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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Eugene’s Story

This is the story of our attempt to save a life. My husband brought home 2 little Christmas tree plants that were destine for the garbage. One is nice and healthy and his name is Emmet. img_2741The other looks just like Emmet but his needles were all dry and crunchy. He apparently suffered some neglect over the Christmas holidays. We named him Eugene.

I could feel that there was still life deep inside of Eugene. Just hoping to unfold again in all his glory. The holidays had been rough on him. They left him feeling drained and a lot like giving up. From afar, he looked like he was doing fine, but anyone who got close to him could see he was just not himself.

Eugene was embarrassed to admit he was not doing well, so instead put on a good face. Wanting everyone to see him as a happy and festive plant they thought he should be. On some level, however, he just was waiting for it to be over. When Eugene and I were getting to know each other, I asked him if he wanted to live? He said that he did. So, we had some work to do. The first thing Eugene needed to do was to release what no longer served him. We set to work trimming away the branches of the past. They make him look good from afar but were not helping him move forward into his new life. He had to let go of them and release. It took some time to do this. We trimmed a little here and cut a little more there, until just his inner most self remained. Eugene felt naked and exposed but he also felt authentic.

Next we needed to give him some nourishment of healthy food and an Epson Salt bath. Self care is very important when doing healing work and energy healing was also a part of the care plan. While Eugene sat in the window soaking up the rays of the sun, loving energy was sent to him by Reiki to facilitate his healing process.

Next Eugene needed space. He was transplanted into a bigger pot to allow for growth. During the transplanting process I noticed that his roots are very healthy and that he is well grounded. An Amethyst crystal was given to him, which he graciously accepted. Amethyst is a powerful healing stone and it additionally calms and soothes a worried soul. Eugene needed this after the intensity of the holidays. The multiple interactions with people, who were distracted by all that was going on in their own lives, had left him feeling alone and stressed.

Support was the next step on his healing plan.  A peaceful elemental came to sit under his trunk. This meditative little elf taught Eugene how to go within and find his own truth. Eugene began learning to accept himself, as is, and to forgive himself for those things he thought he had done “wrong” in the past. A wise friend, who is willing to hold space and remind us of our truth, can be such a valuable companion when we are on a journey to repair ourselves and grow.

The final steps on this trip to a healthier, stronger, wiser Eugene; is love and time. Eugenes name and heart were added on the outside of the pot; to help Eugene know that others love him. But deeper and more important than that, Eugene must learn to love himself. Eugene must be willing to look at himself in the mirror with his short and bare branches and love himself unconditionally. Eugene must allow himself the time to grow. It will not happen overnight. He must continue to rest in the sunlight and drink in the healthy water and nutrients.

Like Eugene, we must be patient with ourselves. It won’t be all better overnight for us either.  Little by little new buds will form that will turn into new branches. Little by little Eugene will be healthy again. And so will you.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you learn to give yourself what you need, as if by magic.

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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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Peace, Love, and Joy

Many years ago an idea occurred to me and as I have observed my life, it has proven to me to be true. I have noticed my motivation behind doing things, purchasing things, and making other life decisions, based against this hypothesis, have held up. Perhaps you will find it to be truth for you as well. I believe that everything we do is to attain at least one of three basic things: peace, love, and joy. Look at the decisions you make in life. Why did you do what you did? Examine what it was you were hoping to attain. Let’s look at some examples from my life.

An easy example is when I started to date again. Obviously, I was looking for love. How about when I buy new clothes. This could be love as well? Maybe, I feel if I look cute enough, people will love me?  Now, of course, we do not have to look cute to be worthy of love. But the ego often tells us we are more lovable when we dress nicely, so this cannot be ignored as a possible motivator. I may get compliments and that will bring me joy. Another possibility is that the clothes will fit comfortably and this will be a type of peace.

Another example to look at is the boat my husband and I bought in Florida. Of course, the boat allows us to visit our friends who live there more often, so love is definitely one of the motivators. Along with the fact that it allows us to have a get away, where we can spend time together; more love. It definitely brings us joy, allowing us to have our ‘mini’ weekend getaways. Also, I am planning a retreat on the boat with Adventure Sister, Emy and in that way, it will also bring peace.

At various times in my life I have changed jobs. Now I have changed for different reasons. One reason might be job satisfaction. This, of course, would be joy. I love a challenge, so sometimes I have changed jobs to take on a new challenge. This is also more joy. If you consider the ego’s involvement; being successful could be a way of gaining love. In my family, success is valued and I have certainly felt more loved during times of success. This again does not make me more worthy of love. For I am enough and worthy despite any level of successes. We all are. Truthfully it is a motivator. Other times, I have taken new jobs to make more money. True, that money cannot buy happiness, but it can “buy me a boat” as the song by Chris Janson says. We associate things with happiness. Also having more money to buy necessities and pay bills is also a form of peace. Trust me, as someone who is working on Financial Wellness, there is peace to be had by having enough resources to support your lifestyle.

