tight or too loose – meaning they were still too tied in with the past and the energy I had completed, or they were so new that I wasn’t sure how I felt about them and hence all the extra room to explore.
It’s been a time of allowing what ever wants to move through, letting go of to-do’s, and softening the reflections so that even my process with things doesn’t mirror how I used to process stuff. Life is a soft and gentle focus now. In this way, not only will what ever the new is that comes through be different than before, but the journey will be too.
I find it important for me that nothing mirrors the past, although can weave in the possibilities it held.
It still feels very fresh and I’m only beginning to immerse, as last week was more about the surrender, continued nurturing, and letting nature guide me.
So, with Solstice ringing in Summer, there’s been a ton of outdoor activity. It started Wednesday of last week while we explored a new hike to Cascade Falls – a shorter one, but climbs technically quite a bit. That felt invigorating and perfect for allowing the flow just like the gushes of water cascading down the mountain. Both the climb and the being with the water were perfect metaphors for things.
That same day we went to Baldwin Beach – another new beach for us. There, a mother duck and her seven ducklings visited and after they explored the higher activity of people down a ways from us, they came to rest in peace in front of our umbrella. Another beautiful reflection.
Thursday was a very special day – the two year anniversary of Astrid’s coming home to me at the gateway of Solstice. That’s what these first three photos celebrate. Since Astrid is such a huge part of this new life journey for me, I felt it important to capture some beautiful moments between us in the forest portal backyard of our house.
She was a surprise to me, but as I navigate this next part of my life, Astrid is my greatest guide. Where I have no example for the new I reinvent, she emulates the potential I most admire.
I love this photo below where she and I look merged as one – almost creating a Yin/Yang effect in how her body curves into mine.
Solstice is a very special time of the year for me ever since three years ago my beloved bunny, Joy, transitioned through its portal on that day in a place very dear to me – Montana. She and Astrid came from the same rabbit rescue and I feel that their entering and exiting at this gateway is significant.
The Mayans celebrated Solstice for spiritual initiation and change, creating ceremony to be in harmony with the Earth and Cosmic energies.
I remember the words from my dear shaman friend Amaru in Peru, “Nokan Inti Kani” – meaning “I am the Sun.”
Solstice extends an invitation to join the Sun’s energy and connect with your Higher Self, follow inspiration and dreams, and tune inside to the alchemy of “as within, so without.”
I find nature to be that gateway for me, as are my rabbit companions, and the Cosmos.
The Solstice gateway gifted me this beautiful golden hawk feather that I’m so grateful for.
So every day since Wednesday, nature time increased with tons of mountain biking, hiking, and beach time, as well as late afternoon/evening gardening time upon returning home from the physical activity.
To say I slept well is an understatement, as the deepening into body and moving a lot of energy in a grounding way was both nourishing and took me through cycles of decharge and recharge.
Solstice saw us in Squaw Valley where I enjoyed an intentional walk in the gorgeous meadows by myself anchoring in that new while Dave enjoyed his last day of skiing on the first day of Summer. You’ll see photos below of how beautiful this area is, reminding me of both the Swiss Alps (where I haven’t yet been, but seen photos of) and adored Iceland, as well as my favorite spots in Montana.
Seventeen miles of biking along the Truckee River that day was a way to move the energy and flow like the river.
Twenty two miles of biking the next day continued moving that energy along more gorgeous vistas.
All the while during each ride, allowing visions, thoughts, and feelings to flow, as my body did the integrating.
Two back-to-back hikes to different lakes Sunday followed by a vegan potluck picnic provided continued anchoring and as I said, each day I’d come home and plop myself in the garden planting perennials to create a low maintenance, inspiring, and beautiful backdrop that blends wild with a little intention.
I promised the Faeries of the land many things when moving here and I’m happy to create a special sanctuary for them to play in.
I’ll share more of the front and side gardens, as things blossom, but for now here are my beautiful Portulaca blooms that I adore!
The forest out back is in early stages of bloom, but as you can see they are already creating a welcome carpet to our home for the Faeries.
I just love how the wildflowers are blooming with joy everywhere – and it’s just the beginning. They feel like a love spell on my heart.
And as you can see from the below photos of Squaw Valley meadows, the Truckee River, and Cascade Falls, there’s been an abundance of inspiration all around from Mother Earth – the best nurturer there is.
As mentioned, I’m just beginning to immerse into a new realm of exploration within, so all of these good nature vibes are very nurturing to the vulnerable parts feeling safe to come through.
Because I feel that I haven’t much example to draw upon for that new, I feel nature provides me the best template and reflection for the journey.
Cultivating the garden is also very supportive, as my heart guides its creation in reflection of me as well – mostly wild, with woven threads of cultivated pockets that create synergy and harmony.
This last Wednesday I went to my third meditation group meeting that ended in a lovely picnic dinner at the beach with everyone who joined, however I feel it will likely be my last time going (at least for now) because I’m clear my work at home is more aligned for me at this time. I did leave the group with a few book recommendations to help with the “self love” topic, so they at least have some tools for any exploration they may decide to embark on past this month’s theme.
I feel called to explore on my own for now, dipping in and out when the moment calls.
The good news is (at least to me), I feel like I’m in greater alignment with the new path I’m creating than I was before. Remember I mentioned those clothes that felt too tight or too big and loose?
Energetically the ones that felt too big are now taking root and feeling more like home.
And on the literal, tangible level, the continued cleansing of, and weeding through, my closet leaves me with what feels to be the perfect essence of a place I now feel comfortable in heading to.
What’s fascinating is that the five Portal Paintings that found their new home, only just departed from Nevada on the Solstice – Yes! The Solstice of all days! Talk about divine alignment. Even though I dropped them off a week and a half earlier, they didn’t get crated and shipped out until then and so that also feels reflective of this anchoring in and clarity beginning.
The whole wild journey to get them to that point has mirrored so much of the changes I’m going through.
