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Dad’s Christmas Legacy To Me

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My Dad loved Christmas and his love for the holidays colored my childhood and has stayed with me.  He would put up the Christmas tree complete with twinkling white lights and play Christmas music throughout the holiday season and beyond.  Many times the artificial tree would stay up past little Christmas (January 6th) simply because it brought him peace and joy.

Our childhood home was full of nostalgia – precious ornaments from his childhood that he’d inherited from his parents.  Our stockings were hung by the fireplace of his childhood home where we also grew up, filled with many of his family heirlooms.  The manger we had was his parents’ and the old train which circled the tree was his childhood treasure.

I remember him sitting quietly in the living room with the only lights on being those on the tree and Christmas music playing on the stereo.  In that serenity he would relax into a calm that was enticing and I find myself often during the Christmas season doing exactly the same.  There’s something about Christmas that brings gratitude to the surface, brings magic to the air and healing to those who seek peace.

I remember his father’s favorite song was Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas which as a child, I learned to play on the piano.  My Dad would pass by as I was practicing sometimes and request it and of course, I would play it for him.  While I didn’t understand why he wanted me to play his father’s favorite carol and not his own, as an adult and a parent and missing my deceased Dad, I understand.

Christmas can be full of hustle and bustle and sometimes fraught with family plans that keep us busier than we’d like.  My remedy is simply to carve out some special quiet time to feed your soul with the goodness of love.  Hold your loved ones close.  Remember those who have passed.  Be grateful for all that you have.  Enjoy the magic of little ones and Santa, but remember the blessings that His birth has given to us.  Lift your voice to sing those carols and hymns.  Find your childhood nostalgia and feel the blessings.  Look around at those whom you encounter and smile.  Share the kindness in your heart.  Embrace those that may not have family nearby.  Open your homes and hearts.  Love finds a way to heal us all when we allow it.  Angels are everywhere – just keep looking!

May you find peace, healing, joy and hope during the Christmas season this year.  May you take the needed time to relax and to sit quietly watching the twinkling lights with a heart full of the magic of this special season.  May you find comfort in nostalgia and strolling down memory lane.  May you find the stars shine brighter for you in the night sky, twinkling their messages of love to you and yours.

May you keep your heartlights shining for all to see!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

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A Book To Read: Courage

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I met Karen Lang through the blogosphere many moons ago.  What stood out for me was her immense compassion, kindness and her ability to connect through blogging.  As I got to know her story through her blog, I realized that she had lived through experiences that I never had and that her healing being was powerful.

Recently, I picked up her book finally after many years of thinking I should read it because even though it is sadly about the passing of her son Nathan and the grief which followed, I felt drawn to read her story.  What ensued was my determination to write a post about her incredible book and her journey through grief after the death of her son.

Because what I found was that her book is a universal healing experience, even though my life journey is different.  I found myself reading and learning so much that I was unable to put her book down until I finished it.  I cuddled on my couch, her book in my lap and allowed the day to unfold as I read and I am so grateful that I did.

Karen’s ability to write as if we were friends, sitting together on a warm summer’s day as she shared her story drew me in right from the start and kept me with her throughout the book as she allowed the layers of her journey to unfold.  Karen offers healing to those who read her book and shares her experiences with honesty, vulnerability and presence.

There’s a beauty within all of us that we can embrace or disconnect from as life’s experiences change us.  It takes great courage to walk our life’s path and to accept and forgive what we cannot understand…and it takes healing to find the peace and love within again.  Karen has done all that and more as you will find when you read her inspirational book of Courage.

You will love her blog Living In This Moment.

Here is her author page as well Karen Lang author page.

I highly recommend her book even if you have not suffered the death of a child (and if you have, this is your time to be supported on the road to healing).  Her book doesn’t need to be read in one sitting either as she offers help after every chapter which also truly aided me.  It’s just that I couldn’t put her book down, but I am keeping it in my library to reread again for when I need grief support.  Yes, it’s truly that lovely of a book!

It’s Sunday, a day of family in our home.  I believe we’re going to get the Christmas tree today since the weather is chilly but not wet out.  May you wrap your hearts around your loved ones.  May you remember those who have passed and may you find gratitude in being here in this very moment – The Presents of Presence.

Shine On!

xo

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

Cheers to a lovely Thanksgiving to all of you!

Shine On!

xo

November First Rabbit Rabbit

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Today’s a special day, the first of November which if you know me, you know we say Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit!  But it’s also All Saints Day for those who are Catholic.

Even though my Dad passed away years ago, today would have been his birthday and I can’t help but think of him today as he comes to mind often in unusual ways.  In fact, I’m grateful as friends of his have reached out to me today to let me know they are thinking of him too.  I got the card below which touched my heart and I think goes well with the faith part of today.

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May the sweet card above inspire you, increase your faith and help you to find joy in the month ahead.  What a beautiful quote from Mary Alice Michaels!

Shine On!

xo

The Brain Amazes Me

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Some of us may find it challenging to be in the present moment especially when change is churning up the peace which we crave.  To find the gift of presence may sometimes feel so hard in our everyday lives.  I understand that all too well.  Then I found that some people live with even bigger daily challenges and I wanted to share with you what I learned.

