November 28, 2012

the clarity i wish for...

The Wishcasting Wednesday question Jamie Ridler asks today is: What clarity do you wish for?

This question really hit home for me, because just yesterday I made the final decision about what my word for 2013 will be - my 2013 word is Clarity.

I've never done too well with making New Years resolutions. But the concept of choosing a word for the year resonates strongly with me. Last year I had no problem at all choosing my word. My word actually chose me. Last year, months before 2011 ended, my 2012 word grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I knew, without a doubt, my 2012 word would be Nourish.

This year has been different. No word chose me months ago, leaving no room for doubt. As November got underway, every so often I would think to myself: hmm, I still don't know my word for 2013. I didn't stress about it, though, and I didn't even do anything like meditate or journal about it. I believed my word would appear and I would somehow know it was the one.

And it wasn't as though no words came up as possibilities. There were a few that floated to the surface. Important words for me. Words I need to focus on. Words I need to dive into with my life. Words that need to truly become integrated into my daily living.

Trust. Nurture. Hope. Joy. Clarity. Flow. Abundance.

But which would it be?

Over the past few days, as these words floated around, I started feeling a difference in my heart and solar plexus chakras whenever the word clarity came up.

And then, driving home yesterday afternoon, the various words were lightly tumbling in my mind... and all of a sudden I just KNEW. Knew without a doubt. Knew that, despite how important those other words are for me, my 2013 word had been chosen.


I want (and I need) more clarity.

I want clarity around my life's purpose.

I want clarity about the work I do.

I want clarity around my writing.

I want clarity about what I offer with my work and my business.

I want clarity about where to place my focus.

I want clarity about certain important relationships.

I want clarity about where to invest my money, time, and energy.

I want clarity about how to fully be my best and most authentic self.

Clarity already exists for me - to one extent or another - in each of these areas. But I want more clarity. I want less confusion, less going back-and-forth about what to do and what direction to go, less murkiness.

And less self-doubt.

This year has resulted in gaining SO much clarity... and yet, the gaining of that clarity has illuminated how more clarity is needed. It's a process for me. Cycles of gaining clarity, and then either feeling like I've lost it again or (quite often) the new-found clarity takes me to a new place on my path and I realize I need another dose of clarity about this new place where I find myself.

So it's not that I have no clarity. I do. I've gained incredible clarity this year.

But I wish for more.

Clarity wants my attention too -  and that's why, finally, in the car driving home yesterday, my 2013 word grabbed hold and said This is your focus for the year! It's me! I'm right here! Clarity!

I know, from experience, finding clarity can be a long and winding and sometimes difficult process. And at other times, it comes in a flash, a moment of vivid intuitive knowing.

But whatever way it comes, and however long it takes, it's worth it.

Clarity about my life... ALL of my life - that's what I wish for.

August 17, 2012

a nest of self-care...

I come across (and participate in) a lot of talk these days about self care and extreme self-care. It's a subject that's very important to me. For my own well-being, extreme self-care has needed to become a regular part of my life. How extreme self-care looks can vary from individual to individual. And for me, it can vary depending on the day.

Some days it involves combinations of essential oils that help me feel relaxed and soothed. It often includes crystals and my Himalayan rock salt tea light holders. It can involve music. Coloring mandalas. Napping. Spending time outside, barefooted, sitting and relaxing, feeling the breeze.

I have an entire list - an actual, honest-to-God, long written list - of things which help me when it comes to extreme self-care.

Because sometimes, when I'm right in the midst of being bone-tired or extremely stressed out or highly emotional, and I really really need some extreme self-care time... sometimes my mind goes blank on things I can do, things that help.

One of my stand-by, go-to's when it comes to extreme self-care is simply nesting.

I pile a bunch of pillows (I have a LOT of pillows) on my wonderful bed, and I pile up on the pillows within the cozy haven which is my bedroom - a place that feels nourishing and comforting and lovely to me - and I nest.

And I rest.

I'll have essential oils going. I'll have my Himalayan rock salt tea lights glowing. My bedroom has lots of crystals I love, and I keep many of them within reach of my nesting place on my bed.

I have lots of books in my bedroom, and I can surround myself on my bed with the books I want to read or look at... along with notebooks and markers and glitter pens and sketchpads and a mandala coloring book. I have my ipod nearby as well as a radio and CD player - so music is always available. I can watch a tv show or a DVD from my nesting spot.

The point is for me to get away. For me to take a break from the computer, from the business, from people, from stress, from the outside world and outside worries. To give myself a space that's all my own for a while, a place where I can simply be and relax.

A nourishing, nurturing, comforting space.

A nest of self care.

There are other ways I practice extreme self-care... but this is one of my favorites, especially when the weather keeps me indoors.

Recently, I started to wonder if perhaps I learned some lessons about self-care nests from animals. I've spent my life with cats, and they've taught me some valuable life lessons. I think cats are very good when it comes to self-care. They race around and play and go wild for a while, but when they feel they need to rest... they really rest! They find cozy spots of sunshine, or warm blankets to curl up inside.

My cat Chloe loves to get on pillows. Right now, one end of my massage table is piled high with pillows (along with a rumpled-up sheet) and for the past several days Chloe has made this one of her favorite nests. She gets way on top of the pillows, settles right in the corner of the room where the pillows meet the walls, and buries deep inside the nest she's made for herself.

Sometimes we don't even realize she's there unless we walk right over to the massage table and peer over the pillows.

Sometimes she hears us coming, and she lifts her head enough for us to see her (well, part of her).

I think she has the right idea...  A retreat. Time and space away from others, off by herself. A place to rest and renew.

A nest of self care.

July 26, 2012

butterfly medicine...

I'm taking part in Lori-Lyn Hurley's 3-month offering of Elemental Wisdom: Guidance from the Mother Earth. There are three totems to choose from on this journey: Bear, Butterfly, or Tree. I had a little trouble deciding at first, but then I knew...


Butterfly wisdom, butterfly medicine, is what I need right now.

Butterfly is all about transforming, changing, moving from one stage to another.

At first I was a little surprised. Haven't the past few years of my life already been about intense transformation? Wasn't I finished with all the changes and transforming (the really deep stuff, at least)?

Shouldn't I, by my age, be finished with metamorphosis and emerging from the cocoon?

Then I realized:  No.

Living the path I'm on means always being on the path. Continuing to go along the spiral of life, the spiral of healing, the spiral of growing.

My spiritual life continues to deepen and transform. The work I do - with my services and offerings, with my handcrafts, with my writing - continues to evolve.

And as for my age... well, all I have to do to see metamorphosis in action is to take a look at my stage of life. I'm going through menopause but not yet at the other side. I'm literally experiencing what my grandmother would have called "going through the change." I'm entering my queendom, on the way to crone.

It's a huge time of change for a woman - not only on a physical level, but there can be major shifts and effects in all areas. Moving from one stage of life into another, shifting, redefining, refining, releasing, discovering, clarifying, sharpening, renewing, claiming.

I never understood the power and the transformation of this time of life until I found myself in the midst of it.

So yes, butterfly medicine for me, please.

Life is a process of change and transformation. Butterfly is a perfect teacher for that process.

This is the small altar for Butterfly that I have on the end of a bookshelf. There's a clear quartz sphere, and I also have moonstone - moonstone is a wonderful stone for women, and it represents and helps with the cycles and stages of life. Since taking this photo, I've also added a couple of small pieces of lepidolite... lepidolite is considered to be a "stone of transition."