Wisdom From An Ancestor

My great grandmother had a saying; “You will never be truly happy until you think more about others than you do yourself” – Ura McGurran. When you make choices in life, do you consider how they affect others? Maybe too much. Maybe so much that you are living your life for others and not taking care of yourself. So how do you strike a healthy balance? There is so much emphasis today on self care and putting ourself first. How can my great grandmother’s words still be relevant now? Let’s take a look at some self care activities and selfless acts and see where the common ground lies.

Do you feel guilty when you participate in self care activities? There is no real reason to feel guilty for caring for yourself. Do your self care activities hurt anyone? One really wonderful thing about self care, is that by doing it, you set a good example for others. A recent conversation I had with a friend, was about her feeling conflicted because something she needed to do for herself, was being viewed as selfish by her daughter. I encouraged her to go ahead and do it anyhow because, by doing so, she was setting an example for her daughter about taking care of herself and following her dreams. Her actions didn’t hurt anyone. In fact her actions help recharge her to further help others. Even when we take care of ourselves we can still be thinking of others and the example we are setting.

Selfless acts can also be a form of self care. My husband helps a friend rake his leaves, every year. He has never been asked to do this. There is no expectation that he does it. He just does it because he cares about his friend. The really good feeling he gets in his heart from helping out his buddy is a form of self care also. Selfless acts can also be a form of self care. Does this idea surprise you? It is possible to think more about others and still find happiness and balance in your life.

When we think about people who have inspired us as a world, we see that their acts brought them both happiness and purpose. People like Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama; show us how caring for others is also caring for ourselves. I assure you, that new outfit will help you feel great, but there is no greater joy than helping another and seeing the true appreciation in their eyes. When we help others do something they could not have done for themselves, a ripple goes out into the world. The movie “Pay It Forward” taught us this. It entertained us while sending a message that “random acts of kindness” are a form of self care. They help us feel good and shift the energy of the world higher.

By thinking more of others than we do ourselves, as my great grandmother so wisely shared with her children generations ago, we are also taking care of ourselves. By lending a hand to those in need, we can find happiness, change the world, and set an example for future generations.

Yes, please care for yourself. Treat yourself to quiet walk in a pretty place or take a nap when you are tired. But remember, true happiness can also come from helping others.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May your life be filled with true happiness, as if by magic!

 

 

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It’s a Magical World… Where We Live Magical Lives

Yesterday, as my husband and I were Kayaking, we came upon two Eagles sitting on a log eating a fish. I was able to get within 20 feet of them before they flew away. Then we paddled a bit further on and happened upon a waterfall flowing down into the river. IMG_2487Marty commented that we live a magical life. Why?  Because we had planned a different Kayak trip for the day but it just didn’t feel right, so we skipped it. When we got to the restaurant where we had planned to enjoy an amazing Indian meal but we found it was closed between Lunch and Supper. So we needed to wait about an hour to eat. We had passed this little park a bit back up the St Croix River; so we decided to go back there, put in, and paddle around while we waited for the restaurant to reopen. Because the planned paddle earlier in the day just didn’t feel right and the restaurant was closed when we got to it, we were able to have these remarkable experiences. (Magical Divine timing)

The paddle was beautiful and peaceful. We saw water plants with white flowers on them, that we had not seen in bloom before. IMG_2525We sat awed looking at the amazing Eagles, sitting so close to where we floated. We took a moment to soak in the cool mist from the waterfall as it joined the river. It was truly magical! Marty was right. Think about how many times in your life things don’t work out the way you planned and how many times that spurred you on to something bigger and better? (Life Is Magical)

Those times when you didn’t get the job, the guy, or the trip takes an unexpected curve, those are the times the Divine is working in your life. Those are the times God, Spirit, or the Universe are helping you get to amazing, dreamlike, opportunities and experiences. Ones you could have never imagined if you were fully in control. It is through this trust and moving with the flow of life, that amazing things can happen. Like, on our honeymoon, when we missed out connection in Paris on our layover between Italy and home. Now missing a connection is not something one usually wishes for, but this turned out to be a magical extra night on our honeymoon. We got a night in Paris on the airline, were able to take a whirlwind tour of the city. Taking pictures of many of the most popular attractions there after running into an amazing tour guide of a taxi driver. It was a blessing in disguise.