Our brains have always fascinated me, but so much more in the last few years since I’ve had loved ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  I recently stumbled upon this interview while doing some research on the brain.  Because I have no prior knowledge of Multiple Personality Disorder, also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I was intrigued by the interview (and no, I don’t have these illnesses nor know anyone who does).  I remember watching Sybil (with Sally Field) years ago so for me, only the Hollywood portrayals of Sybil and perhaps even Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were the information I had about the subject.  But, that was all about to change.

The interviewer, Kyle Kittleson, host of MedCircle, had such an easy way about him that I figured I’d watch the segment for a few minutes.  Encina Severa, who has 11 different personalities living in her body, made me watch the entire hour.  The segment is called:  What It’s Like To Live With Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

I think what kept me watching was the way in which Kyle asked Encina about DID and the vulnerability in which she answered his questions and explained what she endures.  I found myself amazed by her courage in opening up on camera in order to help others to understand DID.  I don’t know if this topic interests you at all, but I will tell you that I stayed up past my bedtime in order to finish watching the entire interview and I was glad I did.

Have you had any experience with someone with DID or Multiple Personality Disorder?  Here’s the link to the interview in case you’re interested:  Click Here.

Shine On!

xo

 

Surviving Tilt-A-World

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Have you been feeling it still?  That sense that everything is coming to peace by being cleared out?  For me, I feel like I’m riding turbulent waves with only a small life ring to keep me from drowning.  I have been talking with others who are feeling it as well.  Are you too?

It’s been going on for awhile now.  I wrote about it here at the end of August.  Some of what we’re experiencing with no rhyme or reason as to why are:

Turbulence in relationships

Malfunctioning/breaking of all types of items (locks included)

Miscommunications

Unexplained health problems

Insomnia

Exhaustion of body, mind and soul

Lack of feeling centered

Losses

Bad behaviors

Atmospheric/Climate abnormalities

Appliances, Computers, Electricity problems

Etc., Etc., Etc.

It’s a time for clearing out the old muck to begin again in a new way.  It’s a rearranging and re-balancing of the old stuck ways of thinking and being which causes this upheaval.  Whatever we haven’t dealt with in the past is now center-staging itself in plain sight in order to be dealt with once and for all, even if it’s not what we want to do at this time.

It’s been difficult for most of us.  It’s a matter of staying on course and allowing the flow of energy to take us where we need to heal.  Navigating the hills and valleys as we clear and heal isn’t for the faint of heart.  Staying centered and balanced feels like an arduous task, but we just have to keep on trying to recenter after each crisis.  Staying authentically true to ourselves, opening up those raw wounds to heal them and to forgive takes great effort.  Sleep is kindness to ourselves as it restores our depleting energies as we traverse this difficult time.

We can’t charge through this time quickly.  We can only take baby steps as each clearing comes which means that there’s no way to make it go any faster.  Hold on.  Go with the flow.  Be patient with yourself and others.  Don’t try to force things to work, but instead surrender to the healing.  I truly believe all will re-balance itself, maybe not in the short time we want it to, but yes, in time.  All in good time.

Hold on dear friends.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Rest.  Meditate.  Surrender and Grow.  Balance the yin and yang as best you can.  Hold onto trusted friends.  Count your blessings.  We are here for you!  Keep shining your heartlights!  We need more light!

Shine On!

xo

 

Picking Up The Pieces

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When life throws you a curve ball, you have to re-evaluate your position in life.  You have to pick up the pieces from what’s changed and put them back together in a new way.  You may even have to release some parts of your prior life in order to make room for the new chapter that’s beginning.  We have to embrace the change in order to incorporate it into our lives and not be stymied by the upheaval.

There are many defining moments in life that create change.  What we forget in times of fluidity and peace is that change is inevitable.  Few of us get out of this life alive without challenges, for those are what make this life school a life-long learning process.  If we were only to enjoy smooth sailing for a lifetime then we wouldn’t have a chance to grow.  By enduring these challenges, we experience change.  Life school allows us to connect with others who have endured similar situations in ways that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  Nobody can understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis is if you haven’t experienced it yourself.  Nobody understands the all-encompassing grief that comes with losing a loved one if you haven’t been through it.  Empathy comes when you’ve walked a similar path with compassion.

I confess that I would have preferred to not have endured many of the challenges presented to me.  I could have done without the trying times that threatened to drown me.  But I persevered and through faith, love and friendship, I am still here.

I’ve been through a plethora of life changes as I am sure you have too.  Some have been good changes, while others defined me in ways I never thought possible.  Breast cancer, deaths of friends, family and loved ones, divorce, financial difficulties, Alzheimer’s in loved ones, just to name a few of the big ones.  Through these defining moments of upheaval and life changing events, I have learned one thing for sure:  I can survive and remain who I am innately and even be improved by having endured the changes.  Challenges, failures and triumphs sprinkled with love, hope, faith and kindness make all the difference.

Keep shining your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo