Puzzled

puzzle1I love jigsaw puzzles and have since I was a small child. My great-grandmother started it with a 500-piece beauty. I got so good at them, that I figured out she had three all from the same jig. I put them together one on top of the other, matching the pieces. These days I can do a 300 piece in an hour. Not bragging, just my enjoyment of the challenge.

Puzzles are a great brain stimulator. They are also good for relaxation and to help you focus. I use them as therapy when I’m stressed.

puzzle2Jigsaw puzzles and their cousins, crossword and sudoku are great tools for stress or boredom. I think boredom is just stress turned outward. Both involve some mental obsession with an overlay of rapidly random thoughts. Your mind keeps churning over and over, but you can’t find a solution. A puzzle of some sort helps you to focus your thoughts on each individual item. You are searching for a particular piece, be it shape or color, and your mind begins to zero in on that which you seek. If you allow those random stressful or bored thoughts to just whirl around in your head, they will begin to form shapes not unlike the puzzle pieces. Soon they will formulate into clues to your issue.

By giving your monkey brain something to do, you turn your subconscious or Higher Self over to the Universe to receive solutions. Not to mention, how quickly you can put that puzzle together.

A-Dior-able

images[5]On February 12, 1947, Christian Dior launched the “New Look” collection from his Paris couture house. The world was recovering from World War II, and its austere, masculine clothing. The New Look returned the feminine silhouette with a full bustline, tiny waist and curvy hips. I believe that it reminded the world that the feminine, nurturing energy was returning. It was criticized as being a wasteful luxury when times were still lean. Thus is the power of the feminine energy, to create, to nurture, to honor the need to pamper our souls.

Today, my Sweetie and I attended the Dior exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The show is in its final tour, ending on March 17th. The exhibit included dozens of beautiful gowns and suits, beginning with the classic “Bar Suit” categorized by a creamy fitted jacket and a black, calf-length full skirt. Think Lucille Ball in her heyday. From the simple suit to fabulous gowns of detailed embroidery and gems, lean silhouettes to curvaceous sweeps, all stunning in this gorgeous collection.

 

I, myself, enjoyed the blatant outrageousness of John Galliano. Highly satirical, if you studied the garments closely. One fabulous gown, that I failed to take of photo of, (God knows why not), which I dubbed “Queen in Bondage”. Bejeweled red satin, the bodice was a tightly fitted corset style with the seeming intent to expose the breasts, although there was a bit a fabric tucked in to keep it decent. Or so I assume. The skirt flared out from the knees, mermaid style, looking almost impossible to move in. The entire garment was capped by an innocuous-appearing crown. Luxurious, over-the-top, this gown defined Galliano’s evil genius. Too bad he couldn’t limit his antics to design instead of running off at the mouth.

IMG_20190303_115107239 (1)Like all art, fashion is beauty in the eyes of the beholder. For women in general, it is the living expression of our soul. You can wake up in the morning ready to deal with what is likely going to be a sh*tty day, and instead, choose to arm yourself with a great outfit. Fake it ‘til you make it, or so they say. Dressing in your favorite outfit, because you know you look fabulous in it, will change the day into something great. And I hate to disappoint you guys, but women don’t usually dress for men unless they are hunting for a husband or boyfriend. As designer Betsey Johnson said “if girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times”. Just notice when you are in a public place, most of the women are looking at each other and often commenting about shoes and handbags.

Why? Because we are just f-ing adorable.

You-nique

img_0628Cleaning up your stuff and your life is getting rid of what does not serve you or doesn’t make you feel good.  Cleaning up means allowing your authentic self to come out.  If you can’t be you, who will?

Living a good life means being yourself.

Some people say that they don’t know who they are.  Well, if you have done the clean up work then you know who you aren’t.  What you are left with helps to define you.  Living your life as a lie can cause deep suffering within your body.  Trying to conform to other’s ideals of who you should be can actually cause cancer and other life-threatening diseases.  Who wants that?  You can only live your life for yourself, because you must live within yourself.

Being authentic does not mean harming others or things.  It does not mean you get to be an a$$hole.  Being authentic is treasuring the uniqueness of you, the beautiful, spontaneous, quirky, creative, sparkly inner being that radiates with joy.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!