I’m excited for them to arrive in their new home across the country in Athens, Georgia with their amazing co-guardian where they will be open to anyone who wants to visit and meditate/work with them. This new home is being created into a form of a mini healing center welcome to people wanting to immerse in a conscious journey. As things evolve with that, I’ll keep you posted. It’s a way that people can experience them and more, and if at some point they are ready to journey on, they will be available via that portal.
I leave you now to return to my garden so I can complete the last planting I didn’t get a chance to finish yet. It feels integral to the next phase beginning.
What I love is that although the future is unknown and the vision is yet to be seen of how things look, the journey is so much more gentle and peaceful. There are those ebbs and flows, but it’s all naturally unfolding if I listen, allow, honor, and observe.
Do you experience reflections in your life that mirror the changes you’re going through?
My guess is we all do and if we stop to observe things, we’ll see it and make those connections.
If not, how might you create intention around something – like a project, gardening, etc. – to embody the potential you’re being guided to?
It will be interesting to see where the journey leads all of us.
I’ll keep this post short and sweet by kicking off with thanking those of you who joined in on the New Moon Gratitude Giveaway. Because of a busy week, it took me a while to go through the lists from people who decided to see it all the way through with me and us. I hadn’t had opportunity until this morning to go through things and post the recipients of the four gifts I promised as a way of honoring your commitment.
The four people in no particular order are:
I’ll be contacting each of you to get your gifts out. I was truly moved by the experiences you had with this and how meaningful you found it to be. I honor each of you for doing this challenging work.
This last week has been both full and full circle for me. It has solidified some things and put others into motion. Wednesday through Friday were particularly shifting, as well as a bit exhausting, yet pivotal clarity came as to a phase I chose three years ago.
I had only snippets of what it meant, but am understanding more what is in alignment with it. It’s a new phase that hasn’t an example to reflect for me, so it will be both a challenge and adventure to reinvent things.
It is because of this that the regular Ask Astrid Fridays blog didn’t come in yesterday and because of things she and I are committing to working on together, we’ll be taking at least the next week off from any blogging as well.
Depending on how much we move through, will depend on how the next week looks, but I at least want one full week to dive in deep so that I can get a handle on and anchor in a new experience we’re reinventing.
Once it feels to be in motion, I’ll be better able to schedule in other things.
This feels supportive also to my being very inward these days and needing more space for myself.
Thursday is a big day for the two of us leading into Summer Solstice on Friday. This is a special time and sacred portal that feels especially supportive for igniting what we’re focusing on right now.
We hope it will be a beautiful doorway for your light as well.
Thank you again to everyone who delved into the self gratitude and giving in the way that felt right for you. I hope you’ll continue to implement this into your life to become a natural part of living.
Yesterday marked the end of our eight day journey into self-gratitude and I heard from people how challenging it had been, but also what a gift it was so far – igniting the very key they felt they had neglected. Remember that if you did officially participate and want to be part of the giveaway and accountability, please send in your shares by end of today, Tuesday June 11th.
A reminder on the guidelines can be found here:
We had far less people participating with this challenge than the general Gratitude Challenge, as it was tough and not something people felt as comfortable with. That’s exactly why I felt to put it out there.
But we did have a great group, both officially and unofficially joining, as well as some people that joined mid-way who hadn’t seen the challenge until it had already begun. They really resonated and decided to incorporate it into their lives and begin it from the day they became aware of it.
We’ll see how many actually do send me their shares, but in any case, I want to say thank you to anyone who did join in whatever way you felt called or able to, and who felt the value in this.
It was interesting to me that at the same time, the local meditation group here had decided to have “self love” as their monthly theme, but in the first day of the month’s gathering so many continued to voice being challenged by it and having difficulty in finding clarity between self love and ego or narcissism. Teachings out there even help support this idea with spiritual bypassing or tricky definitions that make it hard to get to the core by keeping you running in circles around yourself.
And then there’s the mind that is really good at analyzing and dissecting, keeping people in intellectualizing mode, rather than going into the abstract feelings that simply want to be acknowledged and felt.
In some cases it simply revealed itself as a concept a lot of people hadn’t really explored and journeyed in depth, although had heard about it, and in most cases people didn’t know where to begin or what to do in order to get into the emotions beyond the mental thoughts and concepts.
I could understand why and also saw the connection this has to disconnect we experience with others, global issues, our emotions, and so much more.
I decided to join this even though I have and do a lot of inner work, because cycles in life reveal layers and being at another key point of change that has brought new things to surface, I have been feeling deeply within and implementing new approaches.
I found my list to have some wonderful insights about myself that I don’t daily think of as gifts, as well as experienced a lot of sweetness and softness in how I was relating to myself simply by acknowledging some tender parts of me.
I also noticed that during this time period I experienced more possibility stream in (perhaps as reflection of seeing more of myself), my days relaxed more and I ended them earlier in terms of “doing” things (perhaps as reflection of making more space for me), and I experienced others around me opening more too and having new experiences even though they weren’t doing this with me (as within, so without).
In general, an even greater experience of alignment seems to be in motion.
I’m curious to hear what others have experienced.
I’m still sitting with everything and in process of implementing changes that have come through during this time, but I do feel grateful I did this and am curious where things will go from here.
I’ve noticed a shift in a lot of people who have been more inclined to remain behind the scenes and perhaps struggled with being more public and sharing their gifts, now stepping out in bigger ways. There seems to be a shift of welcoming more vulnerability and more connection and I’m sure it is happening both as others continue to light the way for us in this regard AND as the collective shifts into being more ready, or more in need, to receive those of us who may have felt more like the minority or outcasts.
It’s not that everyone will do this in some huge or flashy way, but even if it’s just opening to connecting more with local community, finding yourself opening to a small circle of friends or sharing more with your family than you have before, or sharing your work through different channels you may not have ventured into in the past, there does seem to be a move toward allowing yourself more space in the world, feeling more safe or courageous, and ultimately creating more connection through opening to being seen.
