Not all new years start off on a high note, some begin on a challenging one. But within that challenge there could be some gold, if you choose to look for it.
Life has taught me this in spades...you know that inertia-inducing, opportunity-missing, confidence-betraying cocktail of perfectionism and procrastination.
Come to think of it, those two "p" patterns are probably fraternal twins, they might look different but the connection between perfectionism and procrastination runs deep.
So off I go to put some whole-hearted time into writing my book (dream since childhood) and working on my new website (halle-f***ing-lujah), which has stirred up a veritable perfect-storm cocktail of the evil "p" twins. Lest I use spending more time perfecting this newsletter as a tricky way to think I'm being productive, while I'm actually avoiding doing something that is very important to me but more thorn-laden with doubt and fear than writing this is.
Having said all of that, as I'm writing this, I was just inspired to ask the universe if there was something more I should add to this subject for you, and I had to smile at the uncanny synchronicity of receiving this particular message:
So let's riff on this jewel from Danielle LaPorte for a moment. Sometimes we judge ourselves and think we are procrastinating when in reality we are being asked by our intuition to not move forward for some reason on that project, deadline, email, task, etc. Because sometimes, we are being asked to change course, to dream it a little more before we produce, or to wait for intuitive timing to dictate to us rather than our fear-based "pushing" timing would tell us to birth.
How do you know the difference? Ask it. Meditate on the question "Is this procrastination or intuition?"
See what your own innate wisdom says. You might receive some guidance via a little voice in your head that's of a different frequency from your thoughts, you might receive a message from the outside world that's uncanny in its answer, you might just listen to what your body tells you (your body never lies), or you might just pick up that book or card deck you use as a tarot and see what answer comes to you (like I did just now).
And then listen...and do what you hear to do (or not to do).
OVER TO YOU:
What is calling to you to "do it now"? What are you delaying that feels like it could be your intuition telling you something? What past experience/s do you have where you delayed doing something and it turned out to be wise that you did? Join me in the comments below!
One rainy summer afternoon after finding out some challenging news, I found myself in search of clarity. My energy was scattered, my heart was worried and my head felt messy. So I did what I knew to do, I couldn't unfold the big things in my life, I could only unfold that which was in front of me. So I went into our home office that had been cluttered for way too long and started clearing it out. My prayer in doing so was for my mind to be cleared out with it.
Through that process, I found in a Disney Store bag these two sippy cups. They had been given to me a while ago as a gift from my father to my children. They were of Olaf the unflaggingly optimistic, magical snowman from the movie "Frozen". I somehow resisted these cups for months, but today inexplicably I decided to wash them out and get them ready for my kids to enjoy.
In doing so, in one I found quite expectedly a piece of paper with washing and care instructions. But when I attempted to open the other sippy cup, the top was stuck. Olaf's head wouldn't budge. As I was still knee-deep in emotional muck, I found myself spewing expletives under my breath followed by a deep urge to chuck Olaf into the garbage. I was angry, why did everything feel so hard right now? Even a stupid sippy cup wouldn't open easily. I persevered and attempted to get the snowman's head off once more. Finally, his head popped off and quite unexpectedly, out flew a slew of paper stars.
They were these perfectly-shaped, delicate little stars. So small that I couldn't even imagine an origami master making them. So, I knew. They were angel made. The universe knew that I did not need one more instruction manual that day, I needed grace. And so, grace was provided. As, come to think of it, it usually is.
For sometimes grace comes in the form of stars falling out of sippy cups...
Gazing upon these fallen stars I burst into tears. I cried because I knew. Because I knew this was a message. I knew this was an answer to a prayer. I knew that I had opened up this silly cup at the perfect moment to know that I was not alone, that indeed my life and my family's life was still and would always be imbued with magic. I needed the reminder, because even those of us who speak to angels lose our way sometimes.
While the challenges that were obscuring my faith didn't go away over night and I still very humanly at times find myself dipping in and out of faith; I continue to go back to that shooting star moment. As it was one of enigmatic synchronicity. I mean really, how the hell did those stars get into that cup? Even if as part of some "Frozen" marketing magic, a few stars were slipped into some Olafs randomly, well, even the analytic side of my brain couldn't argue with the fact that the timing of these falling stars were indeed serendipitous and deeply meaningful to me.
For in that moment I knew instantly that I should indeed, still believe. Believe what I know to be true, but sometimes lose touch with feeling. Believe that help is always available. Believe that support is always there...seen and unseen. Believe that indeed peace would not only be restored but is already here if I could just trust into it.
Believe that even on a stormy day in summer, that a snowman could warm a girl's heart.
SOME "STARS FALLING" MESSAGES FOR YOU:
*Sometimes you need to ask the universe, god, spirit (whatever feels right for you) to show you some signs.
*Be awake and present enough in your day to receive the message, sometimes they will hit you over the head even when you are sleepwalking through your day, but it helps to be available to receive the message.
*Follow that intuitive whisper that tells you to do something, go somewhere, speak to someone, etc. Messages from the universe are often subtle.
*Don't judge yourself when you are feeling bad, scared, angry. Judging how you feel only further entrenches it. Allow the feelings to move through you, but also allow some space for support to come in to shift how you feel. Ask for support and help when you feel you need it and/or when you are spiraling in your stuckness.
*When a sign comes to you, don't take it for granted. Pause, breathe in the gift of it. Allow the synchronicity, sign, moment of serendipity to shift your energy. Your present mood and resistance to feeling better might tell you to do otherwise, but choose to let grace fill-up your heart and soul. You'll be grateful that you did...
INSPIRATIONAL BONUS CONTENT:
Spotify Playlist to Follow:
LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
I would love to hear about a time in your life when you experienced a synchronicity or received a sign that was particularly meaningful to you. I have found that when we share our stories we not only empower ourselves, we also help to inspire those who hear them.