 

Maybe you think you are weird.  So?  What is wrong with weird?  A lot of people are and like weird.  Find them and buddy up.  Maybe you are very traditional and old-fashioned.  Nothing wrong with that either.  Lots of alike-you’s out there.  Spirit wants to grow so therefore, interesting, unusual and quirky people were created.  Spirit loves this.  I think Spirit has a giant paintbrush and a bucket of colors and has an absolute riot dashing them on the canvas of life.  Now isn’t that just a beautiful thought?

 

We just finished some of our decorating projects.  It was a joy for me, because I allowed my artistic side to come out.  I went for bold, with a little bit of quirky humor and that suits my Sweetie too.  It turned out fab, if I say so myself.  I’m sharing a few of the pics with the hopes that you’ll be inspired to allow your inner delight to come out.img_0629

You do you.

Keep Calm and Clutter Down

pillow-650243_1920So hopefully by now you have cleaned out your closets, cabinets and the dreaded garage.  Did some soul work and let go of old issues.  Unfriended your unfriendly friends and put some effort into your romantic relationship.  Maybe you followed the feng shui lessons and amped up the living areas in your home to bring in more of what you need.

Now it’s time to settle in and enjoy your rejuvenated space and self. 

Don’t fall back into those old habits of tossing your dirty clothes on the floor.  Don’t junk up the kitchen counters with dirty dishes.  And for God’s Sakes, do not pile boxes and a bunch of other sh*t in your garage!  (I can’t let go of the garage thing.  My sweetie works out of our garage and it is in a constant state of change.)

Clutter got you into the emotional mess you just cleaned up, and, like the awful relationship you just ditched, don’t go there again.

Practice being organized, by starting with your closet.  If you read the Mari Kondo book, you will know that she recommends sorting your closet by color, then light to dark.  I did this and there many advantages to it.  First, you’ll really know what colors you like because you’ll see you have a lot of certain ones.  That’s good, you won’t buy the ones that don’t look good on you.  Secondly, it makes it easier to get dressed in the morning, because all you have to do is reach for your favorite color and have several styles to chose from.  Once you have taken something out of your closet to wear, put the hangar back in the same place you took it from.  Then you can put the garment back on the same hangar and you’ll be just as organized as when you started.

Follow this simple practice with all your newly organized things: after use, put it back in the same place you took it from.  You will always know where it is and you won’t create new clutter.  Life will run much smoother by following this simple step.  Sure you might annoy the other people in your household, but they are not you.  And who knows, they might follow your lead and suddenly the entire house will be like this Zen peaceful place.

You might feel so calm you’ll have time to sit down and read all those books I’ve recommended.

Feng Swayed

paper-3149117_1920I am re-reading the book “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life” by Karen Rauch Carter (Fireside books, 2000).  The book is an easy-to-follow guide using Feng Shui to enhance your home in order to improve your life.  It is an awesome book and the techniques work.

Feng Shui originated in China with information dating as far back as 4000 BC.  The concept is to use the energy forces, or qi (chee), in a person’s surroundings to harmonize and enhance the space.  An eight-sided diagram, called the bagua, is placed over the floorplan of the home and reviewed.  Although the bagua is an octagon, it is made up of nine sectors that represent areas in your life.  The layout is as follows:

Front Center: Career
Front Right: Helpful People and Travel
Right Middle: Creativity and Children
Right Back: Relationships and Love
Back Middle: Fame and Reputation
Left Back: Prosperity
Left Middle: Family
Front Left: Skills and Knowledge

Each sector can be enhanced with “cures”, using elements, colors, mirrors, crystals and many other items.  The enhancements will build up the energy in that sector for whatever you are trying to accomplish.  For example: you are unable to sustain a romantic relationship.  First, take a look at your bedroom.  Does it look like a space for couples?  Or do you have one nightstand, with one lamp and a picture of a single person above the bed?  Switch it up and put two of everything in there, make some room in the closet and hang a picture of a couple, preferably embracing, above the bed.  Secondly, what room is in the Relationships and Love corner of your home?  The bathroom?  You can’t remove that, so use the cures to amp up the love energy.  Keep the toilet lid closed.  Tie a red ribbon around the drain line of the sink to keep the energy from flowing out.  The color cures for this are red, pink, and white.  Buy a pack of kids valentines cards and make a collage on the wall.  Not your style?  Put them in the cabinet drawers or tape them inside.  The cures don’t have to be seen to work.  Do all of this with the intention of attracting the best partner for you.  And then watch the magic happen.

The book has a chapter for each of the nine sectors and explains what is bad in that area and how to enhance it.  You really can make a difference in your life with quick, simple cures.

