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Miraculous Moment

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Sweet Sam and me after our first trot together!

I had a miraculous moment with Sam recently.  I hadn’t been riding in awhile and when I got back in the saddle on Sam, I needed a few minutes to remember.  You know what I mean?  Literally, I had to get my frame of mind back on the horse.  Pardon the puns, but they were so easy! LOL

I began my lesson as per usual, walking and guiding Sam around the paddock.  Keeping my heels down, body upright and core tightened as I took my cues from my instructor Sasha.  After a nice warmup, I could feel the tension in my hands still, but because it was chilly, I figured it was just me, which it was – me – still not trusting myself enough nor Sam.  So Sasha gave me a surprise which I can only liken to opening a big unexpected present on Christmas morning – and you know how much I love Christmas morning!

Sasha took away all of my control.  Putting Sam on a lead and taking away my reins, we rode in circles.  Holding on to the saddle for dear life at first and getting my balance.  I admit, I was scared.  Then Sasha had me let go of one hand on the saddle.  Deep breath in, I released my right hand and put it out beside me.  I wobbled at first, still walking in circles and then Sasha commanded both hands.  Deep breath in, exhaled and let go.  We went through a series of exercises all the while I was riding without reins and feeling more and more comfortable in my saddle on Sam.  He was a perfect gentleman and it clicked!  Suddenly it was like – I got this!  I’m utterly, wonderfully comfortable sitting on this sweet horse and I felt as if we were one!  It was such a miraculous feeling of profound centeredness and tranquility and euphoria!  Giggling with child-like wonder, I proudly sat up straight, fully comfortable in the saddle in that special moment with a big happy grin on my face as we bonded!

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Triumphantly Sam and I are bonding!  Look Ma!  No hands!

Sasha then informed me that we were going to trot a bit.  My heart leapt at the exciting prospect, but a little anxiety crept in.  I knew in my heart that I had full trust in both Sasha and Sam, so I agreed (not like Sasha would have let me back out though which is what I really like about her!)

Hands back on the saddle and Sam began to trot in a circle and with sheer delight, I was euphoric!  In a big wave of gratitude, my soul was flying, bonded with Sam.  As one, we trotted for the first time together in a circle!  We slowed to walk again and I rested my hands on my thighs to show Sasha my newfound balance.  Then we trotted again and I was on Cloud 9!    A first for me in so many ways as a wave of healing engulfed me.  Perhaps you won’t understand, but it was like a clearing for me in many ways, both personal and relative to my life.  It was as if all the debris of past broken trust had been swept away and a newness full of hope and utterly centered healing trust was returned to me.  Trust in myself, trust in Sam and Sasha and finally, trust in God and in the Universe!

Words can’t describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment and perhaps I sound silly to you, but to me it was a miraculous moment that I wanted to remember, so I am blogging about it.

After my lesson, Sam and I bonded for awhile.  Nuzzling and talking with him afterwards was so lovely.  It was as if we understood each other.  I gave him treats as he snuggled into me.  Even after I returned him to his stall, I was hesitant to leave him and I think he was enjoying me too as instead of going to eat, he stayed at the doorway, letting me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted to continue our time together.  So, I hung around with him, talking and petting his velvet face with him affectionately snuggling into me and making me laugh with his antics!

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Sam had me giggling when I took the photo and accidentally cropped myself out! But see his sweet face? Pure love!

When I left the barn, I walked to my car happily as I usually do, but there was a knowing in me that I haven’t felt in a long time.  When I got to the gate of the farm to leave, my trusty horse friends were there to greet me.  But even they were warmer with their welcomes.  It was as if telepathically Sam had told them of our riding experience.  I ended up spending extra time petting them too, reluctant to leave these amazing creatures whose love was filling my soul with peace and trust.

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One of the ‘gatekeepers’ – I don’t know this guy’s name, but he is so affectionate! All he wanted was for me to keep petting his velvet nose and talk with him! He kept following me!

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Here’s sweet Ely who always greets me when I arrive at the gate to the farm. He couldn’t get enough petting yesterday either – and frankly neither could I!

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Mr. Chips is more timid, but he too was interested in getting some affection yesterday before I left!

I remind myself that healing comes when we are ready to embrace it and that Divine Timing has all the answers.  We just have to be open to the opportunities of letting go and letting God and the Universe to help us to heal.  Mother Nature’s creatures innately help us when we trust and have faith.

Thanks for reading my post today.  I know I was long-winded and maybe not even making sense to you, but to me, it was a profoundly important moment that I wanted to share.

Shine On!

xo

The Magical Allure of Balsam

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I am still thanking Pedro, even days later and probably will until the tree comes down.  After all, that delicious smell of a fresh Christmas tree greets me every morning when I get my coffee and immediately, it puts a smile on my face!  For me, that balsam smell is associated with the thrill and child-like anticipation that comes during the Christmas season, most specifically for me on Christmas morn.  Even as a parent, there is a thrill of anticipation upon waking Christmas morning!  It’s that joy of giving.  That joy of family and love that permeates every moment.  It’s just being grateful for all of the blessings in our lives.  It’s the magic in the spirit of Christmas!

