Introspection: 5 possible approaches

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a conflict and you’re not really sure how you got there? This has happened with me this week. I find myself in a conflict I would have never predicted and I don’t really know how we got here. It hurts my heart. I do not like conflict and typically work very hard to avoid it. All the same, here I am. I have been trying to use an introspective approach to determine what steps I can take in the future to avoid this same situation. After all, life is about moving forward.

The Oxford Dictionary defines introspection as: “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional process.”  This seems like a good approach to heal this situation and avoid future ones. What could I have done differently? What within me caused me to react in the manner in which I did? What parts of myself do I need to heal in order to move forward without a similar future situation, like this,  rearing its ugly head? Introspection is about looking deeply within yourself. We can only control our own reactions and responses to situations.

There are many ways to approach introspection. Here are 5 of my favorites.

1. Journaling – journaling is a great way to let the words just flow. It is a safe space to say everything you want to say, and you never know what wisdom may flow onto the pages. There can be many “ah ha” moments while journaling.

2. Meditation – mediation allows you to step away from the circling thoughts and find a few moments of peace. This is a great space to set an intention of having clear guidance and insight flow to you. I find this a powerful process.

3. Therapy – Meeting with a good psychotherapist is a great way to have someone hold space for you to get beyond any issues at hand. This person can often help you identify blind spots or actions you do see, that can cause pain.

4. Exercise – Going for a walk, running, or yoga can also be a great way to go inside. There is something about this process that is not only healing but helpful in gaining insight into who we are and the type of actions we take.

5. Tarot – This one may seem weird to you but I find, working with either tarot cards or oracle cards, is a great way to dig into the subconscious. Our subconscious often has a different agenda than our thinking mind. Even if you do not know what a card means, looking at the symbolism you notice and thinking deeply about its message for you, can be a great source of insight.

Introspection is a great tool. Whether you are currently within a situation that brings a need to look at your own actions and intentions, or you are just on a journey to be the best version of yourself. We all have shadowy areas within ourselves. It never hurts to go in and clear out the cobwebs.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have introspective insight when you need it, as if by magic.

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Family Secrets

 

About a year ago I had my DNA processed with the 23 and me testing. Because of connections made through my DNA being tested, I have learned some family secrets. This is not as new to me as one would think.  As a hospice nurse and a tarot card reader, I have often been privy to other peoples family secrets. I feel that these “secrets” can sometimes be very toxic and eat away at the inside of a family. 

As a hospice nurse I have watched people decide to unburden themselves to their family at the very end of their life. When this happens, some families accept this with grace and move forward to heal. While other families are forever hurt and confused by the revelation of this secret. Either way, it can cause so much confusion and brings things from the past into question. 

The truth usually always finds its way to the surface.  I feel it is so much better to be honest and upfront; I myself have never been one for keeping secrets. I will keep confidence with other peoples information but in my own life, and with my personal story, I see no reason to keep secrets. If I make a decision which seems like a mistake, I fess up and ask for forgiveness because keeping secrets is exhausting. 

Often secrets are just kept as a way to keep pain from affecting those around us. That pain though,  can be so much worse, when the lies and deceit are piled on top to keep that initial secret. 

I am learning more about my family through my journey with DNA testing and the connections I have made with relatives are rich and true blessings; learning more about my family’s past and interesting ways they lived their lives. These past experiences do not have to be painful if we remember that everyone does the best they can in the time and space they are in. Then with this in mind, even though we may not agree with what someone has done, can still offer forgiveness and love to that person. I find that the things I am learning make me wish that my ancestors were still alive to ask them questions, because there seems to be so much more to the story that probably has its own beautiful lessons and connections related to it. 

People are usually stronger that we give them credit for and we are also stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Instead of hiding it, share things with those you love. They can handle it! Often times the secret you’re holding, is not as much of a secret as you may have thought. Often times others already have a sense of it but still love you just the same. People many times just need to process the information you share; but wouldn’t you rather trust them with the information than continue to have to hide it? 

I can think of only one possible exception to this and that is if you will not be safe to reveal the secret. When you truly fear some type of abuse or severe punishment as a result of the reveal. If you are in a relationship, where you would expect abuse (physical of emotional) as a result of sharing this information, then I suggest you seek professional help. 

Perhaps I have over simplified all of this, because I have been accused of doing that in the past. I think with love and acceptance all things are possible. Always trust your intuition and follow your inner guidance. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you be free from the burden of secrets, as if by magic. 

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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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Letting Go and Trusting

Do you feel stressed when things don’t go according to plan? I think this feeling is common for many of us. In the movie “The Dark Night”, The Joker says, “Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan’. Even if the plan is horrifying!”  I often find myself wanting to force things to work out the way I think they should. Recently, many wise friends have been posting things about letting go, trusting, and allowing things to unravel in the way they are meant to. This Divine intervention, fate, manifestation, or whatever you want to call it; is something we need to learn to allow. I have, for a long time, loved the Serenity prayer.

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,

courage to change the things we can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

This prayer has been used in Alcoholic Anonymous since 1942. Prior to that, it was common to find it in obituaries. It is a beautiful sentiment and wise advise for us all.