I am still in the clean-it-up mode.  I have been doing some “up” decorating in my home.  I say up, rather than redecorating, because I am mostly just adding some artistic enhancements.  A little paint, some pillows, a piece of accent furniture and some artsy stuff.  Taking it from average-nice to “Bam!” as Emeril would say.  I’m following up with a read of this book to see if I need to pep up any of the bagua areas.  I have a pack of multi-colored construction paper (yes, that works!) and a scissors to cut specific shapes out of the paper.  These can be stuck on the back or underside of furniture to ramp up that area.

I may be easily swayed by my desire for a good life, but why not?  We all deserve to be prosperous, loved and happy.  Use the energy forces inherent in your space and allow them to help you.  Oh, that’s the Helpful People and Travel, right front, area of your home.

You’re Fired . . . Up

kitchen-731351_1920A certain someone made the phrase “you’re fired” a common buzzword.  You should choose your words wisely, lest Karma bite you in the a$$.

How do you feel about your job?  Are you on the verge of being fired or are you fired up and ready to get to it?

Continuing with the “clean it up” theme, take a good long look at your career choice.  Do you earn a bunch of money?  High earnings are great, but if you hate what you are doing, then you’ll need lots of that money to pay for therapy.

Job satisfaction seems to be the number one value in the working world.  High wages, good fringe benefits and work-life balance are important, but there is nothing quite like the feeling you get from doing what you love and doing meaningful work.  If you can combine an activity that you are passionate about with getting paid for it, then you have the pieces you need to be successful and content.

Sometimes people don’t want to turn their hobby into a business.  Nothing wrong with that, sometimes the passion continues at a higher level when it stays as a hobby.  Being self-employed takes discipline and dedication to fulfill your needs.

Feel like you are underemployed?  Can you get training, either on-the-job or externally, from your employer?  Many employers will fund education with a time commitment from the employee to stay beyond the completion date.

Hate your job altogether?  Shine up your resume and get your feet on the pavement.  Unemployment is low and employers are looking to hire qualified people.  A new atmosphere might be exactly what you need to spark joy in your working life.

You deserve meaningful work.  You deserve to be successful and prosperous.  Focus on what matters and get fired up to make a difference.

If You Re-Build It, It Will Come


house-fire-1548280_1920“Field of Dreams”?  Sort of.  That was “if you build it, they will come”, referring to a baseball team showing up to play ball in the middle of an Iowan cornfield.  The theme of the movie being to believe in something even if you can’t see it.

I am going to expound on that theme a bit, by using a little astrology and the Denver Broncos as an example for your life.  WTF?  Yes, I know it’s a little weird.  Just beer with me [pun intended] and it will all make sense.

First, I hope you read my previous article “Get Junked” as that is where it starts.  The planetary energy is really pulsing with the need to get rid of old sh*t.  Not just things, but you need to clean up the rot in your brain and your heart.  If you are still living with the same old beliefs, judgements, habits, resentments, soured hopes and the like, cleaning out the garage is not going to make much difference because you’ll just fill it back up with the same old junk.  Clean up your sh*t inside and out and then fill it up with positive intentions and new ways of doing things or just plain living better.

 

Last night, January 5th, was a solar-new-moon eclipse in the sign of Capricorn.  Saturn, as we know, has been hanging out in its home sign of Capricorn for a while.  (and causing some people’s Saturn Return).  Saturn rules skin, nails, teeth and bones and ambitions and discipline.  You’ve heard the saying “get your teeth into it”.  Capricorn rules knees, joints, tendons and structures and systems.  A new moon represents new beginnings.  So you put that all together and that says “clean up your sh*t, ‘cause it’s time to start over with something new”.  Think you can just avoid it?  HAH!  They don’t call Saturn the taskmaster for nothing.  If you don’t clean it up, your foundations are going to crumble.

navy-fanmats-sports-rugs-17957-64_1000[1]Now let’s look at the Broncos to see how this, err, “plays out”.  (To note: Broncos were formed in 1960 and are also experiencing their Saturn Return.)  Two years ago, they won the Super Bowl.  The 2017 season involved a new coach, revolving door quarterbacks, and a struggling offense.  This season lost players one-by-one due to injuries.  Didn’t I just say that bones, joints, tendons and structures would be affected?  I say that because of these factors, the Broncos were up against a sh*tstorm of major proportions.

