Messy Emotions; How to better understand yours!

Emy and I returned from our retreat with such Joy in our hearts. We decided to set an intention to keep this Joy, regardless of what life through at us. We had no idea how much we were going to be tested. A series of random concerns and annoyances turned into opportunities to learn how to hold Joy firmly in our heart.

The Joy was overflowing from my heart while on our retreat. I couldn’t stop smiling. Having had the space and time to just be and work on myself was such a beautiful gift. Then we stepped back into our lives and it was life. Things were being thrown into our path to see if we could really continue to navigate with Joy. What a test it was! When I was having an especially hard day, Emy reminded me what Wayne Dyer had said. He told us that, when we are squeezed, all that can come out is what we truly are. If I am Joy then only Joy can be squeezed out of me. So as stressful situations and heartbreaking circumstances popped up, I purposely sent Love (Joy) into the world and to the other parties involved. Hate (Fear) serves no purpose. It only hurts everyone.

I do not mean to say that I am perfect and that I didn’t feel frustrated, fearful, or even angry at some of the things going on. I just didn’t allow myself to stay in those lower vibrational feelings. I believe that ultimately there are 2 emotions and everything else are just ranges along that continuum. There is Love. This is Divinity and our true nature. Love is the energy that creates all of the beauty and blessings we are surrounded by. On the far, other side of the spectrum is Fear.

Fear holds a much lower vibration and is a place where we can get stuck. Look at a situation in your life that brings up negative emotions and then ask yourself why you feel that emotion. Keep digging away and going deeper into that emotion. Keep asking yourself what is underneath it or what is bringing this emotion up. I bet as you peel back the layers you will find Fear deep in the core. You are also likely to find Love there too.

Let’s look at an example. Say you have a friend that has some unhealthy habits. You get so frustrated with this friend; because they just continue to make these poor choices. You try to talk to them or help them but ultimately nothing changes. You may even feel angry with them or even disgusted at this point. Why? Because you love your friend and you want to see them have a happy and successful life. You are fearful that they are going to get hurt or their choices are going to cause them problems that they cannot recover from.

Try this with scenarios in your own life and see what is deep down there. Understanding where the emotions are coming from may not change how you feel but it may make it easier for you to send Love to the person or situation, rather than Fear.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I love you! May you find understanding of your emotions and acceptance of yourself, as if by magic.

*photo was taken in Ybor City, FL

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7 Important Traits of Friends

I feel I am blessed to have so many good friends. Interestingly, I have never been someone who sets out to make friends but somehow I’ve have always been blessed with the most amazing friends. My friends live in many different places and it is a blessing when life brings us to the same places at the same time. Time together is such a gift and as I have grown, I have learned some things about being a friend.

  1. Accept your friends for who they are. They are perfectly them, just as you are perfectly you. If you try to change them you will only feel frustrated and they may feel hurt. Accept them whole for just who they are, warts and all. It is what is inside that really matters. This concept is called unconditional love.
  2. Time together is the greatest thing you can give a friend. There is no need for extravagant gifts. Nothing could be better than spending time and sharing experiences. Last weekend Emy and I shared our retreat. I have another friend who introduced Marty and I to Kirtans and we often attend them together.
  3. Be fair. Equal exchange of energy is very important in life and even more so in relationships. I am blessed to have friends who are very generous with me. It is important that those kindnesses are repaid in some way but not necessarily tit for tat. Marty and I have a friend who lets us do laundry at her home and another who stores our vehicle, when we’re in Florida. Marty and I help with projects around their homes, as we can. There are many similar examples of how we can support each other by assisting with what each other needs, without having to feel a responsibility too. Just lend a hand when the opportunity arrises.
  4. Listen and really let your friend feel heard. One of the greatest gifts we can give another human being is to really listen to what they have to say and hear their stories. When I read tarot cards, it is one of the most important parts of the reading. Hearing what the other has to say and sharing ideas, is such a great way to connect as well. You just never know what may grow out of this exchange.
  5. Be honest with your friends and allow them to be honest with you. If a friend shares a deep dark secret with you, don’t judge them, just accept them for who they are. Hold a space for both of you to speak your truth. Sometimes we can feel pushed into something with friends. We get swept up in the excitement and before we know it we are carried away into something they want to do. Trust your friends to love you, even if what you want to do is not what they want to do.
  6. Encourage your friends. No matter how crazy the ideas may sound to us, having a friend who cheers us on, is a beautiful thing. Often family gets wrapped up in the fear, but a friend can really help us manifest our dreams so we can live our best life.  It is such a blessing to have a friend encouraging you to live the life of your dreams.
  7. Do not take them for granted. I appreciate my friends so much. I always share with them that I appreciate them and their time. I tell my friends I love them because we all need to hear it. I hug my friends. When our hearts meet in an embrace it is such a beautiful moment of warmth and connection.

