Playing mind games…with yourself

Playing mind games…with yourself

Positive thinking.  It can lead to better health, less stress in life, and improved relationships with people you know.  So if I just tell myself it’s a nice day outside and put a smile on my face, is that enough?  Am I going to achieve great things from making a few small changes?  Will I be abundant?

The answer to all those questions is a giant MAYBE.  Yes, if you have a smile on your face it can make you feel a bit better throughout the day.  Putting your best foot forward is always a good idea.  Making small changes every day will lead to a big change in the near future.  Everything must be in place first before you can move forward.

One of the biggest things people forget is that you have to be precise about what you want to accomplish.  If you have ever gone through a performance review at your job, you know I’m talking about goal setting.  Your boss is always asking you to be specific about the goals for the coming year so that they have a benchmark to base your performance on.

Manifesting your dreams is the same idea.  You must ask for something specific and tangible.

For example:

If you are tired of your current work situation, you can’t just say “Universe, I want a better job!”  The Universe doesn’t know what you mean by “better job”. Instead, say something like “Universe, I am blessed because I have a career with amazing benefits.  It pays me well. I like the people I work with.  I’m happy with my job and I have a great boss.”  Notice the difference in the tone and phrasing.  The tone is present tense as though you already have it.  Then you must believe and feel that you already have it.  Imagine what it feels like to have this dream job.  Visualize the space, the coworkers, the location, how happy and excited you are to be there.  Go ahead and tell the Universe how much money you want to make. Do this exercise every day until you begin to believe it’s real.  Next the universe will catch up to you (rather quickly) and everyone will be shocked that you were so fortunate.

Except you weren’t fortunate or lucky.  You worked to make it happen through the power of your mind.  Thoughts are incredibly powerful.  Books have been written about the subject.  Your mindset is so important if you want to have a rich and abundant life.

Last month, I was feeling really down on myself and things hadn’t gone as I had planned.  I encountered a bit of emotional conflict and wanted to reach out to people to support me but I didn’t know how.  I’d lost touch with a lot of old friends and I wanted to reconnect.  Would they even welcome me back since I’d been so lazy staying in touch?  I asked the Universe for help and phrased my goal in this way: “I’m reconnecting with my old friends.  We are going out for dinner, drinks, hanging out, etc.  I’m feeling so blessed to be surrounded by my friends and they are exactly where I need them to be.”  The Universe responded in a big way.  All of a sudden, my social calendar was filled up with girly dates!  We went for dinner, coffee dates, walks by the river, wine nights, and dancing!  I was going out and having fun.  Friends that I’d lost touch with for months and even years were getting in touch with me.  My texts were filled with notes from beautiful souls!  I would say that from the time I requested being surrounded by friends till I manifested it into reality was maybe a week.  It’s been a month now since the request was made and the manifestation is still happening!

My life has been so enriched by a simple request that was specific and real.  If you haven’t tried this little mental trick yet, give it a shot and see what happens.  What have you got to lose?

Dumb, angry birds 

Dumb, angry birds 

In the crisp morning air at 6:30am Monday to Friday, I walk to my office building from home.  I live in downtown Calgary and my stroll to work is a glorious time to be outside in the fresh air.  Traffic is light at that time, both pedestrian and vehicular.  The sunrises are spectacular, though I don’t always get a lot of sun with the tall buildings around me.  I enjoy my morning commute immensely, even if that sometimes means getting a whiff of early morning weed off the apartment buildings in my neighbourhood of the Beltline, or saying hello to a friendly bottle collector pushing his cart full of belongings along the alley.

Note to bottle collector: Dude, gravel alleys are totally wrecking your grocery cart tires.  I’m no expert or anything, but that’s why the one wheel is spinning, off balance, and giving you zero control.  You’re welcome.  You’ll probably never see this post.  Moving on…

As part of my journey to work, I have to take the 8th Street SW Underpass.  It is currently under construction.  Recently, the east side of it was completed, and now the west side is under repair.  The 8th Street Underpass is the most heavily used pedestrian corridor into downtown.  About $8.8 million was budgeted by the City of Calgary to enhance this particular stretch of walkway.