And as this momentum of “being seen” more unfolds, it seems to be going hand-in-hand with seeing more expansively – meaning perspective shifts are taking place and more options are presenting themselves, which boils down to a feeling of being open to entertaining greater possibilities and feeling more safe to take up space.
Astrid wanted me to share how even she is stepping “out” more, as she just yesterday debuted alongside me in a short video I posted via social media as invitation to our New Moon Gratitude Challenge Giveaway.
She’s not shy in sharing messages, but she isn’t always too keen on videos. Photos have been alright, but anytime I try to capture her on video she either just stares me down, moves away, or stops altogether whatever it is she was doing that caught my attention to capture on video in the first place.
She is ready to be seen more and accompany me as a team. So I’m allowing her that safe space to venture in as she feels and by doing it together, it seems to be a way for us both to open to more and share in a new way to others.
It is also her way of letting me know that she is going to be upping her game. And I know that means I better get ready, because if she’s expanding that means I’ll be rising to the occasion to continue matching vibrations for the work evolving for us with these shifts.
I’m not sure if everyone will be able to access the video, but here’s a link just in case.
So that’s a wonderful new development for her and for both of us together.
It all seems to speak to a movement of greater visibility within and without. People are seeing and experiencing themselves more clearly, finding more courage, and things are rising to the surface.
As this happens, our vision is shifting and we’re also more capable of welcoming and inviting in new options that we weren’t so keen on before or weren’t vibrationally a match for before.
This leads to being willing to try new things – just like Astrid is opening to being in videos with me. Even her having her weekly blog is part of this greater visibility, as she steps into a new role herself.
And each time we allow something more into our experience, greater possibilities are available. We realize we aren’t confined to just one or two ways to do something, but that there are many ways we might express the same desires and gifts we have.
Choices are more prevalent and of course that means making decisions can be more challenging. Yet, since the choices are simply varying ways you can express a similar essence and energy, then truly there isn’t a wrong choice – just choice.
When we are more willing to see ourselves and be seen, to extend ourselves in new ways, we find greater courage to make choices without feeling they limit us.
Choices take us to the next step.
They are a bridge.
And from there we can make another choice.
Astrid encourages me to share about my recent experience, so here it is.
Lately I’ve felt more inward, for various reasons having to do with life changes taking place – I may do a separate blog on that upcoming – but after having a much more public presence with my work in the past in terms of teaching and so forth, I have pulled out of that for some time now.
I still have a public presence online for sharing my new creations and anything Astrid and I feel might be helpful or inspiring, and for nurturing special connections, but I have felt drawn to be more by myself, otherwise, and especially so in the physical – preferring to stay home or do things separately, rather than attend lots of gatherings and so forth.
Wednesday night, however, I stepped out (just as Astrid did yesterday) and decided to go to a meditation group with Dave. It’s one he meets with regularly each week. I’ve not been nudged to go because I have my own “walking meditation of life,” because of feeling I needed my own space, and also having a lot of things I wanted to use the time differently for.
This evening would be different, as one of the people was inviting everyone for dinner after and it was the end of the month’s theme before a new one would be coming – I didn’t know that until I went.
I decided to re-immerse myself in a group setting, which is reminiscent to my teaching days, to see how it would feel.
It’s a wonderful group, great people, good vibes, and peace filled.
What was interesting is that normally they have about 5-7 people usually, but of course the day I decide to go they have the most – 13. No coincidence.
It involves a meditation, either in silence or guided for about a half hour, and then an open discussion around the month’s theme – mindfulness was May’s.
Other than introducing myself and why I was there, which was a round-circle intro at start, I didn’t say a peep.
But I was very present and listened and felt into how I felt being there.
At the end of the conversation one of the facilitators asked if anyone had ideas for the next month’s theme. Five or six ideas were thrown out and when everyone was done brainstorming I suddenly was nudged to speak.
It was surprising to me that I did, since I just don’t speak just to speak and mostly stay in observing mode unless I’m teaching, which puts me in a different position. But the feeling was so strong that I just honored it.
In a nut shell my theme ended up being self-love. I detailed why, taking into account everything I’d heard from everyone that evening, the questions people were exploring, answers searched for, and even the themes they came up.
Self-love, to me, was the umbrella for all of them and I explained why.
I was the last to speak and they took a poll after and they ended up unanimously choosing my topic.
I had no idea that my thought would have that impact.
Later that evening at dinner, a few people thanked me for the topic, as they felt challenged by it and knew it was important because of that. Another thanked me for the reminder, as it felt exactly what they needed with things they’ve been working on and had forgotten. Another reiterated that it was an answer to the example he’d given about how to permanently clear a glass of water that’s dirty – symbolism used during the evening’s discussion.
I was grateful I had gone that night and listened to the nudge to allow myself to be seen again more, but in a different capacity.
It reiterated to me what I find to be my strengths in groups, which one of them is my ability to hold a present and neutral energy.
And I found it interesting that the theme everyone felt was exactly what they needed, whether it felt comfortable or not, was also the one this year’s Challenge ended up being about – of which I had just hours before posted on my blog.
In self-love and nurturing, finding those depths within to appreciate and bring to light, we do indeed shine our lights more, open to being seen, and invite more expansive ways of seeing what is possible.
So, both Astrid and I had a “stepping out” this week. We stretched beyond what was currently our comfort zone, which merged both an inward growth that had an outward reach.
We embraced our gifts and made space for them to grow and see where they might lead next.
And that leads us both wanting to leave you with the reminder of our New Moon Gratitude Giveaway Challenge.
Originally we said to let us know by end of today, May 31st, if you felt called to join us, but we’re extending that to the end of this Sunday, June 2nd.