What traits do you find important in friends? How do you bring your best foot forward in friendships? What traits are important to you when you are looking for friendship from others? We do not travel this life alone. Others join us, some for a large part of our life and other times for a shorter period of time. The length of our friendships does not lessen the impact they may have on us or us on them.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May all of your friendships be meaningful, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in Rome, Italy

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What Is It you Most Want?

As Emy and I prepare to begin our retreat, I find myself wondering what it is I most want. What is it that I am hoping to gain from this experience? How will I grow as a result of going so deeply internal? What guidance will I receive? What will Spirit have to share with me? What should my intentions be?

I know I want to be more fully me. I want to step more completely into being the person I was born to be.  When we live our lives most authentically, then the magic happens. When you live authentically you will feel happier and things fall into place more naturally.

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards:
they try to have more things, or more money,
in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier.
The way it actually works is the reverse.
You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do,
in order to have what you want.

~ Margaret Young ~

The trick is to find the authenticity. We spend so much of our life being told who to be and how to act, that we get lost. As we move into and out of relationships (work, friendships, and romantic) we show different faces of ourselves. We mold ourselves (at least to some degree) to connect with these people. Think about the people who are close to you. Do any of them really know you or do they all know a different aspect of you? How well do you really know yourself? Getting to know ourselves, on a deeper level, is a great gift we can give ourselves.

No matter how you go internal and give yourself the space to learn your true nature, it can be a wonderful process. You never know what might come up. It maybe even be painful at times. Sometimes very painful past emotions will pop up and need to be felt and processed. Allow them to come; don’t push them down. Feel them! Then bless them and release them and know that your are safe in this process.

Authenticity will set you free! This will lead you into living the life of your dreams. Perhaps your dreams are not even what you think they are and will evolve as you get to know yourself better. Blessings to you on this journey!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you have an enjoyable journey finding your authentic self, as if by magic.

*photo was taken of Reflection Lake in Washington State.

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Letting Go of Darkness

The full moon is in a transformative time that comes every 28 days. It is all about letting go of the old, while the new moon is about manifesting or bringing in the new. These energies of the moon start about 4 days prior to the actual event and last for about four days after, according the Susan Miller: Astrologer. This transformative time gives us wonderful opportunities to think about what no longer serves us and what we would like to see come into our lives.

Last night was the full moon. My husband and I attended a Kirtan. These are becoming the favorite feel good events of ours to go to. This full moon Kirtan was a beautiful event and attended by many sweet souls. This, once again, made our souls sing along with our voices; as the call and response of the mantras progressed throughout the night.

When attending an event like this or starting a meditation, going to a yoga class or retreat; it is always a great idea to set the intention for what you hope to achieve or experience. I learned this many years ago from a wise teacher and have found it to powerfully enhance my experiences as well as help me along my path of healing and health. Knowing that there was a full moon shining overhead, I set an intention to let go of any darkness in my heart. To let any anger, fear, jealousy, hate, distrust, sadness, or need to complain flow gently out of my heart and into the earth. There it could become fertilizer to grow something beautiful. I intended for all darkness to leave my heart so only love would reside there. My great grandmother said, “Those who sing, pray twice”. Singing or chanting is a beautiful form of prayer.

As Chi Johnson lead us skillfully through the various chants. We came to the one that was so very perfect for a full moon Kirtan: “Nataraj, Nataraja, Jai Shiva Shankara Nataraja”. (One part of this powerful mantra) Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and transformation. He is also called Lord of the Dance. This is basically asking Shiva to dance through our lives and destroy what no longer serves us, so that we can transform into who we truly are. As we sang this chant I asked Shiva to remove any darkness from my heart. No, not just remove, but destroy anything other than the love that was residing there. “Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe”, Lao Tzu.