I’m grateful for being here every day, but especially upon waking on Christmas morning with my children.  It’s innate within me.  I am like a child, fully excited when it comes to Christmas.  I’ve always been this way, ever since I was little.

The smell of a fresh tree immediately brings me back to being a little girl, waking up on Christmas morning and seeing those presents under the tree.  If I sit quietly, I can easily remember that joyful feeling along with the thrill and magic of how Santa brought us presents while we were sleeping.  It wasn’t ever a lot of presents, but just the right amount.  It was in the excitement of anticipation of what’s inside the prettily decorated wrappings that charged me up!  It was also, as I got older, the happy anticipation of giving special presents to those whom I loved.  Finding that special trinket or sweater or special toy that couldn’t be found anywhere and delivering it to my loved ones with joy for knowing that they would be happy!

Christmas is about family being together on Christmas morning.  Waking up, sleepy with joyful anticipation for what Santa (ahem Mom) brought and what thoughtful gifts each of us in turn have gotten each other.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal.  It’s about giving the Presents of Presence to each other.  Being there, in that priceless moment of glee that’s filled with love and family.

What about you?  Does the smell of a fresh cut tree bring back memories of childhood Christmases and the anticipation of presents magically appearing under the tree for you too?

Shine On!

xo

 

Thank You Pedro!

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We have a snowstorm coming coincidentally when we were planning on getting the Christmas tree.  Who wants to bring a snow-laden tree into the house?  Not me!  So after the children agreed that they didn’t care if they chose the tree this year, I went to our favorite tree place and began my hunt for the perfect tree.

It wasn’t easy and I spent 30 minutes walking around in a daze until Pedro came over to me.  Pedro is a worker at the tree farm who, after watching me walk up and down the aisles of trees, decided to help me.

When I told him what type of tree I was looking for and the size and explained how I was looking for the perfect tree (because who isn’t?), he smiled and said, Come with me.  So willingly I followed him to the back of the lot to the trees which had yet to be put out for display.

This one, he said knowingly, we just got in and I just cut it.  It’s perfect for you.

I looked at it and felt euphoria set into me. Yes, it’s perfect!  I agreed.  Thank you!

Ok, so I will get it ready for you, he said smiling as he easily lifted the huge tree and carried it to be freshly cut for me.  I dutifully walked behind him, chattering the whole time and thanking him.  We have an unusual tradition of naming our Christmas tree so I asked him his name so that we could use it for the tree this year and voila – that’s how our tree was named Pedro.

Right now my house smells like balsam Christmas which sends sparkles down my spine and puts a huge smile on my face!  I love Christmas!

I hope you find the perfect tree for your home too!  If you need help, ask the tree guys because believe me, they know those Christmas trees well!

Now, to decorate with white lights and a beautiful angel on top!

Shine On!

xo

 

The Year Without A Santa Claus

Heat Miser?  Snow miser?  Mother Nature?  Mrs. Claus?  Jingle and Jangle the elves along with Vixen the little reindeer who they pretend is a dog?

Does any of that ring a bell for you?  A little twinkle of nostalgia?  A little song in your heart?  It sure does to mine!

So on a Tuesday morning, let’s keep the holiday spirit bright with a little nostalgia!  And just for the record, a white Christmas would be perfect for me!

Shine On!

xo

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Does this photo bring back memories of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas?  It does for me!  I love those old shows and I always watch them during the Christmas season.  That tree always makes me smile when I see it because it’s such a good reminder to keep Christmas simple and not fraught with commercialism.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.”

Linus then walks over to Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

When I was looking for a photo for the post today, I found it here along with some fun facts about the movie!    Don’t forget to sing along at the end,

Enjoy!

Shine On!

xo

 

What Does Christmas Mean To You?

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In a month’s time, Christmas will be over.  Can you believe it?  Have you started decorating or shopping yet?  Have you felt the excitement in twinkling lights and frosty weather?  I am a Christmas lover as you can probably tell.

I like simplicity during Christmas.  I love to put up the creche and remember what the holiday is truly about – love and peace.  The warmth of a roaring fire and loving family surrounding me fills my heart with gratitude for life itself.  Peace and love hopefully will reign supreme this holiday season with human kindness spreading its gentle wings upon the earth.  At least that’s what I’m praying for this year.

I love to go to church during the Christmas season and sing all of the old hymns.  When I was younger, I was in the church choir and I adored singing at Christmas masses more than any other time of year.  The magic of Christmas love has stayed with me even though I’m older.  I’ve never quite lost that childhood wonder and Christmas spirit.