We already have a lovely group of people officially joining and a couple who are joining, but on their own, yet want to do it during the same time so that they combine their efforts and energy collectively.
I know it’s challenging to look at yourself and perhaps challenging to think how you could possibly come up with 10 things a day to be grateful for and why about yourself. It’s okay if some might pop up more than once throughout the 8 days, as perhaps that theme is speaking a lot and it’s an important thing getting your attention. It’s also wonderful if you actually have unique things each day. It challenges you to shift your perspective and find the things you’d easily be able to “out there,” but now do so “in here.”
You are a creative being and that makes you limitless in how to be curious and look at yourself.
They don’t have to be profound things.
They simply need to be about you.
You are beautiful and worthy of this.
I believe fully if you embrace something like this – even if not officially by joining us – that you will feel and experience a shift and may find greater clarity to directions you’re contemplating, perhaps less doubt, more joy, a positive outlook, feel even more compassionate, and even see things shift outside of you or become clearer because of the new way you’re relating with yourself. It may just make you feel much better about you and that makes your experiences with others much better.
If you do want to join us, please let me know either in the comments or message me directly through my CONTACT PAGE.
Wishing you all a beautiful weekend as you anchor into the New Moon energy.
You may remember my Summer Solstice Gratitude Giveaway from 2018, almost exactly a year ago. It was the second giveaway I hosted and was extremely well-received, as well as had far-reaching effects and benefits to all who joined. I still hear from people who have continued implementing their practice and how it supports the shifts and challenging times they go through, while helping them to expand and live more abundantly.
Well, I’ve been strongly nudged to offer this again, but with a little twist.
I’ve been feeling into the collective energy and listening to what people have been sharing, as they navigate current big changes once again cycling through.
In the midst of challenges and trying to figure things out, it’s easy to forget your practice and rituals of gratitude, but especially of self-care and creating space for you.
So this time the challenge, if you so choose to accept it, will combine a gratitude practice with self-nurturing and love.
This is only an invitation, so if you don’t like the guidelines or resonate with following the structure of it, you simply can choose not to participate or use it as inspiration to create your own practice, add to one you already have, or simply use it as a reminder of mindfulness.
If you do feel a draw to participate and feel like accountability would be helpful, then I welcome you to join.
Here are the guidelines for the Giveaway that will result in implementing changes relative to your life, experiencing more of what you want in your life, and may even see you receiving a gift from me.
New Moon Gratitude Giveaway:
1. Accountability: Please let me know by this Friday, May 31st that you have decided to commit to this challenge. You can either let me know in the comments of this blog post, or CONTACT ME ***** If you find this through my posting it on Facebook or Instagram, please STILL ONLY CONTACT ME ABOUT JOINING VIA THESE 2 OPTIONS. It helps me out a lot to have everything in one place. I know people tend to miss details due to a lot of info to take in, but hoping this helps.
2. Gratitude in Action: Starting June 3rd and for the next 8 full days until the end of June 10th please begin a daily practice of gratitude – even if you already are – in which case go further. This is where the twist comes in: Rather than creating a list of at least 10 things you are grateful for and why about just ANYTHING (which in many cases will result in being grateful for things “OUT THERE”), I am going to ask that you look for things to be grateful for that are about yourself ONLY. (things “IN HERE”) – (Please read through the end of this blog to see why this is important and for examples). At the end on June 11th, you’ll send me this list just like you did last time. You can either type them up or take a photo of your journal pages and send that to me. I know this can be vulnerable, so I understand people not wanting to participate, however that is also a hugely empowering part of this and of course anything you share with me stays between us. I’m a Reiki Master Teacher and have also coached with clients so I honor that relationship. This will give you at least 80 things and reasons you are grateful for something about yourself. The more heart connection you can create with this, the more you increase the frequency of this experience, depth of healing, and expansive magnetism it creates.
3. Giving in Action: This is an important one! For each of these 8 days I’d like you to do at least one thing in the way of giving and/or nurturing to yourself that you wouldn’t normally do. Please make note of that in your journal next to your list of things you’re grateful for and why about yourself.
4. Responsibility: Send me your Gratitude and Giving lists by the end of the day on Tuesday June 11th. I would also love to hear how this experience was for you and anything you noticed shifting in your life during and/or after the 8 days.
5. Integrity: All of this truly is between you and yourself on whether or not you actually do these things and how much you invest of yourself in them. And with that said, it would be wonderful if you can make a promise to yourself to continue this forward long after June 10th. See this New Moon energy as the portal to make a huge life shift – even if it is simply in fine-tuning what you already do. For some, this may be a new experience. Either way, I assure you that you will experience positive and enriching shifts in your life during this time period and as a result. And if you maintain this as your daily walking meditation you will experience things exponentially, but most importantly your quality of life will be enhanced, as will everyone and every experience you come in contact with. There are so many ways you can fine-tune this process and challenge yourself to rise to greater levels with it by going farther with it all and in every circumstance. You will learn creative ways that gratitude now is simply aligning you with probable realities your frequency is matching. The choosing of the realities is up to you, but they await you realizing them.
Of course adding this to a gratitude practice, in general, about ALL of the things you are grateful for would be truly powerful too, but I tend to see how self love and nurturing continues to be neglected and so this is why I’m focusing this particular challenge on YOU.
I think it can be easier to find things about others or things around us to be grateful for, but is harder for us to look at ourselves with the same loving eyes of appreciation and love.
So, why am I focusing this on you?
Since we know the power of “what you embody within will reflect without” this alone is reason.
We also are well aware of the thought that you can’t give what you don’t already have yourself – or at least perhaps not as fully.
We’ve also heard, “if you can’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?”
And, if you’re always giving out, but never open to receiving, then you aren’t fully exercising truly living in abundance. When we give to and receive from ourselves as well, this gets an extra boost.