Leave a comment below to share the love, as you never know who might just need to hear your story and you might just need to tell it!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Blessings and love,
It was a late autumn day all the trees lay barren, a reflection of their current wintry state, alone amidst the fallen landscape stood a tree aglow in vibrant fiery lushness. Radiant, bejeweled with orange leaves and a perfect undercoat of yellow. Harried New Yorkers stopped dead in their tracks spellbound by their rare beauty. Strangers unfolded stream of consciousness utterings to one another..."Wow", "Well isn't that just magical" and "Miraculous." The New York City perpetual ticking clock stopped for a moment and we all paused spellbound to drink in the beauty.
We are now in the heart of winter, I pass by this tree every day as I bring my daughter to school. Its branches are now bare like their companions. But burned into my memory is an overlay of its autumnal incandescent glow. On certain days I could swear I see the halo of burnt sienna leaves adorning its limbs. And I am reminded that there is always beauty within the frost.
As we rush, as we bundle up, as we dream of spring wildflowers in bloom and a whisper of a spring jacket...we are beckoned to remember that change is inevitable and yet so much remains innate. The beauty that resides in you, in each of us, is immutable. It may radiate more in certain seasons of our lives, it may deepen with the bloom of requited desire and fluid moments of grace but even in the days of our winter's darkness the aura of our heart's luminosity is always present.
So today as you roll out of bed, engage in the world, dance with your muse...breathe in beyond your resistance, beyond your slushy winter boots, beyond your old stories that fool you into believing that your finest days are behind you and touch that which the frost protects...that which is your radiant self.
For more of my February Newsletter dedicated to the subject of love click here to read more...
----from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
We have all heard of spring cleaning, well I am a big believer in autumnal gathering. As our days grow cooler and nights draw earlier, the fall is a great time to begin to feather your nest for the upcoming season. For some of you this may mean clearing out your home of clutter and/or things that you no longer love nor support you in your home. Most of us spend more time in our homes in the cooler months, so being surrounded by pieces that nourish you and have positive associations is particularly important to your sense of well being.
It is amazingly freeing to let go of items that weigh you down emotionally and energetically. Are you holding on to things because of a sense of obligation (I should really keep this because so and so gave this to me), from past relationships that you have ambivalence or negativity about, things that you used to love but no longer reflect who you are, etc. Often we hold on to things out of a lack of faith that we won't receive what we really want or out of protection to hold on to a past version for ourselves. In my work with clients over the years I have seen amazing shifts in their lives and homes when they have had the courage and faith to bring their homes into the present and make room for the future.
Some of you may be on the polar spectrum and have very orderly and spare homes. While that aesthetic can be very calming and soothing, you may want to ask yourselves if your environment also reflects any areas of detachment, rigidity, or loneliness that you may experience. If any of this resonates with you, you may want to gather some pieces that soften your home. A great way to nourish your soul and add warmth to your environment is to add accessories and fabrics that are tactile and inviting.
For all of us autumn is a great time to add elements of warmth to our homes which in turn warms us as well. Cozy blankets or throws are great ways to add instant coziness to your environment. For those of you that love tea, buying a fresh stock of aromatic and soothing teas is an affordable and delicious way to enjoy some instant peace. Even though my days are as full as most of you, I find that taking an extra few minutes to sit down and drink some freshly brewed tea in my favorite cup is instantly restorative (I like steeping fresh mint leaves with a bit of raw honey).
If your windows are bare ask yourself is it just a design choice or does it reflect a lack of commitment to settling into your home or does a part of you unconsciously have some boundary issues around personal space (I am not just speaking physical space here). You may be more comfortable in having a choice over the level of privacy and exposure (as well as light) that you want to bring into your daily life.
This is also a great time of year to create a more romantic atmosphere in your home regardless of whether you share your home with a partner or not. Candles are an easy way to add instant romance, as are bath potions and inviting music. If you are interested in cooking, this is also a wonderful time to indulge and bring hearth energy into your home. Autumn is also an opportune time to start or deepen your meditation practice. This is a great way to bring more to your life and to your home. Use your imagination, there are so many personalized ways to lift the energy of your home and your spirits a well!
Some of My Favorite Things for Autumn:
Visit their store in New York for a larger selection of beautiful and tactile pieces for your home. ABC home store on 19th and Broadway, an amazing selection of pretty much everything for your home (check out John Robshaw bedding).
Their Cozy Chic line is amazingly soft for adults, children and babies. Wonderful blanket, robes and clothing.
A Tea Moment:
Bodum makes a beautiful and modern range of tea kettles and pots that brew fresh tea. I particularly like the all glass ones even if they require more delicate handling. In New York Cityplaces like Alice's Teacup, Takashimaya and Dean and Deluca have a wonderful selection of fresh and exotic teas to choose from. I also love the French tea company, Mariage Freres.
Raw honey is a delicious and healthy food to have on hand and tastes delicious in tea. After hearing about this from a homeopath at the first sign of a cough or sore throat in our home we have a small spoonful of raw honey (crunchy parts and all).
Splurge: Diptique candles burn incredibly pure and come in tantalizing scents . I am personally obsessed with their Figuier (fig) candle. A new favorite line of candles is from the French company LostMarch. They come in three scents to set different moods, I love all of them. This line is hard to find in the States but Share with...--a wonderful and friendly store in Montauk, New York--carries them and I believe they ship [(631) 668-2205].
Reasonable: Votivo carries a wonderful line of candles and comes in a beautiful glass jar (red currant is my long-time favorite scent, more sexy than fruity). Geodesis makes my second favorite fig candle named "fig tree". It is slightly woodsy and reminds of crisp evenings in a foreign countryside.