When we are hurt, darkness can take hold in our heart center and it can come out in a variety of ways. It has a purpose though; it is trying to protect us. There is purpose is all things, even when we cannot see it or know what it is. The complication is, that sometimes we hold onto these things much longer than we need too. My heart’s fear of being hurt, served me well, as I was healing from the acute pain of a broken relationship. It no longer serves me though. I have held onto it much longer than I needed too. Now is the time to release any darkness in my heart to make room for unending love. Love for all people and things. Love and respect so that I can more fully live in the flow of life. By doing this I can open up to appreciation and gratitude for all the beauty around me.

I am grateful for the Full Moon Kirtan. I am grateful for Shiva dancing through my heart, so that I can release that which no longer serves it. I appreciate all of you who walk your journeys along side mine. When you are ready, know that you are safe to release those things that once protected you.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you easily let go of the darkness that has taken up residence in your heart, as if by magic.

* Photo was taken on the banks of the Ganges River in Rishikesh, India.

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A Little Something to Reflect On

Before you speak, listen.

Before you write, think.

Before you spend, earn.

Before you invest, investigate.

Before you criticize, wait.

Before you pray, forgive.

Before you quit, try.

Before you retire, save.

Before you die, give.

       ~William Arthur Ward

I saw some version of this quote in a high school class room tonight. In a world where so much is available instantly, there are a lot of radical ideas in this quote. How many of these things do we just go through the motions of and do not even consider?

Before you speak, listen. This first line of the quote is so very profound. How often are we so busy telling everyone all the wonderful stuff that we know or have seen, that we never take the time to listen to what they have to share with us. Speaking without listening hinders learning. The people around us are full of interesting tidbits to share but if we are so busy talking and not listening, how can we learn from them?

Before you write, think. In a world where what we write, can be seen by others instantly, this is even more important. This goes for notes, emails, posts, and texts. So often, in the heat of a moment, we can hit the button and send words out into the world that we never really wanted there.

Before you spend, earn. Today credit cards are a way of life. They are a trap that I have fallen into over and over again. Living within your means is an important step to overall wellness. If you don’t have the cash, don’t do it. Taking a good hard look at “our” finances has taught us a lot about how to have a better overall financial health.

Before you criticize, wait. Judging someone is easy but not always accurate. Waiting will give the ‘other’ time to reveal themselves to you. You may learn the rest of the story which may change your viewpoint. That thing, that seemed worthy of you criticism, may turn out to have been a heroic and selfless act. It’s amazing what a little bit of time and distance from an event can teach us.

Before you quit, try. I can’t even count how many times people have said they are not going to try something because it won’t work out them anyway. They are assuming an outcome and quitting before they even get started.

Before you die, give. What does this one mean to you? What is the legacy you leave the world? How can you give? It may not be money or things that you are giving. It may be sharing information. Giving the gift of your time. So many wonderful organizations really need volunteers. Did you know hospices are required to have a certain percentage of volunteer hours? Children’s sports teams, pet rescues, shelters, community initiatives, and so many other groups would not be able to do the good work they do with out the gift of loving people’s time.

I felt like the words in this quote have so much to say to us as autumn turns to winter. Winter is a perfect time to reflect, learn, and grow. How can you better embrace these principles in your life? How can reflecting on these lines help you be the best version of yourself?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your mark on the world send ripples of hope to every corner, as if by magic.

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Find the Joy in Your Story, As Is

“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought it would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living” ~ Rachel Marle Martin

All of our lives, most of us have been told stories of the families we came from and have the expectations set for what we are to become. They may be others’ expectations or they may be ours. What will we do as a career? How will we live, pray, or even what recreational activities will we do? All of these things are expectations set for us early in life. Of course these change and shift as we move forward. Though often, when we do not meet these set expectations, there is disappointment. It may be our disappointment or that of others, who feel disappointed for us, but it is there all the same.

I really like the above quote because if we are to truly living in the now, we must accept this life we are living. For me this does not mean not to strive to improve myself and my life. It means that I need to find the joy, perfection, and peace in things as they are. It allows me to accept today, as is, while still manifesting the life of my dreams. Gratitude begets more to be grateful for. By finding the joy in my life, as is, more joy will be delivered to me as I step ever forward.