Even as a child, I didn’t wanted to grow up during Christmas.  I never told my parents when I stopped believing in Santa as I loved the magic of Christmas morning and I still do!  I don’t know why I’ve always been so enraptured with Christmas.  It’s just innate in me.  I often wonder if I should move to a Christmas village and live there year round or if by doing that, it would make me jaded for my favorite holiday?  Do any of you live in a Christmas village?  Can you tell me what it’s like to have Christmas everyday?

So back to my original question, what does Christmas mean to you?  Sleigh bells ringing?  Snow falling gently on the ground?  Merry moments with family and friends?  Hot toddies by the fire with a special person?  Wrapping special presents to delight and show our love for others?  Unwrapping special trinkets bought by others with us in mind?  Showing the sanctity of the holiday?  Feeling grateful for all that we have?  Sharing what we have with others through giving?  Blessing others and sharing our heartlights?  Surrounding ourselves with peace and love?  Forgiving the past and sharing The Presents of Presence?

Please share with me!

Shine On!

xo

 

Jingle All The Way To Giggle Town

Black Friday shopping isn’t my thing, but I’m getting in the mood for Christmas already.  I can’t help myself.  I find that people smile more when the holiday season arrives and people are nicer (for the most part) as I steer clear of the grinches when I can!

If you need a little break from the turkey fog, take a moment to watch the video below.  Animals singing makes me laugh!  The cleverness of the person who put this video together deserves a standing ovation from me because my face hurts from smiling and laughing.

So, here’s your Friday pick me up, sing along with the Animals of YouTube!

Shine On!

xo

 

A Giggle Before Thanksgiving

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If you’re anything like me, you’re stressed out now with the start of the holiday season.  Thanksgiving is a tough holiday to prepare for and even though this year, I’m not cooking the bird, I have a few dishes to prepare for the meal at my sister’s house.  It should be fun this year as our Mom is going to be with us too which just makes me smile.  I want to take lots of photos and videos of her with all of us.  As our parents get older, it’s important to do that you know.  Every single moment and memory is precious and sometimes it’s only after, in hindsight, that we regret we didn’t do more.  So, I’m working hard to live with no regrets!

Anyway, I was thinking about decorating for Christmas because I always began after the Thanksgiving dinner was put away.  I started slowly at first, but often, I was well on my way by Sunday.  I can’t help myself!  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

I came across the clever video below and laughed my way through it.  What a great stress reliever and giggle maker!  If you like animals, please click below and get into the Christmas mood.  You know, it’s almost time to Deck The Halls!

Shine On!

xo

 

Christmas Spirits

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Do you hear what I hear?  The quiet hum of the holiday season, over but not forgotten, hanging on through New Year’s and into the Epiphany.  Do you hear the soft twinkling of bells?  Did you feel loved ones who have passed coming to visit during the holidays?  Have you any stories to tell?  Little coincidences that make you stop and wonder if the veil between the living and the deceased was thin and you did indeed receive a sign or a visit?

There is a hush during the chaotic holiday season that when we stop and listen in the stillness of our hearts, we are gifted with the comfort of the loving presence of those who have passed before us.  Sometimes we are too absorbed in the hustle and bustle of the festivities to take notice, but the peace and unity of love are always here for us.  We simply need to be still and receive their presence.

This past week I have seen feathers in unusual places which is supposed to be a sign from our angels.  I have smelled the precise aroma of jasmine mixed with roses when I could not find its source and had no earthy reason to smell the perfumed air that surrounded me.  I have felt a loving presence holding my heart with tenderness when I cried.

You may think these are not signs, but I choose to believe that they are little tidbits of treasured connecting moments of love from above.  I would love to hear if you have felt or experienced anything special during this holiday season.  Please share with us if you have.

May love surround you and yours!

Shine On!

xo

 

Counting Blessings

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Christmas Blessings to You and Yours!

I’m up early.  All is quiet, not a creature is stirring except the 2 cats who are ever curious as to the ribbons and bows under the tree.  I love to spend the early morning sunrise writing.  There’s something magical about the hush of a peaceful house, white Christmas lights twinkling in the dark, a fresh cup of coffee and soft lit candles reminding us to count our blessings.

The magic of Christmas has always held me.  For me, there’s nothing like a great Christmas Eve mass with my sons singing all the old hymns which bring back memories.  Being with my children is special to me and it’s a gift that I never take for granted.

So this morning, I’m counting my blessings, shedding a few tears, sending up a few prayers, tip-toeing down memory lane and just feeling grateful to be alive, in this very moment for I still believe…

I believe in love.  I believe in gratitude.  I believe in faith.  I believe in kindness.  I believe in connecting with others.  I believe in truth.  I believe laughter and a good cry cleanse the soul.  I believe in forgiveness.  I believe in God.  I believe in my soul family.  I believe in you and I believe in me.

Shine On!

xo