At one point, I wondered if I should add ‘Adventure’ to the list of motivators, but then I realized, adventure is just another word for joy. Emy and my trips to the boundary waters bring us joy. Travel also brings my husband and I a lot of joy because it allows us to deepen our relationship through shared experiences.

Look at the various aspects of your life; getting an education, making purchases, taking trips, deepening relationships. Look deep down, below the surface reason you tell yourself for making the decision you did, find what is really underneath. Does this hypothesis hold true for you? Are Peace, Love, and Joy the reasons for doing what you do?

Thank you for reading my blog today, I love you. May you find all the peace, joy, and love that you need, as if by magic.

 

*Picture taken at Franconia Artist Park in Franconia MN.

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16 Truths Worth Contemplating

Years ago my friend Bobby suggested that I read a book called; Oneness. It was written by Rasha. I have learned that Bobby is a speaker of truth and that the things he shares are divinely guided. He is one of those very special friends that, just by being authentically who he is, shares wisdom with others. So (eventually) I listened and read the book. This book had a really profound impact on me. It changed me. It pushed me further down my path. It inspired me. The book has recently come up repeatedly in conversation. When I see or hear something 3 times I know this is not a coincidence but rather divine guidance. So the day I noticed the book sitting in my office, I pulled it out and began reading it again. This time, I did not read it from cover to cover. Rather I opened it at random pages. I read a couple pages and found that, once again, the book is having a profound affect on me. See below for 16 paraphrased bits of wisdom from Oneness.

Awareness does not come from thinking but from deep knowing.

◦ We are all one.

◦ We are fully responsible for our lives.

◦ The emotions and dramas of our life manifest as physical conditions in our body.

◦ Place emphasis on simplicity and love.

◦ Do not limit yourself by believing you are who you have always been.

◦ Letting go of your ego helps you to recognize yourself in others.

◦ By allowing circumstances ‘as is’ and altering our expectations, we more readily manifest positive results.

◦ Sometimes our plans bring us to our destiny, even when the plans are perceived to have failed.

◦ There is perfection in synchronicity.

Compassion is the thread that connects us all.

◦ The path to enlightenment is paved with many switchbacks.

◦ Your higher-self is always with you; to help you and guide you.

◦ As your vibrations shift, past “hurts” will no longer hold the sharpness of emotions upon reflection.

◦ View your past with compassion and not regret for it ALL served a purpose.

Manifestations with the intention of the best outcome for all concerned are the most powerful.

Thank you for sharing this lifetime with me. I hope that these little bits of truth inspire you, give you peace, or perhaps even incubate the beginning of transformation within you. Please share your thoughts with us all in the comments. These truth are ripe for discussion.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find inspiration, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in Spruce Creek Park, FL

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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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It’s Not Much… But It Is

A friend gave me a gift recently. She handed me the pretty wrapped package and said; “It’s not much but…” I witness people doing this all the time. It’s like they feel embarrassed that there is not a 50 foot yacht wrapped up behind that red and white package.

The gift was very much. It was her communication to me that she loves me. It was her way of wishing me well in this festive time of year. Her gift was well thought out and something that is truly useful and meaningful to me. She took the time to think about me and choose a gift that I would definitely love. She took the time to shop for something special for me. She spent her money, which takes time to earn, to buy something for me. Her gift was very much.

Time is something many of us feel short on. It seems like it just flies by and we end up needing more hours in the day then we have. When someone spends that precious commodity to give us a nice gift, it is very much! There are so many people that touch our lives that we cannot possible give them all gifts. I feel so blessed and special when singled out as someone, important enough, to add to their Christmas list.

When you give gifts to others, whether it is this holiday season or anytime during the year. There is no need to say; “It is not much”, to the receiver. Because to them, it is much. It is a communication of; “I care about you”, “You matter to me”, “Thank you for your friendship”, and so much more.

I am so grateful for this friend. I love her.  She did not need to give me a gift to let me know she cares but I will think of her fondly every time I use her gift. Friends are such a blessing. That is the real gift for me, to be her friend.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have kind and loving friends in your life, that let you know you matter, as if by magic.

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Twin Flame Relationships

Have you ever heard of the idea of a Twin Flame? Many people romanticize this concept but there really is more ‘pain’ than ‘romance’ in most Twin flame experiences. It is a very different experience from meeting your soulmate.

Twin Flames; is the concept that your soul is split in two to go into this earthly plane to have very different experiences. From my understanding; Twin Flames are typically opposites in almost every way. (Opposite sex, passions, personality, demeanor, spirituality, politics, etc.) Although many people may meet their Twin Flame, very few of these relationships are successful. The differences are just too great. It brings to mind the song from the Disney Movie, Little Mermaid; “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” When this relationship is successful, it is likely a very old soul that has worked through many experiences in countless lifetimes.