When I was growing up there was no doubt that I would go to college. It was the expectation as well as the legacy set down for me by my mother, who had  two bachelor degrees and two master degrees. When I dropped out of high school, I am sure she felt that her world was crumbling. I am sure it was crushing to her that I was not living up to the potential she saw in me, yet I eventually found my way and now have 2 degrees as well as several certifications. I did not get to this place all at once. I accepted each place I found myself as ok and where I was at that time.  I continued to manifest the future I wanted. I may not have always seen the joy in where I was as it took (and takes) time focusing on my wellness to get to that point. It took years of self-work to pull myself to the place I am, so that I can see the joy in today, right now. I still aspire to be more, do more and help more people. But for today I am joyful and I appreciate all the blessing in my life.

There are so many times in life when we paint a picture of what we think something should be like, when often it turns out to be quite different. Maybe it is your job. Maybe it is your relationship. Maybe it is your health. Maybe it is your faith. Maybe it is some other aspect of your life. It is okay to admit it’s not what you thought it was going to be. It is okay to accept it as is and find the joy in that. It is also okay to make plans to improve or change it and to move towards the life of your dreams.

Accept what is. Find the joy. Count your blessings and make plans to move toward the life of your dreams.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find the joy in each and everyday in the things that are not what you expected, as if by magic.

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What is a Witch?

As Halloween grows near, we see many images of old women in pointy hats riding on brooms or leaning over bubbling cauldrons. It is all part of the fun, magical, and yes even scary imagery; that is part of this time of the year. My 4 year old granddaughter asked me the other day if bats and witches are real? I told her they are. She said she had never seen one so she didn’t think they were. If only she knew they walk amongst us. Ordinary people that you pass in the street, every day, may have a spiritual practice that you may refer to as Witchcraft, The Craft, or Wicca.

We have all heard of the past tragedies that were done to the young women in Salem, Europe, and many other places around the world because they were accused of witchcraft. So what is a Witch? Where does the fantasy end and the tradition begin. Past history has witches worshiping the Devil and practicing “Dark Magic”. Witches have been portrayed in movies like, The Wizard of Oz, Stardust, and The Witches of Eastwick, as well as TV shows like Bewitched. Some of the witches are good and some of them are bad in these shows.

I would say that is the same of real people as well, some are good and some are bad. Usually, those we considered bad, have damaged psyches, are going through some difficult experiences currently or have had very difficult things happen to them in their past. I would say, like with all people, most Witches are good.  They do not worship the Devil but rather the Earth and Nature; they see “spirit” in all things and understand that there is a balance to the way we interact with the world.

Most Witches, in the long ago past and still today; are healers. They use natural herbs in their magic, cooking, and potions. Like using some Lavender or Valerian to relax you or Echinacea to boost your immune system. Chamomile to help you sleep. They may practice various forms of energy healing; like Reiki or Hand on Healing. They may use crystals for their energetic properties. These Witches may also practice various forms of divination such as; reading tarot cards, mediumship or channel readings. They believe in the Power of Intention. Spell work is really just a way to put some ceremony behind their intentions.

There are many different types of Witches and belief systems among them. Some are solitary practitioners and others belong to groups who support each other through their spiritual growth. Some hold fast to ceremony’s past on from generation to generation and others make new ceremonies to suite their needs.

In the past, these woman, were the ones the people the village came to when someone was sick. Then they became prosecuted for being different. The others came to fear what they did not understand. Christianity started to paint the Witch as evil and dangerous. When in reality, these were mostly good hearted people who wanted to help their neighbors.

Think about the times you have turned to a nice cup of tea to calm your nerves, made some Chicken Noodle Soup to heal your sick family, or a time you called a friend who suddenly popped into your head. Only to find out they were going through something difficult and needed you. Call to mind the times you have set intentions for a positive outcome to a situation. We are all more similar than we are different.

So as the veil thins and Halloween approaches, keep in mind that witches walk among us. They are kind hearted ordinary people who see the sacredness in all things. Remember those things your grandmother passed down to you; to heal you family, keep you safe, and make life a bit more magical. After all, there is a little witch in all of us.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find your personal magical power, as if by magic.

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