We get messaged in every which way about how mission and service is of utmost importance. That you need to think in this vein, “how can I be of service?” And while I agree that taking into account the highest good for all concerned is key, the word “all” remember is inclusive of you, too!
We tend to bypass ourselves because we’ve been told that is selfish. We’ve also been told about the ego and to have any of that would also be a taboo. But the “you” I’m talking about is not about some ego-trip, nor is about not caring about anyone else.
It’s seeing everything and everyone connected.
What it’s not about is being a martyr and self-sacrificing.
What is about is authenticity, showing up, living out loud, expressing your unique self and fullness, and being the best version of you within the collective tapestry. And in order to do that, there’s a level of self nurturing, love, and care that is needed. There’s a level of appreciation for the beautiful gifts you have, for your life, for the ability to shine your individual light. There’s a need for you to have space, time, and value.
Because when you are doing these things, it automatically translates as the highest good for all concerned.
When you disregard yourself, push yourself aside, diminish your light, relinquish your right to express yourself, feel bad about or hide your gifts, and believe you aren’t worthy of things, then others feel that too.
Others receive your example, as permission to do the same – what ever that is. And they act accordingly, which may look something like a lot of people yearning for self love and finding ways to fulfill that hopelessly and endlessly, or even defend or lash out about that missing piece hopelessly and endlessly.
Gratitude is a powerful thing – you can read the link from my last post, above, about this. And having gratitude for, and appreciating your uniqueness, accomplishments, and value can take things a step further.
It’s like the layers of an onion we always talk about peeling away.
We can take things deeper and the core of you is a powerful place to focus, alongside the rest of the wonderful work, practices, and gratitude that you make time for.
Here are some examples of things you might find about yourself to share with yourself:
I think this might be a tricky challenge because you might find it easier to say something like, “I’m grateful for the job that I have.”
Now, while that is a wonderful thing to have gratitude for and truly does shift things by expressing and feeling that, it still isn’t personal enough for this challenge.
Your job is something outside of you, or an extension of you.
So how can you make it more personal?
What is it about you that made you the perfect candidate for the job? What qualities do you have that make you exceptional at your job?
So, for instance, “I am grateful for my ability to understand and listen to people and for my sensitivities that enable me to be good at knowing our customers’ needs, find common threads, and be a good team builder.”
These would be more in line with self-love and nurturing. Seeing how something unique about you is a gift. And on top of it, you can see how that gift you have is “serving the higher good.”
It could even shift what you have felt about that gift. For instance, you may have been down on yourself for being an empath or being so sensitive, but in fact those gifts you think are curses, are quite a blessing.
So reach in to find and have gratitude for that gift. Not focusing on the limitations, but the possibilities it provides.
Another example could be, “I am grateful for the way I can find humor in everything, for my silliness and playfulness, and the ability to always see through the eyes of my inner child. I am grateful to be a child at heart because it creates a feeling of wonder for everything around me, helps me to appreciate the little things, and helps lighten situations, as well as gives others permission to have fun too.”
So, rather than say something like, “I am grateful for the children of the world that make me smile,” can you see how the above makes it personal, but still extends out into the world as service, once again.
This all also creates greater self awareness while also nurturing an appreciation for who you are – as you are a beloved child of the universe.
It helps to create presence, supports you to slow down and create time and space for yourself, and helps to anchor in the new with greater empowerment to move forward with.
You’ll likely discover some resistance, icky feelings, blocks, and other feelings dredged up. I encourage you to go with the flow and try not to judge what comes up. Be gentle with yourself. Your inner child will thank you for this.
Again, we’re not in any way negating or stopping the practice of gratitude in general for anything, but we are taking it deeper and extending it to the inner landscape, as a means to create a ripple on the outer one – inside out.
Love as service.
Self-nurturing as mission.
These effect the whole.
They ARE the whole.
Imagine what a world of self-nurtured individuals might be like. Souls that have learned appreciation and value for their uniqueness now interacting in the world and able to really see and appreciate one another’s individuality and value. What possibilities might that create?
I hope this makes sense.
That brings us to the Giveaway part.
At the end, after I receive everyone’s submissions on the 11th, I’ll then be randomly choosing FOUR people to receive a free gift.
If only four or less people join, you’ll all receive a gift.
If more than four people join, then I will do a random, blind drawing of names, likely helped out by Astrid, to pick four recipients.
So, again if you decide this would be of benefit to you to join, regardless of the gifts involved or not, then you can either comment to this blog or use the Contact page to let me know that you are participating.
The four people will be receiving one of our mini magick rabbit faery gardens or magick rabbit baskets as your gift.
These are enchanted little themed worlds that carry an energy, reminder, theme, and inspiration for life.
They are truly mini portals of possibility.
I am going to be taking part in this myself, alongside anyone who wants to join, but of course I’m not part of the names to be drawn.
The Gratitude Giveaway will start this Monday, June 3rd on the New Moon and will go through the end of Monday, June 10th – that’s 8 full days this time.
New Moons are excellent times to begin anew – create new intentions, renew commitments, take action toward goals, and are great for self-awareness to align with your hopes and dreams for the future.
That energy feels perfect for this.
If you choose to participate, please make sure to read the guidelines and follow them exactly as written and don’t forget to let me know by end of this Friday, May 31st, that you’ll be joining.
You also have the option of simply taking part in this without letting me know or receiving anything in return.
You are a limitless being and there are limitless reasons you might be reading this right now and it might be speaking to a part of you.
It’s completely up to you how or if you want to take this journey.
Yet, I assure you, by truly committing and upping your normal approach, your life will take a lovely turn.
Astrid has been both extra loving outward AND open to and willing to ask for extra love for herself these days. And while she has been demonstrating this, I’ve noticed myself turning even more attention to self-nurturing than I already do and hearing from others who are finding circumstances and cycles making it essential that they, too, turn the love light back on to themselves as well.