How many people do you know that were devastated when their marriages fell apart. Now you look at them. Most are in new relationships that are a better fit and they seem so much more joyful and happy with life. I had a time when an employer decided to replace my position with someone else. At the time I was hurt and crushed. But now the job I have is so much better, I make more money, I have the opportunity to travel, and what I am doing I absolutely love. It is, all of the best parts of the old job,without the stressors, and has better perks!

We have all heard the old quote that when things are falling apart sometime they are falling together for the better. It is painful when they are falling apart. It just plain sucks and you can’t understand why it is happening, but if you can look back on these events, you might just see that you are in a better place now. Because you live a magical life. Believe that it will work out! Believe in the possibilities! Keep your thoughts positive! Before you know it you will be living the life of your dreams!

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life be magical in every way! Blessings friends. I love you!

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Drumming With the Wolves; My Experience

On Saturday, July 21st I received the exciting opportunity to be part of an event called, Drumming with the Wolves. It was held at the Wildlife Science Center. To follow is the intentions behind the event, what I experienced there, and how it changed me.

The event was the brain child of one of my friends, Vonne. I feel grateful and blessed that she invited me to be a co-organizer for this important event. It was set with the idea of raising money to help support this important center and all of the great research they are gathering, knowledge they are sharing, and endangered animals they are fighting to keep from extinction.

The event started around 6 pm. The evening was sunny and warm and about 30-40 people joined us to have the opportunity to see these great creatures up close, learn about them, and be part of a drum circle. There was a strong feeling of community as old friends reunited and new friends met for the first time. I met some amazing people, who I hope to see again and again at future events. Peggy, the Founder, Biologist, and Wolf Mother took us on a tour of her amazing facility. We started off by meeting the Wolves. As we walked along their enclosures the Wolves ran up to the fence to meet us. I remember when my eyes met the golden eyes of the first majestic animal.  I fell in love. You could see the wildness in his being but also the love. These Wolves are, after all, spiritual beings too.  Peggy graciously educated us, answered questions, and howled so that the Wolves would howl back. I cannot describe the way it took my breath away to hear 100+ Wolves howling in chores together.  I have heard Wolves howl when Emy and I were camping in the Boundary Waters but to have them all around us howling, was a completely different experience. We met many Wolves on this tour, all with their own interesting and unique stories to tell.

After we met the Wolves we got to meet some of the other wild creatures that have come to live there, because they cannot be released back to the wild. Mountain Lions, Lynx, and Bobcats all call the Wildlife Science Center home. Additionally, there are Bears, Raccoons, an elderly Porcupine, Fox, and Skunk. Each creature has its own story of how it came to call the heartfelt place home. There are also Raptors, who we did not get to meet, perhaps during the next public event called The Harvest Howl in October.

After we finished our tours we shared in a potluck. Prayer Ties were made with Tobacco grown from a 100 year old seed shared by an attending indigenous woman. Intentions and prayers were placed in the Ties to be fed to the fire. It was very beautiful and powerful. That this tradition was shared with us and the tobacco song sung in the native tongue made me feel honored and blessed to be a part of this.

I led a healing meditation. I was awed and a bit amused as the wolves added their howls from time to time to the meditation. It was as though they wanted to participate.

Now it was time for the drumming. Lisa called in the directions and led the drumming. The drums beat matched with the heartbeat of the Earth. Each drumming session had a powerful intention set with it. Children and adults all participated. There were Drums, Dowels, Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals, Singing Bowls, Rattles, and even a white Crystal Bowl. A Didgeridoo was played earlier in the night offering sound baths to some participants. It was a blend of cultures and such an amazing sense of community. There was no judgment, only love, community, and respect. The Drumming was an important and inspiring part of the evening. As our Drums beat together, joining us with each other and the natural world around us, our prayers were carried off with the Drum beats and vibrations. It connected us together with one another and with all of nature.

The Wolves; who are a fierce hunter, strong predator, and create fear in so many – displayed only love and curiosity during our visit. They are well cared for and respected. They are not pets but rather wild animals who need our help and understanding to survive. At the end of the night we howled, Peggy howled, and the Wolves howled. It was a final goodbye and great end to the night.

It was an experience that was transformative in many ways. I was looking forward to the Drumming but the night was so much more than just that. The opportunities to join these kind of events is a blessing. They enhance your life and teach you things about others, but more than anything else, they help you to know yourself even better. What moves you, inspires you, touches your heart? This event and the people and creatures I met here did all these things for me and more.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find events that foster in you a deeper connection with yourself and those around you, as if by magic. I love you!

