Shake It Off

skeletons-32459_1280I recently created a music playlist to listen to when we are hanging out on the patio.  I tried to pick songs that make you want to get “jiggy”.  That’s code word for dancing, not the OTHER jiggy.

I went back in time for some of them, for favorites, and to add variety.  Remember “Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Ritchie?  Watch the video on YouTube, it will make you smile.

Dancing is healthy for mind, body and soul.  It gets you moving, maybe singing along and it just lightens your soul.  And it is portable.  We have a little above ground pool on the patio, just big enough to cool off on a warm summer day, and spend quite a bit of time there.  We can fit 4 inner tubes without crowding and it is butt-deep.  Ever dance in an inner tube?  Okay, wiggle, but you get the idea.  Just don’t wiggle too much lest you wish a mouthful of pool water.  Needless to say, it has been a fun way to beat the heat and listen to some great tunes.

Dancing can also help heal the soul.  I recently read some articles discussing the shaman’s “Skeleton Dance”.  After you have done some emotional healing work, it is recommended that you do this dance to shake off and out the residual energy.  First, picture a skeleton hanging by a string.  Give it a shake and watch how all the bones rattle around.  It is a very loose dance and probably not much different than what you might do when you are drunk.  Just don’t drink alcohol when you are doing healing work as it defeats the purpose.  Well, duh.  Drunkenness is probably why you need to do the healing work in the first place!!  So let’s practice. . .err, give it a try.

Stand up.  Get your a$$ up off the sofa, it is time to get jiggy!  Start swinging your arms around like they are loose in your shoulder socket.  Loosen up those elbows, your wrists and even your fingers.  Do the same with your legs and move on up through your hips and waist.  Head too.  Just let loose and shake it loose.  Quit worrying about what you look like, you are supposed to be a skeleton, remember?  Jiggle around until you feel relaxed and fluid.  Then stop and just stand there for a bit and tune into your body.  How do you feel?  There should be some measure of less stress.  You should always do some method of body release work after emotional healing to avoid keeping it trapped in your body.  The skeleton dance is a fun and effective way to do this.

So why don’t you cue up “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by Will Smith or “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and dance your way to joy.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

 

“Happiness is not having what you want.  It is wanting what you have.”  This quote by Rabbi Hyman Schachtel always seemed perplexing to me.  I focused too closely on the “not having what you want” portion and totally missed the meaning behind it.

We all exist in a state of want.  More money, better job, nicer home, prettier clothes, more loving partner, the list is endless.  But just “wanting” will keep you in a state of more want.  These days, everything happens quickly and we can exist in a state of insatiable desire.  And most all of it can be achieved in minutes.  But is that what it really takes for happiness?

“It is wanting what you have.”

The second portion of that quote is too often where we get messed up.  Once upon a time, I thought it meant be happy with what you got ‘cause you ain’t gettin’ any more.  Sad.  That is existing in a belief state of lack.  Feeling lack is what gets you stuck in want.  Feeling lack leaves us never feeling satisfied with what we have.  We believe we are missing out on something better, even if everything we Need is surrounding us. 

Lack prevents us from feeling happy.

Abundance is free.  Abundance is your connection to the Universe and knowing that everything you need will be provided for you.  You may have to take action steps to get that, but if you listen to the Universe you will be guided on what to do.  When you feel abundant, you will never want what you don’t need.  I have no interest in having an airplane, so I obviously don’t need it.  Sometimes when you feel abundant you will need less.  Everything you have will support you and you will move through life with more ability to handle stresses.  So how do you feel abundant?

Ask the Universe to help you.

“Universe, please help me to feel abundant in all forms.  Help me to open my heart to experience all that I need.  Thank you for helping me to allow this in my life.”

As you practice this, you will begin to feel differently about your life.  You will likely still want things, but they will be what you need and you will discover ways to have them in your life.

Especially if they are already there.

Freedom

religion-3426187_1920 (1)It is the 4th of July in America.  People all over are waving flags, watching parades, staring in wonder at dazzling fireworks displays, and consuming vats of food and drink.  I think sometimes we forget what it really means.

What is freedom?

We know that it represents Independence Day, or the birth of the United States.  It changed the world and the people that created it.  But what does freedom mean to you?

Freedom is the right to speak and act without hindrance.  It is not the right to do this without regard for others and causing them harm.  It is not the right to harm creatures and property.