The above photo shows her giving to, and receiving from her calming and powerful master amethyst rabbit friend. She spends a lot of time tuning in with, giving velvety tongue kisses to, and laying next to her crystals, to include the three giant quartz you see to her right – the golden and pinky lilac quartz from Tahoe and the smaller one in front from Montana – found right after Joy transitioned, on one of the most magickal Faery hikes ever not far from her place of departure.
Nurturing is a vital element of well-being, growth, productivity, and ability to thrive. There is much our hearts long to do and give out, but we simply can’t only be flowing energy in one direction. We know this concept, but do we put it into action?
If we don’t slow down, many times we find ourselves forced to.
If we get stuck in our heads, our hearts will cry out.
If we’re tired, but keep pushing, our bodies give out.
If something needs our attention, it’s sure to get it.
If we overextend our energy, the boundaries we haven’t exercised become strict teachers drawing the lines for us.
If we simply need a pause or extra softening to ensure well-being, our emotions may feel extra sensitive so that we nurture more tenderness to ourselves.
While Astrid and I have been re-evaluating and redirecting ourselves, I’ve noticed that both the changes that are formulating and my own body’s rhythms are needing extra attention that involves even more self-care and self-love.
As I get closer to 50, hormones are shifting, more solidity in myself is forming, and more questions come up as to the life I/we want to create for the time remaining.
This creates more reflection and sensitivity that desires a lot of love be directed within and Astrid is mirroring this with the evolution of her growth as well. This brings the two of us in even stronger bond together, as we navigate this new cycle we’re stepping into.
A new level of awareness and embodied response seems to be in motion.
I find myself implementing more self-care routines, listening to my body’s needs, and creating greater clarity of alignment.
Sleep has always been important to me on many levels, but lately I find myself so enamored with that time of day when I lay my head on my pillow. Although the day is full of enriching things, I so look forward to that time of restoration and dream work at night. It feels like it’s own elixir and healing supplement.
As I have been writing this, Astrid has been to my left suspended in a state of meditation – quite literally. I’ve never seen her do this before, but she was in a position where her head was bowed down in a curve fully toward her heart, like the neck of a graceful swan, and has held it there for minutes on end, with eyes in a tranced deep state and her not budging.
Her shape also creates the effect of one half of a heart.
Synchronously, I was feeling how she and I seem to have been expressly made for each other as a reflection and other half, while I then noticed her in this suspended position.
She always knows what I’m thinking – or rather, she simultaneously sends me the message that becomes my own thought.
We are definitely two halves of a shared heart.
And that seems to be her message to me.
We are mirroring the needs and awareness our hearts speak.
And all of the love and special nurturing and understanding I extend to her, ultimately is about touching my own heart that she reflects.
I believe her message is simple.
We may think we are only feeling strongly compelled to give to and nurture others and what touches our hearts out there, but even if we don’t ever want to look further into what anything means, ultimately the connection we share to everything is glowing brightly from our heart within.
Perhaps that’s why so many healers, therapists, counselors, teachers, creatives, visionaries, activists, etc. are compelled by helping others or a cause.
Some call it the wounded healer, but it’s simply a desire to love ourselves as the reflection we love out there.
And when we love out there, to realize how much we love what’s in here.
It’s walking through life with full open heart, flowing in and out.
It shifts how we respond to life simply carrying the awareness of connection.
Continued self-love, nurturing, and gentle kindness toward yourself is important to remember and implement, as the strong energy waves of change keep sweeping through. Ups and downs are not unusual while we ride these currents, but breaking the patterns of how we experience things can be possible.
Emotions continue to rise and we are called to greater ways of working with these feelings both around us and within us.
“We are built to handle change,” Lee shares. We can harness our fear and learn to transmute it.
Listen through to the end for a clip from this month’s MP3 from The Portal.
In Monday’s blog post titled Things You’ve Been Curious To Know I opened things up here to any questions you might have for me that you’ve been curious about. I’m going to go ahead and post the first eight that I’ve received while I have some time to write some thoughtful answers.
Thank you for the great questions. I hope they provide a little extra look into who I am and perhaps even reflect something timely for you, as they certainly come at a synchronous time for me since I’ve just accepted Barbara Franken’s October Challenge – A True Selection of Awakening Experiences Part III to share my thoughts on the next leg of my journey since my Part II contribution. This will be shared on October 22nd.
Until then, here are my thoughts to the following questions received:
Was there a particular moment or thing that felt pivotal for you or made a difference in who you are now?
Well, that’s a tough one to answer in one swoop, as there are several things that come to mind. In some cases they were sudden click-ins of realizations, in others they were pivotal choice-points, and yet others were specific experiences that affected me in more profound ways than others. But if I’m honest with all of it, although each of the things that come to mind helped make a shift, in many ways they weren’t strong enough to take full hold at the time. And so, I had to keep experiencing several similar types of things to hit all levels within me for greater leaps. That said, I would then have to say the stand-outs really are when I made the decision to stop searching for some miracle answer, stop working with others to give me answers I wasn’t recognizing I already had, stop searching for wholeness through relationships, and embraced my individuality. In terms of people, my brother was pivotal in helping to refocus what was most important and kept me on track in my earlier years. In terms of places, Egypt was the greatest trigger power spot that helped activate the greatest remembrance and empowerment on my two sacred journeys-of-return there. In terms of love, my twin soul in rabbit body, Nestor, reminded me of what was most important, who I am, and helped me see the truth. And in terms of game-changers, deciding to leave everything behind to explore my options when I was offered a choice to return to the stars for good, go off and live in an RV for a year and a half immersed in Nature, and letting go of all that I knew for what is most reflective of my heart now, was the greatest choice I made and provided a new lease on life to merge my Earth and Cosmic self in a new, more authentic and freeing experience.
What fears do you have or still struggle with?