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Cockeyed Optimist!

I have been accused of being a Pollyanna or of wearing rose colored glasses. People say I am not a realist and that I should share my magical miracle wand. So I ask you, is optimism a super power or is it kryptonite?

I believe that my tomorrow is going to be even better than today. I believe that my life is magical and blessed. Things have a way of always working out for me. Does this make me wrong. Am I not a realist if I believe that everything is going to work out? What does it say about me that I can always see the silver lining in a situation?

When things do not turn out the way I hoped or believed they were going to work out, I believe there is a purpose in this. It is the Universe’s way of leading me to a better option or better situation. My dreams will still come true. In fact, they will not only come true, but will surpass my wildest expectations. And so it is!

Emy and I entered our books into a contest where 3 participants would have the opportunity to get their books published. We were sure we were going to win. It didn’t happen – at least not yet. I will tell you this though, our books will be published! We have since submitted them to another publisher. We will continue to do whatever it takes to see our books in print. We will continue to believe that our dream of helping hundreds of thousands of people through this series of books will be realized.

Many may say that I am not being realistic. They may say my feet are not on the ground but I am a driven individual who will not be dissuaded from forging on toward what I know will be realized. Lisa Nichols, who wrote Abundance Now, says that manifestation and visualization are useless without action. That action is the fuel on the fire to bring what you want into reality. I want to help people grow, like I have, from a scared child into an adult who knows I deserve to live my dream life.

You too deserve to live your dream life. It is there for you. Even when it feels like it is not. Keep believing in the dream! Keep pushing forward! Do not let anyone tell you it can’t or won’t happen! It is worth the extra effort to live a magical life! You can do it! You will do it… if only you believe!

Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a lifetime of endless energy and resources to move your dreams forward into reality! I love you!

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Pursuit of Happiness

What will you do when those things, that the universe is bringing to you, show up within your reach? Will you reach out and take them? Will you be afraid? Ii it all too good to be true?

I recently had this happen. I had lived in Florida for ten years about a decade ago. It still feels like home to me. Recently,  on trip to visit my friend, I mentioned to my husband that I would love to have a second home in Florida. Of course this was a dream; something I would like to manifest but not anything I believed was within reach for us. Marty said, “Perhaps we are looking at this wrong. Maybe we should be thinking about buying a boat here”. My husband and I have been talking about buying a boat to live on since we first met. It was a dream we shared. What a great idea! We could have a boat in Florida as a second home. Still this was a dream that we didn’t really expect to show up in our lives that same weekend.

When we shared our thought with my friend she told us she knew someone selling a boat. Oh what fun it is to dream. We decided to go look at it, just for fun. Well to make a long story short the boat was perfect for us and priced within our reach. Wowzers! The Universe just told us to put up or shut up. The universe plopped our dreams (not one but two) just within our reach. I am still amazed at how events swirled to make these dreams a possibility.

You can probably imagine all of the things that were going through our head. Can we really afford it? Does it make sense? Is this really what we want? What’s the catch? Do we have enough time? Will we regret it if we do it? Will we regret it if we don’t? And about a hundred other “what if’s?”.

So I ask you, are you ready? If the Universe offers you your dreams? Will you reach out and take them? Think about some of those seemingly far off or future dreams. If one of those was put within your reach, what would you do? It may still require some work, some energy, some time investment on your part, but there it is. You only need to reach out, invest the time, the energy, the commitment and it is yours. Will you do it? Do you really want it or did you just think you did?

Marty and I decided we do really want these dreams. We are grateful that the Universe put it in our path. We plan to name our boat Happiness. Live your dreams today.

Do you have a story of the Universe asking you to “put up or shut up”? What would you do?

I wish you many blessing and dreams come true. Thank you for reading my blog today.

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Blessings Beyond What Is Typical

We have an employee wellness program where I work. One of the wellness activities was to make a list of things we are thankful for. There are so many reason why we should focus on the items we are thankful for. It improves mood. What we think about, come about. We are more likely to be generous with others when we recognize the gifts in our own life. I am sure anyone reading this could immediately come up with many blessings we have in our life. But what of the things we take for granted? What of the things that are hidden blessings?

Immediately when thinking about what i am thankful for I go to the standard blessings. My 3 beautiful daughters and stepson, 4 grandchildren, supportive husband, my home, job, my Adventure Sister Emy, dear friends, smart coworkers, and the like. I live a blessed life. My life has always had a way of working out and having things fall into place for the best. Of course we all have different blessing. What I call blessings, others may not feel the same way about. I may have blessings others do not; they likely also have blessings I do not.