The urban lifestyle has its pros and cons.  Some of the good points include being able to walk to work, get groceries, have access tons of eateries, services, and not drive for the most part.  The cons include limited and expensive parking, smaller homes, higher property taxes, homeless people, drug addicts, drunks, and consequently a higher crime rate.

Typically, the 8th Street Underpass serves as a temporary shelter to transient folks looking for a place to panhandle or pass out.  That means having to avoid tripping over them where the underpass narrows.  Well, it narrows because someone is sleeping or sitting on the one side and people strolling South or North have a smaller area to pass.  The smells and sights are oft vomit inducing. In fact, a little dance is sometimes required to delicately hop over piles of garbage, urine puddles, and barf splatters!  The B.O. furthermore clogs the air and one must hold their breath whilst performing the 8th Street Underpass Tango.

To add to the mottled experience of using the pedestrian corridor, sometimes a flock of sparrows is attracted to the leftover, rotting food left by the nomads.  These aren’t just your run of the mill friendly, singing, delightful sparrows.  No, these are devil spawn that are probably near-sighted and tipsy from consuming the high sodium junk food content of the scattered food stuffs and leftover alcohol that the vagrants forgot to finish.  The little bastards flutter around the especially cramped sections of the underpass.  They don’t even try to wait until you’ve moved on before they turn into violent missiles of rabies or avian flu aiming directly for your legs or face.  Many a time I’ve almost been smacked in the head by these drunk birds!

As I pass by the section where these birds are known to dwell, I try to avoid eye contact to prevent any sort of provocation of a flighted attack.  IT NEVER SEEMS TO WORK!!!  What the hell do these assholes want anyway?  I don’t have bird seed and I’m not carrying beer.  So please fuck off!

Sometimes I mutter “Love and light, love and light” as I amble on and that doesn’t seem to have any effect either. Screaming all manner of profanities at the winged hooligans, I quicken my pace to get the hell out of there!

Had I known the 8th Street underpass was basically an aviary for dumb, angry birds I’d probably stop using it.  I can deal with the unsavouries and grossness.  But those shitty little birds are something else.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED, PEOPLE!

 

The Aviary of Hell aka 8th Street Underpass

 

Intro to Smudging

Intro to Smudging

After you have done some of the releasing that you need to, it’s time to cleanse your home.  Clearing your space isn’t just about tidying up and tossing out garbage.  Conducting an energetic clearing of your home removes blockages and negative energy that may have built up in your home or office over time.

When you enter your home from a long day of work or school, you may be exhausted or stressed.  Those energies that you bring in keep piling up in the place that is meant to be your sanctuary.  Compound that with arguments at home with your spouse or children, and more of that negative energy builds up.  If you have a tendency to attract toxic people in your life, that energy will also pour into your home.  Eventually all of that “sludge” will clog up the air and you will feel tense and unrelaxed.  If you are an empath like myself, you’ll feel that energy begin to put a damper on your mood and you will feel the inclination to maybe open a window to let some fresh air in.  This is a great temporary fix.  And when you live in Calgary, where the temperature can fluctuate between freezing cold and boiling hot from day to day, it’s not always practical to leave your windows open constantly.

One of the best methods to clear your space is to use something called “smudging”.  Typically, you can pick up a smudge stick at a metaphysical shop or at a business that sells incense.  Shopping online will open up even more options for buying in bulk or getting herbal blends within the smudge for certain scents that may appeal to you.  Sage is typically the main ingredient, but some places will sell individual herbs to create your own smudge stick at home.  Maybe you’ll want to add cedar or lavender to the mix.

A lot of practitioners will also buy an abalone shell to carry or snuff out the smudge.  Another tool to help you fan the smoke around you is a decorative feather.  This could be something found in nature that you come across on a walk, or you can pick up something special with colourful beads, leatherwork, or extra embellishments that appeal to you.  The fan is a symbolic representation of spirit’s hand in guiding the smoke as it cleanses your space.  Tribal cultures always honour the ancestors (or spirit) before and after a clearing ceremony.  Consider doing this yourself as I find asking for help makes the ritual much more effective.  Thank your spiritual guides after the work is complete as gratitude will invite more positivity into the home.