The fear I work with the most is my fear of heights. I continue to implement processes that help me move through it. It is not an all-encompassing fear of heights, as I have no fear of flying, para-gliding, etc. It is a fear of standing, walking, or climbing on edges of drop-offs. It speaks to me about my having always felt more comfortable “out there” and of not being grounded, but flying freely and feeling most at home in my imagination. I have been able to work through this fear the most in recent years because of my willingness to be more in my body now, whereas I was always not fully here. My coming into more anchoring in my life, feeling at home and secure in my body, loving myself, and understanding the importance of merging spiritual and physical in order to live fully and manifest on this plane of existence are the factors that are helping to integrate this now. It does no good to have dreams if we aren’t actualizing them…that’s what it boils down to for me. So, spending tons of time in Nature and embracing the reflections as the nature of me, and being willing to challenge myself to greater heights of experience that don’t follow in the vein of what I’ve always done and comes easy, is also aiding this process. I now put myself in situations like hiking mountains and the Grand Canyon, skiing, and embracing new mountains of experience to climb in my life. I am now able to support myself through this and the fear no longer controls me. With patience and love, I am my own support system.
I always had the fear of speaking in public since Kindergarten. It was not there before that, so was triggered by changes that took place in my life. It took most of my life to get to the point where I could do this and teach and lead classes and retreats. But I did it and it also was one of those things I nurtured my way through and in that case listened to trusting myself and letting go of judgments in order to find my natural flow with it as well. I can’t say this fear is fully gone, as I don’t know that things ever fully leave us, but instead we learn to manage, process, and make friends with them so that we are not taken over and controlled by fear. Instead, we become masters of our fears and learn how to utilize them most effectively for the gifts they have to teach us.
You always seem so happy. Is this how you are all the time?
Thank you for that reflection! Well, the truth is, rather than “happy” I would likely say “at peace”. That said, yes I’m the happiest I’ve been at this time in my life, but it stems from a sense of peace and inner harmony that has settled after many many years of struggle and inner turmoil. If you see me smile and enjoying myself now, I truly am feeling that from deep within me, whereas for the earlier years of my life it would have been a mask I wore so as not to reveal what was underneath. However, if you were to see photos of me from my past compared to now, you would intuitively see that turmoil and how the joy wasn’t fully embodied back then. I do feel peaceful and happy nearly always these days. Does that mean I don’t experience any other kinds of emotions? Of course not, but I will say that if anger or sadness about something comes up, it honestly just moves right through me and doesn’t come to settle or last more than moments. I don’t judge feelings, but rather observe them, recognize them, and allow them their space to be. Because I’ve built over many years, a strong sense of peace and self, I’m not thrown by emotions, they don’t overcome me or control me, and they don’t surprise me. I’m so grateful for the solid sense of peace I’ve worked hard at, which isn’t easy when you haven’t felt at home most of your life on Earth or in your body. I’m sure you can relate.
I love your stories about Astrid and the bunnies you’ve had close relationships with. Well, all of your animal stories are special, but why do you think rabbits are around you so much?
Aw, thank you! My bunnies are my best friends, so that means a lot to me that sharing their stories and our relationship reflects something meaningful to you. Good question, though. I’ve always been strongly connected with animals since I was a little one – more so than with people for sure. My very first furry animal companion (as I mostly only had parakeets when growing up) was a rabbit and later in my late twenties my rabbit, Nestor found me and since then I’ve realized they are my true familiars – although miss Gaia (my Russian Tortoise) and rabbit counterpart made it into my life as well. But as to rabbits, they truly feel to mirror me the most and although I’m moved by animals in general – rabbits stir something in my heart and soul that no other can. They are pure magick to me and complex beings. They take another level of commitment to understand and really need presence, intuition, centered peace, integrity, and purity to interact with. Perhaps I see myself in them and understand them because they are so like me. Perhaps it is their wisdom of working through fears and timidity that I have had in my life, as shared previously, that supports me and vice versa them including with things like social situations and an overload of people’s energies we’re both sensitive to. Perhaps it is their connection with creativity, abundance, and that fertile Spring energy of joyous blossoming that my birth placement as the Empress and a #3 life path reflects. Perhaps it’s their innocent exuberance and playfulness that I adore. Perhaps it’s the dichotomy of their gentle and delicate nature combined with an inner ferociousness available to them if needed that I love. Perhaps it’s their cleverness and spontaneity that I love as a free spirit always thinking of new, creative ways to do things. Perhaps it’s their connection to the Moon and Cosmos, as well as their deep Earth love in perfect harmony. Perhaps it’s because like Faeries, they are creatures of the twilight and so most certainly are best friends to Faeries like me. Yes, it’s all of these reasons and in every way they feel the most mirroring of how I feel myself to be. And for this reason they are the most profound animal spirit guides for me, although I have many other animals around. The spirits that I have strongest connections to that assist me with things this life, come into rabbit bodies for that reason.
What was the worst experience you’ve had and how did you overcome it?
Hmmm, another good question. Gosh, I’ve had a lot of challenging and tormenting experiences in my past – contrary to what it may seem like now. To pick one is hard, but I guess I’d have to turn focus on when Nestor, my twin soul in rabbit body, left Earth. It was the most heart and soul wrenching experience that tore me in half along with her when she separated from her body back to the stars. It was hard for me to grasp the idea I needed to ground myself more and be more of this Earth, when the one I loved most dearly had gone back to where I truly called home. I went into a depression and felt my world crash down upon me. Her leaving also catapulted a huge life shift, divorce, and needing to figure out how to really get on board with the path I’d laid before me and step up bigger. I can’t say that you truly ever get over something like this, as I can always find tears swelling if I think about my bunny loves who have departed. But you can find strength through that pain and a new reason for living from a deeper place of authenticity and love. My heart break both tore me apart, but also cracked me open. And in cracking open, I keep finding new depths of love I didn’t know possible and that comes through acceptance of other emotions like sadness and pain. I remembered that she wanted me to embody wholeness without projecting that onto her. I remembered that I came here for a reason and that there is no real separation. She reminded me she’ll be with me, within me, and by my side all the way and to give up would also give up on what we had together promised to share. I remembered that living fully as the expression of who I am was her greatest desire for me and it became my own. And so, it was through my creative passions and focusing on living the best version of myself that I could, that I found my way out of the depression and the more I did, the more she showered me with gifts from the stars.