There are so many things that we take for granted that others would consider a true benefit. I have always been healthy and as such I have taken my health for granted. Recently when I broke my wrist and did not have the use of my dominate hand I learned appreciation for my right hand. Another thing I have always taken for granted is the mobility we have by living in an age where planes, trains, and automobiles are plentiful. I had an elderly patient tell me one time about when she was sick as a child. Her father had to put her in the back of the wagon or buggy and hitch it to horses. It took them two days to get her to the hospital for treatment. Additionally it was winter so wrapped up in warm blankets was her protection form the elements. I know she was grateful for getting to the hospital. How different is that from our lives today. Emy Minzel, my Adventure Sister, has a blog post coming soon on EmyMinzel.com about another area we often don’t count as an blessing but it totally is. It should be on her blog by Jan 6th or 7th. I encourage you to look for it.

Hidden blessing are those things that do not seem like something to be glad for in the beginning. A teenage daughter coming home pregnant, can feel like the end of the world. After your grandchild is born, however, it can feel like the world is new and full of more love than you knew was possible. A divorce, can feel like everything is crumbling. It may take years of healing and mourning the loss of the marriage, but one day you may be ready to move on. The next marriage or relationship may be much healthier and more supportive. Or perhaps simply having a healthy self esteem and view of yourself will be the price at the end of the hard times. I once had a job that I loved. I decreased my hours to put family first. The owners made a decision to demote me and hire someone else into my position. At the time I felt so hurt and like such a failure. I quit that job and ended up in a much better job where there was more opportunity for advancement and better pay. Sometime God or the Universe conspires to bring us to better places, even though the path may be painful.

As I look out the window at a beautiful sunny day sparkling off the snow that blankets the backyard, I am grateful for the 3 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. After all it is 20 warmer than it was a few days ago and the sun is shining. Count your blessings, make a list of things you are thankful for, start a gratitude journal. What ever works to help keep your blessings in the front of your mind. Do not forget those things we take for granted and those times in life that turned out to be for the best, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.

What hidden blessing have you had in your life? Have you had experiences you would like to share that made you realize something/someone you were taking for granted?

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New Years Manifestations

A few years ago I started a new practice. After many years of making a new years resolution to loose weight, start a savings account, exercise regularly, I decided it was time for a change. I instead started to write New Years manifestation list.
You may be wondering how this is different. It is not just a new name for the same old tired idea. A new perspective and new way to go about improving your life in the new year is offered through this practice. Listing the goals for the year rather than making a list of things you must do. Instead of exercise regularly as a resolution, your manifestation may be to fit and healthy. Our thoughts create our world. By focusing on positive things we want to bring into our life we allow the process of how it will happen to take care of itself.
Let me give you an example. Last year when I made my manifestation list for 2017 I put on it 3 fabulous trips. This year My husband and I went to London and Amsterdam. We got to see Stonehenge, visit relatives, and see my grandfathers homeland. We also took our son and a granddaughter to see the Grand Canyon. Additionally my husband and I went to Oregon where we made some new friends and were able to hike and see many waterfalls. As a bonus my Adventure Sister, Emy and I got to go to Orlando for a writers workshop and some playtime as well. Many of the items on my 2017 list have to do with renovations the house and hopes and prayers for family. They almost all came fully into being. A couple of them have started to unfold but are not yet finished. Nothing on the list was completely without progress.
A other advantage to manifestation list over resolutions is the sky is the limit and you can have as many items as you want on your list. I had 21 items on my manifestation list for 2017. If I had made 21 resolutions I would have quickly felt overwhelmed. With this process you can write it out and release it with blessing. You do not have to think about it until the end of the year when you get to look back and see how many items have come into being.
If you decide to adopt this process it is important you write things in the positive. So instead of paying of debt say have an abundance of money, OR to be 100% in the black. Instead of saying loose weight, say be thin and fit. That way the intention is clear and you are not attracting any more of what you do not want.
So as we prepare to go into 2018, I wish you a year of health, happiness, and success. May all of your wished be granted. By the time 2019 comes to call may we all be living the life of our dreams.
What do you think of this process? Have you done this before and have success stories to share? What is the first thing you are going to put on your New Years Manifestation list?