Freedom is about choice.  It is about the ability to think, to decide, to act upon what is for your highest and best good.  It is about choosing who you want in your life.  It is choosing a career path that makes you happy and utilizes your skills.  It is wearing what you like.  It is doing the things that make you happy and fulfilled.  When you feel happy and fulfilled, your life will feel smooth.  Oh, it will never be without issues, for you are human after all.

Freedom is simply just a thought process.  It is allowing your thoughts to run wild, imagining, dreaming, just completely letting loose.  They are just thoughts after all and don’t have to be shared or put into action.  “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” is an old German song about the freedom of thought.  Its lyrics speak of thoughts being within your mind where no one can shut them down and no one can imprison you.

That is the true meaning of freedom.

So how will you set your mind free?

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Recently, at work, the subject of dress code has surfaced again.  We have a new director, and he is getting his feet wet in all areas of the business.  After initiating the topic of shoes, he wisely turned the dress code idea over to a team of women.  Women police each other, after all.

59745-2001_CEREZA[1]Many a man, to his everlasting regret, has ventured in to the female shoe closet thinking to discuss the quantity, cost, necessity, appropriateness and style of female footwear.  Many of them wisely retreated when they notice the squinty eyeball staring back at them.  A brave few thought to continue the topic, and then determined that there is a fine line between brave and dumb.  Some hearty souls continued on, and were grateful that the living room sofa was a comfortable place to sleep.  And some were never heard from again.

The only men who can safely traverse the domain of the female shoe are those of a “different persuasion”, or the Great Oz of Shoes himself: Mr. Manolo Blahnik.  Should Mr. Blahnik ever appear in a woman’s shoe closet, especially if he were bearing gifts, she could succumb to a heart attack at that very moment and consider her life complete.

51g35jLUYvL._SX356_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Shoes represent the Holy Grail to women.  They are the ultimate form of self-expression.  We willingly spend thousands of dollars for coveted pairs, suffer untold agony and blisters for a few hours of wearing a spindly high needle for the praise of a friend or stranger.  Women have made new friends over a pair of shoes.

A beautiful pair of shoes can brighten a woman’s day.  Knowing that pain could come later, she will still step out proudly and with confidence that she can kick a$$.  An ugly pair. . .well, can make a woman feel ugly.  They are the equivalent of Superman’s kryptonite.  A necessity, if you will.

Oh and if you are available, Mr. Blahnik, my closet is open. . . size 7, if you please.

Character

ethics-2991600_640I found a little saying in a magazine many years ago, clipped it, and pinned it to my bulletin board at work.

“Character – Be True to your Word, your Work and your Friends.”

fashion-3080181_640You can be a character, eccentric and colorful, or an actor in a movie, play or book.  I like to think I’m a little bit colorful.  But the other definition spoke to me more.

“The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”  To me, this definition speaks of integrity whose definition is much the same.  Another simple way of saying this is “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

 

Character or integrity should be an important aspect of who we are.  If you are wishy-washy or evasive, people will lose trust in you.  Integrity is a favorable quality to have in your work, one that will get you recognition, promotions and possibly more money.  Having integrity will build character and that will earn respect.  You can be likeable and even lovable, but if you don’t have integrity you won’t get respect.

business-1869266_640Stand by your word.  Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes – you will actually get more respect by being honest and truthful.  It also helps if you step up to the plate and take action to repair the damage, even if you have to ask for help.

If someone asks you to do something that compromises your integrity, say no.  If you know that what you are doing is legally, ethically and morally right, stand on that and follow through.  Saying no to someone’s demand that you do something in opposition to that, might momentarily get you in trouble, but ultimately you will be respected and recognized for doing the right thing.

God knows we have so many people with so few ethics, that you need to hold onto every little bit you have.

Because, really, the only person you really have to answer to is yourself.

 

 

Parts Unknown – Heaven

clouds-2709662_640The 2nd in a week, Anthony Bourdain was found dead of apparent suicide. May he rest in peace.

anthony-bourdain-parts-unknownHis TV show, Parts Unknown, was entertaining and interesting and pulled us out of our busy world and into adventure. Anthony lived life to the fullest, sucking every last drop of fun out of his existence. A self-proclaimed alcoholic and prior drug user, he battled his demons through his passion for food. Heaven will be eating well.

 

restaurant-2697945_640Like Kate Spade, creativity appeared to be the outlet for all the good within. Something beautiful, whether a handbag or a dish to be savored for an evening, their true self and soul shined through. We have all benefited from their contributions.