Is there anything you learned that you wish you could tell your younger self or share with others as wisdom you gleaned?
Probably the key thing that comes to me is to trust myself. It’s what I always did as a very young child and what I lost once conditioning set in. Everything we need to know and all answers truly are within. NO ONE can give that to you. It’s why I shifted my focus from being what felt like people’s crutches or temporary fix to wanting to purely empower people – I don’t want people feeling they need me and so I started drawing lines for them in the work I used to do. I know we’re each at different places with this and some nurturing, reflection, and support is helpful and can guide you, but truly until I loved, supported, and removed myself from tethered crutches, I wasn’t living fully as my potential, nor in my true power. Nurturing and remembering the song within me has made all the difference, and singing it regardless of what others are doing, is what anchors in peace.
I struggle in the relationship department and with self-love. I’m curious if there’s anything in your experience with relationships that stands out as helpful to share?
Well, this is a tough one, as we all know that self-love IS key and until we feel a strong sense of that we will continue looking for love in all areas of our lives – whether through relationships, addictions, or any next-fix. So for me, I noticed that every single challenge I had in life I kept attracting relationships that would play that out for me if I wasn’t getting the picture. And while that eventually made sense and I was able to start seeing it for what it was, I also realized I didn’t have to keep projecting these things into my relationships and rather, could reflect back on myself and my relationship with the challenges at hand. I also used to tell people I was in relationship with, what they needed to fix and work on, or hoped for change via them. AND, when the going went tough, I’d either continue staying far too long, or made a bee-line for the first open door. It wasn’t until I decided to accept people for who they were (knowing that letting things be will work themselves out naturally as to the truth of a situation made by each person’s choice), practice what I preached and decided to be an example of the change I wanted to see, focused on my own passions and what I needed and wanted to do for myself, and made commitments to work on things fully and see them through, rather than find the easiest escape route, did I experience peace and the ability to function in a healthy relationship – all because I was ultimately having the kind of relationship I wanted with myself.
And last, although this one wasn’t specifically a question sent via my Contact page and was a bit more general, I still wanted to answer it in a way that does feel more personal, so I’m rewording the question to fit more of the theme.
The original question was: Do you have any Magickal Beach Spells you would like to pass along? (It came from someone who lives a block from the Atlantic Ocean and had recently visited the long deep beach due to the New Moon low tide, discovering some treasures and was curious about magickal suggestions)
I’m rewording the question to: Are there any magickal beach rituals or spells you’ve found particularly useful and supportive in your life?
Well, being a Pisces, this is a great question and one that feels close at home since the ocean, or any body of water in general, is my native love. I find the ocean very cleansing, expansive, and rich with creative possibility. She teaches me about unpredictability, resiliency, flow, and the Great Mystery available at her depths. Here are a few things I’ve done over the years at the beach or with the beach/ocean energies that have been helpful and powerful. When wanting to let something go I’ve sometimes placed a small object of meaning or symbolizing something in my life at water’s edge or written a word or phrase in the sand at water’s edge. My intention is strong when doing this and in letting the tide wash it away or take it away, I intend I’m letting go fully and being cleansed of the thing in my life. I hold the vision of the pattern or thing lovingly returning to its origin and me to my own. I have also done powerful rituals of throwing something into the ocean that I’m done with. For instance, while in Bimini on the last retreat I hosted there, I let go of a necklace with three very important pendants on it to me that represented my soul contracts I had that were complete and in doing so I was stepping away from that way of life and service I no longer was willing to perpetuate and ultimately had completed. This helped begin to pave the way for the new to catapult into where I am now. I’ve also done similar with a dream or wish where I meditate at water’s edge and write something in the sand or put a symbol of something about that dream or wish there and let it be carried by the tide to the powers of the sea with intention of being cleansed, old washed away, and the new coming in with a new tide’s cycle – particularly good at New Moon.
I have also brought home seashell gifts and used them atop the soil of my garden tower, around the perimeter of our home, and in my office for protection (since these shells are like safe homes for sea creatures just like that of a tortoise and carry a strength and resiliency with them as well. I will place these with intention and could also be done at particular time periods like Solstices and Equinoxes, Moon cycles that feel connected, etc.
I also have gathered sand, a little ocean water, or treasures to use as element holders in ritual intentions I may cast, in a sacred altar space, for a ceremony, or as ritual I may do in the forest as offerings. Sand is great to cast a circle with as well!
I’m so grateful for these very thoughtful questions and I hope they share a little more insight that helps you get to know me more. It’s a great challenge to review things like this in my life and also a great way to reflect and honor the growth I’ve experienced.
I feel that it’s a powerful and healthy thing for each of us to realize how much we have changed and recognize the work we’ve done.
I hope you can find gratitude for yourself and the ways in which you’ve shifted your own life, as I know you have even more than you think. Just take a glimpse back and I’m sure you’ll see that too. Then please do give yourself a big hug…and one from me….for being you and doing your best.
Stay tuned, as I’ll be announcing the new blog series in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you so much for your constant love and support!
Sending so much love out to everyone during this swiftly shifting and potentially intense time.
The one thing I know is that if ever I’ve felt alone, Nature assured me I had more friends than I could count.
Every bit of magick I believed in and experienced, She whispered reiteration of to me.
Every question I couldn’t understand, She unraveled the simple mystery of before me.
Every Cosmic connection I referenced that met with rolled eyes elsewhere, She clarified with no need to defend.
If lost, Nature reflects the Harmony that always Is.