Before you start the ritual, ground yourself and get into a meditative space.  Open your heart and mind, and set your intention to clear your home or whatever space you intend to detoxify.  Ask spirit to help you remove any blockages to abundance and prosperity that may have built up over time.  Invite spirit to welcome new opportunities for health, financial stability, or attracting better relationships.  Breathe in deeply and get ready to commence.

Upon lighting the smudge, it will give off a fragrant white smoke.  I prefer to use a BBQ lighter because my smudge has a tendency to go out after a few minutes and I need to re-light it a few times before I’m done clearing.  It can take a bit of work for older smudge to light properly so a match is not the best for this task.  Candles are a great option for lighting smudge.

Close your eyes and visualize that this smoke will detoxify your space as it reaches the far corners of your home.  Use your feather to fan the smoke outward from you.  As you walk around your home carrying the smudge, be sure to spend extra time in a place that you think has stagnant energy.  This could be a home office, living room or kitchen where you spend a lot of time.  The bedroom is a great place to focus if you want to improve your sleep and clear the air of the lingering thoughts that fill your head and prevent restful sleep.

Bring your attention to exterior doorways and windows.  Run the smudge smoke along the perimeter of the windows and entryways of your home and ask that no negative energy enter.  Imagine that you’re creating a shield around your windows and exit doors that will stop toxic energy from coming in.  Ask that only positive and loving energy be invited.  Setting your intention for what is allowed in and out makes the work much more powerful.

When you are done walking through all the rooms in your home and you’ve set up your shields around the windows and doors, go back to the first place you started and thank the ancestors, spirit, or angels (whoever you invited to assist you in the first place) and snuff out your smudge into the abalone shell.  Maybe it’ll go out on its own naturally.  Some people prefer to let nature do its work, but for safety reasons I prefer to snuff mine out in case there is a lit ember that I’m unaware of.

After you have finished, breathe in deeply and revel in the lightness of your home.

How frequently should you clear your home?  I think that depends on your circumstances.  If you have a home-based business or you invite a lot of guests over, they can carry a lot of energy with them that you may not know is positive or negative.  Maybe in that situation you may clear your home every day or every week.  Or if you don’t have a lot of visitors, you might clear it every few weeks or months.  It really depends on your mood and what is practical for you.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Enjoy the work and give it a shot!

Get in touch with me if you are hesitant to try this on your own and would like a professional space clearing done.

Releasing the old

Releasing the old

When you’ve decided to move on with your life after a time of upheaval, you should take the time to release the energies of the past before opening the door to new possibilities.

For instance, maybe you have decided you no longer want to remain friends with a toxic person.  Or you’ve endured a bad breakup.  Perhaps you lost your job.  Maybe a loved one passed away and you’ve been in mourning.  Or you heard some bad news about your health.  Any of these major life changes can have a dampening effect on your psyche.  After a period of feeling sad, depressed, or angry, you might decide that it’s time to move on.

One of my favourite exercises for releasing the stagnant energy past is writing a letter and burning it.  The act of writing is very cathartic.  It’s intimate and heartfelt.  You can be as angry or sad as you want in it.  Use bad words.  Cry all over it until the ink smears or runs down the page. You’ll never be sending it out to anyone so you can say whatever you want.  There’s no need to be diplomatic or worry about hurt feelings.  Once you have written down everything you’ve ever wanted to voice, you can burn the letter and release the energy into the Universe.  The negative energy will no longer reside within you and a burden will be lifted.  You intention is to move on and let go of the past.

If you live in a place where open fires or candles are not allowed, burying the letter is also another option.  Another method might be to rip up your letter and release the energy before tossing it out.  Whatever works for you.

Another brilliant tactic is to scream your head off.  Maybe go for a long drive or wait until you’re alone in your home.  Scream.  Keep screaming at the top of your lungs until you are exhausted.  Put all your negative thoughts into the force behind the scream.  Eventually you’ll lose your voice or give yourself a headache.  Perfect!