Astrology time again: Capricorn, an earth sign, is situated in the South Node which is all about releasing the past.  Capricorn is also known as the “daddy” sign.  Cancer, a water sign and known as “mommy” is situated in the North Node which is the point of growth.  Put earth and water together and what do you get, Mud.  Pretty darn easy to get stuck there, wouldn’t you say?  Like I said before, this combination is challenging you to look at all your old sh*t, in your head, in your heart and in your house.  Yes, that includes the garage.  Get rid of it, release it and build new foundations.  Your Daddy Capricorn and your Mommy Cancer are going to keep riding you’re a$$ until you do.

Back to the Broncos.  Everyone involved with or interested in them is stuck in Super Bowl land.  Who doesn’t want the championship?  But you have to strive for it and not just re-live it.  That means ditching outdated ideas, game plans, and even dead-a$$ed players and staff in order to bring new light and life into the locker room and the game.  No one wants to see people get fired.  No one wants to see favorite players get shipped out.  But like over-sized shoulder pads from the 80s, you have to let go of it in order to bring in something new.  (Although I think yoga pants are a poor replacement.)  It is called “moving forward”, folks, and if you want the Super Bowl for either your team or your life, you have to do it.

Planetary help is coming.  On January 21st, we have a lunar-full-moon eclipse in Leo.  Not to mention, it’s a Supermoon.  Only the best for us Leos.  Leo says “go BIG, or go home”.  By my calculations you have slightly more than two weeks to clean up your act, well at least your stuff.  But you can sure as hell start working on your belief systems.  Delete all those emails you saved from the lover that dumped you two years ago.  Get over it, already, there is someone waaay better for you.  Tell yourself you are lovable and beautiful, while you are looking in the mirror.  Cancel stupid subscriptions for things you never use and put the money in your savings account.  Build up your skills or finish your degree so you can get that job you want.  Remember, “Mommy” and “Daddy” are nagging at you.  Affirmations train your brain to believe something is real and that puts out a load of positive energy that affects your life in amazing ways.

And I bet if all the fans starting saying “the Broncos have a winning team”, the positive energy output will make them run the Patriots into the ground.  (I just had to get that in there.)

Is that garage clean yet?

Hindsight Gives You Further Vision

rear-view-mirror-835085_1920It is the end of another year and we are reminded to look back to see what the year brought us.  How do you feel about this past year?  Was it productive, crazy or blissfully mellow?  Or just an up and down roller-coaster of them all.  While it is not productive to dwell upon the past, looking back can help you see your future.

 

At times we need to look back even further and do a life review.  Now, no beating yourself up over this, just take a review.

Think over the difficulties you have experienced: situations, events, people.  These are the things that shaped you.  If you struggled through them and persevered, then you gained strength and wisdom.  If they are still kicking your a$$, then it is time to face your fears and accept that this is the hand you were dealt at the time but in no way is it the game.  Toss in those cards, take the loss and go find another game.  You get nowhere by staying at the table.

If you want to become a strong person and own your birthright, you must face challenging times.  You need personal power in order to achieve what your soul calls upon you to do.

Next, think over the times of success, achievement and what made you downright happy.  Again look at situations, events, and people.  What about these things caused you to feel good?  Was it love, delight, or completion of something?  What about this do you value most? 

Difficulties and delights contrast each other so you can focus on which ones bring you further along your path, and in your desires for your life.  Learning how to navigate through the difficulties gives you the motivation for achieving your desires.

Take some time to do a life review.  Look closely at the positive times and set intentions, and maybe goals, to increase them in your life.  Make an effort each day to include more positive thoughts or actions.  The more you focus on the positive, the more you bring into your life.

And then you don’t have to worry about silly new year’s resolutions, because you have already resolved them.  Happy New Year!

Wrap It Up

newyear-3799980_1920It’s the day after Christmas.  Presents have been unwrapped.  The trash can is filled with ribbons and wrapping and the occasional fruitcake.  Tums and Alka-Seltzer have been ingested.  Kids are cranky after too much stimulation from new toys.  Parents are cranky from over-stimulated children and too much imbibing.  Most people are back at work.  A typical day-after a holiday.  But for many people, it’s just Wednesday.

For all of us, another year is about to wrap up.  In a few short days, we’ll be toasting each other, watching a glass ball drop, dancing the night away in shoes that kill our feet and waking up to another day in another year.  With our mind convincing us that we need to set resolutions.  That we dump three weeks into the effort.

Sounds a little humdrum and slightly disappointing.  How about changing your thought process and looking at life like a present?  A big shiny, glittery, gift-wrapped box.  Ribbon so pretty, you don’t want to take it off.  But the real surprise is what’s inside.  What did you wish for?