Addictions typically mask pain. Many people are afraid to deal with their pain for the fear that it will never go away. You MUST feel, then deal and THEN you will heal. You don’t have to do it alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Your family and friends don’t need to know the details. Surprisingly, pain can be present in your life from birth. It comes in from past lives. I realize that not everyone believes in this, but I know it to be true. Why else can a small child, in a pleasant environment, display “issues”?

If you battle addictions, mental illness, or ongoing negative behavior patterns, please do something to heal yourself. There is nothing in your life that can’t be replaced with something better. You are a beautiful human being. Your needs, your feelings, your very life is important to the Universe. You are here for a greater purpose. Maybe you are here to teach someone else that you can recover from whatever troubles you and live peacefully. Maybe there is a culinary delight or fabulous handbag in your future.

I wonder what’s for dinner in The Universe Cafe tonight? Cheers, Anthony.

Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Dear Kate

41OLqVyQ+iL._AC_US327_QL65_I, like many people, was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Kate, as we know, was the brilliant mind behind cute, quirky and beautiful handbags, shoes, clothing and housewares. I own 2 pairs of shoes and 5 of her fabulous bags and would love to have a collection. I bet they will be hard to find now.

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What really saddens me is her method. The report is of suicide. Darling Kate, what could have been so awful in your life for this to happen? Most anything can be fixed or replaced with something better. The only thing that would warrant a suicide is a painful, terminal illness and even then, don’t go it alone. There are doctors to help with that sort of thing.

We see this played out often in daily life. Someone with mental illness, severe depression, addictions, or severe pain – all truly a crisis. But there is always help. We get too far mired down in our own muck and we somehow can’t believe that there is anyone out there who cares or will help. We have distanced ourselves with too much technology and social media and forget how to reach out and hold someone’s hand. We don’t talk – we text. I read that you can even have Alexa or somesuch read your child a bedtime story. WTF.

Mental illness typically has roots in a chemical imbalance in the brain. We know that there are plenty of chemicals out there to balance them. However, some of the most simple things can change your brain chemicals. And one of them is human touch. A hug. A hand to hold. Tears to share. Laughter to lighten up. A kiss goodnight. Even petting your cat or dog will stir up the good chemicals. Do YOU do any of these things? There is ALWAYS someone out there who will hold your hand when you most need it. A nurse in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them, the chemicals will activate. Human beings are not meant to be alone so don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to if you find yourself sinking into a dark place. There is always another path for you.

Rest In Peace, Kate Spade, and thank you for bringing something for us all to smile about.

Opportunities and Boundaries

I recently read a posting on Karen Rauch Carter’s Facebook page about opportunities and front doors.  Karen is the author of “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life”, a fabulous and easy-to-follow guidebook about using feng shui not only in your home, but your entire life.

IMG_0391The point of the posting was whether or not your front door allowed for opportunities to find you.  A front door that you could not see from the street or wasn’t easily accessible from the street sidewalk did not allow for opportune energy to find you.  Conversely having some measure of boundaries was also important, especially if you live at the end of a street or bend of a curve.

My front door clearly has both.  I hadn’t consulted the book before transforming our front yard.  It was the typical builder basic: grass, tree, three shrubs and bark.  The front door was black.  It is a cool-looking vertical house, but it needed a little. . .pizazz.

I’ve never been one to do things by halves.  And there is certainly no doubt where my front door is and how to get to it.  My sweetie and I made the hoop gate.  Along with everything else you see.

The red door and red hoops very clearly open the path to opportunities.  Red energy can work two ways, either draw energy to something or block energy from it.  I set the intention for both: allow the good stuff and block the bad stuff.

IMG_0392.JPGBoundaries are set with the iron fence, yet you can see through it.  Good personal energetic boundaries allow good things to flow into you, like love and abundance.  A brick wall is not a good boundary, either in a yard or yourself.  You quite literally shut yourself off from everything.  So our fence allows the energy to flow.  You can see the beauty inside, with the flowers and the landscape yet it blocks people and their peeing dogs from harming it.  No more than you want a peeing dog in your inner landscape.

There are a pair of planters flanking both sides of the fence.  A pair always represents good couple energy.  Flanking the fence means we share our boundaries equally.