If you are a creative person, maybe drawing something or using one of those adult colouring books might appeal to you.  As you colour vividly with negative thoughts in your head, you will eventually get to a point where you think that whatever you’ve made is beautiful.  That’s your release.

Going through an exercise like what I’ve described above helps you empty your tanks of anything that holds you back from achieving your goals.  It’s important to clean the slate. It will make you feel better so you can stop dwelling on the past.  We overanalyze and keep replaying thoughts in our head that we have no control over.  This is a waste of energy and time.  Spend your energy on something that will benefit you and be constructive, not keep you in the place you started.

My next blog post will be about energy clearing and removing blocks on your life to make room for abundance.

Mars Retrograde is over! What now?

mars
So….I totally didn’t know about this until it ended. LOL

Thank god June is over!  I’m not sure if anyone was going through a lot of person “hell” but I know I had a topsy turvy month of emotional warfare from within.  Did you feel hypersensitive to everyone and everything?  Snapping at people, being generally over-anxious, and feeling the weight of the world’s problems.  These were all signs of Mars Retrograde apparently and this period literally just ended.  Ok, I’ll admit I only looked it up yesterday.  Phew!  Mars is the Roman god of war, so the turbulence you may have suffered can be attributed to this astrological phenomenon.  Everyone just take a breath and be grateful you survived.  And if you felt nothing this month, we are all very jealous!  It’s time to begin the next chapter of our lives.  How do we do that?

When I meditate, I generally do not quiet my mind and have all thoughts disappear.  I enjoy meeting with my spirit guide during meditation and ask her to show me the signs of what’s coming next for me and what I should be preparing for.  Sometimes it takes a few days of reflection to figure out what the symbols mean.

My intuition is telling me that there is going to be a period of slow growth for me, career-wise and personal development-wise.  This period is likely to last till the end of September.  But knowing me, I have little patience when it comes to my own self-development (don’t we all?).  As usual, I’m going to attempt to speed up the time frame.  My spirit guide’s telling me not to do that!  We argue sometimes.  NBD.  Haha!

Would you like to work on your intuition?  Try this exercise: close your eyes and breathe deeply in a quiet space until you feel calm and ready.  You could be sitting outside, lying in bed, or standing in your kitchen.  Get rid of distractions even if it’s just for 10 minutes.  Guide your thoughts and ask your higher self/Universe/spirit guide/angels to send you signs.

Always be specific about what you are requesting.  If you want a sign regarding money, ask for it.  If you want a message regarding how to deal with an annoying coworker, request it that way.  The more specific you are, the more poignant the symbols will be.  You’ll keep getting them until you listen.  Sometimes we ignore signs because we think they are ludicrous or they can’t be real.  The Universe has a sense of humour and will keep pestering you until you bloody well respond and say “Ok, ok, I get it now!!”

If you are not used to this exercise, you’ll have to do it repeatedly over several days before the signs may appear.  Don’t give up, everything happens when it’s supposed to.  The point is to have faith that you’ll receive the signs when you are ready.  Try this for the next week and turn on that giant satellite dish in your head to receive the signals you’ve been waiting for!

Of course, it doesn’t end there.  When you start receiving the symbols, it’s also up to you to put the puzzle pieces together.  That’s where it gets murky.  As my blog develops, I’ll attempt to toss a few pointers your way on symbol interpretation.  Good luck!

A Definition

A Definition

What is a goddess?  I speak a lot about this in my blog posts regarding surrounding myself with women who I consider goddesses.  But what does that look like to me?  What might that look like for someone else?

Do we consider goddesses to be these statuesque beauties that enthrall both men and women as they walk by?

What about women who have made their own way in the world and overcome great barriers to get to where they are?

How about women who suffer and survive the hardships in their lives?

Perhaps they are women who have overcome great anxiety within themselves and learned coping strategies to better manage their mental and emotional turmoil within.

Goddesses come in all shapes and sizes and they certainly don’t look the same.  One thing they all have in common is that they support one another through thick and thin and bring each other up. Goddesses inspire, teach and live their truth.  They encourage others to follow their own paths, wherever they may lead without fear or judgement.  This is integrity and being in command of one’s own life.  The key to being a goddess is that no one can boss her around!