Recently, I have seen several articles about relationships between Empaths and Narcissists. It struck me that the Narcissist is the anti-empath. They cannot empathize with others. Perhaps these are actually Twin Flame relationships. Twin Flames feel like Karmic relationships. Have you ever had a friend who is drawn to someone so opposite and bad for them, that it just doesn’t make any sense, but you can’t talk them into staying away? This very well maybe a Twin Flame. Despite all the pain, they go back again and again. They can even verbalize how bad the other is for them, but like a moth to the flame, they can’t stay away.

Because Twin Flames are a split of one soul, there is a feeling of completeness and of home that comes when the two are together. It makes it that much harder for them to breakaway from each other to live a healthier more balanced life.

Relationships are one of the biggest teachers we experience in this life, especially romantic ones. Nothing will put your “stuff” in your face, like a romantic relationship. Having a romantic relationship with a Twin Flame can feel predestine and still be the most painful thing you experience. There can be lots to learn and much growth, but it will likely take just as much healing, personal work, and self discovery to recover after the relationship.

So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with me that the Narcissists and the Empaths are drawn together because they are Twin Flames? Have you had a relationship with your Twin Flame? What was your experience like?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with happy and healthy relationships, as if by magic.

*The featured photo on this blog was taken on The Little Mermaid Ride in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando FL.

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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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12 Tips to Help Decrease Holiday Stress

It’s holiday time. Do you love this season or does it cause you stress? Are you worried about where all the money will come from to buy everyone that perfect gift? Are you worried about people not liking your gifts? I love the general good cheer in the air but with a renewed focus on our financial goals, the holidays can be a potential step backwards. Here are some tips to help you live within your means, enjoy the holidays, reduce your stress, and still show others you care.

Set realistic expectations for yourself – No one can be it all, do it all or attend it all. Be realistic with yourself, your time, your energy, and your money. Do not sign up for more than you can take on. In the past, I felt I had to be the best entertainer, prepare the yummiest meals, decorate until not a corner of the house was untouched, give the perfect gifts and attend all the events. Age and wisdom have taught me that is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy. Be gentle with yourself.

Make a budget– I love giving as much as the next person but buying someone a more expensive gift does not change how much I love them. Decide on a reasonable dollar amount to spend and stick to it.

Start saving now for next year– put a small amount into a Holiday savings account each payday so when the next Holiday season rolls around you will not have to go into debt to buy gifts.

Talk to people about gift giving– for years my brother and I would exchange gift cards in the mail. We finally spoke and decided to each get ourselves something from the other, rather than shifting money back and forth in the mail. Buying a gift for you may be causing stress for another, so by having a conversation, you may alleviate their stress and financial burden too.

Handmade happiness – there are so many beautiful handmade gifts that you can make to give others. Depending on what you are making to give, you may have to start early in the year to get them done, so not to cause yourself extra pressure to meet a short deadline. Do you knit, make “out of this world” fudge, write poetry or do cute crafts? All of these things can be very sweet and special gifts.

Initiate family gift exchanges – talk to family about drawing names for gift giving instead of a gift for everyone or agree on gifts only for people under a certain age. Be creative and communicate.

Make coupons for services– you can make coupons for gifts of services. Some ideas are, making a home cooked meal, shoveling snow, pet or child sitting, raking leaves next fall, painting a room in their home. Be creative and listen to the things they are wanting to get done. You would hate to hurt someone’s feelings by offering to fix something they don’t feel is broken. This isn’t about you telling them what needs to get done but rather doing something for them they have been wanting to get done.

Share the gift of time– talk to friends and family and ask about sharing the gift of time. Get together for a meal, a cup of tea, volunteer to help a local charity together or a visit to a favorite location. Set a date for after the Holidays and both promise to make it a priority. What better gift than the gift of time.

Meditate – the holidays can be stressful with commitments, planning, shopping, and cooking. Meditate to find your center and remain mindful in the midsts of the extra pressure you may feel.

Remember the reason behind this time of year– the holiday season means something a little different to everyone.  So remember what it means to you. Connect with that heartfelt space and take some deep breaths when you feel anxious.

Reach out for help – If the stress of this time of year seems overwhelming or loneliness is breaking your heart, talk to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. If you are missing a loved one, find a support group or person who can hold the space for you and just let you talk. Support groups, AA or other similar programs are a couple of places you can go to find support when it all seems too much. Remember you are loved, even when you don’t feel like it and you are not alone, even when it feels like you are.

Have fun! Find the joy in this time of year. There is a lot of it to be had. Live in the moment and enjoy seeing loved ones you don’t always get to connect with. Notice the good cheer in the air, all the extra seasonal events and the generosity that seems to flow through humanity. Look for the good and you shall surely find it.

Wishing you a most happy and loved filled holiday season. Take a deep breath and enjoy all that this time of year has to offer you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your holiday season be joyous and filled with love, as if by magic.

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