One of my favorite manifestation teachers is Mike Dooley. Mike says, “don’t micromanage the Universe”. He teaches that it is our job to decided what we want, but not how we will get it. We have to trust the Universe to find the best way to bring our dreams to life. There have been so many times in my life when I felt like I ‘knew’ how things had to workout. Then everything swirled around and still worked out (usually better than I could have imagined), but not in the way I had originally envisioned.

By letting go of ‘trying to’ control everything and dropping ourselves fully into that loving, supportive energy that holds us, guides us, and urges us forward; we step into the flow of our life. As Lao Tzu says, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”.  Another popular way to say this is; “Let go and let God”. No matter what your spirituality is, trusting that you are safe and everything will work out exactly the way it is supposed to, is a freeing way to live. To truly allow the heartbeat of life to carry you, is the best way to experience the magic that is here for us. It is also a great way to let go of stress and anxiety. When we are not trying to force things to turn out in a certain way, we are free to live our life.

I encourage you to start to notice what you are trying to control. Release it and know that you are safe to do so. The only thing you can really control is yourself and how you react to everything else. Face the future knowing you are moving in the direction of your dreams and your life is meant to be glorious. I dare you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find it easy to trust in the flow of life, as if by magic.

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Trust Yourself

How comfortable are you with your intuition? Can you listen to that little voice deep inside of you. Do you know that feeling you get when your inner self is trying to guide you? Today I want to talk about some ways you can practice with your intuition. Begin to trust that voice of consciousness that is there to help guide you.

First though, you must learn how your intuition talks to you. It may be many different ways. It may be a feeling in your stomach. Did you know that the gastrointestinal system is often called the second brain? Deepak Chopra said, “If you say ‘I have a gut feeling about such and such’ you’re not speaking metaphorically, you’re speaking literally. Your gut makes the same chemicals that your brain makes when it thinks.” When you are making simple decisions like, “Should I have spaghetti or stir fry?” or “Should I wear the white shirt or the blue one?” check in with your gut. It will help you start to trust your gut. Then you can move on to checking in with bigger and bigger things.

Another technique, that can be used, is body testing or muscle testing. This is often used when selecting things to put in our bodies, like supplements or ingredients in food, but can be used for other items as well. There are many ways to do this. The way I do it most often is to stand still. I hold the supplement to my chest and ask if I should take it. If I should, my body will tip slightly forward. If I should not, it will tip slightly back. If you have never tried this before, it can be fun to start out trying it with various foods.

A third technique can be to notice what comes to mind often. I do this with my jewelry. Much of my jewelry has various purposes. I wear my Ganesh neckless to remove barriers, mirrored earrings to protect me from negativity, Amethyst for calm, Chakra colors for balance, and so on. I instinctively know which jewelry to wear for the day because it will keep coming to mind. When I am going about my day I notice what is happening and am frequently rewarded with confirmation that my intuition was correct as various experiences show up and my purposeful jewelry is there to assist me.

By practicing with your intuition on these little simple ways, you can better understand how it works and learn to trust it on a deeper level. Before long you will be using it to make bigger and bigger decision. You will find that once you get a feeling for your intuition and how it “speaks” to you, that it will not lead you astray.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of your intuition leading you boldly toward the life of your dreams. I love you.

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The Story of the Stone Buffalo

Emy and my adventures are mostly based in the BWCA (Boundary Water Canoe Area) but there was an earlier adventure. It also started with a Groupon, curiously. It was a kayak trip down the Mississippi. This was not a daunting journey that took days and multiple supplies. This was a leisurely paddle with the current for a few hours.
It was a beautiful sunny day. We were excited to get out and do something new together. I had done some canoeing and kayaking but this was our first joint voyage. We paddled along, enjoying the scenery and each others company. We talked about the environment and even sent some healing energy to the Mississippi. We wanted to help combat some of the pollution we feared was there. There was a little island in the middle of the river at one point. Feeling free and quite adventurous we decided to stop and explore. It was a small bit of land covered with trees. There was a little dirt path through the forest. Hiking on the path was a great way to stretch our legs after a couple hours in the kayaks. We came across a picnic table. We walked past it not thinking much about it. Emy wondered further into the woods but I felt drawn to the picnic table. On the table there was a small stone bison. I felt intuitively that the fairies had left it there for me. I excitedly told Emy about it and showed it to her.
When I got home I looked up the spiritual meaning of bison. I believe that when we notice animals (especially animals we don’t typically see) they come with a message for us. It is a way Spirit talks to us. When I look up the messages animal totems have for me, I trust my gut to guide me to the reason the animal showed up. Nothing about the stone bison really seemed like a strong message for me at the time. I kept it in a special place; I had a sense that it was a powerful gift.
Tonight as Emy and I were messaging back and forth about steps we are taking to get our books published, my phone autocorrected “vision” to “bison”. I was immediately reminded of the stone bison from all those years ago. I looked it up again to see what meaning or message it had for us now. The following list of words came up acquainted with the bison.

Abundance      Blessing      Community      Consistency      Goals
Gratitude      Manifestation      Prayer      Prosperity      Provision
Sacrifice      Service      Stability      Strength      Surrender

Since this evening had been focused on our efforts to get our books published, I feel that the message of the stone bison was about steps we could take to move our books forward. I find it so interesting that this gift was given to me so many years before the idea of the book or even the concept of the Adventure Sisters was born. Life is magical, if you trust it.
Do you have any similar stories? What magic have you noticed in your life?

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