One cannot be a goddess if she is fearful of her own shadow, lives with overwhelming anxiety and worry, and cowers in the darkness when things get a little tough.  Seek help for this.  No one wants to live in fear and the constant barrage of the critical voices inside your head. It is possible to turn a critic into a fan! If you are aspiring to be a goddess, it’s time to fight those demons and stand up for what you believe.

Who do you want to be?  Who are you right now?  Deep questions can lead to extraordinary answers!

Goddesses walk among us

Goddesses walk among us

Once upon a time, I used to be a sorority girl.  Back in 2002, I decided to return to University to complete a bachelor’s degree in Commerce.  After one semester of hating my classes, I switched to Political Science.  In that first month, I came across a booth at the University of Calgary’s Club Week where a few cheery faced girls greeted me with big smiles and invited me to their recruitment sessions.  I was intrigued.  In fact, I wanted to see what kind of bimbos would show up to this thing so I could make fun of them later with my friends.

I was a very jaded 20-something who believed everything she saw on tv about US sororities.  The Canadian counterparts (especially in Calgary) are tame in comparison and a lot of stereotypes were shattered in my time at university.

Turns out the “bimbos” were all regular women in all sorts of degree programs that I would never have had a chance to meet if I wasn’t in the Panhellenic Room that week.  The Panhellenic organization is the umbrella group that oversees the good relations among sororities (female fraternities) and ensures that recruitment is done fairly so that new members have a chance to make a well-informed decision without being biased by bells and whistles, better party room selection, or flashier decorations.  The system is not perfect by any means, but they do their best.

I met with the ladies of Alpha Gamma Delta and Alpha Omicron Pi in the last week of September 2002, which is typically recruitment week.  The ladies in both groups were welcoming.  They were all so interested in learning about me and their networking strategies for meeting people within a large group are still skills I use today in the corporate world.

My first choice was Alpha Gamma Delta.  I fell in love with the girls in the room and I really wanted to be a part of that group.  When I got in my heart swelled with the knowledge they wanted me too.

Through Alpha Gam, I learned how to run a business.  We had meetings where we dressed up in business casual attire and discussed all the operations of the organization, including events we were planning, doing reports, holding offices, and doing presentations relevant to the women.  We had to deal with budgets, our international headquarters, and study halls.  Our collective GPA had to remain above a certain level and those who worked the hardest in school were rewarded with scholarships through AGD and other awards.  It was a good feeling to work hard and to also be acknowledged for your accomplishments.

Another thing that happens when you hang out with a bunch of women is that you become really close friends.  My sisters were there for me through thick and thin.  Every lunch hour, I had someone to sit with.  Studying at the library was more fun because my friends were with me.  We partied together, but we worked our butts off to keep those grades high.  We consoled each other through break ups.  We counselled each other when we had problems with our boyfriends, coworkers, friends or family.

In 2005, I convocated from my undergraduate program and became an alumna of AGD. I feel strongly that some of the friendships that are made in University end up becoming permanent.  I’m not sure if my sisters feel the same way, but even though many of us are out of touch, we still know each other intimately and could pick up the phone and call anyone to help us in a bind.  The bonds of sisterhood are unshakeable and I am grateful to have had such a strong female presence in my life over a decade ago.  I reminisce about that time with great fondness.  That’s not to say we didn’t have our catfights and gossip problems.  I also learned how to deal with conflict resolution through those experiences.  Haha!

Why am I bringing this experience up?  I work a lot with goddess energy.  I’m drawn to large groups of women all the time.  Not just any women, but women who are passionate about what they do and fearlessly tackle the biggest problems anyone has had to face.  They laugh, they cry, they disappear but then re-emerge stronger.  These goddesses inspire me to keep working towards my own goals.  Being a part of that powerful feminine energy is divinity on earth.

If you have not found that group that inspires you yet, I say keep looking.  Reconnect with old friends.  Make new friends.  Go out and seek people who are like-minded.  Stay away from people who are judgmental and don’t accept you.  Toxic people drain your energy.  Trust your gut and surround yourself with love.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice

It’s the first day of summer!  And this year we have a full moon to contend with: the Strawberry Moon (which marks the beginning of the strawberry season).  I read basically one article to verify my info and it sounded legit so now you can sound smart when you’re talking to your friends and coworkers today about it.  Haha!