When 2018 rolled around, did you make wishes, plans, or goals?  Did you set intention about what you wanted to manifest or accomplish this year?  Did you give yourself the gift of a new year?  How did it all turn out for you?  Was it everything you hoped for?

It is time to wrap for yourself the gift of 2019.  Each new year is more than just the passing of time.  It is another opportunity to give yourself what you need for your contentment.  Maybe it’s time for a better home.  A new car.  A career that fits your skills and passions.  A loving relationship.  Maybe freeing up time in your schedule to pursue your passion or just time to rest and reflect.

So this new year’s, forget the resolutions.  Wrap yourself up a beautiful gift of new beginnings.

Saturn Ran Rings Around Me

saturn-67671_1920Saturn Return.  If you have read anything about astrology, you will know what that means and it might stir up dreadful feelings.  If you have heard of the 27 Club, you will also know what it means.  (The 27 Club is the group of musicians and others who didn’t make it past their 27th birthday.)

Saturn takes 27-29 years to move through the astrological signs.  It begins when you are born, and whatever sign it is in will set up challenges and opportunities for your life.  Saturn is the sign of structure.  It defines boundaries, responsibilities and commitments, but can also be limiting and restricting.  It is quite adept at revealing our weakest links.  But if you use Saturn’s transits, the rewards can be great as you can achieve your highest dreams.

When Saturn makes its returns in your sign, it can be tumultuous.  If you haven’t gotten your sh*t together by then, it will force you to do it.  Saturn is the ultimate taskmaster.  The first go-around is the call to leave adolescence behind and learn to support yourself.  Resisting that push will have you living in your parents’ basement and doing chores for an allowance.  Avoiding it altogether might get you dead.  If you can embrace it, you open doors to create the life of your dreams.  “Okay, Vanna, I’ll take Door #2, the one covered in gold.”

The second Saturn Return occurs between the ages of 57-60.  It can also be especially painful, as it is Life Review time and when your mortality becomes visible.  “Why are we even here?!” will scream loudly inside your head.  Unfulfilled dreams will roil inside your guts, demanding to be released.  Throw up or throw down the gauntlet and get them going.  Start small, make it big or make it little, just do something to settle your tummy or you might just wither away.  Sounds depressing.  Saturn can do that if you get fixated upon the negative or let other people dictate who you are.

 

 

Saturn was in Capricorn when I was born.  Capricorns are known for their work ethics.  They are responsible and practical.  My Sun Sign is Leo.  Leos are courageous, kind, generous and loyal.  You put those two together and you have someone who takes care of everything.  Yep, that’s me.  Saturn returned to Capricorn on December 19, 2017 and will remain there until March 21, 2020.  I am up to my eyeballs in Saturn’s rotation and it has kicked my a$$ this past year.  It hasn’t helped that most of the other planets went in and out of retrograde too.  Being it Capricorn, it has been all about work and responsibility.  While it has taken me down due to the nasty people I’ve dealt with, it also propelled me to complete an enormous amount of projects and new ways of doing things. 

It really does make you look at your mortality too, not that I feel I’ll check out anytime soon.  It’s more in how you have lived your life and what purpose that is.  I look at all the work and all the people I’ve taken care of and wonder “what for?”.  I just read a line in a novel that said something like “you have to go back to where you came from in order to understand where you are going.”  Hmm.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was being unwanted and my mother’s treatment of me.  But as I relived some of that, my thoughts also were that it made me strong, resilient, and capable.  I could have wallowed in anger, became a sponge, and limited myself.  Instead, I went to college, worked my way up the work ladder, bought homes and cars and whatever else I needed.  I wouldn’t call myself wealthy, but I have a nice home, a lifestyle I enjoy, a good partner and the ability to retire.  I wouldn’t have that if I didn’t heed Saturn’s call.

Still, looking forward is intimidating.  I know that my path is to learn how to play.  It makes me anxious thinking about it.  Seriously?!  Yeah.  I’ve surrounded myself with things that encourage play, yet I so very rarely allow myself time to enjoy them.  That’s pretty sad, but I betcha there are a lot of you out there that could say the same thing.  But I’m taking it to task and I’m going to learn how to have fun instead of working to death.

Maybe I’ll play a little ring toss with Saturn.

Update: I just read on the news that Saturn is starting to lose its rings.  Getting a little taste of its own medicine?!