Along the fence line, we planted the more interesting species.  Some rather erotic looking lilies and plenty of colorful tulips.  None of which are blooming at this time.  The tulip fest is done and the lilies haven’t opened their sleepy eyes yet.  I think this demonstrates that we are not afraid of letting our more “colorful” side be right out front to the public eye.  As it should be.  Why should we hide the very best parts of our inner landscape?

And sometimes we shouldn’t hide the more difficult parts. IMG_0386

Let’s Talk Chakras – The Advent of the 12 Chakra System

12chakrasystem-web[1]12/21/2012 is known as the date that began a shift in Divine Energy. The Universe is simply tired of the old way of doing things. Mean people can’t hide in the shadows anymore. Greed, corruption, male domination, lack of empathy and compassion and many other negative patterns. . .I guess you could say it is the time to clean up the Seven Deadly Sins.

We live in volatile times. Shifting energy will do that. Think Spring on a grand scale. Just imagine what will blossom when we get through this. I doubt that our minds can even comprehend that right now.

Another shift in energy is with the chakra system in the body. If you have been following this series, you know that there are seven that exist within the body. There are a few minor ones that I haven’t written about: hands, feet and ears. They need equal attention as the others. Five additional new chakras are being awakened and they exist outside of your body. As they are still developing, I don’t know enough yet to write about them. However, the eighth chakra – The Higher Self – is the one we should be opening up to.

The Higher Self Chakra allows you to seek guidance from higher realms. Your Higher Self is the part of you that knows all about you and guides you to your best good. Expanding this will open you to spiritual channels that can take you to a more meaningful existence. Think Archangels and the Council of Light. They are the guardians of the planet, guiding us to peace and ensuring that we don’t blow the thing up. Good to know. Earth is an amazing incredible place, filled with endless possibilities for growth and spiritual development. We have no idea how important it is in the grand scheme of the Universe, which is why these Higher Beings are so involved.

Open your heart, allow your mind to expand with possibilities you can’t see, listen with your inner hearing to the Wise voices that can and will guide you to happiness and contentment. Don’t know what that sounds like? They speak very formal-like and calm, always starting with “We”. They will never, ever make you feel bad, scared, depressed, nervous or any other negative emotion. Their truth will resonate down in your gut in a way that you don’t understand, but just know without a doubt. If you listen to their guidance, your life will be smoother. Oh the sh*t you might be dealing with will still be there, but that guidance will help you get through it with confidence and composure. If you let them, they’ll even reduce the drama.  Wouldn’t that be nice!

So tune out, tap in and turn on the faucet of light that will fill you with the strength, courage, confidence and direction to move forward in your life. A meaningful existence will seek you out, giving you purpose and the desire to stay here as long as possible. You’ll improve your health without struggle. Relationships will be with like-minded people. You’ll have exactly what you need in your garden of life.

May Divine Light and Love be with you always.

Let’s Talk Chakras – Part Six – The Third Eye Chakra

brow-2533110_640 (1)This is the sixth in a series about our energy body that consists of Chakras. Chakra means “wheel” or “vortex”. We each have seven of them located along the spine, from the base up to the crown of your head. There is an additional one located slightly above the top of your head. Chakras are funnel-shaped, spin in a clockwise circle, and you have one on the front of you that draws in energy and one on the back that gives out energy. It is beneficial to you to keep them spinning and have a balance of flow in and out.

The sixth chakra is located in the center of your forehead. It vibrates to the color indigo in the light spectrum. Physical issues are related to migraines, seizures, sinuses and vision.

The Third Eye Chakra is all about intuition. For many people, it is the awakened sense of clairvoyance or the ability to see beyond the physical. An awakened Third Eye is your inner “bullsh*t detector”. It helps you to see the truth behind situations and others’ motives. When you have opened yourself to your intuition, you can see your eye looking back at you when you close them. It works sort of like the shutter of a camera, but with more control to the exposure. It can be very beneficial to keep your third eye opened.

But along with an awakened Third Eye comes your need to trust. You must learn to discern spiritual truth from your ego’s barking. The ego will fight for control and try to keep you disconnected from Spirit so its messages are negative and frightfully urging. Spirit will be softly persistent and always be for your highest and best good. The more you listen to and see the truth in a matter, the easier it will become and your life will flow much smoother.

It is important to keep your chakras clean and spinning in a clockwise direction. A regular practice of meditation, with a focus on re-balancing your chakras, is the best method of keeping them healthy.