A time for rebirth, hot days and evenings, sitting on patios and decks, spending time with friends, and mosquito bites!  The days supposedly start to get shorter as well in the Northern Hemisphere. Well, you can’t have the good without the bad.  Everything in balance!

The full moon is a great time to tie up loose ends.  Imagine the journey that you’ve taken since the last full moon (which is typically a month) and decide what you will put to rest, and what you will continue working on.  It’s a great time to clear your head and re-focus on your goals.  What would you like to accomplish in the next month?  I want to challenge myself to work out more and reconnect with old friends who I’ve lost touch with.

Also, it’s a Monday morning as I type this.  I am drinking a lot of coffee. 😉

Knee scopes and spirit guides

Knee scopes and spirit guides

Last week, I underwent a minor surgical procedure to trim a torn medial meniscus in my left knee.  I had injured it skiing 2.5 years prior and it only started acting up in October 2015.  My surgeon did a knee arthroscopy to correct the problem and I’ve been in healing since.

However, in the week leading up to the surgery, I was filled with anxiety about it.  Literally anything and everything would set me off in a dangerous spiral of paranoia and debilitating fear.  I would hyperventilate and breath shallow.  There was tightness in my throat and chest.  I would start crying about the dumbest things.  This type of psychological drama is foreign to me.  I normally keep my wits about me and am typically fearless in all aspects of my life.  So what the hell happened to my confidence?  I know, it all went to shit!

In any case, I called on my spirit guide frequently leading up to the date of my scope.  Never having gone through an invasive procedure like this,  I was terrified of something going wrong.  What if there was a scar left behind?  What if I could never walk again if the surgeon messed up?  What if I died on the operating table from some freak blood clot?  What if the local anesthesia didn’t work and I felt everything?  Aaaaaahhhhhh!

I was so anxious that I, in fact, didn’t even tell my family the date of my surgery because my mom is usually a nervous wreck anyway and I didn’t want the burden of having to ease her mind when my own wasn’t even close to having it together.  She was mad at me for not telling her, but I had my reasons and I am still quite sure I made the right decision on that one.

While I awaited surgery, my spirit guide, Inanna, came into my little waiting “room” and kept me company.  I told her to show up in full adult form in front of me.  She did.  I asked her to show herself in her glory, in the Mesopotamian military regalia that I expected she wore (not the fairy queen outfit I gave her in my mind so she could be pretty).  I asked her to show herself as a warrior because that’s who I needed in that room.  She held my hand and told me everything would be fine.  She stood watch over me as I fitfully stared at the ceiling and awaited the nurse to call me in.  Inanna wore ornate, scaled bronze armour minus the weapons, and when I saw that, it shielded me too.  After all, she is the Goddess of War (among other things including love, sex and fertility.)

Inanna, accompanied me to the OR and stood by to ensure that I was ok.  This was the first time I felt her incredibly warm presence and reassurance for such a prolonged period of time.  Much to my relief everything went fine with the procedure. It only took 15 minutes from the time the incisions were made and the time the surgeon sealed the wounds.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

The recovery this week has been going well.  I am able to walk, have no blood clots and I await the steri tapes falling off at some point so I can inspect my scars underneath.  I’ve heard chicks dig scars!  Haha!  Steri tapes hold incisions closed so that stitches are not required to be removed later.

Have you called on your spirit guides/angels/guardians in times of need and healing?  If you haven’t yet, give it a shot! Allow them to bring their wealth of knowledge and unconditional love to the table.  I found I didn’t have to fight my fears alone.  My friends also listened to my incessant ramblings and I credit them with keeping me sane. But I had someone else with me the whole time which brought immense peace to me even when I thought I was spiraling out of control.

Inanna told me that this experience was to be my baptism into the next chapter of my life and I was to shed my old skin.  Sometimes we don’t always understand the messages that our guides give us, but we have to be open to the communication.

Universe, in the meantime, I say BRING IT!